Showing posts with label vietnambreakingnews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vietnambreakingnews. Show all posts

Hungary willing to share e-government building experience with Vietnam

NDO/VNA – Hungary is willing to share its experience in building an e-government with Vietnam, said visiting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at a meeting with National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan in Hanoi on September 25.

The top Vietnamese legislator stated that Vietnam always attaches great importance to consolidating and developing ties with traditional friends in the Central and Eastern Europe, with Hungary being a priority.

Expressing her delight at the growing friendship and cooperation between the two countries over the past 67 years, she lauded the successful talks between the PMs of Vietnam and Hungary, with many agreements signed.

The two sides discussed effective and practical measures to boost the Vietnam-Hungary cooperation, especially in relation to trade, investment, and development cooperation, she noted, expressing her hope that the Hungarian PM’s visit will create a new momentum for the bilateral partnership to develop in order to match the potential of the two nations.

She pledged that Vietnam is completing its legal framework and will regularly supervise the implementation of signed deals between the two Governments, thus contributing to further bolstering bilateral ties.

NA Chairwoman Ngan also took the occasion to thank the Hungarian Government for providing preferential loans for Vietnam to build the Can Tho Oncology Hospital, thus meeting the demands of about 20 million people in the Mekong Delta region and improving high quality human resources for the country’s health sector.

Besides, Hungary has also decided to double the number of scholarships for Vietnamese students, she noted.

The Hungarian PM declared that Hungary will help Vietnam build the Can Tho Oncology Hospital with the best quality.

He spoke highly of the Vietnamese community in Hungary, who always respects the law of the host country. With about 3,000 Vietnamese people who used to live and study in Hungary, Vietnam is considered one of the important partners of the European country in the region.

PM Viktor Orban noted that many Hungarian businesses accompanying him during this visit are interested in seeking investment opportunities in Vietnam.

Hungary hopes for closer ties with Vietnam in areas of Vietnam’s demand, including water supply, wastewater treatment and agriculture, he said.

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Vietnamese, Hungarian PMs affirm valuing ties during talks

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc held talks with his
Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban following a welcome ceremony in Hanoi on
September 25, affirming that Vietnam always treasures developing ties with
traditional friends in the Central and Eastern Europe, including Hungary as a
priority partner.

reply, Viktor Orban stated that Hungary always considers Vietnam a prioritised
traditional friendly partner in the region and wishes to boost all-around ties
with the country.

Phuc praised Hungary for considering Vietnam a priority partner in its official
development assistance (ODA) policy by granting a total preferential loan of
535 million EUR, 440 million EUR of which was set within the framework agreement
on financial cooperation signed in January 2017.

spoke highly of the signing of Memorandum of Understanding on the
implementation of the framework agreement on financial cooperation.

the occasion, the Vietnamese leader thanked the Hungarian government for assisting
Vietnam in building Can Tho Oncology Hospital via its preferential loans.

two PMs agreed to further improve the efficiency of the Inter-Committee on
Economic Cooperation mechanism, increase trade and investment by making it
easier for the two countries’ businesses to form networking and navigate each
other’s market, especially in fields of Hungary’s strength and Vietnam’s demand
such as the exploitation of water resources, environment protection,
pharmaceuticals, animal husbandry, food processing and renewable energy.

reached consensus on specific measures to reinforce links across
education-training, culture-tourism, labour, health care, natural
resources-environment, national defence-security.

host thanked Hungarian government for offering 200 scholarships to Vietnamese
students each year, and suggested increasing scholarships for those majoring in
health care, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and information technology.

and guest lauded mutual liaison between the two countries at global and
inter-regional forums. The Vietnamese PM thanked the Hungarian government for
supporting Vietnam’s bid to run for a seat at the United Nations Security
Council for the 2020-2021 tenure and welcomed Hungary’s active role in the
Asia-Europe Meeting and the Mekong-Danube cooperation mechanism.

supports Vietnam in enhancing ties with the European Union, including the early
signing and ratification of the European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement,
he said.

the East Sea issue, they underscored the need to deal with disputes by peaceful
means in accordance with international law.

Hungarian PM committed all possible support to Vietnamese nationals living in
the country, thus making it easier for them to serve as a bridge for bilateral
friendship and collaboration.

the talks, the two PMs hosted a press conference, issued a joint statement and
witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements on finance, culture, education,
agriculture, labour, information technology and communications, and a twining
agreement between the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho and a Hungarian city.-VNA

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Uber denies rumours of operation suspension

Uber and Grab motorbike drivers on a steet. The HCM City Tax Department has decided to collect nearly VND67 billion of tax arrears from Uber. — Photo

Uber Việt Nam CEO, Dang Viet Dung, on Saturday denied rumours that Uber would temporarily halt operations in Viet Nam until its tax dues were paid.

“The rumour is not true,” Dung said, adding that the company was operating normally in Viet Nam and even had further development plans.

The rumour began spreading on social networking sites on Saturday after a decision by the HCM City tax authority stated that Uber must pay some VND67 billion (US$2.9 million) in tax arrears. The rumour further said that Uber will halt operations in Việt Nam because the tax amount due was too large for the company to afford.

Dung said that Uber Viet Nam, and its mother company, Netherlands-based Uber B.V., would continue working with the tax authorities to figure out the most appropriate solution.

