President Tran Dai Quang bids farewell to Austrian Ambassador

NDO/VNA – State President Tran Dai Quang hailed Austria’s outgoing Ambassador to Vietnam Thomas Loidl for his efforts to step up bilateral ties and introduce many Austrian businesses to Vietnam during his reception for the diplomat in Hanoi on August 29. He congratulated the diplomat on his very successful working term in Vietnam and wished that in any future positions, he would always be a close friend and work to foster the cooperation between Austria and Vietnam. The President was delighted at positive cooperation between the two countries across politics, diplomacy, trade-investment, development cooperation, education-training, healthcare and education. He cited the 2016 two-way trade value of US$2.8 billion, which is 10 percent more than 2015’s figure. Austria is the sixth largest European exporter of Vietnam. It is running 28 projects with a total registered capital of US$138 million in Vietnam, ranking 39th among 116 countries and territories investing in the country. He took the occasion to thank the Austrian Government for providing Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the fields of railways, healthcare and vocational training. Austria-funded programmes and projects have been productively contributing to Vietnam’s socio-economic development and international integration efforts. He suggested the two sides boosting visit exchanges, especially high-level ones, together with cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and coordinating in celebrations of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties to further the bilateral ties. He asked the diplomat to convey his invitation to visit Vietnam to President Alexander Van der Bellen.…... [read more]

Chairman of the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group Pham Minh Chinh receives a delegation from the Youth Division of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (Source: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – Chairman of the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group Pham Minh Chinh proposed increasing exchanges between Vietnamese and Japanese young legislators at a reception for a delegation from the Youth Division of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party led by its head Keisuke Suzuki in Hanoi on August 22. Chinh also suggested organising activities to promote cooperation in economy, investment and trade, as well as encourage more Japanese businesses to invest in Vietnam in the fields of support industry, manufacturing, energy, and hi-tech agriculture. He expressed his pleasure with the strong, comprehensive and intensive development of the extensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Japan for peace and prosperity in Asia. He affirmed that Vietnam always considers Japan one of the top priorities in its foreign policy.  Chinh thanked the Japanese Government for providing official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam to boost socio-economic development, reduce poverty, cope with climate change and develop infrastructure, energy and agriculture. For his part, Keisuke Suzuki said 2017 was a busy year for the two countries with a series of visits by their leaders. Among those were the Vietnam trips by the Japanese Emperor and Empress and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and most recently the visit to Japan by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, which created new developments for the bilateral relations. He called on…... [read more]

Finance minister Dinh Tien Dung addresses a conference held in Tokyo on Monday. Dung expressed hope that financial corporations in Japan will invest indirectly in Viet Nam, become strategic investors, and bring capital and technologies into the country. — Photo Indirect investment from Japan into Viet Nam remain relatively modest compared to the potential of Japan and the ability to absorb investment capital sources of Vietnamese market, finance minister Dinh Tien Dung said. Dung made the statement on Monday at a conference in Tokyo co-hosted by the Viet Nam’s Ministry of Finance and Daiwa Corporation of Japan to promote financial investment in Viet Nam. Around 200 Japanese firms attended the event. There remains a huge room for bilateral cooperation in the financial market, Dung said, adding that Viet Nam’s economy has recorded an annual average growth rate of 6 per cent over the past three decades. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) has expanded by an estimated 5.73 per cent in the first half of 2017, while its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), announced by the Nikkei, has peaked in the past 22 months and is now the highest in the ASEAN, the minister said. Dung told participants that the Vietnamese Government has identified human resources development, improvement of market economy institutions, and infrastructure development as three breakthrough areas, so the country’s demand for capital is huge, especially for investment sources accompanied with expertise and development experience. Speaking about the equitisation…... [read more]

