Hanoi’s tallest apartment bloc breaks ground
The Vietnam Construction and Import-Export Corporation 2 (Vinaconex 2) began building Block B of the Kim Van-Kim Lu (Golden Silk) project in a new urban area of Hanoi in Dai Kim Ward of Hoang Mai district on September 22.
Covering an area of 5,600sq.m, the building will have 45 floors, making it the city’s highest apartment building.
The first four floors will be reserved for a leasing office and a trade centre. With an investment of 1 trillion VND (45 million USD), the construction is expected to be finished in the third quarter of 2018, providing 604 apartments ranging from 43sq.m to 100sq.m.
The apartments will be offered for sale in December this year, according to the project’s investor. The target customers will be middle-income earners.
At the ground breaking ceremony, Vinaconex 2 signed a credit contract worth 800 billion VND with the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam.
Vietnam, Singapore foster economic connectivity
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung and Singapore’s Minister of Industry and Trade Lim Hng Kiang co-chaired the 12th Vietnam-Singapore Economic Connectivity Ministerial Meeting that took place in Singapore on September 23.
At the meeting, the two sides reviewed bilateral cooperation in six areas since the 11 th meeting in the central province of Thua-Thien Hue in April 2015.
They expressed delight at the strong growth of bilateral ties recently, especially in investment, trade and education and training. Singapore is currently the third largest investor of Vietnam with over 1,600 projects totalling 38 billion USD.
In 2015, two-way trade reached 21 billion SGD (16 billion USD). Seven Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIPs) in Vietnam have attracted 9 billion USD in investment and creating 170,000 jobs.
The two countries have enjoyed sound partnership in education and training, with various student exchange programmes and training courses for management officials.
They have also boosted tourism affiliation on the foundation of a memorandum of understanding signed between their Tourism Administrations at the previous meeting.
Addressing the event, Lim Hng Kiang stressed that the meeting is an effective mechanism in the framework of the bilateral partnership, which has a great influence on trade and investment ties between the two economies.
Noting great potential for the two countries to expand their economic cooperation potential, he said he hopes that both sides will work more closely together to fully tap the potential in order to deepen their strategic partnership.
On his part, Minister Dung affirmed Vietnam’s interest in fostering ties with Singapore . He asked for the Singaporean side’s coordination in designing and implementing initiatives within the framework of an agreement on connecting and encouraging Singaporean firms to invest in Vietnam in new cooperation areas to elevate their win-win affiliation.
During the meeting, the two sides also proposed measures to increase two-way trade and call for Singaporean investment in Vietnam’s agriculture, aquatic farming and transportation.
Vietnam suggested that Singapore continue supporting education projects and increase scholarships for Vietnamese students, as well as boost cooperation in cyber security and startup.
Vietnam asked for Singapore’s stronger engagement in State-owned enterprises’ restructuring through buying shares of large companies, while giving the country technical support in enhancing capacity and building mechanisms for its finance-banking and stock markets.
Singapore should expand investment in the public-private partnership form in such fields as infrastructure, maritime transportation and energy, Dung said.
The Vietnam-Singapore economic connectivity agreement was signed by the two governments in 2005, focusing on six areas of finance, education and training, traffic and transportation, information technology and communications, investment, trade and services.
The 13th meeting is slated for September 2017 in Vietnam.-
Binh Duong companies updated on new free trade agreements
Businesses in Binh Duong province was updated on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement on September 23.
The event was also attended by Herb Cochran – Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City) and representatives from the European Union Delegation to Vietnam.
It aimed to give local agencies and enterprises the latest information about the two agreements and Vietnam’s international economic integration, so they can make effective integration plans.
Herb Cochran provided participants an insight into important contents in the EVFTA and opportunities and challenges it will bring, along with an overall account of the EU market and the Vietnam-EU trade.
He also spoke about difficulties in the TPP ratification and problems related to the origin of apparel and footwear which are main export products of Vietnam.
As a major industrial hub in the south of Vietnam, Binh Duong contributed 21 billion USD to the country’s export revenue of 162.1 billion USD in 2015.
The EVFTA was officially signed on December 2, 2015, after over three years of negotiation. It is expected to come into force from 2018.
Meanwhile, economic ministers of the 12 TPP members signed the deal in New Zealand on February 4, 2016.
The TPP is now undergoing a two-year ratification period in which at least six countries – which account for 85 percent of the 12 nations’ combined gross domestic production – must approve the final text for the deal to be implemented.-
Bac Giang IPs welcome 34 projects in nine months
The Management Board of Industrial Parks (IPs) in the northern province of Bac Giang granted investment licences to 34 projects with a total registered capital of more than 465.6 million USD in the first nine months of this year.
