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Archive for April 3rd, 2010|Daily archive page

Poor promotions botch Hanoi’s ‘year of tourism’

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2010 at 3:07 pm




Poor promotions botch Hanoi’s ‘year of tourism’


QĐND – Saturday, April 03, 2010, 21:27 (GMT+7)

Hanoi is at risk of welcoming fewer tourists than usual during its most anticipated year of tourism due to ineffective promotional activities, officials said at a municipal meeting on Wednesday.


The number of tourists visiting Hanoi in the first quarter decreased 7.2 percent year on year, a fact that Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Director Pham Quang Long partially chalked up it to soaring room and tour prices.


But the main reason was that “no company spent money promoting tourism, they’ve just depended on government promotions, and their own promotional methods have been unsatisfactory,” Long said.


The capital is looking forward to its 1,000th anniversary celebration this October.


Also at the meeting, Nguyen The Thao, chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee, urged related agencies to speed up preparations for the anniversary.


Much of the planning has yet to be completed, while the grand festival is coming near, he stressed.


Hanoi has recently called off a project to bury 1,000 items to be opened 1,000 years later as part of the anniversary, because it was impossible, local newswire VnExpress quoted Pham Quang Nghi, secretary of Hanoi’s Party Committee, as saying.


They couldn’t decide what to bury as gifts to future generations, and it wasn’t enough for Hanoi to be allowed to contribute only one item, Nghi said.


Not to mention that the plan, which was announced at two press briefings in February and March, wasn’t officially approved by the city’s People’s Committee, according to Long.


Int’l airlines promoting Ho Chi Minh City tourism 


Eight international airlines are promoting Ho Chi Minh City’s most popular tourist destinations on flights to the southern hub, an official said.


La Quoc Khanh, deputy director of the city Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the carriers, including Air France, United Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways, have sign an agreement to show a 3.5-minute video promoting HCMC’s “100 Excitements” on their flights.


The campaign will last through at least the end of this year, he said.


The city announced in February its list of “100 Excitements” including top hotels, restaurants, favorite foods, city tours and events. The top 100 was voted on by tourists and experts over a three month period.


Source: TN


Source: QDND

Forex market improves, currency pressure eased: central bank

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2010 at 3:06 pm




Forex market improves, currency pressure eased: central bank


QĐND – Saturday, April 03, 2010, 21:27 (GMT+7)

The downward pressure on the dong has been eased as liquidity on the currency is improving, State Bank of Vietnam Governor Nguyen Van Giau said in a statement Friday.


“Enterprises have sold foreign currencies to commercial banks, which helps increase market liquidity,” Giau said, noting that local people are also considering selling their personal forex reserves and saving money in dong deposit accounts.


The government will take “strong measures” to control trade deficit and encourage exports, the governor said in the statement in which he answered several questions by local reporters.


Vietnam’s monthly trade gap in March was US$1.35 billion, pushing the year-to-date trade figure to $3.5 billion, the General Statistics Office in Hanoi.


The central bank had ordered the closure of gold trading floors and offshore accounts by March 30 as part of measures to stabilize the country’s financial system.


“Commercial banks have complied with the closure deadline,” Giau said. “There is information that some gold trading floors, which are not managed by a commercial bank, have continued offer gold trading services in disguise. We will cooperate with concerned authorities to inspect them and punish violators.”


As the global economic recovery has not yet fully stabilized and the local economy still faces many challenges, the pressure on the banking system will continue, he said.


At the end of last year and during the Tet Lunar New Year Holiday, local commercial banks had liquidity problems but the situation has improved, he said.


Deposits expanded 3.8 percent in the first quarter this year and the amount of individual deposits alone increased 9.2 percent, which means public confidence in the banking system is strong, Giau said.


Source: TN


Source: QDND

Vietnam allows more loans at negotiable rates

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2010 at 3:05 pm




Vietnam allows more loans at negotiable rates


QĐND – Saturday, April 03, 2010, 21:16 (GMT+7)

The government has allowed commercial banks to offer short term loans at negotiable interest rates to ensure enough credit for profitable projects, an official said Thursday.


The State Bank of Vietnam will be responsible for taking measures to lower lending interest rates, chief of the government’s office Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at a press briefing in Hanoi.


He was announcing new government guidance following a regular meeting to discuss social and economic issues.


In late February this year, the government allowed banks to set interest rates for medium and long term loans on a negotiable basis. Previously, rates on all loans except for consumer loans were capped at 1.5 times the central bank’s benchmark base rate.


Phuc announced Thursday that the government has passed a resolution on measures to ensure economic stability and control inflation.


Under the resolution, authorities and companies have to keep fuel, power and coal prices stable and ensure a sufficient supply of other essential goods including steel, cement, medicine, sugar and milk.


The Ministry of Finance on Thursday said fuel traders had to halt price hikes and a state-reserved fund would be used to offset their losses if global prices surge.


