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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 15/3   2009-03-15 - VietNamNet/VNA/VOV/ND/SGGP/CPV

Japanese firms investigate investment opportunities in Vietnam

A delegation of leaders of Japanese businesses representing the country’s chemical, energy, transport and infrastructure construction industries is currently visiting Vietnam to identify opportunities for cultural-economic exchange and investment.

The delegation, led by Masahiro Iwashita, President of the Japan-Vietnam Economic Cooperation Committee of the International Friendship Exchange Council (FEC) of Japan, was received by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung on March 13.

The Vietnamese Deputy PM welcomed their visit and expressed his pleasure at the recent positive development of the two countries’ relations across all levels and fields.

Hung said that the global economic crisis has had a negative impact on both countries but has also created new business opportunities.

He said he believed that the visit would contribute to strengthening the friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries and pledged that the Vietnamese Government would create favourable conditions for FEC members who invest in Vietnam.

FEC, a Japanese non-profit organisation, was established in 1985 and has more than 1,500 members who are former diplomatic officials, economists, businessmen and intellectuals.

FEC’s operations are based on the criteria of peace, prosperity, globalisation, person-to-person diplomacy, and improving relations with other Asian countries.

Vietnam, Cuba strengthen finance ties 

The finance ministries of both Vietnam and Cuba agreed on a 2009-2010 cooperation programme that looks to further enhancing bilateral ties during Deputy Finance Minister Tran Xuan Ha’s visit to Cuba from March 9-14.

Also during the trip, finance ministry officials have discussed and shared a wide-range of experiences, from budgetary issues, performance of treasuries, to taxation policy and management.

On March 13, Deputy Finance Minister Ha held a working session with Cuban Minister of Finance and Pricing Lina Olinda Pedraza, who remarked that the two ministries’ strengthening of cooperation will contribute to bolstering the two nations’ traditional friendship.

Deputy Minister Ha later met with Fidel Figueroa, Construction Minister and Chairman of the Cuba-Vietnam Inter-governmental Cooperation Committee and First Deputy Minister for Overseas Investment and Economic Cooperation, on matters of mutual concern.


Vietnam, Laos enhance ties in energy, mining


Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang held talks with Laos Minister of Energy and Mining Soulivong Dalavong in Vientiane on March 14.

The two sides expressed their satisfaction at the Vietnamese enterprises’ investment in energy and mining projects in Laos.

This year, the two sides will continue their cooperation in accordance with an agreement in these sectors signed between the two Governments in 2006.

The Electricity of Vietnam cooperation (EVN) and its Lao counterpart will join hands to provide power for border provinces.

Vietnam will also help train Laos’ officials working in energy and mining sectors.

Hai Phong officials seek Australia’s investment

A delegation from the northern port city of Hai Phong, led by the Chairman of its People’s Committee, Trinh Quang Su, arrived in Australia on March 12, aiming to stimulate investment in the city, especially in the education sector.

The delegation worked alongside the Queensland University, hoping to promote educational cooperation. The city’s People’s Committee plans to fund the studies of 100 Vietnamese for masters degrees and PhDs in Australia.

On the same day, the delegation met with overseas Vietnamese from Hai Phong who now live in Sydney. During the meeting, the city’s chairman informed them of the developmental achievements of the country in general and the city in particular.

Many of those present said that they would like to contribute to the development of their homeland through investment and long-term working in the city.

According to Vietnam’s General Consul in Sydney, Vu Hong Nam, there are around 200,000 overseas Vietnamese currently living in Australia, the majority of them originally from Hai Phong.

Dung Quat IZ licenses foreign-funded project

The Dung Quat industrial zone’s management board in central Quang Ngai province has granted an investment licence to the wholly foreign-invested DOOBON Vietnam company, which has a total investment of 28 million USD.

The  company plans to build a factory on 98,300 sq.m to produce a range of household goods, such as shampoo, hair conditioner, sun lotion and liquid soap.

With the licensing of this project, the industrial zone is now homed to 33 foreign projects in total, with combined registered capital totalling more than four billion USD.

Vietnam to be destination for foreign investors

Vietnam has been exerting efforts to be continued destination for foreign investors, said President of the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Parliamentarian Union Ho Duc Viet.

Viet met a delegation of the Japan-Vietnam Economic Cooperation Committee under the International Friendship Exchange Council (FEC), headed by the Committee’s President Masahiro Iwashita, in Hanoi on March 13, affirming that Vietnam would create favourable conditions for FEC members to invest and do business in the country.

Viet, who is also politburo member and Secretary of the Party Central Committee and Chairman of the Committee’s Personnel Commission, stated that Vietnam has many solutions to stablise macro-economy to reach high growth rate, but always pay attention at sustainable development, socio-cultural issues, especially poverty reduction.

