PM highlights strategic trust at Shangri La Dialogue
PM Nguyen Tan Dung delivers an opening keynote speech (Source:VNA)
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has called for the building and reinforcement of strategic trust for peace, cooperation, development and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region on the basis of international law.
Delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 12 th Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore on May 31, Dung emphasised the upholding of responsibilities of all nations in the region, especially major powers.
The PM stressed that above all, the most important factors in building strategic trust are honesty and sincerity in the relations and cooperation among countries as well as in cooperation in dealing with common challenges in the region.
He highlighted the indispensable role and contributions of an unanimous and united ASEAN and its central role in many multilateral cooperation forums.
Regarding the East Sea issue, PM Dung affirmed the significance of peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the East Sea.
ASEAN and China need to raise high their responsibility and work together to reinforce strategic trust, with the first evidence of this being the strict implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and efforts to build a Code of Conduct in the East Sea at an early date in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), said the PM.
He said that ASEAN and its partners can work together to develop a feasible mechanism that could guarantee maritime security, safety and freedom in the region, helping maintain peace, stability and development cooperation in the region and the world.
The Vietnamese Government leader stated that Vietnam consistently pursues a foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralism and diversification of relations, being a friend and reliable partner of all nations, and a responsible member of the international community.
Vietnam has spared no efforts to build and deepen mutually beneficial strategic partnerships and cooperative partnerships with other countries, said PM Dung, stressing his country’s desire to establish strategic partnerships with all the permanent members of the UN Security Council once the principles of independence, sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of each other, mutual respect, equal and mutually beneficial cooperation are committed to and seriously implemented.
He affirmed that Vietnam ’s defence policy is that of peace and self-defence. “Vietnam will not be a military ally to any country and will not allow any country to set up military bases on Vietnamese territory, and will not ally itself with any country to counter another”, he said.
On the occasion, the Vietnamese leader also announced that Vietnam has decided to take part in United Nations peace-keeping activities, firstly in engineering, army medical care and military observation.
Initiated by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the annual Asia Security Summit, or Shangri La Dialogue, was first held in 2002.
It is a venue for leaders, policymakers and scholars across Asia-Pacific to discuss regional and global situations, strategic orientations for regional security, measures to promote defence cooperation and enhance mutual understanding and trust.
This year’s event will bring together government leaders, defence ministers and top security analysts from 27 Asia-Pacific countries, including 10 ASEAN member nations and others such as China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, the US, Russia, Canada, the UK and France.-VNA
Thứ Sáu, 31 tháng 5, 2013
Thousands feel force of Can Tho River landslide
CAN THO (VNS)- Thousands of local residents were affected by power cuts and transport problems caused by a serious landslide that destroyed a 70-metre long section of the concrete embankment along Can Tho River in Can Tho City early yesterday morning.
According to residents of Cai Rang District's Hung Thanh Ward, high tides on the river at the time contributed to the collapse of the 18-metre-wide embankment.
Nguyen Khac Phu, a resident who lives near the landslide area, said he had heard a loud sound that apparently came from electrical wires that had been hit.
When he ran out of his house, the entire embankment section had already sunk into the river.
According to local residents, the 70-metre concrete section was completed three months ago.
Dao Anh Dung, deputy chairman of Can Tho City's People's Committee, asked local authorities to hire independent agencies to investigate the causes of the landslide and correct the problem.
The construction of the embankment was approved in 2007 with investment capital of VND710 billion.
The entire project was expected to be completed in 2010, but due to land clearance problems, there is still work to be done.
The landslide swept away one electricity pole and damaged six electricity meters.
Nguyen Duy Dam, a local resident, said his one-tonne boat sank when the landslide occurred. - VNS
BUSINESS IN BRIEF 1/6
Monetary policy contributes to macro-economic stability
The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV)’s monetary policy management has contributed significantly to macro-economic stability and inflation control, said Cao Sy Kiem, Chairman of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises.
Kiem made the remark at a recent press conference hosted by the SBV on the issues related to enterprises’ access to bank loans, lending interest and non-performing loans (NPLs) resolution.
He held that in the context of difficulties in the economy, the central bank has managed the monetary policy in a flexible and prudent manner and achieved encouraging results such as lower interest rates, stable exchange rate, increasing official reserves, and stable credit performance.
