Thứ Bảy, 29 tháng 4, 2017

Footwear manufacturers plan comeback to conquer home market

Though only around 10 Vietnamese footwear brands exist in the home market and each holds a modest 2 percent of market share, the products have begun conquering the local consumer market.

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With mid-range prices, and a design center and workshop in Brazil, Vascara has great advantages in the Vietnamese market. As the brand has become better known to youth in Vietnam, Vascara has opened over 80 shops in large cities and provinces.

More and more 100 percent Vietnamese brands have appeared in the market recently. However, the investors prove to be wise enough to give ‘western’ names to their brands, such as Dolly, Juno, Sablanca, Bejo, Mirrabella, Hodono and Evashoes, to avoid repeating the mistakes made by predecessors such as Hanh Dung, Hong Thanh and Dong Hai.
With mid-range prices, and a design center and workshop in Brazil, Vascara has great advantages in the Vietnamese market. As the brand has become better known to youth in Vietnam, Vascara has opened over 80 shops in large cities and provinces.
The common characteristic of Vietnamese brands is that they target ordinary people with mid-range prices and avoid the high-end market, where small and medium enterprises don’t have advantages.

A branding expert commented that Vietnamese brands won’t have many opportunities to succeed in the high-end market, because consumers won’t pay high prices for Vietnamese brands. High income earners spend big money to show off their class, and Vietnamese brands don't help them do this.

Vietnamese brands have attracted consumers in the mid-end market segment thanks to high quality and reasonable prices. Domestic manufacturers have high skills as they have been doing outsourcing for foreign brands for many years.

However, since most Vietnamese brands target the mid-end market segment, the competition among them is stiff, especially when foreign brands target the market segment that includes Zara, H&M, Top Shop and Uniqlo.

Do Thai Thuc Uyen, manager of Mirrabella, said business performance is satisfactory with the growth rate of 10-15 percent because its holding company does outsourcing for its foreign partner.

The big problem now for Mirrabella is in the development of the distribution network. Since the retail premises rent is high and Mirrabella is just a small brand, it is difficult for them to enter large shopping malls. They have had only three shops after three years of development.

Janny Thuy Tran, director of Vertex Co, said that there was no big difference in the quality and design among Vietnamese brands. The competitive edge lies in financial capability which helps brands advertise their products.

Juno shows the power of financial capability. Juno has been in the market for 10 years, but it became well known only in the last two years after receiving investment from Seedcom in finance and technology.

Kim Chi, VNN
Social News 29/4

Sea, islands week held in Ca Mau province


The annual Vietnam Sea and Islands Week will take place in the southernmost province of Ca Mau in June in response to World Oceans Day (June 8), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment announced.

This year’s event, themed “Our oceans, our future”, will feature various activities, including meetings, beach clean-ups and providing gifts and medicines to soldiers and people on Hon Chuoi island.

The ministry ordered organisations and agencies to hold activities in response to the week while popularising the Party and Government’s sea and island policies, thus raising public awareness of protecting the sea environment.

Popularisation should focus on affirming Vietnam’s sovereignty over Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelagos, international laws on sea and islands as well as bilateral and multilateral agreements between Vietnam and foreign countries and organisations.

Enhancing capacity to respond to climate change and restructuring the sea based economy to attract investment will be given prioritised.

Ministries, branches and localities will organise conferences and forums on sustainable protection of Vietnamese sea and island, ensuring socio-economic development and defence and security.

Coastal and sea areas are expected to contribute 53-55 percent to national gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020 as set by the 4th meeting of the 10th Party Central Committee on the Vietnam Strategy on the Sea.

Exhibition on Vietnam’s reunification day held in Cuba

A photo exhibition to commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the liberation of South Vietnam and national reunification has been held at the General Antonio Maceo Military Academy of Cuba.

The event was organised by the Foreign Relations Department of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces and the Vietnam’s Defence Attache Office in Cuba.

It featured more than 50 black and white photos that captured Vietnam’s history as well as the Doi moi (reform) process.

Addressing the opening ceremony on April 26, Vietnamese Ambassador to Cuba Nguyen Trung Thanh highlighted the significance of the 1975 Victory as well as support from other countries, especially Cuba.

He recalled the historic trip of the revolutionary leader of Cuba Fidel Castro to the central province of Quang Tri in 1973, the first foreign leader to set foot in the liberated in the south of Vietnam, which became a source of encouragement for Vietnamese people to achieve victory.

External ties to be strengthened to develop basic sciences

Vietnam is set to enhance bilateral and multilateral cooperation to step up research activities in basic sciences, according to a programme for basic sciences development between 2017 and 2025.

The programme, recently approved by the Prime Minister, focuses on chemistry, life science, earth science, and marine science.

It aims to create a contingent of highly qualified scientists to help align scientific personnel training with international standards. It looks to develop 15-20 groups of young researchers in each field by 2025 so as to speed up the formation of research universities.

The programme targets a higher stature for Vietnam’s sciences in the region and the world, with some fields expected to rank third or fourth in ASEAN by 2025.

The number of scientific studies published on international prestigious magazines listed in SCOPUS database is hoped to increase by 20-25 percent (10-15 percent in terms of marine science) each year on average.

To carry out the plan, the State will assign specialised science-technology organisations to conduct scientific research to create products that can be used in manufacturing and daily activities.

To improve the basic sciences research capacity at tertiary educational institutions, investment will be poured into key laboratories in each field and research groups. While research tasks will be farmed out to young scientists, high school and universities students who win prizes at national and international competitions will also be honoured.

Vietnam will boost cooperation with the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and countries with developed basic sciences in East Asia, the EU and North America.

In multilateral cooperation, it will foster links in UNESCO’s programmes such as the International Basic Sciences Programme, the Man and the Biosphere Programme, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, the International Hydrological Programme, and the International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme.

NA leader meets with Can Tho voters

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan on April 27 met with voters in some communes in Phong Dien district, the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho and answered their questions in various issues, including environmental protection, food safety, corruption fight, fruit production and traffic accident reduction.

Regarding voters’ queries on corruption prevention and control, the top legislator noted that the NA has amended the Law on Corruption Prevention and Control, while the Party and State have also paid great attention to the work.

Over the past time, several major corruption cases have been brought to light, including the case of Trinh Xuan Thanh and those related to banks.

Competent agencies have been directed to clarify and publicise 12 cases in 2017, she said, affirming the Party and State’s consistent stance of allowing no “safety zone” for corruptors.

About issues related to fake and under-quality commodities, NA Chairwoman Ngan said that NA deputies toughed upon the matter in all socio-economic discussions, while building a supervision programme in the field.

The legislature has also issued a resolution on the matter and assigned the Government to strengthen State management over fake and poor quality commodities, especially in the field of agriculture, she declared.

Answering voters’ questions on measures to support pig breeders suffering lossesdue to falling pork prices, she attributed the situation to poor market forecast for production orientation.

She revealed that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is seeking ways to boost processing, while urging authorised agencies to give more exact market forecasts.

Regarding measures to prevent the use of food additives without clear origin and enhance food safety, the top legislator pledged that in the upcoming third session, the NA will conduct supreme supervision over the issue before releasing a resolution asking ministries and sectors to strengthen supervision and management in the field.-

200 youngsters dispatched to visit Truong Sa archipelago

A ship with nearly 200 outstanding youngsters from across Vietnam onboard was dispatched from Ho Chi Minh City on April 27 to present gifts to residents and soldiers living in Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago and Platform DK1 in the country’s southern continental shelf.

The trip is part of the programme “Youth for homeland’s sea and islands” held by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU) Central Committee this year.

