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Archive for August 25th, 2008|Daily archive page

TAQ2508.005 Japan extends emergency relief aid to Laos

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2008 at 11:50 am

Vientiane (VNA) – The Japanese government has decided to provide emergency relief package equivalent about 12 million yen (111,000 USD), to Laos, according to a press release of Japanese Embassy.

The relief package, including water purifiers, water tanks, blankets, tents and sleeping pads, was to respond to the Lao government’s appeal for assistance and cooperation in flood mitigation and emergency response effort, from a humanitarian viewpoint and in light of the friendly and cooperative relationship between the two countries.

This aid was handed over to Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Lieutenant General Douangchay Phichit last week, the Lao news agency (KPL) reported Vientiane Capital and Khammouane and Bolikhamsay provinces, are suffering from serious problems including drinking-water shortage caused by the largest-ever flooding in the past weeks.

The Lao government has therefore asked for emergency relief assistance from the Japanese government, while making its utmost efforts to support those in need, according to the KPL. –

CEPF helps conserve biodiversity hotspots in Vietnam

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2008 at 11:49 am

Hanoi (VNA) –The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) will help conserve biodiversity hotspots in Vietnam as part of its new funding plan for civil society-engaged biodiversity conservation in Indochina .

With 9.5 million USD for five years, the CEPF will also preserve biodiversity hotspots in Cambodia , Laos , Thailand and parts of China .

Talking with the Quan doi Nhan dan (People’s Army) daily, CEPF Grant Director John Watkin said the CEPF will give top priority to the northern highlands limestone corridor in the border area between Vietnam and China , where special importance is placed on the conservation of primates.

Watkin named the northern provinces of Cao Bang, Bac Kan and Tuyen Quang, adding that the area is also of global significance for floral preservation as it boasts many rare and unique species of plants and the region’s richest assemblages of conifer species.

Joining in the talks, John Pilgrim, Conservation Advisor from BirdLife International in Indochina, which is the CEPF’s collaborator in the work, said Vietnam is home to 14 biodiversity hotspots, mostly in the northern mountainous region.

He pointed out that most of biodiversity hotspots in Vietnam are threatened by logging, hunting and development projects despite the Government’s preservation efforts.

Pilgrim said a majority part of the 9.5 million USD CEPF will go to non-governmental organisations and community groups as they will act utmost in conservation work.

Apart from coordinating with the CEPF in preserving biodiversity hotspots in Vietnam , BirdLife International has provided the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment with information on endangered species and recommendations for the making of the law on biodiversity.

The CEPF is a joint initiative of Conservation International, l’Agence Française de Développement , the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. Its main purpose is to get civil society engaged in biodiversity conservation.

Indochina boasts one of the world’s largest and most diverse flora and fauna system, however it is seriously pressured by economic development, increasing human population, over-exploration of minerals and is identified as one of the globe’s 34 biodiversity hotspots.

The region has 28 biodiversity hotspots and 67 faunal species and 248 floral species needed to be conserved.-

Forty-one brands take gold stars in the capital city

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2008 at 11:47 am

Hanoi (VNA) – Forty-one Hanoi-based enterprises were given brand-excellence awards in the capital on August 23.

Enterprises whose brands received the city-level Gold Star Awards participated in the national-level awards ceremony, said the Hanoi Young Business Association.

The awards aimed to encourage businesses to further develop brand and trademark awareness, and increase their exposure in the global marketplace.

Award winning brands and products were selected based on a number of criteria, such as price, quality and competitiveness, and also after-sales services and environmental impact.

“Accession into the WTO creates opportunities for domestic enterprises to compete on a global playing-field,” said Pham Dinh Doan, Chairman of the Hanoi Young Business Association. He emphasised that strong and competitive trademarks ensure a presence in international markets.

Winning brands and products were selected from a wide range of sectors, including construction, services, mining, and transport.

A representative from Viet Long Trade Co Ltd-an award winner-said that the award will help his company to build domestic brand awareness, and step-by-step join the international market.

MCG-a management consultancy recently conducted surveys of the 417 award winners of the past five years, to assess if awards have an impact on business performance. Of the 106 responses. 51 percent were from enterprises in the north, 8 percent from central regions, and 41 percent from the south.

