Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

USTDA helps develop wind power in Vietnam

The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has approved a nearly US$288,000 in non-refundable official development assistance (ODA) for a technical assistance project to develop wind power in Vietnam from now until August 2014.

The project will contribute to evaluating the effect of integrating the wind power into the national electricity grid, defining the scale and creating regulations concerning to the issue.

It also helps review the management of the electricity market to ensure power supply security.

According to the Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) the country has only two wind power plants with a total capacity of 60MW in Binh Thuan and Bac Lieu provinces which have been already connected to the national grid.

Experts said the integration of such a large amount of wind power into the national grid will pose great technical challenges due to the instability of this energy source.

However, they argued that it will also open up a good opportunity to fully tap the potential of wind power, especially in the central provinces of Vietnam.

HCM City host Chinamac Fair, MetalWeld 2013

The 14th China Machinery and Equipment Exhibition (Chinamac Fair) and the 2nd International Metalworking and Welding Technology Exhibition (MetalWeld) will both take place in HCM City from July 31 to August 3.

Around 150 businesses representing 11 countries and territories will showcase their products and services at over 200 stands. Featured displays will span metalworking and welding equipment and technology, project machinery, mechanical products, machine tools, packaging machinery, and food processing equipment.

Advances in paper production, garment, and energy recycling technology will also receive pride of place.

The fairs encompass networking events and professional seminars on investment policies and trade as well as previous collaborative experiences.

PM instructs thrift practice, anti wastefulness in SOEs

The Prime Minister has asked ministries, branches, localities, economic groups and State-owned enterprises (SOEs) to strengthen thrift practice and prevent wastefulness in the management, exploration of natural resources, capital, asset and labour in SOEs.

He required that ministries, branches, localities and SOEs review the use of land, minerals, forest and water resources in order to promptly deal with inappropriate use of these resources.

The agencies should reclaim the areas of land and water surface which are being used ineffective or illegally, as well as those left unused.

They are also told to tighten control over the grant of licence and activities in exploiting natural resources and minerals, to ensure economical use of resources and environmental protection.

In the field of managing and using State capital and asset in SOEs, the PM demands that enterprises ensure their investment serves their main business lines while resolutely cutting down or eliminating ineffective and unnecessary projects.

They must also quicken the pace of capital divestment from professions outside their main business lines.

The PM required strengthening the management, inspection and supervision of capital disbursement for public projects and making public the use and management of State capital and assets in SOEs.

He also instructed ministries, branches, localities and SOEs to check and revise regulations on labour recruitment and staff promotion while streamlining the management structure.

Five listed firms win SRA

Five listed companies on Thursday won the Sustainability Reporting Awards (SRA) for their outstanding environmental and social issue achievements that were mentioned in their annual reports.

They were among 35 listed businesses that reached the final round of SRA in the framework of the 2013 Annual Report Awards.

There were some 88 out of over 600 listed companies mentioning sustainable development issues in their annual reports this year. This was the first year SRA had been introduced to honor enterprises with outstanding environmental and social issue achievements.

The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) were on the judging panel of the award.

Speaking at the award ceremony in HCMC on Thursday, Phan Thi Tuong Tam, general director of the Hochiminh Stock Exchange and head of the judging panel, said this year’s reports had improved. The average score of the first round rose 13.4% against last year while the number of substandard reports dropped 20%.

However, many annual reports failed to make comments and give deep information, especially on corporate management, compare their results with enterprises in the same industry and set up clear strategies for risk management.

In addition, some reports with sustainable development issues failed to follow the standard structure. To deal with this problem, the organizing committee will cooperate with IFC and ACCA to provide more training for enterprises in the coming time, Tam said.

Investment firm debuts on HNX

F.I.T Investment Joint Stock Company, which operates in investment and investment consultancy sector, debuted on the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) last Friday under the code of FIT.

The enterprise began trading 15 million shares on the exchange at the reference price of VND11,000 each.

Established in 2007, the enterprise has a chartered capital of VND150 billion and equity of VND159 billion. It obtained total assets of over VND1.8 trillion by the end of 2012 and has established business relationships with over 1,600 customers.

Phan Trung Phuong, chairman of the company, said that listing on HNX is part of its development strategy. The move aims to increase liquidity of FIT shares, secure information transparency before shareholders and help the enterprise mobilize capital for its projects.

