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Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

Vietnam to ban raw natural resource exports: Party chief

In Vietnam Economy on October 25, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Vietnam to ban raw natural resource exports: Party chief

QĐND – Sunday, October 25, 2009, 20:49 (GMT+7)

Vietnam will impose a ban on selling raw natural resources and focus on processing them, Communist Party Secretary General Nong Duc Manh said Wednesday.

“In the world, poor countries typically sell their natural resources while rich ones buy and process them [for re-selling], Manh said at a National Assembly meeting in Hanoi, “It’s time for us to focus on processing.”

Vietnam is shipping many of its resources abroad. For example, crude oil is one of the country’s top export earners. Crude oil shipments in the first nine months of this year valued US$4.77 billion, just after garments’ export turnover. Meanwhile, the nation currently imports almost all of its oil products.

Pham Khoi Nguyen, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, said, “Ten years ago, no country wanted to engage in mining in Vietnam. But now, many are ready to explore mines in the country and then ship it back home. This is because they are expecting a crisis in natural resources in the near future.

Source: Thanh Nien, Tuoi Tre

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Report on rural female workers in post-WTO entry

In Social life on October 25, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Report on rural female workers in post-WTO entry

QĐND – Sunday, October 25, 2009, 20:49 (GMT+7)

According to a report on the socio-economic impact of WTO admission on Vietnam’s rural women on October 20, rural women have plenty of opportunity to get jobs but often with low wages.

The report was conducted by the Institute of Labour, Science and Social Affairs, the United Nations in Vietnam and the ODA programme of the Australian government.

Around 250 women in the northern province of Hai Duong and the southern province of Dong Thap were interviewed for the report.

According to Ms Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy, director of the Research Centre for Female Labour and Gender (RCFLG), after carrying out international economic integration, these provinces have experienced socio-economic changes with rapid investment and urbanization, economic restructuring and considerable internal migration.

According to the report, two years after joining the WTO, the expansion of industrial parks (IPs) in the provinces has generated jobs for female workers. Most of enterprises are operating in the field of garments and textiles, leather and footwear, electronics, seafood and food processing which require numerous female workers.

The report also emphasized that IPs have attracted many female workers from neighbouring localities. Up to 90 percent of women interviewed said that their income has increased significantly thanks to going where the jobs are while the remaining 10 percent are still looking for jobs.

Simple job and low income

The report has also pointed out that although WTO entry has increased job opportunities for rural women in Vietnam, these are low-paying jobs. Female workers in the electronics sector earn the highest monthly income (VND2 million/month) while those working in the garment, textile and seafood sectors earn VND1.2-1.5 million per month.

Ms Thuy said that although the women’s income has doubled compared to that in the agricultural sector, they save only VND200,000-400,000 per month excluding the cost of rent. In addition, in peak season, they have to work 12-14 hours per day. Poor working conditions often affect their health.

Moreover, rural women also have to live in cramped housing with up to 30 people in a guest-house. Meanwhile, theft and disorder occurred regularly there.

Improve gender education

One of the ways to help rural women increase their income is to offer training courses. The report said that in the past two years, rural women have had many opportunities to access training in general and vocational training in particular. However, there remain limitations in vocational training.

Research has shown that a group of young women who graduated from high school, have had the opportunity to undergo vocational training courses, and find it easy to find jobs in the garment industry, and services sector. However, a group of women over 35 years old who have low educational qualifications, can only do simple jobs such as weaving rattan and bamboo. They earned only VND5,000-VND20,000 per day from these unstable jobs.

The report also offered proposals that local authorities and social and political organizations should integrate gender education into policies, plans and targeted national programmes, to reduce the impact of WTO entry on rural women and improve gender equality in Vietnam.

Source: VOV

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Internet access sites available everywhere in Vietnam

In Social life on October 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Internet access sites available everywhere in Vietnam

QĐND – Sunday, October 25, 2009, 20:49 (GMT+7)

According to the Vietnam International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Vietnam is listed among the top 10 countries achieving the fastest Internet development in the world between 2002-2007.

The number of Internet users in Vietnam is higher than the average level in Asia but, despite this reality, the US House of Representatives has passed resolution H.RES.672 on freedom of the Internet in Vietnam.

A Radio Voice of Vietnam (VOV) reporter has interviewed the Deputy Minister of Information and Communication, Do Quy Doan on the issue.

Reporter: The US House of Representatives on October 21 passed resolution H.RES.672, saying that the establishment of the Department for Management of Broadcasting, Television, and Electronic Information in Vietnam has limited freedom on the Internet and censored personal blogs in Vietnam. What is your opinion?