In response to the Government’s directions, especially Resolutions No.01 and No.02, the SBV has managed the monetary policy effectively. As a result, in the first four months of 2013, lending interest rates have been continuously reduced by 2-4 percentage points. Particularly, the lending rate for five priority sectors has been cut down to 8 -10 percent and a number of enterprises have borrowed loans with interest rates of 7.5-8 percent. As a matter of fact, the prevailing interest rate is now back to the level of the 2005-2007 period.
According to economists, interest rate has not been seen as a dominant factor constraining enterprises to get access to bank loans, but the main reason for that problem is the large amount of inventory goods due to the low purchasing power of customers.
“The main problem today is not the interest rates, but the capital absorption of the economy,” Kiem said. “In order to help enterprises sell out inventory goods, it is necessary to enhance the aggregate demand and purchasing power of the economy.”
Dao Van Hung, Director of the
Therefore, he called for coordinated efforts to synchronously implement various measures with a focus on the monetary and fiscal policies.
He also said that the steps of interest rate management conducted by the SBV are appropriate. The interest rate management should be based on target inflation, and interest rate reduction can only be realised when inflation rate falls.
The targeted inflation rate in 2013 is about 6.5-7 percent and the current interest rates are proper, hence contributing to both meeting businesses’ capital demand and protecting the benefits of depositors, he said.
In his address, SBV Deputy Governor Le Minh Hung said that on May 21, 2013, the Prime Minister signed a decree on the establishment of the Vietnam Asset Management Companies (VAMC).
Through the acquisition and resolution of NPLs, he added, VAMC will contribute to reducing debt repayment pressures and assisting businesses in solving temporary financial difficulties.
According to Kiem, both enterprises and commercial banks need to be proactive in solving difficulties, but not only relying on the VAMC.
In order to thoroughly resolve NPLs, he said, businesses need to restructure themselves more appropriately, and consolidate and strengthen their management and governance.-
Vietnamese banks’ outstanding loans rise 4.75%
Vietnamese banks’ total outstanding loans in Vietnamese dong have risen 4.57% during the five months ending May 22 compared to the end of last year, the State Bank of
Credit in the banking system in both Vietnamese dong and foreign currency also rose 2.29% during the same five-month period when compared to the same period a year earlier.
A central bank official said that credit growth may reach 2.5-3% by the end of May, which he said is a positive sign since it shows that outstanding loans are rising.
According to the central bank, a number of financially sound firms with feasible business plans can borrow from banks at 7-8% per annum.
In other matters the official also stated that Vietnamese dong deposit rates of many commercial banks are currently lower than the cap imposed by the SBV, averaging 5-7.5% for short-term deposits and 8-10% for deposits with terms of 12 months or longer.
This was announced on May 28 by the bank, which added that 2013 is the third consecutive year that HSBC Vietnam has been honoured with the award.
The award is attributed to the significant investment that HSBC Vietnam has made in upgrading its pricing and distribution platform as well as providing the best services and innovative solutions to satisfy clients’ requirements, said HSBC Deputy Managing Director Pham Hong Hai.
HSBC Vietnam is the first 100 percent foreign-owned bank to provide an e-platform for the onshore foreign exchange market.
According to Hai, the bank has also greatly benefited from foreign currency exchange specialists, who thoroughly study the market and provide regular currency forecasts.
He noted that the anticipated monthly reports such as “
In 2012, Euromoney named HSBC as Best Domestic Cash Management Bank in
Euromoney, a London-based financial communications company, is one of the world’s leading publication for the global banking and capital markets.
A forum on trade and investment was held recently in
Addressing the forum, Ambassador Tung introduced
Tung also described
Delegates at the forum said that
The Vietnamese embassy representatives gave participants at the forum 200 sets of documents introducing
Many potential customers said they are keen to import Vietnamese goods such as bicycles and spare parts, electronics and components, information technology, ceramics, rice, garments and textiles.
US$1bn target for fruit and vegetable exports within reach
The Vietnamese Fruit and Vegetables Association (Vinafruit) predicts that the country’s fruit and vegetable export value is likely to hit US$1 billion in 2013.
The global financial crisis has severely impacted exports including tra fish, frozen shrimp, and rice. From 2007, fruit and vegetable exports have often seemed the agricultural sector’s best hope, maintaining double-digit growth.
The United Nations Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) notes that the international demand for fruit and vegetables increases by an annual average of 3.6 percent. The annual 2.8 percent increase in output lags behind.
Like rice, cashew nuts, and seafood that have risen to US$1 billion over the past decade, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) says fruit and vegetable export turnover is likely to hit the US$1 billion landmark by 2015.
According to Vinafruit, businesses earned US$305 million from fruit and vegetable exports in 2007, US$407 million in 2008, US$628 million in 2011, and US$829 million in 2012 - an average growth rate of 25 percent per year.
