Hundreds hospitalized in two food poisoning cases


Hundreds of workers were hospitalized in two food poisoning cases that took place on July 10 in the southern provinces of Binh Duong and Long An, causing serious concerns on food safety and hygiene conditions once again. More than 50 workers of the Thinh Viet Furniture Company in Binh Duong Province were admitted to the General Hospital in Tan Uyen District on afternoon of July 10, some unconscious while others were vomiting profusely. According to the workers, they had meals in the company canteen and began suffering soon after. Dr. Le Van Minh said that most of the workers had been discharged from hospital except for seven who were still in intensive care and under observation. On the same day, the preventive medicine center in Tan Uyen District took samples of the food for testing. Also on July 10, 60 workers of the Le Long Vietnam Company in Ben Luc District in the southern province of Long An were taken to hospital when they complained of abdomen pain, diarrhea, fever and … [Read more...]

Regional minimum wages to rise next year

An employee is at work at a factory of Saigon Paper in Tan Thanh District, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. The plant is located in region two, so it will be required to raise minimum wages by at least 12.73% early next year - PHOTO: MINH TAM

Minh Tam and Thuy Dung The Government’s Decree 122/2015/ND-CP on region-based minimum wage increases was issued on November 14, nearly three months after the National Wage Council made a salary spike proposal following heated debates between the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. According to the decree, those working for companies, cooperatives, farms, household businesses, individuals and organizations under labor contracts will get an additional VND250,000-400,000 per month, up an average of 12.4% compared to the current salaries. When raising minimum wages for their staff, employers are prohibited from removing or cutting allowances for workers who work overtime, at night or in a toxic environment. Other allowances, subsidies and bonuses must be maintained as stated in their labor contracts and collective labor agreements, according to the decree. As for vocationally trained workers, employers must pay them at … [Read more...]

President Truong Tan Sang visits Germany to boost cooperation

German President Joachim Gauck (right) and Vietnam's Ambassador to Germany Dao Xuan Hung.

President Truong Tan Sang will visit Germany from November 24-26, at the invitation of German President Joachim Gauck, in order to boost the strategic partnership between the two countries. This is the first state visit by a Vietnamese president to Germany since it was unified in 1990. The relationship between Vietnam and Germany has developed positively, effectively and comprehensively since the countries established their diplomatic relationship in September 1975. Since the formation of their strategic partnership in 2011, Vietnam and Germany have frequently exchanged high-ranking delegations. Examples include German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Vietnam in October 2011 and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to Germany in September 2014. The two countries effectively implemented many bilateral cooperation mechanisms. The Vietnam – Germany trade relationship has grown in recent years, reaching 7.9 billion USD in 2014 and 6.66 billion USD in the … [Read more...]

State President Truong Tan Sang visits Germany to boost cooperation

Hanoi, November 23 (VNA) – State President Truong Tan Sang will visit Germany from November 24-26, at the invitation of German President Joachim Gauck, in order to boost the strategic partnership between the two countries. This is the first state visit by a Vietnamese president to Germany since it was unified in 1990. The relationship between Vietnam and Germany has developed positively, effectively and comprehensively since the countries established their diplomatic relationship in September 1975. Since the formation of their strategic partnership in 2011, Vietnam and Germany have frequently exchanged high-ranking delegations. Examples include German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Vietnam in October 2011 and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to Germany in September 2014. The two countries effectively implemented many bilateral cooperation mechanisms. The Vietnam – Germany trade relationship has grown in recent years, reaching 7.9 billion USD … [Read more...]

Cargill builds 30-million-dollar animal feed plant in Binh Duong

The US food processing company Cargill said that it has invested US$30 million to build an animal feed plant in Binh Duong Province, heard at a press conference held on the occasion of 150th anniversary of the company’s establishment and 20 th year in Vietnam. The animal feed plant has a capacity of 260,000 tons per annum and is expected to start operation in the first half of 2017. The company has built 12 animal feed plants in Vietnam in total at a cost of $180 million with total capacity of 1.3 million tons of animal feed per annum, accounting for about 9 percent of total industrial animal feed production in Vietnam. Moreover, Cargill has also come into an agreement with Saigon International Terminals Vietnam in building a warehouse for grains and oily nuts at Phu My Port in Ho Chi Minh City with an investment of $10 million. The company pledged that it will build 25 more schools in rural areas by 2020. … [Read more...]

