* Vietnam may fail to achieve its goal of attracting at least US$15 billion of committed foreign direct investment this year amid a faltering global recovery and a domestic growth slowdown. "It will be very hard to meet the target," said Do Nhat Hoang, head of the Foreign Investment Agency at the Ministry of Planning and Investment. "We are facing domestic economic difficulties, fueled by unfavorable developments in global markets that have negatively impacted foreign investment this year," he told reporters in Hanoi on Wednesday. * Progress in free-trade talks between the European Union and Vietnam may trigger a resurgence of investment in the Southeast Asian nation from companies within the 27-nation bloc, the EU's top representative in Vietnam said. Early headway in negotiations would boost interest in Vietnam even before an accord is signed, Ambassador Franz Jessen, head of the European Union delegation to Vietnam, said in an interview. * Several banks are waiting for the … [Read more...] about News briefs
Sports ministry official absent at news briefing Tu Hoang and Lan Nhi By Tu Hoang and Lan Nhi - The Saigon Times Daily HANOI - A representative of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism did not show up at a news briefing held on April 1 after the Government's regular meeting as public concerns are mounting over a patchy plan to host the Asian Games 18 in 2019 (Asiad 18). The media asked so many questions about Asiad that Minister and Head of the Government Office Nguyen Van Nen called for a stoppage of discussion about this. Nen, however, said, "This morning the Prime Minister assigned the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism to report on the matter at a meeting slated for next week so that the Prime Minister can decide. "We can believe that the Prime Minister will certainly make an appropriate conclusion." At the Government meeting on April 1 morning, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung reproached the sports ministry for failure to inform him of the Asiad hosting plan. "I … [Read more...] about Sports ministry official absent at news briefing
By Dr. Tung Bui, Faculty Director of Vietnam Executive MBA, University of Hawaii There has been a bit of discussion about bananas lately. In Vietnam, the recent success of growing quality bananas and the export of high-yield banana flowers and leaves from the commune of Tan Long, Huong Hoa, Quang Tri, have been praised as a successful initiative by local farmers to reduce poverty. Bananas are one of the most important and traditional fruits in Vietnam. According to the FAO, annual commercial production of bananas is just over one million tons. This number seems small. And statistics should take into account the large number of additional bananas grown by family farms in small production outputs, for local and family use. According to Reuters, the global export market of bananas is worth $7 billion. If Vietnam wants to join the world's top producers of bananas for a share of this growing market, it has to quickly modernize its production. According to the United Nations, Uganda, China, … [Read more...] about NEWS BRIEF & COMMENT: The Chiquita-Fyffes Merger: Should Vietnamese banana farmers adopt mass production or product diversification?
VWS proposes taking less waste for treatment Vietnam Waste Solutions (VWS), facing strong public criticisms over a foul smell from its waste management facility in southern HCMC, has written to the HCMC government proposing taking less waste for treatment from next week. The company said in a document sent to the city government on Wednesday that from October 10, it would scale down the daily volume of garbage it receives from the current 5,000 tons to 3,000 tons, which was exactly the amount its Da Phuoc integrated waste management facility handled a day before the city government allowed it to manage an additional 2,000 tons in November 2014. This 2,000-ton volume was transferred from Phuoc Hiep waste treatment complex in the outlying district of Cu Chi. According to VWS, this is a necessary step to reduce the volume of waste it treats amid public criticisms over the spread of the odor from Da Phuoc. The recent heavy downpours, especially on September 26 and 27, have caused leachate … [Read more...] about Social News 9/10
TNK-BP expands eastern front with Conoco Vietnam bid Russia's TNK-BP, developing a gas project in Vietnam acquired from its major shareholder BP, has also bid for ConocoPhillips assets in the Asian country, TNK-BP's head of upstream operations Alexander Dodds said on Monday. "We did put a bid in," Dodds told a news briefing in response to a question. TNK-BP, a 50-50 joint venture between BP and a quartet of Soviet-born businessmen, has already taken over some gas assets in the South China Sea from its British co-owner and expressed its interest in expanding in Vietnam. It has said it will bid for one block of nine blocks on offer by the Vietnamese government in a tender which opens this week. State oil and gas group Petrovietnam has already said it will bid for the ConocoPhillips assets, three oil fields and one gas field which are further north in the South China Sea. Their location at a fair distance from TNK-BP's Vietnamese base means they are likely to be a low priority … [Read more...] about BUSINESS IN BRIEF 8/12
