PM urges refining draft law on special administrative – economic zones

Delegates to the six conference of the Committees for Foreign Affairs of the  National Assemblies of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam (Source: VNA) Vientiane (VNA) – The Committees for Foreign Affairs of the  National Assemblies of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam convened their sixth meeting in Vientiane, on August 2 to discuss how to intensify the legislatures’ supervision over cooperation initiatives in the development triangle region. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vice Chairman of the Lao NA Sengnuan Xayalath stressed that this conference is of significance for the three legislative bodies to supervise the enforcement of a Development Initiative in the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam (CLV) Development Triangle. To realise development-related treaties and initiatives signed by the governments, participants at the meeting need to study and contribute ideas to each issue straightly to find out proper orientations and solutions to be submitted to the governments, disseminate investment policies in the region to foreign investors through parliamentary mechanisms and regional and global parliamentary offices. Nguyen Van Giau, head of the Vietnamese NA’s Committee for Foreign Affairs, said that with their role and responsibility, the three committees have helped the legislative bodies promote their role in boosting development and cooperation in the region and building the borderline of peace, stability, solidarity and development. He expressed his hope that the three Governments will soon sign an action plan connecting the three economies by 2030. This plan is expected to help the countries focus development resources on the fields of transport, energy,…... [read more]

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has opposed the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s proposal sent to the government calling for the termination of the Thach Khe Iron Mine project in Ha Tinh Province. Thach Khe Iron Mine project raises concerns over environmental problems. The 3,877 hectare Thach Khe Iron Mine project was approved in 2007. The Thach Khe Iron JSC was then set up with VND2.40trn (USD105m) charter capital. However, the project has been largely inactive and work was suspended in 2011.    Thach Khe Iron JSC still lacks the required finance even though the total investment required has been cut twice in three years. The approved investment was VND14.50trn (USD616m) in 2014 but it was reduced to VND13trn in 2016 and VND12.1trn in 2017. These approved total investments still failed to take into account costs. The lack of long-term outlets was also in question. Only the Hoa Phat Company agreed to buy 3 million tonnes of iron per year during the 2017-2021 period. In addition, there are various concerns about the adverse environmental impact on the surroundings and local lives. Earlier, Ha Tinh Province also proposed to close the mine over environmental concerns. However, the MoIT disagreed with the MPI’s opinions, saying that they will send a specific report to the government on the project. According to the MoIT, the investor Thach Khe Iron Joint Stock Company has poured thousands of billions of VND into the project over the past ten years. So, scraping the investor would…... [read more]

NDO/ VNA – The Committees for External Relations of the National Assemblies of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam convened their sixth meeting in Vientiane, on August 2, to discuss how to intensify the legislatures’ supervision over the cooperation initiatives in the development triangle region. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vice Chairman of the Lao NA Sengnuan Xayalath stressed that this conference is of significance for the three legislative bodies as they supervise the enforcement of a Development Initiative in the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam (CLV) Development Triangle. To realise the development-related treaties and initiatives signed by the governments, participants at the meeting need to study the issues and contribute ideas on each issue to find out the suitable directions and solutions to be submitted to the governments. The participants must also disseminate the investment policies in the region to foreign investors, through parliamentary mechanisms and regional and global parliamentary offices. Nguyen Van Giau, head of the Vietnamese NA’s Committee for External Relations, said that with their role and responsibility, the three committees have helped the legislative bodies to promote their role in boosting development and cooperation in the region and building the borderline of peace, stability, solidarity and development. He expressed his hope that the three Governments will promptly sign an action plan that will connect the three economies by 2030. This plan is expected to help the countries focus development resources in the fields of transport, energy, trade and telecommunications, scientifically and synchronously in order to gain practical results for the CLV development…... [read more]