On Saturday, HCM City Tax Department said that it issued a decision to collect tax dues worth VND66.7 billion from Uber Việt Nam, after an inspection of the operations of the app, from its penetration into the Việt Nam market, until June 2017.

Nguyen Nam Binh, Deputy Director of the HCM City Tax Department, was quoted by Vnexpress online newspaper, saying that Uber B.V. did not completely agree with the decision.

Under the Ministry of Finance’s tax payment rules for Uber B.V. issued in September 2016, taxes will be imposed on the company following a direct method, according to which the payable amount is based on the revenue, multiplied by the taxation rate.

For Uber, the rates are 3 per cent for value added tax and 2 per cent for corporate income tax.

Individuals who have signed contracts with Uber to provide the taxi service should pay tax on their earned income. The rates for individual drivers are 3 per cent for VAT and 1.5 per cent for individual income tax. — VNS

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Japanese doctor named as Vietnam’s honorary consul in Nagoya

Doctor Nagato Natsume (left) carries out a surgery for a Vietnamese patient. (Photo: VNA)

Tokyo (VNA) – Japanese doctor Nagato Natsume has been appointed as Honorary Consul
of Vietnam in Nagoya city of Aichi prefecture.

Dr. Natsume, who
is Director of the Japanese Cleft Palate Foundation, will take over the
position for the 2017-2020 term.

At a ceremony on
September 25 to hand over the decision, Charge d’affaires of the Vietnamese
Embassy in Japan Nguyen Truong Son said the appointment of Dr. Natsume indicated
the Vietnamese Government’s and people’s recognition of his tireless
contributions to Vietnam.

Over the past 25
years, the doctor has assisted in conducting more than 4,000 surgical
operations on Vietnamese children with cleft palate and providing loans for
poor households with disabled children to develop production.

Son expressed
his belief that Dr. Natsume, with his prestige, will foster links between Aichi
prefecture and Vietnam, and contribute to protecting Vietnamese citizens in the

The diplomat
also voided his hope that the honorary consul will make further contributions
to Vietnam – Japan relations, particularly in the fields of culture, education
and investment.

Dr. Natsume affirmed
that he will continue efforts to develop bilateral ties in the coming time.

He also unveiled
his plan to help Vietnamese people get access to quality health care services
and pharmaceutical products, and promised to assist Vietnamese students and
workers in Aichi.

In 2016, Dr.
Natsume was bestowed a second-class Labour Order by President Tran Dai Quang
for his excellent contributions to Vietnam’s health sector and Vietnam-Japan

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Deputy PM: Health care, role of the elderly should be improved

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam (Source: VNA) 
Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy
Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has urged greater efforts to  develop healthcare establishments  for the elderly at grassroots level while issuing
policies to uphold their role in society.

Deputy PM Dam made the call
during a conference hosted by the Ministry of Health in Hanoi on September 25 to
discuss community-based healthcare policy for the elderly on the occasion of International
Day of Older Persons (October 1).

He told participants that Vietnam
recorded 10.1 million old people in 2016, accounting for 11 percent of the country’s
total population, of whom over 2 million were over 80 years old.

The Deputy PM also suggested expanding
the model of family clinics, developing geriatric hospitals and increasing nursing
staff for the elderly.

The conference featured three
plenary sessions on the elderly healthcare policy, management of chronic
diseases frequently faced by older persons, and medical staff training.

Scientific reports delivered at
the event focused on improving readiness of healthcare services, improving the
role of family doctors, encouraging the involvement of the private sector and
the public in this field.

According to the Health
Ministry’s General Office for Population – Family Planning, up to 65.7 percent
of Vietnamese old people live in rural areas and rely on farming. As one of the
countries with the fastest-growing aging rate, Vietnam records an average life
expectancy of 73 years but the good health span is only 64 years.

The office proposed that the
health sector should increase investment in the effort and build a friendly
environment for old citizens, among others.-VNA

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Vietnam, Cuba’s trade unions strengthen traditional friendship

At the talks between Vietnam General Confederation of Labour and Central Union of Cuban Workers (Photo: VNA)

Havana (VNA) – The Vietnam General
Confederation of Labour (VGCL) and the Central Union of Cuban Workers (CTC)
have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on specific activities to promote
the bilateral relations.

The signing took place at talks between
President of the VGCL Bui Van Cuong and Secretary General of the CTC Ulises
Guilarte de Nacimiento as part of Cuong’s visit to Cuba from September 22-24.

The visit aims to exchange experience and
information in trade union activities with Cuba, thus contributing to deepening
the special solidarity between Vietnam and Cuba, Cuong said.

Guilarte de Nacimiento expressed his pleasure to
welcome the VGCL delegation and took the occasion to thank the Vietnamese
Party, State and workers for supporting Cuban people in the past and at

The VGCL President presented 25,000 USD in cash
and computer sets to Cuban workers affected by the recent storm Irma.

In an interview granted to the Worker weekly
newspaper, the mouthpiece of CTC, Cuong highlighted the special bond between
the two countries’ people and workers, which was nurtured by Presidents Ho Chi
Minh and Fidel Castro Ruz.

He expressed his readiness to share experience
with Cuba to develop trade unions in non-State economic sectors where the VGCL
attaches great importance to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of
workers, ensuring social welfare, fair wages, labour safety, working
environment conditions, and entertainment rights.

