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Archive for July, 2008|Monthly archive page

Meeting discusses water resources management

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2008 at 2:34 pm

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has called for the National Water Resources Council (NWRC) to strengthen the organisation and capacity of water resources management agencies.

At a meeting discussing solutions to increase the effective management of water resources in Hanoi on July 29, Deputy PM Hai also asked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to formulate a master plan for water resources assessment, protection, exploitation and use, and finalise river basin planning.

The NWRC Office should soon present the council’s action plan for 2009, including its report on the impacts, changes and the exploitation situation of big rivers, rising sea level and water standards, he said.

The meeting focused on water resources indexes and management measures in the country.

The council emphasised the importance of reducing conflicts and promoting social and environmental sustainable development in water resources exploitation and use.

The meeting also pointed out shortcomings in the public awareness of this vital resource as the water is not considered as a rare resource and a type of commodity while water services have not been fully assessed.

There remain lacks of river basin planning and Governmental-level cooperation mechanisms and agreements for countries sharing a basin of many rivers, said the meeting.-

World physics congress opens in Ha Long

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2008 at 2:33 pm

The fourth Congress of World Federation of Physics Competitions (WFPhC) opened in Ha Long city, northeastern Quang Ninh province, on July 30.

The congress, jointly held by the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) and the Quang Ninh provincial People’s Committee, has drawn the participation of 47 delegates, including 27 from other countries and territories.

After a speech on physics competitions made by WFPhC President Hans Jordens, participants had a chance to hear famous scientists’ reports and discussions on physics teaching and learning.

They included “ Vietnam and Physics Competitions” by the MoET’s General Department of Educational Testing and Accreditation, “Wheelchairs, Birds and other Objects in Teaching Physics” by Prof. Dr. Helmuth Mayr, Austria, and “Interdisciplinarity between Physics and Economy” by the Czech Republic’s Prof. Dr. Zdenek Kluiber.

During the three-day congress, the delegates will elect members of the WFPhC Executive Committee and discuss plans for the next congress.

They will visit Cat Ba Island in northern Hai Phong city and Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO-recognised world natural heritage.-

Indian businesses look for Vietnam market information

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2008 at 1:29 pm

Indian businesses have expressed interest in investing in Vietnam for the market’s “political stability, high economic growth, healthy investment climate and numerous stimuli”.

The viewpoint was shared by a majority of executives from 50 Indian businesses at a workshop on trade with Vietnam held in Mumbai province, India , on July 29. They also said they wanted to be better informed of the Vietnamese economy.

Vietnamese General Consul Nguyen Viet Hung in India’s Mumbai province pledged great assistance and favourable conditions for Indian businesses to make profits in Vietnam .

Trade revenues between Vietnam and India reached 1.54 billion USD in 2007 against 1.02 billion USD in 2006.–

Businesses expect big profits from luxury cars

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2008 at 1:28 pm

In mid-July, the Euro Auto Company, an authorised local distributor of BMW in Vietnam, opened a showroom in the capital city of Hanoi where it introduces a four-seat sport X6 at the cost of 130,000 euros (around 200,000 USD) after the model hit the global market just two months ago.

At the same time, Euro Auto inaugurated a showroom displaying fashioned auxiliary equipment and souvenirs featured BMW products in Ho Chi Minh City while hurrying up its preparations for the opening of a BMW centre at Ho Chi Minh City ’s outlying Phu My Hung Urban Complex late this year.

Euro Auto Director General Huynh Du An told the Vietnam News Agency that those moves were an indication of the BMW group’s confidence in “thriving prospect of Vietnam ’s economy under the Government’s management”.

He unveiled that Euro Auto sold 100 BMW cars of various types in Vietnam so far this year.

Euro Auto is among local car importers who have high hopes on lucrative sales of luxury cars in the country after seeing more and more brand names like Rolls Royce, Bentley and Audi with pre-tax price of not below 100,000 USD running in big cities like Hanoi , Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phong.

The Ho Chi Minh City-based Ben Thanh Corporation, which has been involving in multi-trades for years, is planning to open the first supermarket of luxury cars in Vietnam .

The called Saigon Car Mart is expected to open late September, a senior official of the Ben Thanh Corporation said, adding the mart will offer customers various choices, with such luxury names as Bentley, Rolls Royce, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Ferrari and Lexus.

Automobile businesses predict that luxury cars continue to be dominant in imports in the second half of this year as the demand is still on the rise.

