Microsoft officially appoints new country manager in Vietnam


Today, Microsoft officially announced that Vu Minh Tri has been appointed as the new country manager for Microsoft Vietnam. In this role, Tri will be responsible for managing Microsoft's business strategy, operations, and development initiatives in the Vietnamese market. Tri has extensive business management experience in a number of multi-national corporations and has a deep understanding of the technology industry. Prior to joining Microsoft, he held many key leadership positions and most recently was the regional leader overseeing the Indochina and Thailand region for Qualcomm. He previously held various leadership positions in his career including general director for Yahoo! Vietnam, country manager of Sony Ericsson Vietnam, and worked in Sales & Marketing Management for BAT, BP and Procter & Gamble Vietnam. Jamie Harper, general manager of Southeast Asia said "Vietnam continues to be a market of strategic importance to Microsoft, and we continue to invest in the … [Read more...]

Android 4.0 attractive, but it’s not easy to gulp


VietNamNet Bridge - Android 4.0 has the code name "Ice Cream Sandwich." Google once announced that the official version of the product would appear in early 2012. However, to date, except some product lines which have the right to install the official version, most of the Android 4.0 products available on the market are just the alpha and beta versions. A source from Sony Ericsson Vietnam has affirmed that the official version of Android 4.0 would hit the market by early April 2012. In general, the official version would have many new functions, but there would be no big changes in comparison with the beta version. The operation system for a mass The previous versions of the Android operation system showed differences on different product lines. The previous versions of Android, from the 2.3 GingerBread version and earlier, were mostly used for mobile phones. Meanwhile, Android 3.0 Honeycomb is the operation system only used for the group of tablets running on Android operation … [Read more...]

The origins of made-in-Vietnam cell phones


Some domestic brands of hand phone have appeared in the local market in recent years, namely Mobell, Q-Mobile, ConnSpeed, Bavapen, F-Mobile and MobiStar. Many of them carry Vietnamese names, but they actually hail from China. With super-cheap components from China, manufacturing cell phones is rather easy so many Vietnamese firms have jumped into this market. The boom of Vietnamese brands Among the above mobile phone brands, A My company's ConnSpeed products were launched in late 2007 for common users, priced between 1-3 million dong. Q-Mobile is the brand of ABTel company. Meanwhile, Bavapen belongs to Thanh Cong Mobile company. MobiStar and F-Mobile are the latest brands of P&T Mobile and FPT, and appeared in May and June 2009. These products also aim at common users, with prices of less than 2 million dong. Most of these made-in Vietnam phones have the same basic functions: music playing, camera, Bluetooth connection, two sims. The designs are abundant but many models … [Read more...]

Going local


The new General Manager of Yahoo! in Vietnam, Mr Vu Minh Tri Born in 1973, Mr Vu Minh Tri was previously General Manager of Sony Ericsson Vietnam and prior to that worked with Procter&Gamble (P&G), British Petroleum (BP) and British American Tobacco (BAT), where he held senior management positions in brand marketing, business development, training and development, and trade marketing. At Sony Ericsson Vietnam he turned its Vietnam business into the fastest growing company in the industry in terms of volume and value share and brand health indicators. More importantly, he built a strong foundation for the continuous and sustainable growth of the Sony Ericsson business. Perhaps this extensive blue chip background helped him to defeat other candidates on the short list for the position of general manager in Vietnam at Yahoo! … [Read more...]

Motorola eyes more shares in Vietnam’s telecoms market


U.S. telecoms giant Motorola is set to expand operations in Vietnam's fast-growing telecoms market in an attempt to regain its position as a market leader in the country, company officials said recently. The move is driven by the firm's recent strong financial performance on Wall Street and its fresh interest in Vietnam's growing market for mobile handsets and telecoms networks, said a Motorola spokesperson. … [Read more...]

New rules allowing foreigners to buy Vietnamese property haven’t created significant growth: expert


Three months after a new rule allowing foreigners to buy and own local properties took effect, there is no significant growth in the volume of foreign homebuyers, an expert said at a regular conference on the Vietnamese realty market last week, though foreign buyers have shown more interest. It is a result of the fact that foreign buyers are waiting for detailed instructions and progress in implementation of the new law, which took effect on July 1, Marc Townsend, managing director of U.S.-owned realty service company CBRE Vietnam, said at the conference last Wednesday. Under the provisions of the new Housing Law, the requirements for foreigners to buy and own homes in Vietnam have been loosened. Specifically, foreign organizations and individuals investing in Vietnam, branches and representative offices of foreign companies and investment funds and foreign banks operating in the country have the right to buy condominiums or own and inherit as gifts at most 30 percent of the … [Read more...]

