Chủ Nhật, 31 tháng 3, 2013

Sugar firms allowed exporting surplus inventory

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has allowed domestic companies to export sugar with large volumes in an attempt to reduce the record high inventories of 450,000 tonnes.

Since the beginning of the 2012-13 sugar crop, the Sugar and Sugar Cane Association has predicted that there would be a sugar surplus.

Sugar is one of the country’s price-stablised commodities, so its exports are only allowed when there is a surplus, according to Ha Huu Phai, head of the Association’s Hanoi branch.

The country needs about 1.2-1.3 million tonnes of sugar a year.

The association estimates that the sugar output in the 2012-2013 crop will reach 1.4 million tonnes.

In addition, stocked sugar from last year as well as imported and smuggled sugar are available.

About 300,000-400,000 tonnes of sugar are smuggled into Vietnam from the southwest border a year, according to the association.

The country now has 40 sugar mills producing the 2012-13 sugar crop.

The sugar inventories have increased by about 100,000 tonnes a month since the beginning of the crop which normally begins in September.

To reduce inventories, some sugar mills have cut price, but sales continue to be low because of low demand.

Some sugar mills have also exported small quantities of sugar through unofficial channels.

To reduce sugar inventories in the long term, smuggled sugar must be strictly controlled and sales of legal sugar must increase, according to Phai.

The sugar industry needs to improve its competitiveness on price and quality, especially against smuggled sugar, he said.-

VPBank wins seventh Straight Through Process Award

The Vietnam Prosperity Commercial Bank (VPBank) has received the Straight Through Process (STP) Award for 2012 from the Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) for the seventh consecutive year.

The honour was presented to the VPBank’s representative at a ceremony in Hanoi on March 27, in recognition of its outstanding international payment services.

Last year, the bank made efforts in ensuring all its transactions to be processed automatically at BNY Mellon in an accurate and quick manner.

The annual award proves the operational accuracy by VPBank operators in general and its international payment officers in particular.

With the prestigious award, the quality of VPBank international payment services as well as the institution’s operation has been recognised by the international community, a VPBank executive said.

At the same time, the relationship between VPBank and BNY Mellon will be elevated to a new level as both companies seek to achieve their optimum goals of satisfying customers with the best possible payment services, he noted.

The leader took the occasion to brief on the bank’s plan for 2013 that will focus on improving its service quality, increasing added values and excelling conveniences to reach the international standard level.

Last year, VPBank won a host of awards, including the National Brand Award; the Vietnam Strong Brand, the Most Satisfactory Bank Services Award; the Award for the Best Agency in Outbound Growth, the Award for the Best in Network Growth and the Award for Highest Rate of Service Activation by Western Union, and the Straight Through Process award by Wells Fargo.

As a top world financial institution based in New York, BNY Mellon has a total asset of 25,000 billion USD. The 229-year bank has offices scattering in over 38 countries and 65 cities across the world.-

Latest American biomedical engineering research launched in Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City is poised to employ the latest American biomedical engineering research to make medical equipment.

American company National Instruments and the Biomedical Engineering Department of Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City last week announced a strategic collaboration to raise the standards of biomedical engineering education using the latest research and training tools.

“The announcement is the first step of our joint investment partnership. National Instruments selected the department because we share many similarities in what we want to do,” said Chandran Nair, managing director of National Instruments, Southeast Asia. 
The department, set up in 2009, is the first in Vietnam that offers a Biomedical Engineering degree and Master’s degrees.

Under the new partnership, the department, chaired by high profile Vietnamese American professor Vo Van Toi, former executive director of the US-based Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF), will leverage some of the world’s most advanced educational laboratory tools to accelerate studying and innovation.

Vietnam is a key market for National Instruments in Southeast Asia, said Nair. “We’re looking forward to expanding our partnerships here.”

Biomedical Engineering is a new applied science in the world that seeks to close the gap between engineering and medicine by combining the design and problem solving skills of engineering with medical and biological sciences to advance healthcare treatment.

Toi said the partnership would support his department in research and development (R&D) of made-in-Vietnam medical tools.

“The partnership is beneficial to our faculty and students who can now access to advanced educational tools that help facilitate the utilisation of bio-sensors in the research and the design of new medical devices,” he said.

His department has just signed a deal with the Ho Chi Minh City Association of Medical Equipment Makers for R&D for medical devices.

Toi is a respected medical engineer on the global stage and from 2004 to 2007, he was a member of the Board of Directors of VEF, a U.S. federal agency established by Congress to bring the US and Vietnam closer through educational exchanges.

Vietnam, Chile enjoy over $600 mln in trade

Two-way trade between Vietnam and Chile reached a record in 2012 with a value of $606 million  or 24.5 per cent more than 2011, according to the Chile’s Export Promotion Agency (ProChile).

Footwear manufacturing at Hunex company in Da Nang. (Illustrative image, Source: VNA)

Statistics released by the agency showed that last year, Vietnam’s exports to Chile rose 26.9 per cent year-on-year to $189.8 million. Its major exports were footwear, garments and textiles, cement, frozen fish, coffee and rice

Meanwhile, the Southeast Asian country’s import value was $416.2 million, up 23.4 per cent year-on-year.

The two countries expect to witness higher trade revenue after their bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) takes into effect.

In 2011, bilateral trade between Vietnam and Chile reached more than $486 million, a year-on-year increase of 50 per cent.

Vinamilk to operate two new dairy plants

The Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk) will put into operation two modern dairy plants in the southern province of Binh Duong late April, Chairwoman cum CEO of the Vinamilk Corporation Mai Kieu Lien has said.

