MoET: Schools should not collect “extra fees”

A coffee farm in Vietnam - Illustrative photo (Photo: VNA)   Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam exported 974,712 tonnes of coffee from January 1 to August 15 this year, a reduction of 16.4 percent from the same period last year, earning 2.22 billion USD in value, up 7.9 percent, according to Vietnam’s Customs. Average export value hit 2,262 USD per tonne, a yearly increase of 30.4 percent. Germany and the United States remained Vietnam’s biggest coffee importers, with 16 percent and 14.3 percent of the market share, respectively. Meanwhile, the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association (Vicofa) said since the beginning of the 2016-2017 crop (from October last year to November this year), Vietnam has shipped some 1.3 million tonnes of coffee abroad while 50,000 tonnes remained in stock. Vietnam’s coffee exports were estimated to drop 20-30 percent in the 2016-2017 crop due to a supply shortage, said Vicofa, adding that the coffee price may go up as the new crop will start from November and the goods is still in demand. Do Ha Nam, Vice President of Vicofa and Director-General of Intimex Group, said coffee was sold at 44,300-45,100 VND a kilo in central highlands provinces, up 1,000 VND per kilo. He noted that the price of Robusta coffee at the London stock exchange sharply increased to 2,116 USD per tonne in September and 2,101 USD per tonne in November, up 54 USD and 47 USD respectively, adding the price is expected to reach…... [read more]

Illustrative photo (Source: VNA) HCM City (VNA) – Trade between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) hit 1.7 billion USD in the first 6 months of 2017, up 21 percent year-on-year, according to statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs. The figure was reported at a seminar on the EAEU market and opportunities to boost export via the Vietnam – EAEU free trade agreement held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade on August 25. At the function, Hoang Quoc Vuong, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade said the pact, which took effect in October 2016, has enabled Vietnam to access a market of 183 million people and nearly 2.2 trillion USD in GDP. Currently, about 900 Vietnamese exporters are active in the EAEU market, with key exports including seafood, coffee, rubber, tea, rice, apparel, woodwork products and confectionary. Kharinov Vyachslav Nikolaevich, Chief Representative of the Russian Trade Office in Vietnam, said from the beginning of 2017, a strong increase has been seen in Vietnam’s import of Russian food, coal, steel, paper products and chemicals, while healthy growth has been recorded for Vietnamese shipments of mobile phone components, apparel and farm produce to Russia. However, many were not satisfied with the growth. Nguyen Ngoc Hoa, Vice Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade, said Vietnam – EAEU trade felt short of potentials, staying at just over 3 billion USD on an annual…... [read more]

Illustrative photo (Source: Internet) HCM City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City is committed to creating best possible conditions for the organisation of the HCM City–Gyeongju World Cultural Festival 2017, said Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem. Liem made the remark at a meeting with Joo Joong Chul, Deputy Governor of Gyeongsangbuk-do province in the southern economic hub on August 25. Gyeongju is a city in the Republic of Korea’s Gyeongsangbuk-do. Liem said HCM City always listens to feedback and opinions from the RoK’s side during their joint preparation for the festival. Joo Joong Chul thanked the city authorities and relevant agencies for their assistance and cooperation goodwill, and asked for further support to ensure the success of the festival. Reporting on preparation progress, he requested HCM City leaders to help extend the use duration of land used for materials storage serving construction of facilities for the festival, particularly in key areas like the 23/9 Park and Nguyen Hue Street. He also asked for more intensive promotion of the festival on the local media and across streets. Taking into account his guest’s recommendations, Liem tasked relevant agencies with working with the RoK side to promptly tackle these issues and ensure preparation process to run on schedule. The HCM City- Gyeongju World Cultural Festival 2017 is set to kick off in mid-November and last for 25 days. Featuring a host of cultural-art events, sport and youth…... [read more]

