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Archive for March 3rd, 2010|Daily archive page

HCM City unveils top 100 attractions

In Vietnam Travel on March 3, 2010 at 3:41 am

HCM City unveils top 100 attractions

QĐND – Monday, March 01, 2010, 22:7 (GMT+7)

HCM City has announced a list of its top 100 attractions following a poll of visiting tourists in a campaign that lasted more than three months.

The 100 Excitements were short-listed from 150 candidates in 10 categories – places of cultural an historical interest, shopping venues, entertainment clubs, local dishes, cultural events, specialties, coffee shops, restaurants, boutique hotels, and city tour programmes.

The top two landmarks are markets – An Dong in District 5 and Ben Thanh in District 1.

They are followed by Can Tho District’s Eco Park, ‘China Town’ in District 5, the Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnamese History and War Remnants Museums, the Reunification Palace, Central Post Office, and Notre Dame Cathedral.

Winners in the dishes category are banh cuon (wrapped steam rice pancake with meat), banh mi thit (Saigon-style sandwich), banh xeo (yellow pancake with shrimps and pork), ca kho to (braised fish in clay pot), canh chua ca loc (sour fish soup), cha gio (fried spring roll), com tam (boiled broken rice), goi cuon (fresh spring rolls), and goi ngo sen tom thit (lotus salad with shrimp and pork).

Ao dai (women’s traditional dress), cashew nuts, coffee, conical hats, dragon fruit, embroidered works, the Me Kong Delta’s Hoa Loc mango and Lo Ren star apple, laquerware, and tea top the list of tourists’ most desired souvenirs.

The most popular shopping venues include Ben Thanh Market, Diamond Plaza, Dong Khoi Street, Khai Silk shops, Tay Son Laquerware, Miss Ao Dai, Parkson, Saigon Co-op Mart, Saigon Square, and Tax Mall.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Vietnam Airlines continues fare discounts to stimulate tourism

In Vietnam Travel on March 3, 2010 at 3:40 am

Vietnam Airlines continues fare discounts to stimulate tourism

QĐND – Monday, March 01, 2010, 22:7 (GMT+7)

The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has said the company will continue to offer discounted airfares for tour operators participating in its tourism stimulus programme.  

The round-trip ticket price for Ho Chi Minh City-Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City-Vinh, Hanoi-Can Tho or Hanoi-Buon Ma Thuot is VND1.8 million. Ho Chi Minh City-Da Nang-Hue round-trip ticket is only VND1.2 million.

To qualify for the discounted price, a tour operator has to book tickets 15 days in advance for a group of at least 10 passengers. 

Discounted prices will not apply on excluded holidays, including the Hung Kings’ death anniversary, the Southern Liberation Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1).

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Saigontourist receives 800 travellers aboard cruiseship Athena

In Vietnam Travel on March 3, 2010 at 3:40 am

Saigontourist receives 800 travellers aboard cruiseship Athena

QĐND – Monday, March 01, 2010, 22:7 (GMT+7)

Saigontourist Travel Services (Saigontourist) on March 1 received 800 cruise passengers and crew members of the Portuguese cruise ship Athena, raising the number of cruise travellers received by the company so far this year to over 14,000.

From the Saigon harbour, the travellers, most of whom are Australian, will join Saigontourist’s discovery travel trips from Ho Chi Minh City to My Tho and Cu Chi. They will also have the chance to go shopping in the Ben Thanh market, watch water puppet performances and enjoy Mekong Delta specialities like coconut candies, fruit, and honey tea.

Le Quang Thang, head of Saigontourist’s cruise travel says this is the first time the Portuguese Classical International Cruises Company has sent its luxurious Athena cruise ship to Vietnam, and it will be a good start for future cooperation between the two companies.

Saigontourist is scheduled to receive the five-star cruise ship Columbus to Hai Phong and Nha Trang in mid March and the five-star cruise ship Costa Allegra to Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang on March 9 and 23.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Number of foreign visitors to Vietnam up 3.5% in February 2010

In Vietnam Travel on March 3, 2010 at 3:40 am

Number of foreign visitors to Vietnam up 3.5% in February 2010

QĐND – Monday, March 01, 2010, 22:7 (GMT+7)

Vietnam saw a great number of foreign tourists in February 2010 when the country welcomed a long Tet holiday (the Lunar New Year) and is celebrating annual festivals.

Figures released by the General Statistics Office (GSO) of Vietnam showed that the number of foreign visitors to Vietnam reached an estimated 446.323 in February 2010, up 3.5% from the previous month and up 30.2% compared to the same period last year.

Most of the visitors came from China, the U.S, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Japan, Taiwan (China), and Australia.

Specifically, China leads the number of foreign visitors to Vietnam with 69,358, a 1.7% rise from the previous month and a 90.8% rise compared to the same period last year.

