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Posts Tagged ‘time’

Report: Over 20% of foreign visitors return to Khanh Hoa for 3rd time

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:16 am

According to a survey from Khanh Hoa Province’s Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism, more than 20 percent of 600 international visitors return to the central coastal province for the third time.

Foreign travelers visit Nha Trang City in Khanh Hoa Province. (Photo: Sggp)

In addition, 23 percent (138 travelers) visit the province for a second time.


Khanh Hoa received over 390,000 foreign visitors last year, presenting an increase of about 30 percent.

The visitors mostly come from the UK, France, Russia, the US, Australia and New Zealand. Seventy-four percent of tourists spend their holidays at the seaside and visiting friends. The other type of visitor is looking for business opportunities.

Every visitor spends about VND8.2 million (over US$400) on accommodation, restaurants and shopping, and entertainment services.

Source: SGGP

San Diu folk songs fade with time

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:13 am




San Diu folk songs fade with time


QĐND – Thursday, December 30, 2010, 20:37 (GMT+7)

The folk singing of the San Diu ethnic group in the northern province of Tuyen Quang is fading with time, worry local elders.


The folk lyric singing, known as Soong Co, is rarely heard now, even in Ninh Lai commune, Son Duong district, where the form was believed to have originated. Over 70 percent of the population of Ninh Lai commune are of the San Diu group but few young people can now sing the songs.


“I even don’t know how to speak the San Diu language, let alone sing the traditional songs,” say some teenagers in the area.


Do Van Huong, 66, is one of the rare remaining locals who still can, and he recalls the memories of his youth and falling in love with his wife, Hoang Thi Suu, during nights of singing Soong Co.


“Back then, men who couldn’t sing Soong Co will not have been able to find a wife,” said Huong. “In springs, when farmers weren’t so busy in the fields working, young people always joined singing festivals.”


Teams of singers travelled around, stopping at every village and recruiting more members at each stop, he said.


“The lyrics are simple spoken language, yet they contain melodies inside,” said Le Thi Long, 61, from Ninh Lai. “People loved to sing Soong Co since, through the songs, they could speak out their feelings and hopes.”


While young people sang the songs to find lovers, old people used them to teach the youth about the merits of the ancestors and good behaviour, Long said.


According to Nguyen Viet Thanh, director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, teens from local ethnic groups no longer wear traditional clothes, speak ethnic languages, or have even grown up in homes of traditional design.


The customs of other ethnic groups in the province were also fading, Thanh said, including the Long Tong (Field Work) Festival of the Tay ethnic group, the Cap Sac (coming of age) ceremony and Tet Nhay (New Year’s Dance) of the Dao group, the Nhay Lua (Fire Dance) of the Pa Then group, and the Sinh Ca songs of the Cao Lan group.


The province has begun a project to preserve these cultural values, with a budget of up to 3.8 billion VND (1.9 million USD). The project includes research on the cultural values of seven ethnic groups in 45 villages in the districts of Na Hang, Son Duong, Chiem Hoa, Yen Son and Ham Yen.


From that research, the most endangered heritage will be prioritised for preservation efforts, with some local festivals to be reconstituted in conjunction with economic and tourism development efforts.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Down time

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2010 at 9:28 am




Down time


QĐND – Monday, December 20, 2010, 21:26 (GMT+7)

Office staff in Vietnam rarely work all day, preferring instead to put their computer access to their own use.


When people think of office staff what springs to mind is usually nicely dressed men and women coming in and out of tall office blocks where they spend their days hard at work. Many are, indeed, very responsible employees and even spend more than their normal eight hours a day at the office to complete unfinished tasks. It’s also true, though, that many others adopt bad habits at their place of work, which lower productivity and cost their employer. Accessing social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, playing games or browsing through shopping websites are among the most common. This occurs with office staff in nearly all companies in Vietnam, as they generally have access to computers and their bosses can’t keep an eye on them all day every day.


Cimigo – an independent team of marketing and brand research specialists – recently completed a survey on net citizens among nearly 3,000 internet users in six cities in Vietnam (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Can Tho, and Nha Trang). It revealed that the most common occupations of internet users are executives, office staff, professionals, and factory and retail workers. Some 40 per cent of internet users can be classified as white-collar workers and 13 per cent blue collar. The Cimigo report also shows that internet users in Vietnam spend considerable time online. During weekdays, the average user is online for 2 hours and 20 minutes. The most common place to access the internet is from home, but access at work has increased in recent years and become the second most common place for users, according to the report.