The ministry also requested that the government expand the required separation between two consecutive fuel price hikes to 30 days. Traders are currently allowed to increase pump prices every 10 days.


Trade deficit


The government has ordered ministries and local governments nationwide to tighten control over state-funded projects and withdraw money from ineffective ones, Phuc said.


Vietnam’s economy expanded 5.83 percent in the first quarter from a year ago. Government officials agreed that economic growth was much faster than the 3.14 percent expansion in the first quarter last year. But the economy is still facing many difficulties, including a large trade deficit and instability on the financial market.


The import of unnecessary products must be restricted and exports must be boosted to narrow the country’s trade gap, Phuc said.


“It’s not necessary for a poor country to spend US$1 billion importing the iPhone,” he said.


According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, local companies also imported equipment worth billions of dollar to develop high-speed 3G mobile phone services in the country.


Vietnam’s monthly trade gap in March was $1.35 billion, up 2 percent from February, according to the General Statistics Office. The year-to-date trade deficit has reached $3.5 billion.


Source: TN


Source: QDND

New ways discussed to handle domestic violence

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2010 at 3:04 pm




New ways discussed to handle domestic violence


QĐND – Saturday, April 03, 2010, 21:27 (GMT+7)

A training workshop on preventing domestic violence opened in Hanoi on April 2 for staff of the Centre for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender – Families – Women and Adolescents (CSAGA), who will disseminate the knowledge across the country.


The five-day workshop is part of a Swedish-sponsored project on encouraging men to participate in the prevention of domestic violence in Vietnam.


Addressing the first working day, Elsa Hastad, Deputy Head of Development Cooperation and Coordinator for Democracy and Human Rights of the Swedish Embassy, praised Vietnam’s legal mechanism in the area, which was marked by the adoption of the Law on Domestic Violence in 2007.


“The Vietnamese legislation is quite far developed,” Hastad said. “Although it is quite new, about two years now, it actually criminalises physical abuse and psychological abuse, which was not in place before and that is quite a good piece of legislation.”


However, she said legislation is not enough to root out domestic violence. To do so, she emphasised, there must be a concerted effort among agencies from multiple branches of government, from the legislative to the executive.


More needs to be done to improve public awareness, especially among children, through, for example, incorporating the teaching of gender equality into school curricula at the kindergarten or primary levels, she added.


During the next four days, trainees will learn methods used in Sweden and other countries to engage boys and men in advocating gender equality and preventing domestic violence, as well as learning consulting skills for dealing with men who have committed domestic violence.


Instead of taking a conventional approach, which often looks at women as victims and the men who are perpetrators as criminals, the workshop considers men who resort to violence as those in need of help.


According to lecturer Vidar Vetterfalk, a psychologist working for “Men for Equality” – a Swedish non-government organisation–when faced with family conflict, men tend to react with anger and fear that everything is spinning out of their control. This situation is compounded by the fact that men grow up with “deep-rooted values and attitudes” towards women that were passed from generation to generation.


Therefore, he added, they need help and communication so they don’t take recourse to violence as a solution.


Through exchanges of practical experience and knowledge from other countries, trainees are expected to develop their own solutions that fit into the Vietnamese context and provide the best strategies to put a stop to domestic violence in Vietnam.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Gov’t: Vietnam will not host Miss World 2010

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2010 at 9:08 am

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan April 2 approved a proposal from the central province of Khanh Hoa not to host the Miss World 2010 pageant there as originally planned.

RASS Group Chairman, Mr. Hoang Kieu, poses with Miss World contestants in Vietnam last year (Photo: Vnexpress)

Khanh Hoa Province had earlier sent a dispatch to the Government saying it no longer wanted to host the event because the province was having difficulty finding new sponsors after the RASS Group announced it was withdrawing as a financial backer of the event.


This year’s Miss World pageant has encountered a string of problems related to the event’s sponsorship and location. The Department of Performing Arts under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism also sent a proposal to the ministry stating that Vietnam should opt out of hosting the competition.

Source: SGGP

Gov’t: Vietnam will not host Miss World 2010

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2010 at 9:08 am

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan April 2 approved a proposal from the central province of Khanh Hoa not to host the Miss World 2010 pageant there as originally planned.

RASS Group Chairman, Mr. Hoang Kieu, poses with Miss World contestants in Vietnam last year (Photo: Vnexpress)

Khanh Hoa Province had earlier sent a dispatch to the Government saying it no longer wanted to host the event because the province was having difficulty finding new sponsors after the RASS Group announced it was withdrawing as a financial backer of the event.


This year’s Miss World pageant has encountered a string of problems related to the event’s sponsorship and location. The Department of Performing Arts under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism also sent a proposal to the ministry stating that Vietnam should opt out of hosting the competition.

Source: SGGP

Air France strikes flight deal with Vietnam Airlines

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2010 at 9:08 am

(AFP file) Security personel guards two Vietnam Airlines’ aircrafts at Hanoi airport

PARIS, April 2, 2010 (AFP) – Air France signed a code share agreement with Vietnam Airlines that will allow clients to fly directly from Paris to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, the French company said on Friday.


