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Archive for August, 2008|Monthly archive page

Thai business invests in shrimp breeding farm

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2008 at 4:28 pm

Thua Thien-Hue (VNA) – Thai Charoen Pokphand group’s CP Vietnam Livestock Company will invest between 6 to 9 million USD in building a white-leg shrimp breeding farm in Phong Dien district, central Thua Thien-Hue province.

The 136ha farm is expected to create jobs for 120 locals CP Vietnam, a wholly Thai invested business, is headquartered in Bien Hoa II industrial park, southern Dong Nai province.

It has opened branches in central Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, Binh Thuan and Khanh Hoa provinces and southern Tien Giang and Ben Tre provinces.-

Overseas trade counselors work for increased exports

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Tokyo (VNA) – Vietnamese trade counselors in the Asia-Pacific region are gathering in Tokyo to discuss ways to boost Vietnam ’s exports in the remaining months of the year and in 2009.

Chairing two-day meeting, opened on Aug. 27, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Nguyen Thanh Bien asserted that the Asian-Pacific markets are important to the national development of Vietnam .

In the first seven months of the year, Vietnam ’s export-import value with the Asian-Pacific markets reached 59.8 billion USD, Bien reported.

He added that the figure represented a year-on-year increase of 55.6 percent and accounted for 66.9 percent of the country’s total two-way trade turnover with the global market.

In detail, Vietnam ’s export earnings from the Asia-Pacific region reached 19.5 billion USD in the reviewed period, a rise of 52.7 percent. The figure made up 52.3 percent of the nation’s total turnover.

According to the government official, the Asia-Pacific region continues being a leading importer of Vietnam ’s crude oil, coal, electric wire and cable, rubber, electronic products and components, and rice.

However, he pointed to the fact that imports from the region accounted for 77.2 percent of the country’s total import value as it soared 57 percent to 40.4 billion USD in this year’s first seven months.

Bien said in the remaining months of the years, trade counselors should focus on helping Vietnamese exporters to accelerate the export of products of high added value.

He urged trade counselors to increase trade promotion activities to seek export opportunities for their fellow businesses.

They also need to help reduce imports of consumer commodities from the region in order to keep the country’s trade deficit not to exceed 30 percent of the export value as set by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Bien said.

Trade counselors also discussed how to speed up cooperation and investment in the industrial sector in the Asia-Pacific region.

On the sidelines of the event, Deputy Minister Bien and trade counselors met with officials from Japan ’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and several trade giants and associations.

Those meetings aim to prepare for activities to promote investment into supporting and heavy industries in Vietnam that is expected to take place late this year.

Vietnam has sent trade counselors to work in Japan , the Republic of Korea , China , Taiwan , Hong Kong, Laos , Cambodia , Thailand , Myanmar , Indonesia , Malaysia , the Philippines , Singapore , Australia and New Zealand .

Additionally, the country has placed four branch chiefs of its trade missions in Osaka ( Japan ), and Guangzhou , Nanning , and Kunming ( China ).-

RoK investors invited into traffic, property projects

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2008 at 4:25 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung assured Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Chung Jong Hwan of good conditions for Republic of Korea investors interested in transport infrastructure and property projects during their meeting in Hanoi on August 27.

Dung emphasised that it was part of the Vietnamese Government’s policy to further develop all-round relations with the RoK, especially in economics, trade, investment and tourism.

He also expressed satisfaction at the recent fine development of relations between the two countries as shown in the RoK’s leading the lists of foreign investors and trade partners of Vietnam, being a major development aid donor and a promising market for Vietnamese labour.

“Efforts should be made to deploy projects reached by the two sides during this visit as soon as possible while ensuring long-term, equal and mutually-interested cooperation,” said the Government leader.

“The Vietnamese Government will generate the best available conditions for RoK investments in Vietnam for that purpose,” Dung pledged.

In reply, Minister Chung Jong Hwan reported agreements reached with the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport in their recent working session, including concrete measures for cooperation in roads, seaports and railways, further exchange of visits and personnel training assistance.

Hwan proposed the Vietnamese Government extend favourable conditions for RoK investment in projects on either side of the Red River, the Haiphong seaport and industrial zones in the Red River province of Bac Giang.

“Vietnam has a good investment climate and the two countries have much in common. All this is a big reason for RoK businesses to consider Vietnam ideal for long-term and effective investments,” concluded the RoK minister.–

Vietnam owns great microfinance potentials

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam holds huge potentials for microfinance development, said Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung on August 27.

Hung told his guests who are in Hanoi to attend the Asia Microfinance Forum 2008 that Vietnam will adopt incentives regarding land and policy, as well as other favourable conditions for banks both at home and abroad to operate, particularly in extremely disadvantaged areas.

“Vietnam places top priority on economic growth in harmony with social security, hunger elimination and poverty reduction,” he stressed. “Increasing financial sources is important for Vietnam’s socio-economic development.”

Delegates all spoke highly of Vietnam’s successes in hunger eradication and poverty reduction over the recent past. They believed that the ongoing forum will successfully outline priorities and visions, as well as explore new ideas and opportunities for the microfinance industry.

