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  • 03/21/18--07:36: Article 0
  • Vietnam to cut red tape in construction-related administrative procedures

    A construction permit currently takes 82 days on average to be issued in Vietnam

     

    ​Vietnam to cut red tape in construction-related administrative procedures
    A Ho Chi Minh City resident (L) requests assistance from an official in how to apply for a construction permit at the municipal Department of Construction, March 20, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has requested that efforts be made to streamline the country’s administrative procedures in construction-related fields.

    The aim, he stressed, is to reach the average time it takes for such procedures to be done in ASEAN-4, which indicates the four most developed economies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

    Currently, ASEAN-4 includes Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

    According to the premier’s directive, which was issued last week, the combined time to go through all construction-related procedures for a single application is to be shortened from 166 days as per current regulations to 120 days.

    This includes the time it takes to review construction drawings and fire prevention plans, issue construction permits, approve the building’s access to utilities, and grant certificates of property ownership.

    Relevant authorities are tasked with implementing information technology and administrative reforms to achieve this target.

    Ministries are also asked to study and propose a revision of current laws concerning such procedures, according to the directive.

     

    ​Vietnam to cut red tape in construction-related administrative procedures
    A chart illustrating the current and expected days it takes to carry out different procedures related to construction in Vietnam. Graphic: Tuoi Tre

    Red tape

    Despite recent governance improvements in Vietnam following major policy reforms, residents and investors say they still face red tape when it comes to applying for construction permits and other related papers, a process that could take months to complete.

    According to a World Bank report, it takes 82 days on average for a construction permit application to be processed and approved in Vietnam.

    In reality, however, realty developers say they must wait at least twice as long to get their hands on the paper due to various complications along the way.

    V., director of a real estate company based in Ho Chi Minh City, said it could take two years from the date an application is filed until when the project can actually break ground.

    Officials always managed to find fault with an application, he said, forcing developers to correct their ‘mistakes’ and reapply from the start, which could be repeated two or three times.

    “Of course there are occasions when the applicant is at fault, but most of the times it’s just unnecessary nitpicking on the officials’ part,” V. said.

    Q., a Hanoi-based real estate developer, said those in the industry always have under their belt some ‘contacts’ within related government bodies to help speed up the process.

    “They are familiar with the procedures and can easily ask for ‘favors’ from their colleagues, so it would be much quicker if they can take care of your application,” Q. said.

    Tuoi Tre News

    0 0
  • 03/22/18--01:46: Article 1
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 22/3


    Korean firms to sign cooperation deals at Vietnam-Korea ICT 2018


     

    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

    Big Korean companies are expected to sign to cooperate with local firms at the Vietnam-Korea ICT 2018 on March 22 in Hanoi.

    The event, held by the Vietnam Internet Association (VIA) in collaboration with the Korea National Information Technology Promotion Agency (NIPA), will attract dozens of well-known firms from Korea and open many strategic cooperation opportunities for IT enterprises of the two countries, with some businesses signing Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on business cooperation.

    For example, local Access Motion Company will sign with Korea Tripath Company on advertising based on users’ location, Korean DSP1 Company and Viettel Group will sign to provide an anti-theft solution based on M2M connection, Korea Supernet and Newtatco will sign a cooperation agreement in wireline and wireless consolidation services, Korea JC1 will sign an agreement on digital conversion solutions with FSI Vietnam, and Korea ESE Company will sign an agreement to provide integrated smart solutions to FPT Corporation.

    Besides, the event will feature topics such as 5G conditions, Korea's digital policy, and Vietnam’s roadmap for IT development. According to the organiser, VIA, the B2B Linkage Programme for Vietnamese-Korean companies is particularly important as Vietnamese IT businesses can introduce their strengths and visions to call for investment and support from potential Korean partners.

    South Korea, which was among the first countries to set up relations with Vietnam through the provision of digital telecommunications equipment in the early 1990s, is now the top investor in the country with big names like Samsung, SKT, and KT. According to VIA, nearly 40 Vietnamese and Korean firms joined the event last September.

    PPP investment workshop to be held in April

    The Ministry of Transport (MoT) and the World Bank will likely jointly organise a workshop on the public-private partnership (PPP) investment model in April.
    ppp investment workshop to be held in april

    At a meeting with Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The late last week to seek support, Ousmane Dione, the World Bank’s country director for Vietnam, said that the event aims to share the experience of countries in the field.

    The minister supported the idea, saying that MoT will cooperate with WB to successfully hold the event.

    "Vietnam will open an international bidding for eight sections of the eastern spur of the North-South Expressway project in 2019. Thus, the April workshop is essential for Vietnam," The said.

    The eastern spur of the North-South Expressway project, which is estimated to cost VND230 trillion ($10.5 billion)—with 1,370 kilometres to be built by 2020—is considered an economically- and politically-important project. It will run through 20 cities and provinces, affecting 45 per cent of the country’s population, 65 per cent of its ports, and 67 per cent of its economic zones.

    The project has been attracting the attention of many foreign investors, including South Korea-based Posco E&C, Lotte E&C, and many other international groups from Japan and the US.

    However, a lack of guaranteed policies remains a key barrier to investor participation in PPP transport projects in Vietnam.

    According to Ousmane Dione, WB is willing to provide technical support for MoT in developing expressway projects under the PPP format.

    The bank is also interested in the development of inland waterway transport in Vietnam to tap into the country's river system, while easing environmental pollution caused by road transport. It is studying the investment of inland waterway transport development in Vietnam as well as the modes of calling for investment.

    Eurowindow to develop $120-million factories in Myanmar

    European Plastics Window Company Ltd. (Eurowindow), Vietnam’s leading supplier of doors and facades, plans to invest up to $120 million in two factories in Myanmar to cater for both local and regional demand, according to newswire Dealstreetasia.

    Eurowindow’s decision to expand comes at a time when Myanmar’s construction industry is growing at an average of 30 per cent per year. Besides, after studying the construction material market of Myanmar, Eurowindow sees that the market share of aluminium doors, uPVC doors for housing, medical facilities, shopping centres, and transport infrastructure has great potential to exploit.

    Speaking on the sidelines of the opening ceremony opening its representative office in Myanmar, Eurowindow general director Nguyen Canh Hong told Dealstreetasia that the company will be investing $15-20 million in the first factory, the construction of which is expected to start in 2019.

    The locations of the factories have yet to be decided. The first factory is expected to produce doors and windows, while the second factory will manufacture other construction materials, such as interior equipment. The firm’s flagship products include aluminium doors, uPVC doors, and wooden doors.

    Eurowindow signed its first contract in Myanmar on March 16 with HTE Integrated (Myanmar) Ltd. to supply wooden and aluminium doors and glass walls for the Super Hotel project in Thilawa Special Economic Zone.

    Hong said Eurowindow plans to expand into real estate development in Myanmar later on, similar to what it does in Vietnam. The firm is among the 138 Vietnamese enterprises doing business in Myanmar. Vietnam's outbound investment in Myanmar reached $1.38 billion in 2017.

    Eurowindow first started catering to the market in Myanmar in 2014.

    Established in 2002, Eurowidow has five factories and one glass processing centre based in Hanoi, Danang, and Binh Duong. Eurowindow’s factories are equipped with modern automated production lines imported from leading suppliers from Germany, Italy, Finland, and Spain.

    Besides, it owns a nationwide distribution network, including three branches, nearly 40 showrooms, as well as hundreds of agents and distributors.

    Eurowindow generated a revenue of $142 million in 2017 and targets to become a leading supplier of doors, windows, and construction products in Southeast Asia.

    Gemadept is going regional with CJ

    Vietnam’s leading port and logistics firm Gemadept Corporation recently elaborated on its partnership with CJ Logistics and revealed its plans to go regional.

    Gemadept Corporation, the country’s largest port and logistics owner and operator, recently announced its plans for 2018 and subsequent years. The corporation, which is listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, stressed that it has an equal partnership with South Korea’s CJ Logistics, which bought 49 and 51 per cent each in two subsidiaries – Gemadept Shipping and Gemadept Logistics Holdings, respectively – last October. Total value of the transaction is less than 15 per cent of the corporation’s total asset.

    CEO Do Van Minh emphasised that in the CJ-Gemadept joint venture, Gemadept would still call the shots regarding management and operations. “All decisions in this new entity have to be agreed upon by us and our South Korean partner. This is the most important part of the agreement. Thanks to Gemadept’s deep understanding of the local market and close relationship with foreign partners, both parties mutually agreed that Gemadept will keep controlling daily operation. To customers and partners, all contacts for business will remain unchanged” said Minh.

    Following the agreement, Gemadept and CJ Logistics have set ambitious goals for their joint business. Specifically, CJ Gemadept is expected to double its profit within the next three years, strengthen its number-one position in Indochina and become a leading player in Southeast Asia. According to Minh, the JV will benefit from CJ’s global network and Gemadept’s extensive supply chain in Vietnam.

    “We want to go international fast in logistics sector. Thus, we decided to co-operate with a strategic foreign partner. CJ Logistics shares the same vision as us and has a well-established network in all continents, making them the ideal partner,” said Minh.

    Another notification is that port operation and other Gemadept’s logistics affiliates remain 100 per cent under Gemadept’s ownership and management.

    In the next few years, Gemadept has set out a list of ambitious goals for its expansion in both Vietnam and overseas. Areas of focus include development of the Nam Dinh Vu port in the northern province of Haiphong for full phases. The first phase covering 20 hectares was completed this January, with an investment capital of $75 million for a berth length of 440 metres and the capacity of 600,000 TEUs. On Februay 4th, 2018, Nam Dinh Vu Port received the first vessel call. The second phase for the port will start in this June. In the south, Binh Duong port will also be further expanded this year.

    Another landmark project of Gemadept remains the massive Gemalink deep-sea container terminal in the Cai Mep–Thi Vai port area in the southern province of Ba Ria Vung Tau. The first phase of this terminal, covering 33ha, requires $325 million in capital, 25 per cent of which is funded by French carrier CMA CGM S.A.

    Phase one of the project is expected to kick off by end of 2019 with the capacity of 1.5 million TEUs, and when completed, Gemalink will be the only deep sea container port in Cai Mep–Thi Vai to accommodate vessels of up to 200,000 DWT.

    Further ahead, Gemadept will continue expanding its ports, logistics, warehouse, transportation, and air cargo services to create full-packaged 3PL logistics and port system. “We want to build, and relentlessly expand, our integrated logistics and port system all across Vietnam to maintain our top position in these sectors,” said CEO Do Van Minh.

    For business performance target, profit from core businesses of Gemadept, the first year after the co-operation with CJ is planned to achieve good growth compared to the same period. The target is to double EBT towards 2020.

    Founded in 1990, Gemadept was one of the first firms to be equitised and listed on the public market. The firm has released its financial results for the entire year 2017 (before audit) with VND3.9 trillion ($177.27 million) in revenue and VND650 billion ($29.54 million) in pre-tax profit, outperforming its planned target.

    Billionaire Warren Buffet was quoted as saying, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ We do believe that with the recent cooperation between Gemadept and CJ in the logistics sector as well as Gemadept’s own goal for port development, the corporation will continue to have strong and sustainable movement in the coming time.

    Taekwang looks for strategic stake in PV Power

    Taekwang Power Holdings, a unit of South Korean textile and shoemaker Taekwang Co., has ambitions to become the strategic investor of PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power)—the second-largest electricity producer in Vietnam.

    Some days ago, representatives of Taekwang Power joined a working session with the leaders of PV Power to discuss options of buying nearly 29 per cent stake to become the strategic investor of PV Power.

    The South Korean party has plans to spend VND12 trillion ($527.2 million) on the deal.

    So far, PV Power met with 195 foreign investors, 35 of whom expressed intentions to make a bid. However, ultimately, only four firms submitted applications.

    Two of these investors come from South Korea, one from Thailand, and one from Germany. The German firm registered to buy shares for a maximum of $100 million, while the three remaining investors registered to buy the entire 28.88 per cent stake offered to the strategic investor. However, the names of these firms have yet to be disclosed.

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

    Notably, in July 2017, the consortium including Saudi Arabian ACWA Power and Taekwang Power officially received an investment certificate for the project.

    Nam Dinh 1 is the seventh foreign-invested power project licensed in Vietnam since the country opened its doors to foreign direct investment three decades ago.

    The 1,200MW plant is an independent greenfield power project to be developed on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. It is part of the 2,400MW Nam Dinh thermal power complex.

    The project is scheduled to commence construction in early 2018. The first unit will enter commercial operations within 51 months, while the power facility will take 57 months.

    The investment consortium will operate for 25 years. The project will be financed by Export-Import Bank of Korea and Korean Trade Insurance Corporation.

    South Korean Posco E&C has been selected as a preferred bidder for the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract of the project.

    The plant’s annual production will be 7,800GWh, which will be a considerable contribution to power generation in northern Vietnam and will facilitate the development strategy presented in the nation's power development strategy.

    Startup Luxstay gets $2.5 million funding

    Vietnam’s Airbnb-like startup Luxstay has announced an additional $2.5 million mobilised through its Pre-Series A Round from investors including Genesis Ventures, Founders Capital, Y1 Ventures, and two other investors.

    Previously, Luxstay received funding from Japanese Genesis Ventures and Singapre-based ESP Capital in the middle of 2017. Without detailing the funds for the startup in the first time last year, Genesis Ventures, which also invested in VNG, Foody, Tiki, Vatgia, decided to inject money into the startup after a 30-minute meeting.

    Working somewhat like short-term apartment rental site Airbnb, Luxstay focuses on luxury accommodation like villas, apartments, and high-end homestays owned by local people across Southeast Asia.

    The startup was founded by Vietnamese entrepreneur Steven Nguyen and incorporated in Singapore but is currently mostly operating in Vietnam and Thailand. Luxstay targets to become the largest short-term rental platform in Southeast Asia.

    HCMC plans trading floor for pork
       
    HCMCity plans to form a pork trading floor which will have advanced technology and careful control of pork origin to ensure quality.

    The city’s Department of Industry and Trade is working on forming the trading floor, which will allow direct purchases, without intermediaries, from pig farmers.

    Large, growing pork markets such as China and Japan have not bought pork from Viet Nam through large scale exporting, but instead through small border trade as international trade requires higher food safety standards.

    The city has begun a programme to keep better track of pork origin to ensure higher-quality products.

    By the end of 2017, 2,644 pig farms and 38 slaughterhouses had joined the programme, according to the city’s Department of Industry and Trade. The department has also held around 85 training sessions for farmers.

    As part of the programme, traders and consumers can look up information about the pork they have bought and their origin by scanning the QR code on each pork package which has quality stamps.

    In HCMCity, 7,500 to 8,000 pigs are supplied with a clear source of origin each day.

    The city plans to replace all manual slaughtering activities with machinery by the end of 2018, and make sure every slaughterhouse is equipped with freezers to store pork.

    According to the department, the city consumes US$500 million worth of pork every year.

    TP Bank’s profit doubles year-on-year
       
    Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) earned VND275.8 billion (US$12.1 million) in profit in the first two months of this year, a two-fold increase year-on-year.

    The non-performing loan (NPL) ratio was kept at 0.97 per cent, still within permitted the level.

    The bank is in the process of completing procedures to list shares on the HCM Stock Exchange (HoSE).

    TPBank shares are expected to be listed on the exchange in April. The bank’s shareholders also expect to receive dividends for the first time after six years of successful restructuring.

    TPBank posted impressive growth in 2017. Its profit rose by 70 per cent from 2016 to more than VND1.2 trillion. Its total assets were VND124 trillion, up 17.2 per cent.

    The bank’s total credit was VND71.29 trillion, representing a 22 per cent year-on-year rise. It was listed among the top banks with the best credit quality in the market and low bad debt rate of just 0.87 per cent.

    TPBank’s total capital mobilisation was VND115 trillion, increasing 17.5 per cent from the previous year.

    OCB is VN’s first omni-channel bank
       
    Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank on March 19 became the first bank in the country to move to an omni-channel digital platform that allows customers to switch between devices during a single transaction.

    With all of the bank’s online and offline channels integrated, customers can start making a transaction on its website and finish the process at an OCB branch or on its mobile app.

    “This [digitisation] trend is inevitable and financial institutions are reaching out to it, and OCB has become the first bank to bring the omni-channel concept to Việt Nam,” Nguyen Dinh Tung, general director of the lender, said at the launch ceremony.

    “Today’s event marks a big step for OCB in becoming a modern bank and a leader in the retail and SME sectors.”

    The launch of omni-channel banking provides OCB with a strong foundation for becoming a digital-only bank, he said.

    On the occasion, OCB also offered some new products such as financial management, opening online savings accounts, scheduling future payments and widgets which give customers freedom to arrange their most frequently used services, among others.

    OCB said more new products would be offered from now through 2020.

    KeppelLand consolidates ownership of $500-million Saigon Sports City

    Keppel Land Limited (KeppelLand), through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Oil (Asia) Pte. Limited, has acquired the remaining 10 per cent stake in Jencity Limited from Jenclub Limited for a consideration of approximately $11.4 million.

    Following the acquisition, KeppelLand will hold 100 per cent interest in SaigonSportsCity, thus consolidating its full ownership of the township.

    SaigonSportsCity is a 64-hectare township that KeppelLand is developing in the prime location of District 2 in Ho Chi Minh City, in collaboration with Keppel Urban Solutions.

    It is envisaged to be a bustling hub combining modern and sustainable urban living with vibrant and healthy lifestyles, which can be a model for other urban developments in Asia.

    The total development cost for SaigonSportsCity is projected to be more than $500 million.

    The integrated township will comprise of about 4,300 premium homes and include iconic features like a waterfront boulevard, an open public plaza, and Vietnam's first one-stop lifestyle hub with comprehensive facilities for sports, entertainment, shopping, and dining.

    In addition, biophilic design principles will be incorporated into the development, such as natural lighting and ventilation, a linear park, vertical greenery, and picturesque water features with natural filtration, to create a green and beautiful environment.

    The first phase of SaigonSportsCity will feature some 90,000 square metres of gross floor area of commercial space and about 1,220 homes, 620 units of which are slated for launch in the second half of this year.

    The above transaction is not expected to have a material impact on the earnings per share and net tangible assets per share of Keppel Corporation Limited in the current financial year.

    KeppelLand is one of the largest foreign real estate developers in Vietnam with a diverse portfolio of properties in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai, and Vung Tau, including Grade A offices, residential properties, retail centres, integrated townships, and award-winning serviced apartments.

    With 20 licensed projects across Vietnam and a pipeline of more than 20,000 homes, KeppelLand is establishing itself as the choice developer distinguished by quality and innovative lifestyle concepts.

    Minh Phu Corp reveals ambitious plans upon return to stock exchange

    Leading seafood firm Minh Phu Corporation has plotted out grand strategies to defend the “King of Shrimp” title, following its comeback to the public market this month.

    Minh Phu revealed that it will use technology to gain the upper hand in the shrimp market. The firm recently met with top experts in artificial intelligence in Singapore, as it looks to raise the level of automation to 70 per cent of the manufacturing process.

    According to CEO Le Van Quang, with the help of automation, Minh Phu’s annual capacity can reach 150 tonnes per hectare, compared to the current 10 tonnes. The seafood firm has spent the last two years preparing the necessary database and infrastructure for this step.

    The corporation is also planning to invest in a 10,000-hectare shrimp farm in Kien Giang province, which will make use of state-of-the-art technology. With expectations of higher output levels, Minh Phu looks to ramp up its export turnover to $1 billion a year.

    In 2017, Minh Phu accounted for 20 per cent of Vietnam’s total volume of shrimp exports, equalling $700 million. This is the highest figure for any seafood company in Vietnam.

    Minh Phu’s major markets for exports include the US, Japan, and Australia. In the US, the firm is not subject to anti-dumping regulations, which is a huge advantage over its competitors.

    For 2018, Minh Phu looks to increase its export turnover to $1 billion, reaping pre-tax profits of VND1.3 trillion ($56.8 million). The anticipated export volume is 70,000 tonnes of finished products.

    Minh Phu's founder and CEO Le Van Quang is known in Vietnam as the "King of Shrimp" thanks to his long-term success in the business. With these new projects in mind, the CEO looks poised to defend his title, the same time as the firm makes its return to the stock exchange.

    However, the big question remains: where can Minh Phu get the funding for all of these ambitious projects? Short-term loans at the firm already stand at VND3.4 trillion ($148.5 million)—four times the charter capital.

    Minh Phu also had to borrow another VND700 billion ($30.8 million) to expand its Minh Phu Ca Mau factory, where construction is slated to start in the third quarter of 2018.

    CEO Le Van Quang said he is looking forward to a government loan programme for high-tech shrimp farming, which can provide up to VND10 trillion ($437 million) for seafood companies.

    The loan package aims to help seafood firms like Minh Phu gain control of shrimp farms in the Mekong Delta.

    Another source of money for Minh Phu is raising its charter capital upon returning to the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange.

    The firm will also pay no dividends this year. Not stopping there, Minh Phu will also issue 60 million shares in a private placement this June, aiming to collect VND600 billion ($26.2 million) for the business.

    The seafood firm expects its charter capital after these issuances to reach VND2 trillion ($88 million), thus providing sufficient funding for its expansion projects.

    “A lot of foreign investors have expressed interest in becoming our strategic partners. This is testament to their belief in our growth potential,” said Quang.

    Tien Giang moves to manage quality of star apple exports

    The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang is taking measures to ensure the quality of star apples for export to the US, said Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Van Man.

    Local authorities have detailed farming techniques and instructed farmers to manage agricultural product quality, he noted, elaborating that farmers have received training in disease prevention and the use of plant protection substances. They were warned not to use substances that the US bans and replace those chemicals with biological products.

    Tien Giang has provided codes for new farming areas while expanding the areas which already had codes. It has also requested star apple exporters to coordinate with specialised agencies to receive timely technical support.

    Man said the province is pushing star apple cultivation towards VietGAP (Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practice) standards to ensure food safety and origin traceability.

    The agriculture department also asked the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to continue reviewing the granting codes for star apple exporters and strictly examine the origin, package and quality of export batches so as not to affect the prestige of Vietnamese star apples.

    The Plant Protection Department has also been asked to update localities with plant quarantine information to deal with violations in a timely manner, the official said.

    He added his province is making efforts to form long-term cultivation areas to ensure stable production and supply of quality star apples. Notably, it is implementing a pilot project on recovering Lo Ren star apple trees, a Tien Giang variety.

    It is also re-organising the production and consumption chain, improving star apple cooperatives, and stepping up trade promotion to boost exports to the US and other markets, Man noted.

    In the Mekong Delta, Tien Giang is one of the provinces with the biggest star apple farming areas. In late December 2017, the agriculture ministry and the provincial People’s Committee announced that the first batch of Vietnamese star apples had been shipped to the US after 10 years of negotiations.

    Since the announcement, Tien Giang has exported 73 tonnes of star apples to the US, according to Vo Van Men, deputy head of the plant protection division of the provincial agriculture department.

    Methodical approach to exporting aquatic products to US suggested

    Commercial Counsellor and head of the Vietnam Trade Office in the US Bui Huy Son has said Vietnamese firms should take a methodical approach to exporting aquatic products to the US.

    He made the statement during an interview with Vietnam News Agency following the US Department of Commerce’s 13th administrative review on countervailing duties on frozen tra fillets imported from Vietnam from August 1, 2015 – July 31, 2016 ended with record high taxation, triple that of the 12th review.

    Son said the Ministry of Industry and Trade has clearly expressed its stance on the taxation in its announcement, that it is unfair and reflects inappropriate protectionism.

    The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors also issued an announcement affirming that the DOC’s calculation method is improper and biased and asked the DOC to reconsider the tax on frozen tra fillets imported from Vietnam.

    Asked about what Vietnam could do to change the DOC’s decision, Son said after the ninth administrative review when the DOC refused to reconsider its decision in 2013, Vietnam later filed a complaint to the US Court of International Trade. Even if the court’s ruling, which often takes 3-4 years, is inappropriate, Vietnam could file a complaint to the US Court of Federal Claims.

    According to him, the US will continue enforcing new regulations, including the Food Safety Modernisation Act, which requires exporters to provide information regarding fishing locations and vehicles, preservation, transportation, processing and distribution.

    Therefore, the State, local agencies and associations need to store and digitalise such information to make it readily available when necessary, he said. 

    Together with efforts of aquatic exporters, relevant associations, the ministries of Industry and Trade, and Agriculture and Rural Development, the media also plays a significant role in raising public awareness of fishing and aquatic processing which ensures safety and meet importers’ requirements, Son added.

    Quảng Bình to launch world-class golf course

    Trường Thịnh Group and the United States’ The Great White Shark on Monday signed a design contract for the Bảo Ninh Trường Thịnh golf course in the central province of Quảng Bình.

    Located in the coastal area of ​​Bảo Ninh Commune, the Bảo Ninh Trường Thịnh golf course project​ has a planned area of 175.76ha and is expected to provide 36 holes, based on international standards.

    The golf course is being built to serve the sporting needs of people in and around the province, especially businessmen, experts and international visitors who work in and visit QuảngBìnhProvince.

    At present, the provincial People’s Committee has approved Trường Thịnh Group to study and invest in the Bảo Ninh Trường Thịnh golf course project, with total investment capital of nearly VNĐ1 trillion (US$44 million).

    The project will be completed within 36 months, and part of the project (up to 18 holes) will be put into operation 12 months after the completion of investment procedures.

    Speaking at the signing ceremony, Trần Tiến Dũng, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said this was not only a chance to promote the golf sport but also to promote the image of Quảng Bình tourism. The province will create favourable conditions to ensure the project operates well, Dũng added.

    Vietnam needs flexible reaction to rubber market

    Vietnam needs to be flexible in its measures to deal with the instability of the rubber industry due to violent fluctuations in the import-export prices for rubber and the dependence on imported rubber materials.

    According to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam exported an estimated 184,000 tonnes of rubber in the first two months of 2018 at a total value of US$217 million, an increase of 0.4% in terms of volume but a decrease of 27% in terms of value compared to the same period in 2017.

    Thanks to a higher demand for rubber from foreign importers, the price of rubber has risen to VND40 million (US$1,600) per tonne, from VND32 million (US$1,280) per tonne since the Lunar New Year. However, experts warned that it will be difficult to maintain the positive trend for long and price fluctuations may be a recurring scenario for the rubber sector in 2017.

    In the first two months of 2017, the price of rubber stood at roughly US$2,630 per tonne but after March, rubber prices faced irregular fluctuations and dropped to around US$1,600 per tonne.

    The rubber crop in 2017 was a warning about the instability and risks that both rubber growers and traders may encounter in 2018.

    Experts fear that the demand for rubber will rise until the end of this year but will be slower than the increase in the supply, which will result in a decrease in prices, with the average price hovering around VND36-37 million (US$1,584-US$1,628) per tonne.

    Meanwhile, Vietnam imported 96,000 tonnes of rubber in the first two months of this year with a total value of US$166 million, up 20.8% in terms of volume and 1.9% in terms of value compared to 2017.

    The fact shows that Vietnam mainly exports raw rubber with a low value while importing a large amount of rubber products for deep processing as the production of current types of Vietnamese rubber is yet to meet the demands of domestic manufacturers.

    To resolve the trade balance problem in rubber imports and exports and to create an abundant supply of rubber materials for domestic production, the rubber industry should restructure its current rubber products toward deep processing in order to create higher added values.

    The rubber sector also needs to improve the quality and value of its products through the application of advanced technology in production while expanding export markets and boosting trade promotion.

    PM approves development strategy for Viet Nam’s mechanical engineering industry

    The Prime Minister has approved a development strategy for Viet Nam’s mechanical engineering industry until 2025, with a vision to 2035.

    Accordingly, by 2035, Viet Nam’s mechanical engineering industry will be developed with a majority of technologically advanced professions and products of international standards, while further participating in the global value chain and making economical and efficient use of energy. The sector will develop a professional, disciplined and high-qualified workforce, and be proactive in researching, designing and manufacturing mechanical products to basically meet the demand of the domestic market.

    In terms of exports, the strategy targets the mechanical engineering industry’s export volume meeting 35% of its total output by 2020, and the proportion is expected to increase by 40% by 2030 and 45% by 2035.

    Until 2025, the industry will focus on developing a number of sub-sectors of automobile mechanics, tractors, agricultural machinery, construction equipment, industrial equipment and electrical equipment, which are capable of basically meeting the requirements of the economy and a part of the export demand.

    After 2025, some groups of advisory and manufacturing contractors, which are capable of mastering the designing works and manufacturing auxiliary equipment groups, will be formed, while efforts will be focused on supporting some domestic firms that have the potential to become strong regional corporations in the manufacturing sector such as automobiles, agricultural machinery and electrical equipment.

    The strategy stipulates the continuous revision and supplementation of policies promoting the mechanical engineering industry, including tax incentives, the support measures for investment and business activities; and the continuous review, amendment, supplementation and completion of the support mechanisms and polices for the mechanical engineering industry in accordance with the laws on investment and Viet Nam’s commitments on international economic integration. The strategy will also work to accelerate the development of the supporting industries for the mechanical engineering sector, to increase the proportion of domestic production value, to build a chain of production and assembly of mechanical products in the country, and to facilitate Viet Nam’s participation in the global mechanical production chain.

    Loans not allowed to go to innovation investment funds

    The Government recently issued Decree No. 38/2008/ND-CP detailing investments for innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

    The decree guides the investment in innovative SMEs; the establishment, management and operation of innovation investment funds; and the mechanism on using the local budget to invest in innovative SMEs.

    The decree clearly states that an innovation investment fund does not have a legal entity and is established by a maximum of 30 capital contributors on the basis of the fund’s charter. An innovation investment fund is not allowed to contribute capital to another fund of the same type.

    The assets contributed may be in Vietnamese dong, gold, the value of land use rights, and other assets that can be valued in Vietnamese dong. Investors are not allowed to use loans to contribute capital to establishing an innovation investment fund.

    An innovation investment fund is managed in one of the following models: a congress between investors and the company that implements management of the fund; a congress between investors, the representative board or the director of the fund, and the company that implements the management of the fund; and a congress between investors, the representative board and the director of the fund, and the company that implements the management of the fund.

    The management of the innovation investment fund, as stipulated in this decree, will be implemented in line with the charter of the fund and the contracts signed with the fund (if any), and will not be governed by the law on securities.

    The decree also provide regulations on using the local budget to invest in innovative SMEs. Specifically, depending on the local budget capability, the provincial-level People’s Committee recommends to the provincial-level People’s Council on assigning the locality’s state financial organization to make investments in innovative SMEs.

    Annually, the locality’s state financial organization evaluates, adjusts and announces the list of the selected innovation investment funds on its web portal and on the website of the provincial-level People’s Committee.

    Gov’t continues to restructure SOEs

    Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue, who is Head of the Steering Committee for Business Renovation and Development (SCBRD), has recently inked Decision 112/QD-BDMDN on a working program of the Steering Committee.

    Accordingly, in 2018, the Steering Committee will consult the Government and the PM to perfect the mechanisms and the legal framework on the management and operation of State-owned enterprises (SOEs); SOEs arrangement, equitization, and capital withdrawal in line with Resolution 05-NQ/TW, dated November 1, 2016 on a number of guidelines and policies in order to continue to innovate the model of growth and enhance the quality of growth and labor productivity and the competitiveness of the economy.

    The Steering Committee will direct, investigate, and urge ministries, agencies, localities, economic groups and corporations to accomplish State capital withdrawal on schedule.

    Ministries, agencies, localities, SOEs were asked to make reports on responsibilities of heads, relevant organizations and individuals before January 10, 2019.

    SOEs will be restructured comprehensively, covering organization, personnel, strategy, administration, finance, technology, production, and professions.

    Weak SOEs will be reviewed and handled.

    Administrative procedures, business conditions, and the legal environment will be reformed so that by 2020 Viet Nam will have at least 1 million businesses./.

    Nearly 11,000 businesses to mark PCI 2017

    The Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) received feedback from 10,245 private enterprises in 63 provinces and cities and 1,765 FDI from 47 foreign countries and territories in 21 provinces and cities.

    The Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will publish the PCI 2017 on March 22 in Ha Noi.
    The Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) in Viet Nam is designed to assess and rank the performance, capacity and willingness of provincial governments to develop business-friendly regulatory environments for private sector development

    This is the 13th consecutive year the VCCI publishes the index. 

    Director General of the Legal Department of VCCI  Dau Anh Tuan reported that this year, the survey received responses from 10,245 private enterprises in 63 provinces and cities (including 2,003 enterprises which were established in 2016 and 2017) and 1,765 FDI from 47 foreign countries and territories in 21 provinces and cities.

    Besides the PCI ranking, the 2017 version will assess Viet Nam’s business environment under the eyes of foreign investors. They will assess administrative reform, business advantages and disadvantages, and labor issues. 

    Mr. Tuan revealed that the PCI report will put aside a chapter on business management quality.

    Earlier, in 2016, the central city of Da Nang dominates the Provincial Competitive Index (PCI) among 63 provinces and cities nationwide for the seventh time, gaining the top score of 70.00, according to PCI 2016 report.

    The PCI 2016 sent out questionnaires to 11,600 enterprises, of which around 14 % were foreign invested enterprises in Viet Nam.

    Last year, the Government issued Resolution 19-2017/NQ-CP, dated February 6, 2017 on continuing to implement main duties and solutions for improving the business environment and enhancing national competitiveness in 2017 and orientation towards 2020./.

    VNN

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  • 03/22/18--02:01: Article 0
  • Logistics centres to be taken shape in HCM City


    The southern metropolis Ho Chi Minh City will form logistics centres in concentrated production areas or those near seaports to provide various services and operate as ports, container depots and container freight stations. 


    Logistics centres to be taken shape in HCM City,vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news

     


    It was part of a project on logistics development in HCMCity built by the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, aiming to minimise logistic costs. 

    On March 20, the Vietnam Logistics Association (VLA) and the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, organised a seminar discussing promoting the development of logistics services in the city, drawing representatives from nearly 100 firms in the field. 

    In 2017, the logistics sector of the city reached 91.541 trillion VND (4.03 billion USD), accounting for 8.6 percent of the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) and 14.8 percent of the service sector, according to statistics.

    Logistics is the second most important industry in the nine key services of the city with growth of 10.84 percent in 2017 from the year before.  

    In 2016, Vietnam ranked 64th out of 160 countries in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index and fourth in ASEAN after Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.  

    However, Vietnamese firms mainly provide domestic logistics services such as transport service, airport, seaport and warehouse services and cargo loading and unloading services. 

    Only a small number of firms provide international logistics services through acting as agents for foreign enterprises.

    VNA

    0 0
  • 03/23/18--00:40: Article 3
  • Vietnam reaps fruits of 30 years of FDI


    Thirty years have elapsed since Vietnam ratified the Foreign Investment Law in 1987. Foreign investors committed to invest $312.9 billion by the end of 2017, of which $170 billion was disbursed.


     

    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, FDI, Nguyen Mai, SHTP 

    The chair of the Vietnam Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises Association (VAFIEs), Nguyen Mai, commented that foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) have made great contributions to Vietnam’s export turnover by exporting valuable processed and manufactured products.

    The contribution by FIEs is even higher in cities/provinces where many foreign invested projects are located, such as Hanoi, HCMC, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Bac Ninh, Thai Nguyen and Vinh Phuc.

    Bac Ninh province, for example, has shifted from an agricultural to an industrial province with industry and service value now accounting for 92 percent.

    FDI capital in the province registered in Bac Ninh by the end of 2017 had reached $15.5 billion, according to the local planning and investment department.

    According to the Foreign Investment Agency, $3.34 billion worth of FDI was committed in the first two months of 2018, while disbursed capital was $1.7 billion, an increase of 9.7 percent over the same period of 2017.

    “The topic for daily discussions in the provinces with large foreign invested projects like Bac Ninh is not how to eliminate hunger and reduce poverty, but how to settle social problems arising during industrialization and migration,” Mai said.

    According to the Foreign Investment Agency, $3.34 billion worth of FDI was committed in the first two months of 2018, while disbursed capital was $1.7 billion, an increase of 9.7 percent over the same period of 2017.

    Hi-tech manufacturing 

    Le Hoai Quoc, head of HCMC Hi-tech Park (SHTP) Management Board, said that SHTP attracted $7 billion worth of investment in the last 15 years, including $5.3 billion worth of FDI.

    The hi-tech projects developed by Intel, Nidec and Samsung have helped add Vietnam to the global map of hi-tech manufacturers.

    Analysts commented that one of the most outstanding achievements in Vietnam’s FDI attraction has been the establishment of production bases which make smartphones, computers, electronics and home appliances for export.

    These products make up an increasingly high proportion of all of Vietnam’s exports, about 30 percent, worth $65 billion.

    Samsung alone has poured $17 billion into smartphone, electronics and electrical engineering projects in Bac Ninh, Thai Nguyen and HCMC in the last 10 years.

    Experts from Standard Chartered Bank have predicted that Vietnam will continue seeing strong FDI inflow this year, especially in the manufacturing sector.

    A survey by EuroCham showed that more than 900 members of the association are optimistic about their business performance in Vietnam and the investment environment, while JETRO’s (Japan External Trade Organization) survey found that 70 percent of Japanese enterprises want to scale up their business in Vietnam.


    Mai Thanh, VNN

    0 0
  • 03/23/18--00:44: Article 2
  • Social News 22/3


    Efforts made to eliminate all forms of child labour in Vietnam by 2025


     

    Efforts made to eliminate all forms of child labour in Vietnam by 2025, Phu Bai airport to be upgraded to serve 5 mln passengers annually, French cuisine introduced in HCM City, Fund raised to build great solidarity house in Truong Sa
    MOLISA Deputy Minister Doan Mau Diep speaking at the workshop (Photo: thanhtra.com.vn)


    The second National Child Labour Survey was officially launched on March 22, with the aim of eliminating all forms of child labour in Vietnam by 2025. 

    The survey was launched at a consultation workshop on child labour held in Hanoi by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

    Speaking at the workshop, MOLISA Deputy Minister Doan Mau Diep stressed that Vietnam has made a huge effort in addressing the child labour issue.

    As the first country in Asia, and the second country in the world, to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Vietnam has perfected and promulgated a number of laws and policies to realise the convention and end child labour.

