S. Korean investor plans $5-bln property project at Saigon historic shipyard

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Ba Son shipyard in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo credit: VnExpress Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City are waiting for the state government’s opinion on a US$5-billion real estate project at Ba Son, the city’s oldest shipyard, being proposed by a South Korean investor. If approved, the plan of EUNSAN will be implemented on September 2, the HCMC People’s Committee announced on Thursday. However, no details were revealed about the project which aims at "renovating" the city’s look. Under a plan greenlighted by the city’s authorities a few years ago, the current shipyard would be moved to Thi Vai-Cai Mep Port in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau by 2010, to make space for a complex consisting of hotels, office and apartment buildings. As of the end of last year, the site clearance was yet to be completed because Ba Son Company, a major shipbuilding arm of the defense ministry, did not have enough money to build the new shipyard. Ba Son’s history was … [Read more...]

Ba Son christens largest freighter

Photo for illustration. Source: samco.com.vn PANO - Ba Son Company, under the Ministry of Defence's Department for Industry, successfully shipped out the Princess freighter with the capacity of 6.800 DWT. The ship was built within a ten month time spanand is the biggest ship that Ba Son has built. It was also recorded as the biggest ship launched in the South of Vietnam. The Princess is 103.067 metres long and 17 metres wide. The total value of the contract to make the ship was at USD 11.150 million. Translated by Ngoc Hung … [Read more...]

Taxi-hailing apps had a good ride in Vietnam last year: report

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An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone. Photo: Reuters Mobile applications for cab hailing services such as GrabTaxi and Uber have been named Vietnam's biggest consumer hit last year by the Nikkei. The ranking, part of the Japanese newspaper's annual list of Asia's biggest consumer successes, was based on its resident reporters' interviews and reports, its English publication Nikkei Asian Review said on Thursday. Taxi-hailing apps became trendy in Vietnam following the arrival of the US-based service Uber in 2014, it said. Soon after that the Malaysia-based startup GrabTaxi entered the country, where taxis are so prevalent that they have been more than once blamed for worsening traffic congestion. Riding on the popularity of smartphones, the services quickly became popular here. It forced many local taxi companies such as Vinasun to launch their own apps. Even the transport ministry planned to create its own Uber-like … [Read more...]

Hanoi police arrest 8 for meter fraud at gas station

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Hanoi officials inspect a gas station in the capital city on December 24, 2015. Photo: Nam Anh Police in Hanoi on Tuesday arrested eight people who work at two gas stations for allegedly using hi-tech tricks to cheat thousands of customers. Local authorities on Thursday last week made surprise checks at the two gas stations in Hai Ba Trung and Gia Lam Districts and discovered electronic chips attached to their pumps. The chips would manipulate the meters and allow the station to steal around 5 percent of the gasoline that their customers paid for, authorities said. Both of the two managers, who have been arrested, admitted to have had the chips attached for months. The scheme at the Gia Lam station has allowed the staff to accumulate around 4.500 liters of diesel and 3.000 liters of gasoline since October, authorities said. Investigations are continuing. Earlier in October authorities in Ho Chi Minh City revoked the license of a gas station in District 1 for using meter tricks … [Read more...]

HCMC punishes firemen for demanding bribes from company

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Fire police officers Le Thanh Binh (L) and Nguyen Huy Khang during a discussion with a local company, in which the two firemen allegedly demanded bribes. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday said they have demoted a police officer of Tan Binh District's fire department for demanding bribes from a local company. Lieutenant Le Thanh Binh has been reduced to the rank of sub-lieutenant, local media reported. Binh and his fellow officer, sub-lieutenant Nguyen Huy Khang, will be reassigned to other tasks in their office. The punitive reactions came after Do Minh Tam, a local businessman sent a complaint to Tuoi Tre Newspaper accusing the officers of soliciting bribes. Tam said they had visited his company several times since early November to check its fire safety plan. The officers claimed that the plan was about to expire and they could have it renewed for a "service fee" of around US$250, or less than half of a possible cash fine. Binh added that although … [Read more...]