Mr Doan: The establishment of State management agencies is the right of each country in line with the requirements, functions and tasks with which agencies and units are entrusted by the State and Government. The establishment aims to build mechanisms and create the best possible conditions for national development. However, that development must be put within the legal framework.

It (the US House of Representatives) claims that the establishment of the Department for Management of Broadcasting, Television, and Electronic Information is aimed at limiting freedom on the Internet or censoring blogs, I think this is a brazen distortion. In fact, every country has its own agency for broadcasting and television management, including the US. In my opinion, the only explanation for this is simple: misunderstanding or intentional misinterpretation.

Reporter:  In resolution H.RES.672, the US House of Representatives said that the Department for Management of Broadcasting, Television, and Electronic Information in Vietnam requests Internet service providers to provide them with information about Internet users who have violated regulations set by the Ministry of Information and Communications. What is your assessment of this information?

Mr. Doan: I don’t understand what basis they have to say this. The Department for Management of Broadcasting, Television, and Electronic Information is a counselor to assist the Ministry of Information and Communications in management in the field of broadcasting, television and electronic information. There is no way in which the Department has violated regulations set by the Ministry.

It should be seen that in the process of management, appropriate authorities always try to encourage the positive. All countries over the world see the two sides of using the internet. I think it’s necessary to encourage a service provider to cooperate with appropriate authorities to prevent harmful information.

Reporter: As a manager in field of broadcasting, television, how do you assess the development of internet services in Vietnam?

Mr. Doan: It has been 12 years since Vietnam accessed the internet for the first time on November 19, 1997. During this time, with the assistance of the State, the internet in Vietnam has developed quickly-the number of people using the internet in the country has now risen to 22 million, one-fourth of its population. The figure shows how widely the internet has spread in Vietnam. If it had kept under strict control, Vietnam wouldn’t have seen such a rapid speed of development.

Not long ago, during my visit to the US, I went to see one of my friends working at the Voice of America’s foreign relations department who had just come back from Vietnam. He said he was also told that there was a limit on the freedom to use the internet in Vietnam. However, he saw internet services everywhere in the country. Even at 12pm-1am, internet cafes were still busy.

Therefore, it cannot be said that Vietnam limits the use of the internet. If that were the case, there would not have been such an internet boom.

Reporter: Thank you very much.

Source: VOV

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Over 14 million people to participate in social insurance by 2015

In Social life on October 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Over 14 million people to participate in social insurance by 2015

QĐND – Sunday, October 25, 2009, 20:49 (GMT+7)

The number of people registering to buy social insurance is predicted to reach 14.4 million by 2015, according to Vietnam Social Insurance.

Also, by 2015, there will be 74 million people joining health insurance plans and over 7 million people getting involved in unemployment insurance.

Vietnam Social Insurance’s goal is to continuously to widen its customer base in social and health insurance and strive to bring social and health insurance to the whole population by 2014.

To this end, the social insurance industry widely disseminates information so that employers, employees and the public are thoroughly informed about social and health insurance.

Source: vietnamnet

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25 top students get English language scholarships worth $10,000

In Politics-Society on October 25, 2009 at 5:30 pm

25 top students get English language scholarships worth $10,000

QĐND – Saturday, October 24, 2009, 20:51 (GMT+7)

Twenty five students who topped entrance exams held by Ho Chi Minh City universities and junior colleges this year received scholarships worth US$10,000 (VND180 million) for English language training on October 22.

The city committee of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, the Center for Student Support, and the Foreign Languages Center of Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City, who gave away the scholarships, also awarded one worth $2,360 to Ho Ngoc Han who won the 2009 Olympia, a television game show for high school students.

They will award 50,000 scholarships worth VND1 million each to students who scored 20 points in the entrance exams. They will all study at the English Center.

On the same day, 40 scholarships worth VND1 million were given away to poor students at city universities and junior colleges by the city Youth Federation, the city Culture House, and Rock Café at HCMC University of Industry.

Source: SGGP

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700 computers donated to rural communities

In Politics-Society on October 25, 2009 at 5:30 pm

700 computers donated to rural communities

QĐND – Saturday, October 24, 2009, 20:51 (GMT+7)

More than 700 computers were donated on October 22 to Nghe An, Thai Nguyen, and Tra Vinh provinces which were selected to trial a project to increase computer use and Internet access in Vietnam.

The computers will be installed at rural post offices, libraries, and schools in these provinces.

The project is funded with US$2 million by the American Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and carried out by the Ministry of Informatics and Communication.

It will be implemented in other provinces and finish by July next year.