Masahiro Iwashita informed that he was accompanied by 40 leaders of Japanese groups and companies involving in chemistry, energy, transports and infrastructure.

The delegation made the visit to Vietnam to study Vietnam’s economic situation to make a foundation for investment and develop economic relations between the two countries.

FEC, a non-profit organisation of Japan, was set up in 1985 with over 1,500 members, who are former diplomatic officials, economists, businessmen and intellectuals.

FEC operates basing on criteria for peace, prosperity, the era of internationalisation, boosting people’s diplomacy, and boosting relations with Asian countries.

Vietnamese businesses to attend Boston’s int’l seafood show

26 Vietnamese businesses will take part in the International Boston Seafood Show in the US from March 15-17.

As well as showcasing their products, Vietnam’s seafood producers also hope to seek additional partners from around the world, particularly the US.

Vietnam is among the world’s top ten seafood exporters, with revenues of 4.5 billion USD in 2008. The country’s major markets include the US, EU, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, accounting for 50 percent of total export turnover.

From 2009-2010, Vietnam will continue exporting to these markets, as well as seeking out new partners in trade.

According to the US Department of Commerce, in 2008, Vietnam’s seafood exports to the US were valued at over 761 million USD, ranking fourth among Vietnam’s export staples to the country, after garments, wood products and footwear.

The International Boston Seafood Show is one of the largest and most prestigious fairs in the world. Last year, the exhibition attracted 870 seaffod producers and distributors from 52 countries and territories.

Japanese firms invest 300 million USD in Vietnam

Japan’s Kobe and Sojitz companies plan to set up an iron pellet production joint venture in Vietnam with an estimated investment capital of 300 million USD.

If approved, the joint venture will be established with an initial registered capital of 1 million USD to survey iron mines. It will utilize the ITmk3 technology, capable of producing iron pellets from low-quality iron ore and coal.

Another Japanese steel producer, Daido, also plans to enter the local iron market.

In 2008, Japan ranked third among 50 countries and territories registering to invest in Vietnam, with 105 projects capitalized at nearly 7.3 billion USD, accounting for 9 percent of total projects and 12 percent of total registered investment capital.

To attract more foreign invested projects and speed up the implementation of licensed projects, this year the Ministry of Planning and Investment will coordinate with relevant agencies and ministries to effectively implement the third phase of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative Programme on improving the investment environment in Vietnam.

Cambodia loosens entry rules for Vietnamese

Vietnamese, Lao and Thai nationals holding laissez-passers will now be allowed to stay in Cambodia up to one week and travel within its three provinces.

The decision, by the Cambodian government, is aimed at luring more foreign visitors and investors to the country, Minister of Tourism Chan Thon said on Mar. 11.

Under the new rule, Vietnamese, Thai and Lao people holding passports are permitted to stay in Cambodia for one month and take legal means of transportation along with them.

Cambodia also plans to open new international border gates with Vietnam, Laos and Thailand to draw more tourists from these neighbouring countries, Minister Chan Thon said.

In 2008, Cambodia welcomed 210,000 Vietnamese visitors, 109,000 Thai visitors and nearly 61,000 Lao tourists, according to its Tourism Ministry.

Teco committed US$50 million to project in Binh Duong

Taiwan‘s Teco Group announced that it will go ahead with its planned project at My Phuoc 3 industrial park in the southern province of Binh Duong despite the economic slowdown.

Teco President Theodore M. H. Huang made the commitment during a working session with the provincial People’s Committee on March 12.

The Chairman of the Committee, Nguyen Hoang Duong, welcome Teco’s decision and stressed that the province will create favourable conditions for the group to complete the project on time.

Under the project, Teco will build plants to produce electrical and electronic appliances using high technology for local consumption and export. It will use solar energy for production, which is environmentally friendly and in line with the province’s sustainable development policy. 

60 Vietnamese seafood enterprises authorised to export to Brazil

The Brazilian Trade and Industry Ministry on March 12 announced the list of 60 Vietnamese seafood businesses that are now authorised to export their products to Brazil.

This is a big opportunity for the Vietnamese seafood industry as Brazil is a large market with 190 million people who are very fond of seafood.

All domestic businesses allowed to export seafood to Brazil have to adhere to the procedures required by the Brazilian Inspectorate of Fish and Fishery Products (DIPES). They also have to satisfy strict regulations on their seafood production processes.

However, some Vietnamese seafood, such as shrimp and crabs, have not yet been granted permission to enter the Brazilian market.

Airlines reduce airfares to stimulate tourism

The HCM City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Travel Department under the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VAT) on March 12 worked with a group in charge of stimulating tourism in the southern part of the country.

The group said that after reducing the prices of tours by 15-35 percent, many travel companies have attracted more visitors to the region.

