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Jan 30 2012

Electricity of Vietnam promises no shortage in 2012

electricity of vietnam promises no shortage in 2012

There will be no power shortage this year even though a serious dry spell has been forecast for the summer, state-owned monopoly Electricity of Vietnam has promised.

EVN is targeting a total supply of 118.5 billion kilowatt-hours this year, a 11.5 percent increase over 2011. Its own plants will generate 50.88 billion kilowatt-hours while the rest will be purchased from other plants and from China.

The company ruled out a supply shortage, saying new power plants would start production this year. An additional 2,692 MW would be added to the national grid, it said.

EVN’s deputy general director, Dang Hoang An, said unless the economy expanded too fast or there was a serious technical problem, the company would be able to ensure stable supply. 

Meanwhile, the National Center for Hydrometeorological Forecasting warned that drought and low water levels in the northern region could have an impact on power production at the end of the dry season, usually in April.

Nguyen Lan Chau, a senior expert at the center, said three major reservoirs Hoa Binh, Thac Ba, and Tuyen Quang  are releasing an estimated three million cubic meters of water for the winter-spring rice crop.

“Since the dry spell is expected to be serious, these hydropower reservoirs will likely face water supply problems,” she said.

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http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20120128-Vietnam-to-escape-power-shortage-in-2012.aspx

Jan 30 2012

Lower interest rates key to economic recovery: official

lower interest rates key to economic recovery official

Lower interest rates will help Vietnam overcome economic difficulties in 2012, said Vu Viet Ngoan, head of the National Financial Supervisory Committee.

“Interest rates need to be cut by four or five percentage points, which will allow the economy to reduce costs for production by a total of VND100 trillion (US$4.8 billion),” Ngoan told Thanh Nien.

Such a goal can be achieved only when liquidity of the banking system has been improved, he said.

“Under these circumstances, policies should be loosened,” he said, adding that credit needs to be eased.

Loans expanded around 11 percent last year. The central bank is aiming for a credit growth of 15-17 percent in 2012.

Ngoan said while polices designed to stabilize the economy are taking effect – as evidenced by the low monthly inflation rates in the past five months – 2012 is expected to be another tough year for businesses.

The declines of both the stock and real estate markets will put more pressure on the banking system, making it difficult for companies to take out loans, he said.

“Apart from focusing on providing loans to the agricultural sector and exporters, the State Bank needs to consider easing credit for consumers and certain segments of the real estate market, and especially for small to medium-sized enterpries,” Ngoan said.

The economy is likely to grow 5.6-5.9 percent in 2012, he said, adding that a growth of 6-6.3 percent is possible if global conditions improve.

Ngoan also said the exchange rate could fluctuate by between 5 and 6 percent, calling for measures to manage the gold market more effectively to keep the dong stable against the dollar.

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http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20120129-Rate-cuts-key-to-economic-recovery.aspx

Jan 30 2012

Vietnam hailed for agricultural success

vietnam hailed for agricultural success

Vietnam has successfully pursued a development strategy for agricultural growth, allowing the country to become one of the world’s major producers of various crops, a World Economic Forum report said Friday.

The report, which focuses on the most successful agriculture transformations such as those which have taken place in Brazil, Indonesia, Morocco and Vietnam, was released during a gathering of policymakers and experts in Davos.

It said that over the past two decades, the Vietnamese government has prioritized agricultural growth as a vital component to the nation’s economic development.

“This journey has produced remarkable results for the country in terms of increased food security and economic growth. From 1989 to 2009, the country more than halved its rate of stunting and wasting,” the report said, noting that Vietnam has become globally competitive in a number of cash crops.

According to the report, Vietnam’s agriculture is primed for private sector investment. It noted that a public-private task force was formed in 2010 to develop and test agricultural models for priority crops with the potential for rapid growth. 

“The missing piece in Vietnam is public-private cooperation. If we can set that up to work, problems of technology or investment will be solved,” Dang Kim Son, general director of Vietnam’s Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, was quoted in the report as saying.

“People have the incentive. With better cooperation, the potential is huge,” Son said.

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http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20120129-Vietnam-hailed-for-agricultural-successes.aspx

Jan 30 2012

Vietnam developers advised to cut home prices further

vietnam developers advised to cut home prices further

Further price cuts are inevitable if developers want to woo homebuyers back to the market, news website Vietnamnet cited industry insiders as saying.

