Thứ Ba, 17 tháng 10, 2017

Ho Chi Minh City’s per capita income forecast to hit $9,800 in 2020

The city is set to post a yearly GRDP growth rate of 8.5 percent between 2016 and 2020

​Ho Chi Minh City’s per capita income forecast to hit $9,800 in 2020 
A night view of Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The per capita income in Ho Chi Minh City is projected to reach US$9,800 in 2020 if the city is able to maintain a healthy gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth rate of at least 8.5 percent yearly.

The numbers were announced on Wednesday last week by Tran Vinh Tuyen, deputy chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, at a conference to promote investment in the city.
According to Tuyen, the city made remarkable economic progress between 2011and 2015, recording an average GRDP growth rate of 9.6 percent yearly over the period – 1.66 times higher than the national average.
With the help of a continued transition from agriculture to industry and services, the southern hub is set to post an average yearly GRDP growth rate of 8.5 percent between 2016 and 2020, Tuyen said.
By the beginning of the next decade, services will have accounted for 56-58 percent of Ho Chi Minh City’s GRDP, he added.
Based off those projections, the city’s per capita income in 2020 is forecast to top $9,800, up 22.5 percent from a 2014 prediction of only $8,000.
 ​Ho Chi Minh City’s per capita income forecast to hit $9,800 in 2020
A night view of Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Ho Chi Minh City, which covers 0.63 percent of Vietnam’s total area, currently accounts for 21 percent of the country’s GDP and contributes to one-third of the state budget, Tuyen noted.
The city also attracts roughly half of Vietnam’s foreign visitors and 30 percent of its foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country.
In 2016, Ho Chi Minh City exported $31.8 billion worth of products to foreign markets following an average yearly export growth rate of six percent during the 2010-16 period.
By Tuoi Tre News
SCIC to auction 3.33 percent of Vinamilk stake next month

Vietnam’s sovereign fund State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) will sell 3.33 percent of the State’s capital in the Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk) on November 10 this year, the SCIC announced on October 16.

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Vinamilk’s grass for cattle feed which meets organic standards and contains no chemicals in the southern province of Lam Dong’s Don Duong District 

This is the second sale of the State’s capital in Vietnam’s biggest dairy firm, with the first also run by the SCIC in December last year.
Details on the upcoming auction, scheduled for the HCM Stock Exchange, have not been disclosed, but the advisor consortium for the sale – the Singaporean branch of Swiss financial services firm UBS AG and Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) – will advise on the sale planning, set the initial price, seek foreign and domestic investors, and organise the sale.
SCIC holds a 39.34 percent stake in Vinamilk, equivalent to nearly 571 million shares as of December 31, 2016.
In the previous deal that took place in December 12, 2016, the SCIC offloaded more than 130 million shares in the dairy firm but sold only 60 percent of them.
Singapore-based dairy group Fraser and Neave Ltd (F&N) was the only foreign investor interested in Vinamilk’s shares then. Its two subsidiaries F&N Dairy Investment Ltd and F&N Bev Manufacturing Pte Ltd spent nearly 500 million USD at the auction.
The advisory firms for the previous deal were the Singaporean branch of Morgan Stanley Asia Limited, SSI and VinaCapital Corporate Finance Vietnam Limited.
SCIC Chairman Nguyen Duc Chi said the SCIC and the advisor consortium are working to organise two non-deal roadshows abroad – in Singapore and Hong Kong. In Vietnam, the SCIC will hold a roadshow in HCM Stock Exchange on October 18.
About 24 investors in Singapore have expressed interest in the auction, along with 11 in Hong Kong. Most of them are new investors and large international investment funds which want private discussions, Chi said, adding that the SCIC has yet to receive an offer from F&N.
F&N is now Vinamilk’s largest foreign shareholder, with a total 18.74 percent of shares.
In this offering, the SCIC will not either limit the proportion of shares one investor can buy or set criteria for investors, Chi said.
With regard to the initial selling price, the SCIC chairman said: “We have not decided the price yet. We expect to disclose it about 7-10 days prior to the auction so that the starting price will be close to the market price and not affect Vinamilk’s share price.”
He said the starting price of 154,000 VND (6.78 USD) per share was suggested by the Steering Committee for Enterprise Renewal and Development but investors must wait until the auction date for the official price.
Vinamilk’s shares closed on October 16 down 0.5 percent at 148,600 VND a share. The share price has increased 18.3 percent since the beginning of this year.
The SCIC will make public the information and draft regulations on the share sale by October 21 and announce the initial selling price and receive deposits from November 1.
Regarding foreign investors’ concerns about registration procedures, SCIC Deputy General Director Nguyen Chi Thanh said the SCIC has reported to the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance, the State Bank of Vietnam and the State Securities Commission to create favourable conditions for investors to participate in the auction, such as accepting deposits in US dollar and extending time for registering transaction codes.
Listed companies shall be exempt from making a public bid but must send interest of purchase to the auction board seven days before the auction.

