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Archive for December 1st, 2008|Daily archive page

Motorists cash in on petrol price cuts

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2008 at 3:22 pm

The Ministries of Industry and Trade, and Finance have announced they are to slash the retail prices of petrol and fuel nationwide by between 500-1,000 VND (0,06 USD) per litre, as of Dec. 1.

As a result, a litre of A92 petrol unleaded will now cost 12,000 VND, down from the previous price of 13,000 VND.

The new price for a litre of diesel oil will be 12,000 VND, down from 13,000 VND and the cost of kerosene has fallen from 13,500 VND to 13,000 VND.

The Ministry of Finance also announced that import taxes are to be raised from 25 percent to 35 percent for petrol and kerosene. The new import tax rates will be applied starting Dec. 2.

These adjustments have been made in the wake of a drop in prices in the global markets and are aimed at increasing the benefits to the State in the form of increased tax revenues and to consumers and enterprises, who will pay less for their fuel at petrol stations across the country .-

Seminar aims to sharpen Vietnam’s competitive edge

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2008 at 3:22 pm

HCM City (VNA) – Prof. Michael E. Porter, who is generally recognised as the father of the competitive strategy, chaired an international seminar entitled “Global competitiveness and competitive advantages of Vietnam ” in Ho Chi Minh City on Dec. 1.

The event, hosted by the PACE Institute of Directors, brought together 200 officials, leading executives, scholars, policy makers and economists from Vietnam and other regional countries.

Vietnam has experienced an impressive rate of development over the past two decades, though its reforms are not strong enough to transform Vietnam into a country with an average income, said Prof. Porter, who is now considered the world’s most influential living strategist.

Porter put forth a plan of action aimed at improving Vietnam ’s competitive edge, with priority placed on reducing corruption, improving infrastructure facilities, and reforming both the financial market and administrative procedures.

Vietnam should reduce the risk of corruption by simplifying its regulations, applying high-end information technology, tightening the management of State-owned enterprises, accelerating its equitisation process and promoting transparency, he added.

Prof. Porter told the participants that Vietnam also should ensure a focusing of purpose when investing in infrastructure and establish a national investment fund to support important infrastructure projects amidst an increasing flow of investment pumped into this field over recent years.

The professor pointed to the need for Vietnam to continue opening its financial market under its World Trade Organisation (WTO) commitments and building an effective and independent financial management mechanism, making use of external sources where necessary.

For the long term, Prof. Porter suggested that Vietnam focus on agricultural development to turn itself into one of the world’s biggest suppliers of food and foodstuffs or invest in warehouses and seaports to become a leading global cargo transit centre.-

Self-reliance needed to respond to global crisis

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam, whose exports constitute more than fifty percent of the country’s GDP, should take full advantage of its internal strengths to cope with the current macroeconomic outlook, impacted by the global financial crisis, said Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Vietnam Michael J. Peace on Dec. 1.

“Vietnam’s best option is self-reliance” as the financial crisis and the decline in consumer spending in Vietnam’s main export markets is likely to create a difficult environment for Vietnam in the coming months, said Peace said at the Vietnam Business Forum in Hanoi.

Vietnam’s inflation is estimated to reach 22 percent this year while the country’s trade deficit had, by the end of October, exceeded 16.2 billion USD. The country’s exports have also been adversely affected with a steady downward trend having been observed since September. Export values hit an eight-month low of 4.8 billion USD in November.

Vietnam’s main export markets are the US, which accounts for 26 percent of Vietnam’s total exports, the EU at 19 percent, and Japan at 16 percent. However, all three markets are currently experiencing serious economic difficulties.

“Roughly two-thirds of US imports from Vietnam are apparel, footwear, and furniture. These categories of goods suffer during consumer downturns, making it likely that Vietnam’s exports to the US will drop,” Peace said.

The AmCham Chairman added that “By increasing productivity and reducing the costs of doing business, Vietnam can maintain and improve export growth.”

He also urged the Vietnamese government to consider the timing of the implementation of a new minimum wage decree and increased social security, along with other taxes. If the decree comes into effect in January next year, the cost of doing business will rise due to a 20-30 percent increase in labour costs across Vietnam’ key export industries.