Dai-ichi Life Vietnam grows 19% in new business

Dai-ichi Life Vietnam Insurance Company on Monday announced results in the first half of 2013 with new business premium reaching over VND291 billion, up 19% against the same period of 2012.

Its total premium income was over VND743 billion, a 23% increase year-on-year, while its preliminary profit is estimated at VND91 billion, up 42% from last year.

The life insurer since May has implemented the customer loyalty awarded points program, which credits the loyalty points to customers in every transaction with the company such as direct premium payment at the premium collection channels, premium payment before and on due date, and purchase of new policy after maturity. These points can be used to redeem cell-phone prepaid cards, gift vouchers at supermarkets, or to pay premiums for their own policies.

The enterprise inaugurated 12 new general agencies in this year’s first half, raising the number of total offices and general agencies to 103 in the country.

Masan, H.C. Stark set up venture to tap wolfram

Masan Group and Germany-based H.C. Starck have announced the signing of an agreement on establishing a joint venture to tap wolfram ore at Nui Phao in the northern province of Thai Nguyen’s Dai Tu District.

The new entity, with 51% stake held by Masan’s subsidiary Nui Phao Co. and the rest by H.C. Starck, will refine wolfram ore exploited and processed at Nui Phao mine. According to Masan Group, the joint venture is capable of refining up to 10,000 tons of wolfram ore every year.

H.C. Starck has pledged to buy and use and a large proportion and will help the joint venture sell the remaining volume on the global market.

H.C. Starck is one among the world’s biggest companies in the wolfram industry and also a high-quality provider of innovative, high-tech and high-performance metals like molybdenum, niobium and rhenium.

Meanwhile, Nui Phao Co. as supplier of materials for the joint venture is developing one of the biggest wolfram mines in the world. It expects to tap the mine in over 15 years.

The plant at Nui Phao mine which is being built will be part of the joint venture, according to Masan.

The first phase of the wolfram processing plant will come into operation next month and the next phase is scheduled for completion next year.

Underground shopping complex opens in Hanoi

Vingroup has opened Vincom Mega Mall Royal City, the biggest underground complex of shopping mall and entertainment facilities in Asia, at Royal City urban area in Hanoi’s Thanh Xuan District.

Speaking at the launching ceremony last Friday, Vingroup CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy said that Vincom Mega Mall Royal City with a total area of 230,000 square meters has become the biggest and the first shopping and entertainment complex in Vietnam to be developed under the international Mega Mall model.

With the all-in-one model, the complex consists of a wide range of services such as 600 stalls for shopping, entertainment space with indoor water park and ice rink, food court with over 200 eateries and many other facilities. The complex welcomed thousands of visitors on its opening day.

According to Thuy, Vincom Mega Mall Royal City helps promote Vingroup’s position in developing high-end urban complexes meeting international standards in Vietnam. The opening of the complex is the starting event for the establishment of the chain of all-in-one shopping-entertainment complexes under the brand of Vincom Mega Mall Royal City.

The complex was kicked off in 2010 and received the site in May, 2011.

“The success of the complex lies not only in fast development progress of 30 months but also in suitable business strategy. After ten months of offering for lease, the commercial center has had over 95% of its area filled up by hundreds of well-known brands,” Thuy said.

The opening of Vincom Mega mall Royal City marks a new stage of development of Vietnam’s retail market as well as a milestone celebrating Vingroup’s 20th anniversary of establishment (1993-2013).

On the occasion of Vincom Mega mall Royal City’s opening, many brands have also opened their stores there and offered many attractive promotion programs and gifts. For instance, with the third Image Square store at the complex, Canon is offering discounts of nearly 50% on the first week of opening.

Contractor suspended for careless construction

East Mekong Investment, Manufacturing and Construction Co. Ltd. was on Thursday suspended from the XL14 package of the Tan Hoa-Lo Gom Canal rehabilitation project in HCMC’s Tan Phu District for its careless work.

The HCMC Department of Transport had found this contractor failing to ensure safety during the execution of the XL14 package, putting pedestrians at risk and affecting the urban landscape. Therefore, the department on Thursday released a decision suspending the company from this construction package.