Government urges drastic actions to complete 2017 targets

Hanoi - The Government has urged ministries, agencies and localities to take drastic actions to complete targets and tasks for 2017. 

The Government has urged ministries, agencies and localities to take drastic actions to complete targets and tasks for 2017 (Source: VNA)
In a recently issued resolution, the Government said the national economy in January-September grew by 6.41 percent year-on-year. In the third quarter of this year, growth hit 7.46 percent.

Better growth quality and economic competitiveness, macroeconomic stability, curbed inflation, lower interest rates and higher foreign reserves have created a healthy economic picture during the past nine months, the resolution said.

However, it said, there remain challenges to socio-economic development such as poor performance of the industrial and construction sectors, an increasing number of businesses ceasing operations, and red tape in administrative procedures, plus diseases and natural disasters.

Against this backdrop, the Government has asked the State Bank of Vietnam to flexibly manage monetary policy, which should be closely combined with fiscal policy and other macro policies to curb inflation, stabilise the economy and support growth.

The bank has also been tasked with lowering interest rates, giving loans to priority sectors, facilitating loan access of small-and medium-sized enterprises, restructuring weak banks and implementing a project restructuring credit institutions in tandem with addressing bad debts.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade was requested to spur exports, intensify trade promotion, expand markets, guide enterprises how to make the best use of free trade agreements and streamline administrative procedures in exports.

The ministry should team up with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deal with trade barriers in foreign markets, the Government said, stressing the need to tighten market management, particularly during the year end and Lunar New Year holidays.

The Government urged the MARD to ensure growth in rural areas at 3.05 percent and told the Ministry of Health to fight dengue fever and hand-foot-mouth disease, increase IT use in health check-up and treatment, and monitor medicine distribution.

Ministers and heads of ministry-level agencies were requested to make thorough preparations for the upcoming fourth meeting of the 14th National Assembly.

The Government also agreed with the Ministry of Education and Training to delay the implementation of a new curriculum and textbook programme for education.

The programme will be carried out at primary level from the 2019-2020 academic year, secondary schools from the 2020-2021 school year and high schools from the 2021-2022 school year.-VNA