An Giang Fruits, Vegetables, and Foodstuffs Joint Stock Company (Antesco) Director Huynh Quang Dau noted export turnover has increased by 17 percent in the first four months of 2013.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MARD) Plant Protection Department has worked on removing the technical and trade barriers that prevent fruits like dragon fruit, rambutan, and longan from penetrating the lucrative US, Japanese, and Australian markets. As of June 30, the EU will grant
The MARD said the US$1 billion target is achievable this year if businesses can meet the Good Agricultural Practice (GlobalGAP) standards and conduct post-harvest preservation activities.
Former New South Wales Ministry of Agriculture Advisor Dr. Nguyen Quoc Vong, says in international trade transactions,
Despite fruit and vegetable exports capitalizing on
Farm produce was crucial to the national economy successfully weathering slow international growth in 1997 and since 2008. But periodical fluctuations are unavoidable. Over the past two years, all key agricultural exports have taken a hit, with rice exports bearing the brunt of the difficulties. Efficiency over the long term is another pressing issue.
Some key fruits and vegetable exporters are still optimistic with the recent opening of markets like the
Thanh Long Hoang Hau Binh Thuan Co. Ltd Director Tran Ngoc Hiep says dragon fruit export volume has grown by 20 percent in the first four months of this year, with value surging 30 percent against the same period in 2012.
Pharmed and Healthcare Vietnam 2013 to be held in HCMC
The 8th Vietnam International Medical and Pharmaceutical Exhibition (Pharmed & Healthcare Vietnam 2013) will be held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre (SECC) in
The event is the most prominent annual activity for domestic and foreign healthcare and pharmaceutical enterprises to interchange experiences, expand their markets and seek new business opportunities.
This year’s Pharmed & Healthcare Vietnam will focus on pharmaceutical products, medical equipment and supplies, laboratory technology and beauty care products.
A series of seminars on hospital waste management, the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, and orthopedic surgery will also be held during the event.
The 7th Pharmed & Healthcare Vietnam 2012 was successful, featuring more than 550 stalls representing 300 businesses from 21 countries and territories.
Fair boosts trade links with Mekong Sub-region
As many as 200 businesses including Cambodian companies are promoting their products at a trade fair which kicked off on May 28 in Xuan To industrial zone, Tinh Bien district in the southern An Giang province.
Tinh Bien - An Giang International Trade Fair 2013, now in its seventh year, evolved from a border trade fair.
The event saw the presence of over 500 booths, introducing a wide range of items such as agricultural and aquatic products, foodstuff, household appliances, garments and textiles, machinery, construction materials and tourism products.
The fair gave domestic businesses, especially those in the Mekong Delta region a chance to increase investment cooperation with other partners in the Mekong Sub-region, paving the way for the formation of a trade route from the Mekong Delta provinces of
During the six-day fair, a number of events are scheduled to take place, including a seminar on trade connectivity in the Mekong Sub-region and other cultural, artistic and culinary activities.
Energy capacity affects Intel’s Vietnamese expansion plans
Energy capacity is the biggest risk factor hindering expanding Intel’s Vietnamese investment activities.
Intel Products Vietnam General Director Sherry Boger said this at a seminar in
Intel is focusing on developing Vietnamese leadership staff and human resources with the ultimate aim of consolidating Intel Products Vietnam as one of the Intel Group’s strongest manufacturers, Boger said.
Intel has coordinated with Vietnamese agencies to organise a cooperative technology training program over the 2013–2017 period, a Master of Engineering Program at RMIT Vietnam in the 2013–2020 period, and a teacher training program for Intel instructors themselves.
Addressing the seminar, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Minh Hong committed his ministry to fostering a better investment environment for Intel and other foreign IT enterprises operating in
Hong also expressed a wish that Intel will expand its Vietnamese production and trade activities and help enrich the country’s developing business community.
Seminar discusses intellectual property rights
Intellectual property in the global trade environment and its importance to local businesses were discussed at a seminar in
Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan told seminar attendees that intellectual property regulations in recently negotiated free trade agreements (FTA) will present Vietnamese businesses both opportunities and challenges.
Vietnamese consumers may have to pay higher prices for products under the protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs). But Vietnamese businesses could themselves benefit from the protection of comprehensive IPRs, thwarting the spread of fake consumer goods and protecting the reputations of
Vietnamese intellectual property laws are currently being strengthened to ensure IPRs will be protected in line with international standards.
