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Archive for May 21st, 2010|Daily archive page

Sofitel Metropole one of the coolest new hotels

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2010 at 5:13 pm




Sofitel Metropole one of the coolest new hotels


QĐND – Friday, May 21, 2010, 21:5 (GMT+7)

Hanoi-based Sofitel Metropole Hotel has made the Conde Nast Traveller Hot List 2010, the publication’s annual list of the “66 Coolest New Hotels in the World”.


The 100-year-old hotel has received numerous other accolades in the past. It was chosen as one of the 500 best hotels in the world by readers of Travel & Leisure and Conde Nast Travel; selected as the best hotel in Hanoi by Hong Kong’s Destin Asian, Asia Money magazine and Vietnam’s VnEconomy.


It was also named 2007’s best hotel for businessmen in a capital city, by readers of the Business Traveller Asia Pacific.


Source: VNA
Photo: vietbao


Source: QDND

Vietnam promotes tourism in Japan and RoK

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2010 at 5:13 pm




Vietnam promotes tourism in Japan and RoK


QĐND – Friday, May 21, 2010, 21:8 (GMT+7)

The Vietnam Culture and Tourism Festival will be launched in Japan and South Korea between June 22nd and 27th.


The event that will be co-organised by the International Cooperation Department and General Department of Tourism under the Culture, Sports and Tourism Ministry, Vietnam Airlines and involved agencies of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Quang Nam and Thua Thien-Hue is aimed to introduce Vietnamese culture and promote tourism, according to officials.


At this point, Japan and South Korea are Vietnam’s two major tourism markets.


During the festival, Vietnamese famous tourist destinations, unique cultural features and especially programmes on the celebration of the 1,000th Thang Long – Hanoi foundation will be displayed in Tokyo and Seoul.


In addition, a number of tourist exhibition-fairs, traditional cuisine events and traditional culture and arts performances will be held in Japan and South Korea.


Source: HNM/ Photo: tin180


Translated by Thu Nguyen 


Source: QDND

Vietnam visa

Futsal Championships taking place in Dak Lak

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm




Futsal Championships taking place in Dak Lak


QĐND – Friday, May 21, 2010, 21:5 (GMT+7)

The International Futsal Championships is currently underway in the central highland province of Dak Lak from May 20-25.


Competing at the Championships are eight teams from four countries including the Philippines, Thailand’s All Stars and Port Authority and Japan’s Nippon All Stars and four teams from Vietnam: Pham Gia, Thai Son Nam from Ho Chi Minh City, Hoang Thu from Da Nang and Sanna from Khanh Hoa.


Two teams from Thailand are All Stars and Port Authority, which won the Thai Futsal Championships in 2008, came 4th at the 2010 AFC Champion’s League.


In the tournament’s first match, Pham Gia held Thailand’s All Stars to a 4-4 draw.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Will inflows of FDI continue?

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm




Will inflows of FDI continue?


QĐND – Friday, May 21, 2010, 21:5 (GMT+7)


Foreign direct investment (FDI) capital continues following into the real estate market. Despite some suspended projects, most newly registered major projects since the start of the year are within this sector while industrial parks and mechanical engineering projects are desperately short of adequate investment.

Real estate market remains a magnet for FDI


The real estate market is still attracting  large amounts of FDI on a range of projects, such as the US-funded project worth US$902.5 million to build a convention and exhibition centre and trade and real estate centres in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, a US$304 million project to build an underground fuel depot at the Dzung Quat economic zone, a US$120 million real estate project by Daewoo-Binh Khanh Investment Company in HCM City, a US$100 million real estate project by the Slovakia-Vietnam Company and a Thai-funded project to operate and manage a central trade building at a cost of US$95 million.


More recently, the US’ Emerging Markets Group has proposed a US$3 billion real estate project in Van Don, Quang Ninh province.


Despite the newly-registered FDI in Vietnam in the first quarter of this year hitting only approximately 29 percent of the amount for the same period last year, US$2.13 billion, the real estate and hotel market still attracts the most FDI.


