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VN Council for Sustainable Development makes debut

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2010 at 1:58 pm




VN Council for Sustainable Development makes debut


QĐND – Friday, December 17, 2010, 20:53 (GMT+7)

Vietnam’s Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD) officially made its debut in Hanoi on December 17.


The council comprises of 18 founding members, including Holcim Vietnam, BP, Unilever, Rolls-Royce Vietnam International Ltd., Dragon Clean Development, the Hanoi Trade Corporation, the Coal and Minerals Industry Corporation, SaigonTourist Group and the Standard Chartered Bank.


It aims to assist domestic and foreign businesses who try to carry out sustainable development strategy in Vietnam.


Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Doan Duy Khuong said the council was an important initiative and would open up new opportunities and attract many domestic and foreign businesses. It intends to build a strong and dynamic Vietnamese business community to contribute more to socio-economic development, poverty reduction and hunger eradication and environmental protection.


The council is part of the business forum for sustainable development.


Source: VNA


 


Source: QDND

ASEAN Symphony orchestra’s debut in Vietnam

In Uncategorized on October 31, 2010 at 10:12 am

AgBank makes lacklustre China debut

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Agricultural Bank of China made a lacklustre stock market debut in Shanghai Thursday, with its shares rising only slightly, in what is still shaping up to be the world’s largest initial public offering.


The last of China’s “Big Four” state banks to go public is on track to raise a record 22.1 billion dollars in a dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong that has put a spotlight on investor confidence in the world’s number three economy.


AgBank chairman Xiang Junbo called the IPO an “important step” towards the bank becoming a “global, first-class commercial” institution, before striking a gong for the start of trade with Shanghai Communist party chief Yu Zhensheng.


“We are relatively satisfied with today’s stock prices, which reflect investors’ positive views on AgBank’s current status and outlook,” the bank’s president Zhang Yun told reporters shortly after trading began.

Tourists are seen outside a building housing the key Shanghai branch of the Agricultural Bank of China located on the historic Bund, in the coastal city.

AgBank makes its Hong Kong debut on Friday.


The opening days of trade could signal whether the bank will maximise the number of additional shares it can offer to make IPO history, beating Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s 21.9-billion-dollar offering in 2006.


But after some analysts predicted a major jump in prices after the debut, shares ended the morning session at 2.70 yuan — up just 0.80 percent from the IPO price of 2.68 yuan, but lower than the opening price of 2.74.


“The performance is weaker than expected,” Shen Jun, a strategist at BOC International (China) Ltd, told Dow Jones Newswires.


Yan Li, a Beijing-based analyst with Southwest Securities, agreed AgBank was unlikely to soar.


“We didn?t expect it to shine on the first day,” Yan told AFP.


“It will end the day roughly flat, the same as the opening level, because the lender and regulators cannot afford the embarrassment of it falling below the IPO price on the first day,” she predicted.


China is on track to be the world’s biggest IPO market this year with up to 300 companies expected to raise 500 billion yuan (close to 74 billion dollars) this year, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.


The total number of AgBank’s IPO shares is not yet known and will be determined by its market performance.


A strong start will mean AgBank will fully exercise its over-allotment options by selling an additional portion of up to 15 percent of the number of shares initially issued for the IPO — making it the world’s largest.


AgBank said Thursday the Hong Kong portion of its IPO was nearly six times oversubscribed, but did not indicate if it would fully exercise the over-allotment option.


The bank was founded two years after Mao Zedong’s 1949 communist revolution, with a mission to lend money to China’s poor farmers and distribute state money in rural areas.


But heavy exposure to China’s poverty-stricken interior meant that mission was frustrated by decades of chaotic policies, leaving it awash with bad debt.


Despite Beijing’s efforts to salvage AgBank by wiping more than 345.8 billion yuan from its books, it remains the weakest of China’s big banks and it remains to be seen whether it can shift from policy bank to profit-oriented company.

Zhang told reporters on Thursday he expected AgBank’s full-year profit for 2010 to rise 30 percent on year and hinted at the bank’s future ambitions by saying it would build a strong international network.

