Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog


older | 1 | .... | 473 | 474 | (Page 475) | 476 | 477 | .... | 495 | newer

    0 0
  • 04/04/18--01:40: Article 1
  • Controversial moves on ride-hailing market


    After Uber sold its Southeast Asian operations to Grab, the ride-hailing market is seeing an interesting phenomenon: insiders want out, while outsiders want in.   

     

    Controversial moves on ride-hailing market, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news

    On March 26, all Uber drivers received a notification that after Uber officially stops its operations in Southeast Asia, they will become partners of Grab. Accordingly, drivers who want to work for Grab will have to register to have their accounts automatically transferred to Grab.

    The change will take place on April 8.

    However, Uber drivers are not exactly excited about joining Grab because the firm's commissions are far higher than Uber’s.

    Notably, Uber drivers would need to pay 28.6 per cent of their revenue cent to Grab, including 25 per cent commission and 3.6 per cent personal income tax. The ratio is much higher than the 20-25 per cent Uber charged.

    Manh, an Uber taxi driver from Hanoi, stated that since mid-2017, when Uber changed its business strategy in Vietnam and hiked commission to 23 per cent, numerous drivers had to return to work for traditional taxi firms. Manh is currently considering selling his car because Grab’s commission is too high for him.

    Meanwhile, Minh, another Uber driver from Hanoi, has already sold his Hyundai i10 for VND300 million ($13,163) as he was tired of paying high commissions.

    “I took up a loan to buy the car, however, after five years of working as a taxi driver for a traditional taxi firm and then for Uber, I saw that the volume of route the number of rides have been continuously decreasing and commission increasing, along with the interest of the loan. These factors make drivers’ income unstable. Thus, when Uber sold its Southeast Asian operations to Grab, I decided to sell my car because I do not want to risk working for Grab,” Minh added.

    Outsiders rush to join


     

    Controversial moves on ride-hailing market, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news 

    According to the latest movements, Phuong Trang Futa Group, a leading passenger transportation and parcel delivery company in Vietnam, invested VND2.2 trillion ($96.53 million) into developing the ride-hailing application Vivu and changed Vivu's name into Vato.

    Tranh Thanh Nam, the founder of Vivu (now Vato), told Vnexpress that according to the initial plan, Vato would have been launched in May this year, however, after Uber announced that it will withdraw from Southeast Asia, Phuong Trang Group decided to launch the app in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City this month.

    In reality, Vivu stared operations in March 2016 under the name FaceCar. It became famous for successfully mobilising $1 billion from Vietnamese overseas investors in Germany. However, the deal was not completed and FaceCar was renamed to Vivu.

    According to Nam, Vato has numerous advantages compared to its competitors. Notably, drivers and customers can discuss the fare based on an initial fare issued by Vato (For example, after a customer orders a vehicle for a 5-kilometre ride, Vato will offer a fare of VND50,000, which the customer can then discuss with the driver). Besides, Vato’s base fare is VND8,500 per km, similar to the fare of Uber, however, it only charges a 20 per cent commission, 5 per cent less than Uber.

    Furthermore, once customers download the Vato app, they will be able to order vehicles from other taxi firms, including Mai Linh and Vinasun.

    Vato has numerous advantages compared to its competitors. Notably, drivers and customers can discuss the fare based on an initial fare issued by Vato.

    Vato’s joining will make the ride-hailing market more diverse, highlighting the appearance of Vietnamese players. Notably, Viettel Telecom recently signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement to purchase 30 per cent of Vietnamese transportation startup Gonow, officially joining the online ride hailing market.

    Accordingly, Viettel will provide Gonow with support in developing its website, sales network, customer care system, and payment services. Founded one year ago, Gonow is a platform that connects drivers and car owners with customers to provide passenger and goods transport services, as well as car leasing.

    Besides, Mai Linh Mien Bac, Thanh Cong Taxi Group, Taxi Group, The Ky Moi, Sao Thu Do, and Vinasun have also implemented their own ride hailing applications with interfaces similar to those of Uber and Grab.

    Previously, in late 2016, 123Xe, another Vietnamese ride-hailing app developed by VNG, was officially launched, marking VNG’s endeavour into the ride-hailing market.

    VIR

    0 0
  • 04/04/18--02:01: Article 0
  • PAPI 2017 report released



    The 2017 Vietnam Provincial Government and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI 2017) report was released in April 4 in Hanoi.


     

    PAPI 2017 report released, 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
    2017 Vietnam Provincial Government and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI report released by UNDP, Cecodes, and VFF on April 4


    The PAPI 2017 report shows a significant turnaround in citizen’s perceptions and experiences with corruption in the public sector, more women adding their names to land use titles, and rising pessimism among the poorest citizens about their future economic prospects. 

    Health insurance coverage expanded and fewer people reported land seizures. 

    However, setbacks included lower satisfaction with compensation for land seized, and persistent concerns about poverty among citizens of all socioeconomic backgrounds. 

    Overall, citizens reported improvements in five of the six areas of governance and public administration that make up the index.

    Over 14,000 citizens randomly selected from all 63 cities and provinces were interviewed for the 2017 PAPI, which assesses citizens’ experiences with national and local government performance in governance, public administration, and public service delivery.

    “The 2017 survey results are mixed and reveal both encouraging and worrying trends,” said Mr. Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam

    “Particularly noteworthy is the reversal in the downward trend since 2013 in control of corruption in the public sector. Citizens report improvements in both their perceptions and personal experiences. However, the PAPI scores are still below the levels found in 2012, so although the direction of change is positive, much work remains to be done to fight corruption and ensure that the findings of the 2017 PAPI report do not represent a temporary aberration but signal the start of a systemic and fundamental reversal of what has been a worrying longer-term trend on corruption.”

    The PAPI 2017 was conducted from July 12 to October 31, 2017. This is the sixth year it has been conducted in Vietnam. PAPI is a collaboration between the Centre for Community Support and Development Studies (CECODES), the Centre for Research and Training of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front (VFF-CRT), the Real-Time Analytics and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

    A total of 103,000 people in Vietnam have participated in assessing public administration efficiency in all 63 cities and provinces since the first PAPI was compiled in 2009 and 61 cities and provinces have held seminars on PAPI. Seminar and respondent numbers have both increased. 

    “This expresses the determination of leaders in the cities and provinces,” said Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, Country Director of UNDP Vietnam.

    The PAPI aims to reflect the practical experiences of Vietnamese people and then support the government and public administration, Mr. Kamal Malhotra, UN President Coordination & UNDP Resident Representative, said at the release of the report. 

    “This helps improve provincial government and public administration performance as local people can join in making recommendations to local authorities,” he said.

    The PAPI includes six governance areas: political participation, vertical accountability, public administrative procedures, land seizures, control of corruption in the public sector, and provincial performance. 

    These are consistent with Goal 16, focusing on the fair participation of local people towards building stable institutions and preventing corruption, meeting the demand of local people. 

    “At the national level, the index is a useful method for local authorities in the process of reforming policies,” Mr. Malhotra said.

    As a sponsor of the PAPI, Australian Ambassador in Vietnam H.E Mr. Craig Chittick believes foreign investors wish to find assessments on Vietnam’s environment like the PAPI, when deciding to invest.

    “The value of the PAPI is that it is creditable, comprehensive and clear,” he said. “It is a gold mine for policymakers.” 

    The embassy also committed to being the main sponsor of the PAPI over the next three years, with a total of $2.9 million.

    There are 90 countries conducting a PAPI. Major opportunities exist for Vietnam to participate in improving government and public administration. 

    “From the results of the PAPI, relevant authorities can solve existing problems,” said Mr. Malhotra. “Local authorities at all levels will face many challenges and pressures to increase their PAPI scores.”

    VN Economic Times

    0 0
  • 04/05/18--02:57: Article 1
  • Social News 5/4(Hourly Updated)


    Endangered cobras found in suitcases


    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare

     

    Hà Nam police on Wednesday discovered some 130kg of cobras inside three wheeled suitcases, a backpack and a paper box wrapped in black nylon. - Photo courtesy of Hà Nam Police 

    Police in the northern province of Hà Nam on Wednesday made an extraordinary discovery: three cabin suitcases filled with venomous cobras.

    According to police sources, Trịnh Văn Nghị, 31, and his 30-year-old wife, Trần Thị Tuyền, from Hà Nam’s Thanh Liêm District were stopped by the police as they were passing Phủ Lý City.

    On examining their luggage, the police discovered some 130kg of cobras inside three wheeled suitcases, a backpack and a paper box wrapped in black nylon. The couple failed to present papers proving the legal origins of the animals, which were listed as an endangered species on Việt Nam’s Red List.

    Nghị told the police that a restaurant owner in HCMCity had paid him VNĐ20 million (US$880) to transport the cobras from the southern city to Hà Nội.

    The police are investigating the case.

    Fire in warehouse to be extinguished by Thursday 

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare

     

    Firefighters spray water to extinguish the fire that started on Wednesday morning at a fibre warehouse containing some 5,000 tonnes of material and commodities.


    The fire in TexhongYinlong Technology Limited’s Factory No. 4 in the northen province of Quảng Ninh will be extinguished by the end of Thursday, according to local authorities, Vietnam News Agency reported.

    The fire started at the factory’s fibre warehouse at 2am on Wednesday. The warehouse contained some 5,000 tonnes of material and commodities.

    Twenty-six fire engines and over 800 people have been mobilised to put out the fire. China’s GuangxiProvince has also sent fire engines to help extinguish the fire. However, they failed to prevent the fire from spreading.

    As of 8am on Thursday, the fire was brought under control, but firefighters continued to spray water to extinguish it completely.

    No fatalities were reported, but all property in the warehouse was completely destroyed.

    Texhong Yinglong Technology Limited, a subsidiary of Hong Kong’s Texthong Textile Group, was established in April 2012 with a total investment of US$300 million. It covers 53ha in the HảiYếnIndustrial Park in Quảng Ninh’s MóngCáiCity and employs 5,000 local workers.

    Investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.

    Children drown in Hà TĩnhLake after school
     

     

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare
    The lake where Nhật and Thông were found drowned. Photo infonet.vn


    Two children drowned in the central province of Hà Tĩnh yesterday afternoon. The case has prompted calls for extra classes on swimming in schools.

    Võ Minh Nhật, 12, and Võ Minh Thông, 10, were found drowned in a lake in the province’s Hương Trà Commune in the mountainous Hương Khê District at around 5pm on Wednesday.

    Locals commuting past the lake on a nearby path spotted two sets of school uniforms on the bank of the lake but did not see any children.

    Out of concern, a few of them entered the water, where they discovered the bodies of the children. The children were taken to a local hospital but were declared dead on arrival.

    Nearby residents said they had seen Nhật and Thông, who were cousins, head towards the lake after school.

    Commune authorities assisted in transferring the bodies to the children’s families for funeral arrangements, according to Phan Thế Hòa, the commune chairman.

    Experts in the country have called for more playgrounds to be built for children to play in after school due to the high percentage of fatal accidents involving children who were trying to entertain themselves.

    A large number of legal and illegal extra classes have opened across the country, but few of them train children in survival skills. They teach almost the same subjects as the school curriculum to meet the desire for high scores among parents.

    Minh win stage, Tùng wins yellow jersey


    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare
    Lê Nguyệt Minh celebrates winning the seventh stage of the HCM City Television Cycling Tournament yesterday. - Photo laodong.vn


    Lê Nguyệt Minh won the seventh stage of the HCM City Television Cycling Tournament yesterday.

    Minh of HCM City-Minh Giang finished first in the longest stage of the event, 199km from Vinh City of the central province of Nghệ An to Đồng Hới City of Quảng Bình Province in a time of 4:55.52.

    For the second consecutive stage, Minh overcame veterans Lê Văn Duẩn and Nguyễn Thành Tâm with a sprint at the death to triumph.

    Minh also holds the green jersey award for best sprinter, while the white jersey for the best young cyclist is worn by Nguyễn Cường Khang of VUS-HCM City.

    Huỳnh Thanh Tùng of the Military Zone 7 retained the yellow jersey award for the best overall time after seven stages.

    Tùng’s good performance helped his team, the Military Zone 7 top the team rankings.

    Today, cyclists will compete in the eighth stage from Quảng Bình to HuếCity, lasting 162km.

    Forum spotlights Vietnam–Switzerland cooperation for green growth


     

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare
    Scene at the high-level forum  

    A high-level forum took place in Hanoi on April 4, discussing potential for cooperation between Vietnam and Switzerland toward green development.

    The event was co-organised by the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Swiss Embassy in Vietnam for the two countries to share methods and solutions in the field.

    Addressing the forum, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said the Swiss Government has supported the private sector development in Vietnam, particularly in optimising usage of natural resources and translating the clean production concept into reality.

    Dung expressed his belief on the good potential for bilateral partnership in green growth arena, based on their fruitful political, diplomatic, and economic relations.

    He noted that the two nations had agreed to focus their cooperation during 2017 – 2020 on building effective economic intuitions and policies, fostering a competitive and efficient private sector, and promoting sustainable urban development adaptive to climate change.

    Doris Leuthard, Director of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication, suggested Vietnam study and apply methods to mobilize resources for green growth from the community and businesses.

    Swiss participants shared their experiences on building a clean and green economy, mobilising resources for the process, and lessons that could be applied for developing countries like Vietnam.

    Vietnam has adopted a national plan on green growth for 2016 – 2020, with prioritised subjects including climate change response, green production, green consumption, and greenhouse emission reduction.

    To date, the country has seven ministries and 39 provinces and cities designing and implementing their own action plans for green growth.

    Vietnamese in Malaysia donate to send body of Tran Thi Mai home

    The Vietnamese Embassy and expatriate community in Malaysia have raised enough funds to send the body of suicide victim Tran Thi Mai to Vietnam.

    Mai cut herself using a knife at the waiting room of the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia on April 2. She died of blood loss the same day.

    Before the incident, Mai, born in 1981 in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang, came to the embassy with a man to apply for a travel permit to return home.

    The two argued at the embassy’s gate just before the woman entered the waiting room. The man was said to have been violent with Mai. Early reports showed he was a Vietnamese middleman, hired to assist Mai to travel to Malaysia.

    The embassy is working with Malaysian police to investigate the case.-


    Twenty-seven more communes and wards this year join family medical practice


     

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare
    A health staff member takes blood for testing at An Hòa ward health station in Cần Thơ City’s Ninh Kiều District. Source http://soytecantho.vn 

    The Department of Health in the Mekong Delta city of Cần Thơ this year plans to expand a model of family medical practice clinics to 27 more communes and wards.

    Family medical practice clinics aim to provide comprehensive and continuous health care services to each local individual and family in order to reduce overcrowding of patients at city or central-level hospitals.

    These clinics are located at health stations in communes and wards. Each commune or ward has one health station.

    Cần Thơ aims to equip more than 80 per cent of its 85 health stations with these clinics by 2020.

    According to Dr Bùi Thị Lệ Phi, the department’s head, the city now has 18 commune-based health stations with family medical practice clinics.

    These clinics are managing the health of more than 117,000 residents.

    However, they have not yet provided services such as hospice care, health consultation and screening for diseases because they have faced a shortage of health staff including doctors.

    Residents there did not yet trust these clinics because they were not yet familiar with them, Dr Nguyễn Thị Thanh Thúy of the department told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper.

    Since 2015, all health stations in the city have met the national standards for health facilities in communes within period between 2011 to 2020, but several of them face a shortage of vital medical equipment.

    The department every year organises walks to raise funds from private sectors to buy this equipment which have so far provided 96 devices for blood pressure monitors, 26 ultrasound machines, and other equipment in order to improve the quality of health examinations and treatment.

    This year, the department will continue calling on various financial sources from private sectors to buy more medical equipment for health stations in communes and wards as well as towns in order to ensure they are able to provide basic health care services to local residents via family medical practice clinics, according to Phi.

    Cần Thơ City is one of eight provinces and cities carrying out Project on Building and Developing Family Medical Practice Clinics within the period between 2013 and 2020.

    The seven remaining provinces and cities in the project are Thái Nguyên, Thừa Thiên Huế, Khánh Hòa, Tiền Giang, Hà Nội, Hồ Chí Minh, and Hải Phòng.

    Three die from mushroom poisoning


     

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare
    Many kinds of toxic mushrooms are found in the northern provinces, including Amanita Verna and Amanita Virosa, all deadly fungi.


    Three members of a family were poisoned and died over the weekend after consuming mushrooms collected from the forest. 

    Sùng Diêu Hồng, 52, from the northern mountainous province of Hà Giang, had reportedly collected mushrooms from the forest for breakfast on Wednesday. 

    At 3pm that day, Hồng and his wife, 48-year-old Thào Thị Vá, their 28-year-old son Sùng Văn Hoàng and his wife Lý Thị Pà showed symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea and dizziness. They were taken to the provincial hospital for emergency treatment.

    Despite receiving intensive care, Hoàng and Vá died due to extreme poisoning on March 31 and April 1, respectively. Pà also died at the hospital the following day.

    Hồng was in a critical condition and has been transferred to the Hà Nội-based BạchMaiHospital’s Anti-Poison Centre for further treatment.

    The youngest victim of toxic mushrooms, Pà, was 23 years old, said Trần Văn Học, head of Emergency and Anti-Poison Centre at the Hà Giang Province General Hospital, on Monday.

    Hậu Giang to get urban clean-water supply by 2020


    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare

     

    HậuGiangProvince hopes to develop a clean water supply system for rural areas by 2020. 


    The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Hậu Giang plans to build a safe water-supply network serving 70 per cent of residents in urban areas, with an average of 70 litres per person per day by 2020.

    The province’s People’s Committee approved the project for rural areas at a meeting held on Monday. The aim is to provide clean water to all residents in urban areas by 2030.

    The project will be divided into two phases with total estimated capital of about VNĐ1.3 trillion (US$57 million).

    Capital sources include state budget funds, ODA (Official Development Assistance), and other loan capital.

    Under the draft plan, water supply and drainage networks include three options: using water from water supply plans in Mekong Delta; buying water from the Aqua One Drinking Water Factory; and improving existing water plants and building extra reservoirs.

    Consulting engineer Nguyễn Quốc Bình said the upgrade of plants and more reservoirs could save a lot of money, compared to other more costly options which will take a long time to implement.

    Đồng Văn Thanh, deputy chairman of the province’s People’s Committee, said the project would require about 85.5ha of land to build reservoirs and good management of surface water.

    Planning for water supply and use in the province is part of the national target programme on clean water and environment in rural areas and the programme on building new-style rural areas, according to Thanh.

    New medium-sized and large water supply systems for residential areas, schools, medical stations and markets are needed, especially in areas with water scarcity and poor quality of water.

    Advanced technology is needed to treat brackish water in the case of saltwater intrusion, such as Reverse Osmosis (RO) technology for treatment.

    "The project needs to be adjusted soon to submit to the Ministry of Construction for approval," he added.

    Nguyễn Hoàng Anh, deputy director of the province’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said the province had nearly 200 water supply stations operating in rural areas.

    He said this project would contribute to exploiting water resources more efficiently and meet the need for clean water.

    By 2016, nearly 35,000 households living in rural areas had access to clean water, accounting for 24 per cent of total rural households in the province.

    The province has more than 46,000 wells supplying about 90,000cu.m of water a day.

    Bình Định fishermen to win damages


     

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare
    Final negotiations between 19 fishermen and the two companies involved in a steel ship damage case in the central province of Bình Định would take place on Tuesday and Wednesday.- Photo - nld.com.vn 

    Final negotiations between 19 fishermen and the two companies involved in a steel ship damage case in the central province of BìnhĐịnh would take place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    The information was released at a press conference held by the provincial Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Monday, focusing on compensation paid to local fishermen following damage to their new fishing vessels built in accordance with the Government’s Decree 67. Issued in 2014, the decree aims to support fishermen and fisheries development by providing financial support for fishermen to purchase or build larger boats. 

    Late last year, the 19 fishing families sent a proposal to the agriculture department requesting the two ship-building companies of Nam Triệu and Đại Nguyên Dương to pay VNĐ45.6 billion (more than US$2 million) worth of compensation.

    According to the fishermen, the compensation includes the costs of repair, hiring of labourers, towing vessels, damaged seafood, profits lost and principal and interest payments to banks.

    “If both sides fail to reach a deal, the province will provide legal assistance to help the fishermen institute legal proceedings against the two companies within a month as of April 2,” Director of Bình Định Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Phan Trọng Hổ told the press conference.

    The fishermen claimed that their steel ships built in line with the decree were installed with unbranded devices and machines so they had not operated properly and effectively, Vietnam News Agency reported. Since the ships stayed inactive for over a year, the companies have not taken prompt measures to maintain and repair the facilities.

    A number of meetings have been organised since then by the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development discussing the compensation and support for the ship owners.

    During these meetings, both companies denied any responsibility for compensation beyond a small amount of money paid for the repairs of damage, Vietnam News Agency reported. Đại Nguyên Dương Company argued that the five fishermen’s request for compensation was baseless whereas Nam Triệu Company said they had no responsibility for compensating the 14 fishermen.

    Authorities in the central province of Quảng Ngãi have made it clear that fishing vessels illegally encroaching on a foreign country’s sea area will have their operation licence revoked forever.

    The highest level of punishment is applied for the owner and captain of ships that go fishing illegally in a foreign country’s waters, according to the Government’s news portal www.baochinhphu.vn.

    Additionally, any repeat offender will be subjected to legal proceedings, along with organisations and individuals involved in taking Vietnamese vessels and fishermen out for illegally fishing in a foreign sea area.

    Local authorities also required vessels to be installed with a monitoring system which must be turned on whenever the ship departs to ensure a smooth connection is made with competent bodies on shore.

    Deputy head of Quảng Ngãi Fisheries Division Phùng Đình Toàn said no case of fishing activities beyond Việt Nam’s sovereign waters was detected in the past few months.

    10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season


    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare

     

    Ten per cent of households in Cà Mau Province have no access to clean water. - Photo nguoiduatin.vn


    Of Cà Mau Province’s 226,000 households, 10 per cent still do not have access to clean water.

    Nguyễn Hạnh Phúc, director of the Clean Water and Rural Environment Sanitation centre, said the province has 232 water supply systems but only 20 of them work effectively.

    Most of the water supply systems are damaged, use simple technology, and do not work effectively.

    In the dry season, many people lack clean water due to a shortage of water sources and saline surface water, especially in Đầm Dơi, U Minh, Năm Căn, Thới Bình, Trần Văn Thới districts.

    Phúc said it was difficult to supply water because many of the households are located in different places. He suggested that local residents try to collect and reserve rainwater during the dry season.

    The centre plans to upgrade and extend some water supply systems so they will work more efficiently, and will call for investment to repair damaged systems.

    Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare


     

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare
    A doctor treats a patient at a rural health clinic in Đồng NaiProvince. 

    Many heath facilities are being developed in HCMCity’s neighbouring Đồng NaiProvince, especially in rural areas, to improve convenience for the public.

    On Monday the LongKhánh Regional GeneralHospital in Long Khánh District opened four clinics called Health Experts, where doctors from HCMCity hospitals will treat patients.

    Phan Văn Huyên, the hospital’s director, said this would help reduce the crowding at HCMCity hospitals, where many people from neighbouring provinces go for quality treatment.

    Dr Nguyễn Thế Luyến of the trauma and orthopaedics department at HCMCity’s University Medical Centre said for instance that patients from other provinces and cities make a beeline for his hospital, with many arriving at 3am to beat the queue.

    The visit by experts from HCMCity’s hospitals to the Health Experts clinics in Long Khánh would also enable young doctors there to learn from them, Huyên said.  

    The clinics treat vascular-heart, spine- bone and joint, gastroenterological, and liver problems on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays every week.

    In June last year the province People’s Committee announced an action plan for a project to develop grassroots health facilities.

    It plans to earmark more than VNĐ3 trillion (US$131.6 million) for the programme.

    Last year a health centre was opened in Tân Phú District besides nine more health stations, according to the Department of Health.

    Besides, new departments to treat infectious diseases and newborn babies were opened at the province PaediatricsHospital in BiênHoàCity.

    All health stations in communes and wards had doctors last year, which increased the ratio of doctors to 7.5 per 10,000 population, the department said.

    There were 27.5 beds per 10,000 people last year, it added.

    Doctors at district health centres perform various kinds of surgeries. Obstetric surgeries have, for instance, been performed at health centres in the districts of Vĩnh Cửu, Trảng Bom and Nhơn Trạch.

    Phan Huy Anh Vũ, deputy head of the Department of Health, told Đồng Nai newspaper this was the result of Project 1816, under which central hospitals send doctors to train and work for a period in smaller hospitals around the country.

    "But the district health centres need to learn more sophisticated techniques," he admitted, suggesting that the Ministry of Health should allow them to choose hospitals in the province and elsewhere to learn advanced techniques.

    "Many of the hospitals and doctors designated by the ministry to train them are very busy and the training is delayed," he explained.   

    Dr Hồ Thanh Phong, director of the Nhơn Trạch District Health Centre, said his centre focused on developing various surgical techniques.

    It would build one more operating theatre with advanced equipment to speed up treatment, he said.

    The centre now has only one theatre. It sends its doctors to other hospitals including the District 2 Hospital in HCMCity to learn surgical and anaesthetic techniques.  

    Not only obstetric surgeries but also other operations to treat trauma and orthopaedic problems are performed at the centre, according to Phong.

    Last year more than 250 patients received surgeries between June and year-end.

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025


    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare

     

    Resetlement houses in Muong La district of Son La (Source: http://dantocmiennui.vn) 

    All people living in northern mountainous localities with high risks of natural disasters such as torrential rains, landslides, flash flood, damaging cold and flood, are expected to be moved to safer places by 2025.

    According to Vu Xuan Thanh, deputy head of the Department of Natural Disaster Prevention and Control under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, communications will be strengthened among the community and governments in risky areas to enhance their knowledge and skills in natural disaster prevention and response.

    A number of measures have been implemented to minimise loss of human lives and property due to the disasters, including installing early warning systems in high-risk areas, building landslides maps and planting warning signs, said Thanh.

    He noted that national disaster response drills have been held annually, while documents guiding local households to prepare for natural disasters have been delivered.

    In the last 20 years, 300 flash floods and landslides have ravaged northern mountainous localities with increasing heavy losses.

    Notably, a flood in Nam Lay stream in Lai Chau in June, 1990 left 82 people dead or missing. Eleven people died and went missing in another one in September 2013 in SaPa district of Lao Cai, while flood and landslides in Lao Cai in February 2016 also killed 15 people.

    Spring Culinary Festival Returns to Hotel Metropole Hanoi

    This April, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi celebrates the start of spring with a mouth-watering line-up of gastronomic events from France, Australia and India

    This year’s spring culinary festival kicks off at Vietnam’s most storied hotel with a special champagne buffet featuring select wines from Billecart-Salmon. The French champagne house is renowned for the quality of its delicate rosé, while its Brut Réserve is a beautifully harmonious and balanced wine. The champagne buffet-dinatoire will take place on April 5 at Le Balcon from 6:30pm and is priced at VND 1,200,000 per person. 

    Meanwhile, from April 7 to 24, foodies are invited to savour a “Taste of Australia”, featuring culinary offerings and wine from Down Under, at Le Club Bar. 

    The sensory explosion is set to continue throughout April as Indian Chef Halim Ali Khan is set to take Hanoi by storm with his sizzling and fiery North Indian creations. 

    At “Incredible India: A taste of the finest Indian flavours,” guests are invited to indulge in Chef Khan’s signature butter chicken tandoori, naans, tangy lamb curries, and Indian sweets. The Indian master chef, who will be flying in from the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, is due to showcase his culinary creations at the Metropole’s Vietnamese fine-dining restaurantSpicesGarden from April 23 to 28. 

    Guests can also look forward to a special lunch buffet, featuring classic Indian dishes such as lentil pancakes with tomato chutney and stir-fried okra, as well as a dinner-time 5-course tasting menu, including a vegetarian option. The lunch buffet costs VND 790,000++ per person, while the tasting menu is priced at VND 1,950,000++ per person. 

    Chef Khan grew up in Odisha, a state in Eastern India, where he picked up traditional Indian recipes passed along by village tradition and families. He spent six years honing his craft at the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa, before joining Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in 2012 as Indian Sous Chef and cooked his way up to Restaurant Operations Chef. Chef Khan is the masterful artisan behind the North Indian atelier of Spiral, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila’s multi-awarded flagship restaurant with 21 interactive dining ateliers. Boasting culinary experience spanning more than a decade, Chef Khan’s passion for the culinary arts has shaped his path towards creating gastronomic impressions for the eager gourmand.

    Japanese-funded tourism project helps Co Tu ethnic people


     

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare 

    A community-based tourism project has helped to improve living standards of Co Tu ethnic minority people in the central province of Quang Nam.

    The project funded by Japan’s Foundation for International Development and Relief helped local people preserve their culture and traditional customs.    

    Briu Thuong, chairman of Co Tu community-based tourism co-operative in Ta Bhing Commune, said that the co-operative has attracted 300 members.

    Each year, the co-operative earn around VND1 billion (USD45,454) from tourism services. Part of this is shared equally among all members, while the rest is used to the development of tourism products.   

    When receiving a tour, the co-operative holds a meeting for all members to arrange them to serve visitors. Local people often prepare their cuisine, perform dances and play gongs, offer home-stays and serve as tour guides. 

    Young Co Tu girls are assigned to stand at the gates of local tourism sites to welcome visitors.

    Community-based tourism and eco-tour services will help Co Tu ethnic minority improve their living standards while reviving their culture. The young generations can learn from the elderly and by conducting cultural activities and performances. 

    The project has also helped people to compile specific regulations for tourists. Local residents can sell their traditional products such as brocade and souvenirs.

    The Japanese organisation has also assisted Co Tu people to develop their traditional brocade weaving.

    GDVT sets target for trained workers at 25%


     

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare 

    The General Department of Vocational Training (GDVT) will seek to increase the number of vocational education graduates to 2.1 million, increasing the proportion of trained workers with certificates from 23% to 25%.

    For this year, the vocational education sector has set a target of enrolling 2.2 million people.

    According to statistics from 63 departments of labour, invalids and social affairs, in 2017 the average rate of college and vocational training school graduates securing employment after graduation reached more than 80%.

    The more prestigious vocational training schools, such as the Vocational College of Technology, the Ho Chi Minh City Vocational College of Technology, the LILAMA 2 International Technology College, and the Vocational College No. 1, have the highest rate of employment among graduates at 100%.

    The average starting salary for trained students after graduation is VND 5.2 million per month. Some jobs have higher salaries, such as driving inland waterway transports (VND7 million) or operating machinery (VND6million to VND8 million).

    Extreme heat wave hits north

    According to the NationalHydrologyMeteorologyForecastCenter, the northern provinces have experienced hot and muggy weather with the highest daytime temperature of 29- 31 degrees Celsius, even up to over 33 degrees Celsius in some places of the northwestern region. 

    The northwestern provinces are expected to see rain, thunderstorm, cyclone and powerful wind in evenings. The extreme temperature is expected to keep until April 5. 

    By the evening of April 5, a cold air is forecast to influence in the northern and north- central regions, and after that it will spread out the mid- central region. 

    Because of its impact, the northern and north- central regions are going to suffer medium- heavy rain and thunderstorm.

    From April 6, showery weather and thunderstorm will hit both the mid- central and Central Highlands provinces. 

    The lowest temperature in the northern mountainous region could drop down 12- 14 degrees Celsius. 

    Meanwhile, the Gulf of Tonkin and the northern territorial waters including the Paracel Islands will see powerful wind of level 7- 10 and sea rough. 

    The central and southern offshore areas will see sustainable wind of level 6-8 and sea rough.

    Short-term social insurance required for foreign workers


    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare

     

    Foreign workers are seen at a construction site in Vietnam  

    Foreign workers in Vietnam should buy short-term social insurance products like sickness, maternity, workplace accidents and occupational diseases in the immediate future, and will have to get long-term social insurance products, including pension and death insurance after 2020 or 2022, according to a draft Government decree.

    Under the 2014 social insurance law which came into force on January 1, social insurance is compulsory to foreign workers in Vietnam. However, such a regulation has yet to be applied as foreign business associations in Vietnam have objected to the rule and a guiding decree has not been issued.

    Many business associations and experts have previously proposed applying short-term or voluntary social insurance to foreign workers.

    Tran Hai Nam, deputy director of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs’ Department of Social Insurance, told the Daily that the National Assembly insisted on compulsory insurance.

    Social insurance is compulsory in many countries, which leads to double taxation for those working overseas.

    To avoid this, Vietnam has finished talks of double insurance avoidance agreements with Germany and South Korea. The labor ministry is preparing for talks with Japan.

    “In the draft decree, we manage to provide a reasonable roadmap towards social insurance,” Nam said, adding that short-term insurance will be applied in the near future.

    Insurance for pension and death will be compulsory to foreign workers in 2020 or 2022. In the meantime, Vietnam will work to conclude double insurance avoidance with other countries.

    It was said by foreign business associations that compulsory social insurance would push up business costs.

    Nonetheless, according to Nam, the compulsory insurance requirement does not incur additional costs at businesses and aims to ensure equality among local and foreign workers.

    The draft decree has been presented to the Government and will soon be introduced.

    Transport ministry says will speed up major projects


     

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare
    The TanSonNhatInternationalAirport expansion project is an important project this year 


    The Ministry of Transport will accelerate key infrastructure projects such as LongThanhInternationalAirport, TanSonNhatInternationalAirport and North-South Expressway from next quarter.

    At a meeting of the ministry last week, the ministry said its key job for next quarter is to prepare construction of the Eastern North-South Expressway, with feasibility studies for all 11 components to be approved by July.

    The ministry will also speed up preparations for the LongThanhInternationalAirport project to sign a contract with a consulting firm for a feasibility study in May.

    In addition, the ministry will put into use 10 projects and commence seven others in quarter two this year.

    In the first three months of the year, investors submitted final accounts for eight projects worth more than VND15.3 trillion (US$670.6 million), 62% of the target for the quarter and 15% of the full-year plan in terms of the number of projects.

    Agencies under the ministry have completed inspections and approved final accounts for seven projects valued at over VND1 trillion, beating the plan for the first quarter by 17% and reaching 8% of the yearly plan in the number of projects.

    As for traffic projects implemented under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) format, investors have submitted final accounts for 59 projects, of which 55 have been finalized.

    Regarding capital disbursement, the Ministry of Transport disbursed more than VND7.1 trillion in January-March, 23.04% of the target for this year.

    Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said the ministry has cut some business conditions to facilitate private sector investment in infrastructure. The minister required agencies under the ministry to continue abolishing business conditions and simplifying procedures.

    Photo exhibition on French and Vietnamese culture set to open Saturday


    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare

     

    “Pot Au Pho” photo exhibition depicts the daily lives of Vietnamese people through an art project by Vietnamese artist Nguyen Da Quyen and Frenchman Julien Brun - PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE ORGANIZER 

    Pot Au Pho, a photo exhibition by Vietnamese artist Nguyen Da Quyen and Frenchman Julien Brun, will be opened at 10 a.m. this Saturday at Toong co-working space in District 3, HCMC.

    The exhibition features 38 artworks featuring the daily lives of Vietnamese people and the linguistics connection between the French and Vietnamese languages.

    Quyen told the Daily that the event coincides with the celebration of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

    The event is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at
    126 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street
    in District 3. The free-entrance exhibition will be closed on April 30.

    English eloquence contest “TIS The Pitch 2018” seeks contestants


     

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare
    Le Ngan Giang, the winner of the “TIS The Pitch 2017”, shares her journey to victory during last year’s contest at a news conference on March 31 in HCMC


    An English eloquence contest called “TIS The Pitch 2018” is calling for contestants from high schools nationwide aged between 15 and 18.

    Contestants must demonstrate their public speaking skills in English and raise their voice over current social issues or come up with future business plans.

    In the qualifying round, all contestants are required to make a video with a length of three to five minutes to present feasible startup ideas or address social issues of shared concerns in the areas of education, health and urban issues.

    The deadline for submission is April 20. The top 30 topics will be selected to enter to the semifinal round slated for April 28 where all contestants will be challenged in a 5-minute presentation to prove their English-speaking ability as well as persuade the judging panel for the feasibility of business ideas or solutions for social issues.

    The top 10 topics will be eligible for the final round on May 28 at Dreamplex Co-working Space in Binh Thanh District, HCMC.

    The first-prize winning team will be given to a full scholarship totaling VND450 million, and five scholarships costing VND100 million each for an MA program at University of GreenwichVietnam.

    Meanwhile, those contestants whose topics are eligible to the semifinal round can receive an IELTS scholarship worth around VND6.5 million to improve their English proficiency at TIS.

    Last year’s contest saw nearly 1,300 contestants from eight provinces and cities.

    The ninth-grader Le Ngan Giang won the “TIS The Pitch 2017” for her convincing presentation with the topic “Child Sexual Abuse”.

    Organized by The International School (TIS) and under the patronage of the HCMC Department of Education and Training, the competition has been an annual playground to instill confidence in high-school students about English speaking and critical thinking.

    Discovering colorful pinwheel art space in Danang


     

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare
    A foreign member of the Danang Fine Arts Club arranges pinwheels in an eye-catching way 

    More than 2,000 colorful pinwheels shaped in the miniature Milky Way and lit up along the iconic Han River in the central city of Danang drew large numbers of visitors on two weekend days.

    The pinwheel installation art display titled “Sunrise season” is part of a series of cultural activities to connect the two banks of the poetic Han River in 2018 and help prop up the city’s tourism.

    The program was pioneered by the Danang Center of Events and Festivals in conjunction with members of the Danang Fine Arts Club. It took five hours to complete the decorations of the vibrant pinwheel-covered art space with a highlight of a wooden boat in the heart of the “Milky Way”.

    First fresco painting-covered street in Danang


     

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare
    Women in ao dai (traditional Vietnamese long dress) pose for a photo in front of a mural on the fresco painting-covered alley in Hai Chau District, DanangCity 


    The first fresco street which has been relived with glamorous mural paintings in the central city of Danang was opened for public viewing from March 29 after two months of implementation.

    A group of artists from DanangCity’s Fine Arts Club and Phuoc Ninh Ward’s Youth Union participated in an art project which was initiated in early January this year by drawing mural paintings depicting cultural life, natural landscapes and people of Danang on the walls along alley No.75 on
    Nguyen Van Linh Street
    in Hai Chau District.

    Duong Huynh Trang, who is behind the fresco painting project, says the project has been funded by generous donors and that she is calling for more funding from local people to develop services such as food stalls and souvenir shops on the alley to cater to domestic and foreign tourists.

    Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway project may be put on hold


    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare 

    A view of the 40-kilometer HCMC-Trung Luong section of the HCMC-Can Tho Expressway, which was put into service in February 2010. The two remaining sections, including the Trung Luong-My Thuan section, are still nowhere near completion - 

    The investor of Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway project is facing financial difficulties and might be forced to terminate the investment contract if it fails to reach agreement with lender banks before May 31, putting the project at risk.

    The first phase of Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway project in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang is developed under build-operate-transfer (BOT) format, requiring an investment of VND9,668 billion, or more than US$424 million.

    The investor has secured VND1,542 billion only, equivalent to 15.95% of the total investment, while a loan agreement for the remaining VND8,126 billion has not been reached.

    The investor has finished site clearance for a 49-kilomter section of the project, with a cost of only VND120 billion.

    According to Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong, the investor could not reach a loan agreement with banks because the lenders want to raise the interest rate ceiling in accordance with Circular 75 of the Ministry of Finance.

    In case the investor cannot reach a credit agreement with the banks by May 31, the Ministry of Transport will terminate the investment contract and select another investor.

    Dong said the contract termination shall slow down the project and result in extra cost.

    The first phase of Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway will have a total length of 51 kilometers, plus 4.5 kilometers of access road. It will start from Than Cuu Nghia T-Junction at the end of HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway in Chau Thanh District and end at the crossroads with National Highway 30.

    The expressway in the first phase will have two lanes plus emergency lanes. It will be then expanded to six lanes using official development assistance loans in the second phase.

    According to the initial plan, the expressway is scheduled for completion at the end of 2018, but despite two kick-offs, the project has not got off the ground for some reasons. And now, it shall be put on hold once again with the completion date unpredictable.

    The Trung Luong-My Thuan section is part of the HCMC-Can Tho Expressway, which is expected to substantially reduce the traveling time between HCMC and the Mekong Delta. This expressway has three sections, namely HCMC-Trung Luong, Trung Luong-My Thuan and My Thuan-Can Tho.

    The 40-kilometer HCMC-Trung Luong section was opened to traffic in February 2010.

    HCMC has one more food street


     

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare
    People enjoy their dishes in the new food street 

    A new food street was launched along the
    Vinh Khanh Street
    in District 4 in Ho Chi Minh City on March 30, offering a variety of local cuisines.

    With more than 170 booths selling specialties snail dishes, the street has attracted locals and foreigner tourists.

    Before, agencies in the city agreed with the proposal of People’s Committee of district 4 about setting up the food street in a bid to create more cuisine street for travelers.

    Deputy Chairman of People’s Committee in district 4 Lam Hung Tan said the open of the food street aims to renew urban scenery, develop infrastructure and utilize available sources; accordingly, it helps to stimulate consumers to buy more and attract holiday-makers.

    Booths in the street will serve safe food with good behaviors to make customers enjoy their meals.

    One more dies after eating mushroom


     

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare 

    One more person died after eating mushroom, said director of the GeneralHospital in the northern province of Ha Giang Dr. Hoang Tien Viet said yesterday.

    The death of 23-year-old woman has brought the total victim of a family in Ha Giang Province’s Vi Xuyen District in the incident to three.

    Before, on March 28, a man went to jungle picking up mushroom to cook soup for the lunch.

    Until the late afternoon on the same day, four family members including the man, his wife, his son and his daughter-in-law experienced headache, dizzy, diarrhea; they were taken to the local hospital for emergency treatment next morning when they were in critical condition.

    Because of bad poisoning, the man’s son and the wife died on March 31 and April 1.

    Next, the daughter-in-law couldn’t survive meanwhile the man was in critical condition; hence, he was transferred to BachMaiHospital for further treatment.

    Two rare blood donors awarded certificates of merit

    In the flag salute ceremony on April 2, Vice director of the Department of Health in Ha Tinh Province cum director of the local infirmary Nguyen Viet Dong had authorization of Vietnamese Health Minister to present certificates of merit to Nguyen Quy Hung and Nguyen Van Quan who voluntarily donated their rare blood to save an old woman.


     

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare
    Dr. Nguyen Viet Dong gives certificates of merit to two donors (Photo: SGGP) 

    Before, on March 3, 70-year-old woman Ho Thi Thi in Thach Ha District was rushed to the general hospital when she was fatigue and had black shit. After undergoing tests and stomach endoscopy, she was diagnosed to have anemia because of gastric haemorrhage.

    Further tests showed that the number of red blood cells decreased drastically; accordingly she needed blood transfusion as quickly as possible or else her life was put in danger.

    However, the old woman is Rh-positive types A (the rate of Rh- of types O, A, B, AB in Vietnam is 0.08 percent). However, only one person in the province belongs to the same blood type with her and he has gone abroad to work.

    The infirmary contacted the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion where confirmed the rare blood is not available. The infirmary phoned to the rare blood club in the Central to try its luck. Hung and Quan immediately arrived at the hospital in the night, spent hours from Quang Binh province to Ha Tinh province (around 200km) to give their blood for saving the old woman.

    The provincial Department of Health March 6 reported their good deed to the Ministry of Health proposing to award them certificates of merit.

    At the ceremony, Dr. Nguyen Viet Dong said their good deed develop the country’s tradition. Each person should follow them to donate blood to save others’ lives.

    600 additional hospital beds introduced in BinhDinhProvince

    The central province of Binh Dinh People’s Committee and Binh Dinh GeneralHospital on March 31 co-held an opening ceremony for the extension part of the hospital. This leading medical institute in the local area is built based on the model of cooperation between the government and the private sector.

    The extension section of Binh Dinh GeneralHospital has 25 departments and 600 beds to serve patients. It is well-equipped with state-of-the-art devices such as digital subtraction angiography machines (DSA), 128-slice dual source computed tomography scanners (CT), 1.5-tesla magnetic resonance imaging scanners (MRI), and an updated automatic testing system.

    According to Vice Chairman of Binh Dinh People’s Committee Nguyen Tuan Thanh, this is the first case of public-private partnership in the medical field and being the milestone in the process of socializing health.

    Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Viet Tien affirmed that this model will contribute to clearing the congestion in the effort to increase health capacity of the nation and improving healthcare ability to serve citizens.

    $43,823 scholarships to be granted to needy medicine students

    This year, 141 scholarships worth over VND1 billion ($43,823) will be given to medicine students, said chairperson of the Nguyen Van Huong scholarship fund council Dr. Truong Thi Xuan Lieu at the fund council meeting yesterday.

    Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Sai Gon Giai Phong reporter Pham Truong said that the fund organizer found out more about each students’ family and studying condition who will receive the scholarship. Only students who come from poverty-line families but try their best in learning are eligible for the scholarship.

    This year, 50 annual scholarships will be granted to poor medicine students each worth VND6 million ($262.9). Moreover, Dr. Ta Trung Quoc’s wife will provide 60 all-course scholarships each worth VND6 million; 20 other scholarships funded by Sai Gon Construction Company each worth VND6 million.

    Especially, Ngoc Minh Clinic will give 10 full scholarships each worth VND25 million and one supporting scholarship worth VND10 million.