Hanoi closes 2 gas stations for cheating customers with electronic chips

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Hanoi officials inspecting at a gas station, which would later be shut down for cheating customers. Photo: Nam Anh Authorities in Hanoi temporarily shut two gas stations Thursday after allegedly finding them using hi-tech tricks to cheat customers. On the morning of that day officials made surprise checks at the two gas stations in Hai Ba Trung and Gia Lam Districts and discovered an electronic chip attached to each of their pumps. The chips, controlled from a distance by some of the pump attendants, reduced the gasoline pumped into a vehicle by around 5 percent, authorities said. Investigations are continuing. Earlier in October authorities in Ho Chi Minh City revoked the license of a gas station in District 1 for tampering with its meters to cheat customers. Authorities started investigating after Thanh Nien revealed the fraud in September. Its owner admitted to the violations and had to pay a fine of VND96 million, or around US$4,300. … [Read more...]

Ho Chi Minh City assigns private investor to huge anti-flooding project

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The graphic image of a 7.8 kilometer long floodbank along the Saigon River. Photo credit: Trung Nam Group Authority in Ho Chi Minh City has appointed a local construction firm to develop a system of floodbank, drains and floodgates at the projected cost of a VND9.93 trillion (US$436.65 million), local media reported on Friday. The system will free a combined area of 570 square kilometers in districts 1, 4, 7, 8, Nha Be and Binh Chanh from flooding, with about 6.5 million people benefiting from it, the media quoted Trung Nam Group's feasibility study as saying. A nearly 7.8 kilometers long embankment will be built along the Saigon River, while six floodgates will be built at different sections of the river with the heights of 3.5-10 meters. A total of 25 drains will also be built around the giant structures as a supportive system, according to the plan. Trung Nam Group will execute the project in three years, possibly starting this year end, at its own expenses in exchange for … [Read more...]

Vietnam, Belgium boost co-operation through parliamentary diplomacy

Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung and Belgian Senate President Christine Defraigne

A recent Vietnam visit by a Belgian delegation, led by Senate President Christine Defraigne, has helped deepen ties between the two nations and people. At the invitation of National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung, the eight-day visit, which ended on November 8, was an opportunity for the legislative bodies to exchange experiences and forge future co-operation. Belgium attaches significance to parliamentary diplomacy that fosters commercial, cultural and educational engagement with Vietnam. Highlights of Defraigne’s overseas working trip were her meetings with National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh, and Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan. Through discussions, both sides agreed to reinforce legislative relations based on increasing liaison and delegation exchanges. They would co-ordinate the implementation of inked projects and strengthen … [Read more...]

Belgium, Vietnam boost co-operation through parliamentary diplomacy

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A recent Vietnam visit by a Belgian delegation, led by Senate President Christine Defraigne, has helped deepen ties between the two nations and people. At the invitation of National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung, the eight-day visit, which ended on November 8, was an opportunity for the legislative bodies to exchange experiences and forge future co-operation. Belgium attaches significance to parliamentary diplomacy that fosters commercial, cultural and educational engagement with Vietnam. Highlights of Defraigne’s overseas working trip were her meetings with National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh, and Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan. Through discussions, both sides agreed to reinforce legislative relations based on increasing liaison and delegation exchanges. They would co-ordinate the implementation of inked projects and … [Read more...]

Ho Chi Minh City shuts down gas station for cheating customers

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A still from a video captured by Thanh Nien shows an employee (wearing white hat) of the Tran Thien filling station arguing with a customer after the customer discovered his trick. Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday said they have revoked the business license of a gas station in District 1 which used meter tricks to rip off its customers. The station Tran Thien, located at 61 Tran Hung Dao Street, will be shut down for at least three and a half months. Officials will consider if it deserves a new business license later. Its owner Tran Luong Thang, who had admitted all the violations that Thanh Nien revealed in an exposé on September 21, also has to pay a fine of VND96 million, or around US$4,300. The station served a large number of drivers every day, thanks to its prime location. Last month, Thanh Nien reporters spent several days around the station to record its activities and found that, in many cases, pump assistants did not reset their meters for new … [Read more...]

