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BUSINESS BRIEF 8/12   2008-12-08 - VNA

Malaysia to build ship hatch cover plant in Ben Tre

The Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre has licensed a Malaysian-invested project to build a ship hatch cover manufacturing plant at a total cost of 18 million USD in Chau Thanh district.

The plant, which will produce hatch covers for ships and other steel-based products at an annual capacity of 15,000 tonnes, is an investment of Vastalux-Anpha, a joint venture between Vastalux SDN-BHD of Malaysia and Anpha Trade and Service Co. Ltd of Ho Chi Minh City .

The JV said work will start soon on the 6-ha plant, which is expected to be put into production in July next year.

Industry gets help with WTO

The Government has recently approved a strategy to protect domestic industrial production to 2010 following international commitments and WTO regulations, according to the Government’s website.

Under the strategy, the Government will continue supporting domestic industrial producers to help them enhance their competitiveness in both domestic and international markets.

The responsible bodies will capitalise on tax and non-tax measures to assist domestic industrial producers and businesses in all economic sectors, especially in key industries and those chosen by the Government to receive priorities.

Based on tax reduction itineraries set with the WTO, the Government will use tax measures such as anti-dumping and safe guard tools to protect a number of necessary industries, helping them avoid unfair competition from imported goods.

As for non-tax measures, the Government will maintain investment incentive policies that conform with WTO regulations, to support domestic production. Development research, education, training and investment on equipment and technology will also be carried out.

Under the strategy, the Government will also call for a boost in foreign investment in hi-tech, environmentally friendly and fuel efficient industries.

Measures to minimise rampant investment and investment in industries without long-term strategies were also noted in the Government’s overall strategy.

The Government said it would encourage businesses to work closely with each other to ensure there would be enough material resources and that processing and distribution in the market would be effective.

Businesses will also receive help in trade and investment promotion, as well as be given information to set suitable business strategies.

The strategy also mentions the removal of subsidies, so that prices of all commodities and services in the market will gradually match market prices, in line with WTO commitments.

First next-generation data centre coming soon to capital

The first next-generation data centre targeted at Asia Pacific-based multinationals will open early next year in Hanoi , according to the investor ViNetworks.

The network centre comes at a time when the country’s growth has brought an increasing need for such centres to handle e-government, e-commerce and electronic socialisation.

In recent years, foreign and Vietnamese IT companies have not had sufficient resources to functions as data centre providers.

While foreign companies find it hard to gain licences, Vietnamese companies consider technological inexperience as their most challenging obstacle.

Designed and supported by US-based Cisco, ViNetworks expects to blend Silicon Valley ’s technical innovation with a talented local workforce, according to investors.

Located at Hoa Lac Hi-tech Park in Hanoi , the next-generation data centre is efficient and cost-effective, and is based on customers’ particular business needs.

The new architecture supports strategic functions for multi-protocol connectivity, policy-based authmation, and uniform management across the data centre which ensures continuous data protection and quick recovery.

Most of these solutions focus on improving energy efficiency and reducing the use and improper disposal of hazardous materials associated with the production and operation of IT equipment.

“We hope this first next-generation data centre will take an active role in contributing to Vietnam ’s IT infrastructure growth following it accession to the World Trade Organisation two years ago,” said Tran Xuan Son, chief executive officer of ViNetworks.

Business opportunities in Vietnam remain unchanged, says asset manager

Vietnamese-Canadian asset manager Don Lam, who is working in Ho Chi Minh City has said business opportunities in Vietnam have not changed in the context of the global economic downturn.

“There has been great volatility this year but our view of the opportunity in Vietnam has not changed, we still see significant value and potential across the economy,” Don Lam told the Canadian Financial Post in a recent interview.

Vietnam had an enormous inflow of foreign investment in 2007 and this, combined with relatively free local money supply, lead to an overheating of the economy. However, the government has imposed a fairly comprehensive set of policies to cool the economy and slow credit growth, he said.

Vietnam, like every emerging market, will feel pressure from a global credit slowdown. However, it will also benefit from the strength of its agricultural commodities and because many of its manufactured products are not subject to big swings in demand. “The world still needs to eat and still needs affordable clothing,” he said.

According to Do Lam, the sectors where Vietnam can really compete with other countries in the ASEAN region or beyond to attract foreign investment in the long term are agribusiness, tourism and Vietnam’s relatively low labour costs.

Vietnam to offer market-driven air service charge

Vietnam will allow its aviation sector to adjust its air transport and service charges in line with market prices as part of its fulfillment of WTO commitments.

The move is expected to be implemented as from this month as proposed in a report the Government has submitted to the National Assembly Standing Committee.

These changes will then be tabled to the National Assembly’s fifth session in May, 2009 so that they can be supplemented to the Law on Civil Aviation.

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