    The scholarship-giving ceremony will be organized on May 10 in Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper’s hall.

    The scholarship has helped hundreds of needy medical students to complete their studies.

    Four Central and South teams for final round of 2018 Digital Race identified


     

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare
    Candidates in the semi-final round


    The semi-final round of 2018 Digital Race for  the Southern and Central regions took place in Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology.

    Eight teams from three universities in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang University of Technology competed in the semi-final round in which the team assembled parts of their self-propelled cars, installed proper software and source codes to control these vehicles so that the vehicles successfully moved in accordance with the simulated traffic provided by the organization board.

    In the first race, only the car of DUT Stark team from Da Nang University of Technology was able to reach the finish line. All other cars failed the task because of technical problems.

    In the second race, adjustments in technical aspects helped all teams perform better, and the race became more thrilling. DUT Stark, however, still kept their leading position and impressively entered the final match. Three more candidates from Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Ho Chi Minh City University of Information Technology were also determined to compete in the final round.

    It is quite notable that there are female members in 3 out of 4 teams to participate in the final round. This is a fascinating fact since the technology field is commonly the battleground of the male counterpart.

    The final round is going to happen at the end of  April, in which eight teams including four from the Northern region and four from the Central and Southern regions will race to win the prize of VND 450 million and best jobs in FPT Corporation.

    President of FPT Software Hoang Nam Tien appreciated all the considerable effort and the inquiring mind of all race participants. He also kindly asked these participants to think of  joining FPT Software so as to have better opportunities to perfect their skills.

    Danang bans coaches from CBD at rush hour


     

    Natural disaster-hit community expected to be evacuated in 2025, Bình Định fishermen to win damages, 10% of Cà Mau homes to lack clean water in dry season, Đồng Nai forges ahead in rural healthcare
    A coach of 45 seats is seen on
    Bach Dang Street
    . Coaches are now banned from Danang’s CBD at rush hour 
     

    DanangCity has banned coaches with 30 seats or more from entering the central business district (CBD) from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. everyday to reduce traffic congestion and restore order at tourist destinations.

    From April 1, 2018, such coaches will be fined if they travel at rush hour on the streets of Nguyen Tat Thanh, Ly Thai Tong, Hoang Thi Loan, Dien Bien Phu, Nguyen Tri Phuong, Nguyen Huu Tho, Duy Tan, Hai Thang Chin, Bach Dang and Ba Thang Hai.

    Le Van Trung, director of the Danang Department of Transport, said these streets are usually crowded with coaches of 30 to 45 seats transporting tourists to places of interest in the city like Han Market and DragonBridge.

    The department has proposed building more parking lots for tourist buses in some areas.

    The city has started collecting fees from cars parked on
    Tran Phu Street
    . Drivers can pay parking fees using the Smart Parking app. Parking on
    Bach Dang Street
    is no longer free.

    Le Anh, chairman of Hai Chau District, said parking fees will apply on other major roads in the city to ease traffic congestion and restore order in the CBD.

    VNN

    0 0
  • 04/05/18--03:09: Article 0
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 5/4


    Vietnam, Australia look to jointly create valuable chains

    Australian and Vietnamese experts gathered at a workshop in the Central Highland province of Gia Lai on April 4 to discuss ways to create important valuable chains for the two economies.

    Addressing the event, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Vo Ngoc Thanh said the event is expected to help connect Australian investors and businesses in the province to join the global value chain in the framework of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). 

    He also called on foreign and domestic investors to explore cooperation and investment opportunities in Gia Lai to fully tap its potential.

    Thanh introduced the province’s policies and mechanisms designed to assist investors and businesses, voicing his hope that investors will bring new vitality to the province, stimulate local comprehensive development, thus realising its goal on sustainable poverty reduction.

    Several research projects on hi-tech agricultural production and potential investment options were made public at the workshop. 

    Nguyen Huu Minh from AustralianNewcastleUniversity suggested the processing of gac fruit (Momordica cochinchinensis) in Vietnam to produce supplementary food. He explained that the fruit is abundant in Vietnam, and together with green tea and turmeric, products from the fruit can give Vietnam an edge over other imported supplementary food in the domestic market.

    Gia Lai boasts favourable natural conditions to grow long-term industrial plants, with more than 100,000 hectares of rubber, 94,000 hectares of coffee plants, over 16,000 hectares of pepper, 17,800 hectares of cashew, and 42,000 hectares of sugar canes.

    The province plans to focus on promoting hi-tech agriculture, agricultural product processing, renewable energy, tourism, and supporting enterprises from now to 2020.

    Gia Lai also has huge wind and solar power potential, with a capacity estimated at 1,800 MW and 7,500 MW, respectively.

    In the framework of the workshop, the Vietnam– Australia Business Council signed memoranda of understanding with the Hoang Anh Gia Lai JSC and An Khe township on the production of organic gac fruit powder and safe vegetables.

    Investors frown at unrealistic listing price of Saigon One Tower


     

    Total money supply hits four-year record high, German company invests in two solar power projects in Hau Giang, Dong Nai lures over 374 million USD in FDI in Q1, Tien Giang enjoys over 24 percent rise in exports of Q1

    After ten years in the making, the crowning jewel of Saigon's vista, SaigonOneTower will be put on a public auction to resolve at least VND6.11 trillion ($268.22 million) non-performing loans by Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC), putting an end to one of the most anticipated construction projects in Vietnam.

    To date, myriad market analysts forecasted that a notable number of investors would bid lower than $268.22 million in order to protest the unrealistic listing rate, considering ten years of inactivity due to inefficient investment and postponed development.

    Within four days, the estimated starting price of the project's total assets shrank from VND7 trillion ($307.3 million) to $268.22 million, which is still frowned upon by investors.

    Le Hoang Chau, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association (Horea), asserted that the listing price was considered "reasonable," yet there are high odds that the public auction will not attract the right investor despite the enormous interest expressed.

    Specifically, the total assets which would be included in the public auction comprise of the ownership of a total 14,954 square metres of the commercial area and the intangible assets which is the asset management of the entire construction of the garage, shopping mall, offices for lease, and supporting construction.

    Previously, in 2017, SaigonOneTower was forfeited by VAMC with the purpose of resolving non-performing loans in accordance with Resolution 42 on the handling of non-performing loans after the owners fail to repay debts.

    On August 21 last year VAMC officially sized the asset of Sai Gon One Tower Company in order to collect non-performing loans worth more than $300 million.

    The construction of SaigonOneTower, commonly dubbed as Saigon’s “GhostTower,” was started in 2007 as a residential and office development project, with the involvement of Alpha King Real Estate Development JSC and M&C Real Estate as the main developers.

    Additionally, the project’s total capital mounted up to VND5 trillion ($219.5 million) with the initial target of becoming the third highest tower in Vietnam. However, after 80 per cent of the construction was finished in 2011, the entire development stopped until VAMC seized the asset in 2017.

    Potential business opportunities for Vietnamese and Korean enterprises

    Vietnam Expo 2018, themed “Enhancing regional and global economic links,” continues to be the largest trade promotion event of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

    Over the years, Vietnam Expo has done a good job of promoting trade among neighbouring countries in the region and has been constantly expanding to reach an ever-increasing line-up of attending countries, increasing the number of enterprises which have well-known brands, and demonstrating new technologies, as well as connecting enterprises.

    The 28th Vietnam International Trade Fair (Vietnam Expo 2018) themed “Vietnam Expo—Enhancing regional and global economic links,” will take place on April 11-14 at Hanoi International Exhibition Centre (ICE).

    There will be 500 booths and 450 enterprises from 20 provinces and cities from across Vietnam and 23 countries and territories. The national pavilions include Russia, Cuba, Korea, Nepal, China, and Vietnam.

    Over the past 25 years, Vietnamese-Korean trade has grown from just $500 million in 1992 to approximately $60 billion at the end of last year. The figure is expected to reach $70 billion by this year and $100 billion by 2020.

    Vietnam Expo 2018 will mark the 20th year that Korea opens its national pavilion with around 132 enterprises. MoIT’s partners organising the event include the Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), GBSA, SeongNam Industry Promotion Agency (SNIP), Gyeongbuk Economic Promotion Agency (GEPA), and KoreaDesignCenter.

    Korean investment in Vietnam has been increasing sharply, especially in the segments of hi-technolgoy, garment, and leather. Besides, Korean retailers are forging ahead, with brands like GS25, K-mart, Lotte, and Circle K. These brands have attracted a large number of young customers due to their customer approach and good utilities.

    The Korean pavilion at Vietnam Expo 2018 will showcase some of the country's key strengths, including cosmetics, electronics, mothers and baby products, supplements, and food. These products have lured in many consumers due to their good quality, safety, and environmental friendliness.

    At the Vietnam Expo, exporters and retailers can directly meet and discuss as well as have a good look at new products while approaching the consumers.

    The Vietnam-Korea Design Centre pavilion will be hosted by Vietnam Trade Promotion Department (VIETRADE), MoIT, the Korean Department of Energy.

    All of the booths this year will be designed to be more innovative and impressive in order to show off the products of the two countries' seven best enterprises.

    The Vietnam-Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA) will provide great tariff reductions on agricultural and aquatic products and are a great motivation to increase cross-border partnerships and trade.

    Vietnam Expo 2018 will be a great opportunity to boost trade between Korean and Vietnamese enterprises with a "new mindset" on quality and design.

    Vietnam is not the only one that has macca and walnuts. Thailand also produces and exports these items to Korea in great amounts. There is huge pressure on Bao Minh to carry on changing and ensure its products remain competitive in quality, taste, and design,” said Le Minh Khoa, business director of Bao Minh Company.

    In addition, the tariff reductions on agricultural and aquatic imports provided by VKFTA will certainly increase the consumption of Vietnamese products in Korea.

    The annual Vietnam Expo has been mentioned by the Korean President at his latest visit to Vietnam. He affirmed that the expo has contributed to improving Korean-Vietnamese economic relations.

    Over the past 27 years, Vietnam Expo has become a prestigious event for Vietnamese and Korean enterprises, especially those seeking investment opportunities.

    The Trade Fair will be open from 9:00-16:00, April 11-14, 2018 at Hanoi International Exhibition Centre (I.C.E), at
    91 Tran Hung Dao Street
    , Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi, and expects to welcome about 20,000 local and international visitors.

    Foreign investors flock to Lien Chieu deep seaport

    Although the construction of Lien Chieu port in Danang city has just been appraised, domestic and foreign investors are already interested in the project.

    Boskalis Inter A.V is the newest foreign investor that expressed interest in the project. Wanter Jacobs, regional business manager of Boskalis, said in the document sent to the Ministry of Transport that the investor wants to join component A–general infrastructure. Boskalis will collaborate with T&T Group to deploy this project, particularly in conducting the feasibility study, design, and build general infrastructure system in component A.

    Boskalis was founded in Netherlands in 1910, and provides dredging, offshore energy, and maritime services across the globe. Its projects cover 75 countries on six continents, and the corporation has a fleet of more than 1,100 ships and 15,600 professionals.

    The chances of Boskalis-T&T venture joining the Lien Chieu project depend on the appraisal result of the pre-feasibility study of the MoT, which expects to submit it to the prime minister in the early second quarter of 2018.

    With the total investment of around VND7.378 trillion ($325 million), the LienChieuPort project is divided into two components. Component A is worth VND3.426 trillion ($151 million) and will construct public maritime infrastructure. 80 per cent of this component project will come from the state budget and 20 per cent come from the private sector. Component B will have a total investment of VND3.952 trillion ($174 million).

    Earlier, in January 2018, the prime minister has assigned the Ministry of Transport to appraise the pre-feasibility study of LienChieuPort project’s first phase, while the Ministry of Planning and Investment collaborated with the Ministry of Finance to consider and find solutions to mobilise capital.

    According to the city’s proposal, Lien Chieu Port would combine five functional areas, including a 50,000DWT (deadweight tonnage) harbour, another harbour which could handle 80,000-100,000DWT container ships with a loading capacity of 5,000-8,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEUs), a liquid cargo harbour handling 10,000DWT ships, and an inland waterway harbour for 1,000-5,000DWT ships, as well as a logistics services area and other infrastructure.

    Hoa Phat Group accelerates $3 billion ill-fated Dung Quat steel complex

    Hoa Phat Group is accelerating the construction of the two phases of $3 billion Hoa Phat Dung Quat steel complex in the central province of Quang Ngai's Dung Quat Economic Zone, which the group took over from Taiwanese investors, who failed to develop the project as promised.

    Licensed in September 2006, the project was initiated by Taiwanese steel giant Tycoons with a total investment of more than $556 million. The investor committed to completing the construction within 36 months.

    E-United Group joined later by acquiring a 90 per cent stake. The two Taiwanese enterprises raised the registered investment amount to $3 billion in 2008 and then $4.5 billion in 2010, while simultaneously increasing the factory’s manufacturing capacity to seven million tonnes per year, five million tonnes higher than the initial design.

    In December 2015, the Dung Quat Economic Zone Management Authority carried out an inspection of the project grounds, while simultaneously requesting the investors to voluntarily liquidate its assets.

    In March 2016, the two investors committed to restarting the project with the total capital of $2.2 billion and an output of five million tonnes per year. The investors also committed to completing the construction within 42 months. However, after numerous further delays, the local authorities have grown distrustful of the investors as well as the very feasibility of the project.

    Since it received the investment certificate to revive this ill-fated project, Hoa Phat Group has completed the negotiations with foreign investors to purchase equipment and has installed the machinery and manufacturing line for the long-rolling steel facility.

    According to the plan, the first manufacturing line with the annual capacity of 600,000 tonnes will come into operation in May this year, and the remaining lines will start operation two months later.

    The construction of the hot-rolled flat steel facility (the second phase of the complex) was kicked off last year after Hoa Phat completed the sale of shares for the existing shareholders.

    The phase is expected to generate two million tonnes of hot-rolled flat steel products per year, making Hoa Phat the second hot-rolled flat steel maker in the country, following Formosa. According to the plan, half of the products from the facility will be used by Hoa Phat’s steel sheet manufacturing plant, and the other half will be distributed in the domestic market.

    According to Tran Tuan Duong, general director of Hoa Phat Group, 60 per cent of construction steel manufactured by domestic plants is distributed in the northern market, while only 10 per cent reaches the central and southern markets.

    Thus, once the Hoa Phat Dung Quat steel complex comes into operation, one fourth of its products will be exported and the remaining part will be distributed at the central and southern markets.

    Duong added that as demand for high-quality steel to manufacture screws and bolts is increasing, Hoa Phat Group plans to distribute two third of its high-quality steel in the domestic market.

    According to Hoa Phat, despite the fact that its existing steel manufacturing plants exceed their designed capacity, its products have yet to satisfy the market demand. Hoa Phat is confident that with the increasing domestic demand for steel, it will not be difficult to sell all the products manufactured by the Hoa Phat Dung Quat steel complex.

    Speaking at the corporation’s annual general shareholders’ meeting on March 22, 2018, Duong stated that the upcoming Hoa Phat Dung Quat steel complex is not inferior to Formosa’s and will not lose the competition.

    “The investment rate of Dung Quat project is only one third of Formosa,” he added.

    Notably, it takes Formosa $1,700 of expenditure to manufacture one tonne of products, while the figure for Hoa Phat Dung Quat steel complex is only $500.

    New barrier to weigh on car imports

    After the Ministry of Transport’s approval of the vehicle type approval (VTA) certification issued by the Thai and Indonesian governments, a new barrier is being formed to tighten the flow of car imports from ASEAN countries.

    After overcoming the barriers of Decree 116 on the VTA certificate, in early March, the first automobile batches enjoying tariff exemption have arrived at the seaports and opened a strong flow of completely built up (CBU) cars imported from ASEAN countries.

    According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), an estimated 5,000 CBU cars were imported to Vietnam worth $115 million, equivalent to around $23,000 per vehicle in March. This is 25 times higher than in the 200 in the previous month, and nearly 15 times higher than the first month of the year (340).

    CBU cars imported from Thailand and Indonesia will start arriving to the country from this month. Import tariff has been reduced from 30 per cent in 2017 to 0 this year, thereby the selling price of made-in-ASEAN automobiles will reduce by 20 per cent compared to last year. Consumers could buy a CBU automobile at the lower selling price after a long wait.

    However, the imported car market is facing a new worry. The Government Office has just released a document containing directions from Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) and the Ministry of Transport (MoT).

    The DPM requested the two ministries to coordinate with other ministries and agencies in reviewing, building, and perfecting Vietnamese Standards for CBU cars in order to guarantee state management on the quality of imported cars and comply with international integration commitments.

    Vietnamese Standards is known as a new technical barrier to tighten CBU cars in the coming time. As Circular No.20/TT-BCT (the document previously regulating car imports) has expired and Decree 116 has been one-upped by the higher standard requirements of the new Vietnamese Standards, car imports are expected to be tightened to facilitate domestic assembly and manufacturing.

    On the other hand, experts said the global automobile industry has been developing for a hundred years now, and has achieved technological and technical heights that are far superior to Vietnamese Standards. Therefore, the new regulations and standards may not stop car imports to Vietnam.

    Representatives of some car businesses said that the new barrier will increase the number of procedures and certificates required to import CBU cars.

    Meanwhile, the automobile market has not yet exploded with the amphibious landing of automobiles from ASEAN countries.

    Phuc Son Cement under investigation

    Phuc Son Cement Corporation, which is one of the largest foreign-invested cement producing companies in Vietnam, will be under investigation due to violations in exploiting minerals, according to newswire Dantri.

    According to the inspection report that the State Audit of Vietnam (SAV) has submitted to the prime minister and the Chairwoman of the National Assembly of Vietnam, Phuc Son Cement’s exploited mineral volume exceeded the volume it initially licensed in 1996.

    Besides, local authorities determined that Phuc Son Cement does not have the professional competence to exploit mineral from mines and it currently has to hire organisations and individuals to manage mining exploitation.

    However, Phuc Son Cement has used out-dated technology to exploit resources, causing serious environmental pollution.

    In addition, during the auditing process, the authorities found Phuc Son Cement less than cooperative. Notably, the firm refused to supply the necessary documents and was even found to have revised a number of documents and dossiers.

    Being considered one of the largest foreign-invested cement production plants in Vietnam with 14 per cent of the market share (March 2016), Phuc Son Cement is also rather notorious. Notably, the company was fined for VND360 million ($15,794) and suspended for three months due to environmental violations.

    Furthermore, SAV added that the Haiphong Department of Natural Resources and Environment made an oversight in the management of mineral exploitation and tax payments of Phuc Son Cement.

    Notably, the department has yet to scrutinise the exploited mineral resources as well as the firm’s business report. In addition, in 2009, the Thuy Nguyen District People’s Committee in the northern port city of Haiphong found that the firm illegally exploited national resources, however, the authority has yet to take appropriate steps.

    According to the State Audit, the firm shows signs of violation and estimated that the firm will have to pay VND266.6 billion ($11.69 million) in natural resources tax and environmental protection fees, among others. However, Phuc Son Cement is a foreign-invested firm, thus, in order to ensure transparency, the State Audit will send the inspection results to Haiphong’s public security department to clarify its violations.

    In January 1996, Taiwan Lucky Cement Corporation was granted the investment certificate to develop the Phuc Son Cement plant with a total investment capital sum of $265 million. The plant started commercial operations in May 2005 with a designed capacity of 1.8 million tonnes per year. The entire production line of the project was contracted, designed, inspected, and tested in accordance with Chinese standards, mainly using Chinese equipment.

    Being considered one of the largest foreign-invested cement production plants in Vietnam with 14 per cent of the market share (March 2016), Phuc Son Cement is also rather notorious. Notably, the company was fined for VND360 million ($15,794) and suspended for three months due to environmental violations.

    Besides, in August 2014, there was a rock landslide at the company’s mine, killing five workers. In addition, residents living in the neighboring area of the plant complain a lot about the environmental pollution caused by the rock exploitation activities of the firm.

    In September 2014, Lucky Cement Corporation expressed intentions to develop a 51-hectare site on HoangTanIsland in Quang Yen district. The project comprises of a golf course, luxury hotel, service and entertainment facilities, and a park. The total investment could reach $1 billion. However, to date, there has been no further information about this project.

    Hong Kong FTA set to boost FDI in Vietnam

    A greater wave of investment from Hong Kong is expected to flow into Vietnam following the recently signed ASEAN-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement, which will come into force in January 2019.
    hong kong fta set to boost fdi in vietnam

    Edward Yau, secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, told VIR that among ASEAN countries, Vietnam is expected to gain the most from the ASEAN-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA), as the country is Hong Kong’s fourth-largest trading partner within ASEAN.

    Yau led a high-level Hong Kong business delegation which came to Vietnam last week to explore opportunities for more trade and investment in Vietnam.

    According to Yau, there are many attractive infrastructure developments in Vietnam, including railway, port, highway, and city construction. These projects require professional services, including funding, business consultancy, architecture, and engineering, which have reached a high level of development in Hong Kong.

    “Hong Kong can be a professional service provider as well as a financial trading hub for Vietnam,” Yau said.

    The businesses and startups that use Hong Kong as a home base to serve the whole region are also interested in the Vietnamese market.

    Margaret Fong, executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, said that Hong Kong-based companies have been investing in Vietnam for many years, some for over half a century, mainly in the manufacturing and real estate sectors. She expected that this trend will continue into the future in anticipation of the AHKFTA.

    A new sector for Hong Kong investment will be the financial technology (fintech) industry, which is attracting new companies to Vietnam. Another type of technology which has seen good development in Hong Kong is biotech, which is also an area of interest for Vietnam.

    Hong Kong is home to many companies specialised in branding, marketing, e-commerce, and e-logistics. With extensive expertise, these companies are looking to go international and Vietnam is emerging as a market with great potential for them. On top of that, Hong Kong can provide professional services such as legal, accounting, and business consultancy services to serve the country’s fast-paced development, according to Fong.

    The AHKFTA is expected to boost and facilitate trade and investment between Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, and ASEAN economies. The agreement will reduce the customs duties imposed by ASEAN and improve Hong Kong’s overall competitiveness in the international market.

    ASEAN was already Hong Kong’s second-largest trading partner in merchandise trade in 2016 and the fourth-largest in service trade in 2015. As the sixth-largest economy of ASEAN, Vietnam is set to become a close economic partner of Hong Kong.

    Indeed, Vietnam and Hong Kong enjoy strong bilateral business ties. In the first seven months of 2017, foreign direct investment (FDI) from Hong Kong to Vietnam reached $600 million, which made Hong Kong the fifth-largest source of FDI for Vietnam. FDI from Hong Kong to Vietnam more than doubled between 2012 and 2016, from $373 million in 2012 to $848 million in 2016.

    Amata Group receives investment certificate for industrial park

    Amata Group’s dream about developing the VND3.5-trillion ($153.56 million) SongKhoaiIndustrial Park in the northern province of Quang Ninh came closer to reality after the Thai investor received the investment certificate.

    On March 30, the Quang Ninh People’s Committee granted the investment certificate to Amata Group to build SongKhoaiIndustrial Park located in Quang Yen town.

    The project marks the first IP invested by Thai investors and the fourth by foreign investors in the province since 2014.

    Covering an area of 714 hectares, the construction will be divided into five phases with the total investment capital of VND3.5 trillion ($153.56 million). According to plan, the first phase of the project will welcome the first investors by the end of 2019.

    The purpose of Amata is to lure in sub-investors operating in the manufacturing and processing sector, hi-tech, biotechnology, and software.

    In reality, Amata has been planning to develop the project in 2013 after the group, in collaboration with the Quang Ninh People’s Committee and Tuan Chau Group, signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a hi-tech industrial park and township complex located in Phuong Dong ward of the province.

    According to the initial plan, the construction of the project was to be kicked off in December 2013 and finished by the end of 2014. However, the construction was delayed because the investor proposed to change the site from Phuong Dong ward to Song Khoai commune.

    After the change was approved by the authorities, it took a long time for the authorities and the investor to complete the procedures to replace Phuong Nam IP by the Song Khoai project in Vietnam’s IP development planning by 2020.

    Along with the IP, Amata plans to build HalongSmartCity with a total investment capital sum of $1.6 billion.

    The project would focus on hi-tech IP development, automation, information technology, and especially electronics. The investor would also call for investment in research and development centres, logistics, exhibition centres, and laboratories in Halong.

    Covering an area of 714 hectares in the first phase, the project is expected to generate 300,000 jobs for Vietnamese people as well as bring in approximately $5 billion in annual revenue.

    The group submitted the documents of the Amata City Halong project to the government one year ago for approval, however, it has yet to receive feedback.

    Amata entered Vietnam in 1994 via establishing Amata Vietnam, a joint venture of Amata Corporation PCL and Vietnamese Sonadezi Bien Hoa, a state-owned industrial real estate developer in Dong Nai. To date, it developed two projects in Dong Nai, including Amata City Bien Hoa and Amata City Long Thanh.

    Accordingly, Amata City Bien Hoa is home to 164 investors from 21 countries and territories with the total registered investment of $2.66 billion and generates 49,000 jobs.

    Meanwhile, the Amata City Long Thanh industrial and urban complex covers a total of 1,270 hectares, 33 per cent of which is taken up by a hi-tech IP and 67 per cent by an urban community area.

    Korean GS25 heating up Vietnam's franchising scene

    Over the last 15 months, myriad foreign businesses, including South Korea-based GS25 and Japanese-owned 7-Eleven, came to the Vietnamese convenience retail market through franchising deals.

    In 2017, South Korea-owned convenience franchise chain GS25, under the management of GS Retail, officially entered Vietnam by setting up a joint venture with local SonKimLand.

    Yun Ju Young, managing director of GS25 Vietnam, unveiled that the convenience chain planned to launch the first four stores in Ho Chi Minh City through franchising, followed by a total of 50 stores in major cities, such as Hanoi, Haiphong, Danang, and Can Tho by the end of 2018.

    Yun also stated that the capital city of Hanoi would be the latter part of its expansion strategy in Vietnam. The Korean retailer expects to open 2,500 convenience stores across the country over the next decade.

    Previously, GS25's convenience rival, Japanese-owned 7-Eleven, an American international chain of convenience stores, entered Vietnam in 2015 through a franchising deal with a joint venture named Seven System Vietnam.

    Nonetheless, the Texas-headquartered brand did not launch any convenience stores in Vietnam until 2017, with the first store located in the business hub of Ho Chi Minh City. In contrast with GS25, 7-Eleven only expected to set up about 1,000 convenience stores across Vietnam in the next ten years.

    GS25 was one of the 31 foreign companies penetrating the Vietnamese marketplace through franchising in 2017 alone. These multinationals mainly came from the UK, the US, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan from sectors such as food and beverages (F&B), education, and consumer goods.

    Prominent brands among the multitude of franchisers currently present in Vietnam include the Costa coffee chain of UK-owned Costa International Limited and Dutch apparel retail ITX MERKEN B.V with its cluster of clothing, footwear, and accessories brands including Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, and Massimo Dutti.

    Previously, American Circle K, launched its first convenience store in Ho Chi Minh City on December 25, 2008 through franchising, followed by the next 69 non-stop stores in the same city. In 2017, the US-owned retailer opened its 100th convenience outlet, also located in Ho Chi Minh City, after a decade in Vietnam.

    In addition, Singapore-invested franchising Shop n Go, set foot in Ho Chi Minh City in 2005 as the first foreign convenience brand to enter the country's 24/7 retail market. To date, the Singaporean brand distributes products ranging from processed food and F&B items to makeup and skincare products.


    Total money supply hits four-year record high


     

    Total money supply hits four-year record high, German company invests in two solar power projects in Hau Giang, Dong Nai lures over 374 million USD in FDI in Q1, Tien Giang enjoys over 24 percent rise in exports of Q1

    The money supply in the economy, as of March 20, increased 3.23 per cent against the end of 2017, the highest in four years, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

    The rate of increase in the same period of 2017, 2016 and 2015 was 2.88 per cent, 3.08 per cent and 2.09 per cent, respectively.

    GSO also reported that the credit growth of commercial banks in this period was 2.23 per cent against December last year.

    In the same period, the rising rate of mobilised capital was almost equal to that of the credit growth, posting an expansion of 2.43 per cent, the GSO reported.

    In the first quarter of the year, interest rates averaged 0.6 per cent to 1 per cent per year for non-term and one-month deposits, and 4.3 per cent to 5.5 per cent for one- to six-month deposits. The rate for six- to 12-month deposits was set at 5.3 per cent to 6.5 per cent, and 6.5 per cent to 7.3 per cent for deposits above 12 months.

    Commercial banks also listed the short-term lending rates at 6 per cent to 6.5 per cent per year for prioritised industries and 6.8 per cent to 9 per cent for normal loans.

    The rate applied for medium- and long-term loans was 9.3 per cent to 11 per cent.

    PGBank shareholders to discuss MA decision

    Petrolimex Group Commercial Joint Stock Bank (PGBank) will hold a shareholders’ meeting on April 21 to discuss its restructuring plan.

    The bank will finalise the list of shareholders for the upcoming meeting on April 6.

    The meeting is being held amidst market speculations regarding the merger of PGBank with either of the two other financial institutions – MBBank and Vietinbank.

    It was reported in late 2017 that MBBank was planning an acquisition of PGBank.

    At MBBank’s annual shareholders’ meeting on March 29, general director Lưu Trung Thái said the bank had discussed the merger plan with PGBank but the two sides had not reached any agreements.

    PGBank was approved by its shareholders to merge with Vietinbank in April 2015. The two sides signed a post-merger profile and comprehensive partnership agreement the following month.

    Vietinbank announced the share swap ratio of 1:0.9 for its acquisition of PGBank. It meant every PGBank share would be valued at 90 per cent of one Vietinbank share, which was considered profitable to PGBank shareholders.

    However, this M&A deal has not been finalised as State Bank of Việt Nam later asked the two banks to review their deal, re-evaluate PGBank shares and re-calculate the share swap ratio between the two sides.

    TPBank to introduce 555mn shares on April 19

    Tiên Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) has announced that 555 million of its shares will debut on HCM Stock Exchange (HoSE) on April 19 with code TPB.

    The quantity of listed shares is equal to 95 per cent of the total shares issued by TPBank so far. The starting price is VNĐ32,000 (US$1.42) per share.

    On March 21, TPBank had finalised the list of shareholders before the financial institution registered for listing on HoSE.

    The Vietnam Securities Depository had stopped receiving trading orders for TPBank shares on March 20.

    On Tuesday, TPBank will also finalise the list of shareholders for the bank’s annual shareholders’ meeting 2018.

    Earlier in February, the bank’s shareholders passed the limitation of foreign ownership in TPBank, which is now 24.9 per cent.

    This includes a 5 per cent stake held by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of World Bank.

    IFC bought this stake in August 2016 at a preferential price, and these shares have remained unavailable for trading and listing.

    TPBank posted VNĐ275.8 billion ($12.2 million) in pre-tax profit in the first two months of 2018, a yearly increase of 90 per cent.

    The bank recorded VNĐ1.2 trillion in pre-tax profit in 2017, and its total assets reached more than VNĐ120 trillion.

    Sony brings new camera to Viet Nam     

    Sony Vietnam has unveiled the α7 III, a full-frame mirrorless camera.

    The company said in a release that its innovation within the image sensor space is at the forefront of the α7 III, which features a brand new 24.2MP back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor with increased sensitivity, outstanding resolution and 15 stops of dynamic range at low sensitivities.

    By combining this sensor with features like extreme AF coverage of 93 per cent, fast shooting at up to 10 fps with either mechanical shutter or silent shooting and diverse 4K video capabilities, it said has created a new tool that gives all types of creators – from enthusiast to professional – the ability to capture content in new and different ways.

    The new camera has 425 contrast AF points that work with a 693-point focal-plane phase-detection AF system inherited from the popular α9 model.

    The new camera is expected to be marketed in Viet Nam from the middle of this month.

    Nearly 500 mln USD worth of G-bonds mobilised in March

    The Hanoi Stock Exchange held 11 auctions of Government bonds (G-bonds) in March, mobilising over 11 trillion VND (482.9 million USD) for the State budget – up 10 percent from the previous month.

    Successful bidders of five-year bonds would enjoy an interest rate of between 2.93 – 2.97 percent per year, seven-year bonds 3.4 percent, and 15-year bonds 4.4 percent. The winning interest rate for 20-year bonds is 5.1 percent while those for 30-year bonds range from 5.39 to 5.42 percent per year.

    Compared to February, the coupon rates of five- and 15-year bonds respectively declined 0.08 and 0.12 percent per annum.

    In the G-bond secondary market, the total volume of G-bonds sold by the outright method exceeded 1 billion, worth more than 122 trillion VND (5.35 billion USD), up 65 percent in value from February.

    Meanwhile, trading volume through repurchase agreements (repos) reached over 1.42 billion bonds worth over 148.8 trillion VND (6.53 billion USD), up 77.5 percent in value month on month.

    Foreign investors also made outright purchases of more than 7.7 trillion VND (338 million USD) and outright sales of over 7.2 trillion VND (316 million USD). They made repo sales of over 346 billion VND (15.19 million USD) but did not make repo buys in March.

    German company invests in two solar power projects in Hau Giang

    BS Heidelberg Solar GmbH of Germany said it plans to invest in two solar power projects in Vietnam’s southern province of Hau Giang, namely Hau Giang I and Hau Giang II.

    A memorandum of understanding on the investment was signed by the company and the Hau Giang People’s Committee on April 2.

    Covering 50ha in Hoa An commune, Phung Hiep district, Hau Giang I will have a capacity of over 40MWP and cost 50 million USD.

    Meanwhile, Hau Giang II is expected to be based at the Nhon Nghia A Industrial Cluster in Chau Thanh A district. The 200-ha plant has a designed capacity of more than 170 MWp, with a total investment of 200 million USD.

    Construction of the two plants is scheduled to begin in December 2018 and end in June 2019.

    Rodny Scherzer, a member of the Board of Directors of BS Heidelberg Solar GmbH, said Hau Giang has favourable natural conditions for solar power projects.

    The projects are important during this period, he said, pledging that the company will try to push the implementation of the projects.

    At the working session, Nguyen Van Tuan, Vice Chairman of the Hau Giang People’s Committee, applauded the company’s investment, saying the projects match the locality’s policies and solar power planning scheme.

    Hau Giang will create the best possible conditions for the company to deal with difficulties hindering the process.-

    Dong Nai lures over 374 million USD in FDI in Q1

    The southern province of Dong Nai has licensed 38 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects worth more than 374 million USD in the first three months of 2018.

    According to the local management board of industrial parks, of the total, there were 22 new projects, with combined registered capital exceeding 106 million USD. They included projects invested by August Sport Ltd at 15 million USD and by Great Kingdom Nhon Trach 2 Ltd at 10 million USD.

    The remaining 16 projects, which had already operated, saw over 268 million USD added to their existing capital. They included the Dutch-funded Bosch Gasoline Systems – HPC plant in the Long Thanh industrial park (over 71 million USD) and a project by the Singaporean-funded OPC pharmacy company in the Bien Hoa II industrial park (47.7 million USD).

    The foreign capital poured into Dong Nai in the first quarter met 37.4 percent of the 1-billion-USD target the locality set for 2018.
    [Dong Nai draws almost 156 million USD in FDI in Jan-Feb]
    The provincial Department of Planning and Investment said the new FDI projects are in line with Dong Nai’s policy on prioritising high-tech and environmentally friendly projects.

    To date, Dong Nai houses 1,307 valid FDI projects valued at 27.2 billion USD, invested by businesses from 45 countries and territories across the world, led by those from the Republic of Korea, Taiwan (China), and Japan.

    Tien Giang enjoys over 24 percent rise in exports of Q1

    The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang earned 643 million USD from exports in the first quarter of 2018, up 24.4 percent over the same time last year, the highest year-on-year rise the locality has enjoyed so far.

    According to Ngo Van Tuan, Director of the Tien Giang Department of Industry and Trade, exports from the FDI sector accounted for 60 percent of the total figure.

    An upturn was seen in export revenue of all major products of the province, leading by copper pipe with 49.2 percent to reach 137 million USD, followed by footwear at 38.5 percent (133 million USD), garment and textile at 23.8 percent (120.2 million USD).

    In the first three months, the province shipped abroad 31,300 tonnes of processed aquatic products, mostly fillets of tra fish for 77.9 million USD, a rise of 3.5 percent in volume and 20 percent in value.

    Meanwhile, the province sold over 58,500 tonnes of rice abroad for 28.9 million USD, an increase of about 8 percent in both volume and value, along with 1,620 tonnes of star apples for 3.2 million USD.

    Tuan noted that the largest import market of the province was the America with 40.3 percent of total products, followed by Asian countries with 38.4 percent, and Europe with 17 percent.

    Le Van Nghia, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee said that right in the beginning of the year, the province has applied measures to increase exports by promoting markets in both traditional and potential ones.

    In 2018, Tien Giang targets 2.65 billion USD in export earnings, a rise of 5.4 percent year on year.

    Kien Giang sees export surge in Q1

    The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang raked in nearly 137 million USD from exports during the first three months of this year, an 81 percent increase from the same period last year.

    Of the total, the export value of farm products accounted for 60 million USD and that from aquatic items was 38 million USD, up 59 percent and 18 percent, respectively. Other products brought home nearly 40 million USD, a seven-fold increase year on year.

    Director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade Ngo Cong Tuoc said the province has boosted trade promotion to expand export markets for its key products such as rice and seafood, and footwear.

    Local exporters have also focused on traditional markets while exploring new and potential markets. Connection between enterprises and farmers in key production areas has also been strengthened to ensure material supply for for-export processing.

    In order to realise the export target of 520 million USD, the province will develop a large-scale and high-quality rice growing zone and expand high-tech shrimp farming in the Long Xuyen Quadrangle to ensure shrimp and rice supply for processing for export.

    The province also encourages local enterprises to modernise technology, improve production procedures and product quality, build brands and enhance competitiveness, particularly for aquatic products.

    Assistance will be offered to firms facing difficulties in capital and labour to boost production and exports of key products, including rice, aquatic products, footwear and wood.

    Trade promotion and marketing will be strengthened, in tandem with information and market forecast.

    Vietnam, Australia seek to create hi-tech agricultural value chain

    A workshop was held in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang on April 2 to discuss the creation of hi-tech agricultural value chains between Vietnam and Australia.

    Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Anh Thu said the event allowed local enterprises to learn about technical barriers and how to control the quality of farm produce exported to Australia and other markets in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

    The workshop helped promote local agricultural products and opened up investment opportunities for local and Australian businesses, he added.

    Professor Scott Murray from CanberraUniversity introduced the value chain research model, the development path of Vietnam and the benefits of the CPTPP for Vietnam and Australia.

    He suggested the two countries create a trade and investment network to promote the essential value chain between Australia and Vietnam.

    Dr. Vo Tat Thang from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Economics highlighted the development of high-quality medicinal herbs to help Vietnam penetrate into the world market.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Nguyen Van Kien from the An Giang University introduced a safe vegetable growing project in Vietnam.

    On the occasion, the provincial Department of Agriculture and Development and the Vietnam-Australia business association signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation.

    Hanoi: All industrial parks to have wastewater systems by 2020

    The capital city of Hanoi will focus on wastewater treatment systems in all industrial parks by 2020 as part of its efforts to enhance environmental protection.

    The municipal People’s Committee has ordered the Department of Natural Resources and Environment to examine the environmental impact assessments of operating projects in the city.

    Meanwhile, investors must work to handle wastewater that can pollute and damage the surrounding environment and local livelihoods. All of the measures must be made in compliance with national technical standards. In addition, they must declare and pay fees for environmental protection.

    The capital city is now home to 18 industrial parks with a total area of nearly 3,441 hectares. There are 89 industrial complexes in the city, 43 of which are operating stably and 46 others have just completed their infrastructure systems.

    According to reports from relevant authorities, wastewater treatment plants have been built in nine operating industrial zones while construction of 21 stations in 43 industrial complexes has been completed. However, of the 21 only 10 stations with combined capacity of 10,800 cubic metres per day are operational.


    After ten years in the making, the crowning jewel of Saigon's vista, SaigonOneTower will be put on a public auction to resolve at least VND6.11 trillion ($268.22 million) non-performing loans by Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC), putting an end to one of the most anticipated construction projects in Vietnam.

    To date, myriad market analysts forecasted that a notable number of investors would bid lower than $268.22 million in order to protest the unrealistic listing rate, considering ten years of inactivity due to inefficient investment and postponed development.

    Within four days, the estimated starting price of the project's total assets shrank from VND7 trillion ($307.3 million) to $268.22 million, which is still frowned upon by investors.

    Le Hoang Chau, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association (Horea), asserted that the listing price was considered "reasonable," yet there are high odds that the public auction will not attract the right investor despite the enormous interest expressed.

    Specifically, the total assets which would be included in the public auction comprise of the ownership of a total 14,954 square metres of the commercial area and the intangible assets which is the asset management of the entire construction of the garage, shopping mall, offices for lease, and supporting construction.

    Previously, in 2017, SaigonOneTower was forfeited by VAMC with the purpose of resolving non-performing loans in accordance with Resolution 42 on the handling of non-performing loans after the owners fail to repay debts.

    On August 21 last year VAMC officially sized the asset of Sai Gon One Tower Company in order to collect non-performing loans worth more than $300 million.

    The construction of SaigonOneTower, commonly dubbed as Saigon’s “GhostTower,” was started in 2007 as a residential and office development project, with the involvement of Alpha King Real Estate Development JSC and M&C Real Estate as the main developers.

    Additionally, the project’s total capital mounted up to VND5 trillion ($219.5 million) with the initial target of becoming the third highest tower in Vietnam. However, after 80 per cent of the construction was finished in 2011, the entire development stopped until VAMC seized the asset in 2017.

    Potential business opportunities for Vietnamese and Korean enterprises

    Vietnam Expo 2018, themed “Enhancing regional and global economic links,” continues to be the largest trade promotion event of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

    Over the years, Vietnam Expo has done a good job of promoting trade among neighbouring countries in the region and has been constantly expanding to reach an ever-increasing line-up of attending countries, increasing the number of enterprises which have well-known brands, and demonstrating new technologies, as well as connecting enterprises.

    The 28th Vietnam International Trade Fair (Vietnam Expo 2018) themed “Vietnam Expo—Enhancing regional and global economic links,” will take place on April 11-14 at Hanoi International Exhibition Centre (ICE).

    There will be 500 booths and 450 enterprises from 20 provinces and cities from across Vietnam and 23 countries and territories. The national pavilions include Russia, Cuba, Korea, Nepal, China, and Vietnam.

    Over the past 25 years, Vietnamese-Korean trade has grown from just $500 million in 1992 to approximately $60 billion at the end of last year. The figure is expected to reach $70 billion by this year and $100 billion by 2020.

    Vietnam Expo 2018 will mark the 20th year that Korea opens its national pavilion with around 132 enterprises. MoIT’s partners organising the event include the Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), GBSA, SeongNam Industry Promotion Agency (SNIP), Gyeongbuk Economic Promotion Agency (GEPA), and KoreaDesignCenter.

    Korean investment in Vietnam has been increasing sharply, especially in the segments of hi-technolgoy, garment, and leather. Besides, Korean retailers are forging ahead, with brands like GS25, K-mart, Lotte, and Circle K. These brands have attracted a large number of young customers due to their customer approach and good utilities.

    The Korean pavilion at Vietnam Expo 2018 will showcase some of the country's key strengths, including cosmetics, electronics, mothers and baby products, supplements, and food. These products have lured in many consumers due to their good quality, safety, and environmental friendliness.

    At the Vietnam Expo, exporters and retailers can directly meet and discuss as well as have a good look at new products while approaching the consumers.

    The Vietnam-Korea Design Centre pavilion will be hosted by Vietnam Trade Promotion Department (VIETRADE), MoIT, the Korean Department of Energy.

    All of the booths this year will be designed to be more innovative and impressive in order to show off the products of the two countries' seven best enterprises.

    The Vietnam-Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA) will provide great tariff reductions on agricultural and aquatic products and are a great motivation to increase cross-border partnerships and trade.

    Vietnam Expo 2018 will be a great opportunity to boost trade between Korean and Vietnamese enterprises with a "new mindset" on quality and design.

    Vietnam is not the only one that has macca and walnuts. Thailand also produces and exports these items to Korea in great amounts. There is huge pressure on Bao Minh to carry on changing and ensure its products remain competitive in quality, taste, and design,” said Le Minh Khoa, business director of Bao Minh Company.

    In addition, the tariff reductions on agricultural and aquatic imports provided by VKFTA will certainly increase the consumption of Vietnamese products in Korea.

    The annual Vietnam Expo has been mentioned by the Korean President at his latest visit to Vietnam. He affirmed that the expo has contributed to improving Korean-Vietnamese economic relations.

    Over the past 27 years, Vietnam Expo has become a prestigious event for Vietnamese and Korean enterprises, especially those seeking investment opportunities.

    The Trade Fair will be open from 9:00-16:00, April 11-14, 2018 at Hanoi International Exhibition Centre (I.C.E), at
    91 Tran Hung Dao Street
    , Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi, and expects to welcome about 20,000 local and international visitors.

    Foreign investors flock to Lien Chieu deep seaport

    Although the construction of Lien Chieu port in Danang city has just been appraised, domestic and foreign investors are already interested in the project.

    Boskalis Inter A.V is the newest foreign investor that expressed interest in the project. Wanter Jacobs, regional business manager of Boskalis, said in the document sent to the Ministry of Transport that the investor wants to join component A–general infrastructure. Boskalis will collaborate with T&T Group to deploy this project, particularly in conducting the feasibility study, design, and build general infrastructure system in component A.

