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Archive for September 14th, 2008|Daily archive page

PM meets local economists on national economy

In Uncategorized on September 14, 2008 at 4:08 pm

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on September 13 met with local economists to assess the socio-economic performance and discuss its prospect in the remaining months of the year and 2009.

Opening the meeting, PM Dung mentioned the fact that the global economy has since the beginning of this year experienced turmoil with price hike and inflation. “The situation forced many countries to revise their economic growth targets and badly affected Vietnam’s national economy,” he stressed.

The Government has pinpointed weaknesses of the national economy while adjusting socio-economic development goals for 2008, namely controlling inflation, stabilising macro-economy, ensuring social welfare and maintaining a GDP growth rate of 7 percent, he said.

PM Dung affirmed that Vietnam in the past eight months recorded initial positive changes on the grounds of the uniform implementation of eight groups of measures introduced by the Government.

Over the past eight months, the industrial and agricultural production continued their track of development with livestock and plant diseases being contained, exports soaring, imports being tightly controlled, and the consumer price index slowing down, the PM noted.

He asked the economists who attended the meeting to contribute specific opinions to the Government in implementing its management over monetary activities, interest rates, investment, import-export, trade deficit and social welfare in the coming time.

The Government leader hoped the Government can rely on those opinions to make forecasts for the country’s socio-economic performance this year and outline goals, plans and tasks of the national economy in 2009 before submitting them to the Party Central Committee and the 12 th National Assembly’s fourth session.

The economists debated prioritised goals of 2009 and solutions to rein in inflation and continue reducing poverty and maintain an appropriate growth rate.

They also shared experiences and touched upon orientations to settle problems arising from development course relating to agriculture, rural development, job generation and social welfare.-

Catfish breeders get contract law

In Uncategorized on September 14, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Tra catfish processors will have to breed their own supply of catfish or buy fish from breeders under an official supply contract signed in advance, according to Ngo Phuoc Hau, Vice President of Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP).

Since the fourth quarter of this year, processors will not be allowed to buy catfish from non-established catfish breeders, in order to reduce the financial and product quality risks for both sides, Hau said.

Due to the big profits made by tra catfish breeding last year, many farmers flocked into the business this year, which has caused a redundancy and devaluation of tra catfish, Hau explained.

Forty percent of fish breeders are quitting the business due to losses. Additionally, many new processing factories jumped into the sector at the same time as banks began shutting off credit flows to the industry. Since the beginning of September, the dreadful combination has led to a tra catfish shortage to processors.

According to the new model, banks will not offer loans for breeders but pour capital into the raising of catfish. Processors then will supply fish breeders with fish breed and feed. The catfish farmers will raise the catfish for the processors and then under contract, sell the supply of fish to them.

Breeding practices must follow the official regulations on raising catfish set by Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The purpose of the new breeding model is to skim off inefficiency among fish breeders and processors and prevent future scarcity of tra catfish, thus stabilizing the supply of catfish for next year’s export and maintaining the breeding industry in the long run, Hau said.

The 2009 target for the export value of Vietnam ’s tra catfish has been set at 1.5 billion USD, an increase of 25 percent over this year’s target, which will require 1.2 million tonne of input materials to produce 600,000 tonne of tra filet.

At present, catfish businesses can supply 70 percent of the catfish input material needed for next year’s production, which they themselves have raised, approximately 840,000 tonne, according to VASEP.

They will fulfill the remaining 30 percent by signing contracts with seafood farmers, Hau said.

Authorities of most provinces in the Mekong River Delta have pledged to apply the new breeding model with VASEP.

In 2009, contract-less catfish breeders will find it difficult to find consumers for their fish, Hau said.

VASEP also encourages businesses to periodically provide accurate figures on the available catfish volumes raised by catfish breeders and farmers so that VASEP can better coordinate the regulation of breeding activities with local authorities.-

State Bank allows PVFC to list on HOSE

In Uncategorized on September 14, 2008 at 4:07 pm

PetroVietnam Finance Corporation (PVFC), the financial arm of petrol giant PetroVietnam, has received the State Bank of Vietnam ’s approval to list shares on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE).

