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Archive for March 27th, 2010|Daily archive page

Finding outlets for farm produce needs a revolution

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Finding outlets for farm produce needs a revolution

QĐND – Friday, March 26, 2010, 20:45 (GMT+7)

Farmers across the country are faced with increasing pressures as the prices of several categories of farm produce, such as rice, coffee, cashew nuts, salt and water melons, continue dropping sharply.

Sharp declines in prices cause deep concern among farmers and ministries. The harsh reality of “good harvest, but lost profit” will come back to haunt farmers as long as there is no revolution in production and agricultural development strategy.

There was a time when many lorries carrying out water melons had to wait desperatedly in a long line at the Lang Son border gate and were forced to sell the fruit at VND1,000 per kilogram. With rice, coffee and salt faring no better farmers are sinking into despair.

Several weeks ago, the prices of rice dropped so steeply that the Government decided to buy for reserves to reduce losses for farmers. Salt and coffee share the same story, so the Ministry of Industry and Trade proposed the Government buy for reserves and the Coffee Association asked the Government to purchase 200,000 tonnes.

The problem is that farmers can produce a huge volume of products but are unable to control prices. Vietnam now ranks first or second worldwide in terms of rice and coffee exports, but finds it difficult to manage exports of farm produce.

It is something of paradox that Vietnam pours much investment into producing more products but lacks export markets. Preventive measures should have been put in place before production got underway.

It is easy to see that the weakness of Vietnamese businesses is lack of capital and storehouses, enabling foreign importers to drive down buying prices. Rice is a typical example. Taking advantage of declining rice prices, importers seek to pay at an unreasonably low level.

The agricultural sector drew special attention from the Government, especially when it strictly implemented a programme to link regions and four entities: the State, farmers, scientists and businesses. However, it did not produce as efficiency as expected, and several problems arose. Farmers are still worried, even if they have a bumper crop. Over the past years, the prices of farm produce have not remained stable and the story “good harvest but lost profit” is heard again and again.

Vietnam has not yet devised a mechanism to keep the prices of rice, coffee and other farm produce stable to ensure the farmers’ rights. A proposal to form a mechanism to intervene in a timely fashion when the prices of farm produce drop sharply or to establish a fund to stabilize market prices has not become a reality.

It is clear that finding output markets for agricultural products needs a strategic orientation. Band-aid solutions, such as buying for temporary reserves are insufficient. In addition to a fund, specific strategies need to be employed to get farmers focused on the dynamics of supply and demand and more store houses need to be built.

Thailand has a good experience that Vietnam can learn from. In addition to setting up a modern storehouse system which can store 10 million tonnes of rice, in 2000 Thailand invested nearly US$2 billion in implementing a mechanism to keep rice prices stable. According to the mechanism, farmers can sell their rice to the Government’s agencies at the ceiling prices and can re-buy all their rice within 90 days at an interest rate of 3 percent. As the ceiling price is always higher than the market price, the Government becomes a direct purchaser from farmers and is also in charge of exporting rice through its contracts, bidding or selling on the farm produce exchange.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Coffee prices in the Central Highland region increase again

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Coffee prices in the Central Highland region increase again

QĐND – Saturday, March 27, 2010, 21:6 (GMT+7)

Coffee prices in the Central Highland region on March 26 rose by VND600-800 per kilogram compared to one week ago.

In Dak Lak and Dak Nong provinces, the price of coffee only reached VND24,300 per kilogram, up VND1,000 per kilogram against last week. According to the forecasts of many coffee export businesses, the prices will continue to rise in the next 2 months.

In London, the price of coffee on the world market on March 26 increased by US$55 per tonne to US$1,342 per tonne.

According to experts, the cause of the sharp rise in coffee prices is the proposal by the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association that the Government buy 200,000 tonnes of coffee for reserves this year.

Buying for reserves has a great influence on the balance of supply and demand on the world’s coffee transaction floors because Vietnam is one of leading countries exporting coffee Robusta.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Training high-quality human resources requires coordinated efforts

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Training high-quality human resources requires coordinated efforts

QĐND – Saturday, March 27, 2010, 21:6 (GMT+7)

There are still limitations on Hanoi’s human resource training such as an insufficient pool of candidates, a lack of competitiveness and weaknesses in sharing and integration of knowledge and skills.

Short of high-quality human resources

In 2010, there is a critical lack of human resources in industrial zones, says Dr Nguyen Phuong Nam, deputy head of the Hanoi Processing and Industrial Zone Management Department. To meet the growing demand of businesses, the department often has to move to other provinces such as Ha Nam, Nam Dinh and Bac Giang to seek personnel, he added.