Moreover, the department may revoke the construction permit previously issued to East Mekong. The company is suspended until it fully guarantees traffic safety and protects the environment within the construction site.

Nguyen Bat Han, deputy chief inspector of the HCMC transport department, said suspension was a must since many contractors had committed violations although they had been penalized for several times. In 2012, inspectors detected nearly 1,100 violations committed by contractors of traffic projects and collected a total fine of over VND6.5 billion.

Many urban traffic management units have proposed the transport department impose heavier sanctions against offending contractors so that they could get more responsible for ensuring safety.

Bui Xuan Cuong, deputy director of the HCMC transport department, said many accidents had occurred due to careless construction on the streets of Pham The Hien and Ba Hom. Therefore, the department is establishing criteria for ranking project managers, consultants and contractors following the example of the Ministry of Transport in order to eliminate incompetent contractors.

The project for rehabilitating the Tan Hoa-Lo Gom Canal and the roads along the canal basin is scheduled for completion in April 2014. However, by the end of this May, only 32% of the workload had been done, said a report by the management board for investment and construction of the HCMC urban upgrade project.

U.S. initiates dumping investigations into steel pipe

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced on Tuesday to initiate investigations into charges that oil country tubular goods imported from Vietnam is sold at less than its fair value in the U.S.

According to the Vietnam Competition Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, this is the U.S.’ fourth anti-dumping case against Vietnam’s steel since 2011, after the cases of welded carbon steel pipe, stainless steel pipe and steel hangers.

Statistics of the U.S. customs agency showed that the U.S. imported around US$189 million from Vietnam last year with a volume of 199,000 tons of steel of all kinds, accounting for some 12% of the U.S. steel import.

Early this month, some U.S. steel producers petitioned the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce to impose anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on oil country tubular goods imported from Vietnam, Thailand, India, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Turkey and Ukraine.

Anti-dumping duties proposed by U.S. steel producers for Vietnam’s steel pipe is 111%. Meanwhile, anti-dumping duties asked for India and Thailand are 240% and 118% respectively.

The U.S. International Trade Commission will make its preliminary decision on the case in August, and final determinations will be made next year.

According to the Vietnam Steel Association, SeAH Steel and Lida Pipe are two among eight Vietnamese steel producers which might be investigated by the U.S. this time.

SeAH Steel based in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province currently has three steel pipe plants with a total capacity of 180,000 tons per year. Its fourth plant having an annual capacity of 20,000 tons will be put into operation this November.

Speaking to the Daily, a representative of SeAH Steel said that the firm received an announcement from the Vietnam Steel Association and was preparing documents to pursue the case.

He said that if the U.S. imposed an anti-dumping duty of 111% as proposed, Vietnamese steel pipe producers could not export as a tax hike of only a couple of percentages could be enough to leave a huge impact on steel exporters.

FDI inflow keeps burgeoning

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam this year has risen nearly 20% over the same period last year, totaling over US$11.9 billion, according to a report by the General Statistics Office.

Since January 1, the country has attracted 677 new FDI projects with total registered capital of nearly US$1.7 billion. Although the number of projects has declined 6.5% year-on-year, the capital volume has picked up 10%.

Meanwhile, 266 ongoing projects have raised their capital by more than US$4.99 billion, an increase of 36.2% over the same period last year.

To date, the manufacturing-processing sector has taken 87.6% of the total pledged FDI capital, or over US$10.44 billion. This sector has always been the strongest magnet for FDI in recent years.

As the frozen property market has yet to thaw, FDI inflow has returned to manufacturing-processing with a number of sizable projects. This trend is expected to grow further as businesses from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore have said they will continue to invest in Vietnam.

The real estate sector in the first seven months has attracted about US$580 million of FDI, or 4.9% of the total FDI inflow. The remaining industries have enticed some US$889.3 million, making up 7.5%.

Japan remains the largest investor in Vietnam, pledging nearly US$4.1 billion in the first seven months, accounting for 34.4% of the total FDI capital, followed by Singapore and Russia with US$3.72 billion and US$1.01 billion respectively.

Thai Nguyen has taken 44.8% of the total fresh FDI inflow in the first seven months, or more than US$2.14 billion, thanks to the Samsung hi-tech complex project capitalized at US$2 billion. Thus, the province secures the top spot in the list of localities attracting the most FDI.