The decision came on September 10 and noted the corporation must also receive permission from the management board of the HCM Stock Exchange (HOSE) for this listing.

PVFC’s spokesman Tran Van Hoa said the corporation was carrying out the final procedures for the listing.

”The listing is expected to be implemented in early October,” said Hoa. However, he did not say how many shares would be listed or their offering price.

According to the domestic press, the corporation could list all of its chartered capital of 5 trillion VND (303.03 million USD) after receiving permission from HOSE.

PVFC made its initial public offerings (IPO) last September. The average winning price of its share was 70,600 VND a piece. The finance corporation has successfully worked with US-based financial group Morgan Stanley, which is PVFC’s sole strategic partner.

PVFC has recently inked a deal for PetroVietnam Oil (PV Oil) to implement capital management services at PV Oil. Under the deal, the finance corporation is allowed to use part of the capital in PV Oil’s non-resident account to invest in PVFC’s projects.

The finance institution must also pledge to pay a higher interest than that offered for non-resident accounts by commercial banks, and ensure enough capital to PV Oil from this account.

This service which PVFC will provide to PV Oil by the end of 2009, is regarded as an effective use of idle capital in non-resident accounts.

In the first eight months of this year, PVFC earned a pre-tax profit of 352 billion VND (21.3 million USD), as well generating a turnover of 2.45 trillion VND.-

Fuel import taxes lifted to 5 percent

In Uncategorized on September 14, 2008 at 4:06 pm

The Ministry of Finance announced that it would impose a 5 percent tax on imported petroleum to offset State subsidies, as world oil prices hover around 100 USD a barrel.

The new tax will take effect on September 15, according to a decision signed by the deputy finance minister Do Hoang Anh Tuan on September 11.

Under the decision, all petroleum used for engines such as leaded and unleaded petroleum, aviation fuel, solven, naphtha, reformate, crude oil, and others will have their import tax rate increased from the current rate of zero.

The decision is no surprise to local fuel importers because the tax increase was mentioned at a press conference on August 28 by another deputy finance minister Do Xuan Ha, who said that when world oil prices decreased to below 110 USD a barrel, the ministry would consider removing the tax, but not decrease retail prices in the domestic market.

Local fuel importers lost more than 14,000 trillion VND (850 million USD) in the first six months of this year because of the difference between international fuel prices and domestic retail prices set by the Government. The Government said it would cover all the losses.

Light and sweet crude for October rose 55 cents USD to 101.42 USD a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on September 12.-

Lam Dong eyes cold-water fish

In Uncategorized on September 14, 2008 at 4:05 pm

With a climate suitable for raising cold-water fish, the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong is expanding the high-value salmon and sturgeon breeding industries.

The province began experimenting with breeding the species in K’long K’lanh village, Lac Duong district in 2006, said Nguyen Viet Thuy, project leader and head of the Quang Hiep Experimental Fish Breeding Station under the Research Institute for Aquaculture 3 (RIA3). The pilot project was funded by the Lam Dong Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

With proper breeding techniques, salmon and sturgeon breeders could make 30-40 percent in profits, said Thuy, adding the margin had prompted local farmers to get in on the cold-water fish bandwagon and provincial authorities to plan to expand the cultivation of the fish to more than 50 ha by 2010.

Kodong Ka Hoa, an ethnic Chil farmer from Tupoh village in Lac Duong district, plans to increase her salmon stock from 3,000 to 5,000 in the next breeding season. Hoa was one of the first farmers involved in the pilot project.

In the first season, Hoa made 199 million VND (12,000 USD) from raising 3,000 salmon in 20 months.

A one year old salmon can reach an average weight of 1,2 kg, with breeders reaping an output of 30 tonnes per ha.