Source: SGGP

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Vietnam, Singapore continue to promote bilateral ties

In Politics-Society on October 25, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Vietnam, Singapore continue to promote bilateral ties

QĐND – Saturday, October 24, 2009, 20:51 (GMT+7)

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong agreed that the two countries need to work out specific measures to develop bilateral ties in a more stable and sustainable manner in future.

At their meeting in Cha-am – Hua Hin, Thailand, on October 23 on the sidelines of the 15th ASEAN Summit, the two PMs were pleased with the effective operation of the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks in Vietnam and underscored the need for both sides to work harder to continue maintaining and boosting cooperation in the field.

Highlighting the effectiveness of the implementation of the Framework Agreement on Vietnam-Singapore Linkage, they said they will assign the two countries’ relevant agencies to define new domains of cooperation in addition to the already identified six areas so they can make a decision on the matter during PM Lee’s upcoming visit to Vietnam in early 2010.

The Singaporean PM hailed Vietnam’s decision to participate in the Trans-Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP) as an observer and pledged to willingly assist the country in negotiations for its joining of the treaty as a full partner.

PM Dung highly valued Singapore’s educational cooperation with Vietnam and asked the country to broaden this cooperation and grant more scholarships to Vietnamese students.

Regarding defence cooperation, the two PMs said the freshly-signed memorandum of understanding on the issue was of significant importance to bilateral ties and its deployment needs to be stepped up to contribute to strengthening and tightening the two countries’ friendship and mutual trust.

In their talks, they shared the view that the building of the ASEAN Economic Community should be one of the top priorities of the group’s cooperation.

They said ASEAN needs to make greater efforts in facilitating road, railway and waterway links as well as linkages in telecommunications and information within the group and between the Southeast and the East of Asia.

The two PMs agreed that to maintain peace, stability and cooperation in the region, the East Sea issue needs to be solved through peaceful negotiations and in conformity with international laws and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea signed by ASEAN and Chinese leaders in 2002.

PM Lee pledged to cooperate with and assist Vietnam in undertaking its duties as ASEAN Chair in 2010, which he believed Vietnam would perform well.

The same day, PM Dung joined other ASEAN leaders in informal meetings and dialogues with representatives of ASEAN youth organisations, regional civil society organisations and the ASEAN Business Advisory Council.

The ASEAN leaders officially announced the establishment of the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Committee for Human Rights, saying the move marks a milestone in the process of building the ASEAN Community and fulfils commitments made by the group and its individual members to increase regional cooperation on human rights issues.

Meeting with ASEAN youth representatives, PM Dung suggested that youths in the region should focus their cooperation on helping realise the building of the ASEAN Community and highlighting their role in promoting educational development, environmental protection, economic integration and sustainable growth.
He urged ASEAN youths to step up cooperation with their peers in the region, including China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, to help further the group’s cooperation on a larger scale.

At the meeting with representatives from regional civil society organisations, PM Dung said that ASEAN is resolute and is making efforts to build a sustainable development community based on the unity and best interests of the people as stated in the ASEAN’s Charter.

He affirmed that Vietnam, in its capacity of the ASEAN Chair in 2010, will support constructive and practical activities by ASEAN civil society organisations.

At a working session with representatives from the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC), PM Dung shared with other ASEAN leaders the view that ASEAN needs to seize opportunities to improve its linkages with other big economies to successfully develop the ASEAN Economic Community.

PM Dung expressed his belief that with the determination of ASEAN governments and a pro-active business circle, the ASEAN Economic Community would serve as a foundation for member economies to weather challenges and difficulties brought on by the global financial crisis to gain the most from economic integration and bring prosperity to their nations.

He said Vietnam will do its best to provide every condition and closely work with ABAC in organising the ASEAN Investment and Business High-level Meeting in Vietnam in 2010.

Later on that day, PM Dung and other ASEAN leaders attended an exhibition of water-colour paintings themed “portraits of a community”.

Source: VOV

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HCM City population grows by 2 mln people in 10 years

In Politics-Society on October 25, 2009 at 5:29 pm

HCM City population grows by 2 mln people in 10 years

QĐND – Saturday, October 24, 2009, 20:51 (GMT+7)

Ho Chi Minh City has seen its population increase by 41.14 percent or more than two million people over the last decade and the a growing trend of mechanical increases in population.

According to the latest population census, as of April 1 this year, the city population is more than 7.1 million, of which around 3.69 million are female and 3.42 million are male.

The city’s booming growth accounts for 22 percent of the total population increase of 9.47 million people in Vietnam within the last ten years, from 1999 to 2009.

The population density is 3,400 persons per square kilometre.

The population in the city increased faster in the last decade compared with the earlier periods. While the annual population growth rate on average during the 1999-2009 is 3.53 percent, that of the 1989-1999 period was 2.36 percent and for 1979-1989, 1.63 percent.

