Articles on this Page
- 08/31/18--02:37: _Article 4
- 08/31/18--02:42: _Article 3
- 08/31/18--02:48: _Article 2
- 08/31/18--02:54: _Article 1
- 08/31/18--03:36: _Article 0
- 09/01/18--07:19: _Article 1
- 09/01/18--07:42: _Article 0
- 09/03/18--00:43: _Article 1
- 09/03/18--00:55: _Article 0
- 09/04/18--01:55: _Article 2
- 09/04/18--02:09: _Article 1
- 09/04/18--02:31: _Article 0
- 09/05/18--01:41: _Article 1
- 09/05/18--01:59: _Article 0
- 09/05/18--02:33: _Article 0
- 09/06/18--02:09: _Article 1
- 09/06/18--02:18: _Article 0
- 09/06/18--02:32: _Article 1
- 09/06/18--02:55: _Article 0
- 09/07/18--01:45: _Article 1
- 08/31/18--02:37: Article 4
- 08/31/18--02:42: Article 3
- 08/31/18--02:48: Article 2
- 08/31/18--02:54: Article 1
- 08/31/18--03:36: Article 0
- 09/01/18--07:19: Article 1
- 09/01/18--07:42: Article 0
- 09/03/18--00:43: Article 1
- 09/03/18--00:55: Article 0
- 09/04/18--01:55: Article 2
- 09/04/18--02:09: Article 1
- 09/04/18--02:31: Article 0
- 09/05/18--01:41: Article 1
- 09/05/18--01:59: Article 0
- 09/05/18--02:33: Article 0
- 09/06/18--02:09: Article 1
- 09/06/18--02:18: Article 0
- 09/06/18--02:32: Article 1
- 09/06/18--02:55: Article 0
- 09/07/18--01:45: Article 1
Government News 28/8
New Zealand Trade Ministry promotes partnerships with VN
New Zealand’s Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth, Damien O’Connor, takes a photo with girls staying at the Bà Chiểu Shelter in HCM City.
at the Bà Chiểu Girls Shelter in HCM City as part of his visit to Việt Nam from August 27-29.
During his trip, O’Connor will further political links with Vietnamese representatives in HCM City, and then travel to Hà Nội to meet with his counterparts.
At the Bà Chiểu Shelter, O’Connor said that it was his first time to Việt Nam.
“We have a number of Vietnamese students in New Zealand, studying at universities and involved in other training such as how to fly aircraft,” he said.
He told the girls living in the shelter that they were welcome to study in New Zealand.
He announced that the New Zealand Head of Mission Fund worth NZD$25,000 (US$20,000) would be presented to the shelter to maintain its operation and development.
“We are very proud to be working in Việt Nam to help farmers grow more food and improve the systems they use to deliver food,” he said.
Established in 1996, Bà Chiểu has raised more than 200 disadvantaged girls who also receive a good education. The shelter is now taking care of 22 school-age girls.
This year marks the 43rd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and New Zealand.
In the last four decades, the relationship has grown in many areas and both countries are on the right track to grow from a comprehensive partnership to a strategic one.
Both countries are among each other’s top 20 trading partners, with bilateral trade growing by nearly 260 per cent since 2009, when the ASEAN-Australia- New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) was signed.
New Zealand is among the most committed official development assistance (ODA) donor countries to Việt Nam, and accounts for a growing number of overseas Vietnamese students.
Resolution to improve construction investment
The Government has asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to take steps to increase the effectiveness of medium and long-term public investment plans. Photo taken in HCM City.
The Government has issued a resolution assigning major tasks for ministries and local authorities and asking them to identify solutions to obstacles relating to policies and investment schemes in the construction sector.
The resolution, issued on Saturday, sets as the first task the completion of a legal system on construction investment ensuring consistency, synchronisation, reform of administrative procedures, simplification of business investment conditions and timely removal of barriers and obstacles in the sector.
The Government has ordered related ministries and central agencies to take the initiative in reviewing and proposing amendments and the promulgation of new legal documents to ensure uniformed implementation.
It urged the intensification of State management in all processes of construction project implementation and even the timing of its opening.
At the same time, the resolution said, the ministries and central agencies should quickly solve problems relating to all aspects of project construction investment, especially those related to administrative procedures and business investment conditions.
In the immediate time, the Ministry of Construction will continue studying and elaborating on the amendment and supplement of laws on construction, housing, the real estate business and urban planning.
The ministry was also assigned to undertake reforms and simplification of administrative procedures as well as conditions for business investment to create favourable conditions for all people and business enterprises.
The result of such works should be submitted to the National Assembly at the 7th Session in mid 2019, said the resolution.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Planning and Investment was assigned to co-ordinate with other related ministries and agencies in completing the draft revised Law on Public Investment in a direction that helps simplify administrative procedures, enhance decentralisation and take the initiative in formulating, appraising and assigning medium and long-term public investment plans to increase effectiveness.
The resolution said the ministry should report the results of such works to the National Assembly at its 6th session in October this year.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) was assigned to co-ordinate with other related ministries and agencies in drafting the amendment and supplement for the revised Laws on Land. It should also take measures to improve business conditions and boost administrative reforms.
All results should be reported to the Government in the first quarter of 2019.
The Government also ordered the MoNRE to propose amendments and supplements to the Law on Environmental Protection to increase the effectiveness of environmental assessment reports. In particular, policies establishing the procedures for project evaluation and appraising construction design are to be upgraded.
PM orders ministries to ensure road traffic safety
The scene of a traffic accident in the central province of Quảng Nam in late July.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has issued a directive ordering the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Transport and relevant agencies to take urgent actions to ensure road traffic safety.
The move came after a range of fatal traffic accidents recently, especially accidents related to transporting passengers by coach or bus, causing serious damage to people and property.
Drivers violating regulations on traffic safety, including speeding or running substandard vehicles for transporting passengers, were blamed as major causes of the accidents, he said.
A traffic accident occurred in the northern mountainous province of Cao Bằng in July 22 when a coach suddenly plunged into an abyss, reportedly killing four people and injuring 16 others. Another example was an accident in the central province of Quảng Nam in July 30 when a 16-seater coach crashed into a container truck, killing 13 people and injuring four others.
The common point of the two accidents was owners of the coaches failed to obey regulations on traffic safety. They already run the coaches without installing route monitoring devices as well as bus badges issued by authorised agencies.
Additionally, poor management of transport firms and authorised agencies were added to the situation, he said.
Phúc told the transport ministry to quickly re-check and add revise current regulations to improve bus and coach safety.
First, the ministry was tasked with adding regulations to force transport firms to equip seat belts for all seats.
A special kind of stamp to verify quality of coach and bus should be issued to help authorised agencies to distinguish coach and buses with other vehicles while they were running on roads, he said.
Second, the ministry was required to amend regulations on permitted speeds and safe distances for vehicles traveling on roads and also review speed limits for vehicles traveling in sloping roads and through residential areas, he added.
Third, the ministry must tighten inspections of transport companies’ activities throughout the country, he said.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Public Security was assigned to direct traffic police nation-wide to patrol 24 hours a day to inspect and deal with traffic violations on major national highways and sloping roads with high traffic density, he said.
The National Committee for Traffic Safety and People’s Committee of localities, where fatal traffic accidents occurred, were asked to work together to deal with transport firms’ violations related to the fatal traffic accidents in the first seven months of this year.
The latest statistics of the committee showed that traffic accidents killed 4,103 people and injured 7,027 others in the first six months of this year.
Prime Minster signs directive on strengthening management of drugs
People buy medicines at a drug store on Giải Phóng Road in Hà Nội.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has signed a directive strengthening the management of activities related to drug supply and distribution.
In recent years, Việt Nam’s medicine supply and distribution system has expanded to meet the demands of the people.
However, the supply of drugs has still shown inadequacies, especially the situation of buying and selling drugs of unknown origin, fake medicines and drugs of poor quality, vietnamplus.vn reported.
The selling and buying of medicines without the doctor’s prescription and the use of antibiotic drugs without prescription has led to an alarming of antibiotic resistance.
The main cause of the situation is the ineffective management of drug supply.
The Prime Minister has asked the Ministry of Health to take urgent measures to unify the State management of the drug distribution system to ensure benefits for people.
The ministry is required to create favourable conditions for enterprises and traders in accordance with the law and implement measures to connect medicine supplying establishments nationwide.
The ministry also needs to issue regulations on the electronic medicine prescription in connection with drug-supplying establishments to ensure the control of drug prescriptions and sale of drugs for prescription.
The health ministry needs to regularly update and supply information on drug products, indications, use, origins and prices through the national drug database.
The People’s Committees of provinces and cities are required to enhance the management of drug-wholesale and retail establishments to ensure the purchasing of medicines follows doctors’ prescriptions.
Heavy rain wreaks havoc nationwide
HÀ NỘI - Heavy downpours and floods in northern mountainous and Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces over the past days have wreaked havoc.
A local road is eroded in Mường Lát District in central Thanh Hóa Province which has been isolated due to heavy downpour and floods over the past days. — VNA/VNS Photo
As rain is forecast to continue in the coming days, flash floods and landslides are predicted, according to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting.
According to reports from northern provinces of Bắc Kạn, Hòa Bình, Điện Biên, Sơn La, Thái Nguyên, central province of Thanh Hóa and Mekong Delta province of Long An, as of Thursday morning, downpour and floods made 124 houses collapse and inundated 174ha of paddy fields.
Nearly 5,000cu.m of rocks and soil have eroded. Falling rocks killed a two-year-old girl in Hòa Bình Province’s Mai Châu District, while one person went missing and three others were injured.
Điện Biên Province, one of the hardest hit, had 700 landslide spots. Three commune’s headquarters have been flooded by half a metre of mud. Total losses in the province have so far reached VNĐ120 billion (US$5.2 million).
The Directorate of Water Resources has warned that water levels in Mekong Delta localities might exceed level 3, the highest warning level. Floods are predicted to affect 165,200ha of autumn-winter rice crops in provinces located in the upstream of the river such as Đồng Tháp, Kiên Giang, An Giang and Long An.
Six mountainous districts in central Nghệ An Province – Kỳ Sơn, Tương Dương, Con Cuông, Quế Phong, Quỳ Châu and Quỳ Hợp - are at risk of landslides and flashfloods, according to the centre.
As of Thursday morning, eroded roads connecting communes in the province had not been repaired. Cracks on National Highway No 7 caused by heavy rains between August 16 and 23 have not been repaired and are predicted to encroach upon a larger area.
The National Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention has ordered safety measures to be taken in the Mekong Delta provinces of An Giang and Kiên Giang to protect structures located by the rivers and dykes, as the Trà Sư and Tha La dams release water today.
Localities in northern mountainous areas must mobilise forces to address the consequences of floods, especially recovering 12 landslide spots in Điện Biên Province and eight others in Sơn La Province.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has ordered mobilising equipment for northern Lai Châu Province to respond to natural disasters including 506 tents, nine power generators and six boats.
According to the National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, heavy downpours will last until today in northern mountainous provinces with high volume of up to 150mm in 24 hours in Điện Biên, Lai Châu and Lào Cai. The water levels of the Lục Nam, Thương, Cầu and Cả rivers are also rising.
National leaders pay tribute to late President Ho Chi Minh on National Day
Hanoi - A delegation of the Party Central Committee, State, National Assembly, Government and Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee paid tribute to late President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum in Hanoi on August 31 on the occasion of the 73rd National Day (September 2).
National leaders paid homage to late President Ho Chi Minh on August 31 (Photo: VNA)
The delegation included Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, President Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, and President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Tran Thanh Man, along with a number of former Party, State and Government leaders.
The delegation also laid flowers at the Monument for Heroic Martyrs at Bac Son street.
The same day, a number of delegations, including those from the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Public Security and Hanoi also paid homage to late President Ho Chi Minh and the heroic martyrs.
A delegation from the Ministry of Defence pays tribute to the late President and heroic martyrs (Photo: VNA)
President Ho Chi Minh led the Vietnamese nation to success in the struggle for national independence.
On September 2, 1945, he read the Declaration of Independence, declaring to the world the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
The late President was a talented leader, a national hero who devoted all his life to the national independence and freedom and happiness of the people while tirelessly striving for peace and progress in the world.
Credit growth expected to be 17 percent this year: official
Credit growth had stood at about 8.18 percent as of August 15, 2018 and is expected to be curbed at around 17 percent this year, said Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung.
The official released the figures at a press conference in Hanoi on August 30 following the Cabinet’s regular meeting which took place earlier the same day.
Despite controlled credit growth, loans for production and businesses with stable interest rates have still been ensured, Dung said, noting that in the first eight months of this year, the Government focused on economic restructuring and did not rely on oil exploitation and credit growth for growth.
In this regard, Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Dao Minh Tu further explained that the credit growth target of about 8.5 percent in the remaining months of this year matches the requirements for economic growth and inflation control.
He highlighted the rosy economic growth with inflation tamed at below 4 percent over the past eight months.
Tu, however, said although the inflation rate is below the target set by the Government, caution is still needed to control the rate in the remaining months of the year.
For the goal of economic stabilisation and ensuring capital for priority areas, credit institutions have set forth their own plans, the official said.
Minster-Chairman Dung emphasised that to ensure macro-economic stability, apart from controlling credit growth, the Government is resolute not to raise electricity price and think twice before increasing prices of other commodities.
Social News 31/8
Schools and houses damaged in Thanh Hoa landslides
Landslides triggered by torrential rains over the past two days have buried many houses and classrooms in the mountainous district of Quan Hoa in Thanh Hoa province.
Ngo Phi Hung, head of the Quan Hoa district’s Department of Education and Training (DOET), said on August 30 that many classrooms of Trung Son Primary School were destroyed by cascades of mud.
Luckily no fatalities or injuries have been reported as a result of the landslides as the pupils were allowed to stay at home due to the heavy rains.
The DOET officials arrived on the scene to direct recovery works, while teachers are actively clearing mud and debris.
Heavy rains also caused serious landslides in the communes of Trung Son and Trung Thanh on August 28. Two house collapsed under the weight of the mud while many others were damaged.
Since the afternoon of August 28, the People’s Committees of Trung Thanh and Trung Son communes have worked to evacuate households in landslide-hit areas.
The Quan Hoa district People’s Committee also sent a working group to inspect the landslide situation in the aforementioned communes and urgently implemented measures to cope with the current deluge, giving priority to moving local households out of dangerous areas.
It offered VND1.5 million to families whose houses have collapsed, mobilized sources to help locals repair their houses and prepared food and other essential supplies for families which had been evacuated.
Hạ Long – Hải Phòng Expressway and Bạch Đằng Bridge opens to traffic next month
Bạch Đằng Bridge will help reduce the Hà Nội – Quảng Ninh distance from 175km to 125km.
After three years of construction, the Hạ Long – Hải Phòng Expressway and Bạch Đằng Bridge will open to traffic on Saturday.
As some supporting facilities are still being built, Quảng Ninh authorities have proposed reducing the maximum speed on the expressway to 80km per hour. Once the project has been fully approved, the speed limit will rise to the designed 100km per hour.
Before the final project approval, only cars, buses and coaches can drive on the expressway.
Expressway users will not have to pay toll fees as the project was funded by the State, but they will have to pay a bridge fee as it was constructed under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model.
Built at a cost of VNĐ13 trillion (US$557 million), the 24.6km long Hạ Long – Hải Phòng Expressway connects Highway 18 in Hạ Long City’s Đại Yến Ward with the Hà Nội – Hải Phòng Expressway in Hải Phòng City’s Hải An District.
Also built at a cost of VNĐ7.3 trillion ($313 million), the 5.4km long bridge, spanning the Bạch Đằng River, will help cut travel distance from Hà Nội to Quảng Ninh from 175km to 125km.
The project will cut the distance between Hà Nội and Hạ Long from 180km to 130km and the Hạ Long – Hải Phòng route from 75km to 25km.
Mekong Delta to apply hi-tech to e-govt, global warming
Delegates visit an exhibition on ICT products and solutions as part of the 22nd Việt Nam ICT Development conference that opened yesterday in Vĩnh Long Province. — Photo baovinhlong.com.vn
The Mekong Delta provinces need to apply advanced technology in agriculture, human resources training, e-government and climate-change adaptation, experts said yesterday at a conference held in Vĩnh Long Province.
More than 700 delegates, including representatives from 55 businesses, from the information technology and communication (ICT) sector across the country took part in the 22nd Việt Nam ICT Development conference.
With the theme “Industrial Revolution 4.0 - Opportunities for the Mekong Delta”, the conference focused on building e-government and adapting to climate change under the guidelines and orientation of the Party and State.
Nguyễn Thành Hưng, deputy minister of Information and Communications, said the Mekong Delta is the country’s biggest granary and a major economic centre with key products such as seafood, fruit and farm produce.
The region also has great potential for river tourism and the processing industry, he said, adding that some areas have not tapped their potential, including healthcare, education and high-quality human resources.
"The region is facing challenges related to climate change, including rising sea levels and severe salinity. Research and application of IT is inevitable for the country, especially the Mekong Delta,” he told the media.
To take advantage of opportunities in the 4.0 industrial revolution, the PM last year issued a decision on furthering capacity-building to access advanced technologies, he said.
The conference also acts as a forum for policymakers, managers and experts to share experiences and create opportunities for cooperation in the field of ICT.
Nguyễn Văn Quang, deputy secretary of the provincial Party Committee, who is also chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said the promotion of IT application helped Vĩnh Long Province improve administration at all levels and further administrative reform, as well as improve the investment environment.
He said through the event the province was expected to develop guidelines and policies for ICT development, contributing to e-government and climate change adaptation.
The Ministry of Information and Communications now planned to develop a national programme to shift to digitalisation, he said.
“Speeding up the digital transformation process is an important step for Việt Nam to realise opportunities offered by the fourth industrial revolution,” he said.
At the meeting, a representative of the Government Office introduced the e-government building programme in the 2018-20 period with a vision to 2025.
In the past few years, IT development and application in the province has received attention from the Party and State and has been identified as the major task of the entire political system.
To take advantage of and overcome challenges brought about by the digital revolution, besides guidance from the State, the ICT community will play a major role.
On the sidelines of the conference, an ICT exhibition was held with the participation of 24 leading ICT companies.
Other activities included incense offering to the late chairman of the Council of Ministers, Phạm Hùng, and donation of IT equipment to several units in the province, as well as visits to historical-cultural tourist sites in Vĩnh Long.
Road construction starts between Tây Ninh, Bình Dương provinces
The southern provinces of Tây Ninh and Bình Dương yesterday started building the new road ĐT 784 and upgrading the 782 – 784 existing road to better link the two provinces at total cost of VNĐ2 trillion (US$87.5 million).
The ĐT 784 road will have a length of 13km with six lanes with VNĐ518 billion ($22.5 million) from Tây Ninh and VNĐ320 billion ($14 million) from Bình Dương Province.
The 782-784 road will be expanded with six lanes at a length of 46km through Trảng Bàng, Gò Dầu and Dương Minh Châu districts and Tây Ninh City at total cost of VNĐ1,170 billion ($51 million) from Tây Ninh Province.
The road connects with Bình Dương Province’s Đất Sét-Bến Củi road.
The deputy chairman of Tây Ninh People’s Committee, Dương Văn Thắng, said: “They are key transportation projects which will meet the increase of goods transportation; attract more investment in trade, service and tourism; and promote socio-economic development between Tây Ninh and Bình Dương provinces.”
Main hall of Truc Lam-Phuong Hoang Zen Monastery inaugurated
An aerial view of the Truc lam Phuong Hoang Zen Monastery.
An inauguration ceremony for the main hall of the Truc Lam-Phuong Hoang Zen Monastery in Nham Son commune, Yen Dung district, the northern province of Bac Giang, was held on August 29, with thousands of Buddhist followers in attendance.
The Buddhist Vu Lan festival for children to express their gratitude towards their parents also took place at the monastery on the occasion.
The main hall is part of the Truc Lam-Phuong Hoang Zen Monastery project’s first phase, which has been carried out with funds of 105 billion VND (over 4.5 million USD).
Speaking at the ceremony, Venerable Thich Kien Nguyet, head of the monastery, called for efforts from authorities, people and Buddhist followers for the second phase of the project, thus soon turning the monastery into a spiritual tourism destination of Bac Giang.
Construction of the monastery began on November 26, 2011.
Since then, the monastery welcomed thousands of visitors, especially during Vesak and Vu Lan festivals, and other holidays.
Together with other cultural, sport and spiritual tourism sites in Yen Dung district, the Truc Lam-Phuong Hoang Zen Monastery is expected to significantly contribute to preserving and promoting traditional values and driving the economic, cultural and social development of the district.
Khmer-Vietnam Association in Cambodia marks National Day
At the ceremony
The Khmer-Vietnamese Association (KVA) in Cambodia on August 29 held a ceremony to mark the 73rd anniversary of National Day (September 2) and the association’s 30th founding anniversary (1988-2018).
Addressing the event, KVA President Chau Van Chi said Vietnamese in Cambodia have always turned their hearts towards their homeland while integrating into the host society.
He stressed the support of the Vietnamese State and people at home, as well as authorities and Khmer people in Cambodia for the development of the Vietnamese community in the country.
Chi said the association was recognised by Cambodia’s Interior Ministry on May 9, 2018, with its charter registered and preserved at the ministry.
Based in the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh, the association gathers Khmer people of Vietnamese origin, and Vietnamese who work and live in Cambodia legally.
Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Men Saman, who is also Minister of National Assembly-Senate Relations and Inspection and President of the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Association, highlighted the historical significance of Vietnam’s National Day, considering it a victory of Indochinese countries during the struggle against colonialists to gain independence.
She also recalled the great support of the Vietnamese Party, State and people for Cambodia in the fight against the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime, as well as during the present cause of national development.
The official expressed her belief that the two sides will continue to work together for peace, stability and prosperity in each nation.
Men Saman lauded the contributions by the KVA and the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association (VCFA) to enhancing the friendship between the two countries.
At the ceremony, VCFA President Vu Mao presented certificates of merit to the KVA and its seven officials in recognition of their contributions to the development of the Vietnamese community in Cambodia and bilateral ties.
Winners of press awards on natural resources, environment announced
The fourth Press Awards on Natural Resources and Environment are presented on August 28
Winners of the fourth Press Awards on Natural Resources and Environment were announced at a ceremony held in Hanoi on August 28 by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE).
At the ceremony, the organising board presented prizes to 29 authors and groups of authors, including five A prizes, six B prizes, and 18 C prizes for the most outstanding works in the categories of printed media, television, radio, and online media.
Addressing the event, MoNRE Minister Tran Hong Ha highly valued the winning works, while stressing the press awards continued affirming the position and role of the environment and natural resources sector in the country’s industrialisation, modernisation and sustainable development.
This year’s awards drew an enthusiastic response, with 505 submissions from 128 authors and groups of authors from 78 press agencies nationwide sent to the organising committee. State management on land and environmental protection were among the topics that received the most coverage by journalists.
The Press Awards on Natural Resources and Environment has been held since 2010.
The fourth edition of the awards focused on the major topics of detecting and reflecting shortcomings in the promulgation and implementation of policies and laws, negative acts, hot spots and violations of the legislation on natural resources and environment; strengthening administrative reforms on natural resources and the environment; and transforming the development model and proposing measures to stabilise people’s livelihoods in response to climate change.
Project to give healthcare, rehabilitation support to AO victims
The Ministry of Health launched a project on August 29, providing specific healthcare services and rehabilitation therapy to dioxin/Agent Orange (AO) victims for the 2018-2021 period.
Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien said that although the war ended 43 years ago, the toxic chemicals that the US army sprayed over Vietnam have left enduring pains and wounds, affecting millions of Vietnamese people and their offspring.
Vietnam has approximately 4.8 million AO victims, millions of whom are also struggling with disease and poverty, in desperate need of healthcare and rehabilitation support.
Tien stressed that as part of efforts to implement the Party and Government’s policies to deal with AO consequences and support AO victims, the health ministry issued Decision No. 5305/QD-BYT on November 24, 2017 which approved a project to care for victims in the 2018-2021 period.
