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...]

In pictures: Love story of the 1.1m couple

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VietNamNet Bridge – A young man’s love was refused by his current wife because of fear that their children would be as short - 1.1 meters - as their parents. The two families also opposed their marriage for a long time. Mr. Nguyen Van Luong, 26 years old, born in Dong Thap province and Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Dao, 24 years old, born in Binh Dinh province, have congenital defects. Luong quit school when he was 10 years old to follow his brothers to sell lottery tickets in HCM City. He accidently met Dao in September 2014 on the streets of Saigon. Dao is also a lottery ticket seller. Since the first meeting, Luong went to District 12 more often in order to see Dao. After each meeting, they became more familiar with each other. Sometimes Luong carried Dao on his bicycle to a café or a park. Once Luong proposed marriage to Dao in a park. Dao did not agree and wanted to have more time to think about the proposal. Dao refused Luong’s offer of marriage several times … [Read more...]

Impressive moments of Vietnam photography in int’l newspapers in 2015

The photo by Ly Hoang Long. February:

VietNamNet Bridge – Let’s take a look at the most dramatic moments of Vietnam photography at international photography awards and international media in 2015.Of the top eight photos selected by National Geographic in February 2015, one belongs to a Vietnamese photographer. It’s the photograph featuring an old man leading a bicycle carrying bamboo fishing baskets by Ly Hoang Long. March: Five works by Vietnamese photographers entered the final of the annual photo awards held by Smithsonian magazine. This year's competition received over 26,500 photos sent by photographers from 93 countries. This was the 12th Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest. Here are the five photos by Vietnamese authors in the final round of the Smithsonian Annual Photo Contest: Women in a small fishing village near Vinh Hy Bay, Ninh Thuan Province. They are sewing fishing nets while their husbands are out to sea. (Photo: Pham Ty) Two boys jumping into the river for bathing at sunset in Nghiem … [Read more...]

Image: Famous ancient village in Thanh Hoa

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VietNamNet Bridge – The ancient Dong Son Village in Ham Rong Ward, Thanh Hoa City has been known by many Western scientists since the last century. Dong Son is a small village on the south bank of the Ma River, next to Ham Rong Bridge. The village has all the characteristic elements of traditional villages of Vietnam. The village position allows locals to bring into full play the advantages of water fields and hilly land. The system of monuments like temples, pagodas and shrines was created and distributed to create idyllic landscapes. Dong Son is one of several ancient villages of Vietnam with a history of thousands of years. The history of the village is associated with the ups and downs of the history of Thanh Hoa. Scientists discovered the relics of the ancient village of Dong Son dating back more than 2,500 years. The discovery has opened a new chapter to the study of ancient Vietnamese civilization. Since the early 20th century Dong Son has … [Read more...]

Hanoi T&T use young squad to dominate V.League

Scoring joy: Ha Noi T&T players celebrate after a goal against Kitchee SC in the Monday's AFC Champions League qualifier. — VNS Photo Tuan Tu

VietNamNet Bridge – As usual, Ha Noi T&T are set to win the V.League title, but this year the heavy responsibilities are being placed on the shoulders of their young players. It is even more difficult since, apart from the league, they also want to triumph in the National Cup and go further in the AFC Champions League (ACL). Coach Phan Thanh Hung recently expressed his hopes in the team's talented younger generation. "This year, we want to win the top position. Although my players are young, I believe they can do what we want," said Hung. "We have added seven players from the U21 squad to the first team. Together with those who joined the V.League last year, two thirds of the team are youngsters," said Hung. Players such as midfielders Pham Duc Huy and Nguyen Quang Hai, as well as goalkeeper Phi Minh Long, who have shown outstanding performances at the recent Asian U23 Football Championship, ensure their berths in the first team. Huy and Hai competed wearing the Ha … [Read more...]

Image: Over 1,000 antiques displayed in Binh Thuan Museum

The most special items are the lithophones of Sa Huynh and Da Kai culture. This is the oldest musical instrument of mankind dating back to 3,000 years ago.

VietNamNet Bridge - The Museum of Binh Thuan Province was inaugurated on January 31 at 4 Ba Trieu Street of Phan Thiet City, exhibiting collections of precious antiques for the first time in the province. Covering 400sq.m, the museum displays more than 1,000 antiques out of the total 5,000 antiques collected by the museum in the past 40 years, such as a lithophone, the statue of god Shiva and gongs. These items have been classified into seven subjects and are arranged properly for the convenience of visitors. The exhibition areas are divided into the following zones: Da Kai culture, Sa Huynh culture, Cham culture, culture of ethnic minorities, culture and antiquities of the Kinh people and antiques on wrecks in the water of Binh Thuan. T. Van … [Read more...]

