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Archive for September 9th, 2008|Daily archive page

Nation works out measures for climate change

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Vietnam, one of the five countries possibly hardest hit by climate change, has set itself to raise sea and river dykes levels by 50 cm by 2020 and grow an additional 300,000 to 350,000 ha of wet-land forests and forests along dunes.

These were among measures raised for discussion at a workshop on natural disaster control and mitigation of climate change consequences held in Hanoi on August 30.

Experts also called for economic use of fresh water resources, ensuring supply of fresh water and environmental hygiene for saline water-affected, islands, drought and flood-prone areas, and studying new hybrids of plants and animal for saline water, drought and flood-hit areas that can stand climate change.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat assured participants of the ministry’s readiness to address climate change problems with a number of action programmes in hand.

“Official development assistance will also be used to help improve relevant staff’s working competence, transfer of technology and exchange of managerial experiences,” pledged the minister.

Phat also unveiled a plan to encourage all institutions and individuals, both at home and abroad, to finance natural disaster control.

“International cooperation in natural disasters warning and forecasting, personnel training, transfer of technology and exchange of information and experiences in natural disaster control, especially in searching and rescue operations will be prioritized,” he said.

United Nations Development Programme Country Coordinator John Hendra pledged to provide more and more information necessary for Vietnamese policy makers to study and work out good strategies against climate change.–

German interest in Vietnam renewed

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2008 at 2:07 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam ’s high economic growth rate has encouraged German enterprises, especially those from the Federal State of Hessen, to show more interest in trade and investment in Vietnam .

This was the view of Klauss-Peter Guettler, head of a visiting German trade delegation, on Sept. 8. Guettler who is Secretary of Hessen’s Ministry of Economy, Transportation and Development, was speaking to Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice chairman Doan Duy Khuong.

He said that Hessen, one of the fastest developing economies in Germany , would be an effective gateway for Vietnamese enterprises to penetrate German and European markets.

He said great opportunities for cooperation had been opened since Vietnam ’s accession into the WTO.

At present, Germany is Vietnam ’s largest European Union trading partner. In the past seven months of this year, Vietnam exported 1.3 billion USD worth of goods to Germany .

Key export items included footwear, textiles and garments, seafood, handicrafts, computers, coffee, tea and rice.

By June this year, German businesses had pumped more than 599 million USD into 105 Vietnamese projects. This made Germany 20 th among 81 countries and territories investing in Vietnam .

Carola Terpe, sales manager for Guldi Moden Co, which specialises in clothing for medical and hospital staff, said the company was looking for manufacturers and exporters in Vietnam .

About 30 German firms attended a seminar in Hanoi on September 8. They are involved in waste and waste-water treatment, bicycles and bicycle parts, packing machines, air conditioners for vehicles, bottle moulds and parts, mental alloys, IT, finance and banking, trade consulting, laboratory equipment, garments and textiles and communications security systems.-

Automobile market goes into neutral

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2008 at 2:06 pm

HCM City (VNA) – The automobile market has come to a standstill, and is expected to be dormant in the remaining months, according to spokesmen for several HCM City car dealerships. Reported sales dropped sharply last month.

Many blame the increase of registration fees for cars with less than 10 seats from 5 percent to 10-15 percent of the purchasing price starting August 25.

No cars have been sold at GM Company in HCM City since August 25, said Phung Van Minh, a sales representative. Even the Vivant and Captiva brands are unmarketable now.

Toyota has come out with the Altis model, and will show off its new Innova this September, according to Le Thuy Hang, sales representative of Toyota in HCM City .

“But we’ve gotten no response from potential buyers despite a big marketing push” Hang said.

In the past two months, the volume of imported cars fell by 90 percent over the same period last year, according to the HCM City Customs Office.

Sai Gon Port Zone 3, for example, imported only 58 cars. Cat Lai Port imported 38 cars while Tan (New) Port imported eight.

This is an 82.4 percent drop from July, said Tong Le Dan, deputy head of the Customs Office of Sai Gon Port Zone 1.

With banks cutting off credit, the market turning sour and import taxes going up, businesses do not want to pay for customs clearance, and leave their imported cars at port.

More than 40 cars are waiting for customs clearance at Sai Gon Port Zone 4, according to Nguyen Van Lam, chief supervisor.

It is unknown when the market will heat up again as banks tightened lending at the central bank’s request, said Do Thien, owner of a car dealership in District 1.