Next up is Binh Dinh with over US$1 billion (21.1%), Hai Duong US$611.6 million, (12.8%), Binh Duong US$460.7 million (9.6%) and Dong Nai US$338.8 million (7.1%).

An estimated US$6.65 billion of FDI capital has been disbursed this year, up 6.4% year-on-year, says the General Statistics Office report.

State-owned enterprises run poor business

The State Audit of Vietnam has announced the audits of the 2011 business results of State-owned enterprises, which show that many of them either incurred losses or got lower profits.

Speaking at a press briefing in Hanoi City last week, Dao Van Dung, director of State Audit of Vietnam’s General Affairs Department, said this agency last year audited the 2011 financial statements of 271 units under 27 State-owned groups and corporations.

Four of the 27 entities and some of their affiliates were running at a loss, with Petrolimex losing nearly VND1.7 trillion, Cienco 8 nearly VND138 billion, Vinaincon VND20 billion, Mipeco VND17 billion and Thanh An Corporation VND1.7 billion.

Other groups and corporations saw profits sliding strongly against 2010, including Vinaconex, PVC, Vinafood 2 and Habeco. Some enterprises made gains but their return-on-equity (ROE) was below 5%.

Total receivables at the 27 companies amounted to over VND54 trillion by late 2011, making up around 20.5% of their total assets and 83% of their equity.

The total capital of the audited enterprises had reached over VND263 trillion by end-2011, of which equity was VND65.2 trillion, while their payable debts made up 69.9%.

Dung said these figures suggested the enterprises mainly relied on loans.

Taiwanese hi-tech firms come knocking

Many companies in the supporting industry in Taiwan’s New Taipei City are sounding out investment opportunities in Vietnam to make the most of the country’s broader participation in international trade cooperation recently.

The information was revealed by Huey-Ching Yeh, director of the Economic Development Department of the New Taipei City, at a press conference on Monday on a business trip to HCMC with 42 suppliers seeking ways to expand business to the Southeast Asian market, including Vietnam.

The Vietnamese market is attractive to enterprises of New Taipei in particular and Taiwan in general, Yeh said. “As Taiwan doesn’t have much land while its industrial parks are few and labor costs are high, Vietnam with strengths in these elements has attracted a great deal of attention of New Taipei companies,” Yeh remarked.

He believed the deep participation in international trade cooperation of Vietnam also has the attention of Taiwanese investors.

“New Taipei companies with high technology and a good capability of market development will help foster bilateral economic development when investing in Vietnam,” Yeh forecast.

Taiwan’s enterprises operating in Vietnam are strong in various fields, including information technology, telecom, biotechnology and green energy besides its traditional strength in mechanics, electronics and auto parts industries. These are the industries that Vietnam is seeking to lure foreign investment.

In fact, plenty of New Taipei companies have invested in Vietnam in recent years, including Foxconn Group which specializes in making components and assembling products for Apple.

Yeh reported there are roughly 500 New Taipei entities among some 2,000 Taiwanese firms making investments in Vietnam.

The business exchange meeting with New Taipei enterprises in HCMC on Monday attracted around 500 local firms.

State Bank auctions one more ton of gold

The State Bank of Vietnam sold 26,000 taels of gold, or one ton, at the 48th gold auction on July 30 to seventeen banks and companies with highest bid at VND38.08 million a tael and lowest bid at VND38 million.

During the past four months, the Central Bank had sold 1,297,400 taels of gold, or 49.9 tons, out of 1.4 million taels, or more than 53.8 tons, that were up for auction.

On July 30, the price of SJC-brand gold dropped by VND320,000 per tael to VND37.7 million for buying and VND38.1 million for selling.

Commercial banks also lowered US dollar exchange rate by VND10-30 on the same day. On the free market, dollars were bought at VND21,420 per dollar and sold at VND21,440 per dollar, down VND10-30 per dollar.

Central bank stops dollar selling

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has stopped selling U.S. dollars to intervene in the market as the foreign exchange rate has been stabilized over the past time.

Local banks have revised down the exchange rate. Meanwhile, the price of the greenback also declined on the unofficial market, with a dollar exchanged at VND21,400 on Monday, down from VND21,900 early this month.

