Cell phone buying energy not as strong as expected

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VietNamNet Bridge - Although the Lunar New Year 2013 is drawing near, the cell phone buying energy remains mild, contrary to expectation of retailers. Dinh Anh Huan, sales director of the retail chain Thegioididong.com, said mobile phone sales had picked up slightly, estimated at 20%, versus a growth of 40% last year. At this time in previous years, the buying energy was very strong, but it seems to cool down this year. This suggests consumers are tightening their purse strings under the impact of economic downturn, said Huan. The latest statistics of Thegioididong.com show that its cell phone sales fell slightly in December last year and the sales volumes and revenues of the other months were almost the same, without any sudden growth. On average, the retail chain sold around 300,000 cell phones per month. Other mobile phone retailers like Mai Nguyen, FPT Shop, Vien Thong A and Viettel Smart also record modest growth in purchasing power. Smartphones with reasonable … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 26/1

Thua Thien-Hue plans to attract VND2.9 tril. investment into IPs The central province of Thua Thien-Hue has planned to lure VND2.9 trillion worth of investment in its industrial parks (IPs) this year. This year, enterprises in IPs are expected to disburse nearly VND 2,890 billion and employ some new 3,000 people (up 21.9% against last year). In 2012, they made industrial production value of VND3,247, accounting for 39.2% of the province's total, and export turnovers of US$294.6 million, representing 64% of the total. IPs have lured 78 investment projects, including 42 operational ones. They enticed VND7,200 billion worth of investment in 2012, trebling the figure in 2011. Phu Quy wind farm opens The 6-megawatt Phu Quy wind farm in Phu Quy island district , Binh Thuan province began full operation on January 24, after a successful testing period in August, 2012. The wind farm, funded by the PetroVietnam Power Corporation, is the first one in Vietnam that uses both … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 23/1

Asiana Airlines to own 50% of Kumho Asiana Plaza A 50% stake in the commercial center and hotel complex Kumho Asiana Plaza Saigon in HCMC will be acquired by Asiana Airlines, said Won Il Woo, president and CEO of Kumho Engineering & Construction. "This is an internal deal within Kumho as it is being made between its two subsidiaries, Asiana Airlines and Kumho Engineering & Construction," he said at a meeting with HCMC vice chairman Le Manh Ha on Thursday. He asked about the necessary procedures under Vietnamese law for this deal. "We don't know if we have to report to the central agencies in Hanoi, or if reporting to HCMC is enough," he wondered. In response, Vice Chairman Ha said the municipal government would review the project document next week and then give appropriate guidelines. "Normally, the authorities that license a project will handle changes in that project. However, when it comes to real estate, there are complicated regulations, so a careful review … [Read more...]

Software developer expects high profits

FPT's shareholders at the annual general meeting held on March 29 in Ha Noi. (Photo: Vietnamplus)

The software developer FPT Corp. hopes to make pre-tax profits of VND1.45 trillion ($83 million) this year, up 17 percent on the previous year, it announced at its annual general meeting of shareholders March 29 in Ha Noi. The meeting decided that dividends will be paid at 26 percent of last year's profits. The company will reinvest the rest to ensure operations in the following years. The company's revenues last year hit a record VND16.8 trillion ($1 billion). This year the company aims to make VND17 trillion despite the difficult economic situation. Its two subsidiary companies, FPT Information System and FPT Trading Company, will go public this year. … [Read more...]

VN seeks glory at Singapore Open

Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuc will compete in the women’s 20km race walk in the Singapore Open Track and Field Championships today at the National Stadium. Photo phunuonline.com.vn

VietNamNet Bridge – Viet Nam will participate in the Singapore Open Track and Field Championships which begin today (April 28) at the National Stadium. As an International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) recognised event, qualification spots for the upcoming Olympic Games in Brazil in August are up for grabs. Viet Nam has five athletes competing in this year’s event, the 78th edition of the annual tournament. Nguyen Thi Huyen, who finished in Olympic B standards in the women’s 400m and 400m hurdles, will compete aiming to improve her time to secure an Olympic spot. In last year’s Southeast Asian Games also in Singapore, Huyen pocketed two golds in the above events, timing 56.15sec and 52sec, respectively. Walker Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuc also competes today in the women’s 20km race. Phuc will be the first track-and-field athlete from Viet Nam to compete in the two consecutive Olympics if she qualifies. Phuc needs to walk within 1hr 36min to … [Read more...]

