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Interest rates expected to drop in 2011

In Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 7:14 am

Interest rates are expected to go down this year because they are presently too high and cannot rise any higher, an economist has said.

Transactions conducted at a Southern Bank branch in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: SGGP)

This year has seen skyrocketing interest rates due to the soaring inflation in 2010, with savings interest rates and lending interest rates being 14 percent per year and 17-18 percent per year respectively.
According to economists, the rates are already too high for enterprises; therefore, it is unlikely that interest rates will go any higher.
Enterprises and commercial banks have hoped that the State Bank of Vietnam will regulate interest rates in compliance with the Law on Credit Institutions, which took effect early this year.
Banks said that this will give them the flexibility in adjusting interest rates in accordance with foreign exchange rates and inflation.
Economists said the interest rates will drop by the end of the first quarter of 2011, because demand for production and business funds from various enterprises will decrease after the Tet holiday.
In addition, banks will be able to mobilize funds from residents more easily. This is because the inbound remittance will increase, and people will have more money in cash.
Therefore, banks might reduce their lending interest rates to 15-16 percent by the second quarter of 2011.
Some commercial banks said they cannot lower the interest rates yet, because the expenses for mobilizing funds are still very high.
However, they said they can offer lower rates to their regular client base.
The central bank said early this year that it will use the prime interest rate to curb high interest rates, but not as a monetary policy management tool.  
The bank will focus its management on refinance, open market operations (OMO) and rediscount rates.
The central bank said OMO rates will be flexible and be adjusted to market rates.
Deputy general director of a joint stock bank said that to lower interest rates and stabilize the monetary market in 2011, drastic solutions will have to be taken to contain inflation.
Economists said there should be a special mechanism concerning small commercial banks.
They said for the long run, interest rates for the dong should be floated in the government’s direction. However, in abnormal market conditions, the central bank must regulate market interest rates.
The central bank also said that it has targeted credit growth at 23 percent for 2011, two percent lower than last year, and loans will be prioritized for the production sector.

Source: SGGP

MICE tourists expected to soar

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Furniture export expected to achieve more than US$4 billion

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2010 at 8:23 am

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

Colombia, Venezuela leaders expected to renew ties

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2010 at 11:22 am

BOGOTA, Aug 10, 2010 (AFP) – Colombia and Venezuela were expected to reestablish ties Tuesday as their leaders meet to try defuse a diplomatic crisis over accusations Caracas is harboring Colombian guerrillas.

Colombia’s new President Juan Manuel Santos moved swiftly after his inauguration on Saturday to seek to end the simmering dispute between the two neighbors.

He was to meet his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez in Santa Marta, Colombia, on Tuesday, at the site where South American independence hero Simon Bolivar died in 1830.

Santos told Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva by telephone late Monday that the two countries were to resume ties “in the coming hours,” a presidential spokesman in Brasilia told AFP.

Tuesday’s meeting aimed to restore trade and diplomatic links broken by Chavez on July 22, after the former Colombian government of Alvaro Uribe claimed that some 1,500 guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and National Liberation Army (ELN) were operating in Venezuela.

Relations between Colombia and Venezuela already suffered in July 2009, when Chavez froze ties after Bogota agreed to give the United States access to seven military bases to fight cocaine production and trafficking.

Colombia’s Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin (L) listens to her Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro during a joint press conference after a meeting in San Carlos Palace on August 8, 2010 in Bogota. AFP PHOTO

Many observers saw the change in the Colombian leadership as an opportunity to defuse tensions that saw Chavez order troops to the border last Friday.

“The difficulty in the relations had a lot to do with the problems between presidents Chavez and Alvaro Uribe and the change of government in Colombia makes it possible to open doors,” said border expert Ricardo Abello from Colombia’s El Rosario University.

“I’m a great optimist regarding the building of peace between Venezuela and Colombia,” Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Monday.

Colombia and Venezuela share a vast land border of more than 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles), and bilateral trade represented some six billion dollars in 2008.

