Drivers continue Tien Giang toll charges

Many drivers have continued to use small notes to pay toll fees at Cai Lay build, operate and transfer (BOT) toll station in the southern province of Tien Giang.

Police have had to detain two drivers for aggressive behaviour in confrontations with toll booth staff.

Many drivers continue to use small notes to pay toll fees at Cai Lay BOT toll station


On the morning of November 30, the Cai Lay BOT toll station was re-opened after being suspended for several months following strong protests over the fees. Many of them used small change in bottles for the toll.

However, on the first and second day following re-opening, lots of drivers have continued their opposition though either using small change, or high-value notes.

The staff on Thursday morning asked the drivers to move to the waiting lanes to make their payments, but they disagreed, causing serious traffic congestion of around two kilometres for hours. The staff couldn’t arrange sufficient change, so they were forced to let the drivers go for free for an hour.

Traffic congestion at Cai Lay BOT toll station on November 30 and December 1


On the afternoon of the same day, drivers used small notes again, leading to more traffic jams, and again the staff had to let cars pass through for free.

Driver Nguyen Vu Long from Vinh Long Province said that “Although the Ministry of Transport reduced fees at Cai Lay toll booth, we still disagree with this as the fee levels are lower, but the time for fees collection is longer. The station is also deliberately placed to charge vehicles which are only travelling along the 12-km road leading to Cai Lay Town.”

Police also detained two drivers for their aggressive actions at the station, affecting the public order.

The same situation has continued and the staff had to let cars pass through for free for the third time on Friday morning.

Vehicle owners who reside in My Thanh Nam, Binh Phu, Phu An and Phu Nhuan communes in Cai Lay District will be exempt from the road toll. And those running cargo transport and bus services will get a 50% reduction.

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Is MONRE allowing Formosa to discharge substandard waste?

VietNamNet Bridge – Under the national standards QCVN 51:2013/BTNMT, the reference oxygen content is 7 percent, but the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) is allowing Formosa to apply the reference oxygen content of 15 percent.

                Under the national standards, the reference oxygen content is 7 percent


In January 2014, the then Deputy Minister of MONRE Bui Cach Tuyen signed a document allowing Formosa Ha Tinh to apply the reference oxygen content in the sintering period at 15 percent.

Explaining the decision, Le Hoai Nam, head of the Pollution Control Agency, admitted this was a ‘special document’. 

According to Nam, in December 2013, Formosa Ha Tinh sent a dispatch to the Environment General Directorate to ask about the ceiling oxygen content. The steel manufacturer said that in countries with a developed steel industry, the reference oxygen content is set at 15 percent for the sintering period.

The General Directorate of Environment said regulations in other countries apply the 15 percent oxygen content. Experts on air quality control from JICA also suggested the 15 percent level.

MONRE, replying to a dispatch from Formosa Ha Tinh, said that it can apply the 15 percent level for the sintering period.

Amending the laws

Tien Phong newspaper has quoted its sources as reporting that MONRE has assigned the environment general directorate to compile new national standards – QCVN 51: 2017/BTNMT on discharging waste in steel manufacturing, which will replace the currently applied standards QCVN 51:2013/BTNM.

This has raised concerns that MONRE is amending the current regulations to facilitate Formosa’s operation. Some observers said that MONRE just wants to please enterprises, while ignoring regulations and leaving the environment ruined by pollution.

Meanwhile, in August 2017, Formosa Ha Tinh sent a dispatch to MONRE, reporting the additional installation of the desulfurization, denitrification and deoxidization systems at the sintering plant. It is expected that the installation will be completed by 2020-2021.

MONRE denied that the ministry was allowing Formosa to discharge substandard waste. It emphasized that in order to control the emission from the sintering workshop, Formosa Ha Tinh has to invest in a treatment system worth $100 million.

The ministry said the emissions from the Formosa plant during the current trial operation period are being strictly monitored by MONRE, and that indicators of the waste water and emissions all meet Vietnamese national standards.

