Vietnam, Russia eye expanded trade links

Moscow (VNA)
Vietnam always welcomes and wishes to receive investments from Russia,
especially in the fields of energy, oil and gas exploitation and refinery, industrial
equipment and auto manufacturing, President Tran Dai Quang has said.

Addressing a Vietnam-Russia economic seminar in Moscow on June 30, the
Vietnamese State leader called on the Russian side to create favourable
conditions for Vietnamese firms to seek business opportunities in the Eurasian
country in agriculture, food processing, IT, consumer goods, services, real
estate, and mining.

He hoped the free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the Eurasia
Economic Union (EAEU), which
took effect in October last year, will
enable Vietnam’s textile products, processed agro-aquaculture products and
seafood, wooden products, electronics, and consumer  goods to access the Russian market.

He also underlined the importance of the two sides’ business communities in
promoting the bilateral cooperation, urging them to prepare for new
opportunities.

Vietnamese and Russian businesses should share new ideas and creative solutions
with each other and become pioneering forces in fostering economic links,
contributing to reinforcing and deepening the friendship between the two
nations, President Quang said.

Vietnam will make it easy for Russian businesses to seek and set up investment
and trade ties with Vietnamese partners, he added.

In his speech, Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin stressed
potential for the two countries to expand economic and trade cooperation, especially
in energy, industry, oil and gas, and transport.

The Vietnam-EAEU FTA creates a good
motivation for stepping up economic, trade and investment links between Vietnam
and Russia, he stressed, calling
on both sides to focus on developing new investment projects in the time ahead.

Agreements signed during President Quang’s visit to Russia will create an impetus
for the bilateral cooperation in the future, he said, affirming that Russia is
willing to facilitate the import of Vietnam’s fruits and aquatic products, as
well as support the Southeast Asian country in developing electricity and
mining industries.

He expressing his belief that newly-signed projects will help lift two-way
trade between Russia and Vietnam.

The minister asked the two sides to outline a medium-term economic, trade and
investment cooperation programme, affirming that the cooperation between the
two countries’ businesses will contribute to developing the Russia-Vietnam
Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in a sustainable manner.

The seminar, jointly hosted by the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and
Investment and the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, saw the participation
of representatives from 500 enterprises of the two countries.-VNA



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Vietnam, Laos bolster security cooperation

The event took place at a time when the two countries are celebrating the 55th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations and 40 years of the signing of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty on Amity and Cooperation.

Both sides compared notes on regional and international issues of shared concern and exchanged views on plots and activities of hostile forces and crimes that affect national security in each country, as well as the security and order situation along the Vietnam-Laos border.

They also reviewed the outcomes of cooperation between the Vietnamese and Lao security forces, and the implementation of cooperation agreements reached at the previous conference.

A host of measures were devised to improve the efficiency of coordination between the security forces of Vietnam and Laos in the time ahead, especially in exchanging and evaluating information, combating activities of hostile forces, and managing the border and entrance-exit activities and training personnel.


While in Laos, the Vietnamese delegation paid a courtesy call on Lao Minister of Security Somkeo Silavong, who spoke highly of the outcomes of cooperation between the Vietnamese and Lao security forces over the past time and hoped the two sides will continue close coordination to protect national security, social order and safety in any circumstances.

The Lao minister also urged the security forces to boost coordination to ensure absolute security for activities within the Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year 2017 and other major political events.



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Dong Nai authorities talk with Japanese firms to remove bottlenecks

Japanese are among foreign businesses pioneering in economic development in Dong Nai (Photo: VNA)


Dong Nai (VNA) – The People’s Committee
of the southern province of Dong Nai and the provincial Customs Department held
a dialogue with over 100 Japanese businesses to help them extricate
difficulties.

Answering the businesses’ queries about classifying customs
declarations, Le Van Danh, head of the Customs Department, said the
classification of declarations is made automatically on the customs sector’s
system and it depends on such factors as firms’ compliance and goods’ risk
levels.