The project aims to improve the health and living quality of victims, helping them better integrate into society through measures to timely diagnose and treat their health problems; enhance the capacity of healthcare facilities and communities; and expand networks that provide healthcare and rehabilitation services for AO victims and people with disabilities.
Head of the ministry’s Department of Medical Examination and Treatment Management, Luong Ngoc Khue, said that initially, the project plans to cover 10 provinces and cities – namely Lao Cai, Thai Nguyen, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Quang Nam, Binh Dinh, Dong Thap, and Ben Tre – at a total cost of 72.3 billion VND, mostly from the State budget.
However, on August 2, 2018, the ministry decided to add Ha Tinh into the list, raising total localities benefiting from the project to 11 and total capital to 76.16 billion VND.
Within the project, the ministry will hold training courses for concerned localities and agencies on diseases and deformities related to AO, methods to verify chemical infection, and financial issues during the implementation of the project.
Entries invited for photo contest on primary healthcare in Vietnam
At the launching ceremony.
Invitations are now open for a photography competition among both Vietnamese and foreigners to promote primary healthcare for people in Vietnam.
The competition was launched by Radio The Voice of Vietnam (VoV), the European Union delegation to Vietnam, the World Bank, and the Ministry of Health in Hanoi on August 29.
The contest aims to raise public awareness of the importance of primary health workers at grass-root medical stations and their contribution to improving the wellbeing of Vietnamese people, particularly ethnic minority groups and those living in disadvantaged areas, Editor-in-chief of VoV Online Newspaper Pham Manh Hung told the launching event.
It will also provide an insight into what the EU delegation to Vietnam has done to support the delivery of primary care services for people across the country, he said.
Both amateur and professional, and Vietnamese and foreign photographers living in Vietnam are encouraged to participate in the competition.
The participants can submit colour or black-and-white photos with a maximum file size of 4,000 pixels and no less than 4MB, with a resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch).
They can submit either a single or a series of photos that capture different aspects of public primary medical service delivery, especially those living in disadvantaged areas including the provinces of Ha Giang, Cao Bang, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Bac Kan, Lang Son, and others.
Any photograph taken since the 1978 adoption of the Declaration of Alma-Ata on primary healthcare will be acceptable.
There is no limit to the number of photos submitted by each photographer.
The contest will award one first, two second, and three third and five consolation prizes with payouts of 50 million VND, 20 million VND, 5 million VND and 2 million VND, respectively.
The organizing board will receive the photos directly at VoV Online Newspaper, 43 Ba Trieu Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, or by post from September 1 to October 15, 2018. Online submission must be sent to email@example.com during that time.
The award ceremony will take place in October where the winning photos will be exhibited.
Vietnam deems climate change adaptation mandatory for survival: official
Vietnam is a country vulnerable to the effects of climate change and as such, it considers adaptation a mandatory requirement to survive, said an official of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE).
The remark was made by Pham Van Tan, Deputy Director of the MoNRE’s Department of Climate Change, at a consultation workshop on a technical report that reviewed and updated Vietnam’s nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The event aimed to provide up-to-date information on the country’s efforts and contributions towards climate change adaptation and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for 2021-2030.
Vietnam is joining the international community in realising the Paris Agreement, which aims to keep this century’s global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Through these actions, it also hopes to fulfil the obligations of a developing nation member of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and make use of opportunities to develop a low-carbon economy.
MoNRE Deputy Minister Le Cong Thanh said the ministry has set up a working group to review and update Vietnam’s NCDs. An advisory team has also been mobilised to coordinate with the working group.
Akiko Fujii, Deputy Country Director of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam, said relevant ministries and sectors, researchers, the media, and civil organisations all play a very important role in finalising and assessing technical reports on NCDs. The UNDP is coordinating with the MoNRE and relevant ministries to improve the country’s report assessment capacity.
Pham Van Tan said reports on NCDs must feature significant, detailed content relating to the responsibilities and activities of almost all ministries, sectors, localities, and businesses. Therefore, although there have been updates to this term’s NCD review compared to the previous review, they are simply not enough.
At the workshop, participants discussed climate change-related issues to help finalise the report.
The event was held by the MoNRE, the UNDP, and the German organisation for international cooperation GIZ.
Vietnam attends smart city development seminar in Netherlands
A corner of My Dinh new urban area
A working delegation from the Ministry of Construction led by Deputy Minister Phan Thi My Linh attended a seminar on building smart, green and energy-saving cities of the Netherlands held in The Hague on August 28.
Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to the Netherlands Ngo Thi Hoa hailed the Netherlands as one of the pioneer countries globally to develop smart cities, saying that its experience will be helpful to Vietnam in the process.
She believed that the seminar will provide valuable information and meet the interest of Vietnam.
Dutch experts from ministries, institutes and businesses presented national strategy and solutions to issues regarding smart city development.
The Vietnamese delegation discussed with Dutch experts about standards, regulations, policies and data sharing to this end.
Concluding the event, Deputy Minister Linh spoke highly of discussions at the event which, she said, are helpful to Vietnam in construction management.
While in the Netherlands, the delegation learned about the model of airport city in Amsterdam, held working sessions with authorities of Noord Brabant province and Eindhoven city, discussed Eindhoven smart city model and signed a cooperation agreement with the city.
Vietnamese youth union leader wants more exchanges with Cambodia
HCMCYU First Secretary Le Quoc Phong presents gift to Cambodian delegation
First Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCMCYU) Central Committee and Chairman of the Vietnam Youth Federation (VYF) Le Quoc Phong asked for promoting exchanges between the two countries’ youth during talks with President of the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC) Hun Many in Hanoi on August 29.
Phong informed his guest about major activities of the Vietnamese youth over the past years and VYF’s orientations in the next period, saying that the 11th National Congress of the HCMCYU was held successfully in late 2017.
He said in the next five years, the VYF will launch three major campaigns, namely voluntary youth, creative youth and vanguard youth in national defence, and three programmes accompanying young people in study, start-ups and social skill improvement.
The host suggested promoting the exchange of voluntary youths in localities of each side, especially in border provinces, offering mutual support in personnel training and at regional and global forums, and signing cooperation agreements for the new period.
Many, for his part, said UYFC chapters at all levels have raised young people’s awareness of their role in working for Cambodian people, abiding by law, and striving to become a core force of Cambodia.
He said in the near future, the UYFC will step up voluntary youth movement; form links with domestic and foreign organisations, communities and youth unions; ensure security, safety, legal justice and freedom for young people; add their demand into all-level development programmes; and hold vocational training courses on science-technology and social skills for them.
Tourist arrivals to Da Nang expected to surge during National Day holiday
Da Nang beach
Tourist arrivals to the central city of Da Nang are estimated to hit 158,000 people during the upcoming National Day holiday, which falls on the weekend of September 1-3.
The figure represented a year-on-year increase of 10.4 percent, according to the municipal Department of Tourism.
Of the number, there will be around 109,000 domestic and 48,700 foreign holidaymakers.
About 25,520 visitors are projected to fly to the city on 143 flights, rising 80.9 percent compared to the same period last year.
The city’s tourist destinations are likely to welcome more than 111,200 visitors during the weekend holiday, including 29,570 international and 81,662 domestic tourists.
According to the municipal Department of Tourism, the number of visitors to the city has been increasing with an annual average growth of 20.06 percent over the 2013-2017 period.
Da Nang welcomed more than 4 million tourists in the first half of 2018, surging by almost 30 percent year-on-year. Notably, vacationers from the RoK shot up by 100 percent to account for half of the over 1.6 million foreign arrivals in the city during the period.
Da Nang is a popular tourist destination in central Vietnam. The online marketplace and hospitality service Airbnb announced a list of the world’s top 10 destinations for 2018, in which the city ranked fifth in booking surges of up to 255 percent.
Additionally, the Da Nang International Airport was ranked third amongst the top global airports in 2014, according to a survey by Dragon Air.
Social News 1/9
Sweden holds innovation contest for Vietnam students
Vietnamese students will have the opportunity to visit Sweden if they win the first prize of “Innovate like a Swede", an annual innovation contest for Vietnamese students with the purpose of encouraging creativity and finding innovative solutions for a challenge faced in a local context.
Participants will form teams of two and their contribution will be assessed based on whether entries are innovative, creative, feasible, sustainable and commercially viable, as well as on what kind of lasting impact they will have.
The jury consists of representatives from participating Swedish companies and a Swedish University which provides an amazing opportunity for students to pitch their solutions and innovative ideas to representatives from both the private and public sectors in Vietnam. The deadline for submission is October 28, 2018.
The contest’s grand prize is a trip to Sweden to witness Swedish innovations at Swedish companies’ headquarters and Uppsala University. The runner-ups will be given internship opportunities at Swedish companies in Vietnam.
A century ago, Sweden was among the poorest nations in Europe. Sweden has a relatively small population with 10 million people or 0.14% of the global population. Yet today, it is a world leader in innovation. A number of international indexes have been developed in a bid to measure the ability of countries to create environments that encourage innovation. According to them, Sweden is one of the most creative places on the map.
Swedish Ambassador Pereric Högberg said Sweden benefits from having many basic components already in place, such as economic stability, an inclusive school system where critical thinking is key, safety and security, openness and access to information.
“In an environment seeing thing with curiosity, creativity and experimentation, people get the chance to grow, develop their ideas, probe, test, fail and do it again”, said the Swedish Ambassador.
ASEAN-UK workshop on ageing populations held in Hanoi
The ASEAN-UK workshop on “Cost-effective solutions and assistive technologies for low-income ageing populations” was jointly organized by the University of Greenwich, Le Quy Don Technical University, and the Asian Technology Institute in Hanoi last week.
The workshop gathered about 60 attendees including lecturers and researchers with many institutions from the UK, Italy, Canada, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka, and representatives of the British Council in Vietnam and the National Technology Innovation Foundation.
The workshop took place in the context of population ageing becoming one of the most important issues and topics on the global agenda due to its great impact on quality of life and sustainable economic development of countries and regions.
The United Nations predicts the rate of population ageing in the 21st century will exceed that of the previous century, and senior and geriatric population will reach 2.1 billion by 2050. By 2040, the greying of the population could shrink the number of working-age adults by between 10% and 15% in ASEAN. Vietnam’s senior citizens aged 65 and older are predicted to increase by 20% in the next 18 years.
Presentations and discussions at the workshop aimed at addressing the core issues and challenges of ageing populations faced by developing countries, including Vietnam, and ways to create positive impacts on the lives of low-income ageing populations via research and development collaboration between the UK and ASEAN.
The focus was on cost-effective solutions and assistive technologies, which can directly benefit the low-income ageing populations in the ASEAN region.
Assess relevant laws before finalizing law on alcohol: expert
The draft law on the prevention and control of alcohol-related problems will be feasible if the results of similar laws and rules are examined beforehand, said an expert at a conference held in the Mekong Delta province of Can Tho on August 28 to solicit feedback on the proposed law prepared by the health ministry.
Le Tuan Khanh, head of the Culture and Society Division under the People’s Council of An Giang Province, said that the law is aimed at preventing the harmful effects of beer and other alcohol consumption on human health rather than preventing alcohol consumption itself.
According to Khanh, the ill effects of alcohol consumption are due to the behavior of the user. “We should regulate (the behavior of) alcoholics rather than alcoholic drinks,” he added.
The division head suggested that the draft law should achieve two goals: improve public health and prevent the damage that results from binge drinking, such as domestic violence, traffic accidents, health problems and economic losses.
He cast doubt on the feasibility of the law, saying that Vietnam has issued many similar laws and regulations in the past.
“We have already enacted a law on the prevention and control of tobacco use,” but without efficient enforcement, Khanh noted, adding that the execution of this law should be reviewed beforehand and that its review results should serve as the basis for the introduction of the law on alcohol in a more scientific and appropriate manner.
Earlier at the conference, Nguyen Huy Quang, head of the group writing the draft law, said beer and other alcoholic drinks have a severe impact on human health, society and the national economy.
Alcohol is the direct cause of 30 diseases and injuries and the indirect cause of at least 200 types of illnesses, as well as one of the four major risk factors for noncommunicable diseases, he said.
He pointed out that alcohol consumption damages many organs and functions of the body and can cause cancers, neurological disorders, cardiovascular diseases, digestion problems and immune deficiency.
“Alcohol is one of the three leading causes of the increasing rate of traffic accidents in Vietnam for men aged 15 to 49,” Quang said, adding that some 800 deaths per year in the country are associated with alcohol-related violence.
He highlighted that economic losses resulting from alcohol consumption are estimated at VND65 trillion (US$2.8 billion), while the annual State budget collection from alcoholic products is some VND50 trillion.
At a workshop in Hanoi City in April, the representatives of beverage producers and traders opined that the draft law is unlikely to be feasible. In the first draft, the law bans the sale of alcohol after 10 p.m., but the provision may face obstacles in its execution.
It is difficult to supervise the sale of alcohol and beer, and limiting the time for selling alcohol may affect tourism, stated Nguyen Van Viet, chairman of the Vietnam Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Association.
The health ministry is finalizing the draft and plans to submit it to the National Assembly for consideration in October. The draft law is expected to control the demand and supply of alcohol to improve public health.
Techmart on medical equipment to be held in October
The Center for Science and Technology Information (CESTI) of Ho Chi Minh City announced that the upcoming technology and equipment fair (Techmart) on medical equipment with the theme ‘Environmental Solutions for Hospitals and Clinics’ will be in October at the city’s technology trading floor – Techmart Daily.
The Techmart in the healthcare field this time will focus on displaying and introducing cutting edge technologies as well as equipment related to disease diagnosis, health care, medical sewage and waste treatment.
These technologies are either developed by domestic companies or imported from international prestige brand names and suitable for the Vietnamese environment.
In the event, there will also be many technological workshops to present state-of-the-art technologies which are widely applicable in disease diagnosis and treatment, healthcare and rehabilitation activities, and waste treatment to protect the environment for hospitals and clinics.
To further support technological exchanges and collaborations, the organization board is going to survey the investment demands on medical technology and equipment of businesses of the field in HCMC as well as the southern provinces.
It also saves a professional consultation corner to deliver advice on technology and equipment during the event.
Hepatitis B, C infection responsible for most liver cancer cases in Vietnam
At the seminar
Medical experts said at a seminar themed ‘Hepatitis B and C – Path to liver cancer’ held by the City International Hospital lately that 88 percent of liver cancer patients in Vietnam had had hepatitis B and C before.
The Southeast Asian country has over 125,000 fresh cancer cases annually and more than 90,000 of them died of the disease.
People with hepatitis B have an increased risk of liver cancer. Worse, according to experts, hepatitis B has become a leading cause of death killing 1.34 million people annually.
In 2017, it was estimated that over 40,000 Vietnamese people died because of hepatitis B and C while in the world, within 15 past years, the mortality rate due to viral hepatitis has gone to 22 percent.
According to the World Health Organization, Vietnam has high rate of hepatitis over 7 percent and hepatitis virus of 10-20 percent the whole population or 10 million Vietnamese people have hepatitis virus. Worse, in recent years, the country has 10,000 fresh cases of hepatitis.
Deputy Director of the City International Hospital Dr. Tran Quang Binh said that around 8 million Vietnamese people have cirrhosis and liver cancer and around 20 million others have hepatitis B and C, which leads to liver cancer.
In endemic areas, Hepatitis B virus infection occurs mainly mother to child transmission and during infancy with 90 percent, said Dr. Nguyen Tan Cuong, Director of the hospital.
Additionally, those who have a combination of four unhealthy lifestyle factors; smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise and drinking, sharing needles, eating food with aflatoxin will increase the risk of getting hepatitis, Dr. Cuong added.
Foot and ankle surgeons deliver humanitarian aid in Vietnam
Volunteers from the Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS), have traveled to Vietnam to provide corrective surgery to underserved children and adults with lower extremity deformities and share advanced surgical techniques with Vietnamese doctors.
This year's volunteer group comprised eight foot and ankle orthopedic surgeons from four different countries and worked at Viet Duc Hospital and the Institute for Rehab and Orthopedics in Hanoi as well as clinics in Dien Bien Phu, Ba Vi, and Quang Ninh in Vietnam’s north. Over the course of four weeks, they evaluated 278 patients and performed surgery on 90, at no cost to the patients.
“This program is a wonderful opportunity to broaden your experience not only in medicine and orthopedic surgery but also in problem solving,” said volunteer Dr. Sandra A. Eisele from Cincinnati, Ohio. “We did not have the equipment we are accustomed to in the operating theater, so we needed to be creative. Experiencing healthcare delivery in a completely different culture is well worth the time and effort.”
Since the first Overseas Outreach Project to Vietnam in 2002, foot and ankle orthopedic surgeons have performed nearly 1,500 surgeries and evaluated more than 3,500 patients.
Foot and ankle orthopedic surgeons are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries to the foot and ankle. Their education and training consists of four years of medical school, five years of postgraduate residency, and a fellowship year in specialized surgical training. These specialists care for patients of all ages, performing reconstructive surgery for deformities and arthritis, treating sports injuries, and managing foot and ankle trauma.
The Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that advances AOFAS’s mission of improving lives through exceptional orthopedic foot and ankle care. Through its funding of humanitarian endeavors, educational outreach programs, and innovative research, the Foundation enhances foot and ankle care for patients around the world.
Long An to focus on ecotourism
The People’s Committee of Long An Province expects to welcome 1.3 million tourists this year, up 24 per cent over last year.
At a conference held on Tuesday on the development of Long An tourism, experts proposed ways to develop the Mekong Delta province into an attractive destination.
Nguyễn Văn Mỹ, general director of the Lửa Việt Tourism company, said the tourism sector must focus on quality sites and products to attract more visitors.
For example, with its conservation areas, melaleuca forests and medicinal forests, Mộc Hoá District could develop ecotourism combined with medicinal baths, he said.
Phạm Văn Cảnh, deputy chairman of the province’s People’s Committee, said that better infrastructure was needed to connect tourism sites.
The province, located adjacent to HCM City, has many historical-cultural sites such as Láng Sen Wetland Reserve and the Tân Lập floating tourism village.
It is one of three provinces including Tiền Giang and Đồng Tháp provinces that have collaborated with HCM City to create a tour called Một Hành Trình Ba Điểm Đến (A Journey to Three Destinations).
Last year, Long An welcomed more than one million tourists, including 15,000 foreign tourists with total revenue of more than VNĐ480 billion (US$20.6 million).
Đà Nẵng-Quảng Ngãi Highway to open for traffic on National Day
The Đà Nẵng - Tam Kỳ Highway, which opened last year, is part of the Đà Nẵng - Quảng Ngãi Highway. — Photo baogiaothong.vn
The entire length of the Đà Nẵng-Quảng Ngãi highway, connecting the two central provinces, will open for traffic from National Day, September 2.
The highway, stretching over 139 km and linking with National Highway No1, cost about US$1.64 billion, of which $798 million was loaned from the Japan International Co-operation Agency and $590 million from the World Bank. The rest is allocated from the State budget.
The highway allows speed limits of up to 120km per hour, which helps reduce travel time from Đà Nẵng to Quảng Ngãi to one hour and a half instead of the usual 3 hours using National Highway No1.
Besides helping relieve traffic pressure on National Highway No1, the Đà Nẵng-Quảng Ngãi Highway is also expected to boost socio-economic development of the localities it runs through.
According to the project manager, in August 2017, the Transport Ministry opened the first part of the highway – 65 km from Đà Nẵng to Tam Kỳ City in Quảng Nam Province.
The second part from Tam Kỳ City to Quảng Ngãi Province was completed in July 2018 and by early this week, work was completed and ready for inauguration.
The Transport Ministry on Tuesday asked relevant authorities in Đà Nẵng, Quảng Nam and Quảng Ngãi to assist in the inauguration of the highway on National Day.
The project investor Việt Nam Expressway Corporation announced toll fees for using the highway. The lowest rate was set at VNĐ20,000 per trip for cars with less than 12 seats, trucks with loads of less than two tonnes and public buses. The highest rate was set at VNĐ380,000 per trip for trucks with loads of at least 18 tonnes and 400 feet container trucks.
Ninh Thuận seeks funds to help ethnic minorities
Ninh Thuận Province is seeking more funds to aid ethnic minority people and residents who live in mountainous regions.
The coastal province of Ninh Thuận has asked the Government for more funds to improve the quality of life of ethnic minorities and local residents in mountainous regions.
Lê Thanh Hùng, deputy head of the province’s Board for Ethnic Minority Affairs, said the province needs VNĐ365.8 billion (US$15.6 million) to provide land, housing and preferential loans to residents.
The province has 9,223 poor ethnic minority families who need assistance.
Lê Văn Bình, vice chairman of the Ninh Thuận People’s Committee, said that local authorities had provided houses for poor families and used financial aids to build houses for them.
The Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies has allocated VNĐ20 billion for loans which will be used to provide land for 85 households, water supply systems for 1,700 households, and assistance to 2,500 families who need help in changing jobs.
For the remaining number of households, the province lacks sufficient funds, Bình said, so the province has to depend on the Government for financial support.
The province has 37 communes and towns and 124 hamlets in ethnic minority and mountainous areas, with a total of 162,115 people, accounting for 23.5 per cent of the province’s population.
The ethnic minority and mountainous region covers a wide natural area, with nearly 291,000ha, accounting for more than 86 per cent of the province’s total natural areas. These are considered key strategic areas for the economy, defence and security, and environmental protection.
Moreover, the region has an abundant amount of land for development of industry, agriculture, forestry and eco-tourism services and products that preserve the culture of ethnic minorities.
The Government has issued many resolutions, instructions and action programmes on poverty reduction and economic development that have benefited locals.
Over last seven years, the provincial People’s Committee has integrated some programmes and projects, such as the National Strategic Programme, to get more than VNĐ5.9 trillion to build nearly 800 kinds of infrastructure projects of small and medium scale.
Roads have been paved, while more schools and health stations now meet local demand.
More than 96 per cent of households in the region are connected to the national power grid, while more than 75 per cent have water for usage.
Many localities in the region have set up special areas for agriculture which bring high economic value, raising local people’s incomes.
The region’s total production value has increased by 11.9 per cent per year, while last year it reached nearly VNĐ3.1 trillion.
The income per capita has risen from VNĐ12 million in 2015 to VNĐ17 million last year, which has helped reduce the number of poor households by 3 per cent in line with the National Povery Reduction Programme 30A, especially in Bác Ái District, where the reduction was 5.2 per cent.
The region now has 9,898 poor households, accounting for 28.7 per cent of the province’s total.
Hanoi, HCM City make it to list of 15 best Asian places to visit
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are among the 15 best destinations in Asia, according to a new ranking from the US News newspaper.
The ranking considered local prices, accessibility and the variety of attractions in each destination along with travelers’ feedback, and put Hanoi in 14th place followed by HCM City.
Vietnam’s capital casts a spell over foreign tourists with its history and culture, shopping, dining, and natural landscapes.
Kick off a new day with a tour around Hanoi’s Old Quarter where nostalgic visitors can see how it has expanded from its original 36 streets before moving to Dong Xuan, the city's largest market, US News said.
In HCM City “mopeds whiz by at all hours of the day, cafes take up entire sidewalks and street food vendors serve up delectable local fare despite the year-round heat and humidity,” it said.
Hong Kong topped the list, followed by the Maldives, Tokyo, Phuket, and Bali.
In the Economist Intelligence Unit's recent ranking of the world's most livable cities, Hanoi and HCMC made it to the top five improvers.
Earlier this year Vietnam’s two biggest cities were named among the 10 cheapest cities in Southeast Asia.
HCM City, the southern metropolis, took the 9th position when Hanoi secured the 7th spot, as shown in the Cost of Living Index 2018 conducted by Numbeo, the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide.
Phu My Hung Green Day 2018 encourages healthy lifestyle
The Phu My Hung Green Day 2018 was organized near the Crescent Lake in Phu My Hung Urban Area in HCMC’s District 7 on August 25 and 26 with an aim to encourage a green and healthy lifestyle.
The event featured many booths introducing a wide range of clean food like vegetables, eggs, milk, rice, fruit juice as well as natural and organic skincare products.