Previously, foreign businesses mainly recruited female high-school graduates aged 18-35, but now, due to a severe shortage of labour, they agree to accept those who only finished secondary school, Mr. Nam noted.

According to Vu Vinh Phu, former deputy director of the Hanoi Trade Department, there are only about 126 modern-style retail outlets in the city. If Hanoi went ahead with its plan to develop an area of 100,000 sq.m for supermarkets and trade centres each year, it would annually need 6,000 qualified workers. This has become a major log jam for the city leaders, managers and policy-makers.

In addition, the poor English and high-technology skills of Vietnamese labourers, consign most to unskilled labour at a low salary level.      

Lack of professional vocational training centres

According to forecast on the development of high-quality human resources in the 2010-2015 period, such workers will compose only 20-25 percent of Hanoi’s total labour pool. The plan to increase high-quality human resources should be part of Hanoi’s development strategy that aims to strengthen the links among the State, schools and businesses.

Pham Van Dai, deputy director of the Hanoi Department of Education and Training, says a highly-skilled worker should know how to operate modern equipment without supervision, use foreign languages fluently and work professionally.

In fact, Hanoi has not yet had any vocational training centres that could be considered equal to others elsewhere in the region in terms of scale, equipment, staff and training programmes.

Dr Nguyen Phuong Nam proposed that businesses take responsibility to train their workers on the spot to meet their own demand. On the other hand, it’s time to open professional vocational training centres to provide workers with knowledge and experience at college or university level.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Vietbuild 2010 international exhibition to kick off

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Vietbuild 2010 international exhibition to kick off

QĐND – Saturday, March 27, 2010, 21:6 (GMT+7)

Vietbuild 2010 international exhibition under the theme of “construction-building materials-real estate and interior decoration” will be held in Hanoi from April 1-5.

The large-scale event aims to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of the traditional day of Vietnam’s construction industry.

This year, the number of businesses taking part in Vietbuild 2010 increased by 40 percent compared to last year, with nearly 1,300 stalls from over 400 units from 15 countries and territories such as the Republic of Korea, the United States, Malaysia, Indonesia and the host, Vietnam.    

Under the framework of the exhibition, a seminar on high-technology for the construction industry and Nano technology applications in pottery and porcelain products along with a forum for businesses will take place.

Also the organising board will award Golden Cups for strong trademarks in Vietnam’s construction industry and gold medals for high-quality products.  

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Online advertising thrives in Vietnam

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Online advertising thrives in Vietnam

QĐND – Saturday, March 27, 2010, 21:10 (GMT+7)

The revenue of the online advertising industry in Vietnam reached 278 billion dong in 2009, equivalent to $15.5 million, according a market research firm, Cimigo.

“Vietnam’s infant online advertising market grew 71 percent in 2009,” reported Cimigo’s Lukas Mira.

This is the first time a report on online advertising in Vietnam has been released. Cimigo measured data on income from websites and networks, media agents and companies using online advertising services. Data was collected from online advertising service providers and their report analyses revenues in each business category.

According to Cimigo, online advertising in Vietnam is not developing at the same pace as the development of the Internet. Online advertising accounts for a small part in the total advertising investment. The revenue from online advertising in Vietnam is lower than that of some neighboring countries and Vietnamese advertisers spend only 50 cents for access to Internet users per year, while the figure is 15 times higher in China.

“Over half of Vietnam’s population use Internet and they spend over two hours a day on average to surf the net,” estimated Mira. “However, advertisers still doubt the effectiveness of this channel of information.”

The growth of online advertising in Vietnam last year, according to Cimigo’s research, is better than the common situation in the world. According to AFP, revenues from online advertising in the US felt by 11 percent in 2009 to $2.74 billion.

The Financial Times revealed that global advertising revenues in 2010 may grow by 2.9 percent and 4 percent in 2011. Global online advertising is expected to grow at two-digit speed in 2010.

Established in HCM City in 2003, Cimigo is a group of independent experts on marketing research. With 200 members, Cimigo operates in many countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Source: VNN

Source: QDND

Vietnam, Mozambique urged to cooperate in agriculture

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Vietnam, Mozambique urged to cooperate in agriculture

QĐND – Saturday, March 27, 2010, 21:10 (GMT+7)

The agricultural sectors of Vietnam and Mozambique need to tap their potential and develop long-term projects for benefit of both sides, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said.

The two sides need to implement their commitments and effectively carry out cooperation projects, thus contributing to promoting friendship between the two countries and peoples, PM Dung said while receiving Mozambican Agriculture Minister Soares Nhaca in Hanoi on March 26.