At the sintering workshop, the indicators are all much lower than the standards in QCVN 51:2013/BTNMT. At times, the SO2 and NOx content is higher than the standard.

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HCM City gets Italy-Viet Nam Textile Technology Centre

It is an Italian-funded joint project between the university and the Italian Trade Agency with technical support from the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers and the International Polytechnic for Industrial and Economic Development.

Prof Dr Vu Dinh Thanh, rector of the university, said the centre is equipped with Italian machinery and equipment, while Vietnamese lecturers and engineers have been trained by Italian experts.

The centre would be a reliable place for training and supplying manpower for Vietnamese and Italian textile-garment businesses, he said.

“With the Italy-Vietnam Textile Technology Centre, Vietnamese textile-garment enterprises will be able access advanced technology and interact with professors and researchers from Italian universities.”

Nguyen Phuong Dong, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, said the garment and textile sector has developed strongly with exports topping US$21.4 billion in the first 10 months of the year, a year-on-year increase of 9 per cent.

But the sector faces challenges like a reliance on imported materials and a lack of qualified designers and workers who can handle technology, he said.

“With active support from a global leading in the garment and textile sector, the centre would help train skilled human resources and improve design capacity, boosting the country’s textile-garment industry and making it globally competitive,” he said.

Paolo Lemma, chief representative of the ITA in Viet Nam, said: “Viet Nam is a promising market with many opportunities for Italian enterprises in textile and apparel, leather and footwear, tanning, agriculture, and infrastructure.

“Viet Nam has advantages in terms of human resources, economic conditions and an open market, and the two sides can help each other.

“I believe that if the two countries’ enterprises strengthen their information exchange and co-operation, bilateral trade will increase steadily.”

Italy is now the 18th biggest export market for Viet Nam.

Source VNA

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​Alibaba realty firm under scrutiny for multiple violations in Ho Chi Minh City

US Ambassador impressed by US President’s Vietnam visit

At a banquet hosted by the Vietnamese Embassy in Washington DC on November 29 to mark Vietnam- US comprehensive partnership and APEC Vietnam 2017, the US Ambassador said the development of the US-Vietnam comprehensive partnership was manifested by the two countries’ leaders at a joint press conference on November 11. The two sides discussed cooperation measures in areas of security, economics, trade, people-to-people exchanges and war aftermath settlement.

Many US officials and representatives of US agencies who contributed to the success of the US President’s Vietnam visit also attended the banquet.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh highlighted the fruit of Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership in recent times, especially President Trump’s visit and attendance at APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Da Nang.

Ambassador Vinh underscored that the outcome of the visit was specified in the joint statement which deepens the comprehensive partnership between the two countries. US officials attending the banquet congratulated Vietnam on its successful organization of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week and APEC Year 2017 and expressed their hope that bilateral ties will further consolidate in the coming years.

The two ambassadors committed to do their best to raise the Vietnam- US relations to a higher level. 

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HCM City leader meets Russian ambassador

Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan (R) receives Russian Ambassador to Vietnam Vnukov Konstantin Vasilievich (Photo: VOH)

HCM City (VNA) – Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City PartyCommittee Nguyen Thien Nhan hosted a reception on November 30 for RussianAmbassador to Vietnam Vnukov Konstantin Vasilievich.

Nhan expressed his delight at the growing traditional friendship betweenVietnam and Russia, saying that both sides should work harder to concretize anddevelop the bilateral ties and promote the efficiency of joint projects andcultural, education exchange.

Ambassador Vnukov Konstantin Vasilievich said that he hopes the twosides will continue focusing on fostering collaboration in education, culture,people-to-people exchange, as well as the implementation of metro line project.-VNA

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Vietnam film among top 16 at Cairo Int’l Film Festival

It was unveiled at the closing ceremony of the festival which is one of top 15 world’s most prestigious film events attracting famous film directors and actors around the globe.