During his visit to Cuba, Cuong also met with
head of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee’s Department of External
Relations Jose Ramon Balaguer Cabrera.-VNA

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New resort project to be developed in Nha Trang City

Doi Xanh Nha Trang Company, a real estate developer, has announced that it will develop a resort project called Marina Hill in Nha Trang City of the south central province of Khanh Hoa. — VNS Photo

Doi Xanh Nha Trang Company, a real estate developer, has announced that it will develop a resort project called Marina Hill in Nha Trang City of the south central province of Khanh Hoa.

The project, it said, will have 68 villas which will be constructed on Thien Nga Hill with the height ranging from 20m to 75m over the ocean level.

Marina Hill is located on an area of 47,000sq.n with a construction level of 25 per cent. The other 75 per cent will be for infrastructure and amenities like golf, playing yard, green space, gymnastic, yoga centre, tennis, swimming pool, coffee shop and restaurant.

The project is nearly to Pham Van Dong – a new centre of Nha Trang City. It is about 2km far from Tran Phu B beach. It is also easy to approach Cau Da tourism boat station, school, hospital, traditional market from here.

Developer said that this is the first project in Nha Trang which is developed under the trend called go green – go organic. All of tree, grass in the project is grown with organic fertiliser which is good for environment and human health.

The project is set to be handed over to customers in the first quarter of 2019. — VNS

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SHB offers new preferential package to SMEs

Transactions at SHB. The bank will launch a 2.5 trillion VND (109.9 million USD) credit package with preferential interest rate from 6.5 percent per year for small- and medium-sized enterprises. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Saigon Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB)
recently announced that it will launch a 2.5 trillion VND (109.9 million USD)
credit package with preferential interest rate from 6.5 percent per year for
small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

package will be divided into two programmes, “Giving strength to business” and
“Quick financing by area”.

The “Giving strength to business” programme targets businesses in 17
industries, including medicine, pharmaceutical chemistry, rubber, plastic,
fertiliser, electronics, communication equipment, garment and textile, footwear
and farm produce. Loans are mostly short terms, at less than six months,
designed to help firms promote production and business activities in the last
months of the year.

Meanwhile, the “Quick financing by area” programme is built based on specific socio-economic
situations of the Southeast, South central, Mekong Delta, Central Highland,
North central and Red River Delta regions and Ho Chi Minh City. SMEs in those
regions are able to access to loans at the minimum interest rate of 6.5 percent
for terms of up to 12 months.

According to SHB General Director Nguyen Van Le, SMEs are among targeted customers
of SHB in the bank’s development strategy. The bank has designed a line-up of
preferential programmes and initiatives to back this group of firms, including
financial consultancies, helping businesses seek customers and market, loan
restructuring and enterprise shake up.

The solutions have increased SHB’s credit quality while boosting SME
development in Vietnam.-VNA

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Honeywell awards 20 scholarships to chemical engineer students in Vietnam

Honeywell (NYSE: HON) today awarded scholarships to 20 Vietnamese students majoring in chemical engineering at leading universities in Vietnam, affirming Honeywell’s continued investment in building the future engineering talent in the country.

This is the fifth year that Honeywell has sponsored this scholarship programme. In addition to serving Hanoi University of Science, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, and PetroVietnam University, the scholarships this year also will include students from Danang University of Science and Technology.

Five students from each university will be offered cash scholarships. In addition, four of the scholars will conduct internships at the US research and development campus of Honeywell UOP, a recognised global leader in refining and petrochemical technology. The chemical engineering students selected for internships will further develop their skills through direct participation with UOP technology.

“Not only does this scholarship programme provide funds for these students’ education, but it also allows them to experience working side-by-side with our engineers and experts,” said Jim Rekoske, vice president and chief technology officer of Honeywell UOP. “Working with leading universities in Vietnam, our program invests in the next generation of Vietnam’s scientific and research talent, which will benefit the country’s refining, gas processing and petrochemical industries for many years.”

“The eight-week internship was a valuable opportunity for me to obtain the latest knowledge and experience from the leading company in petroleum engineering,” said Dinh Thi Ha Phuong, student at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, and one of the students who completed an internship at Honeywell UOP last summer. “I was invigorated by the experience, and I look forward to applying my new expertise in my work in Vietnam.”

In addition to the scholarships and internships, Honeywell UOP also provides an annual lecture series in refining and petrochemicals to each of 12 leading universities in Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, and The Philippines. The lecture series contributes greatly to the academic curriculum in chemical engineering at these institutions, helping to develop a strong pool of talent in the industry across the region.

Honeywell started operations in Vietnam in 2005 with offices set up in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Technologies from Honeywell UOP are being used in PetroVietnam’s Dung Quat refinery, the first refinery to be built in Vietnam, and many others.

Honeywell also provides a wide range of solutions and technology in Vietnam, including avionics systems, power equipment and parts for aircraft engines, security systems, process control solutions, building automation solutions and specialty materials.

Honeywell Educators at Space Academy welcomes eight Vietnamese participants Honeywell Educators at Space Academy welcomes eight Vietnamese participants

Honeywell (NYSE: HON) and long-term partner, the US Space & Rocket Center (USSRC), welcomed more than 200 middle school teachers from 33 countries and 45 US states and territories to Honeywell Educators at Space Academy (HESA).