The figure raised the total valid projects in the province’s IPs to 265, worth 2.98 billion USD in total.
In order to lure more investment in IPs, the board will continue enhancing State management for IPs in the province, said its head Nguyen Anh Quyen.
It will work with relevant agencies to remove difficulties for businesses and improve the verification of investment projects while closely supervising the implementation of projects and strictly punishing enterprises that violate regulations on investment, construction, environment and labour.
In the remaining months of this year, the board will step up administrative reform and provide legal assistance for businesses in the fields of their concern, Quyen said.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Linh urged the board to raise its sense of responsibility in performing its tasks in the coming time, especially attracting investment and improving the business environment.
The board needs to raise the efficiency of State management and actively coordinate with departments, agencies and localities in addressing issues related to the environment, labour and site clearance, he added.
Binh Duong pledges to facilitate Japanese investment
The southern province of Binh Duong will create more favourable conditions for Japanese investors, said Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Thanh Liem.
During a dialogue with representatives of nearly 100 Japanese firms operating in the province on September 23, the local leader said that the province will continue mobilising resources to complete socio-economic and transport infrastructure, expand industrial parks and create land funds for businesses.
It will focus on training human resources to meet enterprises’ demand while developing social housing for workers, he added.
Priorities will be given to reforming administrative procedures, developing high-quality services and ensuring social order and security in order to create a safe environment for businesses.
Participants suggested the province simplify administrative procedures, offer tax incentives and create conditions for foreigners to buy apartments.
According to Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment Phu Huu Minh, Binh Duong lured 1.53 billion USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first nine months of this year, exceeding the yearly target by 9.4 percent. The money was injected into 188 new projects and 93 existing ones.
Currently, the province is home to 2,775 FDI projects, worth nearly 25.2 billion USD, becoming one of the five localities in the country with FDI exceeding 25 billion USD.
Japan ranks first among foreign investors in Binh Duong, with 241 projects capitalized at 5.13 billion USD.
Workshop seeks to protect Vietnamese famous brands
More than 100 intellectual property experts and lawyers discussed measures to promote the recognition and protection of Vietnamese famous brands during a workshop held in the central city of Da Nang on September 23.
Deputy Chief Inspector of the Ministry of Science and Technology Nguyen Nhu Quynh said the Law on Intellectual Property has been issued for over 10 years, stipulating criteria and jurisdiction on the recognition of famous brands.
However, the application of such regulations in reality is still a challenge for competent agencies, she said, noting that no brands have been so far officially recognised as famous ones.
Meanwhile, there have been numerous awards for trademarks and brands granted by social organisations and associations, which has misled the public, according to the official.
Given the fact, the Inspectorate of Ministry of Science and Technology and the International Trademark Association (INTA) have coordinated to carry out a project on “Famous brand” in Vietnam from 2015 to 2017. The project aims to revise and supplement legal regulations on the recognition, protection and enforcement of rights for renowned brands.
Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung said it is necessary to devise effective protection mechanisms to ensure legitimate rights and interests of brand owners.
The recognition and protection of famous brands will help confirm the prestige and quality of made-in-Vietnam trademarks and ensure a healthy business environment for foreign businesses, he explained.
President of the INTA 2016 Ronald van Tuijil said the association will assist Vietnam in protecting and building famous brands with a view to protecting consumers’ rights and interests and contributing to a healthy competitive business environment globally.
Vietnamese firms called to invest in Cuba
Foreign investors, including those from Vietnam, can invest in Cuba in sci-tech, industrial park and transport infrastructure development, renewable energy and biotechnology, said Cuban Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City Berbabe Garcia.
Speaking at an investment promotion conference in HCM City on September 23, the diplomat said his country is calling for foreign investment in its potential fields such as agro-forestry products and food, sugar cane production, industry, tourism, energy and mining.
The Cuban Government has encouraged cooperation and joint venture between domestic and foreign enterprises, aiming to attract more foreign investment in the country’s key sectors, he noted.
Cuba has great demand for textiles, construction materials, cosmetics, food, pesticide, fertilizer, paper and carton, he added.
Tran Ngoc Liem, Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s branch in HCM City appreciated the trade and investment incentives the Cuban Government has given to Vietnamese businesses.
He stressed the conference offered a good chance for both sides’ businesses to establish investment and trade links, adding that Vietnamese firm should take the advantage of opportunities to increase exports to Cuba.
