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Archive for August 4th, 2008|Daily archive page

HCM City seeks funds for hi-tech, green projects

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Ho Chi Minh City is seeking investment in hi-tech, environmentally friendly projects to meet development demand in the next two years, according to the city’s Planning and Investment Department.

Hardware, software development and production of electronic parts as well as precision engineering are all part of the city’s plan.

Multibillion dollar projects this year included the 3.5 billion USD Berjaya International University , the 1.2 billion USD TECO software park and the 1.2 billion USD TA skyscraper.

The TECO software park in Thu Thiem New Urban area in District 12 will develop a space of 700,000 square metres for hi-tech, software, banking and insurance companies.

The city will also call on further investment for new roads, bridges and electricity and water supplies to meet economic growth.

To generate capital for infrastructure, the city will raise capitals from different sources, including private investors, since there are limited funds from the State budget.

Getting funds from Official Development Assistance (ODA) is difficult because of loan procedures.

In the 2008-10 period, the city will promote economic restructuring with a focus on hi-tech industry and services, and prevention of environmental pollution.

The city has proposed that the Government support the plan to develop the city into the country’s major financial centre, and set up a Finance Investment Company to generate capital.

The city’s Department of Planning and Investment will closely coordinate with the Trade and Investment Promotion Centre to promote investments in industrial production and hi-tech industry, especially key industrial sectors such as electronics, information technology, precision engineering, chemicals and food processing.

In the first seven months of this year, the city has attracted 172 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with a total capital of 7.9 billion USD, an increase of 12 times compared with the same period last year.

Experts said the city had succeeded in drawing FDI because of its improved investment climate, administrative reforms and streamlined investment licensing procedures.

HCM City has 2,908 valid FDI projects worth 24.91 billion USD.-

VN to export 3.5 mln tonnes of rice in 9 months

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2008 at 3:41 pm

– Vietnam expects to export 3.5 million tonnes of rice in the first nine months of the year with the August volume estimatedly hitting 400,000 tonnes.

At present, the price of Vietnamese rice ranges between 620-630 USD per tonne, while that of Thai rice, from 700-720 USD per tonne in the world market.

According to Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) Tran Ba Hoan, VFA has made a proposal allowing rice exporters to get loans in foreign currency instead of Vietnam Dong to purchase rice from farmers to avoid the VND lending interest rate. With the current rates, exporters have to pay an additional 12-15 USD for a tonne of rice each month.

The VFA has also suggested the government abolish rice export duties or increase the levied export rice price from 600 USD per tonne to 800 USD per tonne.-

HCM City real estate developers think small

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Smaller apartments may be the next big thing in HCM City’s real estate market, as developers realise this segnment has been overlooked for quite a while.

Speaking at a seminar on adapting to changes in the residential market, Marc Townsend, managing director of the real estate service firm CB Richard Ellis Vietnam, said there was real demand on units between 50 and 80 sq.m.

Up to 80 percent of Vietnamese who want to buy dwellings have not yet obtained their desires,” said Townsend. They instead rented for years to save up for their dream homes.

CB Richard Ellis deputy director Nguyen Nguyen Thai cited developers in Hong Kong and Singapore still offering units around 75sq.m.

According to Thai, currently buyers are interested in price, payment terms and construction progress to ensure completion as planned. Suitable prices are said to be between 10 and 18 million VND a sq.m with a total value of 600 million VND to 1.5 billion VND.

Buyers are willing to buy homes outside downtown to avoid high prices, provided the commute is reasonable.

Previously, between 80-90 percent of buyers were investors. Now, with investment requiring large sums of cash while yielding low profits, few are willing to sign on the dotted line for just an 8 percent profit margin in District 5’s Hung Vuong Plaza or 3.5 percent in District 2’s Villa Riviera.

In the second half of the year, 12 projects with 8,000 apartments will be on the offer but only 30 percent of the units have been sold already as buyers expect a price drop, not because there is no demand.

To date, prices have decreased for projects that will be completed in three years, but have changed in significantly for projects close to finishing.

Between 2009 and 2012 more than 70,000 apartments will be for sale.

Meanwhile, a new environmentally friendly trend is making its way into Vietnam ’s residential property market.

Recently, the Vietnamese Becamex IDC Corp teamed up with Malaysian property developer S.P Setia for the EcoLakes My Phuoc.

Covering 226 ha in the centre of the 3,700-ha My Phuoc Industrial Park in Binh Duong Province, the compound will feature an eco sanctuary out of respect for the preservation of ecological balance.

This project requires a total investment of 800 million USD, and when completed in 2015 will include around 500 houses, 168 villas and over 1,000 apartments, among other developments. Residents will also enjoy various lakes and fountains, theme parks, large greenage and recreational spaces.

”We bring our experience in developing various residential areas in Malaysia to My Phuoc, especially the Setia Eco Park which won the Prix d’ Excellence Award last year in Barcelona, Spain, granted by the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI),” said SP Setia chief executive officer Teow Leong Seng. The award is to honour projects with outstanding design and construction.-

Taiwan’s cement factory thrives in central

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2008 at 3:40 pm

A wholly Taiwanese owned cement factory in central Thua Thien-Hue province has been allowed to raise its total capacity to 4 million tonne per year.