Vietnamese businesses have paid no or little attention to respecting IPRs and have yet to capitalise on their potential benefits.
Economic expert Vo Tri Thanh recommended, businesses concerned by IPR enforcement should focus on attracting talent, something that would also hone their competitive edge in terms of global markets.
Mobile retailer takes on foreign investors
However, Chairman of the Gioi Di Dong (Mobile World) Investment Joint Stock Company Nguyen Duc Tai did not reveal how much CDH Electric Bee Ltd and Robert A Willett, former CEO of Bestbuy International, were each buying or what they paid for the shares.
Willett will also act as strategies adviser to the company.
He said he chose to invest in Mobile World because it has a “good leadership team”, the mobile sector is growing and a “great place to be in” and
Mobile World claims that in April it had been valued at US$100 million.
Domestic businesses demanded an anti-dumping investigation into a number of imported steel products.
According to the Vietnam Competition Authority (VCA) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), two local firms - Posco VST and Hoa Binh Innox – have sent legal dossiers asking to levy anti-dumping taxes on cold-rolled stainless steel imported from
Vietnam’s ordinance on anti-dumping tariffs on imported goods into Vietnam stipulates that the legal dossiers will be handled within 60 days, and the final decision will be made by the MoIT on whether it will conduct the investigation or not.
Last year, the Ministry of Finance imposed anti-dumping taxes on steel and hot sheet imported from
Leading Vietnamese and French experts gathered at a
Fabrice Mauries, French Consul General in
Projects to build four out of eight planned urban railway lines are underway in
Experts also discussed issues related to urban railway development, such as possible ticket and fee collection system options, future-proofing, planning for public transport infrastructure, risk management, and train interior dimensions.
HCM City Urban Railways Management Authority Vice Director Hoang Nhu Cuong acknowledged urban railways are new to
The seminar provided a good opportunity to introduce Vietnamese experts to the latest advances in urban railways and development.
It also helped French experts gain a better understanding of
Small scale livestock breeding under threat
According to a survey by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in the southern
Better breeding chicken and livestock methodologies and advanced technology has helped FDI companies lower their cost price.
When pork price falls to as low as VND38,000 a kilogram, FDI businesses still profit while breeding farms lose VND2,200 a kilogram and households around VND5,000 a kilogram.
A kilogram of white industrial chicken fetches only VND14,000, causing a loss of VND8,000 to FDI companies, but for breeding farms it is upto VND17,000.
Officials from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Binh Dinh Province said that blue ear disease and bird flu occur annually, resulting in both price fall and reduction in scale of breeding each successive year.
The number of small scale farms is still high, providing 65-70 percent of total output. Since 2003, diseases have mainly occurred in small scale farms run by households while large scale farms have been able to protect their chicken and livestock with advanced methods.
Nguyen Xuan Duong, deputy head of the Livestock Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that pig and chicken breeding has dropped by 2-2.5 percent over the same period last year and by 3-4 percent for buffaloes and cows.
Nguyen Van Bac, deputy head of the
Dr. Bac has proposed to group households in cooperatives that authorized organs will organize training courses to provide them with breeding knowledge and measures to prevent diseases. They will also help breeders apply advanced technologies to reduce cost price.
FTA opens doors for garment industry in Vietnam
EU market was the second largest consumer of garments and textiles from
The US, EU, and Japan markets have been key markets of Vietnam’s garment and textile industry for several years with the US as the largest importer, EU market following next and Japan at third place. In 2011,
By the end of last year, garment and textile exports to the
When the global financial crisis broke, the EU market got the strongest hit. In 2011, garment and textile imports of EU were about $260 billion, but dropped to $240 billion in 2012. Forecasts said that the figure would fall to $234 billion this year. Garment and textile exporters to EU market, such as
Export data in April this year showed that
Currently, total garment and textile imports of
Experts said that a slump in consumption in EU market was affected by economic difficulties. However, EU remained a lucrative market due to its appeal of the world’s largest market where people are willing to pay big money for clothes.
In the past five years, with an export growth rate of 32 percent,
Vietnamese companies and EU importers are expecting an increase in garment and textile exports to EU market when the Free Trade Agreement between
According to Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, current average import tariff of EU on
Garment and textile companies said that despite a slump in exports to EU market, they still prefer to make products for this market as among export markets,
Among current four key export markets,
Only 30 percent job-switchers find better job
According to Tran Anh Tuan, deputy director of Center for Manpower Demand and Labor Market Information, in the first five months of this year, among skilled job-switchers, only 30 percent job-seekers found a better job.
