Jetstar Pacific posts January-April profit of VND100 billion

The Saigon Times Daily Le Hong Ha, chief executive officer of Jetstar Pacific, told reporters last week that the low-cost carrier was profitable in the period thanks to low jet fuel prices on global markets and strong demand for air travel on the domestic market. In the first five months of this year, the third largest airline in Vietnam after Vietnam Airlines and VietJetAir has launched six domestic and international air routes and expanded its aircraft fleet to meet the demand. The carrier started to fly between HCMC and Tuy Hoa in the first quarter of this year and HCMC and Chu Lai in the central province of Quang Nam last week using its Airbus A320 aircraft. Jetstar pacific’s flight punctuality ratio was 81% in the first four months of this year and 82% in the month to May 20. Ha said the airline would continue to sell everyday low fares and cooperate with national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines to better serve passengers. Jetstar Pacific looks to take delivery of … [Read more...]

Local aircraft fleet to grow strongly in next five years

The Saigon Times Daily Vietnam Airlines, VietJetAir, Jetstar Pacific and Vietnam Air Service Co. (Vasco) operated a total of 145 airplanes at the end of last year, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV). The number would rise to 190-210 aircraft in 2020 as envisioned in the plan. Vietnam Airlines now has more than 82 aircraft of different types and plans to expand its fleet to around 100 this year and 140-150 by 2020. The fleet will consist of many modern aircraft, including Boeing B777s and B787-9s, and Airbus A330s and A350s. The national flag carrier plans to spend VND63.3 trillion on aircraft purchases by 2018. It aims for a market share of 39.9% for international guests and 49.9% for domestic passengers in 2018. VietJetAir currently operates 24 aircraft on domestic and international flights. The second biggest carrier in the country has started to take delivery of 100 aircraft it ordered to buy and lease from European plane maker Airbus and partners. … [Read more...]

Charity program launched for kidney patients

Presenting necessities to kidney patients.

PANO - Youth unions of the Hanoi City's Public Security, Thang Tam Cinema Co.Ltd., and Thien Tam Group, on May 24th launched a charity program, titled "Sharing smiles", to care for patients with artificial kidneys at 121 Le Thanh Nghi Street, Hai Ba Trung district. Accordingly, the organizing panel inquired after and presented money in cash, free medicines and necessities to 60 needy patients under treatment at the Hanoi-based Bach Mai Hospital's Artificial Kidney Department. Besides, it also donated over 30 electric fans and offered light meals to the patients. At the event, patients also took part in an art exchange program and enjoyed performances by local artists. Translated by Trung Thanh … [Read more...]

Vietnam, Russia target trade value of USD 20 billion by 2020

President Truong Tan Sang (L) and Ho Chi Minh City's leaders

PANO – President Truong Tan Sang on May 24th held a meeting with the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnamese businesses currently investing in Russia. At the meeting, the president expressed hope to significantly increase the bilateral trade turnover with Russia after a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan is signed later this month. According to the President, both countries have enjoyed fine traditional cooperation and relationship in various fields. However, the bilateral trade value remains far lower than the potentials of the bilateral relations. Therefore, with the FTA signing, various trade barriers will be removed, paving the way for businesses to double the current bilateral trade value to USD 20 billion by 2020 from current USD 10 billion. In 2014, the bilateral trade turnover between the two countries reached USD 2.6 billion. Translated by Huu Duong … [Read more...]

United States scholars, experts discuss East Sea situation

Delegates at the workshop.

Leading experts and scholars from US universities and institutes came together at a workshop in Washington last weekend to discuss the convergence of marine science and geopolitics in the East Sea. Looking at recent geopolitical developments in the East Sea, participants expressed their concerns over large-scale construction and expansion on reefs, saying this could seriously harm the natural environment and complex marine ecosystem in the sea. John McManus, professor of marine biology and fisheries, and Director of the National Centre for Coral Reef Research at the University of Miami, highlighted the serious impacts of these efforts on the marine environment in Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, particularly the delicate coral reefs and diverse species of animals. Unregulated fishing in the East Sea is also alarming, he stated. He proposed the establishment of a "Marine Peace Park" on Truong Sa, conserving the status quo and abandoning the large-scale construction of … [Read more...]

Swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien receives noble order

Swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien (1st from the right) and her coach receiving the orders.

PANO - Swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien and her Coach Dang Anh Tuanwere honoured on May 24th with third-class Labour Orders at the National Sports and Physical Training Centre No.2 in Ho Chi Minh City. Vien also received a certificate of merit from the Prime Minister on this occasion. These awards are to recognize their great contributions to the national sports sector, and they also serve as an encouragement for them before their participating in the 28th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, which will be held in Singapore from June 5th to 16th. Many Southern sponsors promised to support the female swimmer in the coming time. Translated by Anh Tien … [Read more...]

Naval unit presents gratitude house to war martyr’s mother

Delegates cutting the ribbon to inaugurate the gratitude house.

PANO - Naval Unit 129 of the Vietnam People's Navy handed over a gratitude house to Ha Thi Than, a war martyr's mother, in Vo Mieu commune, Thanh Son district, Phu Tho province. The 85sq.m house was built at a cost of VND 190 million, including VND 60 million from the unit's troops. On this occasion, the unit also started construction of another gratitude house for Huynh Kiem Hiep, daughter of a war veteran who had been a member of the "No Number Ships" in the national resistance war against American invaders, in Duyen Hai district, Tra Vinh province. Translated by Chung Anh … [Read more...]

Festival raises youth’s traffic culture

Delegates at the opening ceremony of the festival. Source: atgt.vn

PANO – Over 3,000 youths took part in the festival entitled "Youths with traffic culture" in Vi Thanh City of the Southern province of Hau Giang on May 24th. The event was co-organized by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, the National Traffic Safety Committee and the province’s Youth Union. There were various interesting activities during the festival, such as a public demonstration and a forum to raise public awareness of safe driving, and a course on how to drive safely and on obedience of traffic laws. Besides, 13 constituent units of the province’s Youth Union signed an agreement on implementing traffic safety by carrying out models to organize traffic at school gates and on rural roads and ferries. The festival aimed to improve locals’ behaviour on traffic safety, contributing to maintaining traffic order and reducing traffic accidents. Translated by Pham Huy … [Read more...]

300 athletes participate in traditional boat race in HCM City

Athletes competing at the race.

PANO - Over 300 athletes from 10 teams took part in the Ho Chi Minh City's Traditional Boat Race 2015 held by the city's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism on May 24th at Nhieu Loc - Thi Nghe Canal in Binh Thanh district. Athletes competed in five categories for both singles’ and mixed events in a distance of 400m from Dien Bien Phu Bridge to Thi Nghe Bridge. The competition is part of activities to raise people's awareness of environment protection and sport practices, especially boat racing, in daily life. Many locals and tourists stood along Truong Sa-Hoang Sa Street to encourage athletes. The boat racing team of District 8 finished first. Translated by Trung Thanh … [Read more...]

People should be alert in using social networks

(Photo for illustration)

PANO - In modern life, social networks as a civilized cyber product bring much benefit to people. However, without due attention, many people may unintentionally disseminate false information, let out state secret, harm the community, and even support hostile forces in carrying out their anti-Party and State plots. In a recent interview conducted by reporters of the People’s Army Newspaper, Dr. Le Van Thanh, Party Secretary, Director of the Hanoi Open University, believed that faculty staff and students should be further oriented, in face of the "matrix information" on social networks. Without knowing the true colour of the information shared on social networks, youths may "get lost" and fall prey to false information, and then they would be sharing or disseminating it unintentionally. Lieutenant Colonel Uong Thien Hoang from the Faculty of Military Arts History (Political Academy - Ministry of National Defence) also expressed concern over the fact that there are now reputable … [Read more...]

Besieged by tollgates

The Saigon Times Daily The transport cost burden is certainly hard to ease overnight as a report by the Ministry of Transport says there are 96 toll stations on national highways across the country, with 45 of them already operational. What’s more, it is the ministry that has signed 83 toll collection deals with investors involved in build-operate-transfer (BOT) road projects. The possibility of making the economy more competitive, especially at a time when it has acceded and will accede to various free trade agreements such as the freshly signed FTA with South Korea, the forthcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the soon-to-be-signed FTA with the Eurasian Economic Union. Though just half of the BOT toll gates are in operation, businesses have already felt the impact of steep tolls. The prospect will continue to be bleak because the Government, already faced with a rising budget deficit and a possibility of tapping the country’s foreign reserves for … [Read more...]