Moreover, in a pocket survey conducted by VET of more than 30 office staff in Hanoi, all said they never spend the full eight hours working. Ms Nguyen Thi Ngan, who works for a research centre in Hanoi, said she usually works for about six hours a day. “The other times I socialise with other staff, eating and drinking, or access Facebook and other social networks to relax,” she said. Her colleagues and even her manager were the same. “My friend posted her wedding photos on Facebook a few days ago and I spent hours looking at them and posting comments before taking care of some urgent work,” Ngan admits.


Ms Le Thi Chi, a staff member at a tea company in Thai Nguyen province, also only works about six hours a day. There isn’t much for her to do, she explained, and her salary is not high, so “I don’t want to spend too much time working,” she said. “I have a baby now so I usually look at websites on taking care of children or at shopping websites to find nice and original clothes. Facebook is also a favourite, because I can chat with friends.” She added that sometimes she spends nearly all day shopping online and leaves her work for the next day.


Though their choice of websites may differ, men are no better when it comes to spending time at the office not working. They tend to play games and download films, software, and songs. Mr Nguyen Van Hien, an assistant to the director of a construction company in Hanoi said: “I usually have to translate documents for my director from Vietnamese to Korean and vice-verse, and this is very stressful. I can’t focus on translating all the time, so I often play games online to relax or watch funny videos or listen to music. I don’t know what the other staff here do, but I’m sure they also don’t spend the whole day working.”


“This is a real problem in every office, not only in Vietnam but also around the world,” said Ms Nguyen Thi Dinh, Head of the Personnel Department at a company distributing foreign wine. “I know that the staff at my company don’t work all day. But it is very difficult to watch them all the time. I think companies have no other choices but to ‘live’ with the situation and accept it.” Her company has blocked access to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but staff always find a way around it and, besides, there are other websites they can access and it’s simply not possible to block all of them.


It’s very difficult for companies to monitor their staff’s every move, so the opportunity will always be there for them to spend time on personal pursuits. “I think the most important solution is for companies to have polices to raise awareness and responsibility among staff about doing their job, as well as giving them more work to do on a higher salary,” suggested Ms Dinh.


Source: VNN


Source: QDND

Russians protest Kremlin time zone plan

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2010 at 10:27 am

Several dozen people on the Russian Pacific coast on Saturday rallied against a Kremlin plan to cut the number of time zones to further the sprawling country’s economic integration.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev delivers a speech as he presents the Federal Security Service flag in Moscow on December 17, 2010.

President Dmitry Medvedev surprised the country last year when during his state-of the-nation address he suggested cutting the number of time zones in order to improve coordination across Russia.


At the time of his announcement, the country spanned 11 time zones from Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea to Chukotka on the Bering Sea and earlier this year the number of time zones fell to nine.


Under the Kremlin plan, the country’s Primorye region on the Pacific is to go from being seven hours ahead of Moscow to six next year after Medvedev’s initiative was rubber-stamped by a local legislature.


Most local residents are however unhappy about the move which would mean reduced hours of daylight in the evening and several dozen campaigners including from opposition parties gathered in central Vladivostok to protest against the plan.


Some of the slogans spotted at the rally read “We are not vampires. We do not want to live at night” and “The president’s message: outrun and outdo time.”


In nearby Sakhalin region, which is also seven hours ahead of Moscow, campaigners have already collected several thousand signatures against the Kremlin initiative.


Medvedev has said eliminating time zones could help the residents of some remote Russian regions but critics have derided his idea as silly and proof that he is a weak leader incapable of implementing substantive reforms.


Russia was divided into 11 time zones in 1919. The Soviet Union introduced daylight saving in 1981 and it has continued ever since.


The elimination of the time zone will be accomplished by having residents not set their clocks forward when Russia switches to daylight savings time in March.


Galina Medvedeva, a deputy representing the Communist party in the local legislature, said at the protest the plan did not take people’s opinion into account.


“If they cancel switching from summer to winter time then it will be getting dark in our region virtually in the middle of the day,” she added.


The remote region bordering China has tight economic ties with Asia and its residents often scoff at the Kremlin’s initiatives, their independent streak sometimes manifesting itself in mass rallies unseen in central Russia.


