Ministry wants clear responsibilities in huge loss-making fertilizer projectThe Ministry of Industry and Trade yesterday required Vietnam National Chemical Group, the management board of Ninh Binh Nitrogenous Fertilizer Plant project and Ninh Binh Nitrogenous Fertilizer Ltd Company to clarify responsibilities of teams and individuals relating to wrongdoings causing the plant thousands of billion dong losses. Ninh Binh Nitrogenous Fertilizer Plant has continuously reported losses after coming into operation in 2012The requirement was made in the ministry’s announcement of inspection results over the company’s construction investment management at the fertilizer plant in the northern province of Ninh Binh. Ninh Binh nitrogenous fertilizer project broke ground in 2008 with the total investment capital of US$667 million and designed capacity of 560,000 tons of urea a year in Khanh Phu industrial park. Forecast work has been limited and the appointment of the project management board’s director has not abided by regulations. The group, the management board and the fertilizer plant have not handled changes in the project and showed shortcomings in instructing, inspecting and supervising the project’s implementation.
Small network operators quietly prepare for new gameVietNamNet Bridge - The market was still dominated by the three biggest players – VinaFone, MobiFone and Viettel -- but sources said small operators were preparing for a new game. The market was still dominated by the three biggest players – VinaFone, MobiFone and Viettel -- but sources said small operators were preparing for a new game. Meanwhile, the same source said Vietnamobile wants to start a new game. Some analysts commented that Vietnamobile is a network with the most optimal operation model compared with state-owned networks. In October 2016, a new business strategy for the network operator was redrawn.
Vietnam produces 400,000 university graduates every year, but six out of 10 graduates lack working skills and English skills. A research project of the World Bank showed that the lack of English skills and soft skills made Vietnamese candidates less attractive at interviews. Though Vietnam is aware of the weaknesses and has spent big money to fix the problem, the situation has not improved. Linh, the girl, commented that the teaching of English in Nepal was not professional, because it did not have much money to buy TVs, cassettes and dictionaries. However, she believed that Nepali students’ English skills were better than Vietnamese, though Nepal is a poor country.
Urban FMCG market rising as rural market sees lower growthThe key market highlights in December were as follows:Key Indicators2016’s GDP reaching 6.21 per cent fell short of the target of 6.5 per cent but CPI was controlled at 2.67 per cent, lower than the targeted 3-4 per cent. FMCG GrowthThe Urban 4 key cities FMCG market rebounded compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, the rural FMCG market continued to decelerate, driven by lower purchasing volumes. Packaged Foods and Home Care continued to shine in Urban markets while Dairy and Personal Care again led growth in Rural markets. Hot CategoryKetchup and Facial Wash emerged as popular products in Urban and Rural markets, respectively.
Vietnam’s best female gymnast retires from competitionViet Nam’s best female gymnast Phan Thi Ha Thanh has decided to retire from competitive events. I think they need several more years to shine,” Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, coach of the Viet Nam gymnastics team, said. Born in the northern port city of Hai Phong, Thanh trained in gymnastics for 19 years and achieved significant international fame. Thanh also won one silver and one bronze medal at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, in 2014. She won a World Cup title on the balance beam in Osijek, Croatia, in 2014.
Measures suggested for easing overload at Tan Son NhatDinh La Thang, secretary of HCMC’s Party Committee, has suggested opening check-in counters outside Tan Son Nhat International Airport as a measure to ease overload inside the airport and reduce congestion on the roads around the airport area during the Lunar New Year holiday (Tet). Dang Tuan Tu, director of Tan Son Nhat, said the airport handled 32 million passengers last year, seven million passengers higher than the designed capacity of the airport. Tu said Tan Son Nhat and local airlines have made preparations to service passengers during Tet, which starts on January 28. Thang said foreign experts could also be hired to help better operate Tan Son Nhat and help increase aircraft movements at the busiest airport in the country. Thang also asked whether a flood control reservoir has been constructed at Tan Son Nhat or not.
Reform, int’l integration agenda to be assured at WEFPM Nguyen Xuan Phuc is making the first trip to Switzerland for the annual meeting of the Word Economic Forum as the Government chief to assure Viet Nam’s commitment to comprehensive reform and international integration agenda. The Government chief will also deliver a keynote speech at the Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders (IGWEL) to affirm Viet Nam’s reform efforts. The relations between Viet Nam and the WEF have advanced quickly in various fields since the country joined the forum in 1989, said Ambassador Dung. At first, the forum provided opportunities to initiate economic relations with developed countries as Viet Nam was embargoed. Viet Nam and WEF have expanded cooperation to improving national competitiveness, industries and agriculture.
