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Archive for April 13th, 2010|Daily archive page

Da Nang sees a sharp increase in tourist arrivals

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 3:34 pm




Da Nang sees a sharp increase in tourist arrivals


QĐND – Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 22:7 (GMT+7)

Since the start of this year, Da Nang has received 436,350 tourists, a year-on-year increase of 50 percent, including 169,600 foreigners and 266,800 Vietnamese.


Twenty-one cruise ships docked at Da Nang port, carrying nearly 12,630 passengers, up 30 percent, while visitors traveling by road reached 7,230 and those traveling by air hit more than 8,330. The City’s tourism sector earned more than VND234 billion, up 88 percent. These are positive signals for the tourism sector and tourist arrivals to the city will continue to rise, especially when the “Da Nang – summer destination“ programme comes into effect in the second quarter of this year.


To train hospitality staff, the University of Da Nang – the University of Queensland’s English Language Institute (ELI), the William Angliss Institute (WAI) in Melbourne, Australia and the Furama Resort in Da Nang have signed an agreement to establish a hospitality training school in Da Nang. Trainees will be taught English at ELI and WAI and will practice their hospitality skills at the Furama Resort.


The City’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has met with the National Administration of Tourism to identify two, three-four star hotels and to discuss ways of boosting tourism in the future.       


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Hanoi to host health exhibition

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm




Hanoi to host health exhibition


QĐND – Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 22:7 (GMT+7)

An exhibition designed to introduce advanced community health will be held at the Hanoi Friendship Cultural Palace from May 12-15.


Entitled Vietnam Medi-Pharm, it is an annual activity of the Ministry of Health.


The exhibition will also introduce policies and laws on health cooperation and investment and the latest achievements of Vietnamese health care. It will create opportunities for product exposure, exchange and study experience and investment and technology transfer.


The display area of 7,500sq m will feature more than 300 companies from the likes of Germany , France , Belgium , the Czech Republic , the US , Taiwan , Malaysia , the Republic of Korea , India , Thailand , Singapore and Malaysia .


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

PM Dung meets with other leaders

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm




PM Dung meets with other leaders


QĐND – Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 22:7 (GMT+7)

On April 13, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung had meetings with the Prime Ministers of Japan, New Zealand and Morocco and the EU President on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington DC.  


At the meeting with Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama, PM Dung expressed his delight at the positive developments in bilateral relations in every field and praised Japan’s support for Vietnam during the Doi Moi (Renewal) process. Mr Dung asked the Japanese Government to increase its ODA funding to help Vietnam carry out major infrastructure projects.


The Japanese PM confirmed Japan’s continued support for Vietnam in implementing large projects such as the North-South Railway project, the North-South road transport project and the Hoa Lac high-tech zone project. The two leaders agreed to strengthen the Vietnam-Japan strategic partnership in line with the aspirations and interests of people from both countries.


When meeting with his New Zealand counterpart John Key, Mr Dung said the two countries should implement mechanisms for bilateral cooperation as soon as possible.


Mr Key stated that New Zealand attaches a great deal of importance to boosting its comprehensive strategic partnership with Vietnam and said he will visit Vietnam in the near future. PM Dung described the New Zealand PM’s coming visit as an indication of their excellent bilateral relationship after 35 years of diplomatic ties.


In his meeting with Morocco PM Abbas El Fassi, both leaders underlined the need to tap into potential areas such as tourism, agriculture and mining and encourage businesses to boost bilateral cooperation and tripartite cooperation with an other African country.


On meeting with the EU President, Herman Van Rompuy, PM Dung congratulated him on assuming an extremely important position in the EU.


Vietnam and the EU should deepen their relations in order to become a model of cooperation between a developed centre and a developing country. Vietnam welcomed the EU’s positive report on the country’s market economy status and asked the organisation to recognize its full market economy status as soon as Vietnam meets the remaining criteria while facilitating two-way trade exchanges, said Mr Dung


The EU President said the EU supports Vietnam’s effort to promote relations with the organisation towards the signing of a Partnership Cooperation Agreement (PCA) and a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Mr Herman praised Vietnam’s import role in ASEAN and expressed the hope that Vietnam and the EU will work more closely together to lift their relations to a higher level.


Prior to the Nuclear Security Summit, US Vice President Joseph Biden met with PM Nguyen Tan Dung and other leaders to discuss international issues on energy security.


Mr Dung said that Vietnam wants to use nuclear energy for national development and strongly supports disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons to create a world free of nuclear weapons.