    Boskalis was founded in Netherlands in 1910, and provides dredging, offshore energy, and maritime services across the globe. Its projects cover 75 countries on six continents, and the corporation has a fleet of more than 1,100 ships and 15,600 professionals.

    The chances of Boskalis-T&T venture joining the Lien Chieu project depend on the appraisal result of the pre-feasibility study of the MoT, which expects to submit it to the prime minister in the early second quarter of 2018.

    With the total investment of around VND7.378 trillion ($325 million), the LienChieuPort project is divided into two components. Component A is worth VND3.426 trillion ($151 million) and will construct public maritime infrastructure. 80 per cent of this component project will come from the state budget and 20 per cent come from the private sector. Component B will have a total investment of VND3.952 trillion ($174 million).

    Earlier, in January 2018, the prime minister has assigned the Ministry of Transport to appraise the pre-feasibility study of LienChieuPort project’s first phase, while the Ministry of Planning and Investment collaborated with the Ministry of Finance to consider and find solutions to mobilise capital.

    According to the city’s proposal, Lien Chieu Port would combine five functional areas, including a 50,000DWT (deadweight tonnage) harbour, another harbour which could handle 80,000-100,000DWT container ships with a loading capacity of 5,000-8,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEUs), a liquid cargo harbour handling 10,000DWT ships, and an inland waterway harbour for 1,000-5,000DWT ships, as well as a logistics services area and other infrastructure.

    Hoa Phat Group accelerates $3 billion ill-fated Dung Quat steel complex

    Hoa Phat Group is accelerating the construction of the two phases of $3 billion Hoa Phat Dung Quat steel complex in the central province of Quang Ngai's Dung Quat Economic Zone, which the group took over from Taiwanese investors, who failed to develop the project as promised.

    Licensed in September 2006, the project was initiated by Taiwanese steel giant Tycoons with a total investment of more than $556 million. The investor committed to completing the construction within 36 months.

    E-United Group joined later by acquiring a 90 per cent stake. The two Taiwanese enterprises raised the registered investment amount to $3 billion in 2008 and then $4.5 billion in 2010, while simultaneously increasing the factory’s manufacturing capacity to seven million tonnes per year, five million tonnes higher than the initial design.

    In December 2015, the Dung Quat Economic Zone Management Authority carried out an inspection of the project grounds, while simultaneously requesting the investors to voluntarily liquidate its assets.

    In March 2016, the two investors committed to restarting the project with the total capital of $2.2 billion and an output of five million tonnes per year. The investors also committed to completing the construction within 42 months. However, after numerous further delays, the local authorities have grown distrustful of the investors as well as the very feasibility of the project.

    Since it received the investment certificate to revive this ill-fated project, Hoa Phat Group has completed the negotiations with foreign investors to purchase equipment and has installed the machinery and manufacturing line for the long-rolling steel facility.

    According to the plan, the first manufacturing line with the annual capacity of 600,000 tonnes will come into operation in May this year, and the remaining lines will start operation two months later.

    The construction of the hot-rolled flat steel facility (the second phase of the complex) was kicked off last year after Hoa Phat completed the sale of shares for the existing shareholders.

    The phase is expected to generate two million tonnes of hot-rolled flat steel products per year, making Hoa Phat the second hot-rolled flat steel maker in the country, following Formosa. According to the plan, half of the products from the facility will be used by Hoa Phat’s steel sheet manufacturing plant, and the other half will be distributed in the domestic market.

    According to Tran Tuan Duong, general director of Hoa Phat Group, 60 per cent of construction steel manufactured by domestic plants is distributed in the northern market, while only 10 per cent reaches the central and southern markets.

    Thus, once the Hoa Phat Dung Quat steel complex comes into operation, one fourth of its products will be exported and the remaining part will be distributed at the central and southern markets.

    Duong added that as demand for high-quality steel to manufacture screws and bolts is increasing, Hoa Phat Group plans to distribute two third of its high-quality steel in the domestic market.

    According to Hoa Phat, despite the fact that its existing steel manufacturing plants exceed their designed capacity, its products have yet to satisfy the market demand. Hoa Phat is confident that with the increasing domestic demand for steel, it will not be difficult to sell all the products manufactured by the Hoa Phat Dung Quat steel complex.

    Speaking at the corporation’s annual general shareholders’ meeting on March 22, 2018, Duong stated that the upcoming Hoa Phat Dung Quat steel complex is not inferior to Formosa’s and will not lose the competition.

    “The investment rate of Dung Quat project is only one third of Formosa,” he added.

    Notably, it takes Formosa $1,700 of expenditure to manufacture one tonne of products, while the figure for Hoa Phat Dung Quat steel complex is only $500.

    New barrier to weigh on car imports

    After the Ministry of Transport’s approval of the vehicle type approval (VTA) certification issued by the Thai and Indonesian governments, a new barrier is being formed to tighten the flow of car imports from ASEAN countries.

    After overcoming the barriers of Decree 116 on the VTA certificate, in early March, the first automobile batches enjoying tariff exemption have arrived at the seaports and opened a strong flow of completely built up (CBU) cars imported from ASEAN countries.

    According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), an estimated 5,000 CBU cars were imported to Vietnam worth $115 million, equivalent to around $23,000 per vehicle in March. This is 25 times higher than in the 200 in the previous month, and nearly 15 times higher than the first month of the year (340).

    CBU cars imported from Thailand and Indonesia will start arriving to the country from this month. Import tariff has been reduced from 30 per cent in 2017 to 0 this year, thereby the selling price of made-in-ASEAN automobiles will reduce by 20 per cent compared to last year. Consumers could buy a CBU automobile at the lower selling price after a long wait.

    However, the imported car market is facing a new worry. The Government Office has just released a document containing directions from Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) and the Ministry of Transport (MoT).

    The DPM requested the two ministries to coordinate with other ministries and agencies in reviewing, building, and perfecting Vietnamese Standards for CBU cars in order to guarantee state management on the quality of imported cars and comply with international integration commitments.

    Vietnamese Standards is known as a new technical barrier to tighten CBU cars in the coming time. As Circular No.20/TT-BCT (the document previously regulating car imports) has expired and Decree 116 has been one-upped by the higher standard requirements of the new Vietnamese Standards, car imports are expected to be tightened to facilitate domestic assembly and manufacturing.

    On the other hand, experts said the global automobile industry has been developing for a hundred years now, and has achieved technological and technical heights that are far superior to Vietnamese Standards. Therefore, the new regulations and standards may not stop car imports to Vietnam.

    Representatives of some car businesses said that the new barrier will increase the number of procedures and certificates required to import CBU cars.

    Meanwhile, the automobile market has not yet exploded with the amphibious landing of automobiles from ASEAN countries.

    Phuc Son Cement under investigation

    Phuc Son Cement Corporation, which is one of the largest foreign-invested cement producing companies in Vietnam, will be under investigation due to violations in exploiting minerals, according to newswire Dantri.

    According to the inspection report that the State Audit of Vietnam (SAV) has submitted to the prime minister and the Chairwoman of the National Assembly of Vietnam, Phuc Son Cement’s exploited mineral volume exceeded the volume it initially licensed in 1996.

    Besides, local authorities determined that Phuc Son Cement does not have the professional competence to exploit mineral from mines and it currently has to hire organisations and individuals to manage mining exploitation.

    However, Phuc Son Cement has used out-dated technology to exploit resources, causing serious environmental pollution.

    In addition, during the auditing process, the authorities found Phuc Son Cement less than cooperative. Notably, the firm refused to supply the necessary documents and was even found to have revised a number of documents and dossiers.

    Being considered one of the largest foreign-invested cement production plants in Vietnam with 14 per cent of the market share (March 2016), Phuc Son Cement is also rather notorious. Notably, the company was fined for VND360 million ($15,794) and suspended for three months due to environmental violations.
    Furthermore, SAV added that the Haiphong Department of Natural Resources and Environment made an oversight in the management of mineral exploitation and tax payments of Phuc Son Cement.

    Notably, the department has yet to scrutinise the exploited mineral resources as well as the firm’s business report. In addition, in 2009, the Thuy Nguyen District People’s Committee in the northern port city of Haiphong found that the firm illegally exploited national resources, however, the authority has yet to take appropriate steps.

    According to the State Audit, the firm shows signs of violation and estimated that the firm will have to pay VND266.6 billion ($11.69 million) in natural resources tax and environmental protection fees, among others. However, Phuc Son Cement is a foreign-invested firm, thus, in order to ensure transparency, the State Audit will send the inspection results to Haiphong’s public security department to clarify its violations.

    In January 1996, Taiwan Lucky Cement Corporation was granted the investment certificate to develop the Phuc Son Cement plant with a total investment capital sum of $265 million. The plant started commercial operations in May 2005 with a designed capacity of 1.8 million tonnes per year. The entire production line of the project was contracted, designed, inspected, and tested in accordance with Chinese standards, mainly using Chinese equipment.

    Being considered one of the largest foreign-invested cement production plants in Vietnam with 14 per cent of the market share (March 2016), Phuc Son Cement is also rather notorious. Notably, the company was fined for VND360 million ($15,794) and suspended for three months due to environmental violations.

    Besides, in August 2014, there was a rock landslide at the company’s mine, killing five workers. In addition, residents living in the neighboring area of the plant complain a lot about the environmental pollution caused by the rock exploitation activities of the firm.

    In September 2014, Lucky Cement Corporation expressed intentions to develop a 51-hectare site on HoangTanIsland in Quang Yen district. The project comprises of a golf course, luxury hotel, service and entertainment facilities, and a park. The total investment could reach $1 billion. However, to date, there has been no further information about this project.

    Hong Kong FTA set to boost FDI in Vietnam

    A greater wave of investment from Hong Kong is expected to flow into Vietnam following the recently signed ASEAN-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement, which will come into force in January 2019.
    hong kong fta set to boost fdi in vietnam

    Edward Yau, secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, told VIR that among ASEAN countries, Vietnam is expected to gain the most from the ASEAN-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA), as the country is Hong Kong’s fourth-largest trading partner within ASEAN.

    Yau led a high-level Hong Kong business delegation which came to Vietnam last week to explore opportunities for more trade and investment in Vietnam.

    According to Yau, there are many attractive infrastructure developments in Vietnam, including railway, port, highway, and city construction. These projects require professional services, including funding, business consultancy, architecture, and engineering, which have reached a high level of development in Hong Kong.

    “Hong Kong can be a professional service provider as well as a financial trading hub for Vietnam,” Yau said.

    The businesses and startups that use Hong Kong as a home base to serve the whole region are also interested in the Vietnamese market.

    Margaret Fong, executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, said that Hong Kong-based companies have been investing in Vietnam for many years, some for over half a century, mainly in the manufacturing and real estate sectors. She expected that this trend will continue into the future in anticipation of the AHKFTA.

    A new sector for Hong Kong investment will be the financial technology (fintech) industry, which is attracting new companies to Vietnam. Another type of technology which has seen good development in Hong Kong is biotech, which is also an area of interest for Vietnam.

    Hong Kong is home to many companies specialised in branding, marketing, e-commerce, and e-logistics. With extensive expertise, these companies are looking to go international and Vietnam is emerging as a market with great potential for them. On top of that, Hong Kong can provide professional services such as legal, accounting, and business consultancy services to serve the country’s fast-paced development, according to Fong.

    The AHKFTA is expected to boost and facilitate trade and investment between Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, and ASEAN economies. The agreement will reduce the customs duties imposed by ASEAN and improve Hong Kong’s overall competitiveness in the international market.

    ASEAN was already Hong Kong’s second-largest trading partner in merchandise trade in 2016 and the fourth-largest in service trade in 2015. As the sixth-largest economy of ASEAN, Vietnam is set to become a close economic partner of Hong Kong.

    Indeed, Vietnam and Hong Kong enjoy strong bilateral business ties. In the first seven months of 2017, foreign direct investment (FDI) from Hong Kong to Vietnam reached $600 million, which made Hong Kong the fifth-largest source of FDI for Vietnam. FDI from Hong Kong to Vietnam more than doubled between 2012 and 2016, from $373 million in 2012 to $848 million in 2016.

    Amata Group receives investment certificate for industrial park

    Amata Group’s dream about developing the VND3.5-trillion ($153.56 million) SongKhoaiIndustrial Park in the northern province of Quang Ninh came closer to reality after the Thai investor received the investment certificate.

    On March 30, the Quang Ninh People’s Committee granted the investment certificate to Amata Group to build SongKhoaiIndustrial Park located in Quang Yen town.

    The project marks the first IP invested by Thai investors and the fourth by foreign investors in the province since 2014.

    Covering an area of 714 hectares, the construction will be divided into five phases with the total investment capital of VND3.5 trillion ($153.56 million). According to plan, the first phase of the project will welcome the first investors by the end of 2019.

    The purpose of Amata is to lure in sub-investors operating in the manufacturing and processing sector, hi-tech, biotechnology, and software.

    In reality, Amata has been planning to develop the project in 2013 after the group, in collaboration with the Quang Ninh People’s Committee and Tuan Chau Group, signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a hi-tech industrial park and township complex located in Phuong Dong ward of the province.

    According to the initial plan, the construction of the project was to be kicked off in December 2013 and finished by the end of 2014. However, the construction was delayed because the investor proposed to change the site from Phuong Dong ward to Song Khoai commune.

    After the change was approved by the authorities, it took a long time for the authorities and the investor to complete the procedures to replace Phuong Nam IP by the Song Khoai project in Vietnam’s IP development planning by 2020.

    Along with the IP, Amata plans to build HalongSmartCity with a total investment capital sum of $1.6 billion.

    The project would focus on hi-tech IP development, automation, information technology, and especially electronics. The investor would also call for investment in research and development centres, logistics, exhibition centres, and laboratories in Halong.

    Covering an area of 714 hectares in the first phase, the project is expected to generate 300,000 jobs for Vietnamese people as well as bring in approximately $5 billion in annual revenue.

    The group submitted the documents of the Amata City Halong project to the government one year ago for approval, however, it has yet to receive feedback.

    Amata entered Vietnam in 1994 via establishing Amata Vietnam, a joint venture of Amata Corporation PCL and Vietnamese Sonadezi Bien Hoa, a state-owned industrial real estate developer in Dong Nai. To date, it developed two projects in Dong Nai, including Amata City Bien Hoa and Amata City Long Thanh.

    Accordingly, Amata City Bien Hoa is home to 164 investors from 21 countries and territories with the total registered investment of $2.66 billion and generates 49,000 jobs.

    Meanwhile, the Amata City Long Thanh industrial and urban complex covers a total of 1,270 hectares, 33 per cent of which is taken up by a hi-tech IP and 67 per cent by an urban community area.

    Korean GS25 heating up Vietnam's franchising scene

    Over the last 15 months, myriad foreign businesses, including South Korea-based GS25 and Japanese-owned 7-Eleven, came to the Vietnamese convenience retail market through franchising deals.

    In 2017, South Korea-owned convenience franchise chain GS25, under the management of GS Retail, officially entered Vietnam by setting up a joint venture with local SonKimLand.

    Yun Ju Young, managing director of GS25 Vietnam, unveiled that the convenience chain planned to launch the first four stores in Ho Chi Minh City through franchising, followed by a total of 50 stores in major cities, such as Hanoi, Haiphong, Danang, and Can Tho by the end of 2018.

    Yun also stated that the capital city of Hanoi would be the latter part of its expansion strategy in Vietnam. The Korean retailer expects to open 2,500 convenience stores across the country over the next decade.

    Previously, GS25's convenience rival, Japanese-owned 7-Eleven, an American international chain of convenience stores, entered Vietnam in 2015 through a franchising deal with a joint venture named Seven System Vietnam.

    Nonetheless, the Texas-headquartered brand did not launch any convenience stores in Vietnam until 2017, with the first store located in the business hub of Ho Chi Minh City. In contrast with GS25, 7-Eleven only expected to set up about 1,000 convenience stores across Vietnam in the next ten years.

    GS25 was one of the 31 foreign companies penetrating the Vietnamese marketplace through franchising in 2017 alone. These multinationals mainly came from the UK, the US, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan from sectors such as food and beverages (F&B), education, and consumer goods.

    Prominent brands among the multitude of franchisers currently present in Vietnam include the Costa coffee chain of UK-owned Costa International Limited and Dutch apparel retail ITX MERKEN B.V with its cluster of clothing, footwear, and accessories brands including Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, and Massimo Dutti.

    Previously, American Circle K, launched its first convenience store in Ho Chi Minh City on December 25, 2008 through franchising, followed by the next 69 non-stop stores in the same city. In 2017, the US-owned retailer opened its 100th convenience outlet, also located in Ho Chi Minh City, after a decade in Vietnam.

    In addition, Singapore-invested franchising Shop n Go, set foot in Ho Chi Minh City in 2005 as the first foreign convenience brand to enter the country's 24/7 retail market. To date, the Singaporean brand distributes products ranging from processed food and F&B items to makeup and skincare products.

    VNN

    0 0
  • 04/06/18--07:03: Article 2
  • Government News 6/4


    Conference seeks to reform VFF organization, operation


     

    NA Vice Chairwoman receives former IPU Secretary General, Vietnamese defence minister stresses importance of MCIS, Vietnam, Laos seek to enhance religious cooperation, Vietnam, Laos seek to enhance religious cooperation

    The reform of organisation and operation of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) and other socio-political organisations in Vietnam was spotlighted at a conference in Hanoi on April 6.

    Mai Van Chinh, deputy head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Organisation said that in the past 30 years, along with achievements, the VFF has shown a number of shortcomings. Its organizational structure is large but unveils ineffectiveness in some assigned fields.

    This requires the VFF and socio-political organisations to continue renovating and completing their structures to suit the political, economic, cultural and social situation in the new period, he said.

    Chinh pointed out that the organization and operational methods of the VFF and socio-political organisations has yet been researched thoroughly in theory and practicality.

    He noted that the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Organisation has implemented a one-year project on renovating the organization model and operational methods of the VFF and other socio-political organisations with the engagement of many scientists and management officials.

    Participants at the event gave their ideas on theoretical and practical issues related to the work, while analyzing new circumstances and new requirements in the field.

    They also defined orientations, targets, principles and major solutions to renovating the organization model and improving the operational efficiency of the VFF and socio-political organisations.

    President of the VFF Central Committee Tran Thanh Man said the ideas gathered during the conference are significant, helping the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Organisation in advising the Politburo and the Party Central Committee in personnel work.

    NA Vice Chairwoman receives former IPU Secretary General 

     

    NA Vice Chairwoman receives former IPU Secretary General, Vietnamese defence minister stresses importance of MCIS, Vietnam, Laos seek to enhance religious cooperation, Vietnam, Laos seek to enhance religious cooperation
    NA Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong (R) and former Secretary General of the Inter-Parliament Union (IPU) Anders Johnsson


    National Assembly (NA) Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong hosted a reception for visiting former Secretary General of the Inter-Parliament Union (IPU) Anders Johnsson in Hanoi on April 5.

    The Vietnamese legislator praised contributions made by the former IPU leader, saying that his knowledge of international law and parliamentary diplomacy helped promote the development of international parliament diplomacy, and the sharing of experience among IPU member nations.

    She also highlighted the close cooperation between the Vietnamese NA and the IPU for nearly four decades, affirming that the partnership brought remarkable achievements.

    Support and cooperation provided the IPU in general and the former IPU leader helped the Vietnamese legislature compete its responsibility towards the international community, she stressed, adding that Vietnam always respects his sentiments and assistance for Vietnam.

    In reply, Johnsson said he hopes for more visits to Vietnam in the future so he can continue sharing his experience and knowledge related to parliamentary diplomacy with the Vietnamese NA.

    Vietnamese defence minister stresses importance of MCIS
     

     

    NA Vice Chairwoman receives former IPU Secretary General, Vietnamese defence minister stresses importance of MCIS, Vietnam, Laos seek to enhance religious cooperation, Vietnam, Laos seek to enhance religious cooperation
    General Ngo Xuan Lich


    The Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) has been an important forum contributing to maintaining and promoting peace, stability and security in Asia-Pacific and the world, said Vietnamese Defence Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich.

    Addressing the seventh MCIS in Moscow, Russia, on April 5, General Lich talked about multilateral mechanisms in Asia-Pacific and collective actions against emerging challenges and threats.

    He said the region is facing potential risks to its stability, with global issues, including traditional and non-traditional security challenges such as the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula, territorial water sovereignty disputes, weapons of mass destruction, racial and religious conflicts, terrorism, cyber security, natural disasters, diseases and adverse impacts of the fourth industrial revolution, among others.

    “However, we would be optimistic about good things brought about by multi-class, multi-sector cooperation trend, both bilateral and multilateral,” he said.

    The officer cited the fruitful bilateral relations between Vietnam and Russia in the region, along with cooperation mechanisms led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) like the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) to clarify his views.

    Efforts made by a single country cannot address such challenges but it requires connectivity and joint efforts of the entire region, with the army playing the key role, he stressed.

    General Lich also applauded Russia’s contributions to regional peace and stability over the past time, particularly within the framework of the ADMM , calling on the country to carry forward its role in Asia-Pacific, step up cooperation and friendship with the ASEAN member countries, and work with the group to maintain the balance in the region, prevent conflicts and wars and reduce the arms race, contributing to maintaining regional peace, security and stability.

    He affirmed that Vietnam persistently pursues the policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralisation and diversification of international relations, and being a trust-worthy friend and partner of all countries, and a responsible member of the international community. 

    Vietnam advocates handling disputes, including East Sea dispute, by peaceful measures on the basis of international law and regional commitments, he said.

    The seventh MCIS took place from April 4-5 under the theme “Middle East outlook after eradication of ISIS in Syria”. More than 850 delegates from 95 countries attended the event.

    Vietnam, Laos seek to enhance religious cooperation

    NA Vice Chairwoman receives former IPU Secretary General, Vietnamese defence minister stresses importance of MCIS, Vietnam, Laos seek to enhance religious cooperation, Vietnam, Laos seek to enhance religious cooperation

     

    At the talks (Source: http://www.nhandan.com.vn)


    Chairman of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs (GCRA) of Vietnam Vu Chien Thang and Chanthavong Senamathmonti, Vice President of  the Lao Front for National Construction (LFNC) Central Committee held talks in Vientiane on April 5 to discuss ways to foster religious cooperation between the two countries.

    During the talks, the two sides updated each other on the religious situation in their respective country.

    Thang highlighted the special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos, saying that the bilateral relations have been increasingly consolidated and deepened across fields in a more practical and effective manner.

    Vietnam is a multi-religious country and the Vietnamese State always respect and consistently implements policies to ensure freedom of belief and religion, equality and solidarity among different religions; and creates favourable conditions for religious activities, thus promoting unity among religions, he stressed.

    For his part, Chanthavong Senamathmonti affirmed the Vietnamese delegation’s visit contributes to tightening the special friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties, State and people of Laos and Vietnam.

    He thanked the GCRA for its cooperation and support for the LFNC in recent years, while hailing the achievements of cooperation between the two agencies.

    Following the talks, the two sides signed the minutes on the implementation of a cooperation agreement between the two agencies in the 2018-2020 period.

    Thang is leading a Vietnamese delegation on a working visit to Laos from April 5-9 at the invitation of the President of LFNC Central Committee.

    Symposium spotlights national protection war in southwestern border
     

     

    NA Vice Chairwoman receives former IPU Secretary General, Vietnamese defence minister stresses importance of MCIS, Vietnam, Laos seek to enhance religious cooperation, Vietnam, Laos seek to enhance religious cooperation
    A ceremony to rebury the remains of Vietnam's voluntary experts and soldiers who laid down their lives in the national protection war in the southwestern border


    Leading experts and scientists of Vietnam gathered at a symposium in Ho Chi Minh City on April 5 to look into some issues about the war defending the country in the southwestern border.

    The event was organised by the Vietnam Association of Historical Sciences, the University of Social Sciences and Humanities under the Vietnam National University - HCM City, and the HCM City Association of Historical Sciences.

    In the opening remarks, Chairman of the HCM City Association of Historical Sciences Prof. Dr Vo Van Sen affirmed that Vietnam’s move came from the legitimate demand for self-defence. Facing the provocation of the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime in the southwestern border, Vietnam exercised utmost restraint and showed the goodwill and the wish for peaceful and friendly cooperation between the nations.

    That Vietnam’s voluntary soldiers came to Cambodia to perform the international duty was necessary to prevent the recovery of the genocidal regime, which was confirmed by Cambodian leaders later, he noted.

    More than 50 reports sent to the symposium and opinions of experts and scientists clarified the necessity and inevitability of the war protecting Vietnam in the southwestern border (1977 – 1979). They made clear that the war (before January 7, 1979) and Vietnam’s international mission in Cambodia (1979 – 1989) are two different issues which had different historical backgrounds, causes and developments but were logically connected.

    At the event, participants also proved that the war in the southwestern border was directly linked with the national protection war in the northern border, and that the fights greatly changed Vietnam’s international relations and affected the country’s post-war situation.

    Assoc. Prof. Dr Tran Ngoc Long, former Deputy Director of the Military History Institute of Vietnam, said these historical events should not be considered as two separate fights but they should be called the “war to protect the Fatherland in the two ends of the border”.

    Many other participants said the national protection war in the southwestern border happened as fast as a self-defending counter-attack of the Vietnamese armed forces.

    Assoc. Prof. Dr Ha Minh Hong from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities said it was a just war and obtained many successes of national and international significance, including defeating the war machine of the Khmer Rouge, annihilating the genocidal regime, firmly protecting the country’s border, and helping Cambodia to revive its revolution.

    The workshop also analysed many aspects regarding the background, causes and developments of the national protection war, the art of military and diplomacy of Vietnam, and lessons from the fight.

    NA supervises management, use of State capital, assets in enterprises


     

    NA Vice Chairwoman receives former IPU Secretary General, Vietnamese defence minister stresses importance of MCIS, Vietnam, Laos seek to enhance religious cooperation, Vietnam, Laos seek to enhance religious cooperation
    Vice Chairman of the NA Phung Quoc Hien chairs the working session 


    A supervision team of the National Assembly (NA)  had a working session with representatives of the Government, ministries and sectors on the NA’s draft Report and Resolution on the supervision of management and use of State-owned capital and assets at enterprises and equitisation of State-owned enterprises (SoEs) from 2011 – 2016.

    Chairing the session, head of the supervision team and Vice Chairman of the NA Phung Quoc Hien said during the past five months implementing the supervision plan, the team had worked with nine ministries and agencies, eight localities, 12 economic groups and corporations and several SoEs.

    The team has also worked with the Government’s Standing Committee and heard reports on the management and use of State-owned capital and assets at enterprises and SoE equitisation from 2011 – 2016.

    The NA Vice Chairman said the team had produced a draft report on the supervision results and a draft resolution on the supervision work in the field, taking into account reports of ministries, sectors, localities, and local NA deputy delegations.

    After discussing with the Government representatives, the team is to submit the draft supervision report and draft resolution to the NA Standing Committee in April.

    Then the team will finalise the report and submit it to the NA at the fifth session, slated for May and June.

    HCM City fosters collaboration with Japan’s Aichi Prefecture 

    NA Vice Chairwoman receives former IPU Secretary General, Vietnamese defence minister stresses importance of MCIS, Vietnam, Laos seek to enhance religious cooperation, Vietnam, Laos seek to enhance religious cooperation

     

    Overview of the meeting between Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong and Governor of Japan’s Aichi Prefecture Hideaki Ohmura (Source: sggp.org.vn)


    Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong met Governor of Japan’s Aichi Prefecture Hideaki Ohmura on April 5 as part of his ongoing visit to Japan, during which Phong expressed his hope that businesses of Aichi will invest more in the city.

    Aichi and Ho Chi Minh City should design cooperation programmes in manufacturing and production areas, including automobile, machinery and high-technology agriculture, Phong proposed.

    He affirmed that Ho Chi Minh City will create optimal conditions for enterprises in Japan and Aichi in particular to invest in the city.

    For his part, Ohmura said he hopes the Ho Chi Minh City delegation’s visit, during which a Vietnamese festival in Aichi will be held, will help foster ties between the two localities.

    In a meeting with Nagoya city’s Mayor Kawamura Takashi, Phong thanked the mayor for backing the Vietnamese community in Nagoya, expressing hope that he will continue supporting exchange activities between Nagoya and Ho Chi Minh City.

    Later the same day, Phong met with Vietnamese students in Nagoya University of Economics. He highlighted the students’ role in deepening links between Vietnam and Japan and their contributions to the homeland.

    He said he hopes after graduating, the students will bring their knowledge home.

    Phong underscored that Ho Chi Minh City always pays attention to attracting talent to work in the city to make the city an economic driving force for the country, a dynamic and modern smart city and a highlight in investment attraction and start-ups.

    The same day, Phong and the Ho Chi Minh City delegation visited Aichi’s agriculture experiment station to seek cooperation opportunities in high-tech agriculture.

    Law reform needed to ensure meaning of amnesty: NA deputies


     

    NA Vice Chairwoman receives former IPU Secretary General, Vietnamese defence minister stresses importance of MCIS, Vietnam, Laos seek to enhance religious cooperation, Vietnam, Laos seek to enhance religious cooperation
    At the plenary session 


    Members of the National Assembly’s Judicial Committee have agreed on the need to amend the 2007 Law on Amnesty to make it fall in line with the 2013 Constitution and other related laws, and to ensure the meaning of amnesty. 

    The consensus was reached during a plenary session of the committee which was held in Hanoi on April 5 to examine the draft revision to the Law on Amnesty. 

    Over the past ten years since the adoption of the 2007 Law on Amnesty, the State had granted amnesty to nearly 86,000 prisoners. 

    According to the committee, amnesty was defined a special leniency by the State, through a presidential decision to release prisoners before the completion of their prison terms or commuting sentences entirely as rewards for good behavior, or repentance as well as to encourage them to repent, reform and become useful for society.

    Deputies said the amnesty results over the past years showed the effectiveness of amnesty in encouraging prisoners to study, work and strive to reform. The rate of prisoners who received amnesty and re-offended was very low.

    However, they said the law was issued in 2007 and has revealed shortcomings and no longer matched other related laws.

    Chairwoman of the committee Le Thi Nga said one of shortcomings of the law was that criteria for prisoners to be granted amnesty was not tight enough so the number of prisoners getting amnesty was quite big, reducing the meaning of the policy and affecting the judgments made by judicial bodies.

    Some deputies agreed that the draft revision should tighten criteria to grant amnesty to prisoners to ensure fairness and the meaning of the policy.

    Most deputies also agreed with the change of the law to regulate the time to grant amnesty which will be made coinciding with special events of the country. At present, amnesty decisions can be issued on the occasion of special events or big holidays.

    VNN

    0 0
  • 04/06/18--07:30: Article 1
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 6/4


    Q1 2018: Export of key farm produce surges


    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 first three months of 2018 saw strong rises in export volume and value of key farm produce such as rice, tea, cashew nuts, vegetables and cassava products, bringing the total export earnings of farm produce to US$4.6 billion, up 9% annually.

    Coffee export volumes jump, value falls in Q1   


    vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news

     

      

    Viet Nam exported 520,000 tonnes of coffee worth US$1 billion in the first quarter of the year, an increase of 15.1 per cent in volume but a decrease of 1.7 per cent in value compared to the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    Germany, the US, Indonesia, Italy and Japan were among the country’s key export markets. Germany accounted for more than 14 per cent of exports though its purchases fell by 18 per cent year-on-year.

    Reviewing the exports, Do Ha Nam, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Coffee and Cocoa Association, described the situation as “good.”

    The sector’s export target for the 2017-18 crop is 1.5 million tonnes.

    In the last quarter of last year 400,000 tonnes had been exported, meaning only another 600,000 tonnes have to be exported to meet the target.

    Nam told Viet Nam Economic Times it is not a big number with five months still to go for the end of the coffee season, and the target would surely be achieved.

    Talking about prices in the domestic market, he said they are down slightly since the market is now mainly affected by movements in the forward market.

    “The market is currently quiet. There is no buyer or seller. In the short term coffee prices will not increase because there are is no driving factor. But starting in July, when the status of the coffee crop in Brazil, the world’s largest coffee producer, is clear, the market may fluctuate.”

    But many experts agree there is no big threat this year since supply and demand are fairly closely matched, he said.

    The association said Viet Nam’s coffee output is expected to increase by 15 per cent this year, but would not create pressure because the increase would be much lower than in most years.

    Viet Nam exported 1.4 million tonnes last year for $3.2 billion.

    The country’s exports were down sharply last year due to a fall in output because of the impact of climate change, but thanks to high prices, the export value was down by only 2.7 per cent over 2016, the association said.

    Viet Nam is the second largest exporter behind Brazil.

    The coffee industry has carried out a restructure programme to improve its competitiveness by improving productivity, quality and value.

    Under the programme, the country plans to keep the area under coffee at 600,000ha and focus on planting new trees with higher productivity and quality, it said. 

    Funding boost to help SMEs in Tra Vinh Province     

    The People’s Committee of the southern Province of Tra Vinh has allocated more than VND2.66 trillion (US$117.7 million) to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

    Priority will be given to supporting SMEs where production is based on enhancing local advantages such as coconut farming, tourism, aquaculture, vegetables, handicrafts and fruit.

    The province plans to use the funds to implement supportive solutions, including the creation of favourable policies and simplification of administrative procedures.

    The funds will also be used to provide financial and credit support and to improve infrastructure such as facilities, workshop, transportation, electricity and water supply, along with waste treatment to protect the environment.

    The province also provides technical support such as providing useful information and databases; connecting supply and demand; providing advisory services for SMEs on business establishment, development, and management; and organising dialogues with authorities at all levels.

    By 2020, the province will strive to have some 4,000 SMEs, of which seven per cent are medium sized, at least 30 per cent are female-owned and 15 per cent are owned by ethnic minorities. Each year, enterprises create 22,000-25,000 new jobs.

    Chairman of People’s Committee Dong Van Lam said currently more than 2,000 enterprises are operating in the province with total registered capital of VND25.290 trillion, creating jobs for more than 86,000 workers in and around the province.

    However, of this total, small and micro enterprises account for more than 90 per cent. Therefore, most of the enterprises in the province encountered difficulties in accessing support policies, preferential loans, science and technology, and consumption markets. 

    Banks prohibited from disbursing loans in cash     

    The State Bank of Viet Nam has tightened lending regulations, prohibiting credit institutions and foreign bank branches from disbursing loans in cash, effective from April 2, according to a new circular.

    Under Circular No. 21/2017/TT-NHNN, which stipulates the mode of disbursement of loans by credit institutions and foreign bank branches to customers, lenders will have to provide loans to bank accounts of beneficiaries via non-cash payment instruments.

    According to the central bank, the new circular is aimed to better supervise loans, seeking to have them comply with the stated purposes for requested loans. The disbursement of loans through bank accounts will help commercial banks supervise the use of borrowers’ loans from the beginning to avoid funds being used for incorrect purposes, such as rollovers, resulting in an increase of non-performing loans.

    Under the new circular, lenders must disburse loans to a borrower’s bank account if it is required by law that money is to be transferred from the borrower’s bank account, and only in compliance with the purpose of the loans.

    The disbursement through bank accounts is also required if the borrower has made payments in connection with business plans approved by the lenders; or the borrower directly pays individuals or households for agricultural products, in compliance with the purpose of a loan.

    However, lenders may consider disbursing loans to the borrower in cash if the beneficiary does not have a bank account at any bank; or the borrower does not have a bank account at any bank and has made payments in connection with business plans approved by lenders.

    The new circular also regulates that the lenders may consider disbursing loans, either in cash or via non-cash instruments, if the amount to be paid to the beneficiary, who has a bank account, does not exceed VND100 million (US$4,400); or the borrower will make payments to the beneficiary, who is a State-owned organisation and allowed to use cash in payments. 

    Hoai Duc expects real estate boom

    With the city of Hanoi planning to increase its volume of urban districts, Hoai Duc to the west of the capital is set to receive more attention from investors, thanks to its favourable transportation connections and comparatively affordable land prices.

    Paying over VND1 billion ($45,454) for an apartment in Duc Thuong in Hoai Duc district to the west of Hanoi five years ago, Nguyen Thi Ly used to scold herself for her poor decision, having chosen a place 20 kilometres from the inner city.

    However, Ly, a nurse at the Transport Hospital in Cau Giay district, now feels no regrets for her choice as the rural area is expected to become an exciting urban district over the next two years.

    Bringing an end to hearsay and guesswork, Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung affirmed the city’s plan to turn the rural district of Hoai Duc into an urban district by 2020, in the committee’s March meeting.

    Chung requested that his subordinates outline the project’s details with a reasonable schedule to realise the plan. He told local media that there was no doubt about an upgrade of the district. “The city can make the investment of hiring a foreign consultant for the plan,” he said.

    With the merger between the city of Hanoi and the former province of Ha Tay in 2008, the 82.67-square kiliometre district of Hoai Duc, one of Ha Tay’s most culturally rich centres, became a rural district of the capital city.

    According to the Vietnam National Real Estate Association, the district holds great potential for the realty market. In addition to its traffic connections of Beltway 3.5 and Beltway 4 currently under construction, as well as the main axes of To Huu, Thang Long, and National Highway 32, there are also plans in the near future to build Hanoi’s first ever skytrain.

    Ly is excited, even though the first phase of the 12km skytrain, connecting the nearby Nhon area with the inner city, will not be finished until 2021. “Although the skytrain has been delayed several times, I believe that it will soon be done,” she said.

    Currently, it often takes Ly 30-45 minutes to get to work. With the new sky train, which will connect Hoang Mai district with Hoai Duc district’s Tram Troi town at its full length, it would be 20 minutes at most.

    Aside from the advantages the train will bring, the whole infrastructure system in the district is changing rapidly. National Highway 32 has been expanded to four lanes, while Beltway 3.5 – to be finished in October – has a special section (5.6km long, 60m wide, and with a speed limit of 80km/h) that will connect it to Thang Long Boulevard.

    Nguyen Thi Thu Hang, deputy director of Savills Vietnam, told VIR that since most of the land in the inner city is already occupied, the west of Hanoi is becoming more attractive with its improved transport situation.

    Hang said that a complete transport system would also boost the retail and entertainment services in Hoai Duc and its neighbouring districts.

    Located next to the districts of South Tu Liem, North Tu Liem, and Cau Giay, where education, health, entertainment, and retail are experiencing rapid growth, Hoai Duc earns its place as a more reasonably-priced home for people working and studying in those areas.

    In addition, located close to Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park, which accommodates 81 projects with VND66.2 trillion ($3 billion) in investment capital, the growing urban projects and condominiums in Hoai Duc can provide better realty services to the park’s highly paid employees, as the park’s home district of Thach That offers few facilities.

    Current major investors in the district are Lung Lo 5 (with its Westpoint project covering 32 hectares), Lilama Investment, Construction and Urban Development JSC (with its Son Dong Sunshine City), and Hai Phat Land.

    Last June, the joint venture of Vinaconex and Phu Long Real Estate JSC of billionaire Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, which bought a 50 per cent stake of South Korea’s Posco E&C in the joint venture, resumed its $2.5 billion Splendora project in An Khanh after an 11 year delay, while realty developer Vingroup began the construction work on Vinhomes Thang Long in 2016.

    Tran Huu Thang from Hai Phat Land told VIR that more and more customers are showing interest in its project in the district. Last year, Hai Phat Land opened a branch there to serve the increasing demand.

    Thang said a land plot of 70-80 square metres now costs VND 22-25 million ($1,000-1140) per sq.m, an increase of 20 per cent over the last two years.

    Nguyen Long from Hoai Duc Realty Office said land prices in some areas have risen between 20 and 25 per cent since the beginning of the year alone, due to increasing land transactions.

    The price of residential land in the areas of Van Canh, Kim Chung, Di Trach, Duc Giang, and Tram Troi is now much higher than it was in the past. Land in a prime location can cost VND20-50 million ($910-2,280) per sq.m, while land prices by National Highway 32 can reach more than VND150 million ($6,850) per sq.m.

    Currently, Hanoi has 12 urban districts, 17 rural districts, and one town within its city limits. In addition to Hoai Duc to the west, the suburban districts of Gia Lam to the east and Thanh Tri to the south of the city also hope to be declared urban districts.

    TTC Land jumps into industrial zone segment

    Saigon Thuong Tin Real Estate JSC (Sacomreal) decided to set foot in industrial zone and resort development, as well as the commercial-rental segment after changing its name to TTC Land. 

    Accordingly, along with the housing segment, TTC Land will expand its operations into resort, commercial-rental, and industrial zone (IZ) real estate.

    Notably, TTC Land will accelerate the construction of two commercial-rental real estate projects, namely TTC Plaza Binh Thanh in Ho Chi Minh City and TTC Plaza Duc Trong in Lam Dong province, in order to take them into operation soon. Besides, this year, the company will develop two more projects, namely TTC Plaza Danang and TTC Plaza Haiphong.

    Besides, it will implement the construction of a 305-hectare resort complex in Phu Quoc.

    Additionally, TTC Land will develop other IZ projects after the acquisition of the 1,002-hectare Thanh Thanh Cong IZ in Tay Ninh province and the 53-hectare Tan Kim IZ in 2017. Both of these IZ are located in the southern key economic zone and have an occupancy rate of 60 per cent.

    Furthermore, TTC Land plans to develop projects across the country, instead of focusing on the south.

    Once the restructuring ends, TTC Land will have total assets of VND17 trillion ($745.86 million) and own 2,000 hectares of land to develop real estate projects within the next ten years.

    In 2010, the firm listed its shares on the Hanoi Stock Exchange. At the time, its charter capital reached VND1 trillion ($43.87 million). Thus, after more than eight years of operation, its charter capital increased to more than 90 per cent.

    Eximbank: Back to the fingerprint business

    Eximbank has returned to the basics by applying a fingerprint check, along with other safety measures, for savings and withdrawals, following the scandal of disappearing savings.

    Notably, the Ho Chi Minh City-based lender also requires all authorisation letters and related documents to be scanned and stored on its core banking system.

    As part of an attempt to minimise the risk of fraud and enhance security, Eximbank said that it will apply a raft of measures including the rotation of staff and strengthening internal controls.

    In particular, the bank will rotate its clerks and supervisors within the branch and transaction office. To a larger extent, Eximbank looks to rotate supervisors between branches and transactions offices in the same area and leaders or managers between units and departments.

    What is more, the bank will set up a ‘mobile’ director mechanism to temporarily replace branch directors for a certain period in a bid to identify and rectify any errors made by the branch.

    While Eximbank might be the first among the local bank community to impose measures to enhance its operations and regain the trust of its clients, foreign banks have been using advanced technology for a few years now to improve their customer experience.

    For instance, back in 2016 Citi introduced its Touch ID, a technology that uses customers’ fingerprint for verification when conducting business on their smartphones. According to Citi, its customers no longer need to memorise their username and password—they simply use their fingerprint to reduce fraud and enhance usability.

    F88 launches online property valuation service

    Understanding that the need for asset valuations will become increasingly common, F88 has launched a free online property valuation service at www.dinhgianhanh.com. The service was created from an initiative to harness the power of a massive asset verification database of more than 10,000 property codes and a team of wealth appraisers.

    Mr. Phung Anh Tuan, CEO of F88, believes that the opening of the valuation system will benefit the general public based on contributions and use by the community.

    After a trial run from the end of December, the site received a lot of positive feedback from consumers because of its user-friendly, easy-to-use features. One user, Ms. Nguyen Thuy Duong, said she trades in property and evaluations can be difficult, but is now much simpler with dinhgianhanh.com. Other comments were used to improve the service.

    Depending on the needs of users, dinhgianhanh.com can automatically add new properties, allowing customers to track the ups and downs and price fluctuations in the market, for use as reference when making purchasing decisions or using housing as collateral.

    Four months on, the website has had nearly 15,000 visits from people valuing assets of all kinds, including watches, phones, laptops, tablets, motor cars, motorcycles, valuable SIM card numbers, and others. The most common valuations are for mobile phones (22 per cent), motorbikes (18 per cent), and SIM card numbers (15 per cent).

    Valuation results on the website are solely based on information the customer declares and F88 needs help from others so it can better serve users. Anyone seeking an accurate valuation of their property can obtain one for free at F88 outlets.

    EuroCham Executive Committee 2018 elected

    The European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) has announced that its Executive Committee has elected two Co-Chairs: Mr. Denis Brunetti, President of Ericsson Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia & Laos, and Mr. Nicolas Audier, Managing Partner of Audier & Partners. They succeed Mr. Jens Ruebbert, former Chief Country Officer of Deutsche Bank AG Vietnam (who led the Chamber between March and October 2017) and the two Co-Chairs that served his remaining term until March (Mr. Audier and Mr. Gellert Horvath, an individual member).

    “The output EuroCham showed last year in terms of events, activities, publications, and government meetings really illustrates how strong our organization is,” said Mr. Brunetti. “I am particularly happy to have earned the trust of the European business community to lead the Chamber moving forward, and that will be done by building strategically on what we have achieved so far. I am fortunate to share this chairmanship with Nicolas Audier and I am certain that together we will be successful in intensifying EuroCham’s engagement with the Vietnamese Government, EU institutions, the local business community, and our own members.”