VNU-UET and VNVP9 sign cooperative agreementThe University of Engineering and Technology at the Vietnam National University (VNU-UET) and the Vietnam VP9 Joint Stock Company (VNVP9) signed a cooperative agreement on January 17 in Hanoi, under which they will commercialize technology products through connections between universities and Vietnamese enterprises. The agreement will also boost high-tech products to improve competitive capacity and ensure sustainable development. Such a model is being encouraged by the Vietnamese Government to spark creativity and develop tech enterprises, given the limited application of technology among domestic enterprises. “Students can approach the modern technology of enterprises while enterprises can access the creativity of students,” he believes. The two will also cooperate to share information, support each other’s activities, and open up job opportunities to VNU-UET students.
M&A in banking sector perking up for 2017The year has only begun, but signs are pointed to an exciting time ahead for the banking sector with vigorous mergers and acquisitions (M&As) activities. As approved by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), on January 12, Vinaconex-Viettel Finance JSC has been merged into Saigon-Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB). Not stopping there, Nguyen Van Le, general director of SHB, said the consumer finance company will soon merge with a foreign company. With the government’s initiative to restructure the banking system, more banks are expected to join the M&A wave. Earlier, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced a plan to cooperate with a Vietnamese company to buy one of the VND0 banks.
Derivatives hold incentive and riskWith Vietnam set to open its first derivatives market, experts are warning of the preparations needed to minimise potential investor risks. Institutional investors within Vietnam and international investors have already expressed interest in and enquired about the derivatives market, Giang said. Thailand has recorded a 70 per cent growth in its derivatives market after just 10 years of operation. “There should be lots of buyers and sellers and the derivatives market must be kept busy at all times. He noted that, in 1996, China had to close its derivatives market after a five-year trial run due to scandals regarding price manipulation and market bubbles.
Vietnam posts trade surplus of US$2.32 billion in 2016Vietnam enjoyed a trade surplus of US$2.32 billion last year, according to the General Department of Customs (GDC), slightly lower than the initial estimate of US$2.68 billion made by the General Statistics Office. The GDC announced on January 17 that exports reached US$176.5 billion last year, up 8.9% from 2015 while imports rose 5.2% to US$174.19 billion. Over the past year, the GDC collaborated with other agencies to uncover more than 15,400 cases of smuggling and trade fraud, confiscating goods worth VND416 billion (US$18.3 million). In 2017, the GDC has been assigned by the National Assembly to collect VND285 billion (US$12.54 billion) in budget revenues. In order to meet the target, the department will focus on removing difficulties for enterprises, maximising the facilitation of export and import activities, stepping up efforts to crack down on trafficking, and modernising its systems.
Agriculture need more investments and technology, say expertsIt is essential to lower input costs and improve quality to enhance competitiveness of agricultural products and efficiency of investments in this sector, experts have said. Experts said the ceiling for agricultural land holding should be gradually abolished to encourage investment in farming production. The ceiling makes agricultural production scattered and it is difficult to apply science and technology when that happens, which in turn keeps prices high and discourages long-term investments. “To encourage investments in agricultural production, there must be more favourable policies to create impetus for businesses and farmers,” Tuan said. It is critical to apply technologies in farming production as that’s the solution for sustainable development, he said.
US ambassador celebrates Kitchen Gods’ Day in HanoiThe US ambassador to Vietnam, Ted Osius, released carp fish at West Lake in Hanoi and visited a flower market on Wednesday. The release of carp fish is a ritual to celebrate the Kitchen Gods’ Day which is on the 23rd day of the last lunar month in Vietnam. On this day, families across Vietnam bid farewell to the Gods of the Kitchen, thanking them for watching over their house for another year. The Kitchen Gods begin their trip to visit the Jade Emperor. “I follow Vietnamese people to bid farewell to the Kitchen Gods who are believed to bring luck and protect the family," he said.
Hanoi, HCM City world's most dynamic citiesHCM City and Ha Noi, two major cities of Viet Nam, are listed among the top 10 most dynamic cities, according to the JLL’s fourth annual City Momentum Index (CMI). HCM City ranks second while Ha Noi is in eighth place. HCM City ranks second while Ha Noi is in eighth place. The overriding factors that characterise the world’s most dynamic cities are technology and innovation — and cities that best absorb, adapt and leverage these drivers come out on top. Although the most dynamic cities are spread across the world, more than half of the top 30 in the 2017 ranking are in Asia-Pacific.
Y-rider is the biggest festival of Yamaha bikers in Vietnam, an event where people come to discus and exchange their experiences as well as watch motor performances. Four of his titles he gained when he wore Yamaha jersey. Vinales, 21, is best known for winning the 2013 Moto3 World Championship. In 2015, he won the best rookie award in the MotoGP class. He joined the Yamaha team at the end of last year’s season.