According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), the State budget disbursement in the first six months of 2017 reached 38.7 per cent of the full-year target and rose 7.6 per cent over the same period of 2016. However, the disbursement pace of government bonds and State fund remained slow.   The disbursement of government bonds and State funds reached only VND7.4 trillion and VND24.2 trillion, down 53.2 per cent and 8.7 per cent from the same period of last year, respectively. The aggregate disbursement value of all sources approximated that in previous years but was still lower than this year’s plan.   At the meeting of the Prime Minister’s Working Group on public investment disbursement in 2017, Mr Mai Tien Dung, Minister and Chairman of the Government Office and Head of the Working Group, said, 13 ministries, agencies and localities disbursed less than 20 per cent of the plan in the period and they were criticised by the Prime Minister.   The 13 criticised agencies included the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the State Bank of Vietnam, the Commission for Ethnic Minority Affairs, Vietnam News Agency, Vietnam War Veterans' Association, Hanoi City, Da Nang City, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong province, Tay Ninh province and Binh Phuoc province.   According to the Working Group, the lateness in public investment disbursement is seen as a bottleneck to economic growth. If there…... [read more]

Vietnam’s National Assembly supports stronger economic ties with US (Illustrative image. Source: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – The National Assembly (NA) of Vietnam always backs stronger economic and trade cooperation with the US and facilitates the adoption of legal regulations to create a transparent and favourable business environment for foreign businesses, including those from the US. NA Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien made the statement at a reception for Calin Dragan, Region Director ASEAN & Middle East for Bottling Investment Group at the Coca-Cola Company, in Hanoi on August 1. The comprehensive cooperative partnership between Vietnam and the US has seen positive developments, he said, adding that the US is one of the leading trade partners and a major investor in Vietnam. He congratulated the company on its accomplishments in Vietnam over the past 20 years, noting Coca-Cola products have become popular among Vietnamese customers. The legislator expressed his belief that the success of the group will boost the cooperation prospects between the two countries, especially in the fields of trade and economy. The Vietnamese government has offered a lot of incentives to the group since its operation in the Southeast Asian country. In 2014, Coca-Cola started reporting its profits and paying tax to the Vietnamese State budget.  This not only illustrates the company’s legal responsibility and business ethics but also reinforce customers’ trust, Hien said. He hoped the company would continue making more contributions to the State budget and social activities…... [read more]

NDO - Dien Bien province should enhance the regional links to develop agriculture as well as industrial crops relating to rice, coffee and rubber, because its various economic potentials are similar to surrounding localities. The statement was made by Politburo member and Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) Tong Thi Phong while working with Dien Bien’s leaders on August 1. Addressing the working session, NA Vice Chairwoman Phong celebrated the achievements that the local Party committee, government, and people have gained over the past years. She asked the province to pay close attention to the development of typical agricultural products to build the local brands as well as to heed environmental protection during the process of economic development, particularly in the area of hydropower construction. Being a border province with 29 communes sharing border lines with Laos and China, Dien Bien needs to make more efforts to maintain defence and security to protect borders, added the NA Vice Chairwoman. Regarding the building of new-style rural areas, NA Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong noted that the province should reach the targets of changing the face of rural areas along with improving the people’s material and spiritual lives among ethnic minority groups in the province. In 2016, Dien Bien’s GRDP growth increased 6.83% compared to the previous year. The province’s forest coverage reached nearly 38% last year, up 0.2% over the 2015 plans. On this occasion, NA Vice Chairwoman Phong visited and presented gifts to…... [read more]