Not a few projects suspended


Looking back on the disbursement of real estate projects, there remain many suspended projects and the relevant agencies are finding it difficult to deal with them.


In HCM City alone, up to 40 FDI real estate projects with a total registered capital of US$1.77 billion had their licenses withdrawn due to the slowness of their operations, expired business permits or their overseas parent company going bankrupt.


In addition, numerous projects worth billions of US$, licensed two years ago have yet to get underway.


For instance, the investors Tano Capital, LLC and Global C&DA broke the ground on a US$4.15 billion project to build an eco-tourism area in Quang Nam two months ago but since then the project has ground to a halt. A US-funded project worth US$1.68 billion to build a city in Phu Yen is also in the same situation.


However, the real estate market continues to attract FDI. In the long term, it will need to develop further especially when the Vietnamese economy rebounds to reach a GDP growth rate of 7-8 percent. No wonder there will be plenty of opportunity for investors in real estate business.


The real estate sector, including office buildings, hotels, and the infrastructure in industrial zones, still hold enormous potential for an economy entering its second phase of development based on productivity, quality and competitiveness.


Vo Tri Thanh, Vice Head of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said it is quite understandable to see investors continuing to pour capital into this sector.


On the whole, however, many plans haven’t worked out for most of the large real estate and hotel projects in residential and big urban areas. As a result, many projects have been delayed or suspended due to site clearance problems.


Adding to the problem is poor local capacity and a lack of effort to attract foreign direct investment.


The inflows of FDI into industrial zones dropped in 2009 and in early 2010. Many big industrial zones even had to accept a 50 percent cut in FDI from the previous year. Quite a few zones have had to leave land untouched while a large proportion of their capital has already been used up. Some are also weighted down with huge costs resulting from site clearance.


All these have greatly affected plans to transfer technologies and develop support industries, as well as plans to increase the capacity of Vietnam’s industrial sector.


Mechanical engineering is one of the country’s core industries but has made little progress for years. Consequently, Vietnam has to import a large amount of machinery for production and processing, which leads to a high trade deficit.


The Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Do Huu Hao, said that Vietnam’s mechanical engineering sector has a limited source of capital and is in dire need of consultants and high-skilled workers, which results in low competitiveness in terms of quality and design.


Mr Hao suggested that the state comes up with innovative credit policies to help businesses invest in research, manufacturing and production. He added that businesses also need to take the initiative in cooperating with specialist institutes and universities to carry out research and train mechanical engineers.


In addition, said Mr Hao, the state’s management agencies should encourage overseas companies to invest in the manufacture of engines and other related machinery before transferring the bulk of their operations to Vietnam.


To attract more FDI is not realistic to rely on adjustments made by investors. The bottom line is that FDI only flows into the most favourable and profitable areas.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Enterprises buries stale milk in landfill, say police

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2010 at 5:11 pm




Enterprises buries stale milk in landfill, say police


QĐND – Friday, May 21, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)

A waste treatment company in Binh Duong province allegedly buried thousands of tonnes of expired milk as landfill instead of treating it as contracted, according to police from the National Department of Environment’s southern office.


Friestland Campina Vietnam Co had contracted the Waste Treatment Enterprise, a subsidiary of Binh Duong Water Supply – Sewage and Environment Company, to dispose 2,060,136 cartons of milk through its waste treatment plant. The value of the contract was 20 billion VND (1 million USD).


Police visited a landfill area used by the Waste Treatment Enterprise on Wednesday morning and uncovered thousands of expired milk still in cartons.


Friestland Campina Vietnam signed the contract with the Waste Treatment Enterprise on May 3 to treat 15,500 tonnes of milk.


The contract allegedly specified that the enterprise should collect the milk at the Friestland Campina Vietnam warehouse in VSIP II Industrial Park in Binh Duong province and separate the milk waste from the cardboard and plastic waste at the site.


It also contracted the enterprise to transport the milk waste for treatment at its treatment plant and separately burn the cardboard containers, plastic wrap and straws.


Police said both the out-of-date milk and containers should have been treated as hazardous waste.


