PM asks Ha Tinh to become major industrial centre

Seafood service firms dominate Vietfish 2014 Ngoc Hung By Ngoc Hung - The Saigon Times Daily HCMC – The number of firms providing services and equipment for the seafood sector make up 65% of 173 corporate exhibitors at the ongoing Vietnam Fisheries International Exhibition 2014 (Vietfish 2014) in HCMC. The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the organizer of Vietfish 2014, said there are more seafood service providers than in previous years. Seafood processors and exporters are other exhibitors at the event, which opened at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC) in District 7 on August 6. The 16th exhibition is attended by many big local and foreign companies, including from Japan, the United States, Belgium, China and South Korea. Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of VASEP, said Vietfish 2014 showcases various seafood products and services as well as equipment and technology for cold storage of seafood. Pham Anh Tuan, deputy head of the Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries, said the participating companies have the opportunity to learn about latest market trends and consumers’ needs so as to turn out appropriate products. During the show that lasts until August 8, there are workshops on Vietnam’s seafood industry, production of safe and sustainable seafood in line with the Global GAP (Good Agriculture Practices) standards, the ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) certification for shrimp, and technologies for the seafood sector. In a related development, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has issued Circular 23/2014/TT-BNNPTNT guiding the implementation of farming, processing…... [read more]

With the high export turnover of US$3.1, US$3.4 and US$3.2 billion in January, March and April respectively, the possibility of achieving an export turnover of US$37-38 billion this year will be within reach. Among nine key export products, many have obtained export growth exceeding average levels, such as electric wire and cable (up 45 percent), garment and textile (up 38 percent), woodwork (up 32 percent) and plastics (up 33 percent). Notably, despite facing a lawsuit for dumping on the EU market, footwear exports still rose 20 percent over the same period last year thanks to effective market solutions. Import activities also made significant progress in reducing import surplus. In the past four months, import value reached more than US$12,330 billion, an increase of only US$200 million compared to exports, meaning that import surplus was just US$200 million. This was considered a success in regulating import activities to reduce import surplus, as, by comparison, the import surplus of the first fourth months of 2003 and that of 2004 stood at US$1.3 billion and US$1.94 billion respectively. In the reviewed period, domestic enterprises fetched an export turnover of US$1.2 billion while reducing import surplus by US$1 billion over the same period last year. However, the level of import surplus among domestic businesses remained high (US$2.35 billion). Therefore, more attention should be given to boosting export activities and regulating import activities to reduce import surplus. In addition, the inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) has sharply increased, reaching nearly US$2.3 billion or 136…... [read more]

Many believe that Vietnam’s abundant source of labour will be an advantage to compete with China in attracting foreign investors. Professor Ho Duc Hung says at a round-table discussion on Vietnam’s human resources in the post-WTO period that cheap labour should not be considered an advantage, but rather a big concern for the economy. It is true that an abundant supply of low-cost labourers is an important factor in attracting foreign investors. However, cheap labour also means low quality to fit in with the growing trend towards modern production and management. Prof Ho Duc Hung says the labour productivity of a Japanese worker is 135 times higher than a Vietnamese, 30 times higher than a Thai, 20 times higher than a Malaysian and 10 times higher than an Indonesian. It is quite wrong to consider low-cost labour or low-quality labour as an advantage as low labour productivity in an enterprise will only lead to low profits. Experts say that enterprises may save money by hiring cheap labour, but, in fact, they have to pay more for training. Training fees for labourers in Vietnam are often 15-20 times higher than in other countries. Therefore, cheap labour should not be considered a positive advantage. Some people may be concerned by the fact that the total salaries of 20 Japanese experts at Nghi Son Cement Factory in northern Thanh Hoa province are equal to the salaries of nearly 2,000 Vietnamese labourers. The imbalance is not difficult to understand, as people who can earn…... [read more]