    The documents include the Labour Code, the Employment Law, the Children Law, and Education Law, as well as two Prime Minister-approved programmes on child protection, and the prevention and elimination of child labour.

    He called on the ILO and its partners to clarify the definition of “child labour” in order to facilitate the law-making process on the issue and ensure the enforcement of children’s rights.

    Phu Bai airport to be upgraded to serve 5 mln passengers annually

    Terminal T1 of Phu Bai International Airport in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue will be upgraded to serve 5 million passengers per year, which is to prepare for the forecast surge of passengers that this port of entry will handle in the next several years.

    At a working session with provincial leaders in Hanoi on March 21, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The agreed with the province on its proposal on upgrading the airport.

    The said his ministry approved the business plan for 2018 of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam. This plan includes a project on building Terminal T1 with an annual capacity of 5 million passengers, along with the apron and synchronous infrastructure of Phu Bai.

    Chairman of the Thua Thien-Hue People’s Committee Nguyen Van Cao said the province wants to soon upgrade and expand PhuBaiInternationalAirport, particularly the international terminal, taxiway and apron.

    PhuBaiInternationalAirport is designed to serve 1.5 million passengers a year, but the number of passengers at this airport was already 1.75 million in 2017. The annual passenger growth rate averaged 15 percent between 2014 and 2017.

    With the predicted growth of 13 – 17 percent each year from 2016 to 2020, the number of passengers will reach 3 – 3.5 million by 2020 and 6.5 – 7 million by 2025 every year, the official added.

    French cuisine introduced in HCM City

    An international culinary event titled “Gout de France” opened in Ho Chi Minh City on March 21.

    The event, held by France’s Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and Consulate General in the city, drew the participation of professional chefs, culinary students and French food lovers.

    Consul General of France to HCM City Vincent Floreani said the event aims to introduce French cuisine to Vietnamese people.

    It also featured meetings of students who ever studied in France and French chefs with Vietnamese students of French cuisine and hotel management.

    Nguyen Anh, a student of HCM City of Technology (Hutech), said the programme helped students to earn more experience in cooking, sales and how to market their products. 

    Fund raised to build great solidarity house in Truong Sa

    A fund will be raised for the construction of a great solidarity house of Vietnam’s ethnic groups in the Truong Sa island district, south central Khanh Hoa province, according to the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF)  Central Committee.

    A fundraising will take place during the upcoming visit to the district and DK1 platform by a delegation of 180 outstanding entrepreneurs, overseas Vietnamese and people from all walks of life. The visit, jointly held by the VFF Central Committee and the Navy High Command, is slated for this April.

    The great solidarity house of Vietnam’s ethnic groups will serve as a venue for visitors from mainland and soldiers, officials and locals in the island district. It will also be a shelter for fishermen and a cultural and sports centre for islanders.

    The house is designed to have three stories with steel-reinforced cement frame to be resilient to the extreme weather conditions on the island.

    The VFF expects to mobilise about 45 billion VND for the construction of the work. Fund raising time is from March 21 to the end of August and may be extended to September.

    The VFF will set up a committee for receiving donations. Sponsors can contribute to the fund through bank transfer to the VFF account number 1483201009159 at the Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam (Agirbank), Thu do branch.

    RoK bank presents 20 houses to poor workers in Phu Tho

    The trade union of the KB Kookmin Bank of the Republic of Korea (RoK) has recently granted 20 houses to poor labourers in Thanh Thuy and Yen Lap districts of the northern province of Phu Tho.

    With the help of the Vietnam– RoK Cultural Exchange Centre and the trade union of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the RoK bank also presented necessities worth 110,000 USD and sent 100 volunteers, including its staff members, to build houses for local residents.

    In addition, the Korean bank handed over 250 schoolbags and stationeries to students of Xuan Vien primary school in Yen Lap district.

    It also presented 150 school uniforms to students of Binh Yen secondary school in Tuyen Quang province, which received a two-storey building from the bank last year.

    On the occasion, each of the two schools received 10 laptops from the RoK bank.

    VnSAT helps promote sustainable rice farming in Tien Giang

    Around 11,500 farmers in areas highly vulnerable to flood in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang are benefiting from the Vietnam Sustainable Agriculture Transformation project (VnSAT) implemented in the locality in 2018. 

    With an investment of 52 billion VND (2.28 million USD) for this year, the project provides local rice farmers with training courses on how to change behaviours in agricultural production and better cultivation techniques, thus improving economic efficiency from growing rice, said Vice Director of VnSAT in Tien Giang Le Thi Yen.

    Over 7,600 ha of cultivation land will be applied sustainable rice cultivation solutions in the year, Yen said. 

    Along with transferring sustainable rice cultivation techniques, the project also helps credit institutions and cooperatives improve infrastructure and equipment, promote communications and training activities, and organise relevant workshops. 

    VnSAT has a total investment of 15.3 million USD, including over 9 million USD from official development assistance (ODA). It has been carried out between 2015 and 2020 in flood-prone Cai Lay and Cai Be districts and Cai Lay township, benefing more than 41,000 households.

    Since its launch, the project has opened 442 short-term training courses for over for nearly 17,000 farmers.  

    Covering an area of over 27,000 ha, the project aims to support implementation of the new agenda in two sub-sectors, including high value rice production for export in the Mekong Delta and coffee in the Central Highlands.

    It helps strengthen the ability of governmental agencies in research, design and transferring technologies to farmers, as well as implementing and supervising restructure, and renewal of the agricultural sector. 

    In addition, it has also provided direct support to around 140,000 households planting rice in eight Mekong Delta localities including Kien Giang, An Giang, Hau Giang, and Tien Giang, Long An, Dong Thap, Can Tho and Soc Trang, to access and apply advanced technologies. 

    The households benefiting from the project by being able to join the value chain from production to consumption. Their profits were expected to increase by 30 percent per hectare, bringing the total additional value between 40 million USD and 60 million USD a year for the whole region. 

    In the Central Highlands region, around 63,000 farmer households in five provinces of Lam Dong, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Gia Lai, and Kon Tum, have had access to technologies of sustainable coffee planting and re-planting, with expected additional income of 20 percent a year and 50 million USD for the region. -

    USAID-funded project benefits disabled in Binh Phuoc

    Hundreds of persons with disabilities in the southern province of Binh Phuoc have benefited from a 2015-2018 project funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) which helps them fully integrate into society.

    Reports delivered at a ceremony to review the project held in the locality on March 21 said the project aimed to enhance legal aid ability for the disabled and propose plans to help disabled persons access information and public transportation. 

    Training courses on life skills, legal policy and gender-based violence prevention were organised for 328 disabled persons in the locality. Meanwhile, 275 others were provided with consultations related to preferential loans, social welfares and employment policies. 

    The project also gave rehabilitation services to the targeted group.

    Binh phuoc is home to about 12,745 people with disabilities, with 7,168 of whom being provided with monthly social allowance.

    Cooperatives encouraged to take part in afforestation

    In order to boost afforestation with the participation of cooperatives, provinces and cities need to provide consultancy and assistance for cooperatives, cooperative groups and households to develop and manage forests effectively and sustainably in 2018, said the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance (VCA).

    According to the VCA, 40 percent of the cooperatives, cooperative groups and households involved in the forestry sector are expected to have stable consumption markets by 2020.

    Around 100 forestry cooperatives are set to meet criteria for sustainable forest management.

    Some 1,200 cooperatives and cooperative groups will be introduced to the Law on Forestry and the national standards of sustainable forest management and forest certificates.

    Between 10 and 15 cooperatives and two cooperative alliances will be granted with group forest certificates.     

    According to the VCA, there are some 7,300 forestry cooperatives and 15,000 cooperative groups involved in forest across the country.

    RoK donates 10,000 tonnes of rice to aid storm Damrey’s victims

    Some 10,000 tonnes of rice donated by the Republic of Korea were handed to 10 storm-hit central and Central Highland provinces during an event in Dai Loc district, the central province of Quang Nam on March 21.

    The hand-over event was attended by Korean Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Kim Jong-Hoon and representatives from Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    The rice, worth more than 393 billion VND (17.2 million USD), was provided by the RoK government via the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) to localities that suffered severe damages from Typhoon Damrey in 2017.

    The recipients included Thue Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Tri, Quang Ngai, Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen, Binh Dinh, Gia Lai, Kon Tum and Dak Lak. The hardest-hit Khanh Hoa province received the most at 2,000 tonnes, followed by Quang Nam (1,700 tonnes), and Thua Thien-Hue (1,500 tonnes).

    Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hoang Van Thang said despite Vietnam’s continued relief efforts, affected people in remote areas face many difficulties. The ministry will ensure the appropriate and transparent distribution of the relief.

    In early November 2017, Typhoon Damrey swept through Vietnam’s south central region, leaving 123 people dead or missing and 342 others injured and causing about 1 billion USD in economic losses. It was one of the worst storms to strike the region in years. 

    On January 30, 2018, Vietnam also received more than 166 million LAK, or about 20,000 USD, from Laos to support Typhoon Damrey’s victims.

    TrầnNhânTôngSchool students to be relocated

    Students of TrầnNhânTôngHigh school in Hà Nội’s Hai Bà Trưng District will be relocated to two safe locations on Thursday following an order from Director of Hà Nội’s Department of Education and Training Chử Xuân Dũng.

    Three 12th graders were hospitalised on Tuesday noon after being hit by a 1.2sq.m plaster piece that fell from the ceiling of the teacher’s meeting room. Students had been moved to study in this room as their classroom was dilapidated.

    The students are stable now and out of hospital.

    The two selected safe locations are Đoàn Kết-Hai Bà Trưng High school, and continuing education and vocational training centre in Hai Bà Trưng District.

    The city’s Department of Education and Training will support the schools, Dũng said.

    Phan Thanh Tùng, principal of TrầnNhânTôngSchool, said that the school built dozens of years ago was dilapidated. There are cracks on the walls and plaster pieces could fall off any time.

    In 2013, the school reported its tumble-down infrastructure to the city’s Department of Education and Training and asked for the budget to repair the classrooms.

    A budget of VNĐ54 billion (US$2.4 million) was allocated by the end of 2017 for the school’s reconstruction. However, due to difficulties in finding locations for temporary classrooms, the project’s management board could not execute the plan.

    Lê Hồng Hải, director of continuing education and vocational training centre, said that 22 classrooms in the centre will be used for TrầnNhânTôngSchool’s students.

    According to the city’s Department of Education and Training, TrầnNhânTôngHigh school is among the 40 schools in the city that are in a state of dilapidation.

    In October 2017, a similar incident happened in the school. Fortunately, no one was injured.

    Nguyễn Tuấn Đức, a 11th grader, told The Voice of Việt Nam: “I always bring a helmet along when sitting in the classroom to protect myself in case of incidents.”

    “Most of the classrooms are old. I am afraid anything can happen any time. Teachers have advised us to stay away from peeled off areas and to not rush into the classrooms.”

    Unseasonal rain, tornado damage farms, destroy livelihoods

    Unseasonal rain in Bù Đốp District caused thousands of pepper-planting poles to collapse and destroyed a vast area of cashew and rubber trees.

    The local authorities offered farmers in the area VNĐ1 million (US$44) each as financial assiatance on Wednesday.

    Unseasonal rain, along with a tornado, mostly in the communes of Thanh Hoà and Tân Tiến, destroyed 27,000 pepper-planting poles, 5ha of cashew and rubber trees as well as 18 houses.

    Nguyễn Ngọc Bữu, a farmer in Tân Tiến Commune, said the tornado destroyed 30 cashew trees and hundreds of rubber trees that he owned, causing an estimated loss of up to VNĐ50 million ($2,200).

    “It will take us five to seven years to plant and restore the trees,” he told the Nông thôn ngày nay (Countryside Today) newspaper.

    Ngàn Cấm Mùi, another farmer in Tân Tiến Commune, suffered heavy losses as the rain destroyed her 3,000 pepper-planting poles. Moreover, her house did not have a roof, which damaged a lot of appliances.

    Hà Anh Dũng, Secretary of the District People’s Commitee, directed public agencies to help people overcome the consequences of the unseasonal rain and tornado as well as prepare a detailed report on the damage for further assistance.

    Bình Phước to grow more semi-submerged forests

    The Bình Phước People’s Committee has decided to plant thousands of hectares of forests in areas semi-submerged by hydropower dams and irrigation reservoirs. 

    The south-eastern province has zoned 438ha in the Thác Mơ hydropower dam, 332ha in the Cần Đơn hydropower dam and 337ha in the Phước Hòa hydropower dam for such semi-submerged forests.

    The forests are expected to help prevent land erosion, prevent silt build-up and provide habitats for mammals, birds, reptiles, and other species.

    In 2004 the Cần Đơn hydropower plant was built and hundreds of hectares of semi-submerged areas became submerged deep under water in the rainy season when the storage peaked.       

    But in 2012 the Bù Đốp District Forest Protection Bureau began to grow gáo nước and cajeput trees on 30ha.

    With the trial planting proving a success, the provincial People’s Committee gave the green light to expand cultivation in the semi-submerged area.   

    Now, six years later, the semi-submerged forest has expanded to more than 100ha and become an eco-tourism site.

    The province has in all around 2,000ha of semi-submerged areas, most of them without any vegetation, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    Flower festival held in coastal city

    Japanese sakura and ochna flowers will be on display at the sixth edition of a flower festival held in Uông Bí City in the northern province of Quảng Ninh.

    The festival, which will be kicked off tonight and conclude on March 26, is part of a series of activities in the framework of the National Tourism Year themed on Quảng Ninh province and Hạ Long Bay.

    According to Phạm Tuấn Đạt, deputy chairman of Uông Bí City’s People’s Committee, entrance to the Yên Tử Trúc Lâm Culture Centre, where the festival is held, is free.

    As many as 5,000 sakura branches, 50 sakura trees, thousands of ochna branches and at least 120 ochna plants are in full bloom at the festival.

    “This is the sixth edition of the festival, and so far, there have been no violations by any tourist,” Đạt said.

    The event, titled “Cooperation and Development---The Destination of Success”, provides a platform for various exchange opportunities between Japan and Việt Nam, including folk games, costumes, arts and agricultural produce.

    “Through this event, the province would like to introduce its potential to the Japanese people as well as promote cooperation between the province and Japanese localities, companies and agencies,"Đạt said. 

    Japanese cherry blossoms on display in Hải Phòng

    About 7,000 sakura cherry blossom branches transported from Japan by air and a number of Vietnamese flowers will be put on display in downtown Hải Phòng as part of the Japanese cultural exchange in the northern coastal city to be held from Friday to Sunday.

    The Việt Nam-Japan cultural exchange event and the cherry blossom exhibition is held to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties (1973-2018), said Deputy Director of Hải Phòng Department of Culture and Sports Trần Thị Hoàng Mai at a press conference on Tuesday.

    Along with the exhibition, a seminar to promote tourism and business investment co-operation between Hải Phòng and its Japanese partners will take place on Saturday.

    Deputy Director of HảiPhòngCity’s Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Centre Phạm Hưng Hùng said these events were expected to promote the image, tourist attractions and economic strength of HảiPhòngCity to the people of Japan.

    He called for Japanese investment in the fields of high tech agriculture development, health care, education and environmental protection. He also welcomed the introduction of Japanese culture and people to Việt Nam.

    Japanese cherry trees planted in Hà Nội

    Last week, about 500 cherry blossom trees were planted at the HòaBìnhPark in Hà Nội, also as part of the activities to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Việt Nam-Japan diplomatic ties.

    The event, which was attended by Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Kunio Umeda and Chairman of Hà Nội People’s Committee Nguyễn Đức Chung, was held by the AEON Environmental Foundation as Japan’s response to a city project to plant 1 million green trees in the capital.

    The trees, selected from the variety grown in Japan’s Fukuoka prefecture, which has a similar climate to Hà Nội, are growing well and expected to blossom in the future.

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

    He said hoped the trees will HòaBìnhPark 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 Hà Nội and the central province of Thừa Thiên-Huế.

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

    Chairman Chung said last year’s cherry blossom trees are growing well, symbolising the continuous development of the friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership between Việt Nam and Japan as well as between Hà Nội and AEON Group.

    He hoped the event will help raise public awareness of the need to protect the environment. More than 200 Vietnamese and Japanese volunteers joined hands to plant the cherry trees.

    Mường Thanh hosts north-western culture festival

    An event featuring north-western cuisine and culture is taking place at Mường Thanh hotels nationwide and in Laos.

    Tết Mường Thanh, is organised during the month of March at the chain of Mường Thanh hotels as a response to the signature spring festival of Điện BiênProvince, or Hoa Ban Festival, which takes place on March 17-19. March is the time orchids and peach blossom everywhere in the north-western region. Ethnic people living in the region organise many festivals to pray for good health and prosperity.

    Attending Tết Mường Thanh festivals, customers will have a chance to enjoy unique cuisine such as wild vegetables, dried buffalo meat and xôi ngũ sắc (five coloured sticky rice); try Thái traditional costumes; and join múa sạp tinkling dance. It’s a traditional Thai dance, which involves two people or more beating, tapping bamboo poles against two poles on the ground and against each other. 

    Da Nang, Finland partner to develop smart city

    The central coastal city of Da Nang and its partners from Finland will bolster cooperation in innovation and smart city development, heard a workshop held in the city on March 21.

    The event was attended by the city’s leaders and representatives of the Da Nang Institute for Socio-Economic Development, business incubators, start-up networks in the city, the Finnish Embassy in Vietnam and experts.

    Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Ho Ky Minh highlighted that the city’s project to build a smart city prioitises five areas: smart traffic, smart water supply, smart drainage, control of food safety and hygiene, and construction of a connected city.

    Additionally, the application of e-government system has resulted in effective and transparent operation of the local apparatus, which can offer better information and services to residents, businesses and organisations, he said.

    Meanwhile, Tom Hintsanen, director of the Finnish city Turku’s urban planning department, said that building a smart city means improving infrastructure and creating an attractive city with modern amenities, parks, schools, clean-energy houses, convenient public transport and jobs.

    Tra Vinh: 7 million USD for new-style rural building, poverty reduction

    The Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh will spend 179 billion VND (7.16 million USD) to bolster efforts in new-style rural area building and sustainable poverty reduction this year.

    According to the provincial People’s Committee, about 64 percent of the funds, or 115 billion VND (4.6 million USD), will finance the national target programme on building new-style rural areas. 

    The amount will be used to improve infrastructure across the province and help rural people develop value chains and distribution channels. It will also help provide locals with vocational training, improve environmental sanitation and hygiene and develop education in rural areas.

    The remaining 64 billion VND (2.56 million USD) will be spent to carry out the national target programmes on sustainable poverty alleviation. 

    Tra Vinh plans to build and repair infrastructure projects in seven coastal and island communes, scale up models of successful poverty reduction and help locals boost production and diversify livelihoods. It will also send poor people to work overseas in guest worker programmes.

    Additionally, part of the funds will be provided to Programme 135 which aids 24 extremely-poor communes in infrastructure, production development and improve local incomes.

    Earlier this year, seven more communes in Tra Vinh were recognised as new-style rural areas, bringing the total communes earning the title to 30 out of 85.

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  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 23/3


    HCMCity’s eastern region targeted to become innovative hub

    The eastern region of HCMC comprising districts 2 and 9 and Thu Duc should become the city’s innovative hub given the long-established intellectual and technological facilities that have been thriving there, said Nguyen Thien Nhan, secretary of the HCMC Party Committee.

    Speaking at a meeting between the HCMC government and enterprises here on Saturday, Nhan said urban special planning should be adjusted to make the eastern part of the city “an innovative city inside the city.” The three districts covering over 22,000 hectares and having a population of one million are currently home to two high-tech parks, over ten industrial and export processing zones, and 12 universities.

    Nhan said the municipal government would make changes to zoning plans so as to turn the three districts into an innovative city, which “serves as the nucleus for the city’s high-tech development.”

    District 9 is widely known for the Saigon Hi-Tech Park covering over 700 hectares, where investors have poured US$6 billion and employed 35,000 workers, while Thu Duc District has been aneducationalcenter with 12 universities.

    “These two districts serve as two poles of technology and intellectual, and when combined with District 2 as the administrative center, the region should become a highly-interactive innovative city,” Nhan said, adding this region should also become the springboard for innovative startups.

    To realize this orientation, the municipal Department of Zoning and Architecture will send a delegation to Japan this week to learn from innovative center development models there. Meanwhile, an international conference will be organized in the city in May to discuss ways to develop an innovative hub encompassing the three districts. A design for the innovative city is expected to come out later this year.

    Districts 2 and 9 and Thu Duc District are strategically located at the eastern gateway to HCMC with fairly modern infrastructure facilities, which has helped spur real estate projects.

    Many key infrastructure works have either been completed or underway in the past few years, connecting the city with neighboring provinces. These include the HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway, An Phu Interline, Rach Chiec 2 Bridge, Ring Road 2, and the first metro line linking Ben Thanh and Suoi Tien among others.

    Industry growth predicted to hit over 6.8 percent in Q1

    Industry is forecast to lead all sectors in terms of growth at 6.87 percent each in the first quarter of 2018, according to the National Centre for Socio-Economic Information and Forecast (NCIF).

    Dr. Dang Duc Anh, head of the centre’s Department of Analysis and Forecast, said the surge of 17 percent of the manufacturing and processing industry in the first two months of this year would drive the whole industry sector.

    According to the centre, which is run by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, economic growth of the country in the first quarter may reach 6.23 percent, up from 5.15 percent in the same period last year.

    The NCIF predicted the service sector will expand 6.74 percent in the first quarter, while inflation many reach 3.1 percent, higher than in the same period last year.

    Continuing from 2017, progress has been seen in all economic indications in the first quarter of 2018 thanks to busy manufacturing, construction, trade, wholesale and retail, banking and tourism sectors.

    GDP growth in 2018 is now predicted to hit 6.83 percent, higher than the centre’s forecast in December last year.

    The Government’s efforts in removing difficulties facing businesses are expected to help boost the industry and construction sectors.

    Meanwhile, agro-forestry-fishery is forecast to continue expanding as measures to develop sustainable agriculture are becoming effective.

    At the same time, economic experts said the three main factors boosting economic growth this year include drastic actions of the Government in improving the business environment, and stability in macro-economic policies.

    Additionally, major projects in the processing and manufacturing sector and the newly-signed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) are predicted to lift investment and trade, they added.-

    An Giang expands material tra fish farming area


     

    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 Mekong Delta province of An Giang has expanded breading areas for material tra fish (pangasius) due to increasing export demand since the start of the year, said Chief of the Office of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Dac Mau.

    According to the province’s statistics office, as of mid-March 2018, prices of material tra fish remained high. The prices of young tra fish for breeding also rose due to increasing breeding demand and are at 60,000-70,000 VND per kg.

    An Giang’s farming area for tra fish harvested in the first three months of the year was estimated at 239ha, an increase of 3.6 percent year-on-year while output hit 73,000 tonnes, up 3.36 percent against the previous year’s correspondent period.

    The province’s farming area for tra fish currently totals 770ha, up nearly 3 percent compared to one year ago.

    The An Giang Tra Fish Association (AFA) aims to have 130 households breeding tra fish on a total 160ha, along with increasing the production of tra fish farms in Chau Phu and Phu Tan districts and Tan Chau township.

    Hai Phong: Infrastructure all set but few firms ready for e-business

    The northern port city of Hai Phong ranked third in the 2017 e-Business Index (EBI), and though local infrastructure is all set for e-commerce, few companies are ready to trade online.

    According to Deputy Director of the e-Commerce Centre at the municipal Department of Industry and Trade Le Duc Truong, some 22,000 businesses have registered to operate in the city but only 320 have e-commerce websites registered with the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

    A recent survey in Hai Phong shows that 100 percent of local firms use email and search for information on the internet, however, only 4.4 percent of them are on electronic trading platforms and 14.8 percent have e-commerce websites, Truong said.

    While there is a growing trend of mobile shopping, up to 89 percent of the companies have yet to develop a mobile commerce website and 95.2 percent have yet to take part in mobile-based trading, he added.

    Though smartphones are the most popular tool to make online purchases in the city and more and more businesses accept card payments, most customers prefer cash.

    To fully tap local e-commerce potential, Truong advised firms to be more active in applying e-commerce and provide more solutions to help customers shop online, particularly in transportation and e-payment.

    He also suggested local authorities help the firms solve difficulties in this matter and play a greater role in promoting e-business.

    Hai Phong is a high potential market with more than 2.1 million people, not to mention those living in neighbouring provinces of Thai Binh, Quang Ninh and Hai Duong who come to the city.

    ​The city produced the most impressive growth in the overall e-business development as the city’s EBT jumped from fifth to third place last year, behind only HCMCity and Hanoi, the Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM) announced at the recent Vietnam Online Business Forum.

    The EBI was first published in 2012, aiming to evaluate the use of e-commerce and compare development among localities. The index is based on four criteria: information technology infrastructure and human resources, transactions between businesses and customers (B2C), transactions between businesses and businesses (B2B) and transactions between businesses and state agencies (G2B).

    HCMC plans to build logistic centers

    In its project to develop logistics till 2025 with the vision to 2030 aiming to shrinking cost, the Department of Industry and Trade in HCMC has planned to build logistics centers in locations with huge consumption market, in production districts or near ports with container terminals.

    Vietnam Logistics Association and the Department of Industry and Trade jointly organized a seminar themed “Developing logistics service sector in Ho Chi Minh City” with the participation of nearly 100 logistics firms yesterday.

    According to the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index in 2016, Vietnamese logistics ranked the 64th out of 160 countries and the fourth in ASEAN after Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.

    Vietnam is set to see very strong growth in trade over the coming years, which will support ongoing development and expansion of its logistics. The logistics sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in Vietnam, but poor infrastructure is increasing its costs.

    For instance, in 2016, Vietnam’s total logistics cost was $41.26 billion making up 20.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) while these costs accounted for between 9 percent and 14 percent of GDP in developed countries, yet the sector contributed 2-3 percent into GDP.

    Statistically, logistics cost in Vietnam is 6 percent, 12 percent and 3 percent higher than in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore respectively. High logistics fee indirectly reduces Vietnamese products’ competitiveness in the world.

    Though it has many advantages for growing, Vietnam’s logistics sector is still weak. Vietnamese firms just mainly provide domestic services such as transportation, port services, air services, storage service and loading and unloading services. Some firms are subsidiaries of foreign enterprises.

    In order to address the above-mentioned weaknesses, the logistics hubs should be built.

    SMEs to benefit from State support policies

    The Government recently issued Decree No. 39/2018/ND-CP which stipulates a number of support policies for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), concerning information supply, consultation, human resource development, innovation, and participation in industrial linkages and value chains.

    Specifically, SMEs will have open access to the information specified in clause 1, Article 14 of the Law on Support of SMEs on the national portal for support of SMEs, which is managed by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and on the websites of ministries, ministry-level agencies, and provincial-level People’s Committees.

    In an effort to help SMEs develop their human resources, the State budget will subsidise at least 50% of the total cost of a training course on entrepreneurship and business administration for SMEs. The trainees of SMEs in extremely disadvantaged socio-economic localities and women-owned SMEs are exempted from tuition fees for the training course.

    The provincial-level People’s Committees will assign relevant units to provide free advice and instructions for household businesses registering to be developed into enterprises.

    The SMEs transformed from household businesses will be exempted from the first-time business registration fee at business registration offices if they meet the necessary requirements. In addition, they will be allowed to publicize their first-time business registration on the national business registration portal.

    The SMEs converted from household businesses will be free from examination fees and first-time licensing fees as for conditional business lines. They will also be exempt from business license fees for three years from the date on which they were first granted a business registration certificate.

    The State also has many policies to support innovative SMEs, concerning intellectual property consultancy; exploitation and development of intellectual property; the observance of procedures on technical standards, measurement and quality; the pilot run and finalisation of new products and business models; the application and transfer of technologies; and trade promotion, among others.

    Tien Giang moves to manage quality of star apple exports

    The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang is taking measures to ensure the quality of star apples for export to the US, said Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Van Man.

    Local authorities have detailed farming techniques and instructed farmers to manage agricultural product quality, he noted, elaborating that farmers have received training in disease prevention and the use of plant protection substances. They were warned not to use substances that the US bans and replace those chemicals with biological products.

    Tien Giang has provided codes for new farming areas while expanding the areas which already had codes. It has also requested star apple exporters to coordinate with specialised agencies to receive timely technical support.

    Man said the province is pushing star apple cultivation towards VietGAP (Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practice) standards to ensure food safety and origin traceability.

    The agriculture department also asked the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to continue reviewing the granting codes for star apple exporters and strictly examine the origin, package and quality of export batches so as not to affect the prestige of Vietnamese star apples.

    The Plant Protection Department has also been asked to update localities with plant quarantine information to deal with violations in a timely manner, the official said.

    He added his province is making efforts to form long-term cultivation areas to ensure stable production and supply of quality star apples. Notably, it is implementing a pilot project on recovering Lo Ren star apple trees, a Tien Giang variety.

    It is also re-organising the production and consumption chain, improving star apple cooperatives, and stepping up trade promotion to boost exports to the US and other markets, Man noted.

    In the Mekong Delta, Tien Giang is one of the provinces with the biggest star apple farming areas. In late December 2017, the agriculture ministry and the provincial People’s Committee announced that the first batch of Vietnamese star apples had been shipped to the US after 10 years of negotiations.

    Since the announcement, Tien Giang has exported 73 tonnes of star apples to the US, according to Vo Van Men, deputy head of the plant protection division of the provincial agriculture department.

    Methodical approach to exporting aquatic products to US suggested

    Commercial Counsellor and head of the Vietnam Trade Office in the US Bui Huy Son has said Vietnamese firms should take a methodical approach to exporting aquatic products to the US

    He made the statement during an interview with Vietnam News Agency following the US Department of Commerce’s 13th administrative review on countervailing duties on frozen tra fillets imported from Vietnam from August 1, 2015 – July 31, 2016 ended with record high taxation, triple that of the 12th review. 

    Son said the Ministry of Industry and Trade has clearly expressed its stance on the taxation in its announcement, that it is unfair and reflects inappropriate protectionism. 

    The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors also issued an announcement affirming that the DOC’s calculation method is improper and biased and asked the DOC to reconsider the tax on frozen tra fillets imported from Vietnam

    Asked about what Vietnam could do to change the DOC’s decision, Son said after the ninth administrative review when the DOC refused to reconsider its decision in 2013, Vietnam later filed a complaint to the US Court of International Trade. Even if the court’s ruling, which often takes 3-4 years, is inappropriate, Vietnam could file a complaint to the US Court of Federal Claims. 

    According to him, the US will continue enforcing new regulations, including the Food Safety Modernisation Act, which requires exporters to provide information regarding fishing locations and vehicles, preservation, transportation, processing and distribution. 

    Therefore, the State, local agencies and associations need to store and digitalise such information to make it readily available when necessary, he said.  

    Together with efforts of aquatic exporters, relevant associations, the ministries of Industry and Trade, and Agriculture and Rural Development, the media also plays a significant role in raising public awareness of fishing and aquatic processing which ensures safety and meet importers’ requirements, Son added.

    Petrolimex Aviation recognised as Vietnamese top brand

    The Petrolimex Aviation Fuel JSC has been named among top Vietnamese brands as part of an award held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in response to the “Vietnamese people prioritise Vietnamese goods” campaign.

    According to the award organising board, the company is a pioneer in trading Jet A-1 fuel from the Dung Quat oil refinery domestically and internationally, with a total volume of hundreds of thousands cubic metres annually.

    Domestic clients, like VietJet Air, the Hai Au Aviation, and Northern Vietnam Helicopter Company, make up a large proportion in the business’ customer structure.

    A representative of Petrolimex Aviation Fuel JSC said the corporation prioritises the sale of Jet A-1 fuel, particularly when the Nghi Son oil refinery is put into operation.

    Launched in 2009 nationwide, the “Vietnamese people prioritise Vietnamese goods” campaign has changed customers’ attitude toward locally made products while enhancing the competitiveness of domestic enterprises.

    Binh Duong prepares for WTA events

    Leaders of the southern province of Binh Duong on March 20 had a meeting with a delegation from the UNESCO-WTA Technopolis Development Centre to discuss preparations for the World Technopolis Association (WTA) in the locality.

    Binh Duong will host the 11th meeting of the WTA General Assembly, the High Technology Fair, and the 2018 Global Innovation Forum in this October.

    At the meeting, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Mai Hung Dung proposed that the two sides work on a detail plans and choose the theme for each event, along with communications contents and the plan for construction of venue for the High Technology Fair.

    Yoslan Nur, a UNESCO expert who led the delegation, said that the UNESCO and the WTA have cooperated from 2005 in all fields, including supporting countries in organising training courses for officials and providing technology in building high technology parks. From 2014, the Global Innovation Forum was launched, he added.

    Yoslan Nur showed his delight at the development of Binh Duong, expressing his belief that the province will successfully host the events, opening more opportunities for bilateral affiliation in the future.

    Earlier, Binh Duong and the WTA signed a memorandum of understanding for hosting WTA events.

    Binh Duong is an industrial hub of the southern region and the country as a whole. Last year the province grew at 9.15 percent, its highest ever rate. Exports grew by 17.6 percent to 28.5 billion USD.

    In the first two months of this year, domestic and foreign investments have been worth 10.3 trillion VND (450 million USD) and 435 million USD, respectively.

    The province now has 31,548 domestic enterprises with registered capital of 247.5 trillion VND (11 billion USD) and 3,075 foreign projects worth 29 billion USD.

    It is ranked second in terms of FDI attraction behind only HCMCity.

    ToyotaVietnam recalls Corolla Altis over faulty rear shock absorber

    ToyotaVietnam said it is recalling 16 Corolla Altis 2017 sedans to check and fix their rear shock absorber between now and March 15, 2019.

    The cars were made in Vietnam between August 11 and 12 last year. Due to a production mistake, their rear shock absorber are spun rather than staying in its fixed position, thus posing a risk of colliding with surrounding features and making noise.

    The faulty can be fixed in about two hours per car free of charge at Toyota agents nationwide. 

    ToyotaVietnam said it has to date recorded no reports on abnormal noise from customers. It is recalling the cars to ensure benefits for clients. 

    The upgraded Corolla Altis 2017 was introduced in August last year and became available for purchase at the end of September. It has five models, sold at prices ranging between 702 to 936 million VND (30,958 – 41,277 USD).

    ProPak Vietnam, Plastics & Rubber exhibition open

    The International Processing and Packaging Exhibition and Conference (ProPak Vietnam) and the International Plastics and Rubber Technologies and Material Exhibition (Plastics & Rubber Vietnam) opened in Ho Chi Minh City on March 20.

    According to BT Tee, Director of the UBM BES Vietnam, the organizer of the events, the ProPak Vietnam 2018 draws 420 companies from 29 countries and territories such as India, Germany, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Thailand.

    Meanwhile, about 160 enterprises from 20 countries and territories are participating in the Plastics &Rubber Vietnam 2018.

    The annual events, which will last until March 22, aims to introduce products and materials, machines, equipment and technologies in plastics and rubber sectors as well as processing and packaging.

    Alongside, they give a chance for businesses to meet and seek partners, promoting cooperation and import-export activities, contributing to boosting the growth of the industries in Vietnam.

    Paolo Lemma, Italian Trade Counsellor in Vietnam, said that most of the participating firms have distributors, representative offices or branches in Vietnam. They are seeking business opportunities in the developing market and foster connections with local peers.

    The manufacturing of packaging machines is one of the most dynamic industries of Italy with the involvement of about 300 production facilities, he said, adding that over 50 percent of automatic packaging machines in the world are originated from Italy and Germany.

    The plastics and rubber sectors of Vietnam have drawn great attention of many investors both at home and abroad.

    In the January-November period of 2017, Vietnam earned 2 billion USD from exporting 1.2 million tonnes of rubber, up 39 percent in value and 8.4 percent in volume. Meanwhile, plastics exports grew by 17.3 percent to over 3 billion USD in 2017.

    Cultivation law promotes farm produce’s competitiveness

    Cultivation law should be issued to facilitate plantation and improve values and competitiveness of agricultural products to meet domestic and export demand.

    Phan Xuan Dung, Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee on Science, Technology and Environment, made the statement at a conference that was held in Hanoi on March 20 to seek international experience and comments on the draft cultivation law.

    Dung said that once the law takes effect, comprehensive management will be applied for cultivation activities in value chains.

    Regarding the draft law on cultivation, Nguyen Hong Son, Head of the Crop Production Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that as compared to the Ordinance on Plant Varieties, the draft has some new points, including the recognition of local aged old varieties in production and private sector involvement in the testing of plant varieties.

    The draft law also regulates the focused production zones and management of plantation zones to encourage the production value chain. Contracts to connect farmers with enterprises are also stipulated in the draft law.

    At the event, representatives from the Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Oxfam talked about challenges and trend of the global agricultural production as well as the role of the farmers in varieties management and food security.

    The conference will close on March 21.

    Kien Giang moves to support local fishermen

    Implementing the Government’s Decree No 67/2014/ND-CP on offshore fishing development, the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has built and upgraded 59 fishing and logistic ships at total cost of 577 billion VND (25.4 million USD).

    Of the sum, 410 billion VND were sourced from credit loans to support local fishermen. To date, 38 ships were put into operation.

    The decree, which came into effect in August 2014, stipulates policies on investment, credit, insurance and tax incentives to support fishermen and ship owners who wish to build new fishing boats, upgrade existing boats and buy fishing and marine equipment, among others.

    The provincial fishery sector has worked with relevant authorities and other coastal provinces to raise awareness among fishermen, putting an end to illegal fishing in foreign waters.

    Vietnam received a “yellow-card” from the European Commission (EC) because of its failure to meet standards over illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing last year, and the country has been offered the opportunity to take measures to rectify the situation within six months. The EU will assess Vietnam’s efforts to fight IUU fishing in April.

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

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

    To carry out the directive effectively, the province has intensified inspections over fishing activities, and taken strict punishment against violations of regulations on fishing and ship registrations and management.

    In addition, Kien Giang has launched a project to improve the quality of product values, reducing losses as well as apply advanced technology to preserve products after harvest. It is also devising a project to inspect and re-arrange local fishing activities in Kien Giang’s waters.

