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Archive for July 20th, 2010|Daily archive page

A maze of caves and historic moments

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 3:24 pm




A maze of caves and historic moments


QĐND – Sunday, July 18, 2010, 21:2 (GMT+7)

It takes some getting to, but both the destination and the path offer unforgettable vistas and a unique opportunity to connect with various moments in the nation’s history.


First, we had to get to An Phu Mountain, 246 meters high, in the northern province of Hai Duong. From there, we climbed further to reach the Duong Nham mountain range and explore Kinh Chu, one of the nation’s most beautiful grottos.


From the peak of An Phu Mountain, the mountain range, Duong Nham, also known as Thach Mon, lies before you and resembles a giant dragon lying on an immense bed of paddy fields.


To the north of Duong Nham, the Kinh Thay River winds around the foot of the mountain range. And to the southwest is the peaceful, picturesque Kinh Chu Village.


The high terrain and thick greenery keep Duong Nham cool in the summer and warm in the winter.


We climbed stone steps along the mountainside to the Kinh Chu Grotto, accompanied by the songs of cicadas.


The mouth of the Kinh Chu is about three meters wide. We stepped into what seemed like a maze of many caves, each with its distinct personality and challenge


The Mau Cave is marked by giant moss-covered stones and a hole in its dome. Directly opposite is the Vang Cave with stalactites resembling an elephant, a turtle, a diamond and many other animals and objects. The Luon Cave has a stream with clear, cool water.






HOW TO GET THERE


Kinh Chu Grotto is situated in Duong Nham Hamlet, Pham Menh Commune, Kinh Mon District, Hai Duong Province, 57 kilometers east of Hanoi.


From the capital city, tourists can take bus No. 202 along National Highway 5 to the Phia Tay Bus Station in Hai DuongTown, and another bus to Kinh Mon Town. From there, it is a xe om (motorbike taxi) ride or a bus or taxi drive of around five kilometers to reach the Kinh Chu Grotto.


Kinh Chu also has 53 stone steles dating back to the Tran, Le, Mac, and Nguyen dynasties, each engraved with the sayings of kings and mandarins who visited the grotto.


The most famous stele is the one that is inscribed with a poem by King Tran Thanh Tong (1240-1290) – the second emperor of the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400), who reigned over Dai Viet from 1258 to 1278, in Han script.


Kinh Chu also has a pagoda with many stone sculptures of Bodhisattvas and Buddhist monks.


During the fight against Mongol invaders, King Tran Nhan Tong (1258–1308), the Tran Dynasty’s third emperor who reigned over Dai Viet from 1278 to 1293, and his troops were stationed at Kinh Chu Grotto.


At the top of the Duong Nham mountain range are two blockhouses built by French troops in 1950.


The magnificent landscape and fresh atmosphere of the place generate a feeling of peace deepened by the sounds of the Kinh Chu Pagoda’s bell.


In fact, even before discovering the Kinh Chu Grotto and the Duong Nham mountain range, the CaoTemple at the top of An Phu.







A stalactite resembling an elephant in Kinh Chu Grotto’s VangCave

Mountain offers a valuable glimpse into the nation’s past. The temple is dedicated to An Sinh Vuong Tran Lieu (1211-1251), the elder brother of King Tran Thai Tong – the second emperor of the Tran Dynasty, and father of Tran Quoc Tuan or Tran Hung Dao – one of Vietnam’s greatest generals.


Down 50 meters from the CaoTemple stands the 12.7-meter high Tran Hung Dao statue made of green stones. Tran Hung Dao, was instrumental in defeating Mongol invasions and was posthumously bestowed Hung Dao Dai Vuong (Grand Lord Hung Dao) for his military contributions. In the yard where the statue is located is a long terracotta relief depicting the wars against the Mongol forces.


Halfway down the mountain are the Tuong Van Pagoda and the Thanh Mau Temple, further adding to the serenity of the place.


Source: thanhniennews


Source: QDND

Ten million tourists visit Mekong River Delta

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 3:24 pm




Ten million tourists visit Mekong River Delta


QĐND – Sunday, July 18, 2010, 21:2 (GMT+7)

The number of visitors to the Mekong River Delta in the first six months of this year has reached 10 million, including 730,000 foreigners, increasing 8.7% over the same period of 2009.


The figure was reported at the conference on promoting tourismin the Mekong River Delta during the first six months in 2010, held recently in Kien Giang province by the Mekong River Delta Tourism Association.


According to the conference, this brought to the delta a total revenue of VND 1,521 billion (around US$ 80 million), an increase of 27.8% over the same period of the previous year.


It also underlined existing problems of tourism in the region which restricted the delta’s tourism potential, such as the shortage of high-quality and diversified tourism products.