In 2008, authorities had to dispatch riot police all the way from Moscow to break up a protest against higher tariffs on used imported cars.

Source: SGGP

Cashew export value to reach 1b USD for first time

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:26 pm




Cashew export value to reach 1b USD for first time


QĐND – Thursday, December 16, 2010, 21:3 (GMT+7)

The cashew industry is expected to top the 1 billion USD mark in export value this year for the first time, helping the country maintain its position as the world’s leading cashew exporter for the fourth consecutive year, the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas) says.


The industry was predicted to export 198,000 tonnes of cashews, earning 1.14 billion USD for this year, said Nguyen Thai Hoc, Vinacas chairman. Exports would jump by 11.8 percent in volume and 34 percent in value against last year.


A year-on-year increase of 32 percent in value to 1.5 billion USD was projected for next year, Hoc said.


“It might be difficult to hit this target because the industry may lack raw materials and workers for processing export products. It may also have to struggle due to low product diversification and increased processing costs.”


“However, Vinacas hopes that the business environment at home and abroad will help the industry reach next year’s target,” he added.


The association had already completed a draft development strategy for the cashew industry by 2015 and towards 2020 to submit to the Government and other relevant ministries and sectors, Hoc said.


According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the industry exported 179,000 tonnes of cashew in the first 11 months of this year, worth 1 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 11 percent in volume and 31.9 percent in value.


The average export price of Vietnamese cashew jumped by 27 percent to 6,000 USD per tonne compared with the same period last year, said Hoc.


Vietnam ‘s cashew nuts are exported to 52 countries and territories, including the United States , China and the European Union.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Local businesses borrow at any costs for booming time at yearend

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 10:05 am

Financial experts said many businesses would be willing to borrow money at the current rates as they need large sources of capital at the end of the year, which is expected to be a booming time of the local retail market.

A cash teller (left, in blue) talks with a client at the Asia Commercial Bank (Photo: Minh Tri)

At some commercial banks, deposit rates reached 15-16 percent per annum last week, while lending rates for businesses and individuals are up to 17-19 percent and more than 19 percent.


Some small and medium enterprises disclosed lenders’ current lend rates remained much lower than unofficial sources’ ones, which can be up to 3-4 percent per month or 48 percent per annum.


High interest rates showed commercial banks’ credit growth last month was a little bit slower than previous months, according to Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the State Bank of Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City branch.


He expected the banks’ more steady liquidity combining with local firms’ large demand for capital this month will put the growth rate back on track.


However, the central bank’s HCMC branch noticed in a report that interbank rates still reply mainly on the state-owned lenders. Commercial banks and financial firms are often clients of the state-run lenders. The interbank rates therefore will increase rapidly if  the state-owned banks, in some cases, refuse to give loans to commercial lenders, the report said.


The state-owned lenders mostly have to say no to commercial banks or financial firms, whose plans on using capital are risky and unreasonable.


Economists said many lenders’ growth rates nearly reach their annual target, so they will be unwilling to loan more.


The credit growth rate of the Military Bank was 5 percent higher than October’s rate and rose 50 percent so far this year. The lender had to slow down last month’s growth rate as they were afraid it would surge over this year’s target, an officer at the bank said, without providing how much the targeted rate is.


The state bank’s HCMC branch expected credit growth rates this year would rise 25 percent year-on-year to VND699.81 billion (US$35 million), and the deposit would increase 27 percent year-on-year to VND766.25 billion ($38.3 billion).


However, some banks will likely to miss their target. Asia Commercial Bank, known as ACB, said the number of personal loans was small because of the high interest rates. Other commercial lenders said they still accepted personal loan applies, but would offer the loans next year.

Source: SGGP

It’s not a good time to buy gold now, experts say

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 10:04 am

Gold traders were hesitate on investing more in the precious metal as the physical gold carried high risk of losses in the last two weeks, analysts said.

(Photo:thanhniennews)

The global gold price’s trading band fluctuated in low rates last week, closing at US$1,350 per ounce. The local price meanwhile remained unchanged at VND36 million per tael.


The gap was narrowed on the fact that Vietnam’s central bank has granted more quotas to import gold by year-end, in a bid to cool domestic gold prices and interest rate jumped to 16-18 percent per annum.


Gold experts expect the global gold price will reach the resistance level of $1,424 per ounce as it closed at $1,410 per ounce last weekend.


