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  • 04/28/18--06:40: Article 2
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 28/4


    Clean production will help Vietnamese fruit compete with imports 

     

    Clean production will help Vietnamese fruit compete with imports, Vietnam Young Lions 2018 winners announced, Hanoi’s condo market attracts flow of foreign capital, Vietnam’s coal imports grow despite large reserves 

    Shifting to clean production is the right way for Vietnamese fruits to compete with the rising inflow of imports, both consumers and local fruit growers said. 

    Statistics of the Vietnam Customs show the country imported nearly 340 million USD worth of fruit in the first three months of this year, with products of the US, Australia, Thailand and China gradually expanding their share in the domestic market. 

    Le Minh Hoan, Secretary of the Party Committee of the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, said the recent success in fruit export has resulted in the negligence of the domestic market with nearly 100 million people. 

    He noted that although the local market does not generate revenues in foreign currency, but it is the main base for the fruit cultivation sector to develop in a sustainable way.

    A survey of consumers showed when choosing fruit, most people first considered the safety factor, this is where the imports have an advantage over locally grown fruits. 

    “Domestic consumers will be willing to buy locally grown fruit if growers give them the same respect as for foreign buyers,” Hoan said. 

    Some fruit growers have begun to notice the call of the market. 

    Ly Van Son, Deputy Director General of Ecofarm, said shifting to clean production is a must to re-gain consumers’ trust, thus gaining the edge in competing against imported fruits. 

    According to Son, Ecofarm initially planned to focus on export, but after carefully analyzing the market, the company decided to sell half of its products on the domestic market. 

    Farmer Tran Thi Ly in Tan Hiep commune, Hon Quang district of Binh Phuoc province, invested 500 million VND (20,000 USD) in a hi-tech melon farm. Rising demand has encouraged her to open nine more farms now. 

    The key to sustainable development of the fruit sector is to keep a firm hold of the domestic market while continuing to boost exports.

    Vietnam earned 3.4 billion USD from exporting fruit and vegetables in 2017. The figure was 960 million USD in the first three months of this year.

    Vietnam HRAwards will recognise HR excellence

    The Vietnam HR Awards 2018 kicked off last week, offering a valuable resource for the local human resources community as the best HR strategies and practices are comprehensively evaluated and awarded.

    Tieu Yen Trinh, CEO of Talentnet Corporation and deputy head of the awards’ organising committee, believes that nowadays, one of the key priorities for both international and Vietnamese corporations is to develop an effective HR strategy, balancing business needs with employee benefits. The Vietnam HR Awards recognise the learning zeal of growing Vietnamese enterprises and remain one of the leading information channels with profound reference materials and learning opportunities to obtain HR innovation and strategy data from large corporations and companies.

    “The Vietnam HR Awards this year have updated their competition requirements for small- and medium-sized enterprises with appropriate criteria. Also, the post-award events promise to bring unity and value to the local HR community,” said Trinh.

    The Vietnam HR Awards are co-held by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ (MoLISA)newspaper publication in co-operation with Talentnet Corporation. The awards’ judging panel is comprised of leading international and local HR experts who focus on assessing and judging enterprises’ HR policies. Many award participants are large corporations such as Abbott, AIA CSC, DHL Express, HSBC, Intel Products, Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake, Unilever, Samsung, Mobile World, FPT, and TCM.

    Aiming at aligning the local HR community with regional standards and contemporary trends, the organisers of the Vietnam HR Awards 2018 decided to expand the award categories and divide the original awards into two separate tables to maintain distinctions of different enterprises.

    Under this new approach, Group A is for enterprises with outstanding HR strategies. Enterprises in the group must have worked in Vietnam for at least 15 years, have at least 100 employees, and own total property worth more than VND11 trillion ($482.9 million).

    Group B is for enterprises with effective HR policies. Enterprises in the group must have worked in Vietnam for at least five years and have at least 50 employees.

    The deadline for the contestants is June 29. The awards ceremony will be held in November. Documents to apply for the awards should be in Vietnamese and English and sent to the Talentnet Corporation on Floor 6, No. 33 Mac Dinh Chi street, Da Kao ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. A soft copy should be sent through the website www.vietnamhrawards.com.

    Over the three previous seasons with practical post-award events since 2014, the Vietnam HR Awards was well received by Vietnamese enterprises, becoming an annual playground for the Vietnamese business community in general and the HR community in particular.

    Furthermore, the Vietnam HR Awards is widely recognised by enterprise leaders and HR experts as a prestigious, reliable, legitimate, and transparent award, contributing to the foundation for human capital and HR executives’ development.

    Nguyen Trung Chinh, acting editor-in-chief of the Labour and Social Affairs Newspaper and head of the organising committee, shared the importance of HR development and the important role of the Vietnam HR Awards, saying, “To achieve growth targets and market expansion, enterprises have to priortise HR activities and build a strategic HR plan updated with current trends and fitting current business conditions. Confronting the pressure of globalisation, human capital is becoming a more and more important resource, leveraging enterprises to new heights and improving competitive advantages in a competitive market.

    “Thus, enterprises need reliable reference sources like the Vietnam HR Awards to obtain insights from labour markets and to stay updated on new regional and international HR management approaches,” Chinh added.

    JUDGING TIMELINE

    - April 18 – June 29, 2018: Shortlisting candidates and profile evaluation

    - June 29 – August 3, 2018: Presentation, employee survey, site visits

    - August 3 – September 28, 2018: Judging panel assessment, evaluation, and scoring

    - October 1 – November 30, 2018: Vietnam HR Awards 2018 Ceremony

    Vietnam Young Lions 2018 winners announced

    The six most outstanding talents who will represent Vietnam at Cannes Lion 2018 have been revealed at the Vietnam Young Lions 2018 Awards Ceremony.

    After more than one month of competition, Vietnam Young Lions 2018 - the biggest arena of Vietnam's marketing and communication industry has attracted nearly 500 contestants (241 teams) in three categories including Films, Digital, and Marketers. The talents of the Vietnamese creative industry have convinced the judging panel with their bold and distinctive ideas.

    WHATEVER team beat out 115 rivals in the Digital category to win the golden medal. Meanwhile, the gold medal in the Marketer category went to NS Team. JUST ANOTHER TEAM was the winner of the Films category.

    Speaking at the Awards Ceremony, Pham Thi Dieu Anh, managing director of AIM Academy and head of the organisation board, said: “One of our biggest achievements in this year's competition is the expansion in both the number of contestants and the level of competition. This year we received 241, a significant increase against the 100 teams in 2016.”

    “The competition attracted not only marketing and communication specialists but also independent artists and Vietnamese enterprises. Vietnam Young Lions 2018 has become a common playground for the Vietnamese creative community who share the passion to bring Vietnam to the world,” she said.

    Under the theme of “Live With the Heart of a Lion,” the competition has gathered the best minds from leading multinational corporations in Vietnam. This shows businesses’ strong interest in creative work and action to support the development of the country's creative industry.

    After the challenge in Vietnam, the winners will begin their journey to conquer the creative arena of Cannes Young Lions 2018 in France this summer. AIM Academy—the organiser of the competition—will sponsor the whole trip worth nearly VND1 billion ($43,950) for the six young talents to compete in Cannes Young Lions 2018 as well as experience the Cannes Lions Creative Festival.

    Taiwan to become Dong Nai’s largest investor

    Taiwan Core Pacific Group is seeking investment opportunities in fields like petrochemical manufacturing and industrial park and residential real estate construction in Dong Nai.

    On April 19, Lin Ko Ming, vice chairman of Taiwan’s Core Pacific Group, visited Dong Nai and expressed interest in some potential investment sectors. The group asked for a land parcel of 100 hectares for petrochemical manufacture, and other areas to develop apartment buildings.

    Core Pacific Group is one of the leading groups in Taiwan with a total value of $5 billion. Core Pacific Group operates in the petrochemical industry, infrastructure, urban development and operation, and financial services.

    Vice Chairman of the Dong Nai People’s Committee Tran Van Vinh said that Taiwan ranks second among the 45 countries and territories investing in Dong Nai, with the total registered capital of over $5.2 billion.

    Taiwanese businesses have invested much in the province, but there is no industrial park infrastructure. Investment in urban areas is very promising in Dong Nai, because if the investment plan complies with the provincial master plan, the project will receive support in dealing with administrative procedures.

    According to the Dong Nai Industrial Zones’ Management Board, the province attracted 1,733 FDI projects by the end of 2017 with the total investment capital of $31.3 billion.

    Despite laying down stricter conditions for investment projects, FDI capital pouring into the province continued to increase this year. In particular, disbursement reached $1.1 billion, equivalent to 88 per cent of the total registered capital.

    Nam Long Group announces $341-million Akari township

    Last week Nam Long Group, one of the leading housing developers in Vietnam, announced Akari City, its fifth project to be built in cooperation with Japanese Hankyu Hanshin Properties Corp. and Nishi Nippon Railroad.

    The Akari City township project is located in Binh Tan district of Ho Chi Minh City.

    The two Japanese investors and Nam Long group will have 50/50 joint contribution of the total investment of about VND7.676 trillion ($341 million). This will be one of Nam Long’s key projects in the next 3-5 years.

    According to Steven Chu Chee Kwang, CEO of Nam Long Investment Corporation, the company and the two Japanese partners are increasingly tightening relations to create not only homes but also a real estate system where properties for various purposes—commercial properties, schools, hospital, services, and entertainment, etc.—are developed synchronously, offering residential communities high-quality and unique lifestyle.

    Meanwhile, Kazumasa Ohchi, a representative from Hankyu Hanshin Properties, said that his company saw that Nam Long has a matching business strategy of providing high-quality houses at “affordable prices,” which makes a great contribution to the development of the local area and the community and is a great fit to their firm.

    “Until now, we have developed four projects together. Fortunately, all the projects were carried out successfully and received positive feedback from customers. This fifth project is a combination of our understanding and Nam Long’s great experience. We hope to create added value for the housing sector in Vietnam. Akari City will be officially introduced in the third quarter of 2018,” he said.

    With direct entrance to Vo Van Kiet Boulevard —the arterial road connecting east and west Ho Chi Minh City—Akari City is strategically located for both residential and commercial purposes.

    The project has a total floor area of 539,000 square metres, consisting of 4,600 apartments designed following the standards of Nam Long’s Flora product line, with separate facilities, such as community club, swimming pool, children's playground, gymnasium, and many other facilities.

    Vietnam, Egypt show determination to effectively realize trade deals

    Vietnam and Egypt have pledged to escalate the implementation of agreements reached by the two countries’ leaders to increase bilateral trade turnover on a par with potential and strength of each nation.

    Vietnam Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung and his Egyptian counterpart Said Abdullah made the announcement at the first meeting of the Vietnam-Egypt trade and industry cooperation Subcommittee  in Cairo on April 22.

    At the meeting, the leaders highlighted the fine traditional ties between the two countries and their advantages in geographical positions and market scales, which were shown by the signing of numerous agreements on economics, trade, and investment cooperation.

    vietnam, egypt show determination to effectively realize trade deals hinh 1 However, the total turnover in bilateral trade hit just US$342 million last year, which fell far below each country’s full potential. As a result, the first meeting between the two sides was marked by both parties showing their strong determination and efforts to actively implement the agreements signed during Egyptian President Abden Fattah El Sisi’s visit to Vietnam in 2017 and a review of cooperation mechanisms to remove technical barriers so as to facilitate bilateral investment and trade exchanges.

    The two deputy ministers expressed their confidence that with such strong prospects, the two sides should make greater efforts to elevate bilateral trade to US$1 billion in near future.

    vietnam, egypt show determination to effectively realize trade deals hinh 2 To reach the target, a score of measures to boost trade and industry cooperation have been taken with a focus on making regular reviews and building periodical information exchange mechanisms on the implementation of the findings of the meeting and diversifying export products in line with their demands and strength. For instance, oil and gas is Egypt’s particular strength while consumer goods production, electronic products, seafood and mechanical engineering are Vietnam’s strong areas.

    Egypt also agreed to provide trade support for Halal food to help Vietnamese products achieve greater penetration into the Egyptian market and other Islamic countries.

    Both sides also pledged to remove technical barriers for trade facilitation and step up closer cooperation in renewal energy and share experience in their policy making process.

    Medicinal material is an important factor in pharmaceutical production. The government has incentive policies to support the pharmaceutical sector’s use of domestic medicinal materials.

     A report by the National Institute of Medicinal Materials says Vietnam has nearly 4,000 varieties of plants, 400 species of animal, and 75 minerals useful for medicine.

    There are more than 320 drug producers using medicinal material and 20 factories have met the Good Manufacturing Practice standard of the World Health Organization. The Institute has worked with medicinal herb growing areas to plant appropriate varieties. 

    It has studied and transferred technology to localities to grow endemic medicinal plants such as Ngoc Lam ginseng in Kon Tum province, artichoke in Lai Chau and Lao Cai province, bastard cardamon in Thai Nguyen province, moringa in An Giang, and  multiflorous knootweed in Sa Pa and Ha Giang province.

    In recent years, medicinal herb plantation has been shrinking. Some varieties are near extinction.

    Production facilities are poorly equipped. Medicinal material use hasn’t been well managed.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade has proposed solutions to increase the domestic supply of medicinal materials to boost pharmaceutical production.

    Last year the Prime Minister said at a national conference that developing medicinal materials involving three major orientations: clearly identifying the role of medicinal materials at the national, local, and sectoral levels; developing medicinal materials in line with market demand; and re-organizing the medicinal material sector in terms of processing, manufacturing, and using traditional herbal remedies in combination with modern medicine.

    Vietnam-ASEAN Entrepreneur Club makes debut in Hanoi

    The Vietnam-ASEAN Entrepreneur Club has made its debut in Hanoi with an aim of promoting trade connectivity in the region.

    Vice President of the Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia Economic Development and Cooperation Association (VILACAED) Bui Tuong Lan said at the launching ceremony on April 19 that the club will help businesses further understand legal provisions regulating economic and investment in regional countries.

     Club members will have a chance to compare notes and be assisted in training and connectivity to form a sustainable business community for development, said Mr Lan.

    Nguyen Thi Nga, an owner of a business in Hanoi and a new member of the club, suggested said Vietnamese small-and medium-sized enterprises should change their thinking in production, business and management and partner with each other for mutual growth.

    She believed that the Vietnam-ASEAN Entrepreneur Club is a useful playground, helping local businesses study development models of their regional partners and enhancing connectivity between themselves and with those from the region.

    ASEAN is a potential market for business expansion and domestic businesses should fully exploit it to be successful, said Ms Nga.

    Dong Nai draws over 456 million USD in FDI

    The southern province of Dong Nai has granted investment licences to 56 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects worth 456.6 million USD, fulfilling 45.6 percent of the yearly target.

    Half of the projects are newly invested with total capital of 151.5 million USD while the remaining are allowed to increase capital by 304.9 million USD, according to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, saying most of them apply advanced technologies friendly to the environment.

    Notable projects include the manufacturing of electronic spare parts with total registered investment of 25 million USD from Japan, the Singapore-invested project specialising in pharmaceutical production worth 47.7 million USD, the Netherlands’ Bosch Gasoline Systems – HCP project worth over 71 million USD manufacturing mechanical equipment, and the 47 million USD processing and manufacturing project invested by Japan.

    Most of FDI projects in Dong Nai are from the Republic of Korea, China’s Taiwan, Japan, China, Singapore and Germany.

    So far, Dong Nai has counted 1,778 FDI projects with combined investment capital of 32.3 billion USD, including 1,309 valid projects worth 27.2 billion USD. The province attracted investors from 45 countries and territories with the Republic of Korea, China’s Taiwan and Japan topping the list.

    Petrol prices remain stable, oil prices slightly rise

    The price of bio-fuel E5 was kept unchanged while those of diesel 0.05S and kerosene increased slightly by 380 VND and 500 VND per litre respectively in the latest regular adjustment of petrol and oil prices on April 23.

    The Ministries of Industry-Trade and Finance announced that the prices of E5 are not higher than 18,932 VND per litre, and those of RON95 petrol not higher than 20,500 VND per litre.

    Prices of diesel 0.05S and kerosene should not be higher than 16,734 VND per litre and 15,581 VND per litre respectively.

    The changes took effect at 15:00 on April 23.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Finance conduct a review of fuel prices every 15 days to adjust the prices in accordance with fluctuations on the world market.

    During the past 15 days, the world price of RON 92 petrol, which is used to produce E5 fuel, averaged 77.980 USD per barrel, up 1 USD over the level in the previous review period. The average price of diesel was at 83.661 USD, up 2.5 USD per barrel. 

    Meanwhile, the cost of ethanol E100 which is used to produce E5 petrol stood at 14,488 VND per litre before tax.

    Networking event connects Vietnamese firms with CACCI members

    The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) hosted a networking event in Hanoi on April 23 to connect Vietnamese businesses with members of the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI).

    CACCI President Jemal Inaishvili and more than 30 leaders of major businesses, who are on a working visit to Vietnam, took part in the event. 

    The enterprises are from such economies as Australia, India, Nepal and Taiwan (China) and operate in various fields, including textiles-garment, cosmetics, consumer goods, distribution, food processing, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, construction, information technology, and tourism.

    In his opening remarks, VCCI Vice Chairman Doan Duy Khuong highlighted the importance of cooperative relations between VCCI and CACCI, stressing the connectivity between businesses of Vietnam and regional countries, especially amid the growing international economic integration.

    Khuong noted that Asia-Pacific can be considered the world’s largest region which is home to many big countries like Japan, China, the Republic of Korea, Russia and India. Total GDP of the member economies has reflected the potential of this region, he said.

    Since the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was signed, the potential for cooperation with major economies and markets has become almost unlimited, helping Vietnamese firms to promote exports and imports, access advanced technologies, and improve their management and governance capacity.

    CACCI President Inaishvili applauded the outcomes of Vietnamese enterprises, including major strides in economic development over the past years. The growth of the Vietnamese business community demonstrated the Government’s efforts to create a favourable business environment, he said.

    Inaishvili said the event to connect Vietnamese firms and CACCI members would open the door for intensive and extensive cooperation across the region.

    He also took this occasion to invite VCCI leaders and Vietnamese companies to attend the CACCI conference in Istanbul, Turkey, in late 2018.

    Asian-Pacific, Vietnamese businesses explore potential

    An official from the Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce & Industry (CACCI) has said Vietnamese businesses have big trade potentials.

    "Potentials of Vietnamese businesses are very big, there was huge development in the last ten years,” CACCI President Jemal Inaishvili told Vietnam News Agency.

    “And there are bigger potentials to Vietnam in the time to come, especially when several trade accords are coming into effect."

    Inaishvili attended a business forum with CACCI members in Hanoi on April 23 with more than 30 executives and representatives from various sectors, including garment and textile, food processing, industrial products, construction, and information technology.

    "The whole economy progress of Vietnam is very important because Vietnam plays more and more important role in the region in particular and in the region at large," Inaishvili said.

    "The economic growth of Vietnam in the last decade was very significant with growth of more than six percent every year, this means the government is doing very well."

    For his part, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Doan Duy Khuong said Asia- Pacific is an economic region with many big members, including China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand.

    “The participation of Vietnam in this dynamic economic region is very significant,” Khuong said.

    “Besides, member nations of the CACCI have diversified development rates which are suitable with Vietnamese businesses in the progress of integration,” he added.

    Vietnam is an open economy with nearly 100 million people and the country’s export turnover reached up to 400 billion USD a year. Bilateral, multilateral and integration policies with countries in Asia, and the Asia-Pacific region will create big driving forces to boost the Vietnamese economy.

    Over the past three decades of Doi Moi (Renewal), Vietnam’s economic growth averaged nearly 7 percent a year, a higher growth compared to the world's average.

    To date, Vietnam has attracted more than 310 billion USD from foreign direct investment, of which nearly 80 percent has come from Asia-Pacific nations.

    Vietnam has signed a total of 17 trade deals, of which 10 have become effective, 2 have been signed but are yet to take effect, while negotiations have concluded on 2 deals and are on the way for three others.  

    In March, 2018, Vietnam signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which looks to remove tariff barriers in the region towards progressive, open and equal trade. The pact will create one of the world’s largest free trade blocs with a combined market of 499 million people and GDP of about 10.1 trillion USD, accounting for 13.5 percent of global GDP.

    The forum was jointly organized by the CACCI and VCCI. 

     “The CACCI looks forward to staging the bilateral business meetings each year to boost exchanges among Vietnamese businesses and CACCI members,” the CACCI President said.

    PetroVietnam to continue with large-scale divestment

    The State-owned Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam or PVN) has drafted a plan for a comprehensive restructuring until 2025, under which it will continue with large-scale divestment from all of its member corporations and companies. 

    Accordingly, the group will only keep more than 50 percent of stakes at three members, and reduce its stakes in the remaining ones to less than 50 percent or even sell out.

    The plan, which has been submitted to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said the group will divest from service operations by around 2020 and electricity by 2025 after completing the construction of coal-fired thermal power plants as directed by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

    From now to 2020, PVN will focus on five key sectors, including exploration and exploitation; gas; oil and gas processing; electricity; and oil and gas services. By 2025, its focus will be narrowed to four, namely exploration and exploitation; gas; oil and gas processing; and electricity. After 2025, the group will no longer operate in electricity.

    From 2017 – 2020, PVN will complete the equitisation of Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Co Ltd (BSR), PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power), and PetroVietnam Oil Corporation (PV Oil). It will prepare conditions to equitise PVEP after 2020 and merge PetroVietnam University (PVU) and Vietnam Petroleum Institute (VPI) into Vietnam Petroleum Academy in 2020.

    Between 2021 and 2025, the group will push forward with equitisation and divestment. It will only maintain more than 50 percent of stake in the three following firms – PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation (PVEP), Vietsovpetro and PetroVietnam Gas JSC (PV Gas). 

    Meanwhile, it will reduce its stakes to less than 50 percent each in 12 subsidiaries, including BSR (43 percent), PetroVietnam Fertiliser and Chemicals Corporation (PVFCCo), PetroVietnam Ca Mau Fertiliser JSC (PVCFC), PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power), PetroVietnam Transportation Corporation (PV Trans) (36 percent), PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation (PTSC) and PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services Corporation (PVD) (less than 30 percent), and PetroVietnam Oil Corporation (PV Oil) (35.1 percent).

    PVN will offload all stakes from Dung Quat Shipbuilding Industry Co Ltd (DQS) and Petro Cam Ranh.

    Workshop on Vietnam’s economic matters held in Poland

    Vietnam’s economic development and opportunities generated by the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) were discussed at a recent workshop in Poland’s Vacsava capital city. 

    Delegates at the event took note of Vietnam’s positive economic prospects in 2018, especially increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to the country. 

    Statistics reveal that in 2017 alone, Vietnam attracted 36 billion USD in FDI, the highest amount over the past decade. 

    Regarding the EVFTA, a new-generation FTA between Vietnam and 28 EU members, the delegates said the deal is expected to open up new opportunities for exporters with preferential taxes. 

    The EU is Vietnam’s second biggest importer, with 18 percent of Vietnamese goods shipped to the region.

    Vietnam runs a trade surplus of 31.8 billion USD with the EU in 2017, with exports to the market growing 12.7 percent.

    Talking about the illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing under the European Commission (EC)’s yellow card warning, the participants highlighted Vietnam’s efforts to complete institutions, improve State management capacity and fishermen’s awareness of IUU fishing, in order to remove the warning. 

    They suggested Vietnam learn from Poland’s experience in building a legal foundation and implementing IUU regulations, while seeking cooperation in training experts in this field. 

    They also underlined the need to encourage Poland to soon complete procedures to approve the EVFTA in order to promote Vietnamese seafood exports to the market.

    VN firms team up with Asia-Pacific partners for stronger growth

    Vietnamese enterprises must band together with their Asia-Pacific partners for stronger growth.

    Said conclusion was reached at an April 24 conference on strengthening the connection and partnership between Vietnam’s firms and members of the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI).

    Speaking at the conference, Doan Duy Khuong, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s Vice Chairman, appreciated the important cooperation between the VCCI and the CACCI, and between Vietnam and regional countries.

    Khuong emphasised the importance of such regional collaboration, especially in the context of increasing international economic integration.

    Jemal Inaishvili, President of the CACCI, noted the Vietnamese business community’s effort in recent years, with significant economic development progress.

    He believed such growth has demonstrated the government’s efforts to create a smooth and favourable business environment for both local and international firms.

    Seeing how the Asia-Pacific region can be considered the largest consumer market in the world with a multitude of rising powers such as Japan, China and South Korea, and a total GDP accounting for 60 percent of the world’s, the area is full of potential, added Khuong.

    He also mentioned that since the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), cooperation with major economies and markets would soon be virtually unlimited for Vietnamese businesses, in order for them to accelerate operations, trade, while gaining access to advanced production technology and improved management and administration.

    Coupled with collaboration from Asia-Pacific’s enterprises, Khuong was certain that Vietnam’s firms will gain competitiveness and the whole economy will be significantly improved.

    Organised by the VCCI, the event aimed to create a bridge between and to help both sides’ businesses find suitable cooperation and investment opportunities.

    At the same time, the VCCI hoped to reach out to senior members of CACCI’s, one of the largest organisations representing the Asia-Pacific region’s business community.

    The event was part of Inaishvili’s visit to Việt Nam, along with over 30 representatives from the CACCI’s member corporations, most notably from Australia, India and Nepal, specialising in textile, garment, cosmetics, consumer goods, food distribution and processing, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, industrial products distribution, construction, IT, and tourism.

    Inaishvili expressed his wish to invite representatives from the VCCI and other Vietnamese business delegations to join the CACCI Summit later this year in Istanbul, Turkey.

    Earlier in April, the VCCI had worked with the CACCI and the General Department of Customs of Vietnam on a project to update the 2010 Incoterms, or International Commercial Terms, and a 2020 draft, in order to update and discuss previous experiences and mistakes in the fields of import, export, insurance, banking and finance.

    Four public utilities in Danang to be equitized

    Four public utilities in the central coastal city of Danang will have to go public by July this year, said the city’s vice chairman Tran Van Mien at a conference on the restructuring of public utilities on April 24.

    After their equitization, Danang Drainage and Wastewater Treatment Company, Danang Bridge and Road Management Company, Danang Lighting Management Company, and Danang Green Tree and Park Company should hold their first general meetings in July also.

    Mien said another public utility, Danang Center of Integrated Circuits under the Department of Information and Communications, will undergo equitization by 2020 if the city gets the nod from the Prime Minister.

    The city will let seven more public utilities go public in the 2021-2025 period, he added.

    In October 2016, the PM approved the transformation of the four above enterprises into joint stock companies in the 2016-2020 period. However, they have yet to complete their equitization due to numerous obstacles. For example, the city has not determined the proportion of State ownership at these entities after their equitization.

    Vo Ngoc Dong, director at the municipal Department of Home Affairs, said the city would reduce the number of employees who receive salaries from the State budget by 2,000 until 2021.

    He added the number of public utilities would be cut to 21 from the current 49. The majority of entities in the education, healthcare, culture, sports and agriculture sectors will be restructured as well.

    Data of the department showed Danang had 409 public service units and over 22,000 employees in 2017. Those agencies in the education sector accounted for a staggering 61%, followed by the healthcare sector with 9%, and the culture and sports sector with 7.6%.

    Vietnam re-affirms resolve to fight IUU fishing at Seafood Expo Global

    Vietnam’s resolve to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing has been reiterated by the country’s representatives at a press conference on April 25 at the Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, Belgium.

    The April 25 event aimed to update the press and European seafood importers on measures Vietnam is taking to combat IUU fishing, a problem on which the European Commission (EC) issued a yellow card warning to Vietnam last September.

    Nguyen Thi Trang Nhung, Deputy Director of the Department of Science, Technology and International Cooperation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said Vietnam has obtained positive outcomes in the issue.

    The most important outcome is the Law on Fisheries, approved on November 21, 2017, which details IUU fishing activities and stipulates strict punishments compared to administrative penalties for violations in other fields.

    Efforts of the whole political system of Vietnam have resulted in observable advances in the certification of seafood origin and control of fishing boats’ activities, she added.

    As the yellow card could affect the prestige and trade of Vietnamese seafood in the European and global markets, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) and businesses have also made every effort to cooperate with authorised agencies and with one another to fight IUU fishing over the last six months.

    Le Hang, a representative of VASEP, said the association has regularly updated the list of fisheries businesses committing to IUU fishing prevention on its website in both English and Vietnamese, thus showing Vietnamese firms’ consensus and determination to EU importers and managerial agencies.

    She noted that after the EU issued the yellow card warning, seafood exports to this market have declined as importers have become more cautious and worried that tightened examination of imports could take them more cost and time.

    Nguyen Xuan Nam, Chairman of the board of directors of the Hai Vuong Co. Ltd, told Vietnam News Agency that the EU is a very important market and some of his company’s clients have expressed concern about the risk of a red card, which can lead to a trade ban on fishery products, after the yellow card. His company has actively informed its clients about Vietnam’s solutions to soon lift the yellow card and avoid red card.

    Brian Cullinane, purchasing director at Pan Euro Foods – an Irish company that has imported Vietnamese aquatic products for five years, said the EU’s yellow card warning is a relatively new issue and almost hasn’t affected the market much, but the situation could worsen in the next two or three years if Vietnam failed to lift the yellow card.

    On April 20, Vietnam submitted a report on its efforts to address IUU fishing to the EC. The EU is set to send a delegation to Vietnam between May 15 and 25 to assess local IUU fishing prevention.

    VSIP Hai Duong celebrates dual milestones

    Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park in the northern province of Hai Duong (VSIP Hai Duong) on April 26 held the grand opening of its office and ISO 9001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2007 certificate award ceremonies, marking two important milestones in the park’s history. 

    Local authorities, customers, business partners, and the staff of VSIP Hai Duong joined the events.

    The new office will bring a fresh look to VSIP Hai Duong and provide a better overall operating environment for its staff to ensure they continue to provide high-quality services to its clientele. 

    Additionally, the attainment of ISO & OHSAS certificates further demonstrates VSIP’s commitment to becoming an entity that possesses quality management systems which conform to customers’ regulatory expectations and requirements. These two certificates also demonstrate VSIP Hai Duong’s commitment towards improving customer service.

    VSIP Hai Duong is the sixth project of VSIP Group—one of the successful models of economic cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore. This industrial park was officially approved in April 2015 and has been quick in turning the 150ha agricultural land into a modern and clean industrial park. 

    VSIP Hai Duong is strategically located at Luong Dien-Cam Dien commune, Cam Giang district, with good and easy connectivity to amenities, the city centre, major seaports, and has direct access by major highways to China.

    VSIP Hai Duong offers investors a comprehensive infrastructure system and on-site amenities ranging from a good road system to general utilities and a sewage treatment plant to meet the operating needs of companies in the industrial zone. Unique to VSIP Group, VSIP Hai Duong provides one-stop customer service which supports investors in license application as well as their day-to-day operations.

    “Hai Duong province warmly welcomes investors and commits to supporting them through the Hai Duong Industrial Zone Authority as a focal point to connect with other government agencies,” Pham Minh Phuong, Director of the Hai Duong Industrial Zone Authority.

    “Hai Duong province and our management board have always recognised VSIP’s performance in attracting investment and creating a green-clean-beautiful industrial park which revolves around high standards and professionalism, he said. 

    As commented by investors, they highly appreciate supporting services from VSIP. VSIP facilitates investors throughout the investment process and guides them through the pitfalls of Vietnamese regulations, he added.

    Howard Shi, General Manager of Best Pacific Vietnam Co., Ltd., shared: “Best Pacific selected VSIP Hai Duong for three main reasons. First, this industrial park is near to Hanoi and Haiphong. Second, the infrastructure system is very comprehensive, and third, the park’s staff support customers very diligently.”

    To date, seven enterprises have invested in VSIP Hai Duong with a total estimated investment of 150 million USD, accounting for 40 percent of the total area. This is an impressive figure as the IP just came into operation in 2017. 

    VSIP Hai Duong will continue to make breakthroughs and strike to make its industrial park a better operating location for both domestic and international enterprises. 

    The first VSIP was launched in 1996 in the southern province of Binh Duong by the two governments of Vietnam and Singapore. Two decades later, VSIP Group has eight projects spreading over six provinces: Binh Duong, Bac Ninh, Haiphong, Quang Ngai, Hai Duong, and Nghe An. 

    VSIP Hai Duong is the third project of VSIP JSC, a member of VSIP Group. The first project of VSIP JSC was VSIP Bac Ninh (launched in 2007) and the second one is VSIP Hai Phong (2010). In April 2015, VSIP was officially approved to construct VSIP Hai Duong on the total area of 150ha.

    VNN

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  • 04/28/18--06:52: Article 1
  • Agribank tackle account hack


    Three out of twelve account holders at the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) had been reimbursed in full on Friday, following a series of unauthorised transactions from their accounts on Wednesday night.


     

    Agribank tackle account hack, 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 three clients reportedly had their money stolen from Agribank ATMs, whereas the other cardholders’ accounts were hacked into using counterfeit cards at other credit institutions’ ATMs. If the loss is not the customer’s fault, Agribank promised to refund them in due course.

    Previously, having received complaints from several customers about experiencing unauthorised withdrawal notifications on their mobile banking service, Agribank had proceeded to shut down the allegedly hacked accounts on Thursday, though these illegal transactions were not immediately stopped.

    Preliminary verification results showed that customers’ card information had been stolen at ATMs, and the banks are cooperating with investigators and customers to collect evidence and will respond to customers soon, while instructing clients to carry out the necessary safety procedures to quickly resolve their complaints.

    Should any suspicious activities arise, customers can actively lock their cards and accounts using the Agribank E-mobile Banking application and promptly notify the bank for coordinated handling, in order to limit cases of data abuse and theft.

    With the increasing trend of high-tech criminals, Agribank strongly advises customers to maintain their card security and PIN codes, and register with Agribank E- Mobile Banking to receive notifications of changes in their account balance.

    Recently, with the rise in high-tech crime, Agribank has increased its investment in online security systems and asset safeguarding.

    On Monday, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) issued guidelines on ensuring banking service quality and security. For all card payment service providers, the SBV required them to strictly pay attention to the process of anti-piracy equipment installation and upgrades, to prevent the theft of account information and hacking before and during the upcoming national holiday.

     VNS

    0 0
  • 04/28/18--07:18: Article 0
  • Social News 28/4


    Overseas Vietnamese students active in promoting Vietnamese image in Russia


    High-rise residential buildings may not be allowed in urban centers, Vietnam works towards sustainable, responsible fisheries, Driving schools focus on guaranteed pass instead of skills in HCM City 

    A performance at the event in Russia. 

    Traditional Vietnamese cultural values were introduced to international students in Russia via a range of special performances by Vietnamese students in Moscow.

    During a recent Vietnam Cultural Day event held at the Moscow-based Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN), overseas Vietnamese students presented a range of special cultural activities to the host imbued with the national identity.

    Performances by Vietnamese students from the RUDN and various other universities in Moscow commemorated the memorable milestones stretching through the nation’s struggles to defend and build the country.

    Luong Trung Kien, Head of the Overseas Vietnamese Student Unit at the RUDN, said that the event organised by his unit aimed to provide better and more accurate knowledge on the country and people of Vietnam for the international students, thus contributing to promoting Vietnamese tourism and culture to international friends. Furthermore, it also offered opportunities for the overseas Vietnamese students to tighten their solidarity.

    In addition to the performances, the festival, which wrapped up yesterday, also featured roundtable discussions on themes related to Vietnam, as well as cultural exhibitions, cuisine activities and a mini football tournament, attracting great attention from international students to the unique Vietnamese culture.

    Praising the Vietnamese students’ efforts in successfully organising the culture week, Andrey Mikhailovich, Head of Asian Students’ Affairs at the RUDN, said that the event offered guests a small trip to Vietnam.

    Vuong Thi Ngan, a foreign language Vietnamese student, said that the event brought an opportunity for international students who want to learn more about Vietnamese culture and customs.

    The event offers an opportunity for international students who want to learn more about the Vietnamese culture and customs.

    Recurrence of tetanus in South Vietnam


     

    High-rise residential buildings may not be allowed in urban centers, Vietnam works towards sustainable, responsible fisheries, Driving schools focus on guaranteed pass instead of skills in HCM City 

    Since the beginning of the year, the Tropical Disease Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City admitted cases of tetanus from southern provinces.

    The infection cases increased double compared to same period last year. The relapse of tetanus surprised medical workers with severe cases.

    One of serious case in the hospital’s Intensive care unit is 62 year old man hailing from Cu Chi District who is being put on ventilator. His wife said he had stepped on a rusty nail while working in the garden.

    Though the wound was festering, he applied quick disinfection.

    Two weeks later, he had a stiff painful jaw; his relatives rushed him to the local infirmary for emergency treatment where doctors diagnosed him to have tetanus. He was transferred to the Tropical Disease hospital where he fell into coma.

    The hospital is treating 25 tetanus patients all in ventilators. Vice Head of the intensive care unit Dr. Duong Bich Thuy said that all patients are taken to the hospital when they are in critical condition. Most of them are elderly people.

    For elderly people, those suffering diabetes, and high blood pressure, their resistance is weak; accordingly, their illness will be worse.

    Statistically, the hospital admits 250 - 300 tetanus patients annually. In three first months, the number of ill people grew double to 100 inpatients.

    Medical workers warned people to inject against the disease. Each vaccine shot is priced at VND200,000 - VND300,000 while treatment cost of a case is VND40 - VND100 million.

    Microsoft introduces new developments on smart security


     

    High-rise residential buildings may not be allowed in urban centers, Vietnam works towards sustainable, responsible fisheries, Driving schools focus on guaranteed pass instead of skills in HCM City 

    Microsoft has just officially announced new tools and technologies regarding smart security in San Francisco to help businesses protect their precious data as well as local networks from emerging cyber threats and potential risks related to Internet of Things (IoT) devices or edge devices.

    These new solutions can be used to strengthen the defense of large ecosystems against cyber security hazards coming from cloud computing and edge computing.

    Azure Sphere is the first general platform ever to be able to create highly secure connections between microcontroller units (MCUs) for smart edge. This new platform has MCUs that are over five times more powerful than older MCUs. These MCUs will be run by an optimized operating system to guarantee IoT security, along with cloud security to protect all Azure Sphere devices. With Azure Sphere, Microsoft has expanded the smart edge, boosted the capacity of a new generation of equipment while successfully protecting them. 

    Another introduction is the smart security solution called Office 365 Security Score and Attack Simulator to not only simplify tasks but also ensure safety. Secure Score helps organizations easily identify which settings to activate to protect users, data, and devices by quickly estimating how aligned users are with best security practices. It will then assign a general security score. Attack Simulator, a part of Office 365 Threat Intelligence, allows security groups to run simulated attacks similar to ransomware and phishing to test employees’ reactions as well as optimize the configurations.

    One more noticeable development is the solution to automatically detect potential threats and then erase them, which is a time relief to security groups. Accordingly, in the latest update of Windows 10, Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) will work alongside with other parts of Microsoft 365 to ensure security against threats by investigating and fixing security risks in Office 365, Windows and Azure. This means that the latest update of Windows 10 will be able to take advantage of Artificial Intelligence and advanced machine learning models to quickly detect and respond to threats of any scale in terminals in a few seconds.

    According to Mr. Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, all the damages caused by cyber-attacks last year signal a fact that cyber security threats are becoming larger and more serious. Therefore, we need new technological breakthroughs to stop them. The developments of Microsoft today are not only for cloud computing but also for millions of new devices which are working at the edge of international networks.

    PM approves pilot project of electric cars


     

    High-rise residential buildings may not be allowed in urban centers, Vietnam works towards sustainable, responsible fisheries, Driving schools focus on guaranteed pass instead of skills in HCM City 

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has just agreed the pilot program of electric cars to serve tourists across tourism areas in the provinces Phu Yen, Lam Dong, Ben Tre and Bac Lieu.

    The PM emphasized the pilot program will only be deployed to electric cars which meet the standards of technology safety, environment protection and current regulations.

    The pilot will start within three years.

    The PM assigned the above-mentioned provinces’ People’s Committee must check limited operation time and routes of electric cars.

    Danang fines food safety violators

    The Danang government has fined 88 food trading and manufacturing entities for administrative violations after some 2,599 units were inspected in quarter one, said Nguyen Tan Hai, head of the Danang Food Safety Management Board.

    Hai told a review meeting on food safety and hygiene last week that of 120 food processors and traders checked, eight were fined over VND37 million. Besides, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development carried out inspections of 111 food-trading units in which 43 were fined a total of VND90 million.

    Hai told the Daily that the city has no laboratories capable of testing chopped meat for Sodium Benzoate at some processors found to violate food safety regulations.

    In quarter two, Hai said, 10 inspections will be carried out, especially of agro-aqua-forestry products which are often found to have residues of banned substances.

    Number of visitors flying to Da Nang rockets

    Visitors to the central city of Da Nang by air on the occasion of the Independence Day is estimated to number 27,450, a year-on-year increase of 77.7%, according to the province’s Department of Tourism. 

    On the occasion, the total number of tourists to the city may reach 342,992, up 10.2%, including 108,930 foreigners, up 28.8% and 234,062 domestic ones, up 3.2%. 

    From April 30-May 1, the number of staying guests may be 119,624 ones, up 9.3%, consisting of 53,108 foreigners, up 18.4% and 66,516 domestic visitors, up 3%. 

    The increase in the number of visitors is attributed to the organization of Da Nang International Fireworks Festival 2018 (DIFF 2018), themed “The Legend of Bridges”, which will kick off on April 30 and end on June 30 with the aim of making Da Nang a unique cultural festival tourism space.  

    Along with the fireworks performances, many attractive auxiliary festivals will be organized in the framework of DIFF 2017 such as a food festival, a flash mob dance performance for students, and a street carnival show.

    HCMC government hires pump system to fight flooding


     

    High-rise residential buildings may not be allowed in urban centers, Vietnam works towards sustainable, responsible fisheries, Driving schools focus on guaranteed pass instead of skills in HCM City 
    The HCMC government last week reviewed preliminary results of a project to use an industrial-scale pump to control flooding on Nguyen Huu Canh Street and signed an agreement on flood prevention with Quang Trung Industry Group Joint Stock Company as the pump operator.
    At the meeting, Nguyen Hoang Anh Dung, deputy director of the Steering Center of the HCMC Urban Control Flood Program, said that to control flooding on Nguyen Huu Canh Street, the pumping system was deployed 13 times in 2017, out of which 10 times the operation was smooth but the street still ended up being submerged under 10 to 30 centimeters of water in the remaining three times.