Participants also had a chance to learn about home gardening methods so that they can grow their own clean vegetables and fruits at home, and take part in workshops on organic agriculture hosted by experienced experts.
In addition, there were lots of entertaining activities for children at the event, including drawing and coloring, making sand paintings, painting statues, fishing, and classifying beans.
The Phu My Hung Green Day is among a series of community events organized annually by Phu My Hung Development Corporation, offering local communities the opportunity to take part in meaningful programs that help improve the quality of their lives.
BUSINESS NEWS IN BRIEF 1/9
Vinatex completes 65% of yearly revenue target
Viet Nam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) has completed 65 per cent of the yearly target set for total revenues with its eight-month result (excluding VAT) reaching over VND31.45 trillion (US$1.34 billion).
This figure also represented a rise of 7 per cent against the same period last year, the textile group reported in a filing to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
In August alone, it earned VND4.48 trillion in revenue, down 5 per cent year-on-year, of which turnover of the parent company and subsidiaries with its holdings of over 50 per cent capital reached almost VND1.74 trillion. Revenues from other affiliate companies in which the group holds less than 50 per cent capital reached a combined VND2.74 trillion.
Vinatex attributed the growth in total revenues to increases in sales of fibre products (96,051 tonnes, up 9.5 per cent year-on-year), fabric of all kinds (100.7 million m3, up 18.6 per cent) and garments (168 million products, up 2.2 per cent).
In terms of import-export activity, it increased imports while exports declined.
Vinatex exported goods worth nearly $246 million in August, down 4.5 per cent year-on-year. Meanwhile, its export value rose by 4 per cent to $105.5 million.
After eight months, export value is estimated at $1.81 billion, growing 6 per cent year-on-year, while the import value also increased 4 per cent to $838.8 million.
Cao Huy Hieu, Vinatex CEO, predicted exports of textile and garment products of Viet Nam will hit $35 billion by year-end, $1 billion higher than the target of $34 billion set for the whole year.
Many garment companies have received buy orders to the end of the year, including Vinatex, Viet Tien Garment Corporation, Regent Garment Factory Co Ltd, Regina Miracle International Vietnam Co Ltd and Worldon (Vietnam) Co Ltd, Hieu said.
Vinatex is trading shares on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) at around VND10,000 per share.
Chemical firm cancels listing
Duc Giang-Lao Cai Chemicals JSC will cancel its listing on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX) on September 5, according to the northern market regulator.
The company will remove its nearly 100 million shares, listed as DGL on the HNX, after its last trading date on September 4.
The HNX said in its statement that the cancellation came after Duc Giang Chemical and Detergent Powder JSC (HNX: DGC) on August 8 announced it would issue nearly 58 million shares at a share swap ratio of 1:1 to convert DGL shares.
DGL shares will be converted into DGC shares. The list of beneficial shareholders was finalised on August 22.
The share swap deal was approved by the two firm’s shareholders and market regulators in mid 2017.
The post-merger company will also cancel its listing on HNX to move to the HCM Stock Exchange.
DGL shares rose 0.4 per cent to close Wednesday at VND40,000 (US$1.78) per share.
Viet Dragon Securities joins derivatives market
Viet Dragon Securities Corporation (VDSC) on Tuesday became the newest trading member of the derivatives market.
Viet Nam’s derivatives market has been operating for more than one year but it has made some great achievements with rising trading liquidity, which proves the market has quite high development potential.
According to VDSC general director Nguyen Hieu, the company has done a lot of work to meet requirements on financial status, risk management, and consultancy and management personnel.
The company has also upgraded its IT infrastructure and improved its partners’ derivatives trading systems.
The company would also provide investors with internet-connected devices and applications to make their trading activities more convenient and less risky, he said.
The participation of VDSC in the derivatives market has raised the total number of trading members to 10.
Other derivatives trading members included BIDV Securities Corp (BSC), Saigon Securities Inc (SSI), MB Securities JSC (MBS) and HCM City Securities Corp (HSC).
VDSC is listing more than 100 million shares on the HCM Stock Exchange with ticket VDS. Its shares have rallied total 26.6 per cent since August 16 to close Wednesday at VND10,000 (US$0.44) per share.
In the first six months, VDSC earned VND54.3 billion ($2.4 million) worth of post-tax profit, down 5 per cent year on year. The company has fulfilled 38 per cent of its full-year profit target.
RDP to issue 5.66m bonus shares
Rang Dong Plastic JSC plans to issue nearly 5.66 million bonus shares due to its 2017 performance at the ratio of 20 per cent.
This means each shareholder will receive 20 new shares for every 100 shares they own, with the share issuance worth nearly VND56.6 billion (US$2.5 million).
The company is listing more than 28 million shares on the HCM Stock Exchange under code RDP. Its shares soared 6.7 per cent to close Wednesday at VND14,300 ($0.63) per share.
The company recorded VND1.32 trillion of net income in 2017, a yearly increase of 12 per cent.
RDP reported losses of VND55 billion from its business activities last year due to sharp increases in sales and corporate governance costs.
However, the company’s financial statement reported its undistributed post-tax profit for 2017 reached VND69 billion as RDP sold a part of its ownership in a subsidiary.
Binh Phuoc hands over land for Thaigroup cement plant
The People’s Committee of Binh Phuoc Province has issued Decision No. 1875/QD-UBND to hand over to Thaigroup JSC for the construction of the Minh Tam Cement Plant.
Accordingly, the provincial People’s Committee decided to reclaim 42,431.9sq.m of land managed by the People’s Committee of Hon Quan District, for Thaigroup to begin construction. The total area of 430,612.4sq.m, including 42,431.9sq.m above and 388,180.5sq.m of other land, is from households which have been compensated for the construction site of the Minh Tam plant.
Under the decision, agencies and units, including the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, shall direct the Land Registration Office to compile dossiers for the determination of cadastral information on land plots and send it to competent authorities to determine Thaigroup’s financial obligations and adjust the cadastral file in accordance with the regulations.
In early 2017, Thaigroup started the construction of Minh Tam Plant after purchasing the Minh Tam Cement project from its former owner, Mien Dong Joint Stock Company, which was facing financial difficulties.
The Minh Tam cement plant uses advanced European methods, ensuring environmental standards are maintained. The project covers an area of 400ha with total investment capital of VND12 trillion (US$515 million) and a total capacity of 4.5 million tonnes of cement per year. Construction is estimated to take two years, of which, the first phase will produce 2.6 million tonnes of cement per year with investment of nearly VND6.8 trillion.
Yuan payment allowed in VN, China border areas
Chinese yuan will be allowed for payment in the border areas between Viet Nam and China.
The announcement was part of Circular No 19/2018/TT-NHNN, which will take effect from October 12 this year.
Besides the yuan, traders and residents in the border areas of Viet Nam and China, can also use Vietnamese dong or fully convertible currencies, such as the US dollar, Euro or Yen, for payment of goods and services.
In addition to individuals, some other organisations will be subject to the new regulation. They include commercial banks and branches of foreign banks licensed to conduct foreign exchange transactions in Viet Nam; branches of banks located in border areas and border-gate economic zones of Viet Nam and China; organisations trading in duty-free goods; organisations providing services in isolated areas at international border gates; organisations engaged in bonded warehouses in border regions; the Viet Nam-China Border Gate Economic Zone; and other organisations and individuals conducting payment activities in Viet Nam-China border trade.
Payment can be made through banks or in cash in dong or yuan, according to the circular.
Economic and trade co-operation between China and Viet Nam has become increasingly close in recent years, and there is huge demand and an increasing trend toward yuan settlement in Viet Nam.
Viet Nam has overtaken Malaysia to become the largest trade partner of China in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Total trade revenues between Viet Nam and China were estimated at US$66 billion in the first half of 2018, with the average monthly trade turnover between the two countries having exceeded $10 billion for the first time in history.
Large firms boost transparency
Some large-cap firms have replaced the board of supervision with independent members in the board of management to improve the quality of corporate governance and reduce expenses.
Additionally, such actions may improve a company’s transparency to investors and shareholders so it is able to draw more capital from both domestic and foreign investors.
The firms include Viet Nam Dairy Products JSC (Vinamilk), Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Corporation (REE), Coteccons Construction JSC (CTD) and property developer Novaland (NVL).
However, many other listed companies have not followed suit.
Starting from 2015, a listed company can replace the old-fashion board of supervision with an independent audit agent that is appointed among other members of the management board.
Most enterprises do not have a board of supervision in their structure, however Viet Nam is among few countries where a majority of businesses do.
According to Pham Ngoc Hoang Thanh, CEO of financial-accounting training service provider Smart Train, the formation of a supervision board may come from the old business model of the Soviet Union.
Though professional licences were required for all members of the supervision board, it had remained unclear so far, Thanh said, adding that was the reason why the supervision board in each company had not made a great impact on business performance.
Therefore, the removal or replacement of the supervision board may help reduce expenses for the company and improve the role of the management board, Thanh said.
According to the world’s top-four audit and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), internal audit may help a business save 5 per cent of revenue losses.
That ratio may be higher for a Vietnamese business if it was courageous enough to get rid of the supervision board, Thanh said.
Hiring an audit company from the outside may only help review the financial reports to find financial violations, so it was necessary for a firm to establish its own internal audit unit, he added.
Independent members of the management board, or internal auditors, would protect the rights and benefits of shareholders and help business leaders develop their strategies, Thanh said.
However, the legal framework had remained unclear regarding the function, appointment and responsibility of the internal auditors so local companies were hesitant to remove their supervision boards, according to Thanh.
The quality of the employees was another issue as internal auditors should have worked at the company for a long time, thus having a strong voice among company members, Thanh said.
But such employees were also required to quickly adapt to the economic and financial changes, and be responsive to Industry 4.0, he said, adding that Viet Nam still lacked high-quality young employees to resolve the problem.
Doosan starts work on power plant
Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction (DHIC) and Doosan Heavy Industries Viet Nam (Doosan Vina) – two subsidiaries of South Korea’s Doosan Group, began construction of the Nghi Son 2 Thermal Power Plant project in Thanh Hoa Province on Monday.
A source from Doosan Vina said the two firms will build two supercritical boilers, high efficiency turbines and generating units for the 1,330 megawatt (MW) Nghi Son 2 Power Plant, slated for completion in 2022.
The thermal power plant, invested in by a joint-venture of Marubeni of Japan and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) with total investment US$2.79 billion, will supply power for 6.8 million households.
Earlier, Doosan received an advance payment of $170 million from Marubeni and KEPCO to commence construction of the two turbines and boilers.
Since 2012, DHIC has won more than $6 billion in orders in Viet Nam that include the contracts for the Mong Duong 2, Song Hau 1 and Vinh Tan 4 power plants.
The Doosan Group is a global multinational focusing on power, water and infrastructure developments worldwide. The company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, and has operations in 38 countries and $22 billion in annual revenue.
Doosan Vina, based in Quang Ngai Province, provided rail mounted quay cranes and a high-tech pressure equipment for the Nghi Son Refinery & Petrochemical project in 2014-15.
It exported made-in-Viet Nam boilers, heat recovery steam generators and desalination, crane and chemical processing equipment valued at US$2.4 billion in 2017.
Coastal province eyes ways to boost tourism, protect environment
The southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau held a workshop on August 29 to seek ways to develop tourism in tandem with environmental protection as part of the sea festival now underway in the province.
At the event, participants delivered presentations on how tourism impacts the marine environment and proposed solutions to develop plastic-free tourism, apply new technology in marine environment management and enhance Vietnam’s marine environmental protection to foster sustainable sea-based tourism.
The Ba Ria – Vung Tau Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the local Tourism Association briefed attendees on the strengths of the province’s marine tourism and steps it has taken to build its tourism brand.
Ba Ria – Vung Tau has worked to make the province a regional hub for tourism and entertainment, said Pham Ngoc Hai, President of the Ba Ria – Vung Tau Tourism Association. It has heavily invested to develop five key tourism clusters, including Vung Tau City, Long Hai – Phuoc Hai, Dinh Mountain, Binh Chau – Ho Coc and Con Dao Island, he noted
Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Institute for Development Studies Tran Anh Tuan suggested that the province should sustainably develop the tourism industry by promoting cultural values, tourist attractions and historic relics, and protecting the environment.
The province must also diversify tourism products and strengthen supply chain and services, while local schools and enterprises need to provide tourism workers with necessary skills, particularly in foreign languages, information technology and international regulations.
The Ba Ria-Vung Tau Sea Festival opened in the southern province on August 28 as part of activities marking the country’s 73rd National Day (September 2).
Themed “Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Aspiration, Love and Sea”, the festival aims to bolster investment, trade, tourism and economic development of the province and connect it with other coastal localities.
The festival has attracted more than 400 businesses and cultural organisations from 26 provinces and cities to participate in economic, cultural and sports activities during the seven-day event.
It includes a trade fair, a kite performance, a beer festival and a series of seminars and workshops on trade and tourism promotion as well as environmental protection.
An outdoor electronic dance music concert titled “Sea Run” will also take place, featuring pop star Son Tung M-TP alongside a parade of classic Vespa scooters. Exhibitions will be organised to showcase calligraphy works, orchid flowers and sand statues.
Some 500,000 visitors are expected to flock to the festival, which ends on September 3.
HCM City’s CPI up 0.48 percent in August
The consumer price index (CPI) of Ho Chi Minh City in August increased 0.48 percent against the previous month and 3.51 percent compared with the same period last year, the municipal Statistics Office reported on August 30.
Eight of 11 groups of commodities saw their prices go up in the month, with the highest rise recorded in food and catering services at 0.84 percent month-on-month.
Other groups with hikes were housing, electricity, water, fuel and construction materials, up 0.75 percent; goods and other services, 0.46 percent; transport, 0.27 percent; household utensils, 0.21 percent; culture, entertainment and tourism, 0.13 percent; and education, 0.1 percent.
Some groups experienced a drop in their prices such as clothing, hats and footwear, down 0.77 percent; post and telecommunications, 0.05 percent; and medicine and health services, 0.12 percent. Beverages and tobacco remained stable.
In August, the gold price declined 0.19 percent while that of the US dollar went up 1.18 percent against last month.
The country’s CPI in the month inched up 0.45 percent month-on-month, and 3.89 percent from the same time last year, pushing up the eight-month figure to 3.52 percent year on year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
The GSO forecasts a rise in September’s CPI due to price surge in education service, pork price, gas and gasoline.
HCM City to hold second annual trade event in Laos
Ho Chi Minh City’s Investment and Trade Promotion Centre will organise the second HCM City Trade-Service-Tourism Promotion Conference in Savannakhet, Laos, in October to help Vietnamese businesses tap the Lao market and enhance co-operation between the two countries, a workshop heard on August 28.
According to Pham Thiet Hoa, director of the centre, several promotions to encourage collaboration between Vietnamese and Laos enterprises had been launched in HCM City and Laos in recent years.
They included the Laos Goods Week held in HCM City last January and the 2018 Vietnam-Laos Trade Fair in the Lao capital Vientiane in July.
Last year, the centre held the first conference showcasing HCM City-made products in Savannakhet, Laos, which attracted more than 100 Vietnamese and 25 Lao enterprises who signed 50 contracts and four Memorandum of Understandings.
This year it will organise a similar event from October 19 to 26 at the same location.
Hoa said participating enterprises would be fully subsidised for booths, decor, freight and import tax payable for the event.
According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, trade between Vietnam and Laos was worth 522.2 million USD in the first half of 2018, a 14.5 percent increase year-on-year.
Vietnam mainly exports steel and iron products, cement, plastic products, electrical cables, and fruit and vegetables. It buys fertilisers, wood and wooden products, ores and minerals from Laos.
Figures from the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency show that Laos is the biggest of Vietnam’s 24 foreign investment destinations.
In the first five months of this year Vietnam’s investment in Laos was worth 80.12 million USD, or 43.4 percent of its total foreign investment.
Somxay Sanamoune, Lao Consul General in HCM City, said the Lao government always encouraged and gave priority to Vietnamese investment.
“The two countries are very close in terms of geography, which is a great advantage to boosting cross-border trade, export-import activities and exchange of workers.”
He said Laos had great potential waiting to be tapped by Vietnamese businesses including industrial crops, mining, mineral processing and agri-forestry products, among others.
He said to attract foreign investment, the Lao government had reduced red tape and the time required to set up new businesses, cut tariffs and invested in infrastructure.
A survey conducted by the centre at last year’s trade event found there was a big market in Laos for Vietnamese products, especially mid-priced goods.
Products that were popular at the event were electrical and mechanical domestic appliances, food, snacks and processed foods, and textile and apparel.
Le Tan Minh, deputy head of the centre’s trade promotion department, said Vietnamese businesses should pay attention to packaging to attract Lao consumers.
Businesses should also consider earmarking some space for consumers, especially young people, to take photos since they were fond of sharing them on social media, and this would help publicise the event, he added.
According to Nguyen Quoc Dung, CEO of the Sai Gon Plant Protection Joint Stock Company which has been selling its products in Laos, Vietnamese enterprises who wanted to tap the Lao market should first ensure they had a licence and their products were registered.
“You have to show your business registration certificate or at least have a big agent in Laos who can represent you in order to meet with a business there.”
He said for products like crop protection chemicals and fertilisers, enterprises should make samples and hold workshops to convince consumers of the quality of their products.
Besides, it was very important to have product information and instructions on the packaging in Lao, he added.
732 domestic firms get FSC Chain of Custody Certification
As many as 732 domestic businesses have obtained the Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody (FSC/CoC) Certification, taking the lead in Southeast Asia.
Of the number, 49 firms gained the certification of sustainable forest management with a total area of 226,500ha, according to the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The cooperation between wooden processing firms and forest growers has helped to ensure materials and output, thus stabilising prices of wooden products.
Amid the increasing demand for wood with legal and clear origins, exporters have worked to complete production management system and enhance cooperation with farmers to access to materials meeting international standards, said VNFOREST.
The export value of forestry products is projected to hit 5.85 billion USD between January and August this year, increasing 13 percent on year and accounting for 23 percent of Vietnam’s total agro-forestry-fishery export.
According to estimations of VNFOREST, during the eight-month period, the trade surplus of forestry products will amount to 4.39 billion USD, of which 4.09 billion USD are contributed by the shipment of timber and wood products.
VNFOREST forecast forestry export to rise in the remaining months of the year, particularly to traditional markets like the US, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the EU.
Incentives needed for agriculture sector
Though the Vietnamese government and Ho Chi Minh City’s administration offer many incentives and have favourable policies to encourage businesses to invest in agriculture, they often remain on paper, heard a conference held in the city on August 27.
For instance, a government decree issued last April reduces land rents for agricultural companies and provides subsidies for research, buying machinery, human resource training, and construction. However, many firms, and authorities, are waiting for a circular that will guide implementation of the decree.
There are also government policies for agriculture insurance against natural disasters and diseases in the case of certain crops and animals, credit, vocational training in rural areas, and financial aid for building fishing ports, ships and fish farms.
HCM City has its own policies to encourage businesses to invest in agriculture, including subsidies for acquiring office facilities and adopting VietGAP standards.
One such was Decree 655 issued last February, which was hailed by businesses for meeting their needs, having simple procedures and waiving interest on loans for buying machinery, seeds, breeding animals and animal feed and paying salaries.
However, the benefits often do not percolate down to businesses. Owner of a cantaloupe farm in Hoc Mon district Le Nguyen Cam Tu said he has been applying to lease some public land for a year but has not received any response from authorities despite the plentiful availability of land.
Renting private land could be risky since it depends on the whim of the lessor, he said, calling on authorities to make it easier to lease public lands.
Le Ha Mong Ngoc, Director of Nam Viet Biotechnology Joint Stock Company, said she has been unable to get a food safety certificate for her lingzhi mushrooms despite applying for years.
“Though our food processing procedures are strict, without proper certification we cannot sell the mushrooms despite the high demand for the product. Many farmers we are working with have had to stop growing the lingzhi mushrooms.”
She also called for better market and product origin surveillance to keep out fraudulent and low-quality products and protect high-quality brands and consumers.
The HCM City’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, which organised the conference, said it would pass on the complaints to relevant departments for action.
Vinh Phuc presents investment licence to Japanese firms
Authorities of the northern province of Vinh Phuc have granted an investment licence to investors of Kowa Global project in Binh Xuyen district’s Binh Xuyen Industrial Park (IP).
The project, totaling over 136 billion VND (nearly 5.86 million USD), is invested by Japanese firms - Kowa Kasei JSC and Kowa Rubber Industries JSC.
This project will specialise in processing and conducting technical analysis and verification of rubber products, with a capacity of nearly 140 tonnes of products per year. It will also provide related consulting and trading services.
It is scheduled to be completed and officially put into operation in the second quarter of 2019, contributing 10 billion VND (430,700 USD) per year to the State budget.
Kowa Global is the 23rd secondary project wholly invested by Japan in IPs in Vinh Phuc. The project is in line with the locality’s policy of encouraging the development of support industry.
It will create new products with high competitiveness in the market, contributing to promoting the province’s socio-economic development.
At present, IPs in Vinh Yen city and Phuc Yen town of Vinh Phuc have been fully filled. Investment projects in the province in the near future will be mainly allocated in IPs of Binh Xuyen district.
Industrial parks in the district have so far attracted 35,000 labourers, mainly young workers. Their average per capita income is between 6 million VND (258 USD) and 8 million VND (345 USD) per month.
Experts said that Binh Xuyen will become really bustling in the time ahead as businesses are flocking to the district to land their investments.
Thai Nguyen looks for IC infrastructure investors
To keep up with the burgeoning investor demand, the north-eastern province of Thai Nguyen is asking investors to build local industrial clusters through the public-private partnership format, paired with a raft of investment incentives.
Investors are being welcomed to 11 newly planned industrial clusters (ICs) covering 283.5 hectares, focusing on seven locations in the province, namely the city of Song Cong, Pho Yen town, and Dong Hy, Dinh Hoa, Phu Binh, Phu Luong, and Dai Tu districts, according to the Thai Nguyen Department of Industry and Trade.
The investors are encouraged to build the ICs under the public-private partnership (PPP) model to reduce reliance on the state budget. Significantly, most of the ICs offer convenient transport connections. For instance, the 48.5ha Ba Xuyen IC (Song Cong) connects to Road 262 and is 18 kilometres from Thai Nguyen’s city centre, while the 20ha Kim Son IC (Dinh Hoa district) links to National Highway 3C and the Ho Chi Minh Highway.
When taking part in building these ICs’ technical infrastructure, businesses will receive financing for 10 per cent of total site clearance costs or 10 per cent of total investment cost put into building IC technical infrastructure and wastewater treatment facilities, up to but not exceeding VND6 billion ($265,487) for each IC.
In addition, in light of the government’s current regulations on land rental and corporate income tax (CIT) incentives, seven out of nine districts in Thai Nguyen belong to areas entitled to investment encouragement policies. Accordingly, these seven districts are subject to a CIT exemption in the first two to four years and a 50 per cent reduction in the subsequent four to nine years, depending on their locations.
A new development, touted as a fresh move in wooing investors to build Thai Nguyen’s ICs, is that under a decision of the Thai Nguyen People’s Committee, the Centre for Industrial Promotion and Industrial Development Consultancy belonging to the Thai Nguyen Department of Industry and Trade was assigned to act as the developer for building the infrastructure for several ICs, primarily the 52ha Son Cam 2 IC.
The move attests to the provincial leadership’s commitment to courting investment into local IC development.
Centre director Nguyen Dinh Hung said that the IC investment proposal has been submitted to the local management authorities for approval and investors are encouraged to advance their capital for site clearance and building IC infrastructure.
Economists say that infrastructure investment plays a vital role in making IC projects appeal to investors. In fact, despite having detailed plans, many ICs fail to lure investors due to incomplete investments into infrastructure works such as power, water, and wastewater treatment.
To address this bottleneck, Thai Nguyen has reviewed its IC development plan to remove underperforming ICs and supplement new ICs with favourable locations and advantages in local labour or natural resources. Seven ICs covering 162ha were removed from the provincial IC plan and more than 250ha were cut from five other ICs, while 10 new ICs were added to the plan.