Jan Wegennar, production manager of Friestland Campina Vietnam, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper the contract stated clearly that the milk had to be separated from solid waste and transported for waste treatment at the enterprise.


If the waste was dumped in the landfill area, it was a breach of the contract, he said.


Huynh Minh Tu, a truck driver who transported the milk, said he saw some of the milk being transported to the treatment plant while some of it was transported to the landfill.


Police also reported other hazardous solid waste had been burned at the landfill area.


Nguyen Thanh Phong, the enterprise’s deputy manager, said the waste caught fire accidentally because of the hot weather.


He said dumping hazardous solid waste at landfill sites intended for household waste was “common at every landfill site.”


Professor Le Huy Ba, director of the HCM City Institute of Science, Technology and Environment Management, told Nguoi Lao dong (The Labourer) newspaper the milk dumped at the landfill was dangerous because it would breed mice and black beetles which could spread disease.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Ban on sewage needed to keep most lakes clean

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2010 at 5:11 pm




Ban on sewage needed to keep most lakes clean


QĐND – Friday, May 21, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)

The Hanoi Committee has announced that the second phase of a mass clean up of the city’s lakes will start later this month.


“Most of the lakes have varying levels of pollution,” said Ngo Thai Nam, deputy director of the Hanoi Environment Protection Department (EPD).


Waste water and algae are just two of the problems currently affecting the nine lakes that have been earmarked for treatment in the phase including Giang Vo, Van Chuong, Thien Quang, Nghia Tan, Van Quan, Ho Vo, Den Lu, Giap Bat and Ao Lam Du.


Pollution has become a big problem for people living by the lakes. In March this year, local citizens were subjected to the smell of rotting dead fish in Truc Bach.


An investigation by the EPD showed that the fish died due to seriously polluted water and tens of other lakes were affected by the same problem.


To date, 65 lakes in Hanoi remain to be dredged and cleaned, but there are no plans for operations at 33 others, including Thuy Su, Kim Lien and Me Tri.


The project started in September 2009 with a total investment of VND2.6 trillion (136.8 million USD). It is planned to finish in September this year. In the first phase, 46 lakes were treated and the quality of water improved.


“Water quality is getting better but sometimes it is only a temporary fix. In some cases, the problems return due to a lack of preservation,” said Nguyen Le, general director of the Hanoi Water Drainage Company.


Professor Vu Hoan, chairman of the Union of Science and Technology Associations said that the city had tried a number of treatment techniques but the pollution still returned.


Nguyen Van Luong, director of the Hanoi EPD, said the best way to solve the problem was to ban the release of all untreated sewage into the city’s lakes.


“Comprehensive management of the lakes is needed but this is complicated at the moment as it involves local authorities, co-operatives and individuals,” he said.


Educating local people on how to protect the environment was also an important task, Luong added.


There are several waste water treatment facilities, but they do not have the capacity to deal with the city’s waste.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Wild elephants seen in Yok Don National Park

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2010 at 5:10 pm




Wild elephants seen in Yok Don National Park


QĐND – Friday, May 21, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)

A herd of 32 wild elephants has been spotted in the Yok Don National Park in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, said the park’s Director Truong Van Truong on May 21.


The herd includes 5-6 fully grown tuskers and 4-5 baby elephants, said Truong, adding that this is the first time such a large herd of wild elephants has migrated to the park, which is mainly due to the improvement in the parks biodiversity.


Source: VNA


Photo from cuocsongviet.com.vn for illustration only


Source: QDND

Vietnam affirms stance of people-centred national development

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2010 at 5:10 pm




Vietnam affirms stance of people-centred national development


QĐND – Friday, May 21, 2010, 21:7 (GMT+7)

Vietnam has reiterated its consistent policy considering human factor the driving force and the ultimate goal of its national development at a UN meeting on human security.


“Vietnam has been doing its utmost to ensure effective implementation of adopted people-centered policies and strategies,” Ambassador Bui The Giang, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam, said at the General Assembly Plenary Meeting on Human Security in New York on May 20-21.