AgBank’s stock market debut came after Fitch credit ratings agency warned of growing risks in China’s banking system.

The agency warned in a report that complex deals were obscuring hundreds of billions in loans and possibly concealing a new batch of bad property and infrastructure lending.

AgBank’s Hong Kong sale nevertheless drew almost a dozen heavyweight investors, including Qatar’s sovereign investment fund, British bank Standard Chartered and Hong Kong’s richest tycoon, Li Ka-shing.

The biggest investor in the mainland issue was China Life, the nation’s biggest life insurer by premium income.

A total of 40 percent of the mainland shares went to 27 cornerstone investors — mostly state-owned entities ranging from Cofco Ltd, China?s main grain producer, to China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp to the operators of the Three Gorges Dam.

Source: SGGP

Apple’s iPhone 4 makes world debut

In Uncategorized on June 25, 2010 at 4:43 pm

SAN FRANCISCO, USA (AFP) – Apple fans mobbed stores in Japan, Europe and the United States on Thursday to become the first owners of the latest-generation iPhone despite early complaints of antenna problems.


Hundreds of people queued up outside the Apple store in downtown San Francisco, where one person reportedly sold a premier place in line for 400 dollars and another swapped a spot for an iPhone 4.

Customers check out the new Apple iPhone 4 as they wait in line to buy their own at an Apple Store in Miami Beach, Florida. AFP

An Apple employee pushed a cart heaped with Krispy Kreme doughnuts, bottled water and coffee for a throng that stretched several city blocks.


Some online complaints about iPhone 4 signal strength being hampered by a troublesome antenna design did not deter those waiting in the queue.


“It’s all rumors until we get them,” Robert Freedman of San Francisco said as he waited to get his hands on an iPhone 4 to replace a model he had “beat the heck out of.”


“People are walking out with them and saying they are using it and everything is fine,” Freedman said.


Features feeding the iPhone 4 frenzy include high-definition screens and “Face Time,” which uses a forward facing camera to enable video chat.


“I’ve been an Apple head since I was a teenager,” said Richard Polote, a 26-year-old San Francisco man who had been waiting outside the store since 2:30 in the morning.


“I feel pretty confident that whatever problems do arise, Apple will solve them in a timely fashion with upgrades or whatever.”


Some new iPhone 4 owners were chagrined to discover that cupping their new smartphones so that their palms covered the lower left corners choked off the strength of the telecom service signals, according to videos posted online.


Apple designed silver edging on handsets to be part of the antenna system to improve signal strength.


The problem could be fixed by moving one’s hand or encasing iPhones in rubber “bumper” frames that Apple sells for 30 dollars. Apple did not respond to an AFP inquiry for comment.


In Paris, Senegalese businessman Bassirou Gueye joined some 350 people queuing before the opening of Apple’s flagship store in the city, located in the chic underground shopping mall of the Louvre museum.


“I made a special trip to Paris to buy the iPhone 4. I’m interested in its high-tech features,” said Gueye, a self-avowed Apple aficionado who already owns half a dozen brand-name devices.


Some buyers in France, however, reported problems activating their new phones because of technical problems with operator France Telecom.


In Germany, there were long queues at Apple stores and phone company Deutsche Telekom complained it did not have enough handsets to meet demand.


“By lunchtime iPhones in the high tens of thousands have already been sold. In Munich we have sold out,” said Deutsche Telekom spokesman Dirk Wende.


Some 500 customers waited in line outside Apple’s flagship Regent Street store in London when it opened its doors at 7:00 am — far more than those who queued for the launch of the iPad tablet last month.


First in the doors was Ben Paton, a 23-year-old student, who had queued for 16 hours. He described the feeling of holding the new phone in his hands as “absolutely incredible, amazing.”


Japan’s eastern time zone put it first in line to sell the phone and hundreds braved sweltering humidity outside Apple’s store in the Ginza district to get their hands on the smartphone.


Ryoichi Hoshino was the first to emerge triumphantly clutching the new handset after Apple staff gave a loud countdown ahead of the release.


