City targets providing free wi-fi to 100,000 workers by 2019

Tough talks over pay raiseThuy Dung HANOI – While employers seek to cap the minimum wage increase for next year at less than 5%, employees are pushing for an 8-10% pay raise, and the wide difference requires another round of negotiations on August 7. The current salary level, according to experts, meets around 90% of the minimum living demand for laborers, said Hoang Quang Phong, vice president of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) at a meeting of the National Wage Council last Friday. Pay rise to erode competitiveness Meanwhile, local companies want to achieve sustainable growth because any sharp rise in the minimum wage will force them to restructure production, resulting in staff layoffs and creating other social problems, said Phong of VCCI, which represents employers. Phong said the business performance of local enterprises has slightly improved. However, those active in textile-garment, leather-footwear, seafood, and electronics sectors will face adverse effects upon any strong hike in the minimum wage. A report shows there are around 54.4 million employees nationwide, but those having signed labor agreements with enterprises and cooperatives account for a mere 17%. As such, if the minimum wage is adjusted up strongly, other social factors will follow suit – lives of laborers subject to the adjustment and those working in the informal sector will be impacted. Nguyen Duc Thuan, chairman of the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association, said enterprises always regard their employees as a cornerstone to fuel their growth. However, Thuan said, if…... [read more]

Trinh Xuan Thanh turns himself inThe Saigon Times Daily A post on the Ministry of Public Security’s website informs the public of Trinh Xuan Thanh’s turning himself in to the police - PHOTO: MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY HANOI – Trinh Xuan Thanh, former general director of PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVC), on July 31 turned himself in to the investigative police agency under the Ministry of Public Security after a year of hiding overseas. The Ministry of Public Security announced Thanh, who also served as vice chairman of Hau Giang Province and held other senior positions at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, surrendered to the police, but did not elaborate on how he had returned to the country. Thanh had faced an international arrest warrant since the ministry issued it on September 16, 2016. On September 15 last year, the ministry prosecuted Thanh for allegedly violating the State’s economic regulations causing serious consequences at PVC and its subsidiaries. Then, Thanh allegedly fled the country in mid-August last year. In his positions as deputy secretary of the party committee and general director of PVC and later as secretary of the corporation’ Party committee and chairman of the board of directors from 2011 to 2013, Thanh allegedly showed irresponsibility and negligence in the leadership and management of the corporation’s operations. He was also accused of violating regulations on business administration, resulting in losses of nearly VND3.3 trillion (US$145.46 million) to the State-owned corporation. Thanh and his accomplices were also accused of causing…... [read more]

Tien Giang collects toll fees on new bypassTrung Chanh TIEN GIANG – National Highway No.1 Tien Giang Investment Co Ltd begins on August 1 to collect toll fees on a new bypass around the town of Cai Lay in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang, said Huynh Van Nguyen, director of Tien Giang Province’s Transport Department. The toll station which is located at KM 1999+300 is scheduled to collect fees within six years and four months, starting from on August 1. The toll for vehicles of fewer than 12 seats, trucks of less than two tons, and commuter buses is VND35,000 per trip. The monthly toll is VND1.05 million, and the quarterly toll is around VND2.8 million. The tolls for vehicles of 12-30 seats and trucks of 2-4 tons are VND50,000 per trip, VND1.5 million per month and VND4.05 million per quarter. The tolls stand at VND60,000 per trip, VND1.8 million per month and VND4.8 million per quarter for vehicles of 31 seats and more, and trucks of 4-10 tons. Trucks of 10-18 tons and 20-foot semi-trailers pay VND100,000 per trip, VND3 million per month and VND8.1 million per quarter. Especially, trucks weighing over 18 tons, or carrying a 40-foot container are charged at VND180,000 per trip, VND5.4 million per month and about VND14.6 million per quarter. The bypass project includes a 12-kilometer section around the Cai Lay Town, and an improved section of National Highway 1 spanning 26 kilometers across Tien Giang Province. The VND1.4-trillion project, which got…... [read more]

