KOICA supports Vietnam with green urban planning

  Minister of Construction Tran Hong Ha (Photo: VNA)   Hanoi (VNA) – Minister of Construction Tran Hong Ha admitted that there remain many shortcomings in urban planning while fielding questions raised by National Assembly (NA) deputies at the ongoing 13th session of the NA Standing Committee on August 16. Opening the question and answer (Q&A) meeting, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan underlined outstanding problems in construction planning, urban architecture and urban land use issues, stressing that they need to be addressed in a synchronous and effective manner. Deputies said most urban areas face environmental pollution, poor water drainage and waste treatment, not to mention serious traffic jams, lack of relaxing space and violations of construction planning. They urged the minister to present solutions to the problems and questioned about the responsibilities of the ministry in guiding and inspecting the construction work in localities. Responding to deputies’ queries, Minister Ha acknowledged low-quality urban planning and sluggish implementation of planning, attributing that fact to state agencies’ poor performance and lack of information transparency. Meanwhile, inspection and violation handling remain lax, resulting in such consequences as traffic congestion and illegal land encroachment. He admitted that his ministry is to be blamed for urban infrastructure technical standards not matching the country’s development conditions, complicated procedures for urban planning, and irregular inspection that has led to slow detection of shortcomings. The Ministry of Construction (MoC) will continue advising the Government and the NA in fine-tuning relevant…... [read more]

After working in HCM City for three years Mr X, a Japanese national, wanted to settle down in the city and decided to buy a house. Thanks to an acquaintance, he knew that a residential project in District 7 was handing over apartments to buyers and granting them ownership titles. He decided to buy an apartment in that project. But he was told that while the developer could sign a sales contract with him, he could not get the title deeds until authorities gave approval for selling the apartments to foreigners. Mr X gave up his plan to buy a house in HCM City. He said: “I decided not to buy a house because the project owner himself is not sure if his apartments would be allowed to be sold to foreigners. If the project is not in a list to be sold to foreigners I would probably lose.” Some market observers said not only foreigners but also property developers do not know which projects can be sold to foreign nationals. This has curtailed foreigners’ property ownership in the country, they said. According to the city Department of Construction, as of May the city had issued property title deeds to only 15 overseas Vietnamese and foreigners. Analysts were unhappy with this, saying that the Law on Housing has adequate provisions on the responsibilities of related agencies in specifying areas where foreigners can own commercial housing. Government Decree No 99/2015/ND-CP issued in 2015 to guide the Law on Housing says “Foreign…... [read more]

Hanoi, August 14 (VNA) - The legality of condotels needs to be clarified to better manage this new type of property gaining popularity in Vietnam, a representative from the Ministry of Construction has said.  Pham Van Thuong, from the Housing and Real Estate Market Management Department, said at a conference held late last week by the Vneconomy online newspaper that relevant ministries were developing regulations about condotel standards, ownership and financial management.  Experts said clarifying the legality of condotels was urgently needed as this type of property is developing rapidly, but the absence of regulations carries risks for ownership and profit sharing.  Condotels are operated as hotels with units being individually owned. Unit owners can rent out their apartments like any other hotel room.  According to Le Hoang Chau, President of the HCM City Real Estate Association, regulations are needed to ensure transparency in profit sharing in the long term and the rights of buyers, adding that profit sharing now relies mainly on developers’ guarantees, with yet a solid framework for buyers’ benefits protection.  Nguyen Ngoc Thanh, Deputy President of the Vietnam Real Estate Association, said that condotels have great development potential in Vietnam as tourism is one of the country’s spearhead industries.  Thanh said that it’s too early to worry about an excess of condotel supply over demand because the demand was still very high. “What should be worried is the legality of condotels,” Thanh said.  Huong Tran Kieu Dung,…... [read more]

