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Archive for August 26th, 2008|Daily archive page

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.-

National economy shows positive signs in eight months

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s economy showed positive signs in the first eight months of this year, with both agricultural and industrial production registering a year-on-year increase of more than 16 percent.

The statistics were released at a meeting on the economic performance of ministries, agencies, localities and corporations, which took place in Hanoi on August 26.

The value of retail sales and services in August rose 2.4 percent from July. As a result, it soared 30 percent against the same period last year in the first eight months of this year.

The export value reached 6.1 billion USD in August, representing a drop of 6.8 percent from July. However, the eight-month figure increased by more than 39 percent to 43.3 billion USD.

The import value surged over 54 percent year-on-year to 59.3 billion USD in the period.

Foreign direct investment reached the record of 47 billion USD in the first eight months of this year, far higher than the level registered last year.

However, participants at the meeting said much remains to be done in the remaining months of the year to further boost economic development. They pointed out various shortcomings that should be overcome, including high trade deficit and complicated happenings on the monetary and stock markets.

In addition, they said, during the period, the country was hit by natural disasters, epidemics and skyrocketing prices of essential commodities.

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Cao Viet Sinh said August’s consumer price index rose by 1.56 percent from the previous month, stressing it will no longer increase sharply in the following months.-

HSBC joins Vietnam Posts Corporation in providing banking services

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2008 at 2:35 pm

HCM City (VNA) – The Vietnam Posts Corporation (VNPOST) and HSBC will cooperate in providing banking services following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in Ho Chi Minh City on August 26.

Under the MoU, VNPOST, via its nationwide network of post offices and subsidiaries, will provide collection and payment services for individuals or organisations having accounts at HSBC, raising HSBC’s total collecting points in Vietnam to 20,000.

VNPOST and the Hong Kong-Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) will also seek opportunities to cooperate in offering inward and outward remittance services.

The MoU also includes agreements on marketing partnership, information exchange, and HSBC’s assistance to VNPOST in personnel training.-

RoK corporation seeks investment opportunities in Quang Ngai

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2008 at 2:34 pm

Quang Ngai (VNA) – A mission from the Korea Environment and Resources Corporation (ENVICO) under the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry of the Republic of Korea paid a visit to the central province of Quang Ngai on August 26 to seek investment opportunities.

According to ENVICO General Director Ko Jea Young, the mission explored the current waste treatment and industrial development in Quang Ngai, particularly in the Dung Quat Economic Zone, which is home to many industrial projects.

ENVICO also studied the province’s demands for environmental protection, as well as the possibility to build a waste treatment complex in Dung Quat, where oil refinery, shipbuilding and other heavy industries are located.

At present, Doosan Vina heavy industry company of the Republic of Korea is carrying out a 260 million USD project to build a heavy industrial equipment factory in Dung Quat economic zone. The factory is expected to be put into operation in early 2009.-

Ninh Thuan gains from Belgium-sponsored projects

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2008 at 2:33 pm

– Central coastal Ninh Thuan province will benefit from three Belgium-sponsored projects under a cooperation programme between Vietnam and Belgium during the 2007-2010 period.

Belgian Counsellor in charge of development cooperation Patrick De Bouck held a working session with leaders of the Ninh Thuan Provincial People’s Committee on August 25 on the projects.

Belgium will provide 3.2 million EUR to the construction of the O Cam reservoir, which will water more than 400 ha of farm land in Phuoc Chinh commune, Bac Ai district and other adjacent areas.

Another 2 million EUR will go to a project to improve local administrative capacity and build a sustainable economic development and poverty reduction strategy for the province.

The Belgian Government will also contribute 8 million EUR to the building of a sewage system in Ninh Hai, Ninh Phuoc and Ninh Son districts.

After the session, the Belgian experts’ delegation conducted a fact-finding tour to beneficiary areas.-

Japan, ADB to help Vietnam develop model universities

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it is helping Vietnam to raise the technology and research levels of its higher education sector with assistance from Japan.

The Japan Special Fund, through ADB, will provide 1 million USD in technical assistance to finance a feasibility study that will pave the way for an ADB loan in 2009 to build two model research universities – with a focus on science and technology – in the cities of Hanoi and Da Nang.

The project will help design a policy and regulatory framework for future research universities, in line with the Government’s aim of making higher education more innovative, internationally competitive, and relevant to labour market needs.

These new model research universities are expected to become core scientific centres and will be located in, or near, high-technology parks or industrial zones, a ADB Senior Education Specialist said.

Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, with its gross domestic product (GDP) expanding at an annual average of about 7.5 percent over the last decade. The country aims to become an industrialised country by 2020; to do so, however, it needs to improve its knowledge levels and technological capacity, according to ADB.

The World Bank (WB) will also support two model research universities in Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho, it added.

In 2001, ADB helped establish the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Ho Chi Minh City. ADB also supports teacher training universities and colleges for secondary and professional teachers in Vietnam.-

Surveyor to check HCM City tunnel cracks

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2008 at 2:31 pm

HCM City (VNA) – An independent consultant will appraise the quality of the four pre-built concrete sections of the proposed Thu Thiem Tunnel beneath the Sai Gon River which have developed a series of cracks, the Ministry of Construction and HCM City have agreed.

Based on the consultant’s report, repairs would be carried out or the sections would be rebuilt from scratch, Deputy Minister of Construction Cao Lai Quang told a meeting last week between his ministry and the city People’s Committee.

Chairman of the People’s Committee, Le Hoang Quan, calling the tunnel an important project, said its quality must be ensured even if it meant delays.

Since it is located beneath the water and has projected life span of 100 years, its construction requires care, he said, adding any problem occurring after the tunnel is put in use would be very difficult to fix.

The party responsible for the cracks would have to bear the costs of repairs and delays, he said. The contractor for the project is Obayashi Corporation and the design consultant is Pacific Consultants International, both from Japan .

The Thu Thiem Tunnel, to link District 1 in downtown HCM City with District 2 in the Thu Thiem Peninsula , will be 1.5 km long, with a 370-metre section under the Sai Gon River that will have a six-lane road.

Four tunnel sections, each measuring one metre thick, nine metres high, 33m wide, and 92m long, and weighing 27,000 tonnes, developed cracks even before their completion in June.

The sections, that are built in Dong Nai province are yet to be transported to HCM City, will be placed 12m under the river with a layer of sand and gravel on top.-

Hung Yen school gets upgrade

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Hung Yen (VNA) – A school in Van Giang district in the northern province of Hung Yen was enlarged and upgraded thanks to funding from the Boeing Vietnam and the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF).

The project saw eight new classrooms being added to Tan Tien Secondary School, along with upgrades to 10 existing classrooms.

Boeing and VVAF also donated 800 school bags to students.-

Vietnam Red Cross to convene donors’ conference in Hanoi

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2008 at 2:30 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – A donors’ conference of the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRC) will be held in Hanoi on August 27 and 28, VRC President Tran Ngoc Tang said at a press conference on August 26.

At the conference, the VRC will call for aid to 28 humanitarian projects from now until 2015.

On August 27, 150 participating delegates from international and non-government organisations and enterprises will make a fact-finding tour to a number of projects using humanitarian aid in northern Hai Phong port city.

The VRC said that since 2002 it has received 642 billion VND (40 million USD) from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, international organisations and foreign and domestic businesses. The society has channeled the aid to 80 humanitarian projects targeting poor people and victims of Agent Orange, war and natural disasters.

Since 2005, the society has provided 5 million USD to help tsunami victims in Asia, hurricane Katrina victims in the US, Nargis typhoon victims in Myanmar and earthquake victims in China ’s Sichuan province, according to the VRC president.-

Work resumes on disaster-hit Can Tho bridge

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Can Tho (VNA) – Construction of Can Tho bridge’s main span and approach road was resumed on August 25, 11 months after the work was suspended due to a tragic accident at the project, said the Japanese consortium TKN.

The consortium TKN, comprising Taisei, Kajima and Nippon Steel, said it had increased the number of Japanese engineers at the site, worked out a geodesic plan and built an alarm system in addition to regular safety inspections in order to prevent accidents.

A 90-m section of the bridge’s approach ramp collapsed on September 26, 2007, killing 54 workers and injuring 80 others.

In early July, the state commission in charge of investigating the cause of the accident announced the investigation results, saying that the uneven yielding of the foundation of a temporary pillar was mainly responsible for the tragedy.

Minister of Construction Nguyen Hong Quan, head of the commission, said the cause “is considered an unfortunate occurrence that is difficult to foresee in normal designing.”

Work on the Japanese-funded bridge spanning the Hau River , a branch of the Mekong River , that will link the southern province of Vinh Long and Can Tho city, kicked off on September 25, 2004.

Once completed, it will be Vietnam’s longest cable-stayed bridge with a 1 km main section, 3.97 km ramp and a four-lane carriageway of 24.1m wide. It will have a clearance height of 39m to allow 15,000 DWT-sized ships to pass under.-