Honeywell acquires industrial cyber security firm Nextnine Honeywell acquires industrial cyber security firm Nextnine

Honeywell (NYSE: HON) announced signing a definitive agreement to purchase Nextnine, a privately held provider of security management solutions and technologies for industrial cyber security.

Honeywell upbeat about Vietnamese growth Honeywell upbeat about Vietnamese growth

American conglomerate Honeywell anticipates to raise its market share in Vietnam, one of its top growing markets.

Honeywell and VietJet sign again for $100 million Honeywell and VietJet sign again for $100 million

On May 31, Honeywell (NYSE: HON) signed an agreement with VietJet for 98 auxiliary power units for the airline’s new Airbus A320 fleet.

By Hoang Anh

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Ba Ria-Vung Tau resort property market largely untapped

Although Ba Ria-Vung Tau has been a well-known tourist destination for a long time, the province’s resort property market still offers many projects.

The province is currently home to a few large-scale resort property projects, in contrast with its huge development potential

To date, Ba Ria-Vung Tau has licensed 79 resort projects, dotting the coastline from the city of Vung Tau all the way to Xuyen Moc district, according to the province’s Department of Planning and Investment.

These projects cover an area of more than 2,350 hectares and have brought in VND248.6 trillion ($11.3 billion) in total registered capital.

Twenty-three projects have been put into operation on 466 hectares and are valued at VND158.4 trillion ($7.2 billion). 26 projects are currently under construction, using 491 hectares of land, with a total registered capital of VND9.18 trillion ($417.27 million).

Many projects included in the tally have yet to be implemented, despite having already received investment certificates—in some cases more than a decade ago. The most notorious of these delayed projects is the VND90-trillion ($4.1 billion) Saigon Atlantis Hotel by US developer Winvest Investment Limited.

Licensed in April 2006, the project covers 307 hectares in the city of Vung Tau and encompasses a high-end mixed-development, including villas, a hotel complex, a casino, a golf course, a marina, an international convention hall, an exhibition centre, and more.

After over 11 years, however, the project remains a vacant lot.

Next to the project site is a space that belongs to the VND94.6-billion ($4.3 million) Thai Duong trade centre, covering 12,000 square metres, developed by Thai Duong Entertainment and Tourism Co., Ltd.

The project has faced delays due to impediments in site clearance and compensation.

According to statistics from the Ba Ria-Vung Tau Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the province welcomed about 16.8 million visitors last year, an 8.4 per cent jump on-year, which generated VND2.18 trillion ($99.4 million) in tourism revenue. Of the total, VND599 billion ($27.2 million) came from travel services, while VND1.58 trillion ($72.2 million) came from residential services.

The figures attest to the province’s promising prospects for tourism property development.

In a recent visit to Ba Ria-Vung Tau by VIR reporters, it was apparent that the province’s resort property segment was fairly tranquil in comparison to the bustling Nha Trang and Phan Thiet—both cities located near the province.

Nha Trang and Phan Thiet have many resort property and entertainment projects in the pipeline, many of which are either completed or under intensive construction.

Nguyen Long Anh Thu, CEO of realty brokerage firm Nguyen Long Real, commented that resort property projects in the province are poorly designed and are not very appealing to visitors.

Besides, local resort properties are allegedly overpriced compared to those in other coastal cities like Danang, Nha Trang, Cam Ranh or Phan Thiet.

A source from DIC, a real estate firm in Vung Tau, said speculation was one of the reasons why the provincial real estate market fell below expectations.

In the past, several businesses purchased prime land plots to begin development plans. However, when the property market dipped during the global financial crisis of 2008-2014, these firms were drained of capital and could not carry out their projects.

In a recent workshop reviewing the management and development of provincial resort properties during 2017-2020 with a vision towards 2030, Chairman of the Ba Ria-Vung Tau People’s Committee Nguyen Van Trinh stressed the benefits these properties could bring to the province and acknowledged the shortcomings that are holding back the development of the segment.

Trinh said that while waiting for the government to enact regulations on the management and development of condotel projects, the province has looked at neighbouring locations’ rules regarding this form of property management, compiling the ‘backbone’ of management criteria.

For instance, planning will be centralised, and relevant work on granting certificates and contracts or collecting land rent will be clearly regulated to ensure benefits for customers and businesses.

Land rental fees will also be further reduced in an attempt to attract investors.

By Trang Ninh

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Uber $2.94 million in tax arrears

Uber BV Netherlands Co., Ltd. (Uber) will have to pay nearly VND67 billion ($2.94 million) in tax arrears, including personal and corporate income tax, withholding tax and value-added tax (VAT), as well as late payment fine, according to newswire Vnexpress.

The Ministry of Finance’s inspection found Uber’s tax payments lacking

After inspecting Uber BV’s tax records since it started operations in Vietnam in 2014 to June 2017, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Taxation has requested Uber BV to pay its tax arrears.

Notably, Uber BV will have to pay VND10.5 billion ($461,589) in withholding tax, as well as VND26.3 billion ($1.16 million) of VAT and more than VND14.6 billion ($641,841) applied to personal income tax.

Besides, the taxation authority issued a fine of VND10.3 billion ($452,805) for its false declaration leading to the lack of tax that the company has to pay and the company will have to repay the tax worth VND4.9 billion ($215,412) that it has yet to pay due to false declaration.