    “This is the year of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and EuroCham will remain highly dedicated to its promotion and discussion,” said Mr. Audier. “I am honored that the EuroCham Executive Committee has once more entrusted me with co-leading the Chamber, after a very fruitful exercise last year with Gellert Horvath. This year I have the privilege of serving alongside Denis Brunetti and I am sure we will both employ our best efforts to ensure that our members and sector committees continue to have a voice in the EVFTA process in Vietnam and in Europe. Much like the previous Executive Committee, we will make sure that all EuroCham members are taken into consideration and continue to deliver value to all those who are part of our community and to our partners.”

    The Executive Committee also appointed Mr. Jean-Jacques Bouflet (an individual member), Mr. Guy Balza (Managing Director, OMG), Mr. Roman Kuebler (Managing Director, B. Braun), and Mr. Tomaso Andreatta (Chief Representative Indochina, IntesaSanpaolo) as Vice-Chairmen. The latter will also serve as Chair of the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) during EuroCham’s presidency of the platform in 2018. The Treasurer position once more went to Mr. Aymar de Liedekerke Beaufort (Head of Country, Vietnam and CEO, BNP Paribas), who has been serving in the Executive Committee since 2015. The Committee also appointed Dr. Stefano Pellegrino (Associate, Frasers Law) as General Secretary. An internal meeting to take place soon will be dedicated to assigning specific work portfolios to the remaining Executive Committee members.

    Since its establishment with just 60 members in 1998, EuroCham has grown to represent over 950 European businesses, counting among its supporters many of the world’s leading enterprises. With offices in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and with regional Chapters in central Vietnam and northeastern Vietnam, EuroCham’s mission is to represent the business interests of its members in Vietnam and improve the country’s business environment for the benefit of all players.

    App makes medical care simpler

    Thirty-eight-year-old Ms. Nguyen Mai Thy was very happy after finding a single app, Jio Health, that takes care of all her family’s healthcare needs. “The service is very convenient, as a doctor comes to our home at a reasonable price instead of us having to line up with hundreds of others at a hospital,” Ms. Thy said. “I can also chat with a doctor anytime, arrange an appointment with just a tap on my phone, and more importantly have peace of mind that my parents and kids are being taken care of.”

    Introduced last June, Jio Health now has over 40,000 registered users and the number continues to climb. It also provides on-site annual health check-ups and consultations for companies, handling over 16,000 patients in the last six months.

    Jio Health offers 24/7 free healthcare advice and information anywhere in the world from web-enabled phones or tablets. Mr. Nguyen Hoai Nam, Founder and CEO, told VET that preparations took almost five years.  “The idea began with Rai & Rohl Technologies Inc. in Irvine, California, about eight years ago, after it carefully studied the healthcare system and healthcare consumerism in the US and other countries, especially those in Asia,” he said. “In Asia we found that consumers were still mostly paying out of their pocket for healthcare.”

    Jio Health helps users arrange a consultation with a qualified doctor. Instead of having to get themselves to a clinic or hospital, they need only open the Jio Health app, select an available doctor, and choose a suitable time and location. 

    “We are neither an app company nor a booking agent,” Mr. Nam explained. “We are a fully licensed medical service provider and constantly develop technology that helps us improve the care experience, empower doctors to deliver better care, and proactively anticipate and address potential health issues before they become intractable problems.” 

    Another great feature is that users can manage their family’s health via a smartphone. The app allows users to make doctor appointments for dependents or immediate family members, and when patients in Ho Chi Minh City need to visit a clinic for tests or additional consultation they can head to the Jio Health Polyclinic in Binh Thanh district.

    Formerly the Deputy General Director of Viet Capital Bank for ten years, Mr. Nam said that leaving the financial industry for his healthcare startup was a risky decision and probably the greatest challenge he has ever encountered. “In my previous position, I was led by talented executives and experienced leaders and supported by financially-capable shareholders,” he said. “Now, I am the leader of a startup in a new field of business with limited human and capital resources.”

    Like many startups, especially those related to technology, Jio Health has faced a host of problems in markets, its business model and financial management, talent acquisition, and products and services. Securing customers’ trust has been a key challenge, as has recruiting good doctors.

    He has faith that the model is scalable and that consumers are ready to use its services. Technology has dramatically transformed massive number of industries, such as Uber, Airbnb, and Amazon, and healthcare is the next and arguably the biggest frontier for technology-driven evolution.

    According to Jio Health research, Vietnam’s annual out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure is about $5 billion annually and accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the total. It also has a very high rate of smartphone use, at over 50 per cent, an overcrowded and unreliable healthcare system, and the fastest-growing middle class in Southeast Asia, all of which are in the company’s favor.

    “This year we will continue to focus on fully serving Ho Chi Minh City and expanding to other cities in Vietnam,” Mr. Nam said. “At the same time, we are also focused on expanding our clinical service offerings.”

    App founders stay the course

    After returning home from a hard day at the office recently, 35-year-old Ms. Nguyen Hoai An in Hanoi’s Cau Giay district was in a rush to cook dinner and bathe her young son. The water heater, however, was playing up. As her husband was on a business trip, she decided to Google some help. 

    After just a few minutes she chose a water heater repair company from a long list and felt reassured when they said they would send someone over soon. “He arrived on time, which was good,” she said. “But he charged VND900,000 ($40) for repairs that took about ten minutes.” Though happy to have hot water, she found the price a little unreasonable.

    Ms. An is one of numerous people feeling dissatisfied with the home appliance repair services offered by online providers. High costs have, sadly, long been common among such providers in Vietnam. Many users have complained in online forums about paying two or three times more than the actual cost to have home appliances repaired. Only a few were successful in getting some money back while most simply decided to never use that provider again. 

    To put an end to this overcharging, a group of software developers in Hanoi decided to build Rada, an app that helps people connect with trusted local service providers via an Online to Offline (O2O) platform based on mobile, artificial intelligence (AI), and Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. It maintains a network that facilitates and revolutionizes the way service bookings and communications between users and suppliers take place.

    The app helps users instantly connect with local professional service providers without fear of being cheated and they can still interact with them after the service is completed. Rada also helps providers find work close by from jobs acquired minus the cost of online advertising and enables them to standardize their services with state-of-the-art technology.

    Mr. Ta Quang Thai, Co-founder and Marketing Manager at Rada, said that many high-quality service providers face fierce competition from low-quality providers in reaching users. Advertising costs can add up very quickly and are often passed on to customers. With the Rada app, he explained, service providers can conduct promotional campaigns and take better care of their customers.

    As all processes in Rada are transparent, users can follow up with providers if service quality is found lacking, which contributes to changing the behavior and attitude of providers. Those that wish to join the Rada network must commit to providing quality services and will face fines or expulsion from the system if commitments are not fulfilled. 

    Rada was established in early 2016 by a group of founders with an ambition of building an app to connect service providers to users via a system similar to Uber and Grab’s platforms. Their ambition, however, seemed unrealistic early on, as many of its target providers were plumbers and electricians who rarely used smartphones let alone apps. 

    But according to Mr. Ma Hoang Hai, Co-founder and CEO of Rada, ideas like Uber and Grab seemed unrealistic just five or six years ago. “This is the eternal challenge faced by any new app or idea when coming to life,” he said. New ideas and apps always face the same question: will the market accept them or not. “When the market accepts them, successful models like Uber and Grab appear. If the market doesn’t accept them, their founders must recognize their idea is unsuitable.” He believes there will be a wave of apps based on Uber and Grab appearing in other sectors as Vietnam continues to develop its IT infrastructure and as more of the population uses a smartphone. 

    Staying faithful to the app’s potential despite the initial disappointments, Mr. Hai and Mr. Thai began to promote it via any means possible. The 40-year-olds wandered down small laneways in Hanoi posting leaflets on walls offering to install the app for plumbers and electricians. “We did this night after night, almost furtively advertising the app,” Mr. Thai recalled. “And we must still do it if we wish to see results.”

    Their faith seems to have paid off. The Rada team received good news at the end of 2016, when Facebook’s FbStart granted their startup $40,000 to expand the business and its network. It has now had more than 200,000 downloads, with about 1,000 corporate service providers, 3,500 individual providers, and 56,000 users coming on board nationwide. The app also sends 2,500-3,000 orders from users to service providers each month in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, and Da Nang. It also received the top prize for a startup at the recent Vietnam IT Talent 2017 contest. 

    Rada expects to expand to ten or more cities and provinces around the country this year, including Nghe An, Can Tho, and Thanh Hoa. The startup has also been negotiating with a number of successful businesses, including Austdoor, Viettel Post, and AAL Express, etc., to work together and expand its service categories.

    FDI inflow into Hai Phong increases threefold in Q1 2018

    The northern port city of Hai Phong attracted more than US$916 million in newly registered (15 projects) and additional (12 projects) foreign direct investment (FDI) capital in the first three months of 2018, representing an annual increase of 332.34%.

    There are currently 532 valid projects being deployed across the city, with a total registered capital of US15.44 billion.

    Chairman of Hai Phong People’s Committee, Nguyen Van Tung, has attributed these positive results to the city’s efforts to reform its administrative procedures, improve the investment environment, as well as focusing on removing difficulties for enterprises, boosting trade, and attracting investment.

    Hai Phong has successfully organised many events, such as an investment promotion seminar for Japanese firms; a meeting between the municipal authorities and enterprises in 2018, which saw the participation of 400 domestic and foreign companies; and two business dialogues with a total of 22 practical recommendations.

    The city has also implemented a capacity building programme for the local supporting industries with the support of senior volunteers from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Accordingly, direct support has been provided at four enterprises, while three other companies are being surveyed in preparation for the second phase of the project.

    In the future, the city will continue to accelerate the progress of key projects, including the Hai Phong international gateway port and the construction of technical infrastructure for the Bac Song Cam new urban area, as well as implementing the building of the second passenger terminal at the Cat Bi International Airport and Tan Vu-Lach Huyen Bridge No. 2.

    Domestic firms advised to satisfy food safety requirements


    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 

    Herb Cochran, senior director of Trade Facilitation and Special Projects of AmCham Vietnam in HCM City, speaks with media on the sidelines of a seminar on food safety regulations 

    Vietnamese enterprises should strive to meet strict food safety requirements from importing countries, especially choosy markets like the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the European Union (EU), participants said at an international seminar held  in Ho Chi Minh City on April 3.

    It is now time to comply with new regulations as food-safety regulation non-compliance is the largest barrier to entry for Vietnamese firms, said Herb Cochran, senior director of Trade Facilitation and Special Projects at AmCham Vietnam in HCM City.

    To integrate into the global market, Vietnamese businesses must learn more about regulations and improve quality to meet these new standards, he said.  

    Vu Kim Hanh, Chairwoman of the High Quality Vietnamese Goods Business Association, said that even though Vietnam had integrated deeply into the global economy, local enterprises still lacked knowledge about the US’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA) and European Food Safety Authority regulations.

    Ensuring food safety and hygiene will open up many opportunities for businesses at home as well as strict markets like the US, the EU, and Japan, she said.

    Given that most countries are strengthening protection barriers, Vietnamese products will have access to huge markets if they meet international standards and regulations, Hanh added.

    Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngọc Anh  said that Vietnamese High-Quality Good International Standards for the food industry had been issued by the High Quality Vietnamese Goods Business Association. It’s necessary to promulgate this set of standards as it provides food companies with a clear direction in developing their products and gives consumers a guide to identify trusted and quality food products, he said.

    Other experts at the seminar spoke about the FSMA, geographical indication  certificates, and the use of high technology for food safety. Food safety regulations under FSMA have become stricter, with more inspections and higher standards, causing difficulties for Vietnamese exports, especially since June 2016 when the law took effect, experts warned.

    Other countries to which Vietnam exports, including Canada, the EU and Australia, are expected to have a similar law.

    According to Dr. Delphine Marie Vivien, of the Innovation Research Unit and Malica Research Consortium, consumers were increasingly concerned about how their food was produced. The origin of food is very important for consumers who value tradition and cultural identity, and who are sensitive to specific sensorial characteristics of the products. Some consumers are willing to pay more to find such characteristics in the product.

    Geographical indication (GI), for example, is used on products that have a specific geographical origin, for example, town, region or country, and possess qualities or a reputation that are attributable to that origin, she said.

    Participants at the meeting also called on local companies to increase the use of organic farming practices in agricultural production, animal breeding and aquaculture. Organic certification would open the door for Vietnamese goods to export to choosy markets like the US, Japan and the EU, according to Hanh of the High Quality Vietnamese Goods Business Association.

    The seminar was organised by the Vietnamese High Quality Product Business Association in collaboration of the Food Safety Management Board of HCM City, on the sidelines of the Vietnamese High-Quality Products Fair, which opened at Phu Tho Stadium in HCM City’s District 11 on the same day.

    Vietnam’s GDP expands 7.38 percent in Q1, the highest in a decade


     

    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 

    National retail sales surge 8.6 percent in first quarter

    Vietnam’s total revenue from retail trade and services rose 10 percent year-on-year to exceed 1 quadrillion VND (44.05 billion USD) in the first quarter of 2018, reported the General Statistics Office (GSO).

    If inflation were excluded, the increase would be 8.6 percent, much higher than 6.4 percent growth recorded in the same period last year, GSO said.

    The growth also reflected high purchasing power, which contributed significantly to gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 7.38 percent – a record in the first quarter in the past 10 years, GSO said.

    GSO General Director Nguyen Bich Lam said the strong consumption also signaled that the economy is on track for stable development.

    In the first three months, retail sales of goods, which accounted for more than 75 percent of total retail trade and services revenue, topped 35.22 billion USD, up 10.5 percent year-on-year.  

    Sectors posting a positive revenue increase included food and foodstuff (up 12 percent), textiles and garments (13 percent), home appliances (up 11 percent) and transport services (up 8.4 percent).

    Meanwhile, retail sales in accommodation, restaurant and catering services surged by 9 percent year-on-year to 128.9 trillion VND (5.72 billion USD).

    Some localities that posted positive accommodation, restaurant and catering sales in the period were the three central provinces of Khanh Hoa, Binh Thuan and Thanh Hoa with respective rises of 14 percent, 13 percent and 11 percent, the capital city (10 percent) and HCM City (9.5 percent).

    From January to March, revenue from tourism services saw significant yearly growth of 30 percent to 10.2 trillion VND (454 million USD), with some provinces and cities recording strong growth, such as HCM City (32 percent), Binh Dinh (29 percent), Kien Giang (28 percent), Hai Phong (23 percent) beside to Hanoi (15 percent), Thanh Hoa (9 percent) and Khanh Hoa (6 percent).

    The sales of other services in the first quarter exceeded 116.3 trillion VND (5.16 billion USD), up 5 percent compared to a year ago with modest increases from 1 percent to 5 percent recorded in several localities including Nghe An, Can Tho, Hai Duong, HCM City and Hanoi.

    Bulgaria backs early signing of EU-Vietnam FTA

    As holding the presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), Bulgaria advocates the early signing and approval of the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), a Bulgarian official has said. 

    Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Economy Lachezar Borisov made the affirmation at a recent seminar in Bulgaria, which held by the Embassy of Vietnam in the country and the University of National and World Economy (UNWE). 

    He highlighted the traditional relationship between Vietnam and Bulgaria, expressing his belief that the new economic cooperation model will practically contribute to promoting the bilateral relations. 

    Borisov also applauded Vietnam for signing the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). 

    At the seminar, dozens of speeches were delivered by representatives from the Vietnamese Embassy, Bulgaria’s ministries of economy, foreign affairs and tourism, providing participants with information and contents related to the EVFTA, and analyses of opportunities and benefits brought by the trade pact. 

    Participants also focused their discussion on how to boost economic and trade links between Vietnam with the EU in general, and with Bulgaria in particular. 

    In the framework of the event, a photo and material exhibition was arranged, aiming to promote Vietnam’s land, people and development achievements. 

    In the context that Bulgaria is the presidency of the Council of the EU, the event was hoped to contribute to accelerating the signing of EVFTA, and fostering the traditional relationship between Vietnam and Bulgaria as well.

    Aquatic catch, aquaculture output enjoy growth in first quarter

    Vietnam posted growth in both aquatic catch and aquaculture output in the first quarter of 2018, partly thanks to good weather, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

    In the first three months, aquatic catch was estimated at about 775,800 tonnes, up 4 percent year on year. The volume includes 740,800 tonnes of seafood and 35,000 tonnes fished in freshwater, respectively rises of 4 percent and 2.9 percent.

    Notably, more than 6,400 tonnes of oceanic tuna, a major foreign currency earner, were caught by Khanh Hoa, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen – the three key provinces in tuna fishing.

    Meanwhile, aquaculture output was about 611,000 tonnes, up 6 percent from a year earlier, said the MARD.

    About 230,200 tonnes of tra fish, a key aquaculture product, was produced in the Mekong Delta from January to March, up 5.1 percent year on year. 

    Brackish water shrimp farming enjoyed more favourable weather conditions than the same period last year, resulting in high production. Output nationwide was about 82,500 tonnes, increasing by 7.6 percent.

    The MARD also said through March, aquatic exports reached 1.7 billion USD, up 11.5 percent annually. 

    Imports of aquatic products hit 423 million USD in the three months, a 32.4 percent year-on-year increase.

    Q1 2018: Export of key farm produce surges


     

    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 capital hits 5.8 billion USD in Q1


    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

     


    Vietnamese firms join Malaysia Int’l Halal Showcase

    Four Vietnamese firms are attending the 15th Malaysia International Halal Showcase 2018 underway in Kuala Lumpur from April 4-7. 

    They include Hanoi Trade Corporation (Hapro), Trung Nguyen Coffee, Loc Troi Group and Asia Fish Oil – an affiliate of Sao Mai Group. 

    According to the organising board, nearly 800 companies from 41 countries and territories are running 1,200 booths at the event, more than half of which are from Malaysia, followed by India, Thailand, Indonesia, Iran and China. 

    On display are food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, financial and tourism products, e-commerce and logistics services. 

    Nguyen Tien Dung, Deputy Director of Loc Troi Group’s Food Trade Department, said it is the first time the company has joined the event to market products and seek potential partners. 

    He said when Malaysia loosens import regulations, Loc Troi will offer more quality Halal rice with competitive prices to the market. 

    Hapro Deputy Executive Director Nguyen Thu Huong said it is the second time Hapro has joined the event, adding that Halal products account for 20 percent of its exports and the figure will increase soon.

    Consumers from ASEAN and the Middle East visited and learned about Loc Troi’s products, especially japonica and jasmine rice, Trung Nguyen coffee, cashew nuts, pepper, beans, cinnamon and anise.-

    Hanoi exhibition showcases latest broadcasting technology

    An exhibition displaying the latest broadcasting equipment and technology is being held in Hanoi on April 5-7.

    The Vietnam International Broadcast & AV (VIBA) Show allows visitors to watch films screened with modern technology, attend photo shows and sound performances and play games with virtual reality (VR) glasses.

    Visitors will also experience modern equipment and technology such as Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial, drones, virtual reality (VR), 4K TV, ultra-high definition television and broadcast services from Vietnam and overseas companies.

    “This year, we want to emphasise how contents can be useful to normal life with VietCON (Vietnam Content Showcase),” said Kim Jeong-hun, General Director of Exporum Inc, organiser of the event.

    “Our main exhibitors are TV stations, game companies, VR/AR Society, companies and TV programme producers. With the new features, VietCON will support the VIBA Show with content and create a new category of exhibits for visitors.”

    TV stations will show new and attractive content which are now on top of the news.

    “And with LG, one of the main exhibitors of VIBA Show 2018, we will hold a gallery made of digital signage with spectacular products. 

    Visitors can see how effective the digital signage can be used in families, public places and restaurants as well.”

    The Broadcast Department under the Ministry of Information and Communication will bring a total of 200 exhibitors from 11 countries and territories together to the event.

    The event is held at the Hanoi International Exhibition Centre, 91 Tran Hung Dao street, with more than 20,000 visitors expected.

    VNN

    0 0
  • 04/06/18--08:22: Article 0
  • Social News 6/4(Hourly Updated)


    Moc Chau Tea Festival opens


     

    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients, Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system, Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project, Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised
    Farmers work on vast tea hills in Moc Chau, Son La.


    The third edition of the Moc Chau Tea Festival began on April 6 at Vinatea Moc Chau, a member of the Vietnam National Tea Corporation (Vinatea), in northern Son La province, bringing together six local tea producers.

    The festival will feature a wide variety of events, including art performances, a tea-leaf picking contest, a tea ceremony and exhibitions of tea products and photos of tea plantations in Moc Chau. The geographical indication for Snow Shan (Shan Tuyet) tea of Moc Chau in Thailand will be announced during the festival.

    The organiser will also hold sight-seeing tours around Moc Chau vast tea hills and tea production for visitors and a ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the national Moc Chau tea plantation which was founded on April 8, 1958.

    The festival aims to promote Moc Chau tea products, provide a platform for tea producers and traders to meet and foster safe and clean tea-making, said Nguyen Thi Hoa, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Moc Chau district.

    It is also an opportunity for the district to attract more visitors and draw investors’ attention. Tea businesses and cooperatives are expected to form partnerships during the event, she added.

    Moc Chau is endowed with a cool climate and soil suitable for growing tea plants. 

    Formed in 1959, the Moc Chau tea area now stretches across some 1,800 hectares and produces more than 23,000 tonnes of tea leaves annually. Moc Chau tea products are exported to many international markets, including Japan, Taiwan (China) and Pakistan. In recent years, the production of tea in Moc Chau has also boosted local tourism.-

    “Vietnam Day” promotes Vietnam-Russia culture exchange


    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients, Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system, Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project, Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised 

    Art performance at the event 


    The 4th “Vietnam Day” programme was held in the Moscow State Institute of International Relations University (MGIMO) on April 5, showcasing Vietnamese culture and food to Russian friends. 

    Speaking at the event, Egor Andreev from the MGIMO affirmed the event has become a useful playground for Russian students who are learning Vietnamese language and culture. 

    He said 327 Vietnamese students graduated from the MGIMO over the last six decades, and many of them became senior officials and diplomats in Vietnam. 

    Educational cooperation between Vietnam and Russia has contributed to helping the two countries improve the quality of human resources, thus fostering bilateral relations. 

    Nguyen Thi Kim Thu from the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia highlighted the significance of the event’s theme, “The youth of the 21st century”, saying that it helps promote friendship and cultural respect. 

    In the framework of the event, a seminar discussing the role played by young people in reinforcing Russia-Vietnam relations was held. 

    Participants also debated global challenges to Vietnamese youths and Russia-Vietnam cooperation, and the role of youths in the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the two countries.


    Taste of Australia features various activities


    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients, Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system, Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project, Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised 

    Visitors enjoy beverages at the event  

    The Consulate General of Australia in Ho Chi Minh City hosted a programme called “Taste of Australia” on April 5 as part of activities to celebrate the 45th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries. 

    The annual event aims to introduce and promote Australian food, beverages, cuisine, and culture, and the country’s world-class chef training field. For the first time Australian music would be a focus of the programme.

    The musical events include music and wine pairing in HCM City, and the central cities of Da Nang and Hue with Australian artists and classical pianist Van Anh Nguyen, a performance by singer-songwriter Nick Barkerm, and an appearance by singer Deni Hines. 

    Mark Coulton, Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment of Australia, said the two nations have elevated the bilateral relationship to the level of strategic partnership, opening up great opportunities to further develop trade ties.

    Meanwhile, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Craig Chittick said the event creates a unique chance for attendees to enjoy both Australian nice music and food. 

    Addressing the event, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem stressed Vietnam-Australia diplomatic ties have developed constantly and obtained remarkable achievements in different fields from politics, trade, investment, education, defence to development cooperation. 

    “Taste of Australia” offers a good chance for people in the city, and in Vietnam in general to have interesting experiences with Australian cultural identity, he said.

    Preparations made for Vietnamese Catholics’ seventh national congress


     

    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients, Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system, Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project, Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised
    At the meeting  

    The seventh national Congress of Vietnamese Catholics building and protecting the homeland for the 2018-2023 tenure is planned to take place in Hanoi on October 17-18.

    Preparations for the event were discussed at a meeting between the Standing Board of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee and the Standing Board of the Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics in Hanoi on April 5.

    Catholics in 21 cities and provinces have organized their congresses while those in nine other provinces had conferences to review their five-year activities and 12 others will hold their congresses, as preparatory steps for their seventh national congress.

    Priest Tran Xuan Manh, Acting Chairman and Secretary General of the Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics affirmed that the Committee is working hard to prepare for the event.

    President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Tran Thanh Man asked the front units to provide maximal assistance for the Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics to ensure the congress will be successful.

    He said he believes that via the congress, the social role and prestige of the Committee will be heightened to bridge the State and the Church and enhance the Church’s companion with the nation.

    Green public procurement benefits economy, society: workshop


     

    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients, Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system, Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project, Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised
    Green public procurement will bring many benefits to not only buyers and sellers but also the environment and the whole economy and society (Illustrative photo: baodauthau.vn)


    Green public procurement will bring many benefits to not only buyers and sellers but also the environment and the whole economy and society, said Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA) Hoang Van Thuc said.

    He made the remark at a workshop on April 5 which discussed challenges and opportunities of green public procurement in Vietnam.

    A 2015 report of the VEA under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment shows that the State spends 20 – 30 percent of its budget on public procurement every year on average. This figure could reach 50 percent if it includes spending on the building work.

    Amid economic restructuring towards sustainable development, sustainable procurement will considerably contribute to the attainment of the sustainable development goals, including improving production quality, effectively and sustainably using natural resources, and ensuring security and social equality.

    Kim Yong Jin, Director of the Republic of Korea’s Environmental Industry and Technology Institute, said Vietnam is a developing Asian-Pacific economy with a growth rate of 5 – 7 percent in the last 10 years.

    Realising the problems of traditional modes of economic growth, Vietnam announced a green growth strategy and is building a road map for implementing green public procurement until 2020.

    He added as public procurement could be equivalent to 12 – 30 percent of the country’s GDP, the procurement of environmentally friendly products will help reduce pollution and promote green production and sustainable consumption.

    However, Deputy Director General Thuc also pointed to hindrances to green public procurement, including the inconsistency of legal documents which has led to State agencies’ lax coordination, the limited awareness and capacity of procurement officials, and the shortage of guidance on integrating sustainability criteria into the bidding process.

    Notably, awareness of the positive impacts of sustainable public procurement among State agencies and procurement officials remains modest, he noted.

    He underscored the importance of training courses for these officials, adding that it is a priority in the VEA’s cooperation with the Korean institute. The countries’ sharing of information about and experience in this field will be helpful for carrying out green public procurement in Vietnam.

    Acecook Vietnam becomes gold sponsor of Hue Festival 2018


     

    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients, Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system, Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project, Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised

    The Acecook Vietnam JSC will fund 3.3 billion VND (144,800 USD) for Hue Festival 2018, becoming a gold sponsor for the event scheduled for April 27 – May 2. 

    The signing ceremony took place in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue on April 4. 

    Speaking at the event, General Director of Acecook Vietnam Kajiwwara Junichi said the company is honour to support the event, adding that over the past 23 years, it has strived to maintain the value of traditional cuisine by combining Vietnamese flavour with Japanese technology. 

    Themed “Cultural Heritage with Integration and Development: Hue - One Destination, Five World Heritages”, the biennial event aims to promote art exchanges among cultures and introducing unique values of the culture of Vietnam and Hue, thus boosting service-tourism growth and strengthening socio-economic development of Thua Thien-Hue.

    So far, the Hue Festival 2018 has attracted more than 20 international art troupes from various countries, including France, the Republic of Korea, Israel, Mongolia, Japan, Thailand, Russia, China and Spain.

    The old capital city of Hue owns five UNESCO heritages, including Hue Complex of Monuments, Hue Royal Court Music, Woodblocks of Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), Nguyen Dynasty's royal documents and the royal literature on Hue royal architecture.

    As Hue served as the imperial city under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), the festival will reenact royal celebrations and events such as Royal Night, Orient Legends and the Nam Giao ritual.

    In addition, many side events will be held, such as the Hue Science Festival (organised by the Hue College of Medicine and Pharmacy), International Gastronomy Fair, beer carnival, International Trade Fair, Splendid Taste of Ancient Village in Phuoc Tich, traditional boat race on Huong (Perfume) River, kite festival, Tam Giang Lagoon Fantasy and Hue Poetry Festival.

    Exhibitions taking different themes include ‘the poetry on Hue royal architectural works inscribed on truc chi (bamboo pulp) paper’, ‘colours of Bat Trang pottery’, ‘orchids and bonsai’, ‘old car exhibition’ and ‘cultural heritage with integration and development’.

    Various sight-seeing tours offer more fantastic journeys to discover local attractions such as Lang Co beach and Tam Giang Lagoon.

    Hue Festival has taken place every two years starting from 2000, bringing together excellent arts companies with unique performances from across the world.

    This year, the province hopes to welcome about 4.2 million visitors, up 10 percent year on year, and earn tourism revenue of 4.2 billion VND, a rise of 15 percent.

    Tien Giang develops offshore fishing fleet


     

    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients, Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system, Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project, Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised 

    The southern province of Tien Giang has developed a fleet of offshore fishing vessels in order to create jobs for workers at sea and affirm sea and island sovereignty. 

    With a coastline of 32km, Tien Giang is home to localities with long tradition in fishing such as Go Cong township, Go Cong Dong and Tan Phu Dong districts and My Tho city, attracting tens of thousands of skilled workers. 

    Other industries such as seafood processing, aquatic products and dried seafood also contributed to boosting local economic growth and ensuring social welfare. 

    In order to sustainably tap aquatic products, the province has encouraged building high-capacity vessels equipped with modern technology and capable of going fishing offshore. 

    Infrastructure for fishing logistics services such as ports and storm-proof wharves have also been upgraded. Two of its ports, My Tho and Vam Lang, are among national fishing ports. 

    Last year, the province dealt with more than 260 petitions asking for support from fishermen.

    Traditional fishing grounds of local fishermen include the Truong Sa archipelago, DK1 platform, and west sea area. 

    This year, the province strives to tap more than 102,000 tonnes of fish and shrimps.

    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients


    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients, Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system, Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project, Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised 

    At the ceremony to announce the establishment of the national blood centre (Photo: dantri.com.vn) 

    The National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT) on April 4 announced the Ministry of Health’s decision to set up a national blood centre under the institute.

    Director of the institute Bach Quoc Khanh said that the centre, equipped with modern technology and high profession will support the development of blood transfusion sector in the country.

    It also creates a premise to set up a national blood centre under the Ministry of Health, he added.

    Carrying out the World Bank’s Regional Blood Transfusion Centres Project, the institute built a modern transfusion blood centre with capacity of 90,000 blood units per year. Particularly, the institute received 303,462 blood units in 2017 and the number is expected to increase to 600,000 units by 2030.

    The centre is established to organise blood transfusion and reserve blood for national security.

    NIHBT Deputy Director Pham Tuan Duong is assigned as the director of the blood centre.

    Quang Ngai tightens control of fishing activities to fight IUU


    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients, Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system, Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project, Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised 

    Fishermen of An Hai commune in Ly Son island district in the central province of Quang Ngai prepare for a fishing trip.  

    The central province of Quang Ngai has set up two offices to monitor and inspect activities of fishing vessels at sea as part of local efforts to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

    The two offices are based at Tinh Ky fishing port (Tinh Ky commune) and Tinh Hoa port (Tinh Hoa commune in Quang Ngai city). The offices’ staff will conduct inspection of fishing vessels coming in or leaving the ports. The staff will also inspect and certify the origin of catches. 

    According to Duong Van To, director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the department will set up inspection offices at all fishing ports in the province with the aim of preventing local ships from involving in illegal fishing and facilitating the management and certification of seafood origin in line with regulations. 

    In September 2017, the EC issued a yellow card warning Vietnam for failing to progress in fighting IUU fishing. The EC also proposed nine recommendations that Vietnam should implement. The "yellow card" is followed by a "green card" if the problem is resolved or a "red card" if it isn’t. A “red card” can lead to a trade ban on fishery products.

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

    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.

    The whole political system, from the central to local level, and fishermen of Vietnam have taken drastic actions to prevent and combat IUU fishing.

    There have been an array of urgent solutions, including supplementing anti-IUU fishing regulations to legal documents, enforcing the issued regulations, disseminating the solutions to fishermen and relevant parties, enhancing cooperation with coastal and island countries to prevent IUU fishing, and holding dialogues to update the EU on Vietnam’s efforts to improve fisheries management.

    As a result, illegal fishing in foreign waters by Vietnamese boats has declined considerably, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said at the ministry’s regular press conference on March 2.

    Foreign-funded projects help Quang Tri deal with unexploded ordnance


     

    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients, Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system, Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project, Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised
    Sappers are searching for war-left bombs and mines  

    Several foreign-funded projects have been conducted in the central province of Quang Tri over the past two decades, helping the locality to clear bombs and mines left from war.

    Quang Tri is one of localities most affected by the aftermath of war, with 81 percent of the province’s total area polluted with unexploded ordnance (UXO). 

    Statistics from the provincial centre for overcoming bomb and mine consequences show that by April 2018, bomb and mine accidents had killed 3,430 people and injured 5,100 others, including many children.

    Demining projects in Quang Tri have been funded by many foreign agencies, including the foreign ministries of Germany, the US and Norway, the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany, the UK’s Department for International Development, Ireland’s development assistance fund, UNICEF and the US organisation Peace Trees. 

    The projects have helped clear 132 million sq.m of seriously polluted areas, and safely handle more than 650,000 bombs, mines and other UXO. 

    More than 350,000 people were provided with knowledge and skills to prevent UXO accidents via the “Mine Risk Education (MRE)” programme. 

    Local authorities have also paid attention to supporting local victims of war-era UXO, helping them improve their living conditions and re-integrate into the community. 

    Non-governmental organisations have financed the building of 332 humanitarian houses, and directly aided 215 UXO victims and their families. 

    Some 1,200 UXO victims who are living with disabilities were provided with medical examination and prosthetics and other orthopedic instruments, while 50 disabled people and medical workers were trained in community-based rehabilitation. 

    Nguyen Duc Thien from the provincial centre for overcoming bomb and mine consequences said demining projects have contributed to expanding safe land area for production in the locality. 

    To improve the work, the locality will set up a mine action centre, he said, adding that Quang Tri hopes to receive greater support and resources for the scheme.

    VFF leader extends Chol Chnam Thmay greetings to Khmer people


    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients, Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system, Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project, Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised 

    A Chol Chnam Thmay celebration in KhemMapaPhia pagoda of Hau Giang province in 2017  

    President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Tran Thanh Man has extended his best wishes to Khmer people nationwide on the occasion of their New Year festival - Chol Chnam Thmay, which falls on April 14-16.

    In his letter sent to Khmer monks and people, Man wrote that Vietnam gained many important achievements in the socio-economic, defence, security and diplomatic fields in 2017 thanks to the efforts of the Party, army and citizens.

    The material and spiritual lives of people, including the Khmer community, have been improved.

    He appreciated the community’s efforts to follow the Party’s policies and the State’s laws, as well as their participation in movements launched by the VFF and their contributions to socio-economic development.

    He expressed his hope that Khmer people will be happier and contribute more to national building and safeguarding.

    Chol Chnam Thmay is one of the most important festivals for Khmer people. It usually lasts three days and is celebrated mostly in pagodas. The festival is a demonstration of Khmer people’s aspirations, like many other ethnic groups, to move on from the previous year’s misfortunes and look forward to a promising new year.

    Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system


     

    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients, Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system, Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project, Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised
    Chợ Rẫy Hospital in HCM City yesterday (April 4) began using an advanced radiotherapy system Versa HD that improves treatment precision, productivity and efficiency.  

    Chợ Rẫy Hospital in HCM City yesterday began using an advanced radiotherapy system called Versa HD to improve treatment precision, productivity and efficiency.

    The system, the most advanced radiotherapy in use in Việt Nam, is being used in the delivery of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in a conventional time slot, according to Nguyễn Trường Sơn, director of the hospital.

    The system was funded with Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the Austrian government to support the upgrading of equipment and machines at the hospital’s oncology centre.

    The centre provides treatment for 800 to 1,000 patients every day, resulting in patient overloading and long waiting times, which will be reduced with the new system.

    Every year, there are 75,000 cancer-related deaths and around 150,000 people are diagnosed with cancer. HCM City has 5,000-6,000 new cases of cancer every year.

    Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project


     

    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients, Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system, Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project, Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised
    The southern exit of the Đèo Cà tunnel on National Highway 1A linking the two central provinces of Phú Yên and Khánh Hòa 

    Government bonds used for the construction of the Đèo Cả tunnel project are to be reclaimed under a decision by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.

    Under the decision, VNĐ1.180 trillion (US$51.7 million) of the total VNĐ4.958 trillion ($217.2 million) in Government bonds allocated during the period of 2014-2016 by the Transport Ministry for the Đèo Cả Tunnel Project, including those used to build the Cổ Mã Tunnel, will be collected by the Ministry of Finance.

    The money claimed included VNĐ716.4 billion ($31.3 million) allocated for 2016 only.

    The reclaimed capital will be reserved for mid-term investment for the period of 2016-2020 under the authority of a resolution passed by the National Assembly Standing Committee.

    The Ministry of Transport had to refund the money allocated in 2016 including the money which was not yet disbursed, as well as the amount paid for ground clearance and the resettlement of residents.

    The Transport Ministry was asked to review toll collection stations for the new tunnel, as well as toll fees. They are also required to produce a report to the Prime Minister calculating the effectiveness of money invested in the Đèo Cả Project.

    The Đèo Cả Tunnel Project runs through the Cả Pass on National Highway 1A linking the two central provinces of Phú Yên and Khánh Hòa. Construction began in 2012.

    The 4.1-kilometre long Đèo Cả Tunnel is part of a 13.4-kilometre road project, which also includes another tunnel, Cổ Mã, which is 500m long and opened to traffic in 2015.

    The tunnel, built with an investment of VNĐ15.6 trillion (US$748 million), allows vehicles to travel at a maximum speed of 80km per hour from Phú Yên Province’s Hào Sơn Commune to Khánh Hòa Province’s Cổ Mã Commune.

    Each side of the road inside the tunnel has two 3.5m lanes, helping reduce the distance between Phú Yên and Khánh Hòa provinces by 9km, and cutting off around 50 minutes of travel time. The new tunnel has put an end to commuter’s reliance on the Cả Pass, which is dangerous during the rainy and typhoon seasons.

    Toll fees for using the tunnel have been collected since September 2017, and range from VNĐ60,000 (US$2.64) to VNĐ288,000 (US$12.67), depending on the type of vehicle used.

    The Đèo Cả Tunnel, which was put into operation in August last year, is the second longest mountain road tunnel in the country, after the Hải Vân Tunnel, which is 6.28 kilometres long and runs between Thừa Thiên in Huế Province and Đà Nẵng City.

    Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised


     

    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients, Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system, Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project, Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised
    The Manor Central Park developed by Bitexco Group along the Belt Road No 3. — Photo Vietnamnet.vn 

    Buildings in areas along Belt Road No 3 could rise up to 50 storeys, according to the urban design project which was introduced by the Hà Nội Department of Planning and Architecture on Tuesday.

    The project is for a 4.22km-long belt road running from Khuất Duy Tiến to Nguyễn Xiển streets and covering 61.68ha.

    On Khuất Duy Tiến Street, the project encouraged the development of office and residential housing, which could be 50 storeys in height.

    For the Thanh Xuân intersection where Khuất Duy Tiến, Nguyễn Trãi and Nguyễn Xiển streets meet, mixed-use commercial projects were encouraged to exploit advantages from the metro line.

    On Nguyễn Xiển Street, residential housing projects with an average height of 25-30 storeys were also suggested.

    According to the department, the setting up of urban design along the Belt Road 3 will help renovate and coordinate the organisation of landscape on both sides of the road to ensure a harmony between architectural space, urban landscape between the existing construction and the new one, creating a modern, dynamic and civilised Hà Nội urban centre.

    Land used in urban design along Ring Road 3 will be managed in accordance with the zoning plan and detailed planning approved by the competent authority.

    The high-rise buildings on the southeast of Trần Duy Hưng Street and Thăng Long Avenue, will be the highlight of the project.

    Belt Ring Road No 3 is an important road traffic route of Hà Nội. With a length of about 65 km, it runs through such districts as Đông Anh, Bắc Từ Liêm, Nam Từ Liêm, Cầu Giấy, Thanh Xuân, Thanh Trì, Hoàng Mai and Gia Lâm.

    Landslides threaten lives of Chợ Gạo Canal residents


     

    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients, Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system, Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project, Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised
    Hundreds of households living along Chợ Gạo Canal in Tiền Giang Province are facing risk of landslides and worry their houses could be swept away.  

    Hundreds of families living along Chợ Gạo Canal in Mekong province of Tiền Giang fear a landslide might destroy their homes any moment.

    Chợ Gạo Canal is an important waterway for transporting goods through ships from HCM City to the Mekong Delta and vice versa. In the 2013-14 period, the Ministry of Transport implemented the first phase of a project to dredge and upgrade the canal.

    However, the second phase which was approved to be carried out in the 2016-2017 period in the build, operate and transfer (BOT) format was suspended, as it could be transferred to other form of investment.

    Costing VNĐ1.3 trillion (US$57.7 million), the project is aimed at upgrading a 28.6-km section of the canal.

    The slow implementation of the project’s second phase has affected the lives of families living along the canal. The entire road system was completely eroded, affecting the business of the local people.

    The areas most susceptible to erosion are concentrated in Bình Phục Nhứt, Bình Phan and Xuân Đông communes.

    Several sections of dykes along the 10-km canal were eroded.

    The local people said the cause of the severe landslide was the large number of boats passing Chợ Gạo every day, while the embankment kept degrading and was not repaired on time.

    Trần Thị Thanh Hiền, a resident in Bình Phục Nhứt Commune, said the residents lived in anxiety because the main road was damaged by the landslide.

    Hiền, whose house was at least a dozen metres away from the canal long ago, now lives in fear of being swept away by the water, as erosion has brought the house perilously close to the edge of the canal.

    To control the landslide, residents were using simple tools such as timber, sand bags and steel wires, but a few days later, the road suffered more damage through another landslide.

    These households cannot be shifted because they are waiting for support from the Government to carry out the second phase of the project.

    Lê Văn Mỹ, chairman of People’s Committee of Chợ Gạo District, said more than 600 households had been affected by the poor implementation of the second phase of the project.

    The local authorities have asked the Transport Ministry to conduct the second phase quickly to help households lead a better life.

    The upgrade project will ease the traffic along the canal, preventing ships from getting stuck in landslides and shallow water.

    Sacked health workers calling for justice


     

    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients, Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system, Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project, Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised
    As many as 137 health workers in the northern province of Lai Châu got sacked this month after the province reviewed its employment policy. 

    As many as 137 health workers in the northern province of Lai Châu got sacked this month after the province reviewed its employment policy.

    The dismissal has caused concerns because the health workers signed labour contracts of indefinite duration with healthcare centres and hospitals back in 2011.

    But last year, the health workers reluctantly signed one-year labour contracts or were told they had to leave their jobs.

    Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, spokesman of Lai Châu Province People’s Committee Hà Trọng Hải said in 2011 the province’s Home Affairs and Health departments temporarily employed 258 people to meet staff demand of local healthcare sector.

    But just 80 of 258 temporary health employees passed the employment exam in September, 2017. Those who failed or did not take the exam lost their jobs.

    Director of the province’s Health Department Nguyễn Văn Đối said the department wanted to keep experienced staff and hoped that others could retake the exams and work again.

    Dismissed health workers are very worried because of their sudden unemployment, and submitted petitions to the province’s People’s Committee. 

    OVs in Germany offer support to Truong Sa


     

    National blood centre set up to ensure supplies for patients, Chợ Rẫy Hospital adopts advanced radiotherapy system, Government reclaims bonds used for Đèo Cả tunnel project, Urban design project on Belt Road No 3 publicised 

    On April 2, the Truong Sa (Spratly) Club in Germany held an exchange with people who have visited Truong Sa archipelago and those who are planning a trip to the archipelago in mid-April.

    The exchange was attended by Vietnamese Ambassador Doan Xuan Hung and representatives of a selection of Vietnamese associations, unions, and businesses who have been steadfast in their support of the Club’s activities regarding Truong Sa over the past year.

    In addition to raising funds for Truong Sa, the exchange offered a chance for Club members to brief the Vietnamese community on their recent work and future plans.

    In its first year of operation, the Club has launched two fundraisers for the children of soldiers stationed on the islands, encouraged students to write letters to the islands’ soldiers, and organized arts performances and talks with Vietnamese students and German and international friends on the topic of Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa archipelagos.

    Addressing the event, Ambassador Doan Xuan Hung praised the Club members’ hard work over the year and expressed his belief that activities organised by the club in support of Truong Sa will attract the participation of more OVs in the future.

    On the occasion, the Club encouraged OVs to help fund the planting of trees on the islands in an effort to restore the abundant flora that was destroyed by storms late last year.

    Together with 6,750 Euros raised at the event, the Club will hand over 10,000 Euros to five people who are set to visit Truong Sa in mid-April, where they will present the funds to Truong Sa residents and soldiers.

    VNN

    0 0
  • 04/08/18--06:23: Article 2
  • Investors, retailers squeeze into prepared food market


     VinaCapital has invested $32.5 million in Ba Huan, a poultry egg producer, while Kido plans to join forces with a Thai partner to make bottled milk tea and herbal drinks. 


     

    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, prepared food, Ba Huan, GS25
    The demand for prepared food is high as consumers are getting busier 

    Meanwhile, GS25, the retailer from South Korea, has opened a 24/7 convenience store, hoping to attract consumers with prepared food.