Chủ Nhật, 15 tháng 10, 2017

CJ Group buying offensive to bring revenue to $90 billion

In order to accomplish the revenue target of $90 billion by 2020, CJ Group (South Korea) must dominate all four key business areas in which the group is expanding its business activities. Therefore, continuously acquiring targeted companies appears to be the fastest way.
The perfect match from Vietnam
In recent years, Gemadept has emerged as an attractive option for investors in the field of logistics, including JP Morgan, Nikko, NTAsset, Composite, Consilium, TAELPartners, Seafarer, Dunross, CIM, Indochina Capital, SSI, MBS, VFM, Sarus Capital, and Bao Viet Fund.
 CJ Group buying offensive to bring revenue to $90 billion
Gemadept is not CJ Group's only target in the field of logistics. Photo: Duc Thanh
Projects that have been deployed at strategic locations in key industrial zones, especially those in core business areas such as port operations or logistics, are the highlight of Gemadept, making it appealing to the above investor community.
Gemadept is withdrawing its capital from companies operating outside the industry, seeking strategic partners to further promote the company’s businesses in port operations and logistics. Gemadept has transferred 50.9 per cent of its shares in Gemadept Shipping and Gemadept Logistics to CJ Logistics, which is a large enough amount for CJ.
The deal value was not disclosed by the parties, but at the Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting in late May 2017, Do Van Minh, general director of Gemadept, said that the two companies were valued at $250 million. Thus, the sale of nearly 51 per cent of the shares helped Gemadept to raise about $125 million in revenue. The company will use the proceeds to pay a special dividend of 85 per cent for shareholders.
Previously, another member of CJ Group, CJ O Shopping Co., Ltd., also acquired the remaining 15 per cent of shares in CJ Vietnam Limited (Gemadept Tower). Ho Chi Minh City Securities Company (HSC) estimated that the value of this transfer might reach at least VND165 billion ($7.27 million).
In 2014, Gemadept sold 85 per cent of its shares in Gemadept Tower to CJ Group for $45 million. A few years ago, before the deal was officially announced, Gemadept’s office building had been transformed into CJ’s headquarters in Vietnam, which could also be considered an affirmation.
The scale of logistics services in Vietnam currently hovers around $20-22 billion per year, accounting for 20.9 per cent of the country’s GDP.
However, Gemadept is not the only target of CJ in the field of logistics in Vietnam or in Asia. At the end of 2012, CJ partnered up with C.T Group to build and operate a logistics system including warehouses and storage facilities in Binh Duong, Danang, and Bac Ninh.
In particular, C.T is responsible for setting up the warehousing infrastructure, while its Korean partner will be in charge of investments in technology and expertise. Considering Song Than Logistics Center (Binh Duong) alone, CJ’s investment was estimated at $20 million, while that of C.T could amount to $12 million.
Recently, CJ has been continuously acquiring logistics companies in Asia. Last year, CJ spent $10 million buying 31.4 per cent of the shares in Malaysia Century Logistics and 50 per cent of Shenzen Speedex Commercial Service (China). In 2015, CJ bought China’s Rokin Logistics for $400 million to keep the battlefield in China and eking out the momentum to promote business growth in Southeast Asia.
CJ’s goal is to become one of the top five logistics companies in the world by 2020. The corporation is working to purchase a majority stake in two forwarding companies in Europe and the US to create a giant network covering the entirety of Asia. Other acquisitions are the purchase of 50 per cent of shares in India’s largest logistics company Darcl, the acquisition of a 51 per cent stake in Ibrakom Group, a project in the Middle East and Central Asia.
“We are diversifying our M&A channels and strategic alliances to become one of the five major logistics service providers in the world,” said Park Gun Tae, CEO of CJ Logistics.
With the advantage of participating in numerous international trade agreements, Vietnam is attracting a large number of foreign investors, especially big manufacturing groups such as Samsung, Microsoft or LG who are relocating their production lines to the country. This has led to an increase in exports, thereby leading to a surge in the demand for ocean freight shipping.
CJ has been eyeing this delicious piece of cake for so long and the decision to conduct M&A deals with domestic partners seems to be the most reasonable choice. Due to restrictions on foreign investors’ ownership ratio in previous years, many foreign companies choose joint ventures or strategic partnerships to do business in Vietnam.
By acquiring well-established and profitable domestic logistics companies like Gemadept, CJ will be able to quickly take advantage of its available network, customer base, and local operating experience. This carries smaller costs to enter the market than building everything from scratch.
Focus on the goal of $5 billion in revenue
The acquisition of Gemadept marked a new step in CJ’s plan to expand its businesses in Vietnam, formally tapping into the logistics industry. CJ’s strategy is to make Vietnam one of the three biggest foreign markets of the group after Korea and Japan. The goal of CJ Vietnam and CJ Indochina (Laos and Cambodia) is to reach $5 billion in revenue by 2020.
CJ entered the Vietnamese market in 1998, starting with the production of animal feed. In 2007, CJ debuted in the food industry with the launch of the Tous Les Jours pastry chain, which now has more than 30 stores across the country. In 2011, CJ spent more than $73 million to acquire an 80 per cent stake in Megastar, the largest cinema chain in Vietnam at the time.
In recent years, CJ has expressed its ambition to become a major name in the Vietnamese consumer food industry as it focuses more investments in local food processing partners. After failing to build a strategic partnership with Vissan, CJ acquired the kimchee brand Mr. Kim, as well as bought a 47.33 per cent stake in Cau Tre Food Joint Stock Company last November. The group then raised its stakes in the company to 71.6 per cent in May this year.
In the first quarter of this year, CJ invested $13.44 million to buy a 65 per cent stake in Minh Dat Co., a leading brand in the meatball market.
CJ has reinforced its relationships with numerous local partners. One of these is Saigon Trading Company (Satra), the largest state-owned company in Ho Chi Minh City. Satra is currently the owner of a number of well-known food brands and has a nationwide distribution network which is being utilised by CJ to distribute its products.
This year, CJ has invested $61.8 million in a food processing complex, including a research centre in Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park in Ho Chi Minh City. The project is being implemented through a partnership with a subsidiary of Satra and is expected to be put in operation by July 2018. CJ is also negotiating with some livestock companies to develop an animal feed supply chain.
Chang Bok Sang, Chairman and CEO of CJ Group Vietnam, says that the group has an investment fund for M&A deals and it is interested in Vietnamese state-owned enterprises that are going to be equitised. The company has achieved an annual growth rate of about 30 per cent and wants to diversify its businesses by stepping into many other potential areas in Vietnam. By 2016, the company has invested $500 million in Vietnam’s agricultural, entertainment, pharmaceutical, and retail sectors and plans to increase its portfolio to $1 billion by the end of this year.
Last year, CJ Vietnam raised over $740 million in sales and $36 million in pre-tax profit, mainly from the fields of animal feed, agriculture, and entertainment. Regarding the food industry alone, CJ considers Vietnam a strategic market for Southeast Asia as the group has set a target of gaining $700 million from the industry by 2020.
By Anh Hoa, VIR
Not time yet to celebrate or mock gender parity