The Prime Minister expressed his support for agreements signed between the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Agriculture Ministry of Mozambique.

He praised achievements the Party, government and people of Mozambique recorded in economic development and national political stability.

Minister Soares Nhaca conveyed an invitation to visit Mozambique from the President and Prime Minister to PM Nguyen Tan Dung.

Mozambique has been making great progress in national construction and development, the minister said, adding the country has, in recent years, registered an average economic growth rate of 7 percent annually, maintained political stability and improved people’s lives.

Minister Soares Nhaca emphasised the Mozambican desire and determination to boost friendship and multifaceted cooperation with Vietnam on the basis of mutual benefit and for peace and development.

Earlier the same day, Minister Soares Nhaca and his Vietnamese counterpart, Cao Duc Phat, signed an MoU of cooperation.

Under the MoU, Vietnam will send a mission of experts to study the potential for rubber, cashew and rice growing as well as aquaculture in the four Mozambican provinces of Zambezia, Nampula, Tete and Gaza in April and May.

Vietnam will also organise training courses for students from the rural development faculty of Mozambique ’s Eduardo Mondlane University and assist a project on the establishment of a centre for research, agricultural promotion and rice production in Nicoadala, Zambezia province.

In addition to promoting cooperation between the two governments and business communities, the two sides agreed to accelerate tripartite cooperation between Vietnam, Mozambique and Japan in a rice production project in Nante, Zambezia province.

The Mozambican delegation is on a working visit to Vietnam from March 19-27.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Thanh Hoa boy said to perform miracle cures

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Thanh Hoa boy said to perform miracle cures

QĐND – Saturday, March 27, 2010, 21:45 (GMT+7)

According to Dang Xu Bac and his parents, the 14 year-old boy from Thanh Hoa has been able to cure sick people without the use of medicine since he was eleven. Vietnamese scientists are looking into their claim.

According to Bac’s parents, beginning 13 days after his birth, the boy cried unceasingly for four years. The parents brought him to many hospitals but the boy didn’t stop crying.

The boy then experienced many strange symptoms. His body became very hot. His skin was red and he had to soak his body in water. After that the flesh on his legs cracked to the bone,wide enough to insert a finger, but the cracks didn’t bleed. The couple tried to send the boy to school but they had to bring him home because he couldn’t stop crying. Many doctors of oriental medicine said that Bac suffered from rheumatism, but hospitals couldn’t find evidence of the disease.

When Bac grew weak, the family took him to a hospital, where, it is said, the boy died and revived three times. Doctors told the family to take him home so he could die at home. On May 20, 2006, Bac died again at the hospital. His grandfather cried out “Please live to go home with me!” The boy revived again. He died again on May 21, then revived and has survived until now.

“We could see death passing his body, from legs to body and then his face,” said Bac’s father, Dang Xu Linh.

The boy’s family says Bac can cure diseases without using any kind of medicine. When he was only 11, they related, Nguyen Van Sau, 57, who suffered from heart disease and couldn’t walk, crept from his house to Linh’s home to visit Bac. The boy offered to cure Sau’s diseases.

Sau didn’t believe Bac could help him, because the boy couldn’t treat himself but he allowed the boy do anything he wanted. Bac rubbed the man’s legs, from his knees down to his feet. Sau gradually felt numb on his legs and then he could walk again. Sau and his family returned to Bac’s home to thank him.

Since then many people have come to the simple farmhouse to ask for treatment and many people have recovered from illness.  Fearing that the boy was himself not healthy enough to treat the diseases of strangers, the family took him far from home for one month in 2006. When he returned, however, people again came to him for treatment.

Other strange things have happened. Young Bac can read though he never studied how to read. He doesn’t have a computer and nobody in his family can use a computer but the boy can work with a computer. He can also drive a motorbike and car though he has never learnt how to use them, his father said.

This is a strange phenomenon that merits scientific research. The Centre for Research of Human Potentials under the Union of Vietnamese Scientific and Technological Associations are investigating this case.

Source: VNN

Source: QDND

Chickened out

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Chickened out

QĐND – Saturday, March 27, 2010, 21:6 (GMT+7)

Hang Ga in Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a low key street famous for wedding cards and the best banh cuon restaurant in town, writes Hop Trang.

Hang Ga street was originally established as part of Tan Lap- Tan Khai hamlet in Tho Xuong district. Initially the road was dubbed Tan Khai. In French colonial times the road was known as Thien Tan or Rue Tien Tsin. The name was in tribute to the Thien Tan agreement which brought an end to the conflict between France and China’s Thanh dynasty in 1885.