Speaking at the dispatch ceremony in HCM City, Secretary of the HCYU Central Committee Nguyen Ngoc Luong said the visit is made in the celebration of the 42th anniversary of the Southern Liberation and National Reunification Day to promote patriotism among youngsters.

It also aims to provide support to local residents in Truong Sa island district and motivate officers of Platform DK1 who are on duty to protect the national sovereignty, he said.

Luong hoped that the youth would propose more ideas to contribute to the country’s sea and island protection and building.

A photo exhibition on the vitality of Truong Sa and a writing competition on the Truong Sa aspiration will also take place as part of the programme.

Playground expected to increase kids’ creativity

Parents in Hanoi may feel delighted when knowing that a fascinating playground for toddles and kids will be held in May.

Coming to the playground, not only kids but also their parents can immerse themselves in a fairyland with animation characters, a cotton-candy factory, dazzling pink trees and giant mushrooms.

The event aims at creating a getaway venue where family can set aside stress and work to have fun, while kids’ creativity is stimulated.

The event will take place on May 28th at Ecopark urban area, Hung Yen province.

Seoul ceremony celebrates 42nd anniversary of national reunification

The Vietnamese community in the Republic of Korea (RoK) and foreign guests gathered at a ceremony held on April 27 by the Vietnamese Embassy in the RoK to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the Liberation of the South and National Reunification (April 30, 1975-2017).

Lao Ambassador to the RoKKhamsouayKheodalavong and representatives of the host country’s government, ministries and major businesses were also among guests at the event.

Addressing the ceremony, Ambassador Nguyen Vu Tu highlighted the great significance of the Spring 1975 Victory, ending 30 years of the country’s separation.

He stressed that the historical triumph brought Vietnam to a new era of peace and development with the spirit of “closing the past, heading to future,” and “Vietnam is willing to be a friend and trustworthy partner of all countries”.

The diplomat delightedly noted that after 30 years of national reform, Vietnam has gained great achievements. The country has set up diplomatic ties with more than 180 countries around the globe, including the strategic partnership with the RoK.

He took the occasion to thank the 150,000-strong Vietnamese community in the RoK as well as Korean friends for connecting the two peoples and contributing to the sound development of bilateral ties over the past years.

Ambassador Tu also expressed belief that on the foundation of similarities in culture, and history as well as supplementary economic structures,sound sentiments towards each other and joint efforts, Vietnam and the RoK will further bolster their partnership in the future, especially when they are celebrating the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year.

Conference promotes heritage tree preservation

A conference was held by the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE) in Hanoi on April 27 to review public efforts to conserve Vietnam’s heritage trees over the last seven years.

Addressing the event, Prof. Dr Dang Vu Minh, Chairman of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations, suggested preserving heritage trees in connection with environmental protection, thus creating livelihoods for the community.

The conference heard that a total of 2,700 ancient trees in 52 provinces and cities nationwide have been recognised as heritage trees so far. This showed the great significance of the movement.

Prof. Dr Dang Huy Huynh, Chairman of the Council for Vietnam Heritage Trees, the programme contributes to raising public awareness of protecting heritage trees and calling for public involvement in preserving biodiversity and valuable flora gene sources, and protecting the environment.

In the coming time, the VACNE will work hard to support localities in prolonging the life of recognised heritage trees and other ancient trees, towards improving livelihoods for the community, he said.

In 2011, the VACNE launched a programme to conserve Vietnam’s Heritage Trees, aiming to select and honour significant trees in a bid to conserve their gene sources, while raising public awareness of protecting the environment.

It also contributes to promoting the diversification and abundance of Vietnam’s flora as well as developing scientific research in the field.

To win the honour, the trees must be at least 200 years old in the case of wild trees, and at least 100 years for those planted. Moreover, the trees should be connected with the historical and cultural characteristics of the area where they grow.

Those which do not meet the criteria, yet have special value to science, history or culture, will also earn recognition.

Campaign launched to support policy beneficiaries

President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan on April 27 launched a three-month campaign to encourage people to join a movement to show gratitude to those who rendered service to the nation towards the 70th Vietnam's War Invalids and Martyrs Day (July 27).

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Vietnam has more than 9 million policy beneficiaries, including 1.2 million martyrs, over 127,000 heroic mothers, and over 2 million wounded soldiers.

Minister Dao Ngoc Dung stressed the need for organisations and individuals to participate in supporting war invalids, families of martyrs and Agent Orange/dioxin victims in order to improve their living conditions.

Communications should be intensified to raise public awareness of the work, he stated, suggesting expanding the movement “all people take care of war invalids, martyrs’ families and people who rendered service to the nation” and encouraging policy beneficiaries to take part in socio-economic development activities.

Nguyen Thien Nhan called on each office, organisation and family which does not live in poverty to do specific deeds to care for policy beneficiaries.

Right after the launching ceremony, more than 50 organisations, businesses and individuals donated a total of 3.8 billion VND (167,200 USD) to help policy beneficiaries.

HCM City breaks ground on bus terminal

The Sài Gòn Transportation Mechanical Corporation (SAMCO) has broken ground for construction of the new Eastern Bus Terminal (Bến Xe Miền Đông) in HCM City’s District 9.

The terminal complex, which will include convenience services, will be located in Long Bình Ward in District 9 and in the southern province of Bình Dương’s Dĩ An Town, the SAMCO announced on Wednesday.

The new Eastern Bus Terminal will cover an area of 16 hectares, three times as large compared with the existing Eastern Bus Terminal in HCM City’s Bình Thạnh District.

It will include 12.3 hectares in HCM City’s outlying District 9 and the remaining 3.7ha in Dĩ An Town of Bình Dương Province.

The bus terminal will be connected with metro line No 1, linking Bến Thành Terminal in District 1 with Suối Tiên Terminal in District 9.

It is designed to accommodate more than seven million passengers each year who travel to eastern provinces as well as to localities in the central region and north Việt Nam, the SAMCO said.

It will also provide services to some 21,000 passengers and accommodate 1,200 buses per day.

The figures are expected to increase to 52,000 passengers and 1,800 buses per day on holidays and during the traditional Tết (Lunar New Year) festival.

Construction of the first stage of the project, which includes the main station, parking space and infrastructure facilities, is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

The new bus terminal will help ensure traffic order of HCM City and wipe out illegal bus services and parking spaces in the city.

Located on an area between HCM City and Bình Dương Province, the new Eastern Bus Terminal is expected to play an important role in the city’s transportation system, according to SAMCO.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Lê Văn Khoa, deputy chairman of HCM City People’s Committee, said the new terminal complex would link urban areas with public transportation networks and include multi-story parking spaces, maintenance areas, fuel stations, cargo depots, and commercial centres.

The new bus terminal is expected to reduce traffic congestion and the number of accidents in the city through 2020.

It will also replace the existing Eastern Bus Station which is in an inner city district and is no longer suitable for the city’s urban development plan.

The terminal complex will also help facilitate transportation between HCM City and neighbouring provinces, said Khoa.

He also asked authorities to create favourable conditions so that SAMCO could complete construction for the first stage and open the new terminal later this year.

Tăng Thu Lý, deputy director general of SAMCO, said that total capital for the project amounted to VNĐ773 billion (US$34.5 million).

Thái wins another stage, Phounsavath takes top spot

Phan Hoàng Thái secured the HCM City Television Cycling Tournament’s red jersey for the King of Mountain yesterday.