Binh Duong seeks Dutch investors for hi-tech agriculture

Tran Van Nam (R), Party chief and chairman of Binh Duong Province, and Cees Bijl, mayor of Emmen City, shake hands after signing the MOU - PHOTO: QUOC HUNG

Quoc Hung The plan was mentioned by Tran Van Nam, Party chief and chairman of Binh Duong Province, on Tuesday when the province and the Dutch city signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to step up cooperation in multiple sectors. Under the agreement, Binh Duong will join hands with Emmen to boost cooperation in economic, trade, service, tourism, and export-import fields. The two sides will help their companies, especially medium and small enterprises, survey each other’s markets and explore investment opportunities. Cees Bijl, mayor of Emmen, told the signing ceremony that Binh Duong holds huge potential for industrial and urban infrastructure development and that the government of Emmen will provide support for businesses of both sides. Nam said the province is in need of investment in agriculture and other sectors using high technology and Emmen has much experience in these sectors. Binh Duong will create favorable conditions for enterprises from the Netherlands … [Read more...]

Cargill to build $30m animal feed mill

Entering Viet Nam in 1995, Cargill Viet Nam is one of the leading animal nutrition companies in the country, producing premix and compound feed. It also deals in food and beverage ingredients, grain, oilseed and metals. — Photo

HCM CITY (Biz Hub) — Cargill has unveiled plans for a new US$30 million animal feed mill in Binh Duong Province, raising its total number of animal nutrition production facilities in Viet Nam to 12. David MacLennan, Cargill chairman and CEO, said the new animal feed mill in Binh Duong would have a total capacity of 260,000 metric tonnes per year and become operational in the first half of 2017. The company has also entered into a $10 million agreement with Saigon International Terminals Viet Nam (SITV) for 80,000 metric tonnes of warehousing facilities at the SITV port in Phu My town in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. This will facilitate the storage and distribution of grain and oilseed for Cargill's customers, MacLennan told a press briefing in HCM City yesterday. The company also committed to building 25 more schools across rural Viet Nam by 2020 after having fulfilled its initial goal of building 75 schools by 2015. Entering Viet Nam in 1995, Cargill Viet Nam is one of the … [Read more...]

New admin center projects suspended

The integrated administrative center of Binh Duong Province worth VND1.4 trillion was put into use early last year. The Government has decided to suspend all plans for construction of new administrative centers in provinces - PHOTO: MINH KHUE

Quang Chung Hai told the National Assembly (NA) about the suspension amid rising concerns over a race among provinces and cities to build new administrative towers with each costing thousands of trillions of Vietnam dong. He told a question-and-answer session of the National Assembly on November 17 that administrative offices are often located at different locations, which occupy a combined 33 hectares of land in each province. Therefore, developing new integrated administrative centers could save land and make it easier for residents to work with state agencies thanks to the one-stop shop mechanism. A number of provinces have mapped out zoning plans and developed administrative centers. They have transferred land at a number of State offices to raise funds for these costly projects. Hai said provinces and cities could sell the land use right to mobilize capital for new administrative center projects which occupy 5-6 hectares each. However, many provinces want to … [Read more...]

Exporters ponder ways to penetrate new markets

Workers at Kaiser Wood Industry in Binh Duong Province operate a high-end furniture production line for exports to the US — VNA/VNS Photo Vu Sinh

HCM CITY (VNS) — The US and Latin American countries have huge demand for products made by sectors in which Vietnamese companies have advantages, but they need to study these markets carefully to enter them, a forum heard in HCM City yesterday. They also need to improve quality to meet the demands of these markets, attendees told the Export Forum organised by the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre of HCM City. According to Nguyen Duy Khien, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's American Market Department, the US's imports have grown as it increasingly focuses on exporting services. Apart from agricultural products, the US has high demand for items like garment and textile, footwear, wood products, seafood, and electronics products and accessories, he said, adding that Vietnamese firms are strong in these industries. Trade between the US and Viet Nam was worth US$36.3 billion last year, of which Viet Nam's exports accounted for $30.6 billion but only 1.3 per cent of … [Read more...]

Vietnam urged to tackle climate change

Consul general of France in HCMC Emmanuel Ly-Batallan speaks at a news briefing on November 16 - PHOTO: CHINH PHONG

Chinh Phong The consul general of France in HCMC, Emmanuel Ly-Batallan, was speaking of this issue at a news briefing held on November 16 to introduce a program for activities in HCMC and Hanoi to raise awareness of climate change among citizens, businesses, social organizations and localities, and share experience, initiatives and measures to minimize the impact of climate change. According to French development agency AFD, climate change has impacted on the world in general and Vietnam in particular. The agency said greenhouse gas emissions in Vietnam are relatively low compared to its population but would grow fast in the coming time. Vietnam’s population makes up 1.3% of the world’s total while the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions account for 0.6% of the globe’s total. However, greenhouse gas emissions in this ASEAN nation have increased remarkably and may triple the current level by 2030. AFD said that if sea levels rise by one meter, nearly 5% … [Read more...]