A father of two sons, only half in jest, vented some ire on his Facebook page recently over couples being praised officially for raising two daughters. 

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“Raising two sons is much harder, but we are ignored. How unjust is this? Let’s raise our voices about such discrimination against families that only have boys!”
Half in jest or not, many readers responded seriously, agreeing with the sentiment, including parents with daughters and no sons.
On Sunday, the Ha Noi Department of Health and Ba Dinh District People’s Committee organised a ceremony to praise 60 two-daughter families in the district for complying with population policies and overcoming gender prejudices to successfully bring up their children.
The ceremony marked the International Day of the Girl Child (October 11) launched by the United Nations to address girls’ needs and challenges and promote their empowerment.
Several other districts in the capital city followed suit.
That the father’s post resonated with many people merits some consideration of the questions it raises, even indirectly. Does the move actually help reduce sex imbalance at birth in the country? Is giving birth to daughters an action that should be commended, congratulated?
 “I do not like it that I’m hailed for having two daughters even though I’m very proud to be the mother of two girls. It’s not an achievement, they are God’s gifts,” said Ngo Thanh An from Ha Noi.
She said that on the contrary, it would make her feel she was being discriminated against in a condescending way by the deeply-embedded patriarchy in Vietnamese society.
“The traditional thinking is changing only because men outnumber women now. I see this praise as having no real significance, just propaganda value.”
“That families give birth to only daughters or boys is a natural phenomenon, beyond personal desire. There should not be any prejudice against families with only boys or families with only girls. Once they are born, they are raised and educated equally by their parents,” said Nguyen Huu Hai, a father of two daughters in Ha Noi.
“If my family is praised for having two girls, I feel no encouragement at all. And even if I was placed on the list of these 60 families, I would not receive it.
“It is the responsibility of parents to bring up their children. We should only denounce sex discrimination and sex selection at birth,” Hai said.
Another father in Ha Dong District, who has two daughters, also said that official praise was unnecessary. He felt that the number of children in a family should be the parents’ right and depend on their financial ability to rear and nurture them.
“It does not matter if a child is a boy or a girl, it is much more important that they are raised to be healthy and helpful citizens in the society,” he said, not wanting to be named.
Obviously, there is an opinion among many people that the matter of boys or girls and the number of children in a family should not be mandated by anyone.
Facts matter
While these arguments are honest and rational to a large extent, do they reflect the full reality of life in a society where strongly patriarchal Confucian norms still hold sway?
Whether it is access to education or jobs, Vietnamese women are still at a disadvantage, studies show.
The fact is that a law was required to prevent parents from knowing the sex of a foetus because those who’d already had a girl would abort the next one and wait till they got a boy. The fact is that sex discrimination and selection at birth continues is still a reality in our society. The fact is that there is a striking gender imbalance in the country that experts have been issuing stern warnings about.
According to the United Nations, women are still under-represented in politics and continue to earn less than men across economic sectors with a differential wage gap of around 80 per cent and 87 per cent. A 2013 UNDP report showed women’s representation in the National Assembly at just 24.4 per cent.
But are official interventions effective?
Let’s look at efforts to control the sex balance at birth.
Reviewing a two-year (2015-2016) project tackling gender imbalance at birth, the General Office for Population and Family Planning said in May this year that 38 provinces and cities had included criteria on controlling the imbalance in their socio-economic development plan, while 26 others used part of their local budget for the project. Besides, hundreds, if not thousands, of seminars, workshops and conferences were held to disseminate knowledge of the nation’s population law to nearly 700,000 people.
What was the result?
In 2014, 15 of 63 provinces and cities had what experts called an abnormal sex ratio at birth (115 males per 100 females). The number increased to 22 provinces two years later.
Population growth
Now, because of declining fertility and population growth rates, the Ministry of Health has proposed that the two-child policy be relaxed to allow Vietnamese parents to decide the number of children they want to have.
Viet Nam had experienced a high birth rate from early 1960s to late 1970s, from 30.2 million people in 1960 to 52.7 million in 1979. The rapid increase affected socio-economic development, and the country adopted the two-children per family policy.
In a report in 2015, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom warned that Viet Nam’s overall birth rate (2.09) was already below what is needed to replenish and maintain the population at current numbers.
Based on the experiences of other countries like Japan, Republic of Korea and China, Prof. Nguyen Dinh Cu, former Director of Institute for Population and Social Studies, has recommended that Viet Nam’s two-child policy should be amended or abolished.
Ngo Thanh An of Ha Noi said the two-child policy should be done away with in order to ensure social stability and labour structure in the years to come.
"No one but the husband and wife should decide the number of children they want, provided that they can provide them with best conditions," she said.
Again, an apparently rational argument runs against the reality we face, the resources a society as a whole needs to take care of all children, not just those of well-to-do parents.
We might need to increase our population’s growth rate, but the long-standing gender discrimination and disparity, in all its insidious forms, needs to be tackled firmly.
That fight is far from over.
Nguyen Khanh Chi
Da Nang inaugurates International Convention Centre in service of APEC