The Thai Nguyen Department of Industry and Trade has proposed to the Ministry of Industry and Trade to raise the capital support volume from the central budget through an industrial promotion programme and has asked the State Bank of Vietnam to offer concessionary credit packages for investors in ICs located in remote, mountainous areas.
In the words of Tran Anh Son, head of the Industrial Management Division under the Thai Nguyen Department of Industry and Trade, to attract investors, ICs need convenient access to material supply sources and the consumer market as well as favourable transport infrastructure.
In light of Thai Nguyen’s revised IC development plan for 2020 with a vision towards 2030, the number of local ICs will increase from 32 to 35, covering 1,259ha in total area. Investment will be implemented in two phases. In the first phase, from now until 2020, efforts will be geared towards building infrastructure for 28 out of 35 ICs covering 731ha, with an expected occupancy averaging 60-65 per cent.
In the second phase, from 2021 to 2030, efforts will be put into finalising the infrastructure construction of these 28 ICs, matching the detailed IC plan, striving to reach 100 per cent occupancy, and building infrastructure for the remaining seven ICs covering more than 202ha.
The province is set to raise $79.6 million in total investment capital in the first phase and $98.9 million in the second, with the amount sourced from the non-state budget to surpass $44.2 million in each phase.
Second edition of HortEx Vietnam set for March 2019
The 2nd International Exhibition and Conference for Horticultural and Floricultural Production and Processing Technology (HortEx Vietnam) will take place at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC) in Ho Chi Minh City from March 13 to 15, 2019.
Topics demonstrated via presentations include “Vietnam - Overview of the Horticultural and Floricultural Industry” by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD); “Business Opportunities between Thai and Vietnamese Enterprises” by the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association (Vinafruit); and “Experience Sharing on Doing Horticultural and Floricultural Business in Vietnam” by Thai companies.
HortEx Vietnam is the only international exhibition and conference for horticultural and floricultural production and processing technology in Vietnam. It was held for the first time in this year by the Minh Vi Exhibition and Advertisement Services Co. from Vietnam, with the Netherlands’ Nova Exhibitions BV as co-organizer.
The first edition attracted 110 participants from 20 countries and welcomed 4,530 trade visitors. Besides Vietnamese visitors the exhibition also welcomed a large number of visitors from overseas, such as Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, China, the US, and India.
HortEx Vietnam 2018 received a great reception from exhibitors, with 92 per cent saying it met their expectations. Based on positive feedback and growing interest in the Vietnamese market, the decision was made to increase the exhibition space by two-fold for this next edition in order to meet the increasing demand from companies worldwide.
HortEx Vietnam aims to support the rapid growth of the Vietnam’s horticulture and floriculture industry. According to figures from MARD, horticulture and floriculture production and processing is one of the most promising segments in the country.
Vietnam earned over $2.3 billion from exporting fruit and vegetables in the first seven of 2018, a year-on-year rise of 12.6 per cent. Horticulture and floriculture are set for steady growth and to become a leading export industry in Vietnam.
HortEx Vietnam has received strong endorsement from MARD, the Lam Dong Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion Center (TIPC), Vinafruit, the Dalat Flower Association, and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Vietnam. The event is anticipated to connect worldwide providers with local businesses and experts from related industries in Vietnam.
Nearly 2,000 new FDI projects licensed in 8M
There were 1,918 new FDI projects granted investment licenses in the first eight months of 2018, with total newly-registered capital of $13.48 billion, up 736 projects and 0.2 per cent over the same period of 2017, according to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) at the Ministry of Planning and Investment. Additional capital totaled $5.58 billion, or 87.2 per cent of the figure in the same period last year.
Total new and additional capital and share purchases by foreign investors was $24.35 billion, up 4.2 per cent.
FDI projects had disbursed $11.25 billion as at August 20, a 9.2 per cent increase.
Manufacturing and processing attracted the most attention from foreign investors, with total capital of $10.72 billion, accounting for 44 per cent of all registered capital.
Real estate followed, with total capital of $5.9 billion, accounting for 24.2 per cent. Third was wholesale and retail, with $1.87 billion, or 7.6 per cent.
Japan was the largest investor in the period, with total capital of $7 billion, accounting for 28.8 per cent of all capital, followed by South Korea with $5.16 billion and Singapore with $3.47 billion.
Foreign investors invested in 59 of Vietnam’s cities and provinces, in which Hanoi attracted the most, with $5.93 billion, or 24.4 per cent, then Ho Chi Minh City with $4.42 billion or 18.2 per cent and Ba Ria Vung Tau with $2.17 billion or 8.9 per cent.
PVN may postpone divestment of PV GAS to 2020
The State-run Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam, or PVN) previously planned to reduce its ownership in PV GAS from 95.76 per cent to 65 per cent in the 2018-2019 period, under Document No. 1182 / TTg-DMDN on approving a list of enterprises belonging to PVN to be restructured, equitized, or divested in the 2017-2020 period.
It recently, however, sent an official letter to the Ministry of Industry and Trade on supplementing and finalizing its restructuring plan for the 2017-2025 period, including the divestment from PV GAS. The group will actively consider the time of divestment from now until 2020. For the moment, it will focus on withdrawing capital from subsidiaries such as PV Drilling (PVD), PetroVietnam General Services (PET), PetroVietnam Engineering (PVE), and the PetroVietnam Drilling Mud Corporation (PV-DMC).
PV GAS is a leading company at the top of the listed market. When oil prices declined in the 2015-2017 period, despite earning lower profits, PV GAS always paid a cash dividend of 40 per cent of charter capital, outlaying VND7.5 trillion ($322.1 million).
State capital withdrawal in the 2018-2019 period is 30 per cent of PV GAS’s charter capital, equivalent to 587 million shares. At a current price of VND100,000 ($4.3) per share, the transaction could reap VND58.7 trillion ($2.5 billion).
Post-divestment, PVN will still have a controlling interest in GAS but 30 per cent is a significant holding for strategic investors, according to local insiders. Any sale is expected to attract many foreign investors, similar to what has been seen in the divestment of Vinamilk and Sabeco.
Leaders at PV GAS expect that, this year, the company will look for opportunities to cooperate more deeply with shareholders, especially strategic investors.
It posted revenue of VND37.45 trillion ($1.6 billion) in the first half of this year, representing 66 per cent of the annual target, and pre-tax profit of VND6.6 trillion ($283.4 million), or 82 per cent.
PHI Group partners with Hanoi MHD Invest
PHI Group, Inc., a diverse holding company from the US focused on merger and acquisitions (M&A) and investments in natural resources, energy, agriculture and special situations, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Hanoi MHD Invest JSC over real estate investment and development activities in Vietnam.
“As we continue to focus on number of key long-term programs in Vietnam, we are delighted to have MHD as our partner in the real estate investment and development sector,” said Mr. Henry Fahman, Chairman and CEO of PHI Group. “We are highly impressed with MHD’s talented, professional and disciplined management and look forward to building a mutually rewarding association that will contribute to a new phase of growth and expansion for both companies and beyond.”
PHI will assist MHD to become a publicly-traded company in the US and/or international stock markets. It will engage with the Vietnamese partner in the execution of building projects, including but not limited to the under-consideration Asia Diamond Exchange in the Free-trade Section of the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone in central Quang Nam province.
The two will also cooperate in the establishment of and investment in a real estate sub-fund under the master Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF) set up by PHI in accordance with the Luxembourg Institutional Bank Fund Laws. It is expected that the size of the real estate sub-fund will increase substantially over time to meet the growing needs of investment and development in Vietnam’s real estate market. MHD and PHI will cooperate to jointly develop and implement various real estate projects in Vietnam.
They will also coordinate with international partners to develop and provide innovative construction materials with new technologies to Vietnam and other Southeast Asian markets. MHD and PHI will cooperate to finance or invest in other third-party real estate and hospitality projects in Vietnam as opportunities arise.
“We are very pleased to partner with PHI Group on a comprehensive basis to participate in the development of the real estate sub-fund as well as other business opportunities that can capitalize on our expertise and experience to create significant value for stakeholders that would otherwise not be possible,” said Mr. Tung Thanh Nguyen, Chairman and General Director of MHD Hanoi Invest.
MHD has an excellent track record and vast experience in the fields of construction, project management, and real estate investment and development in Vietnam and is currently building two 40-story towers in Hanoi, among other prominent projects.
PHI Group was instrumental in taking the first Vietnamese company public on the US Stock Market in the past (i.e. Cavico Corporation, which used to be listed on Nasdaq), and is currently engaged in the areas of agriculture, renewable energy, real estate, consumer goods, and M&A in Vietnam. It will assist in taking MHD public in the US Stock Market and creating a platform for MHD’s growth and expansion in the future.
Transparent incentive policies needed to lure more foreign investors into Vietnam
Lawmakers should detail conditions, criteria and procedures for investors to benefit the country’s investment incentives, aiming to ensure the implementation of the policy more transparently and effectively.
Vietnam will review 30 years of FDI attraction
According to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam (VCCI), the government has so far issued some investment preferential policies, but it hasn’t detailed conditions, criteria and procedures to enjoy the incentive treatment. This fact has caused difficulty for firms in getting certification of beneficiaries.
As a result, preferential policies do not work and discourage those who want to invest in the areas that are encouraged, VCCI noted.
VCCI has recently sent the proposal to the National Assembly’s Economic Committee after receiving recommendations from associations of enterprises, the business community and investors.
According to Kim Heung Soo, chairman of the Korea Chamber of Business in Vietnam, investors are very concerned about an unannounced stop of incentive policies though the investors are still entitled to enjoy the treatments.
Kim cited the case of Vina Pioneer, which manufactures and trades plastic bags in Hung Yen province, as an example. Business performance of the Korean company has been smooth until recently when it suddenly received notice of terminating the incentives unilaterally, though the treatment is still valid.
Although Vina Pioneer has been confirmed by the Ministry of Planning and Investment as still being the beneficiary of the incentives, the provincial competent agencies have insisted that the firm is not eligible to enjoy the treatment, Kim said, adding that such administrative decisions caused a great negative impact on foreign investors.
Such case is not a matter of Vina Pioneer itself as all Korean businesses see this as a very serious problem, Kim noted, adding that it causes foreign businesses to shrink their operation in Vietnam and affect their intention to cooperate with local businesses.
Incentive policies in new stage
Experts also said though Vietnam's investment incentive policies have been highly appreciated and helped Vietnam succeed in attracting FDI inflow in the past years, the inconsistence of the policies and the differences in the implementation of the policies have caused difficult for investors.
According to Bui Ngoc Tuan, deputy general director of audit and advisory firm Deloitte Vietnam, the changes in investment incentives and tax policy are the issues of greatest concern for foreign investors in Vietnam.
The factors impacting FDI activities often include the fluctuation of the tax rate through the years, available incentives in the country, flexibility in the application of incentive schemes, time for investment procedure and advantages and disadvantages of administrative investment procedures, Tuan said.
Vietnam is preparing to review 30 years of FDI attraction in the country and the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) is mapping out a new strategy for FDI in the next decade with amendment related investment incentive policies to make the strategy more effectively.
There have been many proposals related to the investment incentive policies that will be applied in the new strategy. According to VCCI, investment incentive policies need to pay close attention to ensuring transparency with detailed conditions, criteria and procedures for enjoying preferential treatments.
Investors also agreed, saying that the most important thing that they want is that the policies must be transparent, consistent and predictable. On the contrary, it will affect the ability of investors to forecast their future production plans in Vietnam and thus will discourage them.
MPI’s Deputy Minister Vu Dai Thang said that recommendations for the new FDI policy approach, which will be included in the MPI Summary of 30 years of FDI in Vietnam, will be submitted to the government due next month.
Local authorities warned of dark side of FDI in real estate sector
Foreign investors have registered to pour tens of billion of dollars into the real estate market, but many projects are still on paper.
Many projects are still on paper
The licensing of the VFC (Vietnam Financial Center) project in HCMC in February 2008 stirred excitement among Vietnamese. It was designed to have three 48-storey buildings to be used as offices, a shopping mall and a 5-star hotel. The super-project has not started.
In 2014, Berjaya Group from Malaysia asked for permission to halve the investment scale of the project because of problems following administrative procedures.
Another project, the Urban Area and International School one, also registered by the Malaysian group, had the same fate. The land area in Hoc Mon district of HCMC, where Berjaya planned to develop the project, remains bare.
In Hanoi, the second phase of the Splendora urban area project, initially planned to start in mid-2012, still cannot be implemented because of disagreement between Vietnam’s VInaconex and South Korea’s Posco E&C
A source said Phu Long Group has acquired 50 percent of shares from the South Korean partner and officially taken over the project.
Le Ngoc Quynh, director of Thinh Vuong Investment & Cooperation, commented that many foreign investors eye real estate projects in Vietnam. If they cannot arrange sufficient capital for the projects, they will ask for local authorities’ nod on reducing the projects’ scale and delaying project implementation.
Quynh commented that this is just an excuse that helps the investors retain the right to use large area of land in advantageous positions, and sell projects to other investors for profit.
According to the Foreign Investment Agency, by July 2018, there were 704 projects registered, and committed FDI capital into the real estate sector had reached $56.3 billion.
These include some well-known names such as the Smart City project in Dong Anh district of Hanoi, capitalized at $4.138 billion and developed by Sumitomo Corporation, and the $600 million Lotte Mall Hanoi.
Phan Huu Thang, an expert on FDI, warned that with the current licensing, more real estate projects will fall into foreign hands.
Meanwhile, some analysts predicted that many Vietnamese developers, because of the lack of capital, may bargain away their projects in the third and fourth quarters to foreign institutions and funds which are looking for land plots in advantageous positions.
Nguyen Mai, chair of the Vietnam Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises (VAFIEs), thinks that local authorities need to be more determined in revoking licenses from the investors who are slow in implementing their registered projects, rather than accept investors’ new claims.
BUSINESS NEWS IN BRIEF 3/9
Quang Ninh aims to become leading service centre
The northern coastal province of Quang Ninh has outlined comprehensive measures to attract key projects in trade, aiming to become a leading service centre in the country.
Two years ago, local authorities granted approval for a master plan to develop the trade sector by 2025 with a vision towards 2030. The province aimed to increase added value by an average of 12.5 - 13.5 percent during 2016 – 2020, 14.5 - 15.5 percent during 2021 – 2025, and 10 - 11 percent during 2026 – 2030.
As part of efforts to lure trade projects, the province has worked to improve transport infrastructure, including projects upgrading the Uong Bi - Ha Long segment in National Road 18, Quang Ninh airport, and Ha Long - Hai Phong expressway.
Due attention has been paid to transportation in border areas, facilitating and promoting trade with China via Bac Luan border gate.
Besides encouraging local investors to remove bottlenecks and accelerate the land clearance process, the province is exerting efforts to hasten administrative reform in 2018 towards improving the province’s competitive capacity.
Last year, Quang Ninh for the first time rose to the first place in the Public Administrative Reform (PAR) Index with 89.54 points, which was 6.72 points higher than its score in 2016. Meanwhile, it was ranked 5th in the Satisfaction Index of Public Administration Services (SIPAS) index among 63 cities and province nationwide and in top two of Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI), moving up 30 steps compared to the previous year.
Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Nguyen Van Doc has instructed relevant sectors and branches to press ahead with administrative procedure reforms; enhance the efficiency of public administrative centres; cut unnecessary administrative procedures; complete e-government apparatus; and pay due attention to providing training for public servants.
Thanks to their efforts, the province has mobilised huge resources to develop markets, supermarket chains, and shopping malls. It is now home to 27 supermarkets and five shopping centres, with the presence of both domestic and international renowned giants such as Vincom, MM Mega Market, Big C, Lotte, and Lan Chi mart, among others.
Following the success of the Vincom Centre Ha Long, real estate and retail conglomerate Vingroup decided to inaugurate another shopping centre, Vincom , in the Yen Thanh urban area, Uong Bi city in 2017. A shopping mall, food court, and entertainment zone are arranged within the complex, meeting the demands of both local people and tourists.
In May, Vingroup’s Vincom Retail JSC launched its Vincom Shophouse Complex in Mong Cai city, with Vincom Plaza looking likely to become a promising shopper’s paradise in the border city.
The firm is working on a master plan to branch out to a townhouse and service zone in Cam Binh ward, Cam Pha city.
In addition, the province has seen an increasing number of Vinmart convenient stores providing high-quality products and services. Most of the current 23 Vinmart stores are in Ha Long and Uong Bi cities, with more stores looking to be opened in other surrounding localities – demonstrating Quang Ninh’s success in attracting investment for trade development.
Many local companies have shifted their attention to investment in the trade sector towards sustainable development. Duc Phu Co., Ltd is carrying out a culture, sports, and services project with a total capital of 300 billion VND (12.9 million USD) in Uong Bi city. Upon operation in the end of this year, the project will create a facelift for the surrounding urban area, contributing towards both the city and province’s local trade and service system.
Social resources have been mobilised to repair and upgrade traditional markets like Cam Thuy market in Cam Thuy city, and Thanh Son market in Uong Bi city.
The results will create momentum for trade to thrive in the province for time to come.
Hai Phong: Eight-month FDI surges 99.34 percent
More than 1.38 billion USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) was poured into the northern port city of Hai Phong during January-August, a year-on-year increase of 99.34 percent.
The money was injected into 94 projects, 64 of which were newly granted projects and the remainders were capital adjustment ones.
Japan and the Republic of Korea continued the largest investors in the city.
From the outset of the year, Vietnam granted investment licenses to 1,918 new projects with a total registered capital of 13.48 billion USD, up 0.2 percent year-on-year, and allowed 736 existing projects to increase their capital to a total of 5.58 billion USD, equal to 87.2 percent year-on-year.
Foreign investors contributed capital and purchased shares of 5.28 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 50.9 percent.
The FDI sector exported 110.3 billion USD worth of goods, including crude oil, showing a year-on-year rise of 13.4 percent and making up nearly 70.9 percent of the country’s total export turnover.
Foreign investment was poured into 17 sectors, mainly in the processing and manufacturing industry with 10.72 billion USD, or 44 percent of the total registered investment.
Other attractive fields were real estate, and wholesale and retail with 5.9 billion USD and 1.87 billion USD respectively, accounting for 24.2 percent and 7.6 percent of the total investment.
RoK hungry for Vietnamese garment
Vietnam expects to continue growth of textile and garment exports to the Republic of Korea by the end of the year after strong results in the first seven months of 2018, according to the General Department of Customs.
Up until July, Vietnam gained a year-on-year increase of 24.88 percent in textile and garment export value to 1.5 billion USD to the RoK, creating a strong breakthrough of those products to this market.
In July alone, the export value of those products to this Northern Asian market reached 270.7 million USD, a rise of 24.18 percent against June and 24.06 percent compared with July 2017.
China and Vietnam were the two largest garment suppliers to the RoK market, accounting for 34.46 percent and 32.67 percent, respectively.
Vietnam’s garment exports to this market accelerated rapidly reducing the gap between market share of China and Vietnam on the RoK garment market at 40.18 percent and 29.52 percent, respectively, three years ago.
According to Vietnam’s General Department of Customs, the Republic of Korea became the fourth largest export market of Vietnam, reaching 2.7 billion USD in 2017.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade said the strong growth in exports to the Republic of Korea was mainly due to the high competitive ability of Vietnam’s garments and higher spending of consumers on this market.
In addition, tariff preferences from the Vietnam – RoK free trade agreement encouraged Vietnam’s textile and garment products entering the South Korean market, the ministry said. According to the FTA, 24 products of Vietnam enjoy lower tax against other countries in the ASEAN region.
By the end of this year, Vietnam’s textile and garment exports to the RoK are expected to increase by 20 percent year on year. The textile and garment export value is estimated to rise 22 percent year on year to 3.2 billion USD for this whole year, reported vneconomy.vn.
Vietnam is considered to have many advantages in supplying textile and garment products to the Republic of Korea. It is likely to become the largest garment supplier to this market.
The General Department of Customs said in the first seven months of this year, Vietnam gained 10.2 billion USD from the total export value to the RoK, a year-on-year increase of 32.13 percent.
Of which, three groups of phones and components, textile and garment, and computers and electronic products achieved export value of over 1 billion USD for each, accounting for over 40 percent of Vietnam’s total export value of goods to this market.-VNS/VNA
Glass product exports rake in 592.8 million USD in 7 months
Vietnam’s export turnover from glass and glass products reached 592.8 million USD in the first seven months of 2018, representing a year-on-year increase of 6.1 percent, according to the General Department of Customs.
The department said glass and glass products of Vietnam were mainly exported to Southeast Asian nations in the period, accounting for 58.3 percent of the total turnover to reach 297.1 million USD, 13.59 percent higher than that of the same period last year.
Singapore, Malaysia, and the Republic of Korea remained Vietnam’s key importers of these commodities.
Vietnam saw a strong surge in glass and glass product exports to the Philippines, hitting 9.8 million USD in the reviewed period, up 88 percent year-on-year.
Da Nang seeks to boost trade, investment ties with Canada
Participants at the forum
A delegation of central Da Nang city led by Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Truong Quang Nghia visited big cities of Canada from August 30 - September 2 to promote cooperation between localities and the two countries in general, especially in trade and investment.
The visit was part of activities to celebrate the 45th founding anniversary of Vietnam-Canada diplomatic relations (1973-2018).
In the framework of the visit, the delegation attended a forum to promote trade and investment in Da Nang city held by the Canada-Vietnam Trade Council (CVTC), which aimed to foster trade and investment linkages between the two countries.
Addressing the event, Vice Chairman of the municipal People's Committee Tran Van Mien introduced delegates to Da Nang’s environment, investment and business opportunities, as well as its investment incentives.
As a driving force of growth in the central key economic region, Da Nang city always leads the way in developing infrastructure, thus creating a smooth connection between Vietnam’s central and Central Highlands regions with other countries in the region and the world, he said.
Da Nang has a strategic location with modern infrastructure, abundant and high-quality human resources, friendly investment environment, transparent management system, and peaceful living environment, he noted, adding that it is also one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Vietnam.
In its development strategy to 2030 with a vision to 2045, Da Nang aims to become a smart city with sustainable development, a centre of high quality tourism and service and high technology of Vietnam, Mien said, stressing that Da Nang’s development orientations are in line with strengths of Canadian businesses and investors.
Canadian investors expressed their special interest in policies to encourage and support foreign investment, tax incentives, and development support in high-tech zones, in information technology, startups, infrastructure development and in real estate leasing.
Many investors appreciated the open policy of Da Nang as well as the city’s immediate and long-term development orientations.
Lisa Bate from B H Architects - a company with many years of investment and business experience in Vietnam, highlighted the potential for expanding cooperation between businesses and localities of the two countries.
Vietnam’s major cities, including Da Nang, boast great potential and opportunities to further develop, as they possess skilled human resources and have mapped out a development strategies matching with the development trend of the world, she said.
With these advantages, Vietnam in general and Da Nang in particular will have positive prospects for cooperation in a number of fields, such as education, health, infrastructure and hi-tech development, she noted.
For his part, Nghia pledged to continue measures and practical actions to improve the city's investment and business environment, thus making it easier for businesses and investors from Canada and other countries to set up and operate projects in Da Nang.
He expressed his hope that the CVTC and Canadian enterprises will continuously support investment promotion and attraction into Da Nang in high technology, IT, trade and education, towards creating a new wave of Canadian investment in Vietnam and Da Nang in particular, especially in the context that the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) was signed, and strong impacts brought by the 4th Industrial Revolution on Vietnam’s development and its increasingly integration in the global economy.
Previously, the Vietnamese delegation had a working session with Toronto city’s Economic and Cultural Development Department to seek opportunities for bilateral cooperation.
Suspended, dissolved enterprises on the rise
Up to 41,660 businesses in Vietnam ceased trading in the first eight months of this year, up 45.9% on-year, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) reported.
According to MPI, the increase was attributed to localities more closely inspecting enterprises to remove those which no longer operate.
During the period, 9,135 businesses were shut, up 17.8% on-year.
The ministry also said that between January and August, 87,448 new firms were set up with a total registered capital of VND878.627 trillion (USD39.93 billion), up 2.4% in business number and up 6.9% in capital value against the same period of last year.