    Before VinaCapital poured VND760 billion into Ba Huan, Vinh Thanh Dat Food JSC, a rival of Ba Huan, launched a series of instant food with eggs.

    Ba Huan, established as a poultry egg supplier, has also joined the processed food market. Ba Huan’s products now include fresh chicken, sausage and chicken balls and flan which are distributed through supermarkets.

    Ba Huan will expand the list of product items, with importance attached to processed food targeting busy consumers.

    The convenience, diversity and reasonable prices have brought fat profits to suppliers. More and more players have joined the market, from big companies to small catering suppliers.

    However, it was Sai Gon Food which first exploited the fresh food market. Most recently, it launched a new product – fresh rice gruel with different kinds of food.

    The fresh gruel is now competing with Sai Gon Co-op’s products and imports which have much higher prices.

    In 2017, Sai Gon Food began cooperating with 7-Eleven to provide fresh meals through the retail chain.

    Le Thi Thanh Lam, deputy general director of Sai Gon Food, said that the fresh meals service will be the major growth driver of the company in the future.

    She plans to provide fresh meals to hospitals and schools as well.

    The moves taken recently by producers all show they are targeting busy customers. Office workers can buy rice, gruel and other meals for their short lunches at the office. Housewives can buy ready-made meals and keep in the refrigerator for use later, when they don’t have time to cook.

    The convenience, diversity and reasonable prices have brought fat profits to suppliers. More and more players have joined the market, from big companies to small catering suppliers.

    Household-run catering suppliers such as Bep Cua Phuoc, Bep Ba Cha and Bep Com Chieu Ngon are also names well known to office workers. The suppliers attract customers who don’t have much time to cook but still want home-made dishes.

    The products are made of fresh materials, are handmade (not in an industrial way) and do not contain additives and preservatives.

    Nguyen Phi Van, a retail franchise expert, said that ready-made fresh food is a growing tendency in Vietnam, where consumers are getting busier.


    Kim Chi, VNN

    0 0
  • 04/08/18--06:51: Article 1
  • Social News 7/4


    HCM City names May as occupational safety and health month 

    Phu Yen: More than 120.5 billion VND for sustainable poverty reduction, Construction of Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway accelerated in June, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam late 

    HCM City plans to launch action month on occupational safety and health in May. 

    HCM City plans to launch an action-month for occupational safety and health in May as part of the city’s effort to raise public awareness about the issues.

    Speaking at a meeting held in the city on April 5, Nguyễn Quốc Việt, a representative of the city’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said an opening ceremony would be held on May 6 with an exhibition displaying 80 photos on Nguyễn Huệ Pedestrian Street in District 1 from May 6-15.

    The department plans to create 10 videos on occupational safety, health and will strengthen labour safety and hygiene training at local businesses.

    Enterprises have been asked to reduce workplace pollution and the incidence of occupational diseases. They have also been asked to undertake inspections of explosion-prevention methods at their workplaces.

    Conferences and seminars on improving working conditions and healthcare for employees, especially those working in high-risk sectors, will be organised during the action month.

    At the meeting, the department has guidance on a decree issued on September 20 last year on occupational accidents and disease insurance.

    The department also called for donations for activities during the action month.

    Last year, the city held 18 action weeks and one action month on occupational safety and health.

    A report from the city’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said that over 1,490 work-related accidents occurred last year, which dropped by 15.35 per cent compared to 2016.

    More than 100 people were killed in labour accidents in the city last year.

    The report said that employers caused more than 13.6 per cent of occupational accidents, while workers were responsible for more than 42.5 per cent, and other causes, 43.9 per cent.

    Phu Yen: More than 120.5 billion VND for sustainable poverty reduction 

     

    Phu Yen: More than 120.5 billion VND for sustainable poverty reduction, Construction of Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway accelerated in June, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam late
    Providing rural areas with sufficient power to ensure production  

    The central coastal province of Phu Yen recently allocated more than 120.5 billion VND (5.3 million USD) from the State budget to help its localities carry out the National Target Programme on Sustainable Poverty Reduction in 2018.

    The money will be used to develop infrastructure and production and expand poverty alleviation models in two mountainous districts of Dong Xuan and Song Hinh, 11 special difficult communes, 29 special difficult communes and 11 coastal impoverished communes.

    According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Phan Dinh Phung, the money will be used for important projects in each locality, with priority given to special difficult and ethnic areas.

    In addition, nearly 26,200 poor and near poor households and those just escaping poverty will benefit from the province’s preferential credit programme worth more than 615 billion VND (27.06 million USD).

    The locality is striving to reduce more than 5,400 poor households and 610 near poor households compared to the outset of the year and bring poor and near poor rates to 5.65 percent and 8.69 percent, respectively.

    Construction of Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway accelerated in June
     

    Phu Yen: More than 120.5 billion VND for sustainable poverty reduction, Construction of Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway accelerated in June, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam late 

    Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway 


    The equipment installation of Hanoi’s Cat Linh-Ha Dong elevated railway line is expected to be done by May 30 and basic construction of its stations will be completed a month later, according to the contractor.

    The railway is set to be put into commercial operation in December 2018.

    To date, 95 percent of the basic construction of the railway line has been completed while 60 percent of the equipment is ready for installation.

    The installation of lighting systems, elevators, ventilation, as well as drainage systems and fire prevention is underway. More than 600 workers are taking part in the project, double the figure before January 2018.

    The Cat Linh-Ha Dong elevated railway project with 12 stations and one depot area has investment of 868 million USD sourced by official development assistance loans from China. The railway project has 12 trains, including 48 carriages. Each train with four carriages can carry 1,200 passengers.

    The 13 kilometre railway is set to operate trains with carrier frequency of every two minutes and a maximum speed of 80 kilometres per hour.

    Construction on the project was meant to start in 2008 but was delayed until October 2011. The line was originally supposed to start running in November 2013.

    Association strives to imbue community with learning spirit
     

    Phu Yen: More than 120.5 billion VND for sustainable poverty reduction, Construction of Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway accelerated in June, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam late 

    Chairman of the VFF Central Committee Tran Thanh Man shakes hands with President of the Vietnam Association for Promoting Education Nguyen Thi Doan. (Illustrative photo: VNA) 

    About 18.44 percent of the Vietnamese population are members of the Vietnam Association for Promoting Education (VAPE), which has spread its operation nationwide in the past decade.

    The information was reported at a meeting in Hanoi on April 5 between the VAPE and its superior – the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF). The meeting reviewed VAPE’s performance to date and set out its future tasks.

    The association has worked to build a society of learning, contributing to boosting workforce quality and building new-style rural areas. It has also prevented thousands of students from dropping out of schools.

    VAPE President Nguyen Thi Doan attributed the success of her association in its learning society promotion campaign to effective coordination with the VFF and other VFF member groups.

    She said the coordination will focus on boosting learning spirit in adults, which she considered a key factor for national development.

    To help the campaign spread further, she proposed the VFF Central Committee direct its members at different levels to work with VAPE in implementing the Government’s Resolution 29 – NQ/TW on comprehensive educational reform.

    Chairman of the VFF Central Committee Tran Thanh Man lauded efforts made by the association in growing its membership.

    He said he believes with dedication and experience, VAPE will contribute more to national construction and development.

    Ben Tre works hard to curb illegal fishing 

     

    Phu Yen: More than 120.5 billion VND for sustainable poverty reduction, Construction of Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway accelerated in June, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam late

    The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre recently held three training courses to raise public awareness of the necessity to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

    According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Huu Lap, local authorities have worked hard on the monitoring and inspection of fishing activities at sea as part of efforts to tackle the European Commission's IUU “yellow card”.

    The local agriculture sector has examined regulations on the management of fishing ships, tightened the management of shipbuilding enterprises and issued rules on technical dossiers for the registration of fishing ships.

    The efficiency of inspection offices at fishing ports will also be improved, towards stopping local ships from fishing illegally, and facilitating the certification of seafood origin, Lap said.

    Communication work will be enhanced to popularise laws via various forms, he added.

    Nguyen Van Buoi, Vice Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said the locality would continue equipping modern long-distance communication devices on offshore fishing boats. 

    Vietnam was served with a yellow card warning by the EU in September for failing to progress in fighting IUU fishing and has been offered the opportunity to rectify the situation within six months. 

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

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

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

    The whole political system, from the central to local level, and fishermen of Vietnam have taken actions to combat IUU fishing.

    There have been an array of solutions, including supplementing anti-IUU fishing regulations to legal documents, enforcing issued regulations, disseminating solutions to fishermen and relevant parties, enhancing cooperation with coastal and island countries to prevent IUU fishing and holding dialogues to update the EU on Vietnam’s efforts to improve fisheries management.

    As a result, illegal fishing in foreign waters by Vietnamese boats has declined considerably, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development at a press conference in March.

    Vietnam, WHO enjoy fruitful ties in over four decades


    Phu Yen: More than 120.5 billion VND for sustainable poverty reduction, Construction of Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway accelerated in June, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam late 

    Since Vietnam and the World Health Organisation (WHO) set up their partnership in 1976, the WHO, as the world leading technical consultation body in health care, has helped Vietnam’s greatly improve its health sector.


    Over the past four decades, the WHO has helped improve the quality of health care services and public health in Vietnam.

    The organisation helped Vietnam eradicate polio and neonatal tetanus, and build standards for public health care. More than 90 percent of babies under a year old in Vietnam have received vaccinations, while 80 percent of pregnant women get tetanus shots.

    Thanks to the WHO’s assistance, Vietnam has showed strong performance in implementing Millennium Development Goals, reducing the maternal and infant fatality, malnutrition, enhancing people’s access to clean water, preventing HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and implementing universal health coverage.

    Vietnam is also striving to have more than 85 percent of the population joining health insurance, while rolling out measures to cope with epidemics and urgent public health problems.

    In January 2018, the Ministry of Health worked with the WHO in Vietnam to launch the health cooperation programme for 2018-2019 at a cost of 21 million USD.

    Under the programme, the ministry and the WHO will work together to enhance the capacity of the health care system to provide high quality and equal services to the community, especially poor people and vulnerable groups.

    Alongside, the two sides will raise the quality of the local health care system and the efficiency of finance resources for the sector, while tightening regulations related to pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health care products. 

    Established in 1948, the WHO has played a key role in controlling and fighting diseases as well as giving health care standards and guidelines, and assisting countries in dealing with public health issues.

    Over the past 70 years, from 53 founding members, the WHO now has 193 members and six regional offices around the world. With its efforts, the WHO has made important achievements such as erasing smallpox in 1979, issuing the framework convention on cigarette control, reducing 99 percent of polio cases in 2006 and preventing and controlling dangerous communicable diseases such as SARS, bird flu and Ebola.

    As an active member of the WHO, Vietnam has joined all meetings and forums on international cooperation in health care. The country was elected as a member of the Executive Board of the WHO for 2003-2005 and 2016-2019.

    Vietnam has also contributed to ensuring health security in the region and the world by working with other countries to control global epidemics, training health care workers for neighbouring countries and sending its experts to regional and African countries.

    The country has also hosted conferences and events in the health care sector.

    Central Highlands develops long-term industrial crops 

     

    Phu Yen: More than 120.5 billion VND for sustainable poverty reduction, Construction of Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway accelerated in June, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam late

    Central Highland provinces are expanding the cultivation of long-term industrial crops to promote socio-economic development and improve the living standards of ethnic minority people.

    Statistics showed that the region has 1.12 million hectares of long-term industrial plants, making up more than 53 percent of total crop growing area, including 582,149 hectares of coffee, 251,348 hectares of rubber and 85,000 hectares of pepper.

    Dak Lak accounts for nearly 29 percent of the region’s long-term industrial crop area, followed by Lam Dong, Gia Lai, Dak Nong and Kon Tum.

    The Central Highlands is considered a key region of coffee nationwide with Dak Lak making up more than 40 percent in the region and 30 percent in the country. 

    Annually, the province harvests about 450,000 tonne of coffee or more. Coffee also accounts for 86 percent of the total export turnover of farm produce, contributing more than 20 percent to the local budget.

    The coffee industry in Dak Lak has generated jobs for hundreds of thousands of local workers.

    However, the development of coffee and pepper has led to overexploitation of land and water resources and the abuse of fertilisers and pesticides, threatening the sustainable development of long-term industrial crops.

    The high production cost of key farm produce such as coffee, pepper, rubber and cashew makes the products uncompetitive.

    At present, Central Highland provinces are building a planning scheme to improve the quality of products and ensure the sustainable development of industrial crops.

    By 2020, the provinces aim to zone off 530,000 hectares of coffee. Dak Lak will reduce the area to 190,000 hectares, Lam Dong 150,000 hectares, Dak Nong 115,000 hectares and Gia Lai 75,000 hectares.

    The localities will adopt intensive farming to ensure annual output of 1.2 – 1.3 million tonnes of coffee.

    They will also call for investment to build processing factories for export staples like coffee, pepper, rubber, cashew nut and tea while enabling businesses to seek partners and expand export markets.

    Michelin-starred chef to cook at Sơn Trà resort


     

    Phu Yen: More than 120.5 billion VND for sustainable poverty reduction, Construction of Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway accelerated in June, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam late
    The legendary chef Pierre Gagnaire will have a cooking demonstration for gourmands at the award-winning La Maison 1888 at InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort on April 10th. 


    The legendary chef Pierre Gagnaire will give a cooking demonstration for gourmands at the award-winning La Maison 1888 at InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort on April 10.

    All visitors are invited to enjoy an evening of delectable culinary arts featuring an extraordinary collaboration between the Michelin-starred Pierre Gagnaire and a premium selection from one of the world’s finest wineries, Vega Sicilia, at the restaurant on Sơn Trà Mountain 600m above sea level.

    Đà Nẵng is a regular destination for Pierre’s annual world cooking tour.

    With its aristocratic history, Vega Sicilia symbolizes one of the great Spanish classics. Amidst the richly appointed settings of La Maison 1888, the extravagant menu by chef Pierre Gagnaire is exquisitely paired with the exceptional Vega Sicilia wines to pamper all diners in an unrivalled epicurean experience.

    La Maison 1888 restaurant, which opened in 2012 by the legendary three-star chef Michel Roux was recognised as one of the 101 best restaurants in Asia by the Daily Meal, a US food website, and one of the world’s top 10 most beautiful restaurants by Architectural Digest in 2014.

    Rubber latex processing plant suspended six months for causing pollution


    Phu Yen: More than 120.5 billion VND for sustainable poverty reduction, Construction of Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway accelerated in June, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam late 

    The wastewater treatment area of the rubber latex processing plant of Thanh Thủy Ltd Company in Bù Đăng District, Bình Phước Province. — baobinhphuoc.com.vn


    A rubber latex processing plant in the central province of Bình Phước has been suspended from operation for six months because its wastewater tank leaked and contaminated local underground water.

    The plant belonging to Thanh Thủy Trade, Manufacturing, Import and Export Ltd Company is located in a residential area in Đức Liễu Commune, Bù Đăng District. The plant is just 200m from the nearest house while according to regulations; the minimum distance must be 2km.

    Early this year, the province’s Environment Department fined the plant VNĐ70 million for causing pollution after local residents reported the smell and contaminated water in the wells.

    Late last month, residents complained again about the water pollution, asking for the issue to be solved. 

    Magnitude-2.5 earthquake shakes north-central Vietnamese province

    A low intensity earthquake struck a north-central Vietnamese region on April 4, reportedly causing no damage to the area.

    The tremor hit Phong Dien District of Thua Thien-Hue Province at around 12:33 in the afternoon, said Nguyen Xuan Anh, director of Vietnam’s Institute of Geophysics.

    Measuring 2.5 on the Richter scale, the earthquake was considered as minor, posing no harm to local residents, Anh added.

    The epicenter is reported to be at the depth of ten kilometers.

    The Hanoi-based Earthquake and Tsunami Warning Center, part of the institute, has been monitoring possible ensuing seismic developments.

    The quake followed ten other moderate tremors recorded in Vietnam this year, with the most powerful magnitude-4.3 one striking Muong Ang District in Dien Bien Province on January 9.

    Another area of Dien Bien has been rocked by five consecutive tremors until now.

    Earthquakes in Vietnam typically occur in the northwestern region and the offshore area near the southern city of Vung Tau since these places sit adjacent to geological faults or underground fractures.

    Vietnam Day in Moscow - cultural rendezvous of Vietnamese and international students

     The fourth ‘Vietnam Day at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO)” held on April 5 with various activities, drawing a number of Vietnamese and international students of the MGIMO and other universities in Moscow.

    The program opened with a roundtable talks on the role of youth in enhancing Russia-Vietnam relations with the participation of famous researchers in Vietnam and ASEAN, MGIMO lecturers as well as Vietnamese and international students. Discussions were focused on new global challenges facing Vietnamese youth and Russia-Vietnam cooperation, social and demographic changes in Southeast Asian countries and the role of Vietnam, and youth – the key force in the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Vietnam and Russia.

    Visitors were attracted to Vietnam handicraft products sold at a souvenir fair, the photo exhibition “Vietnam through youth’s eyes”, art performances and an introduction of Vietnamese traditional dishes.

    The Moscow annual event is a cultural rendezvous of Vietnamese and international students. It has left a deep impression on international friends about Vietnamese students who are studious and active in promoting Vietnam’s land, people and culture. They also serve a bridge to help international friends gain a better understanding about Vietnam, consolidating friendly ties between Vietnam and the international community.

    Kien Giang ensures warm Chol Chnam Thmay for Khmer people


     

    Phu Yen: More than 120.5 billion VND for sustainable poverty reduction, Construction of Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway accelerated in June, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam late


    The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang splashed out over VND2 billion (US$88,000) on supporting impoverished Khmer as their New Year Festival- Chol Chnam Thmay nears.

    Along with delivering greetings to Khmer pagodas, policy beneficiary families, dignitaries and formal Khmer officials, the provincial authorities will organise various cultural and sport activities during the festival.

    Priority will be given to popularisation work to raise public awareness of the Party’s policies and the State’s laws, promote emulation in building new style rural areas and accelerate the study of President Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, morals and lifestyle.

    In addition, the province will work to remind the ethnic group to stay vigilant over the hostile forces’ sabotage schemes and activities to drive a wedge in the great national unity bloc. 

    In the past years, Kien Giang has carried out numerous programmes and projects to improve livelihoods of Khmer families. Last year, poverty rate among Khmer people was 10.3%, down 3.3% from 2016.

    Chol Chnam Thmay, which falls on April 13-16, is one of the most important festivals for Khmer people. It usually lasts three days and is celebrated mostly in pagodas. The festival is a demonstration of Khmer people’s aspirations, like many other ethnic groups, to move on from the previous year’s misfortunes and look forward to a promising new year.

    Baggage handler nabbed at airport for stealing passengers' phones

    A baggage handler was arrested at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on April 5 for stealing two smartphones from passengers.

    Tran Quang Du, 20, was unloading luggage from a Hong Kong Airlines plane that touched down at Tan Son Nhat two days ago.

    Du admitted to police that he had noticed a smartphone in a suitcase that was slightly open, so he took it, and then proceeded to open a second case and steal another phone.

    After finishing his shift, Du hid the cellphones in his jacket and was about to leave when he was stopped by guards at the airport.

    Vietnamese airports, especially the large ones, are notorious with baggage thefts and extortion complaints. Last October, an employee at Tan Son Nhat had to return US$1,400 he pinched from a Japanese passenger's bag after the act was exposed by security.

    Aviation authorities have pledged to fix the problem by installing more cameras and enhancing security checks.

    Tan Son Nhat is the biggest airport in Vietnam. It currently handles 36 million passengers per year, which is way above its design capacity of 25 million.

    Vietnam has settled on plans to expand the airport and is also planning to build Long Thanh Airport in the neighboring province of Dong Nai to handle the 60-70 million passengers per year Ho Chi Minh City is expected to receive in 2025.

    Police capture armed bank heist suspects in HCM City

    Two out of three suspects in an armed robbery at an office of An Binh Bank (ABBank) in Ho Chi Minh City have been arrested, police say.

    Nguyen Truong Khai, 35, and Dao Ngoc Nam, 28, are being held by police of Tan Phu District in Ho Chi Minh City for investigation.

    Their accomplice, 31-year-old Nguyen Ngoc Khue, is still on the run.

    According to Tan Phu Police, the trio had made preparations for the robbery on March 30, when they bought backpacks, coats, sneakers, gloves and a handgun to be used in the crime.

    They also installed a fake license plate on a motorcycle to fool security cameras and witnesses.

    At around 10:00 am on March 31, Khai and Khue rode the motorcycle to an ABBank office on Luy Ban Bich Street, where Khai entered the bank first and threatened a security guard with his gun.

    Khue entered the bank moments later, and the duo told bank employees to put all available cash into a backpack.

    The security guard then managed to attract the attention of passers-by by screaming ‘robbers’ at the top of his lungs, causing a crowd of onlookers to gather outside the bank.

    Worried that police officers would soon arrive at the scene, Khue and Khai ceased the crime and got away on their motorbike.

    After their failed attempt, the trio replaced the fake license plate with the real one and threw away their gear to get rid of evidence.

    Police were able to capture Khai and Nam on April 5 and are calling for Khue to turn himself in to authorities in order to be granted leniency during prosecution.

    HCMC urges districts to hold tenders for waste collection


    Phu Yen: More than 120.5 billion VND for sustainable poverty reduction, Construction of Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway accelerated in June, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam late 

    Garbage is dumped into a canal in HCMC in this file photo. HCMC discharges some 7,500 tons of garbage a day 


    he HCMC government has told authorities of districts to promptly select firms to collect and transport solid waste to landfills via tenders to cut costs as the city annually spends trillions of Vietnam dong on this job.

    Speaking at a meeting on collection and transport of solid waste on April 4, HCMC vice chairman Tran Vinh Tuyen assigned leaders of 24 districts across the city to hold tenders for garbage collection and transport starting from this quarter. The city can save much on this sanitation work, as evidenced by trial operations in some districts. 

    At the meeting, a representative of Tan Phu District said the district used to spend some VND250 billion (US$11 million) a year on garbage collection and transport. Since tenders were invited to do the job, the district has saved VND25 billion, or 10%.

    A report delivered by the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment at the meeting showed that only five districts have held biddings to select enterprises responsible for garbage collection and transport, namely Tan Phu, Binh Tan, Thu Duc, and districts 4 and 12.

    Such tenders will not only help avoid losses for the city’s budget but also create a level and transparent playing field for enterprises. Businesses have to invest in equipment and vehicles to compete with others and win tenders.

    Nguyen Thi Thanh My, deputy director of the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said many districts have yet to put garbage collection and transport up for tender as district-level authorities do not have the power to determine prices of waste collection, and do not have allowances for workers and management costs, among others. 

    Upon the point, vice chairman Tran Vinh Tuyen urged leaders of 24 districts across the city to hold tenders for garbage collection and transport. Tenders should be transparent to attract enterprises, Tuyen said.

    In order to remove obstacles for districts, Tuyen approved the delegation of power for districts to set starting prices and decide tenders’ results with the support of relevant agencies.

    Solutions to avoid more dead fish in Nhieu Loc- Thi Nghe Canal implemented

    Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen has directed related agencies to focus on implementing proper methods to prevent, cope with, and remedy the alarming situation of dead fish in Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal at the beginning of the 2018 rainy season.

    Vice Chairman Tuyen on April 3 directed HCMC Departments of Natural Resources and Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Transport, HCMC Steering Center of Urban Flood Control Program, Urban Environment Company Limited, the People’s Committees of District 1, 3, Binh Thanh District, Phu Nhuan District, and Tan Binh District to concentrate on applying effective solutions to prevent, cope with, and remedy the alarming situation of dead fish in Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal at the beginning of the 2018 rainy season.

    In particular, HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment has to pay more attention to its task of monitoring the fluctuation of water quality in Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal in order to timely announce and cooperate with related agencies in case of problems.

    The Department also has to collaborate with the People’s Committees of Districts 1, 3, Binh Thanh District, Phu Nhuan District, and Tan Binh District to encourage citizens not to directly throw litter or sewage into the Canal.

    The Vice Chairman directed the Branch of Fisheries Quality Assurance and Protection to frequently observe the status of fisheries in the Canal so that they can timely implement methods to cope with negative cases to avoid similar situations of massive fish dying from happening in the future.

    HCMC Steering Center of Urban Flood Control Program has to increase work on dredging the sewage system near the basin of Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe Canal so that they can pick up waste at combined sewer overflow (CSO) areas. They must also frequently examine the stable working status of one-way valves.

    Activities of sewage pumping (with the capacity of 64.000m3 per hour) after heavy rain have to be increased to reduce the amount of toxin in the Canal. Operation on Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe flood-tide control sewers has to be monitored to regulate water levels in the rainy season to improve the water environment for the whole Canal.

    HCMC Urban Environment Company Limited needs to increase the task of picking up litter, especially after heavy rain or dead fish situations and from Bridge No.1 to Bridge No.5. It has to ensure the availability of sufficient human resources and equipment at all time to destroy dead fish if existing.

    Local authorities in district levels need to encourage citizens not to directly litter into the Canal or pick up dead fish for consumption. The task of checking sewage of manufacturing facilities must be focused on more to ensure sewage is properly processed before being released into the environment.

    Medical workers who mistakenly give abortion drug must receive harsh punishment

    Following newspaper article on medical workers providing three pregnant women with abortion drug mistakenly in the southern province of Tien Giang, the Ministry of Health yesterday sent its urgent dispatch to the local health authority asking to have punishment on those involved.

    Additionally, local health authorities and those involved in the incident must write letter acknowledging their wrongdoings. Reports of the incident must be sent back to the Ministry before April 5.

    Infirmaries in the province must review procedure of medicine prescription and learn lesson from the case.

    Before, a 32-year-old worker Huynh Thi Cuc in her two months of pregnancy was taken to the medical clinic in Tan Phuoc District in Tien Giang. Doctor diagnosed that she was at risk of miscarriage; therefore, she was asked to stay at the clinic three days. Later, prior to her discharge, doctors prescribed her Miprotone, a type of embryo-nourishing medication.

    Later in the day Cuc was rushed back to the clinic because she was bleeding from the consumption of two Misoprostol pills. Yet, a staff member at the dispensary provided her with Misoprostol, used for abortion purposes.

    As doctors at the clinic said they needed to continue watching her conditions, the family immediately took her to the Tien Giang Gynecological Hospital, where they were told the fetus had died.

    In addition to the above woman, two other pregnant women were given the abortion medicines by the medical clinic of Tan Phuoc District; however, they did not take the medicine.

    Upon the case, managers of the clinic have suspended three medical workers from work to wait for further punishment.

    Two bank robbers detained, one on run


     

    Phu Yen: More than 120.5 billion VND for sustainable poverty reduction, Construction of Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway accelerated in June, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam late 

    Two out of three suspects in an armed robbery at An Binh Bank (ABBank)’s branch in Luy Ban Bich Street in Tan Phu District in Ho Chi Minh City have been arrested, police said yesterday .

    Two robbers, Nguyen Truong Khai, 25, and Dao Ngoc Nam, 28, are being held by police of Tan Phu District in Ho Chi Minh City for further investigation meanwhile their accomplice, Nguyen Ngoc Khue, 31, hailing from the northern province of Thanh Hoa, is still on the run.

    Initially, Khai and Nam confessed in the police station that they were short of money, Khai talked to Nam and Khue the plan of bank robbery on March 30. Accordingly, they bought backpacks, coats, sneakers, gloves, a fake license plate on a motorcycle to fool security cameras and witnesses and a handgun to use for the crime.

    They decided to robber ABBank’s branch in Luy Ban Bich Street because just one security guard was on the duty at that time. Khai and Khue rode the motorcycle to an ABBank office on Luy Ban Bich Street, where Khai entered the bank first and threatened a security guard with his gun.

    Khue entered the bank moments later, and the duo told bank employees to put all available cash into a backpack.

    However, because the security guard then managed to attract the attention of passers-by causing a crowd of onlookers to gather outside the bank, the robbers were quick to flee away from the bank. They destroyed their backpacks, coats, sneakers, gloves, and replaced the fake license plate on a motorcycle.

    Using their skills in tracking criminals, police arrested Khai and Nam as both of them were trying to run away from the city.

    Hundred-thousands gift vouchers to be offered to visitors at Tourism Day


     

    Phu Yen: More than 120.5 billion VND for sustainable poverty reduction, Construction of Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway accelerated in June, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam late
    Visitors will have a chance to receive hundreds of thousands of gift vouchers and discounted gift cards during the 4-day tourism festival in Ho Chi Minh City. 

    The event called Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Day 2018 themed "Exploring Summer" will be organized at the September 23 Park in district 1 from April 12-15.

    The travel show is expected to attract around 150 display booths of travel agents, hotels and representatives from tourism promotion agencies of cities and provinces nationwide to publicize their brands and offer tourist products to local and international travelers.

    Around 60,000 local and international tours will be on special offer and discount  during the event.

    Various activities will be held during the festival, such as the award ceremony honoring 100 outstanding tourist brands, singing contest, cultural exchanges between localities throughout the country.

    Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Day is one of the city's annual largest tourism events. This year’s travel fair is expected to draw 400,000 visitors.

    PM congratulates Khmer people on traditional New Year festival 

     

    Phu Yen: More than 120.5 billion VND for sustainable poverty reduction, Construction of Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway accelerated in June, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam late

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has conveyed his best wishes to the Khmer ethnic minority group in the southern region on the occasion of their traditional New Year festival - Chol Chnam Thmay - which falls on April 14-16.

    In his message of congratulations, PM Phuc said the Vietnamese Party and State always pay special attention to ethnic minorities and socio-economic development in their areas. 

    Over the past years, the material and spiritual lives of ethnic groups have improved while the great national unity bloc has been strengthened, he said, adding that together with people nationwide, Khmer monks and people have made important contributions to the common development of the nation. 

    The PM noteed the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat has issued Directive No.19-CT/TW dated January 10, 2018 on strengthening work in the Khmer ethnic-inhabited region while the Government issued Resolution No.120/NQ-CP dated November 17, 2017 on the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta in response to climate change. 

    The leader hoped that with the support of the Party and State, Khmer monks and people would continue building on the past achievements to contribute to socio-economic development and upholding traditional culture. In conclusion, PM Phuc wished them a warm and happy New Year.

    Chol Chnam Thmay is one of the most important festivals of the Khmer people. It usually lasts three days and is celebrated mostly in pagodas. The festival is a demonstration of Khmer people’s aspirations, like many other ethnic groups, to move on from the previous year’s misfortunes and look forward to a promising new year.

    VNN

    0 0
  • 04/08/18--08:11: Article 0
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 8/4


    Vietnamese fresh coconut consumed in US


    Investor caution advised in April, Price of Vietnamese fruit exports on upward trend, MIT not to recognize cryptocurrency as means of payment, Govt launches credit guarantee fund for SMEs

     


    At present, exporter Vina T&T in Ho Chi Minh City exports around 500,000 fresh coconuts to the US every week.

    There has been rising demand for fresh coconuts in  the global markets including South Korea, Canada, Australia especially the US. Fresh coconut water is favored by American consumers.

    For years, the US has bought fresh coconuts from Thailand and the Philippines. Now, the demand is risen drastically, the US importers have placed order for Vietnamese fruit.

    From July, 2017 to now, the company had exported many batches of coconut to the US and the fruit received warm welcome from local consumer proving that Vietnamese fruit is able to improve its competitiveness with their Thai peers in the US market.

    Currently, Vietnam exports fresh coconut to the US market in two forms; one is canned coconut and two is whole coconut which outer skin is peeled off.

    Price of Vietnamese fruit exports on upward trend

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that prices of fruits have risen due to buoyant market demand.

    White flesh dragon fruit is sold at VND15,000 per kilogram while red flesh dragon fruit fetches VND40,000 a kilogram ($1.75) at gardens.

    Price of Thai jackfruit grown in the Mekong delta is up at VND4-,000-50,000 a kilogram, doubling same period last year. The price of jackfruit reaches an all-time high.

    Before, China traders just bought canned jackfruit; however, they even buy the whole fruit at present.

    The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Tien Giang Province in the Mekong delta said that the first-class jackfruit fetch over VND40,000 a kilogram at gardens and VND60,000 at markets.

    Bananas are sold at VND15,000 and VND18,000 a kilogram in gardens and markets respectively, much higher than last year ( at VND1,000 per kilogram). Because of shortage of banana for export, prices of banana have risen higher.

    Star apple fluctuated from VND18,000 to VND20,000 in Tien Giang Province, around VND5,000 higher than year-ago period.

    According to the Ministry, prices of vegetables in the central highlands province of Lam Dong and in northern provinces were on downward trend in March.

    Potatoes are sold at VND10,000- VND11,000 a kilogram for the first kind, onion at VND3,000 a kilogram, an four time decrease compared to before the Tet holiday ( the Lunar New Year in February 15).

    Carrot also went down from VND25,00 to VND20,900 a kilogram, white cabbage from VND11,500 to VND9,500. Turnip and kohlrabi fetched VND1,000 in the northern province because abundant supply thanks to good weather.

    MIT not to recognize cryptocurrency as means of payment

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam (MIT) yesterday issued a press release relating to apply of retail prices for electricity consumers who have automated computer data processing systems serving for cryptocurrency decoding operations.

    According to the State Bank of Vietnam and the Ministry of Justice, the usage of electricity for the purposes of automatic data processing serves to decode cryptocurrency such as bitcoin, litecoin, ethereum and some other similar currencies not being in subject to the Decree No. 101/2012/NĐ-CP dated on November  22, 2012 of the Government on non-cash payment and Decree No. 80/2016/NĐ-CP dated on July 1, 2016 of the Government amending and supplementing some articles of Decree No. 101/2012/NĐ-CP.

    However, the above activities are also not banned in electricity activities and the usage of electricity stipulated in Article 7 of the Electricity Law of 2004, amended and supplemented in 2012.

    On the basis of the opinions of the State Bank and the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Industry and Trade issued a document No. 1402/BCT-ĐTĐL guiding the implementation of the electricity selling price. 

    Accordingly, electricity used for decoding and exploiting cryptocurrency activities is subject to the retail price of electricity for business purposes. The Ministry of Industry and Trade did not recognize cryptocurrency as currency or means of payment.

    U.S. firms seek to invest in Danang real estate

    More than 40 enterprises from the U.S. sought investment opportunities in the real estate sector in Danang City at an investment forum held in the city on April 2. 

    The Danang – U.S. Investment Forum was jointly held by the Danang Investment Promotion Agency (IPA Danang) and the Vietnamese National Association of Real Estate Professionals (VNARP) in the U.S., with an aim to help enterprises sound out investment opportunities and forge partnerships. In addition to 40 U.S. companies, the forum was attended by 25 real estate firms in Danang.

    At the forum, a representative of U.S.-based Keller Williams Silicon City, a member of VNARP, asked the Danang City government to allow the company to study and invest in a 500-hectare complex providing education, leisure and healthcare services in Hoa Vang District.

    Keller William Silicon City has earlier inked a cooperative agreement with Danang Construction Material and House - Building JSC to develop some components of the project.

    Hilda Ramirez, CEO of Keller William Silicon City, said she was impressed by Danang’s rapid growth, especially in the resort sector. She and some overseas Vietnamese businessmen have plans to return to Vietnam in the coming time for investment in Danang.

    Some U.S. companies are interested in projects that the Danang government is calling for investment in and incentives offered by the Danang Hi-Tech Park (DHTP). Jonathan George Hanhan, senior vice president of CSR Commercial Real Estate Service, said his company is interested in the Silicon Valley project in DHTP.

    Huynh Duc Tho, chairman of Danang, said the city is promoting investment in tourism and information technology, which have much room for real estate investment.

    IPA Danang and the Danang Department of Construction will do their best to support U.S. firms, Tho said, adding that DHTP is offering the best tax incentives in Vietnam.

    In addition to learning more about the investment environment in Danang, overseas Vietnamese businessmen also called on Vietnamese businesses to penetrate the U.S. real estate market.

    Evan Phong Huynh, executive director of D1 Gateway for Silicon Valley, called on Vietnamese enterprises to invest in the company’s project to develop a US$100 million complex gathering Asian businesses in the Silicon Valley.

    Lieu Nguyen, member of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, said Virginia and Washington D.C. are the promising land for Vietnamese real estate developers.

    According to Michael Q. Le, general director of Robert Mullins International, the U.S. investment policies have become more favorable for Vietnamese investors. As president of the Thua Thien-Hue Union of Friendship Organizations in the U.S., he pledged to support Vietnamese enterprises to do business in the U.S.

    The Danang – U.S. Investment Forum is part of the Vietnam trip that will last until April 6 of a U.S. business delegation. After the forum, the U.S. businesses would visit Quang Nam Province.

    At present, there are 52 projects invested by U.S. firms in Danang, with investment capital totaling more than US$518 million, accounting for over 16% of the city’s total foreign direct investment (FDI). U.S. firms mainly invest in real estate, finance, trade, tourism, education and hi-tech sectors.

    Vietnam manufacturing growth slows in March

    Business conditions in Vietnam’s manufacturing sector continued to improve at the end of the first quarter of 2018, although the rate of expansion eased from that seen in February.

    According to a Nikkei report released on April 2, the Vietnam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) eased to 51.6 in March from February’s 10-month high of 53.5. The reading signaled a modest improvement in the health of the sector and that was the weakest since November last year.

    Business conditions have now strengthened in each of the past 28 months. March data signaled a slight monthly rise in manufacturing output but it was the slowest in the current four-month sequence of expansion.

    Andrew Harker, associate director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, said that although remaining in growth territory in March, the Vietnamese manufacturing sector saw a softer expansion, particularly with regard to output.

    New orders continued to rise solidly amid a strong export performance, providing some optimism that output will continue to rise in the near future.

    Besides, there was some respite for companies on the inflation front, with input costs increasing at a much slower pace than was seen in February. It looks, therefore, that inflationary pressure may have peaked around the turn of the year, Harker said in the report.

    The rate of growth in new business also eased, but remained solid amid reports of improved client demand. The rise in overall new orders was supported by a faster increase in new business from abroad, the most marked since last October.

    Slower new order growth enabled firms to work through outstanding business again in March. The rate of depletion accelerated to the strongest for three years.

    Manufacturers raised their staffing levels for the 24th successive month in response to higher output requirements. However, the rate of job creation eased to a seven-month low.

    Although input prices continued to rise sharply in March, the rate of inflation eased markedly from February and was the slowest since August 2017. Where input costs increased, this was linked to higher market prices.

    Output price inflation also eased amid competitive pressures. Selling prices have now risen in each of the past seven months.

    In line with the picture for output and new orders, purchasing activity rose at a weaker pace during March. The increase was still solid, however, extending the current sequence of growth to 28 months.

    Inventory holdings were broadly stable during the month. Stocks of purchases were little changed following three months of expansion, while stocks of finished goods stabilized after eight months of decline.

    In addition, panelists indicated that slower increases in output and new orders led to caution around stock holdings.

    Manufacturers were strongly optimistic that output will increase over the coming year, with sentiment rebounding from February’s eight-month low. More than 55% of respondents forecast output to increase.

    Govt launches credit guarantee fund for SMEs

    The Government has issued a decree on establishment, organization and operation of credit guarantee funds for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), VnEconomy newspaper reports.

    Under Decree 34/2018/ND-CP, each credit guarantee fund is a State financial organization established by a provincial government. It is operated as a non-profit institution which underwrites credits for SMEs in line with this decree and other prevailing regulations.

    Each fund runs under the model of a one-member limited liability company whose chartered capital is wholly held by the State.

    The requirements for establishing a credit guarantee fund include its chartered capital of at least VND100 billion (US$4.3 million), a fund establishment scheme approved the provincial people’s council, its organization and operation charter, and a list of its key members such as chairperson, supervisor, director, deputy directors, and chief accountant.

    SMEs that are established in accordance with the SME Support Law and its guidance documents, and have potential for growth but have yet to meet the requirements for bank loans are given priority to receive credit guarantees from the fund in line with this decree.

    Those SMEs should have sound investment projects and production and business plans, and have the ability to repay their loans. Besides, such enterprises should not have tax debts overdue for one year in line with the Tax Management Law, and should have settled their bad debts owed to credit institutions.

    A credit guarantee fund will then evaluate their projects and plans to have the final say in its guarantee decision.

    The number of SMEs has risen sharply compared with that of large-scale enterprises, according to the preliminary data of the 2017 general economic census conducted by the General Statistics Office of Vietnam.

    Vietnam has over 10,000 large companies as of early 2017, a 29% rise against 2012. They accounted for a mere 1.9% of the total. Meanwhile, the respective numbers of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises rose by 65.5%, 21.2% and 23.6% against 2012, making up a whopping 74% of the total.

    Investor caution advised in April

    Securities experts have advised investors to stay cautious this month as the stock market has been dependent on a number of large caps while turnover has ebbed sharply recently.

    Although the VN-Index of the Hochiminh Stock Exchange has grown swiftly since early this year, the trend has relied merely on some large caps such as GAS, VIC, VNM and VJC. In the past sessions, bank stocks have experienced sluggish trading after their strong rallies.

    Trading value has been shrinking while foreign investors, especially exchange traded funds, have switched to the sell side. In general, the market has yet to see new index drivers that are able to replace bank stocks, securities expert Nguyen Huu Binh is quoted by tinnhanhchungkhoan.vn as saying.

    Currently, investor sentiment is still supported by good company earnings in the first quarter and annual general meetings by large enterprises. However, global stock markets are tumbling, thus leaving negative impact on Vietnamese equities.

    Given the lack of market drivers, the main index is likely to drop to 1,100 points in the first two weeks of April. Otherwise, it could hover around 1,150 or 1,200 points if key stocks do not perform better, the expert said.

    Dang Thanh The, strategy director at KB Vietnam Securities Company, said the VN-Index advanced early last month, buoyed by large-cap stocks and those in the banking, securities and property sectors. However, only heavyweights were able to maintain gains in the second half of March.

    Therefore, the domestic market may see some volatility this month as global markets have tumbled, The predicted.

    The VN-Index jumped to new highs, closing up 0.63% last Friday. For the week, the index added 1.9%, marking the seventh week of gains in a row.

    For the month, the market increased 4.6% for a seventh consecutive month. In the January-March period, the index soared 19% on top of the 22% surge in the last quarter of 2017.

    Leading gas group GAS was the top contributor to the day’s gains as the price of Brent crude oil rose to above US$69 per barrel in Asian trading. Other energy-related stocks also gained to help narrow their losses for the week, such as PVD and PVS.

    Among the top performers in the first quarter were property firm VIC, consumer goods producer MSN and jewelry enterprise PNJ.

    VEPR proposes lifting VFA’s monopoly over rice trade

    The Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR) has proposed doing away with the Vietnam Food Association’s (VFA) monopoly over rice trade to support domestic rice production.

    VEPR and the Agriculture Coalition organized a conference to assess the role of VFA in Vietnam’s rice industry and make recommendations to reform the association.

    VFA just protects the interests of a few big businesses only, VEPR said. The stringent requirements provided in Government Decree 109/2010/ND-CP effectively disqualify small private traders from VFA membership.

    The rice export requirements are based on scope of rice production and location of trade, so small firms which rely on niche markets for value-added rice varieties cannot qualify for VFA membership.

    This shows VFA does not represent small traders and farmers, said Nguyen Duc Thanh, head of VEPR.

    VFA has been given much power, especially at a time when there is a rice oversupply and rice export is becoming an important lifeline for domestic producers.

    VFA has monopoly over rice export quotas and government-to-government rice contracts while enterprises and localities are responsible for purchasing rice from farmers and storing the food staple.

    Vo Hung Dung, former director of the Can Tho branch of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said many enterprises that formerly opposed VFA’s monopoly over rice trade are supporting such monopoly now that they are VFA members.

    According to Le Duc Thinh, vice head of the Department of Cooperatives and Rural Development under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said VFA used to play a role in supporting rice traders to penetrate foreign markets. However, the Government is scaling down the role of State-owned enterprises and recognizing private companies as a driving force of the rice industry.

    He said the Government should revise or lift Decree 109 that protects VFA’s monopoly.

    Vietnam to ship 300,000 tons of rice to Indonesia

    Vietnam has won a contract to sell 300,000 tons of 15% broken rice to Indonesia, which will fuel rice export activity in the near future. Indonesia needs to import 500,000 tons of rice this time.

    Nguyen Ngoc Nam, chairman of the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) and acting general director of Vietnam Southern Food Corporation (Vinafood 2), told the Daily last Saturday this is the third Indonesian rice purchase from abroad this year after a two-year interruption.

    Lam Anh Tuan, director of Thinh Phat Co Ltd which is a VFA member, confirmed the information with the Daily, saying Vietnam Northern Food Corporation (Vinafood 1) and Vinafood 2 have won the contract.

    Unlike before, Indonesia did not invite tenders but directly negotiated with rice exporting firms before signing contracts.

    Delivery in the new Indonesian rice contract will start from May and end in July. The price is not disclosed but Tuan said it is reasonable. However, a source told the Daily that it is around US$465.9 per ton.

    The current local rice price is over US$410 a ton, so the Indonesia deal will help spur prices for future contracts. Before the signing of the contract, some rice importing countries declined to buy rice from Vietnam as they said Thailand offered lower prices, Tuan said.

    Indonesia will buy the remaining 200,000 tons from Thailand at US$473.8 per ton.

    Earlier this year Indonesia imported 141,000 tons of rice from Vietnam, 120,000 tons from Thailand, 65,000 tons from Pakistan and 20,000 tons from India. Later it bought 50,000 tons from Pakistan.