Chairwoman of the Hanoi Association for Entrepreneur Women, Pham Thi Loan said that, in addition to prioritising policies for inflation control and macro-economic stabilisation, there should be policies governing demand stimulation, local production increases, a sustainable reduction of excessive imports, and detailed policies in place to ensure an increase in local businesses’ competitiveness.

According to a Report on Business Environment Sentiment Survey 2008, launched at the forum, to maximise the country’s self-reliance, it is necessary to create a business environment attractive to businesses.

Over 46 percent of the 254 domestic and foreign-invested businesses taking part in the survey suggested that the government should focus on the enhancement of legislative preparation; 40 percent, the removal of unnecessary permits; 37 percent, the enhancement of legislative implementation; and 36 percent, improvement of the infrastructure.

Corporate Secretary of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam Giles Cooper said that a stable and predictable business environment is essential for Vietnam’s future prosperity, particularly at a time of slowing global economic growth and investment.

Such an environment requires legal and regulatory certainty, enabling businesses and investors to operate efficiently. In addition, legal measures should be built on a foundation of the interests of on-going business. –

New model needed to ensure labour harmony

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Increasing the role of trade unions in social dialogues was the main topic of a seminar held in Hanoi on Dec.1, attended by almost 100 trade union activists from the northern provinces .

The seminar, co-hosted by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), offered a chance for the activists to exchange experiences in creating harmonised, stable and progressive labour relations.

Addressing the event, VGCL Vice President Mai Duc Chinh stressed that a tripartite mechanism, with the participation of the State, trade unions and employers, is one of the most effective mechanisms in the creation and execution of labour-related policies.

However, this model has proved less efficient in Vietnam as it has not met the requirements of labour relations in the context of a market economy and international economic integration, Chinh noted.

Sharing this view, Nguyen Manh Cuong, the official from the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs charged with responsibility for labour relations, said that a recent decision by the Prime Minister to establish a national committee for labour relations was a step forward in improving the efficiency and efficacy of this mechanism in Vietnam .

However, its implementation still faces a number of obstacles, particularly in indentifying an organisation at a grassroots level eligible to represent employers in any tripartite mechanism.

He suggested the formation of an organisation or association with the specific purpose and ability to unify businesses.

Jan Sunoo, an advisor from the ILO in Vietnam , said that the role played by trade unions in State-owned enterprises is inappropriate to private and foreign-invested enterprises, leading to the fact that workers usually choose to take industrial action, such as going on strike, rather than entering into negotiations.

He proposed that, in the future, trade unions should recommend collective negotiations as the best solution for workers in the event of complaints.

During the seminar, participants suggested making an adjustment to the 1990 Law on Trade Unions to ensure it is compatible with the multi-sectorial market economy and the international integration process.-

Traffic planning lacks long-term view

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Traffic planning should pre-empt socio-economic development and be included in urban planning schemes, according to experts at a symposium held in Hanoi on December 1.

The event was organised by Hanoi University of Transport and Communications (UTC), in cooperation with Germany ’s Darmstadt University of Technology.

The development of traffic systems in Vietnam ’s major cities lack a long-term vision, resulting in problems such as frequent congestion, high rates of road traffic accidents and high levels of pollution, said UTC’s principal Tran Dac Suu.

The current infrastructure and public transport services do not meet the needs of socio-economic development and the uncontrolled proliferation of private vehicles is worsening these problems, Suu commented.

Participants at the symposium suggested that administrators formulate and impose uniform standards for urban planning procedures, and they agreed that the experiences of developed countries in planning traffic schemes would be very useful to Vietnamese urban planners.

Participating experts from Germany and Japan shared their countries’ experiences in traffic planning and administration, as well as the development of their public transport services.-

Vietnam, Indonesia strengthen trade ties

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2008 at 3:18 pm

Jakarta (VNA) – Vietnam and Indonesia have agreed to strengthen bilateral trade relations and boost production and export of agricultural products to each other as well as to the world market.
National Assembly Vice Chairman Uong Chu Luu, who led a Vietnamese delegation to attend the third session of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA-3), and Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives Laksono reached the consensus at a meeting in Jakarta on Nov. 28.

The two sides recognised that in the context of the on-going serious global financial crisis, both Vietnam and Indonesia should lower their 2009 economic growth targets.