At kiosks around Ben Thanh Market in HCMC, the greenback was bought and sold VND21,350 and VND21,400 respectively, a mild decline compared to the buying price of VND21,500 on July 15.

Vietcombank, one of banks with ample dollar supply, bought the greenback at around VND21,190, down around VND30 against late last week, and sold it at VND21,245, a mild drop of VND1 compared to during last week.

VietinBank also revised down dollar prices to VND21,175 and VND21,240 for buying and selling respectively, dropping strongly against the previous week.

Eximbank posted up dollar prices lower than those of Vietcombank, buying the greenback at VND21,170 while selling it at VND21,230, or VND16 lower than the ceiling price. Meanwhile, DongABank sold a dollar at only VND21,225.

DongABank deputy general director Nguyen Thi Kim Xuyen said that dollar supply and demand of the lender stayed normal as the demand to buy dollars for goods imports is not high. This was the reason why DongABank quoted lower dollar prices than last week.

Phan Huy Khang, general director of Sacombank, said that the exchange rate situation has been stabilized. The bank has balanced foreign currency supply and demand and it has seen no unusual fluctuations.

According to deputy general director of a local bank, the greenback has been sold at around VND21,188 on the inter-bank market, much lower than VND21,246 early last week.

A leader of the central bank said that SBV has stopped selling dollars to commercial banks as the exchange rate has declined. This agency only intervenes in the market upon signs of tension.

In the coming time, the forex rate stability is expected to continue. Foreign currency supply is expected to increase as the country’s balance of payments is estimated to run a surplus of around US$5 billion this year.

People at present are turning foreign currencies into dong as dollar deposit rates have dropped to around 1.25% per annum compared to dong deposit rates from 5-7% per annum. Overseas remittance is forecast to be equal to last year’s at over US$8 billion.

Central Bank appoints new chief

The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) has promoted Ngo Quang Luong to become the central banks’ chief administrator, replacing Nghiem Xuan Thanh.

Nghiem Xuan Thanh left the position to become general director of the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Viet Nam (Vietcombank), in place of Nguyen Phuoc Thanh.

Reportedly, Nguyen Phuoc Thanh left the CEO post after he had been appointed as deputy governor at the central bank on July 19, 2013.

Delta to restructure agriculture sector

The Southwest Region Steering Committee says the agriculture sector in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta needs to be restructured in order to address several shortcomings and ensure sustainable development.

The committee is working with other agencies on the mechanisms and policies for developing three key agricultural products – rice, seafood and fruits.

The committee held a meeting on the issue in Can Tho City on Monday with Vuong Dinh Hue, head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission.

Other important suggestions that the committee made at the meeting included the increase of Government investment capital for major climate change adaptation projects.

It also mooted a new State-owned seafood corporation that would help reduce risk for farmers.

The steering committee reported at the meeting that the Mekong Delta, the country’s largest producer of rice, fish and fruits, had achieved an economic growth rate of 9 per cent in the first half of the year.

During this period, total investment capital from all sectors reached VND88.9 trillion (US$4.2 billion), up 12.5 per cent against the same period last year.

The delta’s export value reached $4.7 billion, a rise of 10.6 per cent year-on-year, the committee said.

It conceded, however, that the region was suffering from several shortcomings, evidenced by difficulties in production, low prices and lack of stable outlets for agriculture produce.

Investment and trade promotion in the Delta have not met targets and the programme of building new rural areas in many provinces lags far behind schedule.

Hue said he agreed with the committee that the agriculture sector should be restructured to ensure the Delta’s development.

He asked the committee to work closely with the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission in accomplishing this task.

To solve current difficulties faced by rice and tra fish farmers, the steering committee, various sectors and localities should actively carry out activities to promote agriculture products, focusing on domestic users, he said.

The delta should also implement programmes to reduce post-harvest losses and switch from ineffective rice fields to other crops, he said.

Salt ‘mountain’ continues to grow

The salt ‘mountain’ increased to 206,493 tonnes on July 20, 2013, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has reported.

By July 20, Viet Nam had 14,189 hectares producing salt, including 3,394ha of industrial salt.

From Jan 1-July 20, 2013, Viet Nam produced 860,889 tonnes of salt, an annual increase of 40.7 per cent, including 206,791 tonnes of salt for industry. MARD commented that salt prices and supply were stable in the first seven months of this year.