Two-way trade between Vietnam and Cuba hit 218.2 million USD in 2015, up 4.65 percent against the previous year. Vietnam’s export value to Cuba reached 214.6 million USD last year, with main exports being rice, coffee, chemicals, ceramics, machinery and spare part.
Many Vietnamese firms are running investment projects in Cuba, including the PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation (PVEP) under the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, the Vietnam Glass and Ceramics for Construction Corporation (Viglacera), and electronics producer Hanel Co Ltd, among others.
Integrated farming a hit with room to grow
Trịnh Quốc Huy and his family own a five-hectare farm with various fruit plants of great renown across the country and local varieties.
The farm, located in Viet Lam Town, the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang’s Vị Xuyên district, has been developed following the garden-pond-livestock pen (VAC) model and earns Huy billions of dong annually.
Besides local varieties of plants and animals, the garden is home to buoi da xanh (green skin grapefruit), buoi Dien (a type of pomelo), cam Canh (sweet orange), among others. Husbandry alone brings Huy some 2 billion VND (89,000 USD) each year.
Huy is ready to share farming knowledge and provide quality young plants and livestock breeds for local farmers.
The VAC model has also generated regular jobs for local labourers, earning them a monthly income of some 4million VND (180 USD).
“I had travelled here and there, at home and abroad, seeking to start a business. After days of ups and downs, I realised that farmers could get rich mostly from agricultural production. My wife and I dreamed of building our farm on our homeland,” said Huy.
“We developed a large self-contained farm for fruit trees and animals. We returned from Russia in 2008. After almost 10 years, we believe we are on the right track,” he said.
“The integrated farming system, a Vietnamese approach to household production of clean nutritious food, is worth being considered a typical example of economic development based on local advantages,” said the Vietnam Gardening Association’s Chairman, Prof. Ngo The Dan.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), developing the farming economy is increasingly important.
Dan said reports from provincial Gardening Associations showed that about 50 per cent of uncultivated gardens and ponds in each locality had been restored in accordance with the VAT model.
The farming system makes up between 50 – 60 percent of local households’ annual income, reports from Thanh Hoa and Ha Tinh provinces’ Gardening Associations show.
The family of Nguyen Thanh Tuan in central Quang Nam province’s Nui Thanh district turns over 5 billion VND annually from the integrated farming system, creating jobs for five locals.
In the five-hectare farm, Tuan raises various animals including chicken, ducks, pigs, salamanders and fish, and 500 fruit trees.
In the southern provinces of Ben Tre, Tien Giang and Vinh Long, local gardening associations developed farming areas specialising in fruit trees in line with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), which makes between 600-700 million VND per hectare.
Head of the Economic Cooperation Division, MARD’s Department for Economic Development and Rural Development, Tran Dinh Dung said the gardening economy had grown vigorously and developed in many ways, including one which combines garden, pond, livestock and forest.
“The farming system has made a good earning for households, showing its essential role in the agricultural sector,” Dung said.
However, Dung admitted, the full potential of the model has not been brought into play.
He called for proper policies to develop the system, as there was a lack of linkage between production and sales.
“Investment capital size remains limited and processing technologies are not highly developed. Product quality has yet to meet market demand and farmers can’t develop strong and competitive brands,” he said.
Acting Director of the National Farming Promotion Centre, Tran Van Khoi said due to its vital role in the agricultural economy, the State should introduce policies facilitating farming households, especially in the application of advanced science and technology.
Prof. Ngo The Dan, also former deputy MARD minister, said those involved in the sector need to equip themselves with information and technology, know how to promote their produce on the internet, look for markets, and organise ecological tourism models on their farms.
Tourists to An Giang surge in nine months
The Mekong Delta province of An Giang has welcomed about 6.3 million tourists in the first nine months of 2016, a year on year increase of 5.6 percent and 0.8 percent above this year’s target.
Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Khanh Hiep said of the 6.3 million tourists, the number of non-resident visitors and travelers was estimated at 390,000, up 20 percent compared to the same period last year, with international arrivals at more than 50,000 tourists, up 31 percent against the same period last year.
An Giang has implemented several measures to attract more tourists, including developing spiritual tourism, recreation and eco-tourism.
Several attractions in the province have been popular to visitors, including the memorial area of late President Ton Duc Thang, Sam mountain relic, Tuc Dup Hill and Pol Pot killings relic site.
