Taxi drivers in Hanoi cheat customers

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Hanoi police continue to grapple with the problem of taxi drivers using different methods to cheat customers out of money, especially foreign tourists. A Thanh Nga Taxi found cheating foreign tourists Hoang Van Manh, Deputy Chief Inspector of the municipal Department of Transport said that one popular way of cheating on fares is putting a chip into the meter that can be controlled remotely by the driver with a cell phone. Despite efforts by the authorities, taxi operations in the capital have yet to improve. Manh attributed the situation to uncontrollable taxi operations in the city. "While HCM City has only 31 taxi companies with 15,000 vehicles, Hanoi has 117 companies with 17,000 vehicles. This means that an average sized taxi company in HCM City has hundreds of vehicles, while in Hanoi and average sized company may only have five or ten," he said. A driver from Trung Viet Taxi forced to return money and apologize He proposed merging smaller taxi companies together so that … [Read more...]

Taxi driver sacked for fleecing foreign couple

HA NOI (VNS)— The Ha Noi-based Thanh Nga Taxi company fined and dismissed a taxi driver who was found guilty of charging an Irish couple a fee 10 times higher than the actual fare. The company's inspector, Tran Duc Tri, said that Pham Van Linh, 38, got a fine of VND5 million (US$230) and was dismissed on Sunday. He has also been summoned to Hoan Kiem District's Hang Buom Ward police station for further investigations, Tri added. Linh picked up the couple from a hotel on Hang Bong Street and took them to dinner, a distance of nearly 2km, for which he asked for VND300,000 ($14) instead of the proper cost - about VND30,000 ($1.40). He allegedly took a VND500,000 ($23) banknote from the husband but only returned a VND20,000 banknote. The tourists then took a picture of the cab's license plate and reported the case to local authorities. — VNS … [Read more...]

One more taxi driver fined $for overcharging foreign tourists

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VietNamNet Bridge - After seeing the Irish tourists to apologize and return the money, a taxi driver of Thanh Nga Taxi had to pay VND5 million ($250) fine and was fired for the act of overcharging.Overcharging foreign travelers tarnish Vietnam's imageHanoi moves to tackle increasing tourist scamsHanoi establishes hotline for reporting taxi overcharging The photo of the number plate of the violated taxi taken by the Irish tourists. Mr. Tran Duc Tri, deputy director of Thanh Nga Taxi said after being informed of the act of overcharging of driver Pham Van Minh, the firm summoned the driver and met the Irish couple to apologize and return the excess amount. The driver was reported to collect nearly VND500,000 ($25) of fares for 2km road. According to Tri, this is the first similar case in the past 11 years of Thanh Nga Taxi. "This action has caused major influence on the reputation and image of the company and Hanoi's tourism," he said. After imposing a VND5 million fine and … [Read more...]

Ministry of Transport to continue tightening control over taxis

After suspending eight taxi firms in Hanoi and HCM City in late 2011, the Ministry of Transport will continue inspecting the remaining taxi firms in both cities in 2012. The Ministry’s chief inspector Nguyen Xuan Hao told the press on January 9, that after investigating 12 cab companies in Hanoi, the Ministry suspended six firms, namely Mua Xuan, Le Gia, Phu Gia, Hong Hung, Taxi 14 and Taxi BG. According to Hao, Mua Xuan, Le Gia, Phu Gia, Hong Hung, and Taxi BG did not have transport business license, business plans and management machinery. They also used untrained drivers and did not register fare list and service quality with the Hanoi Department of Transport. The official said that the Ministry of Transport would continue inspecting the remaining taxi companies in Hanoi and HCM City because “the firms that are not inspected are even worse than the inspected ones.” “Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang has instructed to strictly control taxi services. Poor … [Read more...]

Ministry gets tough on rogue city taxi touts

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The Ministry of Transport has suspended the operations of two taxi firms during spot-checks on four companies in Hanoi. The Mua Xuan and Phu Gia taxi firms had been suspended from operation said ministry Chief Inspector Nguyen Xuan Hao. The Phu Gia Taxi under the Phu Gia Transport Service Company claimed a fleet of registered 14 cars, but inspections revealed that the company had only four dedicated cars, with remaining ten drivers having to pay the Phu Gia Company VND800,000 (USD38.2) per month to use their brandname. Hanoi police recently arrested a Phu Gia taxi driver after he overcharged two Singaporean passengers who had visited the capital for the 80th Interpol General Assembly meeting. He forced them to pay USD200 (around VND4.3 million) and SGD100 (around VND1.6 million) for travelling just 10 km. "Mua Xuan Taxi has only five cars, yet it received an operational license. I have no idea how they claim they are capable of making a profit," Hao said. Thanh Nga Taxi … [Read more...]