Meanwhile, imports of other kinds of completed built unit (CBU) cars declined in recent two months, from 5,500 CBUs in May to 4,500 in June.

It was partly attributed to the Finance Ministry’s decision to raise the import tariff on CBUs from 60 percent to 83 percent and banks’ tougher loan restriction to reduce inflation.

Experts forecast a continual decline in imports of CBUs in the second half of the year following the Government’s solutions to rein in raging inflation.

According to the Ministry of Transport and Communication, there are over 800,000 automobiles in Vietnam, compared to over 20 million motorbikes.-

Chinese groups plan to invest in Thai Nguyen

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Three major corporations from China are planning to pour around 2 billion USD into Vietnam’s northern Thai Nguyen to turn it into an eco-industrial city, said a local official.

Thai Nguyen’s Planning and Investment Department Director Nguyen Duc Minh said local authorities recently signed a memorandum of understanding on the project with representatives of China ’s Shan Shan, Sun Khun and Honghui groups.

The Chinese investors pledged to submit the project feasibility study to the province for consideration by October at the earliest.

The planned eco-industrial city is expected to cover 1,500-2,000 ha. It will feature a state-of-the-art manufacturing area, a scientific-technological area, a hi-tech experimental research area, a physical architectural area, a traditional industrial park, a trading and entertainment centre, and villas.

According to the department, Thai Nguyen currently houses 13 Chinese-invested projects with a combined registered capital of 18 million USD. Of these, 10 projects have been put into operation and the others are waiting for site clearance.

The projects, focusing on mineral processing, fertiliser and drinks production, and entertainment services, have helped to promote the local socio-economic development, create jobs and encourage the inflow of foreign investment into the province.-

WB provides 150 million USD credit for Vietnam’s poverty reduction

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2008 at 1:27 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The World Bank (WB) will provide 150 million USD as preferential credit loan for Vietnam ’s poverty reduction and economic development programmes.

Under an agreement signed between State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Governor Nguyen Van Giau and WB Acting Country Director in Vietnam Martin Rama in Hanoi on July 29, the credit, which is part of the Poverty Reduction Support Credit 7 (PRSC 7) Programme, has a time-limit of 40 years, including a 10-year grace period with an interest rate of 0 percent.

The credit shows WB commitment in providing continued support for Vietnam ’s economic development and poverty reduction.

Together with the WB, 10 bilateral and multilateral donors will co-sponsor the PRSC 7 programme, which is built on the Vietnamese government’s 2006-2010 socio-economic development plan, with a total capital of 220 million USD.

While stressing the importance of PRSC 7 for Vietnam’s poverty reduction and sustainable development, SBV Governor Giau highly appreciated WB and other co-sponsors’ help to enable Vietnam develop and implement the programme.

A representative from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) affirmed that ADB will continue participating in PRSC programmes and said the bank has decided to increase its contributions to three PRSC programmes in Vietnam from 15 million USD to 25 million USD each.

Representatives from the EC Delegation to Vietnam , the Embassies of Japan and Denmark , and the UK Department for International Development also affirmed their commitments to support Vietnam ’s poverty reduction.-

France helps restore traditional houses in Hue city

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2008 at 1:25 pm

The traditional house of the Dang clan (the family of revolutionary martyr doctor Dang Thuy Tram) in the former imperial city of Hue has been restored under the sponsorship of the French Senate.

Located at No. 120 Mai Thuc Loan street, the house, which used to accommodate four generations of the Dang family for over 100 years and witnessed Tram’s childhood, had its roof tiled and wooden infrastructure replaced at a cost of 400 million VND.

The city People’s Committee said that the Senate and the administration of the Nord pas de Cailais region of France also funded the restoration of another 17 traditional houses in the city at a cost of between 100-150 million VND each.

Tram was a doctor who sacrificed her life trying to rescue injured Vietnamese soldiers during fighting between Vietnamese forces and American troops in the central province of Quang Tri in 1970.-

Can Tho urged to become Mekong Delta economic hub

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has urged the orchard-rich Can Tho city to gear into becoming an industrial hub before 2020 to serve as the economic momentum for the entire Mekong Delta.

The Government leader gave the instruction at a working session with the municipal leadership on July 28, part of his Mekong Delta inspection tour.

Can Tho should take firm measures to achieve its annual targets, especially to increase its GDP growth rate to over 16.5 percent and exports revenues to over 670 million USD, Dung said.