    The province boasts a fishing ground of more than 63,000 sq.km. Since the start of 2018, Kien Giang’s seafood output exceeded 90,000 tonnes, equivalent to 16 percent of the year’s plan and up 4.6 percent year-on-year. In 2017, the figure was above 548,000 tonnes, accounting for 20 percent of the country’s output.

    Can Tho conference to promote investment in logistics, tourism, IT

    The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho will be calling for investment in local logistic services, tourism, hi-tech agriculture and IT projects at its investment promotion conference slated for August 8-10.

    The information was released by Truong Quang Hoai Nam, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee at a meeting to review preparations for the conference on March 20.

    Nam underlined the significance of the event, saying that it aims to introduce the city’s socio-economic achievements and potential, as well as policies on investment attraction to domestic and international partners.

    The conference will be chaired by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Planning and Investment, the Secretary of the municipal Party Committee, and the Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee. It is expected to welcome 500 delegates, including 100 foreigners.

    A ceremony will be held in the framework of the conference to present investment scheme and investment license certificates to the Vinmex Can Tho General Hospital project, the 6,000 hectare organic dairy farm project.

    In 2017, trade promotion activities helped the city lure investment and increase export revenue. 

    Some 77 foreign direct investment projects worth 656 million USD landed in the city in the year.

    The city earned nearly 1.8 billion USD from export and service revenue, 5.9 percent above its goal and 13.9 percent higher than the figure in 2016.

    Vietnam makes every effort to successfully host ASOSAI 14

    The State Audit of Vietnam (SAV) wishes to receive the positive contribution from the State Audit of Malaysia in order to successfully organize the 14th Assembly of the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI).

    The statement was made by the State Auditor General of Vietnam, Ho Duc Phoc at a working session with Deputy Auditor General of Malaysia Khalid Khan in Hanoi on March 20.

    At the meeting, both sides discussed the detailed programs of the event such as issues related to the Governing Board Meeting, the draft Hanoi Declaration, election and vote counting.

    State Auditor General of Vietnam Ho Duc Phoc highly appreciated the support and experience sharing of Malaysia’s National Audit Department (NAD) during the past time, both in terms of bilateral cooperation and particularly the support of the State Audit of Malaysia during the process of hosting such an event as well as preparations for the 14th ASOSAI Assembly.

    Mr Phoc voiced his continued support for boosting bilateral ties at bilateral and multilateral forums, especially ASOSAI as well as continuously facilitating cooperative activities with the State Audit of Malaysia.

    He also expressed his desire to continue receiving the positive contribution from the State Audit of Malaysia so as to successfully host the 14th ASOSAI Assembly and well perform its role as ASOSAI Chair for the 2018-2021 tenure.

    Positive outlook for Hanoi and HCMCity's office rental market

    Office rents in HCMCity are 50 percent higher than in Hanoi, according to the Vietnam Real Estate Market Outlook by the real estate firm Commercial Real Estate Services (CBRE).  

    The real estate markets in both Hanoi and HCMCity supposedly had a great year in 2017. CBRE predict that the real estate markets in both cities will continue to develop thanks to increased FDI and improved infrastructure.

    While more office building projects completed last year in HCM City, Hanoi still suffers a severe lack of offices which led to a first significant price hike in a decade. However, according to CBRE, the office rents in HCMCity still double those in Hanoi and this gap is not going to close any time soon.

    There are not many new office building projects in Hanoi. However, this also means the market has time to absorb the leftover stock. The occupancy rate in grade A buildings was 91% as of late 2017, the highest since 2011. New supplies of rental offices are expected to increase by 4-8% a year from 2018 to 2019.

    CBRE forecast that the annual rents for grade A buildings in Hanoi will increase by 3.5% and the occupancy rate will reach 98% this year. Banks and tech companies are in an active search for new headquarters. Education facilities and logistics company will continue to be regular customers.

    HCMCity's market also shows positive signs for 2018-2020 period thanks to sustainable economic growth and metro line projects.

    New projects have been announced near the city's centre, an area has been neglected before, in order to meet demand for the next three years. Despite current high monthly rents of USD38 per square metre for grade A and USD21 for grade B buildings, prices will continue to increase by 2% each year.

    Prices for grade B buildings will see a larger increase due to lower supply.

    FPT Software now GE Digital authorised reseller     

    FPT Software announced that the company has signed a resale agreement with GE Digital to commercialise its software solutions on Tuesday.

    According to the agreement, GE Digital has officially named FPT Software an authorised reseller of GE Digital’s products and services in South Asia, specifically for its Automation, MES, Platform and APM Classic solutions.

    The two companies will collaborate to deploy from pre-sales to sales and marketing activities, delivering technical support to customers initially in Viet Nam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.

    In addition to the reseller agreement, FPTUniversity has also signed an Academic Alliance with GE Digital, the Predix Developer training programme.

    As a part of the Academic Alliance, FPTUniversity aims to train certified instructors to train qualified students to build apps faster and smarter, embarking on the leading edge of digital twin and edge-to-cloud computing. From the synergies of FPTUniversity and GE Digital, the overall competitiveness of the domestic labour pool can benefit.

    “GE Digital is pleased to provide the tools to help Vietnamese industries transform their businesses and lead the digital industrial era through our Predix portfolio. FPT Software’s expertise in cloud computing, mobility, BI and analytics, coupled with GE Digital’s deep domain expertise and global scale make this partnership an exciting landmark for the Industrial IoT in Viet Nam,” said Bill Ruh, CEO of GE Digital and chief digital officer of GE.

    “Our partnership with GE Digital, a global market leader in Industrial Internet is a testament to FPT’s commitment to help Vietnamese and global businesses drive digital transformations. Accordingly, expanding our partnership opens doors to inspiring digital innovations and limitless global job opportunities for local young talents,” said Truong Gia Binh, FPT’s Chairman. 

    Bosch products to be displayed at Demo ProSound Vietnam     

    Bosch Security has announced that its certified partner, Truong Thinh Equipment Sound-Light Company, Ltd, will demonstrate the powerful sound output of electro-voice’s X-Line advance X2 line array system and its excellent portable loudspeaker range consisting of the new ELX200, EVOLVE50 and EVID S at the Quan Khu 7 Stadium this weekend.

    With more than 10,000 registrants, Demo ProSound Vietnam continues to be the biggest platform for music enthusiasts and professionals working in the sound and entertainment industry to meet, experience the latest technologies, promote cutting-edge products, and generally enjoy two days of unforgettable performances.

    Terence Ng, general manager (Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar), Bosch Security and Safety Systems, said: “Coming to the Demo ProSound Vietnam for the second time, we are very thrilled that we are able to showcase our X-Line Advance line array loudspeakers and introduce new products in the portable sound family.

    “Rather than just talking about ourselves, we want to create an ‘experience’ and let participants enjoy what Electro-Voice has to offer through diverse musical performances and let them evaluate us themselves.”

    The latest loudspeaker system from Electro-Voice combines innovative new technologies and time-saving features that work together to exceed the increasing expectations of audiences, performers and production professionals all over the world.

    For the event, Truong Thinh will install a twin 12-box line array of Electro-Voice X2/212-90 mains (24 units) and 16 X12-128 subwoofers.

    Backed by 16 TG7 amplifiers equipped with RCM-28 remote control module and a NetMax N8000 system controller, the system is capable of producing powerful sound output to fully cover the event venue.

    Besides, the latest members of the portable loudspeakers category will be introduced at the event. The EVID-S series incorporates low-profile looks with robust, set-it-and-forget-it reliability with no compromises, which are ideal for both indoor and outdoor applications.

    With a potent blend of performance and portability, ELX200 series offers real professional audio quality, precision control and EV-engineered components in an ultra-lightweight package.

    Lastly, the EVOLVE 50-powered column loudspeaker offers sleek design, ease of transportation and setup and superior sound output with wide yet even coverage.

    Pham Ngoc Truong, director of BSCP Truong Thinh Equipment Sound-Light Company Limited, said: "Electro-Voice has been a pioneer in the line array market, and we are proud to be the first provider of the X-Line Advance X2 line arrays in Viet Nam since November 2016 because we are now able to give customers the experience of a lifetime.

    “This year we aim to meet the increasing expectation of audiences, performers, and fellow participants for our X-Line Advance systems.

    “Moreover, we will introduce the newest offerings from Electro-Voice that combines modern design and quality with wide applications for the Vietnamese market.”

    Begun in 2017, Demo ProSound has quickly become the biggest platform for top providers of professional sound systems in Viet Nam.

    With the participation of 12 national and international brands, the two-day event on March 22 and 23 will be packed with fantastic music performances, product introductions and experience programmes. 

    VPBank to lift charter capital     

    Viet Nam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) plans to increase its current charter capital from VND15.7 trillion (US$690 million) to VND27.8 trillion in 2018, the bank announced at its shareholders’ meeting held on Monday in Ha Noi.

    The plan for raising charter capital includes the following mechanisms: issuance of shares for dividend payments instead of cash, issuance of shares using reserves to supplement charter capital, issuance of shares to VPBank staff under the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) programme, private shares placement for local and foreign investors and the distribution of surplus capital.

    The bank plans to make dividend payments in the form of common shares by utilising retained profits after allocating profit in 2017 and issuing common shares to raise capital from owner’s equity.

    In the second quarter of 2018, VPBank also plans to issue shares worth nearly VND337 billion—equivalent to about 1.7 per cent of the bank’s charter capital at the time of issuance—to its staff under the ESOP programme.

    In third quarter of 2018, the bank will buy over 73 million dividend preferred shares, with capital sourced from the firm’s capital surplus (VND1.3 trillion) and development investment fund (VND1.2 trillion).

    VPBank will conduct private placement for local and foreign investors to raise charter capital. The maximum offer is about 15 per cent of total common shares at the time of issuance.

    The last mechanism to raise charter capital will be implemented in the fourth quarter by distributing bonus shares from capital surplus gains after the 2017 private placement. The total surplus distributed to common shareholders is expected to be more than VND4.6 trillion. After surplus distribution, the charter capital will be raised to VND27.8 trillion.

    With the tentative VND12 trillion capital surplus as results of the abovementioned actions, VPBank plans to use VND8.500 billion to raise mid- to long-term capital to serve credit growth.

    At this meeting, VPBank’s shareholders also approved the bank’s business plan for 2018. Main targets include reaching total assets of VND359.4 trillion, customer deposits and valuable papers of VND241.7 trillion, a non-performing loan ratio below 3 per cent and profits before tax reaching VND10.8 trillion.

    According VPBank, 2017 is the final year of the bank’s five-year transition period from 2012-2017.

    By the end of fiscal year 2017, VPBank was named one of Viet Nam’s top five joint-stock commercial banks and one of the country’s top three retail joint-stock commercial banks.

    As of December 31, 2017, the bank’s total assets reached VND278 trillion, outstanding loans reached VND196.7 trillion and capital mobilisation reached VND199.7 billion.

    VPBank’s total operating income in 2017 reached VND25 trillion, up 48 per cent from 2016, recording the highest level ever achieved by the bank, helping to bring the bank’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to 51 per cent.

    Before-tax profit in 2017 reached VND8.1 trillion, the highest level ever, up 65 per cent year-on-year and meeting 120 per cent of the yearly target.

    The non-performing loan ratio was controlled at less than 3 per cent as regulated by the State Bank of Vietnam.

    Also in 2017, the bank’s charter capital has increased from VND9.2 trillion to VND15.7 trillion.

    An important milestone of VPBank in 2017 was the listing of more than 1.3 billion shares on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) with the reference price of VND39,000 per share.

    As of March 16, 2018, VPBank’s share price was VND64,300 per share and market capitalisation reached VND96.3 trillion, ranking fourth among the listed banks.

    The bank said it would continue to maintain its retail banking strategy in 2018, specially focusing on digitalisation of financial products and services to better meet customers’ demand and create new growth momentum.

    It will also enhance association with financial technology companies and strategic partners to create a diversified financial ecosystem, which could provide better products to all market segments.

    Land lot prices spike in HCM City     

    A spike in price for land lots in HCMCity’s suburban districts has been occurring since the end of 2017 due to high demand.

    A representative of a real estate exchange company in District 9 said the price of land lots had been rising steadily by 10 to 15 per cent since Tet (Lunar New Year), while some plots in the outskirts of HCMCity had increased by 30 per cent.

    Offered lots are usually bought very quickly.

    One woman said that a 56-sq metre wide piece of land lot that she bought in the morning and put up for sale was immediately bought by someone else in the afternoon, netting her VND700 million (US$30,730).

    In another case, one man said that he wanted to buy a land lot in Thu Duc District’s
    Pham Van Dong Street
    , which was VND3.3 billion at the end of 2017, but then decided to wait until after Tet to buy it. But it was bought by someone else for VND3.9 billion.

    Lots in the western part of the city such as Binh Tan and Binh Chanh districts are also seeing massive increases in prices. Some have nearly doubled in value.

    A man in Binh Tan District said: “I just bought a 120 sq metre wide land lot on
    Ten Lua Street
    for VND5.5 billion. Now someone is willing to pay VND9.5 billion for it, but I will hold on to the land because I think its value will increase in the future.”

    According to Tran Thi Cam Tu, general director of Eximrs Real Estate Company, people who profited from stock investment since the end of last year are now investing in land instead.

    A financial expert said that people were investing in land instead of putting savings in banks due to the low interest rates now offered by banks. "Investing in land lots is more profitable and affordable compared to property," he said.

    "There is only a limited amount of empty land, but demand is always rising, so prices will increase accordingly," he added.

    Tran Khanh Quang, general director of Viet An Hoa Real Estate Company, said that land lots in the eastern part of the city were rising in value, while the price of land in the southern part remained relatively unchanged.

    This was due to the eastern area’s development of infrastructure, which had increased the value of the land.

    Despite the price spike and expected profits, customers are urged to be cautious and avoid paying more than what a lot is actually worth. 

    VNN

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  • 03/23/18--01:02: Article 0
  • Government News 23/3


    President sends condolence to Bangladesh over US-Bangla plane crash


     

    PM: Vietnam expects strong growth of trade with Hong Kong, Vietnam supports constructive efforts to peace in Korean Peninsula, Deputy PM: Vietnam, RoK should step up agricultural cooperation
    President Tran Dai Quang 

    President Tran Dai Quang on March 22 conveyed his condolences to Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the recent US-Bangla Airlines plane crash.

    According to the online newspaper thedailystar.net, the crash of US-Bangla flight BS211 at TribhuvanInternationalAirport in Kathmandu on March 12 killed 51 people, 26 of them were Bangladeshis.

    At least 20 people survived the crash, 10 of them Bangladeshis.

    US-Bangla Airlines is a privately owned Bangladeshi airline.

    PM: Vietnam expects strong growth of trade with Hong Kong


     

    PM: Vietnam expects strong growth of trade with Hong Kong, Vietnam supports constructive efforts to peace in Korean Peninsula, Deputy PM: Vietnam, RoK should step up agricultural cooperation
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) receives Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong Yau Tang-wah  

    Vietnam expects strong growth of two-way trade with Hong Kong in the coming time based on potential of bilateral relations, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

    PM Phuc made the statement while receiving Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong Yau Tang-wah in Hanoi on March 22.

    Lauding progress in political, economic, trade and investment ties, the PM suggested Hong Kong support Vietnam in developing bilateral trade and send experts to assist Vietnam since Hong Kong is a financial centre in the region and the world.

    He said Vietnam has been focusing on developing transport, health and education infrastructure, and Hong Kong enterprises may take part in projects in these fields.

    PM Phuc affirmed that Vietnam is striving to improve its investment environment and to create optimal conditions for foreign investors, including those from Hong Kong, to successfully do business in the country.

    He said relevant agencies of Vietnam and Hong Kong need to put forth measures and action plans to further boost bilateral cooperative relations, adding that free trade agreements are opening up more cooperation opportunities for both sides.

    For his part, Yau said he was impressed at Vietnam’s economic growth as well as its achievements in international integration and strong development of Vietnam-China relations.

    He said his ongoing visit to Vietnam is accompanied by a large number of Hong Kong firms who are seeking investment opportunities in the country, thus lifting bilateral trade ties to a new height.

    Hong Kong wants to become a reliable partner of Vietnam, Yau said, adding that Hong Kong can provide Vietnam with professional services in the fields of finance, law, insurance and accounting.

    Vietnam supports constructive efforts to peace in Korean Peninsula


     

    PM: Vietnam expects strong growth of trade with Hong Kong, Vietnam supports constructive efforts to peace in Korean Peninsula, Deputy PM: Vietnam, RoK should step up agricultural cooperation 

    Vietnam supports constructive efforts to deal with disputes through peaceful dialogue, contributing to peace, security and stability of the KoreanPeninsula and the world as a whole.

    Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang made the statement at the ministry’s regular press conference on March 22 answering queries on the possibility of the organization of a high-level meeting between the US and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

    Vietnam is willing to make positive contributions to promoting dialogue, maintaining peace, security and stability in the KoreanPeninsula,” she declared.-

    Deputy PM: Vietnam, RoK should step up agricultural cooperation


     

    PM: Vietnam expects strong growth of trade with Hong Kong, Vietnam supports constructive efforts to peace in Korean Peninsula, Deputy PM: Vietnam, RoK should step up agricultural cooperation
    Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung (R) and Chairman of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation of the Republic of Korea Kim Byung-won 

    Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has hailed the effective cooperation between the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance (VCA) and the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation of the Republic of Korea (NACF) over the past year, such as exchanging information and experience in developing cooperatives and human resources.

    During his reception for NACF Chairman Kim Byung-won in Hanoi on March 22, Dung proposed the NACF continue assisting the VCA in training personnel, improving capacity for Vietnam’s agricultural cooperatives, establishing new-style cooperatives, providing supermarket management skills, and boosting cooperation in agricultural finance.

    The Deputy PM suggested the NACF prompt Korean competent agencies to help address difficulties related to quarantine of Vietnamese agricultural products and open its market for Vietnamese pork and chicken in 2018, and then dragon fruits, rambutan, longan and lychees.

    The Government of Vietnam always creates favourable conditions for Korean agricultural products to enter the Vietnamese market, he affirmed.

    Dung expressed his delight at the rapid and effective development of economic-trade and political relations between the two countries.

    The RoK is now one of the leading economic partners of Vietnam, ranking first in terms of investment, second in terms of trade and ODA, and third in terms of tourism, he said.

    By the end of 2017, the RoK had invested in more than 6,400 projects with a combined investment capital of 57.66 billion USD, Dung said, adding that in 2017 the RoK led foreign investors in Vietnam with 8.31 billion USD in newly licensed and added investment.

    NACF Chairman Kim Byung-won agreed with Deputy PM Dung’s ideas and proposals for more effective cooperation between the NACF and the VCA, saying that staff training, capacity building for the Vietnam’s agricultural cooperatives, and building new-style cooperatives are among their key cooperation contents.

    The RoK is willing to provide Vietnam with resources and experience in chain-based production, thus raising the value of its agricultural products, Kim said.

    The NACF Chairman called on the two countries to take effective measures to increase the sale of agricultural products in each other’s market.

    Italian scholar: Vietnam, Italy witness vibrant all-around relations


     

    PM: Vietnam expects strong growth of trade with Hong Kong, Vietnam supports constructive efforts to peace in Korean Peninsula, Deputy PM: Vietnam, RoK should step up agricultural cooperation
    The signing of cooperation agreements at the Vietnam-Italy Business Forum 2017 

    Vietnam and Italy are enjoying the most vibrant period in their relations, across politics, economy, culture exchange, and security cooperation, said an Italian scholar. 

    Sandra Scagliotti, Director of the Centre for Vietnam Studies in Turin in Italy, made the statement during a recent interview granted to Rome-based Vietnam News Agency correspondents.  

    The scholar, who is also Vietnam’s honor consul for the area of Turin, said the Vietnam-Italy Strategic Partnership, which was established in 2013, opened a new period in the bilateral relations toward a sustainable one. 

    According to Scagliotti, Vietnamese authorities have effectively cooperated with Italy’s ministries and sectors in all fields.

    The exchange of visits between the two countries’ senior officials during the last six years, including those made by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President Sergio Mattarella to Vietnam in 2014 and 2015; by Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang to Italy in 2016, helped further promote the dialogue and intensive cooperation between the two sides. 

    She especially emphasised the increasing defence cooperation between the two countries, saying that this contributes to ensuring navigation safety and maintaining peace and stability in the Southeast Asia region. 

    Besides diplomatic ties, Vietnam and Italy are also witnessing the fruitful development of culture and science cooperation, she said, stressing the crucial role played by the Centre for Vietnam Studies in Turin in providing and popularising information about Vietnam

    Regarding economic ties, Vietnam’s interest in Italian enterprises has encouraged Italy to share its economic and trade-related experience, she said. 

    She highlighted efforts of Vietnamese and Italian agencies, especially the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (ICHAM) under the Italian Union of Chambers of Commerce-Unioncamere, set up in 1996, in promoting investment and trade cooperation between the two countries. 

    While hailing Vietnam’s economic achievements, Scagliotti recommended Vietnam to maintain the sustainability of the environment, saying that the country needs to have a vision towards a balance between humans and nature, and preserving biodiversity. 

    Through cooperation and experience sharing, Vietnam and Italy may join hands in promoting sustainable development, thus bringing interest to both sides and outlining future orientations for their cooperation, she noted. 

    Scagliotti also took the occasion to inform her agency’s plan to organise activities in 2018 to mark the 45th founding anniversary of Vietnam-Italy diplomatic ties. 

    The POLO Italia Vietnam centre in Turin, which is being finalised, is hoped to help strengthen connection between Italian universities and association with Vietnamese partners, she added.

    Vietnamese, Italian leaders exchange messages marking ties


     

    PM: Vietnam expects strong growth of trade with Hong Kong, Vietnam supports constructive efforts to peace in Korean Peninsula, Deputy PM: Vietnam, RoK should step up agricultural cooperation 

    President Tran Dai Quang and Italian President Sergio Mattarella on March 22 exchanged their messages of greetings on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Italy diplomatic relations (March 23, 1973-2018).

    The same day, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano also exchanged messages to congratulate each other on the special occasion.

    Over the past 45 years, Vietnam and Italy have enjoyed booming partnership in all fields, especially economy.

    Vietnam has become Italy’s largest trade partner in ASEAN, surpassing economic powerhouses such as Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Two-way trade rose nearly 9 percent annually to 4.7 billion USD in 2016. 

    Both sides are working to lift two-way trade to 6 billion USD for 2017-2018. Vietnam mainly exports footwear, aquatic products, coffee and apparel to Italy, and imports mechanical machinery, transportation vehicles and leather materials. 

    The European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which takes effect this year, will further facilitate bilateral economic and trade links. 

    As of February 2018, Italy ranked 31st out of 128 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 88 projects worth more than 388 million USD. The Italian government has added Vietnam into its list of 10 emerging markets prioritised for trade and investment ties. 

    The European nation is now home to nearly 5,000 Vietnamese nationals, mostly in northern Italian provinces with plenty of job opportunities in industry.

    President hosts outgoing Saudi Arabian Ambassador


     

    PM: Vietnam expects strong growth of trade with Hong Kong, Vietnam supports constructive efforts to peace in Korean Peninsula, Deputy PM: Vietnam, RoK should step up agricultural cooperation
    President Tran Dai Quang (R) receives Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Vietnam Dakhil Allah Raja Al Johani 


    President Tran Dai Quang spoke highly of the contributions of Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Vietnam Dakhil Allah Raja Al Johani to reinforcing the friendship and multi-dimensional cooperation between Vietnam and Saudi Arabia during his three-year working term.

    He hosted a reception in Hanoi on March 22 for the out-going ambassador who came to bid farewell to the leader.

    President Quang said he is glad to see positive developments in bilateral ties, and wished the two sides would continue deploying the agreements reached at the third meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee in November 2016, especially visit exchanges and trade promotion.

    The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia has over the year supplied an ODA of 174 million USD for 13 projects in Vietnam. It is negotiating loan agreements for projects to be carried out in the central highlands province of Dak Nong and the northern province of Yen Bai.

    President Quang hailed the Ambassador’s efforts in the fund’s activities and expressed his hopes that Saudi Arabia continues support for Vietnam in the future.

    He was delighted that the two countries have coordinated closely and supported each other at regional and international forums, asking Saudi Arabia to back Vietnam’s candidacy for the non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 term.

    He asked the diplomat to send his regards to King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, expecting the King would pay a visit to Vietnam in 2018.

    Ambassador Dakhil Allah Raja Al Johani shared his good impressions of Vietnamese people and country as well as cooperation and assistance of Vietnamese agencies during his term here.

    He relayed the greetings from King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud to President Quang and expressed his belief that the King will make a visit to Vietnam in 2018.

    He noted that built on the consolidated friendship, two-way trade between the two countries has been growing, while affirming Saudi Arabia will work closely with Vietnam at regional and international forums.

    Vietnam congratulates Laos on 63rd Party founding anniversary


     

    PM: Vietnam expects strong growth of trade with Hong Kong, Vietnam supports constructive efforts to peace in Korean Peninsula, Deputy PM: Vietnam, RoK should step up agricultural cooperation
    Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung (third from left) congratulates Laos on its Party founding anniversary.  

    The sound relations between the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) have a crucial role in the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries and their people.

    Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung made the statement while meeting with deputy head of the External Affairs Commission of the LPRP Somdy Bounkhoun on March 22 to congratulate the Lao Party on its 63rd founding anniversary.

    At the meeting, the ambassador conveyed a basket of flowers of CPV General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to General Secretary of the LPRP and President of Laos Bounnhang Volachith in congratulation of the Lao Party’s anniversary.

    Hung expressed his delight at the achievements made by the Lao people in the past 63 years, affirming that under the leadership of the LPRP, the country has gained landslide victories in its national liberation, protection and construction.

    He hoped that the country will reap more successes in its renovation process to build a peaceful, independent, unified and prosperous nation.

    Regarding the special ties between Vietnam and Laos, the Vietnamese diplomat said that the successful organisation of the Solidarity and Friendship Year events in 2017 is a vivid illustration for the thriving bilateral relations.

    The Vietnamese Party, State and people will do their utmost to foster the special relationship between the two nations, he stressed.

    Somdy Bounkhoun, for his part, thanked the Vietnamese side for their congratulations, saying that the Lao Party, State and people always remember Vietnamese support for the country during its struggle for national liberation and development.

    He stressed that Laos attaches much importance to treasuring the special solidarity with Vietnam and has been working hard to elevate the relations.

    Earlier, the CPV Central Committee cabled a congratulatory message to the LPRP’s Central Committee on this occasion. The message wrote Vietnam congratulates Laos on the great victories it has attained in the past struggle for national liberation as well as the current national construction and development.

    Vietnam strongly supports Laos’ renewal process and believes that under the leadership of the LPRP, the Lao people will reap greater achievements in their development path,” it said.

    On the same day, Hoang Binh Quan, head of the CPV Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations also sent a message of congratulations to his Lao counterpart Sounthone Sayachac.

    National Assembly delegation visits Tanzania


     

    PM: Vietnam expects strong growth of trade with Hong Kong, Vietnam supports constructive efforts to peace in Korean Peninsula, Deputy PM: Vietnam, RoK should step up agricultural cooperation
    National Assembly Vice Chairman Phung Quong Hien (standing) at a working session with Viettel Tanzania officials  

    National Assembly Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien has led a Vietnamese delegation to visit Tanzania from March 18-23.

    At the talks with Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania Dr. Tulia Ackson in Dar es Saalam city on March 22, Hien noted that Vietnam and Tanzania have a long-standing friendship and thanked Tanzania for supporting Vietnam during its past struggle for independence and current national construction and development.

    He said that economic ties between the two countries have grown sharply, with trade exceeding 390 million USD.

    Vietnam supports businesses of both sides to foster their cooperation, contributing to fulfilling the goal of 1 billion USD in two-way trade by 2020, he stated.

    Hien proposed the two countries soon negotiate agreements on investment protection and double-taxation avoidance to promote bilateral trade and investment.

    He also suggested that the Tanzanian side continue to back the operation of the Vietnam-Tanzania telecommunication joint venture Halotel – a cooperation model that has brought about practical benefits for Tanzanian people.

    For his part, Dr. Tulia Ackson said that the visit of the Vietnamese delegation will contribute to bolstering ties between the two countries and their parliaments.

    Recalling their President Truong Tan Sang’s trip to Tanzania in March 2016, during which many cooperation deals were inked, Ackson asserted that the NAs of Vietnam and Tanzania should work hard to supervise the implementation of the agreements.

    She said that Vietnam’s experience in building tax policies for foreign investors will be useful for her country.

    During the visit, the Vietnamese delegation also met officials of the Vietnamese Embassy in Tanzania.

    In a meeting with Halotel company, Hien lauded the firm’s efforts to become the third biggest telecommunication services supplier in Tanzania with nearly 3.6 million subscribers, accounting for 13.5 percent of the country’s market share.

    Ambassador meets Argentinean guests on ties celebration


     

    PM: Vietnam expects strong growth of trade with Hong Kong, Vietnam supports constructive efforts to peace in Korean Peninsula, Deputy PM: Vietnam, RoK should step up agricultural cooperation
    Ambassador to Argentina Dang Xuan Dung (R) addresses the meeting 

    Vietnam’s Ambassador to Argentina Dang Xuan Dung met with representatives from agencies and organizations of Argentina in Buenos Aires on March 22 on the occasion of the two countries marking the 45th anniversary of their diplomatic ties (October 25, 1973).

    The diplomat told his guests that the comprehensive partnership between Vietnam and Argentina has reaped new, positive developments across sectors, especially politics, economics, trade and culture, via various channels such as the Party, government, sector ones.

    A series of important events held in the past time, like the 20th founding anniversary of the Argentina-Vietnam Culture Institute and the re-establishment of the Argentina-Vietnam friendship parliamentarians group, provided vivid examples of the increasingly expanded relations between the two countries, he said.           

    He noted that the growing economic, trade and investment cooperation served as a foundation for the two countries’ long-term ties. In 2017, bilateral two-way trade hit more than 3 billion USD, doubling the figure recorded five years ago, and making Argentina the second largest trade partner of Vietnam in Latin America and Vietnam the second important market of Argentina in Asia and the fourth export market globally, he told participants.

    He expressed his hope that in 2018 when the two countries are celebrating the 45th anniversary of their diplomatic ties, many practical activities will be launched, helping bolster the friendship and cooperation to match with the two countries’ comprehensive partnership.

    Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Ministry of Agri-industry Guillermo Bernaudo spoke highly of the nation-building cause of Vietnam.

    He said Vietnam’s role and prestige has been heightened on the regional and international arena.

    Bernaudo stated that Argentina always treasures its relations with Vietnam and wants both sides to continue taking stronger and more practical steps in their cooperation in the future.

    Ambassador highlights Vietnam-Argentina ties


     

    PM: Vietnam expects strong growth of trade with Hong Kong, Vietnam supports constructive efforts to peace in Korean Peninsula, Deputy PM: Vietnam, RoK should step up agricultural cooperation
    Vietnamese Ambassador to Argentina Dang Xuan Dung has a meeting with Argentinian students. 


    Vietnam and Argentina have enjoyed thriving relations since they established diplomatic ties in 1973 and especially after they elevated the ties to a comprehensive partnership in 2010.

    Vietnamese Ambassador to Argentina Dang Xuan Dung made the statement during a talk with students from the Argentina University of Enterprises (UADE) on March 21.

    Stressing the robust bilateral trade which stood at more than 3 billion USD in 2016, Dung said Vietnam is the second most important economic partner of Argentina in Asia and the South American nation is Vietnam’s second largest trade partner in the continent.

    Despite numerous challenges, Vietnam is one of the leading economies in Southeast Asia, with GDP growth of 6.8 percent, inflation at 3.16 percent and trade value hitting a record 400 billion USD in 2017, he noted.

    Regarding the country’s foreign policy, Dung said that Vietnam pursues a policy of multilateralisation, diversification in external relations and intensive international integration.

    Vietnam has set up diplomatic ties with more than 180 countries worldwide, of which it has strategic relations with 16 countries and comprehensive partnerships with 10 others.

    Responding to UADE students’ questions on Vietnam’s relations with foreign nations, Dung stressed that Vietnam has been a responsible member of the international community and always wants to be faithful friends of foreign nations.

    VNN

    0 0
  • 03/25/18--06:03: Article 2
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 25/3


    Hanoi eyes 159 industrial clusters by 2030     


     

    Hanoi eyes 159 industrial clusters by 2030, Kiên Giang province to supervise bird nest farming, Explosion damages restaurant, no casualties reported, Nearly 11,000 firms respond to PCI 2017 survey
    The capital city will have 159 industrial clusters, covering a total area of more than 3,200ha by 2030, baodautu.vn reports.


    This is pursuant to its industrial cluster development master plan for 2020 with a vision to 2030.

    In the period up to 2020, there will be 138 industrial clusters with an area of more than 2,620ha in the city. Of these, 52 are newly-established zones, spanning 590ha. The plan has been approved by the municipal People’s Committee.

    In the 2021 to 2030 period, five existing industrial clusters will be expanded, having a total area of 45.4ha, and 21 new ones, covering 536ha, will be established.

    According to the plant, industrial complexes which are located in the five northern districts of the city —Soc Son, Me Linh, Dong Anh, Long Bien and Gia Lam — will prioritise to attract investments in several sectors, including electronics and information technology, engineering, automotives and production of new materials, besides pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

    Industrial complexes in the two southern districts of Thuong Tin and Phu Xuyen will focus on luring projects in high-tech farming and supporting industries, especially those serving the textiles and garments, footwear, mechanical engineering and electronics sectors.

    Meanwhile, those in the western areas of the city, such as Hoa Lac, Xuan Mai and Mieu Mon, will be involved in bio-industries for agriculture, hi-tech industries, construction materials and hi-end furniture production. 

    Technology aids Delta firms: VCCI     

    The use of modern technologies enabled enterprises in Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces to achieve outstanding results last year, a recent survey by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Can Tho city, has found.

    The survey said the number of companies achieving good results had increased sharply along with their turnover and profits.

    Nearly 39 per cent of companies based in the region reported improved operations, almost 7 percentage points higher than in 2016.

    Nearly 64 per cent of companies saw their revenues rise, the highest rate in three years, the VCCI said.

    More than 57 per cent achieved profits in 2017, slightly up from the previous year.

    Besides the use of technologies, the VCCI also attributed the companies’ success to strengthening human resource training and improved labour capacity.

    In addition, they were also more active in seeking raw materials suppliers and regular buyers and had improved their management to control costs and improve quality.

    Many of the successful companies were in sectors like trading, construction and real estate.

    The VCCI also reported that aquaculture companies faced difficulties last year due to high costs, strong competition from China and ASEAN members and volatile markets.

    To overcome their challenges, it urged companies to focus more on technology 4.0, human resources, management and brands.

    Company chiefs should have a clear understanding of markets, policies and trade agreements, it said.

    Last year the delta region’s economy grew at 7.6 per cent, higher than the country’s 6.8 per cent.

    It saw nearly 9,000 new companies being set up, 776 higher than in 2016. Nearly 2,000 others resumed operations after suspending them for various periods.

    The delta is home to one city and 12 provinces. 

    Kiên Giang province to supervise bird nest farming

    Kiên Giang Province’s People’s Committee Chairman Phạm Vũ Hồng has asked six departments and sectors to work with local authorities to re-examine the area for swallow nest farming in residential localities.

    The committee has assigned the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to work with local authorities to formulate a development plan, which must include regulations on swallow nest farming in the province.

    The development plan must ensure the management of the farming location, the use of sound to attract the birds, hygiene, disease control and other aspects.

    The decision comes after a boom in bird nest farming in the province, which has had a negative impact on people’s lives and urban development.

    According to statistics of the provincial authority, more than 700 households took part in swallow nest farming, mainly in the inner city and residential areas of Rạch Giá City, Hòn Đất, Châu Thành and Kiên Lương districts, as well as Hà Tiên Town.

    Most of the households renovated their houses to serve as farms and used loudspeakers to lure birds, which caused disturbance to neighbours. Swallow nest farming also led to unhygienic conditions.

    The development plan must be sent to the provincial People’s Committee for approval in the second quarter of this year.

    The provincial departments of Natural Resources and Environment and Construction will be in charge of guiding local farming households to implement the regulations on environmental protection. They will also be responsible for regularly inspecting and fining violators.

    The Department of Health will work with the relevant authorities to take measures to prevent diseases, as well as supervise the processing of bird nests to ensure food hygiene and safety requirements.

    The sub-department of Animal Health, on the other hand, will focus on controlling the building of bird nest houses, which must meet farming requirements.

    Since March 12, local households that fail to get environmental and construction licences are required to apply for their documents within six months, Hồng said.

    Explosion damages restaurant, no casualties reported

    A powerful explosion on Monday midnight damaged the Sura BBQ restaurant and family karaoke bar located on Trần Phú Street in Vinh City. No one was injured in the accident.

    The blast affected houses situated hundreds of metres away.

    “I was sleeping when I heard a loud bang. My neighbours were also woken up by the explosion,” said Thái Hữu Lài, who lives 400m from the scene.

    The two-storey building of the restaurant was severely damaged. Sixteen large gas tanks, weighing 72kg each, were found at the spot of the blast. Nghệ An Province firefighters were immediately pressed to service. They brought the fire under control by 4am.

    Lê Quốc Bảo, deputy director of the provincial police, told Voice of Việt Nam that the gas system at the restaurant was likely to have triggered the fire. But the initial cause is still being investigated.

    Nguyễn Hữu Cường, deputy head of Vinh City Police, said police and related agencies sealed off the blast site and started investigation. All remaining gas tanks were moved out of the building.

    Nearly 11,000 firms respond to PCI 2017 survey

    The Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) 2017 has received feedback from 10,245 private enterprises in 63 cities and provinces, including 2,003 newly-established and 1,765 foreign-invested firms.

    The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), in collaboration with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), will announce the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) 2017 tomorrow.

    PCI Vietnam is designed to assess and rank the performance, capacity, and willingness of provincial governments to develop business-friendly regulatory environments for private sector development. This is the 13th consecutive year VCCI publishes the index.