The Ariyana International Convention Centre, a key facility in service of the upcoming APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting 2017, was officially inaugurated and put into use in the central coastal city of Da Nang on October 15, in the witness of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the Da Nang municipal leaders.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (centre) and delegates cut the ribbon to inaugurate the Ariyana International Convention Centre.

Work began on the convention centre in March 2016 and was completed ahead of schedule after 22 months, with the utmost aesthetic quality.

Covering an area of 12,000 square metres and being connected with the Furama Da Nang International Convention Palace, the Ariyana International Convention Centre has become the largest convention and workshop complex in Vietnam, accommodating up to 5,000 seats and 15 functional rooms, with the grand ballroom alone offering 2,500 seats.

Possessing unique and harmonious architectural works, the Ariyana International Convention Centre now stands ready for the largest international-level events.

The Ariyana and Furama Da Nang International Convention Centres complex will be the hosting venues for most of the events within the framework of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting 2017, including the APEC CEO Summit 2017.

The APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, which is the most important event of the Vietnam APEC Year 2017, is expected to welcome the leaders of 21 APEC member economies, together with around 10,000 domestic and international delegates, including leaders of leading regional and international groups and representatives from prestigious international organisations.
Nhan Dan
Mid-priced flats in vogue in HCM City
 HCM CITY -The mid-priced apartment segment in HCM City is developing strongly with demand and supply and liquidity all looking up, especially in the eastern part, experts said.
The mid-priced apartment segment in HCM City is developing strongly with demand and supply and liquidity all looking up, especially in the eastern part, experts said.–  Photo
A report from market researcher CBRE Vietnam said the segment, with prices ranging from US$800 to $1,500 per square metre, accounted for 60 per cent of third quarter launches.
The HCM City Real Estate Association had predicted at the beginning of this year that the property market would see a strong restructure, with developers switching from luxury to mid-priced apartments.
It had explained that the rebalancing would take place to resolve the mismatch between demand, which was overwhelmingly for cheaper units, and supply, which was skewed in favour of high-priced ones.
Đầu Tư newspaper (Vietnam Investment Review) quoted Vĩnh Kiêm, an investor in HCM City, as saying that mid-range apartments built by prestigious developers bring solid returns to buyers.
Since prices are not high, an investor can buy several at a time, according to Kiêm.
Last May, he bought two apartments in District 9 at around VNĐ1.7 billion each and now they have both appreciated by VNĐ300 million. But he is waiting for the prices to rise even further.
For people looking to buy houses to live in them too, mid-priced apartments are a good choice since many are in good locations and offer many amenities.
To meet the growing demand in this segment, several major developers like Vingroup, Hưng Thịnh and Him Lam Land have launched many projects.
But projects in the eastern part of the city, in places like districts 9 and 2, are customers’ favourites and are thought to bring profits of 20-50 per cent to buyers.
Investors said apartments here are in high demand thanks to the excellent and constantly developing infrastructure, including the city’s first metro route.
The news that authorities are planning to build the Rạch Chiếc Sports Centre in District 2 for SEA Games 31 has sparked off even more interest in the area.
Investors now expect the market to remain strong for the next two years.
Ngô Quang Phúc, general director of Him Lam Land, said the improved infrastructure and the Rạch Chiếc Sports Centre would be factors in pushing up prices in the area.- VNS
HCM City travel firms hope to profit from waterway tours