Ambassador Giang noted that Vietnam’s efforts over the years and subsequent encouraging results in implementing the MDGs, reducing poverty and improving both the material and spiritual living standards for the population are nothing else but the practical application of the human security concept to strategy and policy priorities in the country’s specific circumstances and conditions.


“We look forward to greater cooperation, assistance and partnership from the international community, the United Nations system in particular, in dealing with the current and emerging threats and challenges Vietnam is confronting, especially those posed by climate change, the spread of HIV/AIDS, and trafficking in persons,” he said, adding that Vietnam is willing to join initiatives and contribute to endevours along this line.


The Vietnamese diplomat also welcomed discussions on human security, especially in the context of increasing traditional and non-traditional security threats.


The discussions will better understanding about this concept, its relationship with non-traditional insecurities, possible responses to those non-traditional insecurities, and application of the human security concept in multilateral diplomacy, particularly through the UN’s activities, he said.


While affirming the State’s primary responsibility for ensuring the survival, livelihood and dignity of its individual citizens and communities, Ambassador Giang noted that human security does not entail the use of force against the sovereignty of States but rather focuses on fostering government and local capacities and strengthening the resilience of both to emerging challenges.


He was quick to add that in today’s globalised world, international cooperation, assistance and partnership are indispensable. Furthermore, such cooperation, assistance and partnership can only be most effective when and if taking into account specific social, economic, political, historical and cultural conditions, respecting the ownership of local stakeholders, and complying with the principles of international laws and the United Nations Charter, he said.


Giang affirmed Vietnam’s stance that the UN’s focused attention should be paid to hunger eradication, poverty alleviation and socio-economic development as hunger, poverty and underdevelopment represent the root causes of the many threats and challenges, both traditional and non-traditional, as well as are the very areas where the UN, with its vast and diverse experience and expertise, can make best contribution.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Vietnam, Finland vow to promote trade, investment

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm




Vietnam, Finland vow to promote trade, investment


QĐND – Friday, May 21, 2010, 21:5 (GMT+7)

Top leaders of Vietnam and Finland have agreed to raise two-way trade and Finnish investments in the Southeast Asian country to US$1 billion, respectively within the next few years.


Vietnamese State President Nguyen Minh Triet and his Finnish counterpart Tarja Halonen reached consensus on the issue during their talks in Helsinki on May 20, following a ceremony held to welcome the Vietnamese leader.


In the spirit of trust and openness, the two heads of state informed each other of the situation in their respective countries, and agreed that the bilateral ties are developing fruitfully.


They discussed specific measures to step up multi-faceted cooperation in the years to come, focusing on the fields of politics-diplomacy, development cooperation, economics-trade-investment, labour, education-training and response to clime change.


President Triet said he was delighted to pay his first State-level visit to Finland and thanked the Finnish government and people for their valuable support and assistance extended to Vietnam during its past struggles for national independence and reunification, as well as in the current process of national construction and international integration.


President Halonen expressed her wish that the two nations will continue to mutually support and assist each other and pledged Finland’s support for Vietnam’s renewal process.


Finland will provide more official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam, with priority given to green technology, safe water, afforestation, clean energy, response to clime change, scientific research and vocational training.






The two presidents agreed to continue building a cooperative partnership for development of both countries on the basis of stability, durability, equality and mutual benefit.


Regarding politics, they agreed to increase the exchange of high-level visits to enhance mutual trust and understanding between the two nations’ leaders, thus laying the foundation for expanding cooperative relations in other areas. The two sides decided to set up a deputy foreign ministerial-level bilateral political consultation mechanism.


On economics, the two leaders held that despite recent progress, trade and investment ties have yet to match both sides’ potential and desires.


They pledged to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese and Finnish businesses to meet and invest in each other’s markets.


President Triet affirmed that Vietnam will continue to speed up its economic reforms and fully perform its commitments to the World Trade Oragnisation (WTO).


Vietnam will provide the best conditions for Finnish companies to make long-term and effective investment in the country, especially in fields where they boast strengths such as information technology, ship building, wood and paper industries, and environmentally friendly technology, he said.


President Triet told his host that Vietnam is also willing to serve as a bridge to Finnish firms which want to enter markets of member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).