    According to Bui Xuan Cuong, director of the HCMC Department of Transport, the pump belonging to the Quang Trung Group not only has a huge capacity but also provides other functions like pumping mud and small garbage. During the 13 times of deployment, Cuong said, the pump achieved initial success, but it is necessary to pilot it during high tides and downpours.

    Nguyen Tang Cuong, general director of Quang Trung Group, proposed the municipal government pilot such a pumping system in other flood-prone areas in the city.

    Regarding fee, a representative of the Finance Department said that the hiring service fee must be based on a principle that it is cheaper than the current system being used by the center.

    Tran Vinh Tuyen, vice chairman of the HCMC government, noted a criterion that the street must not be submerged over 15 centimeters of water when the pump is in use.

    Numerous mechanisms proposed for developing smart city in HCMC

    A photo shows a HCMC-based expressway monitoring center for southern Vietnam. Various mechanisms for developing HCMC into a smart city were proposed at a meeting here on April 18-

    Associations in the information technology (IT) and telecommunications industries have suggested various policies for HCMC to transform itself into a smart city, heard a conference on April 18.

    Pham Duc Long, general director of Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), said in order to flesh out the city’s smart urban plan, the municipal government should set up an agency responsible for management and implementation of the plan. The aim is to employ technologies and oversee their implementation so that various segments and services of the plan can be fully integrated, said Long.

    The execution of the smart urban plan would require a lengthy period of time, so the municipal government should come up with a general plan for every single project. Moreover, these projects should be classified in order of investment priority, according to the VNPT general director.

    He suggested a legal framework should be made more specific to lure companies into developing technologies. Meanwhile, their applications should be piloted in district-level governments so that suitable models could be established and further invested.

    Also according to Long, security solutions, especially those involving privacy, should also be taken into account.

    Ngo Vi Dong, vice president of the Vietnam Information Security Association, proposed that competent agencies under the Government should set out specific criteria for information security in smart cities. In addition, they should set up an emergency response team along with a network security operation center.

    Dong also emphasized that relevant agencies should set up a public-private partnership mechanism in a transparent manner. In addition, they should closely cooperate with associations and companies at home and abroad that specialize in information security and IT.

    Phi Anh Tuan, vice president of the HCMC Computer Association, explained that a mechanism for guaranteeing IT companies to fill the Government’s orders is extremely necessary for facilitating technological transfers.

    He suggested taxes should be directly deducted from annual IT application costs in order to reduce corporate income tax, while assets for developing IT should be primarily depreciated.

    A representative of Senvi Technology Corporation proposed the municipal government establish mechanisms for ensuring business freedom and fair competition among startups in State-controlled IT segments.

    The Senvi executive added there should be a mechanism in place for new companies to have equal access to all mechanisms and resources, especially investment capital. A policy for prioritizing locally-made and creative hi-tech products should be simultaneously available.

    On the sidelines of the meeting, the HCMC Department of Information and Communications struck a memorandum of understanding with the HCMC Computer Association, the Vietnam Information Security Association, and the HCMC Semiconductor Industry Association.

    HCMC seeks to terminate cheap land transfer deal

    The HCMC Party Committee has requested negotiations to terminate a deal to transfer 30 hectares of public land in the outlying district of Nha Be at a low price.

    Tan Thuan Co. under the Party Committee last year signed a deal to transfer 30 hectares of land in Nha Be District’s Phuoc Kien residential area to Quoc Cuong Gia Lai Co. at VND1.29 million per square meter without reporting the transaction as required.

    Noticing that the transfer violates the regulation on public asset management, the standing board of the HCMC Party Committee has told Tan Thuan Co. to negotiate with its partner over contract cancellation, said local news reports.

    According to the standing board, the contract signing does not comply with Decision 1087-QD/TU dated March 31, 2009 of the HCMC Party Committee’s standing board on management and use of assets and land use rights of one-member companies under the committee.

    This piece of public land is appraised to have a market price of over VND2.4 trillion but was transferred to Quoc Cuong Gia Lai Co. at a mere VND419 billion, or VND1.29 million per square meter, under a contract signed on June 5, 2017.

    In a document sent to the HCMC Party Committee on December 13, 2017, the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment explained that even with the lowest agricultural land price used for calculation, the 30-hectare area could not be priced at lower than VND1.77 million per square meter.

    News website Dan Tri has surveyed land prices in Phuoc Kien, and discovered land prices range between VND8.5 million and VND11 million per square meter.

    Family doctor clinics struggle to attract patients

    Family doctor service facilities at grassroots level in HCMC are struggling with a shortage of patients as district-level hospitals or clinics are still preferred to such lower-ranking healthcare stations.

    As of the end of 2017, there had been hundreds of family doctor facilities in HCMC, the municipal Department of Health reported. These included 191 ward-level health stations, eight private general clinics, 19 district-level hospitals, and 17 other private clinics. In addition, Pham Ngoc Thach Medical University also operates a modern family doctor clinic.

    According to the managers of healthcare centers and heads of clinics, in spite of having professionally trained family doctors, these facilities have found it tough to attract patients.

    In reality, most patients do not visit family doctor clinics, but go to district-level or city-level hospitals where they have registered for healthcare insurance. Another barrier to these clinics is that medicines at hospitals are seen better than those offered by family doctor clinics.

    In addition, family doctor clinics eager to offer health checks for patients with insurance policies at district-level hospitals are required to sign agreements with such hospitals, but the latter are reluctant to share patients with such clinics.

    The head of a family doctor clinic lamented that district-level hospitals do not want to work with family doctor clinics for fear that their revenue could be affected.

    More than 10,000 rural workers receive agricultural training


     

    High-rise residential buildings may not be allowed in urban centers, Vietnam works towards sustainable, responsible fisheries, Driving schools focus on guaranteed pass instead of skills in HCM City
    Nearly 10,500 rural residents in outlying districts of HCM City will be trained to meet the demand for agricultural workers in the city. - Photo: sggp.org.vn 

    Workers from outlying rural areas of HCM City have been taking agricultural courses at vocational training centres in the city as part of a plan issued in March to meet demand for more skilled workers, according to the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    The city’s People’s Committee said the project is expected to train 10,500 rural workers, including 2,556 agricultural trainees and 7,944 non-agricultural trainees.

    The rate of employment after training is targeted to be 80 per cent or higher.

    The committee, which has given financial support to four public vocational education institutions in new rural districts, said the total cost of vocational training for rural workers would be around VNĐ38 billion (US$ 1.6 million).

    Although 78 per cent of rural workers had received training in the past, only 7 per cent had reached an intermediate level, according to the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    “Red-Cross house” model helps disaster-affected locals repair dwelling


     

    High-rise residential buildings may not be allowed in urban centers, Vietnam works towards sustainable, responsible fisheries, Driving schools focus on guaranteed pass instead of skills in HCM City
    Storm resistant house build for an impoverished family in Phu Yen province


    The Vietnam Red Cross Society (VNRC)’s “Red-Cross house” model has helped thousands of impoverished residents in disaster-affected localities build or repair their houses which were destroyed by floods and storms.

    The VNRC at all levels have built more than 24,000 houses for those who suffer heavy loss from natural disasters at the total cost of nearly 700 trillion VND (30.8 billion USD), which was sponsored by international organisations. Over 2,000 houses of which are disaster-resistant houses.

    The houses have been built to suit the lifestyle of different ethnic groups and localities across the nation. For example: stilt houses are constructed for ethnic people in the northern mountainous localities while bungalows are popular among Kinh people or those in the south western region. 

    They have helped local residents stabilise their lives soon after the disasters.

    Safe houses to cope with natural calamities, built by the VNRC like the flood-resistant model in Phu Yen province, have shown efficiency when they are able to accommodate 100-400 people in case of floods and storms.

    However, construction expert Vu Kien Trung noted that the “Red-Cross houses” are usually built on the sites where old houses stood, without considering the sites’ vulnerability to natural calamities. He suggested devising plan to relocate disaster-prone villages and residential areas to safer places.

    “Building houses in an insecure area will not be a sustainable measure”, he noted.

    Regarding financial resource for constructing the houses, Trung said that the local budget should contribute to the effort, noting that many poor households struggle to repay the debt occurring from the house building. There should also be subsidies for building materials for the construction of “Red-Cross houses”, he added.

    In the past years, besides the VNRC, the Vietnam Women’s Union, the Vietnam Farmer’s Union and the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union have worked to mobilise resources to build houses for people in disaster-affected areas as part of the efforts to support them to have quick recovery from disasters and alleviate poverty.

    Vietnam's pristine bay named among best places to visit in May


     

    High-rise residential buildings may not be allowed in urban centers, Vietnam works towards sustainable, responsible fisheries, Driving schools focus on guaranteed pass instead of skills in HCM City 

    If you are struggling with travel ideas for the summer, Vietnam can offer some help.

    The country's deep-water Cam Ranh Bay, with its budding beach tourism, has been named among the world’s seven best destinations for May by top travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler.

    Cam Ranh, an hour south of its much busier sister Nha Trang in the central province of Khanh Hoa, boasts pristine and mesmerizing beaches that have yet to be marred by human hands. It's where one can find "the lifetime fascination" in the deep waters, the US-based magazine said.

    Luxury facilities such as a top-tier golf course and beachfront resorts should be part of the package, it said.

    Cam Ranh international airport is expected to unveil a new international terminal to bring in more overseas visitors to the country this May.

    The Condé Nast list also includes Paris, Sicily and Puglia of Italy, Portugal’s remote Azores islands, Cannes and Monte Carlo, San Francisco and Louisville.

    International visitor arrivals in Vietnam in the first quarter of this year jumped 30.9% from a year ago to 4.2 million.

    The country expects to receive 15-17 million foreign arrivals this year.

    Hotel Nikko Hanoi to observe Japanese Golden Week

    In Japan, May 5 is observed as Children’s Day, or Kodomo no hi. This is an important occasion during the Japanese Golden Week – a long break lasting seven to 10 days, coinciding with many national holidays.

    Since a long time, koinobori has become a symbol of Japanese Children’s Day. In the Japanese language, koi means “carp”, while nobori means “flag” or “banner”. Koinobori is made by drawing carp patterns on paper, cloth or other non-woven fabric and is usually hung on a high pole in the front yard or above the roof of the house to flutter in the wind.

    Koinobori originated from an ancient legend in China, in which carps fought their way up rapidly flowing streams of the Yellow River and eventually became dragons. Because of its strength and determination to overcome all obstacles, the carp symbolises courage and the ability to attain high goals. Families hang koinobori in their homes in honour of their children for a good future, with the hope that they will grow up healthy and strong.

    To celebrate Japanese Golden Week and Children’s Day, from April 27 to May 6, Hotel Nikko Hanoi will host a display of a giant train model and traditional toys, sushi and cupcake cooking classes, drawing, origami lessons for children, yukata (summer kimono) try-ons and posing as well as a lucky draw and gifts for children.

    During the Golden Week, the hotel will also offer a special menu for children called Okosama (children’s lunch) at the price of VNĐ120,000 per child (under 10 years old).

    VNN

    0 0
  • 04/30/18--07:18: Article 1
  • Social News 29/4


    Hanoi urged to prioritise airport rail line


     Hanoi urged to prioritise airport rail line, Research contest launched to improve labour policies, Thua Thien - Hue Museum receives over 260 antiques, Infamous poet’s 100th birthday marked in Hanoi

    A section of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong Line 


    The capital city of Hanoi has been asked to pay attention to mobilising resources to build a rail line connecting the downtown area with NoiBaiAirport and accelerate the implementation of the project.

    The request was part of Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung’s directions on the three planned urban rail lines in Hanoi.

    He said the capital city is facing greater pressure on its transport system as a result of an increasing population and a growing number of private cars and motorbikes.

    Therefore the city needs to modernise its public transport system, including the urban rail network, in order to ease traffic congestion.

    Deputy PM Dung added that constructing rail lines requires huge costs while the state budget is limited, therefore it is necessary to call for private funding in order to finance rail projects and the city’s transport infrastructure in general.

    He asked the municipal authorities to promptly complete the project’s documents to submit them to the National Assembly for approval at its year-end meeting, while continuing with other tasks such as technical design.

    In his instructions, Deputy PM Dung also asked the Hanoi government and the transport ministry to continue dealing with the problems plaguing the two metro lines currently under construction, namely the Nhon-Hanoi Station Line and Cat Linh-Ha Dong Line.

    Research contest launched to improve labour policies
     

    Hanoi urged to prioritise airport rail line, Research contest launched to improve labour policies, Thua Thien - Hue Museum receives over 260 antiques, Infamous poet’s 100th birthday marked in Hanoi 
    The contest’s research findings are expected to facilitate the formation and implementation of labour policies.


    The Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, in coordination with the International Labour Organisation, recently launched a labour research contest on exploring industrial relations practices and its implementation towards better policies.

    The contest is eligible for Vietnamese citizens and research groups from Vietnamese organisations, who should focus their entries on five topics: the impacts of collective bargaining on wages and working conditions; renovated mechanisms for settling labour disputes on benefits through meditation; the relationship between social dialogue and business performance; trade union rights in Vietnam; and gender discrimination in the workplace.

    The entries, which must be conducted after January 1, 2017, should be sent to the email address at han_contest@ilo.org, no later than June 25, 2018.

    The organising board will present prizes worth VND 100 million in total to the winners in the two categories of Best Research Proposal and Best Research Report.

    The contest was launched to raise the research capacity of Vietnamese researchers on labour issues, particularly those related to industrial relations, in a bid to seek feasible research findings for policy formation and implementation.

    Vietnam needs to cut recurrent spending to ensure healthy budget


    Hanoi urged to prioritise airport rail line, Research contest launched to improve labour policies, Thua Thien - Hue Museum receives over 260 antiques, Infamous poet’s 100th birthday marked in Hanoi 
    In the first quarter of 2018, regular spending accounted for more than 76% of total expenditure. 


    The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has recently proposed raising a number of taxes such as the environmental protection tax and the value added tax.

    One of the reasons cited by the MOF for the proposed tax hikes is to restructure the state budget to ensure that the nation’s finances are safe and sustainable. The effort will focus on fine-tuning the tax policy and expanding the tax base, especially new sources of revenues in line with international practices.

    As revenues from international trade activities are declining due to tariff cuts as a result of free trade agreements, the search for new sources to offset the shortfall is a necessary and urgent task.

    However, a budget has to cover both revenue and spending. Measures to increase revenues are being proposed and implemented aggressively while those aimed at restructuring expenditure have received inadequate attention. A problem in the spending structure which is yet to be resolved, is the immense proportion of recurrent spending.

    In the first quarter of 2018, regular spending accounted for more than 76% of total expenditure, while spending on investment and development accounted for just 12%.

    It is apparent that recurrent spending can be significantly reduced immediately by streamlining and downsizing the cumbersome administrative apparatus, as well as by practising thrift and preventing waste in state budget spending.

    Despite this, a government report suggests that many ministries, agencies, and local authorities have not yet formulated their own programmes on reducing spending.

    While these units are inattentive to the issue and make little effort in its resolution, it is unlikely that the budget deficit will be reduced. The spirit of thrift in recurrent spending should be propagated among the leaders of all units funded by the government budget.

    Budget restructuring is an imperative to guarantee the stability and sustainability of the nation’s finances. Therefore, in addition to measures to increase revenues, it is necessary to take action to cut back on recurrent spending.

    Vietnam’s 'crazy house' named among world’s 'coolest' buildings


     Hanoi urged to prioritise airport rail line, Research contest launched to improve labour policies, Thua Thien - Hue Museum receives over 260 antiques, Infamous poet’s 100th birthday marked in Hanoi 

    UK travel magazine Lonely Planet has unveiled its list of the 120 most breathtaking human constructions on Earth, and a bizarre building in Vietnam has made the list.

    The magazine's new "A Spotter's Guide to Amazing Architecture" introduces the world's "coolest" constructions and where to see them.

    Hang Nga Guesthouse, dubbed the "Crazy House" in the Central Highlands town Da Lat, has been recognized for its extraordinary exterior which resembles a monstrous banyan tree.

    Around one kilometer from the center of Da Lat, the guesthouse was officially opened in 1990, and has been compared to the amazing architecture of world-acclaimed constructions such as the SalvadorDalíMuseum and Walt Disney Concert Hall.

    The design by Vietnamese architect Dang Viet Nga was inspired by the poetic natural scenery of the dreamy city and the architectural works of Catalan master Antoni Gaud.

    Once forgotten, it has now emerged as one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vietnam’s city of love, where visitors have to pay for VND50,000 (US$2.20) for an entrance ticket to satisfy their curiosity.

    Lonely Planet list also includes the Taj Mahal (India), Sydney Opera House (Australia), St Basil's Cathedral (Russia), Pena Palace (Portugal) and Lincoln Cathedral (UK)

    This is not the first time the guesthouse has earned global plaudits.

    The UK-based travel magazine last year hailed Vietnam’s astonishing building as a secret marvel, saying “Crazy House is different from every angle: on one side, warped walls seem menacing and windows glare like eye sockets; from another, traditional Vietnamese designs adorn the eaves.”

    In 2016, the leading US architecture website Archdaily included Hang Nga on its list of the world’s most unusual buildings.


    Chemotherapy applied for treating cancer patients at final stage


     Hanoi urged to prioritise airport rail line, Research contest launched to improve labour policies, Thua Thien - Hue Museum receives over 260 antiques, Infamous poet’s 100th birthday marked in Hanoi 

    Hoan My Cuu Long Hospital in the Mekong Delta City of Can Tho said it has used chemotherapy for treating cancer patients. This is considered as a great progress in cancer treatment.

    Chemotherapy means to use chemicals for treating cancer patients. The chemicals will kill cancer cells or prevent them from separating into more diseased cells.

    The method is used to shrink tumors and/or stop the cancer from growing and spreading. This can help the person with cancer feel better and live longer. This method can be applied for treating all kinds of cancers especially stomach, colorectal cancer, or breast cancer, lung cancer and bladder cancer.

    Dr. Tang Van Phong said that chemotherapy in treating colorectal cancer plays an important role because it reduces relapse and live longer amongst cancer patients of third and second stage. Doctors will inject chemicals to patients who need not to stay in hospitals to save cost.

    Film screening program celebrates national holidays
     

    Hanoi urged to prioritise airport rail line, Research contest launched to improve labour policies, Thua Thien - Hue Museum receives over 260 antiques, Infamous poet’s 100th birthday marked in Hanoi 
    A scene in the film Me oi con da ve (Mom, I came back home)  

    A film screening program marking national holidays in April and May will be held from April 27-May 23.

    Film lovers will have a chance to enjoy selected movies themed on traditional history, revolutionary soldiers, country’s construction, generations of youth in the war time and renewal period, such as Me oi con da ve (Mom, I came back home), Giac mot tho cam (Dream of brocade), Thoi tre trung soi noi (intense youth) and among others.

    Programs maintaining safety, public order and security for ethnic groups in remote mountainous areas will be also presented to audiences.

    The event is organized by the Vietnam Cinema Department in coordination with film distribution companies and cinemas across the country.

    Dong Thap culture promoted in HCMC


     Hanoi urged to prioritise airport rail line, Research contest launched to improve labour policies, Thua Thien - Hue Museum receives over 260 antiques, Infamous poet’s 100th birthday marked in Hanoi 

    An exhibition presenting cultural characteristics of the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap will be held at The Garden Mall in Ho Chi Minh City’s district 5 from April 27-29.
    Dong Thap culture promoted in HCMC

    The event aims to promote and introduce typical products, traditional craft villages, images of the land and people of Dong Thap as well as enhancing the development of the provincial tourism industry.

    Visitors will have a chance to enjoy a corner of countryside market, various kinds of flowers of Sa Dec traditional flower villages, products made of lotus and rice, the provincial popular agricultural products, local special dishes; and join in art performance and trade promotional exchange.

    Highlights of activities are Don ca tai tu (Southern folk music) performance by the Dong Thap art troupe and an art program performed by the Cho Lon Theater.

    The event is co-organized by the People’s Committee of Dong Thap province, Vietnam Signature Joint Stock Company.

    Magnifique Wedding Fair at SofitelSaigonPlaza

    The SofitelSaigonPlaza will organize its first-ever wedding fair taking place in the hotel’s Ballroom from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on May 12, 2018.

    The Magnifique Wedding Fair claims to be the most exciting event for soon-to-wed couples who are looking for a remarkable romantic touch on their big day. Grooms- and brides-to-be will be impressed by the gorgeous SofitelSaigonPlaza’s Ballroom, which was newly renovated in mid-2017. The state of the art ballroom is represented as a new benchmark for luxury wedding celebrations for up to 300 guests in banquet style in the heart of the city.

    Accompanying the luxurious setup, the wedding fair will converge a range of wedding services from the city’s leading wedding suppliers like the Tra Que studio, Sir Tailor wedding suit, Tung Vu bridal gowns and Louis Wu photography.

    The attendees will have chances to win round-trip air tickets sponsored by Vietnam Airlines to travel anywhere in Vietnam. The event will be co-organized by Bliss Wedding & Event, one of the top wedding planners in Vietnam.

    The SofitelSaigonPlaza is located on the historical tree-lined
    Le Duan Boulevard
    , in close proximity to the Notre Dame Cathedral, the ReunificationPalace and the Botanical-ZoologicalGarden.

    Fundraising concert organized for My Lai Peace Park 

     Hanoi urged to prioritise airport rail line, Research contest launched to improve labour policies, Thua Thien - Hue Museum receives over 260 antiques, Infamous poet’s 100th birthday marked in Hanoi
    An artist’s impression of My LaiPeacePark - PHOTO: COURTESY OF MY LAI PEACE FOUNDATION 

    My Lai Peace Foundation in coordination with HCMC Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) will organize the “Desire for Peace” concert at the HCMC Opera Theater on April 30, 2018, with an aim to raise funds for My LaiPeacePark project in QuangNgaiProvince.

    Starting from 7:30 p.m., the concert will feature some songs praising the love for the country such as Viet Nam Que Huong Toi (Vietnam, my country) by Do Nhuan, Tieng Goi Tu Long Dat (Sound from underground) by Pham Minh Tuan and Noi Vong Tay lon (The great circle of Vietnam) by Trinh Cong Son.

    My LaiPeacePark will cover 41 hectares near the Son My memorial site in Son Tinh District wherein 504 unarmed civilians were massacred in March 1968 in the midst of the Vietnam War. The project aims to commemorate the victims of the My Lai massacre and provide a public space for people to learn about the nation’s history and patriotism.

    The project requires an investment of VND348 billion (US$15.3 million) and is predicted to be complete in three to five years.

    My Lai Peace Foundation is a non-government and non-profit organization founded in late 2016. Its mission is to promote the cultural and educational development, heal war wounds and support the community in the Southcentral province of Quang Ngai.

    Driving schools focus on guaranteed pass instead of skills in HCM City


     Hanoi urged to prioritise airport rail line, Research contest launched to improve labour policies, Thua Thien - Hue Museum receives over 260 antiques, Infamous poet’s 100th birthday marked in Hanoi
    A man practices his driving skills in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre 

    Many driving schools in Ho Chi Minh City are focusing on offering guaranteed passing of driving tests instead of providing important knowledge for their learners.

    These centers often encourage learners to pay additional fees aside from tuition in return for guaranteed success in theory tests required for driver’s licenses.

    Those agreeing to pay for the easy exams are now facing an inevitable consequence as they find themselves lacking the necessary skills and knowledge to drive an automobile in real life.

    Nguyen Thanh Tung, who lives in Go Vap District, recalled paying VND4 million (US$176) for a driving course at a local training center.

    Tung was also told to give the facility another VND1.5 million (US$66) if he wanted to pass his theory test without having to actually study.

    After agreeing to the request, Tung found himself doing literally nothing during the exam.

    As the theory tests were computer-based, all of his answers were automatically completed, he said.

    Similar, Bui Thi Hoa, an office worker in the southern metropolis, said she had picked a VND5.5 million (US$242) training course to prepare for her driver’s license test.

    The course included 32 hours of practice and four theory lessons, as well as a 100% guaranteed pass, Hoa said.

    However, she was required to pay an additional VND2.9 million (US$128) for examination fees and necessary documents.

    If Hoa did not have time for the compulsory heath check-up, the center could also take care of that problem for just VND190,000 (US$8).

    After attaining her driver’s license, Hoa discovered that she did not have enough theoretical knowledge to drive an automobile.

    She often broke traffic laws and could not properly perform basic moves such as backing up or making a U-turn.

    Following repeated fines for her traffic violations, Hoa decided to study again by herself and ask a friend to help her practice driving.

    Meanwhile, Phan Quoc Bao, a resident in Phu Nhuan District, said he had been scammed by a driving school based in Thu Duc District.

    Bao was not given enough time for his practice, thus being unable to know how to drive at the end of the course.

    Replying to his complaint, an employee of the school asserted that they had fulfilled their responsibilities during the training course and suggested that Bao pay for another course if he fails his driving test.

    According to Tran Quoc Khanh, chief inspector of the municipal Department of Transport, the agency has received many reports regarding irregularities at local driving schools.

    The transport department is expected to work with other competent agencies to carry out comprehensive inspections at these facilities.

    If necessary, officers will also disguise as learners to detect violations, said Trinh Van Minh, deputy head of the office in charge of issuing driver’s licenses under the transport department.

    3 new vaccines to be used in national expanded vaccination programme


     Hanoi urged to prioritise airport rail line, Research contest launched to improve labour policies, Thua Thien - Hue Museum receives over 260 antiques, Infamous poet’s 100th birthday marked in Hanoi

    Khanh Hoa province braces for natural disasters


     Hanoi urged to prioritise airport rail line, Research contest launched to improve labour policies, Thua Thien - Hue Museum receives over 260 antiques, Infamous poet’s 100th birthday marked in Hanoi 

    The People’s Committee of the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa has ordered departments, branches and local authorities to carry out measures to respond to unusual weather patterns in 2018.

    Authorities at all levels should inspect and identify flood-risk and landslide-prone areas while setting up plans to evacuate local residents from regions that are affected by rising sea levels spurred by typhoons to safer places.

    Due attention must be paid to arranging relevant forces to enhance inspections and speed up measures preventing natural calamities in dangerous localities.

    In case of storms and tropical depressions, communal authorities should join hands with the border guards to grasp the exact number of aquatic breeding cages, fishing vessels and local fishermen who are operating offshore. Prompt support should be put in place for the fishermen.

    Training and rehearsals should be organised for relevant forces while stockpiling of essential items like food, fuel, medicine and water must be paid due attention.

    Khanh Hoa is currently home to nearly 30 reservoirs with total capacity of 250 million cubic metres, many of them have been degraded and pose great threats to local livelihoods. However, limited financial resources hamper repairs of the reservoirs.

    Relevant authorities are required to manage and give timely response in case the reservoirs break out.

    The provincial military high command is asked to set up rational search and rescue plan and help localities recover the aftermath of the disasters.

    Last year, storm Damrey, the 12th typhoon hitting Vietnam in the year, wreaked havocs on the coastline of Khanh Hoa province. It destroyed 302 homes and blew the roofs off nearly 25,500 others, including 8,759 in Nha Trang city, 5,800 in Van Ninh district and 7,173 in Khanh Vinh district. There was also extensive damage to 3,748 hectares of rice, 1,200 hectares of wheat, 1,119 hectares of other crops and over 35,000 aquatic cages.

    According to reports of localities and ministries, up to 27 of the deaths were in the province, where the centre of Damrey was recorded when the storm made landfall.

    High-rise residential buildings may not be allowed in urban centers

    The Government has tasked the Ministry of Transport to coordinate with relevant ministries, agencies and Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City to review 10-year implementation of the Resolution No. 16/2008/NQ-CP dated on July 31, 2008 on gradual reduction of traffic congestions in the two cities.

    Based on the review outcomes, the Ministry of Transport will develop a new resolution and submit to the Government before June 30 this year.

    The new resolution must include a series of solutions to ease pressure on the cities, including putting stop to construction of high-rise residential buildings in urban centers, the Government ordered.

    Alternative education approaches proving popular


     Hanoi urged to prioritise airport rail line, Research contest launched to improve labour policies, Thua Thien - Hue Museum receives over 260 antiques, Infamous poet’s 100th birthday marked in Hanoi

    Modern Montessori International (MMI), a Singaporean company specializing in early childhood education, opened its largest overseas pre-school campus at the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) in southern Binh Duong province in mid-2017. The new campus was built with initial investment of $2 million and is the company’s first in Vietnam directly owned by MMI Singapore. According to Mr. Steven Kho, Country Manager of MMI Vietnam, they intend to almost double student numbers to 170 by September.

    MMI Vietnam is one of many schools offering the Montessori method of education. For the past ten years, people in Vietnam have begun to refer to Montessori as a great educational method for children, especially those aged six years or less. A wide range of investment models for education in accordance with the new method have been developed at all levels to meet demand among parents. 

    Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. In traditional education, adults decide what children need to learn and the ability to retain and reproduce information is used as a measure of academic success. The teacher is the active provider of information and children are passive receivers. In Montessori classrooms, meanwhile, children make creative choices in their learning, while the classroom and the teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process.

    While parents in Hanoi know about Montessori schools such as SakuraMontessoriSchool, Sunrise Kids, and MONMontessoriSchool, those in Ho Chi Minh City are more familiar with Montessori International School of Vietnam, WonderKidsMontessoriSchool, and others. The method has also spread to other cities and provinces, such as Hai Phong, Binh Duong, Quang Ninh, and Thai Binh.

    Ms. Le Minh Trang, a 29-year-old in Hanoi’s Nam Tu Liem district, has a daughter studying at Sakura Montessori in the Dich Vong new urban area in Cau Giay district. “She is just over two years old but I can see she has become much more independent after studying at Sakura,” she said. “She likes to be independent rather than asking for my help, singing and reading poems she learned in class.”

    STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is also a popular education program in Vietnam at the higher education level. Its curricula are based on the idea of educating students in those four specific disciplines with an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications. 

    To develop the method, during the 2016-2017 academic year the British Council in Vietnam worked with the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) to implement a pilot project entitled “Applying the UK STEM Approach in the Vietnam Context in 2016-2017”. The project featured 15 State-owned and private secondary schools and high schools in five provinces in the north of Vietnam. Ms. Tran Phuong Nga, an eleventh grader at The Olympia School, one of the 15, said that when there is a problem that cannot be understood it is explained by experiments, as a way to inspire the students. “If you have the money, you can buy the materials to conduct the experiments,” she said. “And if you don’t have much money, you can take advantage of older equipment,” she said.

    On May 4 last year, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued a directive on tackling the challenges posed by Industry 4.0, including solutions for enhancing STEM education in high schools.

    Besides Montessori and STEM, another method providing knowledge in social sciences and soft skills training has also received a great deal of attention from parents and students in recent times. These life skills training centers, summer camps, and army training camps are well-suited and professionally-invested by the private sector and have attracted large numbers of students. For example, established in 2011, the AsiaPacificTalentYouthTrainingCenter (ATY) has conducted 438 major and minor programs, including military semesters and more intensive training such as Hi! Teacher, Teen Leadership Training, and Living Strong, among others. 

    Mr. Luong Dung Nhan, Deputy Director of Training at ATY, told VET that modern life significantly reduces the amount of time parents spend with their children, and children’s study time also accounts for a very high proportion of their lives. “This leads to a lack of opportunities for children to explore their own abilities, to understand and master their emotions, to handle the diverse needs of life,” he said. “This is the main reason we have introduced such programs.” 

    Education has always been given great importance in Vietnam and education development is listed among the top seven foreign investment promotion categories in the country. Demand for sending children to an international learning environment for a higher quality education is on the rise, making the market more attractive for investors. 

    Recent research from Taylor Nelson (TNS) showed that the highest expenditure by Vietnamese people is on education, accounting for 47 per cent of the total. Families are clearly increasing their investment in the education of their children, making the private education market quite robust. “Parents are now choosing private schools for their children because they want a greater choice of good education programs,” Ms. Nguyen Thi Kieu Oanh, Chairwoman of the CanadianInternationalSchool, told VET.

    Nearly 60 per cent of Vietnam’s population of some 95 million were under 35 years of age as at 2017. With more disposable income than in previous years, young Vietnamese, with the support of their parents, are eager to obtain the skills and knowledge required by employers. Companies, meanwhile, are taking advantage of this newly-skilled and highly-educated population.

    Mr. T Chandroo, CEO and Chairman of the MMI Group, told local media that the reason behind the expansion in Vietnam was the market’s enormous potential, with the ratio of the population aged below 35 promising current and future demand for early childhood education. “Rising income levels and growing affluence have also led to an increase in young professionals with higher purchasing power who wish to provide their children with the best learning opportunities,” he said.

    Investors can also find new opportunities from new government policy. Education institutions registered to operate for less than 20 years are no longer obliged to build their own facilities and are allowed to rent suitable schools, buildings or workshop areas for at least five years. Investors are also allowed to expand their brand by opening other campuses in the same city or elsewhere.

    It’s also worth noting that Vietnam remains one of the best destinations for foreign investment in Southeast Asia. In an interview with local media, Ms. Tran Thi Phi Yen, Executive Director of the IvyPrep Institute, offering pre-university training under US standards in Vietnam, said the country’s political stability and economic growth are behind the increasing investment in education. “The capital businesses invest in the sector is still modest compared to other sectors, so education is a fertile market for investors seeking opportunities,” she said.

    Figures provided by the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency show that Vietnam had attracted some $761.4 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) via 386 projects in the education and training sector as at February. Demand for a high-quality education is reaching new heights, providing favorable opportunities for foreign investors to enter the market. 

    Education is an attractive sector for investment in Vietnam given the country is in need of international-standard learning environments. Though programs like Montessori, STEM and others are quite attractive, they must address a host of challenges, including the fact that they’re a new concept. 

    Mr. Nhan from ATY said that while there are many new programs available, the number of students attending is still low, due to educational models like military semesters being extracurricular activities that can only be attended during the student’s free time. 

    Fees are also a matter of concern. “I have two children. My family’s monthly income is about VND30 million ($1,300), so all our spending must be carefully calculated,” said Ms. Trang. Monthly pre-school fees at MMI Vietnam are around $600, for example, which are out of reach for most middle-income families. 

    Though investors can find new opportunities offered by new government policy, there are also some legal issues that need to be considered. According to Decree No. 73/2012ND-CP, dated November 15, 2012, only foreign children can attend international pre-schools. Vietnamese children under five years old are not allowed to enjoy any form of general education provided by foreign investors. Regarding teacher qualifications, the decree stipulates that foreign teachers must have at least five years of experience before they can teach at Vietnamese education institutions or at foreign-invested schools, colleges and universities.

    VNN


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  • 04/30/18--07:41: Article 0
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 29/4


    VN firms cosy up to Asia-Pacific partners 

     Vinafood II starts trading on UPCoM, VN firms cosy up to Asia-Pacific partners, Foreign-invested firms’ disbursement up 7.2 percent, Steel sector has potential for 22% growth, Sotrans to cancel listing on HOSE 
     
    Vietnamese enterprises must band together with their Asia-Pacific partners for stronger growth.

    Said conclusion was reached at yesterday’s conference on strengthening the connection and partnership between Viet Nam’s firms and members of the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI).

    Speaking at the conference, Doan Duy Khuong, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s Vice Chairman, appreciated the important cooperation between the VCCI and the CACCI, and between Viet Nam and regional countries.

    Khuong emphasised the importance of such regional collaboration, especially in the context of increasing international economic integration.

    Jemal Inaishvili, President of the CACCI, noted the Vietnamese business community’s effort in recent years, with significant economic development progress.

    He believed such growth has demonstrated the government’s efforts to create a smooth and favourable business environment for both local and international firms.

    Seeing how the Asia-Pacific region can be considered the largest consumer market in the world with a multitude of rising powers such as Japan, China and South Korea, and a total GDP accounting for 60 per cent of the world’s, the area is full of potential, added Khuong.

    He also mentioned that since the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), cooperation with major economies and markets would soon be virtually unlimited for Vietnamese businesses, in order for them to accelerate operations, trade, while gaining access to advanced production technology and improved management and administration.

    Coupled with collaboration from Asia-Pacific’s enterprises, Khuong was certain that Viet Nam’s firms will gain competitiveness and the whole economy will be significantly improved.

    Organised by the VCCI, yesterday’s event aimed to create a bridge between and to help both sides’ businesses find suitable cooperation and investment opportunities.

    At the same time, the VCCI hoped to reach out to senior members of CACCI’s, one of the largest organisations representing the Asia-Pacific region’s business community.

    The event was part of Inaishvili’s visit to Viet Nam, along with over 30 representatives from CACCI’s member corporations, most notably from Australia, India and Nepal, specialising in textile, garment, cosmetics, consumer goods, food distribution and processing, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, industrial products distribution, construction, IT, and tourism.

    Inaishvili expressed his wish to invite representatives from the VCCI and other Vietnamese business delegations to join the CACCI Summit later this year in Istanbul, Turkey.

    Earlier in April, VCCI had worked with the CACCI and the General Department of Customs of Vietnam on a project to update the 2010 Incoterms, or International Commercial Terms, and a 2020 draft, in order to update and discuss previous experiences and mistakes in the fields of import, export, insurance, banking and finance.

    Construction begins on TAFiCO’s second production line
       
    Fico Tay Ninh Cement Joint Stock Company (TAFiCO) started construction of the second production line of Tay Ninh cement plant in the southern province of Tay Ninh on Tuesday.

    Located in Cay Cay hamlet in Tan Hoa Commune, Tan Chau District, the plant’s second phase has a total investment of some VND4.8 trillion, covering an area of 11.5ha. The construction work includes mining of raw material and grinding of cement and other supporting items.

    According to TAFiCO’s leaders, the second production line uses advanced European technology, including a clinker kiln with a designed capacity of 4,000 tonnes of cement per day, equivalent to 1.26 million tonnes per year (capable of upgrading to 5,000 tonnes per day) and a cement grinding mill with a capacity of one million tonne per year.

    The project is expected to be completed in 2021, taking the total annual production capacity of TAFiCO to over three million tonnes of clinker and 4.5 million tonnes of cement.

    Advanced technology will allow the production line to use a variety of solid and liquid fuels and produce new types of cement to meet the increasing demand for construction.

    To meet the goal of sustainable development and environmental protection, the second line integrates a power generation system utilising the residual heat of the entire plant, reducing electricity consumption and dust emissions. The clinker kiln is capable of processing various types of waste.

    TAFiCO aims to become one of the leading cement companies in Viet Nam in the next five years by investing in human resources, optimising operational efficiency, expanding the market and building trust with partners and customers.

    Deputy Minister of Construction Bui Pham Khanh underlined the necessity to use resources optimally and asked TAFiCO to work closely with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment along with local authorities to protect the environment and ensure the health of people in the area.

    At the commencement ceremony, TAFiCO donated VND1.05 billion to the Social Security Program of Tan Chau and Duong Minh Chau districts and VND300 million to support the “Fund for the Poor” in Tay Ninh Province.

    Duong Van Thang, vice chairman of TayNinhProvince’s People’s Committee, acknowledged and praised TAFiCO’s achievements in production and business activities as well as its contribution to local budgets and community development in the past.

    Maybank Kim Eng Securities ups capital
       
    Maybank Kim Eng Securities Limited has added US$10 million to its charter capital to VND1.06 trillion ($46.38 million).

    John Chong, CEO of Maybank Kim Eng Group, said the decision to hike the capital is in line with Maybank Kim Eng Group’s business strategy and clearly demonstrates the firm’s long-term commitment in Viet Nam.

    Viet Nam is one of the fastest growing economies in the region and a key component of Maybank Kim Eng’s ASEAN strategy.

    “Being the first 100 per cent foreign-owned securities company in Viet Nam, we are deeply invested here; we strongly believe in the potential of the country’s economy and want to ensure that its capital markets continue to grow.”

    Kim Thien Quang, CEO of Maybank Kim Eng Vietnam (MKEV), said: “Since we started our operations in Viet Nam in December 2007 with a charter capital of only VND200 billion, we have increased our capital four times and by more than 400 per cent.

    “This additional capital will give us a strong foundation to enhance our competitiveness and increase our product offerings. In particular, with a capital of more than a trillion dong, we will now be able to enter a new market to offer covered warrants."

    The company has had a successful first decade, he said.

    “To maintain our leading position, we will continue to focus on strengthening our retail brokerage, particularly online brokerage.

    “Currently 86 per cent of our brokerage transactions are via online trading. Our target is to grow it to 90 per cent. We are also looking to grow our institutional brokerage by tapping on MKE Group’s regional footprint and strong presence in ASEAN.

    “As the gateway to ASEAN, we will continue to give Viet Nam’s corporates access to global investors, and bring global investors to Viet Nam.”

    Masan Group shareholders approve ambitious sales targets
       
    Shareholders of the Masan Group Corporation approved many ambitious targets for 2018 at the company’s annual general meeting on Tuesday.

    The company expects to achieve revenues of between VND45.15 trillion (US$1.99 billion) and VND 47 trillion ($2.07 billion) this year, over 20 per cent higher than last year.

    The net profit after tax attributable to equity holders of the company is targeted to increase by 55-85 per cent to VND3.4-4 trillion ($149.8-176.2 million).

    Speaking at the meeting, the company’s chairman, Nguyen Dang Quang, said the ambitious goals had been set based on the positive results achieved last year and in the first quarter of this year thanks to changes in business strategies.

    Last year the corporation’s after-tax profit attributable to equity holders was VND3.103 trillion, a year-on-year increase of 11.1 per cent.

    In the first quarter of this year, though net revenues remained at a rather steady VND8.274 trillion, EBITDA rose by 39.9 per cent year-on-year to VND2.606 trillion.

    The net profit attributable to equity holders increased by 3.4 times to VND816 billion during the period.

    To achieve those results, Quang said member companies had made several drastic changes to their business strategies, and cited Masan Consumer as a typical example.

    He said the company stopped trade promotions and spent the first half of the year clearing out stocks with distributors and retailers.

    The company started communicating to customers again by revitalising power brands through effective communication, and scaled up its technological platform so as to be able to track inventories with distributors, he said.

    “More importantly, we stopped wasting our time reading market research and guessing what out consumers want and need, and spent most of our time in the field and market to understand first-hand out consumers’ big unmet needs instead.”

    To realise the double digit growth targets set for this year and the years to come, member companies of Masan Group would continue their own renovation strategies, he said.

    Indeed, Masan Resources would seek strategic partnerships to accelerate transformation from a ‘miner’ into a value-added, global downstream tungsten industrial player, he revealed.