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (second from left) shakes hands with a delegate at the second annual Vietnam Private Sector Forum held on Monday in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Thong Nhat Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc urged private enterprises yesterday to expand their global reach, pledging to create favourable conditions for the development of the private sector as a major driver of economic growth. Phuc was speaking in Ha Noi at the second Viet Nam Private Sector Forum (VPSF), an initiative of the Viet Nam Young Entrepreneurs’ Association (VYEA) and the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) of the Asia Development Bank (ADB). “It is vital to remove all the barriers and create conditions to boost the development of the private sector,” Phuc said. “The private sector should be encouraged to do what it does well. This is the right way for Viet Nam to follow in transforming the economic structure and encouraging innovation to exploit its potential.” Phuc said the private sector should contribute 60 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), compard to 40 per cent at present. “As the Government is determined to be a constructive one, private enterprises must also keep innovating to improve their competitiveness and grasp opportunities,” Phuc stressed. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge - The US NAR (national association of realtors) reports that Vietnamese transferred $3 billion abroad last year to buy houses in the US.  Meanwhile, Vu Quang Viet, a former senior UN official, however, believes the amount of money transferred abroad is no less than $8-9 billion a year. In 2015, Viet said that $33 billion was transferred abroad in the 2008-2013 period The expert said it was easy to transfer money abroad through two channels. First, the managers of enterprises, especially state-owned enterprises, when importing products, can ask foreign companies to open accounts overseas and then put money into the accounts. Why do so many Vietnamese businesspeople want to leave Vietnam? Can they find better business opportunities overseas, or are they increasingly worried about the domestic living and business environment?  The account opening brings benefits to both sides: foreign companies can sell goods and the ‘lubrication fee’ is counted in the selling prices, while the managers of enterprises can keep money in accounts overseas, and no one knows about their money. The same is also applied to consultancy contracts with the Vietnamese. People are paid overseas for the consultancy they provide to foreigners. The second way is transferring money through remittance service rings. With the service, money does not go via banks and thus is not put under control. Dau Anh Tuan, head of the legal department under VCCI, in an article on Tuoi Tre, raised questions about the number of the rich people emigrating abroad. Why do…... [read more]

National Assembly Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien (R) and President of Ford ASEAN Mark Kaufman (Photo: quochoi.vn) Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnamese leaders always support stronger trade and economic ties with the US and are willing to create a transparent and favourable business climate for foreign firms, including those from the US, said a top lawmaker. While receiving President of Ford ASEAN Mark Kaufman in Hanoi on July 31, National Assembly Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien congratulated Ford Motor Company and Ford Vietnam on their recent achievements, adding that Ford products have become more popular in the Vietnamese market. Hien believed that these successes would create a momentum for cooperation prospects between Vietnam and the US, particularly in economic and trade partnership. For his part, Kaufman spoke highly of Vietnamese leaders’ attentions and assistance to businesses through preferential policies with a view to developing a sustainable automobile industry. Kaufman said the local automobile industry will undergo a drastic change in 2018, when Vietnam opens its market as committed to the ASEAN Free Trade Area. The opening of the market will generate higher competition pressures for auto makers, including Ford, he added. Kaufman asked Vietnamese authorities to consider special consumption taxes on pickup trucks as well as tariffs on auto components imported from outside the ASEAN region so as to ensure the healthy development of the automobile market.-VNA... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – The Supreme People’s Procuracy announced it has indicted Chau Thi Thu Nga, former National Assembly deputy, and nine accomplices for their role in a VND377 billion (US$16.8 million) property scam. Chau Thi Thu Nga, former National Assembly deputy, has been indicted for her role in a massive property scam.  Nga, chairwoman of the Land and Housing Construction and Investment JSC (Housing Group), and nine others will be prosecuted on charges of “fraudulent appropriation of assets” under Article 139 of the Penal Code. According to the indictment, the B5 Cau Dien project (North Tu Liem District, Ha Noi City) was within the land assigned by the state to the Ha Noi Import-Export Investment Construction and Development Single-Member Co., Ltd. (HAIC) for production and business activities. It was a resettlement housing project meant to serve urban traffic development of the capital city, and not for commercial housing. However, Nga signed a partnership contract with Nguyen Van Tuan, HAIC chairman, to co-invest in the B5 project. The two intended to use the B5 land to construct apartment buildings and villas. The investigation found that the new plans for the project had not been granted a construction licence by the Ha Noi People’s Committee, but the group lured unsuspecting buyers for commercial housing through false advertisements. Between 2009 and 2013, by showing unapproved drawings of the apartments, Nga and other accomplices signed some 752 capital contribution contracts, collecting VND377 billion from home buyers, with a promise to transfer usage rights for…... [read more]




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