JICA helps Da Nang map out development strategy

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has helped the central city of Da Nang design an integrated development strategy for the city and its neighbouring areas. Photo: danang The Steering Committee of the Integrated Development Strategy for Da Nang City and its Neighbouring Areas (Dacriss) held its 6th meeting in Da Nang on June 16 to hear reports by Dacriss research group. Dacriss, a technical project under the Japanese Government's official development assistance programme, gave out potential and opportunities of economic development strategy for the city and its nearby areas. It also includes visions for the central region's key economic area to become the environmental technology zone on the basis of economic development, ecological balance and national harmonisation. The project also proposes Da Nang emerge as a safe, secure and non-polluted city. It aims to ensure ecological stability, living condition improvement, poverty reduction, strong economic growth and … [Read more...]

Japan helps Da Nang map out development strategy

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has helped the central city of Da Nang design an integrated development strategy for Da Nang city and its neighbouring areas. The Steering Committee of the Integrated Development Strategy for Da Nang City and its Neighbouring Areas (Dacriss) held its 6 th meeting in Da Nang on June 16 to hear reports by Dacriss research group. Dacriss, a technical project under the Japanese Government's official development assistance programme, gave out potential and opportunities of economic development strategy for the city and its nearby areas. … [Read more...]

New railline discussed

The Steering Committee of the Integrated Development Strategy for DanangCity and Its Neighboring Areas (Dacriss) held its third meeting under the co-presidency of the Danang People's Committee and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). According to JICA, along with the Danang-Quang Ngai Highway being considered for investment by the Vietnamese government, the project to upgrade the railway connecting Danang and Hue must also be researched and considered in the coming time. (From Transport News) … [Read more...]

JICA to continue to support Danang

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On 7 August, vice-chairman of the Danang People's Committee Van Huu Chien met with Mr. Motonori Tsuno, chief-representative of the office of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Viet Nam to discuss cooperative relạtions between Danang and JICA in the coming time. Mr. Motonori reported that the Integrated Development Strategy for DanangCity and Its Neighboring Areas (DACRISS) sponsored by JICA is making good progress thanks to the close cooperation of related agencies and bodies. He said he hopes that the results of this research will benefit the overall development and planning of Danang in the future and the city will have more specific projects. He said a senior volunteer of JICA is working at the DanangHospital to maintain the equipment funded by JICA. It is planned that JICA will send more senior volunteers for production, manufacture, processing, industrial consultancy and human resources development to Viet Nam, including to Danang. Vice-chairman Chien Van … [Read more...]

Suggestions for development strategies for key central economic region

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On 16 June, the Steering Committee of the Integrated Development Strategy for DanangCity and Its Neighboring Areas (Dacriss) held its third meeting under the co-presidency of vice-chairman of the Danang People's Committee Van Huu Chien and Mr. Yoshifumi Omura, senior representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Representatives of the consultancy board and research team of JICA, the World Bank, research institutes, People's Committees of Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh and relevant agencies of Danang participated. The JICA research team presented the integrated development strategies for the key central economic region, discussed the mechanism for cooperation and the roles of localities of the region, proposed construction ideas and defined sustainable development orientation for the region and Danang. 06 basic development strategies for the region proposed by the team include: intensification of direct connection with international markets … [Read more...]

Code of ethics drafted for Japan ODA-funded projects

Quang Chung The code is aimed at ensuring transparency and preventing graft after some corruption cases and allegations in connection with the projects using Japan’s ODA loans have been brought to light in the past years. Under the draft code, individuals involved in the contractor selection process would be required to pledge that they would not use their positions for personal gains while ensuring healthy competition among bidders. The forthcoming code of ethics is also designed to prevent conflicts of interest and nepotism. Officials would have to commit to take no bribes, keep bidding information confidential, and make sure fair competition for all parties concerned. The draft code requires individuals taking part in such tenders to report irregularities to the Public Procurement Agency under the ministry or the office of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Vietnam if they suspect their co-workers, contractors and others do something that violates the … [Read more...]

Project on water management in river basins slated for September

A project to enhance the capacity of water environment management in river basins will be launched in several cities and provinces this September, as heard at a seminar in Hanoi on April 15. The project will cover the development of macro management tools as well as improving the capacity to draft laws and policies concerned and their enforcement under the management of the Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA), said Project Manager Ichiro Adachi. It will be piloted in the Cau River basin in the northern provinces of Bac Ninh, Bac Giang and Thai Nguyen as well as the Dong Nai River basin in southern Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces. Initially, working groups will take charge of defining visions, goals, strategies and water quality standards, calculating the existing and future level of pollution based on respective socio-economic development plans and holding educational campaigns about the cause. Nguyen Thi Thanh My from the Ho Chi Minh City Department … [Read more...]

