Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018

At lunchtime, bank officer Dang Thu Thuy of Hanoi, for example, placed an order via phone 15 kilos of Australian grapes and 8.5 kilos of Rose apples from a fruit shop.  Thuy said she usually buys imported fruit. “Australian grapes are big and sweet, priced at just VND50,000 per kilo. If you get a whole box of Rose apples, you’ll just have to pay VND43,000 per kilo only. The prices are very reasonable,” she said, adding that imports have become as cheap as domestic products.  The owner of a fruit shop confirmed that imported fruit is getting cheaper with prices of some products falling by 50%. American cherries, for example, which sold at VND350,000-700,000 per kilo, are now VND180,000-200,000. MARD has reported that Vietnam imported US$216 million worth of fruit and vegetables in July and US$852 million in the first seven months of the year. This included US$659 million spent on fruit imports, a two-fold increase compared with the same period last year. Dao Anh Tuan, director of a fruit import company in Hanoi, said the company only imported fruits grown in temperate zones which cannot be grown in Vietnam, such as kiwi, apple, pea and cherry. But now, it imports mango, longan and coconut which are grown in many areas of Vietnam. A kilo of domestically grown custard-apple is priced at VND40,000-60,000 only. However, Vietnamese pay VND500,000 for every kilo of Taiwanese products.  Many types of fruits which…... [read more]

NDO – Vietnam officially concluded their campaign at the 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on August 29, settling for third place overall with a collection of 58 gold, 50 silver and 60 bronze medals. >>> SEA Games 29: Vietnam at 3rd place on August 29 On the last day of competition, weightlifter Hoang Tuan Tai brought home the final medal for Vietnam after taking bronze in the men’s 185kg category with a total lift of 322kg, one kilogram fewer than the Malaysian silver medalist and 15kg behind the gold medal winner from Thailand. Tai’s bronze also marked the conclusion of the Vietnamese athletes’ mission at the Games. With 58 titles won, the national sporting delegation have reached their target of securing 49-59 gold medals and defending a top-three finish in the overall medal count. The Singaporean athletes failed in all of their four final matches on Wednesday, thereby completing their SEA Games 2017 competition in fourth-place, with just one gold medal fewer than Vietnam’s tally. Thailand won an additional title in the men’s 1,000m skating event this morning to successfully defend second place with 72 gold medals. Hosts Malaysia topped the overall medal table, winning a total of 145 gold, 92 silver and 86 bronze medals. The closing ceremony of the 29th SEA Games is scheduled to take place at around 8.30pm (Vietnamese time) today.... [read more]

NDO – An international campaign aimed at raising public awareness concerning elephant protection was launched in Ho Chi Minh City, on August 30. Co-organised by the Centre of Hands-on Actions and Networking for Growth and Environment (CHANGE) and WildAid, the "Ivory Free" campaign is part of the global wildlife relief programme entitled “When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.” Do Quang Tung, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Office, said that from approximately 1.2 million individuals in Africa in 1979, the number of African elephants has dropped to just over 420,000. Two thirds of the elephants have been killed mainly for ivory in order to serve the demand of Asian countries and every day the world loses around 100 African elephants. Previously in Vietnam, there were over 1,000 elephants but now the country has only about 100 individuals living along the border with Laos and Cambodia. In the last ten years, Vietnam has become an illegal ivory transit point for transportation to other countries. According to CHANGE, the most recent data showed that around 33,000 elephants are killed each year for ivory. China accounts for 70% of the global demand for ivory and the ivory is used to make carvings, jewellery and handicrafts and is considered a symbol of wealth. Worryingly, the profits from the sale of ivory are very high, estimated at US$450-900 per kg, only behind drug trafficking in terms of profits. Wishing to prevent ivory trafficking in Vietnam in order to contribute…... [read more]

