Vietnam to put first observatory into operation

The Government has set the goal to enhance the role the aerospace technology sector plays in the country’s general development. The Aerospace Technology Research Strategy and Application to 2020 approved by the Government clearly state that space technology should practically and effectively serves social-economic development tasks, the management of natural resources and environment and the monitoring of natural disasters, as well as national defense missions, contributing to enhancing Vietnam’s international position and the country’s scientific and technological capabilities. Towards those goals, the Vietnam National Satellite Center (VNSC) was formed to take charge of the Vietnam Aerospace Centre project, one of the largest-ever scientific and technological projects funded by Japanese official development assistance (ODA) capital. Associate Prof. Dr. Pham Anh Tuan, Director of the VNSC, said besides building infrastructure and facilities as well as training personnel for the space centre, the VNSC has been involved in satellite development technology transfer. The VNSC scientists have successfully manufactured a micro satellite - the Pico Dragon, marking the first step forward in the center’s satellite making plan. The VNSC plans to launch the first 50-kg satellite developed by Vietnamese engineers, the Micro Dragon, in 2018. The centre now has 117 members of staff, many of whom graduated from prestigious Japanese universities including the Tokyo University, Keio University and Kyushu Technology Institute. According to the space technology sector’s development roadmap, the facilities for the Space Centre in Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park will be completed as of 2018, while a Centre for Space Technology Application in…... [read more]

Although companies have rushed to conduct many promotional programs offering big discounts, in fact auto prices are still high. For instance, after providing discounts of more than VND40-50 million (US$1,760-2,200) since June, a Mazda CX-5 is priced VND800-910 million. Honda has reduced the price of its automobiles by VND110-170 million but it is still swinging around VND1 billion ($44,000) a product. Specifically Honda CR-V 2.0 AT, 2.4 AT and 2.4 AT TG are priced VND898 million, VND988 million and VND1.028 million respectively. Thaco Truong Hai has slashed the price of Kia products by VND10-40 million. The most discounted one is Kia Qouris 3.8 GAT but its prices is still as high as VND2.708 billion. Despite the discount programs, the prices have been high and purchasing power has gone backward. Statistics by Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA) show that the market’s sales reduced 16 percent to 21,000 automobiles in July. At present, only those who do need automobiles are buying while most residents wait for the zero percent import tariff next year. Mr. Pham Anh Tuan, head of the policy division of VAMA, said that auto prices have been high despite businesses’ many discount programs because component import tariff have not had a roadmap to reduce to 0 percent. Manufacturers have to pay taxes to import 70-80 percent of components from Thailand, South Korea and Europe to assembly an automobile. So manufacturing cost in Vietnam is 10-20 percent higher than in Thailand and Indonesia. Ongoing protection High…... [read more]

The Viet Nam’s localisation rate is still low, causing the price of local cars to be higher than those imported from Thailand and Indonesia. — Photo VNA Viet Nam imported more than 6,900 cars worth US$171 million in July, recording a drop of 11.2 per cent in volume and 2.6 per cent in value compared with the previous month. According to a report from the General Department of Vietnam Customs, the volume of cars imported from Thailand, which is the largest exporter of cars to Viet Nam, was sharply down to 2,688 units worth $46.7 million, compared with June’s 3,270 units worth $59 million. The number of cars imported from South Korea was 519 units, down 123 units. The import of Indian cars was 64 units, down 36 units. Meanwhile, there was an increase in the volume of cars imported from Indonesia last month, with 2,108 units imported to Viet Nam, more than 300 units higher than the previous month. In the January-July period, the country spent more than $1.2 billion to import more than 57,800 units from foreign countries, a year-on-year decrease of 28,000 units. In another development, the increasing import of cars and methods to enhance the capacity of the local auto manufacturing industry was highlighted at a seminar on the global automobile industry and lessons for Viet Nam, which was held in Ha Noi on August 10. Deputy Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM)…... [read more]