Key southern economic hub to have large-scale logistics centres

Illustration photo

VGP – Multi-modal transportation and large-scale logistics services centres will be constructed in the key southern economic hub. This is part of the amended Master plan on transport development in the key southern economic hub by 2020 with a vision towards 2030. Under the newly-approved plan, large-scale logistics centres will be installed in Cai Lai (HCMC), Song Than (Binh Duong province), Cai Mep Ha (Ba Ria-Vung Tau province), and other centres in the region. The master plan targets to strengthen regional connectivity and linkages of different transport models including sea ports (Cai Mep-Thi Vai, HCMC, Dong Nai), dry harbours, logistics services centers, international airports (Tan Son Nhat, Long Thanh), railway stations (Binh Trieu, Tan Kien, Thu Thiem, An Binh, Trang Bom, Long Dinh), bus stations, and inland waterway. It also aims to modernize existing airports. Especially, by 2020, Tan Son Nhat airport would play the central role in the region and handle 25-26 … [Read more...]

Investors hunt for farmland to make quick profits


VietNamNet Bridge - Land plots for cultivation are now in hot demand by investors, who can make profits now and protect their assets in the long term. A businessman in the real estate sector in HCM City said he bought 5 hectares of land in Binh Duong province near the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Zone and 10 hectares of land in Quang Nam, planning to grow medicinal herbs there. The businessman said the land in Binh Duong was more expensive, VND10 billion per hectare, while it was cheaper in Quang Nam, just VND300 million. If counting the expenses on the glass greenhouse and technical system installation, estimated at VND8 billion, the total initial cost is VND60 billion. He also has to pay for seeds and some other kinds of expenses. "The initial investment rate is relatively high. However, I think I will still make a profit because the farmland can bring double profit: I can earn money from cultivation now and I hope the land price will increase in the future," he … [Read more...]

Business highlights – November 9-15

Illustration photo

90% of SOEs restructuring plan to be finalized As of November 10, 175 SOEs were restructured. Around 90% of the SOEs restructuring plan in the 2011-2015 period would be fulfilled by the year end, according to the National Steering Committee for Enterprise Reform and Development. Since 2011, 471 SOEs have been restructured, of which 408 were privatized (accounting for 79.37%). In 2015, the National Steering Committee plans to equitize 210 SOEs, bringing the total number to 459 in the 2011-2015 period and meeting 90% of the plan. In the first ten months of 2015, capital withdrawal valued VND 9.1 trillion, of which the real estate, insurance, stock, finance and banking sectors collected VND 4.4 trillion and other sectors contributed VND 4.7 trillion. As of late October 20, 93 SOEs launched IPOs with over 318 million holdings valuing VND 4.6 trillion, meeting 38% of the holdings offered/ A boost for coastal economic zone development The PM has decided to strengthen State budget to … [Read more...]

Vietnamese produce rubber, foreign-invested enterprises make tires


VietNamNet Bridge - A well-developed automobile market, an abundant rubber supply, a cheap labor force and reasonable tax policies all help make Vietnam an attractive market for foreign tyre manufacturers. In late September, Kenda, an investor from Taiwan, received an investment license for setting up a tire factory in Vietnam, capitalized at $160 million. The factory, located in Giang Dien Industrial Zone in Dong Nai province, is expected to employ 4,000-5,000 workers. This is Kenda’s second tire factory in Vietnam. The first one, with investment capital of $100 million, is in Ho Nai Industrial Zone in Dong Nai province. Ying Ming Yang, Kenda’s president, said the factories will make products for export from rubber materials in Dong Nai. Prior to that, in late 2014, Bridgestone Vietnam, a subsidiary of Japanese Bridgestone Group, inaugurated the factory radial tyre factory in Dinh Vu Industrial Zone in Hai Phong City. The $448 million factory is expected to churn … [Read more...]

Local firms still unprepared for ASEAN integration: forum

A worker mans a beverage production line at a factory in southern Binh Duong province (Photo: VNA)

A considerable number of Vietnamese businesses haven’t been ready for economic integration into ASEAN, as illustrated through a lack of awareness and thorough preparation, though the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is to be formed at the year’s end. Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) Nguyen Dinh Cung pointed out the fact at a forum held by CIEM and the Graduate School of Public Policy under Japan’s University of Tokyo in Hanoi on November 13th. Sharing the same view, economist Pham Chi Lan said as up to 70 percent of domestic enterprises are small- and medium-sized firms and do not engage in import-export activities, they haven’t felt pressure to integrate. On the other hand, the existence of an array of business obstacles has also steered those companies’ focus to their short-term survival and away from future competition, she added. Nguyen Hong Son, Rector of the University of Economics and Businesses under the … [Read more...]