Sony Electronics Vietnam Co., Ltd. (Sony) was sued by Bui Trong Kham, a resident of the northern province of Hai Duong, for allegedly not failing to fulfill their warranty obligations for a faulty television set. VTVCab to keep previous value Sony to resume vinyl record production to meet surging demand Internet TV: challenge and opportunity Bui Trong Kham sued Sony for almost $24,000 (Illustration photo) Customer submits hefty claim According to Kham, on October 2, 2014, he bought a Sony KDL 42 W700 television from an agency of Sony in Pham Ngu Lao street, Hai Duong province. The warranty period was 24 months after the TV was bought. On July 10, 2015, the TV broke down and he promptly called the Sony warranty centre in Hai Duong and the centre’s employees came out and fixed the problem. However, on September 21, 2015, his TV broke down once again. The centre’s employees came, took some pictures of the TV and said that the information and pictures would be forwarded to the warranty centre. Two days later, on September 23, 2015, the Sony warranty centre called Kham and refused to fix the TV, saying that Kham allowed liquid damage to the TV. Sony’s warranty staff informed Kham that it would cost VND7.345 million ($323) to fix his TV at home and VND6.9…... [read more]

Workers stand among solar batteries (Illustrative photo: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Sustainable Energy Alliance (VSEA) said the country lacks a set of standards for the development of solar power, which is abundant and untapped. The comment was released at a VSEA conference on trends and challenges in the sector held in Hanoi on August 21. Vietnam is among countries that enjoy the most sunlight in the world, with the Central Highlands and south central regions recording between 2,000 and 2,600 hours of sunshine every year. However, most solar power projects in the country are small scale, with only the under construction Quang Ngai grid-tied solar power project at a large scale. Experts said the biggest challenge is unattractive selling prices of solar energy, while investors struggle to access funds for green power development and face high costs due to the necessity to import most equipment. Do Duc Tuong, Clean Energy Advisor at US Agency for International Development in Vietnam, said a long-term and stable policy on solar power prices is needed to encourage investment. On the other hand, prices of solar batteries have fallen, falling from 4 USD per watt peak capacity to about 0.5 USD per watt peak capacity in the past five years. Participants said this is a good sign for the renewable energy market, but the Government should issue technical specifications to help consumers buy quality products. Hoang Thu Huong, deputy head of the …... [read more]

Illustrative photo (Photo:     Hanoi (VNA) - The Government Office last week sent a written document to the central bank governor, referring to the mobilisation of idle gold and foreign currency sources from the people. Under the document, the Prime Minister required the governor to “continue focusing on doing research and implementing appropriate solutions to mobilise sources of foreign currency and gold among the people to serve development and investment”. At a meeting with the Prime Minister’s working group led by Minister – Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung last month, the request to mobilise sources of foreign currency and gold was also stressed upon. At the meeting, Governor Le Minh Hung also expressed his views on the mobilisation of foreign currency and gold from the people by means of stimulating transformation in the past few years. The governor said overall macro-economic solutions of the past years were very successful, thanks to which foreign currency resources were transformed into Vietnamese dong. In 2016, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) bought nearly 10 billion USD to increase its foreign exchange reserve, a large amount of which came from foreign currency held by the people, thereby turning into dong. Part of the resource was brought directly by the people into production and business while the other part was sent to commercial banks.   [Gov’t studies making use of idle dollars, gold] “We think this is the best solution to mobilise resources in our context…... [read more]

Illustrative photo (Source: VNA) HCM City (VNA) – Vietnam’s southern largest economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City and China’s Guangdong province hold a wide range of potentials for stronger trade and investment ties, participants remarked at a conference held in the city on August 18. Chu Tien Dung, Chairman of the HCM City Enterprises Association, said economic relations between Vietnam and China have been developing positively, laying an important foundation for HCM City’s businesses and their partners in Guangdong to step up trade and investment cooperation in the coming time. HCM City wants to increase two-way trade value with Guangdong as the city has a lot of advantages in producing electronic equipment and components, wood and wooden furniture, agricultural and aquatic products, garments and textiles. Meanwhile, Guangdong enterprises have opportunities to export advanced machinery as well as materials used in agricultural and industrial production to the Vietnamese market. Le Thi Quynh Mai, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Planning and Investment, said the city wants to cooperate with foreign partners, including those from Guangdong, to develop key industrial sectors, supporting industry, infrastructure, and green and renewable energy. She stressed that the municipal authorities are working hard to improve the local business and investment climate by accelerating administrative reform and offering tax and land incentives. Wen Zhi Yao, general secretary of the Guangdong trade promotion association, said Vietnam is an emerging market in Southeast Asia, with various advantages such as steady economic …... [read more]