HCMC installs cameras in fight against littering, dumping

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Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 12 have installed six surveillance cameras along a bridge which has been notorious as a dumping black spot. Many plastic bags full of waste can be seen along the 100-meter-long Cho Cau Bridge, which connects District 12 and Go Vap District. People often have to hold their breath when they pass through it. Huynh Phuong Hoang, chairman of District 12’s Dong Hung Thuan Ward, where the bridge is located, told local media that littering has been a problem here for years. Litterbugs are mostly street vendors and some families living in the area, according to local residents. Hoang said it cost around VND100 million (US$4,487) to install the six cameras, with half of the amount contributed voluntarily from locals. "A week after the cameras were installed, the amount of trash fell significantly," VnExpress quoted Hoang as saying on Wednesday. Authorities also set up warning signs stating that those who are caught littering will be … [Read more...]

HCMC may have to cut down 150-year-old trees in central park for metro line

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A file photo of Tao Dan Park in Ho Chi Minh City. At least 33 big trees in the park will have to be cut down for the city's second metro line project. Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City say they will have to allocate a large area in Tao Dan Park for the second metro line, which will connect its central districts with the fast growing western suburbs. According to a new plan, the 10-hectare park in District 1 needs to cut up a piece of land of 2,100 square meters for the project. That means at least 33 big trees will have to be felled, many of which were grown in the 1860s. Some officials in District 1 has asked the city to reconsider such a plan, saying the park serves as the lungs of the city center and its trees should be preserved. Tao Dan is a popular spot in the city, with a playground for children, a temple of ancient Vietnamese rulers Hung Kings, and a lot of space for outdoors activities. Locals gather at Tao Dan Park in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1. Photo credit: kenh … [Read more...]

Vietnam’s Party chief raises 7 issues for Ho Chi Minh City’s attention

Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, made the statement while attending the 10

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City should take notice of seven key issues necessary for maintaining its leading role in Vietnam’s development and turning the city into a comprehensive hub in Southeast Asia. th Congress of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee on Wednesday, which was the opening day. The grand meeting, which will conclude on Saturday, is set to review the implementation of political and socio-economic development tasks during the 2010-15 period and outline orientations for the next five-year term. At the event yesterday, Politburo member and Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Le Thanh Hai delivered a report saying that over the past five years, the city has basically fulfilled its set targets, achieving an annual GDP growth rate of 9.6 percent, 1.66 times higher than the country’s average, and a per capita GDP increase of 12 percent each year, which has reached US$5,538 this year. He also provided the participants with a lot of information on … [Read more...]

Slaughterhouse treating chickens with kerosene busted in Ho Chi Minh City

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Chicken fans may be shocked to know that the tasty-looking poultry they love eating might have had their skin altered to look yellowish with a mixture of kerosene and chemicals. Animal health authorities in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday busted an illegal poultry slaughterhouse in the outlying district of Hoc Mon, where unquarantined chickens are treated with such a combination to turn the white skin yellow. Vo Van Diep failed to present any quarantine documents for the 310 chickens pending butchering at his facility, according to officers under the city’s police department that fights environmental criminals. The slaughterhouse was also found operating illegally as Diep does not have a business license. The owner admitted to environmental police that he had sourced the poultry from the southern province of Tien Giang and doused them in a "special mixture of liquids" to make them look tastily yellowish before selling them to the market. The mixture consists of a black … [Read more...]

Breakfast @ Tuoi Tre News – September 28

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Here are the leading news stories about Vietnam you do not want to miss today, September 28. Society -- A man allegedly under the influence of methamphetamine was arrested by police after he broke the window of a bus and stole the steering wheel, sending 40 passengers to panic, in the north-central province of Nghe An on Sunday. -- Hanoi water prices will increase 19 percent on October 1, the capital city’s water supplier announced on Sunday, shortly after a major water pipe system ruptured for the 15th time. -- Animal health authorities in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday busted an illegal poultry slaughterhouse in the outlying district of Hoc Mon, where unquarantined chickens are treated with a combination of kerosene and chemicals to make them look yellowish and tasty. -- Thirty-nine people were held for allegedly using drugs and storing weapons after police raided a karaoke parlor in the southern city of My Tho on Sunday. -- A fire truck was deployed to take a man … [Read more...]