Japanese enterprises also proposed simplifying customs procedures while
importing batches of the same type and origin at different moments from Japan
to Vietnam.

Speaking at the event, Vice Chairman of the
Committee Tran Van Dinh said Japanese are among foreign businesses pioneering in
economic development in Dong Nai.

Japanese firms have always strictly obeyed
Vietnam’s legal regulations and implemented effectively policies on environment,
tax and customs, and particularly those for workers, he said.

In the coming time, the province will
continuously accompany businesses and provide them with maximum support, he
said, adding it also hopes to receive feedback from Japanese businesses for
timely solutions.

Chairman of the Japanese Business Association in
Ho Chi Minh City Kadowaki Keiichi said more than 100 Japanese enterprises are operating
in Dong Nai.

Over the past time, the relations between local
authorities and Japanese businesses have been tightened via cooperation
agreements, he said.

Japanese businesses are running over 250
projects worth 3.9 billion USD in the fields of electronics, digital equipment,
electric appliances, and support industry.

In the first five months of 2017, they earned 1.8
billion USD from exports, making up 15 percent of the province’s total trade.-VNA



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HRW, Al Jazeera must have objective view on human rights in Vietnam

HRW, Al Jazeera must have objective view on human rights in Vietnam (Illustrative image. Source: VNA)


Hanoi (VNA) – The Human Rights Watch
(HRW) and the Al Jazeera TV channel have provided inaccurate information with a
lack of objectivity and goodwill about the human rights situation in Vietnam,
especially freedom of speech and freedom of internet.

A report released by the HRW on June 19 and a
report aired on the Al Jazeera TV channel on June 24 said that “Vietnamese bloggers
and democracy activists are threatened and beaten”. The HRW also listed “36
different assaults from January 2015 to April 2017”.

In fact, the reports were based on fabricated
and groundless information because the international community has recognised
Vietnam’s achievements in ensuring and promoting human rights, including
freedom of speech and freedom of press.

Ensuring and promoting human rights is a
consistent policy of the Vietnamese State, which has been implemented in line
with Vietnam’s Constitution and law as well as international conventions on
human rights to which Vietnam is a party.

From 2014 to 2016, dozens of legal documents
relating to human rights and citizen rights were adopted to concretise
regulations stipulated in the Constitution 2013, in accordance with international
conventions to which Vietnam is a party.

Vietnam has joined the Convention against
Torture (CAT) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
and has been an official party to seven out of nine major UN conventions on
human rights.

The country has also actively implemented
international missions and commitments on human rights by well assuming the
role as a member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in
the 2016-2018 tenure and the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in the 2015-2019 tenure, while proactively
and responsibly participating in the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on
Human Rights (AICHR).

Vietnam’s important achievements in improving
human rights are vivid evidence of the efforts. The country’s per capita income
increased to 2,215 USD in 2016 from 1,900 USD in 2013. The number of people
receiving monthly social allowances and health insurance cards has been on the
rise while more than 25 percent of communes nationwide have met standards for
new-style rural area building.

The country has paid due attention to the social
security and welfare work. Social welfare policies have been carried out to
remove difficulties for local residents in areas affected by natural disasters,
droughts, and saltwater intrusion, as well as those in four central provinces influenced
by the marine environmental incident last year. Social organisations and people
have been increasingly involved in the inspection and monitoring of State law
and policy enforcement. More favourable conditions have been created to
facilitate activities of religious organisations.

The strong development of the Vietnamese press in
the recent past also demonstrated that the freedom of speech and freedom of
press in Vietnam have been guaranteed not only in law but also in reality. The
Press Law 2016 officially took effect on January 1, 2017, serving as a
foundation to ensure these rights.

Specially, the internet is booming in Vietnam and
Vietnam is listed among 20 nations with the largest number of Internet users,
ranking 8th in Asia and 2nd in ASEAN. Citizens use the Internet to show their
rights to freedom of speech. Currently, about 50 million Vietnamese people use
the Internet, making up 52 percent of the country’s total population. The
number of Facebook users amounts to 35 million, equivalent to one-third of the
population, including 21 million users access everyday via mobile devices.