‘IS group is not most important threat to Iraq’

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Former US ambassador to Iraq and Syria Ryan Crocker talked to FRANCE 24’s Marc Perelman about the situation in Iraq and the rise of the militant Islamic State group. 'IS group is not most important threat to Iraq' "The fundamental issues in Iraq are not the threat of Daesh (the Islamic State group). The most important threat to Iraq is the absence of political reconciliation", the former US ambassador told FRANCE 24. "There is clearly a drift towards division in Iraq. People speak of a Jihadistan in the areas where Daesh is present, they talk about Kurdistan and they talk about a Shiistan. Those are not yet facts but they could become facts if this course of events is not shifted. So now is the time", Crocker said. The former US diplomat added that he would like to see President Obama and Secretary Kerry "much more involved in Iraq". Crocker concedes that the US "didn’t do very well in Iraq on either account: we weren’t careful getting in, we weren’t … [Read more...]

Korean Firms Place Investment Focus in Vietnam

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Dr Vu Tien Loc, President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), recently hosted a meeting with Mr Ahn Sang Soo, Member of the National Assembly of South Korea and Member of Korea - Vietnam Parliamentarian Friendship Association, at the VCCI Head Office in Hanoi on his working visit to Vietnam. Mr Ahn Sang Soo said many South Korean companies are tending to shift their investment from China into Southeast Asia, including Vietnam. Many large South Korean corporations have chosen it as a long-term development base because the country holds a lot of advantages such as costs, labour and land and importantly have many cultural similarities with South Korea. Vietnam - South Korea ties are growing strongly, particularly driven by the wave of South Korean investment into Vietnam. According to statistics by the South Korean Embassy in Vietnam, have over 4,000 South Korean businesses are investing in Vietnam. He expects to see 10,000 businesses in the shortest time. Dr Loc … [Read more...]

Sharing Chances of Success with Sao Mai Group

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Recently, Professor Kenneth A. Gabriel from the United States-based University of Maryland, who is currently the President of AMVI LLC, led a working visit to Sao Mai Group. He was accompanied by leaders of the Vietnamese Business Association in the US. The visit, followed by his talk, drew special interests in the context of Vietnam integrating more deeply and broadly into the world.Support for Sao Mai Group As a mentor and a strategic partner of Sao Mai Group, Prof Kenneth A. Gabriel pledged to support the group to tap and develop the US market and train high-quality human resources. He also advised Sao Mai to invest and build an international university in the Mekong Delta with curriculum exchange with some leading universities in the US; and invest in a world-class hospital in the Mekong Delta. In addition, he would introduce some elite CEOs from the US to the leadership board of Sao Mai Group. According to Prof Kenneth A. Gabriel, Sao Mai Group has sufficient factors to make … [Read more...]

Derivatives: Opportunity for Stock Market Restructuring

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Decree 42/2015 on regulations on derivatives specifies that a securities company must have a registered capital and owner’s equity of at least VND600 billion to trade derivatives and the value must be from VND800 billion if it wants to provide derivative brokerage services. Besides, securities companies must also have enough personnel and professional expertise for the new businesses.Revolution for securities companies More securities brokerage companies went bankrupt because of poor performances. At present, only over 80 securities companies are in operation, a decrease from 20 percent from the peak several years ago. Closures may increase in the coming time as new regulations on derivative business. Indeed, some 30 securities companies are truly operating while 50 others cannot live on securities businesses and they are still alive at the will of their owners. More companies float their shares at the back of economic recovery and the market liquidity is thus improved as a … [Read more...]

