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Archive for October 16th, 2008|Daily archive page

Gov’t urges off-shore fishing increase

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2008 at 12:57 pm

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has urged authorities in coastal provinces and cities to take drastic measures to carry out a Governmental decision on financial support to off-shore fishing by the end of the year.

According to Minister Cao Duc Phat, aquatic resources are rapidly being exhausted due an increasing number of fishing vessels operating in areas close to the shore.

They do so due to rising price of materials such as fuel which have greatly pushed up overhead and production costs, while the prices of what they catch remain virtually unchanged.

Director of the ministry’s Aquatic Products Exploitation and Protection Department Chu Tien Vinh said in accordance with the Government’s policy, the Ministry of Finance had advanced 28 coastal provinces and cities with more than 1.2 trillion VND (72.7 million USD), nearly half of which had been paid to fishermen.

Vinh said the Government’s decision to help fishermen develop off shore fishing had contributed to helping localities complete registration procedures for fishing vessels. The cities and provinces of Hai Phong, Da Nang, Thai Binh, Nghe An and Tien Giang have completed these projects.

The localities will have to tighten control on the operation of vessels, said Vinh, adding that over 48,700 fishing vessels have been registered, while statistics show that there are about 87,000 fishing vessels in Vietnam , of which 15,000 are offshore fishing vessels with a capacity of 90 horse power or more; the remainder are small and have a short-range.

To develop offshore fishing, Minister Phat has required localities to apply advanced technology to fishing and preserving products to make a shift in the industry and raise income for fishermen.

Phat said the sector should use money from the fishing promotion fund to push training and inform legal regulations for fishermen. “The ministry will strengthen control on boats and vessels and minimise the number of boats operating near the shore,” he said.-

Industrial value ratio drops

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2008 at 12:56 pm

The valued added ratio in Vietnamese industrial products has seen gradual depreciation in the past few years, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

While the ratio accounted for 42.5 percent in 1995, it is expected to decline to 23.5 percent this year and to 21.3 percent in 2010, the ministry reported.

The ministry attributed the depreciation of the ratio to the high intermediate costs in production, the incompetence of processing and manufacturing sectors and the high labour intensive ratio in production.

In addition, national plans for the development of key economic groups have failed to meet initial targets because of their poor business expansion and the lack of cooperation between them.

Meanwhile, investment in new production technologies is still low, accounting for a mere eight to ten percent. This, coupled with the lack of a qualified workforce in the hi-tech industries, also hampered the development of the national industries.

On the other hand, the increasing costs of raw materials have raised the input costs, hence lowering the value added ratio in industrial products, according to the ministry.

According to Industry and Trade Minister Vu Huy Hoang, the quality of industry performance affects development speed of the overall industry – the key role in the development of the country’s economy.

The ministry called for a number of measures to increase the ratio such as restructuring key industries, fostering the development of supporting industries and organising more training programmes for the workforce in key industries including metallurgy, core chemical and minerals.

The ministry also mentioned the need to have favourable policies to encourage the development of new industrial products, increase manufacturing content and renew the management system.

According to the General Statistics Office, industrial production growth rate in September fell to its lowest compared to the monthly average earlier in the year.

The figure marks only a 15.2 percent year-on-year increase. The increase in the previous three year’s September figures were 18.1 percent in 2007, 18.7 percent in 2006 and 19.8 percent in 2005.

Growth in industrial production value in the first nine months of this year reached only 16 percent, the office said.

The figure was also the lowest compared to the last three years: 17.1 percent in 2007, 16.8 percent in 2006, and 16.5 percent in 2005.-

Vietnam’s seafood exports to US recover

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam ’s seafood exports to the US has regained momentum, with an impressive yearly increase of 75 percent in revenues recorded in September, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

The September gain helped offset the decrease in the January-August period and bring about a 1.5 percent increase for the nine-month period.

The sector earned 534.5 million USD from the US market in the first nine months of the year, including 100.7 million USD in September.

The US gloomy economy and consequently weaker purchase power, the depreciation of the US dollar were said to be the cause behind the lesser imports of Vietnamese seafood since early this year, in addition to the US ’s anti-dumping tariff on several Vietnamese aquatic products.

On the other hand, Vietnamese producers and exporters also suffered from fluctuated foreign exchange rates and capital shortage.

On Sept. 19, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) said it postponed the announcement of results of administrative review on anti-dumping duties against shrimp imported from Vietnam to March 2009, instead of late October this year as planned.

The US International Trade Committee (ITC) also voted on Oct. 7 for a five-year administrative review of its anti-dumping tariffs on Vietnam ’s catfish fillets before coming to the last decision to lift them or not.

In spite of those difficulties, VASEP said the DOC’s rulings had not discouraged US importers from buying seafood from Vietnam .

The association expected Vietnam ’s seafood industry to earn 850 million USD from its exports to the US in 2008.-

Vietinbank issues two new int’l credit cards

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank) announced that it officially issued two new international credit cards on October 15, including Cremium Visa and Cremium MasterCard.