Twenty percent were self-employed, and the rest were temporarily unemployed or had a job with low salary. Their situation was not better than recent graduates.
This June, a huge number of new graduates will join the labor market, increasing labor supply. However, most recruiters look for skilled employees so 50 percent of these graduates who lack experience and soft skills will find it hard to find a suitable and stable job. Many of them are expected to be unemployed or will have to do a job that they are not trained for or work at jobs that are inappropriate to their training.
Authorized organs have inspected and revoked hundreds of projects which are running far behind schedule in
The move is in response to a resolution passed by the City People’s Council on urban planning, which includes examination of sluggish ongoing projects.
According to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, they have decided to put an end to 100 projects covering an area of 1,630 hectares that have been planned since last year.
Besides this, the Department has reduced scale of area of eight other projects and extended the deadline to implement 50 projects until December this year.
The revoked projects are those in which investors have completed less than 50 percent of area compensation. The extended projects are those in which investors have already compensated 50 percent of the area.
The Department and local authorities might invite other investors who are qualified enough to restart the revoked projects. In other words, they might permit the continuation of the projects on the already cleared spaces.
Nguyen Trong Hoa, head of the HCMC Institute for Development Studies, highly appreciated the City’s efforts to tackle slothful run projects. This in turn will return legal rights to residents and speed up progress of other ongoing projects.
However, he said that the City should study use of land areas better in these revoked projects.
Primate party to boost tourism drive
A Monkey Party will be held at
The event is being held to mark the national Sea and Island Week. It will be the first such party for the 1,200 monkeys that inhabit the island.
A local official said the number of the monkeys was only a few hundred in 1991, adding: "We want to send a message that environmental protection pays off."
The 35ha island hosts around 1,000 tourist a day. A fleet of 17 power boats and three speed boats will serve visitors with the 10-minute trips to the island at a cost of VND70,000 (US$3.30) for a return ticket.
The island is also an ideal place for camping with tents along beaches and bungalows.
A ‘Monkey Party' to boost Sea week
A Monkey Party will be held at
The event is being held to mark national Sea and
"From a few hundred monkeys in 1991, we have bred the number up to 1,200 monkeys," Nhieu said. ‘For the party, we have prepared trays of fruit and a stage for music and dance performances from 8am.
"We want to send a message that environmental protection pays off," she said.
The 35ha island hosts around 1,000 tourist a day. A fleet of 17 power boats and three speed boats will be standing by for the 10-minute trip to the island at a cost of VND70,000 (US$3.30) return each.
The island is also an ideal place for camping with tents along beaches and bungalows.
IP rights protection is good for business
Companies that use intellectual property protection may face a few problems in initial implementation, but in the long-term it would improve competitiveness in both local and international markets.
The advice came from a ministry official who was speaking at a seminar held in
Nguyen Quan, Minister of Science and Technology, said that intellectual property rights were a "power tool" for socio-economic growth that many companies had used in an effective way.
Quan was attending at a seminar organised by the Business Association of High-Quality Vietnamese Goods, the National Office of Intellectual Property of Viet Nam and Tia Sang magazine.
Companies employing IP protection effectively have been able to create prestigious trademarks, which have added to their market share and revenue, he said.
As a member of the World Trade Organisation, in recent years,
Quan said that protection of IP rights had enabled the country to deeply integrate into the world economy.
"Accepting higher requirements on IP protection will create challenges for enterprises when they have to pay higher expenses for IP rights-related activities, while local consumers must pay higher prices for IP-protected products," he said.
Pham Phi Anh, deputy head of the National Office of Intellectual Property of Viet Nam, agreed.
"Applying for trademark registration and design registration could be expensive, and with limited financial capacity, local firms, mostly small- and medium-sized ones, do not always have the money to protect their IP rights beyond their borders," he said.
However, these are only short-term negative impacts. Effective IP protection, in the long-term, would create a healthy business environment for both local and foreign enterprises in the domestic market, limiting production of fake and imitation goods as well as actions violating IP rights in the market, he added.
Institute for Economic Management, said that "effective IP rights protection is a critical requirement to boost technology transfer, promote creativity and innovation, and bring more benefits to consumers".
Delegates at the seminar said enterprises had become more aware of IP rights protection and made efforts to protect it, but many others have not paid much attention to it.
Representatives of many enterprises, including Viet Tien Garment Company and Thang Loi Company, said they had encountered difficulties to protect their IP rights because of other producers copying their designs and trademarks. They asked for better support from government agencies.