Many large-scale investment projects and cooperation agreements have been signed for the near future, promising a breakthrough in foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction in Vietnam. Just in the last 10 days, numerous investment cooperation agreements have been signed within the framework of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to Indonesia and Myanmar and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to Thailand. One of these is the agreement between PT Intra Asia (Indonesia) and Hong Phat Coal and Resources to build a port for coal import in Vietnam. The project is expected to have up to $1 billion investment and capacity of 15 – 20 million tonnes per year, helping cut the cost of transporting imported coal from Indonesia. “The construction of the port will help the sustainable development of exporting coal from Indonesia to Vietnam and secure the input for thermal electricity plant”, said Lutfi Ismail, chairman of PT Intra. Ciputra Hanoi township developed by Ciputra Group (Indonesia) Another agreement was signed between Thailand’s Superblock PCL and a Vietnamese partner to develop renewable energy in Vietnam. Superblock PCL, one of the largest renewable energy producer in Southeast Asia, plans to invest up to THB20 billion ($602 million) each year to expand production inside and outside the country to meet the increasing demand for clean energy. In the next 3-4 years, Superblock PCL will increase their capacity to around 2,000 megawatts, 700MW of…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge - The Central Group from Thailand has poured money into supermarkets, home appliance distribution chains, hotels, fashion shops, export and wholesale, and is developing 160 shops/supermarkets. And it is now harboring a plan to build a 200-500 room hotel in HCMC. Joining the market in July 2011, Central Group has become familiar to many Vietnamese. The conglomerate is present in six business fields and has been continuously investing in the country.  In late 2014, Central Group opened two Robins fashion centers in Hanoi and HCMC, where the products of famous brands are displayed, though Thai products are dominant.  In January 2015, Power Buy, a subsidiary of Central Group, bought a 49 percent stake of NKT, the company which owned Nguyen Kim home appliance distribution chain, with 21 supermarkets throughout the country. Later, the Thai giant surprised the public when taking over Lan Chi, a retail chain with supermarkets mostly located in rural areas, which did not catch the attention of foreign investors. The takeover showed Central Group’s ambition of reaching every corner of the Vietnamese market. The conglomerate stated it will spend 17 billion baht, or $511.7 million, to expand its operation in Vietnam in the next five years. In April 2016, Central Group stirred up the public when defeating TCC group (Thailand), Lotte (South Korea), Aeon (Japan), Masan and Saigon Co-op (Vietnam) in competition to buy Big C Vietnam from the French owner. After taking over Big C Vietnam, the Thai giant began restructuring the management of…... [read more]

Industry experts voiced their opinions on Vietnam’s proposal to revise its capital assignment profits tax, which is expected to affect cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Businesses are struggling to make sense of the proposed changes to the capital assignment profits tax Aiming at transparency In its proposal, MoF intends to replace this method with the new 1 per cent CAPT, which is calculated according to gross sales proceeds instead of capital gains. If passed, the bill will take effect on January 1, 2019, together with other overhauls on personal income tax, special consumption tax, and value-added tax. According to industry experts, the revised CAPT will simplify the process of collecting and managing taxes that are derived from cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As). In these cases, determining the taxable amount of capital gains is difficult due to various reasons, including fluctuations in “When it comes to filing and inspecting taxes, this revised CAPT would reduce the complication of any calculation and administration [issues] relating to the justification of market price. This would improve the transparency in tax inspection,” Ta Hong Thai, tax partner at KPMG Vietnam, told VIR. Similarly, Dr Oliver Massmann, general director of Duane Morris LLP, praised the new scheme as a great effort by the government to unify different CAPTs being applied between foreign entities and foreign individuals. Looking at nearby countries, it is easy to see that there is…... [read more]

In Mongolia, herders living outside the capital Ulaanbaatar, near the Tuul River, fear deteriorating water quality is making their livestock sick. In Indonesia, shrimp farmers in Serang who rely on the Ciujung River have seen their catches fall, and some have developed skin problems. In south-central Thailand, villagers near the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, home to petrochemical plants, oil refineries and coal-fired power stations, worry that their water is heavily polluted. Concerned about their health, these communities sought clarification and information from their governments about pollutants being released into the environment, overall water quality, the risks of using such water, and information on the companies thought to be responsible. In each case, they were thwarted, despite their countries having extensive legislation on citizens' right to information, including environmental data, said a new report by the World Resources Institute (WRI), a U.S.-based think tank. Villagers faced obstacles - from having to pay to access documents, to lacking an internet connection for online information, and needing to understand and use freedom of information laws, the report said. Sometimes, the data was unavailable publicly or presented in a language communities could not understand. When information was released, it was often poor, technical and did not meet local people's demands, said the report issued on Wednesday. "Access to information is really the foundation for any kind of meaningful public participation or accountability in environmental decision-making," Elizabeth Moses, the report's co-author, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. In Thailand and Mongolia, people who request…... [read more]