Colombian exports however fell more than 70 percent between January and May this year, compared to the same period in 2009, according to official figures.

In his inaugural address, Santos — who was nonetheless defense minister under Uribe — called for “frank and direct” dialogue with Chavez.

Chavez responded by calling for Colombian guerrillas to free hostages and give up their armed conflict.

Santos also has moved to improve relations with Rafael Correa, Ecuador’s socialist president and a Chavez ally.

As defense minister, Santos ordered a cross-border raid on a FARC camp in Ecuador in March 2008 that killed the guerrilla organization’s number two, Raul Reyes, at a cost of its relations with Quito.

Santos has now turned over Reyes’ captured laptop computer in a conciliatory gesture.

Uribe, a political conservative and staunch US ally, is still facing off with leftist Chavez, after leaving office on Saturday.

Uribe’s former attorney said Monday that the ex-president was willing to testify against Chavez in a case filed at the International Criminal Court on behalf of Colombian victims of FARC violence.

Jaime Granados said that the case was filed last Friday along with another against the Venezuelan state at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Both cases related to the alleged presence of FARC guerrilla camps in Venezuela.

Uribe late Sunday used his Twitter account to call on Chavez to stop insulting him, urging the leftist leader to “stop being a coward by hurling insults at a distance.”

Chavez slammed Uribe just after he left office as a “lackey of the Yankee empire,” and said that during his eight years as president he took Colombia down the path of “blood and war.”

Source: SGGP

Projects expected to benefit disadvantaged people

In Uncategorized on July 16, 2010 at 8:45 am

The World Bank and the State Bank of Vietnam July 15 signed a credit of USD$ 100 million to create the Project Preparation Technical Assistance Facility Project, which will aim to speed up and improve the preparation phase public projects and curtail implementation delays that have become commonplace. 

Public investments in Vietnam generally, and infrastructure investments in particular, often face difficulties in keeping to schedule and are frequently delayed.

By the end of 2008, US$11 billion in funds from the Official Development Assistance (ODA) not yet been disbursed, and this figure could well increase unless project start-up delays are substantially reduced. This delay in investment implementation deprives the Vietnamese economy of substantial economic and social benefits.

As development projects will continue to be in high demand in all economic and social sectors, this new program has been designed to improve quality at entry, shorten preparation periods and increase the capacity of government agencies and the national consulting industry to produce project preparation documents of good quality within an acceptable timeframe.

“By improving the speed and quality of preparation work, the project is expected to accelerate project start-up and disbursements, thus enabling beneficiaries to quickly realize the economic and social benefits from investments supported through the project,” said Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank Country Director for Vietnam.

The project is expected to be implemented from October 2010 to October 2015.  Funding for the project comes from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s source of funding for low-income countries.

Source: SGGP

City expected to reach target of three million international visitors this year

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Ho Chi Minh City, the big tourism center in Vietnam, attracted 1.5 million foreign visitors in the first six months of the year, producing revenue of over VND40 trillion (US$2 billion), making the target of achieving three million foreign tourists a promising prospect, said Deputy Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism on July 8.

Ho Chi Minh City welcomes 1.5 million foreign visitors in the first six months of the year, producing revenue of over VND40 trillion (US$2 billion). (Filed photo)

A ceremony was held in Ho Chi Minh City to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam’s tourism sector and 35th anniversary of establishment and development of the city tourism.

Speaking at the ceremony, Thang lavishly praised the city’s efforts to make tourism a key sector, attracting a large of international visitors each year.

Seven out of country’s ten top-ranking travel companies are in Ho Chi Minh City, said Thang.

The Vietnamese tourism now contributed to about 5 per cent of GDP but its actual contribution to the society was far greater. The industry now ranks 5th among ASEAN countries with 3.7 million international visitors in 2009.

Vietnam is expected to welcome 4.2 million international visitors this year, Thang said.