    This would de-risk the business and enable the company to produce stronger cash flows across commodity cycles, he said. Its turnover is projected to be VND8 trillion this year.

    Masan Nutri-Science seeks to focus on increasing the diversity of products made to meet the demand of consumers at home and abroad, to expand its market share and, together with the Masan Group, to achieve US$10 billion in turnover and $800 million in pre-tax profit by 2020.

    Techcombank’s strategic plan this year is to further invest in technology in order to offer its services to everyone. This investment is expected to position the bank to grow efficiently for the foreseeable future on the back of financial inclusion.

    At the meeting, Masan executives said the company had earned VND1 trillion from selling Techcombank stocks before the bank launched initiative offerings, and explained that it had sold the stocks because the corporation’s ownership rate at the bank must be reduced from 31 per cent to under 20 per cent as required by the State Bank of Viet Nam.

    Masan shareholders also approved several other important proposals, one of which was an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) for staff of the company and its subsidiaries to recognise their contributions last year.

    The money raised from the issuance will be used to increase charter capital, for business requirements and supplementing working capital.

    Other proposals like payment of dividends to shareholders for 2018, making certain amendments to the Company’s Charter and issuance of internal regulations on corporate governance were also approved by shareholders.

    Masan said it also plans to develop healthcare products through the acquisition of companies in the industry.

    Honeywell opens first Asian cyber-security centre in Singapore
       
    US-based technology company Honeywell opened its first industrial cyber-security centre of excellence in Asia at Singapore’s ChangiBusinessPark on April 25.

    The centre has been developed with the support of Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and is designed to help defend the region’s industrial manufacturers against evolving cyber-security threats.

    “The only way manufacturers can reap the benefits of digital transformation, such as increased uptime and reduced maintenance, is to make sure their industrial environments are cyber secure,” said Jeff Zindel, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Industrial Cyber Security.

    “Today marks another important step forward in Honeywell’s leadership in industrial cyber security, further strengthening our ability to secure and protect assets, operations and people. The centre’s state-of-the-art capabilities and managed security services improve cyber security protection, detection, management and response for customers, which are key enablers for successful digital transformation in the industrial sector,” Zindel said.

    The cyber-security centre will be used to conduct proprietary research, develop new security technologies, provide hands-on training and certifications as well as test and validate actual solutions deployed at customer sites. In addition to serving as a research and development lab, it will also deliver managed security services to help customers reduce the risk of security breaches and proactively improve their security posture. These services include continuous security and performance monitoring and alerting, threat detection and risk management, security device management and incident response with 24-hour expert support throughout the year.

    “Cyber security is vital not just for the technology industry, but also our industrial sector and critical infrastructure, which are being increasingly digitalised,” said Gian Yi-Hsen, executive director, cities, infrastructure and industrial solutions, EDB.

    “We are excited that Honeywell has chosen Singapore as the base for its new industrial cyber-security centre to leverage our world-class infrastructure and vibrant talent pool to develop security innovations and reinforce the security within the industrial space.”

    The centre is the third Honeywell facility of its kind in the world. Earlier this year, the company had opened a new centre in Dubai to serve customers in the Middle East and Europe. Honeywell’s initial cyber-security centre is located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.

    Starting operations in Viet Nam in 2005, with offices in Ha Noi and HCM City, Honeywell provides cutting-edge technologies and solutions in the fields of aerospace, home and building technologies, safety and productivity solutions and performance material and technologies. Technologies from Honeywell UOP are being used in PetroVietnam’s Dung Quat and Nghi Son Refinery plants, Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific and Vietjet Air as well as in several universities in Viet Nam.


    Vinafood II starts trading on UPCoM

    Vinafood II was officially started trading on unlisted public company market (UPCoM) and registered to list 114.8 million shares with the code VSF, yesterday.

    Reference price on the first trading day was VND 10,100 per share, yesterday.

    In 2018, Vinafood II said it plans to speed up trade promotion program to food products, exploit large-scale trade markets such as China and Africa.

    Vinafood II’s representative affirmed this year sees its strong demand for exports.

    As per plan, Vinafood II will try the diversification of rice export markets, not to depend on the existing ones.

    It targets to reach post-tax revenue of VND 5,127 million and dividend payout ratio at 1.9 percent.

    Trade promotion programmes improved to boost exports

    The Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) will enhance supervision over the implementation of trade promotion programmes to improve their efficiency and provide training to associations and local agencies in organising trade promotion activities.

    Trade promotion programmes helped generate more than 200 billion USD from exporting goods and commodities in 2017, according to Vietrade.

    At a conference in Hanoi on April 24 on promoting Vietnam’s exports in 2018, Vu Ba Phu, Director of Vietrade said in 2017, for the first time, Vietnam’s exports surpassed 200 billion USD.

    The country earned more than 214 billion USD from exporting goods and commodities, up 21.2 percent compared to 2016.

    “Increased export had significantly contributed to growth of  Gross Domestic Product, improving trade balance, stabilizing the macro-economy, fostering production while creating jobs and incomes for millions laborers,” Phu said.

    “Developing the domestic market was also important, with trade promotion programmes organised in border, mountainous and remote areas in line with the campaign of Vietnamese prioritizing Vietnamese goods.”

    The national trade promotion programme helped export companies to enter new markets of significant potential and expand exports to major markets.

    Vietrade’s 2017 statistics showed that exports to ASEAN markets rose by 24.2 percent, reaching 21.68 billion USD. It saw a surge of 61.5 percent to 35.46 billion USD in China, and a rise of 14.8 percent to 16.8 billion USD in Japan.

    At the forum, the delegates were oriented to focus on two key export groups, including agro-forestry-fishery with the focus on cocoa and cassava, and industrial products with the focus on garment and textile and steel products.

    Besides expanding new markets, exporters were advised to work to improve the quality of Vietnamese goods.

    Vietnam earned 55.56 billion USD from exports in the first quarter of this year, a rise of 24.8 percent year on year.

    Maybank Kim Eng Securities increases capital

    Maybank Kim Eng Securities Limited has added 10 million USD to its charter capital to 1.06 trillion VND (46.38 million USD) in Vietnam.

    John Chong, CEO of Maybank Kim Eng Group, said the decision to hike the capital is in line with Maybank Kim Eng Group’s business strategy and clearly demonstrates the firm’s long-term commitment in Vietnam.

    Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in the region and a key component of Maybank Kim Eng’s ASEAN strategy.

    “Being the first 100 percent foreign-owned securities company in Vietnam, we are deeply invested here; we strongly believe in the potential of the country’s economy and want to ensure that its capital markets continue to grow.”

    Kim Thien Quang, CEO of Maybank Kim Eng Vietnam (MKEV), said: “Since we started our operations in Vietnam in December 2007 with a charter capital of only 200 billion VND, we have increased our capital four times and by more than 400 percent.

    “This additional capital will give us a strong foundation to enhance our competitiveness and increase our product offerings. In particular, with a capital of more than a trillion dong, we will now be able to enter a new market to offer covered warrants."

    The company has had a successful first decade, he said.

    “To maintain our leading position, we will continue to focus on strengthening our retail brokerage, particularly online brokerage.

    “Currently 86 percent of our brokerage transactions are via online trading. Our target is to grow it to 90 percent. We are also looking to grow our institutional brokerage by tapping on MKE Group’s regional footprint and strong presence in ASEAN.

    “As the gateway to ASEAN, we will continue to give Vietnam’s corporates access to global investors, and bring global investors to Vietnam.”

    Hoa Phat Dung Quat steel complex to be operational in Q3

    The process of the Hoa Phat Dung Quat iron and steel production complex project is on schedule with the first line expected to be operational in the third quarter of this year, meeting demands of the central and southern regions. 

    According to Hoa Phat Group, other items are projected to be completed from the fourth quarter of this year to 2019. It aims to put both phases of the project into a trial run in late 2019.

    By the end of the first quarter of 2018, Hoa Phat Group reported revenue of 13 trillion VND (572 million USD), and a post-tax profit of 2.2 trillion VND (96.8 million USD), up 25 percent and 14 percent year-on-year, respectively. The steel sector remained the driver of Hoa Phat during the reviewed period, the group said.

    The busy construction market in the first months helped Hoa Phat grow nearly 10 percent against the corresponding time last year, with an output of 542,000 tonnes. With the yield, the group has maintained its leading position in the domestic construction steel sector with its market share exceeding 24 percent.

    Between January and March, the group exported 73,000 tonnes of steel sheets, a rise of 40 percent year-on-year, earning more than 42 million USD. Its major markets included Australia, ASEAN member nations, the US and Canada.

    Of note, Hoa Phat Group has shipped wire-drawing steel to the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Laos for the first time.

    Other products like interiors, refrigeration and building equipment have also maintained their market shares.

    In the sphere of real estate, the group is speeding up the hand-over of its Mandarin Garden 2 housing project and Hoa Phat 70 Nguyen Duc Canh apartment building, and infrastructure projects at several industrial parks.

    Thanks to its outstanding performance, Hoa Phat has been named in the list of the strongest Vietnamese brand names, and taken the lead among the top ten prestigious construction material businesses in the country.

    Foreign-invested firms’ disbursement up 7.2 percent

    Foreign-invested enterprises disbursed 3.88 billion USD in the first quarter this year, up 7.2 percent annually, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Foreign Investment Agency (FIA).

    The country attracted 618 newly-licensed projects with registered capital of 2.12 billion USD, up 25.4 percent in volume, proving that Vietnam remains attractive to foreign investors.

    Among 76 countries and territories investing in Vietnam in the first quarter, the Republic of Korea took the lead with 1.84 billion USD, accounting for 31.6 percent of the total. Hong Kong (China) ranked second with a registered capital of roughly 689 million USD, equivalent to 11.9 percent while Singapore poured 649 million USD, or 11.2 percent, coming third.

    FDI firms invested in 19 out of 21 sectors, mostly in manufacturing and processing with 188.52 billion USD (58.5 percent). It was followed by real estate with 53.56 billion USD (16.6 percent) and electricity, gas and water supply with 21 billion USD (6.5 percent).

    Their projects now cover all the 63 cities and provinces nationwide. Ho Chi Minh City attracted the most FDI with 44.25 billion USD, accounting for 13.7 percent of the total. The southern province of Binh Duong came next with 30.67 billion USD (9.5 percent), followed by Hanoi with 27.69 billion USD (8.6 percent). However, these figures do not project a declining investment flow into the country in 2018.

    According to economists, there were 618 newly-licensed projects during the period, up 25.4 percent in volume but down 27.3 percent in value. At the same time, 199 projects registered additional capital of over 1.78 billion USD, down 54.6 percent annually. The total newly-licensed and additional capital topped 3.9 billion USD, down 43 percent year-on-year.

    A survey by the General Statistics Office indicated that 33 percent of businesses performed better in the first quarter while 24.6 percent met difficulties and 42.4 percent enjoyed stable production and trade.

    It is forecast that 55.7 percent of firms will be opportunistic about their performance, 10.4 percent will face obstacles and 33.9 percent operate stably in the second quarter.

    A representative from the Centre for Japanese Investment Promotion in Ho Chi Minh City has lauded improvements in e-government system, food sample inspection, and risk management in customs clearance stations.

    Deputy head of the Health Ministry’s Vietnam Food Administration Le Van Giang said the Vietnamese government drastically asked agencies concerned to not cause difficulties for enterprises while refining e-government system from the grassroots to central level, towards improving the business climate for domestic and foreign firms.

    Steel sector has potential for 22% growth
       
    Viet Nam’s steel industry has high potential to reach a production growth rate of 22 per cent and expand export markets this year.

    However, this will be possible only if it overcomes difficulties such as trade defence lawsuits and high imports, according to the Viet Nam Steel Association (VSA).

    The sector faced 30 trade defence lawsuits from other countries in 2017, many of which have continued into 2018.

    These include anti-dumping cases for cold-rolled stainless steel, steel plates and H-shaped steel as well as trade defence cases related to pig iron, long steel and colour-coated steel sheet.

    By March 2018, Viet Nam had exported 446,000 tonnes of steel products for US$321 million, up 38 per cent in volume and 63 per cent in value compared to the same period last year.

    The quality of Vietnamese steel has met the demand of choosy markets, such as the United States, Australia and Europe, rising to top position in regional and world markets.

    However, in the first few months of 2018, Viet Nam imported 1.2 million tonnes of steel worth $808 million, a drop of 5 per cent in volume and an increase of 22 per cent in value.

    VSA Vice President Nguyen Van Sua said despite a fall in imports and rise in exports, the volume of imported steel remained high.

    According to him, the domestic steel industry was still dependent on imports as the domestic production process was yet to be synchronised, along with low capacity in producing steel for the mechanical manufacturing sector. Meanwhile, domestic firms are unable to produce many input material products, such as hot-rolled steel and pig iron, thus making production slow and expensive.

    With the recent market recovery and extensive economic integration, especially the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the upcoming signing of the free trade agreement between Viet Nam and the European Union, the Vietnamese steel sector has the opportunity to expand markets, making the growth target of more than 20 per cent feasible.

    But the fact is when Viet Nam increases steel exports, the import market will strengthen trade defence measures.

    Tran Tuan Duong, general director of Hoa Phat Group, said Vietnamese firms should maintain the domestic market, while for export activities, they should adhere to the regulations of free trade agreements and actively cooperate with other countries when faced with anti-dumping lawsuits to avoid losing markets or paying high taxes.

    According to Duong, market protection solutions are not enough and businesses themselves should enhance their competitiveness and make use of all opportunities for development.

    A representative of the Viet Nam Steel Corporation said obstacles to exports mostly came from trade barriers and defence measures of importing countries. Therefore, the corporation would continue to improve efficiency in production and business by enhancing market forecasts and having flexible production and business activities according to market development.

    Despite the lack of capacity and experience, Vietnamese firms could still fight trade defence in the context of integration, the representative said.

    VSA highlighted the need for cooperation with countries in the face of trade defence problems, along with the development of professional teams to deal with investigation and data gathering to protect steel firms in domestic and foreign markets.

    PM calls for new measures to boost exports
       
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has affirmed that having more control over the market will help the Vietnamese economy in the long run.

    He made the statement during a national conference in Ha Noi on Monday, hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, while discussing comprehensive measures to boost exports.

    The PM said that successful countries and businesses considered the world as a market that they could exploit to expand their reaches, and thus they sought ways to improve their competitiveness.

    The domestic market, with a population of more than 90 million, was important, but it was necessary to look at the global market to achieve sustainable growth, he said.

    The leader noted that while administrative procedures had improved, they remained below international standards. He expressed his wish to listen to policy feedback from localities and associations, in order to increase the value of exported commodities, and make it easier for Vietnamese firms to join the global value chain.

    He underscored the need to update Vietnamese exporters about market information and legal regulations abroad, as well as potential opportunities and risks, and orientations to manufacturing and exports.

    Ministers, alongside leaders of localities, are to be required to look towards exports to contribute to sustainable growth. Based on public feedback, the PM will issue a directive on measures to boost manufacturing and exports.

    At the conference, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said the country’s exports grew by 15.8 per cent last year, exclusive of cell phones, computers and electronic spare parts.

    In 2017, there were four new items that recorded export revenue of over US$1 billion, bringing the total number of items to 29. The number of items with an export revenue of over $2 billion was 20, while eight had an export revenue of over $6 billion.

    Exported products of the processing industry continued to play an important role in export growth, accounting for more than 81 per cent of total exports, up sharply from 61 per cent in 2011. The proportion of agricultural and aquatic products decreased to 12.1 per cent. Meanwhile, export of crude, coal, petrol and minerals accounted for just 2 per cent of total export turnover.

    “The export market was also expanded toward diversification and multilateralisation, especially for industrial goods,” Tuan Anh said.

    In 2017, the US market accounted for 20.6 per cent of exports of industrial goods, the European Union (EU) market accounted for 17.6 per cent, while China, Japan and South Korea combined accounted for close to 30 per cent.

    The leader of the MoIT said that local firms had made good use of opportunities from integration.

    Exports to countries that have signed free trade agreements with Viet Nam recorded high growth rate in 2017, such as ASEAN, increasing by 24.2 per cent to $21.68 billion. Exports to China were up by 61.5 per cent to $35.46 billion, while Japan climbed by 14.8 per cent to $16.8 billion and South Korea surged by 30 per cent to $14.8 billion.

    The localisation rate in export products was also gradually improved. For example, in the textile sector, the localisation rate increased from15-17 per cent in 2000 to over 50 per cent in 2017.

    However, Tuan Anh said exports still predominantly relied on foreign-invested enterprises, which contributed over 70 per cent of the country’s total export value, up 23 per cent against 2016.

    Though tariffs have been removed, Viet Nam’s farm produce such as milk, pork, fruits and vegetables still find it hard to enter foreign markets, he said.

    The MoIT proposed three major measures to sustainably step up exports, including restructuring agriculture, closely controlling supply, and gradually improving the quality of agricultural and aquatic products.

    It will also work to maintain stable export markets, improve the efficiency of trade promotion, and cope with trade defence and protectionism that are not in line with international commitments.

    At the same time, the ministry will step up institutional reform, refine legal corridors for export activities, accelerate administrative reform, and clear barriers to payment and credit to ensure there is sufficient capital for manufacturing and export, the minister added.

    BIDV plans to raise chartered capital by 28% this year
       
    The Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BIDV) has proposed a plan to its shareholders to increase its chartered capital this year by 28 per cent, compared to the end of 2017.

    In the plan which was unveiled at the bank’s annual general shareholder meeting on April 21, BIDV proposes to add VND9.45 trillion (US$418.2 million) to its chartered capital, so the figure would reach VND43.65 trillion by the end of 2018.

    Specifically, BIDV will issue 965 million ordinary shares with a face value of VND10,000 per share. Of the total, more than 171 million shares will be sold to the public through an initial public offering or private placement, 603.3 million shares to be sold to foreign strategic investors under private placement, and over 171 million shares sold under the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

    The increase in chartered capital is part of BIDV’s plan to increase its equity to meet the minimum capital adequacy requirement set by the State Bank of Viet Nam, which is aligned with Basel II.

    The move is also expected to help the bank improve the credit rating results of international institutions, enhance prestige in its business operations, and improve its financial capacity and competitiveness, in both domestic and international markets.

    Also, the bank commits to use added capital in the business areas of BIDV, with reasonable guidance to ensure the capital is used with efficiency and maximises benefits to shareholders.

    Regarding the profit distribution plan in 2017, the Board of Directors has submitted to shareholders to approve the cash dividend payment plan at the rate of 7 per cent. The total amount of dividends is nearly VND2.4 trillion. The remuneration of the Board of Directors and Board of Supervisors in 2018 will be, at maximum, 0.44 per cent of the profit after tax in 2018.

    In 2018, BIDV sets the target of credit growth of up to 17 per cent; before-tax profits of VND9.3 trillion; a bad debt ratio below 2 per cent; and a dividend payout ratio is expected to range from 5 to 7 per cent.

    At the meeting, BIDV General Director Phan Duc Tu said that in 2017, BIDV continued to be the market leader, maintaining its position and market share in the industry. Accordingly, its total assets reached over VND1.2 quadrillion, up 19.5 per cent, compared to 2016. Total deposits of the bank reached VND 1.12 quadrillion, up 19.7 per cent over the beginning of the year.

    The consolidated profit before tax was VND8.6 trillion, up 13 per cent year on year, exceeding the target set by the General Meeting of Shareholders in 2017, with a return on assets reaching 0.63 per cent and a return on equity (ROE) of 5 per cent.

    Sotrans to cancel listing on HOSE
       
    South Logistics Joint Stock Company (Sotrans) will cancel its listing on HCM Stock Exchange and move to the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) by the end of this year.

    This was revealed at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in HCMCity on Monday.

    Since December 2017, two largest shareholders of Sotrans – Viet Nam Electrical Equipment Joint Stock Corporation and Indo Trans Logistics Corporation (ITL) – have increased their holdings to over 88 per cent of Sotrans’ charter capital.

    As per the regulation of HCM Stock Exchange, Sotrans’ shares, traded with the code STG, are no longer eligible to be listed on the southern exchange because the total number of voting shares held by non-large shareholders fall below the required threshold of 20 per cent.

    “We will terminate the listing after one year as per regulation, so around December this year, Sotrans will cancel the listing and transfer to UPCoM,” a representative of Sotrans said at the meeting.

    ITL now has 28.4 million shares, equivalent to 33.28 per cent of Sotrans’ capital. The company wants to lift its ownership rate here.

    Sotrans has submitted a plan to faciliate ITL’s share purchase to increase its holding here to a maximum of 43.2 per cent without having to make a public tender offer. The plan will be implemented after receiving shareholders’ approval.

    Sotrans’ shares are being traded at some VND20,600 (US$0.90) per share on HCM Stock Exchange. ITL is expected to spend some VND176 billion for the planned purchase. Transactions will be carried out via order matching or put-through methods.

    UPCoM is a minor stock exchange under the management of Ha Noi Stock Exchange with lower requirements for listing standards or information disclosure. With more listing of State-owned enterprises after equitisation, the market’s profile has risen significantly, with over 730 listed companies.

    Sotrans’ business improved last year with total sales of VND1.46 trillion, up by 115 per cent year-on-year, thanks to the launch of the Phu My warehouse project and development of a new agent system.

    Its consolidated net profit reached VND521.3 trillion, 4.7 times higher than 2016.

    The company has decided to pay dividends at the rate of 15 per cent in the form of stocks. It will finalise the shareholders list for the payout in May.

    It has targeted a revenue growth of 12 per cent in 2018 to earn VND1.66 trillion, but the net profit is projected at just VND171.4 billion, down 67 per cent from 2017, due to the absence of large dividend earnings like in 2017.

    Q2 earnings, high dividend will attract investors
       
    Listed companies with positive second-quarter earning prospects, as well as high dividend payment, are likely to attract investors in the future, after the effect of the Q1 result has cooled.

    In the latter half of April, over 20 companies will finalise the lists of shareholders for cash dividend payout at the rate of 5 per cent to 35 per cent. Many companies have seen their share prices soar in recent sessions.

    Vnsteel – Vicasa Joint Stock Company, which trades shares on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) under the code VCA, will pay cash dividend at a rate of 30 per cent on May 15.

    After the dividend announcement, the shares climbed over 20 per cent from VND16,400 per share on April 11 to VND20,000 (US$0.88) per share on April 16 before falling to nearly VND19,000 by the end of last week. The steel shares were also among the most active stocks on the market thanks to a surge in demand.

    The increase of cash dividend to 24 per cent, a half rise compared to the old rate of 16 per cent, also helped boost shares of Tuong An Vegetable Oil Joint Stock Company (TAC). Its 2017 net profit result was also good at VND166 billion, up 98 per cent against last year.

    TAC price rose 12 per cent in one week, from VND53,500 per share on April 12 to VND59,800 each on April 20.

    Earlier, shares of Ben Tre Aquaproduct Import and Export Joint Stock Company (ABT) also increased from VND36,000 per share in early April to VND38,500 on April 16 before falling to around VND37,000, after the company reported good business results and a dividend rate of 30 per cent for 2017.

    According to statistics from the two main stock exchanges in HCMCity and Ha Noi, listed businesses on these two exchanges have enjoyed profit growth in the six consecutive quarters ending December 2017.

    Growth expanded across almost all sectors thanks to favourable macroeconomic conditions, low lending rates, as well as rising consumer demand.

    Such encouraging results have already reflected in their share price increases from last year. The sectors with the highest investment returns included financial services, real estate and banking.

    As the effect of Q1 earnings has faded, many analysts have predicted that Q2 prospects will have a stronger impact on share prices in the coming time, especially in the latter half of the second quarter.

    According to Bao Viet Securities Company (BVSC), promising sectors in the medium term include banking, real estate, information technology and thermal power. Many of these businesses reported good results in the first quarter.

    However, BVSC’s analysts have also warned that positive earnings impact may be modest, and risk is rising as many shares in these sectors have seen a prolonged rally.

    Nawaplastic acquires majority interest in Binh Minh Plastics

    Nawaplastic Industry Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Thailand's SCG, has completed the purchase of an additional 185,970 shares in Binh Minh Plastics JSC (BMP), taking the Thai investor closer to dominating BMP.

    Notably, the transactions were conducted on April 6-9. After the deal, Nawaplastic increased its holdings in BMP to from 19.89 to 50.12 per cent, equalling over 41 million shares, according to Bizlive.

    At the date of the transactions BMP’s shares were valued at VND70,900 ($3.11), thus, Nawaplastic spent approximately VND11 billion ($483,115) on the deal.

    The deal is part of Nawaplastic’s plan to buy an additional 818,000 BMP shares to increase its holding to 50.89 per cent. The transactions are expected to occur between April 4 and May 3 this year.

    Thus, by May 3, the Thai investor will buy the remaining 630,000 shares.

    If the plan comes true, Nawaplastic will secure its hold in BMP, although it has already achieved a majority interest.

    Previously, Nawaplastic bought 99.9 per cent of the shares BMP offered at an auction organised on March 9.

    According to information published by the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HSX), two investors joined the auction: Nawaplastic and a domestic individual. As a result, Nawaplastic spent approximately VND2.329 trillion ($102.33 million) buying 24.139 million of the 24.159 million shares on offer at the initial price of VND96,500 ($4.24).

    Nawaplastic, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Thai Plastic and Chemicals PCL (TPC), specialises in manufacturing and distributing PVC.

    Through the acquisitions in BMP and Tien Phong Plastic, Nawaplastic would seize their advantages in manufacturing and distribution systems as well as their brands to realise SCG and Nawaplastic’s target to control the construction materials market in Vietnam.

    Vietnam vegetable and fruit exporters heavily reliant on China

     Vietnam’s vegetable and fruit exporters are increasingly dependent on China as the neighboring country accounts for 77.3% of their shipments this year, up from 73.6%  last year, news website Vneconomy reports.

    Vegetable and fruit exports in the first three months of this year generated revenue of US$649.6 million, up 54.3% year-on-year. China was the biggest importer of Vietnamese vegetables and fruits with US$502.1 million, up 62.1% against the year-ago period.

    The U.S., Vietnam’s second largest vegetable and fruit importer, purchased US$18.4 million worth of vegetables and fruits from Vietnam. Japan came in third with US$17.4 million.

    South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and the Netherlands are also in the top ten list of Vietnam’s vegetable and fruit importers.

    In related news, as from April 1 Vietnamese vegetable and fruit shipments bound for Guangxi province of China are made traceable.  A representative of the Ministry of Industry and Trade said the new rule would help ensure food safety for customers.

    Danang eyes sustainable tourism development

    The central coast city of Danang has drawn up a plan to maintain the competitiveness of its tourism services and ensure the sustainable development of the sector.

    Tran Chi Cuong, deputy director of the Danang Department of Tourism, said the plan would include bolstering cooperation between Danang and its two neighboring provinces, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam.

    Cuong said the city would ask the central Government to adopt preferential policies for the three localities to further develop tourism.

    The city government will work with the Vietnam Tourism Association and other tourism management organizations in the city to carry out promotion programs, improve tourism service quality, and develop human resources for the sector this year.

    The department plans to open a representative office in South Korea and set up representative offices in Japan, China and even Europe to bring in more international tourists.

    Until 2020, Danang will convert Tien Sa and Thuan Phuoc ports into tourist ports, develop tourism products and services at night along the bank of the Han River, upgrading and building boat piers and boat fleets to foster waterway tourism, and launch services at CatVangBeach, K20 historic site and La Huong vegetable farm.

    Last year, the tourism sector contributed 24.4% to Danang’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP), above 23.72% in the previous year.

    VNN


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  • 04/30/18--10:23: Article 0
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 30/4


    Digiworld targets revenue of $206 million in 2018


    Thaco transfers bus manufacturing technology to Kazakhstan, VIISA invests $60,000 in four startups, Businesses requested to comply with software copyright laws, Exports of textiles and garments up strongly 
       
    Digiworld Corporation (DGW) targets revenue of VND4.7 trillion (US$206 million) in 2018, an increase of 23 per cent over 2017, according to a report from the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting held in HCM City late last week.

    DGW targets having consumption products, including fast-moving consumption goods and healthcare products, achieve the strongest jump in revenue, at nearly 300 per cent, followed by mobilephones, with an increase of nearly 60 per cent.

    At the meeting, the company approved a plan to earn after-tax profit of VND101 billion ($4.4 million) this year, up by 29 per cent year-on-year.

    The shareholders said that, based on the results of the first quarter, the annual targets for revenue and profit were feasible.

    DGW reported that in the first quarter of this year, total revenue reached VND1.26 trillion ($55 million), a jump of 66 per cent year-on-year. The after-tax profit was VND19.5 billion ($855,000), up by 127 per cent.

    These figures represent a record amount since the company was listed in 2015, according to the company.

    Digiworld said that in the first quarter, it had reached revenue growth in all categories: mobile phones, office equipment, consumption goods (including fast-moving consumption goods and health-care products), tablets and laptops.

    For 2017, Digiworld achieved revenue of VND3.8 trillion and profit of VND55 billion ($2.4 million).

    Digiworld was established in 1997 as a market expansion service provider in Viet Nam and authorised distributor for more than 30 world-renowned technology brands, with a distribution network of 6,000 points of sales (POS) nationwide.

    More Vietnamese companies keen on Dubai market

    Numerous Vietnamese companies have recently gathered at Gateway to Dubai 2018 in Ho Chi Minh City to explore business opportunities in Dubai and the Middle East.

    Dubai is on the radars of both Vietnamese and foreign investors as the city has been growing rapidly in the past years. Indeed, Dubai is a potential market with many opportunities in different fields, including real estate and construction, infrastructure, fast-moving consumer goods, food and beverage, entertainment, and hospitality.

    With a boom, which took population from 1.5 million in 2007 to 8.5 million in 2017, the Dubai government is also conscious of the environment and adapting infrastructure for more eco-friendly living. This opens the doors to more innovation and creative collaboration.

    According to Van Tran, managing director of VANTT Consulting, Gateway to Dubai 2018 aims to foster business relationships between Vietnam and the Middle East.

    The event gathers all the key decision makers in one place, which facilitates Vietnamese companies to take their first steps into the fast-growing market.

    Gateway to Dubai 2018 is held as a tribute to the forthcoming Expo 2020 in Dubai. The mega expo will be an amazing opportunity for Dubai to showcase its vision for the next decades that it is already implementing today.

    Haiphong boosts FDI attraction through key infrastructure connectivity

    With the recent major infrastructure developments, the northern city of Haiphong has stepped up its game for FDI attraction to drive economic growth.

    The information was stressed at the Haiphong Investment Seminar organised by Eurocham and DEEP C Industrial Zone with the support of KPMG and Saigon New Port. The seminar gave an insight into the investment climate and potential business opportunities at Haiphong city.

    The development of HaiphongInternationalGatewayPort, also known as LachHuyenDeepSeaPort, is a recent key infrastructure project in the city. Haiphong International Container Terminal, a joint venture between local company SaigonTanCangPort and its partners Mitsui OSK Lines, Wan Hai Lines, and Itochu Corporation, pioneer the deepest seaport in the north of Vietnam.

    With a draft of minus 14 metres, vessels with a capacity of 14,000 TEU will be able to make calls to Haiphong, a significant improvement compared to the existing 2,000 TEU port. Once LachHuyenPort is in action from May this year, shipping times to Europe will be substantially reduced from 30 to 23-25 days, to the US West Coast from 35 to 27-30 days, and to the US East Coast from 20 to 13-15 days, thanks to new direct routes and the omission of transshipment. Accordingly, the incoming opening of LachHuyenPort will bring more logistics advantages for the projects in the active city.

    Substantially, the Lach Huyen port project is connected to the hinterland with other mega infrastructure projects, including highway connections to Hanoi, the coastal provinces, Quang Ninh, and China, as well as Cat Bi International Airport. These projects have turned Haiphong into the main gateway of North Vietnam to regional and world markets. In particular, they lowered the barriers to Vietnam’s major trading partners, such as Europe, America, the ASEAN, China, turning Haiphong into the new Ho Chi Minh City in the north of Vietnam.

    "DEEP C Industrial Zones lies in the heart of this infrastructure network, bringing to investors advantages not only in logistics but also international-standard utilities provision, economic zone tax incentives, and support for investors to start business," stated Hans Kerstens, international business development manager of DEEP C.

    The seminar also brings practical guidelines from experts of KPMG on setting up an expansion project in the north by companies that are already present in the south, while maximising the benefits of tax incentives.

    The development in the region also caught the attention of European investors. This is the reason why EuroCham started its northeastern chapter last year, said Almut Roessener, executive director of EuroCham. Investment from market leaders, such as Accor Group, Hilton, Daiwa House, Fujita, and AEON have been pouring into the city to develop facilities for business.

    Vinh Tan 1 thermal plant to reduce power thirst in southern provinces

    The $1.75-billion Vinh Tan 1 thermal power project, the largest Chinese-invested project in Vietnam, will come into commercial operation ahead of schedule after concerns of potential power shortages in the southern provinces in the time to come.

    According to the latest report of Vinh Tan 1 thermal power project, its first unit will come into commercial operation in July 2018, five months earlier than initially scheduled.

    Phan Ngoc Cam Thanh, deputy director of Vinh Tan 1 told the National Steering Committee for Power Development that after 1,025 consecutive days of construction, the project is now 93 per cent complete.

    “We target to push forward the date of commercial operations,” said Thanh.

    On April 18, 2018, the first unit of Vinh Tan 1 was successfully connected to the national grid and met all standard requirements during the testing as well as operation.

    Member of the National Steering Committee for Power Development Dinh The Phuc, deputy director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said Vinh Tan 1 thermal power plant’s significant generation capacity will help increase energy supply in the nation.

    The 1,240MW project is the first thermal power plant applying the pulverised coal combustion technology in Vietnam. It will play an important role in supplying power to the country’s southern parts, as there are concerns over power supply risks due to delays in the Song Hau 1 and Long Phu 1 thermal power plants.

    The Long Phu 1 and Song Hau 1 projects in the Mekong River Delta provinces of Soc Trang and Hau Giang are designed to produce 1,200MW each annually. However, the two plants are now years behind schedule. Both of them are invested by Vietnam’s state-run oil and gas group PetroVietnam.

    Vinh Tan 1 is expected to provide more than 7.2 billion KWh per year, increasing the southern region's electricity supply and helping reduce the region's dependence on hydropower—especially during the dry season or droughts.

    Electricity demand in Vietnam is expected to see an increase of more than 10 per cent per annum in the coming years due to rising population and accelerating economic growth.

    Southern Vietnam, the country’s largest economic bloc which includes Ho Chi Minh City, faces a critical situation in relation to the current imbalance between existing supply and the increasing demand for electricity. There is therefore urgent need for the development of power generation infrastructure in the region.

    At a recent visit to the southern provinces, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung urged the acceleration of the pace of constructing power plants, especially in the south, as well as called on investors to upgrade transmission projects as a main task in the years to come.

    Tran Viet Ngai, president of the Vietnam Energy Association, is also concerned over the power supply of southern provinces. He called for synchronised solutions to minimise power shortages, including ensuring progress on schedule, operational safety, quality management of power projects, as well as environmental protection and effective power usage.

    Thaco transfers bus manufacturing technology to Kazakhstan

    Leading Vietnamese automaker Thaco has transferred the technology for manufacturing Thaco HB73S buses to its partner HTA in Kazakhstan, under a contract signed by the two sides in February 2017.

    Thaco engineers worked at HTA during all of March to complete the task following the Vietnamese company’s bus component shipment to HTA last August. The demand for public transport in central Asian countries is reported to be rising quickly but transport production by regional countries is yet to meet demand. HTA therefore decided to cooperate with Thaco to import full bus components. Fifty more sets for 29-seat HB73S buses will be shipped to the country this year.

    To assist its partner in producing Thaco HB73S buses under IATF 16949 international quality management standards, Thaco sent eleven engineers to work at the HTA factory in Almaty, Kazakhstan. In addition to technology transfer, the team provided training on assembly and quality control.

    Such training covered all assembly and manufacturing work, including body finishing, the painting process, and turning out the completed buses.

    Thaco HB73S bus components have been researched, designed, manufactured and tested by Thaco engineers and offered at competitive prices compared to similar products from South Korea.

    The technology transfer to HTA marks an initial success in Thaco mastering manufacturing technologies, quality testing, and exporting buses.

    In recent years it has invested in manufacturing expansion, research, and the application of modern technologies and automation in manufacturing vehicles and components and increasing technological content and localization rates, gradually implementing its plans to join global value chains.

    Thaco’s exports of components amounted to $3.8 million last year and it continues to work on researching and expanding markets and diversifying export products.

    With a manufacturing capacity of 20,000 units per year, Thaco’s bus manufacturing plant is the largest in Southeast Asia. The facility boasts various bus lineups meeting Euro 4, 5 and 6 emission standards, including a Vietnamese bus lineup with a localization rate of 60 per cent that meets requirements for export to ASEAN countries.

    Appworld nursery launched to support mobile startup apps

    The $1 million Appworld nursery, a unique project finding ideas and mobile apps and providing support to bring ideas into reality, was launched at an event in Hanoi on April 21.

    Appworld will bring tools to connect, build and deliver global mobile apps. “We expect that in the first phase of about 18 months there will be 1,000 apps deployed, reaching traffic of 50 billion,” said Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Dung, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM). “Those who have an idea for mobile apps need only present it to the Organizing Committee to seek mentoring support.”

    Its DigitalContentCenter will provide legal support, tax registration, and the fulfillment of tax obligations. It hopes to replicate the success of the “Flappy Bird” game, developed by Nguyen Ha Dong, which found success worldwide and boosted Vietnam’s profile, Mr. Dung added.

    “The Appworld project will partner with the digital content community through the Yeah1 Network and develop products to conquer domestic and international markets,” said Mr. Nguyen Anh Nhuong Tong, Chairman of the Yeah1 Group. “The goal is to create an ecosystem that helps young people start up on the internet.”

    Appworld is a joint venture between the Yeah1 Group, VECOM, and the Vietnam Youth Union.

    At the launch, the organizers also announced the first two projects to be officially invested: Diff Cat and Gamify.

    MWG counting on Bach hoa Xanh chain

    At 8.30 am on a normal day, the Bach hoa Xanh store in
    Le Trong Tan Street
    , Tan Phu district, Ho Chi Minh City, is busy serving a lot of local customers, mostly housewives. They are the store’s regular customers and previously did all their shopping at traditional markets. Though launched two years ago, the store is now one of the fastest-growing among the 300 in the Mobile World JSC (MWG)’s Bach hoa Xanh chain.

    MWG Chairman Nguyen Duc Tai has kept plans for the Bach hoa Xanh chain on track over the last two years. The company identified a successful formula for the chain after completing a pilot in 2016. The chain established important foundations last year and this year is the time to boost its development. In the first stage, average monthly revenue at each store was expected to be about $22,000 but is now around $57,000. The figure at the Le Trong Tan Street store is about $100,000, Mr. Ngo Trung Duc, Manager of the Bach hoa Xanh chain in Tan Phu district, told VET. Average monthly growth per store in the district is about 20 per cent.

    CEO Tran Kinh Doanh said during the pilot period that the expected profit rate was 15 per cent on $22,000 in revenue each month. The rate is low for a concern with dozens of stores but substantial when hundreds of stores are involved, as is the case with Bach hoa Xanh. As such, MWG set an ambitious target for the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) field, planning to blanket Ho Chi Minh City with 1,000 Bach hoa Xanh stores this year.

    It’s important that Bach hoa Xanh has positioned the brand in the market and is gradually creating different values and attracting sufficient numbers of customers to its stores who previously shopped at traditional markets. “With the mini-mart model, we have made efforts to create a more modern shopping environment than at traditional markets and more interesting than at grocery stores,” Mr. Tai told local media. “We listened to the demands of consumers and the market.”

    According to Mr. Tai, 30 per cent of consumption in fresh and processed products is supplied by supermarkets and 70 per cent by traditional markets. Bach hoa Xanh aims to reach 10 per cent of the 70 per cent in traditional markets. The chain, indeed, will not compete with other supermarkets like Co.op Foods and Satrafoods or convenience stores like Circle K and Family Mart. Its strategy is to focus on broad coverage and to be similar to traditional markets but with better services and a more diverse range of food and goods. “The purpose of opening the chain is to encourage customers to buy food from us for 20 days a month and from traditional markets or supermarkets for the remaining days of the month,” Mr. Tai told an analyst meeting in February.

    Industrial insiders said that the successful factor in its model is it targeting low to medium-income earners and setting up stores of less than 200 sq m on small streets in order to better approach customers.

    Vietnam’s retail market holds significant potential, with estimated revenue of $60 billion annually. Its promise has resulted in the emergence of tough competition, with the presence of major foreign retailers from Thailand, Japan and South Korea as well domestic counterparts like Vingroup. As a newcomer, MWG is forecast to face a range of challenges in the market, despite being the pioneer in the mobile and electronics market.

    Half of all food and goods at Bach hoa Xanh stores are fresh vegetables, fish and meat, and the remainder FMCG. The challenge is how to resolve the inventory question and offload products approaching their use-by date, as well as buying safe products when needed and at cheap prices. These are, of course, issues for all retailers, not just Bach hoa Xanh.
    MWG has also recorded notable results in its thegioididong.com and Dien may Xanh chains, thanks to adopting smart and flexible solutions to meet demand among local consumers while cutting operational and other costs. “The strength of the company is customer services and chain management,” said Mr. Doanh. “I haven’t seen any company in Vietnam that does this better than MWG.”

    Despite only a few Bach hoa Xanh stores earning a profit, the chain will be a driving force for MWG’s growth over the years to come. Though the leading mobile and consumer electronics retailer attracted attention from local and overseas retailers and investors by completing its acquisition of the Tran Anh Digital World and Phuc An Khang pharmaceutical chains, the concern for Chairman Tai this year is the Bach hoa Xanh chain.

    Understandably, growth in mobile and consumer electronics is slowing, coming in at 9.3 per cent and 15.1 per cent, respectively, in 2017 according to the ACB Securities Company (ACBS). Instead of opening “two stores every day” as MWG did before, the company plans to cease opening new thegioididong.com stores and instead open 50-100 new Dien may Xanh stores this year.