Survey results indicated awards led to innovations in trademark development and quality management. 92 percent of the past winners agreed that the award accelerated product diversification and technological innovation. Eight percent of winners thought that the award impacted positively on business management, 77 percent felt the award had helped improved production and 70 percent said that the award had pushed them to pursue more deliberate brand marketing strategies.-

Da Nang invests in its ports

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2008 at 11:47 am

Da Nang (VNA) – Located in central coastal Da Nang City, Tien Sa port will be built into a modern container port once the use of Song Han port changes.

According to General Director Nguyen Thu of Da Nang port, during the 2008-2011 period, 29 billion VND will be poured into Tien Sa port’s warehouses with the installation of two wharves while the Son Tra port project will be built at a cost of 586 billion VND.

The Da Nang port proposed the city authorities to pave the way for the development of its infrastructural facilities with a view to turning Da Nang into the gateway to the east-west economic corridor linking central Vietnam with central Laos and northeastern Thailand and Myanmar .

It also proposed to permit trucks to enter Song Han port and allow Da Nang port to use land for the establishment of a navigation development centre and tourism service in the central region.

In the first eight months of the year, Da Nang port welcomed 34 ships with more than 20,730 tourists on board, a year-on-year rise of 13.83 percent, and earned a turnover of 118.5 billion VND. Its total commodity volume handled through the port in the reviewed period is estimated at more than 3 million tonnes.

Da Nang port will reduce 25 percent navigation guarantee fees as well as the fixed container prices with the hope of attracting more container ships.-

Integration offers challenges, potential

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2008 at 11:46 am

HCM City (VNA) – Lawyers will have to broaden their knowledge and professional ethics to keep their career development on pace with Vietnam ’s integration into the world economy.

“ Vietnam ’s lawyers can now approach a new and potential service market thanks to the country’s accession into the global economy, to strong foreign investment flow and to diversified business forms,” said Ngo Thanh Tung, chairman of the law firm VILAF – Hong Duc during a two-day conference of the Presidents of Law Association in Asia (POLA) that ended on August 23.

According to him, Vietnam ’s legal system has been improving as it brings itself in line with international regulations and practices in response to WTO membership. Along with increasing transparency, the reforms have created a more favourable working environment.

Moreover, customers increasingly require new services like business contract negotiations, help with business establishment procedures and exploitation of new business opportunities.

New laws dealing with the environment or stocks demand lawyers expand their expertise to those fields, not just to legal issues.

Tung also stressed the importance of ethics in providing services to clients.

The legal environment, here and overseas, is in constant flux so lawyers must constantly be informed to best serve their clients, said Tran Anh Tuan, Vice President of the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association.

Tuan cited four issues essential for lawyers: documents establishing the guidelines and legal frameworks for the economic integration promoted by international organisations like the UN or WTO, the latest international trade practices and procedures, information on the economic, legal, political and socio-cultural characteristics of the countries where their cases are, and IT skills.

More than 80 delegates from international law organisations participated in the 19 th annual POLA conference.
Participants came from 15 countries and territories, including China , Hong Kong , Japan , the Republic of Korea , Singapore and New Zealand , and international institutions.

Organised by the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association, the two-day conference was the first of its kind to take place in Vietnam.-

Deluxe train rolls from City

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2008 at 11:46 am

HCM City (VNA) – A new deluxe train, the second on the route, began running between Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang on August 22.

The Sai Gon Railway Company’s Blue Train has 14 coaches equipped with an LCD screen, air-conditioning and other facilities.

Tickets cost between 175,000 VND and 315,000 VND but the company is offering a discount of 25 percent until December 15.

The train leaves Ho Chi Minh at 8:05 pm and arrives in Nha Trang at 5:12 am the next morning. The return trip begins in Nha Trang at 6:10 pm and ends in Ho Chi Minh City at 4:12 am.

The train deployed on the route cost 14 billion VND (875, 000 USD) to build.

Golden Trains, introduced in December 2007, was the first luxury train on Ho Chi Minh City – Nha Trang route.-

As IPOs increase, investors and regulators voice concern

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2008 at 11:45 am

Hanoi (VNA) – A number of large corporations are planning to float this year due to a perceived upturn in the economy.

Recently, PetroVietnam Finance Corporation (PVFC), considered a “blue chip” by investors, announced its intention to list shares this October. Another giant in the financial sector Foreign Trade Bank of Vietnam (Vietcombank) is also expected to list on the HCM City Stock Exchange this year.

Meanwhile, construction giant Vinaconex Corporation is also planning to sell stock in the remaining months of 2008.

These firms have said that an upturn in the economy had positively impacted on the stock market.