Vice
President and Managing Director of Google in Southeast Asia and India Rajan
Anandan affirmed that Vietnam has the most dynamic Internet market in the world
and is the only market with the number of Internet users higher than the number
of non-users.

These figures indicate freedom of speech and
freedom of press in Vietnam. There is no
reason why the HRW and the Al Jazeera TV channel did not understand these
facts. The HRW and Al Jazeera even sought to distort reality without
distinguishing the difference between genuine bloggers and those using social
websites to propagandise against the Vietnamese Party and State and harm the
interests of the Vietnamese people.

Vietnam is resolved to deal with law violators.
In Vietnam, nobody has been handled for writing blogs or articles. Only those
who abuse freedom of press, freedom of speech and freedom of Internet to create
social disorder, resist the State and people or go counter to the national
interests are strictly punished.

Those who have been arrested and brought to
trial in the recent past have abused freedom of speech to post articles with untrue
information, defaming the Party’s guidelines and policies and the State’s law,
distorting history and inciting people to oppose the State, and undermining national
security, social order and safety.

All sovereign nations across the world have laws
to strictly deal with those who take unfair advantage of freedom of speech and
freedom of press to resist their countries and provoke hatred and violence.

Internet managers or social websites such as
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have put in place measures to control wrong and fake
contents posted online. Even, Facebook was once sued by several European nations
such as Austria, France and Germany and fined for spreading online contents
that incite hatred and distort the truth. The HRW and Al Jazeera could not claim
that “freedom of speech” allows one to “change black to white” to distort the
truth.

That the Vietnamese State respects and ensures
human rights is undeniable and has been recognised by the international
community. Therefore, the HRW and Al Jazeera TV channel need to have an
objective and correct view on the human rights situation in Vietnam.-VNA



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Vietnam, Russia to give impetus to comprehensive cooperation


Vietnamese State President Tran Dai Quang and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to boost comprehensive cooperation between the two nations during the former’s visit to Russia from June 28 to July 1.


The two heads of state convened a meeting at the Kremlin on Thursday, expressing their belief that President Quang’s visit will create an impetus for further development of the Vietnam- Russian relationship.


During the conversation, President Quang reiterated that Vietnam has consistently focused on strengthening its comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia in order to promote further bilateral cooperation across multiple industries in the best interests of both countries’ peoples.


The two sides agreed to continue carrying out investment projects in both countries, including an oil and gas joint-venture, construction of a light industrial zone in Moscow, and projects by Vietnamese dairy group TH in some Russian localities.  


A plan to create joint ventures aimed at assembling and producing cars in Vietnam is also in the works, alongside cooperative efforts to step up energy and infrastructure collaboration, they said.


Two nations will also consider the possibility of continuing their cooperation in the use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes.


The presidents reached consensus on further enhancing collaboration in defense and security, especially in military engineering, and expand ties in science and technology, education and training, culture, tourism, and others.


According to President Putin, Russia’s investment projects in Vietnam are worth a total of US$2 billion, while Vietnam’s investment in Russia is $2.4 billion.


The two countries are set to establish a $500 million investment fund focused on prioritizing agriculture.


They also set a target of raising bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2020.


Oil and gas will remain a top priority sector for cooperation between the two countries, Putin said.


Regarding the situation in the East Vietnam Sea, the two leaders agreed that any dispute should be resolved by peaceful means in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).


Following their talks, the two presidents witnessed the signing of seven significant cooperation deals.


President Quang also met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Gennady Zyuganov in Moscow on the same day. 


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Reed Tradex ready with Vietnam industrialists to catch new investment wave

Exhibition organiser Reed Tradex is ready to work with Vietnam industrialists to catch a new investment wave, said Kasinee Phantteeranurak, Project Manager of Reed Tradex Co., Ltd. in a special interview. 