Le Chi Hieu, vice chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association, said property developers have to change to survive these tough economic times. The first steps are to lower prices and cooperate with other companies, he said.

In the long term, real estate developers should seek investment from various capital sources instead of depending on banks for funds, Hieu said.

Nguyen Van Duc, deputy director of Ho Chi Minh City-based Dat Lanh Real Estate Company, agreed that developers have to accept low prices, and even losses. At the same time, they should review their business strategies to cut construction costs, he added.

According to Vietnamnet, home prices went down in 2011 but the cuts were not enough to drive buyers back to the market. In some cases, the very small price cuts were merely marketing ploys, it said.

In Hanoi, only about 3,600 real estate purchases were made during the first three quarters of last year, Vietnamnet reported.

Nguyen Quoc Hiep, chairman of GP Invest, said many real estate companies have already gone bankrupt, though official announcements have yet to be made.

As sales dropped and bank loans were due, those companies could not afford to stay in the market, he said.

Construction Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has said the market could continue to slump in the first half of this year. He said the bright spot of the market in 2012 will be the low-income housing segment.

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http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20120129-Vietnam-developers-advised-to-cut-home-prices.aspx

Jan 29 2012

Vietnam to offer tax refunds for tourists

vietnam to offer tax refunds for tourists

The government has decided to pilot a value-added-tax refund scheme for foreign visitors in July in an attempt to boost sales of local products.

Foreigners who make purchases in Vietnam and leave the country via Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi or Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City will receive VAT reimbursements, according to statement on the government’s website.

The goods are required to be brand new and not on the list of prohibited items. A valid invoice with a value of at least VND2 million (US$95) and a tax claim statement are required.

Commercial banks selected to handle the tax repayments are allowed to charge a service fee of up to 15 percent of the refund value. The refund will be made in Vietnam dong and can be converted to other currencies accordingly.

The pilot program will last from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2014. Retailers must register with the authorities to join the scheme, the government said in the statement.

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http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20120128-Vietnam-to-launch-tourist-VAT-refund-scheme.aspx

Jan 29 2012

Deposits rise again in Vietnam

deposits rise again in vietnam

Deposits in the banking system rose in December after falling for three months in a row while loans continued to expand at a slow pace, the central bank said in a report.

Dong deposits increased 0.98 percent and dollar deposits 3.52 percent from November. On a year-on-year basis deposits expanded 9.89 percent, the report said.

After the central bank ordered all commercial banks to strictly abide by interest rate limits and stop offering extra cash to clients in September, deposits started to fall. However, some experts had predicted that the declining trend would only be temporary.

According to the central bank, credit expanded by 0.77 percent in December. Compared to the end of 2010, loans grew 10.9 percent.

The money supply rose 9.27 percent last year, the report added.

The central bank is aiming for an overall credit growth of between 15 percent and 17 percent this year. It also plans to bring down interest rates as the government has set a target of keeping inflation at single-digit levels.

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http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20120128-Bank-deposits-rise-again-in-Vietnam.aspx

Jan 28 2012

Vietnam state investor plans bigger 2012 investments

vietnam state investor plans bigger 2012 investments

The State Capital Investment Corp. plans to invest around VND4 trillion (US191.8 million) in some companies and major projects in 2012 after a slow year in 2011.

The government’s investment arm, also known as SCIC, will earmark some of the money for new companies chosen by the government and increase its stake in several other firms that it has already invested in.

SCIC said it will work with state-owned enterprises to invest in key projects and acquire stakes in subsidiaries from which state enterprises are divesting.

The state capital manager, which refrained from buying stocks last year, also plans to buy more stocks and bonds this year. No information on which companies it plans to invest in has been released.

SCIC, established in 2006, had investments of VND6.5 trillion ($610 million) as of the end of 2011.

Last year the corporation invested just VND586 billion, or 22.28 percent of its target. It posted a pre-tax profit of VND3.2 trillion.

The government has ordered state companies to focus on their core business activities and stop spreading their capital resources too thin.

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http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20120127-Vietnam-state-investor-plans-bigger-investment-for-2012.aspx

Jan 28 2012

Vietnam to send 90,000 workers overseas in 2012

vietnam to send 90000 workers overseas in 2012

Vietnam plans to send 90,000 workers abroad this year since new employment opportunities are opening up in Japan and Libya.