Hoang To Nhu, deputy head of the HCM City Department of Science and Technology's IP Office, said: "The situation related to IP rights' violations has become complicated, causing difficulties for authorities."
Nhu called for close co-operation between authorised agencies and enterprises to better deal with violations and protect the legitimate benefits of firms who had registered IP protection for their inventions, trademarks and industrial designs.
Quan said the ministry was working with other ministries and agencies on a series of measures to help firms protect their IP rights more effectively.
Brokerages fail to use cash efficiently
Securities firms currently have significant amounts of cash, but they are not using it efficiently.
The total amount of cash and cash equivalents in 95 securities companies reached nearly VND20.26 trillion (US$964.7 million) in the first quarter, increasing VND135 billion ($6.4 million) compared to the beginning of this year, according to ttvn.vn. This figure does not include deposits categorised as short-term financial investments.
VP Bank Securities, Saigon Securities (SSI) and Kim Long Securities (KLS) saw the highest growth in cash, while ACB Securities, HCM City Securities (HCM) and Thien Viet saw cash supplies decline.
Looking at their financial reports, some brokerages would seem to have an abundance of cash. However, most of the total consisted of investors' deposits. Half of the cash at HCM was investors' deposits, while at VNDirect the ratio was slightly less and at PetroVietnam Securities these deposits accounted for 82 per cent of the total.
Excluding these deposits, SSI was the richest with more than VND2.76 trillion ($131.4 million), 45 per cent of which was deposited for short-term financial investment.
During the company's annual meeting last month, shareholders questioned whether high amounts of cash would affect profits as interest rates declined. SSI chairman and CEO Nguyen Duy Hung said the cash was used as a reserve to increase the number of associated companies.
The runner-up in cash was KLS with around VND1.85 trillion ($88 million), of which VND300 billion ($14.2 million) was deposited in banks and labelled as "short-term financial investment" in the company's financial report.
As interest rates have declined to only 9 per cent per year, the firm's profit was strongly affected. Net profit in the first quarter dropped 17 per cent from the same period last year to nearly VND51 billion ($2.4 million) after the "other revenue" category decreased 63 per cent.
Despite possessing a large amount of money, KLS failed to do anything outstanding. It was not in the top 10 brokers, its margin lending was not as much as HCM or VNDirect and it did not invest in other companies like SSI. Previously when KLS wanted to invest in the real estate sector, the idea was hammered by its shareholders. Therefore, the company's cash simply rested in banks.
Other brokerages with large bank deposits also had smaller profits, including Sai Gon–Ha Noi Bank Securities (SHS) – plunging 78 per cent to VND8.7 billion ($414,200) – and Hoa Binh Securities, falling 15 per cent to just VND57.5 million ($2.7 million).
Construction work starts on $14.3m fertiliser plant
Construction of a VND300 billion (US$14.3 million) fertiliser plant kicked off yesterday in the northern
Financed by Binh Dien Fertiliser Co, an affiliate of the Viet Nam Chemical Group, the plant will have an annual production capacity of 400,000 tonnes. The first phrase is expected to provide 200,000 tonnes of products.
The plant is one of the group's seven fertiliser projects, which are expected to produce eight million tonnes per year by 2015.
Quang Ngai calls for investment in Dung Quat
Prioritised industries for investment include heavy industries, seaports, petrochemicals, oil and gas, shipbuilding, support industries and wood processing, said deputy head of the EZ Management Board Le Van Dung.
To date, Quang Ngai has attracted 282 projects capitalised at VND192 trillion (US$9.14 billion). Of these, 22 were foreign-invested and are worth approximately $4 billion.
Latest draft regulations could result in more increases to the cost of electricity
Experts have raised concerns over a new draft regulation on management and adjustment of electricity retail prices that would give the State-owned Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) more power to increase electricity prices.
Under the draft, which has been recently released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, EVN would be allowed to increase electricity prices if input costs are up between 2 and 5 percent.
When input costs rise by over 5 per cent, EVN would report its proposed prices to the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Finance for appraisal.
Within five working days after receiving EVN's proposals, the Ministry of Finance would send its appraisal to the Ministry of Industry and Trade for subsequent submission to the Prime Minister for approval.
However, EVN would be allowed to adjust electricity prices if it did not receive a reply from the Prime Minister within 15 days after the Ministry of Industry and Trade submits its proposal to the cabinet leader.
Many experts said the new regulation would give EVN to much power to increase electricity prices, which could adversely affect consumers.