It is not by chance that US President George W. Bush called Vietnam a young tiger in Asia when he visited Vietnam last November. A New Year has begun and it is time for us to look back on Vietnam’s major achievements in 2006 – a year of bumper harvest figuratively and literally. Generally speaking, we have sown seeds, coped with erratic weather and reaped the best crops in more than 20 years. 2006 was a successful year for Vietnam as the country was admitted to the World Trade Organisation as the 150th member, marking its full integration into the world economy. The US Congress’ approval of permanent normal trade relations with Vietnam and the country’s successful organisation of the 14th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting helped elevate Vietnam’s position and prestige in the international arena. For the first time, Vietnam attracted US$10.2 billion worth of foreign direct investment in 2006, a record figure since 1987. Foreign donors at the recent Consultative Group Meeting pledged US$4.45 billion in official development assistance capital for the country – another record figure for a developing country like Vietnam. The country’s export value in 2006 also hit a record high of nearly US$40 billion. Notably, both crude oil and garment exports surpassed the US$5 billion mark. Proudly, Vietnam’s industrial products and traditional handicrafts are now available in almost all regional and global markets. In 2006, the establishment of the Vietnam Coal and Mining Industry Group, the Vietnam Garment and Textile Group, the Vietnam Post and…... [read more]

The success of the August 1945 Revolution and the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the first people’s democratic State in Southeast Asia, symbolised Vietnam’s strength, spirit, will and wisdom. Vietnam has overcome numerous difficulties to obtain achievements in different fields and affirmed its position in the Doi Moi (Renewal) process. At the recent first meeting of the 12th National Assembly, the Government worked out strong measures to further develop the national economy for international integration. Positive changes made in national development In recent years, national economic growth has been maintained at a high level. In the first half of this year, the economic growth rate reached a five-year record high of 7.87 percent. Industrial production increased by 16.9 percent; agro-forestry and aquaculture, 2.67 percent, and services, 8.41 percent. Export activities have contributed to 50 percent of GDP and developed in both turnover and market. In the first half of this year, export turnover hit more than US$22.4 billion, with six key products surpassing the US$1 billion mark each. From a rice importer, Vietnam has met domestic consumption and become the 2nd biggest rice exporter in the region. Coffee, pepper and cashew nut exports have also achieved a rather high growth, thereby affirming Vietnam’s position in the world export market. Financial and budget activities have been stable. Budget collection and spending has been maintained at a rather high growth rate. The establishment of the securities market has helped mobilise a great deal of capital sources for the national economy,…... [read more]

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Ho Xuan Hung says that though the State devised a policy on agricultural mechanisation, farmers have almost never benefited from this policy. He recalls that many localities began using modern machines in agricultural production several years ago, receiving strong response from farmers. After a short period of time, industrial parks mushroomed in rural areas along with the development of the national economy, seeking super profit. Consequently, many farmers gave up agricultural production to work for industrial parks while localities no longer cared much about agricultural mechanisation. It was a great shock when MARD announced that post-harvest loss has made up 10-11 percent of total food output. “It is unbelievable in comparison with the development of the agricultural sector, which achieves a growth rate of only 3-4 percent annually,” Mr Hung says, adding that nothing has been done so far to improve the situation. According to Doan Xuan Hoa, deputy head of the Agro-Forestry Product Processing and Salt Production Department under MARD, Vietnam has only mechanised several processes of agricultural production such as soil preparation and transportation while the proportion of mechanisation in rice transplanting and harvesting and sugarcane harvesting is very low. In addition, he says the manufacturing and assembling of agricultural machines has not met the sector’s demand. Although Vietnam has up to 42 mechanical engineering plants, most of them focus on manufacturing and assembling motorcycles and automobiles for much larger profits. Mr Hoa says that the Vietnam Engine and Agricultural…... [read more]

Since April 30, 1975, which marked the liberation of South Vietnam, the country has been entering a new era of building a civilized and modern nation with its economy developing strongly in the process of international integration.Vietnam’s entry to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2007 is testimony to the Vietnamese economy’s participation in the global playing field on an equal footing with other countries.After 20 years of implementing the Doi Moi (Renewal) process, Vietnam has made a breakthrough to become an economy with an average annual growth rate of between 7-8 percent without relying on foreign aid.From a planned economy, Vietnam has gradually developed a market economy along with the formation of key economic sectors such as mechanical engineering, shipbuilding, telecommunications, metallurgy and crude oil production and the establishment of many industrial parks and export processing and high-tech zones in provinces and cities across the country.After the eventful day of April 30, 1975, HCM City has emerged as the country’s biggest industrial city, with an average annual economic growth rate of more than 13 percent over the past decade. So far, HCM City has set up more than 40,000 industrial enterprises employing 1 million workers with their output value accounting for 30 percent of the country’s total industrial production value and 50 percent of the southern region’s.Over the last four months, despite facing a lot of difficulties, HCM City has newly established another 6,400 enterprises while more than 10,200 enterprises have increased their investment capital.In the meantime, after 33…... [read more]