    Director general of the VCCI Legal Department Dau Anh Tuan reported that this year the survey received responses from 10,245 private enterprises in 63 provinces and cities (including 2,003 enterprises which were established in 2016 and 2017) and 1,765 FDI firms from 47 foreign countries and territories in 21 provinces and cities.

    Besides the PCI ranking, the 2017 version will assess the Vietnamese business environment in the eyes of foreign investors. They will assess administrative reforms, business advantages and disadvantages, and labor issues. Tuan revealed that the PCI report will reserve a chapter for business management quality.

    Earlier in 2016, the central city of Danang dominated the PCI among the 63 cities and provinces in Vietnam for the seventh time, gaining the top score of 70.00. It was followed by Quang Ninh (65.50 points), Dong Thap (64.96), Binh Duong (63.57), and Lao Cai (62.76), while Hanoi ranked 14th with 72.76 points. This will make it the fourth consecutive year that Danang ranks first.

    The PCI 2016 sent out questionnaires to 11,600 enterprises, around 14 per cent of which were foreign invested enterprises in Vietnam.

    Last year, the government issued Resolution No.19-2017/NQ- CP dated February 6, 2017 on continuing to implement main tasks and solutions to improve the business environment and enhance national competitiveness in 2017 and orientations towards 2020.

    Startup Luxstay gets $2.5 million funding

    Vietnam’s Airbnb-like startup Luxstay has announced an additional $2.5 million mobilised through its Pre-Series A Round from investors including Genesis Ventures, Founders Capital, Y1 Ventures, and two other investors.

    Previously, Luxstay received funding from Japanese Genesis Ventures and Singapre-based ESP Capital in the middle of 2017. Without detailing the funds for the startup in the first time last year, Genesis Ventures, which also invested in VNG, Foody, Tiki, Vatgia, decided to inject money into the startup after a 30-minute meeting.

    Working somewhat like short-term apartment rental site Airbnb, Luxstay focuses on luxury accommodation like villas, apartments, and high-end homestays owned by local people across Southeast Asia.

    The startup was founded by Vietnamese entrepreneur Steven Nguyen and incorporated in Singapore but is currently mostly operating in Vietnam and Thailand. Luxstay targets to become the largest short-term rental platform in Southeast Asia.

    60 South Korean enterprises look for Vietnamese partners

    60 South Korean enterprises arrived to Vietnam to look for Vietnamese partners in the sectors of electronics, information technology, energy, and consumer goods at the Vietnam-Korea Business Partnership conference organised in Hanoi on March 22.

    The event is organised by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency in Hanoi (Kotra Hanoi) with the aim to promote bilateral co-operation between the two countries in the investment and trading sectors.

    Accordingly, enterprises between the two parties will find partners via business-to-business meetings and then they will sign memoranda of understanding (MoU) with each other.

    In the framework of the event, along with B2B discussions, Kotra Hanoi will review the operation of the Centre to Apply the VKFTA after two years of being launched.

    Established in February 2016, the centre provides help to companies from the two countries which operate in fields benefiting from preferential trade policies as stipulated in VKFTA, in order to facilitate trade between them.

    The Vietnam-Korea Business Partnership conference is one of event chains organised on the occasion of South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s three-day official visit to Vietnam starting on March 22.

    On the same day, the Vietnam Internet Association (VIA), in collaboration with the Korea National Information Technology Promotion Agency (NIPA), will organise Vietnam-Korea ICT 2018 in Hanoi.

    The event is expected to attract dozens of well-known firms from Korea and open many strategic cooperation opportunities for the IT enterprises of the two countries, with some businesses signing Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on business cooperation.

    Besides, the event will feature topics such as 5G conditions, Korea's digital policy, and Vietnam’s roadmap for IT development.

    Vietnam is currently South Korea's third largest trade partner and South Korea is Vietnam's second largest trade partner, with bilateral trade volume reaching nearly $61.6 billion last year.

    On December 20, 2016, VKFTA came into effect. According to the agreement, Vietnam will eliminate tariffs on 89.9 per cent of goods—including plastic materials, apparel, footwear, leather, automobile components, engines, and machinery—imported from South Korea within 15 years.

    Meanwhile, South Korea will remove tariffs on 95.4 per cent of commodities imported from Vietnam during the same period, such as shrimp, fish, fruits, garments and textiles, timber, and mechanical products.

    Experts optimistic on Vietnam’s economic prospects for 2018

    More positive signals will emerge throughout 2018 as the country builds on the confidence and motivation created by the Government last year, making 2018 the year of opportunity and breakthrough for the Vietnamese economy.

    Experts gathered at a seminar held by the monthly newspaper Vietnam Economic Times and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Ho Chi Minh City on March 20 to discuss breakthrough opportunities for economic growth.

    Agreeing that 2018 will yield more positive signals than 2017, up to 46% of respondents at the conference believe that Vietnam's GDP will grow by 6.5-7% this year, 27% expressed their belief that growth will be above 7%, and 18% said that the economy would grow from 6-6.5%.

    According to Ngo Van Tuan, Deputy Head of the Party Central Committee's Economic Commission, there were impressive figures in 2017, with GDP growing at 6.81%, exceeding the set target of 6.7% to reach its highest level since 2010. Vietnam's business environment rating increased 14 levels (from 82nd to 68th among 190 economies) and the competitiveness index increased five levels (from 60th to 55th out of 137 economies).

    Vietnam is actively promoting international integration and innovation, with the signing of 12 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and negotiating four new FTAs. In particular, the country signed up to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership with the ten other member states of the trade pact. This significant progress contributes to promoting stronger economic integration and enhancing Vietnamese competitiveness in the global market.

    Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Van Hieu said that for many years, the Government's biggest goal is to "maintain macroeconomic stability and create a favourable environment for production and business operation, thus promoting rapid and sustainable development." Under that direction, the Government always prioritises the improvement of the business environment, enhancing national competitiveness, and integrating solutions to create an equal playground within a fairer and more transparent legal framework.

    Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Head of the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that 2017 was a breakthrough year for both the Government and enterprises. The Government has shown its determination to take effective measures in support of businesses.

    Dr. Vu Viet Ngoan, member of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Group, said that 2018 will be a year of opportunities and challenges. The world economy should see more positive signals than in 2017. In Vietnam, investor confidence will continue to be consolidated. Inflation may increase compared to 2017 but will remain under control. Therefore, 2018 is set to be more positive than 2017, Dr. Ngoan affirmed.

    VPBank to set FOL at 30 per cent after private placement

    VPBank (HSX: VPB) is looking to raise capital through a private placement in the upcoming months, then lift its foreign ownership limit (FOL) to 30 per cent and invite potential foreign investors to pay a premium price for its stakes, said the bank’s chairman at the annual general meeting (AGM) held oMarch 19.

    The total shares on offer for both local and foreign investors, according to the Hanoi-based bank, will be a maximum of 15 per cent of the common stocks on record at the time of the private placement, which is to be held as soon as the end of the second quarter or early in the third quarter the latest. VPBank’s common stocks at present add up to 1.497 million shares.

    VPBank chairman Ngo Chi Dung noted at the AGM that, “The possibility for the stocks to find foreign investors is rather high, and the price will be higher than the current market price."

    VPB was traded at VND63,400 ($2.88) on March 19.

    According to Dung, upon the successful completion of the private placement, not only will the capital adequacy ratio (CAR) be boosted to 18 per cent, but also a considerable reserve will be set aside for the bank to carry out mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activities, which the bank could not do in the past five years due to a lack of capital.

    “It is the right time for the private placement, as it corresponds with our needs and the demand to enhance our financial capability,” he said.

    It is the right time for the private placement, as it corresponds with our needs and the demand to enhance our financial capability.

    At the end of 2017, VPBank reported a total operating income of VND25.026 trillion ($1.137 billion), up 48 per cent on-year and contributing to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 51 per cent for the period of 2012-2017.

    Breaking down the revenue figure, 79 per cent came from the bank’s strategic segments that include retail banking, SME lending, household-based business lending, and consumer finance.

    Income from retail banking, in particular, witnessed a growth of 66 per cent throughout the year, while SME lending and commercial banking reported 39 and 250 per cent growth. The consumer finance business under the bank’s subsidiary FE Credit, meanwhile, gained some 52 per cent in revenue growth over the year.

    The lender’s net interest income reached VND20.614 trillion ($937 million), an increase of 36 per cent on-year. Pre-tax and post-tax profit were recorded at VND8.13 trillion ($369.54 million) and VND6.44 trillion ($292.72 million), respectively, growing some 65 and 64 per cent from 2016. Return on average assets (ROAA) stood at 2.54 per cent, compared to 2016’s 1.86 per cent.

    VPBank’s total assets were reported at VND277.75 trillion ($12.63 billion) at the end of 2017, a growth of 21.4 per cent compared to the end of the year prior.

    Its owners’ equity, meanwhile, soared to VND29.695 trillion ($13.49 billion) from the VND17.177 trillion ($7.8 billion) in 2016. Despite the increase in equity, the bank’s return on average equity (ROAE) was kept at 27.5 per cent.

    Over the course of the year, VPBank’s charter capital increased by VND15.706 trillion ($713.9 million), from the VND9.181 trillion ($417.3 million) at the end of 2016. Its capital adequacy ratio sat at 14.6 per cent, in line with Basel II standards.

    Toong collaborates with Indochina Vanguard Hotels to implement a co-working space in Wínk Hotels

    Today, Vietnamese co-working space pioneer and leader Toong and Indochina Vanguard, a hospitality joint venture between Indochina Capital and Vanguard Hotels, announced a partnership to locate Toong co-working space facilities into newly created Wínk Hotels, the first of which is scheduled to open in Ho Chi Minh City in the fourth quarter of 2019. 

    “By integrating Toong co-working space facilities into this dynamic new chain of hotels, we expect to reform the way business centres operate,” said Duong Do, founder and CEO of Toong. “When business centres are designed with the fashionable and inspirational mindset of a co-working space, they will better meet the expectations of this modern working style.”

    “Integrating Wínk Hotels into Toong’s large co-working space network will benefit both Toong members and Wínk Hotel guests,” explained Duong. “The intersection of both communities will be a boon for both Wínk and Toong patrons, taking advantage of our respective locations in major cities throughout Vietnam, as well as our presence in secondary cities and neighbouring countries.”

    Two weeks ago, Toong announced its first foray into the international market, with plans to open a new location in Vientiane, Laos.

    The partnership will allow both clientele bases to enjoy the advantages of a co-working space while meeting the needs of a new generation of ‘connected’ travellers.
    Wínk Hotels, a concept developed by Indochina Vanguard, is a vibrant new hotel brand that seeks to redefine affordable luxury in Vietnam and Indochina.

    Blending modern, creative design and functionality with traditional Vietnamese design and cultural values, each hotel promises to satisfy the young-at-heart traveler’s contemporary desires.

    Indochina Vanguard intends to roll-out 20 Wink Hotels in Vietnam and neighbouring Indochina countries over the next five years.

    Toong co-working spaces embody these ideals and will be integrated harmoniously with the innovative service ecosystem of Wínk Hotels, catering to the new age of travelers and entrepreneurs.

    Although Wínk Hotels will initially focus on becoming the market leader in Vietnam for this particular hospitality market segment, Indochina Vanguard has aspirations to expand the Wínk Hotels brand into neighbouring countries in the coming years.

    The expansion of Toong coincides with current market trends and the development of the modern office space market.

    According to Hoang Dieu Trang, senior manager Commercial Leasing Savills Hanoi, co-working will continue to grow to match the economic demands and the evolution of the way millennials work.

    “The co-working model in Vietnam has room for development to cater to the commercial space needs of the growing entrepreneurial class,” she noted.

    The partnership will allow both clientele bases to enjoy the advantages of a co-working space while meeting the needs of a new generation of ‘connected’ travelers.

    Additionally, it creates a platform for business travelers, digital nomads and burgeoning entrepreneurs to expand their network and meet other like-minded individuals while visiting a new city.

    The collaborative spirit that a Toong facility encapsulates suits the target demographic of Wínk Hotels, making it the ideal partnership.

    Heerim Architects & Planners to build basic design for new terminal at Long Thanh

    Heerim Architects & Planners Co., Ltd. from South Korea, which won the design contest for a terminal at Long Thanh International Airport with a lotus-inspired design (LT-03), will be nominated to become the Airport Corporations of Vietnam (ACV) has reported to the Ministry of Transport (MoT) about the selection of the consultancy firm for the basic design of Long Thanh International Airport’s terminal.

    According to ACV, after the design contest, the oganising board awarded the first prizes to three designs, including one in the shape of a lotus flower (LT-03) submitted by Heerim Architects & Planners, another by Japan Airport Consultants-Adp Ingenierie Shigeru Ban Architects joint venture, which incorporates bamboo furniture (LT-04), and one from CPG Consultant-Azusa Sekkei-Pae joint-venture, which features coconut leaf details (LT-07).

    All three of these designs were found suitable for the official design for the airport, however, the LT-03 was the best match. ACV divided the feasibility study of the airport into two contract packages, including package for the consultancy firm for the basic design of the terminal (Package 1) and a package for the consultancy firm to build the pre-feasibility study for the airport, excluding the terminal (Package 2).

    ACV proposed MoT to nominate the consultancy firm for Package 1 and organise a public bidding to select a consultant for Package 2.

    MoT approved ACV’s proposals and asked ACV (the investor) to organise negotiations with the South Korean partner to build the basic design for the terminal.

    In order to complete the legal procedures for nominating the consultancy firm for the terminal, ACV proposed MoT to issue a decision on selecting LT-03 as the official design for Long Thanh and simultaneously nominate Heerim Architects & Planners as the consultancy firm for building the basic design for the terminal.

    Long Thanh International Airport is set to have a total investment of VND336.63 trillion ($14.8 billion), with construction divided into three phases.

    In the first phase, a runway and one passenger terminal along with other supporting works will be built to serve 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tonnes of cargo each year. This phase is hoped to be finished by 2025.

    In the second phase, one more runway and another passenger terminal will be constructed to serve 50 million passengers and 1.5 million tonnes of cargo a year.

    After the third phase’s expansion, the airport will be able serve 100 million passengers and five million tonnes of cargo each year.

    Fruit processing factory to be built in Hau Giang

    Authorities of the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang on March 20 discussed the construction of a factory producing canned fruits and juice in the province with representatives of the Phuc Xuyen company.

    At the working session, Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment Nguyen Huu Nghia informed the firm about incentives for a fruit plant in the province, especially pineapple processing.

    According to Nguyen Van Dong, Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, by the end of 2017, Hau Giang was home to more than 39,800ha of fruit trees, producing an estimate of more than 324,400 tonnes of fruits. Notably, pineapple growing area hit about 2,000ha.

    Director of Phuc Xuyen company Doan The Xuyen voiced his hope that local authorities will help the firm improve its product quality, apply advanced technology and launch pilot agricultural projects.

    The canned fruits and juice plant will be built on 30,000 square metres and will cost about 170 billion VND (7.46 million USD).

    It is expected to process up to 10,000 tonnes of fruit per year and export its products to countries in Europe and America.

    Nghe An: Quarter 1’s industrial production up 15.21 percent

    The index of industrial production (IIP) in the central province of Nghe An in the first three months of 2018 is forecast to rise 15.21 percent against the same time last year, according to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade.

    The processing industry experienced an increase of 18.02 percent year on year thanks to local plants’ stable operation.

    Some industrial products that posted high IIP growth included cement (47.19 percent), yogurt (28.01 percent), milk (18.06 percent), sugar (15.58 percent) and commercial electricity (15.24 percent).

    During the period, the province approved 23 industrial projects with total capital of more than 4.16 trillion VND (166.4 million USD). They included the Trung Do material building production complex, Masan Nghe An beer and beverage plant, FLC-Tan Ky Nghe An high-tech agriculture zone and a Biomass fuel plant.

    The province also aims to hasten the construction of some garment plants, hydropower projects and projects in the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP), while working to develop infrastructure in VSIP and Hermarj and Dong Hoi industrial parks.

    RoK looks to expanding financial cooperation with Vietnam

    Chairman of the Financial Services Commission (FSC) of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Choi Jong-ku will pay a four-day visit to Vietnam to seek ways to foster financial cooperation with the country. 

    During his trip starting March 21, Choi will have meetings with Vietnamese officials, and sign a preliminary agreement on financial technology cooperation with Vietnam, according to a FSC statement. 

    He will take the occasion to call for Vietnam’s support for RoK financial firms’ operation in the country, and inform Vietnamese partners about efforts made by RoK President Moon Jae-in in promoting relations with Southeast Asian nations. 

    Vietnam, one of the most important trade partners of the RoK, is home to 48 branches of 34 RoK financial companies. 

    According to a report of the Korean International Trade Association (KITA), trade between the two countries is expected to exceed 100 billion USD in 2020, making Vietnam the second biggest importer of the RoK.

    The report attributed the increasing two-way trade to the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the RoK, which came into effect in December 2015.

    The RoK’s exports accounted for 22.1 percent of Vietnam’s total imports in 2017, it noted. 

    The RoK is the largest foreign investor in Vietnam with total accumulated capital reaching 57.6 billion USD by the end of 2017. It remains Vietnam’s second biggest trade partner, with two-way trade hitting 61.5 billion USD last year. 

    The two countries have also witnessed fruitful cooperation in the fields of tourism, official development assistance (ODA) and labour. In 2017, more than 2.4 million Korean tourists visited Vietnam.

    Around 150,000 Vietnamese expats are living in the RoK and vice versa, actively contributing to the bilateral cooperation and socio-economic development in each country.

    Better business climate grasps FDI flow from EU

    Removing trade barriers and cutting down tariffs are the most critical measures to improve investment climate for European enterprises who want to land foreign direct investments (FDI) in Vietnam.

    Co-Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) Nicolas Audier made the suggestion at a ceremony to present the 10th edition of the White Book 2018 in Ho Chi Minh City on March 21.

    He noted that the EuroCham will work to support Vietnam to better off its business environment so that enterprises of both sides can tape the advantage of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which is expected to take effect in 2018, to the fullest extent.

    Currently, the EU is a leading partner of Vietnam in various fields such as investment and trade. Last year, the union was the second largest importer of the Southeast Asian nation with total import revenue of 38.2 billion USD. Meanwhile, Vietnam purchased 12 billion USD worth of products from the EU countries. 

    Thanks to its efforts to ameliorate business climate, Vietnam has been a magnet for FDI enterprises, including those from the EU, said Guru Mallikarjina, Vice President and Managing Director of Bosch Vietnam.

    He underlined that Vietnam has been on the right track to draw FDI, and investors can increase their presence in other sectors like human resources training, smart city building, infrastructure development and green growth besides business operation. 

    Dinh Ngoc Thang, Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, said that the White Book will help state management agencies to thoroughly grasp the market trend to make rational changes in regulations to create favourable conditions for foreign investors. 

    Workshop boosts Thailand’s investment in Binh Duong

    A workshop was held in Thailand’s capital Bangkok on March 21 to call for Thai investment in Vietnam, particularly the southern province of Binh Duong.

    The event, themed “Vietnam – business destination in ASEAN” was hosted by Becamex IDC Corporation and the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

    The event presented opportunities for Thai enterprises to explore the economic potential and investment procedures of Vietnam and Binh Duong province, as well as meet with potential Vietnamese partners.

    Addressing the event, FTI Vice President Kriengthai Thiennukul, described Vietnam as one of the most dynamic economies in the region with a population of nearly 100 million people and increasing purchasing power. 

    He highlighted the stable politics, abundant workforce and investment incentives, adding that Thai enterprises should take the opportunity to connect with Vietnamese firms.

    According to Bui Minh Tri, Head of the Binh Duong Industrial Park Management Board, the park is home to 18 Thailand-invested projects, worth 600 million USD, including big groups like SCG, CP, TCC and SriThai.

    The province aims to improve its investment environment to help foreign investors operate more effectively in the locality, Tri pledged.

    After 20 years since it was re-established, Binh Duong has become a top destination for foreign investors. It ranks second to Ho Chi Minh City in terms of luring foreign direct investment (FDI), reaching 28.7 billion USD in 3,602 projects from 63 nations and territories.

    Besides strong development in industry, Binh Duong is working with the Intelligent Community Forum to build a smart city.

    Thailand has become one of the leading economic partners of Vietnam in ASEAN. The two nations are aiming for two-way trade value of 20 billion USD by 2020.

    Currently, it is the 10th biggest investor in Vietnam, with 480 projects, worth 8.5 billion USD.

    University releases report on Vietnam’s economy

    The National Economics University (NEU) has launched the Vietnam Annual Economic Report 2017, themed “Removing Barriers to the Development of Vietnamese Private Enterprises.”

    The report was released at a March 22 seminar on Vietnam’s economy in 2017 and prospects for 2018 co-organised by the NEU, the Central Party Committee’s Economic Commission and the National Assembly Economic Committee

    The report analyses the factual situations of private enterprises, compares them with those of State-owned enterprises and foreign invested enterprises, making judgments on the role of private enterprises in the whole economy, recommending general solutions to promote the development of the private business sector.

    It said private enterprises have to encounter many barriers on entering the markets, which are related to factors of production including capital, labour, land, technology, infrastructure and logistics.

    It also clarifies barriers related to business registration, the fulfillment of taxation and custom responsibility and business activities, pointing out subjective and objective causes, recommending solutions to break down the barriers, especially the institutions and government management.

    EuroCham stresses need to make environment more liberal

    Vietnam has seen positive trade and investment results with the European Union, but the country should further improve its business environment to make the most of potentials, said Nicolas Audier, co-chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham). 

    He was speaking at a panel discussion titled “European trade and investment in HCMC: a retrospect of 20 years of EuroCham and outlook on the EVFTA” as part of the Whitebook 2018 Briefing in HCMC on March 21, the Vietnam News Agency reports.

    The 10th edition which is a collective expression of the views of EuroCham member companies operating in a wide range of industries echoes the European business community’s desire to assist the Government in improving the current legal framework.

    The discussion focused on diverse trade and investment issues and recommendations from the European business community to the Government.

    Highlighting the role of European companies and investors as key to Vietnam’s overall foreign direct investment (FDI), the event connected several key topics to the reality of the current business environment in HCMC and southern Vietnam.

    Nicolas Audier conveyed EuroCham’s overall position: in order for Vietnam to become even more competitive, changing the legal framework to enable trade and investment facilitation towards a better business environment is of the essence.

    He suggested removing trade barriers and cutting down tariffs are the most feasible measures to improve the investment climate for European companies that want to set up shop in Vietnam. Such moves will help foster trade and investment on the basis of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

    He noted that EuroCham would support Vietnam to better its business environment so that enterprises of both sides could benefit from the EVFTA which is expected to be signed and come into force later this year.

    He also highlighted more efforts in this direction would benefit not only the country’s openness towards European business, but ultimately its integration on a regional and global level.

    The EU is a leading trade partner of Vietnam in a wide variety of trade and investment fields.  In 2017, the EU was the second largest goods importer of the Southeast Asian nation with turnover of US$38 billion while Vietnam purchased goods worth US$12 billion from the union. European companies also injected roughly US$2 billion into Vietnam.

    Guru Mallikarjuna, vice president and managing director of Bosch Vietnam, said improved policy mechanisms have paved the way for Vietnam in international integration, creating favorable conditions for foreign companies.

    Vietnam has been on the right track to draw foreign capital, he said, adding investors can penetrate into various fields like manpower training, smart city building, infrastructure development and green growth, in addition to business operation.

    Pham Thanh Kien, director of the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade, said relations between Vietnam and the EU have been strengthened year by year. HCMC in particular now has more than 7,300 foreign-invested projects worth over US$44 billion, many of them from Europe.

    Vo Tan Thanh, vice chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Vietnam should make use of foreign investments, technology, and management knowledge through FDI attraction. Therefore, the Government should create a more liberal legal framework, and develop and streamline mechanisms in line with international practices.

    Working team set up to back auto firms

    The Ministry of Transport has decided to establish an inter-disciplinary working team in charge of supporting local auto manufacturers and importers, news website Dan Tri reports.

    The working team which also includes representatives of the Ministries of Industry and Trade and Finance, the General Department of Vietnam Customs and the Vietnam Register will be responsible for helping auto enterprises implement Government Decree 116 and the Ministry of Transport’s Circular 03 on auto manufacture, assembly, import, maintenance and warranty services.

    Besides, the working team will work with auto manufacturers, assemblers, importers and traders to timely remove obstacles to such enterprises in the process of implementing the decree and the circular.

    Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung earlier assigned the Ministries of Transport and Industry-Trade to consult relevant individuals and agencies over Decree 116 and Circular 03 and propose amendments if need be to ensure the fairness, transparency and competitiveness of local auto firms in line with international practices to develop the local auto sector.

    Decree 116 issued three months ago with strict requirements on the origin, model, exhaust emission standards and safety of imported autos is aimed at developing the domestic auto industry. However, the decree and Circular 03 remain controversial.

    European packaging equipment suppliers eye Vietnam market

    Numerous European providers of processing and packaging equipment are keen on the Vietnamese market though the country has mainly imported such products from Asia.

    ProPak Vietnam 2018 on food, beverage and pharmaceutical processing and packaging sectors, and Plastics & Rubber Vietnam 2018 for the plastic and rubber industry kicked off on March 20 at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC) in HCMC. The two international expos under the same roof attract numerous enterprises from Poland, Italy, Denmark, France, Germany, Finland, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Sweden, the UK and Hungary.

    European suppliers of packaging and equipment participate in the two exhibitions as they see the sustainable and strong growth of Vietnam’s economy and the huge demand for fast-moving consumer goods, packaged food, beverages and pharmaceutical products.

    Particularly, 24 Italian firms are introducing processing and packaging solutions and technologies at the event. They are sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, the Italian Trade Agency, the Italian Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Association and the Italian Manufacturers Association of Machinery for the Graphic Converting and Paper Industry.

    Paolo Lemma, Italian Trade Counselor in Vietnam, said most companies participating in the two exhibitions already have distributors, agents, representative offices and branches in Vietnam. Still, they come to sound out more business opportunities in Vietnam, foster cooperation with Vietnamese partners and seek new ones.

    Oscar Belli, international manager at ACIMGA, said this is the second straight time ACIMGA has supported enterprises participating in the exhibitions in Vietnam. ACIMGA’s members consider Southeast Asia a potential region, especially Vietnam with a large population, and they plan to invest in machinery and equipment to create high-quality and environmentally-friendly products.

    High-quality, flexible and energy-saving Italian equipment can meet the needs of Vietnamese producers. Italian firms want to penetrate into the Vietnamese market which has mainly imported packaging machines from South Korea, China, Taiwan and Japan, said Belli.

    Stefania Arioli from the Italian Plastics and Rubber Processing Machinery and Molds Manufacturers Association said Italian plastic and rubber equipment suppliers have recently promoted exports to Vietnam with 18 million euros (US$22.1 million) last year compared to 12.6 million euros in 2015.

    At the expos this time, more than 60 Italian firms have come to exhibit their products and technologies, said Paolo Lemma.

    Meanwhile, Michael Przytulla of the German Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association (VDMA) said the event attracts 25 companies from Germany. The demand for packaged food in Vietnam is increasing.

    The Vietnamese market’s high demand and new consumer trends have enticed German enterprises to diversify their equipment to meet the needs of customers.

    ProPak Vietnam 2018 and Plastics & Rubber Vietnam 2018 are jointly organized by UBM BES Vietnam and Messe Dusseldorf Asia.

    UBM VES Vietnam general director BT Tee said more than 420 firms from 29 countries and territories participate in ProPak Vietnam 2018 including 11 international pavilions of India, Germany, South Korea, Japan and Thailand.

    Meanwhile, Plastics & Rubber Vietnam 2018 features seven pavilions of 160 enterprises from 20 countries and territories such as Austria, the Czech Republic and Singapore.

    Six Decrees on banking system eliminated

    The Government has issued Decree No.42/2018/NĐ-CP on annulling some Governmental Decrees on the banking system. 

    Annulled Decrees include:

    1 - Decree 14/CP defining regulations on allowing households to borrow loans in order to develop agro-forestry, fisheries and rural economy

    2 – Decree No. 48/2001/NĐ-CP on organization and operation of people's credit fund

    3 – Decree No. 69/2005/NĐ-CP on amendments and supplements to a number of provisions of Decree No. 48/2001/ND-CP dated August 13, 2001 of the Government on organization and operation of the People's Credit Fund

    4 – Decree No. 22/2006/NĐ-CP on organization and operation of foreign bank branches, joint-venture banks, banks with 100% foreign capital, and representative offices of foreign credit institutions in Viet Nam

    5 – Decree No. 59/2009/NĐ-CP on organization and operation of commercial banks

    6 - Decree No. 05/2010/ND-CP stipulating the application of the Bankruptcy Law to credit institutions

    Decree No. 42/2018/NĐ-CP will come into effect since July 1, 2018. 

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  • 03/25/18--06:06: Article 1
  • Social News 24/3


    Transport ministry promises wider airport in Huế


     

    Transport ministry promises wider airport in Hue, Hòa Bình General Hospital resumes dialysis after scandal, Fund to mobilise finances for TB patients, Gender gaps remain wide in income and employment: ILO
    Aircraft of a local carrier lands at Phú Bài Airport in Huế. - Photo baothuathienhue.vn


    The Ministry of Transport has agreed to upgrade an airport in Thừa Thiên-Huế Province, aiming to boost the development of this central locality and its neighbours.

    At a meeting between the ministry and provincial authorities in Hà Nội on Wednesday, Transport Minister Nguyễn Văn Thể said Phú Bài Airport in the province was in the list of airports that would receive investment for upgradation during 2018-20.

    Thể said the process for upgradation was being undertaken according to a master plan earlier approved by the Prime Minister to boost the development of the province, including the expansion of the airport.

    According to Nguyễn Văn Cao, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, increasing arrivals of flights in the airport has exceeded its capacity, overloading it last year.

    Cao said the airport’s infrastructure needed an urgent upgrade and more runways to ease the load. He also said the airport needed a separate terminal for international arrivals.

    Phú Bài Airport has an annual capacity of 1.5 million passengers, but last year it welcomed 1.75 million passengers. The annual growth in passenger volume from 2014 to 2017 was 15 per cent, and Cao expected it to reach 17 per cent in the coming year.

    According to him, Huế is a tourism hotspot and five million visitors are expected by 2020, which makes upgradation a must.

    Last year, the local tourism sector demanded the People’s Committee to construct more runways to meet the increasing demand and ease the load.

    Hoa Lư Volleyball Cup begins in Ninh Bình

    Six men’s volleyball teams took part in the Hoa Lư Volleyball Cup held in the northern province of Ninh Bình on March 22.

    Group A comprised Thể Công, High Command of Border Guard and Vĩnh Long, while Group B consisted of Tràng An Ninh Bình, the Military Zone 4 and Sanet Khánh Hòa.

    The teams are competing in the round-robin format. The two best teams of each group will play at the semi-finals.

    The winner will walk away with prize money of VNĐ60 million (US$2,600).

    The event will offer teams the chance to hone their skills and prepare for the National Volleyball Championship to be held next month. 

    National Chinese chess event starts in Vũng Tàu

    The National Chinese Chess Championship began in Vũng Tàu City on March 22.

    The event, co-organised by the Department of Culture and Sports of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province and the Việt Nam Chess Federation, will see the participation of 100 players from 12 teams across the country, including Hà Nội, Bình Dương, Bình Định, Bình Phước and Khánh Hòa.

    Participants are competing in the men’s and women’s standard, rapid and blitz categories.

    Fans will have a chance to see the country’s leading chess players at the event, including Lại Lý Huynh of Bình Dương and Trịnh A. Sáng and Nguyễn Hoàng Yến of HCM City.

    The championship will end on March 31.

    Hòa Bình General Hospital resumes dialysis after scandal

    Hòa Bình General Hospital has resumed kidney dialysis for patients after suspending the procedure following the death of eight persons in May last year.

    Lê Xuân Hoàng, deputy director of the hospital, said the Ministry of Health had donated 10 dialysis machines, while the Institute of Environmental Health donated a multifunctional testing machine for the hospital’s artificial kidney department.

    Currently, the hospital has 12 functional dialysis machines.

    Hà Nội-based Bạch Mai Hospital has sent a team of doctors, nurses and technicians from its artificial kidney department to support Hoà Bình General Hospital in the first two weeks of operation, Hoàng said.

    After the hospital resumed its kidney dialysis, 12 patients have come forward for treatment.

    Another 24 patients will be treated today and 35 more will be treated from March 24.

    Hoàng Công Tính, head of intensive rehabilitation ward of the artificial kidney department at the Hoà Bình General Hospital, said 129 patients have been admitted to the hospital for dialysis.

    With the current number of patients, the hospital needs 22 dialysis machines. In the coming time, the department will strive to improve the quality of treatment for patients, Tính said.

    Last May, 18 patients underwent kidney dialysis at the Hòa Bình General Hospital, following which they suffered from nausea, abdominal pain and shortness of breath. 

    Eight of them died of suspected anaphylactic shock. The remaining 10 patients were transferred to Hà Nội’s Bạch Mai Hospital and have recovered.

    This is one of the country’s most serious cases of medical negligence. Tests have revealed that the water used for kidney dialysis failed to meet safety standards. Water samples from dialysis machines No 10 and 13 had a low level of potential hydrogen and high conductivity; the fluoride level in these machines were 245 and 260 times higher, respectively, than the permissible limit of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI).

    The other dialysis machines tested also had higher fluoride levels than permitted.

    According to AAMI, the maximum fluoride level allowed in the kidney dialysis water is 0.2mg per litre.

    Three persons, including Bùi Mạnh Quốc, director of Trâm Anh Water Treatment Co Ltd, Trần Văn Sơn, an employee from the hospital’s medical equipment department, and nephrologist Hoàng Công Lương have been prosecuted in the case.

    Fund to mobilise finances for TB patients

    The health sector today called on local and international communities for supporting tuberculosis (TB) patients at a ceremony to launch the TB Patients Support Fund in Việt Nam.

    The event was organised by the National TB Control and Prevention Programme under the National Lung Diseases Hospital to mark World TB Day (March 24).

    The fund aims to mobilise financial sources for the health sector to provide more treatment opportunities for TB patients in the country, especially poor patients, in an effort to minimise TB transmission in the community.

    “Together, let’s save the lives of thousands of patients dying from TB every year in Việt Nam and prevent TB infection for each one of us,” said programme director Nguyễn Viết Nhung.

    Nhung said it was a sad paradox that many people continued to be diagnosed with TB despite the advancement of medical science and invention of technologies and facilities to detect and treat TB over the past years.

    “Tuberculosis remains the leading cause of fatality in the world, leading to the deaths of nearly two million people every year. Resistant tuberculosis has threatened global health. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that there are nearly 130,000 new cases of tuberculosis diagnosed each year, resulting in some 16,000 deaths in Việt Nam by 2015,” said Nhung.

    He further said the fund would mobilise finances to buy and provide health insurance cards to poor TB patients in an effort to minimise their cost of treatment.

    “Ending tuberculosis in Việt Nam means avoiding the desperate deaths of 13,000 people every year. It also means that hundreds of thousands of families will no longer have to worry about someone having TB in future, including relatives of each one of us,” Nhung said.

    To mark World TB Day, the National TB Control and Prevention Programme launched a writing contest nationwide on the theme “Let’s together end TB in Việt Nam”.

    The Government has issued a National Strategy for Tuberculosis Control until 2020 with a vision to 2030. The goal is to gradually end TB in the country by reducing infection by 30 per cent and deaths by 40 per cent during 2015-20.

    According to WHO, there had been a decrease of TB cases from 128,000 to 126,000 in 2015-16. TB-related deaths reduced from 16,000 to 13,000 in this period, which translates to a reduction of infection cases by 2,000 and deaths by 3,000.

    Gender gaps remain wide in income and employment: ILO

    The report “World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends for Women 2018”, recently released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), shows that Vietnam is among the group of countries with the highest female labour force participation in the world, significantly contributing to the development of the national economy. However, female workers are still faced by numerous barriers in employment and income.

    According to the report, Vietnam’s female labour force participation is 72%, higher than the average rate in the world (49%), as well as the Asia-Pacific region and the group of lower-middle income countries. The number of female labourers in Vietnam accounts for 48.4% of the total labour force. However, the percentage of employed Vietnamese women is 9% lower than that of men. Currently, there are 7.8 million female employees working in the informal sector with unsecured working conditions. The rate of female labourers in informal and vulnerable work is at 59.6%, while the figure is 31.8% for men. The report also points out the fact that female labourers are at a lower status than men in the employment structure. Women account for only 26.1% of the leadership positions but contribute 52.1% of the unskilled workers and 66.6% of the household workers. This shows that there are still many barriers for women in gaining access to career development opportunities compared to men.

    Female workers are usually the first choice when businesses want to cut costs and downsize their employees, citing many reasons, such as unsecured health and the lack of conditions to improve skills, resulting in low labour productivity. Furthermore, the report reveals that up to 57.3% of unemployed women are in the group of untrained labourers and 50.2% are in the group of workers with vocational training. Notably, the share of female labourers with tertiary education in the unemployed group is at 55.4%, which indicates that the employment access among female labourers is much more difficult compared to men in almost all qualification quintiles, especially the lowest and the highest quintiles. The reality in Vietnam shows that female labourers have to work in poorer conditions than those of the opposite sex. Only 49.8% of female labourers in the group of salariats have signed labour contracts with their employers, while the percentage is 58.8% among men. In addition, in the sector of foreign-invested companies, the proportion of male labourers signing contracts of indefinite duration is at 73.91% in comparison to only 67.67% for females.

    Labour experts say that gender inequality not only causes mental and physical damage to female labourers but also affects their families and society as a whole. According to a 2017 survey in the electronics assembly industry in the northern province of Bac Ninh, where female workers occupied 90% of the workforce, 71.8% of the female employees had to work over 30 hours a month and 54.5% worked more than 45 hours a month. At present, overtime income accounts for 32% of the total income and more than 50% of the average basic wage of labourers in the electronics industry. In other words, without working extra time, female employees would not be able to earn enough to cover their essential living needs.