Transport Ministry to ‘clean up’ taxi service in Hanoi, HCM City

After a taxi driver arrested for fleecing Interpol guests, the Ministry of Transport has decided to inspect the operation of all taxi firms in Hanoi and HCM City. A traffic inspector is checking the meter of a cab. The Ministry's chief inspector, Dr. Nguyen Xuan Hao, said that there are up to 114 taxi companies in Hanoi, with a total of over 16,000 cars. HCM City has only 36 taxi firms but the total number of cabs is higher than in Hanoi. The taxi service has developed robustly in Vietnam in recent years to meet the travel demand of local people. However, this field is said to be very disordered. The Ministry of Transport began to comprehensively inspect taxi firms in Hanoi and HCM City. Hao said that from now to the year end, inspectors will work at 12 taxi firms in Hanoi and 9 in HCM City. The remaining companies will be checked next year. The inspection will focus on organization, management, equipment, quality of cabs and qualification of drivers, service attitude, charges, … [Read more...]

Transport Ministry to ‘clean up’ taxi service in Hanoi, HCM City

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VietNamNet Bridge - After a taxi driver arrested for fleecing Interpol guests, the Ministry of Transport has decided to inspect the operation of all taxi firms in Hanoi and HCM City. The Ministry's chief inspector, Dr. Nguyen Xuan Hao, said that there are up to 114 taxi companies in Hanoi, with a total of over 16,000 cars. HCM City has only 36 taxi firms but the total number of cabs is higher than in Hanoi. … [Read more...]

South Korean certificate of merit presented to a Vietnamese business and citizen

The Association of South Koreans in Hanoi presented Certificates of Merit to a Vietnamese business and an individual at the Daewoo Hotel yesterday as a sincere sign of gratitude to Vietnamese citizens for their friendliness and welcoming sentiments. The Thanh Nga Taxi Joint-Stock Co. was presented with a Certificate of Merit as South Koreans in Hanoi were satisfied with the services offered by the company through the enthusiast and honesty of its drivers. Meanwhile, Uong Thi Kien, an employee at the Minh Van Co., selling tickets for Asiana Airlines, often does her best to serve customers. Whenever customers needed urgent tickets, even during weekends or holidays, she is always the office to serve them. Speaking the Korean language with great fluency, Ms. Kien sometimes has to work late in order to serve South Korean customers when they arrive in Hanoi late from other Vietnamese provinces. Despite her hard work, she always keeps a smile on her face, and is friendly with any and all … [Read more...]

IP protection stressed at forum

As a TPP member, Viet Nam must realise its commitment to IP rights, foreign investment, environment and labour standards, competition and State-owned enterprises, and the settlement of disputes, Deputy Minister Thanh said. — Illustrative Image/ Photo vafie.org.vn

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Businesses must be fully aware of the importance of intellectual property (IP) and make it a critical part of their development strategies, especially now that the country is a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), officials said at a discussion in Ha Noi last week. TPP, the world's biggest free trade agreement with its 12 member countries making up 40 per cent of the global economy, has an IP chapter that covers patents, industrial designs, trademarks, geographical indications and copyrights. Viet Nam's efforts to protect IP rights have yet to meet the real demand as well as international commitments, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Viet Thanh said. Thanh said the country has implemented IP rights from the central to grassroots levels with programmes aimed at tackling smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit products, and another on preventing IP infringements. However, the violation of IP rights is still rising and has become more … [Read more...]

Local firms fined VND8.6 billion for software copyright breaches

Van Ly Experts told a seminar held by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Business Software Alliance (BSA) in Hanoi on Wednesday that the rate of software piracy in Vietnam stands at 81%. This will be a challenge for the country to honor its commitments to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact. Tran Van Minh, deputy chief inspector of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said law enforcement agencies inspected nearly 550 enterprises and checked over 27,600 computers in the 2006-2015 period. The ministry imposed fines totaling a combined VND8.6 billion on nearly 500 infringing businesses. Minh said these violators stopped using pirated software, compensated owners of the software and bought the copyright. He added firms have spent tens of millions of U.S. dollars buying copyrights a year and that software piracy in Vietnam has declined significantly. According to BSA, the rate of software piracy in … [Read more...]