It costs 63,000-67,000 VND (3.80-4.00 USD) per kilogram to raise salmon, but they sell for 150,000 VND (9 USD) a kilo.

Salmon and sturgeon fries for the pilot study were bought from the northern highlands provinces of Lao Cai, which was where the first salmon and sturgeon eggs were hatched in the country in early 2005.

Several businesses in Lam Dong and Ho Chi Minh City are investing in fisheries in K’long K’lanh village, Tuyen Lam and Da Nhim Lakes, according to Lac Duong district authorities.

The HCM City-based Hoang Pho Company spent 5 billion VND (300,000 USD) to breed salmon and sturgeon there.

Company 7-5, a subsidiary of Military Region 7, will also spend 44 billion VND (2.7 million USD) on a fish breeding project there.

Last year, HCM City-based Ha Quang Company successfully hatched sturgeon eggs, and raised the fish in cages in Tuyen Lam Lake in Da Lat.

The company imported the eggs and hatching techniques from Russia .

In March, the RIA3 Experiment Research Station for Aquaculture successfully hatched 90 percent of some 250,000 salmon eggs imported from Finland in Tuyen Lam Lake .

Lam Dong province now harvests about 40 tonnes of salmon and 100 tonnes of sturgeon annually.

Vietnam imports an average of 1,500 tonnes of salmon from Europe annually, with local demand on the rise.-

Peace Boat brings Japanese nuclear survivors to Da Nang

In Uncategorized on September 14, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Peace Boat docked at the central Da Nang port on September 13, bringing 104 Japanese survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear explosions 63 years ago to Vietnam for activities marking the 35 th anniversary of the two nations’ diplomatic ties.

On the day, the Japanese nuclear survivors met with Vietnamese Agent Orange /Dioxin victims in the presence of former Vice State President Nguyen Thi Binh, who is honorary President of the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin.

77 year-old Omori Takaki, who was exposed directly to toxic chemical from the nuclear explosion, expressed his wish that next generations spare no efforts to protect peace all over the world.

Following the event, the Japanese nuclear survivors joined the celebration of the 35 th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties at the municipal Trung Vuong theatre.

They will meet and present gifts to Agent Orange victims and poor students tomorrow.

During their two-day stay in the city, Peace Boat passengers organised an exhibition of 40 photos taken by veteran Japanese reporter Ishikawa Bunyo, who spent years in the south of Vietnam during the war against the US aggressors. Bunyo had earlier held a photo exhibition entitled “War and peace” at the Museum of War Remnants in Ho Chi Minh City .

Peace Boat will take three Vietnamese Agent Orange victims from Da Nang on a trip that aims to call for a peaceful world.

However, due to health conditions, those Vietnamese victims will take part in a trip from Da Nang (on September 14) to Singapore where they will attend activities appealing to peace and life. They will fly home on September 18.

This is Peace Boat’s 29th journey to the Da Nang port. It has visited Vietnam 39 times in total. –

Full moon gala night raises money for UNICEF

In Uncategorized on September 14, 2008 at 4:03 pm

A full moon party will be held on September 13 at the Sheraton Hotel, Hanoi, by Starwood Hotel & Resorts and UNICEF, to raise funds for UNICEF’s life-saving immunization programme.

The evening includes a children’s painting exhibition, puppet show, games and a buffet dinner.

The party is part of Check out for Children, a programme that deducts 1 USD from every hotel customer to raise money for charity. Last year, 94,046 USD in proceeds were donated towards immunizing children under five.-

New TV channel features Vietnam life

In Uncategorized on September 14, 2008 at 4:03 pm

A new channel, VTC9 Let’s Viet, with the theme Fine Vietnamese Value, will come on-air on September 27.

With films, news, talk shows and entertainment, the channel will focus on presenting traditional Vietnamese culture.

Vietnam Multimedia Corporation VTC and Lasta JSC are working together to broadcast VTC9 throughout the country, 24-hours-a-day.-