Around 500 delegates from 50 countries have attended the event, focusing on future challenges and innovations in Asian microfinance.-

Green packaging firm halts production

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2008 at 4:22 pm

HCM CITY — The manufacturing of a new environmentally friendly packaging product designed by a HCM City man and enthusiastically received by foreign and local buyers has been suspended for lack of sponsorship.

The designer, Tran Quoc Toan of HCM City, created the bio-degradable product for use in flower pots and for packaging goods such as electronic components and fruit.

Toan says two years ago he moved his factory from HCM City to Mo Cay District of Ben Tre Province nearer his raw material sources to reduce costs, but he still lacks adequate facilities and funds.

Product orders from both foreign and domestic partners have rolled in but he has had to suspend production and make other products for agricultural uses.

The factory needs about VND1 billion (US$60,000) to buy machines, assembly lines, and power supplies to continue producing, but Toan cannot get a loan from banks or credit organisations.

Toan says he looks forward to receiving support from authorities and private organisations to continue his work.

The environmentally friendly pack’s composition includes a sugarcane bagasse, coconut fiber, and additives such as plaster and pine resin.

The waterproof product can bear a temperature of minus 10 to 110 degrees Celsius and can be re-used many times.

According to material technology specialists, the material could be used as a replacement for plastic, which is non-biodegradable. —

National squad picks up two more

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2008 at 4:19 pm

HA NOI — National football coach Henrique Calisto has named a squad of 27, which includes two new players, for forthcoming international friendly matches.

The new additions are Nguyen Hoang Vuong, who plays for V-League champions Becamex Binh Duong, and rising half-back star Phan Thanh Giang, who plays for V-League runners-up Dong Tam Long An.

Binh Duong is contributing six players (more than any other club) to the squad, which consists of three goalkeepers, nine defenders, ten midfielders and nine strikers.

Aside from Vuong and Duong, the squad are the same as the one that played three recent friendlies with Indonesia, Chinese Olympic and Brazil Olympic.

Khataco Khanh Hoa’s Nguyen Quang Hai, who has scored 10 V-League goals this season, will spearhead Viet Nam’s attack.

In the midfield, Calisto left out ageing Le Hong Minh of SHB Da Nang but is continuing to call on the services of Song Lam Nghe An’s defender Nguyen Minh Duc.

The squad’s first training session will be on September 8 at Hoang Anh Gia Lai’s Ham Rong training centre.

The national team’s first engagement will be an international friendly tournament in HCM City on October 1-5.

Afterwards, they will train at the National Sports Training Centre in Ha Noi for an international football event organised by the Viet Nam Football Federation in late October at My Dinh National Stadium. —

HCM City carries out first petechial fever vaccine tests

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2008 at 4:17 pm

HCM CITY — The Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute got the go ahead from the Health Ministry to carry out petechial fever vaccine experiments for the first time in Viet Nam.

The test will involve 180 people between two and 45 years old. The vaccine has been tested by many countries with a protection rate of between 83-100 per cent.

The city has reported more than 6,000 cases of petechial fever and experts are worried about the disease spreading even further, particularly in District 3, according to the municipal Preventive Medical Department.

Mosquitoes are the main carrier of the disease, which is dangerous for babies and overweight children. It can lead to respiratory and digestive problems.

The spread was attributed to limited preventive measures being carried out. Bad weather and poor living conditions, such as dirty houses surrounded by lakes, ponds and stagnant water, create favourable breeding conditions for mosquitoes.

The Preventive Medical Department has worked with the HCM Pasteur Institute to provide chemicals and spray machines to stamp out the mosquito population. —

Deadly H5N1 strain detected

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2008 at 4:17 pm

HA NOI — A strain of the H5N1 virus that poses a high risk of infecting humans and caused an avian flu epidemic in China, has appeared in smuggled poultry in Viet Nam according to Bui Quang Anh, the head of the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development’s Animal Health Department yesterday.

The infection mechanism of this highly infectious strain of the H5N1 virus, named seven, had not been found so far, Anh said.

“We are studying more about this strain in our poultry and will soon know the results,” said Nguyen Van Cam, the director of the Central Animal Diagnosis Centre.

The avian flu strain that has typically appeared in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta has been strain one, while the Song Hong (Red River) Delta has seen strain two, three and four with unknown infection mechanisms.

To prevent the strain from being spread, 242 million doses of H5N1 vaccines and 15 million of doses of H5N2 vaccines have been distributed to the localities, according to the department.

At this volume, just 76.5 per cent of poultry will be vaccinated.

Localities have typically neglected taking samples of poultry after being vaccinated. Only three out of 27 provinces that have undergone bird flu epidemics collected samples to test.

Some Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces with a high volume of poultry infected with the H5N1 virus include Vinh Long at 9.25 per cent, Tra Vinh with 8.97 per cent, Soc Trang with 5.32 per cent and Long An with 5 per cent.