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Reed Tradex ready with Vietnam industrialists to catch new investment wave

The manager noted that 2016 has closed with the great success of the10th year of Reed Tradex in Vietnam. The company has welcomed over 30,000 quality visitors in two economic hubs of Vietnam which are Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City. 

According to Kasinee Phantteeranurak, in many ways, Vietnam is the emerging market in Asian region with high investment potentials. 

She cited the World Investment Report 2016 which said FDI inflows to Vietnam have increased considerably, and are expected to continue in growth, confirming the country’s position as the third most attractive country in terms of FDI in Asia, just behind China and India. 

In the past, FDI flows were directed towards light industry, but they are now quickly turning towards heavy industry, real estate, franchise and tourism. With the positive effects from FDI, Vietnam now produces high value-added products such as smart phones and tablets.

“Vietnam is a country of changes and currently offering increasing opportunities for foreign businesses,” she said, stressing that it is now exactly the time for foreign investors to start their business plans and grasp the upcoming clear opportunities. 

Asked about the opportunities that Vietnam needs to grasp and also challenges to the country in its integration process, she said Vietnam’s economy faces complex challenges that require a transition to a productivity-driven growth trajectory. 

“According to McKinsey Global Institute, Vietnam needs to boost its overall labour productivity growth by more than 50 percent, from 4.1 percent annually to 6.4 percent, if the economy is to meet the government’s target of 7 to 8 percent annual growth by 2020. More than ever, a long-term infrastructure development plan is recommended to be set up, which should focus on investor needs and address shortages of skilled workers through training programmes and the introduction of common standards for all the workers to upgrade themselves,” Kasinee Phantteeranurak said. 

She remarked that in recent years, Vietnam has transformed itself from subcontracting and assembly to be the industry of processing and manufacturing, the integration pressure on industrial products will get higher in near future. Vietnam’s science and technology development strategy until 2020 requests a 15-20 percent of technological improvement a year. It means that after five years, a new generation of technology must replace the old one. 

“But the good news is, on the other hands, innovation means not only replacing old machines with new ones but also changing a management system as well as developing high-quality human resources, which remains uncompetitive level in Vietnam,” she said. 

She went on to say that one of the solutions is to strengthen cooperation between scientists and businesses as well as promote international cooperation in the fields of science and technology in order to keep up with the world. As a business promoter, especially in manufacturing industry, Reed Tradex does believe that it is not about using the most modern technology, but the right technology will help Vietnam to narrow the gap with hi-tech world’s demand. 

“The world is changing; the game “big fish eat little fish” is not going well anymore, replaced by “fast fish eat slow fish,” according to the manager. 

She informed that in 2017, the company will focus on developing the exhibition programme to be more competitive. It will coordinate with organizations and experts in the industry, also the businesses who are holding the technology, to implement the transmission of knowledge resources, technology transfer and exchange of the ability to apply technology and machinery practically, with highest financial efficiency for the manufacturers in Vietnam.

This year, the company offered an international business platform for industrialists in Hanoi through the international exhibition “Vietnam Manufacturing Expo 2017” which was held from 26 – 28 April, 2017. The exhibition will return to Hanoi in 2018 from 8 – 10 August. 

It is also in process to launch the “Nepcon Vietnam 2017” which is a special exhibition on SMT & testing technologies, equipment and supporting industries for electronics manufacturing. “Nepcon Vietnam 2017” will celebrate its 10th edition and will be held at Hanoi International Center for Exhibition (I.C.E) from 13 – 15 September. 

From October 12-14, at Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC) in Ho Chi Minh City, the company will introduce the 11th edition of “Metalex Vietnam 2017” which is an international exhibition on machine tools & metalworking solutions for production upgrade. 

“We will welcome the entire local and foreign industrialists to the exhibitions, which will come along with business match-making programmes in which the participants will not be charged any fee,” the manager said, adding that at the exhibitions, there is the presence of not only the leading brands from around the world, but also experts in the industry, who will always be ready to share technical experience and technology’s knowledge to all visitors.