While natural population increases were dominant in the two earlier periods, the latest decade saw the growing trend of mechanical population increases.

The population increases faster in suburban and newly- established districts than it does in central districts, partly because more city dwellers are moving out of central areas to live in the suburbs due to high accommodation costs and the relocation of households to make space for urban projects.

Yet, Ho Chi Minh City still has the fastest speed of urbanisation, with the number of people living in the city centre accounting for over 83 percent of the whole population. Hanoi ’s urbanisation rate is 40.8 percent.

Source: VNA

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Lawmakers want lower budget deficit target next year

In Politics-Society on October 25, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Lawmakers want lower budget deficit target next year

QĐND – Sunday, October 25, 2009, 20:49 (GMT+7)

Vietnamese legislators said the 2010 budget deficit should be kept at 6 percent of gross domestic product instead of 6.5 percent as projected by the government.

Fiscal policies need to be tightened, Ho Chi Minh City representative Tran Du Lich said on Friday at a meeting of the National Assembly, the country’s highest lawmaking body.

If public capital spending was not monitored closely, there would be a high risk of inflation, he said.

Many lawmakers said it was necessary to tackle the growing deficit, which the National Assembly Finance and Budget Committee has forecast to stand at 6.9 percent of GDP this year, up from 4.1 percent in 2008. They wanted the government to cut the deficit to 6 percent next year.

But Finance Minister Vu Van Ninh said the government was aiming to keep the budget deficit at 6.5 percent of GDP in 2010 because revenue sources were not expected to grow next year.

Many tariff lines would be cut next year, reducing government revenue by around VND3 trillion, Ninh said.

As a result, if the budget deficit next year had to be cut to 6 percent, the government would need to ask localities to contribute more, or investment, social welfare and salaries would need to be reduced, he said.

“The important thing is government debt is still in the safe zone,” Ninh said, noting that many other countries also have budget deficits as they want to spend money for economic development.

Vietnam’s government debt is forecast to stand at 40 percent of its gross domestic product this year, up from 36.5 percent in 2007, the National Assembly Finance and Budget Committee said earlier this month. The debt may continue to surge to 44 percent of GDP next year.

However, Lich said Vietnam’s authorities were not excellent forecasters, implying that government revenue sources may not fall next year as expected by the government.

The government set the 2009 budget deficit target at 7 percent of GDP after there were forecasts that government revenue would fall by as much as VND60 trillion this year, Lich said.

But revenue has been on the rise so far this year, he said, asking why the full-year budget deficit was still expected to reach only 6.9 percent of GDP despite sharp revenue hikes.

Lich said although the government had not successfully raised funds through bond sales but “there was still enough money for investment.”

“So why did the government have to hold bond auctions in the first place?” he asked.

Vietnam’s government reportedly aimed to raise up to US$1 billion from bond issuances on the domestic market in 2009, Standard & Poor’s said in a report last month. “However, the weak demand for its offerings in late August suggests that this target is unlikely to be met. The low interest rate that the government was willing to pay did little to attract investor interest.”

Standard & Poor’s forecast government budget deficit to rise to 6.7 percent of GDP this year. “This reflects both an expectation of weaker economic performance in the year as well as countercyclical measures the government is undertaking,” said the US-based provider of independent investment research.

The forecast compares with an estimate of 10.3 percent of GDP by the Asian Development Bank last month.

Vietnam’s GDP growth this year is projected to hit a decade-low of 5.2 percent, in line with a target of around 5 percent set by legislators, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said on Tuesday.

Source: Thanh Nien, Agencies

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Vietnam Airlines to open new air routes

In Vietnam Travel on October 24, 2009 at 3:03 am

Vietnam Airlines to open new air routes

QĐND – Thursday, October 22, 2009, 21:1 (GMT+7)

Two new direct domestic air routes will open on October 24 and 27 respectively, announced Vietnam Airlines.

The Hanoi-Tuy Hoa route will have 3 flights a week on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday using Fokker 70s which depart from Hanoi at 7h30 and arrive in Tuy Hoa at 9h55.

The Hanoi-Pleiku route will have 4 flights a week on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, also using the same aircraft which take off from Noi Bai International Airport at 7h and land in Pleiku at 8h30. The return flight leaves Pleiku at 9h15 and arrives in Hanoi at 10h40.

Pleiku airport now has only 7 flights a week from Pleiku via Da Nang to Hanoi and 11 flights a week from Pleiku to Ho Chi Minh City.

The Pleiku route will help passengers reduce their fare cost and travel time by 35 minutes.

Source: VOV

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