US investors pour money into Vietnam’s textile & garment industry

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VietNamNet Bridge - US capital continues flowing into Vietnam in anticipation of the opportunities to be brought by TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) and other free trade agreements (FTAs). Just after six months after opening, a bonded warehouse in Long Binh Industrial Zone in Dong Nai province is at full capacity. It supplies dyes and chemicals, and is run by Huntsman Textile Effects. Huntsman Textile Effects’s president Paul G. Hulme said the company set up a bonded warehouse there so as to be able to provide dyes and chemicals more rapidly. The company may consider expanding investment in the future, depending on demand in the country. He is optimistic about business performance in Vietnam, as the demand for products is expected to increase when TPP takes effect and more capital will be poured into textile projects. Vietstock quoted a report by Savills released in late September 2015 as saying that foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam in the first half of 2015 … [Read more...]

Vietnam vows to reduce transport accidents, deaths in new campaign

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VietNamNet Bridge – Khuat Viet Hung, vice chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, speaks to the newspaper Lao dong (Labour) about his plan to reduce the number of transport accidents, deaths and injuries. What is your assessment about traffic safety and order in Viet Nam in 2015? In 2015, Viet Nam achieved certain successes in traffic safety. However, there remains some weaknesses that we have to try hard to overcome in 2016, particularly in campaigns to raise people's awareness about transport safety and making transport infrastructure to mesh with socio-economic development. In the five years, from 2011 to 2015, particularly in 2015, the number of traffic accidents reduced remarkably in three measures – accidents, injuries and fatalities. In the five years under review, the number of transport accidents dropped by 32,307 cases, injuries by 44,586 cases and deaths by 12,546 cases. In 2015, there were 22,404 accidents (down 11.5 per cent), 8,671 deaths … [Read more...]

VN supports VN-South Korea Incubator Park

A view of Viet Nam-Republic of Korea Incubator Park (KVIP) in Can Tho. — Photo KVIP

VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Finance issued a circular to regulate the State's mechanisms, incentives and support at the Viet Nam-Republic of Korea Incubator Park (KVIP) in Can Tho. Circular No. 214 also outlines taxes and the State's investment credit for pilot projects. The regulation will be applied for the incubator park, legal enterprises, co-operatives, collaborative units, science and technology organisations, and individuals. Special policies applied to this incubator park include preferential policies for businesses and investment projects. In addition to preferential imports, incorporation and value-added taxes, businesses will also receive support in technology development and human resource training. The KVIP will install research equipment to develop farm produce, seafood processing and mechanical manufacturing. According to the circular, projects that are included in the appendices – or on the list of projects that qualify for credit loans issued … [Read more...]

Guarantees for loans to be shouldered by banks, not government

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VietNamNet Bridge - The government plans to transfer its burden of acting as a guarantor for loans to commercial banks in an effort to better control public debt. The newly released government Resolution, which has for the first time mentioned the government’s guarantee for new loans, says that the work ‘would be gradually transferred to commercial banks’. An analyst, commenting that the government has ‘taken the right move’, noted that the government might have been aware of the high risks for the national economy when turning state-owned enterprises’ (SOEs) commercial loans into the nation’s liabilities. With the government’s guarantee, if SOEs, or borrowers, cannot pay debts, the government has to fulfill the payment duty. With the government’s guarantee, if SOEs, or borrowers, cannot pay debts, the government has to fulfill the payment duty. The analyst commented that by passing the ‘ball’ to commercial … [Read more...]

Real estate lessons learned, foreign expert

It’s been reported that residential demand remains healthy in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. What is your assessment of Vietnam’s property market and the key growth drivers?

Mr. Stephen Wyatt, Country Head of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Vietnam, discusses the current state of Vietnam's property market. The property market saw considerable improvements in 2015 when compared to the previous three or four years. Activity focused around the residential sector, with a considerable amount of development reported in both major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, matched by a significant rise in demand. The office, retail, and industrial sectors also reported improved leasing momentum. The development of the residential market has been more sustainable and healthier than that recorded in the 2007-2008 boom, as developers, investors, and homebuyers have learned the lessons of the past. Supply has increasingly improved over time, in terms of construction/design quality, payment schedules, financial support offered to buyers, and marketing programs/techniques. The demand side, which was characterized by enhanced customer confidence and stronger investment … [Read more...]

Vietnam’s economy has not overcome period of decline

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VietNamNet Bridge - Economists said that Vietnam’s GDP growth of 6.68% in 2015 was impressive but the average growth rate of the past five years was still much lower than the previous periods. The growth model is still unsustainable, they said. Analysis of the situation in 2015 by Dr. Tran Tho Dat and Dr. To Trung Thanh (National Economic University) at a recent seminar revealed many uncertainties in the model of economic growth of Vietnam. In 2015, economic growth reached the highest level in the 2010-2015 period (6.68%) and this was considered a bright spot in the macroeconomic management. However, according to the analysis of this group of experts, Vietnam's economy is still in a declining trend and lacks motivation to overcome that trend. The reason cited by Dr. Trung Thanh is that growth in 2015 was high but the average rate for the entire five years was only 5.8%, lower than the average of 2006-2010 and far below 7.61% of the pre-crisis period of 2000-2006. Dr. … [Read more...]