By Prof. Tung Bui - Matson Navigation Co-Chair of Global Business, Director of the APEC study Center and Director of the Vietnam Executive MBA, University of Hawaii. Head of the IT and Mobile and Communication Division at Samsung, JK Shin presents a smartphone Galaxy S5 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, on February 24, 2014. Photo by AFP. Since the introduction of the Galaxy S5 by Samsung in a presentation style reminiscent of Steve Jobs' at theMobile World Congress in Spain last Monday, the media is abuzz aboutwhat is cool and what is missing in the new release. Samsung's latestflagship phone has the same look of its predecessor S4, with a 5.1-inchdisplay and 16-megapixel camera and a personal trainer. These twofeatures alone would likely threaten the markets for the digital pocketcameras and personal trainer appliances. Yet, like with the release ofApple's iPhone 5S, Samsung … [Read more...] about NEWS BRIEF & COMMENT: Innovation and Competitiveness: Lessons from Samsung’s Galaxy S5
Reporters for CNN, The New York Times, Politico, The Los Angeles Times and BuzzFeed had to step aside. The White House excluded several major U.S. news organizations, including some it has criticized, from an off-camera briefing held by the White House press secretary on Friday. Reporters for CNN, The New York Times, Politico, The Los Angeles Times and BuzzFeed were not allowed into the session in the office of press secretary Sean Spicer. Spicer's off-camera briefing, or "gaggle," replaced the usual televised daily news briefing in the White House briefing room. He did not say why those particular news organizations were excluded, a decision which drew strong protests. Reuters was included in the session, along with about 10 other news organizations, including Bloomberg and CBS. President Donald Trump has regularly attacked the media and at a gathering of conservative activists on Friday he criticized news organizations that he said provide "fake news", calling them the "enemy" … [Read more...] about White House bars some news organizations from briefing
By Dr. Tung Bui, Faculty Director of Vietnam Executive MBA, University of Hawaii The year 2014 has been so far a great start for most of the world’s real estate markets. As 2013 was a great year for the stock markets, many investors are cashing in profits and moving some of their funds to real estate. Sell high, buy low, as one would say it. Illustrative photo. Apartment buildings in Hanoi Most notably, foreign investments in the real estate market have been just astounding. Chinese investors made the headline this morning in Australia as they spent almost $US.5.5 billion in Australia’s real estate market last year. According to ABC News in Australia, about 12% of new homes in Australia were bought by Chinese nationals in 2013. Credit Suisse reports that Chinese purchased 18% and 14% of new homes in Sydney and Melbourne respectively. Facing slower growth forecasts at home, and thanks to the new government policy called “Go Global”, Chinese are now in … [Read more...] about NEWS BRIEF & COMMENT: Reviving the lackluster real estate in Vietnam with foreign investments?
Anh Duong Vietnam Corp announced its first quarter revenue of VND 871 billion, an increase of 17 percent with gross profit of VND 79 billion, an increase of 65 percent compared to the same period last year. Southern Industrial Rubber Corp announced the company's first quarter net profit at VND 101billion, an increase of 9.3 percent compared to the same period last year. The company completed 33 percent of its profit plan this year. CEO of Vietnam Golf Tourism Corp (VNG) and UDEC announced that UDEC sold 6.63 million shares at 51 percent of VNG capital starting on April 22. They aim to withdraw their capital. Kinh Bac Urban Development Corp (KBC) announced that Nguyen Thi Kim Thanh, wife of CEO Dang Thanh Tam registered to sell two million shares in one month starting on April 23. She aims to decrease ownership ratio 3.47 percent down. Tam currently has 34.94 percent of chartered capital. Kinh Do Corp (KDC) announced to post 6.5 million shares for internal staff in April. Each … [Read more...] about Business News Briefing
By Dr. Tung Bui, Director of Vietnam Executive MBA, University of Hawai. With President Obama’ upcoming trip to East Asia next month to give a much needed push to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade agreement, Vietnamese export of catfish to the US is unwillingly back on the negotiation table. Vietnam accounts for 60% of the catfish market in the US and American catfish farms in Southern land claim that they have to cut down their production by half – 300 million pounds down from a peak production of 660 million. In free trade, any business that meets customers’ satisfaction should enjoy a competitive advantage. It seems to be the case for Vietnamese catfish. Recognized as a healthy diet, annual fish consumption in the US was 14.6 pounds per person in 2012, and pricing of Vietnamese catfish must have been competitive enough to win a large market share. Since there are no clear economic arguments against Vietnamese catfish, Senator Thad Cochran of … [Read more...] about NEWS BRIEF & COMMENT: Can the TPP help Vietnam win the catfish war?