IP should be part of businesses’ development strategies

As a TPP member, Viet Nam must realise the commitments on IP rights, foreign investment, environment and labour standards, competition and State-owned enterprises, and the settlement of disputes, Deputy Minister Thanh said. — Photo vietq.vn

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Businesses need to be fully aware of the importance of intellectual property (IP) and make it a critical part of their development strategies, especially when the country is now a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). TPP, the world's biggest free trade agreement with its 12 member countries making up 40 per cent of the global economy, has an IP chapter that covers patents, industrial designs, trademarks, geographical indications, copyrights, among others. Viet Nam's efforts to protect IP rights have yet to meet the real demand as well as international commitments, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Viet Thanh said at a discussion in Ha Noi on Wednesday. Thành said the country has implemented IP rights from the central to grassroots levels with such programmes as the one on fighting smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeits, and the other on preventing IP infringements. However, the violation of IP rights is still rising and … [Read more...]

Vietnamese Businesses and IPR Enforcement in the Light of TPP

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The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), in cooperation with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry – VCCI and BSA | The Software Alliance, on April 20 held a business forum under the theme of "Vietnamese businesses and IPR enforcement in the Trans- Pacific Partnership Agreement" as part of a series of activities in the "One month campaign commemorating World Intellectual Property Day towards integration". Key discussions in the roundtable focus on the most important issues associated with Vietnam’s intellectual property (IP) commitments as part of TPP. The event was attended by senior officials and representatives of eight different member ministries and line agencies of the government inter-ministerial IPR Task Forces (Program 168), international organizations and business associations, local business societies and a wide variety of industrial property agencies.The business forum shared presentations and discussions on various concerns related to … [Read more...]

Credit redirected to production, business

Photo taken of buildings at the Phú Mỹ Hưng Urban Area in HCM City. Credit growth this year would be roughly 16 per cent, lower than the 18 per cent rate of last year. (Photo: VNS)

Credit this year would be oriented to flow more into production and business instead of non-production industries as done previously, experts said. In the latest report on prospects of the banking industry released this week, analysts of Vietcombank Securities (VCBS) forecast that credit growth this year would be roughly 16 per cent, lower than the 18 per cent rate of last year, because credit would focus more on production and business. "After the steep rise in 2015, credit to construction, real estate and BOT projects can be levelled off this year due to both market conditions and the orientation from the central bank," the analysts said. The central bank this year would issue the amended Circular No 36, which is aimed at ensuring the safety of the banking system, curbing the risk of a real estate bubble and orienting the credit flow to production and business. According to the draft amendments, banks and foreign bank branches must reduce the proportion of short-term funding … [Read more...]

British tourists complain to Hanoi authorities about hotel scam

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The three British tourists at Hanoi Tourism Department. Photo credit: VietnamNet Three British tourists have complained to Hanoi tourism authorities that they were cheated by a man who took them from the gate of a hotel they had booked into to another one by lying to them. Bradley Spillman, Jonathan Bearman and Matthew Taylor, all 21, told officials at the Hanoi Tourism Department Thursday that they had booked rooms at Hanoi Old Town Hotel, 95 Hang Chieu. On Wednesday they arrived at the hotel from airport by taxi when a man who introduced himself as the "manager" of the hotel jumped into the vehicle. He said the hotel’s water system was broken and he would take them to another branch of the hotel at 9 Nguyen Truong To Street, Ba Dinh District. They booked into the new hotel, called Hai Nam, when they received an email from the Hanoi Old Town Hotel asking why they did not turned up. Meanwhile, the man sold some tours to them, and after learning he had scammed them, they … [Read more...]

HCM City police colonel admits to ineffective fight against corruption

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Colonel Phan Anh Minh, Director of HCM City Police Department candidly admitted to limited outcomes of the city's fight against corruption despite the apparent obviously increase in the problem. At a recent municipal meeting on the issue, Colonel Minh said that many corruption cases were brought to light quite late, offering the possibility for violators to hide their assets. Colonel Phan Anh Minh, Director of HCM City Police Department "Most of corruption cases are often related to officials who are party members. However, under the Politburo's Instruction 15, police are not allowed to run investigations over periods which include surveillance of party members. So, corruption uncovered by the municipal police is usually through the inspection of other cases," he noted. According to Minh, foreign trade is seen as posing the most latent risk for corruption with half of the cases found to have involved customs officers. The General Customs Department said that all officials of the … [Read more...]

