Quang Binh hires int’l consultant for developing its master plan

Quang Binh Province signed a consultancy contract with the McKinsey & Company Viet Nam for developing its socio-economic development master plan by 2030 with vision to 2050 on Monday. Representatives of Quang Binh Province and McKinsey & Company sign a consultancy contract for the province’s socio-economic development master plan until 2030 with vision till 2050. The provincial People’s Committee has assigned its Department of Planning and Investment to be the investor for the VND35.68 billion (US$1.6 million) consultancy package. The duration of the package lasts from the date the contract is signed until the master plan is approved by the Prime Minister. The planning stage of the package is 70 working days from the contract signing day. Chairmain of the committee Nguyen Huu Hoai said this master plan was very significant for achieving the province’s socio-economic development objectives and is expected to have a major impact on attracting investors. Hoai said the consultant has also been asked to prepare a detailed plan quickly, and arrange human resources to implement it in a timely manner. He said the consultant has been hired to ensure high quality and achieve breakthroughs for the province’s development. He said that after it is approved, the master plan would help attract investors into Quang Binh. As such, the plan would be an important document for the central province when it organises an investment promotion conference by the…... [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]

According to the procuracy’s indictment, Si took US$262,000 from executives of Japan’s Pacific Consultants International (PCI) for awarding design and supervision consultancy contracts to the company. As the ex-PCI officials, who were prosecuted on charges of bribery and violations of Japan’s anti-competition laws, confessed that Si received their bribes seven times in total, the Ministry of Public Security’s Investigation Agency decided to continue further investigation. The ex-employees with Japan’s PCI claimed that they gave Si bribes totaling US$800,000 in exchange for the provision of consultancy services for the East-West Avenue project. The bribes were given between 2003 and 2006, at a time when the project in Ho Chi Minh City was underway. The East-West Avenue project was approved in 2000. It used the Japanese Government’s ODA and Vietnam’s capital. On September 25, 2009, Si was sentenced to three years in jail on charges of “abuse of power” when carrying out the East-West Avenue and HCM City Water Environment Improvement project.... [read more]

Local media reported on October 9 that the officials from Vietnam Railways' projects management unit RPMU have been charged with "power abuse," a crime punishable by a 15-year jail term. The two-day trial will start in Hanoi on October 26. According to the indictment, the officials started receiving the money from Japan Transportation Consultants Inc. (JTC) in September 2009, after they signed a contract on technical consultancy for Hanoi's first urban railway. Pham Hai Bang, 46, the then manager of the project and deputy chief of RPMU, allegedly told JTC's management that his unit was having financial problems. By the time the case was busted in February 2014, a total of JPY69.9 million had been sent to Bang and two other officials, Pham Quang Duy and Nguyen Nam Thai, prosecutors said. The money was then used for both official and personal purposes, including entertainment expenses for partners, according to prosecutors. Tran Quoc Dong, 51, Tran Van Luc, 57, and Nguyen Van Hieu, 53, who acted as chiefs of RPMU between 2009 and 2014, allegedly received VND30-VND100 million (US$1,300-US$4,400) each from Bang as "Lunar New Year gifts." After being arrested last year, all the former chiefs returned the money they had received. Duy and Thai submitted VND65 million and VND600 million (US$2,800-US$26,500), respectively, in an apparent effort to reduce the gravity of their crime. Bang also surrendered VND970 million (US$42,900) and US$7,000 in cash and two bank passbooks with nearly VND1 billion (US$44,200) in his relatives' names. Suspended funding Vietnamese authorities…... [read more]

The Vietnam-Japan Consultancy Joint Venture will survey, draw up technical plans and assist in resettlement, human resource training and construction maintenance. The contract will last 74 months. Tran Van Luc, director of the management board for railway project, said the capital loan agreement for the project, signed between Vietnamese Government and Japan Bank for International Corporation (JBIC) is worth VND611 billion. The Yen Vien-Ngoc Hoi railway route has a length of 28km and was approved by the Prime Minister as part of the project to develop Hanoi’s transportation until 2020. The project is divided into two phases. During the first phase, construction will focus on the Giap Bat-Gia Lam stretch measuring 15.36km and Ngoc Hoi railway station with total investment of VND19,460 billion, using a Japanese ODA capital loan issued by Japan International Cooperation Agency along with matched domestic investment. The Vietnam-Japan Consultancy Joint Venture consists of two components. The Vietnamese side is comprised of the Transport Construction Consultancy and Investment Company and Consultancy Transport Design Corporation and the Southern Transport Design and Consultancy Corporation. The Japanese side includes the Japan Transportation Consultancy Company, Railway Technical Service Company, East Japan Railway Consultancy Company, Electricity Consultancy Company and Koken Architecture Company.... [read more]

Accordingly, La Poste Group will provide consultancy to LienVietPostBank and Vietnam Post on the three major issues including the merger of effective administration models, the designing of retail products for post banks, the launching process of new products to the market, and the building of a role model post transaction office in five years. LienVietPostBank and La Poste Group will set up a project team consisting of experienced experts. In addition, La Poste Group will also transfer technologies to LienVietPostBank and Vietnam Post under human resource training program. This is the first consultant contract signed on the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries. La Poste Group believed that the contract will help Vietnam build a role model post bank named LienVietPostBank up to international standards in the near future. By the end of June, LienVietPost Bank had a charter capital of VND6.460 billion and a mobilized capital of over VND55trillion with total assets worth nearly VND80,000 billion and nearly one million customers. The LienVietPostBank will have its branch offices set up nationwide by the end of 2018.... [read more]