GSO said that this month, the number of foreign visitors to Vietnam for visiting relatives still increased while those for tourism and business decreased slightly. More than 75,500 people came Vietnam to visit relatives, rising by 42.8% from the previous month.

In the first days of Tet holiday, Vietnam welcomed numerous maritime tourists with popular routes to Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, Halong Bay, and Hanoi.

With the national tourism year 2010 in Hanoi and the Thang Long – Hanoi 1,000th anniversary, the country targets at 4.2-4.5 million foreign tourists in 2010.

Source: CPV

Source: QDND

ADB helps Vietnam with financial stability

In Vietnam Economy on March 3, 2010 at 3:39 am

ADB helps Vietnam with financial stability

QĐND – Monday, March 01, 2010, 22:8 (GMT+7)

PANO – Officials from The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), Ministry of Finance and the National Financial Supervisory Commission are taking part in a 5-day training workshop with the aim of equipping the Vietnamese Government officials with the necessary skills to understand financial vulnerability and early warning systems to ensure the country’s financial stability.

The workshop is organised by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) in Hanoi.

The global financial and economic crisis is affecting every economy in the world, with no economy left untouched. This mean that every economy, big or small, or whether it belongs to developed or developing countries, is likely to be at risk from a financial crisis. While the recent trend towards greater globalisation and regional integration has brought many benefits, it has also exposed countries to new potential vulnerabilities. This new environment requires policymakers to be alert and keep up-to-date about the new sources of vulnerabilities. An early warning system can serve as a useful tool to monitor and assess a country’s vulnerability to potential risk.

“The training workshop will improve the knowledge of government officials and provide them with required skills and tools to monitor and assess financial vulnerabilities in the economy,” said Ayumi Konishi, Country Director for Viet Nam.

“These joints efforts and accumulation of knowledge and skills will help Viet Nam to ensure Viet Nam’s financial and economic stability”, the Director added.

Two economists from ADB Headquarters will serve as facilitators.

The workshop will introduce the ADB’s early warning systems software package (VIEWS). The program also includes a panel discussion on effects of macroeconomic imbalances on the Vietnamese economy.

Mai Huong Photo: wikipedia

Source: QDND

Vietnam wins rice export contract to Iraq

In Vietnam Economy on March 3, 2010 at 3:39 am

Vietnam wins rice export contract to Iraq

QĐND – Monday, March 01, 2010, 22:8 (GMT+7)

Vietnam has won a contract to ship 90,000 tonnes of five-percent broken rice to Iraq, announced by the Northern Food Corporation on March 1.

The Corporation, which was assigned by the PM as the main body for rice exports to Iraq, has negotiated and taken part in bidding for the contract.

With its prestige in business, the Corp. and the Vietnam-Iraq Rice Processing Joint Venture won contract for 60,000 tonnes of rice in October 2009, and is preparing for delivery now.

The last bidding finished on February 28 and Vietnam continued to become a winner with large amounts of rice bid. Between March and May 2010, Vietnam will export 150,000 tonnes of good-quality rice to Iraq.

Previously, the Prime Minister directed the Ministry of Finance to buy 50,000 more tonnes of rice from farmers for national reserves in 2010. On February 25, the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) guided its 30 members to buy up 1 million tonnes of rice for reserves to stabilise prices in the winter-spring season in the Mekong River Delta.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Asia remains Vietnam’s major rice market this year

In Vietnam Economy on March 3, 2010 at 3:39 am

Asia remains Vietnam’s major rice market this year

QĐND – Tuesday, March 02, 2010, 22:27 (GMT+7)

Asia continues to become the potential market of Vietnam’s rice exports this year, especially Malaysia and the Philippines, according to the Vietnam market analysis and forecast joint stock company.

In 2009, Vietnam’s rice exports to other Asian countries accounted for 61.68 percent of the country’s rice export turnover with more than half of the Asia’s market share belonging to the Philippines, which was followed by Malaysia with 9 percent.

A recent report released by the US Department of Agriculture stated that Asia’s demand for rice imports will stand at 14.8 million tonnes in 2010, a year-on-year increase of 7 percent over 2009.

The main import markets include Iraq, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Malaysia, the report said.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Export turnover reaches US$8.9 billion

In Vietnam Economy on March 3, 2010 at 3:38 am

Export turnover reaches US$8.9 billion

QĐND – Tuesday, March 02, 2010, 22:28 (GMT+7)

Exports nationwide gained US$3.9 billion in February, raising the total figure of turnover in the first two months of this year to over US$8.9 billion, matching the same period in 2009.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, exports in January-February showed optimistic signs. Many exports increased sharply against the same period last year, including crude oil (by 74 percent), coal (by 45 percent), rubber (by 86 percent) and rice (by 24 percent).