However, the street was always a famous spot for trading chickens and other poultry, so in 1945 the street was renamed yet again as Hang Ga, which more or less means ‘chicken trading street’. The poultry market operated outside Thai Cam temple. There were no shops – just massive cages on the roadside.

The big day

As a result the chicken traders are no longer a fixture. If you asked a Hanoian, what Hang Ga is famous for today, they might say wedding cards. The street is awash with shops making all kinds of wedding cards.

Locals argue over how the trade began. Some people reckon one family set up a wedding card printing house and as business grew, neighbours simply followed suit. Now there are close to 30 wedding card printing shops. The most reputable ones –should you be planning a wedding of your own! – are Hong Kong shop at 52 Hang Ga, Lan Tan at 73 Hang Ga and Nhung Truong at 46 Hang Ga.



Banh Cuon Thanh Van

14 Hang Ga

Other Hanoians might argue that a small restaurant serving up the local delicacy banh cuon is the best reason to drive down Hang Ga. For the unacquainted banh cuon is a rice-flour crepe, which is rolled around woodear mushrooms, pork and onions and served with a bowl of nuoc cham (fish sauce with lime and chili) and fresh herbs.

Banh cuon is often served with gio or cha lua – two kinds of processed pork. The dish is a perfect snack – you can enjoy banh cuon at anytime of day. First opened back in 1944-1945 by Lam Thi Man and his family, Banh Cuon Thanh Van is one of the most reliable and famous addresses for banh cuon. It’s so popular that the restaurant will be closed by midday, if they run out of ingredients! The restaurant is also open in the evenings from 5pm.

Chuoi Xanh restaurant

46 Hang Ga

Chuoi Xanh restaurant serves chicken rice in a variety of ways – most appropriate considering this is Hang Ga. The restaurant is well designed and has an artsy vibe. The food is very reasonable at VND25,000 to VND30,000 a plate.

Thuy Binh Restaurant

22 Hang Ga

This popular restaurant offers authentic Vietnamese cuisine in an elegant, oriental setting. The speciality is Ba Ba (Tryonychid Turtle), which is a delicious dish much-loved by Vietnamese, though some westerners may baulk at the thought of eating turtle.

Thai Cam Temple

16D Hang Ga

Thai Cam Temple (or Tan Khai Temple) was built by Tan Khai-Tan Lap villagers in 1822. The name of Thai Cam Temple means “very sweet” as there was once a well here with famously sweet water. Like many other temples in Hanoi, Thai Cam Temple worships the To Lich, Bach Ma and Thiet Lam, the tutelary gods of Thang Long capital, who according to myth helped Ly Cong Uan (Ly Thai To) to build the capital.



Rising Dragon II Hotel

29 Hang Ga

The second Rising Dragon hotel offers tourists comfortable and elegant accommodation in the heart of the Old Quarter. All rooms are wonderfully decorated and feature fantastic facilities. The hotel serves buffet breakfast from 5.30am to 10am for $3 per person. Rooms start at $25 per night and you can expect clean and comfortable accommodation.

Little Hanoi Hotel

48 Hang Ga

This hotel offers cosy, clean and spacious rooms. The staff is genuinely friendly and willing to help first time visitors to Hanoi. It’s really like a family-run hotel. Guests can expect the usual services and amenities –cable TV, air conditioner, modern bathrooms with bathtubs, free breakfast, free internet.

Other recommended hotels on the street are Thanh An Hotel at 46 Hang Ga, Sunflower Hotel at 34 Hang Ga and Blue Sky Hotel at 2B Hang Ga.

Source: VNN

Source: QDND

Ha Long festival to take Hanoi theme

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Ha Long festival to take Hanoi theme

QĐND – Saturday, March 27, 2010, 21:10 (GMT+7)

This year’s Ha Long Tourism Festival at the World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay will take Hanoi as its theme to celebrate the 1,000 birthday of the capital city.

According to Nhu Thi Hong Lien, Deputy Chairwoman of the Quang Ninh provincial People’s Committee, the province called on all economic sectors and domestic and foreign businesses to participate in the festival, which will take place in Ha Long city from April 29-May 2.

A highlight of the festival will be a street carnival during which symbolic images of Hanoi will be paraded alongside thousands of professional and amateur artists from both inside and outside the country.

The festival promises a series of diverse activities, including fireworks, boat races, a conference of the world’s most beautiful bays, an international tourism-trade fair, exhibitions, concerts and a beauty pageant.

The province’s tourism sector, travel agencies and relevant sectors are making preparations for the event with 8,000 hotel rooms and over 400 ships which can welcome 16,000 tourists at one time.