Head of customs department in southern Vietnamese province removed for managerial oversight

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A senior customs officer in southern Vietnam has been dismissed for negligence that led to serious rule violations. The General Department of Vietnam Customs has issued an administrative warning and removed Huynh Thanh Tam, head of the customs department of An Giang Province, from his position for his oversight in office that resulted in wrongdoings regarding value-added tax (VAT) refunding. During the time Tam took office, over 40 officials and public servants working at the customs department were investigated and arrested for their misconduct. As a case in point, many customs officers in An Giang were found abetting several businesses to cheat and appropriate hundreds of billions of dong (VND100 billion = US$4.48 million) from the national budget. They have been probed by the Ministry of Public Security and the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Police. Police reports showed that Le Dung, director of a company based in Ho Chi Minh City, colluded with customs officers at … [Read more...]

New rules aim to reduce risks in property credit: SBV

Apartment buildings (Photo: VNA)

The amendments to Circular No 36 are meant to urge commercial banks to strengthen the risk management of lending activities, rather than tighten the credit sources for the real estate sector, said Pham Huyen Anh, Deputy Chief Inspector of the State Bank of Vietnam He made the statement to reassure real estate insiders amidst fears that the new regulations will have negative impacts on the real estate market which has seen signs of recovery. In a draft document from the central bank circulated for public opinions, the risk index of receivable lending for real estate and securities will be raised from 150 percent (the lowest level) as stipulated in Circular No 36 to 250 percent. The maximum ratio of short- term funds used for medium and long term loans will be reduced from 60 percent to 40 percent. Chairman of the Vietnam Real Estate Association Nguyen Tran Nam said that since Circular No 36 came into effect a year ago, the number of transactions in the housing market has … [Read more...]

Less risks won’t harm property market: SBV

HA NOI (VNS)— The amendments to Circular No 36 are meant to urge commercial banks to strengthen the risk management of lending activities, rather than tighten the credit sources for the real estate sector, said Pham Huyen Anh, Deputy Chief Inspector of the State Bank of Viet Nam He made the statement to reassure real estate insiders amidst fears that the new regulations would have negative impacts on the real estate market which has seen signs of recovery. In a draft document from the central bank circulated for public opinions, the risk index of receivable lending for real estate and securities would be raised from 150 per cent (the lowest level) as stipulated in Circular No 36 to 250 per cent. The maximum ratio of short- term funds used for medium and long term loans would be reduced from 60 per cent to 40 per cent. Chairman of the Viet Nam Real Estate Association Nguyen Tran Nam said that since Circular No 36 had come into effect a year ago, the number of transactions in … [Read more...]

Experts: Tight credit to hit homebuyers

Ban Cao and Tung Le According to the draft, the risk weight of loans for the real estate and securities sectors would be raised to 250% from 150% as regulated in Circular 36. In addition, the maximum ratio of short-term funds used for medium- and long-term loans would be reduced from 60% to 40% for commercial banks, foreign bank branches and cooperative banks, and from 200% to 80% for non-bank financial institutions. Speaking at a web conference organized by Tuoi Tre newspaper on March 3, experts said that the local property market would face more difficulties due to low buying demand if lending to the property sector and homebuyers was restricted as per the draft. Financial expert Nguyen Tri Hieu said that commercial banks could hike medium- and long-term deposit rates to meet demand for loans. So, life would be tough for homebuyers. With the risk weight of loans for the real estate sector to rise from 150% to 250%, banks would be forced to restrict lending to property … [Read more...]

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Workers check furniture products for export at a workshop in Quang Nam. All timber collected from log farms have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifications.

Quang Ninh welcomes nearly 2 million visitors The northern province of Quang Ninh received nearly 2 million visitors in the first two months of the year, up three per cent from the same period last year with international visitor numbers increasing by 10 per cent, according to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Spiritual relics like Yen Tu Buddhist relic, Ba Vang Pagoda, Cua Ong Temple, and Cai Bau Pagoda attracted the most visitors, it said. The province's localities have organised art performances and sports and traditional games for visitors. The province reported that revenues from tourism in the period are estimated at more than VND1.2 trillion (US$53.7 million), a year-on year increase of 14 per cent. Boasting a 250km long coastline, Quang Ninh is famous for Ha Long Bay, one of the world's natural wonders. Tourists are also attracted by its many beautiful beaches like Bai Chay, Titop, Quan Lan, Minh Chau, Ngoc Vung, and others. Acacia forests a big … [Read more...]