    According to a study carried out by Oxfam Vietnam in 2015, the female labourers working in industrial zones and export processing zones are migrant workers. As a result, migrant workers and their children have difficulty in accessing fundamental social security services. Specifically, up to 71% of migrant workers do not have access to public health services at their destinations, and 21.2% of the children aged between 6-14, who follow their parents to destinations, do not go to school. This is an alarming number concerning the situation of children failing to access the educational system. Only 7.7% of migrant children go to public kindergartens, and 12% of migrant children go to public preschools. The rest depend on private kindergartens or home-based child care groups.

    According to Deborah Greenfield, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy, although gender equality policies in Vietnam have made significant progress and commitments aiming to further bridge the gender gap, the employment prospect for women is far from equal with men. In addition, labour experts have stated that the persistent challenges and obstacles for women will reduce the ability of societies to build economic growth paths along with social development. Therefore, eliminating gender gaps in employment should be a top priority if we want to achieve gender equality and empowerment for all women and girls by 2030.

    VNN

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  • 03/25/18--06:41: Article 0
  • Government News 25/3


    Hanoi, Hong Kong seek stronger economic partnership


     

    Hanoi, Hong Kong seek stronger economic partnership, Vietnamese, Lao embassies in China hold friendship exchange, Vietnamese, Lao embassies in China hold friendship exchange
    Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung (R) receives Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong (China) Yau Tang-wah. (Source: hanoi.gov.vn)


    Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung had a meeting with a delegation from Hong Kong (China), led by Hong Kong Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Yau Tang-wah, in Hanoi on March 23.

    At the meeting, Yau expressed his wish to promote cooperation and dialogue between Hong Kong (China) and Hanoi.

    He also spoke highly of the economic growth of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the two major economic hubs of Vietnam.

    Yau hoped that Vietnamese and Hong Kong enterprises would support each other and share their investment experience. He expressed his wish that Hanoi and Hong Kong would cooperate in the areas of information technology, railways and aviation in which Hong Kong has advantages.

    Chung thanked the guest for his positive assessment of Hanoi, noting that Hanoi has seen breakthrough socio-economic development over the past eight years.

    He hoped that the cooperation between Hong Kong (China) and ASEAN, including Vietnam, will open up a new period of investment and partnership between enterprises of both sides.

    The chairman noted that Hanoi attaches great importance to start-ups and wishes to cooperate with Hong Kong to create favourable conditions for IT start-ups.

    Vietnamese, Lao embassies in China hold friendship exchange


     

    Hanoi, Hong Kong seek stronger economic partnership, Vietnamese, Lao embassies in China hold friendship exchange, Vietnamese, Lao embassies in China hold friendship exchange
    Vietnamese Ambassadors to China Dang Minh Khoi addresses the event 


    Vietnamese and Lao Ambassadors to China Dang Minh Khoi and Vandy Bouthasavong as well as officials of the two embassies attended a get-together at the Vietnamese Embassy in Beijing on March 23.

    Addressing the event, Khoi extended greetings to the Lao ambassador and embassy’s staff on the 63rd founding anniversary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) and congratulated the Lao people on important achievements they have gained over the past 63 years.

    He expressed delight at the progress of the Vietnam-Laos traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation, as well as relations between the two embassies over the past years.

    The two embassies have supported each other, contributing to promoting the Vietnam-Laos relations as well as the development of the friendship between ASEAN and China, he noted.

    The diplomat congratulated Lao Ambassador Vandy Bouthasavong on his successful assumption of the role as the Chair of the ASEAN Committee in Beijing.

    Khoi expressed his hope that 2018 will be a successful year for the relationship between Vietnam and Laos in general and between the two embassies in particular.

    Meanwhile, Vandy Bouthasavong lauded the maintenance of exchange activities between the two embassies, which has helped enhance mutual understanding and solidarity among officials of the two agencies, especially young diplomats.

    Over the past years, the embassies of Vietnam and Laos have held regular meetings at the beginning of the year and invited each other to celebrations of traditional New Year of each country.

    National Assembly Vice Chairman visits Madagascar


     

    Hanoi, Hong Kong seek stronger economic partnership, Vietnamese, Lao embassies in China hold friendship exchange, Vietnamese, Lao embassies in China hold friendship exchange
    Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Phung Quoc Hien


    A high-level delegation of the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA), led by its Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien, on March 23 began a three-day working visit to Madagascar.

    The same day, NA Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien met with Speaker of the Parliament of Madagascar Jean Max Rakotomamonjy in the capital city of Antananarivo.

    Rakotomamonjy affirmed the fruitful relations between Vietnam and Madagascar, and expressed his hope that the multifaceted cooperation between the two countries would be enhanced, including the exchange of delegations.

    He also mentioned several measures to strengthen relations between the two parliaments, including the establishment of friendship parliamentary groups.

    Regarding economic aspect, the Malagasy Parliament leader hailed Vietnam’s achievements, adding that Vietnam and Madagascar have many similarities in natural conditions, therefore the two sides can increase their cooperation in aquaculture, fishing and cultivation.

    He hoped that the visit will help boost economic and trade ties between the two countries.

    For his part, Hien affirmed that, in addition to the fine political and diplomatic ties, the two countries should further their economic and trade relations to fully tap cooperation opportunities, particularly in agricultural production.

    Underlining Vietnam’s leading position in rice production and export, Hien said food imports make up of 10 percent of Madagascar’ import revenue, while Vietnam can buy cashew nuts – a key product of Madagascar, for processing and exporting to other nations.

    The Vietnamese legislator also highlighted cooperation potential in light industry and processing industry, and proposed a number of measures to boost investment, such as the signing of a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA).

    Hien took this occasion to convey NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan’s invitation to Speaker Jean Max Rakotomamonjy to pay an official visit to Vietnam.

    Int’l friends bid last farewells to former PM Phan Van Khai


     

    Hanoi, Hong Kong seek stronger economic partnership, Vietnamese, Lao embassies in China hold friendship exchange, Vietnamese, Lao embassies in China hold friendship exchange
    Delegates pay tribute to late former PM Phan Van Khai at the Embassy of Vietnam in Thailand 


    The Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand opened the book of condolences on March 20-21 to pay tribute to former Politburo member and former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, who passed away in Ho Chi Minh City on March 17 at the age of 85. 

    During the two-day ceremony, the embassy welcomed Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Secretary-General to the Thai Prime Minister Anuson Chinvano (former Thai Ambassador to Vietnam), President of the Thailand-Vietnam Friendship Association Prachuab Chaiyasan, and 56 delegations of diplomats and representatives of overseas Vietnamese people in the country.

    In his last farewells written on the funeral book, Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai hailed the significant contributions that late former PM Phan Van Khai had made to the development of Vietnam and the prosperity of its people, saying that his sound leadership and strategic vision had enhanced the bilateral relations between Vietnam and Thailand.

    Meanwhile, the Vietnamese Embassy in Turkey flied the Vietnam and ASEAN flags at half-mast and set up an altar for the passed-away leader in line with the local and Vietnamese practices.

    From March 20-23, dozens of delegations, including those from the Offices of the Turkish President, Prime Minister, and Foreign Minister, embassies in Turkey, as well as overseas Vietnamese people in the country came and wrote in the book of condolences, expressing their sorrows over the passing of former PM Phan Van Khai.

    Overseas Vietnamese and diplomats from foreign countries such as China, India, the US, Indonesia in Vancouver, Canada, also wrote in the funeral book and expressed condolences over the death of the outstanding and dedicated leader at the Vietnamese Consulate General in Vancouver from March 22-23.

    Previously on March 20-21, the Vietnamese Embassy in Canada held a similar ceremony, receiving over 45 Canadian and international diplomatic representatives who came to share the sorrows with the Party, State and people of Vietnam and the family of late former PM Phan Van Khai over his decease. 

    Director General of the South and Southeast Asia and Oceania Bureau, under the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Ian Burchett sent a message to the ceremony, reading “Canadian people shared the sorrow with Vietnamese friends over the death of former PM Phan Van Khai, whose devotion and political view had been fueled by his love for the nation.”

    Representatives from the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada also sent condolences and wrote farewells on the funeral book in the Vietnamese Embassy in Canada from March 20-21.

    Raising Vietnamese NA’s status in international arena


     

    Hanoi, Hong Kong seek stronger economic partnership, Vietnamese, Lao embassies in China hold friendship exchange, Vietnamese, Lao embassies in China hold friendship exchange

    Vietnam’s participation in the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU-138) activities is one of the most important tasks for the legislative body’s multilateral parliamentary diplomacy.

    The high-ranking Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) delegation is led by its Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan in attending the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU-138) and related meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 24-25 at the invitation of IPU President Gabriela Cuevas Barron.

    The NA delegation will join activities of the IPU Executive Committee and other committees and take part in an IPU forum to further increase the role and position of the Vietnamese NA at the IPU, which helps to protect and promote national interests. It shows Vietnam’s commitment to implementing the foreign policy set out by the 12th National Party Congress, to improve the quality and efficiency of multilateral foreign affairs and actively contribute to forming multilateral institutions.

    While attending the IPU-138, NA Chairwoman Ngan is scheduled to deliver an important speech at the plenary session on the topic of global mechanisms for migrants.

    Meanwhile, other members of the NA delegation will be involved in activities within the framework of the IPU-138 and attend meetings of the IPU Executive Committee, General Assembly, standing committees, Asia-Pacific Group (APG), Governing Council, and the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments (ASGP).

    At IPU standing committees, Vietnamese NA deputies will talk about priority issues such as sustainable development, gender equality, youth, and HIV prevention, while also participating in IUP resolutions to protect Vietnam’s interests, co-sponsoring practical resolutions and preparing for complex issues that may arise such as migration, homosexuals, and the situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Myanmar.

    Chairman of the NA Committee of External Relations Nguyen Van Giau, who is a member of IPU Executive Committee, will attend, or authorize others to attend, the meetings of the IPU Executive Committee, and heads of delegations of Asia-Pacific Group (APG) members and ASEAN + 3 to carry out other assigned tasks.

    At the IPU General Assembly, Vietnamese representatives will act as speakers for the Standing Committee on Sustainable Development, Finance, and Trade to discuss issues surrounding improving the engagement of the private sector in implementing sustainable development goals (SDGs), especially on when it comes to renewable energy.

    NA Chairwoman Ngan and the NA delegation’s participation in the IPU-138 aims to protect Vietnam’s interests, consult international perspectives, and show the country’s stance on global issues. They will carry out sideline bilateral activities with partners that Vietnam has a few conditions to initiate official bilateral activities.

    It is also a chance for Vietnam to promote its land and people to the international community, while expanding its presence, and enhancing the position of the NA in particular, and the country in general, in the international arena.

    Major Swedish businesses to visit Hanoi in May


     

    Hanoi, Hong Kong seek stronger economic partnership, Vietnamese, Lao embassies in China hold friendship exchange, Vietnamese, Lao embassies in China hold friendship exchange
    Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung receives Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Pereric Hogberg (Photo: Hanoimoi.com.vn)


    A delegation of big businesses from Sweden will visit Hanoi in May to seek to help promote sustainable public transport in the capital city, according to Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Pereric Hogberg.

    The ambassador met Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung on March 22, informing him of the visit and seeking the municipal authorities’ assistance to the delegation. 

    He noted that Swedish businesses have been increasingly interested in the investment environment in Hanoi and will share their experience contributing to the city’s sustainable transport plan.

    Chairman Chung thanked the diplomat for bridging businesses of the two countries, affirming his support and saying he will work with the Embassy of Sweden in Vietnam to realize plans, programmes and seminars on public transport as the city is heading to become a smart city with sustainable growth and being adaptive to climate change.

    At present, Hanoi is reforming its public transport, looking to use high-quality buses imported from Europe, especially from the Volvo group from Sweden, with a view to turning people’ interest in using public transport means.

    As the two countries are looking toward the celebration of the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in 2019, Ambassador Pereric Hogberg expressed his hopes that more celebrative activities will be held in Hanoi, like cultural events at the Hoan Kiem (Returned Sword) lake in the heart of the city.

    Chairman Chung said he supports and will provide assistance for the organization of the activities.

    VNN

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  • 03/26/18--01:17: Article 3
  • Da Nang sea turns black


    Local people living along the NguyenTatThanhBeach in the central city of Da Nang have complained that the sea water became black with brown foam and a foul smell.

     

    The sea water became black with brown foam and a foul smell at NguyenTatThanhBeach in Da NangCity on March 25. Photo by Lao Dong


    A 5-kilometre stretch of beach from PhuLocBridge in Thanh Khe District to TranDinhTriBeach in Lien Chieu District was affected.

    Local people said that they noticed the strange water colour when spreading fishing nets over the past two days since March 24. 
     


    "This is the first time we’ve seen this situation here," a middle-aged local man said.

    Director of Da Nang Drainage and Wastewater Treatment Company, Mai Ma, said that there are 28 drainage pipes which are discharging wastewater and rainwater along Nguyen Tat Thanh and Xuan Thieu beaches.

    “But I think that the black water with foam here may be a sea current running to the shore," Ma said. Because most of the wastewater from pipes placed from PhuLocBridge to NguyenTatThanhBeach are all well-treated before being discharged into the sea."

    Authorities in Lien Chieu District on Sunday asked the local environment protection department to come and take water samples from the beaches for investigation.

    Ma said that the water colour has returned to blue again on Monday morning.

    Earlier, local people and newspapers reported about beaches in Da Nang being polluted by wastewater discharge.


     

    A wastewater pipe discharges water into the sea at Tho Quang Beach in Son Tra District. Director of Da Nang Drainage and Wastewater Treatment Company, Mai Ma, said that there are nine wastewater discharging pipes along the beaches in Son Tra and Ngu Hanh Son districts


    At some places, the waste water has completely washed away the sand, creating a smelly stream heading straight to the sea.

    Beaches including My An, My Khe, Man Thai and Tho Quang have as many as 16 discharge locations. As the result, the number of tourists has dwindled. Visitors can't enjoy the scenery because of the smell and a walk along the beach proves to be difficult as the waste water runs across it.

    dtinews.vn


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  • 03/26/18--01:31: Article 2
  • Lawyer talks about compensation for CarinaPlaza fire

     

    The CarinaPlaza fire, which killed 13 people, injured 28, and burned over 160 vehicles, will be investigated to uncover the causes and liabilities behind the tragedy.


    lawyer talks about compensation for carina plaza fire
    CarinaPlaza fire caused serious consequences

    According to the local fire department, the fire started from a motorbike in the thousand-square-metre basement. The investigation agency also collected all camera recordings and took statements from people around, and will complete the forensic examination soon.

    Lawyer Nguyen Anh Thom said that the investigation agency needs to identify the causes of the fire. The investigation results will serve as the foundation to prosecute violators in case an offense is uncovered.

    If the owner of the vehicle catching fire is found to have caused the fire intentionally, they will be charged with murder (Article 123) and the deliberate destruction of property (Article 178 of the Criminal Code 2015).

    If the person who caused the CarinaPlaza fire did it from opposition to the people’s government, they would be charged with terrorism to oppose the people’s government according to Article 113.

    If the fire was caused by electrical fire in the basement, it would need to be specified whether the power manager violated regulations on fire prevention. If there is an offense, the power manager would be held responsible in relation to regulations of law on fire safety and fire fighting in Article 313.

    If the investigation agency finds that someone caused this fire either intentionally or unintentionally, they will have to pay compensation in addition to criminal responsibilities, according to Article 589, 590, and 598.

    In accordance with Decree No.23/2018/ND-CP dated February 23, 2018 on compulsory fire and explosion insurance, apartments, hotels, and guest houses which are higher than five floors must purchase compulsory insurance. Thereby, all damages will be paid by the insurance agency in line with regulations.

    However, insurers could deny liabilities for risks in some cases, such as natural disasters, political events or security, social order, and safety reasons behind intentional violations of the regulations on fire prevention as the direct cause of the fire and explosion.

    Article 313: Offences against regulations of law on fire safety and fire fighting

    1. Any person who violates regulations of law on fire safety or fire fighting in any of the following cases shall face a penalty of up to 03 years' community sentence or 02-05 years' imprisonment:

    a) The offence results in the death of 01 person or bodily harm to 01 person who suffers from ≥ 61 per cent physical disability;

    b) The offence results in bodily harm to 02 people, each of whom suffers from 31-60 per cent physical disability;

    c) The offence results in bodily harm to ≥ 03 people who suffer from a total physical disability of 61-121 per cent;

    d) The offence results in property damage of from VND100,000,000 to under VND500,000,000.

    2. This offence committed in any of the following cases shall carry a penalty of 05-08 years' imprisonment:

    a) The offence results in the death of 02 people;

    b) The offence results in bodily harm to 02 people, each of whom suffers from 61 per cent physical disability or more;

    c) The offence results in bodily harm to ≥ 03 people who suffer from a total physical disability of 122-200 per cent;

    d) The offence results in property damage of from VND500,000,000 to under VND1,500,000,000.

    3. This offence committed in any of the following cases shall carry a penalty of 07-12 years' imprisonment:

    a) The offence results in the death of ≥ 03 people;

    b) The offence results in bodily harm to 03 people, each of whom suffers from 61 per cent physical disability or more;

    c) The offence results in bodily harm to ≥ 03 people who suffer from a total physical disability of ≥ 201 per cent;

    d) The offence results in property damage of ≥ VND1,500,000,000.

    4. If this offence results in bodily harm to 01 person who suffers from 31-60 per cent physical disability, or bodily harm to ≥ 02 people who suffer from a total physical disability of 31-60 per cent, the offender shall face a penalty of up to 02 year's community sentence or 03-24 months' imprisonment.

    5. If this offence is likely to cause harm to life, health or property of other people and is not promptly prevented, the offender shall face a penalty of up to 01 year's community sentence or 03-24 months' imprisonment.

    6. The offender might also be liable to a fine of from VND10,000,000 to VND50,000,000 or prohibited from holding certain positions or doing certain jobs for 01-05 years.

    By Nguyen Huong, VIR

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  • 03/26/18--01:43: Article 1
  • Japan’s Mazda opens largest Southeast Asia factory in Vietnam

    Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the factory’s opening on Sunday

    ​Japan’s Mazda opens largest Southeast Asia factory in Vietnam
    A car is assembled at a Thaco-Mazda factory in QuangNamProvince in central Vietnam, March 25, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    Japanese automaker Mazda on Sunday launched its largest and most modern production facility in Southeast Asia in central Vietnam.

    The factory is the result of cooperation between Mazda and local automaker Truong Hai Auto Corporation (Thaco), according to which the latter will produce Mazda cars for local sales and exports to regional markets.

    Located in Chu Lai Open Economic Zone in QuangNamProvince, the factory is Mazda’s biggest and most modern in Southeast Asia capable of producing cars of Japan-made quality, according to Thaco chairman Tran Ba Duong.

    Duong was among four superrich Vietnamese included in the latest Forbes list of the world’s dollar billionaires

    The Thaco-Mazda factory in Quang Nam can produce 100,000 cars a year upon completion, at a cost of VND12 trillion (US$526.8 million).

    The entire factory is integrated with the latest Industry 4.0 technologies available in Southeast Asia, making it fully automated and digitally controllable, Duong said.

    Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the factory’s opening ceremony on Sunday, which saw the launch of its first phase capable of manufacturing 50,000 cars yearly.

    The premiere also launched a maritime trade route between Japan and Chu Lai the same day, and later oversaw the first shipment of car parts from Hiroshima to supply the Thaco-Mazda factory.

     

    ​Japan’s Mazda opens largest Southeast Asia factory in Vietnam
    Tran Ba Duong, chairman of Truong Hai Auto Corporation (Thaco). Photo: Tuoi Tre


    According to Hiroshi Inoue, managing executive officer at Mazda, Vietnam is the company’s 10th largest market worldwide in total auto sales.

    Mazda’s investment of technology and production concepts in a Thaco-run factory would build a strong foundation for the local auto industry to make its own breakthroughs, he said.

    Dr. Tran Dinh Thien, president of the Vietnam Institute of Economics (VIE), told Tuoi Tre(Youth) newspaper that the Thaco-Mazda cooperation would be a game changer in the local auto market in the years to come.

    The Thaco-Mazda factory’s approach is to introduce more luxury cars for the Vietnamese market while increasing the localization ratio, Thien asserted.

    Thaco has already inked deals to sell 1,000 buses produced at its newly-opened factory to Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines in 2018.

    The company also plans to export $10 million worth of car parts and accessories to regional markets by the end of the year.

    By Tuan Son / Tuoi Tre News 

    0 0
  • 03/26/18--02:12: Article 0
  • Domestic tours stuck as hotels fully booked by Chinese travelers


    Travel firms complain they cannot book hotel rooms in Nha Trang and Da Nang because most rooms have been reserved for Chinese travelers.


     

    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, Nha Trang, Chinese travelers, VNAT
    Chinese travellers have been flocking to Nha Trang 

    Le Kim Nhut, director of Nha Trang Tre Tourist, and chair of the Nha Trang Tourism Promotion Forum, confirmed that travel firms have had to cancel many tours recently because of the lack of hotel rooms.

    Tran Thanh Hung told reporters that he needed 3-4-star hotel rooms in NhaTrangCity for a group of 40 travelers from Thua Thien-Hue province, but there were no vacancies.

    “The group of travelers will come to Nha Trang in two months. After seeking help from friends and hotel receptionists, I managed to find a newly built 2-star hotel,” he said.

    Travel firms complain they cannot book hotel rooms in Nha Trang and Da Nang because most rooms have been reserved for Chinese travelers.

    “Though the hotel is far from beaches, we have to pay the room rate of VND1 million per room, which is approximately the rate of 3-4 star hotel room,” he complained.

    Nhut said most 3-star and more luxury hotels have been booked for inbound tours and need to reserve rooms for travelers from China and Russia.

    “The travel firms which arrange tours for Chinese and Russian travelers make reservations and pay some money in advance,” he explained.

    “Some hotels only have 50 rooms, but accept reservations for 60-70 rooms. As a result there are no more rooms for domestic travelers,” he said.

    Domestic travelers only know at the last minute if they can book a room. In most cases, they can book only luxury rooms or pay high room rates.

    “Even hotels under two stars are fully occupied because the very high number of Chinese travelers,” he said.

    A hotel receptionist said travel firms buy hotel rooms in bulk many months or one year in advance.

    Le Van Son, CEO of 4-star Liberty Nha Trang, said Chinese travelers account for 60 percent of total guests, so the occupancy rate at hotels is always high. However, the hotel room rate has decreased significantly.

    The room rate at 5-star hotels, for example, plunged by 50 percent from $220/room/night in 2013 to $110 in 2017.

    Son expressed concern about the loss of travelers from Europe, Australia and North America.

    “The number of Chinese travelers is so high, while tourists from traditional markets such as Europe, Australia and North America are on the sharp decrease,” he said. “If we cannot find reasonable solutions, we will lose the markets completely.”

    The same thing is happening in Da Nang. Deputy CEO of Vitours Le Tan Thanh Tung said in high season many hotels don’t receive bookings because the rooms are fully occupied for Chinese and Korean travelers.


    Kim Chi, VNN

    0 0
  • 03/27/18--02:40: Article 0
  • Government News 27/3


    Vietnam, China forge military cooperation


     

    President condoles with Russian counterpart on shopping mall fire, PM requests best preparations for GMS-6, CLV-10, PM urges Japan’s Mitsubishi to expand investment in Vietnam
    Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lt. Gen. Phan Van Giang receives Maj. Gen. Shen Zhihua from the ChineseAcademy of Military Science in Hanoi on March 26.  

    Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lt. Gen. Phan Van Giang hosted a reception for a delegation of the Academy of Military Science (AMS) of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, led by Maj. Gen. Shen Zhihua, Director of the AMS’s political department, in Hanoi on March 26.

    Welcoming his guests, Giang, also chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, lauded the results of the workshop on ideology of Ho Chi Minh and Mao Zedong on the Vietnam-China friendship and solidarity held earlier the same day. The workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Defence’s Institute for Defence Strategy of Vietnam and the AMS.

    Vietnam’s Party, State and people highly appreciate China’s support in the past, he said, adding that cooperation between the two institutes for defence studies will improve mutual understanding between the armed forces and people of the two countries and further promote bilateral relations, he added.

    Shen said strengthened partnerships between the two defence bodies will play a significant part in fostering their armed forces’ ties.

    The workshop on ideology of Ho Chi Minh and Mao Zedong took place in Hanoi on March 26 morning with both military and non-military scholars and specialists in attendance.

    Presentations at the event highlighted Vietnam and China’s support for each other in struggles for independence and nation building. The attendees agreed that President Ho Chi Minh and Chairman Mao Zedong laid a foundation for the development of the Vietnam-China relations.

    Ambassador meets Vietnamese community in Mali 

     

    President condoles with Russian counterpart on shopping mall fire, PM requests best preparations for GMS-6, CLV-10, PM urges Japan’s Mitsubishi to expand investment in Vietnam
    Vietnamese Ambassador to Algeria and Mali Pham Quoc Tru


    Vietnamese Ambassador to Algeria and Mali Pham Quoc Tru met with representatives of the Vietnamese community in Mali as part of his visit to the African country from March 23-28.

    Ambassador Tru briefed the community on Vietnam’s development in recent years, as well as the Party and State’s policies for Vietnamese communities abroad.

    He discussed difficulties facing the community and their proposals to the Party and State.

    Currently, about 300 Vietnamese people are living in Mali. Most of them run small businesses or work as hired labourers, and life isn’t easy. They live in different localities, making it difficult to gather and support each other.

    The diplomat also mentioned obstacles facing the embassy in assisting the Vietnamese community in Mali.

    Representatives of the Vietnamese community proposed that the embassy send more working groups to Mali to help them tackle their difficulties.

    During the meeting, the embassy delegation also helped solve issues related to legal documents for the overseas Vietnamese.-

    Ho Chi Minh City, Slovakia’s Bratislava region enhance ties
     

     

    President condoles with Russian counterpart on shopping mall fire, PM requests best preparations for GMS-6, CLV-10, PM urges Japan’s Mitsubishi to expand investment in Vietnam
    Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong (R) receives Governor of Bratislava region Juraj Droba (Source: hochiminhcity.gov.vn)


    Ho Chi Minh City and Slovakia’s Bratislava region hold much potential to strengthen cooperation, as they share the similarity in their role in the respective country’s economic development.

    The statement was made by Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong at his reception on March 26 for visiting Governor of the region Juraj Droba.

    Phong spoke highly of Droba’s working visit, stressing that this is an opportunity for both sides to boost cooperation in trade, investment and tourism.

    He pledged that the city always creates all favourable conditions for foreign investors, including those from Slovakia.

    The city hopes to cooperate with Bratislava region in the fields of garment and textiles, footwear, agricultural and aquatic product processing, and higher education cooperation in energy and agricultural research, and share experience in building smart cities and developing tourism, financial and banking system with the region, he added.

    Droba affirmed that Bratislava region will do its utmost to bolster its ties with HCMCity, especially in trade and tourism.

    The region always welcomes Ho Chi Minh City’s enterprises and is willing to be a gateway for Vietnamese businesses to enter the European market, he said.

    He also committed to becoming an ambassador introducing the image of Vietnamese land and people to Slovaks, and facilitating Slovak enterprises’ investment in Vietnam.

    Slovakia is currently running eight projects totalling 245 million USD, ranking 35th out of the 122 nations and territories pouring capital into Vietnam.

    The Vietnam-SlovakiaFriendshipBuilding– a symbol of the two countries’ solidarity and friendship – is located in Ho Chi Minh City.


    President condoles with Russian counterpart on shopping mall fire


     

    President condoles with Russian counterpart on shopping mall fire, PM requests best preparations for GMS-6, CLV-10, PM urges Japan’s Mitsubishi to expand investment in Vietnam
    At the scene (Source: TASS)


    President Tran Dai Quang on March 26 cabled a message of condolences to Russian President Vladimir Putin over a fire at a shopping mall in Kemerovo city that left scores of people dead and injured a day earlier. 

    As of March 26, nearly 64 were confirmed dead, 15 of them have been identified.

    The mall was opened in 2013 and has shops, a parking lot for 250 cars, and a children's centre among other facilities, the Tass reported.

    PM requests best preparations for GMS-6, CLV-10


     

    President condoles with Russian counterpart on shopping mall fire, PM requests best preparations for GMS-6, CLV-10, PM urges Japan’s Mitsubishi to expand investment in Vietnam
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the meeting 

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has requested the best preparations for the sixth Mekong Greater Sub-Region Summit (GMS-6) and the 10th CambodiaLaos– Vietnam Development Triangle Summit (CLV-10) scheduled for March 29-31 in Hanoi

    The meetings are part of the largest multilateral diplomatic events to be held in Vietnam in 2018. 

    The PM made the request during a meeting in Hanoi on March 26, saying that successful organisation of the GMS-6 and CLV-10 will improve Vietnam’s political prestige, role and position on the international arena and continue the success of the APEC Year 2017. 

    He asked ministries, agencies and localities to fully uphold responsibilities and well prepare for reception, logistics, agenda and security at the events. 

    The Foreign Ministry was assigned to coordinate the efforts. 

    In order to ensure security and safety of thousands of delegates and reporters, the Ministry of Public Security will partner with the ministries of National Defence and Public Health in the work, with attention given to counter-terrorism. 

    The municipal People’s Committee was required to keep environment clean before, during and after the meetings. 

    Themed “Leveraging 25 years of cooperation, Building an integrated, sustainable and prosperous GMS”, the GMS-6 will mark the 25th founding anniversary of GMS cooperation and define cooperation orientations to building a region of prosperity, integration and sustainable development.

    According to the Foreign Ministry, more than 2,000 delegates together with 200 businesses, corporations, international organisations, development partners and the media are expected to attend the event. 

    Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vu Tien Loc said it is the first time Vietnam has initiated holding a business forum within the GMS-6 framework with a view to increasing dialogues between States and businesses and forging links between regional and global enterprises.

    The GMS comprises of Cambodia, China (Yunnan and Guangxi provinces), Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. In 1992, the six countries entered into a programme of sub-regional economic cooperation, designed to enhance economic relations among the countries, as an initiative of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Priority fields include infrastructure development, energy, telecommunications, tourism, trade-investment, human resources, and the environment.

    Meanwhile, the CLV Development Triangle Area was established in 1999, covering Vietnam’s Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Dak Nong provinces; Laos’ Sekong, Attapeu and Saravan provinces; and Cambodia’s Stung Treng, Rattanak Kiri, and Mondul Kiri. In 2009, the three countries agreed to add Vietnam’s Binh Phuoc province, Cambodia’s Kratie province, and Laos’ Champasak province to the area. Its cooperation focuses on the fields of security, external affairs, transport, industry, agriculture, trade, investment and environmental protection.

    PM urges Japan’s Mitsubishi to expand investment in Vietnam


     

    President condoles with Russian counterpart on shopping mall fire, PM requests best preparations for GMS-6, CLV-10, PM urges Japan’s Mitsubishi to expand investment in Vietnam
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and CEO and President of Mitsubishi Corporation Takehiko Kakiuchi. 

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation to expand investment in infrastructure, airport transport, seaports and energy, especially renewable energy, in Vietnam

    The leader made the suggestion at a reception for CEO and President of Mitsubishi Corporation Takehiko Kakiuchi in Hanoi on March 26, during which he stressed that the Vietnam-Japan extensive strategy partnership has developed strongly, comprehensively and practically across fields, with high mutual political trust. 

    Japan was a leading economic partner, the largest official development assistance (ODA) supplier, the fourth biggest trade partner and No. 1 investor of Vietnam in 2017, he said.  

    The PM affirmed that Vietnam attaches great importance to economic cooperation with Japan, noting Japanese investors’ prestige in Vietnam as well as their contributions to the country’s socio-economic development. 

    However, he said, Japan’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam makes up only 3 percent of its total FDI in Asia, and lower than its investment in a number of Southeast Asian nations. 

    The Vietnamese Government has completed institutions and mechanisms to create more favourable conditions for foreign investors, including those from Japan, the PM emphasised. 

    Applauding investment and business activities of Mitsubishi in Vietnam, he suggested the corporation heed manufacturing, automobile and food processing industries in the country. 

    He used the occasion to call on Vietnamese and Japanese businesses to increase exchange and cooperation in order to utilise opportunities generated by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to which both Vietnam and Japan are members. 

    In reply, Takehiko Kakiuchi applauded PM Phuc’s suggestions, saying they match his corporation’s investment strategy in Vietnam in the time to come.   

    He said the great cooperation achievements between Vietnam and Japan have offered more opportunities for Japanese firms, including Mitsubishi, to intensify exchange, and expand cooperation and investment in Vietnam.  

    He also called on PM Phuc and competent Vietnamese agencies to continue their support and create the best possible conditions for the corporation to invest and operate in the country.

    Lao PM calls for Vietnam-Laos stronger inspection bond


     

    President condoles with Russian counterpart on shopping mall fire, PM requests best preparations for GMS-6, CLV-10, PM urges Japan’s Mitsubishi to expand investment in Vietnam
    Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith (R) and Vietnamese Government Inspector General Le Minh Khai 

    Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has stressed that cooperation between Laos and Vietnam, particularly in inspection, will effectively contribute to preventing corruption in the two countries. 

    Receiving Vietnamese Government Inspector General Le Minh Khai in Vientiane on March 26 on the occasion of his ongoing working visit to Laos, Thongloun Sisoulith highlighted the recent cooperation between the two countries’ inspectorates. 

    He said experience shared by the Vietnam’s Government Inspectorate is very valuable to his country, suggesting the agency strengthen the experience sharing with the Lao Government Inspection Authority. 

    He also thanked the Vietnamese Party, State and people for their great support for the Lao people in recent years, especially in capital and human resources training in the inspection work. 

    For his part, Khai expressed his joy at the increasing development of friendship and cooperation between the two countries in recent time, especially in economy, trade, investment, security and defence. 

    Effective collaboration between the two inspectorates has significantly contributed to the two countries’ development, he added.

    He briefed the host on the outcomes of the talks with his Lao counterpart Bounthong Chithmany, saying that the two sides had a useful discussion on experience in directing and managing the inspection work, settlement of complaints and denunciations, and anti-corruption. 

    Khai affirmed the Vietnam’s Government Inspectorate has always shared with and also learned good experience from the Lao Government Inspection Authority in inspection-related matters.

    He also asked the Lao PM to continue facilitating cooperation between the two agencies in the coming time, towards strengthening the partnership in a more practical and effectively.

    Earlier the same day, the delegations of Vietnam and Lao inspectorates held talks in Vientiane, during which the two sides affirmed to continue doing their utmost to further promote their cooperation, thus fostering the traditional friendship between the two agencies in particular as well as the special relations and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos in general.

    Friendship tour connects foreign diplomats, officials in Hanoi


     

    President condoles with Russian counterpart on shopping mall fire, PM requests best preparations for GMS-6, CLV-10, PM urges Japan’s Mitsubishi to expand investment in Vietnam
    Vietnamese and foreign participants of the friendship spring trip pose for a photo (Source: VOV) 

    Four hundred representatives from foreign embassies and organisations in Vietnam took part in a spring trip around the Co Loa historical relic site and Dao Thuc water puppetry village in Hanoi on March 24.

    The tour was organised by the Hanoi Union of Friendship Associations and the municipal Tourism Department, with both destinations located in Dong Anh district.

    In Co Loa – the biggest and most ancient citadel in Vietnam, participants offered incenses to pay tribute to King An Duong Vuong, who built the site between 214 and 208 BC as the capital of his Au Lac, one of the earliest Vietnamese kingdoms. The destination has been classified as a national special relic site.

    In Dao Thuc village, the foreign visitors were treated to water puppet performances depicting the life of ancient people in the northern delta. 

    Chairwoman of the municipal Union of Friendship Associations Nguyen Lan Huong said the annual spring trip not only introduces Vietnam’s cultural features to international friends but also offers a gathering opportunity to boost cultural exchange and mutual understanding among participants.

    Huong said Hanoi is striving to develop an image of a safe and peaceful city.

    On behalf of the foreign representatives, Venezuelan Ambassador to Vietnam Jorge Rondon Uzcategui, who headed the diplomatic corps, thanked organisers of the tour for their hospitality. 

    He said he believes activities for peace and friendship like this will contribute to building a better future for Vietnam and consolidating its position internationally.

    Vietnam active in pushing for enhanced GMS cooperation


     

    President condoles with Russian counterpart on shopping mall fire, PM requests best preparations for GMS-6, CLV-10, PM urges Japan’s Mitsubishi to expand investment in Vietnam
    The 22nd Ministerial Conference on "Greater GMS achievements through stronger and pragmatic cooperation" hosted by Vietnam in September, 2017. 

    Vietnam has actively taken part in developing initiatives for enhanced cooperation within the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) to boost economic growth, strengthen economic connectivity and aid poverty reduction effort in the region.

    The GMS comprises of Cambodia, China (Yunnan and Guangxi provinces), Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. In 1992, the six countries entered into a programme of sub-regional economic cooperation, designed to enhance economic relations among the countries, as an initiative of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Priority fields include infrastructure development, energy, telecommunications, tourism, trade-investment, human resources, and the environment.

    As of December 2017, about 6 billion USD has been poured into GMS cooperation projects in Vietnam, representing 30 percent of the total value of GMS loans and financial aids. Of the amount, transport accounted for 87 percent, followed by urban development (7.9 percent), agriculture and natural resources (3.7 percent), healthcare and social welfare (2.7 percent), industry and trade (0.4 percent), trade facilitation and transport (0.2 percent).

    Substantial progress has been made in terms of transport infrastructure development since 1992 with the formation of vital economic corridors to promote trans-border economic and social activities. Vietnam holds key nodes in three GMS economic corridors – the Southern Coastal Corridor (GMS-SCC) which links Thailand to southern Vietnam via Cambodia, the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC) that links Myanmar to Vietnam via central Thailand and Laos, and the North-South Economic Corridor (NSEC) with sub-veins linking China and Vietnam. The corridors will help Vietnam reap most benefits from improved transport connectivity and growing trade and investment in areas along them.

    Many ABD-funded road projects have been completed and put into use, including HCM City-Moc Bai and Dong Ha-Lao Bao routes operational in 2005; and 244km Hanoi-Lao Cai Expressway, the longest of its kind in Vietnam, in 2014.