The 90-minute film ‘The Way Station’ was adapted from a book writen by Do Phuoc Tien, featuring the life of the unfortunate destinies and tragedy of families in society with harsh prejudice.

This year, two screenings for the film were provided at the festival, attracting cinema lovers, film directors and film critics of Egypt and other nations.

Egyptian art critic Yasmin Mohamed said he was impressed by this interesting film, which has reflected a tragedy about gender inequality and the rights of people with disabilities in Vietnamese society like in Egyptian society.

Director Hong Anh expressed happiness that the film has attracted hundreds of audiences, adding that she learnt a lot of experience from foreign film directors and comments from viewers.

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Portal on EU market launched for VN exporters

Vietnamese exporters can now get all the information they require about the European market at www.viet-export-win.com, which was launched in HCM City on Wednesday by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in collaboration with the EU-MUTRAP Project.

Vietnamese producers and representatives of foreign distributors exchange information on the sidelines of a seminar introducing a website with information about the European market. 

Dinh Sy Minh Lang of the ministry’s European and American Market Department said the portal provides up-to-date information related to EU regulations, tariff incentives, international standards, market trends, products they can sell to the EU, buyers’ perceptions, and sector news.

Lang said “Viet Nam’s export window to Europe” database would initially focus on six sectors in which Viet Nam enjoys certain advantages: textiles and garments, wood and furniture, fruits and vegetables, aquaculture, leather and footwear, and coffee and tea.

At a seminar held to introduce the database on November 29, he said through the database, domestic firms could find out everything they need to do if they want to enter the global distribution network.

The portal was developed as part of a programme called “Developing Direct Participation of Vietnamese Enterprises in Foreign Distribution System up to 2020” that was approved by the Government in 2015.

The programme seeks to help Vietnamese firms develop new export channels to directly take their products to consumers in foreign countries to cut intermediary costs and add value.

Nguyen Khanh Ngoc, deputy head of the European and American Market Department, said understanding markets is always important when doing business.

The European market has strict regulations in terms of food safety, environmental protection, and origin, and Vietnamese businesses need to be aware of and follow them as well as meet requirements set by distributors there, she said.

They need to pay special attention to building brands for export products, which would help build trust in Vietnamese goods among foreign consumers, she said.

The ministry has co-ordinated with European distributors to organise “Vietnamese products week” in EU supermarkets to promote quality Vietnamese products and brands, and connect Vietnamese firms with distribution chains, she said.

Tran Van Lieng, general director of Vietnamcacao, said launching the database on the European market by the ministry is a good thing because it offers businesses information about the market so that they can identify the right strategy for each market.

Hoang Thi Lien, manager, fresh foods, Viet Nam, for France’s Auchan, spoke about her supermarket’s sourcing system and purchasing standards for food and non-food products.

To sell products to Auchan’s 3,800 stores around the world, Vietnamese producers need to meet certain minimum requirements, including hygiene and food safety standards in line with Vietnamese laws and regulations, and furnish documents for each product, she said. — VNS

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Vietnamese businesses fear future ransomware attacks

Some 200,000 systems were affected by the WannaCry attack in 150 countries in May, bringing many businesses to their knees and causing huge costs as companies fought to resolve the issue and get up and running again.Awareness of the severity of ransomware is rising, and against this backdrop an increasing number of businesses are now seeking to protect themselves.The ‘2017 Global IT Security Risks Survey’ from Kaspersky Lab and B2B International revealed that the total financial impact of a ransomware attack on a company can amount to US$713,224 on average.Kaspersky Lab recently introduced a new generation of its anti-ransomware tool…… [read more]

As a result, ransomware attacks soared around the globe by more than 11% in the 12 months leading to March 2017, said the report.Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system, either by locking the system’s screen or by locking the users’ files unless a ransom is paid. Operators commonly specify ransom payments in bitcoins. Recent ransomware variants have also listed alternative payment options using iTunes and Amazon gift cards.Ransomware infections were initially limited to Russia, but its popularity and profitable business model soon rapidly spread to other countries across Europe and North…… [read more]