State President Nguyen Minh Triet and his wife will officially visit Russia from October 27 to 29 and Mongolia from October 30-31 at the invitation of Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev and Mongolia’s President Nambaryn Enkhbayar. The visits come at a time when Vietnam is successfully implementing the renewal process, consistently pursuing foreign policy of independence, openness, multi-lateralisation and diversification, achieving a high economic growth rate and deeply integrating into the region and the world elevating the position of the country in the international arena. Despite socio-economic difficulties in 2008, Vietnam is still a potential destination for foreign investors. President Triet’s visits to Russia and Mongolia affirmed that the Vietnamese Party, State and people always attach great importance to consolidating and strengthening the comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia and traditional relations of friendship with Mongolia and raising these relations to new heights for mutual benefit. Vietnam welcomes Russia’s great achievements in development. Since 2000, under the leadership of former President Vladimir Putin, Russia has covered and developed strongly. Mr Putin implemented a series of measures to stabilise society, consolidate power and State sanctions, reform the political system, ensure territorial integrity and restore order in Kavkaz. Handing over power took place in a peaceful and constitutional manner. D. Medvedev’s becoming President and Mr Putin’s undertaking the Prime Minister position have created stability for Russia in its internal and external policies as well as economic policies. Regarding the economy, after serious difficulties due to a crisis in the 90s, since 2001 the Russian…... [read more]

On the theme of ASEAN Charter for ASEAN People, ASEAN leaders will discuss measures to increase regional cooperation, speed up the establishment of an ASEAN Community, weather the global financial storm, ensure food and energy security, mitigate the consequences of natural disasters, and expand the external relations of the bloc. The summit takes place at a time when ASEAN is preparing to build a united community by 2015 based on the ASEAN Charter which was enforced on December 15, 2008. In addition, the bloc is coping with countless challenges arising from the fallout of the current global financial crisis. Besides official meetings, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and other ASEAN leaders will attend dialogue and informal meetings with the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), and representatives of ASEAN Youth and other civil social organisations. PM Dung and Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem will have bilateral meetings with the heads of State and FMs of several countries. By attending the regional meeting, Vietnam wants to lift its role and position within ASEAN, helping to strengthen regional solidarity, cooperation and integration, ensure the association’s leading role in maintaining peace, stability and development, increase cooperation between ASEAN and its dialogue partners and make full use of international assistance for realising its goals. ASEAN was founded on August 8, 1967, marking a milestone in its regional development. From just five founders at the beginning, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, ASEAN later admitted Brunei in 1984, Vietnam in 1995, Laos…... [read more]

On the morning of May 23 (Hanoi time), State President Nguyen Minh Triet returned to Hanoi, successfully concluding his tour of Belarus, Switzerland and Finland, ushering a new period in friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and all the three European nations. Belarus, Switzerland and Finland - Vietnam's important partners in Europe gave their valuable support to Vietnam’s past struggle for national liberation and its current process of national construction. However, economic, trade and investment cooperation between Vietnam and these three countries has yet to match their fine political relations. For example, last year's two-way trade turnover with Belarus and Finland reached only US$120 million and US$230 million, respectively. Mr Triet's visits were successful in the following results: Leaders and people of Balarus, Switzerland and Finland attached great importance to enhancing their traditional friendship with Vietnam and affirmed their determination to develope their friendly relations and reliable partnership with the country. Mr Triet and the three countries' leaders agreed on major solutions to strengthen multi-faceted cooperation through the signing of joint statements and important agreements during the visit. Belarus, Switzerland and Finland highlighted Vietnam's role in the region and the world and expressed their willingness to act as a bridge to the promotion of relations between Vietnam and Europe and Vietnam is also ready to do the same to help the three countries to expand their relations with South East Asia. During the visit, Vietnam reached many specific agreements to step up economic, trade and investment cooperation with the three countries…... [read more]

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