Newly-established businesses focus on real estate, health, finance and banking, insurance.
In the Jan-August phase, 20,942 enterprises resumed their operations, representing a slight increase on-year.
Ford rolls out new Everest
US automaker Ford unveiled the new Ford Everest in HCM City on Wednesday, and said it would be marketed from September.
With prices starting at VND1.12 billion (US$48,000), the car will be sold in five versions, including two titanium ones: 2.0L turbo and 2.0L bi-turbo, one version of 2.0L turbo trend and two ambiente versions.
It is the first SUV to be equipped with 10-speed automatic gears and diesel bi-turbo 2.0L engines, which deliver 213PS and 500Nm of torque.
The car has some new features such as tyre pressure monitoring system, a hands-free power tailgate, keyless entry, and push-button start.
It is equipped with SYNC 3 technology and seven airbags.
Pham Van Dung, general director of Ford Vietnam, said demand in the SUV segment has kept rising.
He quoted a report from LMC Automotive as saying in the last two years demand for SUV in Southeast Asia has increased by 24 per cent a year, and Viet Nam is no exception to the trend.
He said Everest targets many kinds of customer subjects like families, companies and car leasing services.
Ford’s market share has been steadily increasing in Viet Nam, and it is now among the top five auto companies in terms of growth.
Mobiistar unveils first smartphone equipped with AI technology
Vietnamese mobile phone manufacturer Mobiistar’s annual Techforum opened Thursday in HCM City with the theme “The way to artificial intelligence in smart phones”.
Mediatek, a Taiwanese chipset producer and long-term partner of Mobiistar, updated the delegates on the development trends in the technology world with a focus on AI and introduced its first Helio P60 and P22 chipsets meant for AI.
Mobiistar introduced its latest offering, the Mobiistar X with an octa-core Helio P60 chipset and camera equipped with AI technology for quick recognition, rapid processing and fine pictures.
It has dual 16 and 5MP back cameras and a 16MP selfie camera.
It comes with 4GB RAM, 32GB memory and a 3,000mAh battery and costs a very competitive VND4.6 million (US$200).
In May this year Mobiistar entered the Indian market, and its five best selfie camera smart phones are sold in 10 states there.
“India is one of biggest smart phone markets in the world with a population of over one billion and growth in smartphone sales of 18 per cent last year making it a very promising market for Mobiistar,” Ngo Nguyen Kha, CEO of the company, said.
The budget smartphones with good cameras have achieved early success in the market, he added.
HCM City to determine key exports
Identifying HCM City’s typical export products should not be based simply on their export volume or value or subjective decisions, but on careful analysis, experts have said.
The city Department of Industry and Trade held a seminar on August 29 to identify the city’s top export products and collect opinions from experts, business groups and enterprises for its Export Development Project in 2017-20 before submitting to the People’s Committee for approval.
The project’s objectives are to forecast opportunities for and challenges to exports, identify the most competitive export sectors and products, and propose solutions and strategies for developing exports.
Nguyen Ngoc Hoa, the department’s deputy director, said the department is working with the Institute of Public Policy - University of Economics HCM City and experts from Fulbright University to develop the project.
The consulting team has used a variety of research methods to identify the city’s top export products as well as used data from nearly 14,000 export enterprises combined with surveys and interviews of some 200 enterprises in 14 sectors to determine the competitive advantages of and value addition in export products, he said.
Hoa said the city has paid close attention to shifting its export structure, reducing export of low added-value products and increasing export of highly processed products and services with high added value, with programmes designed to encourage the shift in recent years.
But the results have been below expectations, he admitted.
Analysing the city’s export structure in the 2008-15 period, Dinh Cong Khai, director of the Institute of Public Policy, pointed out exports had mainly grown in volume terms and followed the market, and lacked a strategic direction for development.
The city’s production and exports are not very competitive, with the former being mainly contract-based and not deeply participating in the global value chain, he said.
As a result, the city’s export growth is fully dependent on global market fluctuations, making it hard to implement strategies or programmes to shift export structures, he said.
Besides, the city has not identified industries with high export growth potential and competitive advantages based on scientific analysis or new methods, and relies on the traditional approach based mainly on export value, he said.
Programmes to support the shift in the export structure and develop exports are not cohesive, making it difficult for stakeholders to implement them, he said.
To achieve the objectives of export restructuring, it is necessary to evaluate the competitiveness of existing exports, delegates said.
Designating the major exports now as the key exports is easy, but their value addition and comparative advantages would be low, they said.
On the contrary, sectors that currently do not export much but have high potential would need investment and strategies to develop, they said.
Tran Viet Anh, deputy chairman of the HCM City Union of Business Associations and chairman and general director of Nam Thai Son Company, said the city needs to assess the competitive advantage of products through international export fairs and exhibitions to identify key products.
Dr Tran Du Lich, a member of the Government’s economic advisory group, said the city needs to change its mind about what are typical export products since even its four key industry groups and nine service sectors need to be changed because they may not be suitable in the current time.
HCM City fights fake goods, trade fraud
HCM City authorities are seeking more effective measures in the fight against counterfeit products, smuggled goods and trade fraud as e-commerce grows at a fast pace, an official has said.
Speaking at a conference on Wednesday, Pham Thanh Kien, standing deputy chairman of the national steering committee against smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit, said: “The use of digital signatures must be better managed” as e-commerce booms.
“The fight against the activities in the city remains challenging,” he said. “It’s key to tighten inspection of counterfeit goods at major markets like Ben Thanh, Binh Tay and An Dong.”
HCM City Market Management Department should coordinate with the city police to tighten inspection of smuggled cigarettes in hotspots such as Hoc Mon, Cu Chi and Binh Chanh districts, he said.
In particular, the licences for fertiliser businesses are now issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, making it more difficult for HCM City Market Management Department to control fake fertiliser on the market.
Kien also said it is important for the Customs Department to strengthen inspection at air, sea and river routes to prevent trade of drugs and smuggled goods as well as waste in large containers.
He also urged the Taxation Department to intensify supervision of enterprises that transfer prices or have suspicious transactions, adding that it should enhance management of tax collection in the field of e-commerce.
There are now 129,000 e-commerce websites nationwide, of which 80,000 websites are operating well, mostly in HCM City and Ha Noi.
Nguyen Van Bach, deputy director of HCM City Market Management Department, said the trade of smuggled goods through air and seaports has been difficult to manage.
Due to certain loopholes in the customs sector, many enterprises are declaring that their goods are of low value to evade tax, or they give incorrect declaration of quantity and prices of goods, according to Bach.
In addition, smuggling of cigarettes and refined sugar has become more difficult to deal with as smugglers are using many tricks.
For example, smugglers transport cigarettes by motorbike during out-of-office hours at high speeds and deliberately hit motorbikes driven by law enforcement forces.
They also rent large vehicles to transport smuggled cigarettes, change vehicles constantly, and use fake number plates.
The city also needs to continue tightening management and inspection of prohibited goods and of products that require a special consumption tax, he said.
Customs forces and border guards should also improve inspection of smuggled goods at the border, he noted.
Smuggling and trade fraud across the border are becoming increasingly sophisticated, he said.
Smuggled products vary from meat, animals, wood, tobacco, sugar, petrol, electronic products and drugs, while in the local market, trade of fake and poor quality products and those of unclear origins occur in many localities, he said.
The department plans to reinforce the fight against smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods in the last months of the year, he added.
In the first six months, nearly 12,500 cases of administrative violations were reported, a drop of 8.66 per cent compared to the same period last year, collecting revenue of VND2.078 trillion (US$89.42 million), down 9.2 per cent over the same period.
In addition, five criminal smuggling and trade fraud cases involving six people were reported and prosecuted.
Promotion Fair opens in HCMC
The 2018 Promotion Fair opened at the Phu Tho Indoor Stadium in HCM City’s District 11 on August 29, with 240 exhibitors showing off their products.
Garment and textile enterprises account for almost a third, and they include brands such as Viet Tien Garment JSC, Viet Thang Garment Company, Tay Do Garment Company.
Food businesses account for 26.3 per cent (Tai Ky Food Flour Corporation, Satra Vissan), with the rest being electronic, household appliances and consumer goods companies.
They are displaying and selling many of their products and services at 450 booths.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Nguyen Phuong Dong, deputy director of the city Department of Industry and Trade, said the fair offers good shopping options for locals as well as tourists.
It is also a good opportunity for businesses to introduce their new products and promote their brands to enhance their competitiveness and help effectively implement the "Vietnamese people give priority to using Vietnamese goods" campaign, he said.
There are many attractive promotions on offer by enterprises like a golden hour, discounts of 10 to 49 per cent and gifts given to people buying products.
It also features performances of popular singers, artists and comedians, and a competition titled Your Style X Thien Viet.
Organised by the department’s Centre of Support for Industries Development and Thien Viet Advertising and Commercial Promotion JSC, the expo will go on until September 3.
The Promotion Fair is the first event in September’s annual “Sales Promotion Month” in HCM City.
The month includes tens of thousands of promotional programmes and activities such as a special promotion week for online sales and trade promotion fairs across the city.
WEF brings investment opportunities for Vietnam
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addressed the WEF on the Mekong region in Hanoi in 2016
Nearly 30 years after Vietnam joined the World Economic Forum (WEF), the WEF has become an important venue for the Vietnamese Government to hold dialogues with world leading economic groups, thus bringing investment opportunities for the country.
Bilateral meetings between Vietnamese leaders and foreign counterparts as well as with executives of world economic groups provide the chances for discussion on development directions for Vietnam’s economy, thus assisting with the country’s building of development guidelines and policies.
WEF Managing Director Philipp Roesler visited Vietnam in three consecutive years of 2014, 2015 and 2016. Vietnam’s senior officials regularly attend the WEF’s annual meetings in Davos and East Asia. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s participation at the WEF Davos Conference in 2007 and 2010 resulted in important outcomes, opening a new period of the ties between Vietnam and the Swiss-based non-profit organisation.
Last year, the Vietnamese delegation to Davos led by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc continued to deliver the country’s message on its economic prospects and resolve for comprehensive reforms and active international integration. Vietnam’s commitment to building an action-oriented and development-facilitating Government suited the conference’s theme of Responsive and Responsible Leadership. At the event, the two sides signed a partnership agreement on the development of Vietnam’s economy in the future. The WEF also approved Vietnam’s hosting of the WEF on ASEAN in 2018.
Vietnam has been active in the WEF’s activities in recent years. The two sides have expanded cooperation to other fields, such as national competitiveness, industry and agriculture.
Vietnam played an active role in the WEF’s initiatives. It was one of the key partners in the WEF’s New Vision for Agriculture initiative.
Since 2016, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh has served in the coordination board of the WEF’s Future of Production System project. He also joined the ASEAN Regional Strategy Group in 2017.
Vietnam also hosted several regional WEF meetings. It put forth the idea for a WEF on the Mekong region and successfully organised the event in October 2016 in Hanoi, promoting the sub-region to world leading groups.
Besides, Vietnamese enterprises have gradually got involved in the WEF’s activities. Such groups as Viettel, FPT, VinGroup, VinaCapital, VNPT, SIG or Hoa Sen, to name just a few, have used the WEF to build their partner networks and share experience in operation.
The WEF on ASEAN will take place in Hanoi from September 11-13 under the theme “ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship and the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
The presidents and prime ministers of eight countries have confirmed their attendance at the event. The forum will see the participation of 50 ministerial-level representatives, 800 heads of regional- and world-leading corporations, as well as some 120 reporters from world and regional media outlets to cover the event.
The WEF was established in 1971 as a non-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The forum engages the foremost political, business, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.
Vegetable, fruit exports hit 2.7 billion USD in eight months
Vietnam’s vegetable and fruit exports in August this year is estimated at 346 million USD, pushing the total revenue in the first eight months of this year to 2.7 billion USD, up 14.1 percent over the same period last year.
In the first seven months of 2018, China was still the largest market of Vietnamese vegetable and fruits with consumption worth 1.7 billion USD, accounting for 74 percent of Vietnam’s sales, up 12.1 percent year on year.
Strong growth was seen in many other markets, including Thailand with 38.6 percent, the US 19.3 percent, and the Republic of Korea 18.7 percent.
In the January-August period, Vietnam imported 224 million USD worth of vegetable and fruits, raising the total imports of the goods in eight months to 1.15 billion USD, a rise of 13.4 percent over the same time in 2017.
According to the Agro-product Processing and Market Development Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the export of Vietnam’s vegetable and fruits is showing signs of a slowdown, but the sector is still forecast to earn 4 billion USD in the whole year.
Besides, domestic businesses have faced fierce competition as well as protectionism measures through technical barriers in import markets.
Therefore, the department advised exporters to focus on dealing with problems in food safety, packaging and labeling.
It predicted that in the rest of the year, vegetable and fruit export will encounter more difficulties in supply due to the coming stormy season. At the same time, the department also underlined the need for more promotion activities to boost the sale of fruits currently in harvest such as longan and custard apple.
VinaCapital launches venture investment fund
VinaCapital - the leading investment management group in Vietnam - on August 30 announced the establishment of VinaCapital venture capital fund at a scale of 10 million USD, aiming to continue its investment strategies in technology startups.
The firm also publicised the fund’s first investment activities in Logivan and FastGo - the two prominent startups in technology solutions in the field of transport in Vietnam.
Tran Nhat Khanh, Technology Investment Director of VinaCapital, said that the launch of the fund aims to enhance cooperation with engineers, scientists and innovators who use technologies to create solutions to difficulties in different areas, thus encouraging customers to apply new technologies to improving the economic efficiency for each individual and the whole society.
The value of each investment can be up to 10 million USD with unlimited time for share holding. VinaCapital Ventures also gives enterprises that the fund invests in the opportunity to access business networks of VinaCapital in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
In particular, VinaCapital Ventures will pay attention to innovative technological ideas which can create new markets able to enhance its influence on regional and international markets.
According to Don Lam, General Director of VinaCapital, manufacturing and real estate are the two areas attracting greater interest from investors in Vietnam.
However, VinaCapital believes that technology is one of the areas that has the potential to grow rapidly, and will play a crucial role in boosting economic efficiency of all other sectors, he said.
Therefore, VinaCapital Ventures chose Logivan and FastGo for its investment, creating its hallmarks in the startup wave in the technological field in Vietnam.
Logivan Technologies Pte is specialised in providing technological solutions that help optimize the cost of road freight transportation through data systemization. The firm’s solutions help reduce costs of logistics services and energy consumption.
Meanwhile, FastGo Corporation is a provider of mobile applications for ordering high-quality car service in Vietnam. This is the only application of this kind in the market with Fast Protection insurance.
According to investors, the Vietnamese Government is implementing many policies to encourage entrepreneurs to start a business. VinaCapital Ventures will be one of the channels to support companies and start-up firms, thus contributing to Vietnam’s economic growth.
Nguyen Huu Tuat, co-founder of FastGo Corporation, said that this is the first time the firm has received investment from a venture capital fund in Vietnam. This will create conditions for domestic start-ups enterprises to promote their development in many fields.-
Import-export turnover hits over 308 billion USD in eight months
Vietnam’s total import-export value in the first eight months of this year reached more than 308 billion USD, a year-on-year rise of 13 percent, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
Total export value increased 14.5 per cent year-on-year to 155.4 billion USD during the period. Of which, the domestic economic sector achieved a year-on-year surge of 17.4 percent to 45.11 billion USD, while the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector gained 110.3 billion USD, an increase of 13.4 percent.
The FDI sector had lower growth in export value against the domestic sector but it holds 71 percent of total national export value.
Many key exports gained high growth, such as telephones and parts, up 15.7 percent to 30.9 billion USD; and electronic products, computer and their parts, up 14.2 percent to 18.4 billion USD.
The export value of garments was estimated at 19.42 billion USD, increasing 14.9 percent compared to the same period last year.
Vietnam also saw strong growth for some farming products, including fruits and vegetables (up 14.8 percent to 2.7 billion USD) and rice (up 23.6 percent to 2.2 billion USD).
However, other commodities faced difficulty increasing export value due to falling global prices. Coffee export fell 3.1 percent in value to 2.5 billion USD, though they increased 14.8 percent in volume while rubber fell 12.1 percent in value to 1.2 billion USD despite a 7.9 percent rise in volume. Pepper exports also dropped 35.7 percent in value to 584 million USD while surging 4.7 percent in volume.
Crude oil export fell in both volume and value by 46.6 percent and 24.6 percent, respectively, compared with the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the country’s imports rose 11.6 percent year-on-year to 152.6 million USD. Of which, the domestic sector’s value reached 61.85 billion USD, up 11.8 percent while the FDI sector stood at 90.81 billion USD, up 11.4 percent.
Imports mainly served production of export products in the FDI sector. The country bought 26.9 billion USD of electronic products, computer and parts, up 13.7 percent; 9.3 billion USD for telephone and parts, up 4.3 percent; and 8.5 billion USD for cloth, up 16.1 percent.
Some others for the domestic production had high growth, including steel (up 10.2 percent to 6.7 billion USD), plastic (up 17.1 percent to 5.8 billion USD), petrol and oil (up 26.4 percent to 5.7 billion USD), metal products (up 35.9 percent to 5.3 billion USD), and chemical products (up 26.3 percent to 3.3 billion USD).
Vietnam’s trade surplus in the first eight months was estimated at more than 2.75 billion USD.
Vietjet to attend Modetour Travel Mart 2018 in RoK
Low-cost carrier Vietjet will participate in the Modetour Travel Mart 2018, slated for August 31-September 2 in Seoul, the Republic of Korea (RoK), the airline announced on August 28.
During the forthcoming event, visitors will have a chance to get free round-trip tickets, gifts, and enjoy vibrant performances and take pictures with Vietjet’s friendly flight attendants, the airline said.
First held in 2014, Modetour Travel Mart is one of the RoK’s most prestigious and attractive travel fairs, with the participation of more than 50 countries and regions, attracting hundreds of thousands of international visitors. This is the third consecutive year Vietjet has attended this event.
With seven routes including ones connecting HCM City, Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang and Nha Trang with Seoul in addition to Hanoi – Busan and Da Nang – Daegu routes, Vietjet continues offering travelling opportunities to local people and tourists, connecting the two countries with impressive destinations.
In recent years, Vietnam has become a popular destination for Korean holidaymakers. The country welcomed 2.4 million tourists from the RoK last year, a 56.4 percent increase on 2016, according to the General Statistics Office.
As many as two million Korean visitors arrived in the Southeast Asian nation over the past seven months of this year, up 56 percent year-on-year. Koreans are second behind China in terms of tourist numbers and the central region is their favourite destination.
HCM City vows to help real-estate firms
HCM City authorities on August 30 pledged to continue providing assistance and creating favourable conditions for real estate companies at a meeting held in the city.
Speaking at a dialogue between the city government and businesses, Tran Trong Tuan, director of the city’s Department of Construction, said any shortcoming in management and operation of State agencies related to construction licensing and real estate activities would be adjusted to facilitate businesses.
More than 200 representatives from 150 enterprises and associations attended the meeting to learn more about guidelines and regulations from State agencies in construction and real estate.
The directors of the departments of Construction as well as Natural Resources and Environment, and representatives of related departments, addressed all questions posed by businesses.
The meeting, organised by ITPC and the departments of Construction and Natural Resources and Environment, was held to resolve difficulties for real estate businesses and help them follow State policies.
The organiser received 13 questions in advance from businesses, most of which were related to issues such as regulations on real estate purchase contracts and foreigners’ rights to buy houses in Viet Nam.
Questions about procedures for granting certificates of construction of buildings for organisations and individuals, business registration of apartments for lease, contracts for construction consultancy, procedures for licensing construction, transfer of projects, and supervision of construction of public works, were among others.
The meeting also discussed legitimate rights and obligations of residents at apartment projects, as well as disputes between residents and investors, including maintenance and management fees that residents have to pay as part of the contracts they sign with the investors, in addition to ownership of office-tel apartments under current laws.
Tuan, director of the city’s Department of Construction, said State agencies would continue to give support to businesses, but expect businesses to conform to regulations, including financial obligations to State agencies.
Since 2012, ITPC has regularly worked with other agencies, including the Department of Construction, to organise dialogues to help enterprises.
Vietnam’s industrial production expands 11.2 pct in 8 months
Vietnam’s industrial production index (IPI) rose 11.2 percent on-year in the first eight months of 2018, the General Statistics Office (GSO) has announced.
Nghi Son Oil Refinery and Petrochemical complex in the central province of Thanh Hoa. (Source: cafeF)
The growth, higher than the 8.2 percent in the same period last year, was mainly fuelled by crude oil production, which expanded by 510 percent and 520 percent in June and July respectively, compared to last year’s corresponding period.
The GSO attributed the oil sector’s strong IPI rise to the opening of the Nghi Son Oil Refinery and Petrochemical complex – the country’s largest of its kind – in the central province of Thanh Hoa in June and another, Binh Son, in central Quang Ngai province – which resumed operations in the same month after annual maintenance.
Some sectors in the secondary industry (dominated by the manufacturing of finished products) also saw high growth, such as coal production, up 120 percent; refined oil production (up 60 percent), mineral mining support services (up 39 percent ), electronics, computers and optical products (up 18 percent) and pharmaceuticals (up 17.5 percent).
Many primary products rose substantially against the same period last year, including oil and gas (up 51 percent); handsets components (up 37 percent); liquefied petroleum gas (up 25 percent) and televisions (up 22 percent). Other items included synthetic fibres (up 21 percent); refined sugar (up 18 percent) and seafood feed (up 17.6 percent).
However, some products saw slight declines in production due to lower demand, such as mobile phones (down 2.3 percent) and urea fertiliser (down 3 percent).
Among localities recording higher growth in industrial production against 2017’s corresponding period, the northern port city of Hai Phong led with growth of 24 percent. It was followed by four other northern provinces of Bac Ninh, Vinh Phuc, Thai Nguyen and Hai Duong with respective rises of 20 percent, 14 percent, 12 percent and 9.3 percent. Meanwhile, Hanoi and HCM City witnessed a modest IPI increase of 7.5 percent.
As of August 1, the number of labourers in the industrial sector increased 3 percent from the same period last year, with a 1 percent rise in the State-owned sector, 3.2 percent in the non-State-owned sector and 3.5 percent in the foreign-invested sector, the GSO said.
Earlier, the GSO predicted the IPI may slow down in the rest of this year, reflecting the increasing importance of sustainable development.
The office recommended strengthening connectivity among businesses and the enhancement of their capacity to join supply chains, thus making industry grow more sustainably.
It is necessary to continue reducing business conditions, simplifying administrative procedures, enhancing the quality of online public services and using advanced technology to boost the growth of industry.
The office also stressed the need to handle stagnant and ineffective projects by the end of 2018, thus giving more resources to the development of industry.VNA
More M&A deals in healthcare sector expected
VietNamNet Bridge - Foreign investors, encouraged by new laws and information that Vietnam is among 21 IMS Health-ranked markets with the fastest growth rate, have completed M&A deals to save time for procedures and starting production lines.
Vietnam has witnessed many M&A deals in the healthcare sector this year
Vietnam has witnessed so many M&A deals in the healthcare sector this year, worth trillions of dong. Nha Khoa My, an international network of dental clinics which has been operating in Vietnam for 15 years, has just merged with Sun Medical Center (SMC).
According to Vietnam Dental Tourism JSC, about 100,000 foreign travelers come to Vietnam each year to use dental care services, bringing revenue of $150 million.
Foreigners prefer Vietnam because dental technology in Vietnam is not inferior to that in developed countries, while the cost is 50 percent less.
Prior to that, the healthcare sector was stirred up by the news that Polish Adamed Group spent $50 million to acquire 70 percent of Davipharm shares. This is the biggest Polish investment affair in Vietnam so far, made in anticipation of the Vietnam-EU FTA, expected to take effect in 2019.
Before the M&A, Davipharm mostly made generic products at its factory in Binh Duong province. After the deal, its capitalization value was $71.4 million, or VND1.614 trillion.
M&A also helped Domesco’s capitalization value increase sharply to VND4.167 trillion. Before merging with CFR International SPA in 2014, Domesco share price fell to a record low, prompting many investors to divest from enterprises.