Premier orders Ho Chi Minh City to urgently curb inundation in residential areas

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has urged Ho Chi Minh City to immediately focus on building infrastructure for flood control and consider the task a top priority. The head of the government has also approved a ten-year plan for flood control in the city with a view to wiping out floodwater on the streets in residential areas in the first stage, from 2016 to 2020. The second stage of the plan lasts till 2025. He suggested authorities in Ho Chi Minh City coordinate with other ministries and relevant agencies to seek investment for carrying out the constituent projects of the plan. In addition, the premier recommended city officials to work with their colleagues in neighboring Long An Province and at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on water drainage in the southern part of the metropolis. The government chief noted that the city has a low land foundation and is thus inundated during heavy rains and rising tides. A survey in 2013 showed that the peak of … [Read more...]

Ho Chi Minh City plans $5.5 billion for transport projects through 2020

Vehicles are seen on a newly-built overpass in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Diep Duc Minh Authority in Ho Chi Minh City plans to pump VND124.2 trillion (US$5.54 billion) into transport projects over the next five years, a three-fold increase from the fund earmarked for the 2011-2015 period, local media reported on Wednesday. More than 44 percent of the fund will come from the city budget, and the rest from different sources including the state budget and private investors. The HCMC People's Committee was quoted as saying that part of the fund will be distributed to projects aimed for reducing traffic congestion and accidents around the city, and some for new roads connecting the city with nearby provinces. With nearly VND39 trillion ($1.73 billion) spent on the transport sector since 2011, HCMC has achieved most of its transport objectives, but its public transport system is still underdeveloped with no express buses and subways, the authority said. Public transport was expected to … [Read more...]

ASEAN flag hoisted in Ho Chi Minh City

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Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday conducted a ceremony to fly the ASEAN flag in the heart of the city to mark 20 years of Vietnam’s admission to the bloc and the 48th founding anniversary of the group. The flag-hoisting ceremony was organized at a park at Bach Dang Quay, District 1, with the participation of the city’s leaders, including Le Hoang Quan, chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, and representatives from ministries, state agencies, and embassies as well as consuls general of the ASEAN member states. "This is an event of great significance to the city administration and its residents as this is the first time that the municipal authorities have inaugurated the ASEAN flag pole, along with those of the bloc’s country members, in the downtown area," said Nguyen Vu Tu, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of External Affairs. The display of the ASEAN flag and those of its 10 members shows the city’s determination to … [Read more...]

Two students dead after reservoir release swept them away

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Rescuers look for the second body after two girls were swept away during a water discharge at Dau Tieng reservoir on July 26, 2015. Photo: Giang Phuong A sightseeing trip is southern Vietnam turned tragic on Sunday after two teenagers were swept away by water discharge at a reservoir in southern Vietnam. Rescuers have found the bodies of two 16-year-old girls, who joined seven other 11th graders from Tay Ninh Province in a trip to Dau Tieng Reservoir, about 90 kilometers north of Ho Chi Minh City. According to the other students, they were playing by the Ca Noc Lake near the discharge gate of the Dau Tieng reservoir, which was then releasing water. Four of them were reportedly missed their footing and fell into the lake. Two of them were swept away by the torrent and found dead soon later, while the other two managed to hang on to large rocks and survive. Police are investigating the deaths. Dau Tieng is one of the biggest reservoirs in Vietnam, with the capacity of around 1.6 … [Read more...]

Authority denies tightening control over foreign visitors to famous Can Gio reserve

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Can Gio Biosphere Reserve, nearly 50 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City's center. File photo The immigration authority in Ho Chi Minh City has said that procedures are "simple" for travel companies to bring foreign tourists to the UNESCO-recognized Can Gio Biosphere Reserve, news website Saigon Times Online recently reported. The agency made the comment after several tour operators expressed concerns that the tightened control over foreigners' visit to the famous destination could result in red tape, affecting their revenues. It takes only one day to get a license, the agency under the HCMC Police Department said, adding all the companies have to do is submit lists of tourists and their passports a day before their tours start. Phan Xuan Anh, chairman of Viet Excursions, which has sent nearly 4,000 foreign tourists to Can Gio this year, worried it will not be that easy with tours on Sundays and holidays, when state offices usually close. Early this month travel companies said they … [Read more...]