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Archive for October 17th, 2010|Daily archive page

ADB urges multi-national effort against “Dollarisation”

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 10:25 pm

ADB urges multi-national effort against “Dollarisation”

QĐND – Sunday, October 17, 2010, 20:41 (GMT+7)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pointed out a need for regional cooperation in monetary and financial issues, particularly to deal with the issues of multiple currencies within domestic economies.

The region’s biggest development bank made the statement in the latest study, which was published on October 15. 

The study, Dealing with Multiple Currencies in Transitional Economies: the Scope for Cooperation in Cambodia , Laos , and Vietnam , is a pioneering work on the multiple-currency phenomenon with important recommendations for promoting regional monetary and financial cooperation. 

In the three target countries, other countries’ currencies, particulary the US dollar, are found in broad use. The share of foreign currencies ranges from around 20 percent of all currency in circulation in Vietnam , about 50 percent in Laos , and more than 90 percent in Cambodia . 

In this regard, the ADB Country Director for Vietnam , Ayumi Konishi, recognised progress made by the country in de-dollarisation. 

“Yet, authorities, especially the State Bank of Vietnam , are fully aware that administrative measures alone cannot be effective”, said the ADB residential chief. 

He explained that in order to de-dollarise the Vietnamese economy, it is essential to enhance people’s confidence in Vietnamese dong through sustainable and high economic growth, stabilisation of the foreign exchange rate, reforms in monetary policies, and strengthening of the capacity of financial institutions. 

Jayant Menon, Principal Economist in ADB’s Office of Regional Economic Integration, a co-editor of the study, remarked “Dollarisation blunts the tools for macroeconomic stabilisation, especially monetary and exchange rate policy, that a country like Vietnam needs in order to tackle a variety of economic and developmental challenges, such as rising inflation”. 

He warned Vietnam , where the US dollar makes up 20 percent of the total money circulation, for its partial dollarisation which may lead to some limitations especially in deploying policies for macroeconomic stabilisation. 

Solutions such as official dollarisation, compulsory de-dollarisation and mono currency are all infeasible, said the ADB expert. 

Experts recommended three solutions, including the short-term solution which highlights strengthening the momentum for depositing savings in the Vietnamese dong instead of the US dollar or gold. They also urged banks to encourage long-term saving deposits in the Vietnamese dong and reduce sudden changes or any instability in the short-term saving deposit interest rates.

Their recommendations for a medium-term solution included a currency-bound mechanism and reserving the right to mould or print currency. 

For a long-term solution, experts recommended the economy be prepared for the de-dollarisation process, building financial institutions and speeding up reforms in the State-owned enterprise sector for sustainable development. 

The other co-editor of the study, Giovanni Capannelli, Principal Economist in the ADB Institute, urged monetary authorities of Cambodia , Laos and Vietnam to share information and experiences in order to find a solution to the dollarisation issue. 

“The three countries have a lot to gain from closer cooperation, both among themselves and with the rest of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations”, said the ADB expert. 

ADB, based in Manila , is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. 

In 2009, it approved a total of US$16.1 billion in financing operations through loans, grants, guarantees, a trade finance facilitation programme, equity investments, and technical assistance projects. 

Vietnam will host ADB’s 44th annual meeting in Hanoi in May 2011.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Competition deemed fair

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Competition deemed fair

QĐND – Sunday, October 17, 2010, 20:41 (GMT+7)

Competition among the cement, steel, chemical fertiliser, animal feed, dairy and service sectors, such as aviation, banking, insurance, petroleum distribution and telecommunications is relatively fair and free of dirty tricks campaigns.

The announcement was made yesterday, Oct 14, at a seminar to assess competition in 10 economic sectors held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of Competition Administration.

However, Le Minh Ha, a department consultant, said that some products like imported powdered milk, construction steel and fertilisers were still being falsely portrayed in advertisements.

Ha went on to say that acts of unfair competition were concentrated mainly in the service sector, with advertisements and promotions designed to discredit competitors and gain market share.

The announcement not only confirmed the effective role of Competition Law but also provided valuable information to businesses regarding which direction they should follow in the future.