Vietinbank looking for more M&A opportunities

Vietinbank serves its customers in Ha Noi. Tha bank seeks M&A to expand its business. — Photo vietinbank.vn

The Viet Nam Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank) will continually look for merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities with other banks to expand its reach and market share. Vietinbank Chairman Nguyen Van Thang said at the bank's shareholders meeting on Tuesday that in future M&As in the banking industry would be indispensable and Vietinbank would scrutinise more such deals if and when it sees a good business opportunity. Vietinbank General Director Le Duc Tho also announced that Vietinbank expected to conclude a long awaited merger with PG Bank before September. At the shareholders meeting last year, Vietinbank approved a merger plan with PG Bank. However, the merger has so far not been completed due to complicated procedures, as the State holds majority stakes in both Vietinbank and PG Bank. At the meeting on Tuesday, Vietinbank reported a pre-tax profit of VND7.345 trillion (US$326 million) last year, up 0.6 per cent against the previous year. The bank's … [Read more...]

Danish band Cancer to perform at Hue Festival 2016

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VietNamNet Bridge - Danish music band ‘Cancer’ will have two performances at the Hue Festival 2016, at the Tay Thai Hoa Stage on May 2 and An Dinh Palace on May 3. The two musicians of Cancer Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild and Kristian Finne Kristensen From Denmark, the two musicians of Cancer Nikolaj Manuel Vonsild and Kristian Finne Kristensen said that they are looking forward to performing in Vietnam. "We’ve never been to Vietnam before and are really excited about coming. We actually don’t know a whole lot about the Hue festival, but after reading about, it we are really happy to be part of it and hope to be able to give something back," they said. Hue festival 2016 is the biggest international culture festival in Vietnam with a diverse participation of art troupes and artists from all over Vietnam and many other countries. The festival will last for 6 days, from 29 April to 4 May with a wide range of shows and community events. "The Embassy of Denmark in … [Read more...]

Israeli and Polish artists to perform at Hue festival

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VietNamNet Bridge - Israel's well-known Halleluya Dance Group and Polish MM3 will perform at the opening ceremony of the Hue Festival 2016 on Friday after their performances in Ha Noi. The performance entitled Spirit of Israel by the Halleluya Dance Group was held in Ha Noi's Opera House to celebrate the long-lasting and strong ties between Viet Nam and Israel. It was held on the occasion of the celebration of Israel's 68th Independence Day and the 23rd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. "The dances by Halleluya reflect the influence of the immigration of the Jewish people from all corners of the world to the land of Israel, the influence of our religion and tradition as well as modern Israel," said Meraiv Eilon Shahar, ambassador of Israel to Viet Nam. "I have always believed that culture is important in our bilateral relations if we are to understand one another. I believe today Vietnamese have a better understanding about Israel … [Read more...]

Cambodia refutes new East Sea-related agreement with China

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Cambodia does not have any new agreements regarding the East Sea issue with China, the country’s Secretary of State and Spokesman for the Council of Ministers, Phay Siphan, has said. He made the statement on April 27 while answering Vietnam News Agency reporters’ questions about Chinese media quoting a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson as saying that China had reached an agreement with Cambodia, Laos and Brunei that the parties directly concerned in the East Sea dispute should deal with China individually, rather than as a bloc. The points of the agreement were that the dispute was between individual nations, rather than China and ASEAN as a whole; that those countries should be left to settle the dispute by themselves; that they should do so without use or threats of force; and that China and the ASEAN nations should cooperate to ensure peace in the East Sea. Chinese press outlets, including China Central Television (CCTV), quoted the spokesperson on April 22, … [Read more...]

Nguyen Tien Minh advances, other Vietnamese out in China

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Nguyen Tien Minh will face badminton legend Lin Dan in the second round of the Dong Feng Citroen Badminton Asia Championships in Wuhan, China. Nguyen Tien Minh is the last Vietnamese at the Badminton Asia Championships in China. Minh yesterday defeated Kean Yew Loh of Singapore 21-17, 21-14 in the first match of the men’s singles event. Meanwhile Lin of the hosts won 21-9, 14-21, 21-19 over Ihsan Mustofa Mualana from Indonesia. Lin, who has twice won the Olympic title, has beat Minh all five times they have met. Minh is the last Vietnamese competing in the Wuhan competition. In the women’s singles event, Vietnamese Vu Thi Trang lost 10-21, 14-21 to Bae Yeon-ju of South Korea. Nguyen Thuy Linh was stopped by Singapore’s Xiaoyu Liang, losing 25-27, 21-15. In the women’s doubles, Le Thu Huyen and Pham Nhu Thao were beaten 6-21, 16-21 by Indonesian Anggia Awanda and Mahadewi Ketut. Nguyen Thi Sen and Trang were also ousted from the event after their … [Read more...]