Facebook Inc is testing a feature in the Facebook News Feed that provides customized links to news on topics of interest to individual users, as the company continues to search for ways to increase the amount of time that people spend using the world's largest social media network. FILE PHOTO - The Facebook logo is displayed on the company's website in an illustration photo taken in Bordeaux, France on February 1, 2017. The offering, called "Featured Topic," is being tested on News Feed, the core of Facebook. Each selected item includes a couple of sentences of text on a subject, a link to a news story and a photo, according to an example seen by Reuters on Thursday. Facebook confirmed that the feature was in testing and said it was designed to help people discover stories that might be relevant to them. The company makes frequent changes to the News Feed, typically testing potential features at length before making them official. Facebook's News Feed includes items posted by a user's friends and family - displayed in an order according to Facebook's algorithms - as well as ads and posts from outlets that a user likes. Many media companies, however, provide their subscribers with lists of stories that correspond to readers' individual interests, based on their use of a news site. Presenting news stories has been tricky for Facebook. In May 2016, Facebook changed the procedures behind its "Trending Topics" section after a news report alleged that the company had suppressed…... [read more]

Illustrative Photo (Source: VNA) Binh Duong (VNA) – India’s Tata Coffee Ltd., Asia’s largest coffee plantation company, began construction of a freeze-dried coffee plant in Vietnam on August 16.   The groundbreaking ceremony officially marked the beginning of the coffee plant that aims to produce 5,000 metric tonnes per annum of freeze-dried coffee at the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park II (VSIP II) in the southern province of Binh Duong. The plant is slated to start production in the next 18-21 months.   Sanjiv Sarin, Managing Director and CEO of Tata Coffee Ltd., said the Tata Group already has a close relationship with Vietnam in various sectors, including automobiles, steel, trading, energy and watches. With this investment, beverages will also become a major sector of participation.   “While our products are already exported to over 40 countries across the globe, our instant coffee has so far been produced only in India. Tata Coffee Vietnam marks our first foray beyond Indian shores as a manufacturer, and hence is a significant milestone in our journey to become a global coffee major,” he said.   “Tata Coffee Vietnam will endeavour to bring best-in-class manufacturing practices, with special focus on safe working conditions. The project will contribute positively to earning foreign exchange and creating local employment,” he added.   Tata Coffee is a subsidiary of Tata Global Beverages, and one of the largest exporters of instant coffee in India.   Tata Coffee produces more than 10,000 metric tonnes of shade grown Arabica…... [read more]

Illustrative photo (Photo:    Hanoi (VNA) - The Vietnam Drama Theatre is touring Europe to present a comedy criticising egotism. The troupe, led by theatre director Nguyen The Vinh, said they are happy to perform for the Vietnamese expatriate communities in Europe. They will perform in the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Russia and Ukraine from now to September 4. Directed by People’s Artist Tuan Hai, the comedy Benh Si (Egotism) is one of the most famous plays written by late playwright Luu Quang Vu. It stars actors Xuan Bac, Phu Don, Viet Thang and actress Ho Lien. Taking place in a rural village in the north, the play is about a commune chairman and his officers, who are ordinary and good-natured people. However, they begin to consider themselves ‘noble’, and start to seek glory. Ridiculousness occurs happen when the officials’ good natures cannot change to adapt to their new lives. Luu Quang Vu wrote more than 50 plays. Most of them criticise the dark side of society, especially focusing on corruption and authoritarian behaviour. The play Benh Si was Vu’s last production before he died aged 40 in a traffic accident in 1988. It has been performed throughout the country and received great acclaim from audiences, said director Vinh. “The play reflects the negative problems of society,” said Vinh. “Though it was written 20 years ago, it’s not out-of-date but still has a power to fight against social evils.” The…... [read more]

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