Dinh Thi My Loan, general secretary of the Viet Nam Retail Association, said that details of the 10 selected areas gave good indications of price fluctuations and covered consumer interests in those sectors.

However, Loan said that the contents of the assessment remained “gentle and plump”, and did not include urgent consumer matters.

She said that sugar was a prime example, where businesses and consumers had suffered exorbitant prices while sugar stocks remained abundant.

She said the reason for this was that distributors were unable to buy supplies directly from the factories, and had to go through intermediaries who charged a higher price.

Sharing her view, economist Le Dang Doanh said apart from measures to stabilise the market price, more focus was needed on retail distribution.

Doanh said the role of competition management authorities needed to be enhanced along with the awareness of enterprises about the Competition Law.

Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

Source: QDND

China-ASEAN Expo expected to be fruitful

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 10:25 pm

China-ASEAN Expo expected to be fruitful

QĐND – Sunday, October 17, 2010, 20:44 (GMT+7)

The 7th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO), which is the first one since the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) was officially established on January 1, 2010, will strengthen the relationship between and improve their trade relationships.   

The annual exhibition will take place in Nanning, Guangxi, China from October 20-24, featuring 4,000 booths of Chinese and ASEAN businesses. It comprises the CAFTA Achievement Exhibition, activities on the theme of the CAEXPO Country of Honour: Indonesia, and other promotional campaigns, along with a series of high-level international forums/conferences on finance, electric power, agriculture and brand management.

State and government leaders from China and the ASEAN countries signed the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between China and ASEAN at the 6th China-ASEAN Summit held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in November, 2002, jointly launching the creation of the CAFTA. When it was completed on January 1, 2010, CAFTA became the largest FTA of developing countries, boasting 1.9 billion consumers, a combined GDP of nearly US$6 trillion, and a total trade volume of US$4.5 trillion. 

In the first six months of 2010, the total trade volume between China and ASEAN reached US$136.5 billion. The value of China’s imports was US$71.9 billion, increasing by 64 percent compared to the same period last year, and its exports reached US$64.6 billion, up 45 percent against 2009. This is an optimistic sign of trade growth between the two sides since the CAFTA was officially established.

There are no figures for other areas such as investment and tourism, however, considering the figures of the 2003-2009 period, the CAFTA promises to set new records.

During 2003-2009, the Southeast Asia invested US$2.93-4.68 billion in China. And China invested US$0.23-3 billion in the region, showing an increase of 13 times.

In 2009 alone, the Chinese Government reduced or suspended tariffs on many ASEAN exports to China with a total value of CNY6.1 billion. China invested mainly in ASEAN arts and handicrafts, services, and the agricultural sector.

The ten ASEAN countries also became attractive tourist destinations for Chinese citizens. In particular, the number of Chinese visitors to ASEAN in 2003 was 1,910,000, and increased to 4,500,000 in 2009.  

At the 6th China-ASEAN Expo in 2009, total trade value was nearly US$1.7 billion, and the value is expected to set a new record at this year’s Expo.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Promoting domestic products: long-term plan needed

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Promoting domestic products: long-term plan needed

QĐND – Sunday, October 17, 2010, 20:41 (GMT+7)

Vietnamese businesses have responded well to the “Vietnamese Using Vietnamese Products” campaign since its was launched a year ago and they have achieved significant results.

The sales of domestic products such as garments and textiles, food, and confectioneries have seen sharp increases and consumers now have more options.

In the second phase of the campaign, most domestic businesses hope they will enjoy an even sharper growth rate of about 13.6 percent, twice as much as in 2010.

More than 60 million people live in rural area in Vietnam which is a great potential market and consumers have had more chances to buy high-quality products through campaigns to bring Vietnamese goods to rural areas. It has created impetus for businesses to improve their products to meet consumer demands.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, there have been 68 campaigns to bring Vietnamese goods to rural areas with the participation of 857 businesses and they have attracted 4.7 million customers with a turnover of VND1,500 billion.

Pham Duc Tien, Deputy of the Hanoi municipal Department of Industry and Trade (DoIT), said in addition to promotions, the city recently held two campaigns to bring domestic products to 31 trade fairs in seven suburban districts.