While appreciating the traditional friendship between the two countries, Speaker Laksono said that they should cooperate in producing and trading in such advantageous products as coffee.

Laksono informed his quest that Indonesia may import Vietnam ’s agricultural products such as soybeans and peanuts.

The Vietnamese guest congratulated host Indonesia on its holding of the APA Presidency for the 2008-2009 term.

While in Indonesia , NA Vice Chairman Luu also had separate meetings with heads of the delegations from Cambodia , China , Russia , Bahrain and Singapore .

The third APA session concluded on Nov. 29, having adopted 20 resolutions and the Jakarta Declaration on the need of establishing a new global financial mechanism.-

RoK plans to set up fund at WB to support DPRK

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2008 at 3:17 pm

Seoul (VNA) – The Republic of Korea (RoK)’s government plans to establish a fund at the World Bank (WB) to indirectly assist the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the process of global integration.

The fund, worth 9.9 billion won (about 6.7 million USD) will be established at the beginning of 2009, aimed at granting financial assistance to development organisations, the RoK Ministry of Strategy and Finance said on November 27.

The fund will be used to help the DPRK study successful models of structural transformation from around the world, to compile statistics data, and to train personnel for administrative bodies.

In the event that the DPRK becomes a member of the WB, the RoK will support the development of infrastructure in the DPRK through the issuance of credit loans. It will also set up joint funds with other WB members or use multilateral assistance mechanisms to support the DPRK, according to the ministry.

During 2008, the ministry spent 300 million won on a training programme on the market economy for the DPRK. –

Asian lawmakers call on new global financial architecture

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2008 at 3:17 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – Participants to the Third Plenary Session of Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) signed the Jakarta Declaration on the Urgency for the Establishment of a New Global Financial Architecture on November 29.

According to the declaration, APA members recognised the need to spare no effort in working on ideas and initiatives aimed at promoting a new global financial architecture that could support a more just and transparent world economic structure, and ensure the stable provision of financing for development which concurrently would promote the achievement of peace and stability in the region.

APA members encourage the governments to take rapid and comprehensive ways to restore the market confidence and stability, to minimize the risk of the prolonged crisis and to ensure the smooth running of real economy, the declaration says.

They highly recommend the establishment of emergency funding in Asia to assist crisis-effected emerging markets; support ways to seek for Asian regulatory framework in supervising the transparency and accountability of financial institutions that maintain sound macroeconomic policy.

The declaration also says that the APA members support a greater say and representation of the developing world, especially the emerging economies of Asia, in the policy making process of international financial institutions.

The APA members also suggest to establish an APA Working Group under the Standing Committee on Economic and Sustainable Development to further study and make recommendations on a new global financial architecture which represents the interest and concerns of least developed countries and emerging markets.

The plenary session, opened on November 27 in Indonesia, was attended by 233 delegates from 31 countries and observers from the ASEAN Parliament, the Inter Parliamentary Union, the Eurasian Economic Community (EEC), and the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), according to news agencies.-

Indian forces kill last gunmen in Mumbai

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2008 at 3:16 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The terror rampage that killed 195 people across India’s financial capital of Mumbai ended on November 29 when commandos killed the last three gunmen inside Taj Mahal hotel while it was engulfed in flames.

Authorities searched for any remaining captives hiding in their rooms and began to shift their focus to who was behind the attacks, which killed 18 foreigners, according to The Associated Press.

Some 295 people also were wounded in the violence that started when at least a dozen heavily armed assailants attacked 10 sites across Mumbai in the night of November 26. At least 20 soldiers and police were among the dead.

By the morning of November 29 the death toll was at 195, the deadliest attack in India since 1993 serial bombings in Mumbai killed 257 people. But officials said the toll from the three days of carnage was likely to rise as more bodies were brought out of the hotels.-

13th Congress of KPRF opens in Moscow

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Moscow (VNA) – The 13th Congress of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) opened in the Russian capital city of Moscow on November 29.

Over 1,000 delegates, as well as guests from 83 communist and worker parties worldwide, are attending the Congress. The Vietnamese delegation to the Congress was led by Pham Quang Nghi, Politburo member and Secretary of Hanoi’s Party Committee.

During the two-day Congress, the delegates are due to analyze and adopt a revised party programme and re-elect the leadership.-


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