Thái of Domesco Đồng Tháp was the first to reach the peak of Prenn Hill and was second at the Ngoạn Mục Hill, the two challenges in the 17th stage, which covered 120km from Phan Rang-Tháp Chàm City of Ninh Thuận Province to Đà Lạt City, Lâm Đồng Province.

It was enough for Thái to win the red jersey for the overall tournament with 30 points.

The winner of the stage was Nguyễn Tấn Hoài of Domesco Đồng Tháp, who won his second stage in a row.

Lê Ngọc Sơn of Hạt Ngọc Trời An Giang and và Lois Desriac of Bikelife Đồng Nai were second and third, respectively.

Alex Ariya Phounsavath of VUS-HCM City replaced Nguyễn Văn Dương of Bikelife Đồng Nai as the leader of the tournament after 17 stages.

The Laotian cyclist finished fourth yesterday and jumped to the top place with a total time of 40:41.02min.

He is followed by Sơn and Nguyễn Nhật Nam of Domesco Đồng Tháp.

Domesco Đồng Tháp led the team ranking. VUS-HCM City and Hạt Ngọc Trời An Giang were close behind.

The 55-km long 18th stage will see cyclists tour 10 laps around Đà Lạt’s Hồ Xuân Hương Lake today.

4.25 Club advance to semi-final of volleyball tourney

North Korean 4.25 Club won 25-15, 25-19, 22-25, 25-20 against Thailand’s Bangkok Glass for the last semi-final ticket in the International Women’s Volleyball Tournament being held in Tây Ninh Province.

The Korean side met with a little difficulty in the third set before winning the match, maintaining hopes of defending their top position at the Việt Nam’s annual event.

In a later Group B match, China’s Fujian beat former champions Vietinbank 2-1 in a game where both teams had no chance of advancing to the next stage.

In the semi-finals tomorrow, Yunnan Club of China will play 4.25 while Bangkok Glass will meet VTV Bình Điền Long An.

The final is on Sunday with a total bonus of VNĐ1 billion (US$45,000) to be given to the teams, in which the champions will receive $15,000.

Hanoi, Japanese Saijo city beef up cooperation

Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung received a delegation from Japan’s Saijo city, led by Mayor Tamai Toshihisa, in Hanoi on April 27.

At the meeting, the sides informed each other on their respective socio-economic affairs.

Mayor Tamai Toshihisa said his city is home to a large number of small- and medium-sized enterprises and holds strength in the production of machinery and electronic components.

He noted that to boost partnerships with local firms, particularly those in Hanoi, a Saijo working group was established in Vietnam in April 2015.

He expected his current visit will pave the way for future cooperation between his city and Vietnam in general and with Hanoi in particular.

For his part, Chairman Chung stated Japanese investment is always on top in the local sectors of industry, agriculture and tourism, adding that the capital city plans to call for more investment in high-tech farming and biotechnologies.  

Chung said Hanoi wants to step up engagements with Saijo and affirmed to create favourable conditions for Saijo investors in the city.

Lotte Foundation presents 76 scholarships to Vietnamese students

The Lotte Foundation has presented grants and scholarships valued at US$15,600 to 78 outstanding university students in Hanoi for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Addressing the awards ceremony, BaekWoon General Jae- Director of Lotte Vietnam Coralis extended his warmest congratulations to the students who have excelled in their academic years and hoped the educational awards will encourage them to pursue their dream.

The Lotte Foundation scholarship fund was established by the chair of the Lotte Group, Shin KyukHo in 1983.

Established in Vietnam in 2008, the Lotte Scholarship Foundation grants scholarships twice a year to high-achieving students. Those scholarship beneficiaries will have the opportunity to work at Lotte Group in Vietnam after graduation.

Youth’s art festival to run in October

The fourth National Youth Fine Art Festival, which is slated for October, will open for submissions from June 19 to 23, as heard at a ceremony in Hanoi on April 28.

Organizers from the Department of Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibition under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said they welcome creative works on contemporary life, stressing that the works must not violate patent.

Each of local artists, aged between 18 and 35 years old, can submit a maximum of two entries, which are in the form of photos or CDs and have been made between 2014 and June 2017.  

The entries must not be displayed previously at any other national exhibitions oprganised by the department.

Selected submissions will be exhibited at the October festival and compete for 3 first, 6 second and 9 third prizes.

More information on the event can be found at .

Two new bus routes open in Hanoi

The Hanoi Transport Corporation has opened two new bus routes to boost public transport in the city’s suburban areas.
Routes No.93 and No.94 offer convenience services to passengers, such as free wi-fi and a discrete space for the disabled.
Route 93 travels along Nam Thang Long - Pham Van Dong - Thang Long Bridge - Vo Van Kiet - Quang Minh Industrial Zone - National Highway No.2 - Bac Son (Soc Son district), while Route 94 travels along Giap Bat - Giai Phong - Kim Dong - Truong Dinh - Giai Phong - National Highway 1A - Thuong Tin town - National Highway No.21B - Kim Bai town (Thanh Oai district).
The new routes run every 20-25 minutes, with about 80 trips a day. The first trip on Route 93 is at 5am and the last at 8.33 pm, with tickets costing VND9,000 (40 cents) regardless of distance, while Route 94 runs from 5.05am to 9.20pm, at VND8,000 (35 cents).
Hanoi plans to open 14 more bus routes this year with 200 new modern buses and is conducting research on a City Tour to promote tourism in the capital.

Programme highlights northern mountainous cultures in Hanoi

An art, cultural and exchange programme highlighting ethnic cultures of the northern mountainous provinces will be held at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Dong Mo tourism area of Son Tay town in Hanoi from April 29 to May 2.

The programme is a part of activities to mark the upcoming anniversaries of Liberation Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1).

Under the theme ‘Tay Bac Colours’, the event will feature a variety of activities aiming to preserve and promote the northern mountainous provinces’ traditional cultures and introduce its socio-economic and tourism potential.

A highlight of the programme will be a mountain market promoting the ethnic groups in Moc Chau plateau in Son La province’s unique cultures and featuring local handicrafts, food and everyday items. The market is also a place to rendezvous for singing, dancing, making friends and enjoying community activities.

Traditional costumes, items used in daily life, tools, handicrafts, musical instruments, and ritual and festival artifacts will be on display as well as booths from each province showcasing their unique products, socio-economic achievements and tourism potential.

Various arts performances, festivals and folk games will also take place showcasing the region's music, dances and cultural activities, with the participation of amateur and professional art troupes from the region.

HCMC faces shortage of funds for Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro line

Ho Chi Minh City now is owing the contractor of the first metro line Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien VND1,339 billion (US$59 million) because the central Government has yet to arrange funds for the project, reported HCMC Urban Railway Management Board yesterday.
At a socio-economic review meeting chaired by chairman of the city People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong, head of the board Le Nguyen Minh Quang said that the city had urged the contractor to speed up the project’s progress and the contractor accepted the requirement but required on schedule payment in return.

The city has proposed relevant ministries and agencies to solve capital issue for the project for many times but they have taken no action.
The Ministry of Finance asked the State Treasury to stop disbursement for the project last September because payment amount had exceeded official development assistance (ODA) funds of the year.
Before Tet holidays, HCMC advanced about VND900 billion ($39.59 million) for the contractor to pay workers’ wage.
This year, the project needs over VND5.4 trillion ($238 million) however the central budget has agreed to spend only VND2.1 trillion, which is only sufficient to pay the old debt and the city’s advance.
The city’s target should suggest the Government not to apply disbursement under capital application in terms, but apply installment payment mechanism in line with the project’s progress.
While sponsors said they could advance a sum of money for the project, the city has been stuck in a vicious circle and unable to make payment on schedule, said Mr. Quang.
In a document sent to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the city People’s committee proposed VND7 trillion ($308 million) for the first metro line and the second phase of the water environment improvement project. Still, the ministry has scheduled to spend half of the amount.