Police probe corruption in highway project HCMC - The Ministry of Public Security's Investigation Department has formally launched a probe into alleged corruption at the East-West Highway and Water Environment project management unit in HCMC, the Vietnam News Agency reported on Tuesday. The introduction of the criminal case, five days after Japan announced its decision to suspend aid for Vietnam pending an investigation into the scandal, is aimed to clarify whether the head of the project management unit, Huynh Ngoc Sy, did take bribes as alleged. Four PCI executives were prosecuted in Japan in August, and they finally pleaded guilty late last month.Earlier, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung ordered relevant agencies to look into the case in accordance with law. On November 11, chairman of HCMC Le Hoang Quan issued a decision suspending Sy from all posts. The alleged corruption case stirred up discussions at the recent National Assembly sitting ending in Hanoi last month as well as at the recent meeting of the HCMC People's Council. Upon the outcome of the court case in Japan, the Japanese ambassador to Vietnam at the international donors' Consultative Group Meeting for Vietnam announced a suspension of official development assistance for Vietnam pending the result of the investigation. Earlier, the governments of Vietnam and Japan decided to establish a joint committee to prevent corruption and improve transparency at projects funded by Japan's ODA. Work on the East-West Highway and Water Environment project, costing nearly VND10 trillion including some VND6.4 trillion in Japanese ODA,…... [read more]

Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Co., Ltd. (BSR) plans to take up a loan $1.2 billion to enhance and expand its Dung Quat Oil Refinery. General director Tran Ngoc Nguyen told Vnexpress that the expansion is expected to be completed in 2020 with a total investment capital of $1.82 billion, 30 per cent of which will be equity and the remaining 70 per cent would be covered from loans. Upon completion, the expanded refinery’s capacity will increase by two million tonnes a year, to 8.5 million tonnes. It will be able to meet half of Vietnam’s fuel demand. Earlier, in September, BSR released plans to launch its initial public offering (IPO) at the end of 2017, attracting interest from top global energy firms, especially Russian and Thai conglomerates. The company is also hiring consultants to build its equitisation plan and calculate its corporate value, as well as the auctioned shares’ price. The Prime Minister’s decision to allow BSR to calculate its own selling price will create a platform for attracting domestic and foreign investors to the company’s IPO. Since commercial operations began at the refinery in February 2009, BSR has imported 47 million tonnes of crude oil to produce 42 million tonnes of products, including propylene, polypropylene, liquefied petroleum gas, and gasoline, as well as kerosene, diesel, and jet fuel. Nine months into the year, BSR earned VND51.89 trillion ($2.32 billion) in revenue, equalling 63 per cent of the annual target, however, it achieved a VND1.04 trillion ($46.5 million) profit,…... [read more]

HCMC official suspended on alleged bribe taking HCMC - The HCMC government on Wednesday suspended an official from his job to pave the way for police to probe whether he had taken bribes from Pacific Consultants International (PCI), a Japanese consultant for a high-profile highway project. It was city chairman Le Hoang Quan who signed a decision on suspension of Huynh Ngoc Sy, vice director of the HCMC Department of Transport and head of the HCMC East-West Highway and Water Environment project management unit, according to the Vietnam News Agency. According to information from Japan, PCI executives gave bribes to Sy, 12G newspaper reported. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung earlier ordered the law enforcement agencies to actively coordinate with Japanese authorities to investigate the case and deal with it as per Vietnamese law. The HCMC Party Committee Standing Commission told the city government to consolidate personnel at the project management unit to ensure the quality and progress of the Japanese-financed project. The city government said in a statement issued in August that it would replace PCI in this huge infrastructure project following a proposal by PCI and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), the funder of the project. In July, PCI proposed withdrawing from the project and handing over the consulting contract to another Japanese firm, Oriental Consultants Co. Ltd., or OC. The 22 km East-West Highway runs from the eastern part of the city to the west, running through districts 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, Binh Tan…... [read more]

Former leaders of major road project detained on alleged graft charges By Song Nguyen - The Saigon Times Daily HCMC - Police on Wednesday detained two former leaders of the East-West Highway and HCMC Water Environment Project Management Unit on graft charges. Huynh Ngoc Sy, ex-director of the project management unit, and his former deputy Le Qua are alleged to have "abused their positions and power while on duty" in the two Japanese ODA-funded projects, according to the Vietnam News Agency. Police on Wednesday also searched the private residences of Sy and Qua in the city for evidence. The Ministry of Public Security's Investigation Police Department decided to file legal proceedings against the two people under Article 281 of the Penal Code, which specifies that those found guilty can carry a jail term of up to 15 years. Earlier, on December 8, police initiated action against bribery and bribe taking from 2003 to 2006 at the project management unit. This move followed the news reports that former executives of PCI, the Japanese consulting firm for the project, admitted at a Japanese court that they had paid kickbacks for Sy. The Vietnamese Government said on its website on Wednesday that at a hearing at a district court in Tokyo last November, prosecutors said Japanese executives of PCI had given Sy a total of US$2.6 million in bribes in return for consulting contracts in 2001-2003 in the VND9.9 trillion highway project and the VND4.2 trillion water environment project. The Vietnam News Agency…... [read more]

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