Current salt prices are VND1,300-2,000 ($0.061-0.094) per kilo in the north and the Mekong Delta; while in the south central, rough salt is being sold at VND850-1,400 ($0.04-0.066) per kilo and industrial salt at VND1,000-1,200 ($0.047-0.056) per kilo.

HTV, VTC sign strategic agreement

HCM City Television (HTV) and the Ha Noi-based Viet Nam Multimedia Corporation (VTC) signed a strategic co-operation agreement on Monday.

Under the agreement, the two State-owned agencies will fully utilise each other’s infrastructure, including the transmission of television channels operated by both parties.

The VTC plays a significant role in the country’s development, broadcasting various channels and disseminating various news and information.

Fertiliser plant hits milestone million tonnes in Ca Mau

The Ca Mau fertiliser plant in the southernmost province of Ca Mau has officially welcomed its millionth tonne of urea fertiliser – an important milestone after nearly 16 months of operations.

A ceremony to honour the achievement was held at the Ca Mau Gas-Power-Fertiliser complex last Friday in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai.

As the largest project operating in the Ca Mau Gas-Power-Fertiliser complex, the US$900 million plant has a designed annual output of 800,000 tonnes, which satisfies roughly 40 per cent of domestic fertiliser demand.

It has so far earned a total revenue of VND8 trillion ($380 million) and profits of VND1.6 trillion ($76 million).

Addressing the ceremony, Hai praised the plant for its achievements and lauded its officials and workers for their responsible working spirit.

This initial success has not only eased fertiliser shortages in Viet Nam, but also contributed to ensuring national food security and reinforcing the Ca Mau fertiliser trademark.

The Deputy PM said he hoped that with dynamism, creativity and an all-out effort, the staff of managers, engineers and workers would reap even greater successes in the future, improve its output and meet domestic standards.

Leaders of SOEs to be dismissed for slow non-core investment withdrawal

Leaders of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) which are slow in withdrawing their investments from non-core business activities might easily be dismissed.

This is one among many proposals the Ministry of Finance will submit to the prime minister in August, in order to speed up non-core investment withdrawal, said Dang Quyet Tien, the Ministry of Finance’s Deputy Head of the Enterprise Finance Department.

According to Mr. Tien, many SOEs said that they do not want to sell their stake at this time when prices of shares and real estate are very low, which would cause them big losses. This has slowed down the removal of non-core capital.

He noted that, “We need such strong measures to force SOEs’ leaders to quicken non-core capital removal.”

In a recent meeting with reporters, in early February this year, Deputy Minister of Finance Truong Chi Trung said SOEs currently account for 70% of the country’s total development investment, 50% of stated-funded capital, 60% of banking loans and more than 50% of bad debts. Therefore, restructuring SOEs is an essential task.

The World Bank has warned that sluggish restructuring of banks and SOEs would adversely affect investor confidence in the Vietnamese business environment, as well as economic growth prospects.

Matt Hildebrandt, an economist at JPMorgan Chase in Singapore, said it would take Vietnam many years, even dozens of years to complete its restructuring programme.

On July 29, the prime minister urged ministries, agencies and localities as well as SOEs, to reduce and remove ineffective projects to deal with massive, but inefficient, state-funded investments. They’ve also been encouraged to revise regulations on recruitment of labourers and appointment of officials. The recruitment and appointments must be transparent and in line with existing laws.

According to the prime minister’s instructions, officials who cause problems for for their agencies must be dismissed.

State-owned corporations and groups have been requested to withdraw their non-core investments before 2015. This is considered an important step towards the restructuring of state-owned enterprises, particularly those that have invested in riskier sectors such real estate, banking, finance and insurance.

Australia investigates Vietnamese power transformers

The Australian Anti-Dumping Commission (AADC) has announced its decision to conduct anti-dumping investigation into power transformers imported from Taiwan, the Republic of Korea, China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Accordingly, HS850422-23 shipments to in Australia from July 1, 2012-June 31, 2013 will be under surveillance.

The AADC said detailed information about the case, such as complaints, product descriptions and reports, was posted at its website: on July 29.

This is Australia’s first anti-dumping case against Vietnam’s export products.

In 2012 Vietnam’s total earnings from two kinds of power transformers exported to Australia reached US$1.631 million and US$6.979 million, respectively, accounting for 4.75 percent and 25.57 percent of its market share.