“I love this design,” he enthused. “I’m going to use it to watch movies and use Twitter,” he said, referring to the micro-blogging site.


The original iPhone launched in 2007 brought smartphones to the masses. Apple has sold more than 50 million of the handsets in the past three years.


But its latest version enters a crowded market full of rivals boasting bigger screens and running on Google’s open-source Android operating system, which is more accessible to developers than Apple’s tightly guarded system.


The launch of the latest iPhone has been beset by various problems culminating in the white model being delayed to the second half of July because of unspecified manufacturing difficulties.


Carriers in the United States and France were also forced to suspend early orders because of heavy demand. Apple said it had received a single-day record 600,000 orders for the new smartphone.


The new iPhone will be available in 18 other countries in July and 24 more in August.

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Source: SGGP

Website on poverty reduction makes debut

In Uncategorized on May 6, 2010 at 4:40 pm




Website on poverty reduction makes debut


QĐND – Thursday, May 06, 2010, 21:37 (GMT+7)

A website providing information about poverty reduction in the country’s 62 poorest districts officially made its debut in Hanoi on May 6.


Ngo Truong Thi, Vice Director of the Department of Social Protection under the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), said the website is designed to provide official, timely and comprehensive information about the implementation of the government’s Resolution 30A regarding rapid and sustainable poverty reduction in the targeted districts.


Along with introducing concerned documents, the website, at http://giamngheo.molisa.gov.vn, will keep readers updated on the progress of implementing the programme as well as experiences of outstanding individuals who successfully escape from poverty.


According to MoLISA, after one year of performing the resolution, the rate of poor households in these districts dropped from 47 percent in 2008 to 43 percent in late 2009.


The government earmarked almost 5.43 trillion VND for the poor districts to carry out Resolution 30A in 2009 and 2010, reported the ministry.


Forty-two State-owned groups, corporations and businesses pledged to grant more than 2.1 trillion VND to support the districts in the 2009-2020 period, of which 723 billion VND was doled out in 2009.


By the end of the first quarter of 2010, the beneficiary districts had built over 73,000 houses for poor families, 167 district-level infrastructure projects and 520 commune-level works.


As part of the programme, a total of 180,000 poor households were provided with free-of-charge saplings and animals for farming and rice as food.


Enterprises joined hands with local authorities to send almost 1,700 poor workers to Libya, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, where they have earned a stable income of between 4-6.5 million VND a month.


In terms of personnel, 14 provinces sent 240 young officials from provincial and district-level agencies to work in the poor districts.


The programme has set a target of reducing the number of poor households in the districts to 40 percent by the end of 2010 and to the regional average by 2020.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

ASEAN commission on women’s rights to debut

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2010 at 8:00 am

A committee tasked with protecting women and children will make its official debut in Hanoi within the framework of the third conference of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council (ASCC) slated for April 7.

5 -grade pupils study Vietnamese language at Nguyen Van Troi junior school in district 4, Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: Mai hai)

At a press conference in Hanoi on April 5, Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Trong Dam, who is also Head of the Vietnamese delegation to the ASCC, said that the establishment of the Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children is one of Vietnam’s initiatives as ASCC chair in 2010.


At the conference, Vietnam and member countries of the council will propose priorities to develop social welfare for women and children who make up more than 50 percent of the ASEAN population, said Mr. Dam. They will discuss ways to cope with global challenges so as to enhance cooperation within the bloc in facing global and regional climate change and fully implementing agreements on natural disaster management and emergency response.


The conference will also discuss building human resources for economic recovery and development with the aim of reducing job loss, poverty and inequality due to the impact of economic crisis and enhancing the capability and the competitiveness of ASEAN nations’ human resources so as to adapt to labour immigration in the region and technological advances.


It will focus on assessing the implementation of the ASCC master scheme that was approved at the 14th ASEAN conference, which took place in Thailand last year.


The master scheme includes the development of individual human potential, social welfare and protection, social justice, ensuring sustainable protection of the environment and building the ASEAN character.