Vietnam begins inspecting projects implemented by slush fund-hit Korean firm

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Vietnam has kicked off an inspection of expressway projects South Korea firm POSCO Engineering and Construction (E&C) was contracted to after Korean media reported that an executive of the firm set up a slush fund and embezzled millions of U.S. dollars when working as the country director in Vietnam during the 2009-2012 period. According to a decision made by Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang on Thursday, a six-member inspection team, including representatives from the Ministry of Transport, its Finance Department, Department of Science and Technology, and Department of Transport Construction and Quality Management, is led by the ministry’s Deputy Chief Inspector Le Van Doan. The delegation is inspecting the selection of contractors and acceptance of payment and settlement to detect any weaknesses, flaws, and violations of the law. The inspection team will also propose amendments and supplements to current mechanisms, policies, and regulations in order to enhance … [Read more...]

ODA corruption: It’s time for Vietnam to review the system

Dr. Dang Ngoc Dinh, director of the Center for Community Support Development Studies

VietNamNet Bridge - "It's a shame," was a comment heard from many experts who spoke to the media about the recent allegations of ODA corruption in Vietnam. Most agreed that anti-corruption measures are ineffective.Slush funds and bribery scandals Vietnam’s citing of figures showing the efficient use of ODA has been overshadowed by news about embezzlement of funds in highway projects. Vietnam should take all possible measures to thwart corruption in projects funded by Japan’s ODA loans; otherwise, Japanese aid will stop, Mori Mutsuya, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Vietnam, said at a news briefing in Hanoi on April 1. Mutsuya said JICA wanted the high-profile JTC graft case to be the last related to projects financed by Japanese aid in Vietnam because if there is yet another case emerging, the Japanese taxpayers would force their government to suspend ODA for Vietnam. Mutsuya issued the warning when he fielded questions … [Read more...]

Vietnam’s veggie hub to have Japanese-style flower wholesale market

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A Japanese agency is bringing the model of Japan’s largest flower market to the Vietnamese province of Lam Dong, whose capital city is known as Vietnam’s veggie hub. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Lam Dong administration reached an agreement on Wednesday to build the wholesale flower market of Da Lat in the eponymous city under the model of the Tokyo-based Ota flower market. Da Lat, the capital city of Lam Dong, is Vietnam’s hub for green produce and flowers thanks to its cool climate. The Ota market started operation in 1991 and now handles 2.451 million cut stalks on a daily basis, according to its website. It also hosts the largest flower auction in Tokyo. The Da Lat wholesale market will be linked with Binh Dien, one of the largest wholesale markets in Ho Chi Minh City, to supply flowers to the southern megacity, one of Da Lat’s largest consumption markets. Some 70 percent of Da Lat-grown flowers are transported to Ho … [Read more...]

Breakfast @ Tuoi Tre News – April 9

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Here are the leading news stories about Vietnam you should not miss today, April 9, 2015. Politics -- Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong dedicated the second day of his four-day official visit to China to meeting with representatives from the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, the China-Vietnam Friendship Association, and a number of former Chinese experts and diplomats who worked in Vietnam, in Beijing on Wednesday. -- Vietnam and China have issued a joint communiqué on the occasion of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to China from April 7 to 10 at the invitation of Communist Party of China General Secretary and State President Xi Jinping. Society -- Three members of a family were killed after their car crashed into a truck parked on a national highway section passing the central province of Quang Nam on Wednesday. The car was reportedly traveling at high speed when one of its tires burst, sending the … [Read more...]

Vietnam says irregularities not yet found at POSCO-executed project

An employee of POSCO walks next to a sculpture with POSCO’s logo at the company’s headquarters in Seoul October 21, 2011. Vietnamese authorities have said they have yet to fi nd any irregularities involving an expressway project carried out in Vietnam by POSCO E&C - PHOTO: REUTERS

Le Anh Korean prosecutors arrested the ex-executive identified as Park around two weeks ago without a warrant for taking away funds from the expressway project, according to a news report which The Korea Herald posted on its website (www.koreaherald.com). Park is suspected of having set up slush funds totaling around 10 billion won and embezzling four billion won of the amount between 2009 and 2012 when he was leading the project of POSCO E&C, says the report. Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport told a media conference in Hanoi last Friday that POSCO E&C had been awarded a couple of contract packages in the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Expressway project in northern Vietnam, such as A1, A2 and A3. The Korean firm had also won contract packages 3 and 5A in the HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giau Expressway project in southern Vietnam. The two expressways have already been opened to traffic. Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong told the assembled reporters that competitive … [Read more...]

Assistance to foster phase II of agricultural development project

The Prime Minister has recently approved a project providing technical assistance to phase II of a project on agricultural development in the Phan Ri-Phan Thiet irrigation areas of the southern central province of Binh Thuan. The second phase of the agricultural development project, which targets localities benefitting from the Phan Ri-Phan Thiet Irrigation Project, will design and expand advanced water management systems in crop cultivation areas. It is scheduled to be carried out from May 2015 to May 2017 at a cost of 2 million USD in official development assistance (ODA) funded by the Japanese Government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The Vietnamese side will also finance phase II with 1.5 billion VND (70,000 USD). The Phan Ri-Phan Thiet Irrigation Project is designed to help Binh Thuan use water effectively in the Japanese ODA-supported Dai Ninh hydropower plant, completed in 2008. Binh Thuan is traditionally known for its low rainfall. In March, the … [Read more...]

