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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 9/2   2010-02-09 - VietNamNet/VNA, TN, ND

Irrigation expanded in Red River delta


Nearly 80 percent of winter-spring crop in the Red River Delta have access to water, according to the national irrigation department.


The reservoirs of Hoa Binh, Thac Ba, and Tuyen Quang remain open, releasing high volumes of water at 1,482cu.m, 255cu.m, and 150 cu.m per second respectively.


Water levels in the Red River reached 2.2m by February 6, and this helped provide sufficient irrigation for rice seedlings this season, the department said.


The provinces with highest demand for water include Hai Duong, Ninh Binh, Bac Ninh, Hanoi, and Thai Nguyen.


The reservoirs will remain open from February 7-13, the department said.


Meanwhile, drought has recently hit Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces, enabling pests and diseases to attack thousands of ha of rice among 1.6 million hectares of the winter-spring crop.


The National Plant Protection Agency has urged concerned agencies in the delta provinces to closely monitor the situation to prevent and effectively control the spread of pests and diseases.


Domestic powder milk production rises by 41.2 percent


Vietnam’s milk industry reported a production output of 4,400 tonnes of powder milk in January, an increase of 41.2 percent over the same period last year.


Price increases for animal feed and decreases in the output of fresh milk, used in the production of powder milk, have translated into difficulties for farmers.


La Xuyen Industrial Complex to be built in Nam Dinh


The Prime Minister has allowed the People’s Committee of Nam Dinh province to transform 18,076 hectares under rice into the land area to carry out the La Xuyen Industrial Complex project in Yen Ninh commune, Y Yen district, Nam Dinh province.


The Prime Minister has instructed the People’s Committee of Nam Dinh province that the purpose of land use and land rent must be in compliance with the land-related laws and regulations.


Vietnam supports formation of global cashew association


Exporters from Vietnam, India and Brazil will meet in the southern province of Binh Phuoc next month to discuss establishing the world’s first international cashew association. 


Nguyen Thai Hoc, chairman of the Vietnam Cashew Association, said such a grouping would help exporters be more active and create more opportunities for cooperation.


Hoc said exporters interested in founding the new association would meet on the sidelines of the Vietnam Golden Cashew Festival March 20-23 to finalize plans to establish the group after meetings in the US and Africa later on.


Vietnam, India and Brazil are the world’s largest cashew exporters, with Vietnam topping the list after local exporters overtook India in 2007.


Binh Phuoc Province accounts for 45 percent of the country’s 500,000 hectares of cashew plantation and it houses 100 cashew processing plants.


Vietnamese businesses exported 170,000 tons of cashew nuts worth US$850 million last year, compared to $920 million in 2008, accounting for over 30 percent of the world’s market.


Banks to back rice production


Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has directed ministries, sectors, food corporations and the Vietnam Food Association to develop support for this year’s domestic rice production and export activities.


According to the Prime Minister’s official letter No 211/TTg-KTTH, State commercial banks must meet loan requests that will help with the purchase of rice for domestic consumption and exports.


The Ministry of Finance must work with the People’s Committees in provinces and the Vietnam Food Association to set up an information system with updated information about production costs, farmer’s selling prices and export prices for rice.


“The move will help with the management of rice production and consumption to ensure the interest of farmers and to stabilise the price of rice on the domestic market,” Dung said.


The Ministry of Industry and Trade and the inter-ministerial rice export management team would instruct State food corporation to enhance transactions and sign large volume rice export contracts to effectively use the winter-spring and summer-autumn rice crops this year, he said,


They should boost trade promotion activities and development of rice export market, and keep eye on how the domestic and international rice markets develop.


Meanwhile, the VFA must intensify its efforts to seek export markets and customers for 2010 and 2011, he said. The association must work with relevant offices to deliver sufficient export products according to set schedules and to stabilise prices for services related to rice export activities.


Truong Thanh Phong, VFA chairman, said Vietnam rice exports in 2010 would face many difficulties, making it hard to forecast the final numbers.


To meet the Government’s requirement of ensuring farmers’ interest, the VFA plans to set up an investment fund this year to improve the quality of rice and guarantee income for the farmers, Phong said.


IMF commits more financial assistance to Vietnam


IMF Deputy Managing Director Takatoshi Kato has confirmed the fund’s pledge to continue providing technical and financial assistance to Vietnam in economic development, controlling foreign exchange rates and meeting other requirements of the country’s development.


While speaking to Vice State President Nguyen Thi Doan at a reception in Hanoi on Feb. 8, Kato praised Vietnam ’s increasingly important position in the region, noting that the nation has attracted the attention from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Doan welcomed IMF Deputy Managing Director Kato’s visit to Vietnam .


She highlighted the IMF’s efforts to cope in a timely manner with the global financial crisis and economic downturn, especially its application of loan mechanisms for poor countries.


The IMF has an important role in preventing future economic crises and in sustainable development, the Vice President said.


She took the occasion to thank the IMF for its effective assistance to Vietnam in the recent past, particularly its consultation in financial and monetary policy, which helped minimise the impact of the global financial crisis.


Vietnam is targeting macroeconomic stability while ensuring social welfare, improving the country’s competitiveness, effectively utilising all resources and bringing into play international cooperation to achieve sustainable development, she said.


Vietnam hopes to receive continued assistance from the IMF, said the Vice President.


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