The province has also attached importance to preserving relic sites, such as Vinh Te, Binh Hoa communal houses in Chau Thanh district, Binh Duc, My Phuoc communal houses in Long Xuyen city, and tens of other vestige sites, and memorial places.-
BKAV in network safety training course
BKAV Technology Group and the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications’ Information Safety Department have completed the first training course in network safety for ministries, industries and localities under National Project No 99.
The programme will go on until the end of October with three courses for managers and one for technicians.
Trainers apprised their class about the Government’s policies, strategies, and plans for information safety.
The trainees could also find out all about network threats and how to set up a comprehensive information safety network.
VSTV offers online channel package
Vietnam Satellite Digital Television Company Limited (VSTV) officially launched the pay online channel package K+ NOW from Thursday.
The new package allows subscribers to watch copyright channels on mobile devices, tablets and laptops at a subscription fee of VNĐ125,000 per month.
The new offering from VSTV is to meet the demand to watch TV shows on mobile devices and give the audience more options to enjoy HD quality exclusive channels showcasing the Premier League, La Liga, ATP world tour and Vietnamese films.
Vietnamobile launches new PIZZA SIM
Vietnamobile has introduced a new one-of-a-kind Sim, inspired by the much-loved Italian fried flatbread pizza, namely PIZZA SIM.
With this new Sim, subscribers can customise the product to fit their mobile usage pattern from time to time.
By registering for the preferential tariff of VNĐ680 per minute in provinces or VNĐ990 per minute in cities, additional benefits will be automatically added, allowing PIZZA SIM consumers to enjoy up to three months of free surfing on Facebook and Zalo.
For customers in Hà Nội, HCM City and Đà Nẵng, Vietnamobile also offer three months free access.
Sony Show kicks off in Hà Nội, HCM City
Japanese electronics giant Sony is showcasing its latest products and technologies at a three-day event that opened yesterday in both HCM City and Hà Nội.
The fourth iteration of the Sony Show has five main zones called Xperia, Bravia, Game Zone, Hires Audito and Extra Bass, and Alpha.
PlayStation is the highlight of the show, allowing people to try out the latest games using the most advanced technologies. There are also attractive contests.
On the occasion, Sony has launched the new Xperia XZ smart phone. With a 13MP front camera, the new phone is targeted at selfie lovers. The phone, which will come in of black mineral, platinum, and Forest Blue colours, hits the market on October 3.
Sony said discounts of up to 30 per cent are on offer on many products.
The event, on at HCM City’s Youth Cultural House in District 1 and Hà Nội’s Vincom Royal City, opens from 9.30am to 7.30pm daily.
Dentsu unveils media laboratory
Dentsu Media Vietnam, a member of Dentsu Aegis Network, has announced the launch of Dentsu Media Laboratory (dmLab) to harness the latest technologies and create new digital experiences for the market.
DmLab is composed of two key pillars: ‘local incubation’ and ‘gateway to global innovation.’
Under the former, the company is working with Vietnamese and regional start-ups to scale up and expand mutual opportunities for business to launch locally, regionally and globally.
The platform enables its partners to access Dentsu’s pool of knowledge, consult with business professionals, and tap into new revenue streams.
‘Gateway to global innovation’ is a Dentsu Aegis Network innovation project launched in Thailand last October.
The latest technology dmLab has brought to the Vietnamese market is the emotion analyzer, which is able to detect a subject’s emotions based on an analysis of brainwaves.
Mark Anthony R. Ocampo, Director of Communication Design, Dentsu Media Vietnam, said: “In the 21st century everything including advertising needs to move forward and adapt to technology. And with this demand, dmLab’s vision combines unique elements of entertainment, future-forward ideas and upcoming technologies.”
Takeshi Gotoda, chief executive officer of Dentsu Media Vietnam, said: “It is an exciting time for dmLab to launch in Việt Nam where the market is hungry for new experiences, especially connected with technology.
“With the success of dmLab in Thailand, we believe that Việt Nam will also be successful for the new innovation showcase aligned with Dentsu media network’s vision in the future.”
Opera unveils 1st browser with integrated VPN
Opera has launched the first web browser in the world with free VPN that users do not have to login into.
When the VPN turns on, users will connect with Opera’s servers in five countries around the world. The VPN will allow them to choose their location, thus increasing safety and privacy.
Opera will automatically choose the best server for users based on speed of network, position and capacity of main server.
In addition, when using Opera with an integrated VPN, users do not need to sign in meaning they do not have to reveal their private information.
According to Opera’s latest survey done in 200 countries, 70 per cent of internet users worry about safety and privacy when accessing the internet.