However, in 2017, Domesco reported a post tax profit of VND208 million, a significant increase from 23.6 percent in 2016.
Meanwhile, there has been little information about M&A in health clinics. Some offers to sell clinics have appeared on healthcare forums, and there are other offers to buy. However, no big deals have been reported.
An analyst said that most general clinics, operating as businesses, are organized just like family-run units, so they are not likely to develop into public companies.
Experts believe that Vietnam’s medicine and healthcare instrument market value will reach $10 billion by 2020 and Vietnam would be a favorite destination of pharmacy and healthcare manufacturing brands.
To compete with low-cost medicine products from India and China, some US pharmacy firms have transferred manufacturing licenses, or bought pharmacy companies in underdeveloped pharmacy markets like Vietnam, where they can use low cost labor, thus helping them cut down production costs.
The determination of multi-national pharmacy groups will increase as new policies set by the government said that Vietnam needs to become a powerful generic medicine manufacturer in Southeast Asia by 2020.
BUSINESS NEWS IN BRIEF
US investors look to develop expaned Dung Quat Refinery
The joint venture of Wagan Corporation, GHN Group, and Masters Depot and domestic firm Tin Thanh Group Company Limited are looking to co-operate with each other to enhance and expand Dung Quat Refinery.
On August 28, the joint venture and Tin Thanh joined a working session with Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Co., Ltd. (BSR), the investor of Dung Quat Refinery, to look for an investment opportunity in the expansion of the refinery. The parties discussed plans for the input and output of the plant as well as technology to be applied.
The expansion is expected to be completed in 2020 and upon completion, the expanded refinery’s capacity will increase by 30 per cent or two million tonnes a year, to 8.5 million tonnes. It will be able to meet half of Vietnam’s fuel demand.
The expansion is expected to be completed in 2020, upon completion, the expanded refinery’s capacity will increase by 30 per cent or two million tonnes a year, to 8.5 million tonnes.
It is not the first time that Tin Thanh expressed interest in joining Dung Quat Refinery. In November 2017, the group publicly announced its ambition to spend VND40 trillion ($1.76 billion) on buying a 55 per cent stake to become BSR’s strategic investor, while the company only had a charter capital of VND200 billion ($8.8 million).
According to information published on BSR’s website, Tin Thanh Group planned to buy a 5 per cent stake in BSR in 2017. The deal would cost around VND3.6 trillion ($158.5 million). Then, Tin Thanh and BSR will propose the prime minister to allow the firm to increase its holdings to 55 per cent in BSR. However, to date, no more information has been published.
Masters Depot and Wagan specialise in manufacturing auto applications, solar products, and power supplies.
GHN Group operates in building and maintenance in the petrochemical, petrol, and power sectors.
On January 17, BSR reported a successful initial public offering (IPO) with a complete take-up of the offered shares and a record selling price of VND14.8 million ($651.69) per share.
The average selling price was VND23,043 ($1.01), 57.8 per cent higher than the initial price. The lowest selling price was VND20,800 ($0.92). Of particular note, an individual investor succeeded in buying 10,000 shares at the record price of VND14.8 million ($651.69) apiece.
BSR earned VND5.57 trillion ($245.26 million) in proceeds, 1.5 times higher than its expectations.
Four out of five executives report blockchain initiatives underway
84 per cent of executives surveyed by PwC report blockchain initiatives underway, while 15 per cent are fully live.
The new research from PwC—Blockchain is here. What’s your next move?—surveyed 600 executives in 15 countries and territories, on their development of blockchain and views on its potential.
As blockchain rewires business and commerce, the research provides one of the clearest signals yet of organisations’ fear of being left behind as blockchain developments accelerate globally, opening up opportunities including reduced cost, greater speed, and more transparency and traceability.
A quarter of executives report a blockchain implementation pilot in progress (10 per cent) or fully live (15 per cent). Almost a third (32 per cent) have projects in development and a fifth (20 per cent) are in research mode.
The US (29 per cent), China (18 per cent), and Australia (7 per cent) are perceived as the most advanced currently in developing blockchain projects. However, within three to five years, respondents believe China will overtake the US (30 per cent), shifting the early centre of influence and activity from the US and Europe.
The survey reflects the early dominance of financial services developments in blockchain, with 46 per cent identifying it as the leading sector currently and 41 per cent in the short term (3-5 years). Sectors identified by respondents with emerging potential within 3-5 years include energy and utilities (14 per cent), healthcare (14 per cent), and industrial manufacturing (12 per cent).
“What business executives tell us is that no-one wants to be left behind by blockchain, even if at this early stage of its development concerns on trust and regulation remain,” said Steve Davies, Blockchain leader, PwC. “A well-designed blockchain not only cuts out intermediaries, but also reduces costs, increases speed, reach, transparency, and traceability for many business processes. The business case can be compelling, if organisations understand what their end game is in using the technology, and match that to their design.”
Blockchain’s biggest benefits will be developed and delivered through shared industry-wide platforms. But the study notes that this will not happen without industry specific companies—including competitors—agreeing on common standards and operating together.
A well-designed blockchain not only cuts out intermediaries, but also reduces costs, increases speed, reach, transparency, and traceability for many business processes. The business case can be compelling, if organisations understand what their end game is in using the technology, and match that to their design.
Despite the technology’s potential, respondents identified trust as one of the biggest obstacles to blockchain’s adoption. 45 per cent identified it as an obstacle to blockchain adoption; 48 per cent believe its regulatory uncertainty. Concerns about trust among users is highest in Singapore (37 per cent); UAE (34 per cent) and Hong Kong (35 per cent), reflecting in part the dominance of financial services in blockchain development. Concern about regulatory uncertainty was highest in Germany (38 per cent), Australia (37 per cent), and the UK (32 per cent).
“Blockchain, by its very definition, should engender trust. But in reality, companies confront trust issues at nearly every turn. Failing to state a clear business case from the outset leads to projects stalling,” continued Davies. “Businesses need to put more effort into building into their design how they can tackle trust and regulatory concerns.”
“Creating and implementing blockchain to realise its potential is not an IT project. It is a transformation of business models, roles, and processes. It needs a clear business case, an ecosystem to support it, with rules, standards, and flexibility to deal with regulatory change built in,” he said.
One in three of those respondents who reported little or no involvement with blockchain cited the reason for the lack of progress as cost (31 per cent), uncertainty over where to start (24 per cent), and governance issues (14 per cent).
“Blockchain is an indispensable trend in technology. The potential of blockchain applications in Vietnam is huge. We have seen a great deal of events held in Vietnam that focus on the importance and application of blockchain in many industries and business fields. However, security in blockchain should also be taken into serious consideration. From a technical point of view, blockchain is one of the most secure technologies currently. Yet the risk from cyber-attacks still exists because blockchain still operates on a traditional platform. Therefore, we cannot remove the requirements of information security and privacy out of the development of blockchain,” said Robert Trong Tran, Cyber Security and Privacy leader at PwC Vietnam.
The study identifies four key areas for focus in the development of internal or industry wide blockchain platforms. First, to make the business case, organisations can start small, but need to set out clearly the purpose of the initiative so other participants can identify and align around it.
Second, to build an ecosystem, participants should come together from different companies in an industry to work on a common set of rules to govern blockchains. Of the 15 per cent of surveyed respondents who already have live applications, 88 per cent were either leaders or active members of a blockchain consortium.
Third, it is neccessary to design deliberately around what users can see and do, partners need rules and standards for access permissions. Involving risk professionals including legal, compliance, cybersecurity from the start will ensure blockchain frameworks that regulators and users can trust.
Fourth, managers should navigate regulatory uncertainty. The study warns that blockchain developers should watch but not wait as regulatory requirements will evolve over the coming years. It is vital to engage with regulators to help shape how the environment evolves.
The study examines the views of 600 executives in 15 countries of Australia, China, Denmark, France, Germany, HK, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, UAE, UK, and the US. 14 per cent had no activity in place and 7 per cent have paused their development.
Of the 15 per cent who already have live applications, 88 per cent were leaders or active members of consortia who were responsible for the blockchain infrastructure supporting their application. Companies that take a leadership role in a consortium have principal funding and control considerations, including IP ownership.
VNG perseveres after losing almost two thirds of investment in Tiki
According to VNG’s first half financial statement, after investing VND506 billion ($22.4 million) in Tiki, VNG’s investment is currently worth only VND185 billion ($8.2 million) at the moment.
VNG has just released its financial statement for the first half of 2018, which outlined VND2.065 trillion ($91.4 million) in revenue, slightly down compared to the same period of last year. Of this, the online game segment continues providing the largest proportion of 81.5 per cent, with VND1.682 trillion ($74.4 million) in net revenue, while VNG gained VND313 billion ($13.85 million) from online advertisement revenue, capturing 15.2 per cent and up 31 per cent on-year.
The remaining revenue of VNG in the first half of 2018 came from value-added services on telecommunications networks and internet (VND32.7 billion–$1.45 million), ringtones (VND16.2 billion–$0.72 million), and sales (VND8.4 billion–$0.37 million), which contributed VND38.7 billion ($1.7 million) in the first half of last year.
Meanwhile, the revenue from financial activities was VND74 billion ($3.27 million), but VNG’s costs doubled, and the affiliated company made a loss of VND99 billion ($4.38 million) in the first half. As a result, VNG’s after-tax profit was VND244 billion ($10.8 million), down 58 per cent on-year.
The statement showed that VNG continued pouring money into Tiki, although the e-commerce company has been posting consecutive losses. Specifically, VNG poured around VND384.4 billion ($17 million) into Tiki as of the end of 2017. On April 18, 2018, VNG invested an additional VND121.8 billion ($5.4 million) in Tiki, according to a contract to purchase newly issued shares. Thus, VNG made a total investment of VND506.2 billion ($22.4 million) in Tiki by June 30.
In 2017, VNG recorded a loss of VND219 billion ($9.7 million) from Tiki. In the first half of this year, this loss rose by VND102 billion ($4.5 million). Thereby, the total losses in Tiki reached VND321.2 billion ($14.2 million) as of June 30 and the value of VNG’s investment in Tiki is only VND185 billion ($8.2 million).
Earlier, in early 2016, VNG spent VND384.4 billion ($17 million) to acquire 38 per cent of Tiki, at a share price of VND104,300 ($4.6). At this price, Tiki was evaluated at over VND1 trillion ($44.25 million), making it one of the most valuable startup companies.
At June 30, 2018, VNG’s total assets stood at VND4.364 billion ($193 million), up 1.5 per cent compared to the beginning of the year, including VND2.462 billion ($109 million) of deposits in banks.
CapitaLand acquires prime residential site for US$61 million
Singapore’s leading real estate developer CapitaLand has recently announced that it has completed its third acquisition within a month in Vietnam.
The site is located in one of the fastest developing areas of Ho Chi Minh City—District 2—with a total area of over 60,000 square metres. This is the 13th residential development of CapitaLand in Vietnam. The development is expected to yield more than 100 landed residential units, targeted for completion by 2021.
Lim Ming Yan, CapitaLand’s president and group CEO, said that the company was pleased to bag another highly coveted site in Vietnam, where its ninth residential development in the fast-growing District 2 of Ho Chi Minh City will be built.
CapitaLand has been seeing year-on-year growth in home sales in Vietnam, which are continually contributing to the group’s earnings. As of June 30, 2018, 93 per cent of CapitaLand’s launched residential units in Vietnam have been sold.
“We expect to hand over more than 30 per cent of the 2,680 units in Vietnam that have been sold in the second half of 2018,” Yan added.
He added that this is CapitaLand’s third acquisition in August, as the company continues replenishing its land bank.
“It is in line with our strategy to reconstitute our portfolio by deploying capital gain into higher yielding assets in high-growth markets such as Vietnam. CapitaLand will continue with our disciplined investment approach to build a sustainable residential pipeline, while ensuring an optimal mix between trading and investment properties, as well as a balanced allocation between emerging markets and developed markets,” he added.
According to Chen Lian Pang, CEO of CapitaLand Vietnam, D2eight, the company’s first landed residential development in Vietnam, was sold out within a day of its launch on April 8, 2018.
“This demonstrates customers’ confidence in CapitaLand’s projects and underscores the robust demand for quality landed residential properties in the market,” Pang said.
According to Savills Vietnam, landed property transactions dominated Ho Chi Minh City’s residential transactions with a high absorption rate of 66 per cent in the second quarter of 2018.
Vietnam is the third largest market for CapitaLand in Southeast Asia, after Singapore and Malaysia.
Earlier this year in March, CapitaLand announced a joint venture to develop a 0.9-hectare site in Tay Ho district in Hanoi to build an integrated development, catering to the needs for vibrant live-work-play spaces.
This latest acquisition will add to CapitaLand’s existing S$1.1 billion (approximately $806 million) portfolio in Vietnam, comprising of two integrated developments, close to 8,000 quality homes across 12 residential developments, two retail malls, and more than 4,800 serviced apartment units in 21 serviced residences across seven cities—Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Haiphong, Halong, Danang, Binh Duong, and Nha Trang.
Da Nang works to increase traceability of seafood products
The Da Nang People’s Committee has promulgated a plan on fisheries inspection, check, and control to ensure the origins of aquatic products.
The plan has been disseminated to companies and fishermen so they are well aware of risk assessment and inspection criteria to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities as instructed by the European Commission (EC).
In the last three months Pham Lieu, a fisherman from Da Nang city, has become familiar with declaring the origin of his aquatic products at Tho Quang fishing port.
Lieu says this procedure is important because the EC has tightened regulations for exporters and fishermen. He underscored the link between fishermen, local administrations, and enterprises to ensure the profitability of aquatic products.
“Tho Quang fishing port officers are on duty around the clock to check the record of all catches. This will help ensure the quality of local seafood. For example, when you catch a fish of 50 to 70 kg, it can be sold for US$1,000 in Japan. If you can show a daily log that traces its origin, the fish will sell for US$350 or its price will drop by half without the log."
Many ship owners see that, although it might take extra time to declare the origins of aquatic products, it will benefit them in the long run.
Fisherman Nguyen Hau of Son Tra district says a daily log is indispensable on every of his voyage. When fishermen strictly follow the regulations, the seafood will be worth more, Hau stressed, adding that careful preparation is better for the fishermen. Using fishing logs has standardized fishing.
The Da Nang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has worked with the Border Guards Command and functional agencies to set up a Fisheries Control Office to set risk assessment and inspection criteria to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities. A coordination mechanism among the relevant agencies has been built to ensure round-the-clock inspection, control the departure and arrival of fishing vessels and handle violations of fishing laws in waters under the city’s management.
Lieutenant colonel Nguyen Tong Khuong of the Da Nang Border Guards Command said enforcing declarations of origin faced some initial difficulties, but now the process is working smoothly.
“In normal weather, the captain must contact the Border Guards at least once a day and declare the co-ordinates of his vessel so we can deliver early danger warnings when necessary and closely monitor the ship’s operation,” Khuong said.
In the first half of this year, Tho Quang port received as many as 55 returning vessels each day and traced the origin of their aquatic products. The department has coordinated with the Border Guards Command and district People’s Committees to organize classes at which aquatic exporters and ship owners or captains have learned about the new regulations of the 2017 Law on Fisheries, IUU prevention activities, and proper certification of aquatic products. Similar classes have been held for all local fishermen.
Mekong Delta region makes up 18% of GDP
Mekong Delta localities collected more than VND243.2 trillion (US$10.46 billion) for the budget in 2016-2018, and made up 18% of the country’s GDP, according to an official from the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).
In the period, the region’s average gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth reached 7.5%, while per capita income in 2018 is estimated at US$2,217, said Nguyen Tuan of the MPI’s Local and Territorial Economy Department at a recent conference in Can Tho city.
Tuan said that in 2016-2018, the region earned US$45.8 billion from exports, achieving 47.6% of its target for 2016-2020 at US$96.3 billion.
He said the Mekong Delta has experienced good economic growth and positively transformed its economic structure.
The region is the country’s top group in terms of the provincial competitiveness index (PCI), thanks to its improved investment environment and reformed administrative procedures, he said.
The Mekong Delta comprises Can Tho city and 12 provinces – Long An, Dong Thap, Tien Giang, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Ben Tre, An Giang, Hau Giang, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau and Kien Giang.
Known as the country’s rice bowl, the region has seen low foreign investment, ranking only fourth out of six major economic regions in foreign direct investment attraction, reflecting inefficientsupport policies for enterprises, noted Tuan. He added that only 58% of labourers in the region are trained, lower than other regions.
Under the public investment plan for 2016-2020, the Mekong Delta was allocated VND184 trillion (US$7.91 billion). So far, the region has received 57% of the funds, or VND105 trillion (US$4.51 billion).
In 2019, total capital demand of 19 localities in the Mekong Delta and Southeast Region is estimated at more than VND136.5 trillion (US$5.86 billion), up 11.4% compared to 2018 and equivalent to 69% of the capital planned for 2019-2020.
A report by the MPI showed that demand accounts for nearly 32% of the total planned investment of the country in 2019.
Rice exports to follow strong upward trend
Vietnam’s rice exports are likely to continue their vigorous growth in the late months of the year as the demand from China, the Republic of Korea (RoK), the Philippines and African countries is increasing.
The Philippines intends to import an additional 500,000-800,000 tons of rice from now to the end of the year while the RoK will buy 92,783 tons. Indonesia and African countries have an increasing demand for rice imports to cope with production decline due to the impact of floods. Meanwhile, Cambodia’s rice output has dropped sharply after large areas of rice fields were destroyed by floods. This offers an opportunity for Vietnam to access and supply high-grade rice for Cambodia’s traditional markets such as China and the EU.
It’s noteworthy that a new governmental decree on rice exports which will come into effect as from October 1, 2018 will facilitate rice exporters, especially small and medium sized enterprises, to boost exports of organic and other high quality rice to big markets with strong demand such as China, the EU, Africa, Iraq, Cuba and the UAE.
According to the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority (AgroTrade) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the country exported around 441,000 tons of rice valued at US$209 million in August, bringing the total rice exports in the first eight months of this year to about 4.4 million tons worth US$2.2 billion, up 6.8% in volume and 22.1% in value against the same period last year.
UK shares experience in land registration with Vietnam
The United Kingdom’s experience in land registration and land information system (LIS) was shared at a seminar co-hosted by the Vietnam General Department of Land Administration and the UK Embassy in Vietnam on August 31.
In her opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Thi Phuong Hoa said that the implementation of the Land Law 2013, land registration work and the building of the LIS have so far gained positive results.
More than 70 percent of the nation’s surface area has been measured and mapped, while 96.9 percent of land that requires certification of land ownership certified.
A total of 117 out of the 713 administrative units at the district level in 32 cities and provinces have officially put land-related databases into use. The databases of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, the northern city of Hai Phong, the central city of Da Nang, and Binh Duong, as well as Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Vinh Long provinces have been connected to the Vietnam General Department of Taxation, Hoa said.
Victoria Abbott, a representative from HM Land Registry of the UK, shared that her office has only one land registration system with 14 bureaus across the country.
Maintaining the system is complicated work, as land registration is related to ensuring the upkeep of land use rights. Along with obeying legal regulations, land planning and withdrawal may depend on political priorities, she said.
The official stressed that the registration of land-use rights aims to balance and protect people’s rights related to land, within the legal framework.
Joy Bailey, also from the UK’s land registry office, said that the Vietnam General Department of Land Administration could consider applying a similar approach.
LIS may have bureaus across the nation, but is controlled by only one office to ensure consistency, she added.
At the seminar, participants also made recommendations on development orientations for land administration in general, and on land registration and the building of LIS in particular.
Quang Ninh serves 9.2 million tourists in 8 months
The northern coastal province of Quang Ninh welcomed 9.2 million tourists during the first eight months of this year, up 25 percent year-on-year and completing 77 percent of its target for the whole year.
The provincial Department of Tourism reported that the number of international holidaymakers to the locality exceeded 3.2 million, a rise of 18 percent against the same period last year, and fulfilling 65 percent of the yearly target.
During the period, the local tourism sector completed 73 percent of the yearly target, earning more than 16 trillion VND (685 million USD), up 29 percent year-on-year.
To gain such achievements, Quang Ninh has stepped up communication works in order to promote local tourism, while also intensifying its inspection of tourism services across the province.
Competent local authorities will scale up efforts to monitor the tourism business environment, increase tourism promotion, and pay attention to special and attractive tourism products for time to come.
In 2017, Quang Ninh received 9.87 million tourists, including 4.28 million foreigners, up 18 percent and 23 percent respectively. The tourism sector pocketed over 17.88 trillion VND (786.9 million USD), up 30 percent compared to the previous year, and contributed 3.2 trillion VND (140.8 million USD) to the State budget, accounting for 11.9 percent of the local budget collection.
The province is hosting the National Tourism Year 2018 themed “Ha Long-Heritage, Wonder, Friendly Destination”.
In 2019, the annual ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF 2019) is scheduled to take place in Quang Ninh from January 14-19 under the theme “ASEAN: The Power of One”.
First launched in 1981 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, ATF is the biggest annual and alternated event under the ASEAN tourism cooperation umbrella with a view to promoting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as one tourist destination.
It involves all the tourism industry sectors of the 10 ASEAN member states, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The hosting of ATF in 2019 creates a golden opportunity for Vietnam in general and Quang Ninh in particular to promote tourism.
A wide range of activities will be held as part of the forum such as formal meetings between officials of ASEAN National Tourism Organisation (NTO) and meetings between ASEAN tourism ministers and their counterparts from China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and India.
Other events include association meetings involving ASEAN Tourism Association, Federation of ASEAN Travel Association, ASEAN Airlines Association, and ASEAN Hotel & Restaurant Association, exhibition and business appointments seeking to facilitate the trade of regional and individual tourism products of ASEAN member states, and a tourism conference.
Implementing the Comprehensive Plan for Tourism Development in Quang Ninh, the province has been striving 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 7 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.-VNA
Romanian IT companies to hire Vietnamese programmers
Romania is looking to begin recruiting IT specialists from Asian countries like Vietnam for temporary contracts of up to two years to fulfill a shortage in the local workforce, according to online news website Romania-insider.com.
Romania has some 178,700 employees working in the local information and communication technology (ICT) sector, of whom 84,000 run tasks in IT services.
Some 6,000-7,000 IT students graduate from their local universities annually, but the market demand is double that figure. Meanwhile, Romanian specialists who work abroad often choose not to return home, despite the fact that the IT sector pays the highest average salary in the local economy. As a result, recruiting specialists from Asian countries like Vietnam has become a necessity.
Razvan Rada, General Manager of Head Hunting IT, said in the last few months, the agency has started seriously considering the selection and recruitment of IT specialists from Asia, including Vietnam, adding that the employees would work in Romania for limited periods.
To date, Romanian employers have been recruiting workers from Vietnam, Nepal, and the Philippines mostly in the fields of hospitality, manufacturing, and construction.
VinaCapital splash out on Tam Tri Medical Group
The Vietnam Opportunity Fund (VOF), managed by VinaCapital Group, on August 31 announced its 25-million-USD investment in the Tam Tri Medical Group, which owns four private hospitals in Da Nang, Nha Trang city, Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Thap province.
With the investment, VOF is now the biggest shareholder of Tam Tri, which in turn can use the funding to purchase new equipment, expand its own hospitals and acquire new ones.
Andy Ho, chief investment officer of VincaCapital, noted Vietnamese are estimated to spend more than 2 billion USD on healthcare services overseas, which offers a great opportunity for high-quality medical facilities at home.
He said VincaCapital believes Tam Tri is capable of seizing such opportunity.
CEO of Tam Tri Medical Group Nguyen Huu Tung said the cooperation with VincaCapital will help the group develop itself into a leading healthcare system in Vietnam.
Tam Tri Group now has 700 medical staff and accommodates 500 beds. The company, growing at a rate of 30 percent on an annual basis, is eyeing a nationwide expansion, with a focus on Ho Chi Minh City, the central and southern regions, particularly the Mekong Delta.-
K-Foorand Vietnam 2018 brings 11 leading Korean brands to Hanoi
Eleven leading food brands from the Republic of Korea (RoK) will hit the shelves of Vinmart supermarkets in Hanoi for the first time within the framework of K-Foorand Vietnam 2018.