Taiwan, Vietnam promote trade ties

As many as 43 leading businesses from New Taipei City, Taiwan, met 550 Vietnamese counterparts in HCM City on July 29 to sound out cooperation opportunities and seek partnerships.

They examined the possibility of cooperating in the areas of the support, mechanics, hardware, information technology, and electronics industries, and the manufacturing of automobile components, global positioning system (GPS) devices, industrial valves, cylinder air compressors, chemicals, consumption goods, green energy products and lighting devices.

The New Taipei City Commissioner of Economic Development, Hui-Ching Yeh, said the event helped Taiwan expand business opportunities in the lucrative Southeast Asian market and boost bilateral trade ties.

Taiwan currently invests in more than 2,000 projects in Vietnam, 500 of which are from New Taipei City.

Six-month inventory ratio at 75 percent

According to the General Statistics Office, inventory index of industrial processing and manufacturing until July 1, rose by 8.8 percent compared to the same period last year.

Inventory ratio was at 71 percent in June, sending six-month inventory ratio to 75 percent.

Some industries that saw higher inventory levels compared to the same period last year include beverages with 33 percent, cigarettes with 22 percent, medicines and pharmaceutical chemicals with 20 percent, chemicals and chemical products with 14.3 percent, electronic devices with 12 percent, food processing with 7.2 percent, and textiles with 2.9 percent.

Meanwhile, clothes inventory dropped 1.3 percent and leather and leather products fell 19.2 percent.

State Budget revenue posts poor growth

Data from the Ministry of Finance showed that from the beginning of this year until July 15, budget revenue was estimated at VND381.7 trillion, accounting for nearly 47 percent of this year’s plan.

Of which, domestic revenue reached VND251.5 trillion, or 46 percent of the plan; revenue from export and import touched VND68.6 trillion, or 41 percent of the plan; and revenue from crude oil hit VND58.4 trillion, or 59 percent of the plan.

Domestic revenue from state-owned companies was at VND73.4 trillion, accounting for 42 percent of the plan; from foreign-invested companies, excluding crude oil, at VND56.3 trillion, or 52.5 percent; and non-state taxes from industry, trade, and services at VND54.7 trillion, or 45 percent.

Meanwhile, total budget expenditure from the beginning of this year to July 15 was estimated at VND483.6 trillion, or 49.5 percent of this year’s plan.

Norway, Japan to fund forestry projects

Viet Nam will receive US$30 million from the Government of Norway to conduct the second phase of the National UN-REDD Programme to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation.

The support was marked by an agreement signed yesterday between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Viet Nam has becomed the first of the 47 UN-REDD partner countries to move into the second phase of greenhouse gas reduction through improved forest and land-use management.

The National UN-REDD Programme to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) would be a major pillar of Viet Nam’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture and rural development sector by 20 per cent by 2020, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said.

REDD+ was considered a promising solution to help Viet Nam increase its overall forest cover to 45 per cent by 2020.

As one of the original pilot countries of the programme, Viet Nam has been on the frontline of global REDD+ activities for four years. The country has successfully piloted readiness work in a number of key areas, including supporting strong co-ordination among national stakeholders, developing a framework for measurement, reporting and verification, and testing approaches for the free, prior and informed consent of ethnic minorities and other forest-dependent communities.

Phase Two will build on the REDD+ readiness work of Phase One, and start implementing Viet Nam’s National REDD+ Action Programme in six provinces across the country, namely Lao Cai, Bac Kan, Ha Tinh, Binh Thuan, Lam Dong and Ca Mau.

During the next three years, the programme will help identify, negotiate, plan and implement land-use practices that are sustainable, climate-smart and adapted to local needs.

Additional financial incentives would be made available by the Government of Norway and other international partners for verified greenhouse gas emission reductions achieved through the programme, said UN Resident Co-ordinator in Viet Nam Pratibha Mehta.

She said that the event was a landmark for Viet Nam. “The Phase Two programme includes a clear way forward for Viet Nam to benefit in multiple ways, not just from this $30 million programme. However, if Viet Nam is to make the most of the opportunities, Phase Two must deliver on time on all of its objectives,” she noted.

