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Archive for October 8th, 2008|Daily archive page

Contaminated soil to be treated with new technology

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2008 at 1:32 pm

A seminar introducing mechano-chemical destruction (MCD) technology to destroy dioxins and other chemicals in soil was held in Hanoi on Oct. 2, attracting the participation of domestic and foreign scientists.

At the seminar, Dr. John Robertson from New Zealand’s Auckland University of Technology introduced the MCD technology as an emerging technology for the destruction of a range of difficult-to-eradicate organic toxins, including dioxins such as AO.

During the Vietnam war, the American army used five southern and central airports, namely Da Nang, Bien Hoa, Phu Cat, Tan Son Nhat and Nha Trang, to store dioxins that were subsequently sprayed in Vietnam.

A survey has revealed that Bien Hoa, Da Nang and Phu Cat each has between 40,000-90,000 cu.m of soil which is contaminated with dioxins.

The dioxin levels in areas surrounding the Bien Hoa airport were measured and found to be 7 times higher than the accepted norm.

The Ministry of Defence is carrying out a project to treat polluted soil areas at the Bien Hoa airport using 75 billion VND (4.54 million USD) in funds allocated from the State budget. The project is expected to finish in late 2009.-

Vietnam embraces renewable energy resources

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam , with its abundance of potential natural resources, is focusing attention on the research renewable energy sources in the context of global exhaustion of natural sources.

Located in the tropical and monsoon zones, Vietnam has access to year-round solar energy sources, particularly in the northwestern, central and southern regions. As a result, a number of solar power projects have been instigated, bringing wide-ranging practical benefits to many people’s lives.

Various models of solar water heaters have hit the market in recent years. The country now has up to 10 manufacturers of these products with famous brandnames such as “Thai Duong Nang” (Solar Energy), made by the Son Ha Company, “Sunflower”, produced by the Tan A Company and “Helio”, the brainchild of the Ho Chi Minh City Technical Teachers’ College.

In addition, over 20 wind power projects are currently underway with the ability to generate an expected electrical output of 20,000 MW.

However, none of these projects have yet to be put into operation and connected with the national grids. The slow process for high wind-power production is attributed to its high costs.
Meanwhile, many other renewable energy exploitation projects are still being implemented in an effort to compensate for the exhausting natural energy sources. Currently, the most popular projects are the construction of biogas plants, which have been used by thousands of farmers to produce biodiesel from sources such as basa catfish fat or jatropha trees.

The Prime Minister has approved a project relating bio-fuel development through 2025, which sets the target of producing the materials and additives necessary for bio-fuel production during the 2011-2015 period.

Vietnam ’s strong economic growth over the past decade has caused its annual electricity demand to increase by 15 percent while power supplies are mainly based on thermoelectricity and hydropower sources. As a result, power shortages have become increasingly serious in recent years, especially during the dry seasons.-

German businesses interested in HCM City

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2008 at 1:29 pm

HCM City (VNA) – Several German businesses have shown interest in the development and investment environment offered by Ho Chi Minh City, said German State Secretary in charge of the Economics Ministry Hartmut Schauerte.

The German official made this statement while meeting with the city’s leaders on Oct. 7, adding that he fully appreciated the importance and economic potential of the city.

He expressed his wish that the two sides would cooperate to speed up the second phase of a scheme to build a metro system in Ho Chi Minh City . He also placed great value on the Vietnam-Germany University project and expressed his belief that the university would develop quickly to fulfill the aspirations of the two sides.

Hartmut Schauerte went on to state that Germany has plans to build an additional German secondary school in Ho Chi Minh City in 2009.

Secretary of the city’s Party Committee Le Thanh Hai and Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Hoang Quan expressed their hopes that the economic relations between Vietnam and Germany will further develop to match the potential and friendly relationship of the two countries.

The city’s leaders praised the practical results of bilateral ties, proven through cooperation in the fields of economy, education, science and culture. They affirmed that cooperative projects with Germany are valued highly by Ho Chi Minh City .

They announced that the city supported and hoped that the second phase of a project to build a metro system in the city would be carried out soon to contribute to improving the urban transport infrastructure. They expressed their hope that the Vietnam-Germany University would effectively facilitate the training of high-quality human resources for the city.

They added that the city is ready to create favourable conditions for German investors, in particular the projects to build a German secondary school and a German House in the city.-

Work start on automobile component factory

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Bac Giang (VNA) – NICHIRIN Vietnam Co,.Ltd started work on the construction of a factory making automobile, motocycle components in Quang Chau industrial zone in northern Bac Giang province on October 7.