Accordingly, 86 products will be offered for sale at four Vinmart supermarkets at 234 Pham Van Dong, 72A Nguyen Trai, 54A Nguyen Chi Thanh and Ham Nghi in Hanoi.
K-Foorand is a trade promotion program for 11 Korean food companies held as part of activities to enhance trade between Vietnam and the RoK conducted by the Korea Food Industry Association (KFIA).
A KFIA representative said customers at K-Foorand Vietnam 2018 will be able to directly buy high quality Korean products at reasonable prices. Korean food companies taking part in the program include Nongshim, Daesang, Binggrae, Sahmyook, Dr. Chung’s Food, Paldo, Our Home, LCA Global, Samyang, Maeil and Korea Jiseng.
The companies sell products such as consumer products, beverages, processed food, soya milk, instant noodles, ginseng extract health supplements, chili sauce and seaweed soup. These high quality products meet the food hygiene and safety standards of the KFIA and Vietnam quality management agencies.
Customers to the participating stores have the chance to take part in promotional programs to win prizes with total worth of VND300 million.
E-procurement underpins adaptation to Industry 4.0
E-procurement is considered an emerging and inevitable trend which will assist with Vietnam’s participation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
In the era of Industry 4.0, the impacts of geographical boundaries and space on industry will be mostly eliminated. Instead, innovation in automation, digitalisation, and connection between real and virtual worlds is creating the starting point for the replacement of traditional trade and business with Industry 4.0. E-procurement is gradually replacing traditional procurement, and is becoming part of Industry 4.0, enhancing transparency and efficiency in state budget management.
According to the Vietnam National e-Procurement Centre, in 2017, the number of e-procurement packages more than doubled compared to 2016, reaching 8,200 packages with the total value of approximately VND9 trillion ($398.23 million). In just the first seven months of 2018, about 8,900 packages were procured online, exceeding the total for the entirety of 2017. Notably, the largest package was worth VND194 billion ($8.6 million).
Established in 2009, the Vietnam National e–Procurement System (VNEPS) is managed by the Vietnam National e-Procurement Centre under the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Public Procurement Agency. The system supports enterprises and bidders to approach thousands of business opportunities from publicly funded projects in all categories – goods, civil works, consulting, and non-consulting services. VNEPS meets the four requirements established by Forbes for Industry 4.0, and opens up precious opportunities for enterprises to participate in public procurement.
One major challenge for enterprises wanting to expand into public procurement is information access. VNEPS is the solution for this challenge.
Simply put, VNEPS is an e-commerce intermediary platform helping to connect enterprises with procuring entities in public-funded projects. These projects will be opened for competitive procurement
on the VNEPS website: http://muasamcong.mpi.gov.vn. By registering a membership profile, bidders are able to access all information about the projects and procurement opportunities, and participate in the bids easily and conveniently. The system brings an advantage of removing geographical obstacles. With only an internet-connected laptop, every bidder, anytime, anywhere, is able to participate in procurement packages on the system. All trading and information exchange processes between bidders and procuring entities during bid preparation and bid evaluation are conducted completely online via the system.
All procurement information, including procurement plan, invitation for prequalification, invitation for bids, bidding documents, and bidder selection results, is made public on the system. Users can easily access this information on the VNEPS website. Besides, an e-procurement mobile application, named “Mua Sam Cong: Dau thau”, is now available on the iOS and Android mobile platforms. Users can access information about bidding packages with this app anytime, anywhere.
VNEPS helps to reduce the risk of collusion by keeping the quantity and identities of participating bidders confidential until opening of bids. Specifically, no entity – not even the system administrator – is able to know that information before the bid opening. Therefore, an equal and competitive environment exists for all bidders participating in e-procurement.
A cost-saving technical platform
Bidding documents (request for proposals) can be downloaded free of charge via VNEPS, and the bid participation fee is only VND330,000 or $14.6 (including VAT). Thanks to the system, bidders can also save transportation, printing, and accommodation costs to participate in bidding. Human resources and time spent on procurement are reduced significantly when many steps can be done online. For firms, e-procurement helps reduce expenses and increase efficiency. For procuring entities, the reduced cost can enhance the effectiveness of state budget usage. According to estimates, bidding packages average 9.23 per cent cost-saving ratings, approximately VND475 billion ($21 million). Taking the northern province of Son La as an example, 53 e-procurement packages in 2017 had cost-saving rates of 9.5 per cent compared to 1.2 per cent in traditional procurement conducted in this province. E-procurement also helped cut down human resources costs to open a bid, from 10-12 people to fewer than three people when conducing e-procurement.
Simplified procurement process
The whole e-procurement process on the system is simplified and optimised throughout: from preparing and advertising procurement plans and bidding documents, preparing and submitting bids, and opening bids, to evaluating and announcing bidder selection results. Information on the system can be saved and used for multiple actions. For procuring entities, bidding information submitted on the system such as bidder selection plans, invitations for tenders, and bidder selection results are linked with each other. The system automatically fills those information in relevant forms. Bid prices are automatically calculated and updated from priced bill of quantities or price schedules, so that the system can prevent distortion and adjust mathematical mistakes in every package. For bidders, information like business information, financial capacity, implemented contracts – can be prepared in advance in the bidder’s profile and then those can be used when preparing bids. In 2018’s last quarter, the Ministry of Planning and Investment plans to issue a circular regarding sample for bid evaluation report forms for e-procurement, in which the examination of bidder’s qualification can be done automatically by the system. The system is being continuously upgraded to improve transfer speed and file upload size. As more and more steps are done online, more time and money will be saved.
Doosan drives the first pile for the Nghi Son 2 thermal power plant
The $2.79 billion build-operate-transfer (BOT) Nghi Son 2 thermal power plant officially started construction in the central province of Thanh Hoa by driving in the first pile on August 27.
Nghi Son 2 is a 1,330MW thermal power plant being built by Doosan that is scheduled for completion in July 2022.
The project is invested by Nghi Son 2 power company (NS2PC), which is a joint venture between Marubeni Corporation from Japan and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) from Korea. To launch the project, NS2PC made an initial payment of $170 million to Doosan on June 24, 2018.
The first piles being driven at the construction site of Nghi Son 2 in Thanh Hoa province
Nghi Son 2 will produce the power needed to continue fuelling Vietnam’s remarkable economic growth and development. For perspective, the plant will generate enough electricity to power 6.8 million four-person households in Vietnam and will improve the living standards and provide economic opportunities across the country.
The construction of Nghi Son 2 will feature two separate high-tech, high-efficiency 665MW supercritical boilers, high-efficiency turbines, and generating units. The two units will be constructed side-by-side, but operate independently to allow for greater flexibility and efficiency.
In 2012, Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction won contracts worth more than $6 billion to build Mong Duong 2, Song Hau 1, and Vinh Tan 4 thermal power projects in Vietnam. Doosan Heavy Industries Vietnam employs thousands of Vietnamese workers and has played an important role in the development of the country’s engineering sector and its economic growth.
Doosan Group is a global multinational focusing on power, water, and other infrastructure developments worldwide. The company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, and operates in 38 countries, over 42,600 employees and $22 billion in annual revenue.
Is a motorbike restriction or ban the way to go for HCM City?
You’ve probably heard of multiple measures to ease traffic congestion in HCM City, but are you aware that the city plans to restrict motorbikes by 2030?
As far as I know, HCM City is the third city, besides Hanoi and Da Nang, to come up with a roadmap to limit private vehicles travelling to the city centre and to areas prone to traffic congestion.
According to the proposal’s first phase from now until 2020, the city will increase parking fees, restrict parking for motorbikes and impose a toll on vehicles entering the city centre.
During peak hours between 7am and 7pm, motorbike travel will be restricted between Tan Binh District’s Truong Son Street and District 1’s Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, and between Pasteur Street (Ly Tu Trong – Dien Bien Phu section) and Nam Ki Khoi Nghia Street (Dien Bien Phu - Ly Tu Trong section).
The city will also develop its bus network and encourage the use of buses over private vehicles, while continuing to expand pedestrian zones.
After 2020, as the metro system and a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) continue to be developed, the city will limit the number of newly licensed private vehicles, according to authorities.
“I’m glad that motorbikes will not be banned, but only restricted,” Ngoc Han, 35, told Viet Nam News. “The motorbike has always been a part of our culture, and it can’t be abandoned in a snap! Locals need time to get familiar with new modes of transport.”
“I’m concerned, however, about how motorbikes will be restricted. What will determine the restriction? Will it be their brand, the number of people on each vehicle, or what?” she asked.
Minh Hung, 28, a close friend of mine, said that he had mixed feelings about the new proposal.
“I’m neither anti- nor pro- about this proposal. Even though I believe motorbike restriction will only help our city, I can’t quite figure how the current public transport or road infrastructure is capable of meeting travellers’ demand,” he said.
“Authorities have 12 years to achieve the target, which I’m not sure is realistic, considering what has already been done in Hanoi,” he added.
Thanh Thuy, 22, had a slightly different opinion.
“Just think about having to walk a long distance under the heat or rain to get to a bus station, not to mention the exhausting waiting time before and during the ride. I can’t justify abandoning my motorbike,” Thuy said, adding that her close friend was once robbed on the bus and has been terrified ever since.
That being said, in addition to quality road infrastructure and accessible, widespread transportation, it is important to improve locals’ awareness of the importance of following traffic regulations and to encourage them to take public transport.
“But the entire to-do list has to be checked before moving on to restricting motorbikes,” Thuy added. And I agree.
According to an article in Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper, motorbikes will eventually be banned, whether locals like it or not, to make HCM City a smart and modern city in the region.
Among other tasks, the article suggested improving bus connectivity, installing parking lots near bus and train stations to enhance convenience, and permitting the construction of department stores and high-rises only in areas with spacious parking lots and efficient traffic connections.
As long as each area has what it takes to meet locals’ travel demands, it will be designated an area for motorbike restriction or a ban, according to the article.
In Bangkok, motorbikes were successfully banned as locals were offered public bicycles at stations set up at convenient spots along a total length of 365km of roads, the article noted.
In my view, Bangkok has much in common with HCM City in terms of small, narrow streets, so I think that plan might work out!
For me, it was a surprise to hear from people who said they were uncertain about the proposal but were glad that HCM City’s landscape was about to change.
“I’m doubtful that this proposal can actually ease traffic congestion, but it will surely make HCM City a more civilized, modern city,” Minh Hung said. “Between the motorbike ban and restriction, I prefer the motorbike ban as it leaves people no choice but to commute via private cars and public transport.”
“Though restrictions may seem to be a safe option, which won’t cause much of a media controversy compared to a motorbike ban, it’s not an optimal solution,” Hung added.
To be honest, I didn’t quite agree with Hung, but as I had more time to process his rationale, I’ve come to accept that I will never abandon my motorbike unless I’m forced to.
This very much reminds me of more than 10 years ago when I had to switch from wearing a casual cap to a helmet.
All in all, the city will be free from motorbikes sooner or later, and what matters is how the authorities carry out their plan.
My friends and I would love to see a new Sai Gon, but we can’t imagine our beloved city without motorbikes.
Cheers to the motorbike culture!
Government News 5/9
VN calls for Japan help in maritime research
Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng (right) receives Fukui Teru, Japanese Minister of State for Ocean Policy.
Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng has called for more assistance from Japan in maritime research and environmental protection while receiving Fukui Teru, Japanese Minister of State for Ocean Policy and head of the Japan-Việt Nam Friendship Parliamentary Alliance’s Office, in Hà Nội yesterday.
Dũng expressed his delight at the comprehensive and practical growth of the Việt Nam -Japan extensive strategic partnership in all fields with high political trust that benefits people of both countries.
Japan is now a leading economic partner of Viet Nam, ranking first in terms of official development assistance (ODA) provision, second in terms of investment, third in terms of tourism and fourth in terms of trade, he noted.
The bilateral cooperation in agriculture and human resource training has become more effective, while exchanges in culture and between localities as well as people of both countries have been promoted, helping to foster mutual understanding between the Vietnamese and Japanese people, the Deputy PM said.
He said that maritime cooperation between the two nations has also been strengthened over recent years, noting that Japan has assisted Việt Nam in studying, exploiting and using maritime resources and the environment in a sustainable manner.
Japan has also shared experience with and transferred technology to Việt Nam, while helping improve the capacity of Vietnamese officials in the fields of maritime science and technology, maritime economic development and environmental protection, and assisting Viet Nam in enhancing law enforcement capacity at sea, said Dũng.
He proposed that in the future, Japan will continue working closely with and supporting Việt Nam in the area of environment, especially the sea environment. Việt Nam hopes for Japan’s help in improving its capacity in forecasting, thus giving timely responses to natural disasters, climate change and rising sea levels, along with the provision of equipment, technology and personnel training for maritime resources and environmental research, Dũng said.
The Deputy PM also called for Japan’s collaboration in implementing Việt Nam’s initiative in setting up regional marine partnerships on East Asian seas in plastic waste management.
Việt Nam needs assistance from Japan in management experience, maritime and coastal waste collection and treatment technology, and preventing invasive alien species and eco-diversity degradation at sea, he said.
For his part, Fukui Teru said that the strategic partnership between the two countries is developing in a positive, diverse and practical manner in many spheres with different forms.
The Japanese Government pays special attention to fostering cooperation with Việt Nam, especially in maritime research, he said, affirming that Japan is willing to share information and experience in ocean policy with Viet Nam so that both countries could become rich sea-based nations.
He proposed that Việt Nam, as coordinator of Japan-ASEAN relations, make more contributions to fostering collaboration among the nations in the reduction of plastic waste in the ocean.
Top legislator stresses greater autonomy for universities
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan visits Vietnam National University HCM City
Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan stressed the importance of greater autonomy for Vietnamese universities to help them meet international standards and integrate globally while meeting with lecturers and students of the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City on September 4 on the occasion of the new 2018-2019 academic year.
“Autonomy does not mean loose management and it must come with accountability, responsibility and transparency,” she said.
The responsibility will require educational institutes to survive by their quality, not by short-term solutions, she said.
The NA leader asked the Vietnam National University HCM City to focus on improving its training quality and teacher’s creativity to educate young students as well as promote scientific research activities to develop the university into a high-quality scientific research and technology transfer centre.
The university needs to soon complete the construction of Vietnam’s first university urban area, she requested.
The Vietnam National University HCM City urban area along with a hi-tech area and cultural village of ethnic groups located at the city’s gateway, the centre of the key economic zone in southeast region, will not only belong to the university but also become a scientific and cultural centre of the region, she added.
Talking to the university’s students, Ngan mentioned the State’s supervising role in creating and developing the higher education environment.
“The role of the State is not to control but to create rules and supervise their implementation,” she stated.
She said that Ministry of Education and Training along with national universities will help make changes regarding curricula and training methods towards global integration.
Educational institutes should be granted the right to have their own recruitment criteria and take responsibility in terms of training quality, she added.
Vietnam National University HCM City is the first unit in the country to make training innovations and launch the training of talented students and engineers.
This year, the university and the Vietnam National University Hanoi have become the first two universities in Vietnam to be listed by Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings of the UK among the top 1,000 excellent universities in the world.
Guatemala President praises Vietnam’s role in Asia-Pacific
President of the Republic of Guatemala Jimmy Morales Cabrera receives the credentials of Vietnamese Ambassador to Mexico and Guatemala Nguyen Hoai Duong (L) (Source: headquarters of the President of Guatemala)
President of the Republic of Guatemala Jimmy Morales Cabrera lauded the rapid growth and increasing role of Vietnam in Asia-Pacific and the world when hosting Vietnamese Ambassador to Mexico and Guatemala Nguyen Hoai Duong on September 4.
Ambassador Duong, who came to present his credentials, conveyed President Tran Dai Quang’s greetings and invitation to visit Vietnam to his host.
He added that Morales’ trip to Vietnam is expected to enhance multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries.
The Guatemalan President expressed his thanks and tasked Minister of Foreign Affairs Sandra Erica Jovel, who also attended the meeting, with arranging his visit to Vietnam.
Morales said he believes in developing Vietnam – Guatemala relations, particularly in trade and investment.
Earlier, on September 3, the Vietnamese diplomat handed over a copy of his credentials to Guatemalan Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alicia Virginia Castillo.
On the occasion, both sides frankly discussed measures to boost bilateral cooperation in economy-trade and cultural exchange.
They agreed that the establishment of a political consultation mechanism between Vietnamese and Guatemalan foreign ministries as well as the mutual support of the two countries at international organisations and multilateral forums, particularly in Asia-Pacific, are also necessary.
They considered these practical activities to mark 25 years of Vietnam – Guatemala relations (1993 - 2018).
National Day observed in Thailand, Germany
Delegates to the gathering held by Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand take photo
The Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand hosted a gathering in the northeastern Thai province of Udon Thani on September 2 to celebrate Vietnam’s 73rd National Day.
Attending the event were the Governors and Deputy Governors of Thailand’s northeastern provinces, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister and Chairman of the State Commission for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs Vu Hong Nam, Chairman of the Vietnamese General Association in Thailand Cao Van San and representatives from the overseas Vietnamese community.
Speaking at the ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Hai Bang lauded late President Ho Chi Minh, who led Vietnam to success in the struggle for independence.
He stressed that Vietnamese people can be proud of the country’s development. From a poor country, Vietnam has become a developing and middle income nation, with people’s living conditions improved, its socio-political situation stabilised and its position in the international arena enhanced.
The diplomat stated that Vietnam-Thailand relations are developing well, in not only defence security, but also economics, trade and investment.
They are each other’s biggest trade partner in ASEAN, with two-way trade growing by 15.5 percent each year to hit 15.3 billion USD in 2017. Thailand ranks ninth out of 126 nations and territories investing in Vietnam, with 493 projects worth a total 10 billion USD, he added.
Also on the occasion, the overseas Vietnamese community in Berlin and Brandenburg held a sport and cultural festival to connect Vietnamese people living in Germany.
National Day marked in Indonesia
Art performance at the event
The Embassy of Vietnam in Indonesia hosted a ceremony in Jakarta on September 4 to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of Vietnam’s National Day (September 2, 1945 - 2018).
Speaking at the event, Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh highlighted the major achievements recorded by Vietnam after 32 years of its renewal process, especially in economic development.
In 2017, Vietnam recorded an economic growth of 6.8 percent, the highest since 2010. The disbursement of foreign direct investment (FDI) hit 17.5 billion USD, up 10.8 percent. The country raked in 214 billion USD from exporting goods in the year, up 21 percent year-on-year.
Vietnam is moving to promote industrialization and modernization, and expand international integration, he said, adding that the country is also working hard to build a constructive government to serve people and businesses though creating legal frameworks and favourable conditions for investment and development.
The diplomat also emphasised the traditional friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Indonesia, affirming that the two sides have exerted efforts to further step up their cooperation, thus bringing benefits to their people.
Vinh took the occasion to congratulate Indonesia on its successful hosting of the recent Asian Games 2018.
Addressing the event, Chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board Thomas Lembong congratulated Vietnam on the National Day.
He stressed that Vietnam, from a poor country that suffered from the devastation of wars, has now become a typical example of dynamic and successful development.
The official wished the bilateral relations would continue to be further strengthened in the time to come and benefit the two peoples.
Deputy PM meets WEF ASEAN 2018 sponsors
At the reception
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on September 4 met representatives from businesses sponsoring the World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2018 (WEF ASEAN) slated for September 11-13 in Hanoi.
They include Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group, Vingroup, T&T, A Chau Automobiles, Vietcombank, VinaCapital, FLC and Kim & Kim International Café.
Minh spoke highly of their contributions to WEF ASEAN 2018, the most important multilateral external event in the year.
He said the event will attract the most numerous leaders in and outside the region, international organisations and representatives from nearly 1,000 leading firms worldwide, higher than the estimated 800 and nearly doubling those in WEF forums over the past years.
He stressed that the forum will afford Vietnamese enterprises a chance to connect and share ideas with the world’s leading businesses and investors.
Within the framework of WEF ASEAN 2018, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry will hold the Vietnam Business Summit.
Themed “Vietnam – Reliable business partner: Connectivity and Creativity”, the event is expected to draw over 1,000 delegates from domestic and foreign enterprises.
The event will focus discussion on the role of Vietnam in regional and global value chains, as well as introduce policies and business and investment opportunities in the Southeast Asian country, particularly in the fields of finance and infrastructure.
Agro-fisheries exporters advised to work harder to maintain Chinese market
China, one of the biggest markets for Vietnam’s agro-fisheries products, has increasing demand, but its quality requirements for products are also rising.
In the first six months of 2018, trade revenue between Vietnam and China reached 46.8 billion USD, up 17.4 percent year on year. In the period, Vietnam’s exports of agro-fisheries products to the market hit 3.7 billion USD, up 6.4 percent over the same time last year.
However, Vietnam faces fierce competition from Thailand, Indonesia, India and Cambodia, and from Chinese firms. Meanwhile, some strong agro-fisheries products of the country such as mangosteen, durian, dairy products and live pig have not received permission to enter China.
According to La Dinh Tuyen from the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, currently, China has become a choosy market as it has applied modern equipment to check quality of products and enhanced the quarantine capacity to the standards of the US, Japan and EU.
Therefore, Vietnamese exporters are facing stricter quality barriers in the market, as well as stronger competition from other ASEAN countries.
Tuyen said domestic firms should continue maintaining traditional markets of Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan, and try to enter potential new ones such as Sichuan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian, while improving customs clearance procedures to cut costs.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Ha, head of the Zone 7 Quarantine Sub-Department, said China has raised its plant quarantine barriers and slapped stricter regulations on imported farm produce.
She advised exporters to maintain their prestige by abiding by Chinese regulations in origin tracing, while changing storage methods.
They should also work with quarantine agencies of China in testing products shipped to China, especially dragon fruit, longan and green banana, she added.
Ha also stressed the need for Vietnamese authorities to work with their Chinese peers to remove technical barriers to facilitate Vietnam’s exports, while proposing China open its market for more kinds of Vietnamese fresh fruits.
Experts predicted that the demand for agro-fisheries products for production and consumption will continue to rise. Alongside, advantages from the ASEAN-China free trade agreements as well as other international commitments of China have also make it easier for Vietnam to expand market share in China.
But they also warned Vietnamese exporters should continue working hard to keep their traditional markets and seek other promising ones.
Nguyen Quoc Toan, acting head of the Agro-Product Processing and Market Development under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said Vietnam should pay more attention to ensuring quality of products during cultivation, growing and processing, thus meeting requirements of choosy markets.
Currently, the ministry is working to standardize the quality of different groups of farm produce, while taking steps to improve the efficiency of processing and storage as well as distribution activities.
Social News 5/9
Ben Tre: man prosecuted for anti-State activity
Nguyen Ngoc Anh (Source: nld.com.vn)
The Investigation Police Agency of Ben Tre province’s police department has started criminal proceedings against a man for “making, storing, releasing, and circulating information and documents” against the State.
Nguyen Ngoc Anh, 38 years old, was prosecuted in line with Article 117 of the Penal Code, said Colonel Pham Van Ngot, chief of staff of the provincial Police Department on September 4.
Anh was born in Phung Xa commune, Thach That district, Hanoi but works as a shrimp engineer in Binh Dai town, Binh Dai district, in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre.
Initial investigations revealed that between March 31 and August 14, he created two Facebook accounts to share and post video clips promoting anti-State content.
Through the video clips, Anh fabricated information distorting and defaming authorities, raising public doubt and worry.
Furthermore, he incited people to participate in destructive demonstrations during June 2018 and the recent National Day holiday (September 2).
Flights to Osaka cancelled due to Typhoon Jebi
The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines announced on September 4 that it will cancel its flights between Japan’s Osaka and the airports of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh during September 4-5 due to Typhoon Jebi in the west of Japan, which forced Osaka airport to suspend operations the same day.
Accordingly, the airline will cancel flights VN330, VN331, VN320, and VN321.
Further information can be found on the websites www.vietnamairlines.com or www.facebook.com/VietnamAirlines, Vietnam Airlines’ ticket agents nationwide, or the hotline 19001100.