Accordingly, Cremium card holders can withdraw cash and pay for goods and services at tens of millions of point-of-sale (POS) and ATM systems worldwide bearing the Visa and MasterCard logos.

With a flexible card line, customers can use the post-payment services without fees or interest payments if they pay within 45 days.

In addition, Cremium card holders will also receive global health insurance worth 5,000 USD and can benefit from an intelligent reward scheme when paying for goods and services.
The Cremium credit cards are suitable for all customers who have a monthly salary of 2.5 million VND or more and receive their salaries via Vietinbank’s ATM E-partner card without any secured assets.

Between November 1, 2008 and January 25, 2009, Vietinbank will run a promotion entitled “One week being a king in America ” for Cremium card-holders in particular and Vietinbank’s customers in general. Card-holders will receive special tickets, with the chance of winning a one-week tour to America worth 130 million VND.-

Hanoi calls for more Japanese investment

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2008 at 12:54 pm

Tokyo (VNA) – A senior Vietnamese diplomat has called upon Japanese businesses to increase their investment in Vietnam , particularly in infrastructure, accessories industries and farm processing.

Ambassador Nguyen Phu Binh made the appeal at a seminar held in Tokyo on October 15 to introduce the investment environment offered by Hanoi since it was enlarged, tripling its area and almost doubling its population.

Binh told those at the event, which was attended by representatives of more than 100 Japanese businesses, that Vietnam, which offers young, hardworking and creative workforce, socio-political stability and abundant natural resources, is a huge potential market with steadily increasing purchasing power.

“Similarities in culture between Vietnam and Japan have facilitated cultural, economic and commercial exchanges between the two countries,” he added.

Furukawa Hiroki, a representative from Japan ’s Integrated Technology Corporation, related his company’s experiences in establishing a joint venture with Vietnam ’s Interserco to operate in the Southeast Asian country.

The businessman supported Binh’s comments, citing low labour costs, socio-political stability and similarities in attitude between the Vietnamese and the Japanese as factors underlying his company’s move to expand its operations to Vietnam .

There are many Japanese representative offices operating in Hanoi , including the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, the Japanese External Trade Organistion, along with a number of large banks such as Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo and Mizuho.

The seminar was co-hosted by the Hanoi Representative Office in Japan and the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry.-

Jail sentences for defendants in transport scandal case

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2008 at 12:52 pm

Hanoi (VNA)- Hanoi Court closed on October 15, handing out jail sentences to two of the four defendants charged with violating the law in a case related to the Project Management Unit 18 (PMU 18) scandal.

Nguyen Viet Chien, a former reporter with the Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper, was sentenced to two years in prison, backdated to his arrest on May 12, 2008. He was found guilty of abusing democratic freedoms, thus infringing upon the interests of the State and the legitimate rights of organizations and citizens.

Dinh Van Huynh, a former investigative police officer, was jailed for one year on charges of deliberately leaking classified information and breaching the Public Security Ministry’s rules.

Huynh pleaded guilty of violating law as stated by the Supreme People’s Procuracy in its indictment, disavowing his previous statement on October 14.

The other two defendants received more lenient sentences.

Pham Xuan Quac, the former Head of the Department on Social Crime Investigative Police, received an official warning.

Nguyen Van Hai, a former reporter with the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, was given a 24-month non-custodial sentence, including time served, (with one day in custody equivalent to three days of a non-custodial term). He was allowed to walk free.

All four defendants said that their offenses were professional errors and pleaded for clemency on the grounds of their previous contributions as well as health reasons.

The two-day trial touched upon responsibilities of the Editor-in-Chiefs of Thanh nien and Tuoi tre newspapers, whose ex-reporters had made erroneous reports.

The case, heard in a public court, got support from the public.-

Conference discusses land transport

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Urban transport planning and sustainability, technology advancements, transport financing and investments, intelligent transport systems, road safety as well as critical insights into Vietnam’s road and rail development plans are the highlights of a two-days conference in Hanoi which kicked off on October 15.

The conference, known as Viet Traffic, is supplemented by an exhibition which features solutions and technologies for railway infrastructure, highway construction and management, roadside accessories and public utilities, ITS for traffic management and safety, parking facilities and systems and management.

The director of the Foreign Investment Agency, Phan Huu Thang, told participants that the completion of a modern transport infrastructure system was one of the key missions of Vietnam ’s Government. He said that over the past few years, Vietnam had made great strides in transport infrastructure development with a view to developing the country’s socio-economy.

“We hope that by 2020, Vietnam will become a modern industrial country with a developed transport infrastructure bringing economic benefits to all,” Thang said.

“We strongly believe that through the conference and exhibition, participants will discuss solutions and share experiences in order to seek ways to make joint venture businesses and coordinate to improve and develop Vietnam ’s infrastructure facilities in the years to come.”