The Nuclear Security Summit and the conference to review the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) scheduled for May will provide an excellent opportunity for countries to make specific commitments to the disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the safe use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, including ensuring nuclear security, PM Dung stressed.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Acute diarrhea spreads to Bac Ninh and HCM City

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm




Acute diarrhea spreads to Bac Ninh and HCM City


QĐND – Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 22:7 (GMT+7)

The northern province of Bac Ninh has officially confirmed its first case of the bacteria Vibrio cholera.


Le Phu Chin, a 50-year-old patient, living in Huu Ai hamlet, Tan Lang commune, Luong Tai district, said he had only eaten puddings and shrimp paste. He is now in a stable condition.


In Ho Chi Minh City, the number of patients infected with acute diarrhea is on the increase.


In March, Children’s Hospital No 2 discovered 870 serious cases among its 4,960 diagnosed cases, an increase of 10 percent from a year earlier.   


In the first three months of this year, the Hospital for Tropical Diseases treated more than 800 patients infected with the same disease. 


People are advised to eat cooked rice, drink boiled water and have good personal hygiene to prevent the spread of diseases.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Poverty reduction plan success

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 3:32 pm




Poverty reduction plan success


QĐND – Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 22:7 (GMT+7)

Poverty reduction has been successful in remote mountainous regions thanks to National Programme 135, Ksor Phuoc, chairman of the National Assembly Council of Nationalities, told the National Assembly Standing Committee on April 12.


Fact-finding tours of 22 provinces, 44 districts and 50 communes that were classified as “especially disadvantaged” over the last four years revealed that incomes had increased markedly while local infrastructure had been developed, Phuoc said.


“This success should be attributed to the efficient integration of Programme 135 and other national targeted projects, as well as projects directly linked to poverty reduction in regions,” Phuoc emphasised.


“The yearly average per capita income of people living in these disadvantaged areas is about 3.5 million VND (180 USD). The number of poor households dropped to 31 percent in 2009 from 47 percent in early 2006. The target is for that figure to fall below 30 percent,” Phuoc said.


The second phase of the five-year programme, which ends this year, has a budget of 14 trillion VND (875 million USD). Of that figure, 450 million USD came from seven foreign donors, including the World Bank, Finland, Ireland, the European Commission and the United Nations Development Programme. The remainder came from the State and local budgets.


Based on what has been achieved in the last four years, it is likely that by the end of 2010 when the second phase of the programmes comes to an end, key targets, such as infrastructure development and poverty reduction will have been met, Phuoc said.


“The per annum reduction of poor households is rapid, but not sustainable. They [residents] are likely to become poor again if they are hit by natural disasters,” Phuoc said.


Tran The Vuong, chairman of the National Assembly’s Ombudsmen, said it was important to ensure that poverty alleviation programmes did not work against on another.


“By doing so we’ll be able to avoid overlapping of programmes,” Vuong said.


“An indispensable part of a comprehensive poverty reduction programme is its sustainability.”


Truong Thi Mai, chairwoman of the National Assembly Committee on Social Affairs, asked ministries to share information on poverty reduction campaigns.


“Most of the projects focus on infrastructure development. While the disbursement rate was very high, projects to directly help the people escape poverty moved at a snail’s pace,” Mai said.


She added that the Government should apply different sets of criteria for poor households in the plains and mountainous regions.


“There cannot be one criteria applied to all,” she said.


Le Quang Binh, chairman of the Committee on National Defence and Security, said that it was important to ensure that the best use is made of the limited funds available.


“Instead of investing in 2,850 communes and 25,000 hamlets as at present, we should invest in several hundred communes in a year and then scale up the next year, “ Binh said.


Ha Hung, vice chairman of the Council of Nationalities, said more funding should be made available to tackle poverty in remote regions.


“Because of the low investment capital, in many communes of they want to build a road they have to give up their wish of having a health care centre or an irrigation project,” Hung said.


The report concluded that the Government should continue to invest in socio-economic development in the programme’s third phase from 2011-15.


The second phase of Programme 135 was implemented in 1,946 communes.


The meeting was chaired by National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong.


Members of the National Assembly Committee discussed the amended Trade Unions Law on April 12 in Hanoi.


According to Dang Ngoc Tung, President of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, the law, which has been in place for the last 19 years, has been crucial to the proper functioning of the union.


However, he said some articles of the law were no longer relevant.


Tung said the amended law would consist of six chapters and 34 articles.


The NA Legal Committee’s report supported the amendments to the law, saying that it was essential to amend the law during the country’s process of industrialisation and modernisation.