Customers are also waiting to see if the consumption tax on cars will go up, he added.

“The days of people leaving a deposit a year in advance to buy their own car are over,” Thien said.-

Party goes online about HIV/AIDS

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Stigma against people living with HIV/AIDS was the hottest topic in an online dialogue on rights and responsibilities in the fight against HIV/AIDS on Sept.8.

The dialogue, held by the Vietnam Communist Party’s official website, offered a chance for people living with HIV/AIDS to raise questions to officials, experts and social activists on HIV/AIDS – related issues.

“To reduce stigma, all of us need to clearly understand what HIV is. HIV is not an evil but simply a disease like any other,” said Pham Quoc Hung, member of the management board of people living with HIV/AIDS in Vietnam, who was also a panel member.

“On the other side, people living with HIV/AIDS must play their role and take their responsibilities by participating in the fight against the disease and leading a healthy and positive life,” he said.

More than 120 questions were sent to the panel, which also included former deputy director of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Popularisation and Education Pham Manh Hung, the commission’s Social Affairs Department deputy head Dao Van Dung and some people living with HIV/AIDS themselves.

Since the first HIV case was discovered in Vietnam in 1990, the Government has issued a number of detailed policies to lay a legal background for the strategy against HIV/AIDS.

After 18 years struggling with the communicable epidemic, the country has gained encouraging results in keeping the infection rate at a controllable level, under 0.2 percent.-

Telecom, IT businesses reap rewards from overseas investment

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2008 at 2:05 pm

Only two Vietnamese telecom and information technology businesses have invested abroad so far but their ventures have proved to be fruitful.

The Vietnam Military Telecom Company (Viettel) was the first Vietnamese telecom services provider to reach out to the overseas market in 2006.

The company is now a leading provider of channel leasing services in Cambodia and holding a large market share in the VoIP market after a year entering the neibouring country.

Viettel General Director Nguyen Manh Hung said Viettel plans to provide mobile telecom service in Cambodia from October this year and increase its investment capital there from 28 million USD to 70 million USD in the coming time.

The company will expand its mobile phone service network in Laos and open a representative office in Myanmar .

The second daring business in this field is FPT Software, a subsidiary of the Financing and Promoting Technology Corporation (FPT).

The software company has established five branches in Singapore , Japan , France , the US and Malaysia .

FPT Software’s branches in Japan and Singapore alone generate 77 percent of revenues and 80 percent of total orders of the company after only a year of operation.

FPT Software General Director Nguyen Lam Phuong said that it plans to open another branch in Europe and expand its business network to northern European countries, including Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands within the next two years.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Department said investment activities towards foreign countries are gaining momentum as more Vietnamese businesses have developed financial strengths and begun to look outside the border for expansion opportunities.

Vietnam has so far had 317 valid overseas projects with registered capital of 2.5 billion USD.

However, the FPT Software director said that the largest difficulty Vietnamese businesses face while investing abroad, especially in telecom, was building trademarks.

Meanwhile, the Viettel General Director said businesses needed State guarantee to get loans from Vietnamese banks operating at invested countries.-

Vietnamese, Guangdong sign projects worth 1.6 billion USD

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2008 at 2:05 pm

Vietnamese businesses and their partners from China’s Guangdong signed 22 projects worth nearly 1.6 billion USD at the Vietnam-Guangdong economic and trade seminar held in Hanoi on September 9.

Most of the projects involve electricity, electronics, construction and food processing.

The seminar, held by Guangdong province in coordination with the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, drew representatives from over 300 Chinese enterprises.

Addressing the seminar, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem urged businesses from the two sides to help seek the most suitable methods to boost the comprehensive cooperation between Guangdong and Vietnam.

Secretary of Guangdong provincial Party Committee Wang Yang affirmed that Guangdong supported Vietnamese businesses to invest in processing, transport and telecom. The Chinese province would increase imports from Vietnam and help promote Vietnam’s tourism among local people, he said.

According to Guangdong’s External Economic and Trade Cooperation Department, import-export turnover between Guangdong and Vietnam reached 2.45 billion USD in 2007, an increase of 53 percent over 2006 and making up nearly one sixth of the total two-way trade between the two countries.

Vietnamese businesses sell coal, tanned leather, rubber, engine and electronic goods to Guangdong, while buying Guangdong’s clothes, steel materials, china, footwear, motorbikes, air conditioners and electrical products.-

First electronic portal offers information on foreign markets

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2008 at 2:04 pm

The Ministry of Industry of Trade launched an information portal on foreign markets at and on Sept. 9.