Private vehicle limit a must in HCMC: Department director

“Private vehicle limit will be a must in HCMC in the upcoming time because traffic system development has been unable to catch up with the growth rate of private vehicles,” said director of the Department of Transport Bui Xuan Cuong.
As of mid-April this year, HCMC has had about eight million vehicles including 640,000 automobiles and the remaining number is motorbikes, he figured out at a meeting on Thursday.
The city sees new registration of 168 automobiles and 816 motorbikes a day on average.
Mr. Cuong said that with such fast development speed, private vehicle limit would definitely be applied. The agency planned to submit to the city People’s Committee specific measures and a roadmap to materialize the plan in October.
The Transport Department and relevant agencies are working together to survey and build a project on private vehicle restriction and traffic jam reduction. The project will be implemented in accordance with regulations and in right process. The agencies will consult experts and scientists’ opinions and organize public opinion poll.
According to plan, HCMC needs to reduce 70 percent of exhaust fume by 2020. Therefore, the project will not only help ease traffic jam but also environmental pollution.

Young scientific researchers to have chance to receive $4,398

Winners of Vuon Uom Sang Tao program 2017(Innovation Incubator Program of Science and Technology Young) are able to receive VND100- 150 million ($4,398) to carry out their project within 12 months.
The program launched by the Department of Science and Technology and the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Communist union is open to all Vietnam citizens currently living, study, and working in Ho Chi Minh, under the age of 35.
Candidates have not achieved the doctorate.

Entries should be sent to Science-Technology development center at 1 Pham Ngoc Thach, in district 1 before May 15, 2017. The organizer encourages researches on social matters for managing and developing teenagers in addition to basic researches and applied researches connecting to the city’s programs.

Southern traffic development faces capital shortage: deputy minister

The amount of capital allocated from the state budget to the Ministry of Transport for traffic development by 2020 meets only 31 percent of total demand, deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat told Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper.

According to Mr. Nhat, the ministry has built a medium public investment plan in the phase of 2016-2020 with the total capital of VND952 trillion (US$42 billion).

The Mekong Delta alone needs VND206,772 billion including VND102,243 billion social investment and VND104,529 billion from the state budget, government bonds and official development assistance (ODA) sources.

Still, social investment mobilization now meets with difficulties because the medium and long term credit market has been tightened while tax and fee policies have not been improved.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s instructions, state budget will mainly be spent on paying basic construction debts, reclaiming advanced capital and reciprocal capital of ODA projects and focusing on building some stretches of North-South Expressway and other important urgent projects.

Therefore, it will be difficult for the ministry to arrange state budget capital for new project.

However, the southern region’s traffic will be improved in the upcoming time with large projects having called for investment and implemented such as Trung Luong-My Thuan-Can Tho and some BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) ones.

The Prime Minister has approved expansion of Lo Te-Rach Soi route from two to four lanes.
The country have so far built 746 kilometers of 12 expressways and implemented nine others with the total length of 525 kilometers.

Of these, the southern region has built HCMC-Trung Luong and HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay with the total length of 91 kilometers. Two others routes are under construction namely Ben Luc-Long Thanh and Trung Luong-My Thuan over 108.8 kilometers.

In addition, ring road no.3 HMC-My Thuan-Can Tho, HCMC-Moc Bai, Bien Hoa-Phu My, Dau Giay-Lien Khuong with the total length of 331 kilometers are calling for investors.

Once being completed, these projects will increase the expressway length in the southern region to 530 kilometers.

According the Ministry of Transport, the southern region has developed vertical and horizontal roads suiting plans as well as strategies and contributing in boosting socioeconomic development.

However, investment cost for project in the southern region has been huge because of the low starting point of the traffic infrastructure system in the region compared to the country and weak terrain with intangible rivers and canals. That has caused some roads have not been completed as per planned scales because of capital shortage.

For instance, National Highway 1A from HCMC to Can Tho city has been built with four lanes but seven bridges in the route comprise only two lanes, creating bottlenecks causing traffic jam during holiday time.

The Ministry of Transport has completed Cai Lay bypass to ease pressure for the highway. The Government has permitted use of Government bond funds remaining from expansion projects of National Highway 1A and Ho Chi Minh Highway in the Central Highlands to broaden the seven bridges, which work is expected to start in 2017-2018.

For the last past, the Party and the Government has given resource priorities to develop the traffic infrastructure in the southern region with many major works opening to traffic and changing the region’s face. They include Can Tho, Ham Luong, Rach Mieu, Co Chien, Nam Can, Dam Cung and My Loi bridges.

FameLab Vietnam 2017 winner named

Pham Ha My, a student at the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) in Vietnam, has won FameLab Vietnam 2017, a communications contest for young talent nationwide to break down science, technology and engineering concepts into three minute presentations.

With her presentation on how to use Wolbachia bacteria to fight dengue, My defeated 12 other contestants who are young scientists, lecturers, doctors and students nationwide in the final round on Tuesday night in Hanoi.

She will represent Vietnam to compete with other rivals from 30 countries and territories in the International FameLab Competition 2017 to be held at the Cheltenham Science Festival in the UK.

Organized by the British Council in Vietnam, the Vietnam National University in Hanoi and Euraxess, FameLab required the participants to make a three-minute presentation on any interested topic in science, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

The judges of the contest consisted of Professor Mai Trong Nhuan, journalist Ta Bich Loan, and Associate Professor Le Anh Vinh.

Launched in 2005 in the UK, FameLab has quickly become a successful training program for identifying, training and mentoring scientists and engineers to share their enthusiasm for their subjects. The Cheltenham Science Festival has cooperated with the British Council to host the contest in over 30 countries.

HCMC offers online waterway services

The Department of Transport of HCMC has announced to offer online services at level 3 for 22 kinds of administrative procedures in the inland waterway field, allowing citizens to fill and submit forms online.

There will be 15 procedures processed by the HCMC Department of Transport and seven procedures handled by the city’s Inland Waterway Port Authority. Some procedures that used to require people and enterprises to go back and forth, including first-time registration procedures, procedures for re-registering vehicles and procedures for re-issuance of certificates, now only require people to submit documents via the Internet.

Citizens and enterprises can register online anytime and anywhere on their private computers or cellphones with Internet connection at the websites or, then select the necessary administrative procedures and follow the instructions.

The application of public waterway services at level 3 will help the city’s agencies simplify administrative procedures and reduce negations. Meanwhile, citizens and enterprises can save time and money.

In November 2016, the Inland Waterway Port Authority offered online procedures at levels 3 and 4, accepting online payments and allowing sending and receiving results online or through post offices.