Especially, Jetstar Pacific and Indochina Airlines are offering a discount of 30-40 percent on their airfares. Tran The Dung, deputy head of the group in the southern region said that although their reduction in airfares is not as high as Vietnam Airlines (60 percent), it has helped the tourism market develop.

Italy’s national carrier targets Vietnam Airlines

Italy’s aviation group Alitalia plans to strengthen its ties with Asian countries to tap the potential of newly-emerging markets, according to the Italian News Agency ANSA.

Altalia’s President Roberto Colaninno said that the group will consider the possibility of sharing air routes to Europe and Asia with Vietnam Airlines.

According to the Rome daily newspaper II Messaggero, there are two reasons why Altalia has targeted Vietnam Airlines as a partner. First, many of Vietnam’s airlines do not operate in Italy but would like to get a foothold in the market. Second, Vietnam has been developing rapidly and catching a lot of attention from Italian businesses over the past few years.

Hanoi set to host Vietnam Expo

Businesses from new markets like Africa, South Asia, and South and North America will take part in an annual consumer trade fair in Hanoi next month.

The 19th Vietnam International Trade Fair - Vietnam Expo 2009 will feature 600 foreign and domestic participants, including 350 well-known Vietnamese companies like Petrolvietnam, Viglacera, Hoa Phat, Lioa, Xuan Hoa, and Vinaconex.

The Vietnamese firms will showcase potential export items like handicrafts, interior decoration items, food, garments, leather footwear, household appliances, and building materials.

It will be held at the Vietnam Exhibition and Trade Center from April 8 to 14 but will be a slightly low-key affair this year because of the global recession, the organizer Vietnam National Trade Fair & Advertising Company said.

Hong Kong printers to explore Vietnam’s market

A delegation from the Hong Kong Printers Association (HKPA) will visit Vietnam from March 16-19 to explore co-operation and investment opportunities in the country, according to the Vietnam Trade Office in Hong Kong.

The delegation consists of HKPA leaders, leaders of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and some 20 HKPA member enterprises.

The visiting Hong Kong printers are scheduled to visit Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and met with domestic partners.

The Hong Kong Printers Association (HKPA) was established in 1939.It aims to promote the growth of the local printing industry, voice industry’s opinions to the Government, assist members in business development, as well as enhance relationships of employers and employees in the industry. The Association has now maintained a membership of 400 companies, consisting of local printers, publishing companies and printing machine and material suppliers.

Bao Viet Bank allowed to supply forex services

The Bao Viet Joint-Stock Commercial Bank has been approved to meet proper conditions to provide forex services in the domestic market, according to a document No. 1686/NHNN-CNH issued recently by the State Bank of Vietnam.

Specifically, Bao Viet Bank is permitted to conduct foreign exchange services as follows: spots, forwards, futures, options, and other types of FX transactions in line with international practice; mobilisation, lending and guaranty in foreign currencies in various forms set by the SBV; acting as issuer and issuing agent of international payment cards; domestic and international remittance and settlements; Acceptance and payment of foreign currencies; discounting and rediscounting of valuable papers in foreign currencies; authorising other credit institutions and/or economic entities to act as agents to provide FX services, including conducting money exchange, acceptance and payment of foreign currencies, and other services; providing trust and asset management services in foreign currencies; providing investment banking services (M&A, underwriting and issuing stocks in foreign currencies…); provision of forex consultancy to customers;  and other forex services in line with international practice and the Vietnamese law.

The Bank is required to strictly comply with the Vietnamese applicable law on forex services and other relevant legal documents.

120 enterprises receive strong brand awards

As many as 120 enterprises nationwide have won the Strong brand awards 2008, announced organisers in Ho Chi Minh City on March 12.

The winners have been selected based on different criteria such as business results, trademark protection, human resources, stability, quality, leadership, etc.

Up to 18% of the winners are operating in the banking, insurance and financial sector, followed by food and drink enterprises, 12%; real estate, 12% and garment and textile, 9%.

Nearly two third of the winners are joint stock companies while State-owned enterprises account for 19% and companies limited, 13%.

The award presentation ceremony will be held in Hanoi on March 29.

The organisers of the award are Vietnam Economic Times and the Department for Trade Promotion at the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

HSBC Vietnam allowed to do factoring

HSBC Vietnam has been licensed to conduct factoring, according to a decision issued on March 9 by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV)

Under the decision, the HSBC Bank (Vietnam) Ltd. is allowed to conduct factoring operations in the domestic market and import-export in line with SBV’s Decisions on regulations of factoring operations of credit institutions and other relevant regulations.

The decision takes effect on the signing date and is an integral part of the HSBC Bank (Vietnam) Ltd’s License No 235/GP-NHNN issued by the SBV Governor on September 8, 2008.

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