Hanoi: October CPI to climb by 0.05%-0.1%


Hanoi’s consumer price index (CPI) in October is forecast to increase by 0.05%-0.1% over the previous month, according to the municipal Department of Industry and Trade. Price hike could be seen in vegetables, oil and gas, and water usage during the month. To stabilise market prices, the department has mobilised and effectively used domestic and foreign financial resources while promoting social engagement to develop infrastructure networks for markets, trade centres and supermarkets, especially in rural areas. The department has directed relevant units to store goods for aid in flood-prone areas given the recent abnormal weather patterns. Besides implementing stabilisation programmes for basic necessities across the city, the department is expanding the campaign "Vietnamese people prioritise using Vietnamese goods" to rural areas and industrial and processing parks. As many as 28 market days and over 200 mobile shops have been organised in the capital’s … [Read more...]

Food hygiene still a concern for VN

HA NOI (VNS) — Lack of strict punishments have made it difficult for local authorities to tighten control over businesses violating food safety as more and more samples of meat, vegetables and seafood have been found failing to meet hygiene and quality standards, threatening local people's health, since the beginning of this year. Market regulators in Ha Noi have found many cases that violate the regulations on food hygiene and safety at supermarkets and markets, since the beginning of this year. According to the new report of the Market Management Board under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, since the beginning of the year, it discovered and penalised more than 55,000 violations for counterfeit, low-quality goods including dirty food, nationwide. The Ha Noi Market Management board imposed a fine of more than VND4 billion (US$182,000) on 753 violation cases and destroyed low-quality goods worth nearly VND7.3 billion ($324,400). Management on food hygiene has become … [Read more...]

Paving a road for German business


The German business community is eyeing Vietnam as an attractive investment destination, thanks to the two countries’ ever-growing political and economic relations. Thanh Dat reports. Germany and Vietnam are further cementing their political and economic ties At last week’s press conference organised by the German Embassy in Vietnam, Hans-Jörg Brunner, Charge d’Affaires of the embassy, said that Vietnam was quite an attractive investment destination for German firms. "Many German firms are keen to enter Vietnam to do business in many sectors. It is thanks to the two countries’ ever-increasing political and economic ties, and the free trade agreements between Vietnam and the European Union," he said. Further investment and business co-operation Over 300 German companies are operating and investing in Vietnam in many sectors, notably in automobile, machinery, pharmacy, and construction material. Specifically, representatives from Germany’s famous … [Read more...]

Centara recognised at the Mekong Tourism Alliance Awards


Centara Hotels & Resorts, a leading hotel group in Thailand, was recently recognised as "Best Resort of the Year 2015" at the Mekong Tourism Alliance Awards (MTAA) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s southern growth engine. Following the successful inaugural Mekong Tourism Alliance Awards (MTAA) in 2014, the Organising Committee came up with the initiative again in 2015. The MTAA awards ceremony, held in conjunction with the official opening ceremony and gala dinner of the International Travel Expo (ITE) HCMC, was attended by key tourism ministers from Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam. These awards celebrate the brightest tourism stars in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam that help to instill a greater sense of pride and achievement for professionals and organisations, which serve as recognition for quality excellence in tourism and hospitality in the alliance countries. ITE HCMC 2015 is the only national tourism event endorsed by Vietnam’s … [Read more...]

Plastic rice concerns surface again in Vietnam

The rice grains suspected to be "fake" smell like burned plastic and become sticky after being fried. Photo: Trung Hieu  A consumer told

Thanh Nien she suspected that a batch of rice she had bought recently might have been mixed with fake, plastic rice. Ngo Hoang Phuong Dong of Tan Binh District said Wednesday she bought 20 kilograms of rice at a store in Phu Nhuan District four days earlier. When she steamed the rice using her rice cooker, many of the grains appeared to be uncooked. Thinking that the cooker was broken, she bought a new one and once again could not cook the rice properly. She then selected some of the uncooked grains and put then into a frying pan. After being fried for five minutes, the grains started to melt and burn like plastic. She said plastic rice may have been mixed in the rice batch. On Thursday, she brought samples of the rice to Vietnam's Quality Assurance and Testing Center No. 3 (Quatest 3) for a test. The result will be announced within 10 days. A bowl of normal rice (R) and abnormal rice after being fried. The normal rice do not stick together. Photo: Trung Hieu The rice store … [Read more...]