The conference urged localities to strengthen co-operation to make full use of their  tourism potential and make more interesting tours for visitors to promote tourism in the province and region in response to the National Tourism Promotion Programme 2010.


Participants also highlighted the role of the association for implementing the Mekong River Delta Tourism Development Project and boosting co-operation among the regional provinces to further improve tourism in the delta.


Delegates pointed out the urgent need to raise the professionalism of tourist staff through training courses and upgrading the Association’s website.


Source: Nhan Dan Online


Photo: mdec


Source: QDND

2010 Golden Racket tournament closes in Vung Tau

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 3:23 pm




2010 Golden Racket tournament closes in Vung Tau


QĐND – Sunday, July 18, 2010, 21:2 (GMT+7)

The 24th ‘Golden Racquet’ International Table Tennis Tournament finished on July 17 in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.


Vietnamese players Tran Tuan Quynh and Nguyen Nam Hai won the championship in the men’s double event while the title for women’s doubles went to Thai players Nanthana and Anirasa.


In the mixed doubles, PetroVietnam’s and Vietsopetro’s Ce and Yang Xiao Xing successfully grabbed gold medals while Nguyen Hai Nam and Mai Hoang My Trang came in third.


The Vietnam Table Tennis Federation decision to allow foreign athletes to play for Vietnamese clubs is considered an opportunity for Vietnamese players to compete with outstanding rivals and improve their skill.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Vietnamese athletes to join Asian All Stars

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 3:23 pm




Vietnamese athletes to join Asian All Stars


QĐND – Monday, July 19, 2010, 20:40 (GMT+7)

Two Vietnamese athletes have qualified for the Asian All Stars competition, which will be held in New Delhi, India, in late July.


The two athletes are Nguyen Van Hung, who will take part in the three-step jump event, and Nguyen Thi Bac, in the 400m-hurdle event.


Despite qualifying for the tournament, a German expert suggested that athletes Vu Thi Huong and Truong Thanh Hang miss this All Stars championship to prepare for the 16th Asian Games (ASIAD).


In a previous Asian All Stars, athlete Nguyen Duy Bang gained a silver medal with a high jump measured at 2m25.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

National Youth Badminton Tourney held in Ninh Binh

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 3:22 pm




National Youth Badminton Tourney held in Ninh Binh


QĐND – Monday, July 19, 2010, 20:40 (GMT+7)

21 teams comprising 160 players will compete from July 20-27 for the 2010 National Youth Badminton Tournament- the Prudence Cup.


The event is being organised by the Vietnam Badminton Association and the Ninh Binh Provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.


The players will compete in the boy’s and girl’s singles at the 4 different age groups of 12, 14, 16 and 18 and the boy’s and girl’s doubles of 16 and 18.


This is an annual event held by the Vietnam Badminton Association to seek out new young talented badminton players for the national squad.


Source: VOV – Photo: baobacgiang


 


Source: QDND

Vietnam to host World Match Racing Tour contest

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 3:22 pm




Vietnam to host World Match Racing Tour contest


QĐND – Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 20:50 (GMT+7)

Vietnam will host an international boat racing competition where local sportspeople are expected to compete with hundreds of boat racers from around the world.


An agreement was signed in Hanoi on July 19 between the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Promatch Tour, the organiser of the world’s top-level professional boat racing circuit – World Match Racing Tour.


Vietnam is an ideal location to host large-scale events like the international regatta, Minister Hoang Tuan Anh said at the ceremony.


This would be a good opportunity for local sportspeople to practice and compete at a relatively new type of sea sports, Anh added. He also said the regatta is expected to bring in new opportunities for Vietnam to work with other foreign partners in organising great events, thus drawing more international tourists and investors to the country.


President of the WMRT organisaer Promatch Tour, Patrick Lim, said Vietnam has enormous potential for sea and island tourism awaiting efficient investment and exploitation.


The international regatta will help promote the image of Vietnam, a peaceful and friendly country that is capable of hosting great sports and tourism events for international travellers.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Four national records shattered in HCM City

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 3:21 pm




Four national records shattered in HCM City


QĐND – Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 20:50 (GMT+7)

Four national records were broken at the 17 th HCM City Open International Athletics Tournament which took place from July 17-19.


Nguyen Van Hung made a new personal best of 16.41m, shattering his previous record of 16.37m in the triple jump while Vu Van Huyen from the Army jumped over 4.75m to break his record of 4.7m that he set last year in the men’s pole vault.


In the men’s javelin, Nguyen Truong Giang from the southern province of Ben Tre also broke his own record. His best throw was 69.04m, far better than his previous record of 65.22m which he set in April 2006 in Hanoi.


National holder Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuc from the central city of Da Nang shattered her own record in the women’s 5,000m walk with a winning time of 23 minutes 47 seconds, one minute and 13 seconds less than last year in HCM City.