The flights, three times a week, will be operated by Vietnam Airlines in a Boeing 777-200 using Air France’s “AF” flight code starting July 3, the airline said in a statement.


The deal will allow Air France to offer six flights to Hanoi per week and seven to Ho Chi Minh City, which includes routes stopping over in Bangkok.


Under the agreement, Air France will operate later this year non-stop flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Paris, also three times a week.


Vietnam Airlines, which will join the SkyTeam alliance that includes Air France this year, has a fleet of 70 planes and carries nine million passengers per year.

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Source: SGGP

French strike paralyses cross-Channel ferries

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2010 at 9:08 am

CALAIS, France (AFP) – A strike by French ferry workers caused severe disruption on both sides of the Channel on Friday and union bosses warned the action could stretch into the busy Easter holiday weekend.

(AFP file) Ferries of SeaFrance are at dock at the French northern port of Calais in 2008.

SeaFrance workers in Calais walked out over new working practices and what they say are insufficient staffing levels, leaving two of the company’s ferries stuck in the northern French port.


About 1,800 passengers on board one ferry, the Berlioz, were forced to leave the ship in Calais without making their crossing to the English port of Dover.


Another ferry was eventually allowed to dock in Calais after waiting out at sea for several hours, and 1,200 passengers on board were able to disembark.


Striking workers then prevented the ship from making the return crossing to Dover.


Unions said the strike would continue on Saturday.


“The strike is set to last at least 48 hours,” said Didier Cappelle, of the CFDT union.


Roads around Dover were gridlocked as a result of the strikes, forcing police to line up lorries waiting to cross to France. The vehicles stretched along the M20 motorway.


SeaFrance’s managing director, Robin Wilkins, apologised for the disruption and urged passengers to stay away from the port.


“This is a very, very short notice strike which has blown up this morning,” he said.


“I think it’s a disastrous and very regrettable decision, calculated to have the maximum effect on customers.”


SeaFrance, which has suffered a fall in its freight traffic, passed plans in December to cut 482 jobs from its 1,580-strong workforce in the face of strong opposition from unions.


Employees have complained of a lack of crew for night crossings as a result of new working practices.


The company normally operates between 16 and 19 crossings a day between Calais and Dover.

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Source: SGGP

Air France strikes flight deal with Vietnam Airlines

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2010 at 9:08 am

(AFP file) Security personel guards two Vietnam Airlines’ aircrafts at Hanoi airport

PARIS, April 2, 2010 (AFP) – Air France signed a code share agreement with Vietnam Airlines that will allow clients to fly directly from Paris to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, the French company said on Friday.


The flights, three times a week, will be operated by Vietnam Airlines in a Boeing 777-200 using Air France’s “AF” flight code starting July 3, the airline said in a statement.


The deal will allow Air France to offer six flights to Hanoi per week and seven to Ho Chi Minh City, which includes routes stopping over in Bangkok.


Under the agreement, Air France will operate later this year non-stop flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Paris, also three times a week.


Vietnam Airlines, which will join the SkyTeam alliance that includes Air France this year, has a fleet of 70 planes and carries nine million passengers per year.

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Source: SGGP

French strike paralyses cross-Channel ferries

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2010 at 9:07 am

CALAIS, France (AFP) – A strike by French ferry workers caused severe disruption on both sides of the Channel on Friday and union bosses warned the action could stretch into the busy Easter holiday weekend.

(AFP file) Ferries of SeaFrance are at dock at the French northern port of Calais in 2008.

SeaFrance workers in Calais walked out over new working practices and what they say are insufficient staffing levels, leaving two of the company’s ferries stuck in the northern French port.


About 1,800 passengers on board one ferry, the Berlioz, were forced to leave the ship in Calais without making their crossing to the English port of Dover.


Another ferry was eventually allowed to dock in Calais after waiting out at sea for several hours, and 1,200 passengers on board were able to disembark.


Striking workers then prevented the ship from making the return crossing to Dover.


Unions said the strike would continue on Saturday.


“The strike is set to last at least 48 hours,” said Didier Cappelle, of the CFDT union.


Roads around Dover were gridlocked as a result of the strikes, forcing police to line up lorries waiting to cross to France. The vehicles stretched along the M20 motorway.


SeaFrance’s managing director, Robin Wilkins, apologised for the disruption and urged passengers to stay away from the port.


“This is a very, very short notice strike which has blown up this morning,” he said.


“I think it’s a disastrous and very regrettable decision, calculated to have the maximum effect on customers.”


SeaFrance, which has suffered a fall in its freight traffic, passed plans in December to cut 482 jobs from its 1,580-strong workforce in the face of strong opposition from unions.


Employees have complained of a lack of crew for night crossings as a result of new working practices.


The company normally operates between 16 and 19 crossings a day between Calais and Dover.

d
Source: SGGP