The 8 million USD factory will specialise in automotive hoses including brake, air-conditioning, and power steering hoses.

When completed in mid-2009, the factory is expected to bring working opportunities for hundreds of local labourers.

NICHIRIN is a leading company in Japan ’s automotive hose industry.-

Dung Quat refinery to use imported crude oil

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2008 at 1:27 pm

The Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN) is negotiating with BP of Britain and Shell of the US to import crude oil for the Dung Quat refinery, which is scheduled to start operation in February next year.

PVN said it plans to import oil to meet 30 percent of Dung Quat’s crude demand estimated at 3.5 million tonnes at its initial phase and around 6.5 million tonnes in 2010.

It was intended the nation’s first oil refinery would use crude oil from the Bach Ho field but as oil from the field is fetching the highest price in the market, the import of crude to replace part of this supply will be more enconomically beneficial.

The Oil Corporation (PV Oil) will undertake the sales of all product of the Dung Quat refinery during the refinery’s test running period.

PVN said that it is considering several possibilities regarding the Dung Quat refinery, which either see it operating as an independent business or being sold to a foreign partner.-

New banks to face stiff regulations

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2008 at 1:27 pm

A new draft regulation by the State Bank of Vietnam intends to impose stricter measures on the formation of commercial joint-stock banks in a move to ensure the effectiveness and stability of the local banking system.

New banks must have charter capital of 3 trillion VND (180.72 million USD), while existing joint-stock banks must show they have at least 1 trillion VND in charter capital by the end of this year, according to Le Xuan Nghia, director of banking strategy development for the State Bank of Vietnam .

“ The message is clear. That is, to limit weak banks from joining the local market amid increasing concerns about the spreading global-economic turmoil,” Vo Tri Thanh, director of the Department for Trade Policy and International Economic Integration Studies under the Central Institute for Economic management (CIEM), told the English language daily Vietnam News on October 7.

A new bank must have at least 100 shareholders, as at present. However, now each institutional founding shareholder must provide equity of at least 500 billion VND (30.12 million USD).

Moreover, an institution or enterprise that wants to be part of a new bank must show that it has operated its own business profitably for three consecutive years before applying.

“Such capital regulations are really strict, but good,” said Nguyen Thanh Toai, Deputy General Director of Asia Commercial Bank, a leading joint-stock bank. He told the Vietnam News on October 7 that many State-owned economics groups have sufficient equity of 500 billion VND, but they have been warned not to invest in the banking sector.

He said that setting up the core of a banking system cost at least 4 million USD alone. Those with such low potential have little chance of surviving.

State Bank expert Nghia said smaller private enterprises have almost no chance of opening a bank with such large registered capital.

Under current regulations, each bank which wants to become a founding shareholder of a new bank must have total assets of 10 trillion VND (1.25 billion USD), chartered capital of 1 trillion VND (62.5 million USD), and bad debts of less than 2 percent.

No institution shareholder is allowed to hold more than 20 percent of registered capital in the bank – and the limit is reduced to 10 percent for individual shareholders.

A financial institution that buys a stake as a strategic investor can hold up to 40 percent of shares and can acquire even more if the Prime Minister rules it to be in the national interest.

Moreover, in the first three years after the establishment of a bank, shareholders cannot transfer their stake. Founding shareholders are only permitted to transfer stakes to outsiders after five years.

Most of the new proposed regulations will be the same as under current rules.

The draft proposal also spells out a system of supervision of commercial banks and determines benefits for shareholders.

The checks include several in-house supervisory commissions and nine compulsory reports that must be ratified by the management board.

Vietnam’s banking system now includes five State-owned commercial banks, six joint – venture banks, 36 joint-stock commercial banks, 44 branches of foreign banks, 10 financial companies, 13 financial leasing companies and 998 people’s credit funds.

Since May, two new joint-stock banks have opened up – the Lien Viet Bank and Tien Phong Bank.

Some wonder if the number of banks is too high for a market with a Gross Domestic Product of about 70 billion USD annually.

But according to Thanh from the CIEM, the most critical issues lie in supervision and risk management.

”Placing conditions on opening new banks is in accordance with World Trade Organisation commitments,” he said.

At one period last year, about 25 applications to establish new banks were already on the State Bank’s desk.