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Taxation asked Uber BV to pay the tax arrears of VND66.68 billion ($2.93 million) within ten days of receiving the authority’s decision, otherwise it will be subject to enforcement measures.

Nguyen Nam Binh, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Taxation told Vnexpress that Uber BV agreed with the authority’s findings, with the exception of the corporate income tax. It also requested the taxation authority to provide an exemption over this tax, as the enterprise operates as a foreign contractor in Vietnam.

Damian Kassabgi, Uber’s director of public policy for the Asia-Pacific, promised that the company will comply with Vietnamese regulations. However, Uber BV had yet to grasp their tax obligations in Vietnam and was unaware of the arrears until MoF’s recent official letter clarified their situation.

Previously, traditional taxi firms claimed that they have been subject to a variety of taxes and charges, while Uber and Grab Taxi were only subject to a tax rate of 4-5 per cent.

With about 30,000 taxis in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, traditional taxi firms must pay an average VND2 trillion ($91.7 million) in taxes annually, while the tax agencies have collected only VND20 billion ($879,234) per year from the 31,000 Uber and Grab cars.

Before traditional taxi firms’ started voicing complaints, in July, the General Department of Taxation sent a document requesting the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Taxation to inspect both Uber BV and GrabTaxi. However, only the investigation results of Uber BV has been disclosed.

By Ha Vy

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PetroVietnam raises money for victims of Typhoon Doksuri

Workers from PetroVietnam donated more than half a million VND (22,000 USD) for people affected by Typhoon Doksuri in central Vietnam. (Photo: PetroVietnam)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnam Oil
and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and its member companies have raised more than 3
billion VND (132,000 USD) for people affected by Typhoon Doksuri in central
Vietnam as of September 24.

Of the amount, more than half a billion VND
(22,000 USD) was donated by the group’s workers.

The group has been calling for donations
from its staff and member companies to help victims of the typhoon deal with its
aftermath and return to normal life.

to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control,
at least nine people were killed, 112 injured and four are missing after
Doksuri swept through Vietnam in mid-September. Total
losses were estimated at about 385 million USD.

typhoon, the biggest to hit the country in many years, caused rainfall
between 100-250mm in provinces from Thanh Hoa to Thua Thien-Hue in central
Vietnam and left 1.3 million people without power.

Last week, the PetroVietnam Exploration
Production Corporation also sent a delegation to present gifts to victims of
flash floods in Lao Chai commune, Mu Cang Chai district, northern Yen Bai

The firm donated 200 million VND in total to
people there, including 100 million VND worth of materials to build 2km of
roads from Lao Chai to Ta Ghenh villages. In addition, it provided financial
support to 48 affected households and presented clothes, books and bags for
local students.-VNA

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Traditional taxis continue fighting against Uber and Grab

The Hanoi Taxi Association have continued their vendetta against app-based taxis with a proposal to the municipal Department of Transport to ban their rivals from using roads traditional taxis can’t use.

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At present, Uber and Grab taxis can still operate in streets where traditional taxis are banned

According to Do Quoc Binh, the association chairman, said that currently many streets in Hanoi ban taxis. However, in reality, app-based cars such as Uber and Grab can still operate in these streets, which they claim is unfair competition.   

Traditional taxis have to need a badge, logo and meter. They are also tied to strict business regulations such as parking, registration licensing, roof-signage, listed fares and drivers’ uniform; but Uber and Grab aren’t.

Uber is paying 3% value added tax, while local taxi firms area paying a 10% VAT and 20% corporate income tax. Uber now keeps 20% of a fare and returns 80% to the driver.

Grab and Uber continue to offer huge discounts to passengers to grab market share from taxi companies. They are 25-50% cheaper than traditional taxis, and passengers are informed before the ride how much it will cost.

Binh claimed that the boom of Uber and Grab has added to more pressures on Hanoi’s serious traffic jams, so it was necessary to manage them like traditional taxis.

The association has recommended the Hanoi Department of Transport to pilot erecting sign boards to ban app-based taxis in the streets of Mai Xuan Thuong, Hoang Hoa Tham, Chuong Duong Bridge from Nguyen Van Cu Street to Hanoi’s centre city, De La Thanh-Kham Thien, Giang Vo-Lang Ha-Le Van Huong and Phu Doan.  


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TPP nations achieve progress toward new free trade deal

TPP members expects to clinch a new deal at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Viet Nam in November. — Photo

The Trans-Pacific Partnership nations have made progress toward a new free trade agreement slated for November following the US withdrawal from the pact, according to Japanese chief negotiator of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Kazuyoshi Umemoto.

Umemoto was quoted by Japanese news agency Kyodo as saying so to the press on September 22 after two days of negotiations in Tokyo. He also said chief negotiators of the 11 TPP member countries agreed to meet again next month, adding that they aim to clinch a new deal at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Viet Nam in November.

During the latest round of negotiation, three working groups on legal, intellectual property and other issues discussed member economies’ requests for freezes on parts of the original agreement, particularly clauses introduced at the US request.

The TPP was signed in February 2016 by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Viet Nam, covering around 40 per cent of the global economy.

The US withdrew from the pact after President Donald Trump took office in January. — VNS

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Pollution from landfill a growing concern

VietNamNet Bridge – As Viet Nam’s wealth and population have increased, so, too, has something altogether less pleasant: the amount of the country’s waste.