Free wifi to be available at Hue festival’s main venues

Data centre during Hue festival

Free public wifi will be provided in a number of locations during the 2016 Hue Festival, which will take place from April 29- May 4 in the central province of Thua Thien – Hue. According to the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT)’s branch in Thua Thien-Hue – the main sponsor of the event, free wifi will available in Ngo Mon square, Duyet Thi Duong theatre and around Thai Hoa, Kien Trung and Can Chanh Palaces where stages will be installed for major performances. Free wife will be also provided in Nguyen Dinh Chieu pedestrian street, and at An Dinh palace. The wireless internet service aims to facilitate internet access for visitors and support the press in informing the public of the events and activities during the festival. VNPT in Hue has cooperated with the provincial IT centre, the Hue Industrial College, the Gosu Company and a local IT group, to launch a smart phone application for iOS, Android and Windows phones, which will help phone users … [Read more...]

Transport hotlines set up for holidays

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The National Traffic Safety Committee has recently issued hotlines for people to lodge complaints about transport issues during the four-day holidays, which start from April 30, including National Reunification Day and International Labour Day. Accordingly, six hotlines are established to receive grievances against transport activities at bus and rail stations, habours and wharfs, and also about transport costs as well as violations by transport enterprises. They are: 0962665953, 0964045445, 0977497891, 0916908085, 0913432383 and 0917908085. Meanwhile, people can lodge complaints about traffic accidents and traffic safety via 0868911911, 0993211111, 0989088719, 0936173906, 0995918666 and 0692342608. During last year’s holidays, 263 accidents occurred across the country, killing 162 people and injuring 184 others. There was an average of 44 traffic accidents per day during the holidays. Each day an average of 27 people were killed and 31 were injured. The traffic … [Read more...]

Asian nations see boom in working age population

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Demographic changes in Asia and the Pacific region are occurring at unforeseen rates. An explosion in the working age population and a fall in birth rates - changes that are expected to take a century in Europe and North America - could occur here in just 30 years. Young workers of Power Transmission Company No 2 repair an electricity line in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum. If countries do not start planning for the demographic change, they will miss out on opportunities to boost growth and investment in the future, said Bakhodir Burkhanov, United Nations Development Programme Deputy Country Director in Vietnam, at the launch of the 2016 Asia-Pacific Regional Development Report yesterday. The report, entitled "Shaping the future: How changing demographics can power human development", found that Asia-Pacific countries now have more working-aged people and fewer dependents than at any other point in history, providing a springboard for growth. About 68 per cent of the … [Read more...]

Anti-corruption efforts: quality over quantity: Party chief

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

The settlement of serious and complicated corruption cases of public concern should focus on quality more than quantity, said Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. Speaking at the 10th meeting of the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption in Hanoi on April 27, the Party leader called for more initiative in the combat of corruption and closer coordination between relevant agencies, firstly between members of the committee. Corruption is a task full of hardship and also a headache to society, he said, explaining why the 12 th National Party Congress designated fighting the degradation in ideology and morality, corruption and bureaucracy as two among the six key tasks. General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, who is also head of the Central Steering Committee, called on the committee’s members to set bright examples, show their high sense of responsibility before the Party and people, and stay away from corruption. The committee should pay heed to major localities … [Read more...]

PM asks Guangxi to import more Vietnamese goods

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has suggested the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China encourage the import of agro-forestry-fishery products from Vietnam, particularly rice, for a more balanced trade between the two countries. At a reception for Secretary of the Party Committee of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, Peng Qinghua, in Hanoi on April 27, the PM also called for stronger coordination between the two countries in border management and in executing the agreements on cooperation in protecting and exploiting tourism resources at Ban Gioc water fall and on free navigation at the Bac Luan river mouth. The two sides should accelerate the opening and upgrading of pairs of border gates as already agreed to promote trade-economic and tourism exchanges in border areas as part of efforts to build a borderline of peace, stability, cooperation and development, PM Phuc said. He noted that the Vietnam-China ties have maintained a development trend, with important common … [Read more...]

