Ho Chi Minh City invited to Association of NE Asia Regional Governments

VietNamNet Bridge - With Vietjet Air, Thao did not hesitate to attract attention and stir controversy. Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao is a petite woman, with a sweet smile. She always answers questions in a soft voice. But according to CNBC, one should not be "fooled" by her appearance, because she is not an ordinary woman. As the founder and CEO of Vietjet Air, Thao brought Vietnam’s only private low-cost carrier to rapid development in less than 5 years. Its passenger number may surpass that of the national airlines Vietnam Airlines. The bikini story "When my first son was only a few months old, I began to learn about low-cost airlines," Thao, 45, told CNBC. "I spent 10 years researching the field of aviation, met with the CEOs of the low-cost airlines such as Jetstar, Air Asia, and Southwest Airlines," she said. At that time the aviation industry was a relatively new field with Thao, who initially got rich in the real estate business. The key to her success was determining the right time. Before Vietjet made its maiden flight in December 2011, Vietnam did not have any private low-cost carrier. Meanwhile, the middle class in Vietnam was growing more rapidly, and the government opened the door for the aviation industry to create competition. In 2012, Vietjet made the headlines of local newspapers when it employed flight attendants in bikinis. They do not wear bikinis now but it does not mean that this approach will not be applied again. "If a…... [read more]

International arrivals into the Asia Pacific region continued the strong growth momentum of previous years with a gain of 5.4% during the first half-year of 2015, resulting in close to 12.5 million additional arrivals year-on-year. This continues the full year growth of 6.1% during calendar year 2014, which culminated in a total foreign inbound volume of more than 550 million. These are some of the top-level findings contained within the Annual Tourism Monitor 2015 Final Edition released today by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Following the release of the Early Edition in May this year, the Final Edition includes a number of other measures of travel activity and profiles including length of stay, expenditure and several other useful quantitative metrics. Early indicators of travel flows for calendar year 2015 (year-to-date) are also provided for 39 Asia Pacific destinations as an early warning mechanism for identifying major shifts and movements in key source and destination markets. Highlights of the Annual Tourism Monitor 2015 Final Edition include: International Visitors arrivals to the Asia Pacific region – as defined by the 45 destinations covered in this report – have collectively shown significant growth over the last five years rising from almost 455 million in 2010 to over 552 million in 2014. Asia continued its dominance in 2014, capturing more than 410 million foreign arrivals – a relative share of more than 74% - led by Northeast Asia with a share of 47% of total international arrivals into Asia Pacific. China, Hong Kong…... [read more]

VGP – PM Nguyen Tan Dung co-chaired an opening ceremony of the Lisbon Blue Business Forum on June 4 with his Portuguese counterpart Pedro Passos Coelho as part of the ongoing official visit to Portugal. Speaking at the ceremony, the PM addressed that coastal countries regard marine economic development in accordance with protecting the environment and ensuring maritime security as strategic priorities. The cooperation and formation of an economic connection block between coastal nations have become the global trend, he added. Viet Nam has enhanced marine economic cooperation with a number of countries, including Portugal and coordinated with 11 nations in the Asia Pacific including Japan, the US, Australia and Canada to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership, he revealed, adding that the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement will be inked soon. These agreements are closely connected with the marine economic development, he asserted. At present, around a half of marine commodities are transported through the navigation route connecting Northeast Asia with Europe. However, in the East Sea, large-scale construction of reef islands is violating international law, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS) and other regional agreements, reducing trust among nations and seriously threatening peace, stability, aviation and navigation security, safety and freedom, he said. The Vietnamese PM proposed the international community demand an immediate end to these illegal acts, dispute settlement with peaceful measures and strict adherence to international law, especially the UNCLOS and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea,…... [read more]

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (first, standing, right) at the 2015 Maritime Economic Forum in Portugal yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam LISBON (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday said it was important that maritime economic development was kept in line with environmental protection and maritime security. The PM was speaking at the opening of the Lisbon Blue Business Forum yesterday as part of his official visit to Portugal. He joined his Portuguese counterpart, Pedro Passos Coelho, at the even, which was part of the Blue Week Lisbon 2015. It was targeted at representatives of nearly 200 groups, companies, research institutes and technology centres involved in maritime trade. PM Dung told participants that with a total coastal line of more than 3,000km, Viet Nam had set a sustainable development goal of becoming a nation stronger and richer from the sea. He said the maritime economy contributed about 55 per cent of the nation's GDP and 60 per cent of export turnover. Viet Nam was intensifying economic maritime links with other countries, including Portugal, he said, adding that co-operation could not succeed if navigation security, safety and freedom were threatened. At present, about a half of the world's seaborne goods were transported through the navigation route connecting Northeast Asia with Europe. However, Dung said that in the adjoining East Sea, large-scale construction of reef islands by China were violating international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and regional agreements, undermining trust among…... [read more]

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Ho Chi Minh City was the biggest gainer among cities and provinces in Vietnam in 2014, with export revenue surpassing the US$30 billion threshold, customs data show. With shipments topping $31.35 billion in turnover last year, the southern metropolis has become the first-ever locality to exceed the $30 billion mark in export earnings, according to the Vietnam Customs. Ho Chi Minh City’s exports were $1.86 billion higher than in 2013, accounting for nearly 21 percent of the country’s total export turnover, the latest data released by the Vietnam Customs show. The city’s export staples included rice, seafood, coffee, pepper, fruit and vegetables, textile and garments, and wood and furniture, according to a report by the municipal administration. Technology and manufacturing and processing products accounted for nearly 70 percent of the exports, while agro-forestry and seafood made up more than 22 percent. The southern megacity is shipping products to 230 countries and territories around the globe, according to the report. It enjoyed a 32.5 percent increase in export revenue from Northeast Asia, with respective growth rates from South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan standing at 105 percent, 98 percent, and 13 percent last year. The figure was a modest 4.1 percent in China, the municipal administration noted. Exports to the EU and the U.S. also rose 18 percent and 21 percent, respectively, from a year earlier. The northern province of Bac Ninh was the second largest exporting locality in Vietnam, with last year’s exports reaching $21.07 billion, down nearly $4 billion…... [read more]

