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Archive for August 7th, 2008|Daily archive page

Binh Thuan entrepreneurs seek opportunities in US

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2008 at 2:21 pm

A delegation of the southern province of Binh Thuan is looking for potential trade and investment partners in the western region of the US.

On August 6, the delegation headed by Deputy Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Thu met with entrepreneurs from San Francisco to introduce Binh Thuan’s potential and local encouragement policies to foreign investors.

US businesses showed their interest in the province’s main exports and projects calling for investment.

Addressing the meeting, Le Quoc Hung, Vietnamese Consul General to San Francisco, said that the Consulate General would do its best to promote investment and trade and cooperation between localities of Vietnam and the US.-

Vietnam urged to develop supporting industries

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2008 at 2:21 pm

The Vietnam-based Japanese Businesspeople Association (JBA) has called on Vietnam to develop supporting industries in order to keep investors in the country in the long term.

The JBA made the call at its recent meeting with officials from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry that aimed to seek ways to prevent Japanese investors from following the electronics giant Sony which last month announced to end all its production in the country.

The Head of the JBA’s Supporting Industry Department, Nobuhiko Murakami, said Sony has foreseen that their Vietnam-made products cannot compete against imports, which will enjoy tariff exemption by 2010 in line with Vietnam’s commitments to the World Trade Organisation, due to a lack of local supporting industries.

Murakami warned of a similar threat to many FDI enterprises, citing as an example the case of Toyota Vietnam of which he is Director General.

He said Vietnamese producers can only supply a few of automobile components for Toyota Vietnam, while their peers in Thailand or Indonesia have been able to provide up to 90 percent of components at orders.

If Vietnamese producers fail to meet 60-70 percent of Toyota Vietnam’s needs for components by the time the country opens its automobile market completely in 2018, it will be hard for Toyota to stay in Vietnam, the Toyota Vietnam Director General said.

Koichi Takano, Deputy Country Representative of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), said “Japanese businesspeople are concerned about policies and strategies supporting their long-term growth”.

“Supporting industries are one of key issues for Japanese businesses in their long-term development”, the JETRO official said.

VCCI Chairman Vu Tien Loc assured the Japanese businessmen that his chamber will assist Vietnamese businesses to formulate a strategy to develop supporting industries that is based on strategic alliances between Vietnamese and Japanese businesses.-

5.2 mln USD for nation’s business registration reform

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2008 at 2:20 pm

– The Norwegian Government and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) will finance 5.2 million USD for the first phase of a project on technical assistance for business registration reform in Vietnam.

An agreement to this effect was signed by the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), the Norwegian Embassy and the UNIDO in Hanoi on August 7.

The 9-million-USD project, to last until 2011, will help Vietnam develop a system of business registration-related information and train office personnel in 63 provinces and cities.

It is expected to help reduce time and costs for registration procedures and set up a web-based information distribution system filing annual financial statements of shareholding enterprises.

MPI’s Deputy Minister Truong Van Doan said that in addition to providing open information of enterprises, the one-stop registration services will ensure each enterprise has a unique ID, which will be the tax code for that enterprise.

Norwegian Ambassador Kjell Magne Storlokken praised the Vietnamese Government’s efforts in private sector development and public administration reform.

“In the post WTO accession period, consolidated registration reform will contribute to improved transparency in the business environment, and reduce the transaction costs and risks in executing business activities in Vietnam,” Storlokken said.

UNIDO Representative Nilgun Tas said the National Business Registry will facilitate online information sharing between provincial business registration offices and relevant ministries, reduce the duplication of business names and offer web-enabled services, including the option to submit registration applications online.
The project is part of the UN’s “One UN plan”, a joint action programme between the Government and all 14 resident UN organisations in Vietnam.-

Hanoi to host int’l construction expo

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2008 at 2:19 pm

More than 200 local and foreign businesses are expected to participate in an international construction, building materials and interior decoration exhibition (Viconstruct 2008) in Hanoi from August 11-15.

Viconstruct 2008 will feature a wide range of products including everything from construction technologies and equipment to roofing and interior decorations, as well as glasses, pottery, furniture and electric appliances.

Hanoi ’s district urban planning will also be on display at the exhibition, the Fair and Trade Joint Stock Company (VIASI) said.

There will be also seminars to introduce import-export policies as well as new products and technologies used in the construction and building material industry.

VIASI is joining the Centre for Building Materials Development Research and Consulting and the Vietnam Building Materials Association in organising the event.-

Seminar seeks mitigation of labour export impacts

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2008 at 2:17 pm

– Guest workers have made a big source of cash, however, they have also suffered adverse impacts on themselves and their families as well.

This was one of the outcomes of a study on the impacts of labour exports on family life in the Red river delta province of Thai Binh that was introduced at a seminar in Hanoi on August 6.

The study was part of the project “Safe return: behavioral and custom changes in Vietnam” which was jointly carried out by the Vietnam-based HealthBridge Canada and the Thai Binh authorities with the aim of minimising the vulnerability of female guest workers to HIV/AIDS infection.

The study, conducted at Vu Lang, Dong Phong, Dong Tan and Hong Chau communes and Thai Binh city, found changes in consciousness, spousal behaviors, and psychological effects on children and marriages in families of guest workers.

Thai Binh is one of the country’s pioneers in exporting labourers. It sent 2,900 people, mainly women, abroad a year between 2002 and 2005, and plans to send between 2,500-3,000 people a year from now to 2010.