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An employee of the environment service agency of Le Thuy District in the central province of Quang Binh tries to control a fire that raged for 10 days in a landfill, causing serious smoke pollution in the area and affecting hundreds of nearby households. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tho

With current technology for treating and storing the waste still far behind the country’s needs, dump sites are starting to pose a threat to the environment and to public health, according to Mai Thanh Dung, vice director of the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE), in a workshop held last week on the management of waste storage sites in Viet Nam.

The most popular method of solid waste treatment is still burial, thanks to its relatively low cost, little initial investment and ability to handle most types of solid waste. However, the increasing amount of waste, lax management and disregard for technical protocols are rapidly making this method unsustainable.

According to the Ministry of Construction, the total amount of household waste generated each day in Viet Nam stands at 38,000 tonnes, with the rate of collection and treatment only reaching 85 per cent.

By 2016, there were about 600 landfills in the country – excluding small and scattered ones at the commune level – with a total area of 4,900 ha. Only 29 to 31 per cent of these landfills, or 200, are actually considered to have met required sanitary standards.

In big cities, where treatment by burial accounted for 69 per cent of all waste management, the resulting degradation of water, land, and air quality has been a growing concern.

According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, in many provinces of the south-central coastal and Central Highlands regions, industrial waste and household waste are still buried together in subpar landfills. Especially in the Central Highlands, open dump sites are often located in the valleys close to headwaters, putting downstream populations at serious risk of health problems from contaminated water.

Similarly, in the Mekong Delta region, many landfills are constructed without proper embankments. In the rainy season, the pits are filled with water that can spill over and contaminate surrounding areas.

The MoNRE’s report pointed out other problems with landfill design. For example, there is a lack of planning for landfills at the local level, limited mobilisation of investment into landfill projects and the continued use of outdated technical standards in the design of new landfills.  

An ISPONRE representative said that the national goal of having certified 90 per cent of landfills by 2020 is looking unlikely, based on the current situation.

Associate Professor Vu Dinh Hieu, from the Ha Noi University of Mining and Geology, also delivered a sobering report on mine waste dumps. According to Hieu, the waste produced by mining activities in Viet Nam – a staggering 312 to 403 million cu.m a year – is concentrated in the northeast region, where most of the country’s mineral resources are located. Mine waste dump sites might easily deform a whole area’s geological features, including rivers and forests, he said. In some cases, the size of each dump site might be as large as the actual mining site, eating up large land areas.

Numerous acute disasters can also result from these dump sites, like dust pollution, desertification, or potential soil erosion and mud floods, especially during monsoons. The country has already witnessed such floods in the cases of Phan Me mine in Thai Nguyen Province (2012) or in Hon Gai of Quang Ninh Province.

Hieu urged proper planning of these industrial dump sites. They must also follow environmental standards requiring the planting of 3,000 trees per hectare and the installation of an appropriate and capable drainage system and stable embankments to minimise risks of disasters, he said. 


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Egg hatching efforts help rebuild turtle population

VietNamNet Bridge – In a victory for turtle conservation efforts, about 421 baby turtles were released to the sea on Cham Island yesterday.

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Le Xuan Ai, a researcher on the Cham Island’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) management board, helps to release the first 182 endangered turtles to the sea off the Cham Island.

Their release continues the success of the first project in Viet Nam to release baby turtles far from the site where their eggs were laid—a practice known as ex-situ conservation—in order to repopulate turtle populations in areas where they have declined.

The turtles came from a batch of 450 eggs that were laid by turtles in five nests on Con Dao Island 50 days ago.

Le Xuan Ai, a researcher on the Cham Island’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) management board, told the Viet Nam News that 421 baby turtles out of 450 eggs hatched in sand nests on the island’s beaches, about 20km off the coast of Hoi An. All swam well into the sea.

Ai said he and colleagues had moved the 450 eggs from Con Dao Island to the Cham Island by cars, airplanes and train. The eggs’ long journey is part of a pilot project to restore the turtle population in central Viet Nam.

Because turtles usually return to the beach where they hatched when it’s time to lay their own eggs, the young turtles that swam away from the Cham Island will likely remain in the area and return to spawn the next generation.

Ai said this is the first ever time ex-situ hatching had seen success in Viet Nam with 90 per cent of eggs hatching healthy baby turtles.

Ai, who chaired the project, said the turtle eggs had developed well in good weather in the Cham Island.

“We are glad with the results of the pilot project on the Cham Island this year. We hope that more eggs will be delivered to the sea later this year,” Ai said.

Ai said different scientific study programmes had been undertaken in the area for three years to ensure prolonged restoration of the endangered species.

He said the successful ex-situ conservation would encourage neighbouring coastal provinces to implement similar conservation plans.

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The first baby turtles swim to sea on the Cham Island, off the coast of Hoi An City. These turtles were laid 50 days ago on Con Dao Island and were moved to the Cham Island. — VNS Photo Nguyen The Hung

Several beaches in central coastal Viet Nam, including Thua Thien-Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai are favourite destinations for turtle reproduction. But rapid urban development, the speedy construction of beach resorts and hotels, the overexploitation of seafood and extensive pollution had destroyed their habitats. Ex-situ conservation could help rebuild turtle populations in the future.