Anh said that more vaccines were being prepared. —

Corporate director Pamela Flaherty talks about NY Citi

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2008 at 4:16 pm

What is the Citi Foundation and what does it do?

The Citi Foundation is based in New York and it is the philanthropic arm of Citi, the leading global financial services company. The Citi Foundation is committed to enhancing economic opportunities for under-served individuals and families in the communities where we work so that these groups can improve their standard of living.

Globally, the Citi Foundation focuses its grant giving on microfinance and microentrepreneurship, which helps individuals become economically self-sufficient; small and growing businesses lead to economic expansion and job creation; education, which prepares young people for personal and professional success; financial education, which helps individuals make informed financial decisions; and the environment, with a focus on sustainable enterprises that generate jobs and stimulate economic growth while preserving the environment.

In 2007, the Citi Foundation gave US$95.6 million, of which 44 per cent was given outside the United States.

How does Citi support microfinance programmes globally?

Over the past decade, the Citi Foundation has contributed more than $60 million to 250 microfinance institutions, microfinance networks and microenterprise programmes in 55 countries.

Since 1997, in Asia alone, the Citi Foundation has committed more than $18 million in funding for microfinance-related programmes.

More importantly, in addition to our funding, we support the microfinance sector through many other activities such as facilitating engagement with Citi business managers, promoting the exchange of information and best practices, making introductions to other players in the industry and sponsoring and participating in symposiums.

Recently, we announced the Citi Network Strengthening Program, a three-year, $11.2 million global initiative launched in 2008 in collaboration with the Small Enterprise Education and Promotion (SEEP) Network. An example of how this project benefits microfinance networks is the Asia Network Summit, organised by the region’s Banking With The Poor Network and SEEP in Ha Noi earlier this week. This was the first Asia-wide gathering of microfinance networks, including the Vietnam Microfinance Working Group, and has already contributed to improving dialogue between networks across the region.

Citi has also established a microfinance business group that works across the Citi businesses, product groups and with employees to establish commercial relationships with the microfinance sector to build scale, lower costs and introduce new products. Since it started in 2005, Citi Microfinance has established commercial relationships with more than 70 MFIs in over 35 countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, as well as global microfinance networks, specialised fund managers and investors.

How has Citi supported the development of microfinance in Viet Nam?

Since 2001, through Citi Foundation grants, Citi Vietnam has given VND3.3 billion ($168,000) to Save the Children US to support its microfinance programme in Thanh Hoa and enable more than 10,000 women from low-income households to start their own microenterprises. Today, it is one of the few examples of microfinance programmes in Viet Nam that has become financially sustainable.

In 2007, in partnership with the Vietnam Microfinance Working Group and its secretariat, the Microfinance and Development Centre, we launched the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards to promote microentrepreneurship and increase awareness of microfinance in Viet Nam. In its inaugural year, 60 exceptional microfinance clients and 30 credit officers from rural and remote areas of Viet Nam received awards.

In 2007, Citi Vietnam gave a Citi Foundation grant to another microfinance provider, the Binh Minh Community Development Company, to initiate a financial literacy project in Dong Anh District. Based on a Citi Foundation-funded global financial education curriculum for the poor, this programme is developing customised Vietnamese-language financial education materials for microfinance clients and aims to improve the financial literacy of 15,000 microfinance clients by 2010. —

Life insurance market forecast to grow 15 percent

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam ’s life insurance market is promising in spite of recent ups and downs, said Lam Tuan Hai, General Director of ACE Life, while talking about ACE Life’s impressive growth of 131 percent in Vietnam in the first six months of this year.

Realising the potential of Vietnam ’s life insurance market, many foreign insurers have launched investment activities in Vietnam such as setting up companies or rep. offices and changing trademarks.
In mid-July, the Republic of Korea ’s leading life insurance company, Samsung, marked its debut in Vietnam by opening a rep. office in Hanoi . It is working to map out a strategy to penetrate into the Vietnamese market.
The RoK Life Insurance Company, a member of the Han Wha Group, has been licensed to set up a rep. office in Ho Chi Minh City , which is expected to make debut in the first quarter of next year.

Cathay Life, Taiwan ’s largest life insurer, also put into operation a subsidiary company in Vietnam with a chartered capital of 600 billion VND (36 million USD). Cathay Vietnam General Director Peter Lai said it is time to invest in the Vietnamese insurance market, especially life, accident, annual allowance, health and investment risk insurances.

AIA Vietnam, a big name in the local life insurance market, has changed its name to AIG Life Vietnam in order to create a new kick-off for its long-term development strategy in the country.

Up to the present, nine foreign businesses have involved in the Vietnamese life insurance market and the number is expected to swell in 2009, revealed Deputy Finance Minister Tran Xuan Ha.
In the first half of 2008, the total revenue from life insurance premium exceeded 5 trillion VND (303 million USD), up 13.6 percent over the same period last year.

According to the Vietnam Insurance Association, the local people’s improved living conditions and businesses’ service diversification will speed up the development of the insurance market, which is forecast to enjoy a 15 percent growth rate this year.-