Viglacera to form joint venture with Cuba     

 Viglacera to form joint venture with Cuba, PNJ to issue more than 9.8 million individual shares, VIB shareholders approve payout of 44.6% in dividend, Household firms fear red tape
The Viet Nam Glass and Ceramics for Construction Corporation (Viglacera)’s annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday highlighted the company’s business plan to implement investment activities in Cuba.
The company plans to set up a joint venture in ceramic and porcelain tiles with chartered capital of nearly US$40 million and total investment of some $61.8 million.
In the first phase, Viglacera will contribute capital by providing technical services, spare parts replacement and cash to renovate two factories to serve Cuban market demand and export and invest in new production lines of sanitary ware and floor tiles.
In the field of tourism and hotels, Viglacera is also co-operating with domestic partners to attract capital to establish a company, expected to have charter capital of some $3 million, to cooperate with Cuban partners.
In addition, the corporation plans to set up a company in Cuba to implement real estate projects, initially to invest and upgrade two hotels owned by two groups in Cuba, at the same time seeking new investment projects.
Viglacera also plans to invest in industrial park infrastructure, with a 168ha project in Cuba’s Mariel Special Economic Zone.
Last December, Viglacera entered into a joint venture partnership with Cuban giant developer Geicon to manufacture building material in the Caribbean island nation, of which, Viglacera was responsible for upgrading two existing ceramics and sanitary ware plants and investing in two more, four years after the joint venture is operational. 
PNJ to issue more than 9.8 million individual shares     
Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company will issue more than 9.8 million individual shares raising its total charter capital to VND1.081 trillion (US$47.4 million).
The funds will be used to expand its retail distribution network and add working capital to its new shops.
Speaking at its annual shareholders meeting in HCM City on April 27, Cao Thi Ngoc Dung, PNJ’s chairwoman and general director, said the company had set a target to achieve VND10.2 trillion in net revenue and VND751 billion in net profit, a year-on-year increase of 19 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively.
To realise the targets, besides adding high-ranking staff, PNJ will develop its core sectors and maximise its distribution system, especially in markets of high potential, in order to increase the number of its shops to 300 in 2018 from 220 in 2016.
It also plans to improve the application of information technology to its production and trading activities.
PNJ reported revenues of VND8.72 trillion last year, a 12 per cent increase over 2015, with jewellery retail sales going up by 26 per cent.
Its pre-tax profit was VND608 billion last year, a 220 per cent rise year-on-year.
Nguyen Thi Cuc, PNJ’s deputy general director, attributed the company’s success to its focus on investing in modern production technologies, human resource development, effective financial management activities, and professional marketing.
Cuc said with 70 per cent of the country’s 90 million people being of working age and per capita gold jewellery consumption remaining low, compared to other countries in the region, Viet Nam offers great potential for jewellery traders, including PNJ.
The shareholders have approved a 18 per cent cash dividend for 2016.
With its revenue and pre-tax profit increasing by 34 per cent and 105 per cent, respectively, in the first quarter of the year, Dung believes the company will reach its targets for the year. 
VIB shareholders approve payout of 44.6% in dividend     
Vietnam International Bank (VIB) received shareholders approval to distribute 44.6 per cent dividend payment rate in 2016, including 5 per cent in cash and 39.6 per cent in bonus shares.
The rate is 25 per cent higher than the previous year, which included 8.5 per cent in cash and 16.5 per cent in bonus shares.
At their meeting in Ha Noi on Thursday, shareholders agreed to pay bonus shares to the bank’s employees at a rate of 0.4 per cent of the charter capital.
The bank’s shareholders also approved the business plan for this year, which includes pre-tax profit of VND750 billion (US$33 million), surging 7 per cent over last year’s figure, and VND120 trillion in total assets, up 15 per cent year-on-year.
VIB chairman Dang Khac Vy believed 2017 would be a promising year for the banking industry and the bank would focus on ensuring the quality of products and customer services and investing in human resources to reach the reviewed goals.
Han Ngoc Vu, VIB general director, said the bank would strive to enter into M&A deals and grasp opportunities to buy retail businesses of other banks.
Over the past three months, the bank posted after-tax profit of VND126 billion, up 14 per cent year-on-year.
During the reviewed period, its net interest income, net fee and commission income and gain from investment securities also experienced positive growth of 16 per cent, 31 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively.
Debts purchased from the Viet Nam Asset Management Company were handled well, resulting in a decrease of 2.19 per cent in the bank’s non-performing loan ratio as of March 31, lower than the 2.58 per cent seen at the end of 2016.
VIB shares (code VIB), meanwhile, dropped 0.5 per cent to close at VND20,000 on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) on Thursday.
Vingroup targets 40% revenue growth, lower net income     
Leading business conglomerate Vingroup, one of the nation’s largest real estate developers and a retail sector giant, targets higher revenues but expects lower net profit this year.
At the group’s annual shareholders meeting held on Wednesday in Ha Noi, the board of shareholders approved a total revenue target of VND80 trillion (US$3.5 billion) for the year, and a post-tax income of VND3 trillion ($134.2 million).
In 2016, the company earned net revenues of VND57.61 trillion ($2.57 billion), up 69 per cent over 2015, and a post-tax income of VND3.51 trillion ($157 million).
The group’s 2017 targets show a year-on-year drop of 15 per cent in post-tax income, but a 40 per cent increase in revenues.
The value of real estate transactions was VND83 trillion ($3.7 billion), with 15,000 apartments, villas, townhouses and hotel condos sold.
Vingroup Chairman Pham Nhat Vuong said that increase in revenues do not necessarily mean an equally high increase in profits, because of changing market conditions.
Vingroup paid VND6.18 trillion ($276 million) in taxes in 2016.
The group informed its shareholders that it would continue to issue new shares and intensify focus on its retail sector operations.
The group’s stocks are publicly traded on the HCM Stock Exchange under the stock code of VIC. On Thursday, VIC stock stood at VND40,900 per share.
Announcing its audited, consolidated earning results for 2016, the group said net profit attributable to the shareholders was VND2.43 trillion or VND1,178 per basic and diluted share compared to VND1.21 trillion or VND558 per basic and diluted share the year before.
All of Vingroup’s core businesses grew and secured significant market shares last year, the meeting heard.
The retail sector showed the most significant growth last year, as its supermarket chains, convenience stores and other retail outlets posted a 115 per cent increase over 2015, earning total revenues of VND9.24 trillion ($413.4 million).
Three years after it entered the sector, the group now operates more than 1,000 retail stores across the country, serving more than 56 million customers.
Other areas earning high returns in 2016 included the hotel, travel and recreation business with VND4.25 trillion ($190 million) for a 49 per cent increase from 2015’s figure; the health and medical care service sector with VND1.09 trillion ($48.77 million) for a 42 per cent increase; and the education sector with VND713 billion ($31.9 million), a 39 per cent increase.
Vingroup opened two new hotels and 10 new shopping malls in 2016, bringing the total to nine hotels and 32 malls.
The board’s decisions and future business plans received near unanimous approval of 96 to 100 per cent from shareholders.
Household firms fear red tape
The Government should create the best possible conditions, including easing tax procedures, to encourage household businesses to expand into companies.
Speaking at a seminar on April 27 on “Transforming household businesses into companies” organised by Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper, Nguyen Thi Cuc, chairwoman of the Vietnam Taxation Consultancy Association and former deputy head of the General Department of Taxation, said, “Household businesses worry about the complex procedures and paying higher taxes and so don’t want to expand into companies.”
There are around five million household businesses in the country with total annual turnover of US$100 billion and nearly eight million employees.