Another batch of 450 eggs were also moved from Con Dao Island in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau to the Cham Island for a new hatching phase yesterday.

A final report on the first turtle egg hatching will be announced in October.  

The Cham Islands are home to 1,500ha of tropical forests and 6,700ha of sea. The area is home to a wide range of marine fauna and flora, including many endangered species such as swallows, the long-tailed monkey and the crab-eating macaque.

The 3,000 inhabitants of the islands, which include eight islets with vast ecological diversity, host around 100,000 tourists annually, of which 10 per cent are foreigners. The Cham Island is a favourite tourism site along with the UNESCO-recognised Hoi An ancient town and My Son Sanctuary. 


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Ferragamo strolls through Milan daisy garden under the stars

Models for Italian luxury group Salvatore Ferragamo strolled through a garden of daisies in the heart of Milan on Saturday evening to wrap up the city’s fourth day of fashion week.

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Models parade in front of Milan’s stock exchange at the end of the Salvatore Ferragamo Spring/Summer 2018 show at the Milan Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, September 23, 2017. 

Fulvio Rigoni, director for Ferragamo’s women’s ready to wear, showcased his spring summer 2018 collection on a lawn under the stars, set up for the occasion in front of Palazzo Mezzanotte, the stock exchange in Italy’s fashion capital.

“No two women are the same and I wanted to celebrate women’s individuality and style, vivid colours..,” Rigoni said. For this reason the collection included pieces with assorted textures, prints, shapes and “attitudes”, a style note said.

Rigoni said he was inspired by the famous women, like Greta Garbo, Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe, who had worn Ferragamo’s shoes in the past.

Long floaty dresses, asymmetrical skirts, flared trousers and pencil designs evoked different eras with designs in emerald green, deep purple and geranium pink.

Models wore snake skin patterns with matching vests or skirts under silk ruffled shirts, laser cut short cocktail coats over high boots, A-line dresses and panelled satin tops and dresses with plunging backlines.

The looks were matched with peep-toe sandals with golden chunky heels and capri sandals laced up with silk foulards and small leather bags with thin geometric bracelet-like handles.

In the finale, models, followed by Rigoni, walked away from the garden-turn-runway to the steps of the stock exchange, whose facade was used for a light show by German designer Ingo Maurer.

Source: Reuters

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Weakened Merkel wins fourth term, hit by nationalist ’earthquake’

Merkel, who after 12 years in power held a double-digit lead for most of the campaign, scored around 33 per cent of the vote with her conservative Christian Union (CDU/CSU) bloc, according to preliminary results. It was their worst score since 1949.

Its nearest rivals, the Social Democrats and their candidate Martin Schulz, came in a distant second, with a post-war record low of 21 per cent.

But in a bombshell for the German establishment, the anti-Islam, anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) captured around 13 per cent, catapulting it to become the country’s third biggest political force.

Commentators called the AfD’s strong performance a “watershed moment” in the history of the German republic. The top-selling Bild daily spoke of a “political earthquake”.

AfD supporters gathered at a Berlin club, cheering as public television reported the outcome, many joining in a chorus of the German national anthem.

Hundreds of protesters rallied outside, shouting “Nazis out!” while smaller AfD demonstrations were held in other cities across the country.

The four-year-old nationalist party with links to the far-right French National Front and Britain’s UKIP has been shunned by Germany’s mainstream but was able to build on particularly strong support in ex-communist eastern Germany.

It is now headed for the opposition benches of the Bundestag lower house, dramatically boosting its visibility and state financing.

Alarmed by the prospect of what Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel branded “real Nazis” entering parliament, the candidates had used their final days of campaigning to implore voters to reject the populists.

Turnout was markedly higher than four years ago, up to around 76 per cent from 71.5 per cent.

French President Emmanuel Macron was among the first to congratulate Merkel, promising that the two key European partners would keep up their “essential cooperation”.

Big new challenge

Merkel admitted that she had fallen far short of the 40 per cent goal her party set.

“There’s a big new challenge for us, and that is the entry of the AfD in the Bundestag,” said Merkel, adding: “We want to win back AfD voters.”

Germans elected a splintered parliament, reflecting a nation torn between a relatively high degree of satisfaction with Merkel and a desire for change after more than a decade of her leadership.

Another three parties cleared the 5 per cent hurdle to be represented in parliament: the liberal Free Democrats at around 10 per cent and the anti-capitalist Left and ecologist Greens, both at about 9 per cent.

As Merkel failed to secure a ruling majority on her own and with the dejected SPD ruling out another right-left “grand coalition” with her, the process of forming a viable government was shaping up to be a thorny, months-long process.

Merkel, 63, often called the most powerful woman on the global stage, ran on her record as a steady pair of hands in a turbulent world, warning voters not to indulge in “experiments”.

Pundits said Merkel’s reassuring message of stability and prosperity resonated in greying Germany, where more than half of the 61 million voters are aged 52 or older.

Her popularity had largely recovered from the influx since 2015 of more than one million mostly Muslim migrants and refugees, half of them from war-torn Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Breaking taboos

But the AfD was able to capitalise on anger over the asylum issue during what was criticised as a largely lacklustre campaign bereft of real clashes among the main contenders.

The party has made breaking taboos its trademark.