The country has signed 43 international tourism treaties with countries in the region and globally, many of which represent Vietnam’s key markets, such as China, South Korea, Japan, ASEAN nations, France, Spain, Italy and India, the Vietnam Administration of Tourism (VNAT) deputy director Nguyen Manh Cuong said.

Vietnamese enterprises have entered partnerships with more than 1,000 travel agencies in over 60 countries and territories.

By the end of 2009, there were nearly 800 Vietnamese international travel companies in operation, including 70 State-owned enterprises and more than 10,000 others providing inbound tours.

On the same day, the city’s Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism opened an exhibition named “Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Industry – 35 years of Establishment and Development,” at Lam Son Park.

The exhibition will run through July 16.

Source: SGGP

Huge crowds expected for Poland crash memorial

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2010 at 11:07 am

Hundreds of thousands of mourners were expected Saturday at a memorial for victims of Poland’s air crash tragedy, as a volcanic cloud threatened to keep world leaders from the president’s funeral.

The service, in a historic Warsaw square that has previously hosted papal masses, comes a week after a plane carrying president Lech Kaczynski and 95 others crashed in Russia, killing all on board.

Sirens wailed and church bells rang across Poland Saturday at 8:56 am (0656 GMT), the exact time a week ago when a plane crash in Russia killed the Polish president and 95 others.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus delivers a speech during a memorial mass to honour Poland’s late president Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria at the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague

Cars on the streets in the centre of the capital Warsaw drew to a halt and pedestrians stood still solemnly, as a day of commemoration began for what has been called the nation’s worst peacetime tragedy.

Kaczynski and his wife are set to be buried on Sunday in the southern city of Krakow. But the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland that has disrupted air travel could prevent dignitaries including US President Barack Obama from attending.

Sirens are set to wail and church bells will ring across the country at exactly 8:56 am (0656 GMT), the time a week ago when the plane came down in what has been dubbed Poland‘s worst peacetime disaster.

In Warsaw, the four-hour memorial service starts at noon in Pilsudski Square, which is also home to Poland’s tomb of the unknown soldier.

It has been the traditional site of national events including a vast mass held by late Polish pope John Paul II when he visited his deeply Catholic homeland in 1979.

During the past week mourners have covered the square with coloured candles, while a huge stage with black and white photos of the dead has been set up.

In a bitter irony, the presidential jet came down while carrying a delegation to a ceremony for the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre, when 22,000 Polish officers were slaughtered by Soviet forces in World War II.

The crash scythed through the upper echelons of Polish society: victims of the crash included the country’s military chief, the heads of all three armed forces, the governor of the central bank and the head of the country’s Olympic committee.

Iconic opponents of the country’s former communist rulers were also on the plane, as well as relatives of Katyn victims.

After the mass in the square on Saturday, the closed coffins of Kaczynski and his wife Maria, who have been lying in state in the presidential palace since Tuesday, will be taken to nearby St. John’s Cathedral.

Warsaw’s Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz will lead a service followed by an overnight vigil.

The bodies will arrive in Krakow on Sunday morning for the funeral in the cathedral of Krakow’s hilltop Wawel castle, where Poland’s past kings and national heroes already lie.

But the attendance of foreign leaders including Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was in doubt after Poland joined other European nations and closed its airspace on Friday due to the spreading volcanic ash cloud.

Almost 80 foreign delegations had been due to land at Krakow airport Sunday.

Kaczynski’s family have insisted the funeral go ahead as planned on Sunday.

The government meanwhile said there had been no cancellations by foreign leaders so far.

“To a large degree it all depends on which way the wind blows,” Krakow city spokesman Filip Szatanik told AFP.

The family’s earlier decision to bury Kaczynski, a divisive political figure in life due to his conservative, nationalist policies, at Wawel castle sparked protests and a Facebook campaign during the week but they have died down.

His identical twin brother Jaroslaw, who served as prime minister between 2006 and 2007, could stand in early presidential elections expected on June 20.