    Thus, Indonesia has imported some 895,000 tons of rice including 441,000 tons from Vietnam.

    Vietnam, China to launch freight railway

    Vietnam and China are working on a plan to open a freight train service between Vietnam’s capital of Hanoi and China’s city of Chongqing, according to the Ministry of Transport.

    Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Van Cong last week met with Liu Guiping, deputy mayor of Chongqing City, to discuss traffic connectivity between the two countries.

    Liu said Chongqing has expressway, railway, airway and waterway facilities and that its waterways can be connected to seaports in Haiphong City and HCMC in Vietnam.

    Last year, more than 2,600 tons of cargo worth over US$52.5 million was transported from Chongqing to Vietnam by land. Cargo transport by train was even smaller as it is time-consuming.

    In a recent trial run, it takes the Chongqing-Hanoi freight train 99 hours to complete its journey, including 30 hours for customs clearance.

    Liu believed freight train service holds growth potential as it can carry a huge volume of cargo.

    He proposed the Ministry of Transport coordinate with Chongqing government to launch the rail service connecting Chongqing and Pingxiang in China and Vietnam’s Dong Dang and Hanoi. The railway will be connected to the rail link between Chongqing and Central Europe.

    Deputy Minister of Transport Cong said the ministry has plans to build a 140-kilometer expressway linking Tra Linh border gate in Cao Bang Province and Thai Nguyen Province, which will be in turn linked to Thai Nguyen-Hanoi Expressway to facilitate cargo transport between Hanoi and Chongqing.

    Last year, 453,500 tons of cargo was transported from China to Vietnam, 387,600 tons in the opposite direction and 825 tons in transit in China for export to a third country. The volume remains modest, so the ministry agreed with Chongqing’s proposal for enhancement of railway connectivity.

    The ministry has also mobilized resources to build logistics centers to reduce transport costs.

    The two sides agreed to exchange information, promote connectivity and organize exhibitions and fairs featuring the Hanoi-Chongqing freight railway.

    Cong emphasized that the ministry is ready to work with relevant ministries and agencies in Vietnam to simplify customs procedures and connect transport, logistics and trade firms from the two countries, promoting cooperation in the railway sector.

    HCMC budget revenue put at VND90 trillion in quarter one

    The HCMC government has posted budget revenue of VND90.83 trillion (US$3.9 billion) in the first quarter this year, up 2.47% against the same period last year, according to a city report.

    The central Government has asked the city to collect VND376.78 trillion this year, or an average of VND1,203 billion a day. The report says the quarter-one amount has met 24.1% of the full-year goal.

    The city forecast that its budget revenue is expected to further grow while its socio-economic growth will remain sustainable.

    Corporate income and value-added taxes in quarter one are estimated to rise 11.43% and 11.47% respectively over the year-ago period. Meanwhile, budget revenue from import and export activities is down 6.8% year-on-year to VND23.4 trillion.

    The city government said in the report that the fall is mainly due to Government Decree 116 on auto manufacture, assembly, import, maintenance and warranty services, and Government Decree 156/2017/ND-CP on Vietnam’s special preferential import tariffs in the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement for 2018-2022.

    Cars of less than nine seats which are imported from the ASEAN are subject to zero import tariff, thus affecting the city’s tax revenue.

    Vietnam has joined multiple free trade agreements, which will lead to strong falls in tax revenue, the brunt of it to be borne by HCMC as the country’s economic center.

    Vietnam exports to China, S.Korea surge in Q1

    Vietnam’s exports to key markets, especially China and South Korea, have grown sharply in the first quarter of the year, according to a report by the General Statistics Office.

    In January-March, Vietnam has exported US$54.31 billion worth of goods, up 22% over the same period last year. Of which, domestic firms have contributed US$14.97 billion and foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises US$39.34 billion including crude oil, up 18.9% and 23.2% respectively.

    China has spent US$9 billion on imports from Vietnam, up a strong 46% over the first quarter of last year. Revenues from phones and phone parts, vegetables and electronics-computers-accessories shipped to the northern neighbor have surged a staggering 674.4%, 56% and 31.7% respectively.

    Meanwhile, South Korea has imported Vietnamese products worth US$4.3 billion, jumping 35.8%, of which, phones and phone parts have registered export growth of an impressive 63.5%; electronics, computers and components 59.4%; and textiles-garments 12.2%.

    However, the EU is Vietnam’s biggest importer with US$9.8 billion in quarter one, up 19.7% year-on-year. In particular, shipments of phones and phone parts to the EU have edged up 33.6%, and those of electronics, computers and accessories have inched up 13.9%.

    The U.S. comes second with US$9.6 billion, an increase of 11.6%, with footwear shipments growing 19.3% against the year-ago period, textiles-garments 15.4% and wooden products 9.5%.

    Japan has spent US$4.2 billion buying Vietnamese goods. Vietnam’s sales of textiles/garments, and vehicles/vehicle parts to Japan have grown 18.8% and 13.9% respectively.

    Meanwhile, Vietnam’s import bill has gone up 13.6% versus the same period last year to some US$53.01 billion in the period, with local companies accounting for US$21.26 billion and FDI firms for US$31.75 billion, up 13.4% and 13.7% respectively. The import value rise would be 12.8% from the year-ago period if the price hike factor is excluded.

    China has remained the largest exporter to Vietnam, with US$14.3 billion, up 13.7%. Imports of phones and phone parts from China have grown 30%; machinery, equipment, tools and accessories 6.8%; and electronics, computers and components 5.6%.

    South Korea ranks second with US$11.9 billion, up 19%. Vietnam’s imports of electronics, computers and accessories from South Korea have surged 52.8% and phones and phone parts 13.6%.

    Korea has enjoyed a trade surplus of US$1.3 billion with Vietnam in the first three months. Domestic firms have caused a trade deficit of US$6.3 billion while the FDI sector has registered a trade surplus of US$7.6 billion.

    In January-March, growth in export revenues from some key products of Vietnam has stayed high over the same period last year such as phones and phone parts with 58.8%, textiles/garments with 12.9%, and electronics, computers and accessories with 13.2%, machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts with 22.3%, footwear with 10.9%, and vehicles and accessories with 20.1%.

    Some imports which have grown in the period are electronic products, computers and accessories with 30.2%, phones and phone parts with 17.2%, fuels with 37.1% and plastics with 21.5%.

    HCA moving towards Industry 4.0

    The HCMC Computer Association (HCA) will foster cooperation with colleges, businesses and Government agencies this year, with a focus on moving towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0.

    HCA in coordination with the HCMC Department of Information and Communications held a meeting on information and communications technology (ICT) on March 28, with ICT businesses and organizations in southern Vietnam attending.

    In 2018, HCA and its members will accelerate an ICT human resource development program, help ICT enterprises out of difficulties, and advise Government agencies on ICT policies.

    HCA chairman Lam Nguyen Hai Long said HCA will support ICT firms to go global by penetrating more foreign markets and intensifying international cooperation.

    In addition, HCA will support ICT startups and serve as a bridge connecting ICT companies in HCMC and domestic and foreign partners.

    Vu Anh Tuan, general secretary of HCA, said HCA will work with the HCMC Union of Business Associations (HUBA) to organize a conference on IT innovation featuring nearly 100 ICT firms and join hands with the HCMC Department of Information and Communications to hold a meeting on how ICT firms can contribute to smart urban development.

    Within the framework of the meeting, HCA inked a number of agreements on cooperation in ICT education with many universities and colleges in HCMC such as HCMC University of Technology (HUTECH), University of Information Technology, University of Greenwich Vietnam, and Vien Dong College of Advanced Technology.

    Particularly, HCA will join forces with colleges and universities to organize workshops to update students on new technological trends and knowledge, support the HCMC startup program, organize ICT competitions, enhance connectivity between universities and businesses, and support students to visit ICT firms or work as interns there.

    HCA also signed cooperative deals with Government agencies and ICT businesses. HCA and the Investment and Trade Promotion Center of HCMC (ITPC) will carry out ICT investment promotion and facilitation programs and hold dialogues between ICT firms and city agencies responsible for tax, customs, labor and social insurance.

    Retail sector bracing for new technologies

    New technologies for the retail sector such as virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) will make their way to Vietnam this year, especially small and medium enterprises.

    At a press conference on the 2018 Shop & Store exhibition, Nguyen Phi Van, chairwoman of Retail & Franchise Asia, said most providers of solutions and technologies for the retail sector have long focused on large retailers worldwide.

    However, technology firms have begun paying attention to small and medium firms since the end of last year.

    Van said retailers should make use of new technologies to give consumers a new shopping experience.

    Consumers at home and abroad have changed their shopping habits, so retailers should adapt well to meet the demand of consumers. Another reason is that advanced technologies such as AI and VR have been used in startup projects in the retail sector.

    Retailers in Singapore and Thailand have adopted new technologies while Vietnamese peers have lagged behind.

    Van suggested domestic retailers apply appropriate technologies to make shopping more convenient for consumers.

    Suttisak Wilanan, deputy managing director of Reed Tradex, the organizer of Shop & Store 2018, said the Vietnamese retail market is growing fast, backed by high economic growth and changes in shopping habits of local consumers.

    As for the franchise market, international brands have been introduced in Vietnam and the trend would continue in the next three years as Vietnam is one of four potential franchise markets worldwide, Van said.

    Due to little experience and information, the Vietnamese franchise sector will surely face multiple challenges. Regional franchisers have tried to bring their brands into Vietnam.

    Trade surplus surpasses 1.3 billion USD in Q1


     

    Investor caution advised in April, Price of Vietnamese fruit exports on upward trend, MIT not to recognize cryptocurrency as means of payment, Govt launches credit guarantee fund for SMEs

    Cashew exports surge in first quarter

    The cashew sector enjoyed sharp year-on-year rises in export volume and value in the first three months of this year at 31 percent and 43.6 percent respectively thanks to higher quality and price.

    In the first quarter, 73,000 tonnes of cashew were shipped abroad for 739 million USD. In March alone, 26,000 tonnes were exported with revenue of 265 million USD.

    The US, China and the Netherlands remained the biggest import markets with respective market shares of 30.5 percent, 16.8 percent and 14.3 percent.

    Apart from a fall in the Australian market, all other markets saw an upturn.

    However, Dang Hoang Giang, Vice President of the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas), said the results do not reflect developments of cashew exports for the whole year, as higher demand in the Lunar New Year in February sharply impacted cashew sales in the first quarter.

    Along with the rise in export volume, the price of cashew also increased 12.5 percent over the same period in 2017 to reach 10,261 USD per tonne.

    Giang held there are good signs for cashew prices for the rest of the year. Meanwhile, Vinacas will increase exports of processed products for higher added value.

    In the future, cashew export volume may fall, but value will continue rising, he asserted, adding that total export turnover this year is expected to be equal to that of 2017 at 3.62 billion USD.

    Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the country imported nearly 200,000 tonnes of cashew worth 460 million USD in the first quarter of 2018, up nearly 20 percent in volume and 33 percent in value over the same period last year.

    Giang explained that a lot of cashew was imported to Vietnam in the period following contracts signed in 2017. Therefore, the volume does not reflect Vietnam’s demand in the period or influence the sector’s targets.

    Vibrant Q1 for HCM City’s apartment segment

    Ho Chi Minh City’s apartment segment witnessed high absorption rate in the first quarter of the year despite the long Tet holiday and abundant supply, the property service provider CBRE said on April 3.

    A total of 9,260 units were sold during the January-March period, up 4 percent from the previous quarter and surging 26 percent against the same time last year. Of the total, mid-end apartments accounted for 65 percent.

    In terms of pricing, the average sales price slightly fell 1.5 percent quarter-to-quarter while declining 2.6 percent year-on-year to 1,515 USD per square metre in the primary market. The drop was attributed to the increase in mid-end apartment supplies in the period.

    The city’s real estate saw the launch of 9,503 apartments, up 11 percent from the previous quarter and 79 percent from the same period last year. Mid-end apartments made up 71 percent of the total units offered. The property market is shifting to meet demands of the buyers and create foundation for a sustainable development, according to the company.

    CBRE Managing Director Dang Phuong Hang noted that the investors started to roll out their property market in the first quarter of 2018 after studying the market in 2017. During the months, they focused on the introduction of new utilities and safety standards for the residents.

    The retail property segment recorded highest occupancy levels ever. Vacancy rate in suburb areas remained unchanged with 6.9 percent, down 6.1 compared to the same time last year. 

    Total supply as of the end of the first quarter was 880,940 square metres net leasable area (NLA).

    Rental price of CBD areas increased 5.4 percent to 121.6 USD per square metre per month while that of non-CBD areas fell 1.1 percent to 36.4 USD per square metre per month.

    Geographic indication protects unique products

    Geographic indication (GI) is considered an effective way of protecting and adding value to unique products, and should be used more in Vietnam, experts have said.

    GI designations show that products have specific geographical origin and qualities or a reputation due to that origin.

    GI is used to protect traditional products whose uniqueness and reputation are closely linked with the geographical location where they originated.

    Speaking at a seminar in HCM City on April 4, Pham Xuan Da of the Ministry of Science and Technology said that GI could add value, increase access to new or existing markets, gain a competitive advantage, and reap more profits. It also helps fight against misuse or unhealthy competitive acts.

    GI protection preserves biodiversity and develops traditional industries and tourism sector and help consumers understand the value of the products.

    As of last month, Vietnam has granted protection certificates to 66 GIs, of which six are from other countries, he said.

    Delphine Marie-Vivien, researcher in intellectual property and food law at CIRAD, a French research centre specialising in international agricultural and development issues, said: “The origin of food is important for consumers who value tradition and cultural identity and who are sensitive to specific sensorial and organoleptic characteristics of these products. Some consumers are willing to pay more to find such characteristics in the product.”

    Vietnam drew up a legal framework for GI protection in 1995 under which the State is the owner of the GI, and has the right to register the GI. It can delegate the right to producers (both organisations and individuals) and administrative authorities of the locality.

    The State has the right to manage the use of GI, control and promotion, but it also can delegate the responsibility to people’s committees in provinces, districts or cities.

    Producers have the right to use the GI, including organisations and individuals authorized by the managing authority.

    Yet despite the political will to promote GIs, the use of registered GIs on products for sale in Vietnam is still limited due to a lack of awareness among producers and consumers and a lack of interest from local stakeholders about GI value, as well as the absence of involvement by local authorities in the promotion of GI and GI products.

    Other issues include lax implementation of quality control and lack of efficient collective action to manage the GI.

    As a result, it is necessary to overcome the lack of awareness, strengthen organisation of producers and processors after initial GI registration, and build up efficient control systems before commercialisation that can help prevent fraud.

    Da gave Ben Tre province as an example, saying it recently obtained GI certifications for its grapefruit and Xiem coconuts, which would help businesses and farmers develop markets for these GI products.

    After successfully obtaining GI certificate, much more efforts are needed to promote the use of the GI, Da said.

    GI protection had a beneficial impact on economic development in many areas of the province’s economy, and thus producers should learn about the GI system, he said.

    Tran Anh Tuan, an expert on market research, said demand for coconut water, coconut oil, coconut milk and coconut ice cream has increased significantly in the global market, offering more opportunities for the province to develop such products.

    To exploit GIs in the most effective way, producers need to “enhance innovation to come up with better and higher added value products,” he said.

    Representing the province, Le Van Tan, Director of the provincial Department of Science and Technology, said the province would establish regulations on GI management and using and grant GIs and revoke the right to use GIs.

    It will also oversee the farming process of GI products and promote GI products both in domestic and international markets.

    Since its GI coconut products are mainly for export, participants at the seminar said the province should register to protect its GI products in other countries to create a solid legal foundation for exports.

    The seminar on the role and impact of GIs in local economic development was organised by the Vietnamese High Quality Goods Association and the Ben Tre province People’s Committee on the sidelines of the Vietnamese High Quality Products Fair in District 11.

    Apartments for middle class remain abundant

    Apartments for middle-income people remained hot for consumers, accounting for three quarters of the total apartments put on sale in the first three months of 2018.

    The information was released at a press conference on Hanoi’s real estate market in the first quarter of this year held by the Commercial Real Estate Services (CBRE) Vietnam Company on April 3.

    According to Nguyen Hoai An, Manager of Research, Consulting and Asset Management Services at CBRE Vietnam, said that in the period, a total of 8,800 apartments of 39 projects were put on sale, with the middle-income segment making up the majority. The transaction prices ranged from 800-1,500 USD per sq.m.

    During January-March, around 6,600 apartments were sold, up 5 percent against the same period last year.

    Notably, foreign investors stepped up the selling at such international markets as Singapore and China’s Hong Kong.

    An said that the prices of apartments will witness a slight increase of 1-2 percent in the second quarter of 2018.

    More apartment buildings are expected to be built in the outskirts of Hanoi where transport connectivity is convenient, she added.

    She warned consumers of paying more attention to safety-related issues, including firefighting, when deciding to buy apartments.

    Dak Nong okays 48-mln-USD solar power project

    The Central Highlands province of Dak Nong has approved in principle a solar power project, worth 1.1 trillion VND (48.4 million USD), in Truc Son commune, Cu Jut district, the provincial People’s Committee announced on April 4.

    The 44.4-MWp Truc Son solar power plant will be invested by a joint venture of three parties – Univergy K.K and Europe Clean Energies Japan K.K from Japan and Thanh Nien Media Corporation from Vietnam.

    The facility will be built on an area of 51 hectares and is expected to be operational in June 2019 to supply electricity for Dak Nong and neighbouring provinces.

    The provincial People’s Committee vowed to offer the project preferential tax rates. It also assigned relevant State agencies and Cu Jut district to provide support for the investors to implement the project on schedule.

    Two days ago, a German company, BS Heidelberg Solar GmbH, announced to invest in two solar power projects in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang, namely Hau Giang I and Hau Giang II. The 40MWp and 170MWp plants will be built at a cost of 50 million USD and 200 million USD, respectively.

    Vietnamese localities are taking measures to attract more investment in renewable energy, especially solar power.

    According to the Government’s targets, solar power is expected to become the main renewable energy source in the future, with installed capacity to be increased from 6-7 MW by the end of 2017 to 850 MW by 2020 (1.6 percent of the country’s power generation) and 12,000 MW by 2030 (3.3 percent of the country’s power generation).

    Vietnam is among countries that enjoy the most sunlight in the world, with the Central Highlands and south central regions recording between 2,000 and 2,600 hours of sunshine every year, reported the Vietnam Clean Energy Association.

    Investor caution advised in April, Price of Vietnamese fruit exports on upward trend, MIT not to recognize cryptocurrency as means of payment, Govt launches credit guarantee fund for SMEs

    VNN

    0 0
  • 04/09/18--01:27: Article 2
  • Ministries disagree on solutions to collect tax from Google, Facebook


    The Ministry of Finance (MOF) wants the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) to instruct commercial banks to withhold taxes from transactions with Facebook and Google, but SBV said it is not authorized to do so.


    vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, facebook, google, GDT

     


    MOF has vowed to collect tax from Google’s and Facebook’s earnings in Vietnam, and is drafting a regulation on tax management over e-commerce activities.

    Under the draft regulation, cross-border services must make payments via the national payment portal NAPAS. This will allow taxation agencies to control revenue from services to collect taxes.

    The tax payments will be carried out under the withholding mode. Tax amounts will be deducted from revenue when making payments via NAPAS.

    SBV’s Governor Le Minh Hung said MOF has the legal right to issue regulations, guide  tax declarations, and report and collect tax. SBV doesn’t have the right or skills in this field.

    Under current laws, credit institutions can deduct customers’ money only if they have consent from customers or receive instructions from agencies, he said.

    MOF needs to release legal documents with detailed guidance on the issue, he added.

    Lawyer Truong Thanh Duc believes that MOF’s idea is a good solution allowing it to collect tax from Facebook and Google, which remains an impossible mission at this time.

    However, Duc said that MOF would try to differentiate the nature of payment transactions via banks. 

    In many cases, payments are made for goods purchases, not for ads on Google and Facebook. If the nature of the transactions cannot be clarified, this will lead to overlapping taxation.

    In many cases, payments are made for goods purchases, not for ads on Google and Facebook. If the nature of the transactions cannot be clarified, this will lead to overlapping taxation.

    Lawyer Tran Xoa from Minh Dang Quang Law Firm, said that it is not feasible to ask banks to deduct money from customers’ accounts when making cross-border transactions.

    If remitting money via banks, individuals will have to prove the legal purposes of the transactions. But internet banking remittances via cards to pay for goods and services have no limit.

    No official report about the amount of taxes that Google and Facebook have evaded in Vietnam exists, but experts say it is huge.

    Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam cited official reports as saying that 67 percent of Vietnamese use the internet, with 60 percent using social networks.

    Foreign social networks account for 95 percent of market share, search engines 98 percent and e-commerce 80 percent.

    The revenue from ads that foreign companies, especially Facebook and YouTube, can collect is estimated to amount to 80 percent of total revenue. In 2017, they earned $320 million from the service.


    Mai Thanh, VNN

    0 0
  • 04/09/18--01:49: Article 1
  • Social News 9/4


    Robotics, high-tech treatment improves medical care in VN


    Robotics, high-tech treatment improves medical care in VN, Co-operatives, clean farming methods help farmers raise the bar, New health insurance appraising system to be operated Modified-release paracetamol products to be suspended 

    BìnhDânHospital’s annual scientific conference highlighted the latest high-tech techniques in surgery and medical treatment. -Photo courtesy of BìnhDânHospital 

    High-tech treatments have become an efficient coworker for doctors in diagnosis and treatment in Việt Nam, Trần Vĩnh Hưng, the director of BìnhDânHospital, said at a conference held in HCMCity on Saturday.   

    Speaking at the opening ceremony of the hospital’s annual scientific conference, Hưng said that progress in treating disease had had a significant improvement on the survival rates and the quality of patients’ life.

    The hospital has been a pioneer in Việt Nam in using robots in minimally invasive surgeries to treat 14 kinds of disease and cancer.

    Through a magnified 3D high-definition vision system, surgeons can direct the robot’s hands to bend and rotate 540 degrees, far more than a human hand can.

    Dr Vũ Lê Chuyên, chairman of the Việt Nam Urology and Nephrology Association, said that 87 patients with prostrate cancer have had surgery with robots assisting since 2016, the year the hospital began using robots for surgery.  

    Within one year after implementation, nearly 300 patients had benefited from robotic surgery.

    Moreover, many advanced techniques in endovascular intervention, plastic surgery, and endoscopy have been applied in many hospitals nationwide, including BìnhDânHospital.

    “Applying advanced techniques to improve diagnosis and treatment should be done now and in the future,” Hưng said.  

    Hưng said that scientific and technological progress had helped doctors and experts in the health sector exchange the latest medical knowledge with local and overseas medical staff.

    As many as 106 presentations were given at the conference, including topics related to urological problems, men’s diseases, emergency aid, cancer, and the latest techniques in imaging diagnosis, anaesthetics and recovery.

    Co-operatives, clean farming methods help farmers raise the bar


     

    Robotics, high-tech treatment improves medical care in VN, Co-operatives, clean farming methods help farmers raise the bar, New health insurance appraising system to be operated Modified-release paracetamol products to be suspended
    A dragon fruit farm in TiềnGiangProvince. More and more farmers are seeing the benefit of working with co-operatives and clean farming.  

    More and more farmers in Việt Nam are discovering the benefits of working with co-operatives and export companies and using clean farming methods to ensure high-quality produce.

    In places like Tiền Giang and Đồng Tháp provinces there are many agricultural co-operatives that comply with VietGap standards and sell their produce to exporters like Vina T&T.

    For example, all 28 large dragon fruit farmers in Tiền Giang are members of co-operatives on whose instructions they use clean farming methods and avoid certain chemicals.

    They sell their entire output to export companies and not to traders. They thus have a reliable buyer whereas selling to traders often leaves them at their mercy.

    The co-operatives schedule the cultivation and harvest of its members to ensure the harvest is spread throughout the year to ensure supply and thus prices do not fluctuate.

    Huỳnh Văn Quyền, a dragon fruit farmer said: “I have been working with the local co-operative and Vina T&T for around five years. I have been learning a lot from other farmers and the co-operative staff, who are very helpful and clear in their instructions. My fruit output, quality and income also saw great improvements.”

    Vina T&T and the co-operatives it works with assign area codes for each farmer as required by the US when it imports fruits.  

    The dragon fruits are also exported to markets like Germany, and since they meet international quality standards, are very well received there.

    Since the co-operatives work closely with their farmers, the product quality is consistent throughout the entire province, making it easier to export.

    Longan farmers in Đồng Tháp are also instructed by their co-operative and Vina T&T not to use chemicals to match international standards, which greatly boosts the quality of their fruit.

    Lê Thành Lộc, a longan farmer in Đồng Tháp’s Châu Thành District, said: “Earlier Châu Thành farmers would use their own individual methods without caring much for clean farming, so our output was not that high and some were even affected by plant diseases. After working with a farming expert, Dr Nguyễn Đăng Nghĩa, locals have realised the importance of clean farming and changed their ways.” 

    Overall, farmers improve quality and output when they join co-operatives and adopt clean farming practices, according to insiders.

    In the past they would follow their instincts or simply copy from others, some switching between crops regularly depending on what is popular at the time.

    Now more and more farmers around the country have greater awareness and are seeing the big picture, realising the benefits of organised work, clean farming and export.

    New health insurance appraising system to be operated


    Robotics, high-tech treatment improves medical care in VN, Co-operatives, clean farming methods help farmers raise the bar, New health insurance appraising system to be operated Modified-release paracetamol products to be suspended 

    A new health insurance appraisal system will be operated on a pilot basis in five cities and two provinces from May to September this year.- Photo tapchitaichinh.vn


    A new health insurance appraisal system will be operated on a pilot basis in five cities and two provinces from May to September this year.

    The information was revealed by deputy director of the Vietnam Social Security (VSS) Phạm Lương Sơn in a conference on health insurance held in Hà Nội.

    The cities and provinces are Hà Nội, HCM City, Hải Phòng, Đà Nẵng, Cần Thơ, Nghệ An and Thanh Hóa.

    Sơn said that the Law on Health Insurance regulated that social security agencies are responsible for appraising work and for appraisal results.

    The appraisal results are the legal foundation for social security agencies to pay for medical examination and treatment expenses with health insurance. It is also the foundation to assess medical services’ quality and protect residents’ rights.

    However, said Sơn, the number of people buying health insurance had greatly increased and their rights were growing larger, making appraisal work more difficult.

    "A change in appraisal work is needed to inspect the health insurance fund," he said.

    Since 2011, to meet changes in health insurance policies, which were regulated in the Law on Health Insurance 2008 and the amended Law on Health Insurance 2014, the Vietnam Social Security issued procedures to appraise health insurance in 2011 and 2015.

    The problem, Sơn said, was while the number of health insurance documents waiting for payment had increased sharply, the VSS had not hired enough new workers to keep up.

    For instance, about 130 million documents were awaiting payment in 2015 to the tune of of VNĐ50 trillion (US$2.2 billion). The number reached nearly 170 million documents and nearly VNĐ90 trillion ($3.9 billion) last year.

    The VS estimated that to appraise 30 per cent of the total documents, each worker would have to work on about 63,000 documents per year.

    To improve the difficulties, since the end of 2016, the VSS connected the data of all health insurance agencies and conducted electronic appraising nationwide, with some success.

    With more than 80 million people buying health insurance and hundreds of millions of documents needing appraising every year, a safe, scientific and effective management system was really needed, said Sơn.

    Thus after collecting ideas from experts from different localities, the new system was completed and would run as a trial from May to September.

    Modified-release paracetamol products to be suspended


    Robotics, high-tech treatment improves medical care in VN, Co-operatives, clean farming methods help farmers raise the bar, New health insurance appraising system to be operated Modified-release paracetamol products to be suspended 

    The Drug Management Administration under Ministry of Health has asked provincial health departments to provide information on the safety of modified-release paracetamol products. - Photo baotintuc.vn 

    The Drug Management Administration under Ministry of Health has asked provincial health departments to provide information on the safety of modified-release paracetamol products.

    According to MoH, Tylenol 8 hour produced by the firm Janssen Cilag is the only modified-release paracetamol product granted a circulation permit in Việt Nam and its registration number has expired.

    In March, the administration temporarily suspended modified-release paracetamol products from circulation and asked medical facilities to monitor adverse reactions to those products.

    Salt prices hit 10-year high



    The price of salt in BếnTreProvince has reached VNĐ1,200–1,300 per kg, a 10-year high. 

    The price of salt in BếnTreProvince has reached VNĐ1,200–1,300 per kilo this year, the highest price in the past decade.

    In recent years, the price of salt was just VNĐ500-700 per kilo, and only VNĐ300 in 2015, according to Nguyễn Thị Diễm, a salt maker in Bảo Thuận Commune in Ba Tri District.

    Diễm and 1,500 other salt farming households are mostly located in Ba Tri and Bình Đại districts.

    “Although this year’s weather hasn’t been good, I’ve earned a big profit,” said Diễm, who sold more than 50 tonnes of salt from her one-hectare field.

    Trần Quốc Khánh, head of Ba Tri District’s Agriculture and Rural Development Sub-department, said that for the last few months, unseasonable rain had reduced the supply of salt and increased prices.

    More than 20,000 tonnes of salt in the storehouse had sold out, Khánh said. 

    However, he said that he was worried that salt making would not bring a stable life for farmers because it would depend on the weather and the needs of fish farmers and dried-fish makers.

    “Salt farming in the province in the future could become worse because farmers are not applying modern technology,” he said.

    Provincial authorities want to reduce salt farming and develop wind electronic projects, and have encouraged salt farmers to turn to aquaculture. But many farmers have not listened.  

    Total salt cultivation area in the province for the 2017-2018 crop is 1,500 hectares, down 110 ha compared to the previous crop, with a production of 70,000 tonnes, according to BếnTreProvince’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department.

    By 2020, the area is expected to comprise only 200 hectares, which will likely be used for aquaculture cultivation.

    Nghệ An fishing boat and crew rescued


     

    Robotics, high-tech treatment improves medical care in VN, Co-operatives, clean farming methods help farmers raise the bar, New health insurance appraising system to be operated Modified-release paracetamol products to be suspended
    After eight hours drifting at sea, at 5am yesterday a fishing boat and its seven crew members were rescued by Nghệ An Province Border Guard.– Photo antt.vn 

    After eight hours drifting at sea, at 5am yesterday a fishing boat and its seven crew members were rescued by Nghệ An Province Border Guard.

    The boat, captained by Nghệ An-based Lê Văn Hoà, experienced engine failure on Saturday, after which a northeast monsoon hit, bringing heavy rains and high winds. Captain Hoà then sent out a distress signal.

    Receiving the signal a ship was mobilised to rescue the fishing boat and its crew.

    Kiên Giang tourism sees numbers improve in first quarter


     

    Robotics, high-tech treatment improves medical care in VN, Co-operatives, clean farming methods help farmers raise the bar, New health insurance appraising system to be operated Modified-release paracetamol products to be suspended
    Tourists explores the beauty of HònThơmIsland on KiênGiangProvince’s PhúQuốcIsland, which is connected to An Thới Town by the world’s longest sea cable-car route.  

    KiênGiangProvince welcomed more than 1.5 million tourists in the first quarter of the year, a 3.7 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

    Of the figure, there were 173,000 international tourists, a rise of 5.9 per cent year-on-year.

    Tourism is expected to become the province’s key sector, according to Mai Văn Huỳnh, deputy chairman of the province’s People’s Committee.

    Authorities are pouring more money into investment, infrastructure and human resource training for the tourism sector.

    PhúQuốcIsland, which is part of the province, is expected to become an international hub for eco-tourism, resort tourism and entertainment in the country, region and the world.

    Thanks to favourable conditions for investors, the province has the largest number of tourism projects in the Mekong Delta.

    Phú Quốc is the top place in attracting investment, Huỳnh said.

    RạchGiáCity, Hà Tiên Town, Kiên Lương District, and U Minh Thượng District and surrounding areas also have tourism potential.

    The province has called for investment in entertainment centres, shopping malls, transport services and sea-going trips for this area.

    Nam Du Archipelago, LạiSơnIsland in Kiên Hải District, and Hải Tặc Archipelago in Hà Tiên Town have been recognised as three tourist zones in the province.

    This recognition will help build the area’s brand, attract more investment and open new ecotourism sites.

    Võ Văn Sáu, deputy director of the province’s Department of Tourism, said the province was calling for investment in 14 projects in the tourism sector with a total cost of VNĐ4.2 trillion (US$183 million).

    Paediatric assn to provide guidance on infant skincare

    The Việt Nam Paediatric Association plans to issue a guidebook to parents and health staff on skincare and proper sleep habits for babies.

    Dr Nguyễn Gia Khánh, chairman of the association, said that pediatric experts had consulted staff at the Asia-Pacific Paediatric Sleep Alliance and Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, a nonprofit group that promotes the health of women and newborns.

    Based on the consultations, the book will describe the importance of proper skincare in protecting babies from disease and developing their sense and nerve systems.  

    In tropical countries like Việt Nam, high temperatures and moisture can affect babies’ skin in both positive and negative ways.

    Protection from the sun is needed, but limited exposure to the sun can also stimulate the production of vitamin D, which can prevent rickets and other illnesses.

    “It is very important to take care of babies’ skin in their first months, especially premature babies. Their skin needs careful care, just as an adult does,” Khánh said, adding that healthy skin can promote good sleep as well.

    Cần Thơ, Hà Giang province promote tourism cooperation


     

    Robotics, high-tech treatment improves medical care in VN, Co-operatives, clean farming methods help farmers raise the bar, New health insurance appraising system to be operated Modified-release paracetamol products to be suspended
    A performance featuring the culture of the northeastern province of Hà Giang was held during a tourism promotion conference in Cần Thơ City on April 6. - Photo www.baohagiang.vn 

    Officials from Hà Giang Province met with their counterparts in Cần Thơ City in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta last Friday to promote the tourism potential of the northeastern province.

    Speaking at the conference, Nguyễn Văn Sơn, chairman of the Hà Giang Province’s People’s Committee, said that most tourists in Hà Giang are interested in natural landscapes, cuisine, festivals and the diverse cultures of its 19 ethnic groups.

    The “Colours of Hà Giang Province” conference was attended by representatives of the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism, Việt Nam Tourism Association, and the Mekong Delta Tourism Association, as well as many officials of delta provinces.

    In the first quarter of this year, the province welcomed 270,000 tourists, including 60,000 international tourists.

    Total revenue from tourism was more than VNĐ226 billion (US$9.9 million), an increase of 17 per cent year-on-year.

    By 2020, Hà Giang targets having tourism as one of its key economic sectors. In recent years, the province has created favourable conditions to attract investment, and has reformed administrative procedures in the tourism sector.

    The number of tourists from the Mekong Delta region to Hà Giang has increased significantly in recent years. More than 400,000 tourists from the southern region visited the province last year.

    However, Sơn said that Hà Giang had yet to meet its tourism potential.

    Lê Văn Tâm, vice chairman of the Cần Thơ City’s People’s Committee, said the city would be willing to work with Hà Giang Province to promote tourism in the mountainous province.

    HCMCity aims to detect and treat remaining 20% of TB patients



    Free X-rays for people at high risk of contracting TB are provided by a project administered by the HCM City Public Health Association withIMPACT  PhạmNgọcThạchHospital, the Friends for International Tuberculosis Relief, TB, and the EU.  

    The HCM City Department of Health has instructed health officials in all districts to visit households with patients who are at a high risk of contracting TB and offer testing and treatment, Nguyễn Hữu Hưng, deputy head of the department, said at a conference held on Friday in the city.

    As part of the national strategy on TB prevention, the conference reviewed the last two years of TB prevention and detection activities in HCMCity.  

    The city aims to have only 20 patients with TB per 100,000 people by 2030, according to Hưng.

    Over the last two years, 16,500 new incidences of TB were detected each year in HCMCity, but the figure only accounted for 80 per cent of the real number in the community, he added.

    More public-private partnerships on TB detection should be established, he said, adding that private health clinics should be assisted in obtaining vital equipment for TB patients.

    To reduce the number of patients who give up on treatment and to avoid drug resistance, more private health clinics should be given assistance in obtaining equipment and medicine, Hưng said.

    Dr Nguyễn Hữu Lân, head of HCMCity’s TB prevention programme and director of PhạmNgọcThạchHospital, said the city would pilot a programme to reduce the number of TB cases to zero by 2030.

    The city now has 14 Gene X-Pert machines which can rapidly diagnose TB at a 90 per cent accuracy rate.

    Lân said that investment, however, was still low for TB research and prevention as well as treatment.

    He said the government should spend more money, and that co-operation between the TB prevention programme and one on HIV/AIDS prevention should be strengthened.

    1 killed, another injured in coal mine accident


    Robotics, high-tech treatment improves medical care in VN, Co-operatives, clean farming methods help farmers raise the bar, New health insurance appraising system to be operated Modified-release paracetamol products to be suspended
    Rescue officials at a coal mine. Photo for illustrative purpose only. - Photo tienphong.vn


    One worker was killed and another was injured in an accident at a coal mine in the northern coastal province of Quảng Ninh on Saturday, Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper reported.

    The deceased was identified as Đoàn Văn Sỹ, 26, from NinhBìnhProvince, and the injured victim as Phạm Ngọc Chương, 31, from HảiDươngProvince.

    The accident occurred at a mining workshop of the VINCOMIN-Hạ Long Coal Company. Initial investigations reveal that the accident was caused by a landslide of coal and rocks, which buried both the workers.

    A group of workers found the two victims, administered first-aids and took them to Quảng Ninh GeneralHospital.

    Sỹ died at the hospital, and Chương is undergoing treatment.

    The Quảng Ninh People’s Committee compensated Sỹ’s family with VNĐ6 million (US$263) and Chương’s with VNĐ3 million ($132).

    Further investigation is underway.

    WB offers VN recommendations on social insurance reform


    Robotics, high-tech treatment improves medical care in VN, Co-operatives, clean farming methods help farmers raise the bar, New health insurance appraising system to be operated Modified-release paracetamol products to be suspended
    The World Bank (WB)’s experts have suggested Việt Nam promptly reform its social insurance sector to ensure the stable balance between collection and spending in the mid-to long-term future.


    The World Bank (WB)’s experts have suggested Việt Nam promptly reform its social insurance sector to ensure the stable balance between collection and spending in the mid-to long-term future.

    WB Country Director for Việt Nam Ousmane Dione and other WB experts had a working session with Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ, who is also head of the central steering committee for reform of wage, social insurance and allowances for people with meritorious services, in Hà Nội on Thursday.

    According to the experts, Việt Nam’s reforms in social insurance policy, which began in 2014, are not strong and visionary enough to deal with ongoing challenges.

    They explained that the imbalance between collection and spending in Việt Nam’s social insurance sector is expected to increase from 1.7 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) to 3 per cent in the future, since there will be more beneficiaries.

    The total asset of the Việt Nam Social Security (VSS) now accounts for 12 per cent of GDP.

    However, the value is forecast to drop to zero from 2036-42.

    At the same time, Việt Nam’s retirement system is facing many challenges due to the country’s rapidly aging population.

    With this in mind, experts proposed strengthening the State retirement system managed by VSS They also encouraged increasing the involvement of the unofficial sector, as well as developing a fundamental social retirement pension fund for poverty reduction and gradually expanding the private retirement system.

    Việt Nam should raise the retirement pension at a rate lower than that of wages and the adjust retirement pension in line with inflation, they said.

    The retirement age should be increased and should also be equal between men and women, the experts said, emphasising the need for Việt Nam to reduce the retirement pension gap between the State and private sectors.

    The experts also gave recommendations to Việt Nam on ensuring the stability of the financial system.

    In reply, Deputy Prime Minister Huệ said the WB’s assessments would help the Vietnamese Government complete a project on social insurance reform which will be submitted to the Politburo during the upcoming seventh plenum of the Party Central Committee.

    Huệ called on the WB to assist Việt Nam in training experts in financial forecasting, expressing his belief that with the support of the bank Việt Nam could successfully conduct the reform.

    Pulley system is deemed a bridge too far


    Robotics, high-tech treatment improves medical care in VN, Co-operatives, clean farming methods help farmers raise the bar, New health insurance appraising system to be operated Modified-release paracetamol products to be suspended
    Cable and pulley is used to carry people and vehicles crossing Pô Kô River in Ngọc Hồi and Đắk Tô districts. 

    Residents are putting their safety at risk every day crossing a river using a cable and pulley, even though there are two bridges nearby.

    The banks of the Pô Kô River in Central Highland province of Kon Tum are connected by a suspension bridge and a concrete bridge, but some people are still using a 10-year-old pulley operated by two cable lines.

    Many say it’s because they have to travel between five and 10 kilometres to use the constructed bridges, wasting valuable time and causing inconvenience.

    But there are many risks associated with this type of crossing.

    If overloaded, the iron cage stoops dangerously close to the water leaving commuters needing to pull ropes to get to the other side.

    Local resident Đặng Trung Tá in Hamlet 3, PleiKầnTown in Ngọc Hồi District said his family installed the cable system to make a shortcut.

    Tá said many families live in Ngọc Hồi District but their farming land was in Đắk Tô District on the other side of the river.

    “For nearly a decade, local residents in Hamlet 3 use the cable to cross Pô Kô River,” Tá said. "They also used the cable to transport vehicles and farming products.”

    Another resident in Hamlet 3, Lương Tám said his family had more than 4ha of farmland in Ngọc Tụ Commune, Đắk Tô District.

    Despite being aware of the risks, he said he uses the system because it is a far more convenient way to travel to the field.

    Trần Dương Chấn of the Đắk Rơ Nga Commune, Ngọc Hồi District said for a long time, people transported farm products and fertiliser by boats.

    But he said during rainy season, boats could not cross the river because of strong water flow.

    “If we don’t use the cable, we have to go about five kilometers to use a suspension bridge or even ten kilometers to use a concrete bridge,” Chấn said.

    “After crossing the bridges, we drive on a rugged path which costs time and is very inconvenient,” Chấn said.

    Locals say although no one has died because of the cable, two people did fall into the water last year after a cable snapped.  

    Chairman of Plei Kần Commune People’s Committee Nguyễn Xuân Phượng said residents built and used the river-crossing cable by themselves.

    Phượng said the commune was asking local businesses to help by building a wooden bridge.

    Using cable and pulley to cross river is not rare in Central Highland provinces in Việt Nam, especially in disadvantaged areas where firm bridges are not available.

    In northern Điện BiênProvince, in 2014, people from SamLangVillage in Nà Hỳ Commune adopted an unusual and dangerous way to cross a swollen stream. The 100-metre trip is made by hopping into a large plastic bag and having it pulled by a strong swimmer in his shorts.

    Tòng Thị Minh, a kindergarten teacher from the village, filmed a scene showing teachers waiting by the side of the swift-flowing stream. They then take it in turns to climb into a bag until it covers them from head to toe. Male swimmers then haul the "baggage" through the turbulent waters.

    The residents, of course, try to stay calm during the trip because if the bags are torn on rocks, they face being swept away. Parents also use the bags to take their children to school.

    Residents dream of a suspension bridge, but construction could be costly because of the difficult terrain and muddy roads.

    According for Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam under Transport Ministry, this year, Việt Nam plans to build 776 new small bridges and complete the construction of nearly 1,000 bridges in disadvantaged remote areas with total investment of VNĐ 9.2 trillion (US$ 402 million ).

    Cà Mau reports first dengue death in 2018


    Robotics, high-tech treatment improves medical care in VN, Co-operatives, clean farming methods help farmers raise the bar, New health insurance appraising system to be operated Modified-release paracetamol products to be suspended
    A health official fumigates to kill mosquitoes to prevent dengue fever. One person has been confirmed dead from dengue fever in Cà Mau Province. 


    The Mekong Delta province of Cà Mau has reported Việt Nam’s first death from dengue fever this year.

    The Health Centre in Trần Văn Thời District confirmed the death of a 15-year-old student, who lived in SôngĐốcTownship.

    Trần Thị Huyền Như was hospitalised on March 29 and diagnosed with an unknown virus.

    On March 31, doctors confirmed she was suffering from dengue fever. By then, her health had deteriorated.

    At 9 am the same day, she was transferred to the provincial GeneralHospital for treatment.

    She developed a blood infection and suffered from respiratory failure and coagulopathy. She died at 5pm.

    The provincial People’s Committee has directed the local health sector to strengthen measures to prevent the disease, particularly providing information on the epidemic to locals and guiding them on ways to prevent the disease. In 2017, the province reported three deaths from dengue fever.

    Last year dengue fever flourished across the country, especially in Hà Nội and HCMCity

    More than 148,260 cases of dengue fever have been reported across the country since the outbreak began in 2017. Thirty people have lost their lives.

    Namnorthern province was the first province to announce the dengue epidemic.

    Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no specific vaccine or treatment for dengue. 

    Minister says fisheries sector needs restructuring to be sustainable


    Robotics, high-tech treatment improves medical care in VN, Co-operatives, clean farming methods help farmers raise the bar, New health insurance appraising system to be operated Modified-release paracetamol products to be suspended
    Fish being bred in cages in the central province of Khánh Hòa.


    The fisheries sector needs to be restructured to develop sustainably and adapt to climate change and the country’s global integration, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường has said.

    Speaking at a seminar in NhaTrangCity on Thursday, he said fishing, preservation and processing all have shortcomings such as a lack of technology, resulting in low efficiency.