Covering 20ha in the My Phuoc Industrial Zone, the first factory, which is fully automated, will turn out 400 million litres of milk annually in the first phase, equivalent to the capacity of Vinamilk’s nine operating plants. It will then double the output after the second phase.

Located in the Vietnam-Singapore industrial zone, the second, covering six ha, will produce 54,000 tonnes of powdered milk, four times the current figure.

Vinamilk posted export revenues of almost $180 million and contributed more than VND2.9 trillion to the State budget last year. It also sold more than 4 billion products the same year, the highest figure so far, and this figure is expected to reach VND26.5 trillion by the end of this year.

Limited VAT incentives for border gate traders

Value added tax (VAT) incentives for traders in border-gate economic zones (EZs) should be limited to prevent tax fraud and evasions, the Ministry of Finance proposed.

Many cases of taking advantage of the preferential policy for border-gate economic zones to get VAT tax refunds have been discovered. Multiple traders have brought domestic goods from elsewhere into non-tariff zones and then launched them into the local market again under the form of duty-free goods so that they receive a VAT refund.

Therefore, the finance ministry is seeking adjustments to the VAT preferential policy for border-gate EZs.

The ministry suggested goods produced and consumed in non-tariff areas, those imported from abroad into non-tariff zones or exported from such zones to foreign countries should be exempt from VAT.

As for domestic goods produced outside or in other functional areas in border EZs and brought into non-tariff areas, traders must make declarations and pay taxes on such items. However, if such items are brought there for export, they will enjoy zero VAT rate, provided they satisfy the requirements prescribed by the law on VAT, and pass the check before VAT refund.

Meanwhile, goods and services from non-tariff areas launched into other functional areas in border-gate EZs or into the domestic market will be subject to VAT.

This move is aimed at preventing VAT fraud and evasion, said the finance ministry in a draft decision on financial policy for border EZs.

In addition, the ministry proposed investors in border zones should enjoy export and import tax incentives. Raw materials and components imported to serve the production projects in border-gate EZs (except the projects for assembly of cars and motorbikes, air conditioners, refrigerators, and some other electronic items) should be given a five-year import tax exemption.

VietJetAir to fly to Nha Trang, Buon Ma Thuot

VietJetAir will open two new air routes, Hanoi-Nha Trang and HCMC-Buon Ma Thuot, in summer to meet the increasing transport demand.

The carrier will add over 1,600 flights, equivalent to 300,000 seats, from May 20 to August 31 due to the high demand in this summer travel season.

The Hanoi-Danang air service will have an additional three flights per day. Meanwhile, there will be two additional flights per day on each of the HCMC-Phu Quoc, HCMC-Vinh and HCMC-Haiphong air routes.

Besides, with the new routes, the number of flights will be increased by two per day for Hanoi-Nha Trang and by one for HCMC-Buon Ma Thuot. The carrier will also announce soon the number of flights to Dalat, Haiphong and Bangkok.

Desmond Lin, Business Development Manager of VietJetAir, said that in order to increase the flight frequency in the coming time, VietJetAir will expand its fleet and improve utility services.

* Jerstar Pacific on Monday started to operate its new domestic routes, Buon Ma Thuot-Vinh and HCMC-Buon Ma Thuot.

The 50-minute HCMC-Buon Ma Thuot air service is operated with a frequency of five weekly flights on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Meanwhile, for the 85-minute Buon Ma Thuot-Vinh air service, there are three flights per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Resorts suffering from Ke Ga Port to be compensated

Those resorts whose assets are damaged by the construction of the now-defunct Ke Ga Port will be compensated at 100% of their damages by Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin).

Those assets whose utility value is less than 30% left will also receive compensations worth 100% of their value under an agreement between Vinacomin and Binh Thuan’s government.

The provincial government will renew investment certificates for the investors who want to continue or expand their resort projects after Vinacomin halted development of Ke Ga Port, said Nguyen Ngoc, vice chairman of Binh Thuan.

The province is forming a council in charge of evaluating damages of the affected resorts and then it will propose Vinacomin offer the project owners adequate compensations.

Twelve resorts suffered land withdrawals for construction of Ke Ga Port. Two of them were granted land use right by the State and the remaining ten rented land from the State, said Ngoc.

A project owner demands a compensation of VND3.9 billion for loss of investment opportunity since the project was forced to stop in 2008, while another seeks VND25.5-billion compensation for gold price drop when he made investment. Such claims are not provided in any legal document, so Binh Thuan has to report to the central authorities.

In a complaint sent to Binh Thuan’s government in mid-2012, owners of the 12 resorts estimated their total damages at over VND800 billion.

In April 2008, when the province called a halt to these 12 resorts and revoked their lands, one project was operational (Blue World), one was being carried out (Duc Hanh), and the rest had some components under construction.

17 extra HCMC-Nha Trang trains for holidays

To meet the increasing transport demand for Liberation Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1), Saigon Railway Passenger Transport Company is putting on 17 extra trains from HCMC to Nha Trang in the period.

Thai Van Truyen, deputy director of Saigon Railway Station, said in addition to two trains running between HCMC and Nha Trang daily, there will be an additional six trains from HCMC to Nha Trang on April 26 and three others on April 27. Meanwhile, the number of trains departing from Nha Trang for HCMC will increase by five on April 30 and by three on May 1.

With the Hung Kings’ death anniversary (April 19), the number of HCMC-Nha Trang trains will be increased by four, with two more trains departing for Nha Trang on April 18 and two others departing for HCMC on April 21.

All trains will depart from HCMC at night and arrive in Nha Trang in the early morning.

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