ODS becomes Microsoft distributor
The Online Data Service Joint Stock Company has announced it has become Microsoft’s copyright distributor for hosting as well as the ICANN international domain register in Viet Nam.
ODS will distribute Microsoft hosting software, secure end-users’ rights and help enterprises protect their brand names on the internet.
On the occasion, ODS, Microsoft and other strategic partners like Vonline, Nhan Hoa, BKNS, ESC, Hostvn, BizMaC, Ftech, Mat Bao, Viethosting, Digistar, Digipower announced major promotions for enterprises that want to use copyrighted Windows software.
The programme offers customers free use of a Windows server for six months.
9M FDI at $16.43 billion
New and additional FDI capital totaled $16.43 billion in the first nine months of the year, representing 95.8 per cent of the figure in the same period of 2015, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
As at September 20, 1,820 new projects had been granted investment licenses with total registered capital of $11.1 billion, up 1.1 per cent year-on-year, while 851 existing projects added $5.2 billion in capital, equal to 86.1 per cent of the figure in the same period last year.
Nineteen sectors received investment, in which manufacturing and processing attracted the most, with 678 newly-registered projects and 551 projects adjusting their capital, for a total of $10.5 billion, or 73.3 per cent of all registered capital in the first nine months.
Real estate was second, with 34 new projects and total capital of $836.2 million, or 5.8 per cent of the total. Professional activities and science and technology ranked third, with $622.3 million, or 4.3 per cent.
The investment came from 65 countries and territories, led by South Korea, with total new and additional capital of $5.58 billion, or 33.4 per cent of the total. Singapore followed, with total capital of $1.84 billion, or 11.2 per cent, then Japan, with $1.7 billion, or 10.3 per cent.
Fifty-four cities and provinces received investment. Hai Phong attracted the most, with 37 new projects and 28 projects adjusting their capital, totaling $2.74 billion, or 16.7 per cent.
Hanoi was second with new and additional capital of $1.97 billion, or 12 per cent, followed by Dong Nai and Binh Duong provinces with total new and additional capital of $1.89 billion and $1.49 billion.
Sustainable development – an inevitable business trend
Sustainable development is an inevitable trend and is increasingly popular in the business community, both globally and in Viet Nam, said vice chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam Doan Duy Khuong at a conference on sustainable development and essential trends on September 22.
The conference, designed to support businesses in Việt Nam and provide information on latest trends and topics related to sustainable development, as well as to create a forum for discussion and sharing experiences about current business practices, along with solutions for creating sustainable businesses.
At the conference, speakers discussed sustainable development as being an inevitable trend of the times, therefore, implementation of sustainable development will create many opportunities for businesses to enhance their reputation and competitiveness, as well as attract human resources, investors and shareholders.
With sustainable development, enterprises have to improve their productivity and reduce costs by making use of, and preserving, natural resources, enhancing employee’s productivity and raising the competitiveness of enterprises, as well as creating favorable conditions for businesses in the process of international economic integration.
Speaking at the conference, Khương, who is also president of the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD), said in implementing sustainable development in the business community, VBCSD had also succeeded in promoting the participation of businesses in the implementation of sustainable development throughout the country.
Over the past 6 years, VBCSD became a bridge to link Government agencies with the business community, and helped in raising the voice of the business community, in the process of developing and implementing policies and programmes related to sustainable development and improvement of competitiveness, green growth and climate change, said Khương.
Nguyễn Văn Tài, general director of the Vietnam Environment Administration, told participants that sustainable development needed the participation of the entire society, especially from non-governmental organisations and the business community.
Tài said Việt Nam was in the process of development, as were Japan, Singapore and South Korea in the 1980s. After a period of time, many investment projects started displaying problems due to environmental pollution. Therefore, Việt Nam was faced with a new turning point that requires strong measures to eliminate environmental problems and technologies that harm the environment.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Thế Phương told participants that the best solution to eliminate problems regarding environmental pollution was that every businesses must conduct action plans by working towards a sustainable and green growth. In addition, the action plans should be deployed uniformly from the central to local levels, as well as shifting local economic structures and renovating technology. Further, Tài said it was time to reconsider foreign investment, obsolete technologies and monitor environmental assessments.
Phương also praised the role of enterprises and emphasised the importance of attracting the participation of the private economic sector, finance assistance from the Government and official developmental assistance. This will become a catalyst to attract and shape a favorable environment for the private sector to invest in the field of climate change, green growth and sustainable development. Phương noted that to achieve this goal, Vietnamese businesses needed to focus on researching and identifying an appropriate model of economic development. Additionally, Khương said it was time to build a fence of environmental protection by firmly rejecting obsolete technologies. Further, businesses that were using outdated technologies and causing environmental pollution would have to pay higher taxes.