Secretary General and Vice President of the VUFO Don Tuan Phong (Source: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) - The people-to-people diplomacy work performed by the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) obtained considerable results across fields in recent times, contributing to promoting ties between Vietnam and other nations worldwide, heard a conference in Hanoi on July 26. At the 7th meeting of the union’s Presidium (2013-2018 tenure) to review the union’s activities in the past six months and tasks for the remaining months of this year, Secretary General and Vice President of the VUFO Don Tuan Phong stressed that people-to-people diplomacy activities focused on boosting ties between Vietnam and neighbouring and Southeast Asian countries, especially Laos, Cambodia, China, and nations having traditional relations with Vietnam. Apart from enhancing political links, the people-to-people diplomacy also helped foster cooperation in the economy, trade, investment, culture, technology, education, tourism among others, he said.   The VUFO continued upholding its role in coordinating with Vietnamese people organisations and actively joining activities in the framework the ASEAN People Forum (APF), the Asia-Europe People Forum, the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). It made good performance in disseminating issues related to democracy, human right, religion, sea and island sovereignty, and Agent Orange/dioxin. The union worked hard to call for foreign financial assistance for many projects with a total committed value of over 47 million USD as of June this year. It also implemented well the management of foreign…... [read more]

Latest statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs showed that the country pocketed nearly US$1.85 billion from vegetable and fruit export from the beginning of this year to July 15, surging by 45% from the same time last year. In addition, consumers’ demand for Vietnamese vegetables and fruits will be higher during the Christmas and New Year holidays, auguring well for the country’s export revenue goal. Vietnamese vegetables and fruits have been present in 60 markets globally. China, Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK) and the US were four leading importers, accounting for 85% of total vegetable and fruit export value. Shipments to traditional markets witnessed good expansion, including Japan (56%), China (50%), the US (23%), the RoK (15%) and Thailand (12%). Meanwhile, substantial growth was seen in Hong Kong (102%), the United Arab Emirates (81%), Laos (78.6%) and Russia (54.6%). However, export revenue suffered stark decline in Cambodia (81.8%), Indonesia (53%) and the UK (42%). Dragon fruit ranked first in export value, accounting for 50% of the total fruit export revenue.  Binh Thuan province, the country’s largest dragon fruit exporter, has paid heed to developing VietGAP dragon fruit cultivation. Nearly 7,700 hectares of land were zoned off for growing dragon fruit in line with VietGAP standards for exports to fastidious markets like the US and the EU. Mangos, litchis and longans are also Vietnam’s strategic staples.  The Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural…... [read more]

The Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (LEFASO) announced recently that Vietnam was the fifth largest exporter of handbags and suitcases in the world, accounting for 5.4% of global supply. The country produces over US$3.2 billion worth of handbags, suitcases and backpacks that are exported to 10 major markets. A large number of factories have become trusted producers for major multinational brands. Nguyen Duc Thuan, LEFASO’s Chairman, said the nation’s leather industry has grown by 10% to 15% per year for the past five years, driven significantly by international fashion brands moving their handbag manufacturing facilities to Vietnam. Thuan said a majority of fashion houses have chosen to replace Chinese manufacturers with Vietnamese ones through foreign direct investment. In the first five months of 2017, the US was the largest market for Vietnamese suitcases, backpacks, and handbags worth US$555 million, a six percent increase over the same period in 2016, according to the General Department of Customs. The EU was second, importing goods worth US$365 million, up 8.2% year on year. Exports to other main markets included Japan at US$146.5 million, up 1.7%; China at US$57.6 million, down 6.8%; and the Republic of Korea at US$52.8 million, down 0.4%. Nguyen Minh Phong, Head of the Economic Research Section of the Hanoi Socio-Economic Development Research Institute, had said in June that bag producers in Vietnam should diversify their export markets, with emphasis on the US and EU markets. Phong also said…... [read more]

Some experts have raised concerns over the Republic of Korea (ROK) surpassing China in trade deficit, to become Vietnam’s biggest import market, however, others claimed these worries unfounded and considered it normal as Vietnam is integrating into the world economy. Origins of trade deficit towards the ROK Since April 2017, the ROK has taken over China to become Vietnam’s biggest import market with US$9.3 billion of trade deficit for the first four months of 2017, slightly larger than China in this period.  For the first half of 2017, Vietnam’s trade deficit towards the ROK totalled US$16 billion, while it was US$14.1 billion towards China. Many think that the leading position of the ROK derives from the huge import volumes of Samsung and LG manufacturing facilities in Vietnam. In a quarterly meeting, a representative of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) confirmed that Vietnam’s huge trade deficit towards the ROK was related to big South Korean enterprises in Vietnam, such as Samsung and LG. “Samsung and LG’s local factories have imported a large number of machinery, equipment, and materials for their manufacturing activities, leading to the growth of Vietnam’s trade deficit towards South Korea,” the representative said. Vietnam has been importing from the ROK for a long time, but the import volume has significantly increased since 2008, when Samsung made its first large-scale investment in the country, which resulted in an investment wave from the ROK. Currently, Samsung has invested more than US$17 billion in Vietnam and LG over US$5…... [read more]

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