Source: SGGP

ASEAN commission on women’s rights to debut

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2010 at 7:58 am

A committee tasked with protecting women and children will make its official debut in Hanoi within the framework of the third conference of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council (ASCC) slated for April 7.

5 -grade pupils study Vietnamese language at Nguyen Van Troi junior school in district 4, Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: Mai hai)

At a press conference in Hanoi on April 5, Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Trong Dam, who is also Head of the Vietnamese delegation to the ASCC, said that the establishment of the Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children is one of Vietnam’s initiatives as ASCC chair in 2010.


At the conference, Vietnam and member countries of the council will propose priorities to develop social welfare for women and children who make up more than 50 percent of the ASEAN population, said Mr. Dam. They will discuss ways to cope with global challenges so as to enhance cooperation within the bloc in facing global and regional climate change and fully implementing agreements on natural disaster management and emergency response.


The conference will also discuss building human resources for economic recovery and development with the aim of reducing job loss, poverty and inequality due to the impact of economic crisis and enhancing the capability and the competitiveness of ASEAN nations’ human resources so as to adapt to labour immigration in the region and technological advances.


It will focus on assessing the implementation of the ASCC master scheme that was approved at the 14th ASEAN conference, which took place in Thailand last year.


The master scheme includes the development of individual human potential, social welfare and protection, social justice, ensuring sustainable protection of the environment and building the ASEAN character.

Source: SGGP

Ca Tru school makes debut

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 5:56 am

A school of Ca Tru (ceremonial singing) made its debut in Hanoi on March 18, helping preserve humanity’s intangible cultural heritage.


The Thang Long Ca Tru school is developed from the Thang Long Ca Tru club founded in August, 2006.








Two Ca Tru singers  are performing. A school of Ca Tru makes its debut in Hanoi on March 18, helping preserve humanity’s intangible cultural heritage

Among artists, researchers, musicians and audiences at the debut ceremony were Prof Tran Van Khe, who have made active contributions to promoting Ca Tru abroad, and music researcher Dang Hoanh Loan, who involved in developing documents on the ceremonial songs to submit for UNESCO’s recognition as the world cultural heritage in 2009.


Prof. Tran Van Khe described the establishment of the Thang Long Ca Tru school as an effort in making the art prosper and reviving a type of traditional art activity in former Thang Long.


Ca Tru (ceremonial singing) was listed as a cultural heritage in need of urgent protection by UNESCO at the fourth session of UNESCO inter-governmental committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage in Abu Dhabi September 30, 2009.


‘Ca Tru’, also known as “hat a dao” or “hat noi ” (ceremonial singing) which dates back to the 15th century, has also been listed among 12 intangible global cultural heritage traditions in danger of disappearing.


Ca Tru, like many old and highly developed arts, has many forms. However, the most widely known and widely performed type of ca tru involves only three performers: the female vocalist, a lute player and a spectator (who also takes part in the performance).


The female singer provides the vocals whilst playing her “phach” (small wooden sticks beaten on a small bamboo box to serve as percussion). She is accompanied by a man who plays the “dan day”, a long-necked, three-string lute used almost exclusively for the “ca tru” genre.


Last is the spectator (often a scholar or connoiseur of the art) who strikes a “trong chau” (praise drum) in praise (or disapproval) of the singer’s performance, usually with every passage of the song. The way in which he strikes the drum provides commentary on the performance, but he always does it according to the beat provided by the vocalist’s “phach” percussion.





Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Google-powered netbooks to debut next year

In World on November 20, 2009 at 8:36 am

 Google on Thursday provided a peek beneath the hood of its new Chrome operating system, making the software public and promising it will run netbooks by the end of next year.


Google-crafted Chrome OS will be tailored exclusively for applications hosted as services in the Internet “cloud” and debut on low-cost bare-bones netbooks that have been a booming segment of the laptop computer market.


“We believe there is a better model of computing we can give users,” vice president of Chrome OS Sundar Pichai said while demonstrating the in-progress software at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.


“That is what Chrome OS is. Speed, simplicity and security. We want Google Chrome OS to be so blazingly fast… We think it should be like a TV, you turn it on and you are in the application.”