More hydropower plants are built in central region despite overabundance

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VietNamNet Bridge - Experts have repeatedly warned about the overabundance of hydropower plants in the central region and Central Highlands which have devastated forests and badly affected people’s lives. However, more hydropower projects are still queuing for licenses. TECCO, the investor of the Drang Phok hydropower project, expected to be built in the strictly protected area of the Yok Don National Park in Buon Don district of Dak Lak province, has held a workshop to consult with experts about the possible impact on the environment. The project is scheduled to start this year end. Analysts warned that Drang Phok plant, with designed capacity of 26MW and the total investment capital of VND850 billion, if it is built, will have negative impact on the Vietnamese dipterocarp forest ecosystem and local people. S Experts have repeatedly warned about the overabundance of hydropower plants in the central region and Central Highlands which have devastated forests and badly … [Read more...]

Food chains get bogged down in Vietnam

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VietNamNet Bridge - Despite being backed by powerful financial resources, many food chains cannot achieve satisfactory business in Vietnam. The domestic market has witnessed the closure of some of Burger King’s restaurants since late 2015. Four years ago, when bringing Burger King brand to Vietnam, BKV, the franchisee, stated that $40 million would be spent to develop the chain in Vietnam, and the figure could be even higher if more suitable retail premises could be found. The Golden Gate was once described as a ‘powerful empire’ in Vietnam which could attract large investments just in the first four years of operation. After Mekong Capital withdrew its investment in the chain in 2014, the Golden Gate received $35 million from Standard Chartered fund. The financing then allowed it to expand the network rapidly. However, the chain has recently had to shut down a series of branches. According to the Hanoi and HCM City Planning and Investment Departments, the … [Read more...]

Ensuring food safety requires participation of entire society: PM

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the teleconference.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has underlined the need to identify the responsibilities of agencies concerned with food safety management, especially the role played by their chiefs. The Government leader made the request at a teleconference in Hanoi on April 27, where he also called for intensified inspections over the work. "Ensuring food hygiene is the responsibility of the Party and State, firstly of all-level authorities," the PM said. He underlined that Chairpersons of People’s Committees at communal, district and provincial/municipal levels should bear responsibility when there are violations of food safety rules in areas under their management, as should the market management force and the police, PM Phuc admitted that relevant agencies have yet to perform well in ensuring food safety, which, he said, has had a direct impact not only on human health, but also the country’s position and prestige. Ensuring food safety is also the responsibility of the … [Read more...]

Fate of key labs remains unclear

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VietNamNet Bridge - The Ministry of Science and Technology (MST) said it would propose to not continue investments in national key laboratories if the current management policy does not change. "We have to struggle too hard to maintain the key lab," said Vu Thi Thu Ha, director of petrochemistry lab under the Vietnam Institute of Industrial Chemistry (VIIC). Not only the petrochemistry lab, but most of the other key labs of the nation are in big difficulties. Under the MST’s Decision 08 in 2008, the State would make investment in key labs to build them into national modern labs. It would pour money into the labs in the first four years to help with regular expenses. The decision also said the state would ‘order’ the labs to carry out short-term and long-term tasks in order to settle urgent problems. Most of the key labs of the nation are in big difficulties. However, the leaders of many key labs said the labs had only received machines and equipment as the … [Read more...]

Vietnam races against the clock to produce teachers of English

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VietNamNet Bridge - It is estimated that Vietnam will need 7,770 more teachers of English by 2020 to implement the national program on teaching English, under which third, fourth and fifth graders would have four English sessions a week. The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) decided that from the 2016-2017 academic year, 100 percent of third, fourth and fifth graders nationwide will have English lessons. By 2018, teachers of English will have to meet the standard English skills as set for education levels: the 3/6 or 4/6 level for primary school, 4/6 for secondary school and 5/6 for high school. This is an important step to be implemented within the English teaching program under which general school students will have English lessons for 10 years, commencing from the third grade. However, observers commented that the target is unattainable as Vietnam is now seriously lacking teachers of English. According to MOET’s Primary Education Department, there are 15,883 … [Read more...]