Household businesses are mostly involved in trading and services, especially wholesale and retail business, accommodation, food, and motorbike and car repair.
But since they are designated as household businesses, they face limitations with respect to their development.
“They cannot expand to other districts, can’t do business in several industries, can’t employ more than 10 workers and have limited financial resources,” Phan Duc Hieu of the Central Institute of Economic Management said.
He pointed out they would have certain advantages if they expand into companies like better labour quality, accurate taxes and greater capacity to mobilise financial resources.
“The process of upgrading into an enterprise is very simple, and household businesses can benefit from consultation and incentives from the Government [for upgrading].”
However, when asked in a recent survey by the institute what problems they fear in upgrading, household businesses said they would have to pay higher salaries, social insurance and bonus for employees; adopt a complex accounting system; follow many cumbersome procedures and spend more on management and other fees; undergo regular inspections; and would be unable to negotiate their taxes like they do as household businesses.
To encourage businesses to upgrade, Cuc said the Government should pass a Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Law.
“The Government should show household businesses through a clear legal framework how they can benefit if they expand into enterprises.
“Administrative reforms should be sped up to reduce costs and time for them.
“The Government should support household businesses in terms of technology, market information and product demand if they turn into enterprises.”
Hieu said, “Relevant authorities should review the whole legal system, especially on taxation, conditions for doing business and investment to create the best conditions for small enterprises.”
He also wanted more taxation and accounting agencies set up to support them.
HCM City authorities are encouraging and helping household businesses become companies to achieve the city’s target of registering more than 50,000 enterprises this year and having a total of 500,000 by 2020.
NCB to raise total asset to 4.18 bln USD
The National Citizen Joint Stock Commercial Bank (NCB) has set to raise total value of its asset to 95 trillion VND (4.18 billion USD) in 2017, up nearly 40 percent from last year, heard a shareholders meeting on April 27. 
The bank’s net revenue is expected to hit 350 billion VND (15.4 million USD), up 60 percent against the last year, the bad debt rate is kept at below 3 percent.  
This year, NCB will focus on improving its business model, enhancing risk management capacity, and expanding customer and partner ecosystems. 
It will select foreign strategic shareholders among its partners, which are interested in adding 3 trillion VND more to NCB’s charter capital. 
Last year, NCB started a development strategy for the 2016-2020 period and made impressive performance.
The State Bank has approved NCB’s plan to open six more transaction points. 
NCB’s report shows that the bank’s total asset was valued at 70 trillion VND (3.08 billion USD) in 2016, registered growth of 43 percent against 2015. 
Capital mobilisation and lending recorded high growth, hitting over 18,467 billion VND (812.5 million USD) and 8,937 billion VND (393.2 million USD), respectively. 
The bank’s 2016 revenue reached 211 billion VND (over 9.28 million USD), 91 percent high than 2015. The quality of balance sheet has been improved and the rate of bad debt stood at below 3 percent. 
NCB, established in 1995, started off as a bank for the agricultural sector before transforming into a commercial bank in 2014.
It was named the “Most Innovative Retail Bank Vietnam 2015” and “Most Innovative Bank for Enterprise Culture Vietnam 2015” by the UK-based Global Banking and Finance Review.
Vietjet Air launches Hanoi-Singapore service
Vietnam’s low-budget Vietjet Air officially launched a flight between Singapore and Hanoi from Singapore’s Changi international airport on April 27.
The airline hoped the new route will meet travelling demand and help facilitate trade and integration in the region.
The daily flight will take 2 hours and 55 minutes, taking off from Hanoi at 10:00 and landing Singapore at 13:55 (Singapore time) and taking off from Singapore at 14:55 and landing Hanoi at 16:50. 
Vietjet is the first airline in Vietnam to operate as a new-age airline with low-cost and diversified services to meet customers’ demands. A member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) with the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate, the airline was also named as one of the Top 500 Brands in Asia 2016 by global marketing research company Nielsen and “Best Asian Low Cost Carrier” at the TTG Travel Awards 2015, which compiles votes from travelers, travel agencies and tour operators in throughout Asia. The airline was also rated as one of the top three fastest growing airline brands on Facebook in the world by Socialbakers.
Currently, the airline boasts a fleet of 45 aircraft, including A320s and A321s, and operates 350 flights each day. It has already opened 63 routes in Vietnam and across the region to international destinations such as Thailand, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, China and Myanmar. It has carried nearly 35 million passengers to date.
Toyota Vietnam produces 400,000th car
Toyota Motor Vietnam (TMV) completed the production of its 400,000th car on April 27, marking the company’s development milestone in the Vietnamese market.
At a ceremony in celebration of the event, TMV President Toru Kinoshita said his company has been working on the improvement of assembly lines and product quality.
This is the reason why Toyota is listed among favourite brands in Vietnam’s domestic auto market.
TMV started production in Vietnam in 1996, with two cars per day on average. Now, the figure is 170, with cumulative sales as of 2016 exceeding 412,000 cars.
Brazil initiates anti-dumping probe on welded steel pipes
The foreign trade secretariat of Brazil has announced it has begun an antidumping duty investigation on imports of welded austenitic stainless steel pipes from Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand.
The inquiry is predicated upon a complaint filed by Aperam Inox Tubos Brasil Ltda and Marcegaglia do Brasil Ltda covering the period between October 2015 and September 2016.
The goods in question fall under Custom Tariff Statistics Position Numbers 7306.40.00 and 7306.90.20.
Travellers flock to resort cities for holidays
Almost all hotels in the resort cities of Sa Pa and Đà Lạt are reportedly fully booked for the four-day Reunification and Labour Day holidays.
Travellers complain that the rates of the few remaining rooms have doubled, but that they don’t have a choice now.
Sa Pa and Đà Lạt were last year named among the best destinations for 2017 by TripAdvisor travellers.
As most of southern Việt Nam is going through one of the hottest summers in years, there will certainly be huge crowds in places that can offer some relief from the heat.
Vietnam Airlines has added 175 flights on domestic routes, anticipating a 15 per cent increase in demand compared to last year.
Railway companies will also schedule dozens of extra trips to destinations such as Nha Trang and Phan Thiết.
Mekong Delta farmers begin shrimp harvest
Farmers in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region have begun this year’s first harvest season of brackish water shrimp, earning strong profits due to high prices and favourable breeding conditions.
The price of 30-piece-per-kilo size black tiger shrimp, which is bought at ponds by traders, is 245,000-250,000 VND (10.6-10.8 USD) a kilo.  
Nguyen Duy Bao, who rotates growing shrimp and rice in a rice field in Kien Giang province’s An Minh district, said “At this price, shrimp-rice rotating farmers can earn a profit that is equal to 60-70 percent of the production cost of shrimp.”
In the early months of this year the weather was not severe as during the same period of last year, so shrimp grew quickly, Bao said.
Farmers in Kien Giang have bred more than 102,000ha of shrimp in the first three months of the year, up 11 percent against the same period last year, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.   
In Ca Mau province, which is the country’s largest shrimp producer, farmers who began breeding shrimp fries early this year have reaped their harvest.  
Nguyen Van Thoa in Ca Mau province’s Phu Tan district has sold two ponds of white-legged shrimp after three months of breeding and got a profit of 700 million VND (30,400 USD).
Many farmers here have not bred shrimp this year because they were afraid of severe drought, salt water intrusion and poor harvest as last year, Thoa said.
This year, saline water intrusion in the delta occurred late and the salinity has been low so many farmers are waiting for the proper time to release shrimp fries into ponds for breeding.
At present, the weather is hot, causing a high content of pH (potential of hydrogen) in shrimp ponds or rapid growth of algae in shrimp ponds. This could affect the growth of shrimp.
