Hospital project: Investor fined over environmental impact report

Overseas Vietnamese play an important role in developing HCM City's economy, but the city lacks the legal framework required to fully utilise their capabilities. "The role of overseas Vietnamese is not just sending foreign currency back to their families, but also having good relations with international politicians, multinational companies, investment funds and banks," Dr Đinh Thanh Hương, an ethnic Vietnamese living in France and lecturer at University Paris 12 was quoted as saying on the Government's website chinhphu.vn. Therefore, the city should have a dedicated channel for overseas Vietnamese, and from that the city could source capital, technology and senior experts who would come back and contribute to its development, she said. "For those who would like to return with their families, besides providing a favourable, transparent and supportive business environment, the city should also assist their family members with accommodation, schools and jobs." Dr Nguyễn Trí Hiếu, who has spent many years living in Vietnam and working in the financial sector, was apprehensive about the gap between the Vietnamese and international legal frameworks. "Vietnam does not have a personal bankruptcy law while its closed foreign currency management system does not allow overseas Vietnamese to easily repatriate their profits or transfer money." Nguyễn Hồng Huệ, Vietnamese-Australian chairman of BankPay, said if Vietnam had stringent policies to protect the environment, it would attract many "green", stable, long-term investors. "If managers loosen environmental protection norms for more FDI, I am afraid that current earnings will not be able to compensate future losses."…... [read more]

Viet Nam News HCM City - Overseas Vietnamese play an important role in developing HCM City's economy, but the city lacks the legal framework required to fully utilise their capabilities. "The role of overseas Vietnamese is not just sending foreign currency back to their families, but also having good relations with international politicians, multinational companies, investment funds and banks," Dr Đinh Thanh Hương, an ethnic Vietnamese living in France and lecturer at University Paris 12 was quoted as saying on the Government's website chinhphu.vn. Therefore, the city should have a dedicated channel for overseas Vietnamese, and from that the city could source capital, technology and senior experts who would come back and contribute to its development, she said. "For those who would like to return with their families, besides providing a favourable, transparent and supportive business environment, the city should also assist their family members with accommodation, schools and jobs." Dr Nguyễn Trí Hiếu, who has spent many years living in Việt Nam and working in the financial sector, was apprehensive about the gap between the Vietnamese and international legal frameworks. "Việt Nam does not have a personal bankruptcy law while its closed foreign currency management system does not allow overseas Vietnamese to easily repatriate their profits or transfer money." Nguyễn Hồng Huệ, Vietnamese-Australian chairman of BankPay, said if Việt Nam had stringent policies to protect the environment, it would attract many "green", stable, long-term investors. "If managers loosen environmental protection norms for more FDI, I am afraid that current…... [read more]

Viet Nam News A river too silted up for boats to sail through. A field choked by sand intrusion. These are two of the photos that Nguyễn Khánh Tâm Anh brought to a conference held this week on hydropower plant development to illustrate the heavy toll that his family and many others have been suffering due to the mass development of hydropower plants in the country's central regions over the past 10 years. The conference, organised by the Centre of Social Research and Development, was designed to provide a platform for discussion among authorities, hydropower plants, experts and residents on sustainable development of hydropower plants. Holding up a photo, the resident of Đại Lộc District in the central province of Quảng Nam told participants that in the dry season, "rivers are parched because hydropower plants do not discharge water. Đại Lộc co-operative used to have 120 boats to transporting freight to Nam Giang District, but has had to stop operation." According to Anh, 40 households in Đại Hồng Commune that used to rely on the boats for their living, have either become jobless or work as seasonal labourers to get by. Anh also brought up the September incident at Sông Bung 2 Hydropower Plant in Nam Giang District, where a tunnel broke releasing about 28 million cubic metres of water that swept away village homes downstream. "We were so terrified that we had to flee to the forest to escape the water. It was terrible," Anh said. Further down to…... [read more]

Fielding the first question about loss-making projects using State capital and managed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the minister cited as example five prolonged projects which are the Thai Nguyen iron and steel plant, the Phuong Nam paper pulp mill, the Ninh Binh fertilizer factory, the bio-fuel plant at Dung Quat and the Dinh Vu fiber mill. He pointed out that those five projects all suffered from fluctuations in the world market, particularly the sharp drop in oil and crude oil prices from US$100-147 to US$40 per barrel. Other reasons behind the inefficient operation of those projects are the limited capacity of investors, project management boards, negotiation teams and contractors. He emphasized the goal of retaining State capital, asset and interests when dealing with those projects, adding that all solutions should be in accordance with market principles and international commitments. “We can consider selling those projects and even declare bankruptcy if necessary,” the minister said, noting that his ministry has submitted to the Government recommended solutions and the Government will meet after the NA session to decide on specific measures. The issue of fake, poor-quality fertilizer was raised by many deputies during the hearing. Minister Tran Tuan Anh said overlapping State management of the fertiliser market has hindered efforts to restore order. At present, the Ministry of Trade and Industry control the production and trade of inorganic fertilizers, while organic fertilizers are under the management of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Another problem is the permission…... [read more]

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha (Source: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha took the floor to field deputies’ questions at the ongoing second session of the 14th National Assembly in Hanoi on November 15. Responding to queries about waste treatment at industrial and service facilities, craft villages and residential areas, Ha said the ministry is in charge of waste treatment infrastructure while the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is directly responsible for waste treatment. On possible solutions, he said the first task is classifying agriculture-reliant, suburban and urbanised rural areas so as to devise appropriate planning, policies and resources. The ministries of Natural Resources and Environment, Construction, Agriculture and Rural Development need to issue criteria for new rural construction, including those regarding planning and rural infrastructure, and waste collection, he said. In agriculture-reliant areas, every household should be guided on how to classify garbage and adopt biogas model in breeding. In case of any environmental pollution incident, Ha said specific responsibilities should be assigned to central and local authorities, from the approval, design, survey of environmental impacts to supervising firms. Asked about recovery efforts from the environment incident caused by Taiwan-invested Formosa steel company in the central province of Ha Tinh, Ha said the ministry has established a group of prestigious scientists to consider remedy plan and monitor the quality of waste and exhaust fume as well as discharges. To deal with the pollution, a 10ha ecological reservoir…... [read more]