Phan Thiet Airport to lengthen runwayLe Anh HCMC – The runway of Phan Thiet Airport in the south-central province of Binh Thuan will be lengthened from 2,400 to 3,050 meters to ensure sustainable development and enhance the effectiveness of the airport which is still under construction. The Transport Department of Binh Thuan Province said the central Government has approved a scheme to upgrade the airport from level 4C to 4E. Currently, relevant agencies are making preparations for the upgrade such as completing design work and investment procedures. The Transport Department said site clearance for the airport project, whose construction began nearly three years ago, has not been completed, as a company has not handed over 98.58 hectares of land to implement the project due to an ongoing compensation dispute. Site clearance is expected for completion next month. Roads leading to the airport will be also built at the end of the year. The construction of Phan Thiet Airport was commenced in January 2015 on a total area of 543 hectares including a 150-hectare area for the air force, a 145.6-hectare civil aviation area and a 247.4-hectare shared area. Up to 48 households and six organizations were asked for relocation. The airport was planned to be used for both civil and military flights. It was initially designed to handle 500,000 passengers by 2020 using ATR 72, F70 and other small aircraft, and one million passengers by 2030 using A320 and A321 airplanes. The two-phase project includes a 2,400-meter-long runway on a…... [read more]

Taiwan sees good potential for medical cooperation with VietnamHoang Nhung HCMC – Taiwan sees strong potential for boosting medical cooperation with Vietnam, especially in medical tourism and supply of medical equipment for Vietnamese hospitals, said Angela Chang, director of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council. Speaking on the sidelines of an exhibition on Taiwan’s general healthcare held in HCMC from July 25 to 29, Chang said more Vietnamese patients have traveled to Singapore, Thailand, China and Taiwan for medical treatment. There were up to 2,000 Vietnamese traveling to Taiwan in 2015 for medical treatment, she said. This is a great opportunity for Taiwan’s healthcare sector to get more customers from Vietnam, especially when medical cost in Taiwan is just about one-fifth of those in Western countries. In addition, investment in medical projects in Vietnam is another sphere of strong potential. In Vietnam, one hospital invested by Taiwan’s Shingmark Enterprise is being built in Bien Hoa City, Dong Nai Province. The Shing Mark Hospital has been constructed since 2013 with an initial investment of VND6.4 trillion. After completion, the nine-floor hospital will have 1,500 beds and cover an area of 87,000 square meters. The first 150 beds are ready and the hospital is officially opened for patients from now. Some Taiwanese specialists in the healthcare sector believe Vietnam is in high demand for healthcare investment in the future, and therefore, Taiwan will boost investment in the medical sector in Vietnam and some others in the region. Many Taiwanese experts said they…... [read more]

At the event (Source: Internet) Vinh Phuc (VNA) – ASEAN Cultural Day took place in the northern province of Vinh Phuc on August 1 to celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of the bloc with the participation of representatives from the embassies of the ASEAN member countries in Vietnam. Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Vu Viet Van said the event offers participants a chance to learn more about special cultural values of the ASEAN member states, and hoped that it will also foster friendship and economic and cultural exchanges between Vinh Phuc and the ASEAN nations as well as build the ASEAN Community of peace, prosperity and sustainability. Speaking at the event, Indonesia’s Ambassador to Vietnam Ibnu Hadi said in recent years, Vinh Phuc has become an attractive destination for foreign investors from Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Indonesia is now among top 20 investors in Vietnam, with Japfa Comfeed Vietnam being one of the 500 largest enterprises in the country. The province currently records 27 projects by ASEAN investors with a total registered capital of over 500 million USD. In education - training, Vinh Phuc has assisted Laos in training hundreds of tertiary and post-tertiary students. Meanwhile, Singapore and the Philippines have helped Vinh Phuc train hundreds of English teachers under the government’s project on teaching and studying foreign languages in the national education system for the 2008-2020 period. During the event, a music…... [read more]

A caged fish farm (Photo: VNA) Thua Thien – Hue (VNA) -  The total output of farmed and off-shore caught fish of the central province of Thua Thien-Hue reached 30,388 tonnes in the last seven months, showing a year-on-year increase of 18.72 percent. Of the figure, over 20,286 tonnes were caught from sea, up 28.4 percent. Seafood export earned the province around 16 million USD, up 2.1 times. These figures showed the recovery of the locality’s aquaculture and fishing activities after the marine environmental incident last year. As many as 1.01 trillion VND (nearly 44.44 million USD) of compensation from the incident’s doer has been handed over to 41,766 locals from 28 affected coastal communes and townships. In the coming time, the localities will continue assisting those who wish to switch jobs, developing offshore catch and fish farming, towards enabling the locals to secure sustainable livelihoods. The natural resource and environment sector will strengthen marine environment monitoring work to better serve local aquaculture. The mass fish deaths were first reported on April 6, 2016 when a large number of fish washed ashore in Ha Tinh province. The incident also occurred in Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue. About 70 tonnes of dead fish were found in the four provinces and Thua Thien-Hue alone reported 35 tonnes of farm-raised fish had died. The pollution also affected more than 260,000 people who earn their living from the sea. In June last…... [read more]