The report also said that it was crucial to accurately define the role and tasks of a union to ensure the rights of officials and workers.


Tran The Vuong, chairman of the Ombudsman Committee, said the work of the unions should be reviewed to better serve the workers.


Meanwhile, Vuong said the trade union should be supported by the employers. He said the union should work for a harmonious, stable and developed relationship between employers and employees.


Vuong and deputy Truong Thi Mai, chairwoman of the NA’s Social Affairs Committee, said that about 50 articles relating to the Trade Union Law were also mentioned in the Amended Labour Code.


According to Mai, about 3,000 strikes occurred over the last 10 years – none of them legally.


Under the current regulations, workers have the right to strike when industrial action is organised by their local trade unions or their representatives in the case of enterprises which do not have a union.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Poor labourers to get State aid for training

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 3:32 pm




Poor labourers to get State aid for training


QĐND – Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 22:23 (GMT+7)

Poor rural households will receive financial assistance to improve their labour skills and increase their agricultural productivity beginning in the middle of May, reported the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs.


The assistance is in response to the Prime Minister’s decree which promised to fund a programme that offered to promote skills for more than 22 million farmers across the country.


Deputy minister Nguyen Trong Dam said that the State would provide 6-10 million VND (315-526 USD) for each rural household to buy new seeds and other materials to increase their agricultural productivity. They will also be able to purchase new equipment and machines in order to store and process their products after the harvest.


However, these households would work with local pilot projects that involve the transfer of technology and the use of new seeds, which had been approved by the relevant authorities, said Dam.


Under the project, farmers will also be provided with training materials, funds to supplement travel, food and accommodation costs. They will have to pay a training fee for short-term courses.


Vocational training schools for poor, rural labourers will receive 3 million VND (157 USD) for each person they train.


These funds will be used to cover fees for teachers and to finance equipment for the courses.


The enterprises who offer the training courses for rural labourers and employ them for at least 24 months after the training, will receive 1.5 million VND (78 USD) per student per course to pay for teachers and equipment.


The trainees will be given 15,000 VND per day for food expenses.


If a trainee lives 15km from the training institution, they will be eligible to receive 200,000 VND per course. This would help the poor labourers’ lives while they were attending the training courses, said Dam.


Local authorities could also give more assistance at their discretion.


Under the project, each poor rural commune will also receive 2 million VND per year to disseminate relevant Government policies and provide legal assistance to local labourers.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Sweltering weather looks to continue throughout April

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 9:40 am

Scorching temperatures over the past few days nationwide look to continue throughout the month, according to the national weather bureau.

Children go to school since early morning to avoid scorching heat in the central region in March (Photo: VnExpress)

Bui Minh Tang, director of the National Hydro Meteorological Forecast Center, said that some areas in the northwestern and north-central regions have seen temperatures recently skyrocket to 40-42 degrees.


In the north, the searing weather is forecast to last until at least April 14, Mr. Tang said.


Meanwhile, the central and southern regions will continue to see several hot spells in the second half of April, with the highest temperatures hitting 39 degrees Celsius.


It is predicted that the long period of recent hot weather will delay the onset of this year’s rainy season by 15-20 days compared to previous years, and will thus begin in the middle or end of May.


The hot spell of the past few days in the central region has also led the electric industry to periodically cut off household electricity to save power, sending residents to beaches and parks to cool off.


The pediatric ward of Hue Central Hospital, meanwhile, has reported that it sees around 100-150 children daily with heat-related illnesses.


Over half of the patients have been diagnosed with respiratory illnesses.

Source: SGGP

Profit-taking hits Vietnam’s stock markets

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 9:40 am

Vietnam’s benchmark VN-Index retreated on April 13 as investors sold heavily to book profits after it advanced for seven straight days.

The index of 219 companies and four mutual funds on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange lost 0.38 percent, or 1.95 points, to 517.98. Trading volume was at around 53.74 million, worth VND2.19 trillion.


Of the index, 46 stocks gained, 139 dropped, and 38 were flat. All banking shares declined.


Declines on the southern bourse were led by cement producer Ha Tien 1 Cement Joint Stock Company (HT1), Godaco Seafood Joint Stock Company (AGD) in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang, and HCMC-based light tubes and light bulbs maker Dien Quang Joint Stock Company (DQC).


Hanoi-based Song Da Urban & Industrial Zone Investment and Development Joint Stock Company (SJS) topped the list of the most active stock in volume with 1.89 million shares trading up 1.28 percent to VND79,000.