Good morning from Vietnam! Good morning from Vietnam! Politics -- U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius has praised recent remarkable advancement in Vietnam-U.S. ties and shared his vision on the further enhancement of bilateral relations in an open letter written exclusively for Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper. Society -- The second diphtheria outbreak in three years has been confirmed in central Vietnam’s Quang Nam Province, where two high school students have been reported dead from the disease so far, according to Tran Khac Phu, director of the General Department of Preventive Medicine. -- Da Phuoc Waste Treatment Complex in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Chanh District, which in September was found responsible for the foul smell that had been wafting through the city’s southern end, has announced its plan to gradually employ the incineration method in place of burial to curb the unpleasant odor. Lifestyle -- A VND120 billion (US$5.27 million) aerospace museum will be opened at the Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park in Hanoi in 2018 to raise public knowledge of Vietnam’s astronomical advancements, according to Assoc. Prof. Pham Anh Tuan, head of the Vietnam National Satellite Center. Business -- Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Wednesday met with Professor Fredmund Malik, head of Malik Lab, a Switzerland-based leading research institute on cybernetics and management science and systems, as part of his trip to Switzerland to attend the 47th World Economic Forum. The two vowed to enhance cooperation in boosting the management capability of Vietnamese officials. -- A Vietnamese man…... [read more]

Seafood service firms dominate Vietfish 2014 Ngoc Hung By Ngoc Hung - The Saigon Times Daily HCMC – The number of firms providing services and equipment for the seafood sector make up 65% of 173 corporate exhibitors at the ongoing Vietnam Fisheries International Exhibition 2014 (Vietfish 2014) in HCMC. The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the organizer of Vietfish 2014, said there are more seafood service providers than in previous years. Seafood processors and exporters are other exhibitors at the event, which opened at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC) in District 7 on August 6. The 16th exhibition is attended by many big local and foreign companies, including from Japan, the United States, Belgium, China and South Korea. Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of VASEP, said Vietfish 2014 showcases various seafood products and services as well as equipment and technology for cold storage of seafood. Pham Anh Tuan, deputy head of the Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries, said the participating companies have the opportunity to learn about latest market trends and consumers’ needs so as to turn out appropriate products. During the show that lasts until August 8, there are workshops on Vietnam’s seafood industry, production of safe and sustainable seafood in line with the Global GAP (Good Agriculture Practices) standards, the ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) certification for shrimp, and technologies for the seafood sector. In a related development, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has issued Circular 23/2014/TT-BNNPTNT guiding the implementation of farming, processing…... [read more]

The WWF has come up with recommendations on fields of its concern which have won the applause of the international community for years. However, the organisation’s decision to place Vietnam’s Tra fish on the Red List of its 2010 seafood consumption report, in which consumers in the world were advised to choose other seafood products instead of Vietnam’s Tra fish, was questionable. Deputy Director of the Directorate of Fisheries Pham Anh Tuan said, “The WWF’s information is insufficient as the fund used one sided and incorrect standards and scientific bases. This would cause many difficulties for Vietnam’s tra raising industry and would adversely affect global consumer trends,” Tra fish products are known as a special food of the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam. Being favored by nature, Vietnamese farmers have developed the Tra fish raising and processing industry for highly valued products. It has been expanded from a small-scale industry to a larger industry with advanced technology, while the breeding areas see a year-on-year increase with thousands of hectares. Vietnam’s Tra fish products are exported to more than 100 countries and territories worldwide, including demanding markets such as the US and the EU. Over the past few years, the quality of Vietnam’s Tra fish was accepted by international consumers. To penetrate the global market, Vietnamese businesses had to abide by all customer regulations on the transparent production processes, water resources environment, feeds, veterinary medicine, processing, preservative and transport. Many foreign customers themselves have conducted fact-finding tours of Vietnam’s fish breeding…... [read more]

