VN & Cambodia tighten friendship and solidarity relationship

VietNamNet Bridge – Humane Society International - Viet Nam (HSI - Viet Nam) is calling on the South African government to honour its commitment to protect rhinos by refusing permits for an auction of rhinoceros horns. Illegal imported Rhino horns seized. — Photo: VNN The online auction is targeting buyers from the world’s two largest destinations for trafficked rhino horn — China and Viet Nam. The auction is being organised by John Hume, the world’s largest rhino farmer, on August 21 and the auction website has both a Vietnamese and Chinese language option in addition to English. HSI believes there is a significant risk that horns from this auction, even if purchased legally in South Africa, may end up being trafficked to Asian consumer markets by organised criminal syndicates. The South African government estimates that a rhino is killed for its horn approximately every eight hours in South Africa, largely to satisfy the black market demand in Viet Nam and China. The horns to be auctioned are "trimmed" from Hume’s 1,500 farmed rhinos, and purportedly aimed at the domestic rhino horn trade, which is now legal following a ruling in April by South Africa’s constitutional court, lifting a 2009 ban. However, in light of the suspicious language options on the site, the Vietnamese Government has reiterated in an official statement that according to Vietnamese law, rhino horn purchased at this auction cannot be legally exported to Viet Nam for commercial, medical or personal purposes. Vuong Tien Manh, deputy director of…... [read more]

The currently on-going Vietnam M&A Forum 2017 brought policymakers, investors, and major corporations to the table to discuss and propose changes to Vietnamese laws related to the M&A market and foreign capital inflows, inviting highly-productive discussion on the most pressing issues and several commitments from high-level state representatives. During the first session called “Identifying Breakthrough Opportunities,” the pressing issues of equitising state-owned enterprises (SOEs), state divestment, and the foreign ownership cap have been discussed by representatives from government agencies and leading consultancy firms. “The Ministry of Planning and Investment understands that Vietnam has to follow international rules if the country wants to attract M&A capital. Policymakers need to respond to investors’ suggestions and give them full support,” said Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung. In particular, investors at the forum wanted to know whether they need to finalise all payments before obtaining the investment certificate for an M&A deal. In some transactions, investors do not buy shares from the company itself, but from other shareholders, and are confused whether they need to pay the money to the company or to the shareholders. Other major themes in the session include the increasing supply of M&A deals from equitised SOEs. New opportunities in the banking sector were also discussed as the new law on bad debts resolution was recently passed in June. The matter of the foreign ownership limit, which has prevented many investors from entering conditional business sectors,…... [read more]

SEOUL: Hundreds of South Korean scientists expressed outrage Wednesday (Aug 9) after a controversial figure accused of covering up a notorious stem cell research fraud was appointed as the country's top technology official. A group of young scientists have called on South Korea's President Moon Jae-In to scrap the appointment of a controversial figure accused of covering up a notorious stem cell research fraud AFP/Ahn Young-joon Park Ki-Young was appointed to head a newly-created science centre, putting her in charge of allocating government subsidies and budgets for research projects. But a decade ago Park was a key figure in a scandal involving the fabrication of research by prominent stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-Suk. "Her name is far from innovation. The name is rather a nightmare to science and technology workers," a group of 240 young scientists said in a statement. It called on President Moon Jae-In to scrap the appointment, announced earlier this week, accusing Park of remaining "unrepentant" despite being "at the centre" of the scandal surrounding Hwang. The scientist was lauded as the "pride of Korea" after claiming to have derived stem cell lines from cloned human embryos - a world first - in two articles published in the journal Science in 2004 and 2005. But his research was later found to be fraudulent and riddled with ethical lapses. Park played a key role in supporting Hwang and…... [read more]