As a result, participants called on the State to intensify its management over labour export companies as well as communication campaigns to raise the public understanding of the role and contributions of guest workers.

They said labour export companies need to join hands with local authorities, and women’s unions at all levels in education and supporting programmes for female guest workers and their families to help lessen negative impacts on their spiritual and material life.-

Outstanding small entrepreneurs to be awarded

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2008 at 2:17 pm

– Outstanding credit officials and micro entrepreneurs nationwide will receive the “Citi Micro-Entrepreneurs” award which was funded by the US’s Citibank in Vietnam .

At a press conference in Hanoi on August 6, Citibank Vietnam General Director Brett Krause said the award aims to assist Vietnamese micro-entrepreneurs in doing business and encourage them to provide financial services for the poor.

It will also honour outstanding micro-businesses who helped improve their families’ living standards, create jobs for local people and contribute to locality’s economic development, he added.

The director highlighted Vietnam’s achievements in poverty reduction and its high growth rate of micro finance.

He also said that about 80 percent of Vietnamese poor people will be likely to receive micro financial services, mainly short-term loans and savings.

The award, worth 5-9 million VND each and co-organised by the Vietnam Micro-Finance Working Group and the Citibank’s fund, will be presented in December as scheduled.

Last year, 60 outstanding micro entrepreneurs and 30 credit officials from rural and isolated areas of Vietnam who escaped from poverty and succeeded in business thanks to micro-loans received the award.

Since its establishment in 1993, the US bank has so far financed more than 15 billion VND (close to 1 million USD) for volunteer and community programmes in Vietnam and it has made a lot of contributions to the country’s financial market.-

Blind people need help to access IT

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2008 at 2:16 pm

– Government agencies, the SIDA of Sweden and the Vietnam Blind Association (VBA) are working to seek ways to help blind people gain access to information technology to improve their living conditions.

At a symposium in Hanoi on August 6, vice president of the Vietnam Blind Association, Nguyen Xuan Huong, said his association has annually helped 100-150 members learn IT and its applications since it launched a related programme in 2004.

However, Huong said there were more than 90 percent of 600,000 blind people in the country that have never had access to computers and cannot tell the difference between software and hardware.

He said that IT centres for blind people were found in only 12 out of the country’s 64 provinces and cities with some running software programmes that were unusable.

Participants proposed concerned agencies to develop IT training methods appropriate to blind people to enable them to have useful skills supporting their work and life.-

HCM City to meet poverty eradication target by year end

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Ho Chi Minh City expects to meet its target of bringing the rate of poverty among its households to 0.6 percent by the year end, two years ahead of the schedule as set in the municipal 8th Party Committee meeting’s Resolution.

The city’s 16-year-old hunger eradication programme has helped hundreds of thousands of poor households rise above poverty. By the end of April, the city had 17,033 households living under the poverty line of six million VND in per capita annual income, accounting for 1.37 percent of the city’s total households.

The municipal authorities have also issued a decision, raising the poverty line to 12 million VND per capita a year in urban areas and 10 million VND per capita a year in suburban districts as from 2009.-

Thai products expo kicks off in Hanoi

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2008 at 2:15 pm

The 8 th Thai products’ exposition kicked off in Hanoi on August 7, attracting the participation of 102 leading businesses from Thailand .

The Minister Counsellor at the Thai embassy in Hanoi , Tawatchai Koopirom, said the annual event in Vietnam aims to not only promote trade between the two countries’ businesses but also further cooperation in investment, tourism and culture.

He confirmed that the Thai embassy in Hanoi will assist Thai firms in seeking investment and business opportunities in Vietnam .

The Thai embassy’s Counsellor for Commercial Affairs Unchalee Asavametha added that the exposition also helps boost trading ties among countries in the Mekong Delta region.

Since the establishment of Vietnam-Thailand commercial ties in 1988, the two countries’ trade turnover has been growing fast. The first half of this year saw two-way trade reach 4.2 billion USD, twofold increase from the same period last year. The turnover is estimated to reach 10 billion USD by 2010.

During the four-day event, there are 150 booths featuring a wide range of goods from machinery, industrial, electric and electronic products, auto, motorbike and bicycle spare parts, fruits, food, drinks, cosmetics, medical products, stationeries, products for children, jewellery to handicraft items.-

Fifty-three streets to be vendor-less in HCM City

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Ho Chi Minh City has announced plans to clear up 53 rumbustious streets, including 15 streets in District 1 and 38 streets in several outlying districts.

Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, deputy chairwoman of the HCM City People’s Committee, said crack downs on streets in District 1 are already in place.

The bans on street vendors and pavement parking for those streets appear to be working since they came into effect on July 16.

However, fines for violators have only been applied to 4 out of the 15 streets, including Le Duan, Dong Khoi, Nguyen Huy and Le Loi since August 1.

The street vendors on the remaining streets are currently reminded to obey the new regulations.

Though there are still no official bans on the other 38 streets, many vendors are worried. Most are very poor and come from the countryside.

Le Thi Lai, a street vendor in District 3, said “Vendors are mostly poor and do not have enough money for a fixed place for selling.”

“My income is just enough to pay for my two children’s education,” another street seller in district 3, Tran Van Thu said. “I hope the city will find solutions to help vendors keep their businesses.”

The city People’s Committee is calling on leaders of every district and relevant departments to help street vendors find alternative forms of employment as soon as the regulations come to effect.-