”More new investors are coming to the bourse enthusiastic about securities investment,” said Do Tien Quang, a senior member of Vinaconex’s Planning and Strategy Department.

In addition, investors consider giant corporations’ decisions to list a promising source of shares, especially at this time.

”Big stocks pipelined to the market will help provide traders with opportunities [to diversify], thereby avoiding the risk of overgain or overloss from one or two blue chips,” said an anonymous official at the Securities Offering Management Department under State Securities Commission.

However, the listing of giant corporations in the near future is causing some investors to worry – as well as market regulators, concerned about share volume and pricing.

A number of unlisted small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) are also preparing to float this year.

One of those is Licogi 16 Ltd Company, which has completed the procedures for listing, and Tan Phu Plastic Company, which is preparing to hold a stakeholders meeting before making a final decision.

According to Thuy Quyen, a broker for Click&Phone Securities, the sluggishness of the OTC market was encouraging enterprises to list on the Hanoi or HCM City bourses.

”Furthermore, official market fluctuations will not impact much on those firms, and vice versa. Thus, listing in the SME-sector is much easier than for giant corporation,” added Quyen, noting that companies still had to take care of pricing and volume matters to prevent unexpected results.

”There has been much talk about listing. Saying any more is just repetition,” said Dao Van Khanh, an analyst of Agribank Securities. The key factor is how well enterprises are actually performing. That is what will govern how things go on the official bourse, he added.-

HSBC Vietnam launches e-banking service

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2008 at 11:45 am

HCM City (VNA) – The HSBC Vietnam launched its e-banking service on August 25 to meet the increasing demands of businesses operating in Vietnam .

The new service helps customers get quick, convenient and safe transactions as they can access their accounts at any time, anywhere and carry out international transactions with automatic payment.

According to HSBC Vietnam General Director Thomas Tobin, Vietnam is becoming a promising market for e-banking services with the high rate of internet access.

The same day, HSBC Vietnam introduced its ATM card service for businesses which enables clients to withdraw cash from their business’s account via HSBC and Techcombank’s ATMs.-

Awards offered for regional entrepreneurs, businesses

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2008 at 11:44 am

Hanoi (VNA) – Outstanding entrepreneurs and enterprises from Cambodia , Laos and Vietnam will have the opportunity to receive awards for their good performances in various aspects.

To be eligible for the awards, contenders should own strong and reputable trademarks, record high growth rates in their business, strictly abide by the law, effectively protect the environment, and constantly offer new quality products and services.

Moreover, they must have contributed greatly to building the friendship among the three countries.

The deadline for receiving applications is November 30.

The awards, designed to increase friendly ties among the development triangle, is co-sponsored by the Vietnam Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, the National Defence Ministry’s Department of Economics, and the Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia Association for Economic Cooperation Development.-

Eight-month export turnover hits 43.3 billion USD

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2008 at 11:44 am

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam ’s export turnover in the first eight months of this year reached 43.3 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 39 percent, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported.

Nine products in the “one-billion USD” club have fulfilled their targets, according to the GSO.

Crude oil continued to retain its top place, fetching 7.88 billion USD between January-August. It was followed by garments and textiles with a value of 6 billion USD, up 20 percent from the same period a year ago.

The export of other industrial products also enjoyed high growth rates, with footwear hitting 3.16 billion USD; electronic appliances and computers, 1.66 billion USD; wood furniture, 1.8 billion USD; and rubber, 1.04 billion USD.

Farm produce made a breakthrough in export turnover during the reviewed period. Seafood saw a three-year record rise of 20.8 percent to reach nearly 2.9 billion USD, while rice brought home 2.24 billion USD and coffee, 1.54 billion USD, respective year-on-year increases of 96 percent and 9 percent.

Despite positive export growth, trade deficit remains burden on the country’s trade balance as it climbed up to 16 billion USD, equal to 37 percent of the total export turnover.

The GSO reported that Vietnam ’s eight-month import value was estimated at 59.3 billion USD, up 54 percent from the same period last year. Of the amount, the domestic sector imported more than 40 billion USD worth of products and the foreign-invested sector, 19.2 billion USD, posting year-on-year rise of 65.4 percent and 41.3 percent, respectively.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said it will take comprehensive measures in the year-end months to curb trade deficit alongside with stabilising the domestic market and ensuring the supply-demand balance of essential goods.

Besides efforts to boost exports, the ministry will also work to improve pricing forecast in the context of the world market’s strong fluctuations.-