Goods producers, distributors strike cooperation deals

Producers and distributors ink cooperation agreements in HCMC On September 29 - PHOTO: NGUYEN QUYEN

Nguyen Quyen The deals were struck at a conference on supply-demand connectivity between firms in rural areas and distributors was co-held by trade and market management agencies including the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade as requested by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The connectivity program is part of the Vietnamese Goods Identity Week-Pride of Vietnamese Goods taking place from September 27 to October 4 in HCMC with over 83 businesses participating. Of them, 70 are producers of handicrafts and agro-forestry-aquatic products and the remainder are distributors in the south. Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Ho Thi Kim Thoa said the conference aimed to boost consumption of domestic goods and enhance cooperation among management agencies, producers and distributors to form an effective supply chain. The program aims to make Vietnamese products account for over 70% of total goods sold nationwide in 2015 and 90% by 2020. Truong Thanh Su, director of the … [Read more...]

Ministry detects fraud in packed goods

Employees of the Market Management Board of the central Quang Tri Province inspect packed goods at an enterprise in Dong Ha City. — VNA/VNS Photo Ho Cau

HA NOI (VNS) — The science and technology ministry has detected several instances of fraud in packed goods since August, Chief Inspector of the ministry Tran Minh Dung said. Following inspections, 265 enterprises out of 1,283 enterprises nationwide (20 per cent of the inspected enterprises) were found violating the rules. They had to pay VND450 million (US$ 2,000) in fines. Most of the fined enterprises were found committing fraud in the quantity of the packed goods. After the Law on Measurement came into effect, the ministry issued decree 21 in August 2014, giving instructions about the weights and measures of packed goods. A year after the decree came into effect, the ministry inspected weights, measures, bar codes and intellectual property of basic goods such as sugar, milk and oil. Dung said the cases of fraud would be announced on mass media to spread awareness among the public to prevent further fraud and to create a healthy and competitive environment between … [Read more...]

Domestic glass firms vie for market

Viglacera Float Glass JSC at the Viet Nam-Singapore Industrial Zone in Binh Duong Province. Weak market management and customer taste for imported products caused local glass producers to lose market shares. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha

HCM CITY (VNS)— Domestic glass companies are losing market share to foreign businesses because of loopholes in import duty policies, weak market management and customer preference for imported products, the Dau Tu (Viet Nam Investment Review) newspaper reported. Raw glass, for example, has an import tax of 35 per cent, while the tax on finished glass is only 5 per cent. In addition, instead of outsourcing, several import companies have reduced the size of their raw glass to take advantage of lower import duties. The fraudulent activity has affected domestic raw material glass producers and outsourcing businesses in Viet Nam. Market management has also been ineffective, leading to unregulated glass imports and smuggled glass. These products, especially thick glass, do not meet quality standards. In some cases, importers claim they use a 2mm- thick glass standard, but the glass is only 1.7mm thick. Nguyen Minh Khoa, director of Viglacera Float Glass Company, said the Saint … [Read more...]

After $2b investment, Vung Tau ports operating at low capacity

Compiled by Le Hung Vong Seven deep-water seaports have been built by the Cai Mep – Thi Vai Port Group in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau in the past few years at a total cost of VND40 trillion (nearly US$1.8 billion). However, Saigon International Terminals Vietnam (SITV), SP-PSA International Port, Tan Cang - Cai Mep Container Terminal (TCCT), Tan Cang - Cai Mep International Terminal (TCIT), Cai Mep International Terminal (CMIT), Tan Cang - Cai Mep ODA Terminal (TCOT), and SSIT, a Joint Venture of SSA Holdings International - Vietnam, Saigon Port, and Vinalines operate at less than 20 per cent of capacity even after cargo volumes rose by 15-20 per cent annually to 1.16 million TEUs last year. In the first year after they became operational, each port saw 16 large vessels leave with cargo for European and American ports every week. However, after those exploratory trips, shipping lines had to reduce the number of direct trips because of a shortage of cargo … [Read more...]

Vietnamese experts concerned about toxic Chinese fragrant learning tools

It is easy to see children asking their parents to buy them fragrant learning tools at bookstores in Ho Chi Minh City.