Consumers select vegetables grown under VietGAP standards at a Co.op mart in HCM City (Photo: VNA) HCM City (VNA) – Businesses with green production processes and products that are safe and environmentally friendly perform better, heard a workshop held in Ho Chi Minh City on August 9. The workshop, held by the HCM City Food and Foodstuff Association and the city’s Investment and Trade Promotion Centre, highlighted green products as the way of the future. A Nielsen Vietnam survey shows that about 80 percent of consumers in Vietnam are willing to pay more for products made of environmentally friendly materials. About the same percentage are willing to pay more for goods without ingredients they don’t want. Green consumption and production towards sustainable development is a hot topic in many countries, including Vietnam. Environmentally friendly products are considered effective investments as they both benefit consumers’ health and minimise negative impacts on the environment, participants at the event heard. Food processing is one of the four key industries HCM City is focusing on developing. Director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade Pham Thanh Kien said in recent years, the city has helped food processing companies apply new and advanced technologies to create high-quality products. Vu Thi Quyen, Deputy Director of HCM City’s Tropical Agricultural Research and Consultancy Centre, said policies for green agriculture are needed. She added another important factor is consistent quality of all steps, from production to consumption, especially…... [read more]

Enthralled: A policewoman discusses traffic safety with primary school students in Hanoi. (Photo: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) - Traffic culture among Vietnamese youths is the theme of a national film festival on traffic safety launched on August 9 by the National Traffic Safety Committee, the Department of Traffic Police and Toyota Motors Vietnam in Hanoi. Senior Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Quang Nhat, from the Department of Traffic Police, said the festival focuses on the role of youths in ensuring traffic safety, traffic law compliance among youths and the education on traffic culture in families and schools. According to Major General Tran Son Ha, director of the department, the film festival was first held in 1996. After nine editions, the festival has attracted the participation from organisations and individuals nationwide. “It is considered as one of the effective channels to popularise the laws among the citizens and encourage them to obey traffic safety laws. By means of the images and sounds which are illustrated in various forms like documentaries or musicals, the TV programmes about traffic have left thorough impacts on the viewers as well as effects in limiting violations, preventing traffic accidents and significantly contributed to ensuring traffic safety and order,” he said. Speaking about this year’s theme, the director added that forming traffic culture among Vietnamese youth demonstrates the strategic vision of a developing society. “Each youth not only has to directly improve their own traffic culture but also become an active communicator of traffic safety in their…... [read more]

Hong Binh, 35, an office worker in district 3, HCMC, said he drinks beer with his friends at least once a week, sometimes at Bo Ke, a popular restaurant, and sometimes at a restaurant on Nguyen Van Cu street in district 5. “This is our hobby. We can enjoy them time when drinking beer,” he said, adding that he and his friends help the owners of the beer clubs get rich.  Sabeco, the brewer with the largest market share, has capitalization value of US$3.15 billion, becoming the enterprise with the fifth largest capitalization value on the HCMC bourse, just after Vinamilk, the nation’s dairy producer, PV Gas, Vietcombank and VinGroup.  According to Euromonitor, the increase of the middle-class income earners and young people has increased demand for wine and beer by 300% since 2002, while the market value was estimated at VND147.2 trillion in 2016.  The market analysis firm predicted that the consumption per capita would reach 40.6 liters this year, which would make Vietnam the largest beer consumer in SE Asia.  In its latest report, Euromonitor said that Vietnam will be the next major battlefield for brewers. Dan tri cited a Ministry of Industry and Trade’s report as showing that each Vietnamese drank 42 litres of beer on average in 2016, an increase of 4 litres on last year.  The industry's growth was 9.3% last year, 14.4% lower than the year-end goal because excise tax was increased by…... [read more]

The annual VTV International Cycling Tournament – Ton Hoa Sen Cup – will kick off on September 2 with the participation of 84 athletes. Cyclist compete at the fourth stage of the Ton Hoa Sen Cup last year.  Cyclists from 12 crews will tour through 14 stages from Hanoi to HCM City, during which they will have to conquer famous but difficult passes, such as Hải Vân which connects Hue and Da Nang, Ngang between Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces and Ru Ri in Khanh Hoa. The final is on September 17 and a total bonus of VNĐ1.2 billion (US$52,600) will be awarded to the best cyclists, of which the overall winner who bags the yellow jersey will pocket VNĐ120 million. During these two weeks, organisers and athletes will present more than 46,000 gifts and 200 bikes to poor students in localities they pass through. Martial artists to perform in Nghe An The National Traditional Martial Arts Championship will be held in Nghe An Province on August 11-15. The 26th competition has attracted more than 300 artists from 25 cities and provinces, including the strong ones such as An Giang, HCM City, Hanoi and Binh Dinh. Last year in Hanoi, HCM City topped the medals tally with 11 golds. Binh Dinh and People’s Police were second and third, respectively. Offroad Cup 2017 is open for registration The Vietnam Offroad Cup (VOC) 2017 returns next month to Dong Mo, Son Tay, Town, Hanoi. The two-day event has three categories –…... [read more]