VNA



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OVs in Europe call for inclusion of East Sea issue in G20 Summit agenda

The Vietnamese community in Europe has called on Germany, as the rotating President of the G20, to add the East Sea issue to the agenda of the G20 Summit slated for July 7-8 in Hamburg, Germany. 


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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C, front) at a preparatory meeting for G20 Summit in Berlin on June 29

The recommendation was mentioned in a letter of petition addressed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which was signed in Berlin on June 29 by representatives of associations of Vietnamese and Vietnamese businesses in Germany, Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic. 

At the signing ceremony, many overseas Vietnamese said they are proud to join hands with their compatriots at home to protect national sovereignty and condemn militarisation and violations of international law. 

They said amidst the recent complex situation in the East Sea, the inclusion of the issue in the G20 Summit agenda and in its joint statement will be significant to maritime security and safety in the waters. 

The letter, written in German, is expected to be handed over to Chancellor Angela Merkel on June 30. 

The G20 Summit is set to touch upon many important global matters like free trade, climate change, digital technology, migration crisis, conflicts in Syria and tensions on the Korean peninsula.

VNA



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Vinatex invests in technology to expand market share

The Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) must innovate its technologies as soon as possible in order to increase its market share, said Le Tien Truong, the group’s General Director, at its share-holders’ meeting held in Hanoi on June 29.


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Vinatex will focus resources on investing in technology during the 2017-2020 period

Therefore, during the 2017-2020 period, Vinatex will focus resources on investing in technology, Truong affirmed.

According to him, the world economy is likely to grow by 2-3 percent this year, while the world demand for garment and textiles may recover slightly, at about 0.5 percent.

In addition, the US may adjust up import taxes on commodities from China, including garment and textiles, which can be a positive sign for Vietnam’s garment and textile export by expanding its market share in the US.

However, the Vietnamese garment sector is facing fierce competition in attracting orders as domestic businesses are unable to provide package services and face difficulties in meeting importers’ shipping requirements.

The country’s major competitors such as China, India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia continue attracting a lot of orders thanks to their preferential policies on tax and exchange rate, while the European Union-Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which are hoped to help with Vietnam’s exports, have yet to become effective in 2017.

Other problems for the sector include rising input costs and falling selling prices, plus the lack of high-quality human resources who can operate modern machines, especially in weaving and dyeing phases.

Therefore, the Vinatex will exert efforts to increase management capacity and administration in a modern and professional manner, while continuing to expand markets in East Europe, and optimise advantages offered by valid FTAs.

In 2016, Vietnam’s apparel industry saw lower than expected results, with 28.3 billion USD in exports, up 5.7 percent year on year. Vinatex earned over 2.5 billion USD, an increase of 5 percent over 2015, with a pre-tax profit of over 41 trillion VND on a 5 percent year on year increase.

In 2017, Vietnam’s textile-garment sector aims for a growth rate of 7-8 percent, and 30 billion USD in export earnings.

VNA



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Jetstar Pacific receives new Airbus aircraft

A crew of first brand new Airbus A320CEO aircraft of Jetstar Pacific in Toulouse, France.— Photo courtesy Jetstar Pacific

Low-cost Vietnamese airline, Jetstar Pacific, has received its first brand new Airbus A320CEO aircraft at the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France, as part of the airline’s goal to expand domestically and internationally.

The airline said in a statement it is the first of 10 Airbus A320CEO Jetstar Pacific is acquiring, following a deal signed at the Farnborough International Air Show 2016, in the UK.

The new aircraft took off from Toulouse on June 28th for its maiden voyage to Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCM City, before making its first commercial flight in Viet Nam.

Nguyen Quoc Phuong, CEO of Jetstar Pacific, said: “We are delighted to welcome 10 new Airbus A320ceo aircraft to Jetstar Pacific as we continue to develop and update our modern fleet.