In Vietnam, firms still have to bribe customs to get clearance: survey


A 2015 survey asking firms in Vietnam if they have to pay unofficial fees for quicker customs clearance received fewer "yes" responses than in previous years, but under-the-table money is still an issue for many businesses. Twenty-eight percent of the businesses polled by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said they had to pay ‘black money’ to customs officials, compared to the 49 percent and 57 percent recorded in the same survey in 2013 and 2012, respectively. The VCCI did not conduct the survey last year. It is worth noticing that 37 percent of the respondents in the 2015 survey of 3,100 businesses refused to answer the ‘unofficial fee’ question, the VCCI said in its results report released on Thursday. Customs agencies in Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong Province and Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province in the south, and Hanoi, Lang Son Province and Thanh Hoa Province in the north, received the most complaints for demanding under-the-table … [Read more...]

Press digest – November 13

NA decides to cut national target programs down to two The National Assembly adopted a resolution on the national target programs in the 2016-2020 period with 88% of the votes, cutting the programs to two – new-style rural construction and sustainable poverty reduction. The two remaining programs will ensure effectiveness while other programs in previous periods will be reviewed and rearranged in 37 component projects of 21 target programs with more appropriate scale for effective implementation. The national target program on building new-style rural areas to 2020 aims to help 50% of communes reach new rural areas’ standards and 100% of communes achieve at least five required criteria. The program on sustainable poverty reduction will strive for an annual poverty reduction rate from 1-1.5% while the annual rate of 4% is targeted in disadvantaged communes and districts in accordance with national poverty standards for the 2016-2020 period. President Sang to attend … [Read more...]

Pharmaceutical Industry Likely to Face Competitive Pressures within TPP

TPP will exert a significant impact on Vietnam’s economy in general and its pharmaceutical sector in particular, according to experts. How will Vietnam, one of the biggest beneficiaries among 12 signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), grasp this opportunity and how it will face challenges arising from this historic agreement? Vietnam Business Forum interviewed Mr Nguyen Thanh Binh, General Director of Hanoi Pharmaceuticals Joint Stock Company (Hanoi Pharma). Giang Tu-Thu Ha report.How do you assess TPP’s impacts on Vietnam’s pharmaceutical sector? The pharmaceutical industry will face very fierce, probably the fiercest, competition, when Vietnam joins the TPP. Pharmaceutical growth is forecast to be over 20 percent through 2017 and pharmaceutical expenditure per capita in Vietnam is projected at US$200 a year. However, like some other trade agreements, the TPP will boost Vietnam’s medicine imports. According to the TPP Agreement, import duties on … [Read more...]

Social workers needed in industrial parks

Social workers are needed in industrial parks to provide mental health services for workers, participants said at a seminar held by the Viet Nam Trade University in Ha Noi on Tuesday. The Central Mental Hospital No. 2 and the Dong Nai Province's Educational Psychology Science Association recently conducted a survey on 840 workers in the province's Bien Hoa Industrial Park and found that 14.3 per cent of the surveyed workers had mental health problems. The survey found that the rate of female workers with mental health problems is two times higher than male workers. Many of these workers live in rented houses under poor living conditions and are employed in less than desirable working conditions. Lao Dong (Labour) Bac Lieu launches month to help the poor The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Bac Lieu on Tuesday launched the month for the poor to raise funds for them. The province targets reducing the number of poor households by 4,000 and near-poor households by 2,000 this … [Read more...]

Local governments race to build expensive administrative centers

The administrative center of Ba Ria - Vung Tau.

VietNamNet Bridge – The northern port city of Hai Phong City has announced it will build a municipal administrative and political centre in Thuy Nguyen District at a huge cost of VND10 trillion (more than $446 million). Not long ago, many provinces and cities made similar announcements. For Hai Phong, the new administrative centre will be located on an area of 324ha, spread across three communes of Thuy Nguyen District and Minh Khai Ward of Hong Bang District. The project will include office buildings, the Hoang Van Thu Bridge and the main transport system. The state budget will provide VND6,855 billion, while the rest of the funds will come from the city's budget and other sources. The three-stage project will begin this year and is expected to become operational in 2020. The municipal authority has carried out the survey of the construction area, set up plans for ground clearance, compensation and resettlement of the affected local people, and has selected the … [Read more...]