 Saigontourist has launched seven new waterway routes on the Sai Gon River and the river sections of Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Long An. 

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Five luxury motor boats with the capacity of 25 passengers each and maximum speed of 50 kilometers per hour have been put into operation, taking tourists to destinations in HCMC and neighboring areas.

The tour operator has also announced a plan to build more boat stops.

With Sai Gon and Dong Nai rivers and a large network of canals and arroyos that create a 1,000 kilometer waterway network, HCMC has great advantages to develop waterway tourism.

The outstanding feature of HCMC which no other city has is the Sai Gon Port. Cruise ships can dock at Nha Rong Wharf, a famous historical relic. At the end of Sai Gon River is the Can Gio Mangrove, the world’s biosphere reserve, the city’s green lung, where there are historical monuments and tourist sites. 
The outstanding feature of HCMC which no other city has is the Sai Gon Port. Cruise ships can dock at Nha Rong Wharf, a famous historical relic.
Bui Ta Hoang Vu, director of the HCMC Tourism Department, said the launch of new waterway tours is a part of the plan to develop the tourism industry in the city.

However, despite support by the municipal authorities and strong determination by Saigontourist, analysts are doubtful about local waterway tourism development.

In fact, many waterway tours were launched in the past, but ‘died young’ after a short time of operation. The water tour on Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal, for example, later disappeared because there were few travelers and the revenue was not high enough to maintain operation.

HCMC has received 19 million domestic travelers so far this year and 4.2 million foreign travelers, an increase of 16 percent over the same period last year. Tourism has brought revenue of VND84.574 trillion, up by 10 percent, making up 10 percent of the city’s GRDP.

As for Saigontourist’s seven new waterway tours, an analyst commented that the tour fees are relatively high, between VND750,000 and VND2.145 million. Instead of taking the tours, travelers may consider driving cars to excursion points at a cost just equal to a half.

In order to develop waterway tourism, travel firms need to offer many different destination points. However, it is difficult to obtain licenses to build harbors and boat stops.

Vu from the tourism department admitted that there were not enough harbors, boat stops and stations, while the quality is also problematic. He said the serious pollution of rivers and canals also hinders the development of waterway tourism.

Kim Chi, VNN

Vietnam launches third pair of locally-made guided missile corvettes

Each ship costs about VND3 trillion (US$131.7 million)
Two locally-made Molniya-class guided missile ships were launched during a ceremony held on October 9, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Vietnam held a ceremony on Monday to launch two domestically-made guided missile corvettes.

Two Molniya-class guided missile ships, built by Ba Son Shipbuilding Company under the General Department of Military Industry, were launched during the ceremony that took place at the base of the 2nd Regional Command of the Vietnam People’s Navy.
The vessels will be added to the fleet of Brigade 167.
The event was attended by representatives of the Consulate General of Russia in Ho Chi Minh City and the business partners of Ba Son Company from Russia.
 ​Vietnam launches third pair of locally-made guided missile corvettes
Employees of Ba Son Shipbuilding Company, the builder of the two vessels, were present at the launching ceremony. Photo: Tuoi Tre
“The ships are the assets of our people. All officers train hard to protect the vessels and defend the national flag,” Rear Admiral Hoang Hong Ha, deputy commander of the Vietnam People’s Navy, said during the ceremony. 
The two vessels will help strengthen the country’s ability to manage and defend its maritime sovereignty, and raise the strength of its naval force, he added.
These are the fifth and sixth Molniya-class ships that Vietnam has built itself rather than bought from Russia as in the past.
 ​Vietnam launches third pair of locally-made guided missile corvettes
Naval officials and sailors at the ceremony. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The manufacture of the locally-made vessels was initiated on October 15, 2013.
On June 24, 2014, the first pair of the guided missile corvettes were given to the People’s Navy.
Each of the ships costs approximately VND3 trillion (US$131.7 million), and are a milestone in Vietnam’s shipbuilding history.