    Vietnam signed the GMS Cross-Border Transport Facilitation Agreement (CBTA) in 1999 and has ratified all CBTA’s annexes, enabling the reduction of amount of time spent in crossing border for vehicles, goods and passengers and facilitating trade. Since 2012, Vietnam and China have facilitated each other’s vehicles crossing shared borders on the KunmingHanoi– Hai Phong and HanoiNanning– Shenzhen routes. The same year, Vietnam, Thailand and Laos signed a Memorandum of Understanding to expand roads connecting capital cities of the three countries with two large sea ports – Laem Chabang (Thailand) and Hai Phong (Vietnam) on the EWEC.

    In terms of energy, Vietnam has taken part in the Regional Indicative Master Plan on Power Interconnection in the GMS, paving the way for the country to bolster electricity trading and push for the establishment of institutions to ensure power security within the region. By attending meetings of the GMS Regional Power Trade Coordination, Vietnam has got updates on the GMS countries’ markets and energy-related plans and greatly benefited from ADB’s technical support.

    The country has played an active role in the GMS’s trade and investment promotion events and enhancing regional partnership in agriculture, tourism, and telecommunications. It has also contributed to the GMS’s effort in controlling cross-border infectious diseases, such as SARS, bird flu, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis which are priorities of the regional cooperation in healthcare.

    This year, Vietnam will host the sixth GMS Summit (GMS-6) in Hanoi from March 29-31. Themed “Leveraging 25 years of cooperation, Building an integrated, sustainable and prosperous GMS”, the GMS-6 is expected to draw about 2,000 delegates and 150 reporters.

    It aims to celebrate the 25th founding anniversary of the GMS Programme and define cooperation orientations to build a region of prosperity, integration and sustainable development.

    For the first time, a business forum will be held within the framework of the GMS-6 as an initiative of host Vietnam, with a view to increasing dialogues between States and businesses and forging links between regional and global enterprises.

    VNN

    0 0
  • 03/27/18--02:56: Article 1
  • Astrotourism activities kick off at observatory in Khanh Hoa


    Travel firms are thinking of developing astrotourism activities to attract domestic and foreign travelers.


     

    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, Khanh Hoa Observatory, astrotourism, VNAT

    The Khanh Hoa Observatory in the central region has become part of tours designed by some travel firms. The observatory is one of the two observatories that were planned under the framework of the National Satellite Center, the largest science & technology project of Vietnam, capitalized at $600 million, or VND13 trillion.

    The observatory, located in Hon Chong area of NhaTrangCity, is a 5-storey cylinder-shaped tower with semi-spherical dome. An optical astronomical telescope with the diameter of 0.5 meters, designed and manufactured by a famous Italian company, is located on the top floor of the observatory.

    The observatory has a 60-seat projection house designed like a theater, providing visitors with information about astronomy and celestial changes in the sky through image effects, and a 200 sq meter space showroom.

    Analysts believe that astrotourism has great potential because the demand for learning about science in Vietnam has been increasing, especially from youth. 

    The tourism products which can satisfy travelers’ demand for both entertainment and information have great development opportunities.

    The observatory has a 60-seat projection house designed like a theater, providing visitors with information about astronomy and celestial changes in the sky through image effects, and a 200 sq meter space showroom.

    Astrotourism has been exploited well in other countries. In developed countries, more and more people are going to deserted mountainous areas to admire the Milky Way and natural phenomena.

    International media have reported that areas in northern Europe recently attracted a high number of tourists to see the Northern Light phenomenon.

    Another observatory, larger than the one in Nha Trang, is being built at the SpaceMuseum in Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park in Hanoi. It is expected to become operational in mid-2018, when the museum will also be inaugurated.

    The national SpaceMuseum is a component project of the VietnamSpaceCenter which has total indoor area of 1,675 square meters and outdoor area of $3,500 square meters. 

    Capitalized at VND150-200 billion, the museum will display space and satellite models, discoveries in space science, and asteroid pieces. 

    Also in Hanoi, in mid-2017, Nam Cuong Group announced a plan to build an outdoor astronomy park on a 12 hectare land plot. It will retrace the forming the universe, solar system and constellations.

    Vietnam welcomed more than 13 million foreign visitors in 2017 and served 73.2 million domestic tourists to earn $23 billion. This is considered a great success of the sector as the number of foreign arrivals rose 3 million against last year. 

    The country vows to attract 15 million foreign travellers this year and obtain total revenue of VND620 trillion.


     Mai Chi, VNN

    0 0
  • 03/27/18--03:04: Article 0
  • Social News 27/3


    Court begins hearing in fire at karaoke shop

    The People’s Court of Hà Nội on Monday morning opened an appeal to charge three defendants in a fire, killing 13 people, at a nine-storey karaoke shop in
    Trần Thái Tông Street
    in late 2016.

    The defendants include 32-year-old Nguyễn Diệu Linh, the shop owner, and two welders Hoàng Văn Tuấn, 25, and Lê Thị Thì, 56.

    Following the indictment, Linh ran the karaoke shop without a business licence and verification of the fire-fighting system of the shop by authorised agencies when the fire occured.

    Linh had hired Tuấn and Thì to weld an iron frame on the karaoke shop’s ceiling on November 1, 2016. When Tuấn was welding a connection between two points of the iron frame, it suddenly caused a spark resulting in a fire that quickly spread to other areas of the shop. Tuấn flouted safety regulations as he did not use protective tools during the welding. The fire worsened when it came in contact with flammable material in the shop.

    It quickly reduced the shop to ashes and spread to the three neighbouring houses, killing 12 customers and one staff member.

    The local fire-fighting team took more than seven hours to put out the fire.

    The previous hearing in January was suspended for further investigation on another person named Nguyễn Hữu Long, who was suspected to be involved in the case. Moreover, the owners of the three houses that were burnt down required authorised agencies to re-assess the damage for more compensation.

    14 awarded first prizes at Toyota art contest 

     

    social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Overseas Vietnamese in Laos holds requiem for fallen soldiers, UNDP, Japan helps VN students deal with natural disasters
    First prize work Fire extinguisher car by Hồ Ngọc Anh Thi, a fourth grade student from Trần Nhật Duật primary school in Hà Nội.


    “I wish my dream car could actually work in reality. I drew fire trucks with lightning speed which could help firefighters get to fires in no time,” Hồ Ngọc Anh Thi, a fourth grade student from Trần Nhật Duật primary school in Hà Nội said.

    Thi was speaking at the award ceremony of the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest held in Hà Nội on Saturday. 

    Thi’s work entitled Fire extinguisher car with lighting speed is among the 14 first prize winners.

    This year’s 14 first prizes, 16 second prizes, 30 third prizes and 100 consolation prizes were given to children in three age categories (under eight, 8-11 and 12-15) with artworks representing their dream cars. 

    “I was amazed by the creativity of the children, there are hundreds of artworks hung in the gallery, but they are all different. Each one sends different messages but they are all innocent ideas with pure desire of improving the environment,” Nguyễn Ngọc Tân, a father of one student said.

    Toru Kinoshita, Toyota Motor Vietnam president said: “Beloved pupils, we have seen your imagination and creativeness through the dream cars that will be helpful for people’s lives and transportation in the future. I strongly believe that one day your dream cars will become a reality.”

    The nine best artworks were selected and will participate in the World Contest. The winners of the World Contest (together with their guardians) will be invited to Japan to attend the Award Ceremony and experience various aspects of Japanese culture in August 2018. 

    This year’s contest received 345,185 entries.

    The Toyota Dream Car Art Contest, initiated in 2004, has been held annually to inspire children’s imagination.

    Việt Nam, since the school year 2011-2012, is one of the countries which achieved many awards in the world contest in Japan, including one gold award, one silver award and three best finalist awards. 

    Safe corridor on expressway encroached

    The safe corridor along HCM City-Trung Lương Expressway has been seriously infringed, reported the Vietnam News Agency.

    The fence along the highway was set up with steel nets and barbed wires to separate the highway from the residential areas to ensure traffic safety.

    However, many sections of the fence, from Bến Lức District’s Thạnh Đức Commune to Tân An City of Long An Province, have been cut off and destroyed, increasing the risk of accidents, the agency reported.

    Without the fence, the safe corridor is being freely trespassed by cattle and poultry and is turning into a garbage dump.

    Meanwhile, local people in some communes of Bến Lức District took off the fence in the safe corridor to raise cattle and poultry; while some have placed construction material and garbage in the area, others have even opened cafes and restaurants.

    A large part of the fence along the 28km-expressway passing through Long An Province has been destroyed

    Nguyễn Đăng Lâm, a resident living near the safe corridor in Nhị Thành Commune, said “Many sections of the fence were destroyed and taken off a long time ago”.

    “Many coaches and buses stop here for picking up passengers and loading cargo”, Đăng said.

    According to Nguyễn Xuân Trường, a driver, “Local people getting into buses on the highway is dangerous for them as well as the drivers”.

    The destruction of the fence on the safe corridor on the highway was reported to the local government a long time ago, but the situation has not improved.

    Deputy head of Long An Province’s Traffic Safety Steering Committee, Phùng Văn Ơn, asked the provincial government to co-operate with the highway management department to secure the fence as well as raise awareness among the local people to not destroy it.

    Local authorised agencies should strictly sanction the act of destroying the fence on the safe corridor, causing danger on the highway, he said. 

    First, let me take a selfie


     

    social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Overseas Vietnamese in Laos holds requiem for fallen soldiers, UNDP, Japan helps VN students deal with natural disasters

    Recently, a group of young people used the smartphone they stole from someone near a bus stop in HCMCity’s District 10 to take a selfie.

    The robbers, including two living in District 10, took the selfie to celebrate their clever deed. Or so they thought.

    The phone was connected with its owner’s email address. Shortly after the selfies were taken, they entered the email inbox of the user who promptly posted the photos on social media, hoping to find the thieves.

    The image quickly caught the attention of social network users, who expressed anger at the brazen robbery. Though the criminal investigation is ongoing and the rogues are still at large, it will be a valuable lesson for the robbers.

    Never count your chickens, or smartphones, before they have hatched.

    Sons-in-law fall foul of the law

    Nguyễn Thị Tình and her husband from Hà Nội’s outlying district of Chương Mỹ have worked hard for years in the agricultural industry, saving their money in hopes of rebuilding their house.

    As usual, on March 10 they both left home for the morning market to sell vegetables, and so did their son.

    Returning home that afternoon, they found the house’s gate and main door closed but the lock on the door to the second floor’s had been broken. Their son’s bedroom was a mess, with the wardrobe unlocked. Worse still, some VNĐ125 million (US$5,500) and gold were gone.

    The family reported the case to local police examined the scene and questioned those involved. Two days later, they arrested Lê Quốc Long, living in the same district. It turned out that the thief was none other than the victim’s son-in-law.

    Long confessed that he was well aware of where his in-laws kept their house and wardrobe keys and that they had a fair amount of cash lying about. With that in mind, Long planned to break into the house and take the money for gambling. Of course, he made the mess in an attempt to hide the evidence.

    Through investigation, the police also found that that was the sixth time Long had robbed his wife’s family. He successfully stole the family’s money as the amounts were smaller for the first three times. For the following three cases, he asked Nguyễn Văn Tý, another son-in-law of the family, to join in.

    It must have been a great shock for Tình and her husband, and family dinners will never quite be the same, no matter how much Vietnamese traditionally love their sons-in-law.

    Overseas Vietnamese in Laos holds requiem for fallen soldiers


     

    social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Overseas Vietnamese in Laos holds requiem for fallen soldiers, UNDP, Japan helps VN students deal with natural disasters
    At the event


    A requiem to commemorate Vietnamese soldiers who laid down their lives to defend national sovereignty was held in Phat Tich Lao pagoda in Vientiane capital, Laos on March 25.

    The event was chaired by Venerable Thich Minh Quang – head of Phat Tich Lao pagoda, attracting Buddhist dignitaries and followers, along with overseas Vietnamese (OVs) in Vientiane.

    Venerable Thich Minh Quang said the requiem paid tribute to Vietnamese martyrs, including 64 soldiers killed while protecting Gac Ma (Johnson South) Reef in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago on March 14, 1988.

    It also reminds young people of Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracels) and Truong Sa archipelagos, Quang added, calling on OVs in Laos to strengthen solidarity for national development. 

    UNDP, Japan helps VN students deal with natural disasters

    Over 1,400 students of Binh Dong secondary school in Ho Chi Minh City have just joined drills of emergency evacuation in case of natural disasters such as tsunami and flood, according to the United Nations Development Programme.

    The activities were organised under the “Schools of Son Tinh” campaign, launched by the General Department of Disaster Prevention and Control of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, under the auspices of the Japan Government.

    Vietnam is among the ten countries most vulnerable to natural disasters. It is therefore very meaningful for every student to know how to behave appropriately in the case of natural disasters, said Kazunori Hosoya, Deputy Consul-General of Japan to HCMCity.

    In 2017, the country was hit by 16 storms. More than four million people were affected by floods, mudslides and landslides caused by heavy winds and downpours. Thousands of houses were damaged, communities evacuated, and tens of thousands of hectares of crops were destroyed.

    The “Schools of Son Tinh” campaign is part of the UNDP’s and Japan’s regional project “Strengthening School Preparedness for Tsunamis in the Asia-Pacific Region” in 18 Asia-Pacific countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

    The project contributes to the achievement of the UN Sendai Framework’s targets to reduce lives lost, numbers of people affected, and economic damage from natural and human-induced hazards. It also aims to achieve the UNDP’s goal to help vulnerable regions to adapt to climate change by integrating disaster risk measures into national strategies.

    Vietnam ready to cooperate in health response to disasters

    Vietnam stands ready to cooperate with other ASEAN member states in medical response to natural calamities in the region, affirmed Deputy Minister of Health Pham Le Tuan at the second regional collaboration drill held in the central coastal city of Da Nang on March 26.

    The event, which was jointly held by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Thailand’s National Institute for Emergency Medicine (NIEM) and the municipal People’s Committee, is part of the project on strengthening the ASEAN regional capacity on disaster health management. Vietnam and other nine ASEAN states have proactively joined in the project since 2015.

    Tuan said that international drills will enable Vietnamese medical management agencies to improve their professional capacity in case of natural disasters.

    Senior Representative of JICA Vietnam Office Nozomi Iwama said that the rehearsal aims to bolster cooperation between medical forces to have prompt response in case of emergency. 

    JICA will collect specific response and build a cooperation mechanism on health response in the ASEAN bloc, she noted.

    Ten emergency medical teams (EMTs) from ASEAN and Japan took part in the rehearsal in which a fierce storm was supposed to make landfall in the central coastal area, causing critical damage in lives and property in Da Nang city, Quang Nam province and some localities in the vicinity. Medical centres were completely devastated and they could not provide medical aid to the victims, especially those in isolated areas.

    Under the direction of the Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for humanitarian aid from the ASEAN members through the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management. The EMTs joined hands with the medical staff in Da Nang city and Quang Nam province to set up mobile medical stations to save the victims.

    Vietnamese, Japanese universities seek partnership

    A high-level delegation from Ho Chi Minh City visited Japan’s KyushuUniversity on March 24 to discuss cooperation opportunities between the establishment and the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City (VNUHCM).

    At a meeting between representatives of the two universities, VNUHCM President Huynh Thanh Dat expressed his expectation for the sides’ stronger cooperation in the future.

    He suggested the two sign collaborative pacts in flood prevention solutions for HCMCity, innovative urban building, startup-innovation, high-tech farming, and academic exchange, and human resources training.

    Vice President of Kyushu University Koichiro Watanabe said he hopes Vietnamese universities, including the VNUHCM, will become key partners of his university.

    Founded in Fukuoka in 1911, KyushuUniversity is the 4th oldest university in Japan and one of the former Imperial Universities. It is training about 2,200 international students, among which Vietnamese ranked 4th in terms of the number.

    Da Nang seeks youth’s ideas in smart city development

    Chairman of the People’s Committee of central Da Nang city Huynh Duc Tho chaired an open dialogue with more than 300 local young people on March 26 to learn first-hand their ideas to develop a smart city.

    The dialogue also aimed to motivate the youth’s sense of responsibility and power in building the city.

    Transforming Da Nang into a smart city is the city’s proper policy in an effort to improve local living standards and building a sustainably developing and worth-living city, said Duong Quan from the Youth Union of the Da Nang University of Technology.

    Quan voiced the fact that little attention has been paid to creative ideas of students at local universities and colleges in order to translate them into reality. He urged the city to provide support to nurture and develop such ideas and apply them widely.

    Mai Phuoc Tuan, an IT worker of Lien Chieu district, said commune and ward-based IT workers are key to the plan but most of them hold more than one position. As a result, it is very difficult to deploy smart applications at local level, he noted. Tuan suggested the city increase the number of IT workers for communes and wards and provide them with exclusive mechanism.

    At the event, many governmental agencies proposed the city ask for the youth’s help in developing smart management software in terms of demography, land management, construction management and more.

    Tho listened to all opinions and answered questions of young delegates. He vowed to address the problems and create all possible conditions for the young people to develop their ideas. He called the youth across the city to take part in building the city as a modern and worth-living one.

    Binh Duong smart city to be built

    Vietnam’s Becamex IDC Corporation and Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East (NNT East) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on March 26 to build a smart city in the southern province of Binh Duong

    Under the MoU, NNT East and the Vietnam Technology and Communications Development Corporation – an affiliate of Becamex IDC will provide high-quality information technology and telecommunications services for clients in industrial parks and urban areas such as the VietnamSingaporeIndustrial Park in the province as well as localities nationwide.

    Both sides will work together on workforce training, technology transfer, launching public wifi in Binh Duong new city and adjacent areas, and conducting a feasibility study on the building of the second data centre in service of local industrial and service development. 

    Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Thanh Liem said the smart city development project is a joint effort of the State, businesses and scientists. 

    He added that Binh Duong has devised a strategic breakthrough programme for 2016-2021 with a focus on high-quality workforce training, technical and IT infrastructure.

    The province has so far attracted over 29 billion USD in foreign direct investment, ranking second nationwide behind only Ho Chi Minh City.

    The project is expected to turn the province into a trustworthy destination for investors at home and abroad.

    Japanese cherry blossom festival in Hanoi extends to March 27

    The Japanese cherry blossom festival in the framework of the Japan-Vietnam Culture Exchange Festival in Hanoi will be extended one more day to March 27 to meet the enjoyment of locals and visitors.

    According to the event’s organising board, this is the third consecutive year the period for the cherry blossom display is extended in comparison to the initial schedule. 

    After three days of opening, the festival attracted 100,000 visitors, the board said. 

    Around 50 cherry blossom trees and 30,000 blossom branches are being displayed at Ly Thai To Square, Hoan Kiem district, along with various types of flowers planted in Vietnam.

    The event also featured food pavilions and multi-cultural dances, including Yosakoi – a unique style of dance in Japan performed by large teams, and Vietnamese traditional art forms such as “xam” (blind wanderers’ music) and “ca tru” (ceremonial singing) as well as a conference to promote bilateral tourism and investment cooperation.

    The festival is expected to help Vietnamese people to understand better about Japanese land, culture and people in addition to boosting collaboration in culture, tourism and economy.

    Hanoi earns 349 million USD from land auctions

    Hanoi earned 7.955 trillion VND (349 million USD) from auctioning land-use rights last year, pushing the total revenue it earned from land up to 37 trillion VND (1.62 billion USD).

    Land-related revenue, including land leases, land fees and land auctions, accounted for 15 percent of the city’s total budget last year.

    These figures were revealed at a recent meeting between Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha and the city leaders.

    At the meeting, Director of the city’s Environment Department Nguyen Trong Dong reported that more than 1.53 million land plots, 98.74 percent of total land plots in the city, have now been declared and certificated. This indicates land users have provided information about the origins and use of the land, which authorities have reviewed and approved.

    Certifications were granted to land users of over 196,000 land plots, the usage of which was declared for the first time last year.

    Last year, the city authorities approved over 2,000 projects on land eviction, land allocation, land lease or changes in land-use purpose. 

    The projects cover a total area of nearly 8,000ha.

    More than 700ha of rice, protected forest and special use forest were shifted for other purposes.

    Over 300ha of service land was allocated to nearly 39,000 families for management and use.

    Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung said the city faced difficulties in granting land-use rights certificates to land users, mostly because of the unidentified origin of many land plots.

    “Granting land-use right certificates is the issue of concern for which city authorities received residents’ complains most,” he said.

    People usually complained about troubles they met when applying for land-use rights certifications at ward or commune people’s committees.

    Minister Ha admitted that there remain problems as people seek land-use rights certificates.

    He said that the ministry would send inspectors to cooperate with the Hanoi People’s Committee in detecting and punishing State employees that demand bribes or enact cumbersome and unnecessary procedures.

    Ha said that the ministry would also work with the city to develop a set of environmental criteria for Hanoi to better control environmental pollution in the city.

    He asked the city to co-operatively work with the UK’s Geology Department to collect data and complete a detailed map of the city’s underground terrain.

    Hanoi plans to complete its land database and continue to update data of constructions, trees and underground works this year.

    The ministry also asked for measures to address on-going violations on mineral mining activities in the capital city, especially illegal sand mining.

    Chung said that the city intended to inspect 27 locations for safe sand mining. The sand exploitation at such locations would be opened for bidding, which is expected to generate 2.6 trillion VND (114 million USD) in the first year and 1.5 trillion VND every following year.

    The funds are expected to be used for social investment as well as to address the illegal sand mining, he said.

    Programme launched to call for support to TB patients

    The health sector has called for the involvement of authorities at all levels to act for a Vietnam without tuberculosis (TB) patients at a ceremony held recently in Hanoi.

    The event was organised by the NationalLungHospital in response to the World TB Day 2018 (March 24) themed “Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world”.

    “We need the participation of the whole political system. Relevant agencies and local people should be equipped with sufficient knowledge and skills to protect themselves by accessing to available modern TB prevention nationwide”, Director of the National Lung Hospital Associate Prof. Dr. Nguyen Viet Nhung stressed.

    This year, the National TB Prevention and Control Programme will expand TB screening to suspected drug-resistant tuberculosis cases and 100 percent of new AFB (+) TB patients. Thus, it will increase gene machines, ensure adequate cartridge and falcon supply and build TB patient management models, among others, he noted.

    On the occasion, the programme launched a writing contest “Let’s together end TB in Vietnam” to raise public awareness of TB and measures to fight TB. Also, the TB Patients Support Fund came into sight to mobilise financial sources for the health sectors to provide more treatment opportunities for TB patients as part of efforts to minimise TB infection in the community. 

    TB remains the leading cause of fatality in the world, leading to the deaths of nearly 2 million people every year, particularly resistant TB has threatened global health. In Vietnam, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that there are nearly 130,000 new cases of TB diagnosed each year, resulting in some 16,000 deaths in Vietnam in 2015.

    Vietnam ranked 16h among 30 countries with the highest number of TB patients in the world. It also ranked 13th among 30 countries with the biggest burden of multi drug-resistant TB in the world. 

    The country is a leading nation in terms of TB prevention efforts. The rate of successful treatment for multi drug resistant TB in Vietnam is over 70 percent, much higher than the world’s rate of 54 percent.

    Thanks to early detection and effective treatment, TB-related deaths reduced 3,000 cases during 2015-2016. The country has set target to cut 30 percent of TB infected cases and 40 percent of TB deaths during 2015-2020.

    Vietnam School Memorial Hall, a symbol of VietnamChina friendship

    Thousands of objects and photos of generations of Vietnamese students who studied in China in the 1950s and 1970s are kept at the Vietnam School Memorial Hall in the city of Guilin, Guangxi province, China. This is a testimony of the time-honored friendship between Vietnam and China.

    The Vietnam School Memorial Hall stands in GuangxiNormalUniversity in Guilin city, Guangxi province. Handwriting on the walls leading to the Memorial House show that this was a place where students of several Vietnamese schools were evacuated during Vietnam’s resistance wars against the French and American imperialists. 

    More than 10,000 Vietnamese cadres were trained here during the war years.

    The Vietnam School Memorial Hall was inaugurated on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Vietnam-China diplomatic relations in 2010. 

    Mr. Ruan Zhong Yuan, the Director of the Vietnam School Memorial Hall, said, “I’m so proud that the Hall has welcomed many Vietnamese leaders, including former Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, former National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung, and former Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan. The Hall is a memorial to the fine relations between Vietnam and China”.

    The Hall displays many photos and objects such as clothes, backpacks, desks, and chairs used by Vietnamese students in China. Each object is associated with a moving memory. 

    Mr. Yuan said the small stools were used by Vietnamese children who were looked after here while their parents were fighting in Vietnam. Many Vietnamese students who studied here later became senior State officials in Vietnam

    He remembered doctor Deng Hai Dang who saved a Vietnamese student who fell into a pit of animal waste and a Beijing chef who cooked Vietnamese dishes here.

    Ms. Luu Mei Nian, a teacher at GuangxiNormalUniversity, said it was an unforgettable time in her teaching career when she taught at the Vietnamese Schools in Guangxi. 

    Now, in her lessons, she still recalls the Vietnamese and Chinese teachers and students, who helped to foster friendship and solidarity between the two nations. “The Memorial Hall is important to Chinese and Vietnamese students. Generations of students feel pride and cherish the memory of that historic period, and honor their responsibility for developing the traditional relations between the two nations,” she said.

    Since its establishment, the Vietnam School Memorial Hall has welcomed 50,000 visitors.

    New Zealand education fairs in Hanoi and HCM City

    More than 60 New Zealand educational institutions will be coming to Vietnam to meet prospective Vietnamese students at an education fair in HCMCity on April 7 and another in Hanoi on April 8.

    This year’s event is part of a continued effort to foster the Vietnam-New Zealand educational relationship, after the official visit of Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to New Zealand from March 11 to 14. 

    The fairs are organized by Education New Zealand with the support of the New Zealand Embassy in Hanoi and the New Zealand Consulate General in HCMCity.

    New Zealand teachers and lecturers will demonstrate their country’s unique learning environments for both secondary and tertiary students.

    The education quality and easier connections are amongst the reasons why the number of Vietnamese students choosing New Zealand as their international education destination has been growing steadily in recent years, with a 60% increase in the number of first-time Vietnamese student visas in 2017 compared to the previous year.

    The New Zealand education providers will also be joined by a number of Vietnamese alumni who will be available to sit down with visitors to talk first-hand about their New Zealand education journey and share useful tips for living, working and travelling in New Zealand.

    To register for the Education New Zealand Fairs and the simulated classrooms in HCMC and Hanoi, visit: www.studyinnewzealand.govt.nz/vn/nzfair

    HCMCity needs VND10 bln to build three new bus stations

    According to the PublicTransportationManagementCenter, Ho Chi Minh City is going to build three new bus stations in district of Tan Phu and Cu Chi in order to meet travelling demand of 635 million passengers this year.

    In particular, the Tan Phu bus station will be located at
    No. 731 Truong Chinh Street
    , Tay Thanh ward, Tan Phu district with total area of 5,507 square meters. 

    The construction is expected to finish after nearly three months since the groundbreaking day with total investment of VND 6.5 billion. 

    Meanwhile, the Tan Quy bus station covering area of 1,156 square meters will be near the Provincial Highway 8 and
    Sen Hong street
    , Trung An commune, Cu Chi district. It will finish after four months with total investment of VND 1.9 billion. 

    The An Nhon Tay bus station will be built on area of 600 square meters at An Nhon Tay street, commune of An Nhon Tay, Cu Chi district with total capital of VND 1.3 billion. 

    The constructions will contribute to attracting public transport usage of people, and reduce traffic jams and accidents in the city.

    Community project preserves weaving craft in Ha Giang province

    Four foreign and seven Vietnamese young volunteers gathered for a community project to support linen weaving in the craft village of Lung Tam, Quan Ba district, in the mountainous northern province of Ha Giang.

    The project, entitled ‘Action for Lung Tam’, aims to build a proper facility for the Lung Tam linen weaving cooperative, contributing to empowering women and providing sustainable development for the traditional craft village. The project has been implemented since May 2016 by seven young Vietnamese people, including Nguyen Huyen Chau as the coordinator, and four foreigners including architects Alexander Eriksson Furunes from Norway and Sudarshan Khadka from the Philippines, social enterprise consultant Rémi Gontier from France and independent filmmaker Eric Roache from the US.

    Lung Tam linen weaving cooperative of the Mong ethnic minority people was formed over 16 years ago. Their products are not only popular throughout the country but are also exported to international markets. The cooperative’s founder Vang Thi Mai has made great efforts to develop the project, gaining impressive achievements. Traditionally, Mong women were not allowed to go to work; therefore, Mai and the other members tried for many years to persuade the locals to change their mindset. As a result, the number of the cooperative’s members is now 130 and the cooperative has improved the lives of the Mong women.

    The young volunteers were impressed by Vang Thi Mai and her colleagues who have greatly contributed to the cooperative’s development. Huyen Chau shared: “The project’s formation did not originate completely from pity. We really respect the efforts of the local people in Lung Tam and treasure the values that they have preserved and promoted”.

    Talking about the ‘Action for Lung Tam’, she said that attending IATSS Forum’s programme on sustainable community development in Japan in 2016, the lessons shared by Kobe city and Mie province helped her to realise that a community would develop sustainably if the locals could directly benefit from the fruits of their labour, as well as being entitled to self-determination and joint responsibility to maintain their property and material facilities.

    Three important architects in the team have lots of experience in designing community projects. Alexander Eriksson Furunes from Norway has joined the building of several works under the method of ‘co-creation’ with local communities in India, the UK and China. His companion Sudarshan Khadka stood side by side with him in the successful construction of the project ‘Studying Centre’ for Tacloban city in the Philippines, which was struck by the super typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Vietnamese architect Nguyen Cong Hiep is one of the key members of the project. He was the founder of the Community Architect – Arts Library’ in Hanoi (also called Co-AA Library Hanoi), as well as working with Huyen Chau to implement several community projects such as building schools for children in 2013.

    In particular, during the process of implementing the project, the team has encouraged local people to join most activities, aiming to take advantage of their experience. They have come to Lung Tam many times and worked with the linen weaving cooperative’s members on different issues for the project. The local people were eager to measure the actual area of their workspace as well as design as architects. Through this method, the volunteers can study the locals’ habits of living and production as well as their demands. In contrast, participating in the project, the locals are able to learn more about the facility. Grasping the way to build the facility, the cooperative members would be more active in using or repairing it afterward.

    After working here, the volunteers realised that they were inspired by the local people who were always willing to learn and cooperate. Whenever visiting the village and listening to stories about the locals’ lives, the volunteer team’s members developed a stronger attachment to the land.

    HCM City rule in the pool, for now

    HCMCity leads the 14 teams of the National Swimming Championship in HuếCity yesterday.

    After four days of competition, the team has won 12 golds, seven silvers and six bronzes. Đà Nẵng are second with nine golds, three silvers and two bronzes, while Quảng Bình are third with six golds, eight silvers and three bronzes.

    Trần Duy Khôi of HCM City won gold in the men’s 100m individual medley in a time of 55.57secs. Trần Hưng Nguyên of the Military and Nguyễn Ngọc Triển of Hải Phòng took the silver and bronze medal with times of 58.06secs and 58.21secs, respectively.

    In the men’s 100m freestyle, Lương Jeremie of HCM also bagged gold with a time of 52.19secs. Bùi Phương Nam of Đồng Nai and Phạm Thanh Nguyên of An Giang were the runners-up.

    In the men’s 200m butterfly, the gold went to Hoàng Quý Phước of Đà Nẵng, 2015 Southeast Asian Games gold medallist. The 25-year-old finished first with a time of 1:58.68.

    Nguyễn Ngọc Huỳnh of Đồng Nai received silver with a time of 1:59.07 and Nguyễn Huy Hoàng of Quảng Bình took bronze in 1:59.15.

    In the women’s 100m butterfly, Lê Thị Mỹ Thảo of Bình Phước defeated Ngô Thị Ngọc Quỳnh of Quảng Bình and Trần Ngọc Thi of HCM City to triumph in a time of 1:01.60.

    The annual event wraps up today.

    HCMCity tops Dunlop Cup rankings

    Nguyễn Phan Yên Tích of HCMCity’s Hưng Thịnh Club won the girls’ U16 category at the first youth tennis championship, Dunlop Cup, which concluded in Hà Nội on Sunday.

    The overseas Vietnamese player defeated Nguyễn Thị Phương of Hà Nội in a match that saw 1.80m-tall Tích put up a strong fight to win 0-6, 6-2, 6-2.

    The HCMCity team also triumphed in two singles event: the girls’ U12 was won by Ngô Hồng Hạnh, while Dương Thiên Quang won the boys’ U14 event. In the doubles pool, HCMCity, the national tennis hub, won all four categories of girls’ and boys’ U14 and U16.

    With seven golds, HCMCity topped the ranking charts.

    In another final, Từ Lê Khánh Duy of Becamex Bình Dương beat Tất Thái Nguyên of HCM City 7-5, 2-6, 7-6 (6) in the U16 boys’ singles.

    Both of them are members of the national junior team which finished third at the recent Junior Davis Cup pre-qualifier in Sri Lanka.

    Earlier, Trịnh Vũ Khang of Thái Nguyên won the U10 boys’ singles, while Tống Thị Bích Trâm of Tây Ninh won the girls’ singles. Đặng Trần Quốc Thái of the military team won the U12 boy’ singles, and Lý Minh Anh of Bắc Giang triumphed in the U14 girls’ singles. 

    Viettel win friendly tournament

    Viettel beat Hà Nội 2-0 to clinch the trophy in an international friendly U15 football tournament between Việt Nam and Japan in Hà Nội on Sunday.

    With two wins and one loss, Viettel, Thanh Hóa and Japan had six points each.

    Owing to better goal difference, Viettel became champions. Japan came second, followed by Thanh Hoá.

    In another youth football match, the Promotion Fund of Vietnamese Football Talents Football Club (PVF) finished sixth in the U15 Asean Dream Football Tournament 2018 (U15 ADFT ) in Thailand on Sunday.

    On the last day, the Vietnamese representative lost 4-5 in penalty shootout to Changrai United of the hosts after the match ended 1-1 in official time.

    Earlier, in the group round, PVF won all the three matches to enter the quarter-finals, where they lost 0-1 to Assumption United. In the play-off match, to determine the fifth to eighth position, they beat Pattaya United 2-0.

    The U15 ADFT is an annual tournament for ASEAN teams and Japan held in Thailand. This year, Việt Nam sent only PVF as the representative. As the host, Thailand had 12 teams. There were six teams from Japan and one from Malaysia.

    VUG Dance Battle 2018 starts in Hà Nội

    The Việt Nam University Games (VUG) Dance Battle 2018 started in Hà Nội on Sunday.

    The event attracted many teams in the capital representing the University of Transport and Communications and the Academy of Finance, as well as rookies from the Academy of Journalism and Communication, Hà Nội University of Business and Technology and the People’s PoliceAcademy.

    On the opening day, defending champions ForeignTradeUniversity lost to the Banking Academy of Việt Nam, considered a strong candidate for the title this year. ThăngLongUniversity were defeated by the National University of Civil Engineering.

    The event drew thousands of students in Hà Nội to cheer for their teams at the Hà Nội University of Science and Technology’s Gymnasium.

    Launched in 2013, VUG is one of the largest sporting events for students in futsal and freestyle dance.

    VNN

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  • 03/29/18--01:33: Article 2
  • Vietnam expands trade, investment with US: PM

    Hanoi -The Vietnamese Government attaches special importance to extending trade and investment ties with the US, particularly exchanges and partnerships between the two countries’ businesses, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has affirmed. 
    At the reception (Source: VNA)  


    During a reception in Hanoi on March 28 for a delegation of the US– ASEAN Business Council (USABC) led by its President Alexander Feldman, the PM spoke highly of the contributions of the US, including its business community, to the success of the APEC Year 2017 and particularly the APEC CEO Summit. 

    He said the government advocates building policies in service of businesses and people so that attention is given to regular, transparent and open consultation with business community, including foreign-invested enterprises, towards refining policies and improving enforcement. 

    The Vietnamese government is determined to restructure economy in combination with renewing growth model, facilitating start-ups and renovation, grasping opportunities arising from the fourth industrial revolution, and stepping up administrative reform to create a favourable business environment, he said. 

    In order to achieve such goals, he said Vietnam needs support of enterprises, including those from the US

    The host asserted that the US business community always plays an important role in the development of bilateral ties as well as the growth of Vietnam.

    He asked USABC and US firms to continue expanding business operations in Vietnam and serve as a bridge connecting new US firms with the country.

    The US delegation lauded Vietnam’s economic growth last year and its improving business climate. 

    They wished that the PM and agencies concerned would clear obstacles facing the US’s projects in Vietnam in the fields of renewable energy, machinery engineering, electricity, beverages, information technology and cyber security

    VNA

    0 0
  • 03/29/18--01:48: Article 1
  • Social News 29/3 (Updated hourly)


    ADB, JICA to support 20,000 smallholder farmers

    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Wednesday signed $163 million in loan agreements with Olam International Limited (OIL) and Café Outspan Vietnam Limited (COVL), a subsidiary of OIL. The loans will help improve inclusive and sustainable agricultural value chains, directly benefiting up to 20,000 smallholder farmers in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.

    ADB’s assistance includes a $83 million loan to OIL and a $5 million loan to COVL. The project is ADB’s first nonsovereign assistance directly cofinanced by JICA, which will lend $75 million to COVL.

    Speaking at the signing ceremony, ADB Investment Specialist Juhyun Jeong said that developing formal value chains is essential for farmers in Asia and the Pacific to integrate with the global economy and increase the value of their products.

    “ADB and JICA’s partnership with OIL and COVL will help smallholder farmers expand their production and operations, improving livelihoods by promoting inclusive and sustainable development, he said”

    “Olam’s comprehensive and grassroots approach to improve agricultural value chains brings significant positive impacts to farmers and the agribusiness industry,” said JICA’s Investment Officer Gyo Shibata. “For the partnership with ADB’s private sector operations, we are excited to ink the first direct cofinancing deal and explore further collaborations.”