Nguyen Dinh Cuong took gold in the 800m and 1,500m while Truong Thanh Hang won the women’s 10,000m.


Vu Thi Huong and Le Ngoc Phuong also pocketed gold medals in the women’s 100m and 200m, respectively.


The Vietnamese team came first with eight gold medals, five silvers and two bronzes. The runner up was the Republic of Korea followed by Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.


The 17 th annual tournament attracted 322 athletes from Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Ho Chi Minh City to host entertainment technology exhibition

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 3:21 pm




Ho Chi Minh City to host entertainment technology exhibition


QĐND – Sunday, July 18, 2010, 21:2 (GMT+7)

Ho Chi Minh City will host the international PALME exhibition from July 22 to 27, making it the first of its kind to be held in the country.


PALME is the largest annual event of the entertainment technology industry in Southeast Asia as it dedicates to professional sound, light, music, audio visual and systems integration.


Rosalind Ng, Executive Director of the Asian IIR Exhibitions Company, commented that the participation of over 200 companies from 20 countries and territories in the first-ever PALME in Vietnam proved that the Southeast Asian country is a “fertile land” for foreign businesses.


She said she hoped this PALME will offer chances for Vietnamese businesses to access advanced technologies and equipment in the entertainment industry.


PALME has been held in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.


Source: tuoitrenews


Source: QDND

Imperatives for using local raw material resources for steel-making in Vietnam

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 3:20 pm




Imperatives for using local raw material resources for steel-making in Vietnam


QĐND – Monday, July 19, 2010, 21:2 (GMT+7)


PANO – The Vietnam economy has been growing at a steady pace for the last decade or so and as it is common for any developing country the consumption of steel is linked to the GDP growth of the country. Vietnam consumed around 11.7 million tones of steel for the year 2010 and the consumption is going to increase at about 10% for the next 5 years or so. It is expected that the steel consumption will rise to about 20 million tones by 2015. As of now the major portion of the steel consumption is imported, which puts a strain on the trade deficit and hence the forex reserves of the country.

It is imperative that Vietnam produces steel based on its own raw materials, as it will help save scarce foreign exchange and prevent the trade deficit from increasing further. The trade deficit for Vietnam was about USD 12 billion for 2009. If incremental volumes of steel in future are produced from domestic raw materials, it will help to minimize increase in trade deficit and prevent the currency (i.e. Dong) from facing downward pressure. The preference to use indigenous resources will also help Vietnam reduce paying for the increased value of imported finished products compared to the exported raw materials. A domestic steel-making plant with large capacity can fulfill the domestic demand for steel and provide about 10-15% of the rest capacity for export, hence, help narrow the gap between the price of imported products and that of domestic ones.


For making steel from raw materials, only an integrated plant project can process the iron ore and coking coal. “Recently, Vietnam has to import 50% of demand for billet to produce long steel products and 90% of demand for flat products. An integrated plant uses basic materials (i.e: iron) to produce finished products with a large capacity. You may be aware that greenfield Integrated Steel plant project is very complex and difficult. Just to prove this point that there has been no successful implementation of the Integrated Steel Project in the world (outside China) in the last 12 years” Mr. Indronil Sengupta- Chief executive of South East Asia projects, Tata Steel Ltd. said.


 “In this category, Tata Steel, among the top 10 global steel makers, has proposed a project in Vietnam along with VNSTEEL and VICEM and we are confident to make serious investment to confirm our commitment to the development and expansion of steel industry,” said Mr Nghiem Xuan Da, Director of Finance & Accounting of VNSteel.


“Manufacturing per tone of steel (slab) requires 1.8 tones of iron ore and 0.8 tones of coking coal, if we were to consider the present market prices then the CIF prices for iron ore and coking coal will be about USD 466 per tone of steel, which amounts to USD 466 million per million tone of steel. Hence for a project like Tata Steel-VNSteel JV that is based on domestic raw materials, the saving will be USD 466 per tone of steel produced or USD 2.15 billion for 4.6 million tone steel capacity envisaged by the JV,” he added.


 “We are aware that the steel project using raw materials can create bad impacts on environment and the rapid exhaustion of natural resources. Besides, we have to watch out that our natural resources do not get locked-in with non-serious investors while the serious investors are being left out. Therefore, all existing projects must need to be cross-checked carefully project by project to ensure that we have the serious investors, and non -serious players should be rejected. ” Mr. Dinh Huy Tam, General Secrectary of Vietnam Steel Association commented. “Besides the non-serious players also crowd-out the serious players, who are looking at Vietnam from a distance as a prospective manufacturing base, as is happening in Vietnam, where a lot of steel projects are only on paper and nothing is happening on the ground. This makes the serious players consider that there is going to be an over-capacity in Vietnam and hence not consider it seriously.”