Many manufacturers have also opened retailers in rural areas, said Tien.

Representatives of many provincial DoIT agree there should be a long-term policy to ensure further success.

Tran Vinh Nhung, Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh City DoIT, said his department is working closely with other DoIT in the southern key economic region to create a supply of Vietnamese products to meet consumer demands and stabilise prices.

Ho Chi Minh City will focus on establishing a network of retail outlets and commercial centres in high-demand areas like industrial parks and suburbs, Nhung said.

Binh Duong DoIT Director Nguyen Thi Dien said although the province has held 17 trade fairs in rural areas and industrial parks, each with a turnover of more than VND1 billion, they have not met all consumer demands. Therefore, businesses should work with the DoIT to make the campaign more effective.

Dien also suggested promoting a “Vietnamese Product Week” to support local campaigns.

Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang said his ministry has agreed with the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance on a pilot programme to encourage agricultural cooperatives to become distributors for businesses.

If successful, the model will then be expanded nationwide, Hoang said.

Dinh Thi My Loan, Secretary General of the Vietnam Retailers Association, said as traditional retail models still hold the lion share of the market in Vietnam, her association will try to expand in different directions.

Imports are another factor that stands in the way of domestic production and the effectiveness of the campaign. Modernising the technology to improve the quality of domestic products is necessary to improve the competitiveness of Vietnamese businesses.

Truong Quang Hoai Nam, Director of the MoIT’s Domestic Market Department, said the MoIT is designing the nation’s 2011 trade promotion programme in which associations and businesses will cooperate to provide customers with more information and minimize unfair competition.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

US market and lessons learnt from lawsuits

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 10:24 pm

US market and lessons learnt from lawsuits

QĐND – Sunday, October 17, 2010, 20:41 (GMT+7)

It is imperative that foreign exporters unite if they want to penetrate the potential, risky US market.

The US Department of Commerce’s (DoC) recent 14 proposals to strengthen the nation’s antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) laws has created many challenges for foreign exporters, particularly the Vietnamese.

Many of the 14 proposals are related to investigation method and procedures applied to non-market economies like Vietnam. They are expected to put foreign exporters at a disadvantage and improve the competitiveness of the US businesses.

According to William H. Barringer of the US law firm Winston and Strawn LLP, the proposals are aimed at encouraging US businesses to take more more action against foreign companies.

However, Mr. Barringer said, they should not negatively affect Vietnam’s economy, and this also shows that Vietnamese companies are achieving more success in the US market.

Mr. Barringer, who provided Vietnamese companies useful legal advice in the proceedings against the US anti-dumping duties on Vietnamese shrimp, said solidarity among businesses played a very important role in their success.

“Small-sized businesses shared the legal expenses, took part in training courses and joined hands to develop software for costing and pricing,” he said.

Another important thing, he said, is that businesses should anticipate which companies may be selected as individual respondents and find out whether they are following the procedures correctly.

The uncooperative individual respondents may lead to serious damage for the whole sector, said the lawyer, adding that the participation of all businesses from the beginning of the proceedings is crucial.

However, while Vietnamese businesses are seriously affected by anti-dumping tariffs abroad, FDI businesses in Vietnam usually do not pay attention to tariffs as they can close down their factories in Vietnam and move to another country.

Therefore, economic experts said Vietnam should introduce policies to make FDI and Vietnamese businesses to corporate in the lawsuit for mutual benefit and protection of rights.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Communication received from missing boat

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Communication received from missing boat

QĐND – Sunday, October 17, 2010, 20:41 (GMT+7)

The mainland could contact the captain and the crew on fishing boat QNg 66487 TS at 12:45 on October 16, reported the People’s Committee of the central coastal province of Quang Ngai.

The fishing boat was drifting at sea for the last few days after its engine broke down and the fishermen had to use blankets to make up a sail. It was later spotted by a Chinese patrol ship and nine fishermen on board together with the boat were taken to the Tru Cau island of the Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago for shelter. 