    To ensure sustainable development, the sector should establish closed chains for catching fish up to permitted limits and increase processing and diversify products to add value, he said.

    The sector should develop aquaculture using advanced techniques and adapt to climate change, he said.

    He instructed the Directorate of Fisheries to review and adopt new preservation and processing technologies and instruct companies in their use. 

    The sector faces post-catch losses of 15 – 25 per cent, according to the directorate.

    Most fishing boats use ice or salt or dry their catch to preserve their catch. More than 90 per cent of catches are preserved using ice.

    Most boats have small wooden holds, which affect the quality of preservation.   

    Cường urged local governments to restructure their fishing to suit local conditions and ensure the safety of fishermen.

    They should identify fisheries products that are popular in the domestic and foreign markets to make plans for fishing and processing based on such demand, he said.

    Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vũ Văn Tám said the country may not be able to increase its catch in future but has to ensure preservation to reduce post-catch losses to about 10 per cent.

    Seminar participants said the fish catches should be suitable for each region, adding that the northen gulf area and the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta region should focus on small open-sea fishes while the central and south-eastern regions should focus on large fishes.

    The country had 109,622 fishing boats at the end of last year, according to the directorate.

    In the first three months of this year they caught about 740,000 tonnes of fish, up 7 per cent from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    Fishermen have had bumper catches this year because of favourable weather conditions.

    The country targets total catches of around 3.3 million tonnes this year and exports of US$3.3 billion worth of marine fisheries this year, mostly made up of tuna, cuttlefish and octopus.

    Quang Ninh: land subsidence drills hole in residential area

    A hole, as a result of land subsidence, suddenly formed in front of a house in the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh’s Cam Pha city in the evening of April 5.

    Located in Cam Son ward, the hole is 3 – 4 metres deep and 200 square metres in diameter. Its sudden formation dragged down a man and two scooters from the surface. The victim was rescued with minor injuries.  

    Local authorities have directed agencies to pour earth and cement into the hole to ensure safety for nearby traffic and residents.

     Chairman of the Cam Pha People’s Committee Nguyen Hong Duong said experts will be invited to examine the scene.

     Similar incidents took place in Cam Pha’s roads and residential areas in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. Local authorities invited experts from the Institute of Geology to examine the previous land sinking in Cam Son ward’s Nam Son 2 area. 

     In September 2016, experts reported the cause of the event was natural subsurface movement of earth materials. Cam Son was said to have enough geographic features to make it highly vulnerable to land subsidence.

    VNN

    0 0
  • 04/09/18--02:01: Article 0
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 9/4


    Technology exhibition of Vietnam shrimp sector to run in Bac Lieu


     

    Technology exhibition of Vietnam shrimp sector to run in Bac Lieu, Central Highlands provinces asked to not expand macadamia area, FTAs help garment-textile firms diversify export markets


    An exhibition on technologies of the shrimp sector in Vietnam is scheduled for the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu with a view of turning the locality into a national shrimp industry centre.

    About 150 firms will operate stalls at the event to introduce their products like fry, animal feed, bio-products, medicines, and machines serving aquatic farming production, and logistics, from April 27 – 29.

    The event also features a series of workshops hosted by experts in the industry.

    At a meeting with Bac Lieu authorities on April 4, Head of the Vietnam Fisheries Society Nguyen Viet Thang stated the importance of close coordination among relevant agencies and the organising board to ensure the success of the exhibition.

    Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Duong Thanh Trung said the event will contribute to stimulating the development of the local shrimp sector.

    He requested contents of workshops to be practical to the current conditions of Vietnam and Bac Lieu in particular.

    Bac Lieu has an aquaculture area of 1,290 square kilometers. With a coastline of 56 km, three seaports and an economic exclusive zone of 20,742 square kilometers, the province has favourable conditions to develop agriculture, fishing and fishery logistics. Each year, the locality harvests about 210,000 tonnes of aquatic products, of which 115,000 tonnes are shrimp, with shrimp export turnover exceeding 527 million USD.

    The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said shrimp exports contributed the most to the total national seafood export value, posting a growth rate of 21 percent to 3.8 billion USD in export value for 2017.

    Long An increases supply of farm produce to Ho Chi Minh City

    The southern province of Long An has increased supply of farm produce to Ho Chi Minh City under the 2016-2020 socio-economic cooperation agreement with the city, said Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Tran Van Can.

    As home to 32 cooperatives and VietGAP firms with a capacity of nearly 21,000 tonnes, Long An will provide nearly 500,000 tonnes of vegetables for Ho Chi Minh City each day, nearly 225,000 pigs and 133,000 cows and a variety of specialty rice each year.

    The province also supplies roughly 11,000 tonnes of fresh shrimps in brackish water and other farm produce such as dragon fruits, lemons and pineapples to Binh Dien wholesale market and local restaurants.

    Long An asked for the city’s support for its agricultural products to enter its stable distribution channel, especially fruits and vegetables, hold training courses for managerial staff, cooperatives and working groups on high-tech agricultural production, and access the city’s scientific studies on high-quality varieties and animal breeds, farm produce processing and preservation technology.

    After one year, Long An has formed and marketed nine consumption chains of vegetables, rice, chicken meat and pork in Ho Chi Minh City, helped seven firms and cooperatives majoring in vegetables, rice and bananas join safe farm markets in the city.

    Ho Chi Minh City has also helped the locality with fowl and cattle epidemics prevention and food hygiene, slaughter control, animal and plant quarantine in areas near the city, and technological transfer as well as shared experience in the implementation of the national target programme on new-style rural development.

    Ben Tre diversifies tourism products

    The Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre has served over 472,000 tourist arrivals, including nearly 200,000 foreigners, since the beginning of this year, a year-on-year rise of 12 percent.

    The tourism sector earned approximately 342 billion VND (15 million USD), up 25 percent against the same period last year.

    According to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the increases were attributed to efforts to build and upgrade business establishments and create new tourism products and services.

    Tran Duy Phuong, the department’s deputy director, said to make tourism one of the spearhead sectors of the province by 2020, Ben Tre will continue investing in infrastructure serving tourism, especially in rural areas, together with diversifying tourism products and improving service quality at tourist sites.

    In 2018, the locality will work to improve the quality of existing products and exploiting new ones such as orchard, trade village, spiritual and cuisine tourism.

    It will also step up dissemination to improve public awareness of the role of tourism as well as the province’s tourism development orientations.

    In the time ahead, the province continues calling on competent investors to participate in tourism projects, particularly in the coastal districts of Ba Tri, Binh Dai and Thanh Phu.

    Ben Tre can be found in the lowest part of the MekongRiver basin, about 85 kilometres south of Ho Chi Minh City. It is also known as the paradise of coconut since there is a lot of coconut planted there.

    An Giang earns over 41 million USD from rice exports

    The Mekong Delta province of An Giang shipped abroad 83,920 tonnes of rice in the first three months of 2018 for 41.1 million USD, up 18,3 percent in volume and 28.8 percent in value over the same period last year.

    According to Vo Nguyen Nam, Director of the Department of Industry and Trade, An Giang’s rice has been exported to 21 countries, mostly Asian ones with 83.7 percent. A rise of 30.4 percent was seen in the African market.

    In the first three months of this year, rice price was 487 USD per tonne averagely, a rise of about 43 USD per tonne over the same time last year.

    Nam said that global demand of rice is forecast to continue rising. The good results in the locality’s rice exports in the first quarter of 2018 was due to high demand from traditional markets of Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and a number of new markets like Bangladesh.

    Meanwhile, Tran Anh Thu, Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that farmers in An Giang have used high-quality rice varieties in 72 percent of total rice farming area in this Winter-Spring crop, thus enhancing the quality of the province’s rice and contributing to facilitate exports.

    Thu revealed that An Giang is developing the An Giang rice trade mark to 2020 with a vision to 2030, while preparing to issue a rice export market development strategy in the 2017-2020 period, aiming to improve the competitiveness of the grain.

    Central Highlands provinces asked to not expand macadamia area

    The Central Highlands provinces of Dak Lak, Lam Dong, Dak Nong, Gia Lai and Kon Tum have stopped expanding the area grown with macadamia trees, said the Tay Nguyen Agro-Forestry Science Technology Institute.

    Meanwhile, local farm households and businesses are advised to focus on the cultivation of planted trees.

    Macadamia trees have recently been grown in the Central Highlands on a pilot project and given yields after 5-7 years. Experts say further studies on land, climate, seedlings and cultivation techniques should be carried out before the tree is put into large-scale cultivation in the region.

    Dak Lak province, which boasts the third largest macadamia area after Lam Dong and Dak Nong, has stopped the cultivation of new macadamia trees until 2020, with orientations to 2030.

    Director of the Dak Lak Department of Planning and Investment Dinh Xuan Ha said local farmers should grow macadamia trees along with industrial and perennial fruit trees such as coffee, avocado and durian to maintain their income and avoid risks.

    Macadamia trees made first appearance in Vietnam in the 1990s, but farmers in the Central Highlands only started cultivating them in 2000.

    The region is currently home to more than 2,266ha of macadamia trees, or 64.01 percent of the country’s total crop area, mainly in Lam Dong (44.04 percent) and Dak Nong (35.3 percent). The region produces 246 tonnes of nuts per year, accounting for 91.45 percent of the country’s output.

    Experts say since it is a relatively new species, further studies should be conducted to ensure its efficiency and reduce risks for growers.

    FTAs help garment-textile firms diversify export markets

    Free trade agreements (FTAs) that Vietnam has signed and is going to sign have helped local firms diversity their export markets, according to Chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association Vu Duc Giang.

    He said Vietnam is exporting garment-textiles to the US, the European Union (EU), Japan and the Republic of Korea.

    Apart from those traditional markets, Vietnamese firms are pushing exports to new markets such as China and Russia, with export turnover projected to exceed 2 billion USD and about 500 million USD in 2018 in each of the countries respectively.

    Most domestic garment-textile businesses have received orders for the second and third quarters of 2018, he added.

    The garment-textile sector has exported more than 3 billion USD worth of yarn, nearly one billion USD worth of fabric and 400 million USD worth of garment accessories.

    Particularly, the fourth industrial revolution has changed the mindset of businesses in regards to technology investment, Giang said.

    Garment-textile companies have paid more attention to developing human resources and using technology to create quality products.

    The selection of high value production segments helps such as Original Design Manufacturing and Own Brand Manufacturing has helped Vietnam continue making differences in the global market, he said.

    In addition to investment in new technology, some big enterprises such as Phong Phu Joint Stock Company and Garment-10 Joint Stock Company are seeking to export through online sales.

    This is considered a cheap and quick way to send products to customers in foreign countries, according to Doan Anh Dao, a marketing and sales representative from Phong Phu Joint Stock Company.

    In 2017, the garment-textile sector raked in 31.2 billion USD from exports, a year-on-year rise of 10.23 percent.

    In the year, Vietnam’s garment-textile exports to major markets like the US, the EU, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Russia increased by 7.2 percent, 9.23 percent, 6.1 percent, 11.8 percent and 56 percent, respectively.

    In the first quarter of 2018, the sector is expected to see export growth of nearly 7 percent. It targets 35 billion USD in export turnover by the end of this year.

    Vinacomin posts high coal output, consumption     

    The Viet Nam National Coal and Mineral Group (Vinacomin) reported that its coal production and consumption had surpassed the set targets for the first quarter of the year.

     Vinacomin said its coal output in the three-month period reached 9.4 million tonnes, while the consumption was 9.8 million, meeting 27 per cent and 27.3 per cent of the whole year’s production and consumption targets.

    The coal consumption in March was the highest so far reaching 4.1 million tonnes owing to favourable weather conditions and the high demand for coal in electricity production.

    Vinacomin has targeted a coal output of 3.5 million tonnes and consumption of 3.7 million tonnes this month. The group has plans to meet 52 per cent of the whole year’s target in the first half of the year.

    It has asked member units to enhance production and actively produce coal with high demand in the market.

    Vinacomin’s total revenue in 2017 reached VND109.2 trillion (US$4.8 billion), posting a 7.3 per cent year-on-year increase. Its profit was estimated at VND2.5 trillion, up VND1.5 trillion from 2016. It contributed VND13.4 trillion to the State budget.

    In 2017, Vinacomin’s coal consumption was estimated at 35.5 million tonnes. Of this, the local coal consumption was 34 million tonnes and the remaining was exported. 

    Government agrees to set up credit guarantee funds     

    The Government has approved the establishment of credit guarantee funds for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to facilitate higher chances for them to get credit for production and business.

    Under Decree 34/2018/ND-CP issued recently, the funds are set up by the people’s committees of provinces and cities. It will operate for non-profit purposes and under the model of one-member limited company with 100 per cent charter capital from the State. The fund must have a minimum charter capital at VND100 billion.

    The funds will provide credit guarantee for SMEs to get loans from lenders according to the provisions of the decree and relevant laws.

    According to the decree, the eligible firms are SMEs with the potential for development but are not eligible for loans in credit priority areas as stipulated in the decree.

    The funds will grant credit guarantees to SMEs at a maximum of 100 per cent of the loan value (including working capital and medium- and long-term capital).

    The level of guarantee for an enterprise will be based on the feasibility and risk level of the enterprise, investment project, production and business plan as well as financial capability of the funds. 

    Binh Duong records trade surplus of over $1.5b     

    The southern province of Binh Duong recorded a trade surplus of more than US$1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2018, according to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade.

    In the reviewed period, the export turnover of the province reached more than $5.57 billion, an increase of 15.3 percent year-on-year, while imports were valued at over $4 billion, up 16.8 per cent.

    The high export turnover was attributable to the 10-15 per cent growth of key items, including wooden products, which were valued at $644 million, up 13.5 per cent; garment-textiles products at $627 million, up 18 per cent; and footwear at $630 million, up 15.1 per cent.

    Meanwhile, the province imported chemicals worth $202 million, timber and wooden products ($261 million), fabrics ($231 million) and garment-textile materials ($345 million).

    The freshly signed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership is expected to foster exports from BinhDuongProvince in the coming period.

    Local businesses are advised to fulfil the requirements on product origin and devise appropriate business plans to enjoy the preferential tariffs. 

    Geographic indication protects unique products     

    Geographic indication (GI) is considered an effective way of protecting and adding value to unique products, and should be used more in Viet Nam, experts have said.

    GI designations show that products have specific geographical origin and qualities or a reputation due to that origin.

    GI is used to protect traditional products whose uniqueness and reputation are closely linked with the geographical location where they originated.

    Speaking at a seminar in HCMCity on Wednesday, Pham Xuan Da of the Ministry of Science and Technology said that GI could add value, increase access to new or existing markets, gain a competitive advantage, and reap more profits. It also helps fight against misuse or unhealthy competitive acts.

    GI protection preserves biodiversity and develops traditional industries and tourism sector and help consumers understand the value of the products.

    As of last month, Viet Nam has granted protection certificates to 66 GIs, of which six are from other countries, he said.

    Delphine Marie-Vivien, researcher in intellectual property and food law at CIRAD, a French research centre specialising in international agricultural and development issues, said: “The origin of food is important for consumers who value tradition and cultural identity and who are sensitive to specific sensorial and organoleptic characteristics of these products. Some consumers are willing to pay more to find such characteristics in the product.”

    Viet Nam drew up a legal framework for GI protection in 1995 under which the State is the owner of the GI, and has the right to register the GI. It can delegate the right to producers (both organisations and individuals) and administrative authorities of the locality.

    The State has the right to manage the use of GI, control and promotion, but it also can delegate the responsibility to people’s committees in provinces, districts or cities.

    Producers have the right to use the GI, including organisations and individuals authorized by the managing authority.

    Yet despite the political will to promote GIs, the use of registered GIs on products for sale in Viet Nam is still limited due to a lack of awareness among producers and consumers and a lack of interest from local stakeholders about GI value, as well as the absence of involvement by local authorities in the promotion of GI and GI products.

    Other issues include lax implementation of quality control and lack of efficient collective action to manage the GI.

    As a result, it is necessary to overcome the lack of awareness, strengthen organisation of producers and processors after initial GI registration, and build up efficient control systems before commercialisation that can help prevent fraud.

    BenTreProvince recently obtained GI certifications for its grapefruit and Xiem coconuts, which would help businesses and farmers develop markets for these GI products.

    After successfully obtaining GI certificate, much more efforts are needed to promote the use of the GI, Da said.

    GI protection had a beneficial impact on economic development in many areas of the province’s economy, and thus producers should learn about the GI system, he said.

    Tran Anh Tuan, an expert on market research, said demand for coconut water, coconut oil, coconut milk and coconut ice cream has increased significantly in the global market, offering more opportunities for the province to develop such products.

    To exploit GIs in the most effective way, producers need to “enhance innovation to come up with better and higher added value products.”

    At the seminar, Tuan showed samples from countries in the region that have successfully commercialised GI products.

    Representing the province, Le Van Tan, director of the provincial Department of Science and Technology, said the province would establish regulations on GI management and using and grant GIs and revoke the right to use GIs.

    It will also oversee the farming process of GI products and promote GI products both in domestic and international markets.

    Since its GI coconut products are mainly for export, participants at the seminar said the province should register to protect its GI products in other countries to create a solid legal foundation for exports.

    The seminar on the role and impact of GIs in local economic development was organised by the Vietnamese High Quality Goods Association and Ben Tre Province People’s Committee on the sidelines of the Vietnamese High Quality Products Fair in District 11.

    Binh Son refinery’s profit up by 46%     

    Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Company (BSR) reported pre-tax profits of VND1.3 trillion (US$57.1 million) in the first quarter of 2018, up 46 per cent compared to the quarterly target.

    BSR is a subsidiary of Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam, PVN) and operator of the $3 billion Dung Quat Oil Refinery in the central province of Quang Ngai, the first oil refinery in the country.

    The company earned VND24.1 trillion in the first quarter of this year, up 25 per cent year-on-year. Indicators such as manufacturing output and consumption increased by 11 per cent compared to the quarterly plan.

    At a seminar held on March 30 in the central city of Da Nang, Deputy General Director of PVN Le Manh Hung said any of PVN’s subsidiary while converting to a joint stock company should be aware that equitisation was an inevitable target.

    According to Hung, to well manage BSR and PVN’s units, company leaders should, first of all, have a firm grasp of management knowledge.

    “Corporate governance means human governance in the process of production and business as well as common target governance,” Hung said, asking BSR to invest heavily in systems and management tools while converting into a joint stock company.

    BSR earned VND5.5 trillion ($244.5 million) through the sale of nearly 242 million shares during its initial public offering (IPO) held on January 17.

    The sale, organised on HCM Stock Exchange, is Viet Nam’s largest IPO this year and is part of the government’s drive to privatise State-owned enterprises to improve their performances.

    The quantity of shares was equivalent to 7.79 per cent of BSR’s charter capital, offered at a starting price of VND14,600 per share.

    At this price, BSR is valued at $2 billion, making it the largest firm ever to hold an IPO.

    The auction attracted 4,079 domestic and foreign investors, including 3,964 individuals and 115 organisations, registering to purchase 652 million shares.

    Sixty-two organisations and 561 individuals won the bids. 

    STK plans to issue 10.8m shares     

    Soi The Ky Joint Stock Company (STK) targets a revenue of over VND2.3 trillion (US$101 million), pre-tax profit of VND131 billion and after-tax profit of nearly VND126 billion in 2018.

    This marks a year-on-year increase of 18 per cent, 25 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively.

    The company will submit these targets in the business plan for 2018 at the annual shareholders’ meeting, expected to take place on April 17.

    In addition to this, STK will ask for shareholders’ comments on the issuance of nearly 10.8 million shares.

    Of this, STK plans to issue nearly 4.2 million shares to pay dividends for fiscal year 2017 at a rate of seven per cent and another 600,000 shares under the employee stock ownership plan at VND10,000 (44 US cents) per share. The company also plans to issue nearly six million shares to existing shareholders at the rate of 10 per cent, with the selling price not lower than the par value and not higher than the price at the end of the previous session a day before the notice of closing rights on HCM Stock Exchange.

    A total of nearly VND60 billion is expected after the issuance is used to invest in the Trang Bang 5 project. If the issuances of shares succeed, the charter capital of the company will increase to more than VND707 billion.

    In 2017, STK achieved a revenue of nearly VND2 trillion and an after-tax profit of more than VND99.6 billion. The company expects to pay 15 per cent dividend for 2017, with a total of more than VND89.9 billion. Of this, eight per cent will be in cash, equivalent to over 47.95 billion, and seven per cent will be in shares, equivalent to more than 41.9 billion.

    Seafood firm Hung Vuong to sell assets to offset losses     

    Hung Vuong Corporation (HVG), one of the biggest seafood processors in Viet Nam, has reported losses for the last two financial years.

    The company incurred losses of VND49 billion (US$2.2 million) and VND713 billion in the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 fiscal years. A fiscal year begins in October and ends in September of the following year.

    Shares of HVG, which is listed on the HCM Stock Exchange under code HVG, are down 36 per cent compared to the beginning of this year and down 45.4 per cent compared from their peak for 2018 so far on January 10, due to the company’s weak business performance.

    According to an official letter sent by HVG to the State Securities Commission in late March, HVG plans to divest capital from some of its subsidiaries and sell real estate to offset losses.

    The company will divest 100 per cent of its capital from Sao Ta Food Joint Stock Company and 50 per cent of its capital from Viet Thang Feed Joint Stock Company. The divestment plans have been completed.

    HVG also plans to sell some of its real estate assets, including the two land lots at
    765 Hong Bang Street
    and
    94 Pham Dinh Ho Street
    in HCMCity.

    The company will also close some ineffective seafood processing factories due to the lack of raw materials.

    It also plans to negotiate with banks for financial support, persuading them to keep funding medium-long term capital to help complete HVG’s uncompleted projects. At the same time, HVG also recommend banks provide interest rate incentives for its current debts.

    The main causes for the increased losses include a material shortage.

    In 2017, export prices of pangasius fillets soared to the highest level in the past 10 years. However, as the market demand increases, the supply of raw fish is decreasing every day, the company said in its official letter.

    HVG has been facing raw material shortages since the second half of 2016. The company’s 11 factories with 15,000 employees are operating at a very modest level, down 50 per cent from full capacity, mainly recycling goods in the warehouse to maintain export.

    Insufficient materials, large fixed costs and the need to pay labourers during a shutdown in the production period, increased HVG’s production costs by 30 per cent.

    Rising export prices cannot offset the cost of production, which was the main reason for the loss, HVG said in the letter.

    The company also blamed interest expenses and financial-related pressure from unfinished investment projects for recent losses.

    With the approval of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the support of the authorities of the southern provinces of An Giang, Long An and Binh Dinh, as well as commitments from banks, from 2015 to the end of 2017, HVG has implemented development projects on hi-tech pig breeding and constructed cold storage with 60,000 pallets, fully operated by robots.

    Up to now, some projects have been completed up to 80 per cent, but disbursement from banks has been postponed. Some projects required the short-term capital of the company without any support from the banks.

    Total capital committed by the bank for the above projects is VND1.5 trillion, equivalent to 70 per cent of the total investment of the projects. But until now, only VND484 billion has been disbursed, below one third of the commitment value.

    Total capital spent on the projects of the company was up to VND640 billion, extracted from its short-term capital, with an average interest rate of 9 per cent per year.

    This caused a serious capital imbalance for the HVG, the company said. While unfinished projects have yet to become profitable, the company still has to bear the cost of rising interest every day.

    Although the total short-term and long-term outstanding loans as of September 30, 2017 decreased by VND969 billion, or 11 per cent, compared to the beginning of the period, the interest expense of the whole fiscal year 2016-2017 increased by 8 per cent. 

    CRN names Panduit in Data Centre 100 List     

    CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, has named US-based Panduit, a global provider of network infrastructure solutions, in its 2018 Data Centre 100 List.

    The annual list recognises technology suppliers that excel at powering, supporting and protecting the complex and demanding data centres on which businesses rely.

    “Panduit is proud to be recognised in CRN’s Data Centre 100 List,” said Tom Walsh, vice president, Data Centre, Panduit. “Through our broad portfolio, we can help data centre architects and managers unlock significant value by simplifying their planning, design, fulfilment and procurement processes to focus on achieving performance and other business requirements.”

    Panduit helps drive performance, efficiency and agility by optimising power, cooling, space and connectivity requirements through its comprehensive data centre solutions, including converged infrastructure, connectivity solutions, cooling optimisation and thermal solutions and data centre infrastructure management.

    Panduit participated at the Cisco Connect 2018 event in Ha Noi on April 3 and is participating at the event in HCMCity today.

    Vietnamese start-up Cricket One Inc to represent Viet Nam at Future Food Asia event     

    Start-up company Cricket One Inc will represent Viet Nam at the Future Food Asia Award event on May 23 in Singapore with an initiative to farm crickets as a high-protein food source.

    Cricket One Inc won top prize at the Mekong Agritech Accelerator (MATCh) programme. A total of 13 start-ups from the region, as well as international firms proposed agritech solutions at the Greater Mekong Subregion Leaders Summit in Ha Noi last month.

    The insect farming industry is a promising form of sustainable food production. It not only requires a low water usage, but also low land use, feed use, and GHG emissions, according to Nam Dang, co-founder of Cricket One.

    “We understand the struggle endured by poor farmers and we have committed to work together with them to improve their livelihood. We lease out the integrated container units so that farmers can utilise their agricultural by-products to grow crickets productively, and we can also teach them the best practices in farming crickets, using the most relevant technology.”

    “We feed the crickets mainly on agricultural by-products in combination with other plants. By doing this we manage to achieve high quality, protein-rich finished products that meet the standard requirements of organic certification,” he said.

    MATCh’s competitive application process sought to identify agricultural technologies and new business models with the potential to reshape agriculture towards sustainable and inclusive growth in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS). A total of 127 start-ups applied. The finalists were selected by a panel of agriculture and food industry experts as well as potential investors.

    The finalists shared ideas relating to business development and technology with mentors, industry experts, and investors. They also attended a boot camp to improve and refine their business models, and to build their professional networks.

    In the start-up division prizes were awarded to Cricket One from Viet Nam, and Kiu Myanmar and Tun Yat from Myanmar. Meanwhile in the Market Access division, the prizes went to AgUnity Pty Ltd from Australia, Verifik8/FairAgora Asia from Thailand and Enzootic Ltd from IsraelHong Kong.

    MATCh is the first accelerator for agritech startups in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Viet Nam. It is funded by the Australian Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and is co-organised by the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI), Future Food Asia, and the GMS Core Agriculture Support Program (CASP).

    When asked about the MATCh participants, Dominic Mellor, of the ADB who heads up the MBI, said "We are extremely impressed with the innovations from the MATCh participants. MBI and our partners will work with the selected innovators and entrepreneurs on transforming the agricultural industry in the Mekong Region into a leading supplier of safe and nutritious food for all.”

    Talentnet - Mercer Total Remuneration Survey back with new features     

    Talentnet and its associate Mercer, a global HR consulting firm, have begun its comprehensive annual salary survey, which will include some new updates based on global trends and market needs.

    The Talentnet - Mercer Total Remuneration Survey 2018 will apply global methodologies in the survey process and job matching, providing data on the top three salary payers across industries in the country and global benchmarking salary data.

    The 2017 survey covered 592 companies, both local and foreign, and remuneration data for 289,236 employees.

    In the last 10 years the Talentnet-Mercer Total Remuneration Survey has come to be known as the most comprehensive and largest salary survey in Viet Nam, providing data for organisations for their rewards strategy including on salary range, common allowances and bonuses by industry and level, the compensation mix for each level of staff, employee turnover rates, the most difficult jobs to attract and retain. 

    Apartment sales forecasted to drop after fatal HCMCity fire

    Apartment sales in Vietnam may fall after a recent fatal apartment block fire in HCMCity which left 13 dead and dozens injured, according to Commercial Real Estate Services (CBRE).

    There is more concern over the safety of apartment projects, including fire prevention features after the fire at CarinaPlaza in HCMCity’s District 8. This may lead to the drop in apartment sales.

    Investors in apartment projects need to ensure fire safety to attract customers.

    Pham Duc Toan, general director of EZ Vietnam Real Estate Development Company, said his company has seen the fall of apartment sales following the CarinaPlaza fire. Many customers have chosen apartment projects more carefully, considering the prestige of investors.

    At the government meeting on April 2, Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung also forecasted lower apartment prices.

    Dung added that in the first three months of 2018, more than 1,000 fires were reported nationwide, killing 33, injuring 66 and causing heavy losses of property.

    This is an issue of public concern, he said, adding that the rate of apartment buildings meeting fire safety standards was very low, so it is a must to address this issue. The remit for this fell between investors, ministries, sectors and localities granting investment licences to investors.

    EC ends anti-dumping investigation of Vietnamese pallet trucks

    The European Commission (EC) has decided to terminate an anti-dumping investigation into pallet trucks after coming to a conclusion that there was no tax invasion of these products imported from Vietnam.

    The Trade Remedies Authority of Vietnam under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said it received a report from the Vietnam Trade Office in Belgium on April 3 saying that the EC had issued its conclusion on the investigation concerning the evasion of anti-dumping duties on Vietnamese pallet trucks.

    Earlier, on July 17, 2017, the EU initiated the investigation following a request filed by PR Industrial SRL and Toyota Material Handling Europe. Hand operated pallet trucks and their essential parts were placed under investigation from January 1, 2011 to June 30, 2017.

    The plaintiffs alleged that products originating in China were shipped to Vietnam for assembly before the finished products were exported to the EU in order to avoid the anti-dumping duty. 

    They also gave preliminary evidence in their efforts to prove that the assembly process amounted to tax evasion as Chinese parts accounted for more than 60% of the total value of the finished products, and the value added during the assembly process was less than 25% of the manufacturing cost.

    FPT Vietnam recognised as first premier partner of AWS in ASEAN

    The 2018 Summit of Amazon Website Services (AWS), the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, opened in Singapore yesterday, attracting hundreds of customers and partners, including interested Vietnamese businesses.

    On the occasion, FPT Vietnam was recognised as the first ASEAN-based premier partner for its key role in helping customers drive innovation and build solutions on the AWS Cloud.

    “With the award, FPT Software and AWS will enter deeper relations, enabling us to approach more influential groups as well as important projects globally, thus contributing to reaching our $1-billion revenue target by 2020,” Nguyen Thi Dan Phuong, chief marketing officer of FPT Software, told VIR.

    FPT’s major markets are Vietnam, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

    Also, during the annual AWS Partner Summit and on the eve of the AWS ASEAN Summit, the AWS Partner Awards was announced to recognise a wide range of born-in-the cloud, and traditional AWS Consulting and Technology Partners whose business models have embraced specialisation and collaboration over the past year.

    The awards also recognise partners whose business models continue to evolve and thrive on the AWS Cloud as they work with customers, enabling them to build on Big Data analytics and take advantage of the benefits of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

    AWS now has a wide range of ASEAN customers, with many big brands having strong operations in Vietnam, including Central Group and Masan Group.

    “The diverse nature of the winners of AWS Partner Awards reflects the opportunities provided for partners who focus on helping customers remove the friction of managing IT infrastructure and set the platform for innovation,” said Nick Walton, managing director of AWS ASEAN.

    “AWS partners are adding value to customers across a wide range of industries, from banking and finance to the public sector, and increasingly, the Southeast Asian startup sector. The winners of the 2018 AWS ASEAN Partner Awards understand that customers can access more than 100 services to innovate in a myriad of ways—including some who are bringing entirely new solutions to market, and others who have been working with AWS since the launch of the AWS Asia-Pacific (Singapore) Region more than seven years ago,” he added.

    AWS is a subsidiary of Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce empire. However, AWS has a distinct leadership and operating structure from Amazon’s parent company.

    AWS has been officially present in Vietnam since early 2017 to support its customers using the company’s products.

    Facebook and Google dodging Vietnamese taxmen since 2016

    Leaning on the excuse of “having no official representative office” in Vietnam, billion-dollar Facebook and Google have been avoiding their tax obligations since early 2016.

    Over the past two years, the Vietnam-based partners of the two social media giants have been paying VND120 billion ($5.25 million) in total corporate income tax (CIT) on their behalf.

    Specifically, as shown in a recent report provided by the Ministry of Finance (MoF), the Vietnamese tax authorities could only administer tax regulations on the income generated by their partners, advertising agencies, as well as businesses who directly purchased Facebook and Google’s services in Vietnam.

    Previously in 2017, the domestic partners of Facebook and Google were reported to pay a total VND73.2 billion ($3.2 million) of tax, VND39.1 billion ($1.71 million) of which was value added tax (VAT) and VND34.1 billion ($1.49 million) CIT.

    In 2016, according to statistics provided by MoF, the partners of the two social media giants paid a total of VND46.9 billion ($2.05 million) worth of tax, of which VND25.3 billion ($1.1 million) VAT and VND21.6 billion ($946,080) CIT.

    Apart from the tax collection mishap, the matter of national security in the digital age was also brought up in Vietnam’s cybersecurity bills as well as a recent bill drafted in June 2017. In particular, this bill proposed a practice called 'data localisation' which entailed all foreign online service providers (including Facebook, Google, and Twitter) to store the data of Vietnamese users’ exclusively in Vietnamese data centres.

    However, despite raising concerns among Vietnam-based businesses who directly engaged in the digital industry, this proposal failed to make the final cut in the revised cybersecurity bill.

    Nonetheless, the cybersecurity bill reaffirmed the initial request by MoPS, stating all foreign online service providers must set up representative offices in Vietnam in order to comply with their tax obligations in the country.

    According to statistics provided by MoPS, up until January 2018, Google rented roughly 1,800 server along with Facebook’s 441, which were previously acquired from companies engaged in data storage in Vietnam.

    Vietnam’s three most newsworthy divorce settlements

    Divorce disputes of public figures have always received ample publicity, especially where assets worth millions of dollars or thousands of jobs hang in the balance. VIR listed the three most noteworthy cases of divorce property settlement in Vietnam.

    In April 2015, Dang Le Nguyen Vu, founder, president, and general director of $65-million coffee giant Trung Nguyen Group, abruptly dismissed Le Hoang Diep Thao, permanent deputy general director of Trung Nguyen and also Vu’s life partner who was the co-founder of the coffee empire.

    In October 2015, general director Vu hosted a last minute board of directors (BOD) meeting with the main purpose to eject Thao from her position at the company. The extraordinary meeting took place without the presence of Thao as the main target of the meeting, aiming to replace her as the legal representative of the company.

    Parallel to this, Thao filed for divorce for the first time. In addition, she also petitioned the Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court for immediate measures in order to secure her joint ownership rights with her spouse in the company during the divorce proceedings.

    Trung Nguyen, Vietnam’s largest coffee brand, specialises in the production, processing, and distribution of coffee in the domestic and foreign markets. Currently, the coffee giant has a total charter capital of VND1.5 trillion ($65.85 million), 93 per cent of which belong to the group’s two co-founders, Dang Le Nguyen Vu and Le Hoang Diep Thao.

    In 2011, the property settlement between Bui Duc Minh and Nguyen Thanh Thuy, vice president of Bao Son Group, drew the public’s attention as the total assets involved in the dispute rounded up to $500 million.

    In late 2010, Minh filed an appeal against the final judgment of the Hanoi People’s Court on their divorce because the judge's settlement of mutually-owned assets, residential land, and shared debt obligations of both partners did not meet his expectations.

    In early 2012, given the unresolved property settlement, Minh was arrested by the Hanoi police to be investigated for slander.

    Le An, who was born in 1938 and became one of the wealthiest Vietnamese entrepreneurs by net worth, was involved in a 30-year divorce settlement with his first ex-wife, Le Ngoc Lan.

    In 1965, An and Lan purchased a house in Ho Chi Minh City briefly after they got married. In 1980, the fat-cat businessman was captured for illegal border crossing and was later sentenced to four years in prison.

    When An was released, his spouse filed for a divorce and obtained an approval from the People’s Court, which he spent the next 30 years appealing against. In 2013, the business tycoon gained the final judgment from the city court, stating that the house in Tan Binh district, Ho Chi Minh City would belong to Le An.

    The 30-year divorce settlement with his first wife was not the only legal dispute the business tycoon had to cope with. To date, after five failed marriages, Le An was reported to be involved in back-to-back settlements over allegations of lying, cheating, and manipulating his ex-wives. Currently, the 78-year-old business tycoon is “happy with his sixth wife who is 55 years younger.”

    VNN

    0 0
  • 04/10/18--01:42: Article 3
  • Vietnamese mobile carriers allow users to send photo online to complete account registration

    Users can either physically visit a store or do the photo-taking via the Internet or mobile apps

     

    A woman has her portrait taken at a Viettel store in Ho Chi Minh City on April 9, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre


    Vietnam’s mobile carriers are allowing subscribers to submit their portraits online to complete account registration, as per a new regulation taking effect later this month, instead of the widely condemned option of doing so by physically visiting a store.

    Under Government Decree 49, coming into effect on April 24, all mobile subscribers in Vietnam have to register for an account with accurate information, including their name, ID number and a portrait.

    While users have long been required to register for a mobile account using their real personal information, few have completed the photo requirement.

    Subscribers now have less than a fortnight to submit their portraits, or risk having their accounts blocked from making phone calls or sending messages.

    All mobile carriers in the Southeast Asian country have previously been criticized for insisting that users complete the photo-taking task at their stores and offering no option to do it via the Internet.

    Subscribers have questioned regulators as to why mobile carriers still need that extra photo when they have already submitted a scanned copy of their ID card, which includes a photo, during registration.

    People have also whined that it is a waste of time for them to skip work to visit transaction spots of the mobile companies to have their photos taken.

     

    ​Vietnamese mobile carriers allow users to send photo online to complete account registration
    People are seen at a Mobifone outlet in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre


    In the wake of such a groundswell of criticism, leading carriers said on Monday that users can now do it online or via their respective apps.

    Vinaphone said besides visiting its stores to complete registration, users can send their photos via email, cskh@vnpt.vn, or using the company’s app, MyVinaphone.

    The mobile carrier also said on its verified Facebook page that subscribers can send all required information, including a scanned copy of their ID card and portraits, via the social network’s messaging feature to complete registration.

    Similarly, Mobifone subscribers can either visit the company's transaction spots countrywide, or add their photos via its website, while Viettel asserted that users can do so via its app, My Viettel.

    The military-run Viettel will put together mobile working teams to assist customers, especially the elders who have difficulty visiting its stores.

     

    ​Vietnamese mobile carriers allow users to send photo online to complete account registration
    New SIM cards of different mobile carriers are seen in this photo taken in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre


    Requiring users to register for a mobile account with accurate personal information plus their portraits is meant to help customers protect their mobile phone numbers and allow the network carriers to better manage their data and fight against improperly-registered SIM cards, according to regulators.

    SIM cards used to be as easy to buy as candy in Vietnam, enabling individuals and organizations to effortlessly bombard others with spam text messages.

    While subscribers support the tightened rule on mobile account management, they demand that mobile carriers find ways to make the registration as easy and convenient as possible.

    As the April 24 deadline is drawing near, mobile carriers have been notifying their users of the new rules and urging them to complete registration in time.

     

    ​Vietnamese mobile carriers allow users to send photo online to complete account registration
    A man has his portrait taken at a Vinaphone store in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre


    A Vinaphone call center employee told Tuoi Tre News on Monday that only subscribers who receive a reminder message should be worried about their account registration.

    “If you don’t receive this message, it means your account is adequately registered and you don’t need to take any further step,” she said.

    Asked how Government Decree 49 will affect foreign subscribers who reside in Vietnam, the Vinaphone employee told Tuoi Tre News that they are supposed to register using information on their passport, and “have to take the photo as per regulations.”

           By Son Luong / Tuoi Tre News 

    0 0
  • 04/10/18--01:48: Article 2
  • Moody’s gives positive ratings to four commercial banks


     HÀ NỘI - Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the long-term local-currency bank deposit ratings and local- and foreign-currency issuer ratings of three banks in Việt Nam from B2 to B1.


     

    Moody’s also raised the baseline credit assessment (BCA) for four Vietnamese commercial joint stock banks. - Photo thuongtruong24h.vn
     

    The banks are Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (ACB), Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MBBank) and Việt Nam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank).
    Moody’s also raised the baseline credit assessment (BCA) for these three banks from B2 to B1.
    “For ACB, the upgrade of its BCA reflects its improved asset quality, following
    the good progress in the resolution of its legacy problem assets, including the problem assets related to six companies tied to its former vice chairman, Nguyễn Đức Kiên,” Moody’s said.

    ACB’s problem loans ratio, as adjusted by Moody’s, declined to 0.95 per cent at the end of 2017 from 2.99 per cent at the end of 2016, driven largely by the full write-down of the VNĐ1.5 trillion (US$66 million) of bonds issued by the Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC), it added.

    Similarly, MBBank’s problem loans ratio fell from 4.7 per cent in 2016 to 2.9 per cent in 2017 mainly due to the full write-off of VAMC bonds for VNĐ3.4 trillion.

    Moody’s expects ACB and MBBank’s asset quality to remain stable over the next 12-18 months on the back of an improvement in the operating environment, which will in turn support the repayment capacity of the bank’s borrowers.

    As for Techcombank, its BCA upgrade is driven by improved solvency metrics for capital, asset quality and profitability.

    Moody’s estimates that the bank’s tangible common equity to risk-weighted assets increased to 14.5 per cent, from 9 per cent in 2016, giving Techcombank the largest core capital buffer among the 16 Moody’s-rated banks in Việt Nam.

    At the same time, Moody’s has affirmed the long-term local- and foreign-currency deposit and issuer ratings of Việt Nam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) at B2 and upgraded the bank’s BCA to B2 from B3.

    The upgrade of VPBank’s BCA takes into account the bank’s high profitability, as well as its improved capital buffer. The BCA also considers VPBank’s heightened credit risks from its consumer finance portfolio and weak problem loan coverage compared with its domestic and global peers.

    VNS

    0 0
  • 04/10/18--02:13: Article 1
  • Government News 10/4


    Vietnam, Malaysia strategic partnership sees strong development


    PM urges Hai Duong to become industrial hub, A view of Cai Bau island, a central island of Van Don, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives outgoing Thai Ambassador, Ho Chi Minh City, Switzerland discuss joint work

     


    PM urges Hai Duong to become industrial hub


     

    PM urges Hai Duong to become industrial hub, A view of Cai Bau island, a central island of Van Don, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives outgoing Thai Ambassador, Ho Chi Minh City, Switzerland discuss joint work
    PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the working session. (Source: baohaiduong.vn)


    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged the northern province of Hai Duong to turn itself into an industrial centre of the northern region and the country at large in the next decade.

    Hai Duong should become a dynamic locality named in the list of the country’s leading localities with comprehensive development, the leader said at a working session with the provincial leaders on April 9.

    To meet the goal, Hai Dong needs to restructure industrial clusters and zones, and assess efficiency of industrial parks, universities and vocational institutions in the locality, the PM said.

    Apart from restructuring the agricultural sector and public investment, Hai Duong should heed developing the contingent of leaders in order to build a growth-enabling administration, he said.

    The leader asked Hai Duong to enter the list of 20 localities with the best indexes in terms of competitiveness and business environment, and double the number of businesses as soon as possible.

    “To become an industrial centre of the nation, Hai Duong needs to attract big enterprises both at home and abroad, and pay more attention to restructuring industrial production in the time ahead,” he further said. 

    The leader also stressed the need for Hai Duong to ensure environmental protection during economic development, intensify transport connectivity, especially waterways, and increase logistic services.

    The province was urged to participate in tourism chains with national and international tours, creating momentum for developing service sectors.

    In 2017, nearly 60 percent of communes and two districts in Hai Duong were recognised as new-style rural areas. 

    The province contributed nearly 14.7 trillion VND (648.8 million USD) to the State budget, equivalent 117 percent of the assigned estimate.

    Earlier the same day, PM Phuc held a dialogue with farmers in Hai Duong, where he pledged that the Government will open more channels to acquire public feedback and enable farmers to do their best to enrich themselves and the nation.

    He then visited a vegetable processing facility and a war invalid in Gia Tan commune, Gia Loc district.

    Opinions to draft Law on Special Administrative and Economic Units

    A view of Cai Bau island, a central island of Van Don 


     

    PM urges Hai Duong to become industrial hub, A view of Cai Bau island, a central island of Van Don, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives outgoing Thai Ambassador, Ho Chi Minh City, Switzerland discuss joint work
    Many opinions have been gathered to complete the draft Law on Special Administrative and Economic Units, such as land rent duration and investment attraction policies.


    According to Nguyen Khac Dinh, Chairman of the National Assembly Law Committee, the name of the bill should be changed to Law on Special Administrative and Economic Units of Van Don, Bac Van Phong and Phu Quoc to suite its scale.

    Dinh said that after adjusted, the draft law comprises six chapters, 88 articles and six appendixes. Regulations on setting up control mechanisms for each unit have been added with the formation of an advisory committee.

    The number of conditional business sectors stated in the bill is 131, up 23 sectors compared to the list submitted by the Government.

    On the budget matter, the special administrative and economic units will be considered a district to define sources of budget collection, spending and balance. All budget-related activities of the units will be made in line with the State Budget Law and this bill, said Dinh.

    Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Van Trung said that the power of the advisory committee is quite big because the heads of the unit have to ask for approval from the committee when giving a decision.

    There are many regulations on inspecting and monitoring the Chairman of the People’s Committee of the units, he said. According to Trung, it is unnecessary to set up the advisory committee.