Dr Tran Dinh Long, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Electrical Engineering Association, said that the regulation would allow much more room for EVN to pass down costs to their customers.
"EVN should not make hasty price hikes every time their costs go up slightly, but should instead ease up on their price increases," he said.
Economist Nguyen Minh Phong said the draft regulation failed to address the issue of price decreases in case production costs fall.
"This regulation is very clear about the rights of EVN to increase their prices, but does not mention the circumstances under which prices should be lowered. The regulation seems to pay more attention to corporate interests over consumer interests," he said.-
SOE debts to be strictly controlled
The Ministry of Finance has recently publicised a draft decree on management of debts of State-owned enterprises (SOEs), which notably permits SOEs to sell their debts to a debt trading company.
If the draft comes into law, SOEs will be able to sell debts which they classify as irrecoverable to the Viet Nam Debt Trading Company at prices agreed by the two parties.
After buying debts from SOEs, the Viet Nam Debt Trading Company may reschedule debts or decide to change the applicable interest rates to suit debtors' payment capacity. It may also transfer the debts or sell the debts to another party.
Under the draft decree, leaders of SOEs would take charge for settling their enterprises' debts. In case of failing to promptly settle debts, thus causing loss to State capital, they would pay compensations from their own pockets.
In case an SOE goes bankrupt or is dissolved as the result of capital loss or insolvency which stems from the sale of debts, those who decide to sell debts would have to pay compensation and be handled according to the law and the enterprise's charter.
The draft decree also requires SOEs to develop and issue regulations on debt management, clearly defining the responsibility of each individual in monitoring, recovering and paying debts.
Within 90 days after the draft decree is promulgated, members' councils of enterprises governed by the decree would issue their internal debt management regulations.-
Government bans four kinds of e-commerce activities in effort to prevent fraud
The Government has specified four groups of activities banned in e-commerce under Decree 52/2013/ND-CP issued on May 16, which applies to traders and organisations and individuals engaged in e-commerce activities on Vietnamese territory.
As listed in the first group, activities banned in e-commerce include operating a network for marketing e-commerce services in which each member must make an initial deposit for buying a service and receive a commission, prize or an economic benefit from recruiting a new member; taking advantage of e-commerce for trading in counterfeit goods or goods and services infringing upon intellectual property rights; and trading in goods or providing services in the list of those banned from trading or provision.
The second group includes violations of regulations on information in e-commerce websites such as using false registration information or failing to comply with regulations on forms and modes of posting registration information on e-commerce websites, etc.
The third group consists of violations of regulations on transactions on e-commerce websites, including deceiving customers on these websites and faking information of other traders, organisations and individuals to join e-commerce activities.
The last group covers stealing, using, disclosing, transferring or selling business intelligence on other traders, organisations and individuals and individual consumer information which are provided through e-commerce activities without their consents, unless otherwise provided by law.
The Decree also specifies two forms of operations for e-commerce websites.
An e-commercewebsite for sale is a website set up by traders, organisations and individuals for trade promotion, sale of goods or provision of services directly to their customers.
E-commerce service provision websites are those set up by traders or organisations to create an environment for other traders, organisations and individuals to conduct commercial activities, including e-commerce trading floors, online auction websites, online sales promotion websites and other websites as specified by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
This Decree will take effect on July 1, and replace Decree 57/2006/ND-CP of June 9, 2006.
Lower registration fees lift car sales
The January-May imports represented a year-on-year increase of 13 per cent in import volume and 3.5 per cent in value, the office said.
Car importers and traders said the April 1 cut in registration fees from 20-15 per cent to 15-10 per cent had encouraged buyers, along with the loosened credits for automobiles.
They also said there was a rumour registration fees would be cut further from the current 12 per cent to 10 per cent applying in all cities, also already triggered the market.
The Viet Nam Automobile Manufacturer's Association (VAMA) reported that sales of locally assembled automobiles in April rose 4.8 per cent over March and 26 per cent over the same month last year, totalling more than 8,780 units.
For the four-month period, more than 30,410 units were sold, an increase of 3 per cent over the same period last year.
Members of VAMA also reported stable sales growth in April. The association raised its prediction of total car sales this year from 100,000 to 103,000.
Into the Mountains
One of the tunnels on the
After two days of gorging on food in
Finishing the first climb on the way to A Luoi. Michael Tatarski
Local kids. Michael Tatarski
Eventually we hit the first climb. It was short, but very steep, with a 10 percent gradient. I made it up first, covered in sweat thanks to the humid weather, and stopped to wait for the rest of the team. The mental aspect of cycling is even more important than the physical part, and it was great seeing everyone gather at the crest of the incline to cheer on the rest of the riders, giving them a much needed boost.