Quach Thi Thanh Binh, deputy head of the Soc Trang province Aquaculture Sub-department, said farmers should regularly carry out water inspections as well as heed the warning of competent agencies about shrimp diseases in order to choose a proper time to put water into shrimp ponds.
Soc Trang will enter its main period for releasing shrimp fries into ponds for breeding after May when the rainy season officially begins, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The province’s shrimp breeding areas expect to increase as the price of shrimp is high this year, said the department.
Soc Trang farmers have harvested more than 1,000ha of shrimp with a total yield of 4,153 tonnes so far this year.
Ngo Thanh Linh, General Secretary of the Ca Mau Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, said most shrimp processors in Ca Mau are facing a shortage of shrimp material.
The supply of raw shrimp can only meet 40-50 percent of the demand of large shrimp processing firms in the province, he said.
In addition, the third quarter of the year is the main shrimp export season so most domestic shrimp processors are buying more raw shrimp to ensure their production.
The domestic supply of raw shrimp will not meet the demand of shrimp processors in the coming time and the price of shrimp will remain high, Linh said.
The delta, which accounts for more than 80 percent of the country’s shrimp breeding area, has raised more than 536,000ha of shrimp as of the end of last month, up about 53,300ha against the same period last year.
Honda Viet Nam recalls 300 Civic cars     
Honda Viet Nam is recalling 300 cars of the Civic 15TOP 2016 model over the faulty three-way connector in the cooling system, according to Register Viet Nam.
Three-way connector is the coolant transfer port for the engine cooling system. While replacing the entire cooling water in the system, some impurities in the cooling system may adhere to the screws on the three-way adapter, making the connector’s cross section narrower than the standard and resulting in insufficient supply of cooling water..
This phenomenon can cause the air’s failure to return to the expansion box and mix with the cooling water, and hence reduce the cooling effect. Thus, overheating of the engine can occur and the MIL warning light will illuminate. In the worst case, it can damage the engine, Register Viet Nam said.
All cars recalled under this campaign were produced in Thailand in 2016, of which, Honda Việt Nam imported and distributed 300 cars.
The process of checking and replacing the three-pipe coupling of the engine cooling system is expected to take 20 minutes for each car. Replacement parts and labour cost associated with the recall will be paid by Honda Viet Nam.
The recall campaign is scheduled to end on April 13, 2018.
Civic is the latest model introduced by Honda Viet Nam in the market in January 2017. The new-generation Civic has been completely transformed from the previous generation model – in terms of both the exterior and interior – especially the 1.5 litre turbocharged engine.
Earlier, in March, Honda Viet Nam recalled 1,355 cars to repair and replace air bag inflators of models Honda Civic, Honda CR-V and Honda Accord. 
Hạnh Nguyễn becomes SASCO chairman
Branded goods trader Jonathan Hạnh Nguyễn has been voted as chairman of the Southern Airports Services Joint Stock Company (SASCO).
Hạnh replaces Đoàn Thị Mai Hương for the remaining duration of her 2015-19 term.
Hương took over the position of SASCO’s general director on April 20.
Hạnh’s wife, Lê Hồng Thuỷ Tiên, is currently a member of the SASCO’s executive board, but she will not be a part of the company’s management.
Tiên joined SASCO in 2014. She is now general director of Imex Pan Pacific Trading Group (IPP), which holds 31.6 million shares of SASCO, equivalent to 24.05 per cent, or VNĐ784.4 billion (US$34.46 million).
As per a report, two other subsidiaries of IPP, Âu Châu Fashion and Cosmetics Co Ltd and Duy Anh Fashion and Cosmetics Co Ltd, have 14.6 per cent and 5 per cent stake in SASCO, respectively.
In all, IPP and its members have 44 per cent of SASCO shares. The company’s shares are currently at VNĐ24,800 per share, with a market capitalisation of VNĐ3.26 trillion.
Hạnh’s family is known to have recently entered the aviation sector business. SASCO is an affiliate of Airports Corporation of Việt Nam (ACV) and is among the largest airport service providers in the country, operating duty-free shops, restaurants, guest rooms and transport services. ACV holds 49.8 per cent of SASCO’s capital.
In the first quarter of this year, SASCO earned VNĐ597 billion in revenue and made an after-tax profit of VNĐ66 billion. The company has set a target to earn VNĐ2.2 trillion this year and make an after-tax profit of VNĐ220.7 billion.
SASCO has a charter capital of nearly VNĐ1.32 trillion. In 2014, the company’s initial public offering (IPO) saw one of the most remarkable transactions of the year, when 145 million shares were ordered, five times higher than the offering. Shares were sold at an average price of VNĐ19,330 per share.
FLC Group targets double revenue this year
Property developer FLC Group is targeting integrated revenue of VNĐ13 trillion (US$577.7 million) and pre-tax profit of VNĐ1.23 trillion in 2017, double the figures of the previous year.
This was announced at the group’s shareholder meeting held in Hà Nội on Monday. The meeting was organised earlier than usual as FLC is in a rush to introduce its real estate projects to the market.
Last year, FLC witnessed achievements in the property sector, with total sale revenue of more than VNĐ5.87 trillion, of which, its revenue from resorts reported positive results.
FLC has brought a range of large projects into operation, including FLC Quy Nhơn, the seaside ecological resort at Hồ Xuân Hương in the central province of Thanh Hóa.
In addition, it has implemented other large real estate projects nationwide, such as the second phase of FLC Sầm Sơn, Vĩnh Thịnh-An Tường (Vĩnh Phúc), Quảng Bình, Hạ Long (Quảng Ninh) and Đồ Sơn (Hải Phòng), with total investment of several thousand trillions of đồng.
It has also been successful in its sale offer of several commercial housing projects in Hà Nội, such as FLC Complex 36 Phạm Hùng and FLC Twin Towers 265 Cầu Giấy.
Following these achievements, FLC has been listed as one of top 50 most valuable brand names in Việt Nam by Brand Finance and one of the strongest brand names of 2016.
FLC’s stock continues to be one of the most active shares in terms of liquidity and average transaction amount.
The group issued stocks to its current shareholders and mobilised over VNĐ1.08 trillion, bringing its total chartered capital to VNĐ6.38 trillion since August 19, 2016.
Last year, it posted integrated revenue of VNĐ6.65 trillion, representing an 11 per cent year-on-year increase. Its pre-tax profit increased by 15 per cent from the previous year to VNĐ1.33 trillion and the company contributed VNĐ361 billion to the State budget.
Until the end of last year, its total assets reached VNĐ17.9 trillion, posting an 80 per cent increase from the previous year, while its ownership capital was VNĐ8.4 trillion.
Accordingly, FLC plans to pay dividend at the rate of 10 per cent of its charter capital, including 3 per cent in cash and 7 per cent in stocks equivalent to 44.7 million shares, in the second quarter of the year after receiving approval from the State Securities Commission.
“The rate of dividend payment from 2017 onwards would always be higher than the previous years,” Trịnh Văn Quyết, FLC’s chairman of the management board, said.
He said the group would mobilise resources to accelerate progress of its resort projects to complete the set targets. It would also negotiate to acquire other real estate projects while continuing development of industrial parks (IPs) such as Hoàng Long IP in Thanh Hóa Province and Tam Dương II and Chấn Hưng IPs in Vĩnh Phúc.
Lê Thành Vinh, FLC’s general director, said each of its resorts has created jobs for some 1,000-2,000 people per year, contributing to its prestige.
He said this was the reason many large international organisations met with FLC to seek co-operation.
Answering shareholders’ question on the construction of the Sơn Đoòng cable car in the central province of Quảng Bình, Quyết said FLC has conducted a study and survey on the project prior to calling for investment from the locality.
“It is noted that, if deployed, the cable car certainly does not enter the cave, only reaching the area near the cave’s entrance. The terminal of the cable car is a few kilometres from the entrance", he said, adding that the project would only be implemented if it received approval from relevant parties and completed all necessary procedures.
He also said FLC Group planned to merge FLC and FLC Faros Company.
In the future, the group will invest in a casino on Ngọc Vừng Island and twin towers of 60 floors each in the northern province of Quảng Ninh.
Leading construction trade fair opens in Hanoi
The largest construction trade fair in the country– Contech Vietnam 2017 – opened its doors today (Apr. 25) at the National Exhibition Construction Centre located at No. 1 Do Duc Duc Street in the Nam Tu Liem District of Hanoi.