    “This loan agreement underpins the mutual aims of Olam, ADB, and JICA to support the economic prosperity of farmers as well as help them become stewards of the environment—essential for the future of agricultural production,” said Prakash Jhanwer, Regional Head for South East Asia at Olam International. 

    The Agricultural Value Chain Development Project will support OIL’s $211 million investment plan until 2019 by financing an expansion in the firm’s processing of midstream products, while providing permanent working capital investments for smallholder farmers, particularly in Indonesia (coffee and cocoa); PNG (coffee and cocoa); Timor-Leste (coffee); and Viet Nam (coffee, cashew, and pepper). The assistance will also help OIL develop processing plants to create a more seamless integration of farmers, markets, and customers, adding more value in local markets and improving agricultural value chains.

    The project includes $3 million in technical assistance (TA), partially financed by the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia, to provide capacity building training to about 20,000 smallholder coffee farmers across the project countries. The TA includes training in avoiding deforestation and increasing productivity through climate-smart agriculture practices, including water harvesting and soil management.

    Captain Sidewalk returns to combat fire safety violations in Saigon

    Months after the sidewalk cleanup in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 lost steam, the man behind the revolutionary campaign has returned with a new mission to tackle fire safety violations in the downtown district.

    Doan Ngoc Hai, vice chairman of District 1, led an inspection team to check up on fire safety systems at apartment buildings built before 1975 across the district on March 28.

    At an apartment building on Nguyen Thi Nghia Street in Ben Thanh Ward, the team found it emergency exit had been blocked by wooden furniture, with tarpaulins and lines of clothes hanging right next to electric wires. The building was also found to have no automatic fire detection system.

    "This is too unsafe, if something happens, how could anyone escape in time?" Hai said. He said the residents tipped him off. He has ordered the ward officials to remove the obstructing furniture and install metal stairs outside the building to serve as emergency exits.

    The emergency exit of another apartment building on
    Ly Tu Trong Street
    in the same ward was also found obstructed by paintings and wooden frames belonging to a painting workshop. The team removed the objects and issued a fine for the violator.

    Further inspections at other old apartment buildings in the district also revealed that many of them do not meet fire safety requirements. Most of the buildings' fire detection and firefighting systems failed to work, while many emergency exits were found to be used as warehouses, garbage dumps or packed with flammable objects.

    "Fire safety at these old apartment buildings is terrible," Hai said.

    "The fire at Carina just killed 13 people, but everyone here is still unconcerned and irresponsible," Hai said, referring to the apartment fire that occurred in the city's District 8 last Friday.

    District 1 currently has 86 apartment buildings built before 1975, nearly half of which are in serious disrepair.

    After the deadly CarinaPlaza fire, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have been stepping up efforts to inspect and tackle fire safety issues. Hanoi has discovered that 38 of its apartment buildings failed to meet fire safety requirements, while inspection teams in the southern metropolis are also dismantling structures that violate fire safety regulations.

    Before heading District 1's fire safety campaign, Hai was known for his campaign to cleanup the district's sidewalks. He started the revolution in early 2017 with a pledge to turn the central district into a “Little Singapore.”

    His team put up barriers and deployed police officers to stop motorbikes from driving on the sidewalks. During the crackdown, vehicles, including government and foreign diplomatic cars, were towed, and invasive constructions that spilled out onto the street, some of which belonged to five-star hotels, were dismantled.

    But he asked to step down from the work last January, saying that his campaign had collided with businesses that had million-dollar interests on the sidewalks, and a large number of officials backing them.

    The mission needed the support of the entire political system, which he did not receive, he said.

    Jail-breaking prisoners prosecuted


    Remains of 17 fallen Vietnamese soldiers found in Laos, Vietnamese youth take on no-plastic-straw challenge, Construction of Vam Sat No.2 Bridge starts, Over 3,000 students join Olympic Run Day parade 

    Nguyễn Văn Tình and Lê Văn Thọ. - Photo vov.vn 

    Hà Nội Police have asked the city procuracy to prosecute two defendants for breaking out of prison.

    The defendants, Lê Văn Thọ and Nguyễn Văn Tình, broke out of their cells in September last year and were recaptured five days later.

    Tình, 28, was sentenced to death by the Hà Nội People’s Court in April for his involvement in a narcotics ring.

    Thọ, 37, received the death penalty in May when the Hà Nam Province People’s Court found him guilty of dealing with narcotics, murder and theft. His past convictions included murder, kidnapping, illegal use of firearms, bribery, robbery and theft.

    The two prisoners broke their shackles while correctional officers were distracted and tunnelled their way out of the cell at midnight.

    The other four accused who were brought to the court are Nguyễn Thị Phương Lan, residing in Chí Linh Township of Hải Dương Province; Nguyễn Văn Việt; Nguyễn Văn Ba; and Nguyễn Việt Hùng, living in Kỳ Sơn District of Hòa Bình Province.

    The accused were prosecuted for hiding knowledge of a crime under the Criminal Code in 2017. 

    Landslides threaten lives of BìnhMinhTown residents

    Scores of households living along the HậuRiver in Thành Phước Ward, BìnhMinhTown, in the southern province of Vĩnh Long have faced the risk of landslides for years.

    The threat to residents’ lives has grown increasingly serious, according to the residents.

    They said the ward has seen a number of landslides in the area, including one that was some 10m deep and 100m long on August 22 and 23 last year. The landslides razed two houses and damaged many others.

    After the incident, local authorities moved residents to safer spaces and helped them resettle, but the landslides reoccurred.

    The hazard has become more common since February, leaving deep potholes in the roads in its wake.

    To limit these landslides, residents use simple tools such as timber, sandbags and steel wires.

    Phạm Văn Nhàn, a resident, said funds to buy the tools were contributed by the residents, but after a few days, the road suffered more damage from landslides.

    Chairman of the Bình Minh Town People’s Committee Nguyễn Văn Dân said the committee had allocated new living spaces for 31 households.

    However, the landslides were becoming increasingly complicated to handle, so the committee instructed the Thành Phước Ward authorities to supervise and support the people.

    If conditions worsen, the committee will let residents travel on another safe road and ask for guidance from the provincial authorities.

    Dân said the town did not have the necessary funds to build a strong embankment in the area, so support from upper-level authorities is needed.

    Criminal proceedings begin over CarinaPlaza fire

    HCM City Police have started criminal proceedings in the case of the Carina Plaza apartment building fire in HCM City’s District 8 which killed 13 people and injured 27 on March 23.— Photo vietnamnet.vn

    HCM City Police have started criminal proceedings in the case of the CarinaPlaza apartment building fire in HCMCity’s District 8 which killed 13 people and injured 27 on March 23.

    Detailed information on the upcoming criminal proceedings will be released at a press meeting to be held today by the HCM City People’s Committee, according to Colonel Nguyễn Sỹ Quang, chief of staff of the city police.

    He said on Tuesday that the proceedings were in line with Article 313 of the 2015 Criminal Code that deal with violations of fire safety regulations.

    At least 150 motorbikes and 13 cars parked in the basement where the fire originated were destroyed by the blaze.

    Located at
    1648 Võ Văn Kiệt Street
    , CarinaPlaza complex includes three buildings of 15-21 storeys each and a total of 736 apartments. It opened six years ago.

    Quang said the investigation at the scene showed that a malfunctioning motorbike was the cause of the fire, and that arson had been ruled out as a possible cause.

    The blaze started at 0:30 in the basement located between buildings A and B of the apartment complex.

    The city’s Fire Fighting Police Department sent 34 fire trucks and 200 firefighters to the site to control the blaze and rescue hundreds of people who were trapped inside. An hour after arriving, the fire was under control.

    On March 26, a delegation from the Central Committee of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front, led by Deputy President Trương Thị Ngọc Ánh, visited injured residents at ChợRẫyHospital.

    The delegation also visited the family of Trần Văn An, a guard at CarinaPlaza who died in the fire. 

    The Fatherland Front’s central committee plans to offer a total of VNĐ200 million (US$8,820) for families affected by the fire.

    Bình Định, neighbours cooperate on tourism

    Travel experts and firms discussed strategies to develop the tourism industry in the central coastal province of BìnhĐịnh during a seminar held on Wednesday in Hà Nội.

    The province’s highlighted destinations and tour options were presented at the seminar. These  included Cù Lao Xanh Island, vestiges of the ancient Champa kingdom, beautiful beaches such as Kỳ Co, considered the Maldives of Việt Nam, and Eo Gió Pass.

    Nguyễn Thị Xuân Lan, vice chairwoman of the Bình Định Provincial Tourism Association, said the local authorities and travel agents had focused on co-operating with partners in the Central Highlands and southern central regions to connect destinations in their regions and create new tour packages for visitors.

    Lan suggested that instead of buying flights directly to Quy Nhơn city in BìnhĐịnhProvince, tourists can save money by flying to Tuy Hoà city in PhúYênProvince, then driving to Quy Nhơn and Pleiku city, GiaLaiProvince and departing from PleikuAirport.

    “That’s a convenient way to have extraordinary experiences because tourists can travel to different destinations in the route,” she said.

    Trần Thanh Thuỷ from Fidi Tour Company pointed out the fact that in the high season, travel companies struggle to book hotels for large groups of tourists. Lan suggested that as a solution tourists can book rooms at new hotels which will offer favourable prices during their soft opening periods this summer.

    “Some 2,000 rooms at hotels and 1,500 rooms at resorts will be available to serve tourists this summer,” said Lan.

    “Customers often book rooms at famous hotels which have been already operating for a long time, leading to those properties being over-booked and more expensive. I suggest that tourists can book rooms at new two-star hotels whose quality can be compared with old three-star hotels.”

    BìnhĐịnhProvince’s tourism industry has been building special tours for older people, creating opportunities for elderly travelers to make friends with each other and relax.

    “The tour is designed especially for the old people with separate rooms at hotels and resorts to provide a relaxing time and tranquility,” said Lan.

    “The customers will have the chance to enjoy food and meditate following the guidance of experts.”

    Quy Nhơn is an attractive destination for both domestic and international tourists, especially those from Japan and France. In recent years, the average number of tourists coming to Quy Nhơn has increased 20 per cent annually. 

    ADB loan helps HCMCity resume flood-prevention projects


    Remains of 17 fallen Vietnamese soldiers found in Laos, Vietnamese youth take on no-plastic-straw challenge, Construction of Vam Sat No.2 Bridge starts, Over 3,000 students join Olympic Run Day parade 

    Several flood-prevention projects will resume thanks to funds from ADB. Photo: thanhnien.vn


    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) plans to give a US$350 million loan to the city for flood-prevention projects, according to the Steering Centre for Urban Flood Control (SCFC).

    For phase 1, the funds will go toward flood-prevention projects in districts 12, Gò Vấp and Bình Thạnh, and for the Tham Lương-Bến Cát canal cleanup and drainage project.

    These projects were supposed to receive funds from the World Bank, but due to problems related to compensation and site clearance, the bank decided in November last year not to loan the money.

    Nguyễn Ngọc Công, director of the Steering Centre for Urban Flood Control, said that, after the WB’s decision, the city had to apply to ADB for the loan.

    Police bust transnational drug trafficking ring

    A transnational and provincial drug trafficking ring was busted by the police of southern TâyNinhProvince, online newspaper Vietnamplus.vn reported.

    Earlier this week, the police arrested two Cambodian nationals—Buy Bunly, 51, and Lim So Thea, 34, residents of Tbong Khnum District in Cambodia—while they were transporting 5kg of synthetic drugs by car in Tân Biên District.

    Upon searching the vehicle, the police also found a gun and six bullets.

    After further investigation, the police arrested six more locals involved in the ring, including Phan Thị Mộng Cầm, 18, and Phùng Ngọc Tân, 22 (Hòa Thành District); Phạm Hồng Thái, 25 (Gò Dầu District); Trần Quang Khánh, 19 (Trảng Bàng District); and Nguyễn Hoàng Sang, 25 and Huỳnh Hàn Song, 26 (Hòa Thành).

    The accused told the police that they were waiting to get drugs from the two Cambodian nationals for the purpose of re-selling.

    The Tây Ninh Police had cooperated with HCMCity police to arrest another eight traffickers.

    They include a couple—Phùng Hồng Huy and Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Thủy—residents of District 11 in HCM City; Nguyễn Thái Sơn (Hóc Môn District); Ngô Quốc Anh (District 11); Nguyễn Minh Thuận (Hóc Môn District); Lê Quốc Trung (Ô Môn District in Cần Thơ City); Lê Thị Khánh Trâm (Buôn Ma Thuột City in Đắk Lắk Province) and Huỳnh Kiều Nhi (An Phú District in An Giang Province). 

    The police seized 6kg of drugs, VND5 billion in cash, four motorbikes, a gun and other tools from them.

    Phùng Hồng Huy admitted to running the ring in HCMCity.

    The case is under further investigation.

    Yesterday, police in northern Điện BiênProvince foiled an attempt at trafficking 135 bricks of heroin and 500,000 pills of synthetics drugs.

    This is the largest quantity of synthetic drugs seized in the country so far.

    Charity programme to turn orphans’ dreams into reality

    A charity programme called Giving Mother’s Love has been launched in HCMCity to help orphans express their dreams and turn them into reality.

    Starting yesterday Phụ Nữ (Woman) Online newspaper and New Zealand goat milk formula maker DG, the organisers, are visiting children at 10 social welfare centres to hear their stories and dreams and write about them in the newspaper in the next few days.

    The centres will receive a donation of VNĐ5 million ($222) each from them.

    The newspaper is also accepting submissions from orphaned children around the country at chocontinhyeuthuong2018@gmail.

    Each article chosen to be published will be awarded a prize of VNĐ3 million (US$131.6).

    The programme will conclude with the newspaper collaborating with other donors to make the three “best” wishes come true on International Children’s Day, June 1.

    According to the Department of Child Care and Protection, 156,000 out of 29 million children aged under 16 in Việt Nam are orphans.

    U19 Việt Nam beat U19 Hoàng Anh Gia Lai

    The U19 Việt Nam team won its latest round at the International U19 Football Tournament 2018 by beating U19 Hoàng Anh Gia Lai 3-1 on Wednesday at the Pleiku stadium in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai.

    The result helped U19 Việt Nam, coached by Vũ Hồng Việt, grab nine points to match the U19 Seoul team.

    Việt Nam scored the first goal at the 18th minute with a penalty near the dark zone by Hồng Sơn, whose strong kick landed the ball decisively in the opponent’s goal.

    The first half was closed up after Hoàng Anh Gia Lai scored, setting up an exciting second half.

    The second goal was claimed in the second half by Việt Anh of Việt Nam who hit the ball with his head into the rival’s goal at the 63rd minute.

    Hoàng Anh Gia Lai then put forward their best struggle with continuous attacks against the Việt Nam, seeking to equalise the score, but the host team constantly faced fierce resistance from its rival.

    At the 88th minute, Văn Công of the U19 Việt Nam caught the ball from his team mate Văn Toán to score the third goal, the last of the match.

    The match had been previously been predicted as a challenge for Hoàng Anh Gia Lai coach Guillaume Graechen and his players, but few expected the team to play so weakly and make so many mistakes.

    Accordingly, U19 Hoàng Anh Gia Lai will have to face U19 Chonburi in the final round for fourth place on Friday.

    On Monday, Coach Vũ Hồng Việt of U19 Việt Nam said his team would seek to continue their winning streak after his players defeated FC Seoul 2-1 in the second round match.

    The team will face Mito Hollyhock tomorrow.

    Coach Việt praised his players after their earlier defeat of FC Seoul.

    “I feel good when my players strictly follow my tactics and win the match. Prior to the tournament, we thought Seoul would be the team who could vie for the winning trophy with us. We will defeat them both in the two last matches to defend our title,” Việt said.

    Digitalisation to drive agriculture in a sustainable way: Eurocham experts

    Digitalization is the engine that would drive the future of agriculture, “Agriculture in Việt Nam: Can innovation push Việt Nam to the top of the global market?”, a meeting organised by Eurocham in HCMCity this week, heard.

    Agriculture around the world, and especially in Việt Nam, faces many challenges in meeting demand by 2050 — like increasing population, increase in demand for quality food, loss of produce along the food chain, falling yields due to climate change, limited arable lands, weed and pest resistance, dwindling innovation, and depletion of ground water.

    “The challenge requires a new approach that helps improve farming for the farmers and for the environment,” Dr Thomas Wegmann, head of product development, APAC region, Singapore, Bayer Crop Science, said.

    The event heard that digital farming paves the way for a new agricultural revolution that makes farming quicker, more precise, efficient and sustainable.

    According to information released there, most new farm machines are equipped with precision agriculture features.

    New tools help farmers optimise inputs such as fertilisers and crop protection agents with corresponding improvements in yields and quality. Digital farming solutions also help meet society’s rising requirements in terms of transparency and sustainability.

    To meet the growing demand, many inventions have been rolled out globally to enable farmers to optimise the amount of crop protection.

    For instance, a Bayer representative said his company has applied digital solutions in more than 60 countries and is aiming at Vietnam..

    He said that these new technologies, which have huge potential not only in developed countries but also for small-holder farmers in developing countries, helps famers tackle challenges and support a sustainable intensification of farming. Thanks to innovation and new technology in seeds, crop protection and services, farmers are enabled to produce food without harming the environment and putting the health of humans or animals at risk, promoting and advancing sustainable agriculture for customers and society

    Recently the company launched new digital farming solutions called Field Manager and Scouting App which help farmers produce more efficiently and profitably while reducing the impact farming has on the environment.

    Speaking about the Vietnamese market, experts at the event said agriculture and fishery exports topped a record US$36 billion last year.

    But Vietnamese agriculture faced plenty of challenges such as limited arable land and natural resources, a shortage and rising costs of labour, increased market volatility, limited credit availability for small farmers, resistance issues and ongoing quest for increasing sustainability.

    Việt Nam’s agriculture still has enormous potential, but a lot of applied research and development, tailor-made advice and training are needed, according to participants. Then farmers will catch up fast, as Việt Nam farmers are hard working and very entrepreneurial.

    Participants said many digital farming products have been released and with positive results. They also said there would be closer co-operation between agricultural research companies, farmers and the government.

    FrieslandCampina to help Bình Dương with environment protection communication

    FrieslandCampina Việt Nam yesterday signed with BìnhDươngProvince’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment and the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union an agreement for carrying out communication and other activities to improve awareness of environmental protection among young people including students this year.

    They will organise training for teachers in communication on and adaptation to climate change from April 2 to May 31.

    In June and July there will be a video contest on this issue for young people, who will attend activities held to mark World Environment Day on June 5.

    Nguyễn Hồng Nguyên, deputy head of the Bình Dương Province Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said the activities for improving awareness of environmental protection would help the province develop sustainably.

    The agreement is part of programmes for enabling partners within a community to work with each other to reduce negative impacts on environment.

    FrieslandCampina Việt Nam seeks to ensure “green” growth, which contributes to the country’s sustainable development.

    Ba Ria-Vung Tau eyes high-tech facilities for solid-waste treatment


    Remains of 17 fallen Vietnamese soldiers found in Laos, Vietnamese youth take on no-plastic-straw challenge, Construction of Vam Sat No.2 Bridge starts, Over 3,000 students join Olympic Run Day parade
    Bà Rịa - VũngTàuProvince is soliciting investment in high-tech treatment facilities to treat solid waste. - Photo enternews.vn 

    Bà Rịa - VũngTàuProvince is soliciting investment in high-tech treatment facilities to treat solid waste, its leader has said.

    Nguyễn Hồng Lĩnh, secretary of the province Party Committee, speaking at a meeting on March 26 to discuss plans to create solid-waste treatment facilities from now through 2020, said categorically the People’s Committee should not issue licences for plants that use outdated technologies.

    Industrial solid waste transported from other provinces for burying in Bà Rịa- Vũng Tàu should be carefully managed, he said.

    The People’s Committee should continue to “control pollution” at the Tóc Tiên landfill in Tân Thành District and wastewater leakage from rubbish dumps, he said.

    The province generates around 1,489 tonnes of industrial solid wastes including 204 tonnes of toxic wastes daily, according to its Department of Construction.

    The solid wastes pose an environmental threat, it said.

    The province also generates around 2.9 tonnes of medical wastes daily. Public hospitals treat their solid wastes by burning but some of them do not have standard waste treatment facilities.

    The 700 tonnes of household solid wastes generated daily are buried at the Tóc Tiên landfill.

    The burying again threatens the environment but some household solid waste treatment projects are progressing too slowly, according to the department.

    However, with the cost of incinerating household solid wastes being high, the method is not used in the province, it said.

    Lĩnh called on relevant agencies to research into new ways of treating household solid wastes and consider ways to quickly set up waste recycling facilities.

    The province is willing to pay for sophisticated technologies in waste treatment and would not accept plants that cause pollution, he said.

    The plans to set up solid waste treatment facilities would not include new ones that treat waste oil and packaging or bury normal industrial wastes, tasks that existing facilities can perform, he said.

    Experts discuss gender equality during workshop

    Experts agreed on the definition of gender equality at a workshop, "Communication on gender equality of state agencies," held here on Wednesday. 

    The concept of gender equality suggests that men and women, including the gay and lesbian community, should receive fair treatment in all aspects of socio-economic life and human rights.

    The workshop was organised by the Research and Development Centre (RED) under the Vietnam Union of Scientific and Technological Organisations (VUSTA) in collaboration with the Department of Gender Equality under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.The workshop is part of the project "Media Co-operation to Improve Economic Policy", supported by the Government of Canada Global Issues. Participants discussed various issues, including how the media implements eight sectors in the Law on Gender Equality, and how to do the work well.

    Education on gender and gender equality should not include gender bias, should not create gender-based prejudice and should eliminate all gender discrimination. Phạm Ngọc Tiến, director of the Department of Gender Equality, said this was still a new issue for many state agencies, although the Gender Equality Law and Decree 48/2009/NĐ-CP has regulations on this subject. Over the years, education on gender equality has been fully adopted in the Tuyên Quang and Long An provinces and in HCMCity. The MOLISA organised a number of activities to provide education on the issue.

    However, some of the objectives of the national strategy for gender equality in the period 2011-20 were unsuitable and needed more time to complete, he said.

    Education on the issue still focuses on women, and gender stereotypes persist in media products. For instance, 80 per cent emphasise the role of women in the family, 83 per cent of women appear as a housewife.Trần Thị Kim Thanh, director of the Division of Child Care and Protection under the HCM City Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, highlighted the current difficulties in communication on gender equality.

    Thanh mentioned the overly broad topics on gender equality and the lack of instruction from the concerned ministries. Moreover, the staff of gender equality departments in provinces have not been trained on the Law on Gender Equality.

    In seeking a solution, the participants of the workshop believed that education on gender equality was not only the duty of the MOLISA but should also be considered in the management and planning of policies of all state administrative agencies.

    Education activities require the coordination of specialised agencies and state agencies, political and social organisations and personnel networks.

    Remains of 17 fallen Vietnamese soldiers found in Laos


     

    Remains of 17 fallen Vietnamese soldiers found in Laos, Vietnamese youth take on no-plastic-straw challenge, Construction of Vam Sat No.2 Bridge starts, Over 3,000 students join Olympic Run Day parade

    The remains of seventeen fallen Vietnamese soldiers have been recovered from caves in the district of Pack U, Luang Prabang province in Laos during the first three months of the year.

    According to Senior Lieutenant colonel Nguyen The Giang from the Search and Collection of Martyrs’ Remains Team under the Military Zone 2, local people said that Vietnamese soldiers were fighting in the caves during the past war.

    He said that once former volunteers and military experts involved in the past war in Laos and Luang Prabang province learn of the news through the Voice of Vietnam, they will then be able to provide information about their military units and identify the fallen soldiers.

    During the first days of 2018, the Search and Collection of Martyrs’ Remains Team coordinated with agencies in Oudomxay province to hold a memorial service and repatriate the remains of nine martyrs to Dien Bien province.

    Vietnamese youth take on no-plastic-straw challenge

    A number of young Vietnamese people tend to forgo the use of plastic drinking straws in a collective effort, NoStrawChallenge, to alleviate negative impacts on the environment.

    Several environmentally-minded groups wishing to reduce the popularity of plastic straws have appeared, although such a commitment has not developed to a massive scale, according to the Vietnam Green Generation Network, an organization of Vietnamese youth spreading eco-friendly messages.

    Many beverage shops have begun using non-plastic straws, including The Organik House, Pilosa Garden, which are in Ho Chi Minh City; To Chim Xanh (‘Blue Bird Nest’), and Reng Reng Cafe, located in Hanoi.

    Adopting the NoStrawChallenge attitude, Minh Huong said followers of this trend should maintain discipline in order to eschew indulgence.

    “Initially it’s very hard to do NoStrawChallenge, because I used plastic straws habitually. In a moment after using a drink from a cup, I found myself unconsciously throwing away the plastic straw, cup lid and nylon bag that went with the cup. It’s unnerving to know how harmful such unnecessarily wasted plastic items I dispose of automatically are to the environment,” she said.

    She observed that bubble milk tea and smoothies have been sold in plastic cups as take-aways so often that the containers have been inextricably associated with the drinks.

    “I don’t want to see NoStrawChallenge as a sort of fashion, since fashion is only short-lived. Reducing the amount of plastic trash, though at a personal level, is still meaningful and brings about long-term benefits for human life and the environment,” she added.

    ​Quynh Nhien, a sophomore at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities, has developed a liking for the straw challenge after she was given a stainless steel straw.

    “If the restaurant fails to avoid straws, visit that place many times, and ask it to give you no straw each time you order drinks,” she said, mentioning her awareness-raising tactic.

    Materials to replace plastic in producing straws may be bamboo, stainless steel, glass and silicon, according to Dang An, owner of Hanoi-based Sap Hang Chang Sen (‘Kiosk of a Lad Named Sen’), which only provides various non-plastic products and has risen to great popularity amongst eco-friendly consumers in Vietnam.

    “I’m really happy to see the no-plastic-straw practice becoming increasingly widespread. Non-plastic straws were strangers to people a year ago,” he said.

    In the past he was reluctant to introduce this type of product for fear that customers might feel displeased, but now he has received orders from multiple users.

    He said this tendency heralds a positive change, sharpening general awareness of potentially enormous environmental detriments caused by small objects like straws.

    Vietnamese martial artist dares Chinese MMA fighter to showdown

    A Vietnamese Wing Chun martial artist has challenged a Chinese Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter to a fight via a Facebook post.

    The provocation stems from the former’s claim that the Beijing-based fighter insulted Eastern traditional martial arts after defeating several practitioners.

    Nam Anh Tuan issued the challenge to Xu Xiaodong on March 24 via the Facebook account of Pierre Francois Flores, Tuan’s fellow Wing Chun practitioner.

    Tuan’s letter stated that Xu Xiaodong had “belittled” and “insulted” Eastern traditional martial arts and as a Wing Chun practitioner, Tuan’s duty was to preserve such arts through a public sparring with Xu.

    The challenge follows 38-year-old Xu's victory over so-called Tai Chi master Wei Lei in just 10 seconds in Chengdu last April, which triggered debates on whether traditional martial arts like Wing Chun and Tai Chi can be effective in real-life combat.

    “Yes, I am planning for a future fight with Xu Xiaodong. However, everything’s still pretty much undecided, and I don’t want to comment further on this upcoming duel,” said Tuan.

    Xu Xiaodong has yet to comment on this public challenge on social media.

    After his 10-second victory over Wei Lei went viral, Xu Xiaodong issued a challenge to all traditional Chinese martial arts masters, saying they are outdated and only good for keeping the body fit, while freestyle fighting and boxing are more effective when it comes to actual combat.

    Just recently, Xu triumphed over Ding Hao, who is considered a distant disciple of Ip Man, a Chinese Wing Chun master, in a duel in Chengde on March 18. Ding Hao later claimed that the video of the fight was edited, and the actual result was a draw.

    Wing Chun is a Southern Chinese martial arts specializing in close combat. The self-defense discipline emphasizes the balance between ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ techniques.

    MMA is a full-contact body sport using techniques from different combat sports and martial arts. The first Ultimate Fighting Championship took place in November 1993, launching the sport into mainstream consciousness.

    Where lies the responsibility for the CarinaPlaza fire?

    Despite holding 95 per cent of Hung Thanh Co., Ltd., 577 Investment Corporation has refused responsibilities as CarinaPlaza’s developer. Meanwhile, Hung Thanh Co., Ltd. has violated numerous regulations while establishing the management board of CarinaPlaza, preparing the construction design, and maintaining the building’s fire prevention and fighting system.

    Four days after the CarinaPlaza fire, which killed 13 people and injured nearly 100, 577 Investment Corporation (NBB) has just sent a letter to the State Securities Commission of Vietnam (SSC) and the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HSX) to explain its role in the project.

    In the letter, chairman of NBB Doan Tuong Trieu confirmed that Hung Thanh was the sole developer of CarinaPlaza, according to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Construction’s decision approving the project. Accordingly, NBB is only a shareholder with 95 per cent of capital contribution in Hung Thanh.

    Meanwhile, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Construction has just specified the violations of Hung Thanh. The department recommended the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee to handle the violations, as well as requested Hung Thanh to quickly fix the apartment building.

    CarinaPlaza was put into operation in 2012. The Ho Chi Minh Fire Department approved the fire prevention and fighting tests of the apartment building, but the developer has yet to submit the test results to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Construction.

    In October 2015, residents sent a letter to provide feedback on establishing the management board as well as poor security and hygienic circumstances. Thereby, the Department of Construction asked District 8’s governance and CarinaPlaza’s developer to hold a meeting, elect a management board, and handle violations. Up to date, the department has yet to receive any report on these issues.

    In December 2016, Hung Thanh rented Saigon Real Estate JSC (SEJCO) to manage and operate CarinaPlaza. However, there were no terms on the regular maintenance of the elevator system, fire alarms and firefighting system or firefighting equipment.

    When the fire started in CarinaPlaza several days ago, the fire alarms did not go off, the automatic sprinklers in the building did not start and the emergency lighting did not turn on during the fire.
    According to newswire plo.vn, between 2012 and 2017, Ho Chi Minh City’s firefighters checked the fire safety of this apartment building 21 times and three times detected that the automatic fire alarms were not active, the firefighting water supply system and the fire hydrant outdoors were not working, and emergency lights did not turn on.

    At the end of 2017, when firefighters checked the building, no violations were detected. However, when the fire started in CarinaPlaza several days ago, the fire alarms did not go off, the automatic sprinklers in the building did not start and the emergency lighting did not turn on during the fire. The fire doors in the building had also been wedged open with bricks, allowing smoke to billow up to residential floors, causing the deaths of most of the 13 victims.

    Therefore, the Ho Chi Minh City Fire Department has been appointed to check and review the entire fire prevention and fighting system and test the fire safety of CarinaPlaza. The police in Ho Chi Minh City have just launched a criminal investigation into alleged violations behind the fire.

    Construction of Vam Sat No.2 Bridge starts

    The Urban Traffic Management Board No. 4 under the HCMC Department of Transport yesterday started the construction of Vam Sat No.2 Bridge spanning VamSatRiver in Ly Nhon commune of outlying Can Gio district, HCMC.

    The bridge project includes the 432.7-meter bridge, roads to the bridge and light system and other subsidiary construction.

    The bridge has width of 10 meter, and the path to the bridge is 647 meter long.

    Total spending for the construction is VND342 billion ($14,985,171) taken from Ho Chi Minh City’s state budget. It is planned to build the bridge in 580 days; however, the management board promised to beef up speed.

    Before, in 2005, the Vam Sat No.1 was built and open to the traffic yet it has low loading capacity and it is just 4 meter wide with one lane only; accordingly, it can’t satisfy travelling demand of residents in Ly Nhon commune only.

    Over 3,000 students join Olympic Run Day parade

    More than 3,000 school children from 67 primary schools in HCMC on Sunday morning joined an outdoor gymnastics parade in Nguyen Hue pedestrian square in downtown area in response to the Olympic Run Day for Public Health 2018.

    The parade is part of the “Active Vietnam” initiated by Nestlé’s Milo brand in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Training and Vietnam Sports Administration to improve the physical fitness among primary students nationwide.

    Ganesan Ampalavanar, managing director of Nestle Vietnam, said this was the first year that Nestle’s Milo brand had participated in the Olympic Run Day, with an aim to build a healthy and active lifestyle for younger Vietnamese generations.

    The Olympic Run Day has become one of the annual sporting activities in HCMC and saw the participation of more than 5,000 local residents in this year’s event.

    New Zealand raises US$30,000 to support poor girls in HCMC

    The New Zealand Food and Wine Festival which took place at the RMIT University campus in District 7 late last week raised US$30,000 from ticket sales, and the New Zealand Embassy in Vietnam has announced the money will be used to help less fortunate girls at Ba Chieu Girls Shelter in HCMC.

    The festival has become one of New Zealand’s annual activities with the goal to showcase its strength in the fields of food and beverage and further foster economic ties between Vietnam and New Zealand.

    New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam Wendy Matthews said the bilateral ties have ascended in recent years which can be obviously witnessed in various fields such as education, economics, trade and tourism.

    Two-way trade between the two countries last year totaled US$1.5 billion, a 33% year-on-year pickup against 2016. Both countries are well on track to achieve the target of US$1.7 billion in two-way trade by 2020, Wendy added.

    The shelter, which was founded in 1996 by Celia Caughey, former New Zealand Consul General in HCMC, is now home to hundreds of abandoned and orphaned girls and has gained support from the Kiwi community in Vietnam over the past years.

    Metropole Hanoi debuts $14,000 bottle of Beluga Epicure Vodka 

    The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is used to selling rooms and suites, exquisite dinners and bottles of vintage wine, some so precious they’ve fetched 100 million Vietnamese dong. But last week, the hotel trumped all previous luxurious moves with a bottle of vodka that costs a whopping 295 million Vietnamese dong.

    The bottle of Beluga Epicure by Lalique hasn’t sold yet. It has been installed though, under lock and key, in a place of prominence in the hotel’s Angelina restaurant. 

    Borne of wheat from the Russian steppes and water tapped from Siberian bedrock, Epicure is a collaboration between Russian vodka company, Beluga, and French crystal maker, Lalique, which produces each crystal decanter by hand in the company’s workshops in Alsace, France. Master polishers then refine the contrast between the clear and satin-finished crystal, before engraving a serial number on the bottom of each decanter.

    The decanters are then sent to the Mariinsk Distillery in Siberia, where Beluga production facilities have been producing vodka for more than 100 years. The vodka is made exclusively out of malted wheat, flavoured with vanilla and honey, and undergoes a ‘resting’ period of 100 days.

    Beluga Epicure by Lalique was launched last year and is among the seven most expensive vodkas in the world. With only 1,000 crystal decanters produced, the limited-edition vodka is currently only available for sale in Vietnam at the Metropole.

    Designed in an Art nouveau style, the decanters feature an enigmatic female nude figure surrounded by ears of wheat - a symbol of harvest and fertility.

    Passengers can buy train ticket via Viettel

    Train passengers will soon be able to buy tickets on a smartphone app or at agents of Viettel, with various facilities offering a better experience for commuters, according to a deal clinched yesterday between Vietnam Railways (VNR) and Viettel Group.

    The two parties will join hands to research and transfer technologies to issue cards for passengers enabling them to pay fares, check tickets and make purchases at the VNR stores, said Viettel’s deputy general director Hoang Son. Moreover, wifi and entertaining facilities like music, movies, books and shopping will be featured after this agreement, he added.

    The agreement also opens the door for the future cooperation of the two firms in logistics, VNR stations and carriage merchandise, and effectively connecting different modes of transportation.

    VNR’s general director Vu Ta Tung said the objective of this agreement is to develop and apply information technology in managing and operating railway services to offer better convenience for passengers and enterprises using railway transport.

    Viettel also pledged to prioritize railways for transferring goods and parcels.

    ASEAN, Japan medical teams join disaster response drill

    A three-day regional collaboration drill beginning on March 26 at Hoa Xuan Stadium in the central city of Da Nang drew more than 200 members of emergency medical teams (EMTs) from 10 ASEAN countries and Japan to test medical response to disasters.

    A three-day regional collaboration drill draws  more than 200 members of emergency medical teams (EMTs) from 10 ASEAN countries and Japan to test medical response to disasters. (Photo: Bao Da Nang)

    The drill challenged participants to respond to a ‘super typhoon’ with wind speeds of 200km per hour sweeping central provinces from Thua Thien-Hue to Quang Ngai, killing 500 people and wounding 800 others. In the training scenario, dozens of living quarters were isolated and nearly 10,000 victims were taken to hospitals.

    ASEAN countries then responded to a call for help from Vietnam through the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance and EMTs were sent to disaster-hit areas in Vietnam with air cargo containing logistics and medical equipment.

    The drill tested three regional and two provincial medical coordination centres in which EMTs received and provided first aid and medical services for victims who were then transferred to higher-level health providers if necessary. The EMTs also evaluated medical needs in storm-hit villages.

    Vietnam and other ASEAN states have proactively joined in the project on strengthening the ASEAN regional capacity on disaster health management since 2015.

    USAID-funded project to improve biodiversity in Quang Nam

    The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the US$24 million Green Annamites Project in Tam Ky city, the central province of Quang Nam on March 27 to help it preserve local biodiversity and improve people’s livelihoods.

    The project aims to better manage more than 400,000 hectares of natural forest and protect endangered plants and animals. It also looks to improve the livelihoods of 20,000 forest-dependent people in Quang Nam and neighbouring Thua Thien-Hue provinces.

    The project will be carried out in 11 cities and districts of Quang Nam until 2021 with total investment of more than US$14 million.

    Forests play a crucial role in Vietnam by protecting watersheds which slow soil erosion and alleviate climate change. Forests in the Annamites Range of Vietnam are home to rare and endemic species found nowhere else in the world.  

    However, in recent times, these forests, and the species that live in them, are disappearing at an alarming rate, as nearby communities increasingly depend on these limited resources for their livelihoods.

    In such context, the USAID Green Annamites Project will engage small-hold farmers and their families to boost livelihoods and increase investment in climate-smart agriculture in Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam while maintaining the natural biodiversity of these provinces.

    It will help the two target provinces reduce deforestation and forest degradation, and restore degraded landscapes. From partnering with the private sector, which sources materials from forests and local farmers, to introducing improved farming practices and strengthening market access, the project will help local forest-dependent communities diversify and adopt sustainable livelihoods.