“This continues to affirm our long-term commitment of providing low fares every day, in making travel even more affordable and at the same time, exceeding customer satisfaction on our flights,” Phuong added.

The Viet Nam-registered aircraft will boast 186 seats in its Economy Class cabin.

The budget airline also signed a purchase agreement with International Aero Engines (IAE) for 24 V-2500 engines that includes installation into all 10 new A320CEO aircraft, with four backup engines available.

Jetstar Pacific was Viet Nam’s first low fare airline, operating a total of 36 domestic and international routes.

It is part of the Jetstar Group network that flies to more than 80 destinations in 18 countries with 5,000 weekly flights across Jetstar Airways (Australia and New Zealand), Jetstar Japan (Japan), Jetstar Asia (Singapore) and Jetstar Pacific.

Jetstar Pacific, a member of Jetstar Group, has grown from five aircraft in 2013 to 12 aircraft and flies on 32 domestic and international routes.

Recently, the two major shareholders of the airline, Vietnam Airlines (70 per cent share) and the Qantas Group (30 per cent), committed to the long-term development of Jetstar Pacific. The two shareholders expect Jetstar Pacific to have a fleet of up to 30 aircraft by 2020. — VNS



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Higher growth in Thai exports and many investors interested in EEC

higher growth in thai exports and many investors interested in eec hinh 0

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has expressed his satisfaction with a report on the higher growth in Thai exports. He also received a report stating that the number of foreign investors that have shown interest in investing in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) is beyond expectations.

The Prime Minister said that export growth was seen in both agricultural and industrial products, such as natural rubber, sugar, vegetables and fruits, frozen and processed chicken, rubber products, automobiles and automotive parts, electric-circuit boards, and computers and parts.

He said that the continued expansion of the global economy has contributed to Thai export growth. Statistics show that Thai exports to the United States and Vietnam recorded significant growth. Exports to the Middle East also continued to grow steadily.

The Prime Minister hailed relevant government officials and members of the private sector for their great efforts to adjust in order to respond effectively to the changing global demand. He urged them to accelerate the promotion of the grassroots economy, along with export promotion to create a balance between the two sectors.

Concerning investment in the EEC, the Prime Minister said that the 10 target industries attracted many investors, especially those from the United States and Japan. The target industries include automotive, electronics, affluent medical and wellness tourism, agriculture and biotechnology, food processing, robotics, aviation and logistics, biofuels and biochemicals, the digital industry, and the medical hub.

He said that all interested foreign investors believed that the EEC would link to markets in ASEAN and other parts of the world. Investment projects to be carried out next year include the development of U-Tapao International Airport, Thai Airways International’s aircraft repair center, the Bangkok-Rayong high-speed railway project, Map Ta Phut and Laem Chabang ports, the Digital Park, and a production base for electric vehicles and medical equipment.

The Government expects that in the next five years, at least 500 billion baht will be invested in the ECC, which comprises Chon Buri, Rayong, and Chachoengsao provinces.



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Three landmarks of Bangkok listed among the top landmarks in Asia

three landmarks of bangkok listed among the top landmarks in asia hinh 0

These three landmarks are also Thailand’s top tourist attractions. In the list, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha takes 4th, while the Grand Palace takes 9th, and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha takes 14th place.

Tourists said that the Temple of the Reclining Buddha was “breathtaking” and “iconic” and “a true beauty to behold.” It also took 21st spot in the TripAdvisor Top 25 Landmarks in the World 2017. The Grand Palace is called “majestic” and the number one “must-see site” in Thailand. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is described as “a treat for the eyes” and a “wonderful example of Thai architecture.”

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha, also known as Wat Pho, or Wat Phra Chetuphon, was built was built in the 17th century during the Ayutthaya period. The Reclining Buddha at this temple has long been regarded as one of Southeast Asia’s most impressive religious icons.

