A few days ago, I got stuck in the middle of a traffic jam caused by a small marketplace on the roadside. I was suffocating when I heard some motorbike taxi drivers gossiping as they fidgeted with their phones. “Smartphones can now do lots of things, right? Even birth registration.” “They are building smart cities, men.” “Will smart cities make the traffic better?” The chit-chat was drowned out by the rumbling of motorbikes moving slowly like no-one was in a hurry. Then I was a bit astonished by what the motorbike drivers just said. It turns out the story of smart cities is spreading more widely than had been expected. It is not confined to the urban elites but has also become a talking point among ordinary citizens. Like how seaports used to mushroom in the recent past, building smart cities has become a fever from north to south, with workshops and seminars taking place in every corner. I have a feeling that cities are scrambling for fear of … [Read more...] about In Vietnam, cities are scrambling to be smart. But can it solve pressing problems?
Why smart home is needed
Smart homes and smart cities do not need to be costlyBy Ngoc Tran Tan Kee Hau, Executive Director of Antik Technology – PHOTO: NGOC TRAN The Saigon Times had an interview with Tan Kee Hau, Executive Director of Antik Technology, a Slovak high tech company, on smart homes and smart cities. He was recently in HCMC for a new tech exhibition. The Saigon Times: What do you mean by smart homes? - Tan Kee Hau: In a smart home, today, you are able to control many home appliances using connected technology. Actually, you can also control them using TV to control. So, while you are sitting on the sofa watching TV, you can control your home appliances. If I am away from home, can I control those appliances via a smartphone? - It is possible. But you need the internet. Your smartphone needs to be connected to the internet. And you can control everything, even if you are 1,000, 10,000 kilometers away from home. Please give details. What are we controlling with your system? … [Read more...] about Smart homes and smart cities do not need to be costly
Last week we asked Viet Nam News readers to comment on a contentious plan by the Viet Nam Electricity Corporation to raise its prices if Viet Nam Coal and Mineral Industries Group was given permission to double its coal prices. Following are some comments received: Effe Mow, Singaporean, USA Next week: Because of Tet, the column will not run for a week. It will resume on February 19. Thank you for your co-operation over the last 12 months. We wish you health, happiness and success in the Year of the Tiger! Any price increase will have to be accompanied with measures to circumvent its effects. In Singapore subsidies are given to families on lower incomes to maintain social stability. The proposed increases in Viet Nam could harm business, but the Government must balance economic performance against social equity. When Singapore achieved independence in the 1960s, its government decided to maintain the ex-colony as an economic stronghold. To attract foreign investments, power at … [Read more...] about Residents need protection from big power price rises
VN, Idaho firms plan to work together Viet Nam is expected to become one of Idaho's top 10 trading partners in the next decade, according to Laura M. Johnson, head of Idaho's Department of Agriculture's market development division. "Our state's diverse agricultural products combined with our success in other Asian markets and Viet Nam's economic success" would pave the way for more trade between the country and Idaho, a state located in the US northwest, Johnson said. Johnson and members of a trade mission, led by the state's governor, C.L. "Butch" Otter, visited HCM City yesterday. The mission included representatives from10 businesses specialising in agriculture, personal care products, semi-conductor and forestry products. This is the second Idaho governor's trade mission to Viet Nam, following one in 2008. The first mission confirmed Viet Nam's position as a potential investment area for the state, Otter said, adding that this year, the mission would begin negotiations for … [Read more...] about BUSINESS IN BRIEF 6/5
Viettel seeks tax incentives for phone making Van Oanh By Van Oanh - The Saigon Times Daily HANOI – The military-run Viettel is seeking permission from the Government to be exempt from import tariffs on components to expand production and reduce mobile phone prices. Le Dang Dung, deputy general director of Viettel, said that feature mobile phones made by his firm sell for over US$10 a unit while the price of its smart phones is some US$70-80 each. Viettel will lower the price of smart phones to only US$40-50 each if it enjoys an import tax rate of 0% on component imports, he said. Viettel has already produced smart phones and feature ones with a total volume of 600,000 units so far. The company has started producing smart phones at home recently after a period of outsourcing the manufacturing process to Chinese partners, when hundreds of thousands of products were turned out and sold well. Nguyen Nam Son, manager of Viettel’s M1 factory specializing in mobile devices, … [Read more...] about Viettel seeks tax incentives for phone making