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Archive for October 17th, 2009|Daily archive page

HCM City’s green expansion comes slowly

In Politics-Society on October 17, 2009 at 3:33 am




HCM City’s green expansion comes slowly


QĐND – Friday, October 16, 2009, 20:55 (GMT+7)

HCMC targets a per capita public parks and greenery coverage of 4.5 square meters during the 2006-2010 period, but the current coverage is only 0.3 square meters in 13 central districts and 1.5 square meters in the other 11 suburban districts, according to the city’s Transport Department.


While the achieved green space is far behind the standard of necessary trees for each person, the city has difficulty developing more public parks because it lacks land, said Do Van Tam, an official of the Transport Department’s Parks and Greenery Office.


Tam told the Daily the other reason for slow development of greenery was the high cost of tree growing at residential projects which are under construction in suburban areas.


“The growing cost for one square meter of tree is some VND300,000, while the expenditure for caring for the trees annually is also very high. This makes the developers of housing projects reluctant or ignore to reserve land for trees,” he said.


So far, urban traffic control units of the transport department have managed over 61,000 trees along city streets and 10,000 trees in parks and near public buildings with an area of around 690 hectares. To maintain these public trees, the city spends some hundreds of billions of dong each year.


Tam stressed that other projects to build public parks around the city were still undeveloped due mostly to a lack of budget though the city’s related authorities recently initiated a plan to raise the ratio of green space for each person to 7-8 square meters by 2015.


He cited the project to expand Gia Dinh in Phu Nhuan district by 7.6 hectares at a cost of VND120 billion that cannot be developed for many years.


In 1998, the city intended to spend some VND90 billion for compensation for site clearance of 17 families and state-owned offices in downtown Tao Dan park to take back seven hectares of land to grow trees, but after over 10 years the city has not completed site clearance.


According to the Transport Department’s initial plan to increase the city’s green space according to the fast population growth, the city needs to grow 79 hectares of large public parks in central areas and grow 30,000 trees along the streets.


Tam also says developers of housing projects which are under construction around the city need to invest some VND12 trillion to grow 3,932 hectares of trees and smaller parks as a requirement for the development of residential projects in the city.


“This greenery target needs large investment capital and I think the investors cannot afford it, so the target for expanding green space in the city seems hard to be feasible,” he added.


Cao Tung Son, vice head of the Environment Management Office of the city’s Natural Resources and Environment Department, said the green space not only played an important role in keeping the city’s beauty, but also helped protect people’s health from urban noise and respiratory diseases from air pollution.


Son said growing trees in the city seemed easier said than done because of lack of budget and land, or, to speak frankly, the city’s authorities lack determination to increase the green space.


For example, he said, the city plans to relocate over 1,400 manufacturers causing environmental pollution from central districts to suburban areas with an initial aim to create more land for developing green space. However, it turns out that very few public parks are built while more housing and residential projects are being prepared for development on empty lots.


Son judges that if the city’s authorities are not determined to develop green space, the city will never reach its target of 7-8 square meters of green space.


He also noted that some public parks are threatened as some investors intend to build underground car parks in the downtown area.


Source: VNN


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MOLISA says it does not intend to extend labour support package

In Politics-Society on October 17, 2009 at 3:33 am




MOLISA says it does not intend to extend labour support package


QĐND – Friday, October 16, 2009, 20:55 (GMT+7)

The Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) will not extend the labour shortage programme after it expires on December 31, 2009, MOLISA’s Deputy Minister Nguyen Thanh Hoa has revealed.


Hoa said in an interview with newspaper Thoi Bao Kinh te Vietnam on October 15 that there was no need to extend the support package, because temporary unemployment had slowed.


Several months ago, the Government, in an effort to help businesses ease difficulties during the economic downturn, decided businesses could borrow money at zero interest rate to pay salaries and allowances to labourers who had previously lost jobs in 2009.


However, as Hoa admitted, very few enterprises borrowed money under the programme despite the zero lending interest rate. Hoa thinks enterprises had not fallen into such big difficulties that they need the capital. Another reason Hoa cited to explain the low demand for capital is businesses can borrow money to pay salaries for 2009, but many of them began facing difficulties in 2008.


Hoa says the impact of the global economic crisis and economic downturn on the employment had not been big as previously thought. Besides, as the global economy recovers and the national economy revives after the downturn, MOLISA does not think it is necessary to extend the support programme.


