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...]

Ho Chi Minh City launches switchboard to provide 24/7 tourist help

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Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have kick-started a switchboard – the first in the country – to offer tourist information and assistance in both Vietnamese and English on a 24/7 basis. Leaders of the Departments of Tourism, Information and Communications, and the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group on Wednesday put the city’s Tourist Information phone number, 1087, on line, local media reported. The first of its kind in Vietnam, 1087 offers a wide array of information in both Vietnamese and English on tourist services and scenic spots in the southern metropolis and across the country. The switchboard operators will also contact tour operators and book air tickets, tours and hotel rooms on tourists’ behalf. Tourists can also provide feedback on service quality and report rip-offs and incidents they encounter during their stay in the city. The switchboard operators will show them how to contact competent agencies for assistance. Radio station … [Read more...]

Social News 14/3

HCM City to hold 58 job bazaars this year The HCMC Centre for Employment Service (CES) will organize 58 job bazaars this year to help locals find jobs and meet the recruitment demand of local enterprises. The center will launch 20 job bazaars in the downtown area and 38 at seven offices for unemployment insurance in districts in the city, the center’s director Tran Xuan Hai said at the opening of this year’s first job bazaar on March 10. The event was attended by 122 recruitment organizations, including 25 enterprises and four job placement centers. They were looking for 3,381 candidates in various sectors such as apparel, security, leather-shoe, customer care service, finance and sales, and the demand for unskilled workers was 865. Last year, CES organized 51 job bazaars, which attracted 2,560 enterprises. These events offered consultancy to nearly 307,000 jobseekers and more than 43,670 out of 88,780 people found jobs, Hai said. Toyota Vietnam holds traffic education … [Read more...]

Electric buses for HCM City’s ‘backpacker area’

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Transport authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have requested that the city’s first electric bus route, which will be set up for the downtown area, include an area known as the "Westerner’s zone" or "backpacker area." The Department of Transport has asked competent agencies to add a neighborhood covering Bui Vien, Pham Ngu Lao and De Tham Streets in District 1’s Pham Ngu Lao Ward to the proposed route of the first electric bus service that will be offered in the near future. Local residents usually call this area the "Westerner’s zone" or "backpacker area" as it has long been home to a community of foreigners who visit the city. The department also asked relevant agencies to adjust the proposed electric bus route so that it will not affect the current construction site of urban railway line No. 1 on Le Loi Street in District 1. Last month, the department ordered its road management office to coordinate with the city’s road and railway traffic police, the … [Read more...]

Ho Chi Minh City’s ‘backpacker area’ to be served by electric buses

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Transport authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have requested that the city’s first electric bus route, which will be set up for the downtown area, include an area known as the "Westerner’s zone" or "backpacker area." The Department of Transport has asked competent agencies to add a neighborhood covering Bui Vien, Pham Ngu Lao and De Tham Streets in District 1’s Pham Ngu Lao Ward to the proposed route of the first electric bus service that will be offered in the near future. Local residents usually call this area the "Westerner’s zone" or "backpacker area" as it has long been home to a community of foreigners who visit the city. The department also asked relevant agencies to adjust the proposed electric bus route so that it will not affect the current construction site of urban railway line No. 1 on Le Loi Street in District 1. Last month, the department ordered its road management office to coordinate with the city’s road and railway traffic police, … [Read more...]

Hongkong Land, Sumitomo back out of Vietnam ‘golden’ property project

Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have allowed UK-owned Hongkong Land and Japan's Sumitomo Realty & Development to withdraw from a coveted property project at one of the best locations in the city downtown. Local media reported on March 5 that it is unclear why the companies wanted to quit the US$331.3-million-plus project, less than two years after securing land rights in July 2013 following a competitive bidding process. Upon the land assignment, the city's authorities said if the investors failed to carry out the development without justifications, they would lose their deposits and would be banned from bidding for other projects within three years, news website VnExpress said. They were not allowed to transfer their contracts to another investor either, it added. In the meantime, authorities said they will to organize a tender to choose new investors. The city’s plan was to have a complex including a shopping mall, a hotel, a financial center and a gallery built on … [Read more...]