Leo Evers, managing director of Heineken Vietnam Brewery (HVBL), also presented a review of its sustainability report 2015 on “Brewing a Better Vietnam”. He said this was the second sustainability report that HVBL has released, which aims to demonstrate its long term commitment to sustainable development. The report focused on six areas: advocating responsible consumption, protecting water resources, reducing CO2 emissions, growing with communities, sourcing sustainably and promoting health and safety.
UP Co-working Space hosts startups conference
The Israel’s Guide for Startups Conference held Wednesday discussed key requirements for building a strong startup economy and how to apply these elements to Việt Nam’s startup ecosystem.
The panel argued that networking for startup businesses and investors and other financial and legal entities, as well as matching investors and companies through an established database, are necessary for the future of the Vietnamese startup ecosystem.
“There are several components, including startups, human capital, academia, universities, foreign companies, venture capitalists and, of course, government. All of these things should contribute to the startup ecosystem, and the government should monitor and adjust them all. Each of these players should make an effort and the government should take responsibility for success,” Avi Luvton, Executive Director of Israel’s Asia Pacific Department, told Viet Nam News.
The 200 conference attendees included representatives of various Vietnamese startups interested in company building and fund raising. Attendees also dialogued with panelists on startup economy issues.
“Israel is a country with many small startup businesses. The nation did not develop from larger or multi-national companies. Israelis encourage their children to start doing business on their own, instead of working in government sectors or big businesses. This differs from the Vietnamese mindset. Viet Nam’s startup ecosystem is still in its early stages, which is also a good thing. I believe we are going in the right direction for the long term,” said Nguyen Khanh Phuong, founder of the RoboFarm startup which just won third place in the US Embassy’s “The Ambassador’s Entrepreneurship Challenge”.
Other supporting entities, such as UP Co-working Space, are also important for promoting startup businesses in Viet Nam. They offer practical opportunities for networking and business matching through events such as the Israel’s conference.
“If the Conference helps connect startups with the Vietnamese and global business ecosystem, or simply prompts startups to find better economic models for their businesses, then I believe it is a big success on its own merits,’ said Tran Quang Hung, co-founder of UP Co-Working Space and the event organiser.
The conference was part of Israel Startup Week in Viet Nam. It followed an earlier seminar that day which was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue and by the Israeli Ambassador to Viet Nam, Meirav Eilon Shahar.
Ministry to set tra fish standards
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development expects to issue national technical standards for frozen tra catfish fillets by the year’s end.
This announcement pushed back the previous July 2016 release date. The ministry has now asked related offices to finish a decree on standards instead of decree 36/2014/ND-CP on rearing and exporting tra fish products, said Vu Van Tam, deputy minister of agriculture and rural development.
The standards will detail quality regulations, including rates of glazing and moisture, in order to strictly control the quality of frozen fish products in the future, he said.
The General Department of Fishery, along with the National Agro, Forestry and Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (Nafiqad), have taken responsibility to compile the new decree and will soon submit it to the ministry for Governmental approval, he said.
Tra fish is one of the fishery industry’s key products, but at present this product has faced high competition. Meanwhile, tra fish producers and processors have focused on competition in price, but they have not improved quality of tra fish products. However, the ministry has worked on solutions to promote control of food safety toward the export of seafood products, especially tra and basa fish.
For instance, it issued Decision 3328/QD-BNN-QLCL on August 15, 2016 to suspend granting seafood export certificates for products bound for the EU that were made in facilities that EU authorities warned of chemical and anti-biotic residues.
The ministry also issued Decision 2636/QD-BNN-QLCL on June 29, 2016 on the inspection and granting of food safety certificates for siluriformes fish, including tra and basa fish exported to the US. According to the decree, Nafiqad would inspect, sample, test and grant food safety certificates for the siluriformes fish before exporting to the US.
Conference discusses Viet Nam-Taiwan business potential
There is huge potential for co-operation between Vietnamese and Taiwanese firms in many areas, including MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) and medical services, a conference heard in HCM City on September 23.
Vo Tan Thanh, director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s HCM City office, said bilateral trade has grown strongly in recent years, reaching US$13 billion last year, with Taiwan enjoying a surplus.
Taiwan ranked fourth among countries and territories investing in Viet Nam, with $31.9 billion as of July this year in 2,540 projects, he said.