    The retail market also has the most potential in terms of investment expansion. Vietnam ranked sixth among the Top 30 developing countries in retail expansion in the Global Retail Development Index, released by A.T. Kearney in 2017. There were 800 supermarkets, 150 shopping malls, 9,000 traditional markets, and about 2.2 million retailers in Vietnam at the time the Index was prepared. Convenience stores and mini-marts are the fastest-growing segments in the market. Japanese retailers like Family Mart, 7-Eleven, and Takashimaya, and South Korean retailers like Lotte Mart and GS25 are flooding into Vietnam and plan to open thousands of stores and dominate the market. Thus, Mr. Tai and MWG also plan to develop the Bach hoa Xanh chain as soon as possible, having 1,000 stores in Ho Chi Minh City this year.

    Bach hoa Xanh recorded revenue of VND1.38 trillion ($60.9 million) in 2017, contributing 2.1 per cent to MWG’s total, but didn’t post a profit. It is now making greater efforts to improve operations and attract more customers. It will review its 1,000-store plan after implementation and plans to open 5,000-6,000 stores in other major cities such as Hanoi and Da Nang over the next five years. In assessing such plans, ACBS reported that expansion will not be easy in second-level cities and rural areas and the retailer needs to be cautious about the speed of its network expansion over the next few years.

    Meanwhile, the Vietnam-focused private equity firm Mekong Capital expects the company will be successful in ramping up to several thousand locations. “MWG focuses on the customer experience and they do a better job of it than most of their competitors,” Mr. Chris Freund, Partner at Mekong Capital, told VET. His comments are based on solid facts and figures, as his company’s Mekong Enterprise Fund II (MEF II) completed its divestment of 100 per cent of its holding in MWG after more than a decade of investment. “It was one of the most successful private equity investments in the history of Asian private equity,” Mekong Capital has said.

    While the reason MEF invested in MWG was the energy and commitment of the five co-founders and its growth potential, Creador, a South Asia and Southeast Asia-focused private equity firm that invested $43.8 million in the local retailer in February, said it sees a strong track record of growth in multiple store concepts and the opportunity for consistent growth going forward. “We think the team led by Mr. Tai is truly world-class and has tremendous capabilities to build a very large business,” Mr. Brahmal Vasudevan, CEO of Creador, told VET. “Their historical growth trend has been amazing. I see the potential for this company to record 20-30 per cent growth over the next five years.”

    Shinhan Bank partners with MoMo to launch overseas remittances

    Shinhan Bank Vietnam (Shinhan Bank) has officially partnered with MoMo e-wallet (owned by M_Service) to launch the “MoMo ID overseas remittance service”.

    Vietnamese who are working or studying in South Korea can transfer money from the country’s Shinhan Bank to the MoMo e-wallet app of the recipient in Vietnam.

    The service is free from transaction charges from now until August 31.

    Applicants in South Korea can use the Shinhan Global S Bank app to transfer money to family or friends in Vietnam, who only need the MoMo e-wallet app to receive the funds immediately.

    Money in an MoMo e-wallet can be transferred to bank accounts linked with the e-wallet of the recipient or be used to pay bills, airline, train, bus, and movie tickets, insurance premiums, installment payments, and online shopping, as well as at over 4,000 MoMo-accepted points, such as restaurants, entertainment centers, and shopping centers.

    “Through this partnership, Shinhan Bank and MoMo want to create an easy and transparent money transfer service for the more than 150,000 Vietnamese living and working in South Korea,” said Mr. Shin Dong Min, CEO of Shinhan Bank in Vietnam. “With a network of branches and transaction offices stretching from Seoul to Gyunggi-do, Gyeongsangnam-do, Dae-Gu, and elsewhere and an excellent digital banking platform, Shinhan Bank hopes that the partnership with the MoMo ‘transporter’ will bring customers an easy, fast and safe money transfer experience.”

    MoMo now has one more practical service for users, according to Vice Chairman Mr. Nguyen Ba Diep. “We hope the service will give users an enjoyable experience, especially those in rural areas, who can receive money immediately without having to travel anywhere,” he added. “From now on, overseas workers in South Korea can send money to parents and family members in Vietnam at the lowest charges in the fastest time.”

    VIISA invests $60,000 in four startups

    The Vietnam Innovative Startup Accelerator (VIISA) will invest $15,000 each across four startups after five month careful selection of over 100 startups in different fields, the accelerator announced on April 23.

    Vietnam’s accelerator VIISA – a partnership between Dragon Capital, FPT Corporation and Hanwha Investment & Securities – has started investing $15,000 each across four startups.

    Based on set standards including having a strong team to implement business ideas, technology ideas applied in reality, ability to expand business and and grow sustainably in future, four selected startups in the fields of agriculture, banking finance, digital tech and software service are eligible for a three-month training course.

    In addition to $15, 000 cash, each startup receive accommodation, office and technique expenditure. Moreover, most potential startup will have a chance to get a maximum investment $200,000.

    Not only receive financial assistance and facility, selected startups in VIISA’s training course will be trained important skills such as detecting and finding potential customers, calling for contribution and sale by leading enterprises and investors like FPT, Dragon Capital Group, Microsoft Vietnam.

    Dr. Le Hoang Anh, chairman of VIISA said that VIISA’s new strategy in 2018 will separate training into two parts; one named Nurture and other Accelerate. Nurture program will be for fresh startups while Accelerate will be for older startups to help them grow more.

    Thanks to VIISA’s training courses, several startups have grown quickly; for instance Wisepass and Wefit was successful in calling for contribution of over $600,000 and it is calling for the new contribution. Cyfeer and Ella study has grown in sale and the number of customers. The development of startups is clear evidence for VIISA’ efforts in pushing startups in Vietnam.

    These startups in VIISA’s third Accelerate program will graduate in July, 2018 as per schedule. Four startups in the program comprise Urbox.vn with it website http://urbox.vn on smart electronic gifts for individuals and enterprises ; Goalify Chat - a communication app for team work at https://goalify.chat/en/; SmartMeal specializing in designing and providing balanced meals to help customers keep fit and good body ( its website http://smartmealvn.com/); Aqua Grow Greens deigning and making products to grow vegetables as per Dutch and Japan’ technology ( its website https://aquagrowgreens.com)

    Established in January 2017, VIISA has attracted 400 startup participants so far and over 18 startups have been selected into its training courses.

    Businesses requested to comply with software copyright laws

    A workshop on ‘Vietnamese businesses and the intellectual property right enforcement under the revised Penal Code’ was held yesterday in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Belonging to the series of activities in the Action Month to commemorate the World Intellectual Property Day, the meeting discussed hot issues that have attracted much attention of the business community regarding software copyrights, especially after the revised Penal Code was effective as of January 2018.

    The workshop aimed at providing businesses and managers with more detailed information on new regulations in the Vietnamese law related to the observation of intellectual property rights (IPR). It also shows how businesses can ensure their data security, intellectual property rights, while avoiding the risk of illegal activities so that they can develop healthily.

    Mr. Tran Van Minh, deputy chief inspector of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism reported the task of implementing IPR in the field of computer software when the revised Penal Code was effective.

    “Article No. 225 of the revised Penal Code shows the determination of the Vietnamese government in fighting against copyright piracy, including computer software copyright. Now that the severe punishments are inflicted, it is high time business leaders checked the software installation of all computers they use and adopted timely solutions in order to avoid grave damage on their finance as well as prestige or interruptions of operation once illegal activities have been discovered”, said Mr. Minh.

    In this workshop, Mr. Gary Gan, Director of the Compliance Programs of APAC under BSA, presented effective solutions for businesses. He suggested that companies should make use of software asset management models to ensure employees only install and use legal software with valid licenses bought by their organization.

    Computer software copyright violation is one of the most infamous IPR breaches in Vietnam. In 2017, while inspecting 2,472 computers of 63 businesses, related authorities discovered that 54 companies copied software programs without permission, with VND1.65 billion (about $72,463) in administrative fines collected.

    In the beginning of 2018, relevant authorities also inspected the observation of IPR regarding computer software in 26 businesses, and collected VND750 million ($32,940) administrative fines.

    The workshop was held by Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP), Vietnam Intellectual Property Association (VIPA), and BSA| the Software Alliance.

    Exports of textiles and garments up strongly

    Vietnam’s exports of textiles and garments are estimated at US$7.62 billion in the first quarter of this year, a 13.35% rise against the previous period last year.

    Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, deputy general secretary of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), told a press conference in HCMC on April 20 that the textile and garment export growth rate was only 11.9% in the same period last year.

    Garments alone generated around US$6 billion in export revenue, up 12.4% year-on-year. Other value-added products such as fabrics, fibers, geotextiles, and textile accessories posted rapid export growth, said Mai, who is also chief representative of VITAS in HCMC.

    The United States was the largest buyer of Vietnamese textiles and garments in quarter one, accounting for a staggering 48.5%. The member countries of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) came second, she noted.

    China, South Korea, Southeast Asian nations and European Union (EU) countries were also major markets for the industry, she said, adding a majority of export products were shirts, T-shirts and jackets.

    The import bill of textile and apparel materials in quarter one rose 22.8% year-on-year to an estimated US$4.6 billion. This means the trade surplus was  US$3.9 billion, up 3.6% from a year earlier.

    Mai said many companies had already received orders which are enough to keep them busy until the third or fourth quarter this year. Therefore, she predicted the industry’s full-year outbound sales target of US$34-34.5 billion could be attained.

    She said VITAS will further organize trade promotion programs and seminars, develop human resources, and propose changing policies and removing obstacles involving taxes, customs, charges and surcharges.

    Silt buildup, high logistics costs hinder Mekong Delta’s export

    Sedimentation in waterways along the HauRiver and high logistics costs are causing difficulties for the Mekong Delta to export goods straight to foreign markets.

    Delegates at a meeting of the Vietnam Maritime Administration, Can Tho authorities and relevant agencies in Can Tho City last week said the delta holds great export potential.

    Vu Khanh Duong, director of Saigon Newport Corporation for the Southwest, said cargo transport volume in the region reached 17-18 million tons last year, including 3.3 million tons of seafood, four million tons of vegetables and 4.3 million tons of rice.

    However, cargo throughput at Can Tho Port, the biggest in the Mekong Delta, just accounts for 50-60% of the port’s capacity. Last year, containerized cargo throughput at the port totaled over 99.4 million TEUs, representing a mere 1% of the total at Vietnam’s ports, said Trinh The Cuong, head of the Maritime Transport Services Division of the Vietnam Maritime Administration under the Ministry of Transport.

    Silt has built up along the navigational passage to the HauRiver through Quan Bo Chanh Canal, disenabling ships of 10,000-20,000 tons to come to ports in the Mekong Delta. Shipping companies often shun the delta due to high logistics costs.

    Nguyen Minh Toai, director of the Can Tho Department of Industry and Trade, said Quan Bo Chanh Canal should be dredged to attract shipping firms in HCMC to the delta.

    Duong said Saigon Newport Corporation has suspended shipping commodities directly from the Mekong Delta to foreign destinations.

    The Government has allowed the dredging of Quan Bo Chanh Canal to make it possible for container vessels to enter ports inside the Mekong Delta, Cuong noted.

    Meanwhile, Toai suggested cutting logistics fees in Can Tho City to attract more shipping companies.

    Duong shared Toai’s view, saying the Vietnam Maritime Administration and relevant agencies should lower fees for shipping firms to directly export the Mekong Delta’s commodities, instead of through ports in HCMC or elsewhere.

    New incentive policies for agriculture and rural development projects

    The Government has issued Decree 57/2018/ND-CP on a series of incentive mechanisms and policies to stimulate investments in agriculture and rural area development.

    Accordingly, beneficiaries shall be businesses which are established, operate in line with the Law on Enterprises and have agricultural projects encouraged by the State.

    Beneficiaries shall be entitled to a wide range of State support in terms of land, credit access, high-tech application, workforce training, market development among others.

    Specifically, projects eligible for investment incentives  shall be exempted from land and water surface rents in the first 15 years since the State allocates land/water surface to the owners of the projects. The rents shall be reduced by 50% in the following seven years.

    Projects eligible for investment promotion shall be exempted from land and water surface rents in the first 11 years and shall be offered 50% reduction of the rents in the following 5 years.

    Countries plan Asia-Europe railway system

    Members of the Organization for Cooperation of Railways (OSJD) have plans to develop a railway transport system running from Vietnam to Russia through other Asian and European countries.

    The plan is part of a memorandum of understanding signed on April 19 at OSJD’s conference of general directors in DanangCity.

    Directors pledged to promote logistics development through rail, expand research cooperation and supply locomotives and machinery.

    Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong said that if the aforementioned railway takes form, there would be both opportunities and challenges for Vietnam’s railway.

    According to Dong, Vietnam Railways (VNR) has recently cooperated with Chinese and Russian firms in freight transport. However, Vietnam needs to concentrate on improving transport networks and logistics facilities.

    In addition, Vietnam’s railway is making plans to enhance investments and connections with railways in Laos, Cambodia and other ASEAN countries to increase its transport market share, Dong told the Daily.

    The conference of general directors of the OSJD approved 16 resolutions, including cooperation in infrastructure and human resource development. The resolutions will be presented in the coming ministerial conference.

    OSJD was founded in 1956 with members having around 227,000 kilometers of railway at the time. Now its members possess 281,215 kilometers of railway and transport four billion passengers and six billion tons of freight per year.

    Business environment still needs further improving

    Vietnam’s efforts to improve the business environment and competitiveness have yielded remarkable results but they are not equal among sectors, leading the country to lag behind neighboring countries, head a meeting in HCMC on April 19.

    The outlook of upcoming business environment reforms is unpredictable, according to the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) and enterprises participating in a seminar titled “Improve the quality of the business environment: reform business conditions, specialized management and administrative procedures.”

    CIEM deputy president Phan Duc Hieu said the biggest challenge is the unpredictability of administrative reforms. Other neighboring countries have reached their targets in reforming the business environment while Vietnam has issued Resolution 19 annually to improve the business environment without much progress seen.

    Nguyen Minh Thao, head of the Business Environment and Competitiveness Committee at CIEM, said the Government’s Resolution 19 has helped Vietnam improve the business climate leading to a 14-notch leap to 68th in the world ranking last year. Electricity access, investor protection and tax payment indicators have improved.

    However, many other business spheres have barely made a move, such as in asset use, ownership registration and bankruptcy handling indexes that remain unchanged.

    In addition, only the Ministry of Finance has sought to improve the cross-border trade regulations under its jurisdiction while 12 other ministries have failed to do the job as required. If the time for the cross-border trade is cut by a day, US$1 million could be saved, Thao said.

    CIEM president Nguyen Dinh Cung said Vietnam’s ranking in the business starting index was low and kept decreasing steadily from 2014 to 2017 despite the availability of Resolution 19 in as many years.

    As for the abolishment of business conditions for specialized management, ministries have reported a reduction of hundreds of business conditions, such as the Ministry of Industry and Trade having scrapped more than 650 conditions. However, they have also added new conditions in replacement.

    As for customs clearance, informal fees have become a new normal. If the informal fee is VND300,000 for each customs manifest, enterprises would end up paying VND10 trillion a year to the customs sector, Thao said.

    Nguyen Dinh Tue, director of the Center for Supporting Small and Medium Enterprises of the HCMC Union of Business Association, noted the lack of the consistency of legal documents has resulted in more power for customs agencies.

    Nokia cuts deal with Thegioididong to boost phone sales

    HMD Global, the maker of Nokia-branded mobile phones, signed a strategic cooperation agreement with electronics retailer Thegioididong on the occasion of the launch of two new products, Nokia7 Plus and New Nokia 6, in Hanoi on April 18.

    HMD Global’s representative said at the event that sales of Nokia phones via the retailer are expected to reach 500,000 units this year. They initiated the cooperation by marketing the two new smartphone models Nokia 7 Plus and New Nokia 6 (2018).

    Thegioididong for its part is also optimistic to achieve sales of 500,000 phones this year as its annual sales exceed nine million units of various brands, said Nguyen Duc Tai, board chairman of Thegioididong. Together with the cooperation, the retailer will seek to boost its sales by partnering with Home Credit to offer interest-free installment plans for buyers, while Nokia buyers have to make a down payment of 30%.

    Addressing the event, Kyler Tan, CEO of HMD Global in Vietnam, said the corporation and its partner will efficiently collaborate to promote consumption of all Nokia products, including the two latest smartphones, Nokia 7 Plus and New Nokia 6 (2018).

    The recently released members of the Nokia family run on Android One, the latest phone operation system by Google, which allows users to enjoy a highly qualified software experience. Their devices will continue to run on the latest version along with innovations of artificial intelligence, and top security features from Google.

    Talanx eyes controlling stake in PVI

    Germany’s Talanx Group owning a stake of over 47% in PetroVietnam Insurance Joint Stock Company (PVI) wants to hold a controlling stake in the latter, Christian Hinch, vice president of Talanx Group, said in a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue on April 19.

    Christian Hinch said the group invested in Vietnam in 2011 with a stake of 25% in PVI and that to date Talanx has raised the figure up to 47% while the majority stake is still held by PVI. Now his group wants to buy more shares to hold a controlling stake, the Government news website reports.

    To acquire a controlling stake in PVI and have a chance in developing the company in the ASEAN market in line with the shareholders’ wish, the vice president proposed the Government support raising foreign investor’s ownership in PVI.

    In response, Deputy PM Hue said the life and non-life insurance market size in Vietnam is growing faster but its scale is quite small compared to Vietnam’s GDP, and the Government will restructure the sector to bolster its efficiency. The Government has agreed to allow PetroVietnam as the parent firm of PVI to divest all State capital from the insurer.

    Being a big shareholder, Talanx has helped PVI improve governance and manpower resources. The Government will allow the group to buy more shares of PVI, Hue said.

    VNN


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  • 05/02/18--00:47: Article 4
  • Vietnam first joins World Free Zones Organization’s annual event

    Vietnam said at the event that the country welcomes foreign investors’ presence in its free economic zones

     

    ​Vietnam first joins World Free Zones Organization’s annual event
    The Vietnamese contingent (black) poses for a photo on a boat to Palm Islands during the World Free Zones Organization’s fourth Annual International Conference and Exhibition 2018 in Dubai between April 30 and May 1, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    Vietnam attended for the first time the World Free Zones Organization’s yearly event held in Dubai between April 30 and May 1, in an effort to draw more international attention to the Southeast Asian country’s future free zones.

    Nguyen Chi Dung, Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment, and other fellow delegates received a warm welcome from the fourth Annual International Conference and Exhibition 2018, organized by the World Free Zones Organization (WFZO) – the only international multi-lateral organization for free economic zones around the globe.

    “As we’re gearing ourselves up to step onto a new playground, we need to know how the world has played. Our participation into WFZO is to gain lessons of the players’ successes and failures,” Dung said.

    By ‘new playground,’ he was referring to Vietnam’s three free zones to be established soon in the country’s northern, central and southern areas of Van Don, Van Phong, and Phu Quoc.

     

    ​Vietnam first joins World Free Zones Organization’s annual event
    Nguyen Chi Dung (first row, second left) sits at the World Free Zones Organization’s fourth Annual International Conference and Exhibition 2018 in Dubai between April 30 and May 1, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre



     

    ​Vietnam first joins World Free Zones Organization’s annual event
    Nguyen Chi Dung (first row, right) converses with another member at the World Free Zones Organization’s fourth Annual International Conference and Exhibition 2018 in Dubai between April 30 and May 1, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre


    Dung presented Vietnam’s free zone model to large corporations with a view to attracting more investors to the three designated areas.

    Vietnam has gained enthusiastic support in developing free zones and ideas in its would-be free zone legislation from WFZO, which has 160 members and covers more than 2,200 free zones –usually conceived as areas with favorable laws in a country.

     

    ​Vietnam first joins World Free Zones Organization’s annual event
    A leader from Nakheel introduces Palm Islands – the artificial islands on the coast of Dubai – to the Vietnamese contingent at the World Free Zones Organization’s fourth Annual International Conference and Exhibition 2018 in Dubai between April 30 and May 1, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    Tuoi Tre News

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  • 05/02/18--01:08: Article 3
  • Social News 1/5


    First concrete and non-metal reinforcement houses built in Vietnam


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links


    The first ten out of forty projected houses built with the new technology of concrete and non-metal reinforcement will be given to families who have difficulties in accommodation in the two Southern provinces of Ca Mau and Ben Tre in the middle of this May.

    According to construction professionals, the structure of concrete and non-steel reinforcement made from glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP), polypropylene fiber (PP), or polyethylene fiber (PE) is considered an innovative solution for constructions built on the sea or in harsh environments, gravely affected by wind, corrosion, and saline water.

    As informed by Mr. Tran Quang Hoai, General Director of the Directorate for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, since 2017, his office has launched a social campaign to support accommodation for poor families who are living in areas with harsh environments or grimly affected by climate change (higher sea level, land slide, saltwater intrusion).

    The Southern provinces of Ca Mau and Ben Tre are the first two locations to implement this campaign when Ba Ria Vung Tau Urban Sewerage and Development One Member Limited Company (BUSADCO) carried out the task of building houses with the new technology of concrete and non-steel reinforcement. The construction plan is financially supported by Tan Dai Hung Plastic Joint Stock Co. (with the amount of VND2billion, or $87,846). These houses are supposed to be soundproof, heatproof, and waterproof.

    Mr. Hoang Duc Thao, General Director of BUSADCO, said that in this new structure, the foundation, column, beam, girder, and walls are fabricated with non-steel reinforcement concrete. These have suitable joints or slots, edges so that they can be assembled smoothly and firmly. All the walls are completely waterproof, which are examined by the experimental method of long-term monitoring on water pumping with two covered ends.

    Thanks to being fabricated in a factory, the construction of the parts is not affected by weather condition, reducing the working time to one third of the conventional construction method. As a result, the building cost is also decreased by 30 percent.

    The technology of concrete and non-steel reinforcement has been successfully applied by BUSADCO into many projects to build the infrastructure for various areas nationwide.

    This solution is part of the group construction project ‘Building synchronous infrastructure in urban and rural areas while protecting the environment, preventing natural disasters, and coping with climate change’. The solution has received the Ho Chi Minh Award on Science and Technology.

    This solution has been implemented in the project of building the embankment and raising the growing bed for mangrove trees in Thai Binh Province, the project of upgrading and building dykes in Can Gio District of Ho Chi Minh City, the project of building technical trenches for cables in Ba Ria Vung Tau Province.

    “Non-steel reinforcement concrete has the prominent advantage of light weight compared to traditional materials. It can also prevent corrosion and erosion. Therefore, it could be an ideal solution for constructions in areas which are now gravely affected by climate change in Vietnam”, said Mr. Hoang Duc Thao.

    40,000 people in Vietnam die from smoking-related diseases every year


    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links 

    The death toll from smoking-related diseases in Vietnam has amounted to 40,000 per year, according to statistics of the World Health Organization (WHO).


    Relevant agencies in Vietnam have recently implemented a range of measures to reduce the smoking rates by prohibiting people from smoking at public places, workplaces and public buses. However, the rate of tobacco users in the country remains high compared to other nations in the world.

    Statistics have shown that up to 97% of lung cancer patients smoke. According to the Chief Representative of the WHO in Vietnam, nicotine in tobacco leaves is an addictive substance, which makes the giving up of smoking not easy for people who are addicted to it.

    The representative also emphasized the need to build social norms on banning people from smoking at public places to reduce the number of smokers.

    He also underlined the need to disseminate information on a ban on smoking at public places to remind tobacco smokers that it is an illegal action and therefore quit smoking.

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links 

    A Vietnam-Myanmar cultural exchange programme was held recently at the National Theatre of Yangon, offering local audience many performances reflecting the two countries’ traditional culture.

    The event was co-organised by the Vietnamese Embassy in Myanmar, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture of Myanmar, and the Vietnam Artisan and Trademark Association.

    The programme, featuring performances by nearly 2,000 artists, was to mark 43 years of Vietnam-Myanmar diplomatic ties (May 28) and one year of the comprehensive cooperative partnership (July 2017). It was also an activity to implement the joint statement issued in the official visit to Vietnam from April 19-20 by Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

    In his speech, Myanmar Minister of Religious Affairs and Culture Aung Ko said the event followed the successes in bilateral cultural cooperation in 2017. It also demonstrated ASEAN members’ people-to-people connectivity and mutual understanding.

    Vietnamese Ambassador to Myanmar Luan Thuy Duong emphasised that the programme was part of the two countries’ efforts to promote cultural cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, thus helping to enhance their comprehensive cooperative partnership and realise the cultural cooperation programme for 2017-2020.

    She also highlighted the meaning of the performances introducing three UNESCO-recognised intangible cultural heritage of Vietnam, namely the practices related to the beliefs in the Mother Goddesses of Three Realms, Vi and Giam folk songs, and Quan ho (love duet singing) of Bac Ninh province.

    The audience were also impressed with performances imbued with the two countries’ national identities, including fan dance with Vietnamese music by Myanmar artists and a traditional song of Myanmar sung by the two countries’ artists.

    HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links 

    An art performance programme was held at President Ho Chi Minh Statue Park in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 on April 30 evening to mark the 43rd anniversary of South Liberation and National Reunification Day (April 30) and 132 years of International Workers’ Day (May 1).

    Attending the event were Politburo member and Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan; member of the Party Central Committee and Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong, among others.

    Speaking at the event, Vice Chairwoman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Thu recalled the struggle for national liberation and reunification 43 years ago.

    After over 40 years, Ho Chi Minh City becomes a motive force in terms of socio-economic and cultural development with numerous outstanding achievements, she added.

    Locals and visitors to the event were entertained with impressive performances and famous songs reflecting the fascinating history of the nation and showing the city’s determination to become a prosperous, modern, and civilised city.

    On the same day, a lot of activities were organised in the city to celebrate the South Liberation and National Reunification Day and International Workers’ Day.

    Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links
    Fishing boats of Vietnam 


    Fishermen in the central coastal province of Phu Yen has been encouraged to maintain fishing activities in Vietnam’s territorial waters after China promulgated a temporary ban on fishing activities in the East Sea.

    In a recent document, the provincial People’s Committee said the ban is worthless as it prohibited fishing activities in Vietnam’s territorial waters.

    It asked the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the provincial Department of Information and Communications, the provincial Border Guard Command, and press agencies to inform local fishermen about China’s fishing ban, while calling on local fishermen to organise fishing activities in groups to easily support each other in case of necessity. 

    Fishing vessels licensed to go fishing in the shared fishing grounds in the Gulf of Tonkin in 2017-2018 should not operate in the eastern area of the demarcation line in the Gulf from May 1 to August 16, the document said. 

    The provincial People’s Committee assigned the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to work with the provincial Border Guard Command to strictly manage and control the departure of fishing boats and their offshore fishing trips during the period, thus promptly informing sudden situations arising at sea to the committee.

    In a recent announcement, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture said that the fishing ban would last from May 1 to August 16, 2018, covering the East Sea, including the Gulf of Tonkin and Vietnam’s territorial waters.

    In response to China’s move, the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has said that China’s temporary ban is null. 

    The Vietnam Fisheries Society (VINAFIS) has also voiced its protest against China’s unilateral decision to ban fishing in the East Sea, saying that it has no validity. 

    The ban hampers fishing activities of Vietnamese fishermen and violates Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago and territorial waters in the Tonkin Gulf as well as its legitimate rights and interests.

    It also infringes international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and related international legal documents, and runs counter to the spirit and wording of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed between ASEAN and China in 2002. 

    China’s unilateral action is not in line with the development trend of Vietnam-China relations and is not beneficial to peace and stability in the region, the association said. 

    The VINAFIS urged Vietnamese authorities to take effective measures to stop China’s action and increase patrols in the sea to protect fishermen and facilitate their fishing activities in Vietnam’s territorial waters.

    Vietnamese in Mozambique mark Reunification Day, Labour Day


    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links 

    At the celebration 


    The Vietnamese Embassy in conjunction with the Vietnamese community in Mozambique organised a ceremony to celebrate the Reunification Day (April 30) and the Labour Day (May 1) in Maputo on April 29.

    The event was attended by a crowd of Vietnamese expats and students living and studying in the country, representatives from the mobile operator Movitel, a joint venture between Vietnamese company Viettel and Mozambique's SPI, and other enterprises, together with health, education and agricultural experts. 

    In his opening remarks, Ambassador Le Huy Hoang highlighted the significance of the Reunification Day, saying that the April 30, 1975 victory was a pride of not only Vietnamese but also other peoples struggling for independence, freedom and unification in the world, including African countries.

    After more than 40 years, it remains a source of encouragement for Vietnamese people in their current national construction and defence under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, he said.

    He affirmed that  the creativity, determination to overcome difficulties and hardships and efforts to make the most of opportunities, have helped Vietnam turn challenges into opportunities, thus promoting stable development and deeper international integration. 

    Vietnam is a reliable partner that makes remarkable contributions to peace and development in the region and the world, he said. 

    Hoang also praised the industrious labour spirit of staff and employees of Movitel, and Vietnamese enterprises as well as Mozambican labourers, saying that they are contributing to strengthening telecom investment cooperation and the economic-trade bonds between the two countries in general. 

    Overseas Vietnamese attending the event expressed their joy at the stability and strong development of the homeland over the last 43 years, and wished to make more contributions to the friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Mozambique. 

    On the occasion, the embassy also organised art performance and a programme introducing Vietnamese food to international friends.

    Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links
    The programme  to promote culture exchange and trade-tourism cooperation between Dong Thap and the Xin Zhu district of Taiwan (China) 


    A programme to promote culture exchange and trade-tourism cooperation between the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap and the Xin Zhu district of Taiwan (China) took place in Cao Lanh city on April 29.

    According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Doan Tan Buu, with the area of over 3,200 sq.m and a population of nearly 1.7 million people, Dong Thap boasts the potential for developing agriculture, processing industry and trade-service-tourism. 

    It is also home to attractive tourism destinations and popular historical relic sites such as the Go Thap Special National Relic Site, the Tram Chim National Park (2000th Ramsar Site of the world), the Gao Giong Ecotourism Site and the Xeo Quyt Relic Site, among others. 

    Apart from focusing on boosting socio-economic development, and key agricultural commodities, Dong Thap has also paid special attention to building a friendly government and promoting administrative reform, thus making it easier for enterprises to expand investment in the locality. 

    Dong Thap, for ten consecutive years, has been named in the top five performers in the country's provincial competitiveness index (PCI). It was also one of the most outstanding localities of the provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI), the Public Administration Reform (PAR) Index, and the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Index. 

    Talking about the connection between the two localities, Buu said nearly 200 students from Dong Thap are pursuing tertiary education in Xin Zhu, adding that the Taiwanese locality is also a labour export market of Dong Thap. 

    Qiu Jing Chun, Chairman of Xin Zhu, said being a locality with cultural diversity, Xin Zhu looks forward to promoting cultural exchange with localities in the region, thus building more close and long-term ties in the fields of culture, education and health. 

    Xin Zhu is on the way to become a high-tech agricultural centre in Taiwan, he said, expressing his hope that through the meeting, the two sides’ authorities will serve as a bridge connecting their enterprises, hence further bolstering economic cooperation. 

    In the framework of the exchange, from April 29 to May 1, there are 40 booths featuring traditional culture activities of the Taiwanese locality and Dong Thap’s products in the Go Thap Special National Relic Site in Thap Muoi district.

    Cinema sector to celebrate national holidays

    Film lovers will have a chance to enjoy selected movies themed on traditional history, revolutionary soldiers, the country’s construction, generations of youth in the war time and renewal period.

    A scene in the film Giấc Mơ Thổ Cẩm (Brocade Dream) will be released to the public. — Photo courtesy of the Cinema Department

    The Department of Cinema will release these new films nationwide from April 27 to May 23 to celebrate national holidays including Reunification Day (April 30), May Day (May 1) and the birthday of President Hồ Chí Minh (May 19).

    The films include Mẹ Ơi Con Đã Về (Mom, I’m Home) about the consequences of the war that people suffer, Giấc Mơ Thổ Cẩm (Dream of Brocade) about the effort of young Mường people to uphold the tradition of weaving brocade, and Thời Trẻ Trung Sôi Nổi (Intense Youth) about young people building the economy when the country was reunified.

    Programmes about maintaining safety, public order and security for ethnic groups in remote mountainous areas will be also presented to audiences.

    The films and programmes will be distributed to the cities and provinces’ cinema centres, film distribution companies and cultural departments across the country.

    Việt Nam Red Cross launches Humanitarian Month


    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links 

    The Việt Nam Red Cross in collaboration with the Hà Nội Red Cross Society launched the Humanitarian Month at a ceremony on Saturday in Hà Nội.


    The Việt Nam Red Cross (VNRC) in collaboration with the Hà Nội Red Cross Society launched the Humanitarian Month (from May 1 to 31) at a ceremony on April 28 in Hà Nội.

    The month, with the theme: humanity- from awareness to action, is part of activities to mark the Red Cross and Red Crescent Day (May 8).

    The month aims to promote humanitarian values, the movement of good deeds, and increase the support for the disadvantaged people in the capital. It also aims to raise awareness and practical actions of cadres, Party members and people from all walks of life towards people in difficult circumstances, vulnerable people in community.

    Hà Nội is one of the first provinces and cities to pilot the Humanitarian Month in Việt Nam while the month will be launched also in HCM City and other provinces and cities in coming days.

    At the event, representatives of the U23 national football team donated VNĐ700 million (US$31,100) through the Việt Nam Red Cross to help Agent Orange victims and children with fatal diseases in Việt Nam.

    The Hà Nội Red Cross Society also donated money to help two poor families building houses, handed over cows to three others and presented bicycles to 20 poor students with outstanding study results in the capital city.

    The VNRC president Nguyễn Thị Xuân Thu said that VNRC has mobilised VNĐ557 billion ($24.75 million) to support nearly 5.2 million poor families and Agent Orange victims over the past 10 years.

    “The programme has contributed to help poor families and AO victims overcoming difficulties in their lives as well as created strong effect in the community,” said Thu.  

    On the occasion, the VNRC launched a charity text message campaign, entitled: joining hands for the country’s sea and islands, to raise funds to support livelihood, production development, free medical checkup and medicine to poor fishermen.

    People from all walks of life can support the campaign by texting BD to 1407. The campaign will run until June 26, 2018. Each mobile text message will contribute VNĐ20,000 ($0.85) to the fund.

    Show on Hương River falls short of audience’s expectation


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links
    An act of the show, Âm vọng sông Hương in Huế Festival 2018. 


    “Serendipity of the Hương (Perfume) River”, an art show to highlight the daily life on Hương River in Huế City, regretably failed to entertain audiences at the ongoing biennial cultural event, Huế Festival 2018.

    “Serendipity of the Hương River”, or Âm vọng sông Hương, aims to tell stories to highlight the importance of this poetic and famous river to Huế’s residents. Setting up a bamboo foundation for the stage with decorative structures on it required months of work.

    The show was developed as a play, which aimed to offer audiences the familiar scenes of Huế and showcase the music and culture of the former imperial city.

    It was co-organised by the Voice of Việt Nam and Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. It was directed by a writer from the central province of Quảng Bình.

    Hương River, the biggest in the locality, starts at the border with Laos and runs along outlying districts and across the city to meet the sea. It beautifies the city’s landscape and is included in many historical references about Huế. The river is part of local pride. 

    But more than half the audience who had gathered for the two-hour show left their seats 45 minutes after the show began.

    The failure of the show was attributed to a weak storyline, vague linkage between the acts, unfocused stage and unconvincing tableaux showcasing the river-related daily life in Huế.

    A large part of the audience found it hard to understand the storyline for many of the acts..

    The stage was set on a river, with symbolic structures of a pagoda, bamboo ranges, a resting station, bamboo bridges, rural roads and a riverbank. But it was a large stage and the acts coincided with one another, confusing the audience.

    In several acts, the actors dressed up in both old style and modern costumes, and the audience was unable to comprehend if they were trying to portray the past of Huế or the city’s present time.

    The music comprised the archaic ca Huế singing, local lullabies, songs by the late native composer, Trịnh Công Sơn, and a little bit of Western rock, but instead of being melodious to the ears, it ended up being too loud.

    Street parade bustles thru silent Huế


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links
    The art troupe presenting Belgium on the parade. - Photo courtesy of Huế Festival Centre 

    Streets in the silent city of Huế were bustling with performances by art troupes in a street parade on Saturday afternoon.

    The troupes are participating in the ongoing biennial Huế Festival 2018, and their parade is part of the celebration.

    Art troupes from countries and territories, including Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Mongolia, Belgium, Poland and Slovakia, brought their native colours to the streets. Vietnamese art troupes from communities from the northwest mountains and in the provinces of the Central Highlands, as well as local residents from Thừa Thiên- Huế, participated in the parade.

    Audiences enjoyed their performances, which demonstrated their circus skills, along with dance and music, and displayed their costumes.

    According to the event’s organisers, the parade offered a chance for Huế Festival’s art troupes to get closer to audiences, as well as to foster exchanges between troupes from different countries.

    Nguyễn Dung, head of the organisers, said the street parade was one of the key events held during the Huế Festival. It is to be repeated at 4pm every afternoon until May 1, he said.

    The parade will rotate its route on the main street in the city to entertain residents living in different neighborhoods in the city.

    The street parade is not new to local residents, as it was also held during other versions of Huế Festival, including the last one in 2016.

    Some local residents, however, have not displayed much eagerness in watching the parade.

    A handful of residents consider it a nuisance, as they have to change their familiar routes to avoid traffic jams. Others, especially those addicted to taking photos, videos and live streaming with their smartphones, took this chance to further their hobby.

    Huế Festival 2018 opened on Friday evening and will perform its farewell ceremony on May 2. This year is the 10th version of the biennial event, with many shows having similar formats with those from past years.

    Cải lương seeks ways to attract young audiences


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links
    Ngân Mãi Chuông Vàng (Ringing Bell) is one of the most popular cải lương shows broadcast on HCM City Television. - Photo courtesy of the producer 

    As many as 100 cultural experts, producers and directors are taking part in a seminar in HCM City today to seek ways to attract young audiences to cải lương (reformed opera).

    The seminar was organised by the Voice of Việt Nam, the Việt Nam Theatre Artists Association and their partners as part of the country’s programme to mark the 100th anniversary of cải lương.

    Nguyễn Thị Trúc Bạch, of the Southern Institute of Social Sciences, said: “Today, young people have more interest in pop music, foreign music and action movies than in cải lương.”

    A survey on cải lương conducted by the institute in HCM City in 2014 showed that nearly 74 per cent of people liked listening to pop music, but only 6.1 per cent liked cải lương.

    More than 50 per cent enjoyed action movies, but only 4.3 per cent chose cải lương.

    “Cải lương should be shown in schools to stimulate student’s interest in the art,” Bạch said.

    She suggested holding talk shows and performing excerpts from famous cải lương plays in schools to provide basic knowledge about the art to students.

    Scriptwriter Vương Huyền Cơ said: “In today’s society, the internet is the best way to approach young people. So cải lương theatres, radio and television stations, and artists should produce and upload cải lương videos on YouTube to attract young audiences.”

    Last November, People’s Artist Bạch Tuyết, a cải lương guru, made waves with the video Em Gái Mưa (Rainy Girl), a cải lương version of a 2017 hit single of the same title by young pop star Hương Tràm.

    Her video received more than 400,000 views on YouTube. 

    Cải lương actress Linh Huyền attracted 2,000 viewers on YouTube with her video featuring a performance of the cải lương play Bà Chúa Thơ Nôm (Queen of Nôm Poetry) with English subtitles.

    Speaking at the seminar, Huyền said that she created her own YouTube channel called Linh Huyen Vietnamese opera to introduce cải lương to both Vietnamese and foreigners. She said it was the best way to capture new audiences.

    Seminar participants, especially producers, emphasised the need for co-operation between TV stations and cải lương theatres to bring good plays and performances to TV.

    HCM City Television Station said that its key cải lương shows, including Vầng Trăng Cổ Nhạc (Traditional Music), Chuông Vàng Vọng Cổ (Golden Bell) and Ngân Mãi Chuông Vàng (Ringing Bell), are broadcast every week.

    The shows have been warmly welcomed from people in southern provinces, and have inspired many young artists.

    However, some seminar participants complained that many cải lương plays on TV had poor quality scripts.

    “I have approached many scripts and many of them are poor quality. Unfortunately, poor quality scripts are still broadcast on TV,” Cơ said

    She said that television stations should broadcast only one play a month, but it must be an excellent one.

    “A quality script is one of the most important elements in capturing audiences for TV dramas,” she said.

    Meritorious Artist Trần Minh Ngọc agreed with Cơ, saying that cải lương plays are still focusing on historical events and characters. “Cải lương plays need new topics, highlighting contemporary social issues.”

    Ngọc added: “The Government should issue a long-term project on developing staff for cải lương, including scriptwriters, directors and performers.”

    “Big cities like HCM City and Cần Thơ should also have new and modern cải lương theatres to attract more audiences,” said the 82-year-old director.

    Võ Văn Thưởng, head of the Party Central Committee’s Publicity and Education Commission, said at the seminar that cải lương was facing many challenges, including a decrease in the number of performances, theatres and audiences.

    “The Government, provincial authorities and cải lương artists need to work together to develop and promote the art,” Thưởng said.

    Following the seminar today will be a premiere of Thầy Ba Đợi (Master Ba Đợi), a play portraying the career of famous musician Nguyễn Quang Đại, a guru of cải lương who helped develop tài tử music, a genre of traditional music, and cải lương in the South. 

    The play, directed by young director Triệu Trung Kiên, features 50 artists of the Việt Nam Cải Lương Theatre from Hà Nội and Trần Hữu Trang Theatre from HCM City.

    It will be staged at Bến Thành Theatre in HCM City tonight and on May 1, and in Long An Province on April 29.

    Việt Nam to start Asian futsal campaign


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links
    Việt Nam to play Chinese Taipei in their first match at the Asian Women’s Futsal Championship. -- Photo tinthethao.com.vn 

    The Việt Nam team left yesterday for Thailand for the Asian Women’s Futsal Championship to be held in Bangkok next month.

    "We have some new faces on the team, and the Asian event will mark their international debut. No doubt they will be nervous. However, after a careful preparation period and friendly matches in China, we are improving. We know who we are and will aim for the best result," said coach Trương Quốc Tuấn.

    Tuấn was confident in his players’ abilities.

    "We trust them. They are doing well with the strategies of the coaching board. There are still several issues that need improvement, and we will deal with them in these last few days," he said.

    Today, Việt Nam will have its last friendly match against the hosts ahead of the championship.

    "It will be an important match for us. We consider it an official match to familiarise my players with the real atmosphere in the championship’s stadium ground," Tuấn said.

    A total of 15 teams will participate in the tournament. They have been divided into four groups,  with the group winners and the best runners-up advancing to the quarter-finals.