A thermoelectricity power plant in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh has been in operation for the past ten months despite lacking proper paperwork and posing high environmental risks A thermoelectricity power plant in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh has been in operation for the past ten months despite lacking proper paperwork and posing high environmental risks The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade in October announced a list of major projects and factories in the country which pose high pollution risks, nearly half of which are thermoelectricity plants operated by state-owned energy and oil giants Vietnam Electricity (EVN) and Vietnam Oil and Gas Group. Despite earning a spot on the list for its lack of environmental protection certification, EVN-run Duyen Hai 1 Thermal Power Plant in Tra Vinh Province has been in operation for the past ten months. According to the plant’s 2009 approved environmental impact report, fly ash collected from burnt-out coals used to fuel the plant’s turbines should be stored in wet-bottom ponds. However, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper’s observation of the plant’s 39-hectare landfill on a late October day proved otherwise, as fleets of dump trucks were spotted transporting dry ash from three high-rising silos directly into a dumping area. Located close to the coastline, the landfill currently holds over one million metric tons of dry coal ash after only a ten-month run. Au Nguyen Dinh Thao, deputy director of Duyen Hai Thermal Power Company, confirmed to Tuoi Tre that the plant was indeed…... [read more]

Govt urges sea safety evaluation in central Vietnam Van Ly HANOI – Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has called on the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to coordinate with relevant agencies and local authorities to quickly evaluate the safety of seawater off the central coast. They must make accurate safety evaluations of seawater in the provinces so that residents and enterprises can continue their fishing and business activities, Dung said at a conference held in Hanoi on July 18 by the ministry to review work in the first half and deploy plans in the remaining months of the year. In early April, tons of dead fish were washed ashore in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue. Late last month, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation (Formosa Ha Tinh) took responsibility for the serious environmental incident and pledged to pay US$500 million in compensation for economic damage. At on July 18’s conference, Dung urged competent agencies to closely monitor the operation of Formosa Ha Tinh in line with the prevailing regulations. The ministry should cooperate with environment police and provinces to assess impacts of big projects that discharge waste, and launch investigations into production and service facilities that may release harmful waste. Dung told the ministry to check policies and regulations on environmental protection to remove overlapping rules. According to the Deputy Prime Minister, water security is pivotal in Vietnam. Therefore, mechanisms and policies should be introduced to make sure water is used efficiently. Relevant agencies should…... [read more]

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved a project of a seaport complex and Dam Nha Mac industrial park in Quang Ninh Province’s Quang Yen town. The project covering on an area of 1,192 hectres will be invested with a total capital of VND6, 940 billion (US301 million) by CDC International Corporation (CDC) from theCayman Islands, Middle Utilities Company Pte. Ltd of Singapore and Infra Asia Investment Limited from Hong Kong (China). The invnestmet duration of projects will run for 50 years. PM asked the provincial People’s Committee to delegate the Economic Zone management board to supervise the project before granting investment license. He also required the investor to make an environmental impact report and asked the Quang Ninh provincial Military Command region 3 to consider prolems related to the national defense, border and coastal security.... [read more]

The Prime Minister has approved the plan to build Dung Quat industrial urban area over 319 hectares with the total capital of VND2,025 billion (US$90.82 million) in Binh Son district, the central province of Quang Ngai. The phase 1A of the project will be implemented over 166 hectares from the third quarter this year to the third quarter of 2018. Phase 1B will be carried over 153 hectares from the third quarter of 2018 to the second quarter of 2019. The project will enjoy corporation tax incentives as stipulated by the current law, import tariff exemption on products imported to create fixed assets and rent exemption. The Prime Minister has tasked the Quang Ngai province People’s Committee to instruct investor of the project to collect assessment opinions from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, make a deposit for the project, establish an environmental impact report and submit it to authorized agency for approval before staring work on the area. In addition, the province should apply measures to supervise implementation of the project to prevent environmental pollution from occurring.... [read more]

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam has long strived to tap its immense maritime potential to become a rich and strong country based on its marine economy. Yet this goal comes with its own challenges due to a lack of sustainable development solutions. In 2007, the 10th Party Central Committee adopted Vietnam’s Maritime Strategy towards 2020 to further enhance a sea-based economy and protect national sovereignty over islands and seas. The strategy set out a goal that sea-based economic sectors will make up 53-55 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) while per capita income in coastal areas is expected to double the average of the whole country by 2020. Now, nine years down the line, the sea-based economic sector has considerably contributed to the national economy. Across the country, home to a 3,260km coastline and nearly 3,000 islands, there are 44 seaports with a designed capacity able to handle 470-500 million freights per year. Six coastal economic zones incorporating a variety of sea-based industries were developed during 2013-2015. Government policies in developing fishing and aquaculture have resulted in a considerable increase in the number of iron-clad and wood-clad fishing vessels for offshore fishing. Sea tourism contributes up to 70-80 percent of the whole tourism sector, capitalising on the long beautiful coastline and famous resort islands. However, experts say the development of a sea-based economy is still carried out with a mindset of ‘exploitation’, rather than ‘efficient and sustainable development’. Exploitation has been mostly focused on substance-form or living natural resources,…... [read more]




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