Hongkong Land, Sumitomo back out of Vietnam ‘golden’ property project: reports

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A "golden" land on Dong Khoi Street, where a US$331.3 million plus project was planned. Photo credit: Nguoi Lao Dong Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have allowed UK-owned Hongkong Land and Japan's Sumitomo Realty & Development to withdraw from a coveted property project at one of the best locations in the city downtown. Local media reported Thursday that it is unclear why the companies wanted to quit the US$331.3-million-plus project, less than two years after securing land rights in July 2013 following a competitive bidding process. Upon the land assignment, the city's authorities said if the investors failed to carry out the development without justifications, they would lose their deposits and would be banned from bidding for other projects within three years, news website VnExpress said. They were not allowed to transfer their contracts to another investor either, it added. In the meantime, authorities said they will to organize a tender to choose new investors. The … [Read more...]

Unusual rubella outbreak reported in southern Vietnam

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Around 23 million Vietnamese children aged 1-14 are supposed to receive free measles and rubella under a campaign starting last September. Photo credit: yteduphongcantho.vn Vietnamese health authorities said nearly 30 people have been tested positive for rubella, warning that there are many more showing symptoms of the contagious disease. The outbreak was first recorded early this month at a US-invested furniture company in an industrial park in Binh Duong Province, which is next to Ho Chi Minh City. News website VietNamNet cited the General Department of Preventive Medicine as saying that up to 138 people at the company showed symptoms of rubella. As of January 23, 29 of them have been tested positive for the virus. Rubella, also known as German measles or three-day measles, is a disease caused by a virus. The infection is usually mild with fever and rash. The virus is spread by contact with an infected person, through coughing and sneezing. Over the past weeks health … [Read more...]

Captive bear that attacked toddler found being illegally kept in Vietnam metro

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Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City said a captive bear that bit off a three-year-old boy’s arm at the victim’s home on Sunday was illegally kept. Dao Van Dang, deputy chief of the city’s forest ranger department, told Thanh Nien that since the boy’s parents who owned the animal were at hospital with him, they could not question them about its origin yet. The 100-kilogram bear was electrocuted to death as people attempted to retrieve the boy’s limb, but its body’s whereabouts was not clear, he said. According to the official, it was the first time forest rangers detected an illegally kept bear in the city. The cage where a bear had been held captive by a family in Hoc Mon District, HCMC, before it attacked a toddler on January 11, 2015. Photo credit: HCMC Forest Ranger Department Vietnamese government allowed people to keep bears as pets on condition that they reported with local forest ranger agencies to have the animals registered and attached … [Read more...]

Vietnam warmly welcomes thousands of foreign tourists on New Year’s Day

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Almost 1,400 foreign vacationers who chose to visit Vietnam’s key tourist destinations on New Year’s Day were heartily welcomed by local authorities. In Ho Chi Minh City, more than 1,000 tourists were greeted with a warm welcome ceremony hosted by the municipal Department of Tourism and tourism association at Tan Son Nhat International Airport upon their arrival. The first international tourists of the southern metropolis in 2015 departed from the UK, France, Germany, Taiwan and Hong Kong, according to the ceremony organizers. They will tour Ho Chi Minh City and take package trips across the country. Many British holidaymakers who arrived on Vietnam Airlines flight VN50 said they were surprised by the rapturous welcome by the host country. "These tourists are the very first out of the 4.7 million international arrivals Ho Chi Minh City is projected to receive this year," said Van Thi Bach Tuyet, director of the city’s tourism department. Tuyet said the … [Read more...]

Ho Chi Minh City hosts fire-fighting exercise

The firefighting force approaching the vessel on fire. Photo: pccc.hochiminhcity.gov.vn

PANO - The Fire Prevention and Firefighting Police, in association with the city Military Command, the border guards, public security forces, and harbour authorities in Ho Chi Minh City has just held a fire-fighting and rescue exercise for Ben Nghe vessel on the Saigon River. Nearly 1,000 troops joined the exercise improving the units' capabilities in fire prevention as well as in search and rescue. Translated by Anh Tien … [Read more...]