The portal, built with the assistance from the European Union, is the first and only one in the country to provide market information relating to almost all countries and territories as well as economic-trade organisations worldwide.
Addressing the launching ceremony, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien said that in the context of Vietnam’s active integration into the international economy, information of foreign markets are useful for businesses to design their proper trade promotion programmes and business strategies.

Ambassador and Head of the European Commission’s Delegation Sean Doyle said the portal is a typical example of the Vietnam-EU cooperation in improving competitiveness for Vietnamese businesses and intensifying exports.

A seminar to introduce the portal will be held in Ho Chi Minh City on Sept. 12.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade also plans to build a Vietnam Export Portal in 2009 in order to accelerate export activities.-

Oil giant shakes hand with Chinese group

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2008 at 2:04 pm

The National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) inked a Memorandum of Understanding on strategic partnership with the China Merchants Group Ltd. in Hanoi on September 9.

The two sides are committed to sharing investment opportunities in a large range of industries, from seaports and seaport logistics in southern key economic zones to industrial parks, real estate development, financing and stock market.

The Chinese partner also pledges to help the State-owned oil and gas monopoly of Vietnam to promote its business in China and other parts of the world.

In this regard, PetroVietnam Managerial Board President Dinh La Thang said the two sides are working hard to reach concrete joint-venture projects in China on an upcoming visit to China by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

CMG President Fu Yuning said his company would work with PetroVietnam to boost cooperation in all fields of their strengths.-

Construction of Vietnam’s second largest suspension bridge starts

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2008 at 2:03 pm

Construction of the first span of the Phu My cable-stayed bridge crossing over the Sai Gon River in Ho Chi Minh City started on Sept. 9.

The bridge, the second largest of its kind in Vietnam, will have a length of over 2 km and a width of 27.5 m. The six-lane bridge will be built at a cost of over 2 trillion VND.

Other projects to build approach roads will coincide with the construction of the bridge, which is expected to be completed in October 2009.-

Agent Orange/dioxin talks show more understanding

In Uncategorized on September 9, 2008 at 2:02 pm

HA NOi — The third annual meeting of the Vietnam-US Joint Advisory Committee on Agent Orange/dioxin, a high-level scientific dialogue, began here yesterday.

The two sides continued to assess the Agent Orange/dioxin impacts at Bien Hoa, Phu Cat and Da Nang airbases, and discussed the use of US$3 million from the US Congress in 2007 for dioxin mitigation and health activities.

Addressing the meeting, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Pham Khoi Nguyen said millions of Vietnamese, including second and third generations, were suffering from AO/dioxin impacts.

“Providing them with medical treatment and consultancy on reproductive health and improving their living conditions are responsibilities we must handle,” he said.

US Ambassador Michael Michalak said that beyond the scientific and technical aspects of dioxin contamination, everyone today understood the importance of this issue to US-Vietnam relations and to the Vietnamese people.

Dr. Le Ke Son, co-chairman of the advisory committee, said the two sides showed more understanding of the issue and exerted efforts to settle their differences.

Son also stressed the need to promptly address environmental contamination near former dioxin storage sites in Bien Hoa, Phu Cat and Da Nang airbases and to use the US funds to prevent pollution and help disabled children in Da Nang City.

Dr. Kevin Teichman, another co-chairman, said the US side wanted to quickly distribute the US$3 million to projects.

According to him, the Ford Foundation, UNDP, UNICEF, the Czech Republic and others had also committed donations to help reduce the AO/dioxin legacy.

Ambassador Michalak also said the US Ambassador to ASEAN Scot Marciel would attend the meeting.

Support from Germany

Activities to support Vietnamese children and Agent Orange (AO) /Dioxin victims were held during the twelfth Day of Solidarity here at the weekend.

Solidarity Service International (SODI) and the Help Children in Viet Nam organisation showed pictures of Vietnamese AO victims. It also introduced projects relating to mine clearance and resettlement in Viet Nam.

Money raised will be used to buy equipment for a primary school in Da Nang Province and to support the Thuy An Rehabilitation Centre in Ba Vi District where more than 100 heavily-affected children receive care.

SODI opened an online campaign on its website to collect 100,000 signatures to support AO victims’ fight for justice. SODI also called on 37 US chemical companies that supplied AO toxin to the US armed forces during the Vietnam-American War to admit their responsibility and compensate victims. —