One opponent could be the likely liberal candidate and current interim president Bronislaw Komorowski.

Russian and Polish investigators are continuing to probe the cause of the crash. Russian officials said that they suspected pilot error following the first analysis of the black box recorders of the Russian-made Tupolev Tu-154.

Source: SGGP

Int’l fireworks contest expected to attract 70,000 visitors

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2010 at 4:15 am

Int’l fireworks contest expected to attract 70,000 visitors

QĐND – Saturday, March 27, 2010, 21:10 (GMT+7)

Crowds of people are flocking to the Han River in Da Nang City to watch the international fireworks contest to be held on the evening of March 27.

Over 70,000 visitors are forecast to spread through Bach Dang, Tran Hung Dao and 3-2 streets, and the road in front of the Cham Museum.  

The festival, costing a total of VND24 billion, promises to be a golden opportunity for travel agencies to increase their profits.

Along Bach Dang street, 200 stone statues by two famous sculptors based in Da Nang, Tien Hieu and Nguyen Hung, are being displayed to show the talent in Non Nuoc village. Flowers are also showing off their beauty and the combination of the stone and the flowers is very attractive to viewers.

Tourists will have the opportunity to visit sightseeing places in Da Nang City such as Ba Na Mount, the Son Tra peninsula and Ngu Hanh Son (five marble mountains), and see 25,000 flower garlands and coloured lanterms released in the evenings of March 27-28.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Economy outlook “better” than expected: bankers

In World on September 8, 2009 at 5:25 pm

The global economy is stabilising and the outlook is better than previously expected, leading central bankers said after a meeting on Monday.

“It’s already known a number of projections have been slightly revised up, confirming that we probably are … out of the period of freefall which had marked the last quarter of last year and the first quarter of this year,” said Jean-Claude Trichet, speaking on behalf of the G10 top central bankers.

“That is something which seems to be confirmed at the global level — stabilisation, better projections than previously anticipated,” he added.

In recent weeks, a whole series of data has pointed to an overall improvement in the global economy but officials have been cautious, warning that any recovery remains fragile while unemployment is still rising.

Trichet noted that the central bankers from industrialised and emerging economies meeting at the Bank for International Settlements agreed that “we were observing a confirmation of some better indicators than previously anticipated.”

However, the central bankers also urged “prudence.”

“We have to remain prudent and cautious that it is not excluded that we will have a bumpy road ahead and that alertness remains of the essence,” Trichet said.

Tourist boats are seen sailing past under-construction casino and hotel buildings in Singapore

“We are not yet at the level of functioning of global finance that we can consider normal,” he added.

Trichet, who is also president of the European Central Bank, cited complacency as a risk, noting that it is “extremely important that … we are doing all what is necessary” to prevent a repeat of the crisis.

He also pointed to other risks, including protectionism, as well as imbalances — domestic and external — that plague the global economy.

“The domestic imbalances are reflected in terms of pure accounting by the external imbalances and the reverse,” said Trichet.

“We are thinking of the rebalancing of domestic strategies that would permit precisely to reduce the level of these imbalances — whether deficits or surpluses … to be sure that we don’t pave the way for further difficulties in the time ahead,” he said.

Economists have repeatedly warned about the scale of the widening US budget and trade deficits, especially with China.

The White House has projected a 9.05-trillion-dollar deficit for the 2010-2019 period, a two trillion dollar increase from the February estimate made a month after Obama took office and confronted the worst economic slump in decades.

Analysts say such a gap can thwart long term economic growth.

Meanwhile, the politically sensitive gap with China, the second-largest US trade partner, swelled to 18.4 billion dollars from 17.5 billion dollars in May, hitting the highest level since January.

Critics have accused the Asian powerhouse of keeping its currency artificially low to gain a trade advantage.

Monday’s meeting in Basel included the G10 group of central banks as well as others but officials declined to say how many or which ones took part.

Source: SGGP