Top AfD candidate Alexander Gauland has called for Germans to shed their guilt over two world wars and the Holocaust and to take pride in their veterans.

He has also suggested that Germany’s integration commissioner Aydan Ozoguz, who has Turkish roots, should be “disposed of in Anatolia”.

Merkel bound for ’Jamaica’?

The SPD said its catastrophic result would lead it to seek a stint in opposition to rekindle its fighting spirit.

“This is a difficult and bitter day for German social democracy,” a grim-faced Schulz, a former European Parliament chief, told reporters, adding that he hoped to remain party leader.

This would leave Merkel in need of new coalition partners.

If the SPD sticks to its refusal to play ball, mathematically the most likely scenario would be a link-up with the pro-business Free Democrats, who staged a comeback after crashing out of parliament four years ago, and the left-leaning Greens.

That so-called “Jamaica” coalition, based on the party colours and the Caribbean nation’s flag, would be a risky proposition, given the differences between the parties on issues ranging from climate policy to migration issues.

Schulz, 61, struggled to gain traction with his calls for a more socially just Germany at a time when the economy is humming and employment is at a record low.

Meanwhile Merkel faced accusations from within her conservative camp that she had left its “right flank exposed” to the AfD’s challenge with her centrist stance on issues such as border policy.

“This is competition for the Union and the conservative spectrum in general,” said political scientist Lothar Probst of the University of Bremen of the AfD.

“A very difficult period is beginning for the chancellor.”, Source from Vietnamnews.

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Stocks mixed, trading liquidity remains low

Shares were mixed on Monday morning with low market liquidity while large-cap stocks continued performing negatively. — Photo

Shares were mixed on Monday morning with low market liquidity while large-cap stocks continued performing negatively.

The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange inched down 0.22 per cent to close at 805.35 points. It moved up 0.4 per cent on Friday.

The HNX Index on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, however, extended gains following a three-day increase of 1.7 per cent, gaining 0.22 per cent to end Monday morning at 106.75 points.

More than 122.2 million shares were traded on both local bourses, worth VND2.08 trillion (US$92.5 million).

Large-cap stocks traded in negative territory as investors shifted attention to speculative stocks.

On the VN30 Index, which tracks the performance of the 30 largest companies by market capitalisation and trading liquidity, 18 stocks declined while nine others recorded gains.

Decliners on the VN30 Index included FLC Faros Construction (ROS), Binh Minh Plastic JSC (BMP), brewer Sabeco (SAB) and steel producer Hoa Sen Group (HSG).

Consumer goods producer Masan Group (MSN), Sacombank (STB) and DHG Pharmaceutical JSC (DHG) were, meanwhile, among the gainers.

Speculative stocks remained quite attractive to investors. Property developer FLC Group (FLC) was the most active stock on the market with more than six million shares traded.

The afternoon session starts at 1pm. — VNS

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Chastened Merkel braces for coalition tussle after vote

Germany’s Angela Merkel turns to the complex task of sounding out partners in a potentially fragile coalition after securing a fourth term as chancellor in Sunday’s election even though her conservatives bled support to the far-right.

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Christian Democratic Union CDU party leader and German Chancellor Angela Merkel reacts on first exit polls in the German general election (Bundestagswahl) in Berlin, Germany, September 24, 2017. 

Damaged by her handling of the 2015 migrant crisis, Merkel’s conservative bloc won 32.9 percent of the vote, down 8.6 points from the 2013 election and hitting its lowest level since 1949.

However, hers was still the biggest parliamentary bloc and Europe’s most powerful leader stressed that as the strongest party, her conservatives have the mandate to form the next government.

“There cannot be a coalition government built against us,” she said, adding she was sure there would be a stable government by Christmas.

However, a complicated and potentially unstable three-way coalition with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and Greens, untested at the national level, with a weaker Merkel could unsettle investors.

The euro EUR=D4 slipped in early Asian trading on Monday trading down 0.4 percent at $1.1906, with the prospect of months of uncertainty in Europe’s biggest economy looming.

One of the biggest shocks was the strength of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) which won 13.0 percent of the vote. It was the first time a far-right party entered the German parliament in more than half a century.

Some business leaders were alarmed, saying a party likened by the foreign minister to Nazis could hurt Germany.

“The AfD in the German Bundestag (parliament) is damaging our country,” employers’ association BDA leader Ingo Kramer said. “The other parties now have the task of cornering the AfD in direct parliamentary debate.”

One of the AfD’s leading candidates, Alexander Gauland, gave a foretaste of what is to come, vowing to “hound” Merkel and “get our country and our people back”.

Industry leaders urged Merkel to move fast.

“Our companies need clear signals. Now it’s all about averting damage to Germany as a place of business,” Dieter Kempf, president of the BDI industry association, said.

After her current Social Democrat (SPD) coalition partner, said it would go into opposition after slumping to a post-war low of 20.6 percent, Merkel’s main option is to pursue a three-way partnership.

A “Jamaica” alliance of her conservative bloc, the FDP, on 10.6 percent, and the Greens, on 8.9 percent, could be fragile due to fundamental differences on issues from migrants to tax and Europe.

In particular, a weakened Merkel who has to share power with the FDP is likely to create problems for deeper integration of the euro zone as suggested by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Final results are due early on Monday and during the day, parties will meet and hold news conferences.

Source: Reuters

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