    Bui Van Phuong, a representative of Ninh Binh province, asserted that the models of the People’s Council and People’s Committee are not suitable to the units.

    He explained that the special administrative-economic units should have special government organisation with outstanding authority and operation mechanisms to ensure smooth development of the areas.

    Congratulations to French Socialist Party’s congress


    PM urges Hai Duong to become industrial hub, A view of Cai Bau island, a central island of Van Don, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives outgoing Thai Ambassador, Ho Chi Minh City, Switzerland discuss joint work

     

    Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong 


    The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam has congratulated France’s Socialist Party on its 78th Congress.

    Vietnamese Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong also sent his congratulations to Olivier Faure on his election as First Secretary of the Socialist Party of France.

    The congress took place in Aubervilliers on April 7 and 8.

    Vietnam and France set up diplomatic ties on April 12, 1973.

    Party building: Transparency in personnel recruitment, promotion


     

    PM urges Hai Duong to become industrial hub, A view of Cai Bau island, a central island of Van Don, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives outgoing Thai Ambassador, Ho Chi Minh City, Switzerland discuss joint work
    Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Nguyen Duy Thang said the examination for leading and managerial positions was designed to discover and attract capable and qualified officials 


    The reform of the process in recruiting and appointment of managerial personnel is an important and necessary measure to develop a contingent of capable officials, in which holding examination to select candidates for key positions is considered a change that enhances transparency in personnel recruitment and promotion.

    At its 6th plenum, the 12th Party Central Committee issued Resolution 18-NQ/TW on some issues relating to continued reform and rearrangement for a streamlined and effective apparatus of the political system. On the eve of the 6th plenum, the Party Central Committee’s Organisation Commission became the pioneer in implementing a pilot policy on holding examination to select officials for leading positions and renewing the process to select and appoint managerial officials, by holding a public examination for the position of head of department. The examination helped the commission choose worthy candidates with good capacity of leadership and management, deep professional knowledge, firm political will, good ethics and high prestige. It also created a healthy environment for competition, thus gradually reforming the procedure of appointing officials to leading and managerial positions.

    Assessing the pilot examination held by the Party Central Committee’s Organisation Commission, standing deputy director of the commission and vice head of the examination council Nguyen Thanh Binh said the examination helped choose the right and capable candidates and prevent the waste of talent and brain drain, thus it was a breakthrough in personnel affairs.

    Following the Party Central Committee’s Organisation Commission, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) was the second agency to hold an examination for leading and managerial positions. Deputy Minister of MoHA Nguyen Duy Thang affirmed that the examination was designed to discover and attract capable and qualified officials, preventing the phenomenon of closed and partial appointment.

    Recently, the Supreme People’s Court also organised an examination to select one head of department and three deputy heads of department. Deputy chief justice of the Supreme People’s Court Le Hong Quang said the event was a step toward reforming the process of appointment for leading positions in the court system in general and the Supreme People’s Court in particular, creating a healthy competition in the work of personnel appointment and promotion.

    Earlier, the standing board of the Party Committee of the northern province of Quang Ninh issued Regulation 02 on piloting the organisation of examination for managerial positions at department and section levels. Accordingly, the appointment of officials for such positions in the province from now to the end of Quarter 1, 2020 must be done through examinations.

    The Ministry of Finance also issued a decision on piloting the organisation of examinations for a number of leading positions.

    Those moves showed that ministries and localities are serious in implementing the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat policy on piloting the selection of leading officials through examination.

    However, the holding of such examination is only the first step in personnel work, according to Professor Pham Van Duc, Vice President of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences. He said what is more important is to put in place a mechanism to monitor the work of those who are appointed through examination.

    Prime Minister makes surprise visit to Chu Dau ceramic village


     

    PM urges Hai Duong to become industrial hub, A view of Cai Bau island, a central island of Van Don, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives outgoing Thai Ambassador, Ho Chi Minh City, Switzerland discuss joint work
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (in white shirt) visits Chu Dau ceramic village in the northern province of Hai Duong.


    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on April 8 paid a surprise visit to Chu Dau village in the Red River Delta province of Hai Duong, which is considered one of the cradles of Vietnam’s ceramics.

    The visit was made just ten days after his unannounced tour to Bat Trang pottery village in Hanoi’s suburban district of Gia Lam.

    According to researchers, the beginning of the ceramic craft of Chu Dau village dates back to the 11th century and nearly died out in the late 17th century.

    In 1992, an ancient shipwreck was recovered in waters off Cu Lao Cham (Cham islet) in south central Vietnam and as many as 400,000 pottery artifacts were found. Amongst these expensive items, several were discovered to have originated from a small village in northern Vietnam and only then did the once-lost craft of Chu Dau village enjoy a revival after nearly four decades.

    Different from the white glaze and blue patterns that is considered an “East-meets-West” cultural product of Bat Trang, Chu Dau’s ceramics boast patterns that are “purely Vietnamese” with noticeable influences of Buddhism and Confucianism.

    During his visit, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc spent much of his time at the Chu Dau Pottery JSC, a company that has reaped successes in the production and revival of Chu Dau pottery since its establishment in 2001. The Government leader visited the production areas, the ‘Chu Dau ceramic space,’ and was presented with products of the village.

    In a meeting with the company’s staff and artisans, PM Phuc stressed the artistic values of the village’s pottery, a once famous product that has been exported across the world.

    He extended his congratulations to Chu Dau Pottery JSC and praised its efforts to bring the Chu Dau’s brand name to international markets.

    The PM also asked the company to pull out all the stops to maintain the artistry, show appreciation to the artists of the village and improve life quality of its workers.

    Repeating the phrase of late General Vo Nguyen Giap, “Chu Dau pottery, the quintessence of the Vietnamese culture,” PM Phuc asked the Chu Dau JSC to expand its scope, focus on technology upgrade and bring the products to a wider audience around the world.

    PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives outgoing Thai Ambassador


    PM urges Hai Duong to become industrial hub, A view of Cai Bau island, a central island of Van Don, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives outgoing Thai Ambassador, Ho Chi Minh City, Switzerland discuss joint work

     

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and  Thai Ambassador Manopchai Vongphakdi


    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc lauded outgoing Thai Ambassador Manopchai Vongphakdi for fulfilling his assigned tasks during a reception in Hanoi on April 6.

    The PM said during the ambassador’s tenure, two-way trade between both nations grew rapidly with the launch of a number of Thailand’s projects, including the southern oil refinery complex and shipbuilding, adding that both sides also offered mutual support at bilateral and multilateral forums.

    He wished that Thailand would share experience in developing tourism, opening new tours to facilitate economic development and people-to-people exchange.

    Vietnam always creates the best environment to attract Thai investors and tourists to the country, he said.

    The host expressed his wish that in any position, the ambassador will further contribute to bilateral ties.

    Ambassador Manopchai Vongphakdi, for his part, affirmed that Thailand wants to boost people-to-people exchange and investment cooperation between the two countries.

    Thai government always asks firms to abide by Vietnam’s law, especially environment regulations, he said, adding that close and effective bilateral ties not only propel the development of the two countries forward but also the entire region.

    The ambassador also vowed to foster bilateral ties in any future position.

    As the traditional New Year festival of Thailand is coming, the PM sent a message of congratulations to his Thai counterpart Prayuth Chan-ocha.

    ASEAN targets sustainable economic growth, financial stability


     

    PM urges Hai Duong to become industrial hub, A view of Cai Bau island, a central island of Van Don, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives outgoing Thai Ambassador, Ho Chi Minh City, Switzerland discuss joint work
    Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Finance Tran Xuan Ha 


    Maintaining sustainable economic growth and ensuring financial stability and self-resilience are key goals reached at the 22nd ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Meeting (AFMM-22), the fourth ASEAN Finance Minister and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting (AFMGM-4) and related meetings held in Singapore from April 3-6.

    Speaking at the AFMM-22, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Finance Tran Xuan Ha described modern and effective infrastructure development as one of the important pillars for Vietnam’s socio-economic development, which is also a common concern of regional countries. Thereby, the regional nations need to build a common plan to devise proper financial solutions, he said.

    The finance ministers lauded ASEAN’s progress in banking integration, insurance, capital market and wished that member states will sign the eighth Package of Commitments later this year.

    The meeting took note of efforts to develop the regional capital market by strengthening capacity and carrying out initiatives such as amending the ASEAN Collective Investment Scheme, issuing ASEAN Green Bond standards, piloting the connectivity of securities markets, opening a portal on listed companies in ASEAN and rotating capital market experts among regional countries.

    The ministers welcomed achievements in harmonising the portfolio of exports-imports of 10 ASEAN member states, piloting the ASEAN Customs Transit System in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and exchanging certificates of origin, form D among Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand from January 1, 2018.

    They wished that countries will soon approve the second Protocol on the designation of border gates and the seventh Protocol on ASEAN Customs Transit System to create a legal framework for facilitating transit goods, and refine a mechanism to deal with tax disputes.

    Participants supported rallying private capital for ASEAN infrastructure upgrade and wished to partner with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the World Bank (WB) during the project preparatory and management stage.

    They also expressed support to strengthen supervision capacity and activities of the ASEAN 3 Macroeconomic Research Office, as well as initiatives such as ASEAN Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Programme and stressed the importance of ensuring cyber security in finance.

    The ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors advocated taking creative and effective financial technological solutions and lauded the outcomes of financial inclusion in ASEAN by opening a portal on financial education and exchange of knowledge about ASEAN financial inclusion and issuing guidelines on national financial inclusion strategies.

    In the banking industry, the governors applauded working groups for completing the key performance indicator and risk management tool, believing that countries will fulfill goals set in the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for financial sustainability and inclusion.

    They discussed emerging issues such as financial technology and pledged to work closely together to seek effective solutions to cyber attacks amidst the fourth industrial revolution.

    The annual meetings also saw the presence of representatives from the IMF, WB, ADB, financial and banking organisations in the region.

    Ho Chi Minh City, Switzerland discuss joint work


    PM urges Hai Duong to become industrial hub, A view of Cai Bau island, a central island of Van Don, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives outgoing Thai Ambassador, Ho Chi Minh City, Switzerland discuss joint work

     

    Permanent Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem (R) and Swiss Minister of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications Doris Leuthard


    Permanent Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem hosted a reception in the city on April 6 for Swiss Minister of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications Doris Leuthard.

    Speaking highly of Switzerland’s role in negotiating a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) comprising Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland, Liem expressed his belief that both sides will soon complete negotiations to facilitate bilateral trade.

    He said the city is building a high-tech energy system to ensure rapid and sustainable development, and calling on domestic and foreign firms to turn wastes into energy.

    The host suggested clean water supply, transportation and seaports as potential cooperative fields to bring mutual benefits.

    Liem affirmed that the city supports the issuance of e-visas for Swiss aircrew and citizens, especially in the context that the Zurich – Ho Chi Minh City direct flights are to open in late 2018.

    Leuthard, for her part, expressed her hope that the Vietnam– EFTA free trade agreement will be signed in late 2018.

    According to her, Swiss enterprises are experienced in building smart cities and wished to work with the city on sub-component projects involving energy, transportation, seaports, clean water supply, smart technology and sewage treatment.

    She wished to receive the city’s support in e-visa issuance to facilitate aviation, tourism and trade between the two countries.

    Switzerland now ranks 11th out of 96 countries and territories investing in the city with 67 projects. Two-way trade between Ho Chi Minh City and Switzerland reached 25 million USD last year.

    PM encourages Singaporean firms to invest in Vietnam


    PM urges Hai Duong to become industrial hub, A view of Cai Bau island, a central island of Van Don, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives outgoing Thai Ambassador, Ho Chi Minh City, Switzerland discuss joint work

     

    PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives Singaporean investors (Photo: chinhphu.vn)


    The Vietnamese Government always encourages and creates favourable conditions for Singaporean businesses to invest in Vietnam, particularly in building a hi-tech zone in the central city of Da Nang, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

    During his reception for a delegation of Singaporean investors led by Douglas Foo, President of the Singaporean Manufacturing Federation (SMF) in Hanoi on April 6, PM Phuc highlighted the Vietnam-Singapore strategic partnership, saying that the bilateral relations are growing fruitfully with a strong surge in Singapore’s foreign direct investment (FDI) flow into Vietnam.

    He highly evaluated late Singaporean PM Lee Kuan Yew’s initiative on connecting the two economies, and voiced his hope that Vietnamese and Singaporean enterprises will gain greater achievements in cooperation.

    For his part, Douglas Foo expressed his impression at the development of the central city of Da Nang, saying that the city has potential and capability to become a second Singapore in the future.

    He suggested Da Nang build a “garden city” as a highlight to lure tourists, adding that the city can become the world’s exhibition and conference centre. He also shared his country’s experience in green construction and design.

    Singaporean investors expressed their wishes to pour investments in Vietnam and Da Nang in electronics and semiconductor manufacturing, in which Vietnam has huge development potential and Singapore has strength.

    PM Phuc highlighted the similarity in terms of area between Singapore and Da Nang city, noting that Da Nang is bestowed with even more favourable natural conditions.

    The PM welcomed the investment plans of Singaporean firms, saying that he has assigned the municipal People’s Committee of Da Nang to review Singapore’s proposals and report to the Government.

    ASEAN-India Senior Officials’ Meeting held in Hanoi


    PM urges Hai Duong to become industrial hub, A view of Cai Bau island, a central island of Van Don, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives outgoing Thai Ambassador, Ho Chi Minh City, Switzerland discuss joint work

     

    At the event 


    Deputy Foreign Minister and head of Vietnam ASEAN SOM Nguyen Quoc Dung and Secretary of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Preeti Saran co-chaired the 20th ASEAN-India Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) in Hanoi on April 5-6.

    At the annual meeting, delegates shared a view that the ASEAN-India dialogue relationship plays an important role in ensuring peace, stability and cooperation in the region. They spoke highly of the success of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit held in January 2018, considering it a significant event that opened up a new chapter in bilateral ties.

    They lauded the progress of the implementation of the Action Plan for 2016-2020 and a portfolio of priority fields for 2016-2018. As of March 2018, 75 out of 130 activities in the Action Plan have been completed, equivalent to 60 percent after two years.

    Both sides agreed to push forward the practical and effective development of their strategic partnership, especially in priority fields of their strength.

    The officials pledged to boost bilateral trade and investment ties by effectively realising free trade agreements in goods, services and investment, strengthening connectivity in the private sector and facilitating small and medium-sized enterprises’ access to technologies and capital sources.

    The participants emphasised the importance of effectively realising projects and initiatives on road, navigation, aviation and digital connectivity.

    The ASEAN officials hailed India’s sharing of experience in building smart cities, developing the sea-based economy, and helping ASEAN and India firms form regional value chains, effectively join global value chains and narrow development gap.

    On regional and global issues, they said security challenges remain complicated, especially non-traditional security challenges and suggested boosting coordination in security, including cyber security, and the fight against terrorism, extreme violence, trans-national crimes and climate change.

    They lauded proposals to deploy initiatives announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit such as opening a digital village in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, designating 2019 as the Year of ASEAN-India Tourism, offering doctorate scholarships to ASEAN member states,  and holding training courses on electricity use and transmission, telecom and cyber technology.

    Preeti Saran affirmed India’s policy of respecting ASEAN’s central role in regional processes and committed to assisting ASEAN in building its community.

    On the occasion, she lauded Vietnam’s role as the coordinator of ASEAN – India relations over the recent past, adding that ASEAN’s close coordination will make active contributions to the enhancement of mutual understanding, towards a region of fairness, openness and inclusiveness based on rules.

    Deputy FM Dung noted that the “Act East” Policy proposed by the Indian PM is an evidence of growing ASEAN-India ties, thus making practical contributions to peace, stability and development in the region.

    He affirmed that developing the sea-based economy and improving inclusive connectivity, especially digital connectivity, are key to lifting the ASEAN-India partnership to a new height with a market of nearly 2 billion people and a gross domestic product of more than 3.8 trillion USD per year.

    Regarding the regional and international situation, the two sides applauded the resumed negotiations and hoped that an effective and legally-binding Code of Conduct in the EastSea will be reached soon.

    Vietnamese, Lao provinces reinforce multifaceted cooperation
     

     

    PM urges Hai Duong to become industrial hub, A view of Cai Bau island, a central island of Van Don, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives outgoing Thai Ambassador, Ho Chi Minh City, Switzerland discuss joint work
    Leaders of Quang Binh and Khammouane provinces at the talks on April 6 


    Leaders of Vietnam’s central Quang Binh province and the Lao province of Khammouane held talks and signed an agreement on April 6, agreeing to continue strengthening multi-faceted cooperation in 2018.

    The Lao delegation was led by Oday Sudaphon, Secretary of the provincial Committee of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and Governor of Khammouane.

    At the talks in Quang Binh, the officials informed each other about the socio-economic development, defence-security situation, and the Party and administration building in their respective provinces. They also reviewed the implementation of the minutes of the talks signed in Thakhek, Khammouane, on March 29, 2017.

    Hoang Dang Quang, Secretary of the Quang Binh provincial Party Committee and Chairman of the provincial People’s Council, said the friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two provinces have been developing sustainably.

    Discussing the partnership in 2018, the two sides agreed to create more favourable conditions for their Party agencies, administrations and organisations to share experiences while assisting border districts to support each other to boost common development.

    The two provinces will step up trade, investment and tourism promotion and issue preferential policies to encourage these activities between their businesses. They will work together to conserve and bring into play biodiversity values of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh and Hin Nam No biodiversity conservation area in Khammouane.

    Quang Binh is set to receive students from Khammouane province and provide Vietnamese language and specialised training to some officials of the Lao province.

    They agreed to facilitate a project on building a bonded warehouse and oil pipeline from Hon La Port in Quang Binh to Khammouane, and construction of a section crossing the two provinces under the Vung Ang – Vientiane railway project.

    At the talks, both sides agreed to maintain mutual visits between their border working groups and military, police and border guard delegations to exchange experience and bolster cooperation.

    They will increase disseminating information about the Vietnam-Laos agreement on land border and border gate management regulations, coordinate to solve border-related issues well, and implement the two Governments’ agreement on settling free migration and undocumented marriages in border areas.

    The provinces will also work together in issues relating to the upgrade and repair of border markers and roads traversing their border gates, along with the search and repatriation of the remains of Vietnamese voluntary soldiers and experts who laid down their lives in Laos.

    Quang Binh and Khammouane will also encourage cooperation in other fields that match their demand and capacity, the officials said.

    At the talks, the two sides signed a diplomatic cooperation agreement with a view to enhancing bilateral ties.

    On this occasion, the provincial People’s Committee of Quang Binh presented certificates of merit to three organisations and six persons of Khammouane to honour their contribution to the solidarity between the two provinces.

    PM congratulates Khmer people on traditional New Year festival


     

    PM urges Hai Duong to become industrial hub, A view of Cai Bau island, a central island of Van Don, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives outgoing Thai Ambassador, Ho Chi Minh City, Switzerland discuss joint work 

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has conveyed his best wishes to the Khmer ethnic minority group in the southern region on the occasion of their traditional New Year festival - Chol Chnam Thmay - which falls on April 14-16.

    In his message of congratulations, PM Phuc said the Vietnamese Party and State always pay special attention to ethnic minorities and socio-economic development in their areas.

    Over the past years, the material and spiritual lives of ethnic groups have improved while the great national unity bloc has been strengthened, he said, adding that together with people nationwide, Khmer monks and people have made important contributions to the common development of the nation.

    The PM noteed the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat has issued Directive No.19-CT/TW dated January 10, 2018 on strengthening work in the Khmer ethnic-inhabited region while the Government issued Resolution No.120/NQ-CP dated November 17, 2017 on the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta in response to climate change.

    The leader hoped that with the support of the Party and State, Khmer monks and people would continue building on the past achievements to contribute to socio-economic development and upholding traditional culture. In conclusion, PM Phuc wished them a warm and happy New Year.

    Chol Chnam Thmay is one of the most important festivals of the Khmer people. It usually lasts three days and is celebrated mostly in pagodas. The festival is a demonstration of Khmer people’s aspirations, like many other ethnic groups, to move on from the previous year’s misfortunes and look forward to a promising new year.

    HCMCity leaders extends New Year greetings to Lao officials


     

    PM urges Hai Duong to become industrial hub, A view of Cai Bau island, a central island of Van Don, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives outgoing Thai Ambassador, Ho Chi Minh City, Switzerland discuss joint work
    Deputy Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Tat Thanh Cang (third L) at the Lao traditional festival


    A delegation of Ho Chi Minh City led by Deputy Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Tat Thanh Cang on April 6 visited and extended greetings to the Lao Consulate General’s staff in the city on the occasion of the traditional New Year of Laos – Boun Pi Mai.

    Cang took the occasion to congratulate the Lao people on achievements they have recorded in national construction and development under the leadership of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party.         

    Ho Chi Minh City always pays special attention to developing the time-honoured friendship, comprehensive cooperation and special solidarity with Laos, the official said, stressing that the city has actively work to implement agreements with Lao localities, contributing to cultivating the relationship between the two countries.

    Lao Consul General Somxay Sanam-Oune thanked HCMCity for its support to the Consulate General over the past time, especially in organising the first-ever programme to introduce products of Lao businesses in the city last January.

    The diplomat noted his hope that Laos and Vietnam, including HCMCity, will organise more cooperative activities to consolidate and enhance the bilateral relationship.

    Conference seeks to reform VFF organization, operation


    PM urges Hai Duong to become industrial hub, A view of Cai Bau island, a central island of Van Don, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives outgoing Thai Ambassador, Ho Chi Minh City, Switzerland discuss joint work

     

    Overview of the conference


    The reform of organisation and operation of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) and other socio-political organisations in Vietnam was spotlighted at a conference in Hanoi on April 6.

    Mai Van Chinh, deputy head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Organisation said that in the past 30 years, along with achievements, the VFF has shown a number of shortcomings. Its organizational structure is large but unveils ineffectiveness in some assigned fields.

    This requires the VFF and socio-political organisations to continue renovating and completing their structures to suit the political, economic, cultural and social situation in the new period, he said.

    Chinh pointed out that the organization and operational methods of the VFF and socio-political organisations has yet been researched thoroughly in theory and practicality.

    He noted that the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Organisation has implemented a one-year project on renovating the organization model and operational methods of the VFF and other socio-political organisations with the engagement of many scientists and management officials.

    Participants at the event gave their ideas on theoretical and practical issues related to the work, while analyzing new circumstances and new requirements in the field.

    They also defined orientations, targets, principles and major solutions to renovating the organization model and improving the operational efficiency of the VFF and socio-political organisations.

    President of the VFF Central Committee Tran Thanh Man said the ideas gathered during the conference are significant, helping the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Organisation in advising the Politburo and the Party Central Committee in personnel work.

    VNN

    0 0
  • 04/10/18--02:22: Article 0
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 10/4


    Vietnam Institute of Directors makes debut

    The Council of the Vietnam Corporate Governance Initiative (VCGI) launched the Vietnam Institute of Directors (VIOD) in ​Ho Chi Minh City on April 5.

    The institute is seen as an important market foundation for Vietnam to push market reform and intensify the implementation of commitments to good corporate governance and responsible business activities. 

    Established as a social enterprise, VIOD aims to advance board professionalism, promote business ethics and transparency, build a network to connect corporate leaders and stakeholders, and help companies inspire investor confidence. 

    Vu Quang Thinh, Chairman of VIOD, said the institute’s objective is to equip company directors with the right knowledge and tools to serve more effectively on boards and improve the competitiveness of Vietnamese firms. 

    The institute’s board of directors comprises a diverse group of business leaders and advocates of good corporate governance, including senior executives from investment funds, international legal and accounting firms, and independence board members in prominent companies. 

    It is governed by a board of directors comprising of private sector representatives supported by the State Securities Commission (SSC) and the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh stock exchanges. 

    VIOD will hold workshops and board events on governance related topics. Its first training event will take place at the end of May. 

    The VCGI was made public in December 2016 by the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE), the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), with the support of the SSC and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

    It helps enhance cooperation of stakeholders in the market to promote the implementation of good corporate governance practices of Vietnamese businesses. 

    The VCGI Council was established in April 2017 with 18 members who are experts in corporate governance and representatives of management agencies, organisations and businesses from the private economic sector. 

    Swiss Ambassador to Vietnam Beatrice Maser Mallor, who is also the SECO representative, said Vietnam is one of the priorities in Switzerland’s economic cooperation. 

    SECO commits to encouraging the application of good corporate governance practices within the Vietnamese business circle, while helping local firms improve competitiveness and develop sustainably, she said.

    Binh Phuoc enjoys impressive growth in FDI attraction


     

    Vietnam Institute of Directors makes debut, Binh Phuoc enjoys impressive growth in FDI attraction, Credit institutions hope for good business in Q2, 2018, VPBank to lift chartered capital to 1.22 billion USD 

    The southern province of Binh Phuoc has attracted 11 investment projects totalling 100 million USD in the first quarter of 2018, approximately equal to this year’s target.

    The figures represented year-on-year rises of 175 percent in the number of projects and 912 percent in capital.

    Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Nguyen Van Loi on April 5 attributed the positive results to effective investment promotion measures.

    The province plans to organise a large-scale investment promotion programme in May to attract more domestic and foreign investors.

    Since the beginning of this year, there were 221 newly-established enterprises with a registered capital of 3.5 trillion VND (153.3 million USD).

    Although it saw a breakthrough in investment attraction, the province was ranked 62nd out of the 63 localities in terms of provincial competition index.

    Loi asked for drastic measures to improve the position in the time ahead.

    Credit institutions hope for good business in Q2, 2018

    Up to 75 percent of credit institutions expected better results in the second quarter of this year, while 84 percent hoped their business performance throughout 2018 to improve further compared to 2017, of this, 28 percent anticipated “significant improvement”.

    They expressed their hope after making improvements in the first quarter, according to a March survey released by the State Bank of Vietnam on April 4.

    The survey covered domestic and foreign commercial banks in the country.

    Up to 72.4 percent of the respondents predicted their pre-tax profit in 2018 to rise compared to 2017, helping the average growth rate of the entire banking system to reach 18.2 percent, lower than the 19.3 percent forecast in the previous survey conducted in the first quarter of this year.

    The survey also showed that 64 percent and 69 percent of the respondents expected customer demands for banking services, especially lending, in the second quarter and the entire year, respectively, to increase compared to 2017.

    Banks expected the banking system’s credit growth to reach 4.85 percent in the second quarter and 16.3 percent in the entire year.

    The respondents also anticipated capital mobilisation of the entire banking system this year to reach 16.65 percent, of which the increase in second quarter was anticipated at 4.71 percent.

    Banks also said the liquidity of the banking system in both Vietnamese Dong and foreign currencies was currently “good” and that the positive status would continue for the rest of the year.

    VPBank to lift chartered capital to 1.22 billion USD

    The Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) plans to increase its current chartered capital from 15.7 trillion VND (around 691.6 million USD) to 27.8 trillion VND (1.22 billion USD) in 2018, the bank announced at its shareholders’ recent meeting.

    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 337 billion VND - equivalent to about 1.7 percent 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 (1.3 trillion VND) and development investment fund (1.2 trillion VND).

    VPBank will conduct private placement for local and foreign investors to raise charter capital. The maximum offer is about 15 percent 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 4.6 trillion VND. After surplus distribution, the charter capital will be raised to 27.8 trillion VND.

    With the tentative 12 trillion VND capital surplus as results of the abovementioned actions, VPBank plans to use 8.500 billion VND 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 359.4 trillion VND, customer deposits and valuable papers of 241.7 trillion VND, a non-performing loan ratio below 3 per cent and profits before tax reaching 10.8 trillion VND.

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

    Measures sought for fisheries sector’s sustainable development

    Representatives from 28 coastal localities nationwide gathered at a conference in the south central coastal province of Khanh Hoa on April 5 to seek measures for sustainable exploitation, preservation, processing and consumption of aquatic products.

    Participants heard reports on forecast of fishing grounds and resources, as well as made recommendations on fishing, processing and domestic consumption of seafood catches, and food safety.

    Nguyen Hoai Nam, Vice Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), proposed measures to boost seafood export while calling on agencies at all levels to help address issues facing enterprises.

    Participants also discussed food safety observance on fishing vessels and at ports, logistic services, upgrades to ports and administrative procedures for certification of seafood meeting quality requirements of the EU.

    Concluding the event, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong urged the fisheries sector to restructure towards sustainable, responsible development, effective exploration, and climate change adaption.

    The ministry needs to review drastically and provide information timely for people and enterprises while developing a close chain of seafood processing to improve product quality, he said.

    He also urged the aquaculture sector to make planning with application of advanced technology and find consumption markets.

    Reports show that in 2017, the nation’s aquatic output reached over 3.42 million tonnes, exceeding the yearly target by 3.7 percent, and up 5.7 percent from 2016. In which, the seafood catches made up of over 3.22 billion tonnes. The rest was inland aquatic output.

    Lotte considers opening more stores in Vietnam

    Korean retail giant Lotte is considering whether to open more stores in major Vietnamese cities, including the capital city of Hanoi and the southern largest economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City.

    Hotel Lotte Co., a hotel and duty-free operator of Lotte, said the operating profit of its duty-free unit plummeted to a record low in 2017 amid a diplomatic row between the Republic of Korea (RoK) and China over a US missile defence system.

    Lotte Duty Free's operating income was 2.5 billion won (2.4 million USD) in 2017, with sales reaching 5.45 trillion won. 

    The weak bottom line was widely forecast as the retailer has been suffering from China's apparent retaliation over the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) battery here.

    The company said its profitability is expected to improve as it moves to stabilise its businesses at home and abroad, adding that it will focus on strengthening the competitiveness of its duty-free stores in Seoul after it recently began the process to end its concession deal at IncheonInternationalAirport– a main gateway to the RoK. 

    The retailer aims to expand its global reaches and diversify its customer portfolio, which had been heavily reliant on Chinese tourists.

    Sales from its overseas outlets came to 140 billion won in 2017, up 45 percent annually.

    Northern power firm produces 13.8 billion kWh of electricity in Q1

    The Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) Group’s Northern Power Corporation (EVNNPC) has reported that its commercial power output in the first quarter of 2018 picked up 14.06 percent year-on-year to more than 13.8 billion kWh.

    Of the total amount, 65.06 percent was supplied for the construction industry, up 15.81 percent against the same time last year while 29.08 percent was provided for daily use, rising 9.7 percent.

    During the January-March period, the corporation’s member companies began construction of ten projects and put into operation 17 power supply works and transmission lines, adding 657 MVA to the national grid.

    Furthermore, the corporation completed all 14 customer service criteria, with average electricity access of 5.02 days per week. As of March 31, it informed power charges via SMS to 7.26 million out of 9.77 million customers, an increase of 1.08 million customers as compared to 2017.

    The EVNNPC worked to ensure sufficient power supplies for production, daily life and socio-political activities during New Year and Tet (lunar New Year) holidays. In addition, it also paid due attention to communication campaigns to raise public awareness of power saving and response to the Earth Hour 2018.

    In the second quarter, the firm will further its efforts to ensure stable power supply during hot weather as well as deploy drastic measures to reduce power consumption.

    Mining Vietnam 2018 exhibition to be held in Hanoi

    The fourth International Mining and Minerals Recovery Exhibition for Vietnam (Mining Vietnam 2018) will be held at the International Centre for Exhibition in Hanoi on April 18-20, gathering over 170 enterprises from 22 countries and territories.

    The event will have nine group pavilions specifically designed for international exhibitors from various countries including the UK, Germany, Russia, Singapore, China and Australia.

    Covering up to 4,000 square metres, the exhibition will highlight the latest mining equipment, technologies and services.

    The exhibition attracts world leading manufacturers and suppliers, including Fong Chuan Machinery, Germanbelt, Hamakyu, Nippon Eirich, Sealtech Vietnam, and especially the country’s largest state-owned mining group - Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (VINACOMIN).

    BT Tee, General Manager of the UBM VES Exhibition Services, the organizer of Mining Vietnam 2018 said that although the past few years have proved to be another difficult period for the global mining market, Mining Vietnam has continued to maintain its scope and reputation, attracting a large number of local and international firms. 

    This shows the industry’s high potential thanks to the Government’s policy to encourage exports and rising local consumption of mineral resources, he held. 

    Mining Vietnam will continue to serve as an effective technology marketplace for mining technology and services in Vietnam and the whole Indochina as well, he added.

    Mining Vietnam was first launched in 2012. The third edition of the exhibition was held in 2016 with the attendance of 171 companies from 22 different countries and territories.

    Newly-formed firms set a record high in 7 years

     

    Vietnam Institute of Directors makes debut, Binh Phuoc enjoys impressive growth in FDI attraction, Credit institutions hope for good business in Q2, 2018, VPBank to lift chartered capital to 1.22 billion USD

    Vietnam Expo offers business opportunities for Vietnam, RoK firms

    The 28th Vietnam International Trade Fair (VIETNAM EXPO) in Hanoi from April 11-14 will mark the two decades that the Republic of Korea has ran a national pavilion at the event, one of the biggest trade fairs in Vietnam.

    The pavilion named “Vietnam– Korea Design Sharing” is a joint effort of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Korea Institute of Design Promotion (KIDP) under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

    The pavilion will feature products from seven selected Vietnamese and RoK companies.

    Korean trade promotion organisations such as Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), Gyeonggido Business & Science Accelerator (GBSA), SeongNam Industry Promotion Agency (SNIP), Gyeongbuk Economic Promotion Agency (GEPA) and Korea Design Centre have long been reliable partners of VIETNAM EXPO.

    According to the Vietnam National Trade Fair & Advertising Company (VINEXAD), there has been a wave of Korean investment in Vietnam in the support industry, automobiles, electricity, electronics, garment-textiles and footwear.

    Popular Korean brands such as GS25, K-mart, K-market, Lotte, Circle K, Emart, and FamilyMart have also become popular in Vietnam.

    Vietnamese consumers are attracted by made-in-Korea products due to their quality, safety, environmental friendliness, eye-catching designs and reasonable prices.

    The VIETNAM EXPO will create a chance for businesses to seek partners and introduce their products to customers.

    Trade experts said the Vietnam-Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA) will allow Vietnamese businesses to make use of tariff cuts while exporting agro-fishery products.

    Businesses from 21 cities and provinces across Vietnam as well as 12 trade and investment promotion centres from Hanoi, Hai Phong, Quang Nam, Bac Giang, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Yen Bai, Lao Cai, Binh Thuan, Thanh Hoa, Dong Thap and Dak Nong are expected to partake in the event.

    A series of trade, investment promotion and exchange activities will be held as part of the expo, which will contribute to win-win economic cooperation between Vietnam and the RoK.

    Two-way trade between Vietnam and the RoK hit 61.5 billion USD in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 41.3 percent. 

    The two countries are working to raise the turnover to 100 billion USD by 2020.

    Vinamilk to build four hi-tech dairy farms in Thanh Hoa

    Vietnam Dairy Products JSC (Vinamilk) will invest in four high-tech dairy farms in the north central province of Thanh Hoa until 2020, said Vinamilk General Director Mai Kieu Lien.

    The four farms, including an organic one, will be built in Vinamilk Thanh Hoa’s high-tech dairy farm complex. As many as 20,000 dairy cows will be raised on the farms, producing 110 million litres of milk per year.

    With its current development plans, Vinamilk owns more than 120,000 dairy cows, supplying about 750 tonnes of milk a day.

    The company is expected to have 200,000 dairy cows and raw milk output will double by 2020, meeting 50 percent of material demand for production and ensuring supply for Vietnamese consumers.

    Vinamilk has recently inaugurated a high-tech dairy farm in Thanh Hoa. Covering a total area of 40 hectares in Thong Nhat town, Yen Dinh district, the facility was built with an investment of 700 billion VND (30.5 million USD).

    The farm, designed to raise 4,000 milk cows, is granted the global GAP (Good Agricultural Practice) certification in recognition of its farm management, raw milk quality, and application of state-of-the-art technology.

    Vinamilk is aiming for revenue of 55.5 trillion VND (2.46 billion USD) and post-tax profit of 10.75 trillion VND (477 million USD) this year, up 8.5 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively. 

    Local filter equipment sent to Chile     

    Doosan Heavy Industries Viet Nam Co. (Doosan Vina) has shipped reverse osmosis (RO) expansion racks and high pressure piping systems – equipment essential to desalination filter systems – to the Escondida Water Supply plant in Chile.

    Doosan Vina said the 379-tonne shipment, which was loaded onto a ship at Dung Quat Port in Quang Ngai Province, will be installed at the Chilean water plant which supplies 220 million litres of water to over half a million people every day.

    The equipment, produced at Doosan’s Quang Ngai based water plant is being exported following the Escondida Water Supply project agreement signed in 2017.

    Doosan Vina is the first producer of RO desalination filter systems in Viet Nam. The company also produces and exports boilers for use in power plants, desalination plants and cranes, as well as chemical processing equipment for both local and foreign markets.

    The company employs 2,500 local workers and finished 2017 with an export turnover of US$200 million. 

    Vissan to increase beef, pork supply in 2018     

    The Vissan Joint Stock Company plans to increase revenue by 18 per cent, reaching VND4.6 trillion (US$204.5 million) this year compared with that of last year.

    The company also expect to increase the profit before tax by 8 per cent year-on-year to reach VND179 billion.

    Vissan expects to increase the food supply to the market this year from 15 per cent to 20 per cent to boost sales and profits.

    The company plans to supply 28,000 tonnes of pork, up 20 per cent, 1,700 tonnes of beef and 21,000 tonnes of processed food, up 15 per cent from 2017.

    Last year, Vissan did not complete the business plan. The pork output reached 23,492 tonnes, completing 84 per cent of the year’s plan; beef production has just completed 70 per cent, earning VND1.51 trillion; and the amount of processed food sold has reached 19,009 tonnes, fulfilling 96 per cent of the target.

    The total revenue for the whole year was nearly VND3.9 trillion, fulfilling 86 per cent of the year’s target. However, profit before tax reached VND165.75 billion, exceeding 6 per cent of the profit target. 

    Cashew exports rise strongly in first quarter     

    Viet Nam exported 74,580 tonnes of cashew worth US$758 million in the first quarter, according to the Viet Nam Cashew Association (Vinacas).

    This represented increases of 33.8 per cent in volume and 46.6 per cent in value year-on-year, with the US, China and the Netherlands being the biggest buyers.

    Exports to all markets except Australia increased.

    The average export price was 10.2 per cent higher from a year earlier thanks to an increase in shipments of processed items.

    Speaking at a meeting to review first quarter exports, Dang Hoang Giang, Vinacas’s vice chairman, said the result reflected the association’s direction that the sector would reduce export volumes and focus on processed products.

    Highly processed items fetched 20-30 per cent more than semi-processed ones, while organic cashew was $2 per pound higher than semi-processed nuts, he said.

    Exports of highly processed products accounted for 5 per cent of the total, while organic cashew shipments were modest, he said.

    “The prospects for cashew exports in the remaining months of the year are very positive.

    “As usual, global cashew trade will become busy from the second quarter.”

    This year, the sector targets exports of 300,000 tonnes, a 17.28 per cent decline from last year, but hopes to achieve last year’s turnover of $3.6 billion by increasing the ratio of processed and high value-added products and by-products, he said.

    Delegates at the meeting said domestic cashew output has fallen sharply this year due to unfavourable weather and diseases since last year.

    Pham Van Nguyen, a cashew expert, said: “A few weeks ago, we had forecast that cashew output will reach 400,000 tonnes this year, but after conducting fact finding trips to cashew cultivation areas, we think the output will be around 300,000 tonnes.”

    Some cashew farms in BinhPhuocProvince have just yielded 300kg per hectare compared to more than one tonne previously.

    Le Quang Luyen, the association’s director of finance and president of Phuc An Processing and Trading Company, said the yield per kernel too is lower this year.

    Last year, the industry had imported 1.5 million tonnes of cashew for processing for export, and this year it expects to import one million tonnes, he said.

    Import prices are rather high, so cashew processors must be careful to avoid losses, he warned.

    There is greater demand for organic cashew for hygiene and food safety reasons, Luyen said.

    “I have worked with some co-operatives to produce organic cashew, hoping that from the next crop, my company can start exports of organic nuts.”

    The organic method offers very low yields of 600-700kg against a normal output of two tonnes, he said.

    “So businesses must have ways to ensure profits for farmers to encourage them to switch to organic farming.” 

    Viet Capital targets profit up 26 per cent     

    Viet Capital Securities JSC (VCSC) plans to earn more than VND1 trillion (US44 million) in 2018 in pre-tax profit, an increase of almost 26 cent compared to last year, the company has announced.

    It also plans to obtain revenue of VND1.7 trillion, up 11.6 per cent year on year. Operating expenses is expected to reach VND704 billion, down four per cent year-on-year. Shares offered for dividend payment is expected to worth VND1,500 per share.

    Investment banking continues to be VCI’s core business and the company aims to secure the leading position in this segment.

    Currently, VCI is executing many large business contracts with transactions worth more than VND40 trillion in banking, consumer goods, seafood, construction materials and real estate.

    At the same time, VCI is currently also one of the top 10 brokerage firms with the highest market share.

    According to VCI, in 2018 Vietnamese stock market will see the VN Index, Viet Nam’s benchmark stock index reaching 1,250 points, thanks to strong profit growth of listed companies, stable real estate market, strong exports and increased investment in energy and infrastructure projects. Besides high investor expectations for State divestment plans among many large State corporations in 2018 also creates the premise for growth of the VN-Index.

    VCI expects the Government will continue to keep sticking with the divestment plan, which plays an important role in attracting capital and increasing the liquidity of Viet Nam’s stock market.

    In 2017, VCI achieved VND1.4 trillion in revenue, up 77 per cent from 2016 and the highest revenue VCI had ever gained since its inception. In particular, the investment banking segment made a big contribution, up 280 per cent year-on-year thanks to large value transactions of its contracts, some of which were signed with large corporations like budget carrier Vietjet, Viet Nam Prosperity Bank and jewelry retailer Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company.

    VCI earned after-tax profit of VND655 billion, the after-tax profit margin on equity reached 42.64 per cent. 

    Saigon Co.op eyes 10% sales growth     

    The country’s leading retailer, Saigon Co.op, hopes to increase sales by 10 per cent this year.

    Despite intense competition, the co-operative achieved all its targets last year, with revenues reaching nearly VND30 trillion (US$1.31 billion) and exports via its Co.opXtra hypermarket, a joint venture with Singapore, growing by 30 per cent.

    It opened 130 new Co.opmart supermarkets, Co.op Food stores and SenseCity and Co.opSmile convenience stores last year.

    In 2018, to cope with the fierce competition in the market and retain its position as the leading consumer retailer in Viet Nam, Saigon Co.op will focus on developing distribution networks and logistics services.

    This year, it plans to open 19 Co.opmart, two Co.opXtra, 170 Co.op Food, 150 Co.opSmile and 50 Cheers outlets.

    It will also open an outlet of Co.opmart Finelife, its new business targeting wealthy customers, and develop omni-channel retailing.

    Saigon Co.op is also focusing on creating a friendly supermarket environment, green brands, organic products, greater use of information technology in management, strengthening its supply chain, human resources, and logistics.

    Speaking at a Saigon Co.op review meeting on April 5, Nguyen Quynh Trang, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, hailed the co-operative’s achievements, saying it had contributed greatly to the city’s economic development.

    She called on the company to focus on both expanding at home and strengthening co-operation with foreign partners to sell Vietnamese goods abroad. 

    VNPT provides IT solutions for Hoa Lam Group     

    The Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group on Thursday agreed to co-operate with the Hoa Lam Group in information technology and communications, aiming to make use of each other’s strength.

    Under the agreement signed between the two sides, VNPT will help its partner in developing IT infrastructure in facilities invested by the Hoa Lam Group, provide corporate management software such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), data analysis; as well as security solutions.

    The two groups will also join hands in supplying healthcare services, share human resources and IT infrastructure at two hospitals, namely the InternationalHospital and the PostHospital.

    In addition, Hoa Lam Group’s Vietbank will co-operate with VNPT’s Vinaphone company in five years from 2018 to 2023 to promote digitalised banking services based on VNPT’s internet and mobile services.

    Hoa Lam Group was established in 1990 with business focusing on finance and healthcare. 

    New air routes promise cheap flights in summer 2018

    New international air routes from Vietnam have been launched from March to fly directly to Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Seoul.

    Low-cost airline AirAsia plans to open a direct flight from Hanoi to Penang, Malaysia from July 1, 2018. This is the exclusive route operated by Air Asia with a frequency of four flights per week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Previously, passengers travelling from Hanoi to Penang have to transit in Kuala Lumpur airport.

    On the occasion, AirAsia offers discounts for one-way tickets from Hanoi to Penang at prices from over VND1 million (including tax and fees).

    In June, travel and transportation services company WorldTrans also plans to kick off direct charter flights between Can Tho and Bangkok and operate eight flights between the two destinations, using the 180-seater Airbus 320 aircraft from Thai VietJet. The flying time will be 1:25. A round-trip ticket costs VND4.6 million (including tax and airport fees).

    Earlier on March 25, the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines opened a new air route from Nha Trang to Seoul with four flights per week. Flight duration will be five hours.

    The first direct air route from Hanoi to Chiang Mai, Thailand has been operated by Bangkok Airways from March 25. One-way and round-trip tickets are sold at US$108.6 and US$192.4 respectively.

    Last month, Vietjet Air also announced the opening of a direct air route from HCMCity to New Delhi as of July with four flights per week.

    Vietnamese seafood shipments found with metal residues on the rise