Expanding Scope of Priority Businesses

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According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, more than 50 countries in the world are now applying a so-called enterprise priority programme. Although each country has different levels of application, they base on the common foundation: Standard frame for security standards and global trade facilitation built by the World Customs Organisation (WCO). Currently, customs authorities of 27 countries have signed agreements on mutual recognition of priority businesses. In Vietnam, the programme was started on a pilot basis in 2011. This policy helps beneficiaries to reduce a lot of time and costs in dealing with clearance procedures for goods. At present, 35 companies are enjoying the priority policy in customs field. Samsung has seven companies to be granted the priority status - the group with the largest number of beneficiaries at present. More exporters and importers are expected to be granted the priority status in the coming time.Lowering revenue target To implement new … [Read more...]

Overcoming Drag on SOE Restructuring

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The process of State-owned enterprise (SOE) restructuring has made a considerable progress. As of the end of the first quarter of 2015, Vietnam privatised 172 SOEs, a third of the target of 432 SOEs in 2014 and 2015. In spite this progress, it still lags behind the schedule.PM urges equitisation Vietnam planned to equitise 289 SOEs this year. In mid-April 2015, the Prime Minister asked ministries, branches and localities to firmly complete the equitisation of 289 SOEs as planned. Persons in charge of SOE equitisation will face strict penalties if they cannot lead the equitisation to a success. Divestments by SOEs are effective. They invested approximately VND5 trillion but they took back nearly VND7 trillion. Real estate investments accounted for 45 percent of divestment proceeds. The number of SOEs launching IPO or share auctions via the Hochiminh Stock Exchange (HOSE) and Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) in 2014 was 1.4 times higher than average over the three previous years. The Prime … [Read more...]

Bad Debt Still Awaiting Radical Solutions

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) directed the Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC) to bring the bad debt ratio to below 3 percent by the end of September 2015, but rising debt is challenging the SBV’s objective.Rebounding bad debt Currently, non-performing loan (NPL) data updated are lagged in time and inconsistent. Two different bad debt data are announced by two agencies, one by credit agencies and one by Bank Supervision Inspection Agency under the SBV. The value announced by the SBV Bank Supervision Inspection Agency is often higher than data reported by credit institutions, because the former looks into the nature of bad debts structured under Decision 780. As of mid-May 2015, the latest bad debt data were calculated from January 2015 by the SBV, not as of now. According to data reported by commercial banks, bad debt ratio rebounded sharply from 3.25 percent in December 2014 to 3.49 percent in January 2015. Amid the SBV’s efforts to tackle bad debts, rebounding … [Read more...]

Role of FDI in Agribusiness Development

Agribusiness is a vital pillar of the Vietnamese economy with a high potential for growth. However, the inflow of FDI remains low in this sector despite its instrumental role in fostering development. PPP: a destined path

As observed by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat, in addition to the government’s stewardship and principal role of producers, the involvement of businesses is a decisive factor in agribusiness development. Businesses are the most proactive component of the value creation chain and only they muster sufficient strengths to tackle the three main bottlenecks of agribusiness in Vietnam. Businesses have substantial resources to invest in large scale in efficient projects, businesses can help connect local and international markets for agricultural products and businesses have the ability to apply high technologies to production and manufacturing to adding value and enhancing farmers’ competitiveness. Public Private Partnership (PPP) seems to be the only viable investment strategy. To attract FDI in agribusiness, a variety of policies and macro level measures have recently been activated. Importantly, on April 17, 2015, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung … [Read more...]

New Registration Fee Applied on June 6

The Ministry of Finance issued Circular No. 53/2015/TT-BTC amending and supplementing Circular No. 127/2013/TT-BTC dated September 6, 2013 of the Ministry of Finance on vehicle registration and number plate fee collection, payment, management and use. Accordingly, Circular 53 amends and supplements Clause 4, Article 4 of Circular No. 127/2013/TT-BTC regarding fee rates in vehicle registration certification and number plate issue. Regarding cars of organisations and individuals licensed by competent authorities for passenger transport, owners must declare the number of cars registered and categories of cars registered. Automobile transportation business certificates (stating passenger transport allowed) issued by competent authorities (notarised copy or photocopy enclosed with original for comparison). Cars of organisations and individuals used for financial leasing licensed by competent authorities must have letters of recommendation of financial leasing companies, clearly stating … [Read more...]