In December 2008, MOLISA predicted that 300,000 jobs would be lost by the end of 2009. However, the actual unemployment turned out to be much lower than the rate forecast by MOLISA. By the end of September 2009, the laid-off workers numbered 100,000. The lay-offs occurred mostly in the period from late 2008 to the end of the first quarter of 2009.


Since June 2009, the labour situation has reversed with businesses now seriously lacking workers.


HCM City, for example, has reported that it lacks 100,000 workers, while Dong Nai and Binh Duong provinces both need 40,000 workers.


Hoa says MOLISA is going to have meetings with local authorities to find the reasons behind the labour shortage and discuss solutions.


Source: VNN


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PM Dung attends 10th Western China International Trade Fair

In Politics-Society on October 17, 2009 at 3:33 am




PM Dung attends 10th Western China International Trade Fair


QĐND – Friday, October 16, 2009, 20:55 (GMT+7)

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on October 16 attended the 10th Western China International Trade Fair and the 2nd Western China International Cooperation Forum in Sichuan province.


This is an important event organised by the Chinese Government with the aim of exploring the potential for development in the western region of China.


In his speech delivered at the event, PM Nguyen Tan Dung noted that countries around the world have experienced their hardest time in many decades due to the global financial crisis. However, at the trade fair, delegates were impressed by China’s significant achievements, particularly in the western region, he said.


The Vietnamese leader also highlighted the growing ties of friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and China under the mottos “friendly neighbours, comprehensive cooperation, long-term stability and looking towards the future” and “good neighbour, good comrade, good friend and good partner”. Most recently, the two countries’ senior leaders agreed to expand relations into a strategic partnership.


Since 2004, China has been Vietnam’s largest trading partner and Vietnam has become a more and more important trading partner of China. Despite the global financial crisis, Vietnam-China trade turnover reached US$12.5 billion in the first eight months of this year, and is expected to increase to US$19-20 billion by the end of the year. China currently has more than 60 on-going projects in Vietnam with total registered capital investment of over US$2.6 billion. Most Chinese-invested projects are proceeding well.


PM Dung insisted that Vietnam’s economy is recovering rapidly from the global economic downturn, achieving an economic growth of 4.6 percent in the first nine months. The figure is predicted to reach an average of 5-5.5 percent for the whole year. The country attracted more than US$12.5 billion in foreign direct investment and kept its inflation rate at a low level. The Vietnamese economy has weathered the storm and gradually resumed its fast economic growth. This will help Vietnam expand economic cooperation with China, which is considered to be its most important economic partner.


Following his speech, Mr Dung visited 90 stands belonging to 40 Vietnamese businesses.


The trade fair focused on six main fields: investment cooperation, regional cooperation, the automobile industry, machinery, construction materials and specialties of western China.


Addressing the opening ceremony of the trade fair, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao acknowledged the Chinese Government’s efforts in developing 12 provinces in western China, which have a large land area and great natural resources and share borders with neighbouring countries in the region.


During the past 35 years, China has invested strongly in infrastructure development and energy projects in the western region, which has recorded an average GDP growth rate of more than 11 percent per annum. To boost the development of this region, Premier Wen Jiabao said that it is essential to strengthen trade and investment cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and pay due attention to energy saving and environmental protection.


Source: VOV



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PM Dung attends 10th Western China International Trade Fair

In Politics-Society on October 17, 2009 at 3:33 am




PM Dung attends 10th Western China International Trade Fair


QĐND – Friday, October 16, 2009, 20:55 (GMT+7)

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on October 16 attended the 10th Western China International Trade Fair and the 2nd Western China International Cooperation Forum in Sichuan province.


This is an important event organised by the Chinese Government with the aim of exploring the potential for development in the western region of China.


In his speech delivered at the event, PM Nguyen Tan Dung noted that countries around the world have experienced their hardest time in many decades due to the global financial crisis. However, at the trade fair, delegates were impressed by China’s significant achievements, particularly in the western region, he said.


The Vietnamese leader also highlighted the growing ties of friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and China under the mottos “friendly neighbours, comprehensive cooperation, long-term stability and looking towards the future” and “good neighbour, good comrade, good friend and good partner”. Most recently, the two countries’ senior leaders agreed to expand relations into a strategic partnership.