Condotels are a rising investment trend in the Vietnam property market. (Photo: vneconomy) Hanoi (VNA) - The legality of condotels needs to be clarified to better manage this new type of property gaining popularity in Vietnam, a representative from the Ministry of Construction has said. Pham Van Thuong, from the Housing and Real Estate Market Management Department, said at a conference held late last week by the Vneconomy online newspaper that relevant ministries were developing regulations about condotel standards, ownership and financial management. Experts said clarifying the legality of condotels was urgently needed as this type of property is developing rapidly, but the absence of regulations carries risks for ownership and profit sharing. Condotels are operated as hotels with units being individually owned. Unit owners can rent out their apartments like any other hotel room. According to Le Hoang Chau, President of the HCM City Real Estate Association, regulations are needed to ensure transparency in profit sharing in the long term and the rights of buyers, adding that profit sharing now relies mainly on developers’ guarantees, with yet a solid framework for buyers’ benefits protection.  Nguyen Ngoc Thanh, Deputy President of the Vietnam Real Estate Association, said that condotels have great development potential in Vietnam as tourism is one of the country’s spearhead industries. Thanh said that it’s too early to worry about an excess of condotel supply over demand because the demand was still very high. “What should be worried is…... [read more]

NDO – Undoubtedly climate change (CC) is causing extreme weather events to occur more frequently and with more intensity. However, in reviewing the recent disasters, it can be seen that there remains a number of weak links in the "chain" of CC response and disaster risk prevention, from forecasting to disaster planning and the execution of response measures. Increasingly unpredictable weather According to the latest data released by the General Statistics Office, in the first seven months of 2017, natural disasters caused 75 fatalities and missing people and injured 77 others, while nearly 25,900 houses collapsed or were unroofed, in addition to 33,800 ha of rice and 18,100 ha of crops being flooded or damaged. Total damage during the reviewed period was estimated at VND2.3 trillion (US$101.2 million) but these figures do not include the damage caused by the flood on the morning of August 3, which left at least 35 people dead or missing in the mountainous Northern provinces. Severe weather events are worsening, with increasing severity, according to the National Hydro-Meteorological Service (NHMS). "By the end of 2015 and in early 2016, following a very warm winter, in January last year there was a record cold temperature, with 40 snowstorms in the north, including locations that have never recorded snow fall before, such as Hanoi’s Ba Vi Mountain. In 2017, the summer has been considered quite "cool", but there was a chain of six hot days in early June with the highest temperature recorded in…... [read more]

Condotels are a rising investment trend in the Viet Nam property market. - Photo vneconomy.vn The legality of condotels needs to be clarified to better manage this new type of property gaining popularity in Viet Nam, a representative from the Ministry of Construction said. Pham Van Thuong, from the Housing and Real Estate Market Management Department, said at a conference held late last week by the Vneconomy online newspaper that relevant ministries were developing regulations about condotel standards, ownership ands financial management. Experts said clarifying the legality of condotels was urgently needed as this type of property is developing rapidly, but the absence of regulations carries risks for ownership and profit sharing. Condotels are operated as hotels with units being individually owned. Unit owners can rented out their apartments like any other hotel room. According to Le Hoang Chau, President of HCM City Real Estate Association, regulations are needed to ensure transparency in profit sharing in the long term and the rights of buyers, adding that profit sharing now relies mainly on developers’ guarantees, with yet a solid framework for buyers’ benefits protection. Nguyen Ngoc Thanh, Deputy President of the Viet Nam Real Estate Association, said that condotels have great development potential in Viet Nam as tourism is one of the country’s spearhead industries. Thanh said that it’s too early to worry about an excess of condotel supply over demand because the demand was still very high. “What should be…... [read more]

NDO – The Prime Minister has entrusted the Dong Nai provincial People’s Committee to chair and work with the Ministry of Transport, and other relevant agencies, to design a pre-feasibility study report for the Long Thanh International Airport land clearance, compensation and resettlement project. >>> Long Thanh Airport designs displayed to gather public feedback >>> NA discusses US$16 billion Long Thanh airport project The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) is assigned to coordinate with the relevant units in examining the report in line with regulations, before reporting it to the PM, so that the Government may then submit the report to the 14th National Assembly (NA) at its upcoming fourth session. Depending on their functions, tasks and jurisdictions, the relevant ministries and sectors are responsible for working in conjunction with the Dong Nai People’s Committee in order to promptly construct and finalise the contents of the project’s feasibility study report. The Government leader has assigned the MPI, in collaboration with the Ministries of Finance and Transport, to balance and prepare the investment capital for the project, with the immediate task of transferring the NA-approved VND5 trillion (US$220 million) capital source to the Dong Nai People’s Committee, for them to manage and use in accordance with the law. Concerning the selection of an advisory service for the compilation of the project’s feasibility study report, the PM agreed on the application in the form of selecting contractors in special cases, as stipulated in Article 26…... [read more]