Green development projects in Vietnam are catching attention of foreign investors. (Photo: Hanoi (VNA) – Green development projects in Vietnam are catching attention of foreign investors on account of the Government’s favourable policies on land, taxes and capital as well as a large number of potential customers in the country, said Duong Thanh An, Head of the Policy and Legal Affairs Department under the Vietnam Environment Administration. A survey on Japanese investment trend in Vietnam in 2017 held by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) in Vietnam revealed that at least 25 Japanese businesses have the intention to invest in improving environment quality in Vietnam, such as in waste water treatment for plants and urban areas. Other businesses said they will design warning software for storms, flash floods and tsunami. The Japanese Government has taken measures to support its enterprises’ investment in this segment in the Southeast Asian nation, including Official Development Assistance and Public Private Partnership policies. Currently, Japanese businesses are making a beeline to study investment opportunities in waste water treatment for for-export processing areas and industrial zones in Dong Nai and Binh Duong provinces and Ho Chi Minh City. Kobelco Eco-Solutions Co., Ltd has recently proposed a clean water treatment project in Dong Nai province after investing in sewage treatment systems in Loteco and Long Duc industrial parks in the locality. Meanwhile, high technology, clean and renewable energies and electrical sectors hold the attention of European businesses. …... [read more]

Tran Quoc Phuong, head of the Department of General Economic Affairs under the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI)-which manages the country’s public investment and official development assistance (ODA)-said, “Almost 100% of public investment capital for 2017 will be disbursed in full.” Earlier, the National Assembly decided that total public investment capital for the year should be set at VND357 trillion (US$16.23 billion), including VND307 trillion (US$13.95 billion) from state coffers and VND50 trillion (US$2.27 billion) from government bonds. As of late last month, only 30% of the total was disbursed, Phuong said. He cited many major causes, including complicated procedures, difficulties in site clearance, and weather conditions. “Now many projects have completed their procedures, and their capital will be disbursed soon,” Phuong said. “The remaining months of the year often see higher disbursement than the first months of the year, because investors and contractors often prepare documents in the year’s first half, and then boost disbursement in the year’s second half.” MPI is now listing all state-funded projects to be implemented by other ministries and agencies this year, so that capital can be provided. “We have to follow the prime minister’s Resolution 70 quite strictly,” Phuong said. Earlier this month, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc enacted Resolution No. 70/NQ-CP on speeding up the disbursement of public investment capital nationwide, in a bid to contribute to helping reach the economic growth target of 6.7% this year. The resolution states that…... [read more]

At the event (Source: VNA)   Tokyo (VNA) – Vietnam’s Finance Ministry and Daiwa Corporation of Japan co-hosted a conference in Tokyo on August 21 to promote financial investment in Vietnam with the attendance of more than 200 Japanese firms.  Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung said there remains huge room for bilateral cooperation in the financial market, adding that Vietnam’s economy has recorded an annual average growth rate of 6 percent over the past three decades. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by an estimated 5.73 percent in the first half of 2017 while its Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) announced by the Nikkei has reached a high level in the past 22 months and the highest figure in ASEAN, he said. The minister told participants that the Vietnamese government defined developing human resources, improving market economy institutions and developing infrastructure as three breakthrough areas so the country’s demand for capital is huge, especially investment sources accompanied with expertise and development experiences. About the equitisation of State-owned enterprises (SOEs), Dung said 44 SOEs were equitised this year and the figure will increase to 64 in 2018. The Vietnamese government has also launched the derivatives market with VN30 future contract as the first product. Dung expressed his hope that major Japanese financial corporations would invest indirectly in Vietnam, become strategic investors and bring capital and technologies to the country. In an interview…... [read more]

Da Nang - Quang Ngai highway (Source: V​EC) Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has asked the Transport Ministry, investors and contractors to work closely with localities on site clearance to speed up the progress of key transport projects.  Chairing a meeting of the State Steering Committee for key transport works in Hanoi on August 17, Dung urged the Transport Ministry to promptly complete the north-south highway project and plans for transport investment in the Mekong Delta to report to the PM and submit to the National Assembly. The ministry was asked to direct investors, management boards and contractors to hasten the construction of the Tan Vu – Lach Huyen road, Da Nang – Quang Ngai highway, Hoa Lac – Hoa Binh highway, Deo Ca tunnel, Long Thanh international airport, Cao Lanh and Vam Cong bridges and component part of the National Highway 14 expansion project. The Ministry of Construction was told to launch a project to evaluate construction prices to prevent waste. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Planning and Investment was directed to study mid-term capital demand for transport works, including issuing government bonds to projects on building roads linking with the Ho Chi Minh Trail and providing capital for projects using official development assistance. The Finance Ministry will work with the Transport Ministry to deal with obstacles in capital disbursement. Dung asked authorities of centrally-run cities and provinces to stabilise sand prices and add the…... [read more]