    The project also includes actions for improving forest conservation planning, increasing the knowledge and skills of local forest managers and decision makers and helping local communities live in harmony with protected forests.

    Climate change directly threatens Vietnam’s sustainable development goals. To accelerate its transition to low-emission development, the country has collaborated with USAID to better respond to climate change through adaptation, sustainable landscapes and clean energy programmes in recent years.


    ASEAN, Japan medical teams join disaster response drill

    A three-day regional collaboration drill beginning on March 26 at Hoa Xuan Stadium in the central city of Da Nang drew more than 200 members of emergency medical teams (EMTs) from 10 ASEAN countries and Japan to test medical response to disasters.

    A three-day regional collaboration drill draws  more than 200 members of emergency medical teams (EMTs) from 10 ASEAN countries and Japan to test medical response to disasters. (Photo: Bao Da Nang)

    The drill challenged participants to respond to a ‘super typhoon’ with wind speeds of 200km per hour sweeping central provinces from Thua Thien-Hue to Quang Ngai, killing 500 people and wounding 800 others. In the training scenario, dozens of living quarters were isolated and nearly 10,000 victims were taken to hospitals.

    ASEAN countries then responded to a call for help from Vietnam through the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance and EMTs were sent to disaster-hit areas in Vietnam with air cargo containing logistics and medical equipment.

    The drill tested three regional and two provincial medical coordination centres in which EMTs received and provided first aid and medical services for victims who were then transferred to higher-level health providers if necessary. The EMTs also evaluated medical needs in storm-hit villages.

    Vietnam and other ASEAN states have proactively joined in the project on strengthening the ASEAN regional capacity on disaster health management since 2015.

    USAID-funded project to improve biodiversity in Quang Nam

    The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the US$24 million Green Annamites Project in Tam Ky city, the central province of Quang Nam on March 27 to help it preserve local biodiversity and improve people’s livelihoods.

    The project aims to better manage more than 400,000 hectares of natural forest and protect endangered plants and animals. It also looks to improve the livelihoods of 20,000 forest-dependent people in Quang Nam and neighbouring Thua Thien-Hue provinces.

    The project will be carried out in 11 cities and districts of Quang Nam until 2021 with total investment of more than US$14 million.

    Forests play a crucial role in Vietnam by protecting watersheds which slow soil erosion and alleviate climate change. Forests in the Annamites Range of Vietnam are home to rare and endemic species found nowhere else in the world.  

    However, in recent times, these forests, and the species that live in them, are disappearing at an alarming rate, as nearby communities increasingly depend on these limited resources for their livelihoods.

    In such context, the USAID Green Annamites Project will engage small-hold farmers and their families to boost livelihoods and increase investment in climate-smart agriculture in Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam while maintaining the natural biodiversity of these provinces.

    It will help the two target provinces reduce deforestation and forest degradation, and restore degraded landscapes. From partnering with the private sector, which sources materials from forests and local farmers, to introducing improved farming practices and strengthening market access, the project will help local forest-dependent communities diversify and adopt sustainable livelihoods.

    The project also includes actions for improving forest conservation planning, increasing the knowledge and skills of local forest managers and decision makers and helping local communities live in harmony with protected forests.

    Climate change directly threatens Vietnam’s sustainable development goals. To accelerate its transition to low-emission development, the country has collaborated with USAID to better respond to climate change through adaptation, sustainable landscapes and clean energy programmes in recent years.

    VNN

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  • 03/29/18--01:59: Article 0
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 29/3


    Vietnamese firms urged to deeply explore Cuban market

    Vietnamese enterprises need to devise specific business strategies and fully tap opportunities to further partner with Cuban firms, thus expanding their operation in the country, a Vietnamese official has said.

    According to Do Viet Phuong, Head of the Vietnamese Commercial Affairs Office in Cuba, many Vietnamese enterprises have sought trade and investment cooperation opportunities in Cuba in recent years, especially in the domains of tourism, health care, construction, consumer goods, electronics, aquaculture and real estate.

    Notably, a Vietnamese Government-supported rice production project helped Cuba increase its rice yield to 4.4 tonnes/ha from 2.4 tonnes/ha in previous time, meeting about 50 percent of the domestic demand. The rice cultivation area was also expanded from 137,000 ha to 200,000 ha.

    More importantly, the project has helped Cuban farmers acquire and master paddy growing techniques. The Vietnamese side will support Cuba in the fifth period of the project.

    A number of cooperation project between the two sides are on the progress, including those in real estate, consumer goods and beverage production, and pottery and ceramics.

    Phuong, however, noted that Vietnam’s investors are still facing many difficulties as the foreign currency liquidity of the Cuban banks is still slow, and legal procedures related to business registration are complicated.

    The Vietnamese Government should simplify policies on capital to make it easier for enterprises to improve their competitiveness in the Cuban market, he said, adding that it is necessary to organise events to provide more information related the Cuban market to Vietnamese businesses.

    In 2017, two-way trade between Vietnam and Cuba reached 224.3 million USD, of which Vietnam’s exports to Cuba valued at 217 million USD and its imports from the Latin American market stood at 7.3 million USD.

    According to Pham Thiet Hoa, Director of the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) in Ho Chi Minh City, Cuba’s import from Vietnam accounted for only 3.5 percent in its total import turnover in 2016.

    He highlighted that Vietnamese firms have many opportunities to invest in Cuba, especially in tourism, agriculture, telecommunication, consumer goods production, footwear and textiles.

    Cuba is seen as a potential market, which can help Vietnam expand cooperation and exchange with other countries in the Latin American and Caribbean regions, he said. 

    Recently, ITPC in collaboration with the Cuban Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City to hold a workshop to update Vietnamese enterprises on market information and investment incentives of Cuba, thus helping them roll out right orientations to access the potential market.

    It also hosted a field trip for a delegation of Vietnamese firms to Havana and Vinales cities of Cuba from March 8-17, offering them a chance to understand more about consumption culture of Cuban people, and seek partners as well, Hoa said.

    The Cuban Government clearly stated its policy of investment attraction to promote domestic production through issuing a new legal framework on foreign investment management and encouragement. It also established Mariel Special Economic Development Zone to call for foreign investment with many incentives. 

    Meanwhile, the Vietnamese Government always encourages and creates the best possible conditions for businesses of the two sides to expand cooperation in order to make the economic and trade ties on par with bilateral political relations as well as the special time-honoured friendship.

    The two countries have set to achieve a trade value of 500 million USD by 2020.

    The State visit to Cuba by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong from March 28-30 is hoped to consolidate political ties and beef up bilateral cooperation in economy, trade and investment.

    Vietnamese, French firms urged to foster partnerships

    As Vietnam and France hold huge potential for economic, trade and investment cooperation, businesses of the two nations should enhance partnerships by capitalising on their advantages, thus serving development needs in each country, said Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.

    Minh was speaking at a meeting between officials of the Vietnamese Government, ministries and sectors and leaders of French businesses in Paris on March 27. The event was part of an official visit to France by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong.

    The Vietnamese officials included Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha, and leaders of the Ministries of Planning and Investment, Science and Technology, Justice, and Construction.

    Many big businesses of France were also present at the event such as aircraft manufacturer Airbus, electricity company EDF, infrastructure construction group VINCI, oil and gas company Total, energy company Air Liquide, environment firm SUEZ, and tyre producer Michelin.

    Amid the increasingly practical strategic partnership between Vietnam and France, economic cooperation and business connectivity have enjoyed positive development and affirmed important role in the bilateral relations.

    At the meeting, representatives of the Vietnamese ministries and sectors provided much information about the country’s policies in various fields, including clean and renewable energy development, oil and gas exploration and exploitation, petrochemistry, clean water supply and wastewater treatment, climate change adaptation, environment, transport development, and projects under public-private partnership or build-operate-transfer forms.

    Leaders of the French enterprises lauded Vietnam’s economic and integration achievements as well as the Vietnamese Government’s efforts to improve the investment climate and promote sustainable development.

    They expressed their wish to engage effectively in development and investment projects in Vietnam, thereby creating new driving forces for economic, trade and investment ties between the two countries.


    Domestic pharmaceuticals stocks send good vibes to Abbott and Taisho


     

    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

    Since the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2018, pharmaceutical stocks have been forecast to thrive as bustling activities such as state divestitures, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and notable investments from foreign healthcare firms are being announced left and right.

    Speaking about the investment and divestment activities between Vietnam-based pharmaceuticals and foreign investors, a representative of State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) disclosed that 34.71 per cent capital at Domesco Medical Import Export Joint Stock Corporation (HSX: DMC) is on its divestment agenda in April.

    US-based multinational healthcare firm Abbott has already expressed a wish to participate in the divestment.

    In late 2017, Latin American CFR International SpA, DMC’s former largest shareholder, transferred its entire ownership of 51.69 per cent to its parent company, Chile-based Abbott Laboratories Holdco SpA shortly before the firm’s extraordinary general shareholders’ meeting. In 2018 the Vietnam-based firm plans to acquire VND1.468 trillion ($64.44 million) in sales revenues and VND225 billion ($9.87 million) in pre-tax profit which would be 9.6 and 8 per cent higher than in 2017.

    The ratio of EV/EBITDA (enterprise value over earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) among seven randomly selected Vietnam-based pharmaceuticals ranged from 17 to 19 throughout M&As.

    Likewise, DHG Pharmaceutical JSC (HSX: DHG) plans to present its target of raising foreign ownership at the firm to 100 per cent at the March 28 AGM.

    DHG also aimed at merging with its two subsidiaries, MTV DHG1 JSC (specialised in packaging printing) and MTV DHG Pharmaceuticals JSC, expecting to earn VND4.017 trillion ($176.34 million) in sales revenue and VND768 billion ($33.71 million) in after-tax profit by the end of 2018.

    In addition, the starting price of DHG's stocks is expected to hit VND130,000-145,000 ($5.71-6.37) once the merger with its two subsidiaries is finalised on July 1 and its plan of increasing foreign ownership in the second quarter of 2018 is approved by shareholders.

    Previously, Japan-based Taisho Pharmaceutical, DHG's key shareholder, disclosed its expectation to raise ownership at the Vietnamese pharmaceutical firm.

    According to Ho Chi Minh City Securities Company (HSC), the ratio of EV/EBITDA (enterprise value over earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) among seven randomly selected Vietnam-based pharmaceuticals ranged from 17 to 19 throughout M&As.

    Nexen Tech builds first manufacturing facility in Vietnam

    The Republic of Korea (RoK)'s Nexen Tech established a new facility to improve production capacity to meet customer demand and enhance its competitiveness through the systematic production of specialised parts for hybrid and electric vehicles.

    A pioneer in automation, Nexen Tech Corporation Limited Company has realised its expansion strategy to Southeast Asia by developing a new facility in Gia Phu Industrial Complex (Ninh Binh) which is 140 kilometres from HaiphongPort.

    Nexen Tech signed a memorandum of understanding with Hoang Dan Investment and Construction Single Member Limited Company on land leasing for the construction project.

    The signing ceremony was attended by Nguyen Cao Son, director of the Ninh Binh Department of Planning and Investment, Lee Hyun Chul, vice chairman of Nexen Tech, and Nguyen Van Dan, director of Hoang Dan.

    The facility will focus on manufacturing wiring harness—the company's flagship product with a production volume of about 450,000 products a year—used in large and small buses as well as battery module harness (battery module system) and electric vehicle charger cables, among others, to prepare for a forecast boom in hybrid electric vehicles from 2020.

    The company also plans to increase the product volume for automakers in Southeast Asia who are rapidly growing, and then expand outside of Asia with the hopes of reaching the global market.

    Nexen Tech is currently operating two manufacturing facilities in Qingdao (China), named GoHyeon and RaeSeo. The third plant will be built with a total area of 63,5000sq.m and a construction area of 45,000sq.m. After receiving approval for the environmental assessment report in June, the company will hold the ground-breaking ceremony in July.

    Nexen Tech is showing very positive moves in opening up the Southeast Asian market to access new growth drivers.

    Earlier this March, Nexen Tech partnered up with Volex from the UK, which is expanding its business network with wiring harness, including the exclusive supply of Tesla Model 3 rechargeable cables expected to be launched in 2018.

    Thus, Nexen Tech's products have the potential to be used in electric vehicles developed by Tesla or equipment from Dyson UK.

    "This new plant will be our next step in entering Southeast Asia. We will build and operate this plant with a long-term vision through competitive products,” said Hoon.

    Hong Leong Bank Vietnam appoints new CEO

    Mr. Duong Duc Hung has been officially appointed as General Director of Hong Leong Bank Vietnam.

    Mr. Hung has more than 20 years of experience in finance and banking services in Vietnam and abroad. Prior to joining Hong Leong Bank, he was a member of the Board of Directors and Transformation Director at Techcombank and Head of Retail Banking at ANZ Vietnam. He holds a BA in Foreign Trade from the ForeignTradeUniversity and a Master of Business Administration from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.

    Hong Leong Bank Vietnam was established in 2009 and has three branches and transaction offices in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and southern Binh Duong province. It is connected with more than 16,000 ATMs and 100,000 card acceptance points around the country.

    It was the first Southeast Asian bank to be granted a license to operate a wholly-owned foreign commercial bank in Vietnam. Commencing operations in Ho Chi Minh City in October 2009, it has expanded its network to four outlets.

    Hong Leong Bank Berhad, a public listed company on BursaMalaysia, is a member of the Hong Leong Group Malaysia. Headquartered in Malaysia, the Group has been in the financial services industry since 1968 through Hong Leong Finance Berhad and since 1982 through Dao Heng Bank Ltd. in Hong Kong. Dao Heng Bank Ltd. has since been sold to another banking institution.

    Hong Leong Bank started from humble beginnings in 1905 in Kuching, Sarawak, under the name Kwong Lee Mortgage and Remittance Company and later, in 1934, incorporated as Kwong Lee Bank Ltd. In 1989, it was renamed MUI Bank, operating 35 branches. In January 1994, the Group acquired MUI Bank through Hong Leong Credit Berhad (now known as the Hong Leong Financial Group Berhad). This milestone saw the birth of Hong Leong Bank and in October the same year, Hong Leong Bank was listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (now known as BursaMalaysia).

    In 2004, the finance company business of Hong Leong Finance Berhad was acquired by Hong Leong Bank. With more than 100 years of banking knowledge and experience, Hong Leong Bank today has a strong heritage, leading market position and a well-recognized business franchise and brand.

    In 2011, it completed a merger with the EON Bank Group. The merger effectively transforms the bank into a banking group with more than RM145 billion ($370.5 billion) in assets and an expanded network of 329 branches nationwide.

    Today, Hong Leong Bank has over 300 branches and sales and business centers in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Vietnam and a comprehensive range of alternate and electronic channels, including self-service terminals, the HongLeongCallCenter, Hong Leong Online, Hong Leong Phone Banking, and Hong Leong Mobile Banking.

    It is enlarging its regional footprint. In mid-2008, it officially became the first Malaysian bank to enter the Chinese banking sector, with a 20 per cent strategic shareholding in the Bank of Chengdu. In December 2008, it became the first and only Malaysian and Southeast Asian bank to be granted a license to incorporate and operate a 100 per cent wholly-owned commercial bank in Vietnam.

    JLL's keys to sustainable integrated developments

    The number of integrated development real estate projects has increased substantially within Vietnam’s residential market over the last four years, according to the latest report from JLL Vietnam, but the quality of these developments differs due to the varying levels of experience among developers and the level of funding available.

    The report pointed out the keys to sustainable integrated development. First is fresh air and a high-quality landscape, with a focus on shaded areas.

    Premium parks and public spaces benefit integrated projects by creating sustainable value economically, socially and environmentally. Green space is a vital part of everyday life for urban Vietnamese. The EcoparkTownship in Hung Yen province, 50 minutes away from Hanoi, is a successful case study. Its three major parks occupying almost 10 ha makes it excellent for weekend picnics for both residents and Hanoi city-dwellers alike.

    Second is convenient and available transportation. Most integrated projects will be developed in outskirt areas in the future due to land limitations. Close proximity to the CBD is no longer important due to improving infrastructure, but convenient transportation enabling easy travel to surrounding areas is a strong competitive advantage.

    In remote areas without available planned infrastructure, developers can look into providing their own transportation, such as shuttle bus services to various key locations within the city.

    Third, walkable and lively neighborhoods are also an important element. Vietnamese customarily enjoy walking, spending time in parks, and communicating with their neighbors. Developers should therefore leverage shop house developments along internal roads and main roads to create an active street scene. This has been successfully achieved at the Phu My Hung township in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Fourth, careful massing of buildings and a variety in architecture design together with meticulous consideration for human scale will allow for a livable public space. Avoiding a monotonous building expression will provide a delightful pedestrian experience and enhance the living environment. One good example is the Thu Thiem new urban area in Ho Chi Minh City, with careful master planning consulted by Sasaki Ltd.

    High-level education infrastructure is the final element, as education is one of the top priorities for Vietnamese parents. This is an opportunity for developers to incorporate schools into the infrastructure and create a competitive edge. Vingroup has been successful by including their schooling operations into their townships.

    Other than the plain mono-function residential cluster, the integrated development term refers to a neighborhood or township development with mixed-use components, such as residential, retail, institutions, leisure and more, where residents can live, work and play. It comprises multifunctional and interconnected buildings that focus on the surrounding environment to ensure a harmonious “street-scape” and architecture.

    Savills Vietnam to manage Vimefulland projects

    The Vimedimex Group’s Vimefulland project has officially appointed Savills Vietnam as the exclusive manager of all its property developments. 

    These include Belleville Hanoi, The Emerald and The Eden Rose, which have been under Savills’ management since last year and their latest residential projects, Iris Garden and Athena Fulland.

    Iris Garden is a 2.2 ha development at 30 Tran Huu Duc Street in Hanoi, adjacent to the major junction of the key city routes of Thang Long Avenue, Ring Road No. 3, Le Duc Tho and Ham Nghi Street. It has an excellent location with leading schools, universities and several hospitals all easily accessible as well as extensive shopping and entertainment facilities nearby, such as the Pedagogical University, the National University, the Academy of Journalism and Communications, FPT University, the University of Commerce, My Dinh sports complex, Hospital 198, and the National Institute of Blood and Blood Transfusion. 

    It comprises five towers providing 1,128 apartments in total. The fully-integrated resident facilities include a shopping mall, supermarket, healthcare services, restaurants, a kindergarten, pools and tennis courts.

    Athena Fulland, with two main areas, Athens and Larissa, on a total area of 27 ha, is a mixed-use project developed by Vimefulland with a wide variety of residential and commercial products: condominiums, townhouses, villas, and office-tels. 

    It offers many five-star facilities, including green landscapes, schools, a shopping mall, a spa, a gym, and a restaurant, offering future residents a convenient and modern lifestyle. 

    With a particular emphasis on healthcare facilities, Vimefulland integrated a 550-bed family clinic and a mini pharmacy in Iris Garden, Athens and Larissa.

    Construction of both projects got underway in late 2017.

    Mr. Matthew Powell, Director of Savills Hanoi, told the signing ceremony with the Vimedimex Group that it is its honor to have long term cooperation with the group and Vimefulland, particularly in the two new residential projects of Iris Garden and Athena Fulland. “The cooperation in the early stages of the projects demonstrates the efforts of both the developer and Savills in achieving a well-designed and well-managed property,” he added. “As our mutual goal is to improve the product and services provided to future residents, Savills believes our cooperation is a strategic move by Vimefulland in solidifying its position in Vietnam’s property market.”

    Korean Nexen Tech plans VN factory
       
    Nexen Tech Ltd Co from the Republic of Korea will begin construction of its first factory at the Gia Phu Industrial Complex in the northern Ninh Binh province in July.

    Earlier last week, the company inked a memorandum of understanding with the construction firm Hoang Dan - the complex’s investor - on a land lease for the factory, baodautu.vn reported.

    The factory will manufacturing wiring harnesses - Nexen Tech ’s flagship product with a production volume of about 450,000 products a year - used in large and small buses as well as battery module harnesses and electric vehicle charger cables.

    The company said it plans to provide more products for automakers in Southeast Asia who are rapidly growing, and then expand outside of Asia to reach the global market. Nexen Tech is currently operating two other factories in Qingdao, China.

    Nexen Tech’s managing director Kim Jeong Hoon described the establishment of the plan in Viet Nam as an another step for his company to tap into Southeast Asian markets.

    Industry goals for the coming years
       
    Viet Nam’s industry will contribute 40 per cent to the national GDP by 2030, according to a newly issued resolution.

    Under Resolution 23-NQ/TW to develop the national industry until 2030, with a vision up to 2045, issued recently by the Politburo, the processing and manufacturing industries will make up some 30 per cent.

    The value of high-tech processing and manufacturing products is targeted to reach at least 45 per cent, while industrial labour productivity will increase by 7.5 per cent on average annually.

    The industrial growth rate will average over 8.5 per cent, of which the processing and manufacturing industry will see a rise of 10 per cent yearly.

    The resolution also sets the country’s competitive industrial performance index among the top three countries in the ASEAN, while the percentage of workers in the industrial and service sectors is over 70 per cent.

    Under the new plan, the Politburo aims to finalise the country’s industrialisation and modernisation targets and become one of the top three countries in industry in the ASEAN by 2030.

    To meet the targets, Viet Nam will focus on changing the restructuring of the industry, besides issuing policies on business, investment, human resources and science and technology to develop the industry, especially prioritised segments.

    Some large industrial clusters will also be built to link domestic industrial enterprises and help them gain international competitiveness.

    According to experts, the development of the industry will be the key driver to boost the country’s GDP growth in the first quarter of this year.

    The National Centre for Socio-Economic Information and Forecast (NCIF) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment estimated the GDP growth in Q1 will be 6.23 per cent, much higher than the 5.15 per cent seen in the same period last year. Of this growth, industry and construction will lead all sectors, with a growth rate of 6.87 per cent.

    Dang Duc Anh, head of the NCIF’s Department of Analysis and Forecast, said the surge of 17 per cent in the manufacturing and processing industries in the first two months of this year will drive the whole industry sector.

    GDP growth in 2018 is now predicted to hit 6.83 per cent, higher than the NCIF’s forecast in December last year.

    The Government’s efforts to remove challenges for businesses are expected to help boost the industry and construction sectors, NCIF said.

    Major projects in the processing and manufacturing sectors and the newly signed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership are predicted to lift investment and trade.

    The GSO’s Business Sentiment Survey of manufacturing and processing enterprises released recently also showed that 48.2 per cent of businesses were optimistic that the trend would improve, 35.7 per cent of businesses believed business would be stable and 16.1 per cent of enterprises predicted more difficulties.

    Nha Trang to host exhibition and conference on science and technology for agricultural development
       
    The exhibition and conference "Science and Technology for Agricultural Development in the South Central Coast - Central Highlands in 2018" will be held in Khanh Hoa Province’s Nha Trang city from June 28 to July 1.

    The programme will feature five main activities: an exhibition introducing agricultural products, and technology and equipment used in the agricultural sector; a conference on science and technology applications in agriculture; a programme to promote investment in technology and technology transfer; an agricultural extension programme; and a technology demonstration.

    The exhibition is expected to have 300-400 booths set up by businesses, co-operatives and farmers from more than 20 provinces and cities.

    Tran Xuan Dich, deputy director of the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said, in addition to tourism, the agricultural sector plays an important role in contributing to social-economic development in the South Central Coast region.

    The region’s agricultural development was still slow compared to its potential, he said, adding that “farmers and businesses need to embrace the application of advanced technologies to create specific products of each locality that are highly competitive in both domestic and export markets.”

    The programme promises to provide a good chance for farmers, businesses, organisations and scientists to exchange information, understand each other’s challenges and enhance co-operation in technology application in the agricultural sector so as to improve product quality and productivity as well as the value of Vietnamese farm produce, he said.

    Phan Thi My Yen, director of the Centre for Viet-Trademark Research Application and Development, said recent research conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development showed that science and technology contributed 30-40 per cent of the agricultural sector’s growth in past years.

    "The figure is expected to increase since more and more businesses have made big investments in the sector," she said.

    The event is organised by the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development and the Centre for Viet-Trademark Research Application and Development in collaboration with the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and Industry and Trade together with 24 localities nationwide.

    Vietnam seeks to develop aquaculture sustainably

    Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong highlighted Vietnam’s determination to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and build a sustainable aquaculture during his recent talks with European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella.

    In an interview with correspondents from Vietnam News Agency in Brussels, the Minister said after receiving a yellow card warning from the EU for failing to prevent IUU fishing on October 23, 2017, Vietnam has carried out a series of action programmes to tackle the issue.

    The country has worked out measures to improve its institutional system and include EU recommendations on IUU fishing into the revised Law on Fisheries, Cuong said.

    After the bill was passed by the National Assembly in late 2017, Vietnam has employed legal regulations, decrees and guiding circulars, he added.

    The country has focused on raising awareness of the sustainable use and management of aquaculture among people, businesses and local authorities.

    Additionally, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has decided to establish a working group to inspect the implementation of IUU regulations, Cuong noted.

    He said he had asked the EU Commissioner to provide technical support and human resources training for Vietnam to promote responsible fishing, as the country is encountering a number of difficulties such as poor infrastructure and equipment, shortage of human and financial resources and limited marine natural resources.

    The visit to the EU and Belgium from March 21-24 is significant to help the EU understand more about Vietnam’s determination to remove the yellow card.

    The EU agreed to work with Vietnam and consider providing financial and technical assistance and human resources training in the long run in addition to helping the Southeast Asian country institutionalise legal documents in line with international practices.

    Promoting effective, legal and sustainable fishing is the common goal of the aquaculture sector, not only in the EU but in all global markets.

    “We need to exert more efforts to achieve this inclusive target,” he said.

    He suggested refining the newly adopted Law on Fisheries and other relevant regulations.

    He also stressed calling for the involvement of society to improve infrastructure for the fishery sector and human resources training; asking all economic sectors, including fishermen and businesses, to strictly follow legal regulations on IUU fishing; and increasing international cooperation.

    FLC Group selects A321neo for Bamboo Airways

    Vietnam’s FLC Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for up to 24 A321neo aircraft for future operation by start-up carrier Bamboo Airways.

    The agreements were signed in Paris on March 26 by Trinh Van Quyet, Chairman of FLC Group and Eric Schulz, Chief Commercial Officer, Airbus during the official visit to France of Nguyễn Phú Trọng, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

    Bamboo Airways is set to begin operations in 2019 with aircraft on lease from third party lessors before taking delivery of the aircraft covered by today’s MOU with Airbus. The carrier will focus on linking international markets to Vietnamese leisure destinations, as well as on selected domestic routes.

    "After evaluating carefully the competing products, FLC Group and Bamboo Airways have selected the A321neo as the most efficient option for our new operation,” said Trinh Van Quyet. “The A321neo will enable us to combine comfort, efficiency and the right capacity for our planned services, which will primarily serve fast growing leisure markets in Vietnam.” 

     “We are proud that the A321neo has been selected by FLC Group,” said Schulz. “This decision once again underscores the position of the A321 as the aircraft of choice in the mid-market segment with its additional capacity and the very lowest operating cost. Vietnam is one of the most vibrant economies in South East Asia and we are proud to play a key role in helping to develop the air transport system in this fast-growing market.”

    FLC Group is one of the largest conglomerates in Vietnam and is involved in a wide range of businesses including real estate development, hotel construction and management, financial services, and mining. Bamboo will in particular serve destinations where FLC Group has heavily invested in tourism infrastructure.

    The A321 is the largest member of the A320 Family, seating up to 240 passengers, depending on cabin configuration. Incorporating the latest engines, aerodynamic advances, and cabin innovations, the A321neo offers a significant reduction in fuel consumption of 20 percent by 2020. It offers the longest range of any single-aisle aircraft and is capable of flying up to 4,000 nautical miles non-stop.

    Pearson and EMG open new test centres in Vietnam

    Pearson, the creator of the Pearson Test of English Academic, the world’s leading computer-based English language test, has opened two new test centres in Vietnam in co-operation with EMG Education, providing Vietnamese students with more choice and access to the English language tests required to study internationally or pursue further studies within Vietnam.

    The test centres in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will offer the Pearson Test of English Academic, recognised by leading universities worldwide

    The opening ceremonies will take place on March 27 for the Ho Chi Minh City test centre and March 29 for Hanoi’s centre.

    David Barnett, managing director of Pearson Asia Pacific, said, “The opening of these two new test centres, in partnership with EMG Education, demonstrates Pearson’s commitment to providing greater choice and access to English language testing for students in Vietnam.”

    “We are very pleased to be working alongside EMG and feel confident in the benefits this partnership will bring to Vietnamese learners. Pearson is proud to support the aspirations of Vietnamese students,” he added.

    With a focus on fair, impartial marks and typically offering results within five business days, PTE Academic scores are now accepted as evidence of English language proficiency by thousands of academic programmes around the world. These include all universities in Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland; 95 per cent of UK universities; most Canadian universities; and a growing number of institutions in the USA, including HarvardBusinessSchool and Yale. PTE Academic is also accepted for all visa categories by the Department of Home Affairs in Australia as well as by New Zealand immigration.

    Nguyen Phuong Lan, CEO and vice chairwoman of EMG Education, said, “EMG Education is very pleased to work alongside such a reputable partner as Pearson to bring further benefits to Vietnamese learners.

    “EMG Education is a leading education organisation in Vietnam. Our primary objective is to create opportunities for young Vietnamese learners to achieve internationally-recognised qualifications and succeed on a global stage. In 2017, EMG Education officially became a strategic partner of Pearson Education, by which we hope to provide Vietnamese students with further access to world-leading qualifications, such as PTE Academic,” she added.

    Pearson is the world’s leading education company with 35,000 employees in more than 70 countries, working to help people of all ages make measurable progress in their lives through learning.

    Mekong Delta prioritizes processing industry, transport infrastructure

    The revised planning for the Mekong Delta until 2030 with a vision towards 2050 targets sustainable growth and adaptation to climate change, with a focus on developing the processing industry and upgrading transport infrastructure.

    Addressing the launch of the region’s revised planning in Can Tho City last Friday, head of the Ministry of Construction’s Planning and Architecture Department Tran Thu Hang said that the industrial development will be oriented towards processing agricultural, forestry, aquaculture products and food.

    In addition, the region will work towards developing material areas, diversifying products, expanding consumption markets, promoting supporting industries, and encouraging investments in clean and renewable energy.

    According to Hang, operations of existing industrial parks will be optimized, including enhancement of the processing industry and supporting industries for the agricultural sector. Industrial parks (IPs) have a combined area of 15,000-17,000 hectares towards 2030, and such parks may expand to 20,000-24,000 after 2030. There will be a restriction on establishing new IPs if occupancy at existing ones is low.

    Regarding the planned locations of such industrial parks, Hang said that multi-sectoral IPs are mainly established in Long An and Tien Giang provinces, which have a total of some 10,000 hectares and are close to HCMC. Meanwhile, industrial parks for agricultural and seafood processing and energy with 1,500-1,800 hectares are in Can Tho City.

    Energy and seafood processing facilities are also located in other provinces like Ca Mau, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang and Kien Giang. BacLieuProvince is associated with energy centers and sea economy, according to Hang. 

    As for the transport sector, under the revised planning towards 2030, transport infrastructure will be upgraded and built anew to have a well-connected transport network besides improving urban public transport and connecting cities by modern, environmentally friendly means of transport.

    With road transport, more expressways will be developed, including the extension of the HCMC-Trung Luong-Can Tho expressway to Ca Mau, and development of Ha Tien-Rach Gia-Bac Lieu-Chau Doc-Can Tho-Soc Trang expressway. In addition, the region will upgrade major roads including some 20 national highways and highway sections.

    The region’s transport infrastructure development also includes building bypasses and upgrading important provincial roads connected to national highways.

    Regarding water transport, tasks for the coming years are upgrading roads to ports in the Tien and Hau rivers, the Ca Mau peninsula area and the western-sea area to meet passenger and cargo transport needs, as well as upgrading management facilities to ensure maritime safety.

    Inland waterways will be developed in association with road infrastructure to increase the entire region’s transport capacities.

    HCMC-Can Tho and Can Tho-Ca Mau railways will be built in accordance with the master plan for railway development until 2020 with a vision towards 2030, Hang said.

    Housing supply increases despite tightened credit

    Many banks have tightened credit for the real estate sector, which is evident in outstanding loans and higher interest rates but real estate supply is still increasing.

    The Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) has raised interest rates for home loans by 0.7-0.9% per annum, according to Thanh Nien newspaper. BIDV’s current preferential interest rate for home buyers in the first 12 months is 8.5% per year while the rate for the following years is the average deposit rate plus a certain percentage.

    Do Minh Toan, general director of Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), said the bank is restricting real estate loans, which currently account for less than 10% of the bank’s total outstanding loans.

    “We target customers who buy their first or second house and pay off the loans using their monthly wages while refusing individuals and businesses who buy houses and apartments for speculative purposes,” Toan said.

    Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) branch in HCMC, said real estate loans of banks nationwide account for 10.9% of total outstanding loans at present, a slight increase compared to end-2017. The lending rates are also higher than that of other sectors, ranging from 9% to 12% per annum.

    According to the National Financial Supervisory Commission (NFSC), real estate and construction loans account for 16.1% and consumption loans 18.3% of the country’s total outstanding loans, meaning more than VND2,000 trillion (US$87.75 billion).

    Notably, housing supply is increasing despite tightened real estate lending requirements. Dat Xanh Group said it sold more than 22,100 units last year and will launch another 28,000 units this year.

    After staying muted on the market last year, Novaland Group has plans to come back by launching a number of projects in eastern HCMC. Hung Thinh Corp. will launch some 12,000 units while many other real estate developers have plans to expand their presence in the real estate market.

    Le Hoang Chau, chairman of the HCMC Real Estate Association (HoREA), said real estate firms foresaw the tightening situation and have taken appropriate measures, like cooperating with foreign partners to expand their business and market reach. 

    Nguyen Du Luc, chairman of Hung Loc Phat Co Ltd, said in addition to shaking hands with foreign partners, domestic real estate developers have been more focused on their target market segments. According to Luc, most recent projects are sold out, showing that housing demand remains high.  

    However, some real estate experts said the increased supply and credit tightening policy will affect the real estate market. Real estate companies will have to lower the prices and launch more promotional programs and better after-sale service to lure buyers.

    Thua Thien-Hue seeks nod for Phu Bai airport upgrade

    ThuaThien-HueProvince is seeking approval from central authorities for upgrading PhuBaiAirport, which has become overloaded, Nguoi Lao Dong reports, citing a provincial leader.

    Chairman of Thua Thien-Hue Nguyen Van Cao said he had a meeting with the Ministry of Transport last Wednesday to ask for support to upgrade the airport which has become overburdened. The airport has a designed capacity of 1.5 million passengers a year, but the number last year already hit 1.75 million, Cao told reporters last week.

    The provincial chairman stressed that infrastructure facilities are adequate, while the air passenger volume is rising by 13% to 17% a year. It is estimated that the number of passengers at the airport will reach some 3-3.5 million after two more years, and some 6.5-7 million by 2025.

    In response, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The underlined the significance of Phu Bai Airport to the development of central Vietnam in general and the province in particular, and said the airport upgrade project was already included in the master plan for aviation transport development to 2020, with a vision towards 2030.

    VND1 trillion in social-home loans to be disbursed soon

    The Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) is ready for disbursing VND1 trillion this year to provide loans for buyers of social houses, which may start in a few weeks, according to a source from the bank.

    The bank’s deputy general director Nguyen Van Ly was quoted by Dan Tri newspaper as saying that procedures for the program have been carried out.

    According to Ly, the bank has prepped for the lending program. When the Ministry of Finance transfers the money, which is in the coming weeks, loans can start flowing to borrowers. The bank has had VND500 billion in hand and is waiting for another VND500 billion from the State budget.

    The preferential rate for this year should be 4.8%, but a final say on this rate will rest with the Government, Ly said.

    Under Decree 100/2015/ND-CP, individual and household borrowers of concessional loans of the VBSP are required to make monthly deposits at the bank in 12 months minimum and with the amounts demanded by the lender. Regarding this rule, Ly said borrowers can get loans and then make deposits or the other way round, but the bank will provide lending products first.

    He added that such deposits are not for clients to get interest but to save money for the lending program.

    Vinh Long urged to become leading province in development

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long to make greater efforts to become a leading locality in terms of development in the next decade with its economy and local people’s income rising fourfold.

    PM Phuc delivered the request while attending a conference held in Vinh Long on March 27 to call for more investments into the province. The conference saw the participation of more than 800 delegates, including hundreds of domestic and foreign businesspeople.

    The government leader urged the province to work out a sustainable development model adaptive to climate change and based on smart agriculture and ecotourism.

    To that end, Vinh Long should join the key economic region of the Mekong Delta in the next five years, by focusing on improving the quality of education, he said.

    It is necessary to combine the province’s climate change adaptation strategy with its socio-economic development strategy and incorporate economic development with environmental protection and social welfare to ensure sustainable development, PM Phuc stressed.

    The PM also advised Vinh Long to build a connectivity chain in agriculture to link farmers, the State, investors, banks, scientists and distributors, as well as seeking measures to increase the number and scale of enterprises in the province and well connecting domestic and foreign businesses.

    The Government leader welcomed the signing of a plan by Vinh Long, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh and Tien Giang provinces aiming to tighten their connectivity, and suggested Vinh Long study to become the region’s agricultural product processing centre.

    The province needs to restructure its agriculture and fisheries with the focus on expanding hi-tech application to raise the added value, together with improving its policies and mechanisms, and reducing unnecessary administrative procedures to improve the investment climate, PM Phuc added.

    Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Quang said Vinh Long is giving priority to calling for investments in hi-tech agriculture and tourism as it is home to 11 national cultural and historical relic sites, and 43 provincial-level ones.

    Along with the government’s preferential policies, the provincial People’s Committee has issued its own incentives to facilitate investors’ operations, Quang said.

    At the conference, the local authorities presented certificates of investment registration and signed memoranda of understanding on investment to 32 projects with a combined capital of around 24 trillion VND (1.05 billion USD).

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