Pha Lai Thermal Power Joint Stock Company (PPC) came next with 1.66 million shares, followed by Saigon Commercial Bank or Sacombank (STB), which saw more than 1.49 million changing hands.


The newly listed Pacific Property and Infrastructure Development and Investment Joint Stock Company (PPI) was the biggest gainer today. The company’s shares rose by 4.95 percent to VND40,300.


Technology company CMC Corporation (CMG), located in Hanoi, rose by 4.83 percent to VND30,400.


HCMC-based Duc Thanh Wood Processing Joint Stock Company (GDT) added up 4.82 percent to VND23,900.


The smaller bourse in the north also performed badly as the HNX-Index fell 2.66 points, or 1.55 percent, to 168.57. More than VND1.47 trillion was spent on 43.64 million shares.


The UPCoM-Index also dipped, losing 0.12 points to finish at 42.41 points. A total of 4.27 million shares were traded at VND67.8 billion.

Source: SGGP

Banks to begin offering lower loan interest rates

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 9:40 am

Following the State Bank of Vietnam’s directive to lower negotiable interest rates on loans, many joint stock commercial banks April 12 said they would offer loans at less than 15 percent per year to borrowers.


Le Xuan Nghia, deputy chairman of the National Finance Supervision Committee, said, “Since the Government ceased interest subsidies and monetary policies were tightened, credit growth has slowed.”


In the first quarter, credit growth was just 2.95 percent, of which credit growth in VND was only 0.57 percent, he said.

Customers perform transactions at an ACB bank in Da Nang City. The bank April 12 announced it would earmark VND20 trillion to make loans available to businesses at around 14 percent per year. (Photo: danang.gov.vn)

Although the negotiable lending interest policy has been carried out for over one month, the credit balance at commercial banks has remained almost unchanged, since many businesses, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), said they could not afford loans at high lending rates of 16-18 percent.


In addition, SMEs have also faced another impediment to borrowing capital – they have no mortgage to secure bank loans.


Since late 2009, the Vietnam Development Bank (VDB) has issued guarantee deeds to a number of borrowers wanting bank loans, but the amount they actually received from banks was modest, since banks tended to give priority to borrowers with mortgages.


Nguyen Chi Nguyen, general secretary of the HCMC Business Association, said commercial banks should assist SMEs in preparing feasible plans for use of lending capital to make them eligible for loans.


Many banks said they incurred higher expenses in mobilizing deposits in the first quarter, so they could not lower lending interest rates rapidly while they have yet to restrain input costs.


In recent days, most large commercial banks have lowered deposit interest rates to reduce overall operating expenses. One joint stock bank said it had reduced its average interest rate of 12 percent per year to 10.8 percent.


Ly Xuan Hai, general director of the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), said both deposit and lending rates would decline in the near future. 


Based on the predicted inflation rate of 7 percent and also on exchange rates, lending rates are likely to reduce reasonably to benefit borrowers, he said.


Currently, the lending rates have been decreased from the previous 16-18 percent to 14-16 percent per year, equal to those in 2006 and 2007, Mr. Hai said.


On April 12, ACB announced it would earmark VND20 trillion (US$1.05 billion) to offer loans to businesses at around 14 percent per year.


Sacombank also said its loans would be offered at about 14 percent for businesses and exporters, and 13.8 percent for farmers.


Meanwhile, several other banks are giving priority to exporters, with loans offered at 12 percent.


A number of commercial banks have recently cooperated with foreign financial organizations, such as Japan International Cooperation Bank, the European Community, and Swiss Green Credit Fund, to launch soft credit projects to help businesses, especially SMEs.


In order to access loans easier, SMEs must also gain the confidence of lenders by improving their business capabilities, ensuring transparency of their business practices, and carrying out audits every year, banking experts have said.

Source: SGGP

More HCMC children contracting hand-foot-mouth disease

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 9:39 am

Children are treated hand-foot-mouth at Children Hospital I

Ho Chi Minh City hospitals April 12 reported an alarming rise in the number of children being diagnosed with hand-foot-and mouth disease over the past week.


The city’s Children Hospital I, II and the Tropical Disease Hospital have each seen nearly 100 children recently admitted with the disease, while doctors have expressed concern that families are waiting too long to bring children for medical treatment.


Delays in treating the illness can cause complications to the nervous system while some children have required the use of breathing machines.


Dr. Nguyen Dac Tho, deputy director of the city’s Preventive Health Center, said hand-foot-and mouth cases amongst toddlers and young children have skyrocketed since January with the health sector reporting 667 cases since the beginning of the year, 57 percent higher than the same period last year.

Source: SGGP