They also recommended that gold was overbought, so investors should be cautious in restructuring their investment portfolio.


Local gold price remained around VND300,00-400,000 higher than the global one. However, the local price will likely to retreat on imported gold tax rate of zero percent, interest rate of 16 percent per year and the recover of the stock market.


Gold traders expect the global price will make corrections this month, which is the festival season at many foreign countries around the world.


Experts also predicted that the yellow metal will remain the best asset class with high profit rate in the upcoming time as the global gold price will likely to hit the level of $1,600 per ounce.


Global gold on a rise
The global gold price opened at $,353-1,357 per ounce and closed higher at $1,414 per ounce last week on a job report. Statistics showed the number of non-agriculture jobs last month increased only 39,000, much lower than the expectation of 140,000-155,000 jobs, while unemployed rate rose unexpectedly to 9.8 percent.


Gold steadied on Monday after rising nearly 2 percent in the previous session to above $1,400 an ounce, with a struggling U.S. dollar that pushed silver to its highest since early 1980 likely to spur more buying from investors, according to Reuters.


Any signs of a weaker U.S. economy or heightened tensions between the two Koreas could also bolster gold, while worries about euro zone sovereign debt remain on investor minds.
South Korea started live-fire naval exercise on Monday, despite Pyongyang’s warnings against conducting the drills in disputed waters off the west coast of the peninsula.


Spot gold rose to $2.15 an ounce to $1,416.50 by 0709 GMT, having hit a low around $1,408. Gold had risen as high as $1,415.36 on Friday as the dollar tumbled following disappointing jobs data in November.


Bullion hit a record high around $1,424 an ounce in November.

Source: SGGP

Farmers earn big time from selling catfishes to US

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:33 am

The Gulf of Mexico oil spill problem rocketed price of exported catfish fillet to the US market, helping local farmer to gain big profits.

(Photo: http://www.dangcongsan.vn)

“We are taking pretty good profits from the surging catfish prices,” said Nguyen Van Mung, a catfish farmer in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap.


Local seafood producers exporting catfish fillet to the US market bought small catfishes with an average weight of 750-850 gram strongly at very high prices, he said.


“Farming costs this year was reduced significantly as we sold young catfish,” Mung said, adding that this year’s harvest time was 1-2 months sooner than previous years.


Mung gained a net profit of more than VND2 billion (US$100,000) from selling 700 tons of catfishes at the price of VND22,000 ($1) per kilogram, the highest gain in the last three years.


It usually takes farmers 6-7 months to farm catfishes for European and Asian markets. The US people preferred small catfishes, which are around 4-5 months old, so the profit from this market is better, Mung said.  


“Catfish farmer can make a profit of VND3,000-4,000 per kilogram from the current price offered by seafood exporters,” said veteran farmer Nguyen Van Thanh in the adjacent province of An Giang.


Statistics showed that export turnover of Vietnam’s seafood in October rose 20 percent year-on-year to $532 million. The turnover in the first 11 months of the year reached to the highest ever of $4.5 billion, only $3 billion lower than the year’s target. Analysts said the exported catfish fillet price of $4-4.2 per kilogram would ensure a booming harvest to local farmers.


However, the Mekong Delta Agriculture and Rural Development Department warned that farmers still have to deal with many problems after this year’s harvest time, including the lack of reinvestment and the increase in costs of fish foods and medicine.


Farmers said most of them had to borrow money from banks as it cost a huge investment of VND18-20 billion to breed 1,000 tons of catfishes. Borrowers can now expect to pay 16-18 percent interest on loans, up from 13-14 percent just a few weeks ago.


Banks favor co-operatives
The current lending rate of 16-18 percent is the biggest obstacle for local exporters, said Nguyen Van Dao, director of the seafood maker Go Dang. Some exporters said many lenders were not willing to offer loans to them.


Asia Commercial Bank (ACB)’s Can Tho Province branch, meanwhile, said they still loaned catfish exporters. But they restrained to provide loans for individual farmers, who they struggled to supervise.


The branch said they could consider to loan farmers, who cooperate with co-operatives outsourcing for seafood producers. 

Source: SGGP

Best Time to See the Leonid Meteor Shower Is Now

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2010 at 7:25 am

Time for banks to pay back to tax payers, UK expert tells seminar

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2010 at 5:41 am