    Việt Nam, in its second shot at the tournament, are in Group B with Malaysia, Chinese Taipei and Bangladesh.

    In their first match on May 2, they will play Chinese Taipei. In the first edition, they finished in the groups stage in 2015.

    Iran are the defending champions after defeating Japan 1-0 in the 2015 final.

    Kids to represent Vietnam at Football for Friendship programme in Russia


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links 

    Nguyen Trong Tuan and Pham Nguyen Quoc Trung, 12 year old football enthusiasts from Vietnam, have been selected as country’s representatives at the global FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP (F4F) social programme.

    The F4F programme, supported by Gazprom and FIFA aims at developing youth football and a healthy lifestyle as well as promoting tolerance, open-mindedness and respect of different cultures and nationalities between children from across the globe. Vietnam joins the programme for the second time and will participate alongside 210 other countries and regions.

    Nguyen Trong Tuan will join Young footballers from around the world in Moscow in June 2018. The children will be a part of the 32 International Teams of Friendship and play against each other in the Gazprom FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP International Championship.

    The friendly tournament aims to bring together children from around the world and celebrate the unifying spirit of football.

    Pham Nguyen Quoc Trung will act as the young journalist and report on all the local and global activities of the F4F programme as part of the International Children's Press Center. He will also spread awareness on the Nine Values (friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions and honour) of the F4F programme.

    Nguyen Trong Tuan and Pham Nguyen Quoc Trung will also participate in the Sixth Football for Friendship International Children's Forum in Russia, which will allow youngsters to meet their peers from other countries, share their experiences, and discuss with famous footballers and journalists on how to promote key values of the F4F Programme around the world

    The sixth season of the F4F programme will conclude with a visit by the participating children to the opening ceremony and the first match of the FIFA World Cup 2018.

    Speaking on the selection of the young ambassadors by the Vietnam Football Federation, General Secretary, Le Hoai Anh said,  “The selection of the young ambassadors from Vietnam is an extension of our support to this unique global initiative. The programme is a wonderful opportunity for the ambassadors to build ties of friendship among children from around the world and foster peace and harmony through the beautiful game of football. We wish our young ambassadors all the best for the programme and look forward to their contribution in promoting the key values of the programme, in Russia, as well as in Vietnam.”

    Various activities to celebrate Liberation Day

    A range of activities have been held across the country to mark the 43rd anniversary of the Liberation of the South and National Reunification Day (April 30, 1975 - April 30, 2018).

    The People’s Committee of the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai organised a ceremony on April 26 to present the “Vietnamese Heroic Mother” title to three women whose husbands and children laid down their lives in the fight for national liberation and gave medals to 98 revolutionary veterans.

    On the same day, leaders of the Party Committee, People’s Council, People’s Committee, and Fatherland Front of the southern province of Ca Mau offered flowers and incense in memory of the heroic martyrs in cemeteries 10, Hon Khoai, and Ca Mau.

    The Thua Thien - Hue provincial Party Committee organised a conference on April 26 to announce the publication of a book entitled “Vietnamese Heroic Mothers in Thua Thien Hue province, Volume IV”.

    The 640-page book portrays 594 Vietnamese heroic mothers in the province and their contributions to the revolutionary cause, along with images of gratitude-showing work in Thua Thien - Hue and the achievements in local socio-economic development.

    The War Remnants’ Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, in coordination with the Museum of the Chemical Arms, and the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), recently organised an exhibition entitled “Reviving the Dead Land”.

    More than 190 artefacts, documents, and images present visitors with the chance to better understand the consequences of landmines and toxic chemicals used by the US imperialists during the war.

    The exhibition is scheduled to run until August 20.


    Vietnam Red Cross Society launches Humanitarian Month


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links
    A blood donation event held as part of the launching of the Humanitarian Month 2018 in Hanoi (Photo: hanoimoi.com.vn) 

    The Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRCS) and its Hanoi chapter on April 28 launched the Humanitarian Month 2018, which was designed to last throughout May.

    VRCS President Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu said under the direction of the Party Central Committee, this is the first year the VRCS has piloted a humanitarian month in a number of cities and localities before making it a nationwide activity. 

    Thu noted the launch of the month is aimed at promoting good deeds among the public and enhancing authorities’ sense of responsibility towards humanitarian activities, which will contribute to easing poverty and building a solidarity community.

    Hanoi was selected to be the first locality to launch the one-month campaign, followed by Ho Chi Minh City and others.

    At the launching ceremony, the Hanoi Red Cross Society presented 180 million VND (7,947 USD) of funding for the building of two houses and purchase of three breeding cows for poor households. The money will also be used to help a needy child receive health treatment and buy 20 bicycles for disadvantaged students.

    The two organisations also received donations worth 4.3 billion VND (189,845 USD) from businesses, individuals, and other VRCS chapters.

    The launching ceremony featured several activities, including a blood donation event, which was expected to receive 400 blood units; a photo exhibition, a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake to promote the month, and a charity fair.

    The same day, the Hanoi Red Cross Society inaugurated a charity stall at 19/52 To Ngoc Van street, Tay Ho district, to offer needy people free clothes, medicines, and other necessities.

    Final sections of Bach Dang bridge joined


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links
    The final segments of the Bach Dang bridge connecting the northern port city of Hai Phong and the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh are joined on April 28. 

    The final segments of the Bach Dang bridge connecting the northern port city of Hai Phong and the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh were joined at a ceremony held in Quang Ninh province on April 28.

    The ceremony was attended by Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, head of the Party Central Committee’s Organisation Commission Pham Minh Chinh and leaders of the two localities.

    At the event, Chinh highlighted that the bridge is a vivid illustration of the success of the Party and State’s policy on promoting public-private partnership to develop infrastructure. 

    Upon completion, the very first made-in-Vietnam bridge, together with the Hai Phong-Ha Long-Van Don highway, will help connect three economic hubs in the north: Hanoi, Hai Phong and Quang Ninh, he added.

    Those transportation facilities will significantly enhance the competitive edge of the northern region, particularly Hai Phong city and Hai Duong province, while helping “awake” the potential of Cat Ba district (Hai Phong city) and Quang Yen and Van Don districts (Quang Ninh province), he noted.

    The 5.4 km long bridge, spanning over Bach Dang River, was built at a total cost of 7.3 trillion VND (312.2 million USD) in the form of Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT). The cable-stayed bridge is 28m wide with four lanes for traffic.

    The bridge will help shorten the distance from Hanoi to Quang Ninh from 175 kilometres to 125 kilometres as well as cut travelling time between the two localities by half.

    The same day, after attending the joining ceremony of Bach Dang bridge, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan toured the Bach Dang-Ha Long-Van Don highway and the Van Don International Airport project.

    Vietnam News Agency leader active in China


    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links 

    General Director of Vietnam News Agency (VNA) Nguyen Duc Loi (centre) in his trip to China 


    General Director of Vietnam News Agency (VNA) Nguyen Duc Loi met head of the Communist Party of China Central Committee’s Propaganda Department Huang Kunming in Beijing, China on April 26 morning, as part of his working trip from April 24-28. 

    Huang said traditional friendship between the two Parties and States has been growing in diverse areas, including press and media cooperation. 

    He expressed his belief that the visit will further deepen collaboration between Xinhua News Agency and the VNA, thereby promoting China – Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. 

    The VNA General Director expressed his delight at visiting China at the invitation of Xinhua News Agency on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the signing of cooperation agreement between the two news agencies. 

    He informed the host about the outcomes of his talks with leader of Xinhua News Agency and wished that press agencies of both counties would increase exchanges to share experience in new media development. 

    During talks with President of Xinhua News Agency Cai Mingzhao earlier on April 25,Nguyen Duc Loi briefed the host on the VNA’s achievements over the past years, adding that as mouthpieces of the governments, both sides play an active role in stepping up the bilateral friendship. 

    He asked both sides to enhance the exchange of young reporters and editors and continue with training courses for VNA staff. 

    Cai, for his part, introduced Xinhua News Agency’s achievements since both sides signed the professional cooperation agreement for 2017-2020 in Hanoi in May 2017. He added that Xinhua is focusing on multimedia development. 

    The host proposed facilitating visits by high-ranking leaders of the two agencies, extending collaboration and sharing television news and press photos. 

    In the morning the same day, the VNA delegation paid a working trip to the headquarters of the People’s Daily. 

    President of the People’s Daily Li Baoshan and VNA General Director Loi affirmed that high-ranking visits by the two countries’ leaders in 2017 consolidated the friendship between the two Parties and States, thereby boosting ties between their mainstream press agencies, and between People’s Daily and the VNA and Nhan dan (People) newspaper in particular. 

    They highlighted orientations for the future press development as well as comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries’ Parties, States and people. 

    Visiting Binhai new area of China’s Tianjin city on April 27, the VNA delegation learned about its economic development model. 

    In the afternoon the same day, Politburo member and Secretary of the Tianjin municipal Party Committee Li Hongzhong hosted a reception for the Vietnamese guests. 

    Li said Tianjin and Vietnamese localities have conducted regular exchanges, and Tianjin firms will arrive in Vietnam to share experience and seek investment opportunities. 

    Nguyen Duc Loi, in reply, said with economic, scientific and financial potential, Tianjin city will thrive in the near future and further cooperate with Vietnamese localities. 

    Vietnamese Ambassador to China Dang Minh Khoi also joined the delegation’s activities.

    NA chief launches “One Commune One Product” fair in Quang Ninh


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links 

    National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan attended and cut the ribbon to open the One Commune One Product (OCOP) fair in the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh on April 27.

    The annual event is held twice a year as an effective channel to promote local trade, connect producers with distributors, and set development orientations for goods production in line with market demand.

    This year, the fair has for the first time been considered a regional event and included in the national trade promotion programme by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

    With the largest scale to date, it gathers 460 stalls, of which 32 are operated by foreign companies from Thailand, the Republic of Korea, Iran, Japan, and Cambodia. It features farm produce, handicrafts, and specialties of domestic and regional participants.

    Visitors are also treated to a beer festival, a festival of traditional cakes from across Vietnam, an exhibition of products by Vietnamese traditional craft villages.

    The OCOP programme was initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2008. Quang Ninh is the first locality nationwide to implement the project from 2013.

    Film screening celebrates major national celebrations


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links 

    A film screening is being held across the nation from April 27 to May 23 to mark the country’s major celebrations such as the Reunification Day (April 30), the Labour Day (May 1), the Dien Bien Phu Victory (May 7) and the birthday of President Ho Chi Minh (May 19).

    The films to be screened feature the national history, revolutionary soldiers, and young people in both wartime and peacetime.

    Among them are the movies “Me oi con da ve” (Mom, I came back home) and “Giac mo tho cam” (Dream of Brocade), and the documentary films “Mot dat me cho tat ca” (A motherland for all), “Dang dung Viet Nam” (Vietnamese posture) and “Thoi tre trung soi noi” (Intense youth) 

    “Me oi con da ve” tells the story of former military health worker named Nga and her son. The two suffer from serious losses and pains from war and live in difficulty. They share misfortunes and it’s the motherhood that brings a better life to them. 

    “Giac mo tho cam” describes the efforts of a Muong young girl and her friends to restore the traditional brocade weaving, helping local residents develop the economy.

    Meanwhile, the three documentaries reflect the aspiration for a peaceful, united and developed country of Vietnam and the contributions of ex-volunteer youths to national construction.

    The film screening is organised by the Vietnam Cinematography Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in collaboration with film distribution companies and departments of culture, sports and tourisms of cities and provinces nationwide.

    Workshop talks gender equality in voluntary national review on SDGs


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links
    Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, President of the Vietnam Women’s Union  (right) và Elisa Fernandez, head of UN Women's office in Vietnam at the workshop. 

     


    The Vietnam Women’s Union Central Committee and the UN Women held a consultation workshop in Hanoi on April 27 to look into the voluntary national review on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from gender equality perspective.

    Addressing the event, President of the Vietnam Women’s Union Nguyen Thi Thu Ha said it is necessary to review gender equality issues in the implementation of the SDGs. With the attention of all-level authorities, sectors and localities, gender quality in Vietnam has gradually been integrated in activities in all aspects of the political, economic, cultural and social life, with multiple outstanding achievements recognised by the world community.

    The outcomes of gender equality ensuring efforts have considerably contributed to the implementation of the SDGs, she added. 

    Elisa Fernandez, UN Women Head of Office in Vietnam, said Vietnam is an exception when its Government decided to not only focus on mandatory goals but also assess the country’s progress in the other goals, including Goal 5 on gender equality. This has created a chance for the country to announce the progress of ensuring gender equality and how gender-related issues have been solved in other goals.

    She asked relevant sides to make use of this chance to create coordination and develop a network that also includes the private sector to promote gender equality and women empowerment.

    At the workshop, more than 100 experts from Government agencies, Women’s Union committees at different levels, international and social organisations and research institutes contributed opinions from the gender equality perspective to the voluntary national review on the SDGs of Vietnam. 

    They said the voluntary national review is an opportunity for Vietnam to look into the accomplishments as well as shortcomings and challenges on the way to achieve the SDGs.

    The review will be submitted to the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York, the US this July.

    New shows of cải lương staged to celebrate April 30


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links 

    The HCM City Drama Theatre, one of the region’s leading troupes, has a new show, Loạn Chiến Phụng Hoàng Cung (Game of Thrones), to entertain locals during the Reunification Day-Labour Day holidays.

    Cải lương and drama troupes in HCM City will perform new shows to mark the long Reunification Day-Labour Day weekend. Photo courtesy of Lê Hoàng Stage

    The play, as usual, focuses on historical events.

    Talented director Lê Trung Thảo has cast young actors Thái Vinh and Bình Tinh in leading roles. 

    The play debuted two weeks ago and was well received by a 500 strong audience at the Lê Hoàng Stage in Bình Thạnh District.

    “Our play highlights patriotism and loyalty,” Thảo said.

    “It features a very old story but staged in a new style to suit the tastes of young people.”

    Lê Hoàng Stage, a newly-opened private troupe in the city, has Meritorious Artist Tú Sương and others like Võ Minh Lâm and Thúy My acting in three plays. 

    Song Hùng Kỳ Hiệp (Tales of Heroes) Thất Tiên Nữ  (Love and Hate) and Ngai Vàng Và Tội Ác (Throne and Evil) are based on national heroes’ sacrifices for the country.  

    The works promise a new kind of performance with sound and light effects to lure young fans back from cinema.

    According to Thảo, free outdoor shows in cultural houses are planned for rural audiences.

    “We hope to perform in the rural districts of Cần Giờ, Bình Chánh, Nhà Bè, Củ Chi, and Hóc Môn.”  

    District 1’s Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre will offer a variety of shows at only VNĐ50,000 (US$2.1) to 100,000 (US$4.5) targeted at students.  

    Talented artistes like Lê Tứ and Mỹ Hằng will perform in extracts from popular operas like Huyền Thoại Người Mẹ (The Legend of Mother) and Mộng Hoa Vương  (The Power), both on love and women.  

    "We face many challenges in providing a stable income to our performers and staging quality plays," Nguyễn Văn Hồng, the theatre’s deputy director, said.

    “However, we always offer free performances during national holidays and festivals to entertain rural people.

    The plays will be staged every night this weekend and on April 30 and May 1.

    Da Nang expects to greet 350,000 tourists on holiday


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links
    The Da Nang International Fireworks Festival (DIFF) 2018, which is scheduled to kick off on April 29, carrying the theme “The Legends of Bridges”


    Nearly 350,000 tourists are expected to visit the central city of Da Nang on April 30 (the Southern Liberation and National Reunification Day) and May 1 (the International Labour Day), showing a year-on-year rise of 10.2 percent.

    According to the municipal Department of Tourism, the figure will include some 108,930 foreign tourists, mainly from Northeast Asia such as the Republic of Korea, China and Japan, and over 234,000 domestic ones, representing a yearly increase of 28.8 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.

    The number of holidaymakers is projected to surge because the holiday coincides with the Da Nang International Fireworks Festival (DIFF) 2018, which is scheduled to kick off on April 29, carrying the theme “The Legends of Bridges”.

    Seven international teams, including three coming for the first time, and the host will compete in the event. In addition to France, the US, Italy and Portugal, the event will see debutants Surex Firma Rodzinna from Poland, Vulcan Display Fireworks from Hong Kong (China), and GFF from Sweden.

    A string of activities will be hosted on the sidelines of the firework competition, including a food festival, a flash mob dance performance for students, and a street carnival show.

    Da Nang is a popular tourist destination of in the central part of Vietnam. The online marketplace and hospitality service Airbnb announced a list of the world’s top 10 destinations for the 2018, in which Da Nang ranked fifth in booking surges of up to 255 percent.

    The city, which hosted the APEC Economic Leaders Week last November, attracted nearly 2.3 million international tourists in 2017, up 37 percent compared to the preceding year.

    Music show marks 25th anniversary of Vietnam-Israel diplomatic ties


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links
    Israeli singer Achinoam Nini (Source: AJMF)


    The Israeli Embassy in Vietnam held a music show by famous Israeli singer Achinoam Nini (Noa) in Hanoi on April 28 evening in celebration of the 70th anniversary of National Day of Israel and the 25th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties. 

    Speaking at the event, Israeli Ambassador to Vietnam Nadav Eshcar said bilateral ties have thrived over the past years, especially over the past decade. The countries have closely worked in the application of advanced technologies in agriculture, health care, education, innovation and start-ups. 

    Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology and Chairman of the Vietnam – Israel Inter-Governmental Committee Chu Ngoc Anh lauded Israel for scoring successes in the national construction and development over the past seven decades and wished that Israeli people would make greater achievements in the national development and contribute to peace and development in the region and the world. 

    Anh described Israel as one of Vietnam’s important partners in the Middle East over the past 25 years. 

    He reaffirmed the Vietnamese government and people’s desire to further strengthen ties with Israel. 

    Participants also enjoyed guitar performances by Israeli artist Gil Dor.

    Asian traditional New Year celebrated in Hanoi


     

    Exchange programme tightens Vietnam-Myanmar cultural links, HCM City celebrates South liberation, reunification day, Phu Yen fishermen urged to maintain fishing activities, Dong Thap, Taiwanese locality look to set up links
    At the friendship exchange to mark traditional New Year of India, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand (Photo: dangcongsan.vn) 

    Some 200 people attended a friendship exchange held in Hanoi on April 27 to mark the traditional New Year of India, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.

    The event was jointly organised by the Hanoi Union of Friendship Organisations (HAUFO) and the embassies of the five countries in Vietnam.

    Delivering new year greetings to the international friends, HAUFO Chairwoman Nguyen Lan Huong said that Vietnamese people always treasure the support from the international community for Vietnam’s cause of national liberation, construction and global integration.

    She expressed her hope that the regular friendship activities held by the HAUFO will help enhance mutual understanding and tighten solidarity between the Vietnamese people and peoples of foreign countries.

    Cambodian Ambassador to Vietnam Prak Nguon Hong thanked the HAUFO for organising such a meaningful activity, which he said helps bolster ties among regional countries.

    He expressed the belief that cooperation and solidarity among the nations will be consolidated and reinforced in the future.

    Participants joined in traditional New Year customs of the Asian countries, such as the Buddha bathing ceremony, threads tying around the wrists and the Festival of Colour (the Holi), and enjoyed stellar art performance.

    VNN

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  • 05/02/18--01:11: Article 2
  • FDI focuses on real estate


    Foreign direct investment (FDI) in real estate increased in the first four months of this year, putting the sector behind just processing and manufacturing industry.

    Around USD455 million was poured into new real estate projects between January and April, accounting for 12.8% of the country’s total FDI capital during the period. Investment in both new and old projects reached USD564 million, according to statistics from the General Statistics Office.


    Around USD455 million was poured into new real estate projects between January and April


    The Commercial Real Estate Services said that previously, investment in the real estate focused on the southern market. However, since 2017, many foreign investors have paid special attention to Hanoi’s property market.

    They have joined together with several big domestic investors to carry out projects, for example, Sumitomo Group’s deal on the northern side of the Red River which is expected to be a hot spot for real estate.

    Experts said hotels and luxury property were among the most attractive property to foreign investors.

    The General Statistics Office reported that Vietnam lured 883 new FDI projects totalling USD8.06 billion in the first four months of this year, down 23.9% on-year. However, FDI disbursement was estimated at USD5.1 billion during the four-month period, up 6.3%.

    South Korea was the top foreign investor in Vietnam between January and April, followed by Japan.

    dtinews.vn

    0 0
  • 05/02/18--01:19: Article 1
  • Import-export firms fear possible rise in terminal handling charge


    Import-export businesses in Vietnam are worrying about a possible increase in terminal handling charges by shipping lines, which would decrease their competitiveness.


     

    Import-export firms fear possible rise in terminal handling charge, 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 new

    The Vietnam Maritime Administration is taking comments for a draft on a possible increase of 10 per cent in container handling charges, except for the Mekong Delta. This means that shipping lines might follow a rise in terminal handling charges.
    According to Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in recent years, many shipping lines increased their charges way above their previous rates.

    Since 2013, Mearsk/MCC Line, which has the largest market share in Vietnam, increased a series of its charges. For example, THC increased from VND4 million ($177.77) to VND5.2 million ($231.1) per container, while delivery order fee rose from VND550,000 ($24.44) to VND730,000 ($32.4).

    What is more, shipping lines also applied new charges, such as container imbalance charge (CIC), which goes at $60 per container.

    Differences in the application of the same charges are also a problem. For example, THC for 20-feet container varies from $90 to $105 and occasionally reaches $110 and even $120.

    Although many import-export firms have been raising objections, the situation remains unchanged. The director of a seafood company in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau's Vung Tau city said that shipping lines all raised charges. If firms reject their business, they would not be able to make shipments.

    "Each month, we export dozens of containers to Japan, meaning that we have to pay charges of several tens of millions of dong," he added.

    According to a general director of a seafood company in Vung Tau, shipping lines have announced that from late April 2018 they would increase some charges by 3-5 per cent, or $70-100 per container.

    "Each month, we export around 140 containers to the EU, Japan, and South Korea. With the new increase in charges, production costs will increase by VND210-300 million ($9,333-13,333) a month, significantly denting our profit," he admitted.

    According to statistics from the Vietnam Maritime Administration, around 40 foreign shipping lines are operating in Vietnam, handling 88 per cent of all imports and exports.

    The Vietnamese government issued Decree 146 in November 2016, asking shipping lines to publicise container handling charges by sea, surcharges, and service charges at seaports. However, import-export firms still complained about the unreasonable collection of charges and surcharges.

    VIR

    0 0
  • 05/02/18--01:24: Article 0
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 2/5


    Hanoi’s condo market attracts flow of foreign capital


     

    Hanoi’s condo market attracts flow of foreign capital, US' Eaton shakes hands with Digiworld, Vietnam’s coal imports grow despite large reserves, Calls for consumer protection watchdog

    According to experts, Vietnam’s real estate market will continue to charm foreign investors thanks to high liquidity and alluring profit-making prospects.

    The ZEN Residence in Hanoi’s Hoang Mai district is grabbing particular attention from foreign investors

    The latest report by CBRE, a leading real estate advisory firm, showed that a total of 8,800 new condos were put on sale in Hanoi’s realty market over the first quarter this year, 6,600 units of which have already found buyers.

    CBRE also forecasted a 9-per cent jump in the volume of condos sold this year compared to 2017, reaching 28,000 units.

    The plentiful supply aims to keep up with current burgeoning market demand, particularly from the soaring number of city dwellers, most of whom are young people.

    In addition, young people in big cities like Hanoi often consider buying their own houses with their work savings or after getting married, leading to rising housing demand.

    Favoured options are apartment units rather than landed properties due to both financial and comfort factors. That is because many developers are trying their best to provide prospective buyers with the utmost comfort by launching fully-furnished apartment building projects which feature a diverse range of accompanying facilities.

    This helps young professionals relax amongst the hustle and bustle of the city with available convenient facilities. In addition, landed properties often carry a more costly price tag compared to apartment units, putting financial pressure on young buyers.

    What is more, there is a surging growth in the middle-class population of Hanoi, which is set to continue rising amid the country’s rapid economic development. In combination with burgeoning demand for condos, buying prices and rental costs are expected to rise as well.

    The value of property chiefly depends on key factors such as transport convenience, geographical position, and accompanying amenities. The investment opportunities at projects which satisfy these factors, therefore, are very appealing to foreign investors, particularly considering the record-high property prices in many foreign markets in the region.

    Well aware of the trend, Terence Chan, director of Golden Emperor, one of Hong Kong’s leading outbound real estate firms, said that large-scale infrastructure projects and strong foreign capital flow are among the factors that have led to the booming economic development in Hanoi and stimulated the real estate market. In the condo sector, Gamuda Land with its award-winning condo project – the ZEN Residence (Gamuda Gardens in Hanoi’s Hoang Mai district) – holds distinct advantages complemented by a smart infrastructure system that connects with major roads.

    “By virtue of a well-conceived development plan, the ZEN Residence will grow into a charming residential community, promising to deliver foreign investors a high leasing profit rate at about 7 per cent per annum,” Chan said.

    Looking back on 2017 and the first half of 2018, Hanoi’s condo market has attracted many foreign investors after they have penetrated the Vietnamese market.

    At present, foreign investors from Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea have reported a rapidly growing presence in the Vietnamese real estate market, whereas previously, their attention was mainly confined to simply seeking investment opportunities. Besides, their investments have also expanded outside of the commercial real estate sector into the private housing segment.

    US' Eaton shakes hands with Digiworld

    Power management company Eaton has signed a new distribution agreement with its strategic partner Digiworld Corporation (HOSE: DGW) to supply power management technologies and services in Vietnam.

    Pichai Suthijintatip, Eaton’s regional director, power quality for Indochina, Thailand, Myanmar, and Bangladesh region, said that the company provides energy-efficiency solutions that help customers effectively manage electric, hydraulic, and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably.

    “At Eaton, we help our customers maintain productivity, reduce energy consumption, and protect their capital investments through innovative power management solutions. We are dedicated to improving people’s lives and the environment with powerful technologies and solutions,” he said.

    According to Suthijintatip, the tie-up with Digiworld will help Eaton to deepen its presence in Vietnam and provide top-notch quality services to Vietnamese people, helping them solve some of their biggest power management challenges through its industry-leading electric products and services.

    With the large coverage of its nationwide distribution network and 20 years of experience as a distributor of more than 30 world-renowned technology brands, Digiworld is primed to take Eaton to more customers and providing them strong prospects in accessing innovative power management technologies and solutions.

    Digiworld CEO Doan Hong Viet shared that, “This partnership is a positive step towards meeting our growth goals in the ICT business segment and enabling our customers to access exclusive power management technologies that are more reliable, efficient, safe, and sustainable."

    "We are confident about the opportunities that this partnership will bring to the Vietnamese people and the growth ambitions of both our companies,” he added.

    Eaton is a power management company with sales of US$20.4 billion in 2017. The company is dedicated to improving the quality of life and the environment through the use of power management technologies and services. Eaton has approximately 96,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries.

    Digiworld is the leading market expansion services provider in Vietnam with a great trackrecord, especially in the ICT sector. With the core strength of five values−added services including market analysis, marketing, sales, logistics, and after-sales services—Digiworld provides top-notch services and tailor-made solutions for the most rapid and effective market penetration and market expansion for brands entering Vietnam.

    Vietnam’s coal imports grow despite large reserves

    Despite its large reserves, Vietnam has to import a huge volume of coal in the 2016-2020 period, which began in 2017 and will see a sharp increase from 2020 to supply thermal power plants, according to a plan from the Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Corporation (Vinacomin).

    Last year’s import volume reached more than 11.7 million tons in 2017 and will rise to 21m tons in 2018, 40.3m tons in 2020, 70.3m tons in 2025, and 100m tons in 2030.

    According to a government plan adopted in early 2016, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Vinacomin proposed the purchase of around 3 million tons for thermal power plants, but the figure had seen a fourfold increase to 13.3 million tons by the end of 2016.

    Import price averaged at US$105 per ton last year, a year-on-year rise of 44.2%. Indonesia, Australia, and Russia were the three biggest coal suppliers of Vietnam, making up 83% of the country’s total imports with 12 million tons last year.

    Previously, Vietnam had long maintained a place as one of the leading exporters of coal with exports sometimes reaching 50% of the country’s total output. However, the country is suffering a shortage of high quality coal while the current inventory is in excess of 9 million tons.

    Experts forecast that domestic coal production’s failure to meet the demands of thermal power plants and household consumption coupled with difficulties in coal exploitation will lead to a further increase in imports over the future.

    Vietjet Air eyes 10 percent profit growth this year

    Low-cost airline Vietjet Air aims to earn nearly 51 trillion VND (2.24 billion USD) in revenue and over 5.8 trillion VND (254.4 million USD) in profit, up 20.5 percent and 10 percent, respectively in 2018.

    The goals were adopted at the airline’s annual shareholder meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on April 26.

    Vietjet Air plans to operate more than 120,000 flights with a total of 66 aircraft, an increase from 51 last year, and serve over 24.1 million passengers by the end of 2018. Additionally, it will provide services on a total of 100 air routes, including 39 domestic and 61 international airways.

    It will increase international flights to destinations in North Asia and Southeast Asia and expand cooperation with other airlines that operate flights to Europe and America. It is developing plans to launch flights to Australia, Japan, Indonesia and India.

    The carrier will put the Vietjet Aviation Academy into operation in 2018. The establishment will provide a full flight simulator for flight crew training, being run in cooperation with aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

    In 2017, Vietjet Air carried over 17.11 million passengers on over 98,800 flights. It generated 42.3 trillion VND (1.84 billion USD) in turnover and 5.07 trillion VND (223.08 million USD) in after-tax profit, a year-on-year surge of 54 percent and 73 percent from the previous year. Earnings per share reached 11,356 VND.

    The airlines’ shares have been listed on the Stock Exchange of Ho Chi Minh City (HOSE) since last year, demonstrating commitment by the firm’s Board of Directors to applying international standards in management and ensuring information transparency.

    Following positive business results, the carrier’s Board of Directors received approval from the shareholders to raise the dividend rate of 2017 from 50 percent to 60 percent. Accordingly, the company advanced 30 percent dividend payment in cash and will pay another cash dividend of 10 percent on May 25. The remainder of 20 percent will be paid in stocks.

    Vietnam Airlines earns nearly 1.46 trillion VND in pre-tax profit in Q1

    The Vietnam Airlines Corporation earned nearly 1.46 trillion VND (64.3 million USD) in pre-tax profit in the first three months of the year, 6.2 percent higher its set plan.

    During the period, the corporation transported nearly 5 million passengers, up 5 percent from the same period last year. Travel demands shot up in key flights to Northeast Asian countries like Japan and the Republic of Korea.

    The national flag carrier carried out 33,000 safe flights with its rate of On Time Performance (OTP) reaching over 90 percent.

    In the first quarter of the year, the airlines continued efforts to better its four-star service quality. Particularly, Vietnam Airlines’ application of information technology into its service brought convenience to passengers while making contributions to easing overload at many airports, especially Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

    The rate of customers making their own online check-in via website, mobile or check-in kiosks at Tan Son Nhat, Noi Bai and Da Nang airports stood at high level of nearly 50 percent.

    In addition, thanks to the company’s stable development, professional working environment, and sound remuneration, it ranked among the top 20 working places in Vietnam, according to the rating of Anphabe career network and Intage Vietnam.

    In the second quarter of this year, Vietnam Airlines is continuing to focus its resources to ensure safe operation and security. The firm recently received the 12th A350 wide-body aircraft and work to assure its four-star service in line with international standards, particularly during peak national and summer holidays.

    Also, it will organise the 2018 shareholders meeting and carry out a plan to increase its chartered capital by offering shares to current shareholders and sell the rights to buy shares of State shareholders.

    FPT Retail shares soar on debut day     

    FPT Digital Retail JSC (FPT Retail) shares soared 20 per cent on Thursday as the company debuted on the HCM Stock Exchange (HoSE).

    FPT Retail listed its 40 million shares on HoSE with code FRT. Its shares moved to hit their daily rising band of 20 per cent, closing at VND150,000 (US$6.67) per share, from the debut price of VND125,000 per share.

    At the closing price on Thursday, FPT Retail was valued at VND6 trillion.

    The listing of FPT Retail was attractive to foreign investors as its shares topped the must-buy list to foreign investors. They posted a net buy value of VND137.3 billion ($6 million) for FPT Retail shares.

    FPT Retail is holding two retail chains, which are FPT Shop (selling technological products) and F.Studio (authorised by Apple to sell authentic products and accessories). The total number of stores under the two chains has reached 480 across the country and is expected to increase in the near future.

    The company is also the second-largest digital retailer behind Mobile World Investment Corporation. FPT Retail has made investment in 10 Long Chau pharmaceutical store chain. The number of drug stores is expected to reach 400 in the next four years.

    The pharmaceutical segment is projected to contribute 40 per cent of FPT Retail’s total revenue in the future.

    FPT Retail plans to achieve VND1.6 trillion ($711 million) in total net revenue and VND377 billion in post-tax profit, a yearly increase of 22 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively. The company also expects to pay a 20 per cent dividend in cash.

    In the first quarter of 2018, FPT Retail recorded VND3.88 trillion in revenue, an increase of 17 per cent year on year. Its first-quarter profit rose one-third to reach VND64 billion, equal to 17 per cent of the full-year target. 

    Retailers roll out holiday promotions     

    Many retailers have announced sales promotions to attract shoppers during the long Reunification Day-Labour Day weekend.

    Co.opmart and Co.opXtra supermarkets are offering attractive discounts on beverages, fresh foods and kitchen appliances from April 26 to May 9.

    Appliances like fruit juicers, electric stoves, gas stoves, electric rice cookers, and non-stick pans carry the biggest discounts of 25-46 per cent.

    Chicken meat, fish, cuttlefish, fruits and vegetables are discounted by 10-25 per cent, with some already marinated to help reduce processing time.

    With the holidays coinciding with the 22nd anniversary of the Co.opmart supermarket chain, Co.opXtra, Co.op Food, Co.op Smile and HTV Co.op are also offering steep discounts on chemical products, industrial foods and fashion products.

    They are also offering customers a lot of bonus points and free coupons and running the “Super incentives” programme during weekends.

    Korean retailer Lotte Mart is offering discounts of up to 50 per cent on thousands of products like foodstuffs, ready-to-eat foods and appliances besides attractive gifts until May 2 under a promotion programme called “Welcome great holiday”.

    To mark second anniversary of its Choice L private label, Lotte Mart has introduced top 10 Choice L bestsellers at its outlets as well as top 10 best Choice L products imported from South Korea at attractive discounts.

    Members shopping for at least VND300,000 will have the chance to buy many products at huge discounts.

    Big C supermarket has launched its big promotion programme, offering discounts of up to 50 per cent on more than 1,000 products like fresh and processed foods, beer, beverages, clothes, and regional specialities, which also have gifts attached, until May 9.

    Besides, it has earmarked a display area for 15 regional specialities of SMEs taking part in a programme it launched along with Central Group Vietnam in 2016 to help small enterprises enter the modern distribution channel.

    They include Viet Cuong canna vermicelli and Hung Thai green tea (Thai Nguyen Province), Hai Binh cashewnut roasted using firewood (Gia Lai Province), Thanh Xuan fermented pork (Dong Thap Province), Cau Tre pork paste (HCM City), Hue royal tea (Thua Thien-Hue Province), Long Trieu coffee (Da Lat City), which are sold at up to 20 per cent discount.

    Big C said its stocks are more than 50 per cent higher than normal days, especially of ready-to-eat foods, breads, fruits and vegetables.

    Other supermarkets and major electronics stores like Thien Hoa, Cho Lon, and Nguyen Kim are also offering big discounts on a large variety of products.

    TH Group expands business to Singapore

    In a bid to expand its fresh milk map in Vietnam, locally-owned TH Group has started marketing its products in Singapore.

    During Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s April 25-28 official visit to Singapore, TH Group, the owner of Vietnam's leading milk brand, TH true MILK, met with potential Singaporean partners to market its food products in the island nation.

    The group has showcased its products at the Food and Hotel fair held in Singapore, and worked with the leaders of the Sheng Siong supermarket chain about a plan to sell its products, including TH true MILK, TH true Herbal, and TH true NUT.

    TH Group has also inked a co-operation deal with Singapore’s UBM—one of the nation’s leading B2B exhibition and conference organisers. Under the deal, the two firms will boost co-operation in business development.

    PM Phuc has also visited the fair and TH Group’s booth. He said that TH Group is “a typical example of local firms boosting investment in the Vietnamese agricultural sector,” and that the group is among the many domestic firms supporting the country in promoting Vietnamese products in foreign markets.

    In a bid to expand its penetration of the fresh milk market in Vietnam, this year TH Group is planning to invest hundreds of millions of US dollars in the construction of many new high-tech agricultural projects nationwide, focusing on producing fresh milk, organic vegetables, herbs, and fruit.

    The group is now fast-tracking the construction of its large-scale hi-tech dairy farm in the south-central city of Phu Yen. The project’s first stage, worth $53 million, covers 82 hectares of land.

    “We will also implement many other foodstuff projects,” said Thai Huong, founder of TH Group.

    The group is also boosting the construction of two other dairy farming and fresh milk processing facilities in Ha Giang and Thanh Hoa provinces, with the total investment capital of $287 million.

    Since 2008, TH Group has been operating a $1.2-billion high-tech concentrated dairy and fresh milk production project in the central province of Nghe An.

    Currently, while constructing a $2.7-billion hi-tech concentrated dairy and fresh milk production project in Russia, TH Group is also constructing a similar major project in the Republic of Bashkortostan, a federal subject of Russia.

    C.T Group signs major deals at Vietnam-Singapore Business Forum 2018

    Vietnam’s C.T Group signed a series of agreements with Soilbuild, the Singapore-based leading integrated property group, on April 26 at the Vietnam-Singapore Business Forum in Singapore, held within the framework of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's official visit to Singapore from April 25 to 27.

    Prime Minister Phuc and representatives from the Singaporean Government witnessed the signing ceremony between the two sides.

    They included memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on the construction of the I-Town Urban Area in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Chanh district, a $350-million project under the city’s master plan to develop its satellite cities, and on the establishment of a $64-million factory that utilizes Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction technology in the building of residential apartments. This cutting-edge technology has been applied in Singapore in recent times and helped drive significant progress in the country’s construction industry. 

    Earlier, the C.T Group also inked a cooperation deal with Soilbuild Singapore to build and promote the brand name of a 1,600-apartment project at 360 Ha Noi Highway, Ho Chi Minh City, with total investment of nearly $100 million.

    The C.T Group also strengthens its ties with other international partners, particularly Japan and South Korea.

    Hoa Phat’s steel exports to Australia surges following ADC’s decision

    The Hoa Phat Group is scheduled to ship 6,500 tonnes of steel to Australia in May, the highest-ever export volume to the market in a month.

    The group said its steel exports to Australia has surged after the Australia Anti-Dumping Commission (ADC) ended investigation into antidumping charges against Hoa Phat and other steel producers of Vietnam as it found no violations.

    In the previous years, Hoa Phat received orders for an average of 3,000 tonnes of steel from Australia each month.

    Last year, Hoa Phat exported 36,000 tonnes of rolled steel and steel bars to Australia and received no complaint from Australian customers. Since early April 2018, its export volume has reached 4,200 tonnes.

    With good signals from the Australian market following the ADC’s decision, the group expects even higher growth in the market in the future.

    Australia is the world’s biggest exporter of iron ore with high quality. Last year, Hoa Phat partnered with four biggest iron ore suppliers of Australia to ensure the long-term supply of materials for its plants, especially Hoa Phat Dung Quat iron and steel production complex in the central Quang Ngai province.

    PV Power given green light on new plants     

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has given the go-ahead to PetroVietnam’s proposal of transferring the two gas-fuelled power plants – Nhon Trach 3 and 4 – to PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power).

    In an official letter dated April 23, the PM agreed to allow PV Power to replace PetroVietnam as the investor of the two thermal power plants.

    Late in March, PetroVietnam proposed the transfer plan which aimed to reduce capital pressure on the group so that it can focus on other major State-owned coal, oil and gas projects.

    The Nhon Trach 3 and 4 power plants were added in the Viet Nam’s Power Development Master Plan VII for the period of 2016-20, with vision to 2030.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) approved the construction of Nhon Trach power centre in September 2017 in Ong Keo Industrial Park in Dong Nai Province, which is the transmission hub of the southern region comprising three key economic centres – HCM City, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

    The two liquid natural gas-fuelled power plants have total capacity of 1,500MW with an estimated total investment of VND33.3 trillion (US$1.5 billion). They are set to be operational by 2020-21.

    Prior to the agreement, PV Power hinted at entering a joint venture with other investors, with mind to hold 51 per cent of total equity. However, according to MoIT, the establishment of a joint stock company could mean delayed construction, hindering the objective of providing power for the southern region.

    At present, PV Power is managing operations of Nhon Trach 1 and 2, so PV Power can use the existing infrastructure of these two power plants, such as temporary ports, oil tank depots, diesel oil (DO) tank systems, water systems, warehouses and office buildings, to reduce the investment cost for Nhon Trach 3 and 4.

    PV Power is the second largest electricity producer in Viet Nam, behind the Electricity of VIet Nam. PV Power has a charter capital of almost VND21.8 trillion (over $956 million), currently managing eight power plants nationwide with a total installed capacity of 4,208MW.

    By the end of 2017, PV Power supplied 150 billion kWh to the national grid. It reported a total revenue of over VND200 trillion, with a pre-tax profit of VND11 trillion, and contributed nearly VND10 trillion to the State budget.

    Calls for consumer protection watchdog     

    With increasing demand for credit and more people taking part in financial activities, a watchdog is required to protect consumers, a workshop on protection of finance consumers heard in HCM City on April 26.

    Le Thi Kim Xuan, head of the Viet Nam Banks Association’s HCM City office, said financial inclusion is a global trend now.

    But it does not only mean enhancing access to credit but also protecting consumer rights and improving their finance literacy, she said.

    Many countries have implemented plans to enhance the public’s knowledge of finance and set up a regulator to protect their rights, she said.

    Though Viet Nam adopted a law on consumer rights protection in 2010, which clearly states the responsibilities of relevant stakeholders in case of consumer complaints, violations remain common, she said.

    She blamed it on two major factors. Firstly, many consumers remain unaware of their rights due to lack of financial knowledge, and rarely read the contract carefully when borrowing money or signing up for any service, she said.

    Secondly, financial providers do not fully disclose information to consumers, who end up signing up for something they are not aware of, she said.