On the afternoon of the same day, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Ho Xuan Son met Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Sun Guoxiang, requesting that China soon verify and confirm the information for Vietnam to safely bring the boat and its crew home at the earliest. 

According to the Vietnamese Embassy in China, at 17:30 (Vietnamese time) on October 16, 2010, the Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed that China took fishing boat QNg 66487 TS and its nine-member crew to an island of the Hoang Sa archipelago. 

The Chinese side has provided food and drinks, the embassy said. However, due to the bad weather, the fishing boat and its crew will have to stay on the island for the next few days, said the embassy. 

The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry said it would have exchanges with China to safely bring fishing boat QNg 66487 TS and its nine-member crew home as soon as possible.

Source: Vietnamplus

Source: QDND

Storms continue ravaging central provinces

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Storms continue ravaging central provinces

QĐND – Sunday, October 17, 2010, 20:41 (GMT+7)

Over the past three days, central provinces from Nghe An south to Quang Nam saw heavy rains. Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Binh reported a rainfall of up to 600-700mm.

Ha Tinh is facing the worst flooding of the Ngan Sau river in a century with rainfall in its Huong Khe district hitting 800m. The 12 districts and city of Ha Tinh have been badly flooded and. Huong Khe and Vu Quang districts are completely submerged.

On the morning of October 17, many households in the outskirts of Nghe An’s Vinh city were 0.2-1.5m deep in water.

Floods caused traffic congestion on National Highways 1A, 15A, and Ho Chi Minh, and many provincial roads in Ha Tinh. Many of these roads were submerged at many points; some were even under 2.5m of water. Many tracts of National Highways 15 and Ho Chi Minh in Quang Binh were also submerged under 0.5-2m of water.

In Thua Thien-Hue, whirlwinds destroyed 60 houses of the local Pahy and Van Kieu ethnic minority groups, killing one man.

Ha Tinh reported two deaths, including a pupil swept away by floodwaters.

All motorboats of the local police, border guards, and the Military Zone No 4 have been deployed to rescue and evacuate local people and provide them with instant noodles, rice, drinking water and lamps.

The National Centre for Hydrometeorological Forecasting reports the rivers in Nghe An, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam provinces are rising alarmingly.

Meanwhile, Bui Le Bac, an official of the Ha Tinh provincial committee for preventing floods and storms, said that it continues to rain which creates many complications.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

French concert supports Vietnamese dioxin victims

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 10:24 pm

French concert supports Vietnamese dioxin victims

QĐND – Sunday, October 17, 2010, 20:41 (GMT+7)

Le Perreux-sur-Marne in the suburbs of Paris hosted a solidarity concert on October 16 in support of Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange/dioxin.

The event, co-hosted by Jazz Bond Association, Orange Dihoxyn and Orange Fleurs d’espoir, involved both Vietnamese and French amateur composers and singers, who performed soulfully for Vietnam and its dioxin victims.

Vu Thi Xuan Phuong, President of Orange Fleurs d’espoir, said this is one of many charitable activities held annually in France to help the handicapped in Vietnam’s Ninh Binh and Quang Tri provinces and Ho Chi Minh city.

All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Vietnam’s dioxin victims.

A project to build an ecological treatment camp in Ninh Binh province for mentally retarded children was introduced during the concert.

A week of international unity with Vietnamese children suffering from the effects of Agent Orange will take place in France from November 13-21.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Efforts to sustain poverty reduction

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Efforts to sustain poverty reduction

QĐND – Sunday, October 17, 2010, 20:41 (GMT+7)

Vietnam has tried very hard to reduce its poverty rate and assist the poor and the Vietnam Fatherland Front has held the ‘Day for the Poor’ for ten years.

The movement has made very encouraging achievements through active response from various groups of Vietnamese people, organizations and businesses inside and outside the country.

The movement has mobilized many resources worth trillions of Vietnam dong to assist the poor with production materials and food between crops. The Fund for the Poor has helped to build almost one million houses for more than four million poor people.

Tens of millions of poor people have received money to buy bicycles and pay for education. They were also given regular and emergency medical treatment. Millions of poor households were granted preferential credit whiles tens of thousands of poor people received free vocational training.