Google is working with computer makers to build Chrome OS into netbooks to be available in stores in time for holiday shopping at the end of 2010.








Google co-founder Sergey Brin meets with the press in Mountain View, California.

Chrome OS will only be available pre-loaded on netbooks that are compatible with the software, according to Pichai.


“We are really focused on making a netbook that is lean and mean and runs the Internet really well,” said Chrome OS engineering director Matt Papakipos.


Chrome OS will eventually expand to other computing devices, but the priority is to have it in netbooks within a year, according to Pichai.


Google co-founder Sergey Brin brushed off questions about whether Chrome OS will challenge the long-time dominance of Microsoft Windows operating systems in the global computer market.


“Call us dumb businessmen, but we really focus on user needs rather than on strategies related to other businesses,” Brin said. “There is a real need to use computers easily. We believe the Web platform is a much simpler way.”


Google made the Chrome OS code available Thursday to outside developers so they could start crafting software or applications to work with the system.


The operating system builds on a Chrome Web browser which has won more than 40 million users since it was released about a year ago, according to Pichai.


Chrome OS is being built to act as a door to the Internet, where people are increasingly spending time on Web-based applications such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Gmail, and Flickr.


“If you look at the last five years, most interesting applications for computers are Web-based,” Pichai said. “It is the most successful platform out there.”


Users’ data will reside in the cloud at the online services they use, meaning that if a netbook breaks or is lost people can reconnect with their online worlds from other machines.


The netbooks will rely on flash memory, meaning they will be lightning fast as compared to machines that boot data up from spinning hard drives.


“You punch a button and are on the Web as soon as possible,.” Papakipos said.


Google has set Chrome OS netbook criteria including ample keyboards and larger screens.

Chrome OS software will be free and Google is not asking netbook makers for any of the revenue, according to Brin.

“The more people that use the Internet, the better it is for our business generally,” Brin said. “We believe in supporting this ecosystem.”

Google is the proven king of pumping cash from online advertising connected to Internet searches or services. If a netbook maker wants to use the Google brand on a device, “we will have to talk,” Brin said.

Google expects that “early adopters” who opt for Chrome OS netbooks will use them to connect to the Internet, but will have other machines for working with proprietary software not available online.

Brin sees Google’s Android and Chrome software merging over time as netbooks, laptops, tablets and smartphones converge on the hardware side.

He declined to speculate as to what a cloud computing trend might mean to Microsoft, which built its empire on packaged software.

“I’m not an expert on Microsoft. I just believe in this simple system where you work in the cloud and you are not individually tweaking each thing on each individual machine,” Brin said. “I think it is a more efficient way to work. Maybe Microsoft will adopt that model and maybe it will not.”

Microsoft has been building more cloud capabilities into its software in what it refers to as a “software plus services” strategy.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Venice-winning film to debut at home

In Vietnam Culture on September 23, 2009 at 11:33 am

The premiere of Choi voi (Adrift or Lonely), by director Bui Thac Chuyen, will be shown at cinemas in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on November 15, said a representative from Galaxy Studio, distributor of the film in Vietnam.








Actresses Hai Yen (L) and Pham Linh Dan (R) in a scene in the film Choi voi (Adrift)

After this, the film, which won the Fipresci International Critics’ Prize at the 66th Venice Film Festival, will be presented in other cities and provinces nationwide.


The film starred actress Pham Linh Dan and actor Johnny Tri Nguyen.


They will travel to Thailand with director Bui Thac Chuyen on September 23 for the 2009 Bangkok International Film Festival.


An overseas Vietnamese actor, Dustin Nguyen, has also been asked to grace the red carpet.


Choi voi will compete for the Main Competition prize at the film fest.


Eighty films from across the world will be showcased at the Thai film fest from September 24 to 30 , which has two competitive prizes, including the Main Competition for films by first and second-time directors – and the Southeast Asian Competition for films from the region.


Related articles:

Vietnamese film wins award at Venice Film Festival
Vietnamese film to compete in Venice Film Festival


Source: SGGP