The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee held a working session on supervising implementation of BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) traffic projects in the wake of heated protests over one of them in the southern province of Tiền Giang. The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee held a working session on supervising implementation of BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) traffic projects in the wake of heated protests over one of them in the southern province of Tiền Giang. - VNA/VNS Photo Minh Trí The BOT model, which primarily cedes construction of public traffic infrastructure to the private sector, has been utilised by the Government to alleviate the burden on the State Budget, especially after official development assistance (ODA) began running thin. Chairman of the NA’s Economic Affairs Committee, Vũ Hồng Thanh, said BOT projects were a necessity and that in recent years, they had significantly improved the traffic system, especially roads and bridges, helped reduce travel time and “raised the competitiveness of the economy.” In the 2011-2016 period, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) mobilised VNĐ171 trillion (US$7.524 billion) for traffic projects, with 59 BOT projects accounting for 90.2 per cent (55 projects have been completed). These included many key connectivity projects including the Hồ Chí Minh Road (the section passing through the Central Highlands) and expansion of the trans-Việt Nam highway, National Road 1. However, a report by the thematic supervision working group has pointed out numerous issues plaguing BOT projects,…... [read more]

NDO - National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan has called on relevant State agencies to fine-tune regulations on projects under build-operate-transfer (BOT) contracts as a number of ill-implemented projects have caused public protest. She told the NA Standing Committee on August 15 that a strong legal framework is needed to ensure that the government and private enterprises properly fulfil their contract obligations. According to a report of the NA Economic Committee, BOT is the right approach to improve transport infrastructure amid a strained State budget and shrinking official development assistance. However there are many shortcomings when implementing such projects, especially in regards to toll collection when the tollbooths are improperly positioned or the distance between the two nearest tollbooths is too short. These flaws have caused public outrage and led to long protests, notably the incident at the Cai Lay toll station on National Highway 1 in Tien Giang province when drivers protested by using small-denomination banknotes placed in plastic bottles to pay the toll. Chairman of the NA Committee for External Relations Nguyen Van Giau stated that toll collections should be reconsidered on the roads to which there are no alternatives. Meanwhile NA Vice Chairman Do Ba Ty stated that the government should buy back toll collection rights at stations where the distance to the one before or after it is less than the requirement of 70 kilometres. Furthermore, supervision should be stepped up to punish violations and ensure transparency in toll…... [read more]

At the signing ceremony (Source: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – A Japan-funded project on operating reservoirs in emergency and manage floods effectively using  a comprehensive disaster management platform was signed in the capital city of Hanoi on August 10.  Signatories were the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The project has a total investment of over 18.2 million USD, including 16.65 million USD (1.8 billion JPY) of Japan’s official development assistance. It will be carried out in 36 months since the signing of the Grant Agreement (G/A) was signed. It aims to mitigate human and property losses caused by rains and floods, contributing to sustainable socio-economic development via establishing a framework on operating reservoirs in emergency, developing a forecast system, and warning vulnerable areas along the Huong River in the central province of Thua Thien – Hue. The outcomes of the project will be applied for other river basins across the nation.  Addressing the signing ceremony, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hoang Van Thang said the ministry and JICA have piloted the development of flood management plans for Huong River’s basin. He expressed his hope that the project will not only supply equipment for forecasting and warning floods in Huong River’s basin, but also open up a new approach in terms of technology and flood prevention methods. Fujita Yasuo, Chief Representative of JICA Vietnam, suggested the ministry allocate sufficient budget to facilitate the implementation of…... [read more]

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