He asked the city to set up human resource development centres for the entire region, where vocational training serves the regional development strategy.

“Can Tho should develop hi-tech industry and expand processing facilities to increase the agricultural production value on the same cultivated land, as well as to develop tourism and services,” the PM said.

He called on the city to take care of the environment, especially in water resources and waste treatment, during economic development.

In support of the city’s development efforts, especially infrastructure, the Government leader instructed the Ministry of Transport to consider investing in dredging its canal system and building the Can Tho and Cai Cui ports, and the Can Tho bridge.

He also earmarked the ministry to support building five highways and upgrading highway No.91, a road in south of Hau river, and a stretch of the Ho Chi Minh Highway .

“The Ministry of Transport should help the city put the Can Tho international airport into operation by December this year,” he said.

Dung also asked the Ministry of Construction to help Can Tho in urban and industrial parks zoning to prevent, as much as possible, the taking of cultivated land.

Founded just four years ago, Can Tho city’s administration is one of few nationwide fulfilling most of its half-year targets – GDP growth reaching 12.66 percent, industrial production up by 16.9 percent and exports revenue by 57.5 percent while its poverty rate fell to less than 8 percent.-

11.7 million EUR to develop human resources

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2008 at 1:24 pm

A 11.7-million-EUR project to develop human resources in Vietnam was launched on July 28.

To run until the end of 2010, the project will focus on strengthening local capacity in labour market planning, improving information sources, addressing localities’ demands and training lecturers.

Branching out into vocational training schools and employment centres in 15 provinces and cities, the project will approach local job hunters and seek recruitment information in order to profile the country’s labour supply and demand, and provide consultancy in vocational training.

With major funding coming from the European Union and the International Labour Organisation, the project will also conduct research on the labour demands of trades and economic sectors.

At the launch of the project, Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan praised the project for its focus on helping improve vocational training quality in Vietnam.

She said the country’s human resources have been increasingly improving with 35 percent of the workforce having received training. However, she also acknowledged physical and intellectual limitations in the workforce.

Director of the Vietnam ILO office, Rie Vejs-Kjeldgaard, said that just like other Asian economies, Vietnam has a major challenge in narrowing the gap between professional skills needed by enterprises and those provided by the educational system.

The first Secretary of the EU Delegation’s Section for Development Cooperation, Johann Farnhammer, said the project is aimed to build up a link with ongoing projects that are assisting employment centres to develop their teachers’ staff.

According to the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, Vietnam now has more than 2,000 vocational training centres which have been actively reforming their curriculum and opening courses in new trades to meet business demands.

The 15 provinces and cities benefitting from the project are Hanoi, Hai Duong, Bac Ninh, Phu Tho and Ninh Binh provinces in the north, Ha Tinh, Lam Dong, Dak Lak, Quang Ngai and Da Nang province in the centre, and Ho Chi Minh City, Long An, Can Tho, Dong Nai and Ben Tre provinces in the south.-

IPhO 2008 excellent students awarded

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2008 at 1:23 pm

A ceremony to present awards to winners at the 39th International Physics Olympiad (IPhO), hosted by Vietnam for the first time, was held in Hanoi on July 28.

The eight-day Olympiad saw 376 students from 82 countries and territories compete in theory and practice tests. Among them, 46 students won golds, 47 took silvers, 78 – bronzes and 87 others received certificates of merits.

Chinese student Longzhi Tan recorded the highest results with 44.6 marks out of the total 50 marks, including 20 marks for the practice test. He also bagged an award for the best result in the theory test.

A Taiwanese student, Yi-shu Wei, earned another award after obtaining the whole 20 marks for the practice test.

China and Taiwan led the competition with five golds, followed by the Republic of Korea , India , the US and Vietnam , each earned four golds.

Vietnam , with four golds and one bronze, recorded its best result at an international physics olympiad.

Addressing the award ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan congratulated the students after a tense competition.

He wished them to continue their efforts to become excellent scientists who will contribute their talents to the noble purposes, to their own countries’ development, and to the peace in the world.

IPhO Acting President Maija Ahtee expressed his thanks to the Vietnamese leaders for their coordination in successfully organising the 39th IPhO.

On behalf of the next IPhO organiser, Mexico , Prof. De Coss Gomez Romeo Humber, head of the Mexican delegation, congratulated Vietnam for its hosting the IPhO 2008, which, he said, would be an example for next events.

Mexico is scheduled to host the 40th IPhO in Merida city from July 12-19, 2009.-