Japanese Fund for Poverty Reduction, through the Asian Development Bank, has promised to grant US$1.5 million to help Viet Nam pay for forestry environmental services during the 2014-16 period.—Illustrative image/Photo tinmoitruong

The same day, the Japanese Fund for Poverty Reduction, through the Asian Development Bank, has promised to grant US$1.5 million to help Viet Nam pay for forestry environmental services during the 2014-16 period.

The Vietnamese Government also contributed $150,000 to the technical assistance project which will help work out the criteria for economic evaluation of environmental services at provincial level as well as the procedures for pilot programmes and the payments for forestry environmental services.

Speaking at the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding yesterday, Deputy General Director of Viet Nam’s Forestry Administration at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Vo Dai Hai said that Viet Nam introduced a policy on payments for forestry services in 2008 and had collected VND1 trillion ($47.6 million) annually from these services.

However, it still faced with problems in carrying out the policies because of poor communications, inadequate staff and not enough individuals being allocated to forestry protection.

ADB country director Tomoyuki Kimura said that the bank would continue to promote green growth in Viet Nam including improving payments for forestry services. In 2010, Viet Nam introduced new regulations on payments for forestry environmental services, which took effect in 2011.

Work begins on Viet Nam’s first funicular railway

Construction began on Viet Nam’s first funicular railway on Ba Na Hill in the central port city of Da Nang late last week.

The system will have two carriages capable of carrying 80 passengers each.

They will travel at an average speed of 18kmph along the 390m route and carry 1,600 passengers per hour. The system and its equipment have been supplied by the Swiss company Garaventa.

The project is scheduled for completion in March next year.

Tungsten chemical joint venture formed

Private equity firm Masan Group (MSN) announced yesterday it had reached a deal with technology metals manufacturer HC Starck to establish a joint venture for the production of value-added tungsten chemicals in Viet Nam.

Masan’s subsidiary Nui Phao Mining Company will take over 51 per cent of the joint venture, while HC Starck will hold 49 per cent.

The joint venture will process all of Nui Phao ‘s tungsten concentrate into higher value tungsten chemicals. It will have an installed capacity of up to 10,000 tonnes of tungsten concentrate per annum.

HC Starck will operate the joint venture and has committed to buying a significant share of the production for its own internal use. The company will also support marketing of the remaining product.

Meanwhile, Nui Phao will be the tungsten concentrate supplier of the joint venture. The construction of a tungsten chemical plant for the operation was in progress, Masan said.

“The first stage of the tungsten chemical plant will start production next month, with further stages expected to be completed in 2014.”

Dominic Heaton, CEO of Masan Resources, a subsidiary of Masan Group and the parent company of Nui Phao, commented: “With HC Starck’s specialised know-how and technology, Masan Group is able to contribute to Viet Nam’s objective of becoming a stronger manufacturer of value-added products.”

The establishment of the joint venture and closing of the definitive agreements are subject to customary corporate and regulatory approvals.

August CPI likely to rise 0.6%

The consumer price index (CPI) is expected to rise 0.6% in August (twice as much as the estimated figure), if Hanoi makes adjustments in its hospital fees, announced the Ministry of Industry and Trade on July 30.

However, if the fees remain unchanged, the CPI will hover around just 0.4-0.5%.

The domestic commodity market is often up and down depending on weather conditions as heavy rains and storms threaten to drive food prices up.

Another reason is that petrol has risen from VND420 to VND470 per litre as of July 17, up 0.1-0.15% on the previous month.

Meanwhile, the prices of fertilizer and sugar remain stable thanks to no fluctuation in both demand and supply.

Earlier, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported that the CPI in July hit a five month record, up 0.27 over June, 2.68% over December and up 7.29% over the same period last year.

Exports to Germany surge

The two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and Germany reached US$3.695 billion in the first half of 2013, up 29.51% compared to the same period last year.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, export earnings from Germany reached US$2.352 billion (up 22.35% over 2012), accounting for 18 percent of Vietnam’s total turnover from the European Union (EU).

Vietnam exported mainly phones and components, garment and textile, coffee and footwear to Germany.

It imported vehicles and spare parts, machine, tools and spare parts, chemicals and automobiles from Germany.

Total imports from Germany were estimated at US$1.342 billion, up 44.32% year on year.


By vivian