​Vietnam launches third pair of locally-made guided missile corvettes
By Tuoi Tre News
High recruitment demand for senior and middle-level managers continues

The Navigos Group, the leading recruitment company in Vietnam and the owner of online recruitment portal VietnamWorks and executive search firm Navigos Search, released a report on October 10 on recruitment demand for senior and middle-level managers in Vietnam during the third quarter of this year, based on recruitment requests to Navigos Search.

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Recruitment demand for senior and middle-level positions by Navigos Search clients are continuously increasing. In the third quarter of this year, the number of such job orders rose 19 per cent year-on-year.
Industries that have the highest recruitment demands for these positions include manufacturing, consumer goods and retail, ICT, banking and finance, and services. Demand for senior and middle-level managers in manufacturing continued to dominate, with 35 per cent of the total, primarily in construction and electrical and electronics.
Consumer goods and retail followed, with the majority of recruitment requests coming from food and beverage and fashion businesses.
ICT was third, mostly in IT services and systems integration. Most positions sought to be filled were managers and engineers experienced in different programming languages.
In banking and finance, the greatest recruitment demand was from banks, insurance companies, and consumer finance companies. In services, recruitment demand was mainly from companies in advertising and marketing.
Renewable energy forecast to grow in near future
Vietnam has great potential for solar power as it’s in the equatorial region. There were not many opportunities for renewable energy projects in the past, however, due to the high cost of solar cells, raising investment costs. Recently, the cost of buying and installing solar panels has fallen significantly, and at the same time the government has mechanisms to encourage investment in solar energy, which has in turn attracted more investors.
Many solar energy projects from foreign investors are being proposed in a large number of localities throughout the country. Thermal power is also forecast to continue to expand to meet electricity demand for production and life. With the potential for remarkable development in the years to come, the labor market in the power sector is expected to thrive after a long period of quiet.
VN Economic Times

Thứ Bảy, 14 tháng 10, 2017

Better regulations needed for domestic helpers

The number of domestic workers at home and abroad has been on the rise. However, regulations meant to protect their legitimate rights and interests are insufficient. 

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A report of the International Labour Organization (ILO) shows there are at least 67 million domestic helpers all over the world, of whom around 21 million are based in Asia-Pacific. A majority of domestic workers are women, making up over 80%. They have contributed significantly to economic growth in host countries.
But at households, contract terms of employment are unclear, unregistered and not governed by labor legislation. As a result, they are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
Doan Mau Diep, Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, said at a national preparatory meeting for the 10th ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Forum on Migrant Labor on Monday that the forum would find ways to protect the legitimate rights and interests of laborers, and help them have secure jobs and gain access to social security.
The growing Vietnamese middle class has stronger demand for domestic helpers. The Vietnamese Government has made great strides in strengthening the protection of domestic workers through the 2012 Labor Code and Decree 27/2014/ND-CP guiding the execution of the Labor Code.
These documents provide regulations relevant to minimum wages, insurance premiums, minimum rest periods, and annual leave for workers in this group.
The nation is also considering ratifying the ILO’s Convention on Domestic Workers (Convention 189) by 2020.
Ngo Thi Ngoc Anh from the Research Center for Gender, Family and Community Development said domestic workers at home and abroad are facing a slew of challenges despite the presence of relevant regulations.
In Vietnam, those working abroad do not benefit from social security schemes such as insurance for occupational accidents and diseases, health insurance and unemployment allowances.
International migrant workers do not have access to social security as native citizens do given the lack of general standards for qualification, professionalism and technical capability.
Anh stressed these legal gaps put the rights and interests of domestic workers at stake when they work overseas.
Nguyen Thi Anh Hang, a member of the Overseas Labor Department under the ministry, shared the same view, saying Vietnamese domestic workers in Taiwan, Macau, Saudi Arabia, and Cyprus are not mentioned in regulations of these receiving territories and countries. Therefore, they are not protected by law.
The settlement of cases related to domestic workers is quite difficult, she noted.
Delegates at the meeting said governments should reach general agreements, thereby creating legal frameworks to manage and protect the rights and interests of laborers working abroad. Besides, international agencies should discuss the protection of domestic workers at international forums.
The ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labor is an annual event held by the ASEAN members within the framework of the ASEAN Committee to advance the implementation of the principles of the ASEAN Declaration on Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.