Two-in-three managed services providers suffer from a shortage of qualified cybersecurity staff, according to a report by Russian computer security specialists Kaspersky Lab. As a result, ransomware attacks soared around the globe by more than 11% in the 12 months leading to March 2017, said the report. Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system, either by locking the system’s screen or by locking the users’ files unless a ransom is paid. Operators commonly specify ransom payments in bitcoins. Recent ransomware variants have also listed alternative payment options using iTunes and Amazon gift…… [read more]

The spread of WannaCry ransomware has been wreaking havoc across the world since Friday, and several Vietnamese businesses and agencies are advised to take cautions. The VNCERT, under the Ministry of Information and Communications, has issued warnings as well as offered protection measures to all users to guard against the ransomware and its variations, which target Microsoft Windows – an operating system that is widely used in Việt Nam, especially the outdated Windows XP. Kaspersky has listed Viet Nam among the top 20 countries most affected by this ransomware; the other countries and territories include Russia, Ukraine, India, Taiwan, and…… [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge – The Tin Thanh Group has bought Oakwood State Bank in the US and has changed its name to Tin Thanh Oakwood Bank Corp. This is one of the oldest banks in the US with a 116-year history. The takeover deal was made in September 2016.The small bank has only one branch in Oakwood, Texas. The updates by July 28, 2017 on ibanknet.com show that the bank has 21 officers and total assets of $34.811 million.Some analysts were surprised about the deal. “I wonder how a Vietnamese business can buy a bank in the US. Even if you have…… [read more]

The HCM City People’s Committee has instructed the Department of Communication and Information and other relevant agencies to take urgent action to ward off the threat from the Petrwrap ransomware attack. The computer system of WPP, the biggest advertising company in the world, was attacked by the Petrwrap virus on June 27.  Petrwrap is a powerful new ransomware which denies access to a computer system and then demands money from users to regain access. It is thought to have begun in Ukraine in mid-June before spreading across the world, hitting banks, government sites and energy firms. Viet Nam has been…… [read more]

On November 22, 2017, Vietnam Internet Association (VIA) organised the Internet Day. With the topic “”DIGITAL TRANSFER, Internet – The platform for Vietnamese businesses to integrate into digital economy”, Internet Day 2017 is the place where enterprises meet, discuss and raise awareness about digital resources and economy. Through two sessions on “Digital Resources – Opportunities and Challenges” and “Digital Economy in Vietnam – What’s New for Vietnamese Enterprises”, businesses are provided with information on the value transfer process of traditional telecommunication and other types of Internet access, have chance to meet and discuss with experts on opportunities and challenges of…… [read more]

Through the two sessions on “Digital Resources–Opportunities and Challenges” and “Digital Economy in Vietnam–What’s New for Vietnamese Enterprises,” businesses were provided with information on the value transfer process of traditional telecommunications and other types of Internet access, have a chance to meet and discuss with experts opportunities and challenges facing Vietnamese enterprises in e-commerce and value-added services on the Internet, as well as new business opportunities like fintech and blockchain.Accordingly, Vietnamese enterprises are aware of the importance of making changes to take the initiative to approach the digital economy.”As the traditional economy is approaching saturation, the electronic or digital economy…… [read more]

Thai police patrol in Bangkok (Source: EPA)Bangkok (VNA) – Thai authorities havetaken measures to tighten security in the fear of reprisal attacks ahead of thetwo-year anniversary of the Erawan shrine bomb blast in Bangkok, Thailand.The army and police were ordered to keep a closeeye on any moves of the extremist forces, particularly the Uighur network dueto a theory that the Uighur people were involved in the bomb attack on August17, 2015, as a result of the Thai government’s decision to arrest and deporthundreds of Uighur ethnic minority.Supervision and monitoring work at border gateshave been strengthened to prevent extremists, particularly members…… [read more]