BANGKOK: At a hip Bangkok diner, foodies with an adventurous palate tuck into a bug-based menu that includes watermelon salad sprinkled in bamboo worms, nachos with silkworm cherry tomato salsa and pasta made from ground crickets. Edible winged ants being placed on a fish fillet inside the kitchen of Insects in the Backyard, which says it offers the first insect-based fine-dining menu in Bangkok. (Photo: AFP/Lillian Suwanrumpha) Abundant and stacked with protein, insects have long been a favourite snack among Thai farmers. But they have often carried a negative image, perceived as "food for the poor" in a country with profound class divides. Now bugs are creeping onto the menu of some of Bangkok's high-end restaurants as the capital's gourmands leap on the latest global food trend with a sustainable agenda. Customers seated inside Insects in the Backyard - bugs are creeping onto the menu of some of Bangkok's high-end restaurants. (Photo: AFP/Lillian Suwanrumpha) Ratta Bussakornnun, a 27-year-old who works in the cosmetics industry, admitted she was initially sceptical as she sat for a meal recently at Insects in the Backyard, which says it offers Bangkok's first insect-themed fine-dining menu. Many wealthier Thais, she said, think of insects as "unappetising and dirty". But by the end of her meal she was won over. "I just ate scallops topped with bamboo worms and…... [read more]

NDO/VNA – The ongoing third Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM3) of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) has updated a draft report on APEC economic policy on human resources development and structural reform, said Assistant to the APEC 2017 SOM Chair Do Hung Viet. >>> APEC SOM3 kicks off in Ho Chi Minh City Speaking at a press briefing in Ho Chi Minh City on August 29, Viet said the report will be presented at the Concluding APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (CSOM) in the central city of Da Nang in November. The delegates also reviewed the work carried out by APEC committees, including the Economic Committee (EC), the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI), the Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE), and the Budget and Management Committee (BMC), he added. At the meeting, the EC proposed the officials approve two important documents that are the Framework on Cross-border E-commerce Facilitation that Vietnam has promoted over the past time, and the Best Practices on Promoting Supporting Industries in Asia-Pacific Region, Viet added. They also looked into initiatives and proposals in preparation for the APEC Leaders’ Week in the central city of Da Nang in November. Viet said during more than ten days of working, the SOM3 and related meetings featured more nearly 80 meetings of APEC committees, groups and forums, with the participation of close to 3,000 delegates. EC Chair Rory McLeod told reporters on the sidelines of the SOM3 that they have discussed structural…... [read more]

Vietfish 2017 will take place from August 29 to 31 in HCM City. — Photo Vietfish 2017, Viet Nam’s largest annual fisheries exhibition, kicked off on Tuesday in HCM City. This industry event has attracted some 200 seafood exporters and processors from Việt Nam and 15 other countries and territories, such as Malaysia, Thailand, China and Japan, as well as Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Germany, along with Poland and the United States. The exhibition, organised by the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP), aims at connecting domestic and foreign seafood companies. In addition, the fair will provide participants with business opportunities, chances to boost trade, get new partners and sign contracts, besides promoting Vietnamese aqua-products in international markets. Under the theme “Asia’s Home of Seafood,” the exhibition this year has 350 booths set up by domestic and foreign companies. Within the framework of the fair, many activities will take place, such as cooking demonstration, tasting Vietnamese seafood products, launching new products and organising specialised workshops on seafood. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam highlighted the significance of Vietfish during the past 18 years. This is a traditional event of Viet Nam’s seafood industry, attracting most of the domestic and international seafood enterprises, leading to the expectation of VASEP and the Ministry of Agriculture Rural Development that Vietfish will become the market to effectively promote the great…... [read more]