Since 2004, China has been Vietnam’s largest trading partner and Vietnam has become a more and more important trading partner of China. Despite the global financial crisis, Vietnam-China trade turnover reached US$12.5 billion in the first eight months of this year, and is expected to increase to US$19-20 billion by the end of the year. China currently has more than 60 on-going projects in Vietnam with total registered capital investment of over US$2.6 billion. Most Chinese-invested projects are proceeding well.


PM Dung insisted that Vietnam’s economy is recovering rapidly from the global economic downturn, achieving an economic growth of 4.6 percent in the first nine months. The figure is predicted to reach an average of 5-5.5 percent for the whole year. The country attracted more than US$12.5 billion in foreign direct investment and kept its inflation rate at a low level. The Vietnamese economy has weathered the storm and gradually resumed its fast economic growth. This will help Vietnam expand economic cooperation with China, which is considered to be its most important economic partner.


Following his speech, Mr Dung visited 90 stands belonging to 40 Vietnamese businesses.


The trade fair focused on six main fields: investment cooperation, regional cooperation, the automobile industry, machinery, construction materials and specialties of western China.


Addressing the opening ceremony of the trade fair, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao acknowledged the Chinese Government’s efforts in developing 12 provinces in western China, which have a large land area and great natural resources and share borders with neighbouring countries in the region.


During the past 35 years, China has invested strongly in infrastructure development and energy projects in the western region, which has recorded an average GDP growth rate of more than 11 percent per annum. To boost the development of this region, Premier Wen Jiabao said that it is essential to strengthen trade and investment cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and pay due attention to energy saving and environmental protection.


Source: VOV



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Vocational training should be demand driven: conference

In Politics-Society on October 17, 2009 at 3:32 am




Vocational training should be demand driven: conference


QĐND – Friday, October 16, 2009, 20:55 (GMT+7)

Links between vocational training schools and businesses are far too loose for effectively tackling the shortage of skilled labor in the country, experts said at a conference last week.


“Schools and businesses are yet to commit to cooperation,” Le Van Hien, principal of Lilama Vocational College No.2, said.


“Schools train students based on their resources, yet businesses then re-train them in accordance with their needs, which is time-consuming and costly,” Hien said at the conference aiming to collect feedback on the ministry’s draft strategy to develop vocational training by 2020.


The conference was organized last Saturday by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) in the southern province of Binh Duong.


The draft highlights businesses’ roles in vocational training provided at schools to make it more demand-driven.


“If businesses join the training process by supporting or offering interns training on the job with their advanced machines, graduates’ skills will be improved considerably,” Hien said.


However, it’s hard to have talks with vocational schools to employ their graduates, said Le Phuoc Vinh, director general of the Dong Nai based Nor-Cal Vietnam Company, a mechanical engineering firm.


In fact, last year Vinh contacted a vocational college, asking them to send his company 20 laborers trained in precision engineering – a sub-discipline of mechanical engineering that concerned with designing machines, but received no reply, and the same thing happened when he sent another order to the school in June.


Tran Cong Chieu, head of the human resources department under Vung Tau-based PTSC Mechanical and Construction, pointed out that there were some concerns about students’ internships at businesses as part of the cooperation.


During their internships students often face higher risks of labor accidents than the company’s workers, and regulations about labor safety for interns are “very vague”, Chieu said.


This can partly explain why some businesses are reluctant or refuse to recruit interns, the conference heard.


Other company representatives, meanwhile, said they were willing to join the vocational training process, but wondered if such support can be counted in production costs.


The conference also heard several complaints from businesses about the quality of training provided by schools.


Compared to laborers of other countries in the Southeast Asian region, Vietnamese lag behind in terms of computer, foreign language and soft skills, said Nguyen Van Hung, director of CNC Technology Solutions Joint-stock Company.


“The government needs to make plans and support the training of workers in foreign languages and soft skills,” he said.


Vietnam now has some 400,000 business enterprises, according to the MoLISA’s figures.


A recent report found 11 big groups and companies working here need between 60,000-70,000 laborers a year.


The ministry’s Institute of Labor Science and Society has reported that by 2020 Vietnam will have 57.5 million people of working age; 50 million of these will have jobs, while some 27.5 million will receive vocational training.


Other main aims in the draft strategy, expected to be approved by the Party and the government by the end of the year, include sending 800,000 laborers abroad every year and ensuring 100 percent of these receive vocational training by 2020.


Source: thanhnien


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