The factory will invest 130 million USD in assembling a 5,000-tonnes-of-linker-per-day production line to reach the target.

The factory’s products, named Kim Dinh, were sold throughout provinces and cities from the central Quang Binh province to Ho Chi Minh City.

These products were mostly used for transportation and irrigational works and sold well in central provinces as well as in the Lao market.

Its products were also used for some large-scale construction works of the Song Da 6 company.-

Regulations on border markets’ operation promulgated

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2008 at 3:39 pm

Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang has issued regulations on the operation of markets located near the country’s borderline, at the border gates and in border gate economic zones.

According to the regulations, those who are allowed to do business at these markets include Vietnamese citizens living in border areas and citizens from neighbouring countries with valid border passes as well as businesses of Vietnam and neighbouring countries.

All of the eligible merchadisers have to sign contracts with the market managing boards to rent booths and kiosks, said the regulations.

The document also stipulates that the local departments of industry and trade or agencies empowered by the departments are responsible for granting licences for foreign traders.

For markets located in border gate economic zones, the licences will be granted by the zones’ managing boards.

The Minister of Industry and Trade also stipulates that traders at border markets must abide by Vietnam’s tax regulations including those on value-added tax, corporate tax, and special consumption tax.

Regulations on the operation of the steering board for border trade with neighbouring countries have also been issued.-

Ministry starts up automatic import licensing

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2008 at 3:38 pm

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said it has applied automatic import licensing on a number of goods.

The beneficiary commodities under Decision 24/2008/QD-BCT include vegetables, coffee, tea and spices; fat and vegetable oil; meat and fish products; sugar and confectionary; cereal and milk products; and drinks and alcohols.

Perfumes and cosmetics; plastics and plastic products; rubber and rubber products, garments and knitwear; porcelain, pottery and glass products; electric generators and equipment; watches; interior decorations, toys and sport equipment are also subject to the new regulation.

Eligible dossiers of application will be licensed automatically within 10 working days after the Ministry of Industry and Trade receive the valid dossier sets.

The decision will expire after December 31, 2008, the ministry said.-

Thailand’s Seamico Securities eyes Vietnamese market

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2008 at 3:38 pm

– Thailand’s Seamico Securities plans to form a joint venture with a Vietnamese partner to expand business opportunities in Indochina, the company’s Chief Executive Officer said.

Seamico CEO Chaipatr Srivisarvacha said the company was in talks to take up to a 50 percent stake in one of three Vietnamese brokers, according to local media on August 4.

“Despite the sharp declines in share prices in the Vietnamese market, we still see strong growth opportunities in Vietnam,” Chaipatr was quoted by the Bangkok Post as saying.

He said any partner selected by Seamico “must be financially strong and have investments in good assets”, adding that the Bangkok-based company hopes to close a deal by the end of the year.

The company’s market share increased to 4.18 percent at the end of June, while brokerage operations account for around 70 percent of its total revenues.-

Spain provides 540,560 EUR to develop agricultural business

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2008 at 3:37 pm

The Spanish Agency for Development Cooperation (AECI) will provide 540,560 EUR as non-refundable aid for the second phase of a project to build policies supporting the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the agricultural sector.

Vietnam’s capital for the project will come from the Institute for Agricultural Development Policies and Strategies under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem on August 4 signed a document on the PM’s decision to approve the project.-

Sustainable farming project helps ethnic minorities

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2008 at 3:37 pm

A 1.7-million-USD project, funded by Denmark, has helped 8,490 ethnic minority farming households in six northern provinces develop sustainable agriculture.

On pilot fields in training courses, the farmers obtained a yield of 9-11 tonnes of maize per hectare, a 35-45 percent rise compared to traditional farming methods.

There have also reportedly been 50 percent increases in the yields of tomatoes, cucumbers, beans and mustard greens.

The project, which aims to improve the livelihoods of ethnic minority communities through sustainable farming practices and increasing labour productivity, has been carried out since 2006 in Hoa Binh, Son La, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces and will continue until 2010.

Reports at a meeting in Hanoi on August 4 to review the project’s progress showed that farmers had training in Integrated Pet Management (IPM) techniques in maize and vegetable growing, field inspections and the proper use of fertiliser and pesticide to reduce costs and ensure environment and customer protection.

The farmers were also taught how to form groups and associations, analyse advantages and disadvantages of crops and farming methods, and develop production plans. As a result, there are now 65 community groups across the localities that are operating to boost sustainable farming.

Vice President of the Vietnam Farmers’ Association, Ha Phuc Mich , said the project has initially improved ethnic minority people’s awareness about sustainable agricultural development, enabled them to apply technical advances in household production, and has strengthened unity in the community.

The meeting was held by the Vietnam Farmers’ Association, the Danish non-government organisation Agricultural Development Denmark Asia (ADDA), and the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).-