King Rama III of the early Rattanakosin period turned this temple into a major source of knowledge for all people. He ordered the collection of knowledge from wise men and the collection of arts and sciences on various subjects, such as traditional medicine, archeology, literature, and poetry. These subjects were inscribed on thousands of stone tablets on the walls and columns of cloisters around the temple.

Soon the Temple of the Reclining Buddha became the first “open university” in Thailand, and it is now recognized as a center for traditional Thai massage, where people can learn techniques of various natural remedies for health.

The Grand Palace, built in 1782, is one of Thailand’s most revered heritage sites. In the past, the palace was not only the royal residence, but also served as the administrative center of the country, where the king performed official duties and various royal functions.

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, commonly referred to as Wat Phra Kaeo, is the most revered royal temple in Thailand. King Rama I had this temple constructed within the compound of the Grand Palace, when he founded Bangkok as the royal capital. 

He established the royal chapel to enshrine the Emerald Buddha, and today, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is still the venue for significant royal and religious ceremonies.



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Hospitality sector to see strong growth, says consultancy

Hoteliers are attracted to Viet Nam by a rapidly growing tourism sector, robust economic development and infrastructure investments, real estate consultancy JLL has said.

With a record 10 million international visitor arrivals in 2016 and a target of 20 million by 2020, Viet Nam is set to generate US$30 billion in revenue from tourism by the end of the decade.

The number of visitors from China saw massive growth in 2016, while the number of Russian visitors recorded a 60 per cent increase in April, year on year.

The dramatic rise in foreigners has gone hand in hand with the country’s significant investment in infrastructure. The investment will lead to 2,000km of new highways, metro systems in Ha Noi and HCM City, and a slew of airport expansions and new constructions, complemented by investments from state and private airlines to expand their fleets.

So it is unsurprising that investors and hotel operators are keen to commit to this high-growth market, JLL said. Adam Bury, senior vice-president, investment sales, Asia Pacific, JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group, said: “With huge commitments made by both state and private stakeholders into infrastructure and transport linkages, hotel investors are keen to capitalise on the Vietnamese market.”

“Viet Nam’s hospitality industry has progressed rapidly in recent years. We have observed considerable corporate and business demand in hotels across HCM City and Ha Noi, as multinational manufacturers have entered Viet Nam and relocated staff from other Asian markets on a temporary or semi-permanent basis,” Bury said.

“Hotel performance, particularly in Ha Noi, has improved off the back of the massive industrial investment that surrounds the city. We’re seeing similar trends in HCM City, which benefits from its position as the country’s financial hub. The medium-term fundamentals continue to look good for investors.”

Bury said that 2016 saw a record level of hotel transactions, with the dollar value of deals completed during the year adding up to 83 per cent of the deals in Thailand, a market perceived to be significantly larger and more liquid.

“The investments made in infrastructure and transport have opened up an array of coastal destinations beyond the long-standing hot spots of Da Nang-Hoi An and Nha Trang-Cam Ranh for investors to target,” Bury said.

With the recent re-branding of Hoi An’s The Nam Hai, now under the Four Seasons management, and a second Four Seasons in the early stages of development in Ha Noi, it is clear that many large operators are keen for a slice of the expanding market.

Frank Sorgiovanni, head of research, Asia Pacific, at JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group, said: “We have seen an increasing number of internationally branded hotels open in Viet Nam over the past 24 months, and expect further diversification of hotel management companies and brands in the market.”

Sorgiovanni said JLL expects growth beyond international hotel brands, as seen in other Southeast Asian markets.

“Homegrown hotel brands are likely to come to the forefront, catering particularly to domestic travellers. We’re seeing domestic hotel brands being set up in HCM City and Ha Noi in the budget and mid-scale segments, and expect these chains to grow nationwide at a rapid pace,” he said.

Viet Nam should not be seen just as a tourist destination, as the country’s rapid economic development, led by industrial manufacturing and production, has also driven up corporate demand. Increased connectivity combined with new hotel products have made it even more important as a MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events) destination. – VNS



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