The Department of Overseas Labor said 88,289 workers were sent to 40 countries and territories last year, mostly to “traditional” markets like South Korea, Taiwan, and Malaysia.

Le Van Thanh, deputy director of the department, said Japan had signed an agreement to hire nurses and orderlies from Vietnam and this was an opportunity for Vietnamese guest workers to earn high salaries in a highly respected line of work.

His department is also looking for more seasonal harvesting jobs in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Europe, he said.

Meanwhile, Libya is expected to welcome back foreign workers, including from Vietnam, in June. The turmoil last year forced the Vietnamese government to bring home more than 10,000 workers.

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http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20120127-Vietnam-to-send-90000-workers-overseas.aspx

Jan 28 2012

Vietnam textile group Vinatex plans public offering

vietnam textile group vinatex plans public offering

State-owned Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group, Vinatex, plans to sell shares to the public this year in a move that an official says will help increase its competitiveness.

The equitization plan cannot be delayed, otherwise the group will not be able to seize the chance to expand and become more competitive, Le Tien Truong, deputy general director of the state-owned group, said in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency.

Truong, however, admitted that selling shares within a 12-month timeframe would not be an easy task for Vinatex.

He said that 95 pecent of the group’s assets have been evaluated.

The group’s investment in non-core activities now account for VND200 billion (US$9.6 million), or 7 percent of its capital. Vinatex will completely withdraw from these activities in 2012, Truong said.

Vinatex, the country’s leading textile and clothing producer, will continue to focus on higher end market segments in 2012, he added.

Textile and garments accounted for more than 30 percent of Vietnam’s total exports last year. Despite a heavy dependence on imported materials, the sector managed to post a trade surplus of around US$6.7 billion in 2011.

Truong said while market prospects for 2012 are not really positive, the sector is targeting a trade surplus of $7 billion. 

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http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20120127-Vietnam-textile-group-Vinatex-plans-share-sale.aspx

Jan 27 2012

14th century stone road found in central Vietnam

14th century stone road found in central vietnam

Local archaelogists have announced the discovery of a 14th century stone pathway at the southern gate of Ho Dynasty Citadel, a World Heritage Site in the central province of Thanh Hoa.

The pathway, approximately two kilometers long, runs across the gate to connect Vinh Tien and Vinh Thanh communes with Vinh Loc District in the province.

Dr Tran Anh Dung, head of the excavation team from the Archaelogy Institute, was quoted by Lao Dong Newspaper last week as saying “the unearthed road is Vietnam’s most beautiful ancient road so far.”

According to historical records, Ho Dynasty Emperor (Ho Quy Ly (1336-1407) used the royal road to travel from the inner citadel to Don Son Mountain, where he held ceremonies to heaven and earth, praying for peace and prosperity to the country and people.

Dr Do Quang Trong, Director of Ho Dynasty Citadel Preservation Center, said that the excavation project in an area of 1500 square meter around the site is expected to unearth the citadel’s original road and base.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) has included the 2-km royal entry into the heritage listing as the most imposing, spectacular road in Southeast Asia.

The Vietnamese archaelogists also expect to unearth three-span, five-span and seven-span abutments around 100 meters away from the southern gate.

Trong added that the project also aims to answer the question of how the emperor traveled in and out of his citadel and if it was used as merely a military building or a royal capital in the past.

In addition to the stone pathway, Dung’s team has also unearthed several artifacts, including ancient weapons made of stone and iron, and ceramic objects dating back to the Le Dynasty (1428-1528).

Excavation work will be carried out on either side of the gates and structures inside the palace.

Trong said that the excavation would affect daily activities of local people, it requires collarboration and coordination between the government and several departments.

“In order to unearth the whole underground road, it is necessary to build a new road nearby to replace the old one which is used for travelling at present,” said Trong, “Then, the ancient road should be promoted as a heritage road to protect the surrounding environment and develop tourism.”

The Ho Dynasty Citadel, located in the two communes of Vinh Tien and Vinh Long in Vinh Loc district, was built in 1397 and was recognised by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage site in June, 2011.

In September, a rock site at the An Ton mountain area of around 25,300 hectares in the province’s Vinh Loc District was discovered as an excavation site used for constructing the citadel, which is nearly two kilometers away.

http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20120127-14th-century-built-stone-road-found-in-Ho-Dynasty-Citadel.aspx

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