The number of Taiwanese travellers to Viet Nam has steadily increased in recent years, reaching nearly 300,000 in the first seven months of the year, a year-on-year increase of 15 per cent, he said.
Taiwan has also become an increasingly attractive travel destination for Vietnamese, with around 150,000 visiting last year, he said.
Liang Guang Chung, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in HCM City, said the MICE industry has strongly developed in Taiwan thanks to the Government’s intensive investment in the sector.
Since last November Taiwanese Government has eased visa procedures for many emerging countries in Asia like Viet Nam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and India.
Starting this month Vietnamese can get a long-term, multi-entry visa for 2-5 years.
This would create favourable conditions to boost tourism co-operation between the two sides, Liang said.
There is huge potential for co-operation between Vietnamese and Taiwanese firms in many areas, he said.
Thanh said with incomes increasing, the number of Vietnamese going abroad to treat heart, cancer, and digestive problems and get cosmetic surgery has also increased, with around 2,000 heading for Taiwan last year.
This is an area in which the two sides can boost co-operation, he said.
Organised by VCCI and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), the conference saw executives from six Taiwanese MICE firms and two hospitals taking part.
Delegates spoke about Taiwan’s MICE industry, MICE tours and medical tourism, and the incentives and support offered to overseas groups coming to Taiwan for corporate meetings and incentive travel.
The conference was part of Taiwan’s trade promotion activities meant to expand bilateral co-operation with ASEAN countries in sectors like human resources, manufacturing, education, culture, tourism, and agriculture.
Review policies for export processing enterprises, ministry urged
The customs sector has recommended that the Ministry of Finance and relevant agencies review policies for export processing enterprises, since current regulations seem to excessively favour the firms.
This was reported by Dien dan Doanh nghiep (The Business Forum) online.
Decree No 29/2008/ND-CP, dated March 14, 2008, defined these enterprises as either companies operating in export processing zones or firms operating in industrial and economic zones and exporting all the products that they manufacture.
Decree No 24/2000/ND-CP, issued on July 31, 2000, reiterated that these enterprises must export all their products.
However, the latest Enterprise Law and the Investment Law, which came into effect in mid-2015, do not stipulate the types of export processing enterprises or regulate the percentage of goods they are to export.
The slackening regulations result in almost no difference between export processing enterprises and normal firms, although the export processing enterprises enjoy preferential treatment, the customs sector said.
Specifically, Circular No 219/ 2013/TT-BTC, issued by the finance ministry on December 31, 2013, stated that normal domestic enterprises which sell goods to export processing enterprises will enjoy value-added tax (VAT) rate of zero per cent.
The same goods, if traded between normal domestic enterprises only, will bear VAT rates of 5-10 per cent.
The customs sector said it was necessary for the authorities to maintain the regulation requiring export processing enterprises to export all their products and reconsider preferential policies to assure business equality.
The sector suggested that the VAT incentive applied in case domestic firms sell goods to export processing enterprises should be abolished. The incentive should only be applied when export processing enterprises imported goods from foreign countries.
An official from the management board of industrial zones in southern Dong Nai Province told Dien dan Doanh nghiep on condition of anonymity that because of the lack of regulations on export processing firms under the enterprise and investment laws, the board is quite hesitant to certify the companies.
Managing the firms also embarrassed the Dong Nai Department of Customs, which reportedly said many of them did not meet production facility standards, as required under Decree No 114/2015/ND-CP issued last year on export processing, industrial and economic zones.
Fifteen out of more than 90 export processing enterprises licensed by the board did not qualify, the department said.
Room to develop Viet Nam-Cambodia ties
There is untapped potential for Viet Nam and Cambodia to foster bilateral cooperation in economy, trade, investment and tourism.
This message was delivered by Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Thach Du during a business conference held on Thursday in Cambodia.
The ambassador said bilateral ties have experienced encouraging results over the past years.
Viet Nam is considered one of Cambodia’s leading economic partners with two-way trade reaching US$3.4 billion in 2015. Trade is expected to reach $5 billion in 2017.In term of investment, Viet Nam has, till date, invested $2.85 billion in 182 projects in Cambodia. Viet Nam also recorded the largest number of travellers to this neighboring country with some 990,000 recorded in 2015, Du said.
In his speech at the event, Chea Vuthy, vice secretary general of the Council for Development of Cambodia, gave a brief overview of the country’s investment climate and policies. He also spoke highly on the effective contribution of Vietnamese businesses to his country’s socio-economic development and to the economic co-operation between the two countries.