They have also been provided with free health insurance cards and legal assistance.

The State has continually written and issued comprehensive policies to cover the basic demands of the poor and has many different channels for assistance.

However, more is still needed to maintain the results of poverty reduction as many people who have escaped from poverty are in danger of relapsing, especially after natural disasters, epidemics or economic shocks. Under the new criteria for poverty from now until 2015, Vietnam will have 3.3 million poor households or about 15 million poor people.

One measure that has been effective in addressing this issue is using mass media to raise public awareness and encourage poor people to rise out of poverty.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

French workers take to the streets as airport fears ease

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 10:26 am

French trade unions staged another massive day of protests Saturday to defend their right to retire at 60, but fears of fuel shortages crippling Paris airports eased as supplies resumed.

Although government estimates of the turnout at the rallies suggested the movement might be losing steam, unions warned that strikes are spreading to more businesses and that a new nationwide protest would be held Tuesday.

Tension has been building since record demonstrations earlier this week with strikes in refineries cutting off fuel supplies to Paris airports and with high school students joining older workers to condemn pension reform moves.

But fears that planes would be grounded at France’s main hub Charles de Gaulle eased as pipelines resumed supplies.

“The fuel supply of the Paris airports resumed Saturday afternoon, which keeps the threat of a shortage away from Roissy-Charles de Gaulle,” said the head of the French civil aviation authority, Patrick Gandil.

People demonstrate in Paris as part of a national day of mass rallies against pension reform.

Nantes in western France became the first airport in the country to cancel flights due to shortages, Gandil said, although a Nantes airport official said there had been no cancellations due to fuel shortages.

According to the interior ministry, 825,000 people took to the streets of towns and cities across the country on Saturday, the lowest official total since protests against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan began in September.

Unions estimated the turnout at “around three million”, arguing that the numbers were around the same as a previous protest on a Saturday two weeks earlier, and labour leaders insisted the campaign would go on.

“The movement is taking root and growing in terms of the number of companies hit by various forms of strike as in the number of employees taking part in the action,” the powerful CGT union said in a statement.

Sarkozy’s works and pensions minister, Eric Woerth, insisted however that there had been a “significant drop-off” in the number of people taking part from the 1.2 million the government said had marched on Tuesday.

“There were, nevertheless, still lot of protesters. That underlines the government’s duty to explain this reform better,” he said.

Labour wants to force Sarkozy into backing down on his plan to raise the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62, which is in the final days of its journey through a parliament in which the right wing leader enjoys a comfortable majority.

“We’re prepared to demonstrate under the snow if it takes that long,” Airbus worker Stephane Thibault, 37, told AFP at a demonstration in the southern city of Toulouse.

“We’re mobilised, everyone seems motivated. With right-wing governments, we know you have to resist,” he said.

Around 30 people were arrested in central Paris after a group of several hundred anarchists set rubbish bins on fire and threw smoke grenades, but they were prevented from interrupting the main march.

Strikes have shut down 10 out of France’s 12 oil refineries, despite riot police being dispatched to fuel depots to protect deliveries amid panic buying.

The government has given oil companies permission to tap into their own emergency stocks, but has resisted calls to use government-controlled strategic reserves.

Finance Minister Christine Lagarde told RTL television that only 230 service stations out of 3,000 had run dry of fuel. “We have several weeks of fuel stocks,” she insisted.

Nevertheless, reporters found several filling stations shutting down.

“We don’t have any left and we don’t know when the next delivery will come,” said a petrol station worker at a hypermarket outside Paris who gave his name as Jean-Claude. “Petrol reserves are also extremely low.”

Strikes against pension and port reforms at oil depots in the south of the country since September 27 have left 63 oil, gas and chemical tankers waiting off the Mediterranean coast on Saturday, Marseille port authorities said.

French truck drivers are also set to join the protests. “There’s impatience, the guys are saying ‘let’s go’,” said transport union chief Maxime Dumont.

Railway operator SNCF said that on average two out of three high-speed TGV trains were running in and out of Paris, although only one TGV in four outside the capital. The Paris metro was running normally.

Source: SGGP