After another stretch of climbing I reached the first of the day’s two downhills, and it was terrifying. The brakes on our $200 Chinese-made road bikes were terrible, and I could barely slow down as I tore around corners. The road was rough, with plenty of potholes, and I never knew what was coming from the opposition direction thanks to all of the twists and turns.
Thankfully everyone made it down safely, and we stopped for lunch at a rundown restaurant, where the sight of 20 foreigners attracted a crowd of local children. It was obvious from the way they looked and spoke that they were from the area’s minority groups.
Ready for a descent on the way to P’rao. Michael Tatarski
After lunch it was time to tackle the second climb, which was made all the more difficult because the road was simply gone. A new highway with several bridges is being built to span a valley, and the old road is now nothing more than dirt and sand. The bewildered looks from construction workers were amusing, but the sheer drops off the side of the road were not. It took a couple hours of sweat and effort to slog through the climb, and the descent at the end allowed us to blast into pleasant A Luoi, where we feasted on bun thit nuong for dinner.
The following day was even more challenging. We had a 105km cycle to P’rao, with a handful of tough climbs thrown in for good measure. The heat was becoming a factor as well, as the skies had finally cleared and we had no choice but to ride under the blazing sun.
One good thing about this stretch of the ride was the scenery, which is simply stunning. We were right along the
After plenty of climbing there was a hairy descent, where hairpin turns took our bikes to the limit. It was exhilarating, but also rather scary. We all knew that if we lost control at 50kph we would be in serious trouble, and a long way from any medical help.
Scenery near the
After the downhill the road curved right back up for another solid hour of climbing. I was out front with another rider, and storm clouds were beginning to move in. We finished the climb and raced back downhill, trying to beat the rain to the next village. After going 85km and seeing almost no buildings, we finally reached a town and stopped for food. As the rest of the team pulled in we learned that a severe thunderstorm had hit when they were in the middle of the last descent, which sounded awful. The storm then caught up to us, and we had to wait out the downpour in the restaurant.
Once the rain finally let up we got back on the road for the final 20km to P’rao. Everyone was exhausted by the time we reached town. It had been a tough day, full of blazing heat, intense rain, steep climbs and death-defying descents, but we had made it.
Huge steel project puts Quang Ngai into dilemma
The Quang Nam provincial authorities have released the decisions to revoke the licenses granted before to 12 investment projects because of the investors’ slow implementation.
The drastic moves taken recently by local authorities show
However, it’s not an easy case, while the Quang Ngai provincial authorities still don’t know what to do with it.
Other localities might be very jealous of Quang Ngai province when it attracted a huge investment project to the local Dung Quat Economic Zone in 2007. The project, promised by Tycoons and E-United had the initial investment project of $1.05 billion, which later was raised to $3,3 billion after the project changed its name to Guang Lian – Dung Quat, and then to $4.5 billion.
However, after the impressive ground breaking ceremony was held, the project has been immovable over the last six years. In the latest news, the investor, Guang Lian, which has cooperated with Japanese JFE, has asked for the permission to delay the project implementation until July 2014.
The land area reserved for the steel project remains a deserted land with several concrete stakes, while the mill area has been used by local farmers to tend oxen.
In order to have clear land for the project, about 700 hectares after many times of the project scale adjustment, the local authorities had to take a large land area from local people.
Especially, in order to create most favorable conditions for the investor, the local authorities allowed the investors to use the Doc Soi –
The Guang Lian – Dung Quat is an A-class project, which means that the Quang Ngai provincial authorities have to spend big money to clear the site for the project and give clear land to the investors. Meanwhile, big investment incentives have been offered by the local authorities which hoped that the project, once operational, would create thousands of jobs.
However, to date, the local people have not got any benefits from the project. They, after receiving the compensation from the local authorities, have become redundant because of no land for cultivation.
Le Xuan Dung, Deputy Head of the Dung Quat Economic Zone’s Board of Management, admitted that the board does not trust in Guang Lian any more. However, he said, the local authorities have been put in the dilemma: it’s impossible to stop the project, while it’s very difficult to continue it.
Though repeatedly breaking the promises on the project implementation, the investors have recently demanded 23 hectares of land more, which is located in a newly licensed port area.
The latest promise by the investor to kick off the project in July 2014 has once again, brought hope to the local authorities. However, no one can say for sure if the investors, who many times broke the promises over the last six years, would fulfill what they have committed.