Mai Anh Tuan, vice chairman of the Vietnam Road Administration, told delegates about road development plans and future challenges. Vietnam’s land transport and services remained very poor and it wouldn’t be easy to address the existing problems within a short period of time.

Tuan said motorcycles remained an essential mode of transport for Vietnamese people. The Vietnam Road Administration would seek ways to gradually solve traffic problems due to the high ratio of motorbikes, while encouraging automobile development in an appropriate manner.

The number of cars would climb to around three million units by 2020 and motorbikes would be between 33-36 million units.

He added that road fee collection remained unreasonable in the country and was lower than other countries. The Vietnam Road Administration would revise road fee collection procedures so as to encourage B.O.T investment in road infrastructure. By doing so, support from both international and domestic professionals would be needed.

Vietnam’s robust economic growth is accompanied by an urgent need for a good transportation network and infrastructure. As a result, major projects are underway to build more ports, highways, railways, roads, bridges, tunnels, interchanges, overpasses, car parks and other auxiliary facilities.

The country plans to develop 6,000km of expressways by 2025, with 261km of expressways designed for high-speed travel to be build each year until 2025 at an estimated total cost of 22.8 billion USD.

Vietnam’s Government has set aside billion of dollars to be invested in numerous mega-scale road and rail projects. In HCM City alone, the total estimated investment capital needed for road, railway and waterway plans will be 13.9 billion USD while Hanoi’s total investment into transportation projects is estimated at about 13 billion USD.-

Women unaware of property rights despite 5-year-old law

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2008 at 12:51 pm

A recent survey found that most women did not know they have the right to have their names on land use rights certificates.

Action Aid Vietnam conducted a survey on women’s rights to access land in six districts throughout Vietnam – Da Bac in Hoa Binh, Tam Duong in Lai Chau, Ninh Phuoc in Ninh Thuan, Mang Yang in Gia Lai, Cau Ngang in Tra Vinh and Vung Liem in Vinh Long.

According to the survey, conducted from June to August in more than 1,000 households, although a five-year-old law stipulates that both women and men are entitled to jointly have their names on ownership documents, awareness of the right varies.

In many cases, women are not signatories for land use rights and goods. This puts them in a position of dependency, which can be a hidden threat to women and their children in difficult times.

Saroj Dash, director of Acting Action Aid, said that while women are the key to feeding and bringing up families, their right to access and utilisation of land and goods is violated in many cases.

He said that one of the actions the Government could take to achieve better food security for destitute women was to recognise their rights to land access and land use, both in law and in reality.

“This is a very basic and legitimate right for women,” he said.

Many Vietnamese women, especially those with little formal education, do not know this. Even female district officials are often not fully aware of the need to convert single name certificates into joint ownership.

One female district head of the Vietnam Women’s Union said oriental women often thought that property belonged to their husbands, but as marriages almost never broke up and tradition recognised her contribution to the household, there was little need to worry.

Couples who would like to have both their names on a certificate are afraid of the cumbersome administrative formalities and high registration fees.

The Action Aid report has recommended simplifying certification and raising the awareness of women and officials in public authorities.-

Plan calls to move thousands from Red River flood areas

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Around 23,000 householders living along the Red River in Hanoi should be relocated to avoid flood damages, according to the Water Resources Planning Institute under the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development.

The project, which has been submitted to Hanoi People’s Committee for approval, is aimed at limiting flood damage in the capital while creating conditions for the construction of a riverside city.

According to statistics from the institute, 42,000 households are living outside the river’s main dike system in Hanoi.

The relocation is estimated to cost 19 trillion VND (1.1 billion USD), and will be implemented from 2011-2020.

“The relocation of people living along the Red River is important as it will not only help ensure safety for locals, but also improve the surrounding landscape for sustainable development of the capital,” said the institute’s deputy head Vu Hong Chau.

Population density along the river has been increasing rapidly, and the river bed is narrowing, creating a greater danger of flooding, Chau noted, adding that the later the project starts, the more difficult site clearance would be.

He was also concerned about pollution from waste sewage, which without careful treatment could further harm the river.

“The planning of the Red River section running through Hanoi will create a more beautiful capital but must ensure safety and stable living conditions for local people,” said the deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dao Xuan Hoc.

Resettlement buildings are scheduled to be built in three areas in the region, including Hai Boi-Xuan Canh, Bo De-Lam Du-Cu Khoi and Thuong Cat-Lien Mac.-

Citi grants 1,200 USD in grants to 80 students

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2008 at 12:49 pm

The Citi Scholarship Programme in Vietnam awarded scholarships worth a total of 1,200 USD to 80 outstanding students from four universities on Oct. 15.

The scholarships presented to students from the Hanoi Foreign Trade University, the Banking Academy of Vietnam, the National Economics University and the Academy of Finance, are part of Citi’s continued contribution to communities in the country.

This is the seventh year that Citigroup Vietnam has awarded scholarships to Vietnamese students.-