HCMC steps up effort to clear street beggars for civilization

HOmeless people and beggars gather to be brought into social sponsoring centers ( Photo: SGGP)

Ho Chi Minh City is trying to bring homeless people and beggars to social sponsoring centers for their own interest and for improving order, security and civilization in public places. Tran Trung Dung, director of the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs said that authorities in Ho Chi Minh City are stepping up efforts consistently to take homeless people and beggars back their home or to social sponsoring centers as of December 28 when the decree over management of homeless people in the city will take effect. The official added that the beggary which dropped considerably in the city has shown signs of an outbreak recently. Most beggars are the elderly, handicapped, drug addicts and those suffering from dangerous diseases. People with disabilities and mental illnesses will be taken to hospital for treatment while others will be sent to social sponsoring centers. Authorities in districts 1, 3, 4, 5, 10, Phu Nhuan, Binh Thanh, and Tan Binh consider it a regular mission … [Read more...]

Ho Chi Minh City resolute to clear beggars from streets

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Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have called on people to stop donating money to beggars on streets and in public places to help clear away beggary. Panhandlers in the city will be gathered at social sponsoring centers which will provide them with shelter, food and vocational training so they can become self-reliant and lead an independent life. As of December 28, city authorities will initiate a program to group beggars into state-run homes, said Hua Ngoc Thuan, deputy chairman of the local People’s Committee, stressing that the city will carry out the program consistently. The official added that the beggary which dropped considerably in the city has shown signs of an outbreak recently. Most beggars are the elderly, handicapped, drug addicts and those suffering from dangerous diseases. A recent increase in beggary It is common now to see beggars at intersections in the southern city. They intentionally dress dirty and act like they are suffering to expose their … [Read more...]

Vie-Pan Techno Park vital to support industry growth

The industrial authority in Ho Chi Minh City pin their hopes on the freshly-run Vie-Pan Techno Park (VPTP) as the southern economic hub goes to great lengths to accelerate sluggish support industry. The park, which started operating in early December in Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park, Nha Be district, is the first of its kind in Vietnam and is constructed to provide pre-fabricated workshops of various sizes. According to Vu Van Hoa, head of the HCM City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority, the Japanese small and medium-sized support enterprises only need working space of between 300m2 and 1,000m2 and their demand is met by the VPTP. Hoa said the park would facilitate enterprises’ connection and form a network of technology and business exchanges, thus benefiting the industry for the sake of development. Tat Thanh Cang, Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, said that this kind of park would help local companies establish loser links with foreign … [Read more...]

Vietnam censures former chief inspector; seizes house, land

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The plot of military land that Ben Tre Province illegally granted to former Chief Inspector Tran Van Truyen in 1992. Photo: Khoa Chien The Communist Party has announced it will censure its retired anti-corruption czar after he agreed to return a portion of his illegal real estate holdings. Tran Van Truyen, who headed the Government Inspectorate between 2007 and 2011, recently relinquished a house to authorities in Ho Chi Minh City and a plot of military land to officials in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre, after a commission charged that he had acquired them illegally. On Tuesday, Cao Thanh Hieu, chairman of Ben Tre’s namesake capital, said the government has officially taken back the plot of military land at 598B5 Nguyen Thi Dinh Street. Ben Tre’s military unit granted Truyen the 351 square meters of land in 1992, despite the fact that Vietnamese law bars civilians from holding rights to such land. The inspectors said that Truyen never resided on the land, but … [Read more...]

Uber operating illegally in Vietnam: deputy minister

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Vietnam seemingly has an official answer to Uber operations on its turf as a deputy transport minister said Monday that the ridesharing company does not work under regulations and is thus illegal. The media meeting where the deputy transport minister intended to provide guidelines on several new circulars and decrees in Hanoi was overshadowed by Uber, whose app connecting drivers and passengers is being criticized as a threat to traditional taxi operators. … [Read more...]

Uber says it ‘has been misunderstood’ after Vietnam fines ridesharing drivers

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Uber has taken to the Internet to "clarify a few things" after its service in Ho Chi Minh City was dealt a tough hand last week. A regional executive of the operator of the namesake ridesharing app that connects drivers and passengers worldwide said in a blog post on the company’s website on Saturday that Uber’s service "has been misunderstood" in the southern Vietnamese metropolis, and listed five things he believes need to be made clear. … [Read more...]

Number of foreigners changing driving licenses in HCMC rises sharply

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The number of foreigners who visited local authorities in Ho Chi Minh City to change their driver's licenses so far this year has risen to about 5,000, while the number for the whole year of 2013 was just over 2,500, according to the head of a local state agency responsible for the job. As driving licenses granted by foreign countries are not accepted in Vietnam, foreigners wishing to drive here have to contact appropriate Vietnamese authorities to change their licenses. … [Read more...]