“In many countries, FDI proposals from only global top 10 players are considered in that particular sector to ensure that the potential investor has the technological and financial strength to implement the project and not keep the natural resources idle and locked up. For example, in Thailand, the Government invites only the top 5 players to ensure that they can select the specialized and committed investor with financial strength and state-of-art technology” he added.


“With over 100 year experience in mining and steel-making, we at Tata Steel ensure the ambition to exceed the environment law of every country where Tata Steel operates. It is our corporate ethics and culture. For example we have at least 5% of the whole land size is the surrounding green belt which is beyond the existing laws of Vietnam to minimize the impacts on environment,” said Mr. Indronil.


“Along with the commitment to environment and making effective use of natural resources, the savings as the proportion of trade deficit from Tata- VNS JV project alone will be about 18% or USD 2.15 billion out of USD 12 billion [the figure in 2009],” said Mr. Nghiem Xuan Da, Director of Finance & Accounting of VNSteel.


Hence it is imperative for a developing country like Vietnam that it encourages and speeds up these kinds of projects, which are based on domestic raw materials to save scarce foreign exchange and help the ‘Dong’ to remain a more stable currency, which is also a must for creating and attracting foreign direct investments into Vietnam. Finally, it is more important when Vietnam’s steel production is forecast to exceed the domestic demand in the next few years.


Reported by Thu Nguyen (basing on information provided by Tata)


Source: QDND

Environment protection trumps FDI in Binh Duong

In Uncategorized on July 20, 2010 at 3:20 pm




Environment protection trumps FDI in Binh Duong


QĐND – Monday, July 19, 2010, 21:2 (GMT+7)

Vietnam has changed its mind in how its leaders view foreign direct investment (FDI) in recent years. The country now refuses to grant licenses to investment projects that cause environment pollution or projects that use outdated technologies.


Binh Duong has always led other provinces and cities in terms of attracting FDI. Recently, however, Dau tu newspaper quoted Le Viet Dung, Deputy Director of the Binh Duong province Planning and Investment Department, as saying that the volume of capital in investment projects nowadays is not a priority.


These days, Dung maintained that all investors must show that their investment projects are safe for the environment in obtain an operations license.


Binh Duong authorities have denied approval for investment licenses to projects outside industrial zones. The province has also revoked licenses of tanning enterprises in residential areas, urging them to relocate into industrial zones.


Most recently, the Binh Duong Party provincial committee released a decision to reject licenses for industrial projects in Thuan An district. The land fund remaining will be given to projects on service development.


The Binh Duong 2020 development goal is to increase the proportion of services in the area economy to 51%. The plan has been applauded by investors. Low Sing Leng, General Director of Vietnam-Singapore Joint Venture (SembCorp), remarked that, besides Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP), SembCorp plans to expand investment in new urban area projects in Binh Duong.


Binh Duong is also willing to welcome investment in supporting industries.


With these goals in mind, Binh Duong created a ‘modest’ target in attracting FDI at the start of 2010, set at one billion dollars in registered capital for the year. To date, the province has attracted $561 million in FDI, with average capital per investment project at $5.3 million.


Similarly, Thai Van Re, Director of HCM City Planning and Investment Department, also revealed that, in the last two years, the fields of mechanical engineering and electronics have always led in numbers of investment projects. In the first half of 2010, HCM City licensed 166 new projects, of which projects in these fields accounted for over 50 percent.


Regarding the ‘golden land areas’, which may attract up to eight billion dollars in FDI for 2010, Re remarked that this was not a main priority now.


The city now is focusing on increasing disbursement rates of present FDI projects. Though the rate for the first half of 2010 increased by 14.7 percent over the same period of 2009 (5787 billion dong), the figure was still far below expectations. The city had aimed for the disbursement of 17 trillion dong in 2010.


As a result, HCM City authorities have been trying to simplify procedures to speed up disbursement rates. They are also tackling registered projects that remain inactive,, especially in the real estate sector.


Statistics demonstrate that real estate projects account for 60 percent of the total registered FDI capital in HCM City, but disbursement rates are very low. For example, among 17 projects with revoked investment licenses in 2008, there were 11 capitalized at $3.7 billion. Most recently, city authorities have also revoked licenses on 40 other real estate projects.


Nguyen Viet Se, Director of the Southern Office of the Socio-Economic Information and Forecasting Centre, believes that now is the time to alter the purposes of FDI.


He noted that places with big economies like HCM City, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau should focus on processing industries rather than running after capital from real estate projects.


Se has also come out against steel and cement projects, because this is a production field that consumes too much power and also natural resources.


Source: Dau tu/VNN


Source: QDND