To stop the rush, the State Bank tightened conditions on setting up banks by issuing Decision No 24/2007/QD-NHNN on June 7, 2007. However, two months later, the central bank reported having already received 12 applications from mostly large State-owned corporations and domestic financial institutions.

However, so far, only two banks (Tien Phong and Lien Viet) have started operation and another, Bao Viet Bank has been approved for a licence.

In August this year, the State Bank once again announced a temporary pause in licensing new banks while it compiled new criteria for setting up domestic joint-stock commercial banks.

The central bank will receive application to open new banks right after the new draft is finished and ratified by the PM –

Securities companies facing tough times

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2008 at 1:26 pm

The Vietnam Association of Securities Business (VASB) reports that 70 to 80 percent of the total 98 securities companies are cutting back operations, reducing the labour force and limiting their activities.

The association attributed the difficulties to poor management and the recent boom of securities companies. High inflation also had an impact, said Nguyen Thanh Ky, general secretary of the VASB.

Ky said that to help securities companies overcome impediments and continue to develop, support from authorised agencies and policy-makers was essential.

VASB requested that the National Assembly and Government temporarily delay levying personal income tax on investors in order to create a stable mid-and-long-term capital mobilisation channel to attract more domestic and foreign investors.

To improve the operation of the securities industry, the Government would need to limit the establishment of new securities companies while strengthening the quality of existing ones, he said.

In response to proposals from the VASB, the chairman of the State Securities Commission (SSC), Tran Thanh Tan, said that authorised agencies had been enhancing inspections on liquidity and risks for securities companies and would further supervise the operation of securities companies.

Tan said stock market transparency must be increased through specific policies and laws.

Authorised agencies needed to conduct their forecasts and warnings in a timely manner and strictly supervise information and transactions released by securities companies, he added.

The Government should also reconsider allowing investors, businesses and individuals to open multiple securities accounts. However, inspection and control should be used to make investor transactions more flexible and help stabilise the market, Tan said.-

VinaPhone expands international links

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Vinaphone’s deal with Nawras of Oman and Network of Norway to provide two-way roaming service since late September has enabled customers of this mobile phone network to send messages to 200 countries and territories.

With the latest deal, Vinaphone subscribers can now to use the roaming services in 80 countries and territories worldwide, making Vinaphone a network with the most links to foreign countries.

As a result, VinaPhone, expects the number of users of its international roaming and paging services will sharply increase in the near future. Currently, nearly 120,000 foreign subscribers use the roaming service through Vinaphone network every month. The number of paging messages from foreign countries to Vietnam through this network has reached an average of 3 million a month.

Vinaphone has applied a special charge of 0.15 USD for a paging message and provided the language support service in Korean and Japanese.

In addition, Vinaphone is the first mobile phone network to cover all provinces, cities and districts across the country, including mountainous, island and remote districts.

To date, Vinaphone has nearly 6,000 base transmission stations and nearly 20 million subscribers.

Vinaphone plans to continue expanding its coverage and renew technology to improve connection quality and offer more service packages to meet the need of different groups of customers.-

Binh Thuan exports first dragon fruit to US

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Duy Lan farm in district Ham Thuan Nam, southern Binh Thuan province has exported eight tonnes of dragon fruits to the US.

This is the first time Binh Thuan province has exported dragon fruits to the US market.

All steps from harvesting the fruits to loading them onto ships were supervised by the US Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine, Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and related agencies.-

Vietnam, Japan share project management experiences

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Vietnamese and Japanese experts held a seminar on management of construction projects in Hanoi on Oct. 8.

The seminar was aimed at reviewing cooperation achievements between the two sides and sharing experiences to raise investment efficiency and boost cooperation between the two countries in the field.

Over the past years, the construction sector markedly contributed to the national industrialisation and modernisation, making up 10 percent of the Vietnam’s GDP.

Vietnam is a large recipient of Japan’s ODA, which increased from 835 million USD in 2006 to 890 million USD in 2007, and 1.1 billion USD in 2008. Big proportions of these accounts went to infrastructure development.

Addressing the seminar, Deputy Construction Minister Nguyen Tran Nam highly appreciated contributions of Japanese construction contractors, consultancy experts to projects in Vietnam. He mentioned Obayashi Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, Sumitomo, Kajima, and Taisei as big names in transferring modern technologies to Vietnam.

Participants exchanged experiences in management of construction projects, and recommended amendments to regulations of projects and put forth forecast for the local market.-