    “Therefore, finance education is important and necessary to help consumers access formal financial markets and stay away from loan sharks.”

    Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the workshop, James Collan, a financial consumer protection consultant from the International Finance Corporation, said: “Viet Nam is facing an increasing indicator of risks due to more citizen participation in financial services, increasing accessibility to credit and more services being offered.”

    That is why a financial consumer protection framework should be put in place to mitigate financial risks and the potential for harm done to consumers, he said.

    One of the first principles of consumer protection is ‘buyer beware’, meaning consumers need to exercise caution and due diligence but given the level of sophistication, coercion and unethical market conduct displayed by a range of financial institutions nowadays, it is not sufficient to place the responsibility solely on the consumers, he said.

    “There needs to be a central body to deal with consumer protection and to build a framework which includes adopting legislation and regulations, and developing education programmes [for consumers].”

    The central body would work to ensure consumers are informed about their obligations when borrowing money and help resolve disputes between them and financial institutions, he said.

    “It’s unreasonable to think that a consumer can take a financial institution to court and pay for the cost of that. You need an alternative method to resolve the dispute.”

    HCMC projects get new investors     

    The HCM City property sector has continued to attract a lot of foreign investment, especially via mergers & acquisitions.

    Nguyen Hoai Nam, general director of Malaysia’s Berjaya Viet Nam, told Dau tu (Invesment) newspaper that his company had sold its two projects in the city to another investor.

    The Viet Nam Financial Centre (VFC) in District 10 and the Viet Nam International University Township (VIUT) in Hoc Mon District have register capital of US$930 million and $3.5 billion.

    “We cannot disclose detail information because the two sides are on the discussion and all might finish soon,” he said.

    The 7ha VFC, licensed in 2008, would have a five-star hotel, apartment and shopping mall.

    The 925ha VIUT was also licensed in 2008. It needs to build a university on 100ha, while the remaining can be used for commercial, amusement, and residential facilities.

    Nam said both projects face challenges and have thus been delayed.

    “Following the sale, work will soon begin.”

    Singapore-based Keppel Land announced that it is buying 40 per cent of the $1.2 billion Empire City in the Thu Thiem New Urban Area.

    The 14.6ha project received a licence in 2015 for building an 86-floor tower with luxury apartments, office space and a retail area.

    Besides property, science and technology services and tourism are attracting the most interest from foreign investors.

    Techcombank places 1.65mn shares with institutional investors

    Techcombank, one of the largest private sector joint stock commercial banks (JSCBs) in Vietnam, has announced the successful placing of 164,076,954 ordinary shares to institutional investors.

    Based on a final price of VND128,000 ($5.62) per share, the placement raised a total of approximately VND21 trillion ($922 million), equating to a market capitalization of $6.5 billion. The book was significantly oversubscribed at the time of pricing.

    Trading of Techcombank’s shares on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HSX) is expected to commence on Monday June 4, under the stock code TCB VN.

    “We are thrilled with the positive response from the international investment community,” said CEO Mr. Quoc Anh Nguyen Le. “Our decision to allocate a large portion of our offering to the cornerstone tranche is testament to the tremendous demand from a diverse and high-quality set of investors. Just as important is that a number of these funds are investing in Vietnam for the first time.”

    He added that Techcombank believes investors are attracted by the strength of its business model and the broad background and experience of its management team. But, most importantly, investors are very bullish on the growth of Vietnam’s middle class as its young population enters the workforce. “The country’s low financial inclusion rate also makes banking a very attractive proposition,” Mr. Le said.

    This year is shaping up to be one of the more exciting times for the country’s equity market as it parallels the trajectory of Vietnam’s economic development, he went on. “Our management team is grateful for the incredible support from our existing shareholders, excited to welcome new investors, and appreciative of our advisors, who together made this initial public offering a resounding success,” he said. “We are committed to providing the highest value to our customers, developing our team members, and delivering strong returns for shareholders.”

    Morgan Stanley, Viet Capital Securities, and Deutsche Bank AG arranged the offering.

    Established in 1993, Techcombank is one of the largest JSCBs in Vietnam and one of the leading banks in Asia. It provides a broad range of banking products and services to more than 5.4 million customers in Vietnam, with an extensive network of 315 branches around the country.

    HCMC, Long An province beef up agro-product consumption

    The Department of Industry and Trade in the Mekong delta province of Long An and its counterpart in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday held a meeting to discuss agricultural product consumption.

    Speaking at the meeting, director of the department in Long An Le Minh Duc said that since 2016, HCMC and Long An have signed an agreement of consuming produce; however, it is not as stable as expected.

    HCMC department Deputy Director Nguyen Ngoc Hoa said that HCMC is planning to build chains of traceable food and vegetables in supermarkets, traditional markets and harvest-preservation. It is regrettable that very a few cooperatives and firms in Long An satisfied the requirements.

    It is a must that enterprises and cooperatives in Long An province introduce their production scale and capability to its peers in HCMC for a long-term cooperation.

    In the meeting, cooperative representatives moaned of their members’ production habit; moreover, they use fertilizers rampantly not to follow producers’ guidance and relevant agencies.

    Deputy Chairman of Long An province People’s Committee Nguyen Van Duoc said that long An will adopt measures to connect firms and cooperatives with their large peers in HCMC adding that Long An strives to become one of safe and quality vegetables, fruits suppliers to meet HCMC demand.

    Vietnam enjoys trade surplus of US$3.1 billion as of mid-April

    Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of US$3.1 billion as of April 15, 2018, according to the latest statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

    The country’s total import-export turnover rose 17% to US$125.7 billion. Of the figure, US$64.4 billion came from exports, a year-on-year rise of 22.8%.

    Vietnam’s major export staples include mobile phones and components, garments-textiles, computers and electronic components, machines and equipment, footwear, transport vehicles and accessories, timber and wooden products, aquatic products, coffee, and iron and steel.

     As of mid-April, foreign direct investment (FDI) businesses posted a trade surplus of US$9.4 billion.

     FDI firms raked in US$45.9 billion from exports, up 24.3% against the same period last year, making up 71.3% of the nation’s total export turnover.

     Meanwhile, FDI enterprises imported US$36.5 billion worth of goods.

     Vietnam’s export-import turnover hit US$400 billion in 2017, representing a fourfold increase in ten years.

     The country first achieved US$100 billion in foreign trade value in 2007, the year it joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The figure rose to US$200 billion in 2011, and US$300 billion in 2015. 

     According to the WTO, in 2006, Vietnam’s total export and import turnover ranked 50th and 44th in the world. In 2015, the nation jumped 23 and 16 steps, occupying 27th and 28th positions, respectively. 

     At present, Vietnam has 30 export groups with an annual turnover of at least 1 billion each, including textiles, leather, footwear, coal and crude oil.

     Vietnam has trade relations with more than 200 countries and territories around the world, gradually moving import-export markets from Asia to Europe and America.

    Strong growth in fruit and vegetable exports to key markets

    Up to mid-April, exports of fruit and vegetables to key markets such as the US, Japan, China and Thailand saw an increase in their rates of growth compared to the same period last year.

    According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, exports of the products reached US$176.9 million during the first half of this month, up 13.4% against the corresponding period of last year, bringing the total value of exports for three-and-a-half months to US$1.15 billion, a year-on-year rise of 33.8%. At that pace, the export value is expected to exceed US$1.3 billion by the end of this month.

    In the first quarter of this year, China imported US$727 million worth of fruit and vegetables from Vietnam (up 42%), followed by the US with nearly US$29 million (up 19%), Japan with US$28.5 million (up 26.8%), the Republic of Korea with US$24 million (up 8.7%), and Thailand with US$18.1 million (up 23.8%).

    The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) forecast that China’s imports and consumption of fruit and vegetables will grow rapidly over the 2017-2020 period, accounting for 15.1% of global consumption. China’s burgeoning demand offers an excellent opportunity for Vietnam to boost its trade with the market.

    The Vietnamese fruit and vegetable sector has recorded strong growth in its exports over recent years, hitting a record high of US$3.514 billion last year, up 43% over the previous year. Last year, China was the leading importer of Vietnam’s fruit and vegetables, making up 75% of Vietnam’s total export value, trailed by Japan, the US, the RoK, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, the UAE, and Russia.

    PV Gas forecasts lower earnings for 2018

    The PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (PV Gas), a subsidiary of  the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), is targeting 55.7 trillion VND (2.47 billion USD) in its total revenue and 6.43 trillion VND (283.2 million USD) in post-tax profit for 2018, heard the company’s annual shareholder meeting last week.

    In addition, PV Gas also plans to pay a 40 percent dividend payout ratio for 2018 performance.

    The figures were largely lower than the firm’s earnings in 2017, which were recorded at 66 trillion VND in total revenue and 9.94 trillion VND in post-tax profit.

    The full-year earnings were forecast based on the firm’s assumption of crude price trading at 50 USD a barrel.

    Such strong growth of oil prices helped PV Gas and other local energy firms earn high results in 2017.

    PV Gas’ earnings in 2017 beat its full-year forecast by 28 percent in total revenue and 89 percent in post-tax profit.

    That was also the reason for PV Gas to increase its cash dividend payout rate for 2017 performance by a third to 40 percent.

    PV Gas continued to see strong growth in the first quarter of 2018 as its net revenue in the first three months rose 12 percent year on year to more than 18 trillion VND and was equal to a third of the full-year target.

    Its first-quarter post-tax profit increased by a fifth from the previous year to 2.6 trillion VND, equal to 40 percent of the year’s target.

    PetroVietnam will cut its ownership in PV Gas down to 45 percent. The company is looking for potential investors and reports the list of investors to the Government. The deal will not be finalised in 2018.

    At the annual shareholder meeting, PV Gas also asked for shareholder approval on the company’s construction of Nam Con Son 2 gas pipe with the adjusted investment of 6.48 trillion VND, of which PV Gas will fund 30 percent and borrow 70 percent from other institutions. The project is planned to complete in the third quarter of 2020.

    CPI in Ho Chi Minh City up 0.12 percent in April

    Consumer price index in Ho Chi Minh City rose by 0.12 percent monthly and 2.5 percent annually in April, according to the municipal Statistical Office on April 29. 

    Among 11 commodity groups, eight recorded monthly price increases, led by transportation (1.35 percent). It was followed by culture, entertainment and tourism (0.62 percent), goods and other services (0.12 percent), beverages and cigarettes (0.09 percent), medicine and medical services (0.05 percent), education (0.04 percent), food and catering services (0.04 percent), apparel, headwear and footwear (0.01 percent). 

    Lower prices were seen in housing, electricity and water supply, fuel and construction materials (0.24 percent), household equipment and appliances (0.08 percent). Post and telecommunication prices stayed the same during the month. 

    Gold and USD prices went up 0.19 percent and 0.17 percent, respectively month-on-month.

    VietShrimp 2018 draws over 100 local, foreign businesses

    VietShrimp 2018, the second fair on technology in the shrimp industry of Vietnam, has taken place in the southern province of Bac Lieu province, drawing the participation of over 100 domestic and foreign businesses and groups.

    VietShrimp 2018 featured 150 pavilions introducing products such as animal feeds, bio products, medicine, technology, equipment and machinery for farming, processing and logistics services of the shrimp industry as well as the fisheries industry.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony on April 27, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam said Vietnam’s shrimp industry had developed for less than 20 years, but the nation is one of top producers of brackish water shrimp in the world. The industry gained 3.85 billion USD from shrimp exports in 2017.

    The highlight of VietShrimp 2018 focused on shrimp farming technology, along with sustainable development of the shrimp industry, according to the organising board.

    The three-day fair included a series of activities such as exhibitions, workshops and field trips.

    The fair was jointly held by the Vietnam Fisheries Association, the General Department of Fisheries and the People’s Committee of Bac Lieu.

    Vietnam, Mexico seek partnership in food industry

    Mexico’s Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Sagarpa) and the Mexican Embassy in Vietnam co-hosted a seminar in Hanoi on April 27, discussing business and investment cooperation opportunities in the food sector between Vietnam and Mexico.

    Addressing the event, Mexican Ambassador to Vietnam Sara Valdes Bolano said that both Mexico and Vietnam are well-known for agricultural products. Mexico can supply Vietnam with high quality products at reasonable prices, she said.

    Mexico is now the world’s 15th biggest food exporter and the biggest avocado producer, she noted, adding that Mexico is also famous for strawberry, banana and beef. The country’s food production growth reached 13 percent in 2017, the ambassador noted.

    The Sagarpa and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam have worked together to finalise a memorandum of understanding on plant protection and food products, and another on researching and importing fresh products, she said.

    The signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is expected to promote the trading of agricultural products between the two countries, said the ambassador.

    A Sagarpa representative said that Mexico has exported food products to 160 countries in the world with more than 290 agricultural products, such as avocado, potato, lemon, strawberry, mango and watermelon.

    At the event, Mexican businesses introduced their strong products. Meanwhile, many Vietnamese firms held that the event is a good chance for them to explore the Mexican market and seek partnership with their Mexican peers.

    According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Mexico is the third biggest trade partner of Vietnam in the Latin America region, with two-way trade growing rapidly. Vietnam has enjoyed trade surplus in the market for years.

    In the first nine months of 2017, trade between Vietnam and Mexico reached 2.2 billion USD, including 1.8 billion USD worth of Vietnamese exports and 405.3 million USD worth of imports.

    The two countries shared favourable conditions for boosting economic cooperation as they both are members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum and CPTPP.

    Vietnam is keen on fostering cooperation with Mexico in rice and aquaculture, along with science, technology, pharmaceuticals, education-training, and climate change response.

    VNN

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  • 05/03/18--01:11: Article 4
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 3/5


    Petrolimex appoints new chairman 

     

    Petrolimex appoints new chairman, New enterprises up 80% in April, Wood exports can help 2018 target, Vietcombank plans to raise capital by 10%, Inundating losses may force Ha Bac Fertiliser out of business
    Phạm Văn Thanh, new chairman of Petrolimex. - Photo ndh.vn


    Việt Nam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) has appointed Phạm Văn Thanh as the new chairman of the group for the period of 2016-2021, starting May 1, 2018.

    Thanh has replaced Bùi Ngọc Bảo, who reached the retirement age according to current regulations.

    Prior to his appointment, Thanh was general director of Petrolimex Aviation Fuel Joint Stock Company.

    He graduated from Việt Nam University of Commerce in 1993 and worked in the accounting department of Việt Nam Petroleum Corporation (former name of Petrolimex). After that, he worked for eight years at Petrolimex Joint Stock Insurance Company, Hải Phòng branch, in many capacities, including director of the branch.

    In April 2013, Thanh was appointed general director of Petrolimex Aviation. Under his management, after seven years, the sales of Petrolimex Aviation are 40 times higher, and the ratio of profit over charter capital has always been more than 100 per cent in the last three to four years. 

    Vietnam pledges support for US firms: Deputy PM

    The Vietnamese Government will create most possible favourable conditions, which are in accordance with domestic and relevant international laws, for US enterprises, said Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.

    He made the statement while hosting a reception for Michael Kelly, Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), in Hanoi on May 2.

    Vietnam believes that all of obstacles will be removed to promote cooperation, investment and trade between the two nations, Hue said, expressing his hope that the AmCham, the US-ASEAN Business Council and US firms will serve as a bridge, contributing to boosting the diplomatic and economic relations as well as the common development of Vietnam and the US in the coming time.

    The two countries have complementary economies, Hue noticed, given that Vietnam does not set the guideline to enjoy trade surplus with the US but focuses on exporting products of its strengths while purchasing high-tech and environmentally friendly goods from the US to meet the demands of businesses and people from both sides.

    Kelly, for his part, highly valued the development in the bilateral diplomatic and economic ties over the past time, saying that it has made significant contributions to increasing benefits of enterprises of the two countries.

    As Vietnam is predicted to post the strongest economic growth in Asia, US firms will have more opportunities to collaborate with their Vietnamese partners in the coming time, he noted.

    Kelly said that the US firms are interested in cooperating with Vietnamese companies in the fields of healthcare, tax, digital economy, banking, defence-security and energy security, among others.

    He affirmed that the AmCham will work closely with Vietnamese ministries, sectors, localities and enterprises to lever cooperation and investment between the two sides as well as seek measures to give consultations to the two Governments to address emerging problems in trade and investment.

    NA leader witnesses gas processing plant inauguration in Ca Mau

    National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan attended a ceremony in the southernmost province of Ca Mau on May 2 to inaugurate the Ca Mau Gas Processing Plant (GPP Ca Mau) invested by the PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (PVGas).

    Built within two years at a cost of more than 10 trillion VND (450 million USD), the plant has a daily capacity of 6.2 million cu.m of gas and is able to hold 8,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas and 3,000 cu.m of condensate.

    Once operational, it will supply around 600 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas and 35 tonnes of condensate to the market per day, meeting 10 percent of domestic demand.

    Speaking at the event, the top legislator noted that the Party and State give priority to oil and gas sector, including gas industry, with a number of incentives.

    She lauded PetroVietnam and PVGas for making Vietnam one of the countries that is able to turn gas into electricity and fertiliser.

    The leader said the inauguration of the plant is meant to realise the Vietnam National Energy Development Strategy approved by the government, contributing to economic development in the southwest and Ca Mau province in particular.

    Chairman of the PetroVietnam Members’ Council Tran Sy Thanh said the plant is the final part of the gas – electricity – fertiliser project chain in Ca Mau, adding that the successful project will contribute to PetroVietnam’s sustainable development.

    Deputy PM chairs meeting on use of WB, ADB loans

    Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh chaired a meeting in Hanoi on May 2 to review and accelerate the launch of 26 projects using loans from the World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) for 2017-2018.

    The projects cover infrastructure upgrading, tertiary education improvement, urban development, new-style rural construction, grassroots medical network, improved use of water in drought-hit provinces.

    Speaking at the event, Deputy PM Minh, who is also head of the National Steering Committee on ODA and preferential loans, asked the State Bank of Vietnam to collect opinions of ministries, agencies and localities about projects to submit to authorities concerned.

    The Ministry of Planning and Investment was required to make a list of approved projects using foreign loans that are absent from the medium-term public investment plan, thus ensuring that the loans are fully tapped.

    As Vietnam graduated from the WB International Development Association’s lending in July 2017, the ministry must report a plan on capital use in the near future to permanent government members, especially less preferential loans.

    New enterprises up 80% in April
       
    Over 14,500 new enterprises were formed in Viet Nam in April, with total registered capital of VND133.5 trillion (US$5.86 billion), marking respective month on month increases of 80 per cent in the number of enterprises and 65 per cent in level of capital.

    According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), the latest addition has brought the number of newly-established firms in the first four months of this year up to nearly 41,300, up 4.3 per cent year-on-year. Their registered capital totaled VND412 trillion, up 12 per cent.

    The average registered capital of each firm in the period saw a slight rise of 7 per cent at VND10 billion, GSO said.

    It added that the new firms mostly focused on sectors such as wholesale, retail, repairing, automobiles, construction, manufacturing, processing and consultancy.

    The number of labourers in the newly-established enterprises in the four-month period was 332,000, posting a yearly decline of 22 per cent.

    During January to April, nearly 26,300 firms halted their operations, down 4 per cent year-on-year; 4,700 completed dissolution procedures, surging 16 per cent over the same period last year, while 52,700 resumed their business.

    Sweet news for Ben Tre farmers
       
    The price of off-season rambutan in Ben Tre Province, the largest producer in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, has increased to a two-year high.

    The regular seasonal harvest begins in June every year.

    Now traders are buying Rongrien rambutan at orchards at VND60,000 (US$2.6) a kilogramme, VND20,000 up from last month.

    Java rambutan has gone up by VND10,000 to VND30,000.

    Orchard owners attributed the high prices to the high domestic demand for the fruit, especially on the occasion of Reunification Day (30 April) and Labour Day (May 1) holidays.

    Huynh Thi Diem of Ben Tre Province’s Cho Lach District said she recently earned a profit of VND350 million ($15,400) from harvesting 2,500sq.m of Rongrien rambutan and 1,000sq.m of Java rambutan.

    Her off-season yield is 2.5 tonnes per 1,000sq.m, she said.

    Considering these prices, they would continue to produce off-season rambutan in the coming years, many farmers said.

    Bui Thanh Liem, head of the Cho Lach District Agriculture and Rural Development Bureau, said orchard owners should not increase off-season production since it could lead to oversupply.

    He warned further that the overexploitation could deplete the rambutan trees of nutrition.

    Most of them have yet to recover from the impact of saltwater intrusion in 2016, he said.

    Ben Tre has more than 5,000ha of rambutan, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    More than 40 per cent of the orchards also produce rambutan off-season.

    In recent years, local authorities have encouraged farmers to use advanced techniques for this purpose.

    The province has major rambutan growing areas in Cho Lach District’s Son Dinh and Vinh Binh communes and Chau Thanh District’s Tien Long Commune.

    The fruit is exported to China, Cambodia, the UAE, the EU and other markets.

    Cai Mep – Thi Vai port complex expected to become the economic centre of the south
       
    The party secretary of the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Nguyen Hong Linh, has proposed that the Ministry of Transport and the Government consider developing Cai Mep-Thi Vai Port complex and Long Thanh international airport into the economic centre of the south.

    Linh was speaking at the meeting on Thursday between the People’s Committee of Ba Ria-Vung Tau and a visiting delegation from the Transport Ministry, led by Minister Nguyen Van The.

    The Long Thanh international airport project is still in preparation phase while the Cai Mep-Thi Vai port complex, located in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, already received significant investment and was to become one of the largest seaport centres in the country. However, according to the provincial Party Secretary, the port complex is currently using only a small part of its designed capacity, causing economic waste to national resources.

    Therefore, provincial authorities have proposed that the Government and Ministry of Transport speed up the construction progress of traffic infrastructure projects such as the Bien Hoa-Vung Tau expressway and railway, provincial roads, ring roads and Phuoc An Bridge.

    The ministry also asked to push forward the progress of dredging Cai Mep-Thi Vai Port, Ganh Rai Bay area, aiming at facilitating the transportation of goods.

    In addition, the Government actively supports Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province authorities to set up Cai Mep – Thi Vai port’s management board, and inspection-quarantine centre, that will create favourable conditions for enterprises.

    Firms will find it more efficient to use Cai Mep-Thi Vai Port complex as a loading area, instead of Cat Lai (in HCM City), according to the provincial Party Secretary Nguyen Hong Linh.

    This contributes to reducing both pressure on Cat Lai Port (the current volume of cargo passing through Cat Lai port consistently exceeds its designed capacity) and traffic congestion in HCM City.

    He said that the province is preparing a plan to publicly auction five provincial land areas and use this money in conjunction with the government budget to carry out important projects, creating momentum for local development.

    At the meeting, recognising the importance of the Bien Hoa-Vung Tau expressway, Transport Minister Nguyen Van The has proposed provincial authorities to be the project owner because local authorities will have more options and ideas in seeking funding.

    The minister also proposed provincial authorities to be the investor of ring road 4’s section passing through the province.

    In addition, he said, the ministry will soon have a solution to the provincial authorities’ recommendations and proposals such as building a multi-use Vung Tau airport; upgrading Con Son Airport (Con Dao island district); creating conditions for airlines to use new-generation aircraft; exempting maritime charges and fees for all container ships landing at Cai Mep-Thi Vai Port complex; implementing measures to ensure traffic safety and flood prevention for National Highway 51.

    Vietnamese dairy products in spotlight at Asia’s biggest food, hospitality show in Singapore
       
    Organic dairy products from Viet Nam’s TH Group have received great attention from foreign customers at the Food and Hotel Asia (FHA) 2018 exhibition held in Singapore from April 24-27.

    The fair – the largest of its kind in the food and hospitality industry in Asia – attracted the participation of more than 4,000 exhibitors from 70 countries and territories throughout the world. It showcased the latest trends in food consumption, in which healthy foods were considered the highlight of many booths, and the pavilion of TH Group was no exception.

    On display at its booth, TH Group introduced many premium products to both Singaporean and international customers, including TH true MILK Organic, TH True NUT, which comprise macadamia nut milk and walnut milk, and TH True Herbal, manufactured entirely from organic herbs from its own green farms.

    As the only Vietnamese dairy firm participating in the fair, TH Group demonstrated a new milestone in the process of delivering Vietnamese fresh and organic milk to the world, organisers said.

    Of note, Belinda Yeo, representative of Seven Eleven, said the retail chain will promote the import of TH Group’s milk products, following a thorough study of their quality.

    "TH Group’s products will make a great impression on Singaporean consumers, thanks to its excellent taste and quality,” she said.

    Meanwhile, Lim Hock Chee, CEO of Sheng Siong supermarket chain – the third largest in Singapore – visited the TH Group booth and asked for prices of its products and information about transportation, in the hope of creating a diversified supply of dairy products to Singaporean customers. Currently, Vietnamese rice has developed its presence in this supermarket chain.

    Many other distributors, such as LVBEI Global Import, High Flyer International limited, Chop Nam Huat SDN BHD and DIMA, also expressed their desire to purchase TH milk products.

    Not only distributors, but many young customers said they were surprised by the strange, but delicious, taste of TH milk products.

    “I have never drank a milk product like this before. It has a distinguished taste and is easy to drink,” said 19 year-old Yan Pink.

    Yan said she hoped TH products will soon be found in Singapore.

    According to the Rabobank Global Food and Agricultural Research Organisation, Singapore had a relatively high per capita milk consumption in the region in 2017, with 62 litres per capita per year.

    This figure is expected to continue to grow due to increasing awareness about the benefits of milk, especially fresh and organic milk.

    TH Group is the only Vietnamese dairy firm participating in FHA 2018. From an agricultural perspective, the group has brought new insights to the region’s enterprises, where it owns Asia’s largest dairy farm and uses state-of-the-art processing technologies.

    Visiting the group’s booth, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that TH Group is “a typical example of local firms boosting investment in the Vietnamese agricultural sector,” and that the group is among the many domestic firms supporting the country in promoting Vietnamese products in foreign markets.

    He also praised the creativity of the group in researching and manufacturing healthy milk products.

    Wood exports can help 2018 target
       
    Viet Nam can reach its export value target of US$9 billion for forestry products this year through the export of wooden products, said an expert.

    Viet Nam’s exports account for just 6 per cent of the global timber and wooden furniture market, which is estimated at $120 billion, said Pham Hong Luong, head of the Planning and Finance Department, operating under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Viet Nam Administration of Forestry.

    Viet Nam holds huge potential for wood processing and production, according to Luong.

    The nation has nearly 4,000 timber processing firms, including 1,500 companies specialising in producing wooden products for export. They can boost the sector’s growth if there are abundant materials, sound mechanisms and robust market signs.

    Meanwhile, they do not have to face fierce competition, as other foreign exporters are facing anti-dumping petitions.

    Moreover, the freshly-issued forestry law, together with the EU-Viet Nam Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VPA-FLEGT), will set up legal corridors and mechanisms to encourage market expansion of the forestry sector.

    With these favourable conditions, Viet Nam’s exports of forestry products are expected to bring home some $9 billion this year.

    Viet Nam is a leading wood exporter in ASEAN. It ranks second in Asia and fifth in the world, after China, Germany, Italy and Poland, in terms of the export revenue from forestry products.

    Last year, forestry exports hit a record growth of 10 per cent in the recent five years to reach more than $8 billion, which surpassed the target of $7.8 billion set for 2020.

    The largest markets for Vietnamese timber products are the United States, Japan, South Korea, China and the European Union.

    Viet Nam’s wood consumption in the domestic market is calculated at some $30 per person per year, which is much lower than the world’s figure of $72. The domestic demand for wood is expected to increase, spurred by rapid urbanisation and the bounce-back of the real estate market.

    Vietcombank plans to raise capital by 10%
       
    The Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam (Vietcombank) plans to add 10 per cent to its tier-1 capital in 2018 through issuing shares for foreign investors.

    According to the bank’s chairman Nghiem Xuan Thanh, the capital raise proposal was approved by the State Bank of Viet Nam and the Government in December 2017. The action aims to secure its capital adequacy ratio of nine per cent in accordance with Basel II standards.

    The number of to-be-issued shares would not exceed 10 per cent of the bank’s total number of shares, which is now nearly 3.6 billion.

    Vietcombank will issue additional shares to a maximum of 10 foreign investors, chairman Thanh said at the bank’s annual general shareholder meeting on Friday.

    The lowest price level of the to-be-offered shares would be evaluated by an underwriting company and be the average price of the last 10 trading sessions prior to the issuance date, he said.

    Such calculation would make sure bank’s shareholders, including the Government, secure their benefits and rights at the bank, Thanh said.

    Vietcombank general director Pham Quang Dung said the Japanese bank Mizuho, one of the largest shareholders at Vietcombank, would purchase more shares to assure its ownership in the bank is secured at 15 per cent.

    Some foreign investors had expressed interests in buying Vietcombank shares, Dung said, adding that some of them had offered to purchase all of the bank’s additional shares.

    If Vietcombank failed to raise its tier-1 capital to comply with the Basel II standards, the bank would have to issue VND5.8 trillion (US$257.8 million) worth of corporate bonds to increase its tier-2 capital.

    Vietcombank had issued VND11.8 trillion worth of corporate bonds, including VND2 trillion for individual investors, thus leaving a large room for the bank to increase its tier-2 capital – which makes up its required reserves.

    Truong Gia Binh, chairman of the technology-communications giant FPT Corporation, has become the newest management board member at Vietcombank.

    Binh was voted by 91.73 per cent of the total voting shares, equal to three billion shares at the meeting, becoming one of the board members along with seven other people.

    The total number of board members at Vietcombank was approved by shareholders to up to 11, meaning there are still three seats left empty at the bank.

    In 2018, Vietcombank targets a yearly increase of 14 per cent in total asset, 15 per cent in both mobilised capital and credit. It also plans to cut non-performing loan ratio (NPL) to below 1.5 per cent.

    The bank also projects its pre-tax profit will rise 14.6 per cent year on year to VND13 trillion from its record-high VND11.3 trillion made in 2017.

    The bank plans to spend 8 per cent of its charter capital, equal to VND2.88 trillion, on dividend payout for its performance in 2017.

    Maybank Kim Eng Securities ups capital
       
    Maybank Kim Eng Securities Limited has added US$10 million to its charter capital to VND1.06 trillion ($46.38 million).

    John Chong, CEO of Maybank Kim Eng Group, said the decision to hike the capital is in line with Maybank Kim Eng Group’s business strategy and clearly demonstrates the firm’s long-term commitment in Viet Nam.

    “Viet Nam is one of the fastest growing economies in the region and a key component of Maybank Kim Eng’s ASEAN strategy.

    “Being the first 100 per cent foreign-owned securities company in Viet Nam, we are deeply invested here; we strongly believe in the potential of the country’s economy and want to ensure that its capital markets continue to grow.”

    Kim Thien Quang, CEO of Maybank Kim Eng Vietnam (MKEV), said: “Since we started our operations in Viet Nam in December 2007 with a charter capital of only VND200 billion, we have increased our capital four times and by more than 400 per cent.

    “This additional capital will give us a strong foundation to enhance our competitiveness and increase our product offerings. In particular, with a capital of more than a trillion dong, we will now be able to enter a new market to offer covered warrants."

    The company has had a successful first decade, he said.

    “To maintain our leading position, we will continue to focus on strengthening our retail brokerage, particularly online brokerage.

    “Currently 86 per cent of our brokerage transactions are via online trading. Our target is to grow it to 90 per cent. We are also looking to grow our institutional brokerage by tapping on MKE Group’s regional footprint and strong presence in ASEAN.

    “As the gateway to ASEAN, we will continue to give Viet Nam’s corporates access to global investors, and bring global investors to Viet Nam.”

    BIDV plans to raise chartered capital by 28% this year
       
    The Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BIDV) has proposed a plan to its shareholders to increase its chartered capital this year by 28 per cent, compared to the end of 2017.

    In the plan which was unveiled at the bank’s annual general shareholder meeting on April 21, BIDV proposes to add VND9.45 trillion (US$418.2 million) to its chartered capital, so the figure would reach VND43.65 trillion by the end of 2018.

    Specifically, BIDV will issue 965 million ordinary shares with a face value of VND10,000 per share. Of the total, more than 171 million shares will be sold to the public through an initial public offering or private placement, 603.3 million shares to be sold to foreign strategic investors under private placement, and over 171 million shares sold under the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

    The increase in chartered capital is part of BIDV’s plan to increase its equity to meet the minimum capital adequacy requirement set by the State Bank of Viet Nam, which is aligned with Basel II.

    The move is also expected to help the bank improve the credit rating results of international institutions, enhance prestige in its business operations, and improve its financial capacity and competitiveness, in both domestic and international markets.

    Also, the bank commits to use added capital in the business areas of BIDV, with reasonable guidance to ensure the capital is used with efficiency and maximises benefits to shareholders.

    Regarding the profit distribution plan in 2017, the Board of Directors has submitted to shareholders to approve the cash dividend payment plan at the rate of 7 per cent. The total amount of dividends is nearly VND2.4 trillion. The remuneration of the Board of Directors and Board of Supervisors in 2018 will be, at maximum, 0.44 per cent of the profit after tax in 2018.

    In 2018, BIDV sets the target of credit growth of up to 17 per cent; before-tax profits of VND9.3 trillion; a bad debt ratio below 2 per cent; and a dividend payout ratio is expected to range from 5 to 7 per cent.

    At the meeting, BIDV General Director Phan Duc Tu said that in 2017, BIDV continued to be the market leader, maintaining its position and market share in the industry. Accordingly, its total assets reached over VND1.2 quadrillion, up 19.5 per cent, compared to 2016. Total deposits of the bank reached VND 1.12 quadrillion, up 19.7 per cent over the beginning of the year.

    The consolidated profit before tax was VND8.6 trillion, up 13 per cent year on year, exceeding the target set by the General Meeting of Shareholders in 2017, with a return on assets reaching 0.63 per cent and a return on equity (ROE) of 5 per cent.

    Sacombank targets 23.2 per cent rise in pre-tax profit
       
    Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank) has set itself a target of increasing its assets to VND430.9 trillion (US$18.92 billion) this year, an increase of 16.9 per cent from last year.

    It targets pre-tax profits of VND1.838 trillion ($80.72 million), a year-on-year increase of 23.2 per cent, and expects to bring down bad debts to 3 per cent.

    At its annual general meeting recently, the company said its total assets had reached nearly VND368.5 trillion at the end of last year, an increase of 11 per cent.

    Its deposits were VND338.4 trillion, up 11 per cent, and total outstanding loans were nearly VND225.6 trillion, up 12.5 per cent.

    The bank managed to recover nearly VND20 trillion worth of bad debts last year, bringing down the bad debts ratio to 4.59 per cent from 6.81 per cent at the end of 2016.

    Pre-tax profits were VND1.492 trillion ($65.5 million), up more than nine times from the previous year.

    Replying to shareholders’questions about plans to acquire other banks or establish subsidiaries, chairman Duong Cong Minh said there are no such plans.

    The bank would focus on its restructuring plan approved by the State Bank of Viẹt Nam, he said.

    It plans to enlarge its two subsidiaries, Sacombank Laos and Sacombank Cambodia, this year.

    Vincom Retail’s consolidated revenue up by 16%
       
    Vincom Retail Joint Stock Company posted a total consolidated revenue of nearly VND1.62 trillion (US$71 million) in the first quarter of 2018, a year-on-year increase of 16 per cent.

    This was revealed in the company’s first quarter financial report.

    In the reviewed period, the revenue from leasing and rendering-related services as well as from the sale of inventory properties was nearly VND1.27 trillion and VND335 billion, an increase of 20 per cent and seven per cent compared to the same period last year, respectively.

    The company achieved a pre-tax profit of VND702 billion, a year-on-year decrease of eight per cent, due to an absence of profit from associates in the current period.

    As of March 31, 2018, Vincom Retail had 46 operational shopping centres in 24 cities and provinces throughout the country. Its total assets were VND38.12 trillion and shareholders’ equity was nearly VND26.64 trillion.

    In the first three months of the year, Vincom Retail implemented many attractive marketing programmes for consumers.

    Two of the major marketing campaigns were organised throughout the firm’s retail mall network, which resulted in an increase of 15-30 per cent of customers compared to other regular periods.

    In addition to this, the company also opened three Vincom Plaza malls in Long An, Bao Loc-Lam Dong and Thanh Hoa, which were launched on April 28.

    Two other Vincom Plaza centres in Hue and Quang Binh will be inaugurated in May, raising the total number of malls to 51 across 28 cities and provinces in the country.

    ICAEW strengthens partnership with local government and universities

    The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has promised that it would continue to work closely with the Vietnamese government and universities to achieve its objective of helping to drive the growth of finance and accounting professionals in Vietnam.

    The Department for International Trade (DIT) brought the UK government’s first trade delegation to Southeast Asia and participated in a roundtable in Hanoi to promote British chartered professional institutes and explore how both countries can work together to help develop local training and vocational education.

    The delegation comprised of the six largest chartered institutes in the UK—the Chartered Management Institute, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Chartered Insurance Institute, Institution of Engineering and Technology, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and ICAEW.

    Together with senior executives from other chartered professional bodies, Mark Protherough, executive director, Learning and Professional Development at ICAEW, met with government officials, policy makers, and industry and university executives in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on April 19 and 20. The visit also sought to establish new partnerships based on professional ethos, quality testing procedures, and the development of internationally recognised professions.

    Dr Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade and member of the British Parliament, said: “Chartered professional institutes in the UK enjoy a prestigious global reputation and reach to drive international standards of professionalism. They are well-placed to form high-value partnerships with universities, governments, and employers across Southeast Asia. This is critical in capacity building, helping economies grow, driving educational standards and innovation, and supporting common governance standards to promote trade.”

    Of the six chartered professional bodies represented in the delegation, ICAEW is the only one with a presence in Vietnam, where it has been operating for nearly four years. At the roundtable, Protherough highlighted the close relationship between ICAEW and various Vietnamese government agencies, including the Ministry of Finance, the State Audit Office of Vietnam, the State Securities Commission, and the Ministry of Education and Training, as well as nine top local universities.

    ICAEW, together with the Ministry of Finance and the State Securities Commission, recently launched a programme called ‘Supporting the application of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Vietnam.’

    The project, funded by the British government, aims to train around 200 finance professionals to the highest internationally-recognised professional finance standards, which are recognised and trusted in the UK and around the world.

    “To date, nearly 80 certificates with International Financial Reporting Standards have been awarded by ICAEW to finance and accounting professionals from the Ministry of Finance and its agencies, the State Securities Commission, and two stock exchanges, listed companies, major auditing firms, and university instructors,” Protherough said. “Following the successful pilot phase of the project, ICAEW, the Ministry of Finance, and the British Embassy in Vietnam are looking at the potential of scaling up the operation going forward.”

    Another of ICAEW’s meaningful partnerships is the introduction of ICAEW chartered accountant training manuals for six different academic disciplines as a training and reference source at the State Audit Office.

    Given the globally proven reputation, quality, and value of ICAEW certificates, the Certificate in Finance, Accounting, and Business has been included in the curriculums of nine top economics, finance, and accounting universities in the country.

    British Ambassador to Vietnam Giles Lever said: “Delivering UK professional training programmes to universities in Vietnam marks an important step in allowing Vietnamese students to access world-class, internationally-recognised curriculum content and qualifications. This boost of professional development will enhance their overall employability and open up more global opportunities.”

    “ICAEW is committed to nurture and develop capable accounting and finance professionals in Vietnam, who will play a vital role in the development of the accounting and finance profession and drive economic growth. This is evident in the various successful partnerships that ICAEW currently has with the top Vietnamese universities,” Protherough said.

    For every two new enterprises, there is one quitting

    In the first four months, there were 41,295 newly-established enterprises, while the number of those registering to temporarily cease operations was 26,277.

    The Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Business Registration Agency has just published its latest report on enterprise registration in the first four months.

    14,510 new enterprises were established in April with the total registered capital of VND133.5 trillion ($5.9 billion), up 79.5 per cent in number and 64.5 per cent in registered capital compared to March. The average of registered capital per business was VND9.2 billion ($405,300), a decrease of 8.3 per cent.

    Additionally, 3,281 enterprises resumed operations in April, an increase of 82.2 per cent against the previous month, while 6,138 enterprises registered to temporarily cease operations (up 71.3 per cent), and 1,378 completed dissolution procedures (up 74 per cent).

    In the first four months, there were 41,295 newly-registered enterprises with the total registered capital of VND412 trillion ($18.15 billion), up 4.3 and 11.5 per cent on-year. The average registered capital was VND10 billion ($440,500), up 6.8 per cent.

    Including the VND749 trillion ($33 billion) of the nearly 12,200 enterprises that adjusted capital, the total registered capital in the first four months was VND1.161 quadrillion ($51.15 billion).

    In addition, 11,442 enterprises resumed operations, which is 0.9 per cent less than in the same period last year, thus the total number of new and resumed enterprises in the first four months was 52,700.

    This included 14,100 newly-established enterprises in wholesale and retail, accounting for 34.2 per cent of the total. The construction sector ranked second with 5,700 newly-established enterprises, making up 13.7 per cent. The processing and manufacturing industry ranked third with 5,100 newly-established enterprises (12.3 per cent).

    The number of enterprises ceasing business in the first four months was 26,277, down 4.1 per cent in comparison to the same period last year, including 14,187 enterprises that temporarily ceased operations and 12,090 enterprises awaiting dissolution. The number of enterprises that have completed dissolution procedures was 4,699, which increased by 15.8 per cent.

    Thus, 250 enterprises dissolved and suspended operations per day in the first four months.

    Bamboo Airways to try new model in high-stakes local aviation market

    While Bamboo Airways is making bold moves in high hopes of taking off in late 2018, there are doubts it could follow in the footsteps of previous losing efforts amid stiffening competition in the potential domestic aviation market.

    In late April, Vietnamese real estate, investment, and business service conglomerate FLC Group and its unit Bamboo Airways officially made their debut with a brand identity pack.

    The step is one part of the airline’s preparations for its historical step to turn the dream into a reality. It is now completing necessary legal procedures to get a licence.

    Bamboo Airways plans to base its business model on medium-level prices and routes to newly emerging tourism destinations to compete with national carrier Vietnam Airlines and the budget airline Vietjet.

    The newcomer plans to run a ‘hybrid’ business model, between traditional and low-cost airlines. It will provide services of both these models. Its ticket prices are also an average of the two models.

    However, it may not be easy for Bamboo Airways to compete with Vietjet, which has its image imprinted in Vietnamese people’s minds with its cheap airfares and even cheaper promotional programmes.

