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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 28/3   2009-03-28 - VietNamNet/VNA, ND

Construction of highway linking Laos and Vietnam kicked off


Construction on Highway 2E linking Laos and Vietnam was launched at a ceremony held on March 26 at the Panghok international border gate in Laos’s Phongsaly province by the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport and Lao Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the local authorities of the two provinces of Dien Bien in Vietnam and Phongsaly in Laos.


The highway, linking Khoa district in Phongsaly province of Laos to the Tay Trang border gate in the northern province of Dien Bien, has a total length of 69 kilometres. Total investment for the project is put at US$43 million, which has been provided in the form of 15-year soft loans from Vietnam .


The project will be carried out by Vietnam’s CIENCO 18 firm and several Lao companies. Construction is scheduled for 48 months.


Once completed, the highway will facilitate transport, trade, investment and economic development between northern Laos and Vietnam ’s northwestern region.


Lao permanent Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Sinh Hung attended the ground breaking ceremony.


More gov’t bonds worth US$50 million sold out


The US dollar-denominated government bonds worth US$50.1 million were successfully auctioned at the Hanoi Securities Trading Centre (HaSTC) on March 27.


The bonds, with a maturity of two years and a face value of US$100 each, have an interest rate of 3.6 percent per annum. They will be listed at the HaSTC on March 31. Its interests will be paid once a year on the day of issuance.


This was the third time the State Treasury has issued government bonds in the US dollar this year.


The State Treasury mobilised US$180 million from the auction of the government bonds on March 20 and 24.


The government plans to raise US$300 million from the sales of bonds to fund key projects and make up for the State budget deficit.



‘Directory of Vietnamese exporters to the US’ book and CD published


A book and CD entitled ‘Directory of Vietnamese exporters to the US’ written in English has been published by the Vietnam Trade Promotion Department and a local company, the Vietbridge Company, aiming at promoting investment and trading opportunities between the two business communities and boost co-operation between the two countries.


The directory gives a list of Vietnamese exporters to the US as well as Vietnamese enterprises that have potentials and wish to seek for partnership and expand trading activities in the US market.


In addition, the book also provides information about Vietnam’s economy and trade, the Vietnam-US relations and essential information on ways to do business in Vietnam.


This will be an useful handbook for US organisations, investors and enterprises that want to seek for information about Vietnamese enterprises.


The US has currently been an important export market of Vietnam. Bilateral trade has developed rapidly. Last year, two way trade between Vietnam and the US hit US$14.5 billion, up US$1.5 billion against the previous year.


Cam Pha-Vinaconex company exports cement to Mozambique


Cam Pha-Vinaconex Cement Joint Stock Company on March 25, shipped the first 12,500 tonnes of cement to Mozambique at the Cai Lan Port in Quang Ninh province.


The company is the first enterprise in the country to export cement in a large quantity. In the coming time, the company will boost exports to potential markets including the Middle East, Africa, and South America.


The VND 6 trillion Cam Pha Cement Plant has an annual capacity of 2.3 million tonnes of cement, and is the largest of its kind in Vietnam.


After one year of operations, the plant produced over 1.2 million tonnes of clinker, and 323,000 tonnes of cement.


US$198 million worth of ODA disbursed in first quarter


An estimated US$198 million worth of ODA has been disbursed in the first three months of this year, equivalent to 10.4% of the total target set for the whole year this year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.


Of this, US$153 million has been loans and the remaining is non-refundable grants.


Total ODA value of agreements signed in the first quarter reached over US$26 million, including US$21 million loans and US$5.23 million non-refundable grants.


These loans and grants are for three projects to increase agricultural and rural development capacity in the Central Highlands (US$3.5 million, funded by Japan,) improve the living conditions of people in Bac Kan province (US$21.65 million, funded by IFAD and GEF) and raising the capacity of voluntary activities for development in Vietnam (US$1.08 million, funded by UNDP).


First turbine of Buon Kuop hydro-electric power plant put into idle operation


The first turbine of Buon Kuop Hydro-electric power plant, which has a capacity of 140MW, was officially put into idle operations on March 23 for two days.


The plant is designed to have two turbines with a total capacity of 280MW. The plant is invested by the Electricity of Vietnam Group with a total investment of VND 5 trillion.


The first turbine is scheduled to officially generate electricity in April 2009 and the second turbine in August.


Buon Kuop Hydro-electric power plant is the biggest power project on the Srepok River and is the second biggest power project in the Central Highlands, only after Ya Ly electric power plant.


Base interest rate remains unchanged


The State Bank of Vietnam today announced that the base interest rate remains unchanged, at 7.0% per annum.


The refinancing rate is also stayed the same at 8.0% per annum, the rediscount rate is 6.0% per annum, and the overnight rate in the inter-bank electronic payment and the rate of loans to finance short balances in clearing transactions between SBV and commercial banks is fixed at 8.0% per annum.


These interest rates will be applicable from April 1.

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