An investor watches stocks move at Vietcombank Securities Company. Vietnam’s stock market has 23 companies valued at over 1 billion USD. (Photo: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam’s stock market has 23 companies valued at over 1 billion USD and most of them have reported higher business results in the first half of this year. Vinamilk (VNM), the biggest listed firm, is also the most profitable company with the six-month profit of nearly 5.9 trillion VND (258 million USD), up 18 percent over the same period of last year. In the first half, Vinamilk’s turnover from overseas markets shrank from 19 percent last year to only 15 percent this year, but takings from the domestic market rose by 10 percent, owing to heavy spending on advertisement worth around 396 billion VND. In terms of revenue, petrol retailer Petrolimex (PLX) was on the top of the list with over 74 trillion VND (3.25 billion USD), up 26 percent year-on-year. Revenue growth was attributable to increases in global oil prices averaging at 25.6 percent in the first six months of this year. However, due to a higher cost price and rising financial expenses, including exchange losses, Petrolimex’s profits declined 12 percent year-on-year to just 1.8 trillion VND (79.3 million USD). Seven of the nine listed banks have market cap of over 1 billion USD but their profits accounted for nearly 40 percent of total earnings of 23 largest listed businesses. The profit growth of the banking …... [read more]

Analysts say the move is likely to have only limited impact on the Netflix juggernaut and represents an effort by Disney to keep pace with the industry shift to online television services. Disney announced Tuesday it would launch a "multi-sport" streaming service under its ESPN brand in early 2018 and a Disney branded direct-to-consumer service in 2019. At the same time, Disney said it would end its distribution agreement with Netflix for subscription streaming of new releases starting in 2019, including popular film franchises like "Lion King" and "Frozen." The shift is likely a positive move "because Disney is a destination brand," said Rebecca Lieb, an independent media analyst and former television executive. "Of all the content providers, Disney is in the best position. Parents take their kids to see the next Disney movie, and sports fans will follow ESPN." Missing pieces  But a closer look at the Disney announcement suggests it is not as dramatic as it appeared initially. Disney chief Robert Iger said the company had not yet decided on whether its "Star Wars" and Marvel films would be on the Disney-owned service or on third parties such as Netflix. And its ESPN service may be limited to sports such as baseball and ice hockey, without the more popular professional basketball and National Football League games. "I don't think the threat to Netflix is that great," said Alan Wolk, an independent consultant who follows the television industry. "Netflix is very well entrenched especially since they are international."…... [read more]

The suspect, a 36-year-old Algerian man, has been hospitalized after police shot him five times. The suspected terror attack follows a string of assaults that have hit France since January 2015, claiming more than 230 lives. The servicemen were hit by a BMW which drove down a quiet street in the upmarket western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret at around 8:00 a.m. (0600 GMT). It accelerated as it neared the troops, rammed into them and then sped away. Three were shocked and lightly hurt, while the other three sustained more serious injuries which are not life-threatening, officials said. "I heard a huge crash which I thought was the sound of scaffolding being put up," said Thierry Chappe, an AFP employee who lives in a building opposite the crime scene. Some 300 police later tracked the rented vehicle to a motorway near the northern port of Calais. After a chase, officers opened fire, wounding the unarmed driver who was arrested then taken to hospital, sources involved in the manhunt said. The suspect lived in the Yvelines suburb of Paris and had no previous convictions. Pictures showed the black BMW with a crumpled front end and smashed windscreen on the A16 motorway. An AFP journalist saw masked police carrying out a search in Bezons in the northwestern Paris suburbs. Soldiers on the street The servicemen targeted in the assault were part of the 7,000-strong anti-terrorism Sentinelle force set up in January 2015 after jihadist gunmen attacked the offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo,…... [read more]

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