In the first two months of the year, nearly 760,000 visitors, including 328,000 foreigners visited Quang Ninh.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Wuthering heights

In Uncategorized on March 27, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Wuthering heights

QĐND – Saturday, March 27, 2010, 21:10 (GMT+7)

Thanh Thu joins the pilgrims heading for Hanoi’s Chuong My District to visit one of the country’s oldest and most famous pagodas, Chua Tram Gian.

At Tien Phuong commune in the outskirts of Hanoi people from all walks of life are gathering for a pilgrimage. The destination is Tram Gian pagoda on So mountain.

Also known as Tien Lu and Quang Nghiem pagoda, the religious site was first constructed in Tien Lu village in 1185. During the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400), a monk by the name of Binh An (Peace) from the neighbouring district Thanh Oai’s Boi Khe village decided to renovate the pagoda.

An was said to be extremely intelligent but also something of a magician. Legend has it that he could turn himself into a giant and where his feet fell he would leave a pond or a lake behind. He passed away at the age of 95 and after his death his soul frequently appeared to advise the locals, who worshipped him as a saint.

When the Chinese Ming advanced on Vietnamese territory, the soldiers ran amok, robbing, pillaging and looting pagodas, temples and houses before razing them to the ground. But when the soldiers approached Tram Gian pagoda, An’s spirit made it rain blood and the soldiers were scared off by this creepy and ominous omen.

You have to climb several hundred steps and walk down an alley paved with bricks and stone to find the pagoda. It’s worth the effort. First you will see a two-storey bell tower of eight elegantly corner-curved roofs. Known as the Bell Tower of Tram Gian, it still preserves its detailed art work.

A large terracotta platform supports an ornately carved altar bearing lotus flower, legends, and dragon, tiger, horse, and elephant reliefs. Nearby stands the black-lacquer wooden statue of Tuyet Son styled on one found in the Himalayas.

The imagery goes on at every turn: arranged and ornate altars to worship 18 Arhats and the Ruler of Hell in the Ten Great Halls, a separate pagoda and altar to worship Saint Boi or Monk Nguyen Lu also known as Binh Yen. Legend has it the statue is actually his rattan preserved body covered by an oil cloth.

In the pagoda itself, a statue lauds General Dang Tien Dong, who served King Quang Trung in the historic battle of Dong Da, and then in 1794 helped repair the pagoda, casting its bell and erecting stele. He too was commemorated as one of the architects, if not of the pagoda itself, then certainly of its place in history.

A magical festival

Tram Gian pagoda’s festival is a regional one jointly organised by a number of villages in the district and Boi Khe village, where Binh An was born. The festival officially lasts from the fourth day to the sixth of the first lunar month but unofficially it runs until the tenth day of the month. Tens of thousands of pilgrims descend on the pagoda over the course of the week.

You will hear gongs reverberating, the banging of drums, as young men dressed in vermillion silk coats, twinkling green silk belts, white trousers, and yellow shoes, shuffle past with a gilded palanquin towards the pagoda. The palanquin is accompanied by a traditional orchestra and an entourage of pilgrims carrying parasols, handheld fans, pennons and spears. Bamboo horses and elephants on wheels flanked by traditionally dressed warriors also come marching through.

After the procession makes its way into the pagoda the locals follow clutching handfuls of incense and votive offerings.

Check mate

After the ceremony it’s time to let the hair down. At the festival there are tonnes of traditional games and puppet shows. There will also be a lavish feast with ‘oan’ – a cone-shaped cake made from roasted glutinous rice flour.

Most of the participants look forward to Danh Co (chess) which was traditionally played with actual humans. Nowadays, human-sized figures made out of wood are used.

Anyone can play. But all participants must qualify after playing other hopefuls on a normal sized board. In the past the games were more sacred and solemn but now the game is a lively event. Drummers keep a rhythm going while spectators cheer and applaud decisive moves. Sometimes games can last for up to two hours.

Pham Van Nam, a 64-year old chess-veteran stresses the need for patience and calm. “You cannot play for form’s sake and hurry through a match,” says Nam. “If you want to be successful, you must be cautious.”

Another player, 72-year old Bui Thanh Mien believes that chess expresses Oriental people’s desire to solve problems through wisdom rather than violence.

“The chessboard represents our way of life,” Mien says. “If you carefully observe players’ gestures, moves and the way they hold the pieces, you can see who they are. Whoever is narrow-minded, moves with only immediate benefits in mind. Whoever is cunning, uses tricks, whoever is insighful and good-tempered, balances offense and defense effectively,” Mien says. 

Source: VNN

Source: QDND