    Meanwhile, as a legacy carrier, Vietnam Airlines has won the confidence of customers, especially the high-end passenger segment, with its full services.

    To deal with the competition, Bamboo Airways is choosing a different approach. Instead of focusing on big cities, where aviation infrastructure is already suffering from capacity overload, Bamboo Airways will explore niche markets, including direct flights from international and domestic airports to newly emerging tourism destinations in Vietnam.

    In the first two years, Bamboo Airways will focus on the domestic market, with eight to 10 flights to prioritised destinations like Quang Ninh, Haiphong, Thanh Hoa, Quy Nhon, and Nha Trang.

    From its third year of operation, international flights will be added to the domestic flights, mainly to destinations in Asia, including Japan, South Korea, China, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

    “Bamboo Airways has a competitive advantage that the two major airlines do not have. It works within a good ecosystem by FLC Group, which owns resorts ranging in size from 1,000 to 3,000 rooms. Initially, Bamboo Airways flights will make use of this advantage,” said Dang Tat Thang, director of Bamboo Airways. “For example, if a customer flies from Hanoi to Quy Nhon with Bamboo Airways, the airline may offer them a discount if they stay at FLC Quy Nhon, and vice versa.”

    Meanwhile, Vietjet gained a big market share with its short-haul domestic routes. It is continuously developing domestic air routes and breaking into the North Asian market.

    At the end of 2017, Vietjet had 38 domestic and 44 international routes. It will continue expanding and increasing international flights to Japan, India, and Australia in order to become an airline with global competitiveness and vision.

    In a similar move, Vietnam Airlines is opening its network to international hubs worldwide, while Jetstar Pacific Airlines is expanding domestic and regional routes.

    While confident of its advantages, Bamboo Airways has a more modest number of aircraft than Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet. Bamboo Airways plans to lease 10 airplanes, waiting for 24 A321 NEO to be delivered starting in 2021, while Vietnam Airlines has 88 aircraft and Vietjet’s fleet is expected to be 66 by late this year.

    Despite mounting competition, the opportunity for Bamboo Airways remains open, driven by the potential of the aviation market. According to Vietnam’s transport development plan, the number of aircraft in operation in the country is expected to reach 220 by 2020 and over 400 units by 2030.

    Meanwhile, statistics from the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam showed that by mid-March, there were just 175 aircraft registered as Vietnamese.

    However, several failed attempts to enter the market in the past act as a lesson to Bamboo Airways. The failure of Indochina Airlines and Air Mekong proved the stiffening competition in the lucrative industry.

    Vietjet expands amid oil price hike

    Vietnam’s private budget carrier Vietjet Air is focusing on its expansion plans and hedging against rising fuel costs.

    At the annual general shareholders’ meeting last week in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietjet revealed ambitious goals for 2018 and beyond, to boost its influence in Asia. After securing 41 per cent of the market share in Vietnam, the budget airline is now setting its sights on various overseas markets, aiming to compete against the likes of Air Asia, Scoot, and Jetstar Airways.

    In particular, Vietjet plans to launch 16 new international routes this year, with a focus on East Asian destinations. It will debut in Japan in the third quarter and expand its routes into other markets such as China, Taiwan, and South Korea. At the same time, Vietnam’s first private carrier will also boost its code-sharing and interlining collaborations with other airlines in the region, especially those who fly to Europe and North America.

    Other markets on the list for Vietjet include India, Indonesia, and Russia. Feasibility studies for Australia are already underway, said CEO Luu Duc Khanh.

    If all goes to plan, according to Khanh, Vietjet will operate a total number of 100 routes by the end of 2018 - 39 domestic routes and 61 international routes. The fleet size will increase to 66 aeroplanes, so as to serve 24 million passengers.

    Vietjet believes that Vietnam’s rising appeal as a tourism, investment, and trade destination will ramp up the demand for international travel, especially affordable flights. In 2018, Vietjet plans to earn VND50.9 trillion ($2.2 billion) in revenue, up by 20 per cent from last year, and VND5.8 trillion ($254 million) in pre-tax profits, up 9.5 per cent.

    At the meeting, chairwoman Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao revealed that Vietjet has received multiple calls from overseas stock exchanges such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and London.

    According to Thao, these bourses are willing to waive a portion of listing costs for Vietjet and offer advisory services, but the budget airline has yet to make any concrete plans to list overseas. The airline made its debut on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange last February.

    Le Nhi Nang, a representative of the State Securities Commission in Ho Chi Minh City, said Vietjet is encouraged to list abroad and this will help improve Vietnam’s status on international markets. To date, no Vietnamese businesses have managed to list on stock exchanges outside of Vietnam.

    However, a major roadblock for Vietjet’s global expansion is the rising price of fuel. Two months ago, the International Air Transport Association voiced its concerns that recovering oil prices will pose threats to airlines around the world this year, eating away at their record-high profits.

    Last Thursday, Brent crude oil traded at new highs of $74.44 per barrel while WTI crude oil stood at $68.37 per barrel. This is not good news for Vietjet, whose business targets are set on the condition that oil prices remain at $70.

    As jet fuel takes up half of the budget airline’s expenses, analysts believe that its management must either act quickly or see its company’s profits erode. In a recent research paper, Bao Viet Securities pointed out that Vietjet is more susceptible to swings in oil prices than full-service carriers like Vietnam Airlines.

    Going abroad seems to be a prime option. Thao noted that the airline wants to go regional partly because profit margins for overseas flights are 20 per cent higher than domestic routes, and fuel costs overseas are 30 per cent cheaper than in Vietnam.

    A second solution for Vietjet is signing hedging contracts with banks. The budget airline revealed last Thursday that it is in negotiations with at least three banks to lock in oil prices and minimise risks. New and more energy-efficient aeroplanes have also been ordered.

    Lastly, Vietjet is planning to boost its partnerships with Vietnam’s top oil firms. In January, an affiliate company of Thao made a bid to be a strategic investor at PV Oil Corporation, which is Vietnam’s second-largest oil retailer.

    Last week, HDBank, another business controlled by Thao, bought out the loss-making PGBank, which is an entity of Vietnam’s top oil producer and seller Petrolimex. For the past five years, as a strategic partner, Petrolimex Aviation has served half of the fuel needs for Vietjet.

    “Higher fuel costs may dampen Vietjet’s business results this year, and the budget airline must step up its international expansion efforts to retain the same growth rate it has enjoyed in previous years. Foreign exchange is another potential risk to take care of as Vietjet goes further beyond Vietnam’s borders,” wrote analysts at KIS Vietnam in a recent note.

    DHG's profit falls in first quarter, challenges posed by FOL removal

    Despite having Taisho Pharmaceutical Holdings, one of the five biggest pharmaceuticals in Japan, as a big foreign shareholder, Vietnam’s biggest publicly-traded drug maker Hau Giang Pharmaceutical JSC (DHG) saw a 4.4 per cent fall on-year in its gross profit in the first quarter of 2018.

    DHG made a net revenue of VND908.4 billion ($40.37 million) during the period, up 3 per cent on-year and meeting 25.67 per cent of the company's annual target.

    The drug maker also reported a gross profit of VND378.4 billion ($16.8 million), down 4.4 per cent on-year, thus meeting 22.3 per cent of the company's yearly target. DHG blamed the fall on a rise in the cost of goods sold during the period.

    DHG is planning to lift the foreign ownership limit (FOL) to 100 per cent before July 2018, meaning that it will lose the distribution rights of pharmaceuticals produced by other companies.

    As the FOL will be removed, from 2018, DHG no longer sells the products of other companies, thus its sales revenue is set to decrease by 49 per cent. The company will neither receive revenue from services this year.

    Raising FOL in the pharmaceutical industry has been a controversial issue for years. Under the current rules, if a Vietnamese pharma firm’s foreign partners hold a 51 per cent stake, this could cause the firm to be labelled as a foreign-invested enterprise, depriving them of the profitable right to distribute medicines. With the trend towards co-operating with multinational corporations (MNCs), this fear seems less of a problem now.

    In a recent interview with VIR, a DHG official said that the firm will focus on its advantages in sales systems and storage systems, meeting good distribution practice standards to expand the distribution of products to MNCs while co-operating with them in production stages.

    This year, DHG aims to make a net revenue of VND4.017 trillion ($178.53 million), equal to 2017, while its pre-tax profit is set to rise by 6.7 per cent on-year to VND768 billion ($34.13 million).

    DHG now has Taisho Pharmaceutical Holdings as a big foreign shareholder with 24.5 per cent, followed by FTIF Templeton Frontier Markets Fund. State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) is the biggest stakeholder with 43.3 per cent.

    In late March 2018, DHG partnered up with Vinamilk in R&D and the marketing and distribution of functional products and foods items.

    Vietjet unveils regional ambitions with new routes and collaborations

    Vietnamese budget carrier Vietjet will launch 16 international routes and shake hands with new overseas partners as it aspires to compete on the regional level.

    On April 26, Vietjet Air held the 2018 annual general shareholders’ meeting in Ho Chi Minh City and commemorated its 10th anniversary. Vietnam’s first private airline revealed that it will focus on overseas routes this year, as international travelling is a vast market for budget carriers and Vietjet hopes to boost its influence in the region.

    In particular, Vietjet will launch 16 new international routes in 2018, with a focus on East Asian destinations. The budget airline will debut in Japan in the third quarter, while expanding its routes in current markets such as China, Taiwan, and South Korea. At the same time, Vietjet will boost its code-sharing or inter-lining collaborations with other airlines in the region, especially those who fly to Europe and North America.

    According to CEO Luu Duc Khanh, Vietjet is also doing research on potential new markets, such as India, Indonesia, and Russia. Feasibility studies for Australia are also underway, said the CEO.

    “Our profit margin for international routes is at least 20 per cent higher than Vietnamese routes, as petrol prices in overseas markets are 30 per cent cheaper than Vietnam and charges for overseas services are also higher,” said chairwoman Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao. The businesswoman, who is Vietnam’s first female billionaire, added that the country is becoming more popular among foreign tourists, creating fresh opportunities for budget carriers.

    If all goes to plan, Vietjet will operate a total number of 100 routes in 2018, including 39 domestic and 61 international routes. Four new domestic routes will be introduced this year. The fleet’s size will increase to 66 to serve 24 million passengers.

    To boost its business activities and slash operating costs, the airline said it will also seek partnerships with petrol companies. In January, Sovico Holdings, another company owned by Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, has made a bid to become a strategic investor at PV Oil Corporation, Vietnam’s second largest oil retailer.

    In 2018, Vietjet plans to earn VND50.9 trillion ($2.2 billion) in revenue, up 20 per cent from last year, and VND5.8 trillion ($254 million) in pre-tax profit, up 9.5 per cent.

    VNN

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  • 05/03/18--01:33: Article 3
  • PM requests preventing delay in law building


    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has requested resolutely no delay in law building in preparation for the upcoming fifth session of the National Assembly (NA) scheduled for mid-May. 


     

    PM requests preventing delay in law building, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (C) speaks at the meeting


    During the government’s monthly meeting on May 3, the PM criticised the slow progress and poor quality of draft laws to be submitted to the NA, and asked the Ministry of Justice and other ministries and agencies concerned to devise specific solution to fix the issue. 

    “Building institutions is the top priority of the Government in this term,” Phuc said. 

    Looking back the past four months, the PM lauded ministries, agencies and localities for issuing specific action plans to fulfill socio-economic development targets. In particular, the government held four thematic national conferences to address difficulties across socio-economic fields. Via trade promotion forums, increasing inbound and outbound capital have fueled production and trade. 

    A number of measures regarding socio-culture, the settlement of complaints and denunciations, national defence-security, and especially external relations have proved effective, he said. 

    The PM noted that macro - economic stability has been maintained during January-April, with the consumer price index in April only rising by 0.08 percent month-on-month, and the four-month index up by only 2.8 percent annually. The total foreign reserves neared 63 billion USD while the State Bank of Vietnam bought more than 32 billion USD in two years, a positive signal for the Vietnamese economy. 

    Rice output increased by 668,000 tonnes, industrial production index went up 11.4 percent in four months, and exports soared 20 percent to approximately 74 billion USD. Trade surplus surpassed 3.39 billion USD and State budget collection was 12 percent higher than the same period last year, or 33.8 percent of the estimate. Foreign arrivals in Vietnam topped 5.5 million, up roughly 30 percent.

    The PM said the business environment has improved with progress in administrative reform, especially in industry and trade, health care, transport and construction. The provincial competitiveness index has hit record since 2005, proving that business climate in localities has been better with more than 41,000 newly-established firms during the period. 

    Localities were hailed for strictly dealing with law violations to protect the environment and strengthen investors’ trust. 

    On the fight against corruption, the leader said under the drastic direction of the Party General Secretary and head of the Central Steering Committee on Corruption Prevention and Control, the government has exerted the most efforts to deal with cases of public concern such as the AVG television channel purchase, land purchase in Da Nang city, and gambling on Internet, thus strengthening public trust under the Party leadership and State management.

    The PM pointed out an array of difficulties and challenges that need to be addressed such as unsustainable macro economy, low disbursement of construction investment capital from State budget, and slow attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI).

    He said the business environment should be further improved since the market penetration index of Vietnamese enterprises is only at 123rd among 190 nations worldwide.

    He requested pushing ahead with investment reform, noting that many ministries and departments have yet to proactively reduce administrative procedures, causing difficulties for businesses.

    The PM also expressed his concerns over a number of social, cultural, and religious issues and reminded localities to strengthen management in the fields.

    After his opening speech, the cabinet heard a report presented by the Ministry of Justice about the outcomes of building laws and ordinances in 2018 and the promulgation of documents stipulating in details the implementation of laws and ordinances in the first four months of this year.

    VNA

    0 0
  • 05/03/18--01:41: Article 2
  • Social News In Brief 3/5


    Heavy rains flood HCM City streets


     

    Trial held for former Dai Tin Bank leaders, Asian innovators collaborate to boost social projects, Japan helps improve flight control at Phu Quoc int’l airport, Trees planted at national trig point in Ca Mau
    Heavy rains flood tunnels at Bình Triệu Bridge on Wednesday morning. - Photo: tuoitre.vn


    Heavy rainfall that lasted for a few hours in the early Wednesday morning flooded several streets and alleys in HCM City.

    Flooding occurred on Phạm Văn Đồng Street and Nguyễn Xí Street in Bình Thạnh District, and Phan Văn Trị Street in Gò Vấp District. Tree branches also fell on the roads.

    Numerous alleys in these areas were also flooded, even though water drainage systems along the roads have been upgraded.

    Tunnels at Bình Triệu Bridge in Bình Thạnh District and Khánh Hội Bridge in District 4 also flooded.

    Many vehicles broke down while travelling through deeply flooded areas.

    Hùng, a resident living on Nguyễn Xí Street, told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper that he saw rainwater mixed with oil on one road.

    Many residents are concerned about flooding as the rainy season is about to begin.

    The South is currently in the transition period between the dry and rainy season. Heavy rains now are usually accompanied with thunder and thunderstorms, according to the Southern Hydro-Meteorological Station.

    The beginning of the rainy season in the southern region is from around May 5-15.

    From now to May 6, the weather throughout the country will be sunny with rains occurring mainly in the evening, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

    Heavy rains could be accompanied by strong winds, the centre said. 

    8,000 admitted for emergency treatment in HCM City


     

    Trial held for former Dai Tin Bank leaders, Asian innovators collaborate to boost social projects, Japan helps improve flight control at Phu Quoc int’l airport, Trees planted at national trig point in Ca Mau
    Many patients were brought to emergency departments at HCM City hospitals during the long holiday weekend. 


    During the four-day Reunification Day-Labour Day weekend HCM City hospitals admitted more than 51,000 people, including 8,000 for emergency treatment, according to the city Department of Health.

    Nguyễn Thị Huỳnh Mai, chief of the department’s secretariat, told Vietnam News Agency that of the 8,000 people admitted for emergency treatment, 953 were traffic accident victims, 207 were injured in fights, and 29 had been down with food poisoning.

    Of them, 1,219 needed surgery while four accident victims died, she said.

    Dr Lê Phước Đại of Chợ Rẫy Hospital’s emergency department said his staff had to cope with an overload every year during these holidays.

    The department has 105 staff divided into three shifts during the holidays, he said.  

    They treated 854 people in that period, including 20 per cent who had been seriously injured in accidents and transferred from other hospitals.

    The number of patients has so far been the same as last year, but the figure could rise after May 1 as more patients are transferred from other hospitals, Đại said.

    The People’s Hospital 115 said 677 patients had been brought to the trauma and orthopaedics department between April 28 and May 1, many of them victims of traffic accidents due to drunken driving.

    Đà Nẵng motel fire extinguished 

    Trial held for former Dai Tin Bank leaders, Asian innovators collaborate to boost social projects, Japan helps improve flight control at Phu Quoc int’l airport, Trees planted at national trig point in Ca Mau

     

    Two fire engines were quickly sent to the scene of the fire.


    Firefighters in the city of Đà Nẵng extinguished a fire at the three-storey Bảo Hoàng Motel on Kinh Dương Vương Street, Liên Chiểu District on May 1. No casualties were reported.

    At 10.30am, local residents detected smoke rising from the third storey of the motel which was locked from the outside. Twelve firefighters and two engines were mobilised to tackle the fire. By 11.00am, the fire was brought under control.

    Nguyễn Thị Kim, an owner of the Bảo Hoàng Motel, said that it had been closed for renovations since February.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.

    Thua Thien-Hue needs more tourism products to attract visitors
     

     

    Trial held for former Dai Tin Bank leaders, Asian innovators collaborate to boost social projects, Japan helps improve flight control at Phu Quoc int’l airport, Trees planted at national trig point in Ca Mau
    An art performance at Hue Festival 2018


    Tourism development in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue has remained slow, according to director of the provincial Department of Tourism Le Huu Minh who claimed the locality still lacked ‘special products’.

    The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Thua Thien-Hue Province recently held a seminar on the tourism development in the locality. 

    At the event, Minh claimed the province’s tourism products are still poor. He said it was necessary to diversify activities at the Imperial City at night for visitors as well as have more night markets, food centres and spiritual tours.

    The province is home to 89 travel firms, but most of them are small scaled. Meanwhile, Phu Bai Airport only serves domestic flights with the modest capacity of just 1.6 million passengers per year.

    Last year, Thua Thien-Hue welcomed 3.8 million visitors, but their stay there was no more than two days and their spending remained low.

    At the seminar, Nguyen Van Tuan, head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said that Thua Thien-Hue should take advantages of the locality’s advantages for tourism development by introducing more new products. The extremely popular Hue Festival is organised every two years and is a good opportunity for the locality to lure visitors.

    This year, the festival attracted around 400,000 travellers between April 27 to May 2.

    Nearly 1,300 artists, including hundreds of foreign performers, came to the city to participate in 38 events during the festival.

    Hue City opens book street for the first time

    The imperial city of Hue turned Hai Ba Trung street in Vinh Ninh ward, Hue city into a book street on May 1.

    With a total investment of VND7.5 billion, Hai Ba Trung book street displays and sells more than 10,000 book titles, of which new book titles account for 40%.

    Various types of old and used books in various genres are available here such as children’s books, literature, society, culture and medicine books, and books in English and French languages. Visitors will enjoy a discount of up to 30%-50% on books and documents displayed at Hai Ba Trung book street on its opening period.

    Ha Huy Chien, director of the Book-Hue C&C Joint Stock Company said this is an open space for all people to read books, noting that his company has also invited two book companies to directly sell books to Hue readers at reasonable prices.

    Japan helps improve flight control at Phu Quoc int’l airport
     

    Trial held for former Dai Tin Bank leaders, Asian innovators collaborate to boost social projects, Japan helps improve flight control at Phu Quoc int’l airport, Trees planted at national trig point in Ca Mau

     

    Phu Quoc international airport 


    The Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation (VATM) and Japan Radio Co. Ltd  signed an agreement worth 200 million JPY (1.81 million USD) in non-refundable aid to provide, install, monitor and transfer multilateration (MLAT) technology at Phu Quoc international airport.

    As part of the 2018 – 2019 project, the Japanese side will offer training courses to transfer technology and hold seminars on MLAT technology in Hanoi and Phu Quoc with staff from VATM, the Civil Authority of Vietnam and the Airports Corporation of Vietnam taking part.

    Airports with high flight density in Europe, US, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Singapore have adopted MLAT technology.

    MLAT technology is developed to accurately locate aircraft in ground stations, local terminal areas or a wider area that covers the larger surrounding airspace in any weather condition. It allows automation in processing information about flight activities and enhances the capacity of flight control at air traffic control stations.

    Founded in 1915, Japan Radio Co. Ltd majors in wireless electronics for communications industry and provides solution-based services for infrastructure projects. In Asia, it has three branches in the Philippines, Taiwan (China) and Hanoi, Vietnam.

    Japan Radio Co. Ltd’s MLAT technology was piloted in Japan’s Senda airport and lauded by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau. It is expected to replace other MLAT systems in nine Japanese airports.

    Overseas Vietnamese in Macau celebrate Reunification Day
     

     

    Trial held for former Dai Tin Bank leaders, Asian innovators collaborate to boost social projects, Japan helps improve flight control at Phu Quoc int’l airport, Trees planted at national trig point in Ca Mau
    Art performance at the event


    The Vietnamese Fellow-countrymen Association in the Macau Special Administrative Region of China on May 1 held a meeting to mark the 43rd anniversary of South Liberation and National Reunification Day (April 30) and 132nd International Labour Day (May 1).
    Addressing the event, Nguyen Van Phong from the Vietnamese Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau recalled the glorious milestones of the nation, especially the historic victory in the spring of 1975, which helped the Vietnamese army and people liberate the South and reunify the country.

    Phong thanked the Macau administration for its support for the Vietnamese community in the region, hoping that it will continue to create favourable conditions for overseas Vietnamese (OVs) to do business and integrate into the local society.

    He also praised OVs in Macau for their contributions to the homeland, calling on them to strictly follow the Vietnamese Party and State’s policies and the law of the host locality, and continue contributing to the homeland in the coming time.

    Speaking at the event, member of the Macau legislature Zheng Anting highly valued practical contributions made by Vietnamese expats in Macau to the locality’s socio-economic development in recent years.

    He expressed his hoped that Vietnamese guest workers in Macau will strictly abide by the local law and actively join social activities, thus promoting the friendship and cooperation between Macau and Vietnam.

    Established in 2013, the Vietnamese Fellow-countrymen Association in Macau now has about 2,000 members.

    Macau is home to over 20,000 Vietnamese people, mostly domestic workers and service staff at casinos. There are also several Vietnamese-run firms operating in tourism and services.

    Asian innovators collaborate to boost social projects
     

     

    Trial held for former Dai Tin Bank leaders, Asian innovators collaborate to boost social projects, Japan helps improve flight control at Phu Quoc int’l airport, Trees planted at national trig point in Ca Mau
    Hoang Mai Han, co-founder of the BIM Factory and the Fab Factory, speaks at the 4th Fablab Asia Network Conference (FAN 4) that opened yesterday in HCM City.


    Innovators and researchers from Asian countries and territories are meeting to exchange experience and knowledge, and discuss collaboration opportunities at the 4th Fablab Asia Network Conference that opened in HCM City on May 2.

    The three-day conference, titled “Co-create a better world”, gives international participants opportunities to co-create solutions with local counterparts, as well as organisations, who seek to make an impact.

    Teams will brainstorm and prototype hands-on solutions that address a challenge in the local context or improve on an existing solution.

    Speakers with expertise in digital fabrication and innovation for social change will share and give demonstrations of international projects from Fablabs around the world.

    Local and international participants would team up to co-create solutions and to boost socially meaningful projects for sustainable development issues such as clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, waste treatment and environmental protection and other critical issues that are highly relevant to Vietnam, Tran Thi Thu Huong, assistant to the Minister of Science and Technology, said.

    “The best value that FAN4 brings to the Vietnamese innovation eco-system, especially to young generations, is the culture of innovation to transform oneself and society.

    “When individuals and groups gain knowledge, develop skills, and acquire new values as a result of learning and co-creating, they are equipped with tools and mindsets for creating lasting change in organisations, communities, and societies.”

    Fablabs need to connect with policy makers and entrepreneurs as they need support from governments and businesses to be able to attract more inventive people, empower more individuals from under-served communities, and turn ideas and technical solutions into value addition for society, she said.

    “Only together in a healthy innovation eco-system can we co-create a better world towards the Sustainable Development Goals as FAN4 aims to.”

    A fab lab (fabrication laboratory) is a small-scale workshop offering digital fabrication.

    Fablab, which began as an outreach project by MIT’s Centre for Bits and Atoms in the US, is a creative and social place to empower a local community to test and innovate.

    The Fablab Vietnam Network was established in 2016 to collaborate and share knowledge among fablabs, and includes Fablab Saigon, Fablab Danang and Fablab Hanoi.

    The Fablab Asia Network Conference is a chance for Fabmakers to come and meet and expand the network and makerspace in Asia.
    FAN 4, organised by the Fablab Vietnam Network and Saigon Innovation Hub, is expected to strengthen the network and improve FabLab Technology in Asia.

    It is also a chance to promote common use of Asian makers in FabLab to solve common Asian problems and promote collaboration among Asian FabLabs and makers in Asia.

    Trial held for former Dai Tin Bank leaders
     

    Trial held for former Dai Tin Bank leaders, Asian innovators collaborate to boost social projects, Japan helps improve flight control at Phu Quoc int’l airport, Trees planted at national trig point in Ca Mau

     

    At the trial for former leaders of Dai Tin (Trust) Bank 


    The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court on May 2 opened the first trial for Hoang Van Toan, former chairman of the board of directors of Dai Tin (Trust) Bank – predecessor of the Vietnam Construction Bank (VNCB), Tran Son Nam, former general director of the bank and their accomplices.

    Toan, Nam and other former officials of Dai Tin Bank, including Lam Hong Trinh (former vice general director), Ho Trong Thang (former head of the credit management department), Ngo Duc Tri (former vice general director), Tran Thi Hong Phuong (former accounting director), and Pham Thi Quynh Ngan (former head of the legal department), are charged with “violations of regulations on lending in the operation of credit organisations”.

    Earlier, in September 2016, the court held a hearing on the Pham Cong Danh, former chairman of the board of the VNCB and his accomplices for causing losses to the tune of more than 9 trillion VND (400 million USD) for the bank. At the same time, the court commenced criminal proceedings against the members of Dai Tin Bank’s board of directors for violating lending regulations in the operation of credit institutions.

    On the outset of 2017, Toan was arrested and then relevant officials were in turn prosecuted.

    Earlier, Dai Tin Bank was called Rach Kien Agriculture Joint Stock Bank. In June 2010, the bank was allowed to increase its charter capital to 3 trillion VND (132 million USD), 85 percent of which was held by Hua Thi Phan - representative of Phu My shareholders. Phan was also a senior consultant for the bank. Danh was the representative of Thien Thanh shareholders, who bought Dai Tin Bank from Phu My shareholders and then changed the bank’s name into the VNCB.

    According to the indictment, before transferring the management right to Danh, Toan and his staff approved the credits of 650 billion VND (28.9 million USD) for Dai Hoang Phuong company and Thinh Quoc company, owned by Danh.

    The loans were used to buy a land lot of over 5,000 square metres near Chi Lang stadium in Da Nang city. The lot, which was under the ownership of Danh’s another company, was used as the collateral for the loans.

    The bank incurred a loss of more than 470 billion VND (20.9 million USD) because of the two loans. Danh was responsible for compensating for the economic loss, which was announced at the first instance on September 9, 2016 and the second instance on January 24, 2017.

    Tourists flock to Quang Ninh during four-day holidays
     

     

    Trial held for former Dai Tin Bank leaders, Asian innovators collaborate to boost social projects, Japan helps improve flight control at Phu Quoc int’l airport, Trees planted at national trig point in Ca Mau
    At the Asia Cuisine and Cultural Festival 2018 in Ha Long


    The northern coastal province of Quang Ninh welcomed about 530,000 visitors during the four-day holidays from April 28 celebrating National Reunification Day (April 30) and May Day, up 26 percent year-on-year.

    Ha Long city attracted the largest number of tourists, with about 81,115 holiday-maker exploring Ha Long Bay over the past four days. Up to 26,700 tourists visited the bay each day on April 29 and 30, according to the provincial Department of Tourism.

    Vacationers also flocked to islands in the locality, especially Quan Lan-Minh Chau in Van Don district with around 60,000 tourists and Co To with about 20,000 visitors.

    The border city of Mong Cai also lured about 50,000 tourists, with some 10,000 Chinese holiday-makers travelling through Mong Cai International Border Gate each day.

    On April 28, a grand ceremony heralded the National Tourism Year 2018 hosted by Quang Ninh province and the Carnaval Ha Long programme, a banquet of music, light and art.

    The carnaval is also the first event of the 2018 National Tourism Year 2018 themed “Ha Long-Heritage, Wonder, Friendly Destination.”

    Last year, Quang Ninh welcomed more than 10 million tourists, 4 million of them came from other countries. The province aims to attract over 12 million visitors this year, including 5 million foreigners.

    Under the Overall Plan for Tourism Development in Quang Ninh, Quang Ninh strives to become an international tourism centre and a leading tourism destination in Vietnam with modern infrastructure and diverse, high quality and competitive tourism products. 

    By 2020, Quang Ninh aims to welcome 15-16 million tourists, including seven million foreigners, and rake in 30 trillion VND - 40 trillion VND (1.3 billion USD - 1.7 billion USD) in revenue. The tourism sector is expected to contribute 14-15 percent to the gross regional domestic product (GRDP).

    With a range of stunning landscapes, clear turquoise sea and spectacular limestone pillars together with numerous tourism investment projects, Quang Ninh boasts huge potential to develop tourism.

    The province has a coastline of more than 250 kilometres and over 2,000 islets, two-thirds of the total number in Vietnam. The spectacular stretch of coast connects the UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay with majestic natural scenery, Bai Tu Long Bay, Van Don and Co To islands and Tra Co beach with Cat Ba National Park in the northern port city of Hai Phong.

    Along with the renowned Ha Long Bay, Quan Lan, Minh Chau, Ngoc Vung, Dai beaches in Van Don island district and Tra Co and Vinh Thuc in Mong Cai city have grown in stature among domestic and international tourists thanks to their breathtaking sea and coral reef.

    Trees planted at national trig point in Ca Mau
     

     

    Trial held for former Dai Tin Bank leaders, Asian innovators collaborate to boost social projects, Japan helps improve flight control at Phu Quoc int’l airport, Trees planted at national trig point in Ca Mau
    NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan plants trees at the national trig point. 


    A tree planting ceremony was held at the national trig point GPS 0001 in Dat Mui commune, Ngoc Hien district, the southernmost province of Ca Mau, on May 2, in the presence of Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

    The event, jointly held by the Vietnam Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) and Vietnam Dairy Products JSC (Vinamilk), forms part of a programme to plant 1 billion trees launched by the company.

    Addressing the ceremony, MoNRE Deputy Minister Vo Tuan Nhan said the programme aims to encourage different economic sectors to participate in environmental protection, especially in planting, managing and protecting trees, in order to improve air quality in cities and provinces.

    The trees planted in Ca Mau province are expected to help prevent coastal erosion and handle consequences caused by natural resources in the Mekong Delta, which is the country’s largest agricultural production centre.

    Nearly 100,000 trees worth about 900 million VND (39,600 USD) were planted at the national trig point and several coastal areas, in an effort to deal with drought and saltwater intrusion in the locality.

    Bui Thi Huong, Vinamilk CEO, said that through the tree planting programme, her company aims to join hands with the society to improve and protect the living environment.

    On this occasion, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and leaders of Ca Mau province presented 66,000 glasses of milk valued at 450 million VND (19,800 USD) to more than 700 local students, together with 100 scholarships, each worth 1 million VND (44 USD), to students in difficult circumstances in the province.

    Charity programme supports poor students in Ninh Binh
     

     

    Trial held for former Dai Tin Bank leaders, Asian innovators collaborate to boost social projects, Japan helps improve flight control at Phu Quoc int’l airport, Trees planted at national trig point in Ca Mau
    300 bicycles were presented to poor children in Hoa Lu district (Source: thesaigontimes.vn)


    The Department of Education and Training of the Red River Delta province of Ninh Binh and Ho Chi Minh City’s 2030 Business Club under the Saigon Times jointly held a charity caravan programme in Hoa Lu district on May 1 to raise funds for local students.

    The programme, the 13th of its kind, drew the participation of representatives from more than 80 enterprises and a large number of local students and parents.

    It was part of activities marking the 1050th founding anniversary of Dai Co Viet, the first centralized feudal state of Vietnam with its capital in Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh province.

    At the event, the 2030 Business Club presented 300 bicycles and 1,000 gift packages to poor students with good academic performances in Hoa Lu district.

    Phan Huong Giang, vice standing president of the club, said that the programme aims to support children in mountainous and remote areas, easing their difficulties and assisting them to pursue their dreams.

    Tong Quang Thin, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, thanked the 2030 Business Club for their charitable activities in the province, saying that the gifts will help the students to overcome difficulties in their lives.

    He also expressed his hope that the caravan programme will be expanded to other localities, thus giving a helping hand to poor students.

    Traffic accident fatalities drop during four-day holiday
     

     

    Trial held for former Dai Tin Bank leaders, Asian innovators collaborate to boost social projects, Japan helps improve flight control at Phu Quoc int’l airport, Trees planted at national trig point in Ca Mau
    Two motorbike riders were severely injured in a traffic collision with a tire-exploded car when driving through Tan Hoa Canal, HCM City on May 1 


    The numbers of traffic accidents and fatalities during the four-day holiday from April 28-May 1 decreased remarkably from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

    The ministry’s office reported that 79 were killed and another 79 injured in 113 traffic accidents nationwide in the period, year-on-year decreases of 19 deaths (19.4 percent), and 12 accidents (9.6 percent).

    Most of the accidents occurred on the nation’s roads (112 cases with 78 deaths), with only one accident and one death related to the railway.

    May 1 alone saw 37 accidents, killing 27 and injuring 33.

    Khuat Viet Hung, Vice Chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, noted that the reduction is remarkable in the context of surging traffic.

    The committee said the main reason for the accidents was drunk driving, speeding and driving without helmets or in the wrong lane. The majority of those who died were motorbike drivers.

    The committee also noted serious congestion on a number of national highways and particularly the gateways to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on the first and last days of the holiday as city folks left and returned to the cities.

    It received more than 140 phone calls and messages from citizens to complain mostly about overcrowded and overpriced coaches running from Hanoi to other provinces like Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ninh Binh, and Yen Bai and vice versa.

    The traffic police forces nationwide reported to have dealt with 25,904 traffic law violations during the holiday, levied fines of up to 13.9 billion VND (619,500 USD) and revoked 872 driving licences.

    Tourists crowd Hanoi’s places of interest during four-day holiday
     

     

    Trial held for former Dai Tin Bank leaders, Asian innovators collaborate to boost social projects, Japan helps improve flight control at Phu Quoc int’l airport, Trees planted at national trig point in Ca Mau
    Visitors to the Temple of Literature in Hanoi 


    Hanoi recorded a surge in tourist arrivals during the National Reunification (April 30) and May Day (May 1) holidays starting on April 28, according to the municipal Department of Tourism.

    The capital city welcomed nearly 318,000 visitors during the four-day holiday, up 10 percent from the same period of 2017. Nearly 66,000 foreigners and 252,000 domestic tourists came to Hanoi, respectively rising by 20 percent and 7 percent.

    Tourism generated 904 billion VND (39.4 million USD) in revenue for Hanoi during the holiday, up 8 percent year on year, the Tourism Department said.

    Popular attractions included the Temple of Literature, the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Ngoc Son Temple, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Huong Pagoda, Khoang Xanh – Suoi Tien and Ao Vua tourist sites, and Ba Vi National Park.

    Multiple activities were also held to serve tourists at places of interest such as the re-enactment of a market of ethnic people in mountainous Son La province at the Culture and Tourism Village of Vietnamese Ethnic Groups, martial arts and folk arts performances at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, and folk games at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.

    Meanwhile, the walking space around Hoan Kiem Lake and the neighbouring area was also extended to last from 7pm of April 27 through May 1, instead of only in the evening of Fridays and the weekend as usual.

    Hotels in Hanoi also reported high occupancy rates, averaging about 63.5 percent at one- to five-star hotels. The countries with most tourists staying in the city during the holiday were China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, the UK, Germany, and France.

    VNN

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  • 05/03/18--02:43: Article 1
  • Vietnam attracts 8.06 billion USD in FDI in Jan-Apr

    Hanoi -Vietnam attracted 8.06 billion USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first four months of 2018, equivalent to 76.1 percent of the figure in the same period last year, according to the National Statistics Office. 

    Illustrative photo (Photo: VNA)

    As of April 20, 2018, the country had 883 newly-licensed FDI projects, with total registered capital of 3.55 billion USD and 303 projects registering to increase their capital by 2.24 billion USD. 

    In the first four months of this year, foreign investors contributed capital and bought shares worth 2.26 billion USD, a year-on-year surge of 67 percent.

    FDI projects in Vietnam disbursed 5.1 billion USD during the first four months, a year-on-year increase of 6.3 percent, said the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency (FIA). 

    The FIA said foreign investors have invested in 17 industries and fields during January and April. Of this, the manufacturing and processing sector attracted the largest amount of FDI, with total registered capital of 4.52 billion USD, accounting for 56.1 percent of the total investment.

    The real estate sector ranked the second in terms of FDI attraction, with total investment capital of 807.5 million USD, accounting for 10 percent of the total. In the third place were the wholesale and retail sector, with total registered capital of 779 million USD, accounting for 9.7 percent of the total.

    Up to 82 countries and territories invested in Vietnam in the first four months. The Republic of Korea topped the list, with an investment of 2.32 billion USD, accounting for 28.7 percent of the total investment. Japan ranked second, with registered capital of approximately 1.29 billion USD, accounting for 16 percent of the total investment. Singapore stood at the third place, with a registered investment of 808 million USD, accounting for 10 percent of the total.

    HCM City attracted the largest volume of FDI, with a total registered capital of 1.92 billion USD, accounting for 23.8 percent of the total investment. The northern port city of Hai Phong ranked second, with registered capital of 1.03 billion USD, accounting for 12.8 percent of the total. The capital city of Hanoi ranked third, with registered capital of 746 million USD, accounting for 9.25 percent of the total. 

    VNA


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  • 05/03/18--02:59: Article 0
  • Hot or cold? Vietnamese give icy reception to frozen meat


    While many Vietnamese consider freshly butchered meat as a healthier alternative to frozen meat, experts say the opposite is often true

    ​Hot or cold? Vietnamese give icy reception to frozen meat 

    A consumer carefully examines Vissan frozen meat at a supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    The Vietnamese habit of opting for meat advertised as freshly butchered over frozen alternatives is one many experts say should be reconsidered.

    Thanh, a resident of District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, says she carefully evaluates freshness by inspecting the stickiness and color of pork and beef before making a purchase.

    "I rarely buy pork and beef in the supermarket because the meat sold there is not as fresh as what I see at the morning market near my house,” Thanh said.

    Many Vietnamese consumers share Thanh’s mindset, considering what they believe is freshly slaughtered meat – meat still warm and deep red in color – as fresher, more nutritious, and safer than frozen meat.

    Nguyen Ngoc An, general director of Vietnam’s top food processor Vissan, said one of the biggest difficulties facing frozen meat is educating consumers on its benefits.

    Even in urbanized areas like Ho Chi Minh City, a mere 20 percent of fresh meat, fish, and vegetables are bought at modern commercial outlets, compared to the 80 percent of ‘fresh’ foods being purchased at traditional markets.

     

    ​Hot or cold? Vietnamese give icy reception to frozen meat
    A woman buys pork at a wet market in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    Frozen meat is safer

    The United States Department of Agriculture suggests that unprocessed frozen meat and poultry have the potential to maintain their quality due to their ability to keep moisture during cooking.

    Meat sold at traditional markets is usually slaughtered the night before going on sale, transported to wholesale markets, and finally distributed to wet markets where it is cut, sliced, formed, and packaged.

    Exposure to dirt and high temperatures during these steps creates an environment in which dangerous microorganisms can thrive and spread rapidly throughout each cut of meat.

    Comparatively, the process of slaughtering, packaging, and distributing frozen meat takes place entirely in conditions between 5 and -40 degrees Celsius, a temperature at which no bacteria is able to contaminate the meat.

    “Even if consumers buy red meat at the market and store it in their refrigerator, it is not as safe as frozen meat from industrial slaughter facilities,” explained Pham Duc Binh, director of Thanh Binh Feedmill Co., a company specializing in the production and supply of chickens and swine.

    In a bid to curb the amount of unsanitary meat being advertized as ‘fresh’ in the country’s traditional markets, Vietnam’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development stipulated in 2012 that pork could only be sold within eight hours of being slaughtered. However, the stipulation was quickly lifted due to the unreadiness of retailers and strong opposition from suppliers.

     

    ​Hot or cold? Vietnamese give icy reception to frozen meat
    A supermarket worker sells frozen meat to customers. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    Catching up to the new consumption trend

    Some companies are preparing to embrace the growing desire among Vietnamese consumers to purchase safer meat.

    Thanh Binh Feedmill Co. is currently researching new freezing systems to ensure food safety for their pork and enable consumers to easily trace the origin of each piece of meat they purchase.

    Luong Quang Thi, director of ABA Cooltrans Co. Ltd., told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that about 3,500 retailers and supermarkets across Vietnam are doing their part to create consumer awareness of the necessity of freezing storage.

    “The more these channels advertise a freezing storage process, the more widely frozen pork, fish and beef will be made available,” he said.

    Thi believes that frozen supply chains will help keep the product at top quality, from slaughter to consumption, creating added value rather than expenses.

    Other companies, such as Greenfeed Vietnam subsidiary Feddy JSC, are gearing up for changes amongst Vietnamese consumption trends by opening shops dedicated entirely to the sale of frozen meat in Ho Chi Minh City, with future plans to expand to Hanoi and Da Nang.

    ​Hot or cold? Vietnamese give icy reception to frozen meat

     

    A customer chooses frozen meat at a supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre


    High rate of infected meat

    Eighty out of 117 samples taken from supermarkets and markets in Ho Chi Minh City early this year contained residual antibiotics or salmonella infections, according to test results published by a team from the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) based in Ho Chi Minh City's Tropical Diseases Hospital.

    Salmonella infected meat, if not cooked thoroughly, can cause gastroenteritis.