A view of Vinh Hy Bay in Ninh Thuan province (Photo: VNA) HCM City (VNA) – Tapping huge potential of sea and island tourism coupled with preserving natural landscapes was discussed at an international conference jointly held by Ton Duc Thang University and the National Penghu University of Science and Technology, Taiwan (China) on August 1. The event drew the participation of over 40 researchers, lecturers as well as tourism students from Australia, Austria, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, the UK and the US. Experience in sea tourism model development as well as education activities on environmental protection were shared at the conference. Some researchers also analysed impacts of tourism development on the socio-economy and local livelihoods while highlighting public efforts to develop tourism sustainably. Speaking at the event, Tran Trong Dao, Vice Rector of Ton Duc Thang University, underlined that Vietnam boasts huge potential for sea tourism development, however, unprofessional investment in human resources and shortage of highly-competitive tourism products have hampered the development. [Vietnam strives to develop brand for sea-island tourism] Meanwhile, Chun-Chieh Hu from the National Penghu University of Science and Technology said that sea tourism development strategies are built based on scientific research evaluating the influence of technology on natural environment and local residents. Other participants also agreed that enhancing quality of high-ranking tourism managers plays a key role in developing sea-island tourism in line with global trend.-VNA ... [read more]

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sport & Tourism Huynh Vinh Ai; Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association Nguyen Huu Tho and representatives of tourism industries in Korea, Japan, France, domestic agencies, departments and foreign investors attended in the event. Tay Ninh province has huge potential to develop pilgrimage and eco-tourism, ranging from Ba Den mountain, Lo Go-Xa Mat National Garden to Dau Tieng lake, Ma Thien Lanh… Deputy Minister Huynh Vinh Ai delivers a peech at the event Mr. Nguyen Huu Tho said at the conference that Tay Ninh province needs to restore local historical and cultural relics; invest in the provincial high-class resort areas in hopes to turn the province into one of the top tourism centers in the region and country. Mr. Vinh Ai suggested Tay Ninh leaders should have detailed plan to develop tourism industry to be a key economic sector and pushing up the regional connection through Xuyen A road as well as linking to neighboring provinces for sustainable tourism development. In the period 2012-2016, Tay Ninh province attracted nearly 4.1 million visitors. Of these, the number of international visitors touring in the province was 7,000 foreigners. Tourism revenue in 2016 reached over VND 770billion, accounting for 1.3 percent of the GRDPXUAN TRUNG –Translated by T.Tran... [read more]

Mekong Delta provinces are on the right track to lure more holidaymakers and turn tourism into a spearhead industry after Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved a master plan to develop tourism in the region by 2020 with a vision to 2030. A corner at Cai Rang Floating Market in the Mekong Delta City of Can Tho. Kien Giang is among Vietnam’s top tourist destinations, blessed with many must-see attractions, particularly Phu Quoc Island. The province welcomed more than 3 million visitors in the first half of 2017, bringing in some 2.24 trillion VND (98.6 million USD) in revenue, up 20 percent from the same period last year. The number of visitors included about 201,000 foreigners and 1.5 million accommodated travellers, up 22 percent and 6 percent, respectively. According to Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Pham Vu Hong, the increased tourist arrivals were due to the province’s efforts to improve local infrastructure and facilities at tourist spots and beaches and stimulate investment in high-class leisure centres and hotels.  Kien Giang has also connected tours with destinations in neighbouring localities and in other countries like Thailand and Cambodia and ramped up tourism promotion activities, he said. Can Tho received more than 4.5 million holidaymakers in the first seven months of this year, a year-on-year surge of 36 percent, helping the city earn about 1.3 trillion VND (57.73 million USD), up 15 percent. Most of the visitors took tours to Cai Rang Floating Market, eco-tours and sightseeing tours on rivers or…... [read more]

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