Are foreigners cornering Vietnam’s clothing and textile market?

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VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam’s clothing and textiles industry has recorded average annual growth of 15% over the past five years and experts anticipate this trend to continue in the near term with gross export revenue reaching a record high US$30 billion by 2020. Substantially, all of the past growth has been thanks to foreign manufacturers relocating existing facilities to the Southeast Asian nation to take advantage of lower labour costs and capitalize on the benefits of free trade agreements (FTAs). More specifically, the EU, the second largest export market, accounts for a 20% share of the Vietnam clothing and textile export market. A recently signed free Vietnam- EU trade deal is projected to result in billions of dollars of increased exports through 2020. A second free trade deal between the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Vietnam is also projected to positively boost the industry’s exports by billions of US dollars as well as a third trade pact with the … [Read more...]

2,300 traffic signs removed at Transport Minister’s instruction

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VietNamNet Bridge - The number of traffic signs removed over two weeks was 3.5 times higher than the total number of 2015. Director of the Traffic Safety Agency under the General Road Administration Vu Ngoc Lang said, by February 2, 51 provinces checked all traffic signs and found more than 3,000 inaccurate signs that restrict vehicle speed of less than 50km/h. Over 2,300 signs were removed and the speed limit on 404 signs was increased within two weeks after Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang issued an instruction. Only 656 inaccurate traffic signs throughout the country were removed in 2015. Twelve provinces in the north have not submitted their initial inspection result of traffic signs. Lang said the number of inaccurate speed restriction signs was huge, especially along local roads. Provincial transport departments are removing these signs from now until the end of February. He added that Binh Duong, Ho Chi Minh City, Vinh Long had the highest numbers of wrong traffic … [Read more...]

Phu Quoc ideal for tourism investment

Source: Savills Research Consultancy    Average annual occupancy in hotels was 72 per cent in 2010 but fell to 64 per cent in 2015 due to strong growth in supply.   Strong Increase in Hotel Supply   Source: Savills Research Consultancy

Phu Quoc Island is emerging as an ideal destination for hospitality investment, with major advantages from its natural conditions, strategic location, and the support and investment from the local government and enterprises. Its attractions come from ten stunning beaches along a 150 km coastline, an unspoiled ecosystem and rich biodiversity, a safari park - the second largest in the world, and casino developments being given approval, according to analysis in the latest Savills Vietnam report. International visitors accounted for 15 per cent of the total in 2014 and are estimated to account for 35-40 per cent by 2020, according the Kien Giang Department of Statistics and the Kien Giang Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. Under its revised general master plan to 2030, Phu Quoc Island will have three urban areas, 15 eco-tourism areas, two tourism complexes, and five golf courses. By 2020 it will be a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Investment drivers Many key infrastructure … [Read more...]

Photos: Huge congestion as people leave for Tet holiday

Thousands of migrants in Hanoi and HCM City left for home for the lunar new year on February 5 afternoon, causing serious traffic jams at coach stations and exit routes from the city. People left Hanoi for Tet at the end of the final working day on February 5 Some streets leading to the suburbs became extremely crowded Traffic jams extended for more than a kilometre on Giai Phong Street on the late afternoon of February 5 Thousands of vehicles stood still for hours on Giai Phong Street Many people with heavy loads of Tet goods were exhausted heading on their way home. Long lines queues at Giap Bat Station in the south of Hanoi. Many people said that they have been waiting for several hours yet were unable to get a coach ticket Public buses arrived late due to congestion Children also experienced a tiring wait in the cold weather Long lines of coaches left Giap Bat Station Thousands of vehicles moved slowly on National Road 1A in HCM City's Binh Chanh District at 5pm … [Read more...]

HCM City celebrates Tet with special art performances

Amusement parks in HCM City celebrate Tet holiday (Photo: VNA)

A number of special art performances will be held at amusement parks in Ho Chi Minh City to celebrate the Lunar New Year (Tet) 2016. The spring festival from February 8-14 at Suoi Tien cultural tourism site will host lion dances and a programme featuring the four supernatural creatures – the dragon, unicorn, tortoise, and phoenix, which are supposed to bring good things to visitors. Those attending will have an opportunity to meet with legendary figures "Son Tinh – Thuy Tinh" (the God of Mountain and the God of Water) in a play staged near the Dragon and Turtle Lake . The lively scenes at the Suoi Tien site will tell tourists a variety of folk stories, and famous artists are hoped to treat visitors with music and circus performances. Amid the spring festival, the Dam Sen cultural park plans to host a myriad of activities to serve visitors from February 7-21. The Tet traditional market will feature cultural traditionals such as ‘parallel sentences’, … [Read more...]