He also proposed that Finland facilitate the penetration of Vietnamese goods in the Finnish market as well as the North European and the European Union (EU) markets.


The two heads of state noted potential for bilateral labour cooperation. They applauded the effective implementation of a pilot programme on migrant workers and agreed to entrust concerned agencies of the two countries to study and expand this cooperation programme.


While emphasising the importance of cooperation in education and training, the two leaders agreed to promote bilateral cooperative relations in this area.


President Halonen said Finland will create favourable conditions for Vietnamese students to study in the European country, and will foster joint training and scientific research between universities and institutes of the two nations.


The two presidents exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual concern, and promised to boost cooperation and reciprocal support at regional and world forums and organisations.


President Triet confirmed support for Finland’s efforts to beef up relations with ASEAN, particularly when Vietnam is undertaking the bloc’s rotating chairmanship in 2010.


President Halonen spoke highly of Vietnam’s role and position in the region and the international arena as well. She expressed her belief that Vietnam will successfully take over the ASEAN chairmanship this year and affirmed support for Vietnam’s bids to strengthen comprehensive cooperation with the EU.


On this occasion, the two nations signed a revised agreement on increasing Finnish funds for phase II of Programme 135, which is designed to bolster socio-economic development in disadvantaged and mountainous communes, and a cooperation deal between the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Finnish Chamber of Commerce.






The same day, Helsinki City Council Chairman Otto Lehtipuu presented the city’s honourable order to President Triet.


Later, President Triet held a meeting with Deputy Speaker of the Finnish Parliament Tarja Filatov, during which he requested the parliament to back Finland’s continued provision of ODA to Vietnam and expansion of the pilot programme on migrant workers.


The State leader expressed delight at positive developments in cooperative relations between the two countries’ legislative bodies, citing the Vietnam visit by Speaker of the Finnish Parliament Sauli Niinisto in January 2010 and the trip to Finland by Vice Chairman of the Vietnam National Assembly Nguyen Duc Kien last month.


The exchange of visits created opportunities for the two legislative bodies to share operation experiences, helping to boost extensively and intensively cooperative relations between the two countries, he stressed.


Deputy Speaker Filatov praised great achievements the Vietnamese people have reaped during the renewal process. She said legislative cooperation is one of the most important factors in promoting the relationship between the two countries, and that the Finnish Parliament will contribute further to strengthening the Finland-Vietnam friendship.


Source: VNA/VOV


Source: QDND

House debates high-speed Hanoi-HCMC rail link

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm




House debates high-speed Hanoi-HCMC rail link


QĐND – Friday, May 21, 2010, 21:5 (GMT+7)

National Assembly deputies evinced interest in a proposed high-speed rail link between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City but expressed fears about the increasing foreign debt at a session that opened May 20.


The 1,570km-long express railroad is estimated to cost US$55.9 billion. When completed in 2036 it will allow trains to run safely at 300kph, taking just five and a half hours to link the two cities, down from at least 28 hours now.


“It is time to start the project since demand for passenger transport in 2030 will exceed supply,” Minister of Transport Ho Nghia Dung said.


It would help reduce congestion and cut by 20 percent traffic accidents which claimed 11,500 lives last year and injured 8,000 others, he said.


He suggested completing the system section by section — Hanoi – Vinh, Hue – Da Nang, and HCMC – Nha Trang — ensuring the work would cost just over $2 billion a year, or 2 percent of annual GDP, until 2036.


Japan, South Korea, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank would also provide funds for the construction, he said.


Building it would make economic sense since it would need less capital than for expanding the existing rail system which was built decades ago, he told the members.


Worries


“We will support the project as a long-term strategy,” Dang Vu Minh, chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee for Sciences, Technology and Environment, said.


But he called for keeping an eye on the country’s external debts, saying Vietnam’s debts amount to 42 percent of its annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or $42 billion.


He suggested reducing expenditure on the project by just building the Hanoi – Vinh and HCMC – Nha Trang sections where transport needs are the highest.


The remaining section can be considered as a different project later, he said.


Source: vietnewsonline


Source: QDND