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Archive for August 22nd, 2008|Daily archive page

$64m education plan underway

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2008 at 4:02 pm

HA NOI — The Ministry of Education and Training, with support from the Asian Development Bank, has carried out a seven-year project on developing education for junior secondary schools in nearly 1,500 especially difficult communes in 17 provinces across the country.


The project’s director, Tran Van Thanh, yesterday announced that the project began in June this year in provinces including Ca Mau, Cao Bang, Dak Lak, Dien Bien, Kon Tum, Yen Bai and Soc Trang with a total investment of US$64 million, in which $50 million was loaned by ADB.


The project is expected to build 819 new classrooms for junior secondary schools, and 960 boarding rooms for about 7,680 ethnic minority students; improve knowledge for 30,000 teachers; and upgrade facilities.


In addition, the ministry will offer scholarships to 800 students from 18 ethnic minority groups worth $200 each. —

Power returns to flooded northern provinces

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2008 at 4:02 pm

HA NOI — Power has been restored in most northern mountain provinces flooded by storm Kammuri, according to Electricity Company No 1.


Son La Electricity Company has temporarily repaired damaged low-voltage poles and medium-voltage cables in Son La Town and the districts of Yen Chau, Sop Cop, Muong La, Bac Yen, Quynh Nhai and Song Ma.


The power network in Vinh Phuc Province was restored after fallen poles and damaged transformers were replaced. Phu Tho and Bac Kan were also back to normal.


However, some power cuts remained in the two hardest hit provinces, Lao Cai and Yen Bai.


In Lao Cai, two 35kV cables supplying power to Bat Xat District’s Y Ty Commune and Bao Yen District’s Long Phuc Commune were still disconnected because the areas are still under water.


Provincial Electricity Company said it would not be able to fix the problem until the end of the month. It would take even more time to repair damaged low-voltage cables because roads were still unpassable.


Yen Bai has suspended power supply to a number of transformers including those near the banks of the Hong (Red) River, in Hong Quang Commune of Luc Yen District, and Chau Que Ha and Chau Que Thuong communes in Van Yen District.


Up to 6,000 electricity metres in the province were swamped by flood water.


Electricity Company No 1 estimates losses faced by the industry in northern mountainous provinces was more than VND23.3 billion (US$1.46 million). Lao Cai was the worst hit with losses of about VND15 billion ($937,500). —

Sa Dec gets clean water for first time

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2008 at 4:01 pm

DONG THAP — People in Sa Dec Town, Dong Thap Province now have clean water and better sanitation, thanks to a new water treatment plant funded by the Australian government.


The plant is part of a project called the “Three Delta Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project,” which started seven years ago to improve living conditions and alleviate poverty for the 280,000 residents in Bac Lieu, Ha Tien and Dong Thap provinces.


With AUD 48.9 million (US$42.6 million) from the Australian Agency for International Development (AAID), it moves sustainable development in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta along by combining the infrastructure for water supply and sanitation and raising awareness for water safety. The poor and ethnic minorities are especially targeted for assistance.


Bill Tweddell, Australian ambassador to Viet Nam, said the project is proof of his country’s commitment to co-operate with the Vietnamese government in meeting Viet Nam’s goals for prosperity.


“Australia has been very actively supporting Viet Nam in its development process for over 35 years. Providing access to clean water and sanitation is a strong focus of our development co-operation. I am pleased that through co-operation with the Dong Thap People’s Committee, we have been able to support Sa Dec Town to achieve these important objectives,” said Tweddell.


AUSAIDS’s share in the new treatment plant is AUD 15 million ($13 million). —

Can Tho urban area takes shape

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2008 at 4:01 pm

by Vuong Thoai Trung









Twenty-six construction projects have been invested in the Southern Can Tho River urban area. Investors have been urged to earmark at least 10 per cent of the total land area for resettlement. – VNA/VNS Photo Pham Hau


CAN THO — A new urban area, South of the Can Tho River, is undergoing massive reconstruction, which will reshape the area. Among the projects, 26 construction projects have received planning permission, 12 are under construction and five are almost completed.


Nguyen Thanh Son, vice chairman of the Can Tho People’s Committee, has urged project investors to allocate 10 per cent of the total land area for resettlement.


“We plan to build long-term resettlement areas for residents, as compensation for moving away from project sites,” Son told the Vietnam News Agency.


He explained that previous resettlement areas only provided temporary living areas and limited infrastructure.


Vo Van Bao, director of the Can Tho Branch of Hoang Quan Real Estate Ltd Co, said his company had invested in two projects in the South Can Tho urban area since 2003.


“We contributed 30 per cent of the capital, local investors provided the rest,” said Bao, “When the local investors have completed the public infrastructure, like schools and markets, we will start housing construction and look for customers to buy our properties,” said Bao.


The city government has also given the company an area of 320ha of land for building an International University Village, which will be the biggest project there.


The village will be built as a university complex in the middle of the urban area, Bao said.


The company is trying to co-operate with foreign companies to design the village.


