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Archive for September 16th, 2008|Daily archive page

Experts share kidney diseases treatment experiences

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2008 at 9:41 am

New Delhi (VNA) – Hundreds of nephrologists from 20 countries worldwide, including Vietnam , gathered in India from Sept. 11-15 to share experiences in peritoneal dialysis in kidney diseases treatment.

Participants were also introduced to a number of new theories regarding the method as well as new chemicals that proved to be safer for kidney patients.

According to Dr. Chu Minh Ha, head of the military-run Hospital 108’s Kidney Department, this treatment method is suitable for Vietnam because costs are lower and patients do not have to stay in the hospital.

In India , more than 100,000 kidney patients have been treated by peritoneal dialysis over the past 20 years, while Vietnam has just applied this method since 2002 with help from India .

Ha added that India also agreed to help Vietnam train postgraduate health experts in brain trauma treatment.-

Chance for locals to observe Uranus

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2008 at 9:40 am

Hanoi (VNA) – From all parts of Vietnam , people can watch the Uranus on Sept. 12 and 13 evenings, according to the Vietnam Astronomy and Cosmography Association (VACA).

However, viewers will have to use astronomical telescopes or binoculars with diameters of 40-70 mm because the Uranus lies in a straight line with other stars, said VACA Vice President Phan Van Dong.

When the moonset in clear sky is the best time to observe the planet, he added.

The Uranus, mainly made of stones and ices, is one of the eight planets that turn around the sun. It is the third largest planet in the solar system.-

More yellow flower tea found in Lam Dong

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2008 at 9:39 am

Lam Dong (VNA) – Local scientists have discovered yellow flower tea trees in a forest in Da Lat city, Central Highlands Lam Dong province.

This is the third yellow flower tea population uncovered in Vietnam . The two other populations had been found in Da Huoai district and the Cat Tien National Park . This kind of flora has been found only in China and Vietnam. The endemic plant has highly economic and pharmaceutical values and is now facing an extinction threat.-

350 million USD mobilised for agriculture in 2009

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2008 at 9:39 am

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) plans to mobilise 350 million USD from outside sources for agricultural development in 2009.

Of the amount, 200 million USD is expected to come from official development assistance (ODA) capital and the rest from foreign direct investment (FDI).

Also in 2009, the MARD will continue negotiations on tariff and non-tariff, agricultural services and building free trade among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Republic of Korea , India , Japan and Australia with the hope of helping Vietnamese businesses expand its agro-forestry market.-

Standard Chartered to open 30 branches across Vietnam

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2008 at 9:38 am

Hanoi (VNA) – Standard Chartered Bank has signalled that it plans to open 30 branches in Vietnam over the next four years, after gaining approval to be the first overseas bank to incorporate their local operations in the country.

Ashok Sud, chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank in Vietnam, on September 15 told reporters in Hanoi that local incorporation would enable it to be better positioned to help Vietnamese companies raise capital in international markets.

The UK bank expressed confidence in the long-term development of Vietnam ’s economy, saying that, “Given the turmoil in the global and local markets, all investments of the bank in Vietnam have been thoroughly considered.”

It is expected that Vietnam’s economy will need an injection of about 50 billion USD. Foreign banks will need to supply some of that capital.

The liberalisation of the banking sector comes amid a worsening economic backdrop in Vietnam, with annual growth revised down to 7 percent and credit growth limited to control double-digit inflation.

But Vietnam remains attractive, because it is one of the least penetrated markets in Asia , with just 1 in 10 of its 87 million population holding a bank account.

Sud added that the effective controls the Government put in place to curb inflation and stabilise the economy demonstrated a sure touch.

In terms of market share in Vietnam , some 40 foreign banks account for less than 10 percent of total lending in the country. Over the next 5-10 years, local banks are still expected to hold an 85 percent market share.

However, the participation of foreign banks like Standard Chartered will help domestic enterprises access high quality banking services.

Standard Chartered Bank owns a 15 percent stake in Asia Commercial Bank (ACB). The UK bank said it had no plans to increase its investment in ACB at this time. In contrasts, HSBC has increased its stake in Techcombank from 15 percent to 20 percent.

Standard Chartered Bank opened its first branch in Vietnam in 1904. The bank has two branches in the country, the maximum permissible. They focus on serving the wholesale banking needs of Asia-based companies in the country.

Standard Chartered Bank plans to sign a contract to loan the Vinacomin group 58 million USD on September 16.-

Local meat faces tough competition from imports

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2008 at 9:38 am

HCM City (VNA) – Domestic brands of meat are encountering fierce competition from imported meat, which is selling at lower costs, officials said.

During the first half of the year, Vietnam imported 64,000 tonnes of chicken or 10,000 tonnes monthly, from Brazil , the US and Mexiso, Nguyen Thanh Son, deputy head of the Livestock Breeding Department, said.
The figure equals the monthly production of southern provinces, Son said.

Domestic livestock breeders are suffering a loss of 3,000-5,000 VND per kg of chicken and 1 million VND (63 USD) per pig, Son said.

At big supermarkets in HCM City like Big C and Metro, pieces of imported chicken are 5,000-10,000 VND lower than that of domestic brands.

However, some importers have tried to get rid of meat near the expiration date by exporting to Vietnam , according to Bui Quang Anh, head of the Animal Health Department (AHD), adding that Vietnam does not have official regulations or standards for imported meat.

Consumers should be careful about the quality of this meat, as it is not guaranteed by domestic agencies, said Son.

To reach the target of 6 percent growth rate in animal husbandry this year, besides staving off epidemics, Son proposed that AHD quickly build up official standards for imported meat to avoid an excessive number of imports and protect domestic livestock breeders.