    According to the OUCRU, the rate of salmonella infection in Ho Chi Minh City is extremely high compared to Europe.

    Monitored data from the European Union in 2014 indicated that the proportion of salmonella contaminated samples were 2.26 percent, 0.62 percent and 0.23 percent for chickens, pigs and cows. 

    In contrast, samples of meat from Ho Chi Minh City showed salmonella infection rates of 71.8 percent, 70.7 percent, and 62.2 percent, respectively.

    Tuoitrenews

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  • 05/04/18--01:07: Article 3
  • Petrol traders urged to lift bio market share
     

    HÀ NỘI - Wholesale petrol traders should make more efforts to raise the market share of bio-fuel E5 in the country, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade (MoIT) Đỗ Thắng Hải.


     

    A man buys at a petrol station on Nguyên Hồng Street in Hà Nội. Local authorities encourage customers to use bio-fuel to protect the environment and can ensure energy security and sustainable development. - VNA/VNS Photo Phương Anh


    Hải was speaking at a recent meeting with petrol wholesalers on the implementation of the bio-fuel, E5 RON 92, and solutions to ensure the fulfilment of the roadmap and target set by the Prime Minister.

    He said although the output of bio-fuel E5 had grown remarkably in recent times, it was not up to expectations.

    E5 RON 92 consists of five per cent ethanol and 95 per cent petrol. The fuel is used in many countries as it helps protect the environment and can ensure energy security and sustainable development.

    In Việt Nam, two kinds of gasoline are sold: E5 bio-fuel and mineral oil RON 95.

    In the first two months of this year, domestic petrol consumption reached some 1.43 million cu.m, of which E5 RON 92 was 593,609 cu.m, accounting for some 42 per cent, and RON 95 was 836,296 cu.m, accounting for some 52 per cent.

    The volume of bio-fuel consumption in January-February increased by 8 to 9 per cent compared to the same period last year. Some of the key players with high bio-fuel consumption of total sales include Thiên Minh Đức JSC (70.93 per cent), Military Petroleum Corporation (62.37 per cent), PetroVietnam Oil Corporation (PVOil) (51.37 per cent), Việt Nam National Petroleum Group, or Petrolimex (47.06 per cent) and Hải Linh Company Ltd (46.24 per cent).

    Deputy General Director of Petrolimex Trần Ngọc Năm said with the responsibility of being a key player in the market, Petrolimex had strongly directed the deployment of E5 trading throughout its system. Eighty-two per cent of Petrolimex stations sell E5.

    “The group has developed a policy to encourage the retail sale of E5 in petrol stations, aiming to make the consumption of E5 higher than that of RON 95,” said Năm.

    The Petrolimex leader said the proportion of bio-fuel had not reached the expected volume as consumers did not completely trust E5 and the price difference between bio-ethanol E5 and mineral oil RON 95 was not huge enough to attract consumers.

    Năm also said the price of cassava, needed to produce E100 for blending E5 gasoline, was rising, which increased the production price, creating difficulties for businesses.

    In the domestic market, Tùng Lâm Co., Ltd is the only E100 ethanol supplier. Due to the high price of cassava, the company has had to raise the price of E100 too. This is a major concern for gasoline dealers, which they mentioned at the meeting.

    Vũ Kiên Chỉnh, general director of Tùng Lâm Company, said in 10 months (from June 2017 to April 15, 2018), cassava price increased by VNĐ2,000 per kilo (from VNĐ3,600 to VNĐ5,600).

    Chỉnh confirmed that the E100 price increase was not due to monopoly and that in increasing the price of cassava, the largest beneficiaries were the growers.

    “We would like to be supported by State management agencies to facilitate the production of E100 in the country instead of importing it from abroad,” said Chỉnh.

    General Director of PVOIL Cao Hoài Dương said to rightly understand E5, there was a need for public orientation and knowledge dissemination in the right way.

    “The difference in price between E5 and RON 95 should be VNĐ1,800-2,000, which will make E5 more attractive,” said Dương.

    Concluding the meeting, Hải affirmed MoIT’s support to legitimate business enterprises that always co-operated with others to develop together.

    He requested enterprises to seriously and persistently implement and continue to take more aggressive measures to increase the market share of E5 petrol business.

    As for the supply of E100 for blending E5 gasoline, Hải asked the Tùng Lâm Company, as well as some other ethanol factories that will be launched in the near future, to minimise production costs in order to create the product E100, which will be able to compete with imported products and raise domestic consumption.

    Hải also requested petrol stations to install E5 gasoline pumps in convenient locations and said there was a need to have more pump piers.

    “Each staff member at petrol stations must be an active consultant and facilitator, helping consumers have the right understanding of E5 bio-fuel and make the right choice,” Hải said.

     VNS

    0 0
  • 05/04/18--01:11: Article 2
  • PM requests preventing delay in law building

    Hanoi -Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has requested resolutely no delay in law building in preparation for the upcoming fifth session of the National Assembly (NA) scheduled for mid-May. 


     

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (C) speaks at the meeting (Photo: VNA)


    During the government’s monthly meeting on May 3, the PM criticised the slow progress and poor quality of draft laws to be submitted to the NA, and asked the Ministry of Justice and other ministries and agencies concerned to devise specific solution to fix the issue. 

    “Building institutions is the top priority of the Government in this term,” Phuc said. 

    Looking back the past four months, the PM lauded ministries, agencies and localities for issuing specific action plans to fulfill socio-economic development targets. In particular, the government held four thematic national conferences to address difficulties across socio-economic fields. Via trade promotion forums, increasing inbound and outbound capital have fueled production and trade. 

    A number of measures regarding socio-culture, the settlement of complaints and denunciations, national defence-security, and especially external relations have proved effective, he said. 

    The PM noted that macro - economic stability has been maintained during January-April, with the consumer price index in April only rising by 0.08 percent month-on-month, and the four-month index up by only 2.8 percent annually. The total foreign reserves neared 63 billion USD while the State Bank of Vietnam bought more than 32 billion USD in two years, a positive signal for the Vietnamese economy. 

    Rice output increased by 668,000 tonnes, industrial production index went up 11.4 percent in four months, and exports soared 20 percent to approximately 74 billion USD. Trade surplus surpassed 3.39 billion USD and State budget collection was 12 percent higher than the same period last year, or 33.8 percent of the estimate. Foreign arrivals in Vietnam topped 5.5 million, up roughly 30 percent.

    The PM said the business environment has improved with progress in administrative reform, especially in industry and trade, health care, transport and construction. The provincial competitiveness index has hit record since 2005, proving that business climate in localities has been better with more than 41,000 newly-established firms during the period. 

    Localities were hailed for strictly dealing with law violations to protect the environment and strengthen investors’ trust. 

    On the fight against corruption, the leader said under the drastic direction of the Party General Secretary and head of the Central Steering Committee on Corruption Prevention and Control, the government has exerted the most efforts to deal with cases of public concern such as the AVG television channel purchase, land purchase in Da Nang city, and gambling on Internet, thus strengthening public trust under the Party leadership and State management.

    The PM pointed out an array of difficulties and challenges that need to be addressed such as unsustainable macro economy, low disbursement of construction investment capital from State budget, and slow attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI).

    He said the business environment should be further improved since the market penetration index of Vietnamese enterprises is only at 123rd among 190 nations worldwide.

    He requested pushing ahead with investment reform, noting that many ministries and departments have yet to proactively reduce administrative procedures, causing difficulties for businesses.

    The PM also expressed his concerns over a number of social, cultural, and religious issues and reminded localities to strengthen management in the fields.

    After his opening speech, the cabinet heard a report presented by the Ministry of Justice about the outcomes of building laws and ordinances in 2018 and the promulgation of documents stipulating in details the implementation of laws and ordinances in the first four months of this year.

    VNA

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  • 05/04/18--01:19: Article 1
  • Government News In Brief 3/5


    PM receives J.P. Morgan Chase's chairman


     

    PM receives J.P. Morgan Chase's chairman, Senior leaders meet with voters ahead of National Assembly session, Standing Vice Chairwoman meets voters in Son La, Pocketbooks of Communist Party Manifesto introduced to public 

    PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc expected that the U.S. J.P.Morgan Chase & Co. will make more contribution to enhancing the relationship between Viet Nam and the U.S. in the upcoming time at his reception for J.P. Morgan Chase's chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon on May 3 in Ha Noi. 

    PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives J.P. Morgan Chase's chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, Ha Noi, May 3, 2018 

    The PM hailed the role of J.P.Morgan in the international financial market and its active investment and cooperation activities in Viet Nam, especially in the process of equitizing Viet Nam’s large corporations. 

    The Vietnamese Government always facilitates the successful operations of U.S. corporations and businesses, including J.P.Morgan, in Viet Nam, the PM asserted. 

    Viet Nam has continuously improved the investment environment, encouraged U.S. large corporations to launch their operation in the nation in fields of finance, banking, energy and high-tech, he said, proposing J.P.Morgan call on more U.S. enterprises to invest in Viet Nam. 

    Mr. Jamie Dimon expressed his hope to launch long-term operation in Viet Nam through providing best financial services for partners, businesses and credit organizations.

    He supposed that the Vietnamese Government is on the right track in developing the economy, especially restructuring the banking system and equitization, adding that the corporation is willing to join hands with the nation in the process. 

    Pocketbooks of Communist Party Manifesto introduced to public


     

    PM receives J.P. Morgan Chase's chairman, Senior leaders meet with voters ahead of National Assembly session, Standing Vice Chairwoman meets voters in Son La, Pocketbooks of Communist Party Manifesto introduced to public
    “Manifesto of the Communist Party” and the “Read the Manifesto of the Communist Party” 

    The Tre Publishing House on May 3 introduced the pocketbook versions of the “Manifesto of the Communist Party” and the “Read the Manifesto of the Communist Party” to mark the 200th birth anniversary of German philosopher Karl Marx (May 5) and 170 years since the manifesto was born.

    With the size of 9x12.5cm, the small edition provides readers with easier access.

    The Manifesto of the Communist Party is an 1848 political pamphlet by German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. It is an essential document for those who want to learn about Marxism.

    The version is published by the Tre Publishing House in Vietnamese and English.

    Meanwhile, the “Read Manifesto of the Communist Party” work, compiled by Associate Professor and Doctor Vu Tinh, former Vice Rector of the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City’s University of Social Sciences and Humanities, provides an overview of the manifesto.

    This is the remake of the “Study the Manifesto of the Communist Party” work compiled by the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Union and scientists, and first introduced in 1998.

    Senior leaders meet with voters ahead of National Assembly session


    PM receives J.P. Morgan Chase's chairman, Senior leaders meet with voters ahead of National Assembly session, Standing Vice Chairwoman meets voters in Son La, Pocketbooks of Communist Party Manifesto introduced to public 

    Head of the Central Inspection Commission Tran Quoc Vuong and voters of Yen Bai province  

    Conferences have been held in a number of provinces during which the senior leaders, who are also National Assembly (NA) deputies, met with voters in their constituencies.

    In the northern province of Yen Bai, Head of the Central Inspection Commission Tran Quoc Vuong stated that the Party and State will continue to develop the transport infrastructure in the northwestern region.

    He also received many proposals from the local voters on earmarking capital for essential projects and improving the infrastructure in mountainous northern provinces.

    In the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, Head of the Central Commission for Mass Mobilisation Truong Thi Mai informed voters of the country’s socio-economic situation and promised to hand over their petitions to the relevant agencies.

    Meanwhile National Assembly Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong met with voters in the northern province of Son La.

    She briefed the citizens on the agenda of the upcoming parliamentary session and praised the local authorities in overcoming difficulties to accelerate the socio-economic development in the early months of 2018.

    The NA leader also asked the local government to focus on clean and hi-tech agriculture, in addition to its strength in tourism.

    Standing Vice Chairwoman meets voters in Son La


     

    PM receives J.P. Morgan Chase's chairman, Senior leaders meet with voters ahead of National Assembly session, Standing Vice Chairwoman meets voters in Son La, Pocketbooks of Communist Party Manifesto introduced to public
    NA Standing Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong speaks at the meeting 

    Politburo member and National Assembly (NA) Standing Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong met with voters in Moc Chau district of the mountainous northern province of Son La on May 2, prior to the fifth session of the 14th NA.

    At the meeting, the delegation of deputies for the 14th NA from Son La province briefed voters on the results of the activities of the delegation at the fourth session of the 14th NA as well as the contents and agenda for the up-coming fifth session.

    The voters proposed that the Government and the Ministry of Transport consider the construction of the Hoa Binh - Moc Chau expressway before 2020, as well as upgrading National Highway No.43.

    They also suggested some issues related to housing support for national contributors.

    Standing Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong welcomed and appreciated voters’ open and constructive suggestions, promising to submit their ideas and recommendations to the National Assembly, Government, and other relevant agencies for due consideration and to find solutions.

    She urged local authorities to listen to the voters’ aspirations, work out proper solutions in line with the law, and enable people to fulfil their function of supervision in various fields, which contribute to socio-economic development and national defence and security.

    VNN  

    0 0
  • 05/04/18--01:34: Article 0
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 4/5


    HCM City to get high-quality farm products from Long An

    Agricultural businesses in the Mekong Delta province of Long An are looking at ways to increase supplies of their products to Ho Chi Minh City, the largest economic centre in the southern region.


    The Mekong Delta province of Long An plans to provide more agricultural goods that meet quality standards to the HCM City market (Photo: VNA)
    The Mekong Delta province of Long An plans to provide more agricultural goods that meet quality standards to the HCM City market (Photo: VNA).

    Nguyen Ngoc Hoa, Deputy Director of HCM City’s Department of Industry and Trade, said that buying and selling was being done through modern distribution channels as well as traditional markets. Safe food, traceability of product origin, and post-harvest preservation are all important parts of today’s agricultural production process.

    However, there are only a few enterprises and cooperatives from Long An province that can satisfy these conditions.

    If enterprises and cooperatives from Long An met these conditions, they could become key suppliers to HCM City over the long term, according to Hoa.

    At the meeting between officials from HCM City and Long An province last week, representatives of Long An province’s enterprises and cooperatives said that farmers in the province had not changed their production habits. Many farmers are not producing goods under contract or according to market demand.

    Farmers are also using levels of pesticides that do not follow required standards.

    Nguyen Van Duoc, Vice Chairman of Long An province’s People’s Committee, said that Long An authorities had asked HCM City to share experiences and support local enterprises in applying high-tech production and post-harvest preservation methods.

    “Long An will create more connections between enterprises and cooperatives in the province with enterprises and large distributors in HCM City. Long An would like to establish a supply chain of safe agricultural products and quality-assured products, following the requirements of the market,” he added.

    To solve the problem, HCM City authorities said they would help Long An province’s producers to prevent and control disease and maintain food safety by transferring high-quality breeding stocks and high-tech breeding methods.

    Ninety co-operatives in Long An, including 30 co-operatives producing under Vietnam Good Agricultural Practices standards, with capacity of more than 20,000 tonnes, supply about 500 tonnes of agricultural products every day to HCM City.

    Dorufoam expands export to Russia, Europe, American markets

    General Director of Dong Phu Rubber Technology Jsc Dam Duy Thao has said the company plans to ship its wholly Vietnamese natural products to Russia, European and American markets apart from traditional markets of China and Cambodia. 

    The company will continue renovating technology and assembly lines to improve product quality while doubling its capacity to meet demand at home and abroad. 

    Its plants use modern assembly lines and technologies from Germany, Malaysia in closed process, from cultivation, exploitation to processing. They all meet ISO 9001:2015 quality management, ISO 14001:2015 environment management and OHSAS 18001:2007 occupational health and safety management standards.

    Not only manufacturing mattresses, rubber pillows, they also churn out sofas, beds, pillow covers with seven domestic showrooms and 350 agents in 50 cities and provinces nationwide. 

    Dorufoam also has a sole distributor in the Chinese province of Shandong and another in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with export turnover of over 150,000 USD per year. 

    To expand markets, it has partnered with the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s CJ Group to sell products online and export to markets in which CJ has branches.

    Agro-forestry-fishery export value picks up 11.9 percent

    Exports of agro-forestry-fishery products in the first four months of the years were estimated at 12.3 billion USD, a year-on-year surge of 11.9 percent, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    The country raked in 6.5 billion USD from exports of main agricultural products, 2.4 billion USD from seafood and 2.7 billion USD from main forestry products, up 11.9 percent, 13 percent and 7.9 percent from the same time last year, respectively.

    During the period, the country shipped 2.16 million tonnes of rice abroad, earning 1.1 billion USD, year-on-year increases of 21.7 percent in volume and 37.7 percent in value.

    Average export price for rice in the first quarter of this year gained 15 percent to reach 501 USD per tonne. China continued to be the largest importer of Vietnamese rice when it purchased 411,600 tonnes, or 29.1 percent of the rice market share.

    Rice export enjoyed strong growth in Indonesia (up 378 times), Iraq (up 16.7 times), Malaysia (up 3.3 times), Ivory Coast (up 67.1 percent), Ghana (up 57.4 percent), China’s Hong Kong (up 46.2 percent) and Singapore (up 24.6 percent).

    In the January-April period, cashew export experienced sound expansion in terms of both volume and value. Some 103,000 tonnes of cashew were shipped abroad at a value of 1.04 billion USD, rising 23.1 percent in quantity and 31.9 percent in value from the same time last year. 

    The US, China and the Netherlands remained three top importers of Vietnamese cashew. They made up of 34.4 percent, 13.6 percent and 13.3 percent of the market share, respectively.

    The export value of vegetable went up nearly 30 percent to over 1.32 billion USD in the period.

    Earnings from coffee regained a slight rise of 0.4 percent to 1.3 billion USD despite an 18.1 percent increase in volume with 691,000 tonnes. Meanwhile, the export value of cassava went up 3.2 percent to 376 million USD in the period.

    In a stark contrast, rubber and pepper saw their export values down of 21.4 percent and 33.2 percent, respectively.

    The ministry estimated that the country splashed out 9.5 billion USD on purchasing foreign agro-forestry-fishery products in the four-month period, growing 11.7 percent from the same months in 2017.

    Vietnam’s import-export revenue rises 14.4 percent in four months

    Total import-export revenue in the first four months of 2018 is estimated at 144.13 billion USD, up 14.4 percent year on year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

    Of the figure, Vietnam’s export value is likely to reach 73.76 billion USD, a rise of 19 percent over the same period last year, while import value is calculated at 70.37 billion USD, an increase of 10.1 percent.

    The highest growth was seen in the export earnings of telephone and spare parts at 36.8 percent to hit 13.42 billion USD, followed by garment products at 15.7 percent, computers, aquaculture products at 13 percent and electronic products and parts 10.83 percent.

    Meanwhile, the value of imported computer, electronic products and parts rose 22.3 percent to 13.42 billion USD, while that of machineries, equipment and spare parts dropped 7.4 percent to 10.16 billion USD.

    Imports of telephone and spare parts increased 9.8 percent to 4.42 billion USD, and that of fabric of all kinds was up 10 percent year on year to 3.66 billion USD.

    In April alone, total trade revenue of the country is estimated at 35.7 billion USD, a drop of 10.8 percent compared to the previous month. Exports showed a reduction of 13.9 percent on a monthly basis to 18.2 billion USD, and imports in the month also fell 7.3 percent month on month to 17.5 billion USD.

    As a result, trade surplus in April is estimated at 700 million USD, raising the surplus for the January-April period to 3.39 billion USD.

    Vietnam Medi-Pharm 2018 to open in Hanoi

    The 25th Vietnam International Exhibitions on Products, Equipment, Supplies for Pharmaceutical, Medical, Hospital and Rehabilitation – Vietnam Medi-Pharm 2018 will take place in Hanoi from May 9-12. 

    The information was announced during a press conference co-hosted by the Health Ministry, the Vietnam Medical Products Import-Export JSC (Vimedimex) and the Vietnam Advertisement & Fair Exhibition (Vietfair) in Hanoi on May 2. 

    This year, 450 firms from 30 countries and territories worldwide will join the event with 535 stalls. It will be the first time Polish enterprises attend the event with display of software on medical cost, electronic spare parts and automation. 

    Major products on display include pharmaceuticals, functional food, medical equipment, dentistry and ophthalmological, and health care products, chemicals and experiment equipment.

    The Health Ministry’s display area will disseminate the Party and State’s policies and laws on medical work, achievements and major tasks of Vietnam’s medical sector this year. 

    Concurrent events will be the Vietnam International Hospital Exhibition, the International Rehabilitation & Healthcare Technology Exhibition & Conference, the International Dental Exhibition, and seminars and forums on heart, blood pressure, and vaccination. 

    As part of the exhibitions will be consultancy on medical law, pharmaceutical market, public health care and epidemics prevention, among others.

    The event, starting from 1994, takes place in May in Hanoi each year.

    MoIT continues to streamline business procedures

    Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh has signed Decision No.1408/QD-BCT approving plans to streamline 54 administrative procedures and conditional business lines this year.

    This is the first administrative procedure simplification in 2018 and the third of its kind in the industry and trade sector. 

    Of the total procedures, 41 will be trimmed while another 12 administrative procedures will be on the chopping block, covering ten fields, including energy, electricity, competitiveness management, trade promotion, food safety and import-export.

    The ministry will simplify and cut eight administrative procedures in food safety. Relating to Decree 109 on rice export, which has been a topic of debate in past years, the ministry reduced the time for obtaining the necessary documents to export rice from 15 working days to 10, and .

    Regarding import-export activities, the ministry will remove the requirement to obtain a licence for tobacco imports for duty free trading. The licence has been applied since 1998.

    The ministry also reduces the time for granting certificates of free sale (CFS) for imported and exported goods.

    Also, the ministry reviewed and agreed to remove nine administrative procedures relating trade promotion activities. 

    In the past two years, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has made a big shakeup in line with the Party and State’s spirit of tectonic movements and renovation to create favourable conditions for citizens and businesses to develop the economy.

    The ministry’s first administrative restructuring was implemented in December 2016, during which 123 administrative procedures out of the total 443 were simplified or annulled.

    Last year, the ministry continued to cut and simplify 183 administrative procedures out of the total 451 at that time. The procedures under its management had increased from 443 in 2016 to 451 in 2017 as some sectors under other ministries’ management were transferred to the ministry.

    The ministry has been praised for cutting 402 categories out of 702 import-export products, which were under special check-ups. 

    NA leader witnesses gas processing plant inauguration in Ca Mau

    National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan attended a ceremony in the southernmost province of Ca Mau on May 2 to inaugurate the Ca Mau Gas Processing Plant (GPP Ca Mau) invested by the PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (PVGas). 

    Built within two years at a cost of more than 10 trillion VND (450 million USD), the plant has a daily capacity of 6.2 million cu.m of gas and is able to hold 8,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas and 3,000 cu.m of condensate. 

    Once operational, it will supply around 600 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas and 35 tonnes of condensate to the market per day, meeting 10 percent of domestic demand. 

    Speaking at the event, the top legislator noted that the Party and State give priority to oil and gas sector, including gas industry, with a number of incentives.

    She lauded PetroVietnam and PVGas for making Vietnam one of the countries that is able to turn gas into electricity and fertiliser. 

    The leader said the inauguration of the plant is meant to realise the Vietnam National Energy Development Strategy approved by the government, contributing to economic development in the southwest and Ca Mau province in particular. 

    Chairman of the PetroVietnam Members’ Council Tran Sy Thanh said the plant is the final part of the gas – electricity – fertiliser project chain in Ca Mau, adding that the successful project will contribute to PetroVietnam’s sustainable development. NA leader witnesses gas processing plant inauguration in Ca Mau

    National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan attended a ceremony in the southernmost province of Ca Mau on May 2 to inaugurate the Ca Mau Gas Processing Plant (GPP Ca Mau) invested by the PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (PVGas). 

    Built within two years at a cost of more than 10 trillion VND (450 million USD), the plant has a daily capacity of 6.2 million cu.m of gas and is able to hold 8,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas and 3,000 cu.m of condensate. 

    Once operational, it will supply around 600 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas and 35 tonnes of condensate to the market per day, meeting 10 percent of domestic demand. 

    Speaking at the event, the top legislator noted that the Party and State give priority to oil and gas sector, including gas industry, with a number of incentives.

    She lauded PetroVietnam and PVGas for making Vietnam one of the countries that is able to turn gas into electricity and fertiliser. 

    The leader said the inauguration of the plant is meant to realise the Vietnam National Energy Development Strategy approved by the government, contributing to economic development in the southwest and Ca Mau province in particular. 

    Chairman of the PetroVietnam Members’ Council Tran Sy Thanh said the plant is the final part of the gas – electricity – fertiliser project chain in Ca Mau, adding that the successful project will contribute to PetroVietnam’s sustainable development.

    HCM City’s industrial production stalls in four months

    Ho Chi Minh City’s industrial production index tended to stall, up only 6.07 percent in the four months this year compared to 7.09 percent one year earlier, said Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade Nguyen Huynh Trang. 

    During a meeting held by the municipal People’s Committee on May 2 to discuss local socio-economic-cultural affairs, State budget collection and spending for April and major tasks for May, Trang said 99 percent of firms operating in the city are micro, small and medium-sized ones so that their competitiveness is limited. Meanwhile, foreign-invested enterprises have contributed to 35.5 percent of the city’s industrial production value over the past five years. 

    The city now makes up 32 percent of the total industrial production in the southern key economic zone and nearly 16 percent of the country’s total. The growth of the city’s industrial production index has been lower than the country’s average in the recent five years. 

    Trang said the local economy continues to switch to services that account for 59.54 percent of its gross regional development product in the first quarter. 

    During the four months, mechanical engineering expanded by 2.48 percent, lower than 18.89 percent recorded in the same period last year while manufacturing of motorised vehicles was down 26.8 percent compared to an 84.19 percent rise year-on-year. It was partly due to the adoption of Euro 4 emission standards from January 2018. 

    Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong asked the department to advise the city to issue development plans for key products, improve competitiveness, and develop trademarks.

    Tra Vinh promotes administrative reform to improve competitiveness

    Chairman of the People’s Committee of the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh Dong Van Lam has instructed provincial departments, sectors and localities to intensify reform of administrative procedures in order to improve the provincial competiveness index (PCI).

    He also asked relevant agencies to hold more dialogues and meetings with businesses to address their problems.

    Tra Vinh’s indicator on labour training has been low in recent years, with the province ranked at 58th among 63 cities and provinces in 2017. Accordingly, the provincial Labour and Social Affairs Department needs to devise plans to provide training for workers in line with businesses’ requirements.

    The provincial leader said the province should strive to maintain the good performance in areas where it has earned high rankings such as land access, time cost and unofficial cost.

    At the same time, efforts must be made to improve rankings in other sub-indicators including market participation, transparency, dynamism, labour training and business facilitation, equal competitiveness and labour training. 

    Tra Vinh was ranked 37th out of 63 cities and provinces nationwide in term of PCI in 2017, up five places from 2016 under the rankings released recently by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The province led the country in terms of unofficial cost.

    The year 2017 also marked the outstanding performance of Tra Vinh in investment attraction, contributing remarkably to the local economic growth. 

    During the year, nearly 80 domestic and foreign investors came to study the local incentives in investment, doubling the number of 2016, including 35 investors from Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the US, Turkey and Malaysia. 

    As a result, the locality licensed 49 investment projects, encompassing five foreign ones with total registered capital of 143 million USD, and 44 domestic ones worth nearly 3.5 trillion VND (153.3 million USD). 

    On aggregate, 59 projects worth over 153.8 trillion VND (6.7 billion USD) are being carried out at industrial and economic zones in the province. 

    The inflow of investment has made positive impacts on local development. The gross regional domestic product (GRDP) saw annual average growth of 11 percent over the past five years. In 2017, the GRDP expanded by over 12 percent, the highest level over the past four years.

    VCCI works to facilitate business growth

    The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has, in coordination with ministries, sectors and agencies, carried out various activities so far this year to push administrative procedure reform, creating a supportive environment for business operation and startups.

    A recent VCCI report stated that the agency has engaged in the process of ensuring enterprises’ business rights and equality in accessing business resources and opportunities.

    The VCCI has gathered opinions of the business community and made contributions to the building of many important legal documents, including the law on the revision and supplementations to some articles of the Law on Handling of Administrative Violations, the Law on Urban Management, and the revised Tertiary Education Law.

    At the same time, the VCCI has held many seminars, conferences, meetings and dialogues to collect ideas and propose policies to the Party and State on how to improve investment and business environment as well as support the business community.

    The announcement of the 2017 Provincial Competitiveness Index Report was one of the highlights of the VCCI activities this year. The report was built basing on a survey on 10,245 private enterprises in 63 cities and provinces, including 2,003 firms established in the past two years and 1,765 foreign-invested firms.

    A conference was also held with the coordination of the VCCI and the Ministry of Construction to seek measures to remove difficulties in policies related to investment and capital construction.

    The VCCI has also worked with ministries, sector and localities to organise activities to improve business environment, including a conference to collect ideas on the law on investment in public-private partnership form, and another to gather opinions on the list of business conditions in transport sector.

    The chamber held a dialogue with businesses on tax policies, administrative procedures related to taxation and instruction on tax balance in the central province of Thanh Hoa.

    VN-RoK trade relations flourish     

    Speaking at the Viet Nam-Korea Economic Forum in late April, Le Quang Manh, deputy minister of planning and investment, affirmed the increasing value of the Viet Nam-Korea strategic partnership.

    RoK is currently Viet Nam’s largest foreign direct investment partner with total registered capital of $59 billion, as well as the country’s second-largest trading partner and second-largest export market after China.

    According to Kwak Young Kil, chairman of the Korea-Vietnam Culture Economic Association (KOVEKA), Viet Nam has become one of RoK’s most important trading partners, and currently plays a significant role in President Moon Jae-In’s new policy to support stronger exchanges and cooperation with ASEAN members.

    Kwak noted that after 25 years of diplomatic relations, with strong growth trends in recent years, trade turnover between the two countries had reached $63 billion in 2017. Bilateral trade is expected to reach $100 billion by 2020, equivalent to an annual increase of 18 per cent over the next two years.

    Korea has overtaken Japan and Singapore as Viet Nam’s biggest investor in new fields such as electronics and manufacturing. Prominent FDI firms include Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, SK Energy and Hyundai Heavy Industries and the Korea Electric Power Corporation.

    Ban Won-ik, chairman of the Association of High Potential Enterprises of Korea (AHPEK), said that since 2016, the number of investment projects and amount of capital from RoK enterprises in China has dropped sharply, as Korean companies are turning to invest in Viet Nam.

    He attributed the strong investment trend to the Government of Viet Nam’s policies, including reform of administrative procedures and tariff preferences, coupled with the privatisation of State-owned enterprises and opportunities for further business expansion through mergers and acquisitions. .

    In early April, Lee Hyuk, South Korean ambassador to Viet Nam, spoke with Vu Tien Loc, president of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), on the strategic partnership’s impressive development in all areas, especially in trade, FDI and official development aid (ODA).

    According to the Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Kotra), South Korean enterprises investing in Viet Nam started mainly with low-capital outsourcing projects in light industries for export purposes. Now, however, up to 73 per cent have moved on to serving local demand in Viet Nam’s key economic sectors such as electronics, energy, automobile, garment and construction.

    As of 2017, RoK’s total investment in Viet Nam reached $7.62 billion, accounting for 27 per cent of the latter’s FDI capital. RoK is also its second largest ODA provider, after Japan.

    The country’s open export segment policy, multiple signed trade agreements, low-cost labour force and incentivising policies for FDI firms are chief factors spur South Korean enterprises to choose Viet Nam.

    In terms of tourism, the number of South Korean tourists to Viet Nam in 2017 has increased by 50 per cent, making Viet Nam their most visited destination in southeast Asia.

    The RoK is home to nearly 150,000 currently living, studying and working Vietnamese, while Viet Nam hosts more than 140,000 South Koreans.

    Cargill boosts shrimp innovation in Bac Lieu     

    Cargill has opened a shrimp-focused technology application centre in Bac Lieu Province, a shrimp farming hub.

    The 1.2ha centre, which has several ponds, a training facility and a research station, is Cargill’s second such facility in Viet Nam and the third in the region.

    “[It] will apply shrimp farming knowledge and technology from around the world within the local framework,” Jesper Clausen, technology application lead, Cargill’s aquaculture nutrition business in Asia, said.

    “In Viet Nam, this means helping farmers address challenges such as disease in shrimp farming and complement current farming practices with new techniques and improved feed.”

    At the centre, the company is co-operating with the Research Institute of Aquaculture No. 2 in Bac Lieu to run various full-cycle trials to find the best ingredient combinations and improve existing diets with less impact on the environment.

    It will also help speed up the pace of product development with increased focus on solutions for shrimp.

    Chad Gauger, managing director, Cargill Aquaculture Nutrition, Asia South, said: “Viet Nam is an important and growing market for animal nutrition. Today, after 23 years of operating in Viet Nam, Cargill has 11 manufacturing facilities across the country, employing 1800 people, 99 per cent of whom are Vietnamese.

    Viet Capital Bank targets $3.5m profit     

    Viet Capital Bank reported a 26 per cent increase in deposits last year to VND35.93 trillion (US$1.57 billion).

    Its total outstanding loans were worth VND25.87 trillion ($1.34 billion) at the end of last year, up 19 per cent, with non-performing loans accounting for 1.8 per cent.

    At its annual shareholders meeting held recently in HCM City, many targets for 2018 were approved: net profit of VND80 billion ($3.5 million), total assets of VND46 trillion, deposits of VND41.3 trillion and total outstanding loans of VND29.1 trillion.

    Non performing loans will be less than 3 per cent.

    The management warned of possible headwinds this year, but said with support from shareholders and the State Bank of Viet Nam and efforts from employees, the bank is fully confident of accomplishing the targets.

    Novaland lists convertible bonds in Singapore     

    Property developer Novaland Investment Group Corporation on Wednesday announced that it successfully listed its US$160 million offering of convertible bonds on the Singapore Exchange Limited last week.

    This is the first Vietnamese convertible bond listing on an international stock market in six years, it said.

    The issue attracted interest from many investors in Asia and Europe, it said.

    The US-dollar denominated unsubordinated convertible bonds due in 2023 will be converted into ordinary shares of the company at an initial conversion price of VND74,750. The bonds, issued at par, carry a coupon of 5.5 per cent payable semi-annually in arrears and a yield to maturity of 6.25 per cent.

    Novaland also successfully raised $150 million from an equity placement, taking the total capital raised to $310 million. It is the largest ever issuance by a Vietnamese company involving a concurrent equity placement and convertible bond offering.

    The company said it would use the proceeds from the combined offering to further build its land holdings in prime locations and develop housing projects, and for working capital and general corporate purposes.

    The company plans to start three new projects this year.

    Last week at its annual general meeting, shareholder passed business plans for this year, with expected sales of VND21.78 trillion, after-tax profit of VND3.2 trillion, up 87 per cent and 55 per cent respectively.

    Around 6,500 units are expected to be handed over this year at 11 projects, all of which have sold over 90 per cent on average.

    CEO Group in hot water

    Real estate giant CEO Group may face difficulties as its golden goose Sonasea Villas & Resorts appeared on the Ministry of Construction’s radar, and two other long-delayed projects are at risk of cancellation by the Hanoi People’s Committee.

    Along with giant real estate groups like BIM Group, Bitexco, Gelemexico, and Khang Dien JSC, CEO Group will be inspected by MoC in 2018. The inspection will target the group’s main source of revenue, Sonasea Villas & Resorts in Phu Quoc Island, according to dantri.com.vn.

    According to statistics from the Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and Environment, there are over 200 long-delayed projects. In addition, 172 projects have been delayed for more than 24 months and 72 projects have not completed their financial obligations (holding a total debt of over $207 million).

    CEO Group’s revenue mainly comes from projects in Phu Quoc, such as Sonasea and Novotel Phu Quoc. According to the group’s financial report in 2016, projects in Phu Quoc contributed 60 per cent of the group’s revenue.

    In contrast, perhaps due to putting too much focus on Sonasea and other projects in Phu Quoc, CEO Group has forgotten its two long-delayed projects in Hanoi, the Seven Star high-end trading and services building and CEO Me Linh City, which was licensed in February 2008.

    According to CEO Group’s plans, the $88.1-million Seven Star building located in the golden land D27 in Cau Giay district would have been constructed in December 2010 and completed in 2013’s fourth quarter. However, to date, the project is still in a standstill, taking up valuable space. Essentially, the Seven Star building has been not mentioned in the group's plans since 2013.

    Furthermore, CEO Group’s CEO Me Linh City on February 29, 2008 (six months before Me Linh was merged into Hanoi) received its construction permit from the Vinh Phuc People’s Committee. However, since then, the project has not been developed.

    To resolve long-delayed projects in Hanoi, in early 2018 Chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung directed authorities in local districts to look into resolving projects that have been delayed by more than three years, possibly meaning CEO Group's two mentioned projects may be included in the list.

    Accordingly, Chung requested local authorities to check, adjust or cancel these projects, then report to the Hanoi People’s Committee for solutions.

    IFC promotes financial consumer protection

    IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, in collaboration with the Vietnam Banks Association (VNBA), is promoting financial consumer protection practices to ensure that customers have more confidence and trust in the country’s financial system. 

    The aim is to make the nation’s banking sector more resilient and to promote the responsible delivery of financial products and services. This will give individuals and businesses more access to finance and contribute to Vietnam’s overall economic development.

    A workshop was held on April 26 in Ho Chi Minh City to offer best practice knowledge in financial consumer protection, the experiences of several economies in strengthening their legal and regulatory frameworks, and the main elements of good financial consumer protection practice in credit reporting. A good credit reporting system should be safe and efficient, and fully supportive of consumer rights while collecting and sharing information among creditors.

    Financial consumer protection —a group of laws, regulations, and institutional arrangements that safeguards consumers in the financial marketplace—has become a significant priority for policymakers over the last decade. 

    This can be attributed to the considerable financial losses of consumers and investors, the economy caused by poor market conduct over the past few years and the increased vulnerability of customers due to emerging technology-based financial services. To address these issues, efforts have been made to enhance disclosure and transparency, fair treatment, and internal and external dispute resolution. 

    More than 100 representatives from commercial banks, industrial associations and government agencies discussed the importance of customer protection, the financial sector’s stability and how to access more customers. Participants were updated on how policymakers and banks are addressing new consumer risks such as the challenges of delivering financial products and services through digital channels. 

    The workshop also featured talks about how credit reporting service providers should take on consumer protection as a core part of their operations in order to maintain the quality and reliability of credit data, thus enhancing creditors’ and consumers’ confidence in the credit reporting system.

    The workshop was organized in partnership with the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) as part of IFC’s efforts to facilitate the uptake and usage of a range of financial products that can be easily accessed by consumers, including the previously unserved or underserved segments, and to deliver products and services in a responsible and sustainable manner in Vietnam.

    Aquatic product exports bring home US$2.4 billion in four months

    Vietnam earned some US$2.4 billion from its exports of aquatic products over the first four months of 2018, representing a year-on-year rise of 13%.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), in April alone, the country hauled in US$650 million from the export of aquatic products.

    The US, Japan, China, and the Republic of Korea were the biggest importers in January-March, making up 52% of the Southeast Asian country’s total aquatic product exports.

    The highest growth was reported in the Netherlands (55.7%), China (44.6%), and the UK (33.8%).

    In the four-month period, Vietnam imported US$536 million worth of aquatic products, up 27.4% against the same period last year. Of that figure, US$130 million worth of aquatic products were imported in April.

    Vietnam achieved its highest ever aquatic product export value of US$8.32 billion in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 18%, according to the MARD.

    The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said shrimp exports provided the biggest contribution to the total export value, with a growth rate of 21% to US$3.8 billion in 2017.

    Exports of aquatic product in 2018 are expected to exceed US$8.5 billion, up about 3% compared to 2017, though Vietnam's exports to the US and EU markets will continue to be affected by catfish inspections, anti-dumping and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), according to the VASEP.

    Industrial production index increases by 11.4% in four months

    Viet Nam’s industrial production index (IPI) was estimated to rise 9.4% year-on-year in April, pushing the four-month index growth by 11.4% on-year in the first four months of this year, according to the country's General Statistics Office.

    In the January-April period, main driver of the surge, the processing and manufacturing sector, went up 14%.

    Meanwhile, electricity production and distribution sector grew 9.7%, contributing 0.9%, and water supply and waste management grew 5.5%, only the mining sector suffered a slight decrease of 1.2%.

    In the period, high production growth was reported in the fields of electronics, computers and optical products (26.6%); metal (16.3%); products made from precast metal (except machinery and equipment) (15.2%); and furniture production (14.9%).

    Surges were also recorded in major industrial products such as iron and steel (38.2%), followed by synthetic cloth (up 26.2 percent), powdered milk (20.7%), feed for aquaculture (19%), television (17.5%), and processed aquatic products (11.8%). 

    The northern Bac Ninh province posted the highest industrial production growth of 33.4%, followed by Hai Phong (24%), Vinh Phuc (13.5%), Thai Nguyen(12.1%), Hai Duong (10.7%), Ha Noi and Dong Nai(8.1%), Da Nang (8%), Binh Duong (7.9%), Can Tho (7.3%), Quang Ninh  (6.5%), and Ho Chi Minh City (6.1%). 

    As of April 1, the number of workers in industrial enterprises increased 3.9% compared to the same period last year. The number of workers in State-owned enterprises dropped 1.1% while those in non-State and foreign-invested businesses went up 4.3% and 4.5%, respectively. 

    The number of workers in provinces and cities with large-scale industry also saw increases, such as Can Tho (22.9%), Hai Phong (16.3%), Bac Ninh (13.6%), Thai Nguyen (7.9%), Binh Duong (6.8%), Dong Nai (5.3%), and Ho Chi Minh City (0.4%).

    New incentive policies for agriculture and rural development projects

    The Government has issued Decree 57/2018/ND-CP on a series of incentive mechanisms and policies to stimulate investments in agriculture and rural area development.

    Accordingly, beneficiaries shall be businesses which are established, operate in line with the Law on Enterprises and have agricultural projects encouraged by the State.

    Beneficiaries shall be entitled to a wide range of State support in terms of land, credit access, high-tech application, workforce training, market development among others.

    Specifically, projects eligible for investment incentives  shall be exempted from land and water surface rents in the first 15 years since the State allocates land/water surface to the owners of the projects. The rents shall be reduced by 50% in the following seven years.

    Projects eligible for investment promotion shall be exempted from land and water surface rents in the first 11 years and shall be offered 50% reduction of the rents in the following 5 years.

    VNN

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