Low-cost Jetstar Pacific also announced that it will cancel its Hanoi-Osaka flight BL620 on September 4 and Osaka-Da Nang flight BL165 on September 5.
A representative from Jetstar Pacific said affected passengers will be transferred to other flights if seats are available. If any changes are made, the carrier will actively try to contact passengers. Passengers can also get updates or seek support via the hotline 19001550.
Some infrastructure works have broken down at Kansai international airport and as such, airlines are waiting for updated information to plan flights for the coming days.
Hundreds of flights to and from Kansai international airport have been cancelled. Japan’s Nippon Airways announced that it will cancel 247 domestic flights and eight international flights while Japan Airlines will also cancel 176 domestic flights.
Japanese authorities warned that Typhoon Jebi could be the strongest to hit the country in 25 years.
Young Vietnamese, Indian soldiers engage in exchanges
At the seminar of young Vietnamese and Indian soldiers.
Young Vietnamese and Indian soldiers engaged in an exchange programme held in Hanoi on September 4.
Colonel Dinh Quoc Hung, head of the Vietnamese Military Youth Committee, said this is the sixth year Vietnamese and Indian armies have implemented the agreement on the exchange of young soldiers.
The activity aims to contribute to consolidating the friendship and strategic partnership between Vietnam and India, and increasing mutual understanding between young soldiers of the two countries, he said.
Vietnamese youths have always been made aware of the Vietnam-India relationship, Hung said, expressing his hope that young soldiers of the two countries will continue to support each other in spheres of cooperation.
He also called for India’s further support to young Vietnamese who are joining training programmes in India.
Captain Ankit Agarwal, head of the young Indian soldier delegation, also noted his hope for continued close cooperation with young Vietnamese soldiers, thus contributing to the fine collaboration between the two countries and armies in the time ahead.
While in Vietnam, the Indian soldiers paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum in Hanoi, and visited several sites around the country.
‘Dead land’ replaced with greenery in Binh Thuan
Efforts to fight desertification in the south central province of Binh Thuan have paid off as impoverished soil – a result of water scarcity – is gradually being replaced by greenery.
Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Mai Kieu said that due its geographic location, Binh Thuan has the driest climate in all of Vietnam, with an average annual rainfall of 1,000-1,600mm, only half the average rainfall in the southern region. As such, more than 80,000ha – or 11% – of local natural area is desert land.
Desertification is even more severe in coastal districts. Strong winds and sand storms during the October-April dry season have caused land degradation along 50km of its coast.
He said desertified areas are often considered ‘dead land’ as no trees are able to survive without human intervention.
However, with efforts to revitalise such areas, Binh Thuan has taken various solutions to expand farmland for local residents, Kieu noted.
Developing irrigation is the first step to realise this plan. More than 270 irrigation facilities, including some with the capacity of over 40 million cubic metres have been built, like Song Quao, Ca Giay, and Long Song reservoirs. They are able to provide water for 70,000ha of land.
These irrigation facilities have proved effective, speedily reviving dry areas in Tuy Phong, Bac Binh, and Ham Thuan Bac districts. Locals have also been digging ponds to develop aquaculture, generating a major source of freshwater aquatic products.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Ngoc Hai said the successful expansion of irrigation systems has not only helped Binh Thuan supply water for farmlands, but also minimised water shortages, boosted crop restructuring, and increased farming areas.
Local authorities have also been working to form coastal protection forests stretching over 8,000ha from Tuy Phong to Ham Tan districts. These forests mainly include phi lao (casuarina equisetifolia), neem trees (Azadirachta indica), and wattles (acacia) – all of which have been growing well in coastal areas with shifting and semi-shifting sand.
Hai said these forests have initially proved useful for reducing winds, improving the local environment, and ensuring the stable growth of other crops.
Many anti-desertification projects have also been carried out successfully on a trial basis, including those targeting rainwater on sand collection, anti-shifting sand afforestation, irrigation system development, sustainable agricultural production programmes, and the transfer of better cultivation measures.
The initial successes of these projects have helped improve Binh Thuan’s capability in controlling natural degradation and turning thousands of hectares of ‘dead land’ into fertile area for production and tourism, according to local authorities.
Cao Bang set to open second Ban Gioc Waterfall Festival
The second Ban Gioc Waterfall Festival is scheduled for October 6-7 at Ban Gioc Waterfall Tourism Complex in Trung Khanh district, the northern border province of Cao Bang.
Diverse activities will be organized during the event including a food court selling local specialties and tourism products, an international terrain cycling tournament, traditional art performances, and a spiritual festival at Truc Lam Ban Gioc pagoda.
The festival aims to create a jubilant atmosphere among ethnic minority people in Trung Khanh district and promote emulation movements in production activities to contribute to the province’s socio-economic development.
The event is also destined to expand cultural exchange and sports activities to promote the image of Trung Khanh, and local cultural characteristics and tourism products to domestic and international friends.
Foreign tourists to Hanoi up 16% over National Day holiday
Hanoi welcomed nearly 250,000 tourists during the recent three-day National Day holiday, up 9% compared with the same period last year.
According to the capital’s Department of Tourism, the number of foreign visitors to the city from September 1-3 surpassed 36,700, of whom approximately 26,500 stayed overnight, year-on-year rises of 16% and 17%, respectively.
The tourism sector earned VND645 billion (US$27.7 million), up 5% year on year.
Notable tourist attractions in the city include the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Thang Long Imperial Citadel and the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism.
This year, Hanoi expects to serve more than 25.4 million holidaymakers, including 5.5 million foreigners, and gross some VND75.78 trillion (US$3.33 billion) in revenue.
Last year, the city welcomed nearly 5 million foreign vacationers, up 23% against the previous year.
Hanoi to promote culture, tourism through Frankfurt Book Fair
Frankfurt Book Fair 2017
Hanoi will display books on the history and culture of the capital city and Vietnam and deliver art performances at Frankfurt Book Fair set to take place on October 10-14.
The move aims to promote special and unique cultural and tourism products of Hanoi and Vietnam to the Vietnamese community and international friends in Germany.
Hanoi’s pavilion will cover around 80sq.m, showing typical books in Vietnamese, English, French and German languages. The capital city will also introduce Hanoi and Vietnam tourism through art documentaries, tourist maps and publications and craft village and cuisine books.
Frankfurt Book Fair will help participants grasp opportunities and new trends of the world publishing market, access advanced support technologies for publication, and exchange books and experience in the development of reading culture, copyright transaction, and the organization of international book events in Hanoi, said Nguyen Gia Phuong, director of Hanoi Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Centre.
According to the organizing board, last year’s fair with over 7,300 pavilions drew more than 286,000 visitors from over 100 countries.
HCM City seeks to strengthen grassroots healthcare
Patients at the traditional medicine department at the Thảo Điền Ward Health Station in HCM City’s District 2.
When she rushed to a nearby health station last month for immediate medical help, Trần Mai Kiều, 32, a housewife from HCM City’s District 11, was turned away since the only doctor there was absent.
She had cut her hand with a broken glass and bleeding severely. She then had to go to the District 11 Hospital.
For years health stations in the country have mostly failed to provide both immediate medical help and regular treatment.
HCM City is home to 319 health stations which only treat 3 per cent of the total number of patients in the city, according to the Department of Health.
Lack of doctors, poor facilities and limited quantities of drugs mean they are not favoured by people seeking medical treatment.
Tăng Chí Thượng, deputy director of the department, said it is not uncommon to see health stations with a single doctor who is in charge of a number of tasks such as the national immunisation programme, disease prevention and control programmes and the management of tuberculosis and HIV in their locality.
“People do not trust the health stations, resulting in low patient volume.”
Dr Đỗ Thị Bưởi, head of the Ward 5 Health Station in HCM City’s District 8, said only five to 10 people turn up every day and only for immunisation, changing wound dressings and getting insulin shots for diabetes and not for check-up and treatment.
Under a health insurance policy that came into effect in 2016, unlike before insured patients can get diagnosed and treated at any district-level health facility without requiring referral papers from medical facilities in their neighbourhood.
As a result, now patients go straight to district-level hospitals instead of visiting grassroots healthcare establishments.
Many district-level hospitals such as the District 2 Hospital, Tân Phú District Hospital and Thủ Đức District Hospital suffer from a patient overload as a result, Thượng said.
Healthcare authorities are currently testing three new models to improve the quality of the grassroots healthcare service, he said.
Earlier this month the District 2 Hospital set up a satellite general clinic at the Thảo Điền Ward Health Station where 17 specialists treat a range of ENT, dental, paediatric, and dermatological ailments and also provide traditional medicine.
Trần Văn Khanh, director of the District 2 Hospital, said the hospital has spent VNĐ10 billion (US$434,700) on buying modern medical equipment and deploying specialists at the clinic.
“Local people can access medical services without travelling far to hospitals.”
The clinic is expected to get more than 300 insured outpatients daily, he said.
In 2016 the Thủ Đức District Hospital pioneered satellite general clinics at grassroots health establishments.
Its satellite general clinic at the Bình Chiểu Ward Health Station gets around 200 outpatients a day.
Nguyễn Minh Quân, director of the hospital, said the hospital is overstretched, with around 5,000 outpatients coming every day for treatment.
The hospital used its own funds to set up satellite general clinics by upgrading existing health stations and deploying doctors and staff there, he said.
In the last two years four satellite general clinics have been set up at health stations in districts 2, Thủ Đức and Tân Phú.
Preliminary results show they have benefited insured patients and helped reduce the patient overload at many hospitals, according to Thưo75ng.
The number of satellite general clinics is expected to increase in the city in the next few years, he said.
The city has also adopted the public-private partnership model at health stations to strengthen primary health care at the grassroots level.
In mid-2017 the Việt Anh Health Joint Stock Company together with the department opened the DHA Clinic at District 3’s Ward 11 health station.
More than 40 per cent of residents in Ward 11 have visited the clinic, mostly for regular preventive health checks and tests.
The company plans to invest in similar clinics at other health stations in District 3.
One health station in each of the city’s 24 districts have been chosen to join a national programme that aims to strengthen primary health care in keeping with family medicine principles, Thượng said.
“The family medicine principles are to provide comprehensive and continuing care to individuals and families.”
Under the programme, participating health stations will be assisted with improving the competence of teams at the grassroots level and provided essential equipment.
Minister of Health Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến said the health sector failed to realise the potential of health stations, which cover every part of the country.
With appropriate investment and drastic measures for the development of the grassroots healthcare network, more and more patients would visit health stations, helping reduce the overload at higher level hospitals, she said.
In future non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and chronic respiratory diseases would be prevented and treated at health stations, she said.
90 percent of social insurance fund invested in G-bonds
The main investment forms of the social insurance fund are the purchase of G-bonds, the loans for State budget and deposits at commercial banks.
About 90 percent of social insurance funds are currently invested in government bonds (G-bonds), Dao Viet Anh, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Social Security (VSS), said at a seminar last week.
The annual average investment interest rate of the entire social insurance fund in 2017 was 7.25 percent.
Anh said that when investing, the VSS always considered factors such as market, liquidity and especially the safety of the fund.
The social insurance fund invested in G-bonds helped secure the fund while raising capital for development investment, contributing to the restructuring of public debt and overspending, Anh said.
The participation of the social insurance fund in the government bond market also significantly increased the term of government bonds. If in the past, the longest term for G-bonds was just ten years, now there are 30-year G-bonds.
This, Anh said, has led to an increase in the average maturity of G-bonds, which helped reduce pressure on the repayment of government debt.
"We did a good job in investment efficiency of the social insurance fund and contribute to socio-economic development," he said.
The main investment forms of the social insurance fund are the purchase of G-bonds, the loans for State budget and deposits at commercial banks.
According to a report by the VSS, the accumulated fund investment till the end of 2017 reached nearly 610 trillion VND (26.4 billion USD), 2.6 times higher than that in 2012 of nearly 234 trillion VND. Profit earned from investment in the period 2013-2017 reached nearly 150 trillion VND, of which the profit in 2017 was 37.5 trillion VND, doubling that in 2012, which was nearly 19 trillion VND.
The report said the VSS’ investment practice was in accordance with Government regulations. The investment structure was shifted towards safety orientation, gradually increasing the proportion of investment in government bonds. The size of the fund’s investment and the profit from investment both increased annually.
However, according to this report, the investment activities of the social insurance fund had not diversified, mainly through the purchase of G-bonds with long-term periods and through short-term deposits at commercial banks. The fund had not yet focused on other forms of investment with higher profitability.
Moreover, the overspending of the health insurance fund had increased. Bad debts and evasion in health insurance and social insurance still occurred in many localities. The number of enterprises owing social insurance and health insurance remained high and the amount of debt was still large and no appropriate handling measures had been put in place.
Education sector ready for new school year
Vietnam will have more than 1.3 million students during the 2018 -2019 school year, which begins on September 5. The education sector aims to increase access to science and advanced technology, and improve the quality of both teachers and students to provide high-quality human resources for Vietnam’s integration process.
In the upcoming academic year, the Ministry of Education and Training will restructure organizational and management systems in pre-schools and general educational establishments, and build more kindergartens in industrial parks and export processing zones.
IT application in teaching will be boosted while higher education will be further improved in line with regional and global standards. The 2018-2019 school year is forecast to face numerous difficulties as many localities have recently experienced devastating flooding, which resulted in degrading school infrastructure, classrooms, and teaching and learning equipment.
Pham Hung Anh, Deputy Director of the Department for Material Facilities and School Equipment, said, “We have asked localities to thoroughly review the existing infrastructure and school equipment, and prepare plans on repairs, upgrades, and equipment procurement. To date, all 63 provinces and cities nationwide have submitted their plans to relevant authorities, to prepare material conditions for the coming new school year.”
The Ministry of Education and Training will issue new curricula for general education and ensure enough textbooks.
Associate Professor, Dr. Nguyen Van Tung, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Education Publishing House, said the company has well prepared for the new school year, adding that “Sufficient textbooks have to date been published and distributed to all localities.”
To ensure an efficient academic year, the preschool education sector will further develop schools and classes in industrial and export processing zones, strengthen state management on nursery education, minimize child related violence, and address the shortage of teachers.
The general education sector will continue to prepare for the realization of the new textbook program, improve the quality of exams and assessment, especially the national high school graduation exams; strengthen lifestyles, and life skills for students; and renovate management mechanism in high schools.
Universities will continue to enhance their fiscal independence, while improving education quality in line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Foreign tourists to Hanoi up 16 percent over National Day holiday
Tourists visit Thang Long Imperial Citadel
Hanoi welcomed nearly 250,000 tourists during the recent three-day National Day holiday, up 9 percent compared with the same period last year.
According to the capital’s Department of Tourism, the number of foreign visitors to the city from September 1-3 surpassed 36,700, of whom approximately 26,500 stayed overnight, year-on-year rises of 16 percent and 17 percent, respectively.
The tourism sector earned 645 billion VND (27.7 million USD), up 5 percent year on year.
Notable tourist attractions in the city include the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Thang Long Imperial Citadel and the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism.
This year, Hanoi expects to serve more than 25.4 million holidaymakers, including 5.5 million foreigners, and gross some 75.78 trillion VND (3.33 billion USD) in revenue.
Last year, the city welcomed nearly 5 million foreign vacationers, up 23 percent against the previous year.
Smart city connection – solution to address challenges in Mekong Delta
At the workshop
Connecting smart cities is considered an effective solution to addressing urbanisation and development challenges in the Mekong Delta, experts said at a workshop in Can Tho city on September 4.
The event was held by the UK’s Salford University and the Dragon-Mekong Institute of Can Tho University under the Researcher Links programme of the Newton Fund.
Participants discussed smart city initiatives, including the internet of things (IoT), cyber physical systems and ambient intelligence, meaning electronic environments that respond to the presence of humans.
They suggested setting up links between research institutes and businesses from Vietnam and the UK to improve urban areas.
Professor Hisham Elkadi from Salford University said the key to solving urbanisation problem is developing based on Industry 4.0 and IoT.
Meanwhile, Ngo Ba Hung from Can Tho University presented an overview on smart cities based on Big Data, which means all infrastructure such as roads, electricity and water systems are operated via high technology.
He recommended prioritising ensuring cyber information security via building a computer emergency response team.
Hundreds flee transformer fire in Ba Ria Vung Tau
A fire broke out on September 3 from a transformer station of a 20-storey apartment in Le Loi street, Thang Nhi ward, Vung Tau city in the southern province of Ba Ria Vung Tau, causing power outage for the whole building.
Hundreds of residents fled the Vung Tau Centre Apartment Building in panic through fire escapes. People from neighboring areas said they saw black smoke billowing from the transformer station while the basement and stairways were covered by clouds of smoke.
As soon as the alarm was raised, fire engines and hundreds of fire fighters were mobilized to the scene to extinguish the blaze and prevent explosion risks due to short circuits.
The apartment residents had not been able to return home till 10pm. Vung Tau-Sai Gon Trade Joint Stock Company is the investor of the Vung Tau Centre Apartment Building, which has been put into operation for nearly two years.
Fire destroys Quang Nam scrap warehouse
Relevant forces mobilized 14 fire engines, three tank trucks and hundreds of fire fighters to the scene of a fire at a scrap warehouse in the central province of Quang Nam.
At 9:15pm on the evening of September 2, a huge fire broke out at a 4,000 square metre scrap warehouse owned Tran Van Quy, who resides in Da Nang city. Local residents made great efforts to extinguish the blaze, which rapidly spread to neighbouring areas due to the flammable materials such as wood, paper, plastics and cloth stored inside the warehouse.
As soon as the alarm was raised, the Quang Nam and Da Nang Departments of Fire Prevention and Fighting dispatched 14 fire engines and relevant forces to combat the fire during the night.
Nguyen Xuan Ha, vice chairman of the Dien Ban town People’s Committee said the blaze had been all but completely brought under control on the morning of September 3 but there is a risk of it flaring up again.
No fatalities were reported but the fire completely destroyed the warehouse. The cause of the incident is still under investigation.
SLNA to face Thanh Hóa in National Cup’ semi-finals today
Sông Lam Nghệ An are ready to face Thanh Hóa in the semi-final’s second leg of the National Cup today. — Photo vnbongda.vn
Sông Lam Nghệ An (SLNA) will take on Thanh Hóa in the semi-final’s second leg of the National Cup today.
The game will be held at Vinh Stadium in the central province of Nghệ An.
Earlier, Thanh Hóa lost to SLNA 2-3 in the first leg at, Thanh Hóa Stadium. It will be a tough task for visitors as they must beat SLNA by two goals.
SLNA are in good form as they rank third in the national premier league with 32 points, while Thanh Hóa are in fourth place with 30 points.
SLNA are full of confidence after eight back to back wins in the V.League. After five weeks of rest, SLNA want to continue their undefeated run to reach the final of National Cup.
In the line-up of SLNA, there will two midfielders Phan Văn Đức and Phạm Xuân Mạnh who have competed in the Asian Games (ASIAD) in Indonesia in which Việt Nam came to fourth place for the first time ever.
Đức and Mạnh missed the ceremony to honour the Vietnamese sports delegation for their success at the ASIAD held in Hà Nội on Sunday to return home to prepare for the upcoming game.
“I and Đức want to return home soon to play for SLNA. We will have a thick competition from ASIAD, National Cup and then V.League, however, we are familiar with this move. We are young and ready to play against Thanh Hóa,” said Mạnh.
The other semi-final between Bình Dương and Hà Nội will take place on October 3 at Gò Đậu Stadium in the southern province of Bình Dương.
Dioxin treatment technology to be piloted at Bien Hoa airport
At the ceremony
The High Command of Chemistry’s Centre for Environment Treatment Technology and Japan’s Shimizu Corporation held a ceremony in Hanoi on September 4 to announce a memorandum of understanding on the cooperation and plan to pilot dioxin treatment technology at Bien Hoa airport, based in the southern province of Dong Nai.
The activity aims to overcome the consequences of the toxin left over from the war and study technologies to master dioxin treatment.
A representative from Shimizu Corporation introduced soil washing technology for dioxin treatment, a combination between soil washing and burning technology which could reduce waste and bring about higher economic efficiency.
The project will begin in November 2018, while the field soil washing will be carried out from mid-January to April 2019.
The area surrounding Bien Hoa aiport contains high levels of the chemical and is considered one of the country’s dioxin hotspots. According to assessments from Vietnam and the US, some 500,000 cu.m of dioxin-contaminated land in the airport need to be treated, requiring a large amount of capital and technology.
HCM City: Summer volunteer campaigns prove effective
The summer volunteer campaigns launched by the Ho Chi Minh Youth Union’s Ho Chi Minh City chapter have proven effective, Deputy Secretary of the chapter Ngo Minh Hai said at a conference in the city on August 30.
Local youths have actively engaged in voluntary activities in districts on the outskirts of HCM City as well as border localities in the south-eastern, south-western, central and Central Highland regions and Laos.
The local youth union opened training programmes, transferred science-technology, and provided farming techniques for farmers while supporting youngsters in rural areas in doing business, introducing job opportunities for over 9,000 young people, and training social skill practices for 86,000 others.
Young volunteers also got involved in upgrading 50km of rural roads and repairing a dozen of bridges, while contributing to building clean, safe and civilised apartment blocks and bus stations.
They presented gift packages worth 2.4 billion VND (102,729 USD) to more than 14,000 locals and youngsters from difficult backgrounds, repaired and replaced electric equipment for 1,200 poor households, and granted 332 scholarships to needy students.
Particularly, in the Lao provinces of Attapeu and Champasak, 97 volunteers from HCM City provided health check-ups and medicine for 4,500 disadvantaged people.
They also handed over 21 computers to Champasak youth union, 11 computers to Attapeu and Champasak provinces, and three houses to poor Lao youngsters.
HCM City needs more incentives for low-priced houses
Engineering sector needs reforms
HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam’s mechanical engineering industry is lagging far behind the world, meaning the Government and businesses must renovate to keep up with the fast-moving technological revolution.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc this year approved the industry’s development strategy, requesting the adoption of advanced technology, producing high-quality products and joining the global value chain by 2035. — Photo cafef.vn
Việt Nam, Russia sign various co-operation agreements
SOCHI — General Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam (CPV)’s Central Committee Nguyễn Phú Trọng and Russian President Vladimir Putin witnessed the signing of many cooperation agreements on Thursday, within the framework of the former’s ongoing visit to Russia.
General Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam (CPV)’s Central Committee Nguyễn Phú Trọng and Russian President Vladimir Putin. — VNA/VNS Photo Trí Dũng
The deals included an agreement between the Vietnamese and Russian governments on international information security, and a protocol amending and supplementing the bilateral agreement on the Việt Nam-Russia Tropical Centre.
The Ministry of Health of Việt Nam and the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrenadzor) signed a deal on the prevention of epidemics.
The Ministry of Education and Training and Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation of Russia inked a deal on human resources training in nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
A memorandum of understanding on co-operation between the Ministry of Science and Technology and Russia’s Rosatom was reached in orienting public opinion on the nuclear science and technology centre.
The two leaders also witnessed the signing of a collaboration agreement between the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Russia’s Ministry of Culture for the 2019-21 period, along with a deal fostering ties between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture, an agreement between the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PVN) and Russia’s Gazprom Group on dividing products exploited from Lot 09-2/09 in Việt Nam’s continental shelf.
A memorandum of understanding on cooperation was signed by the Gazprom, the PVN and the People’s Committee of Quảng Trị Province.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade and Russia’s Ministry of Energy inked a deal on affiliation in providing liquefied natural gas and developing thermal electricity in Việt Nam.
The Saigon-Hanoi Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SHB) and the International Investment Bank (IIB) signed a deal on IIB’s provision of US$20 million in loans to SHB for developing infrastructure work in Việt Nam as well as import-export activities of goods from IIB member countries. The two sides will also share information and experience in enhancing operational efficiency and management capacity.
A framework sponsor contract between the International Bank for Economic Cooperation (IBEC) and the SHB was signed at an initial value of 20 million EUR.
Several other deals were also inked during the CPV leaders’ visit, including a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Rosscongress Foundation of Russia, and another between Sovico Vietnam and Zarubezneft of Russia.