Vo Thanh Van, director of Thien Loc Ltd Company, which has been building residential area 13A in South Can Tho since 2004, said that the company was close to completing infrastructure in 16 of the 26.4 ha of land allocated to them. Around 70km of roads, 2,500m of drainage system, 400m of sewers and eight ha of electric lighting have been installed, as well as water systems and fire hydrants.


The company is building 120 houses and three villas on the site.


Thien Loc Real Estate Ltd Company has just given 30 houses, each worth VND800 million to 30 families who were relocated due to construction. The company will complete another 14 houses for resettlement later this year.


Thien Loc was the first real estate company in the city to hand-over houses to local people for resettlement.


The company has also finished public works in the resettlement area, including an 18,900sq.m market, two nursery houses, two parks of 7,700 sq.m and a junior high school of 14,000sq.m.


Tran Huu Cuong, who received a house offered by Thien Loc Real Estate Co for resettlement, said he was happy with the resettlement policy and thought the project would benefit local residents.


“Each of the households relocated from the project site has received proper compensation, and has raised living standards in the area in comparison with our former agricultural lifestyle,” Cuong said.


“Besides,” he said, ” we also benefit from public works in the area like schools, nursery homes and markets.”


Traffic Works Construction Company No 586 has finished 400 resettlement homes in the Phu An Urban Area project, set within the boundaries of the larger South Can Tho urban area. The figure represents the largest hand-over of resettlement housing so far.


Fourteen other projects have met with troubles, as residents have not accepted compensation offers.


A local source revealed that by 2010, five projects will be completed while the rest might not be finished as planned.


The original design of the South Can Tho Urban area covers around 2,000 ha along the Hau River.


According to Tran Van An, director of the Can Tho Rural Architecture Institute, when finished, the area will house 300,000 to 500,000 residents. —

Officials to monitor underground plans

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2008 at 4:00 pm

HCM CITY — Municipal authorities want to increase the efficacy of the city’s management of underground construction projects in a bid to push economic growth and deal with a population boom while avoiding accidents.


Many officials and architects are calling on relevant departments to finish drafting city ordinances on underground construction.


Accidents at subterranean infrastructure construction sites have happened recently, including the case of the Pacific Building whose construction destroyed the grounds of the Southern Institute of Social Sciences.


A representative of the municipal Department of Construction said that while mishaps were partly due to the investors’care-lessness, the principal culprit was the lack of the regulations to control underground construction.


Officials have few guidelines to grant licences for new construction projects or penalise negligent construction companies due to this lack of regulations.


Khuong Van Muoi, chairman of the HCM City Architects’ Association, said that authorities needed to come up with plans for underground construction as soon as possible.


Currently, the city is in dire need of parking lots as well as public spaces for transportation and business purposes.


However, few subterranean projects, including underground parking lots, have been developed so far, possibly due to the lack of a detailed planning design for underground construction projects.


Coming up with a planning map for the city’s underground space system should prove to be a difficult task, said architect Ngo Viet Nam Son.


“The underground planning must meet modern technical standards, and can be served for different purposes,’ Son said.


The planning must be made in ways that facilitate current underground projects connect with future ones, he added.


Son suggested authorities take the initiative in encouraging investors to participate in badly needed infrastructure projects.


Others yet remind officials to keep a close eye on the influence of new underground projects to the existing infrastructure.


The HCM City People’s Committee recently aborted construction of an underground parking lot beneath the Lam Son Square, fearing likely damage to nearby architecture.


A lack of city planning may prove to be the chief reason for delays in planned underground parking lot projects below Chi Lang, Bach Tung Diep and Le Van Tam Parks, Nguyen Hue Street, and Hoa Lu Stadium. —

S Korea to share agricultural science, technology with VN

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2008 at 3:57 pm

HA NOI — South Korea will share advanced agricultural science and technology with Viet Nam.


Chairman of South Korea’s Special Committee for Agriculture, Fishery and Rural Areas, Lee Sang-mu, said this during a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung in Ha Noi yesterday.


Lee said his country also planned to build a research institute for agriculture and factories to produce agricultural machinery, fertilisers and cattle feed. It would also set up a pilot model for rural areas in Viet Nam.


He said that Viet Nam, which had huge potential for economic development, had emerged as the world’s second largest exporter of rice and coffee.


Hung said Viet Nam placed top priority on agriculture, rural areas and farmers and had adopted policies to build a modern agricultural system and improve living conditions for farmers.


He said that despite high inflation, Viet Nam had so far this year absorbed more than US$40 billion in foreign investment, doubling the 2007 figure.


Regarding bilateral relations, the deputy PM said Viet Nam and South Korea had a comprehensive and dynamic co-operation. He noted that South Korea had topped the list of foreign investors in Viet Nam in the past three years.


Lee expressed sympathy for the loss of human life and property in the recent floods and presented the country with a rescue boat. — VNA/

Interbank market given lending cap

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2008 at 3:56 pm

HA NOI — Each month, mutual charges issued by credit institutions on the interbank market are now restricted to one and a half times the prime rate set by the State Bank of Viet Nam.


The order was sent on Tuesday, effective immediately. The prime rate this month is 14 per cent per year, which means the lending interest cap for banks is now 21 per cent yearly, as opposed to the former negotiated lending interest rates without caps.


This is the first time the interbank market has operated with a lending cap. The same cap has applied to lending activities between banks and non-credit institutions since May.


The regulation is said to have been introducedto curb the rising (more than 21 per cent yearly) lending interest rates among banks in past weeks.


However, speaking to Viet Nam News yesterday, director of SBV’s Department for Monetary Policy Nguyen Ngoc Bao denied the rumour and said, “The regulation just aims to create a common interest rate for both the interbank and general markets.” —

Viet Nam air traffic speeds up, goes big

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2008 at 3:56 pm

HA NOI — Passenger traffic on key routes to and from Viet Nam could grow faster than the world average, Airbus senior marketing analyst Susana Martin-Romo Pozo said at a press conference in Ha Noi yesterday.


The Viet Nam-Frankfurt route, for instance, could increase as much as 10.2 per cent, while world passenger traffic is forecast to grow 4.9 per cent on average, Martin-Romo said.


“The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus sees a need for the superjumbo A380 in Viet Nam in the next decade, driven by exceptionally strong traffic growth,” she said.


The aircraft A380 operates long-haul routes with a capacity of 525 passengers.


It burns less fuel, and is relatively environmentally friendly and quiet.


The A380 was the solution for airlines in Viet Nam to meet business and tourist demand, Martin-Romo said.


Sean Lee, Airbus head of regional communications, said the company had recorded strong sales and that 754 orders for new aircraft had been placed by the end of July.


These included 10 A350 XWB and 10 A321 aircrafts ordered by Vietnam Airlines and 10 A321s booked by Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Company.


So far, Vietnam Airlines and Vietnam Aircraft Leasing Company has ordered a total of 45 kinds of Airbus aircrafts, of which 13 had been delivered, according to Lee.


Lee expressed hope that Vietnamese airlines would order more Airbus aircrafts, and expected a total of 80 by 2020. —

Two int’l expos offer trade opportunities

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2008 at 3:55 pm

HCM CITY — Local and foreign-based businesses shopping for partnerships can check out two annual international exhibitions, both organised by the Viet Nam Exhibition and Advertisint Company. The events op-ened yesterday, and will run until Sunday.


The Vietfood and Beverage Expo brought in companies from various countries and territoties, including Japan, Korea, France, Malaysia, Singapore, China and Viet Nam.


On display at 150 stalls are confectionaries, cann-ed and processed food, dairy products, spices, soft drinks, juice products among others. Equipment for food processing, packaging and cold storage are also on show.


Meanwhile, the Saigon Medi-pharm Expo is hosting companies from 20 countries and territories, including Taiwan, India, South Korea, the Czech Republic and the US.


The 250 stalls here feature new medications, pharmaceutical materials, medical equipment, pharmaceutical production machinery and techologies, and hospital air, water and waste treatment technologies.


Both events are at the HCM City International Exhibition and Convention Center, 446 Hoang Van Thu Street Tan Binh District. —

Car makers rev up sales pitches

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2008 at 3:54 pm







A Ford sedan displayed at the Viet Nam Motor Show. The exhibition opened at Ha Noi’s Viet Nam Exhibition Fair Centre yesterday and runs through Monday. — VNS Photo Viet Thanh

HA NOI — Economic deceleration and rising fuel prices have not dampened the spirits of local auto makers who brought their flagship vehicles to the Viet Nam Motor Show, which opened here yesterday.


Twelve leading members of the Viet Nam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA) began the industry’s most festive event, which aims to drive up growth in the industry’s most difficult period in a decade.


“We hope the auto industry in Viet Nam will experience accelerated growth in the future, as the population will quickly grow to 100 million. This coupled with the raising number of middle-class consumer will help the industry,” said Industry and Trade Deputy Minister, Do Huu Hao, at the opening ceremony.


Hao said the Government would create favourable policies to help development of the industry.


VAMA’s chairman Udo Franz Loersch said local car makers were very optimistic about the Viet Nam auto market, adding that automobile ownership was becoming commonplace.


“Meanwhile, with the dynamic growth of the Vietnamese market, we want to entice foreign parts makers to invest more into Viet Nam’s support industries,” he added. The exhibition, covering 12,000sq.m, has hundreds of cars on display, many of which are concept cars, such as the Ford B, Toyota FTHS, Isuzu multi-utility MU7 and the GM Daewoo L4X.


Exhibitors are displaying flagship models at this year’s event.


Mercedes Benz is showing the two-door SLK350, and Suzuki has a Swift 1600 race car on display. Mitsubishi is showing the Zinger and Honda has a Civic Hybrid on show.


A seminar entitled Preparation for Car Motorisation in Viet Nam was also held yesterday as part of the show, with the participation of representatives from Government organisations, associations and private enterprises.


The five-day event, themed Realising Your Dreams, is expected to attract 120,000 visitors, and is co-organised by the Viet Nam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA) and AFTA Co.


According to VAMA – which represents 17 of the country’s leading auto makers, including the 12 firms participating in the show, 11 car makers in Viet Nam last year sold a total of 8,458 vehicles.


This was a 31 per cent increase over the same period last year. —