A view of Vietwater Expo 2016. — Photo vwsa.org.vn The 2017 Vietwater Expo and Forum, Viet Nam’s leading international water supply, sanitation, water resources and purification event, will welcome the participation of 14 international pavilions. The expo will be held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre (SECC), District 7, HCM City, from November 8 to 10, with more than 450 leading water players from 38 countries and territories and 14,000 trade visitors from all over the world expected to attend. The ninth edition of Vietwater will be a platform for local and international enterprises to showcase their recent solutions and innovations, and learn from practical experiences in water supply, wastewater treatment and sewage management and operation as well as connect and source new products and equipment in all sectors of the water industry. They will present a vast array of technologies and equipment in all segments of the water industry, including pumps, valves, bio-enzymes and water and wastewater treatment, as well as blowers, boilers, control system and cooling water treatment, along with desalination, filters, meters and pipes. With support from the Viet Nam Water Supply and Sewerage Association and the Ministry of Construction, the event will be organised by UBM Asia. It is a part of the Water & Wastewater Industry Show series, which includes ASIAWATER, Myanmar Water, Thai Water and Water Philippines. — VNS ... [read more]

When it comes to social housing or affordable housing for low-income earners, funding is usually a key factor in such projects. However, once the projects are completed, problems in planning, investment management and efficiency tend to crop up. Few resettled families move to Hoàng Cầu Resettlement Housing Project in Hà Nội’s Đống Đa District despite the project almost being completed. - Photo daidongland.com In Hà Nội, poor planning has been blamed for the high demand for low-cost housing and disused housing projects. Late last month, the Ministry of Construction agreed to re-designate three apartment buildings meant for students in Pháp Vân – Tứ Hiệp New Urban Area to social housing for other low-income earners. The State-funded dorm project consists of six apartment buildings in Pháp Vân- Tứ Hiệp New Urban Area in Hoàng Mai District. The project began construction in September, 2009 and was expected to provide accommodation for 22,000 students. Since January, 2015, three apartment buildings have been completed with more than 1,200 furnished apartments, each apartment nearly 57 sq.m for eight students priced at VND 205,000 per person per month. The rental price is a third or a quarter of prices offered by private landlords. When the project was announced, as many as 15,000 students of universities and colleges in the project’s neighbourhood applied for accommodation. However, so far, just 30 per cent of completed apartments are in use. …... [read more]

The move is an effort to combat overexploitation of the natural resource by companies that take advantage of loose regulations. According to a law signed in 2013, businesses tasked with conducting dredging projects at local coastlines or rivers are allowed to export saline sand collected from the activity in order to recoup their investment. Many companies have taken advantage of the regulation to obtain dredging licenses and then ‘sold’ the project to other companies, which in turn enjoyed the rights to export saline sand and earn big profits. The sand exporters would declare unusually low export prices to avoid taxes. According to Pham Van Bac, director of the Department of Construction Materials under the Ministry of Construction, the ministry has no intention of either extending the export permits or issuing new ones when the last of them expire in September. “As of right now there are only two valid permits left that allow the export of saline sand, and they will expire in September,” Bac said. “From then on, Vietnam will no longer export saline sand and will instead use the material to supply only domestic construction projects.” The Ministry of Construction has also tasked the Department of Construction Materials with conducting the necessary research to introduce a set of standards and guidelines on using saline sand in construction in place of regular sand. The natural resource is expected to be used in concrete constructions that do not require reinforced steel, which could…... [read more]




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