In recent years, many kinds of learning tools like pens, pencils, and notebooks imported from China have been manufactured with fragrance added and sold at a cheap price in Vietnam, luring more and more students and parents. Children say yes One of the most favorite items of elementary students is a kind of pencil which not only smells good but also looks beautiful with cartoon patterns. It is being sold at many bookstores in District 1, Phu Nhuan District, Tan Phu District, and Tan Binh District. Ha, the parent of Hoang My, a first grader in Tan Phu, said her daughter was fascinated by the kind of pencil her friends used at school and asker her mother to buy it for her. At a bookstore also in Tan Phu, a customer named Minh said her daughter has used nearly 10 pencils of that kind. "She has kept asking me to buy the same kind of that fragrant pencil every time she lost it," Minh said. The pencils have Chinese-language labels and are sold at a very cheap price, only from … [Read more...]

More must be done to stop smuggling, fraud

Do Thang Hai, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade spoke to the Cong Thuong (Industry and Trade) newspaper about the country's efforts in cracking down on smuggling, trade fraud and fake goods. What is the role of the Ministry of Industry and Trade in the fight against smuggling goods, trade fraud and fake goods? In March 2014, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung signed Decision 389 to establish the National Steering Board on the Prevention and Control of Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Fake Commodities or Steering Committee 389. This is an indication of the government's resolve to crack down on illegal trade activities to protect producers and consumers. At a meeting to view the MOIT's role in the fight against trade fraud and smuggling, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who heads the Steering Committee 389 said the Ministry of Trade are monitoring agents' efforts in cracking down on smuggling, trade fraud and fake goods. "Your activities have effectively helped to control the selling of counterfeit or … [Read more...]

Electronics importers mull price hikes

An employee of an electronics center in HCMC introduces washing machines to customers. Importers of electronic items plan price increases after the devaluation of the Vietnam dong against the U.S. dollar - PHOTO: MINH TAM

Minh Tam Pham Ngoc Phi, marketing head of the electronics department at Sharp Vietnam Co. Ltd., said businesses have had to spend more on the same products they imported before but it not easy to increase selling prices on the domestic market. The company is finding ways to deal with the situation. Tran Tan Hoang Hau, marketing director of Thien Hoa Electronics & Furniture Shopping Center, said suppliers of imported products have not informed the firm of price increases as they can afford the depreciation of the dong. In August, the State Bank of Vietnam widened the dong/U.S. dollar trading band from 1% to 3% and increased the reference exchange rate by 1% to prop up exports following the strong depreciation of the yuan. Hau said demand for electronics products has just picked up, so now is not the right time to adjust up prices as retailers may lose customers. Dang Thanh Phong, who is in charge of communications at The Gioi Di Dong, confirmed the phone retailer has not … [Read more...]

Condo management boards required to take training courses

A condo building on District 4, HCMC. Members of condo management boards will be trained in the coming time as per a draft regulation prepared by the Ministry of Construction - PHOTO: TL

Manh Tung The Ministry of Construction has drafted a circular requiring apartment building management boards to undergo training. The draft has attracted mixed reactions at a meeting held last Friday in HCMC to collect comments. Under the draft, members of apartment building management boards or owners of apartments must take courses on condo management to get certificates of attendance from the ministry. The certificate is valid for five years. Representatives of several condo management boards in HCMC told the meeting that it would be difficult to implement the regulation because many condo buildings do not even have management boards as no one is interested in board membership. Phan Tu Lap, a member of the management board of Hung Vuong condo building in District 5, described the regulation as unnecessary because members of condo management boards are all elected by residents. Meanwhile, some threw support behind the regulation, saying people who manage apartment … [Read more...]

Experts discuss MICE development in city

Representatives of travel firms chat on the sidelines of a seminar on MICE development in HCMC on September 9 - PHOTO: DAO LOAN

Dao Loan Glenn Koh, area director of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, said the tourism sector needs to strengthen partnerships with other sectors and enterprises to work out effective promotion programs. Enterprises suggest ideas for tourism authorities to carry out programs effectively and authorities can support enterprises to implement their events, and cover half of total costs, Koh said, sharing what Singapore has done to develop its tourism sector. Koh said public private partnership is one of the solutions to raise funds for developing the MICE segment. Travel firms will contribute finances to the government’s programs for MICE development as they know they will benefit if the segment expands. To prop up MICE, Koh suggested tourism agencies to partner with their counterparts in other destinations instead of considering them as competitors. Koh’s view was shared by Ton Nu Thi Ninh, director of Tri Viet Center for Social … [Read more...]