The vice chairman of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology's Space Technology Institute, Dr Pham Anh Tuan said the Hoa Lac national space centre project was to be built with US$400 million from Japanese official development assistance (ODA) on a 9ha site in the Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park, 30km from central Hanoi. Japanese experts would transfer technology and support to build the technical facilities and train staff. "The centre will be one of the most modern space centres in Southeast Asia, with advanced equipment being used in Japan and European countries," said Tuan. The project was first proposed in 2007, and the consulting group from the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) submitted a pre-feasibility report last March and would conduct a feasibility study between August and next February, he said. A lending agreement with the Japanese government is then expected to be signed next year. Construction, including infrastructure, research facilities, and the installation of satellite monitoring and operating equipment and data processing equipment, would then take place during the first phase between 2011-13. A satellite assembly and testing and training areas would follow in the second phase in 2014-18, giving Vietnam the capacity to assemble satellites of less than 500kg. Each such satellite would cost an estimated US$20-30 million and would be able to provide data to monitor and forecast natural disasters and environmental damage, as well as to forecast agricultural and fisheries output. The data could help reduce losses caused each year by natural disasters by 10 percent…... [read more]

Such a proposed prohibition is one of many solutions that have been raised in a study on “recovery of property from corruption cases – the practice in Vietnam and international experience” conducted by a group of researchers under the Vietnam Party Central Committee's Commission for Internal Affairs. The suggested ban was voiced by Vu Thu Hanh, deputy director of the Commission’s General Research Department, when she was presenting a report on the results of the study at a seminar held in Hanoi on March 13. One of the solutions to improve recovery of property from corruption cases is that there should be a regulation banning officials holding positions at the ministerial bureau and department levels upward from depositing money or assets abroad or taking ownership of property overseas, Hanh said, citing the study. Such a regulation will help prevent and detect corruption involving foreign factors, and prevent the possibility that corrupt officials secretly build economic foundations abroad so that they can flee and live on such foundations after committing acts of corruption at home, Hanh said. Property damage caused by corruption is growing, and the situation in which public servants solicit bribes or commit harassment while on duty is still rampant, according to the research group. Corruption in Vietnam is still serious and complicated, with corrupt acts taking place in many fields and on many levels of power, showing signs of being organized, as well as signs of the existence and influence of interest groups, the researchers said. Official statistics…... [read more]

The sales in the month represented an increase of 777 units over October and 1,075 units compared to September, the association said. "I think these figures are pretty good. Demand has increased compared with previous months," said VAMA Secretary Pham Anh Tuan. "However, it is still smaller than last year's figure because in 2009, automobile costs were lower thanks to a Government stimulus package," he added. Private car sales saw the biggest decrease, reaching only 3,770 in November, down by 16 percent. The VAMA sales figure for the first 11 months of the year reached 99,978 units, down 4 percent in comparison with the same period in 2009; of these, sports utility, multi-purpose and cross-over vehicles decreased by 13 percent, and commercial vehicles were down by 3 percent. In November, most members of VAMA saw downward trends in their sales. Visuco (Suzuki) experienced a year-on-year decrease of 46 percent, while GM Daewoo and Samco went down 37 percent and 43 percent respectively. Toyota Vietnam sold just over 3,200 units, a year-on-year decrease of 7 percent. Experts attributed the decline to the devaluation of the Vietnamese dong and high interest rates. "It will be difficult for domestic automobile sales to pick up before the end of the year if there is no assistance from the Government and the downturn may continue through the start of next year," Tuan said./. Vietnam Plus... [read more]

This was the latest information released by the VFA at a press briefing in Hanoi on December 14. According to the association, WWF members in several European countries placing Vietnam’s tra fish products in the red list (Don’t Buy) of the Seafood Consumers’ Guide 2010-2011 is contrary to international regulations and violates the “make public” principle in international relations and the World Trade Organisation’s principle of “transparency-scientific foundations”. The VFA also suggested the Vietnamese government and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development urge the WWF members in six European countries to apologise to tra fish raisers, the Vietnamese government and European consumers, while guiding farmers to apply Vietnam’s GAP and CoC quality standards as well as recognise and proclaim widely the quality of Vietnam’s produce, not only in the country but also around the world. Pham Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of the Directorate of Fisheries, said the WWF’s assessment was extremely absurd since it wasn’t based on the scientific realities of Vietnam’s tra fish but two outdated documents by the Netherlands. On December 15, the Fisheries Directorate will have a direct dialogue with the Head of the Global Seafood Programme, Mark Powell, who will answer questions on technical measures and process that led to the action of placing Vietnam’s tra fish on the red list.... [read more]

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