Agriculture development project in Phan Ri-Phan Thiet ratified

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VGP – The PM has approved the second phase of the technical cooperation project for Agriculture Development in Phan Ri -Phan Thiet. The project, sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, will be launched from May 2015 to May 2017 through an Official Development Assistance (ODA) of US$2 million and a corresponding capital of US$700,000. The project aims to enhance the capacity for planning of cropping, planning and constructing tertiary canals, as well as for establishing responsible water management authority. The project also has various deep-impact activities for residential people such as the establishment of water users' group with farmers for managing and participating in irrigation work and making plan for water distribution as well as operating water canals. By Thuy Dung … [Read more...]

Japan asks Vietnam to repay aid to graft-hit railway project

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Japan has requested that Vietnam refund the total amount disbursed for a consulting contract for a Japanese ODA-funded railway project in Hanoi marred by a US$780,000 bribery scandal uncovered last year. >> Vietnam nabs another railway official over alleged $780,000 Japanese graft Japan has requested that Vietnam refund the total amount disbursed for a consulting contract for a Japanese ODA-funded railway project in Hanoi marred by a US$780,000 bribery scandal uncovered last year. The request was announced by Yamamoto Kenichi, deputy representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Vietnam, at an annual press conference on Wednesday. While answering questions from reporters about the scandal, related to the railway line No. 1 (the Yen Vien-Ngoc Hoi route) of the Hanoi urban railway project, Kenichi said the Japanese government demanded Vietnam return the monetary aid Tokyo had disbursed for the consulting contract for the line. Tien Phong … [Read more...]

Vietnam continues to be Japan’s largest ODA partner

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will maintain close coordination with the Vietnamese Government as the biggest official development assistance (ODA) partner of Japan, according to JICA Representative Chief Mori Mutsuya. Speaking at an annual press conference in Hanoi on April 1, he revealed that his agency will work with Vietnam in 13 new technical cooperation projects and hold 83 training courses in the 2015 fiscal year, focusing mainly on infrastructure and urban transport development, social affairs and the enhancement of global competitiveness. Vietnam is currently the largest recipient of official development assistance (ODA) from Japan , he said, adding that JICA is currently implementing over 150 technical and loan cooperation projects in the Southeast Asian country. Vietnam and Japan have signed a loan agreement of 36.3 billion JPY (302.4 million USD) for the second phase of construction of the Thai Binh thermal power plant and the power transmission … [Read more...]

Japan ODA put at 112.4 billion yen

Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh and Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Fukada shake hands at the signing ceremony on March 31 - PHOTO: TH

Tu Hoang On behalf of the two countries’ governments, Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh and Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Hiroshi Fukada signed an exchange of notes of Japanese ODA loans for Vietnam in Hanoi yesterday. The 112.4 billion yen, or around VND19.9 trillion, will be allocated to seven projects, including Ben Luc-Long Thanh Expressway, Thai Binh I thermal power plant and power transmission lines, power distribution project, phase two of Nhon Trach water supply system, water drainage and wastewater treatment in Halong City, the upgrade of Can Tho University, and climate change response program. The Vietnamese Ministry of Finance and the Japan International Cooperation Agency will sign specific loan agreements for the projects. Vinh said Japan is a major economic partner and a key ODA donor of Vietnam. Most ODA loans are intended to help Vietnam develop infrastructure, mainly roads, seaports, airports and energy. According to Vinh, … [Read more...]

Vietnam continues to be largest ODA partner of Japan

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Vietnam continues to be largest ODA partner of Japan. (Photo: VNA) The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will maintain close coordination with the Vietnamese Government as the biggest official development assistance (ODA) partner of Japan , according to JICA Representative Chief Mori Mutsuya. Speaking at an annual press conference in Hanoi on April 1, he revealed that his agency will work with Vietnam in 13 new technical cooperation projects and hold 83 training courses in the 2015 fiscal year, focusing mainly on infrastructure and urban transport development, social affairs and the enhancement of global competitiveness. Vietnam is currently the largest recipient of official development assistance (ODA) from Japan , he said, adding that JICA is currently implementing over 150 technical and loan cooperation projects in the Southeast Asian country. Vietnam and Japan have signed a loan agreement of 36.3 billion JPY (302.4 million USD) for the second phase of … [Read more...]

Japan agency lashes out at bribery in Vietnam

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The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said it would ask Tokyo to stop soft loans to Vietnam unless bribery was brought into check. Model of Hanoi Urban Railway Project Line 1 Yamamoto Kenichi, deputy head of JICA in Vietnam, expressed concern about the number of bribery cases linked to ODA-funded projects. In 2008, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported that four former Pacific Consultants International executives had admitted paying USD820,000 in bribes to a Vietnamese official. In late March, Japan Transportation Consultants Inc. (JTC) admitted to Yomiuri Shimbun it had given JPY80m to Vietnamese railway officials to win a contract of Hanoi Urban Railway Project Line 1. Six officials from Vietnam Railways were prosecuted for their abuse of power and negligence. Kenichi said if a third case was uncovered, JICA would ask Japanese government to stop giving soft-loans to Vietnam. He will ask the government to return the bribes, but would continue funding the … [Read more...]