PM Dung congratulated Myanmar on its successful organization of the 24th ASEAN Summit, noting that in his meeting with President Thein Sein President, both sides agreed to promote stronger cooperation between the two countries in economics, trade and investment.They also consented to boost cooperation with other ASEAN countries for strengthened solidarity towards building a united ASEAN Community by 2015 and have ASEAN’s common voice in dealing with regional and international affairs including the East Sea issue.Regarding economic, trade and investment cooperation, Dung suggested the two countries should reexamine and promote 12 key cooperative areas as agreed by senior leaders such…… [read more]

Get out your credit cards: Online Friday is coming

Promotions and discounts

According to the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, consumers can easily shop and interact with businesses through online as well as offline activities, and take advantage of many surprise promotional offers.

To increase the quality of the products and promotions, the organizers have decided to focus on attracting the participation of large businesses and top brands, such as Adayroi, Lazada, Shopee, Nagakawa, Sunhouse, FPT, Anbico, Sendo, Badasa and Leflair. The program has also attracted banks and delivery businesses.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said the Online Friday program aims to raise community awareness and promote shopping through online channels, and provide opportunities for consumers to access quality products at preferential prices. With the participation of many large businesses, banks and delivery businesses, it will contribute to enhancing connectivity between the various stages of a trade cycle, towards developing a professional e-commerce supply chain.

Ensuring quality

This year, the annual shopping event will focus resources on building and developing rigorous registration processes, applying regulations on reporting and punishing violations to ensure quality, and offering attractive promotions to consumers.

Le Duc Anh from the Vietnam E-commerce and Digital Economy Agency said Online Friday 2017 gives a transparent mechanism for products, and strictly controls prices and product quality. The products available must display the original price, certificate of origin and clear exchange policy, as well as the right promotions and discounts.

To prevent fake promotions, the organizers have asked participants to announce their original price one day before the event. This is the fixed price and is not subject to change throughout the event. If businesses push up a price and then reduce it by 50-70 percent, they will be punished.

The organizers hope to build a transparent and reliable playground that can protect the interests and beliefs of consumers. This is the basic foundation for Vietnamese e-commerce to develop sustainably.

Lan Anh

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Vietnamese & Polish airlines sign cooperation agreement

 
VNA will transport passengers between Vietnam and Paris / Frankfurt / Moscow / London while LOT will transport passengers between these transit points and Warsaw. 
 
From Warsaw, the passengers can continue travelling on LOT flights to many domestic destinations of Poland and Europe. 

The cooperation agreement also will offer preferential prices for passengers as they buy inter-route tickets from VNA or LOT compared to the retail purchase of each leg of the airlines. 

Vice Director of Vietnam Airlines Trinh Ngoc Thanh said that the number of passengers between Vietnam and Poland grew by 5.5 percent a year in the period of 2011- 2016, with approximately 24,000 passengers per year in 2016.

Of these, the passengers from Poland accounted for more than 90 percent. 

The agreement will contribute strengthening effective exploitation of the air routes as well as economic and trade development between the two countries. 

BY BICH QUYEN- Translated by Huyen Huong

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Nguyen Hoang night market in Quang Nam

In the World Heritage-listed town of Hoi An in Quang Nam Province, there is a night market on Nguyen Hoang Street which is worth visiting.

Facing the iconic Cau Pagoda, Nguyen Hoang night market has around 50 stalls selling a variety of traditional products, souvenirs and local specialties.

The market is open daily from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. It is a vivid reflection of night life in the ancient city. The colorful and bustling night market is also an attraction for foreign visitors to the ancient city.

Visitors can find products from traditional craft villages in the region such as gong, drum from Phuoc Kieu bronze village and silk clothes from Hoi An silk village.

SGT

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