Currently, Viet Nam is one of Cambodia’s five leading sources of foreign investment besides China, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia, with the most noteworthy projects focusing on agriculture and industry, valued at $958 million.
He said Cambodia is willing to create the most favorable conditions for foreign investors including those from Viet Nam. The influx of Vietnamese investment to Cambodia would increase significantly in the near future, he added.
Special rates for poor spectators at Hope musical program
Poor spectators can also come to enjoy the Hope musical program which features “The last summer night,” “The street of fame” and “Reachable dreams” as the ticket price is a mere VND99,000, reports Vietnamplus.
The organizer of the program wants to connect less fortunate people like shoeshine boys, housemaids, motorbike taxi drivers and construction workers, so kind-hearted benefactors are encouraged to buy and donate tickets to these people. Nguyen Phi Phi Anh, the show’s director and producer, said the ultimate goal of the event is to bring people from all walks of life to the theater to watch a musical and thus allow them to build hopes for a better future.
The organizer expects to lure 10,000 people to 35 shows at L’Espace in Hanoi.
Students in the capital city just pay VND199,000 for a ticket.
HCMC mulls sluices in District 2 to control flooding
The HCMC Steering Center of the Urban Flood Control Program has proposed the city government approve a plan to build sluices at Ong Chua, Ong Hoa and Thao Dien canals and a large-scale pumping system to ease flooding on many roads in Thao Dien area of District 2.
At a meeting with HCMC deputy chairman Le Van Khoa yesterday to discuss anti-flood measures in District 2, a representative of the center said the district has three main flood-prone areas which affect people who live along Quoc Huong, Thao Dien and Nguyen Van Huong streets.
Heavy rain and flood tides have submerged Quoc Huong and Thao Dien streets for 12 and two times respectively since early 2016 due to road subsidence and deteriorating sewers there.
The center has opened an extra drainage channel towards Nguyen Van Huong Canal and managed to pump water on Quoc Huong Street when there are floods, as well as installed a pumping system at Thao Dien Street to control tide-triggered flooding.
To effectively tackle flooding on the streets and in Thao Dien residential area, the center suggested the city government approve building sluices at Ong Chua, Ong Hoa and Thao Dien canals and a pumping system at Ong Hoa Canal as part of a major embankment project on the left bank of the Saigon River from Cau Ngang Canal to Thu Thiem new urban area.
Khoa threw his weight behind the the proposal and told relevant agencies to work with the flood control center to start the project in March 2017.
The center will also upgrade the drainage systems along Xuan Thuy, Quoc Huong, Thao Dien and Nguyen Van Huong streets, carry out phase two of the city’s sanitation project, and elevate Quoc Huong and Nguyen Van Huong streets to reduce flooding.
The center suggested building sewers for 187 streets in District 2 which have not had drains connected to the city’s sewer systems.
Equitization plan for major food firm goes before PM
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has sent the Prime Minister a plan to equitize the parent firm of Vietnam Southern Food Corporation (Vinafood 2), a Vietnam News Agency report said.
Under the plan, the enterprise would sell State shares and at the same time issue nearly 16.5 million shares worth nearly VND165 billion to raise its chartered capital to VND5 trillion (around US$224 million).
The company’s chartered capital of VND5 trillion is equivalent to 500 million shares with the face value of VND10,000 per share. The State would hold a 65% stake, or VND3.25 trillion in the enterprise, a strategic investor would own 25% (VND1.25 trillion), 8.95% would be sold to domestic and foreign buyers, and the remainder to staff and the trade union of the corporation.
Vinafood 2 said it has selected a strategic investor. In case, the enterprise cannot sell out shares, it will propose increasing the State stake after it goes public and reducing the Stake holding later.
The corporation wants to continue operating under the umbrella of the agriculture ministry before a new mechanism on the representative of State stakes in enterprises is adopted.
At present, the Government is weighing a scheme to establish an agency responsible for managing State capital in State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and other firms. When the agency comes into existence, capital ownership rights held by ministries and local governments will be abolished to allow them to focus on State management affairs only.
The corporate value of the parent company of Vinafood 2 had been determined at VND14.28 trillion and the State ownership had been VND4.98 trillion as of March 2015. The value excluded losses of the company in previous years.
Huynh The Nang, general director of Vinafood 2, was quoted by the Vietnam News Agency as saying that overdue debts would account for VND600 billion of the planned chartered capital of VND5 trillion.
After years of losses, the parent company of Vinafood 2 posted profit of almost VND156 billion last year. In the first half of this year, Vinafood 2 reported profit of more than VND100 billion.
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