Standards on preservation time, for example, must be defined and agreements on export conditions with foreign partners must be made, he added.

”For example, if we import wings and legs of chicken, they will have to buy our chicken breasts in return,” he said.-

ADB: VN needs to stabilise economy for robust 2010-2011

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2008 at 9:37 am

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on September 16 that Vietnam needs to continue measures to stabilise its economy, even to slow growth in 2009 to be better prepared to resume strong economic growth in 2010-2011.

This was announced following concerns that Vietnam may be tempted to loosen its fiscal and monetary policies and boost public investment in an effort to spur the economic growth rate again as price pressures are projected to ease, along with a slowdown in growth and a narrower trade deficit.

“It should be clearly realised that there is a trade-off between the growth target for next year and the growth potential for ensuing years. Vietnam should be patient in shifting its policies towards economic recovery,” ADB Country Director for Vietnam Ayumi Konishi said at the launch of the Asian Development Outlook 2008 Update (ADO Update).

He added that targeting a lower growth rate of 6% next year, as compared to the projected 2008 growth of 6.5%, will provide more solid foundation for economic growth in 2010 onwards. However, he warned that although there have been the improvement in economic statistics in recent months, “in absolute terms, inflation and the trade deficit are still very high and it will still take some more time to firmly stalibise the situation.”

According to the ADO Update, inflation rates in 2008 and 2009 are estimated at 25 percent and 17,5 percent, respectively, while the current account deficit for this year is now seen at 13.5 percent of GDP and for 2009, 7 percent GDP.

The report noted that the State Bank of Vietnam needs to continue strenthening its prudential supervision of banks and – should any bank become financially distressed – act swiftly to prevent a systemic banking crisis.

Besides, efforts should be made to overcome challenges such as lack of availability of timely key data, temptation to loosen monetary and fiscal policies prematurely and weakness in capital absorptive capacity, said Economist, Governance and Public Sector Reform Officer of ADB Dao Viet Dung.
Despite near-term risks and challenges, “we strongly believe that Vietnam’s medium to long-term economic prospects remain good” with moderate external debt burden, rising foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow, and significant growth potential, ADB Country Director Ayumi Konishi said. –

Work underway to promote overseas investment

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2008 at 9:37 am

Hanoi (VNA) –Vietnamese businesses currently have 317 investment projects operating in 35 countries and territories, mostly in Asia , with total registered capital of 2.5 billion USD.

Their capital channeling overseas is estimated to hit 500 million USD in 2008, 20 percent higher than that of 2007.

The outbound investment of Vietnamese businesses is forecast to rise steadily at the annual rate of 20 percent until 2010 thanks to the improved procedures and a new legal framework.

To reach those goals, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) is streamlining administrative to give businesses more flexibility in overseas investment.

Agencies in charge of the work at various levels will be empowered to issue investment licenses, instead of the sole Department of Overseas Investment (DOI).

Additionally, a project to “assist and encourage Vietnamese businesses to make overseas investment” will be submitted to the PM for approval.

Under the project, the MPI recommends the State encourage and assist businesses to invest in certain strategic markets such as Laos, Cambodia and Russia and key sectors, including oil, power generation and mining.

At present, negotiation work is underway to carry out agreements on double taxation avoidance, investment encouragement and protection with a view to creating good conditions for businesses’ overseas investment, an MPI official said.-

Crude output falls short of expectation

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2008 at 9:36 am

Hanoi (VNA) – It is difficult for the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) to achieve its yearly target of tapping 16.2 million tonnes of crude oil this year, according to a group executive.

So far this year, PetroVietnam has only 57 percent of the set target done, the executive said, adding that output at the newly-operated oil fields such as the Phuong Dong (East) and Ca Ngu Vang (Golden Tuna) has fallen short of expectation and the exploitation at overseas oil fields was delayed due to objective reasons.

Despite low crude oil output, PetroVietnam earned more than 8 billion USD from exports in the first eight months of this year, up 80 percent from the same period last year, thanks to higher price on the world market, the executive said.

The oil price stood at an average 117.6 USD per barrel during the eight-month period, 53.6 USD higher than PetroVietnam’s expectation.

The executive said in a bid to realise the annual target, in the remaining months of this year, PetroVietnam will put more oil fields into operation, along with completing negotiations on three projects overseas with foreign partners, including Zarubezneft and OAO Gasprom of Russia and PDVSA of Venezuela.-

ILO project on labour relations reviewed

In Uncategorized on September 16, 2008 at 9:35 am

Hanoi (VNA) – The second phase of the International Labour Organisation project has contributed to forming the three-party mechanism in labour relations at Vietnam ’s enterprises, said local trade union officials.

the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) Vice Presidents Nguyen Hoa Binh and Mai Duc Chinh on Sept. 15 worked with Rene Robert, an expert from ILO Switzerland to review the 2 nd phase of the project, which started in March 2007 with the aim of improving relations between employers and workers in Vietnamese businesses.

The second phase, funded by the Norwegian embassy in Hanoi , is being implemented in seven provinces and cities including Hanoi , Haiphong , Hai Duong, Da Nang , Ho Chi Minh City , Binh Duong and Dong Nai, involving 70 companies and businesses.

Through the project, trade union officials at grassroots level have gained access to international experiences and studied issues relating to collective labour agreements at businesses, which is useful to the drafting of such agreements in Vietnam .

According to Vice President Nguyen Hoa Binh, the VGCL is working on model collective labour agreements at the sectoral level with a trial agreement under drafting between the Textile and Garment Association and the sector’s trade union. He hoped that the ILO/Vietnam labour relations project would continue helping VGCL complete the work.

The ILO/Vietnam labour relations project was launched in 2005, with assistance from the US Department of Labour.-