In February alone, imports gained US$4.7 billion, raising the turnover in the first two months of this year to US$10.65 billion, an increase of 40 percent compared to the same period in 2009.

In general, imports of raw materials and fuel climbed sharply, showing that the economy is stabilizing and production is expanding.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

State bank removes lending cap

In Vietnam Economy on March 3, 2010 at 3:38 am

State bank removes lending cap

QĐND – Tuesday, March 02, 2010, 22:27 (GMT+7)

The State Bank of Vietnam has removed the interest-rate cap on medium- to long-term loans, a move expected to end a two-year struggle by banks to maintain liquidity.

It is also expected to bring an end to unlawful lending practices that had banks charging above the interest-rate cap to improve their profit margins.

“Interest rates will increase but the increase will be controlled,” said national Monetary Policy Advisory Council member Cao Si Kiem. “Supply and demand for capital will meet each other at a point of real value and help create stable factors for credit growth.”

The change would also signal sound policy management and indicate a socialist-oriented market economy.

But removal of the cap also comes with worries about the higher cost for credit among enterprises.

As anonymous sources, who asked that their banks in Hanoi not be identified, told Vietnam News their contract interest for institutions now ranged from a yearly 14-18 percent, up 6 percentage points against Feb. 26 when it was 12 percent.

“An average lending interest of 17 percent coupled with price increases for gas, electricity, water and even wages, will challenge enterprises,” warned Asia Food Co general director Nguyen Van Tan.

“I’m not sure small and medium enterprises can bear such high prices for long,” he said.

ACB Computer Co general director Nguyen Ba Anh said; “We need capital so we will have a rare chance to negotiate interest with banks while ignoring how much it costs”.

“Personally I think that not many small and medium enterprises could raise new loans at new rates without having difficulties with production or business.”

Some economists were reminded of late 2007 when the price for goods escalated and the central bank had to apply the brakes to the money supply after inflation hit a 10-year high of 12.63 percent. So while approving the central bank’s decision, Cao Si Kiem warned of high pressure to use monetary policy to control inflation. The central bank’s decision allows negotiated interest rates for mid- to long -term business and investment loans an short- mid – to long- term loans for bank cards.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Vietnam launches month of environmental protection

In Social life on March 3, 2010 at 3:38 am

Vietnam launches month of environmental protection

QĐND – Monday, March 01, 2010, 22:7 (GMT+7)

Nearly 4,000 young people gathered at the Thong Nhat Park in Hanoi on February 28 to begin the “Youth Month” that will have environmental protection as its major theme.

The event is being organized by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee, in coordination with the Hanoi Youth Union.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan applauded the committee for choosing environmental protection as a major theme and hoped young people nationwide would continue to record new achievements, contributing to making 2010 the nation’s Youth Year.

He said this would a signficiant contribution to the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi that is being celebrated this year.

On the occasion, the youth union committee presented gifts worth VND1 billion to soldiers living on Vietnam’s islands.

Nationally, the “Youth act for the environment” theme will be backed with the planting of one million trees of various kind, regreening 100 hectares of forests, implementing 79 projects to ensure a clean environment in areas surrounding Cau, Nhue, Dong Nai and other polluted rivers, organizing 10 job faris, and providing loans worth VND400 billion to young people to start their own businesses.

Responding to the program, the HCMC Youth Cultural House launched the  Youth Month 2010 on the same day with the participation of more than 2,000 youth.

This year’s Youth Month is divided into two stages. During the first stage, from February 28th to March 14th, young people will take part in including four green Sundays, the Earth Hour campaign, contests on environmental knowledge and other fun activities.

The second stage, from March 15th till the end of the month, will conclude with a number of significant functions including the “Light up Vietnam Youth’s dreams” program, the 2010 Ho Hao Hon award ceremony and career counseling for youth.

The city’s youth expect to implement 100 projects to protect the environment, introduce jobs to 5,000 young people, and build 70 friendship houses and other projects.

Right after the opening ceremony of the Youth Month, the municipal youth joined the forum “Youth act for the environment” and a parade of 300 bicycles to disseminate the message of environmental protection.

They also registered a Vietnam record for the biggest painting highlighting environmental protection created by children.

Over 2,000 youth in Can Tho City joined the program on the same day with plans to build 20 bridges in rural areas and present 1,000 computers to youth union units.

The An Giang Province Youth Union issued 30,000 leaflets calling upon the youth and other people to sign a message petition to protect the Mekong River that will be submitted to the governments of Laos, Thailand and Cambodia.

Thousands of youth from Da Nang, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Ninh, Lam Dong and Kon Tum provinces have also launched the month with various activities designed to promote environmental awareness and protection.

Source: SGGP

Source: QDND