leading construction trade fair opens in hanoi hinh 0 More than 200 exhibitors from Germany, the EU, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, China and Vietnamare showcasing a vast array of products for the all phases of the construction and mining industry.
In a keynote address, Thai Duy Sam,vice chair of the Vietnam Construction Association noted the event offers opportunities for local businesses to purchase the latest machinery and equipment from top leading manufacturers from around the globe.
The event runs through April 28.
Int’l food & hotel exhibition underway in HCM City
The International Food & Hotel Vietnam 2017 is taking place in Ho Chi Minh City from April 25-27.
The exhibition is held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Exhibition Service Co., Ltd and Singapore Exhibition Services (UBM SES).
This year’s event drew over 600 businesses from nearly 40 countries and territories to showcase the latest technologies in food and hotel services.
The event houses 20 international pavilions from Canada, the US, Spain and Turkey, offering fresh and dried vegetables and fruits, canned and frozen products, poultry meat and seafood, and processed food.
For instance, the US booth brought together around 40 food and beverage companies from 14 states, providing numerous cooperation opportunities for Vietnamese importers and distributors.
Director General of UBM SES BT Tee said businesses could seek suppliers of food products and materials at the exhibition.
Conference offers trade opportunities to Vietnam, China businesses
A conference on Vietnam – China trade cooperation was organised in Hanoi on April 25 by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in Zhejiang. 
The event was designed to provide opportunities for enterprise of Vietnam and China’s Zhejiang province to meet and look for cooperation possibilities. 
At the function, Do Kim Lang, deputy head of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade), stressed Vietnam is the biggest partner of China in ASEAN, adding that Vietnam has made great efforts to stabilise the currency exchange rate and improve the business climate for both domestic and foreign investors.
Huang Xiao Hang, deputy head of the CCPIT Zhejiang, said more than 30 firms from his province want to meet their Vietnamese peers, adding that his agency expects to help both sides step up partnerships in garment-textile, leather and footwear.
VCCI General Secretary Pham Thi Thu Hang noted that China had been the biggest trade partner of Vietnam and the country’s top export market for 11 consecutive years.
Hang quoted the CCPIT’s assessment that Zhejiang boasts the highest number of firms investing in Vietnam and doing business with Vietnamese firms, compared to other Chinese provinces.
She said she expects the conference will contribute to boosting connection between Vietnamese and Chinese businesses.
According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, trade between Vietnam and China amounted to 71.9 billion USD last year, up 7.9 percent year on year.
By the end of March 2017, China was ranked 8th among foreign investors in Vietnam with 1,615 projects worth 11.1 billion USD.
SSI to issue bonds worth VNĐ300 billion again
Saigon Securities Incorporation (SSI) has decided to issue bonds worth VNĐ300 billion (US$13.3 million) to financial and credit institutions.
The company will issue 600 two-year bonds at a par value of VNĐ500 million each. This is a type of non-convertible bond with secured property and priority payment as other secured debts, issued and paid in VNĐ, and issued in the form of book entries.
The interest rate is calculated on the basis of one-year interests for individual customers of five banks – Vietcombank, Vietinbank, BIDV, Agribank and VIB – plus amplitude. The amplitude in the first 12 months is 1 per cent annually; and from the 13th to the 24th month it is 1.2 per cent. Bonds will be paid only once, at the time of maturity of the bonds; bond interest will be paid once a year.
The VNĐ300 billion mobilised capital is expected to be used for underwriting, investing in listed bonds, and increasing the capital for SSI’s activities, but excludes other investments and stock trading.
This is the second time in 2017 that SSI has issued bonds, increasing the total value of bonds issued after both sessions to VNĐ600 billion.
In January, SSI had issued bonds of VNĐ300 billion to individuals and non-financial investors for diversifying mobilised funds and raising medium-term capital in its capital structure.
At its annual shareholders’ meeting on April 21, SSI reported that the company’s business earnings  for 2016 reached VNĐ2.312 trillion, exceeding 60 per cent of the target and up 28 per cent against 2015. Its pre-tax profit was VNĐ1.056 trillion, 11.24 per cent higher than the target.
For 2017, SSI plans a consolidated revenue target of VNĐ2.108 trillion and consolidated profit before tax of VNĐ1.058 trillion.
Conference offers trade opportunities to Vietnam, China businesses
A conference on Vietnam – China trade cooperation was organised in Hanoi on April 25 by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in Zhejiang.
The event was designed to provide opportunities for enterprise of Vietnam and China’s Zhejiang province to meet and look for cooperation possibilities. 
At the function, Do Kim Lang, deputy head of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade), stressed Vietnam is the biggest partner of China in ASEAN, adding that Vietnam has made great efforts to stabilise the currency exchange rate and improve the business climate for both domestic and foreign investors.
Huang Xiao Hang, deputy head of the CCPIT Zhejiang, said more than 30 firms from his province want to meet their Vietnamese peers, adding that his agency expects to help both sides step up partnerships in garment-textile, leather and footwear.
VCCI General Secretary Pham Thi Thu Hang noted that China had been the biggest trade partner of Vietnam and the country’s top export market for 11 consecutive years.
Hang quoted the CCPIT’s assessment that Zhejiang boasts the highest number of firms investing in Vietnam and doing business with Vietnamese firms, compared to other Chinese provinces.
She said she expects the conference will contribute to boosting connection between Vietnamese and Chinese businesses.
According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, trade between Vietnam and China amounted to US$71.9 billion last year, up 7.9% year on year.
By the end of March 2017, China was ranked 8th among foreign investors in Vietnam with 1,615 projects worth US$11.1 billion.
Long An looks to become modern industrialised province by 2020
Although Long An province has taken the lead in foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction in the Mekong Delta, it is still using different measures to improve its competitiveness and investment climate so as to become a modern and sustainable industrialised province by 2020.
Nearly 800 FDI projects worth almost US$6 billion are registered in Long An. About 500, or 62.5%, of the projects are operational with about US$3 billion already disbursed.
They concentrate in industrial parks and clusters in key economic districts such as Duc Hoa, Ben Luc, Can Duoc and Can Giuoc, and Tan An city.
The UK, China’s Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, and the US provide the most funds of the 37 countries and territories that invest in the province.
FDI projects are said to have been making a breakthrough in local industrialisation and modernisation, promoting economic restructuring, job creation, and social issues settlement.
From now to 2020, Long An will give top priority to FDI projects in urban residential area construction, transport and industrial infrastructure, hi-tech agriculture, and support industry, according to provincial authorities.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Van Can said more effective solutions are being used to create a more favourable investment environment.
The administration will strictly deal with sluggish projects by cancelling them, resizing the project area to suit investors’ actual capacity, or extending the deadline for project implementation.
It will also restrict permission for projects that may cause serious environmental pollution, reclaim rice farming land, or do not match local planning, Can said.
Long An, 15th in the Provincial Competitiveness Index rankings last year, will step up administrative reforms and put its public administrative centre into use soon to save time and cost for people, businesses, as well as civil servants, the People’s Committee said.
They are going to develop vocational training establishments to improve the local workforce’s capacity, thus meeting enterprises’ employment demand.
About 5,000ha of land will be ready soon to accommodate investment projects through 2020. Areas in the districts of Dong Thap Muoi, Can Duoc and Can Giuoc will be zoned for hi-tech agricultural activities, according to the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment.