Social News 5/2

HCM City to use loans for kindergartens The HCM City People's Committee has approved the use of bank loans to build 72 public kindergartens worth a total of more than VND 2.7 trillion (US$128 million). The public kindergartens will be built by the end of the year. Of the public kindergarten projects, Cu Chi District accounts for the largest number (14), followed by Binh Tan District (nine) and Binh Chanh and Can Gio districts (seven each). To speed up the progress of building public kindergartens, the HCM City People's Committee has decided to start a bank loan programme to build public kindergartens. The move represents the city's determination to speed up the progress of building kindergartens, according to Nguyen Dinh Thai Chau, the municipal Department of Education and Training's Finance and Planning Division. Phan Thi Thang, deputy director of the municipal Department of Finance, said last year the city had 117 public kindergarten projects that needed capital for … [Read more...]

Social News 29/11

Court sentences four for forging passports, signatures The Ha Noi People's Court yesterday sentenced four persons to several years in prison for forging authorised signatures and immigration documents to help two people flee abroad. According to the indictment, the four persons are Phan Van Lap, 46, from Quang Binh Province; Phi Manh Thang, 32, from Thach That District in Ha Noi; and Hoang Anh Tuan, 40, from Dong Da District in Ha Noi; as well as Bui Phu Binh, 23, from Phuc Tho District, Ha Noi. Tuan had earlier worked as an immigration police officer at Noi Bai International Airport. The four convicts forged authorised signatures, immigration documents and passports to help two other persons flee to Europe in 2013. The two persons who used these fake documents were caught in Noi Bai in 2013. While Lap was sentenced to 45 months in prison, Thang received a 33–month sentence, Tuan got 24 months in probation and Binh was jailed for 12 months. Lives put at risk by damaged … [Read more...]

Social News 13/10

19 'fake' school health workers fired Tuy Phuoc District officials approved a request to fire 19 health workers at local elementary and middle schools who used fake degrees to get the job. The district's Bureau of Education and Training and Bureau of Interior Affairs made the request after the workers were caught buying fake degrees. The workers included 44-year-old Pham Thi Xuan Mai and 38-year-old Trinh Thi Ngoc Hau, who earlier this year were sentenced to 12 and 18 years in prison respectively for using and trading fake college degrees. The two started buying fake college degrees in 2006 and selling them to people in Binh Dinh Province. Three children drown in Kien Giang lake Three sixth-grade students drowned in a lake yesterday, according to the Tan Hiep Police Department. They were reportedly playing near the lake with one other student, who did not go swimming and called for help when he saw his friends drowning. However, the children had drowned by the time rescuers … [Read more...]

Social News Headlines 17/2

Annual blood donation event held in Hanoi Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan beat a ceremonial drum to officially launch an annual blood donation drive, known as the Red Spring Festival, in Ha Noi yesterday. Addressing the gathering, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thi Xuyen highlighted the remarkable achievements of the blood donation movement in Viet Nam over the past two decades, with more than 8.2 million units of blood collected and the number of donors increasing every passing year. According to Dr Nguyen Anh Tri, head of the festival's organising board, in addition to easing blood shortages after the Lunar New Year holiday, the event, with its message of "Sharing red blood, giving hope," will help raise public awareness about the need to donate blood. This year's drive is expected to collect between 6,000 and 7,000 units of blood from 10,000 donors. It is being held in almost all localities nationwide until March 15. Fog, rain disrupt normal life in Ha … [Read more...]

Social Headlines January 24

Hanoi reduces sentences for 230 prisonersAs many as 230 prisoners who are serving sentences at three prisons in Hanoi will get reduced jail terms under a decision announced on January 22.Of the total, 57 prisoners will be allowed to end their sentence ahead of schedule and 173 other sentences will be shortened by 1-8 months.At a ceremony to announce the decision, Major General Dinh Van Toan, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Police, congratulated the prisoners who have been given reduced sentences due to good behaviour.On behalf of the prisoners who have benefitted from the decision, Vu Thi Loan expressed her gratitude to the Party and State for their clemency policy and thanked prison officials for creating conditions for them to rehabilitate successfully.-Former CEOs in jail for tax evasionPolice in Ha Noi arrested three people on Monday on charges of tax fraud relating to the Ha Noi Liquor Joint Stock Co (Halico) .According to Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper, Ho Van Hai, former director of … [Read more...]

Four region-based minimum wage levels

VGP - Decree 70/2011/ND/CP dated August 22, 2011 stipulates region-based minimum wage levels for laborers working for companies, enterprises, cooperatives, cooperative groups, farms, households, individuals and agencies, organizations employing laborers. The Government has recently issued Decree 182/2013/ND-CP to replace valid Decree 103/2012/ND-CP, dated December 4, 2012 on monthly minimum wage for employees. Accordingly, since January 1, 2014, the monthly minimum wage for employees will increase from VND 1.9 million (US$ 89.3) to VND 2.7 million (US$ 128). Region Administrative units Minimum wage (applied for both domestic and foreign enterprises) Region I Gia Lam, Dong Anh, Soc Son, Thanh Tri, Tu Liem, Thuong Tin, Hoa Duc, Thach That, Quoc Oai, Thanh Oai, Me Linh, Chuong My districts and Son Tay town in Ha Noi; VND 2.7 million (US$ 128) Thuy Nguyen, An Duong, An Lao, Vinh Bao districts in Hai Phong city; Cu Chi, Hoc Mon, Binh Chanh, Nha Be districts in Ho Chi … [Read more...]

Social Highlights for November 4

Shop blaze kills four family membersFour members of a family were killed after their general store suddenly caught fire in southern Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province's Toc Tien Commune yesterday morning. The victims are a couple, their 15-year-old son and 74-year-old father. The cause of the blaze remains unknown.Rescue teams failed to save the victims because it took time to break down the family's automatic rolling door, which was tightly closed, when the blaze occurred at 1am.The case is under investigation.Dozens survive passenger bus fireDozens managed to escape a passenger bus with bunk beds after it was on fire in Ha Tinh province early on November 4.The North-South express bus caught fire when it was travelling past Phu Viet commune, Thach Ha district, at 04.00am.The blaze was said to break out at the rear-end of the bus and quickly spread across the vehicle.Passengers managed to get out of the bus before local fire fighters put out the roaring fire within 30 minutes.   Investigation … [Read more...]

Shop blaze kills four family members

Shop blaze kills four family membersFour members of a family were killed after their general store suddenly caught fire in southern Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province's Toc Tien Commune yesterday morning. The victims are a couple, their 15-year-old son and 74-year-old father. The cause of the blaze remains unknown.Rescue teams failed to save the victims because it took time to break down the family's automatic rolling door, which was tightly closed, when the blaze occurred at 1am.The case is under investigation.Dozens survive passenger bus fireDozens managed to escape a passenger bus with bunk beds after it was on fire in Ha Tinh province early on November 4.The North-South express bus caught fire when it was travelling past Phu Viet commune, Thach Ha district, at 04.00am.The blaze was said to break out at the rear-end of the bus and quickly spread across the vehicle.Passengers managed to get out of the bus before local fire fighters put out the roaring fire within 30 minutes.   Investigation … [Read more...]

Honouring 100 Exemplary Entrepreneurs with Thanh Giong Cup

Remarking on the roles of entrepreneurs and the business community in Vietnam, VCCI President Vu Tien Loc said entrepreneurs themselves have played an important role in leading Vietnam from a weak and backward economy to a middle-income one.

A solemn ceremony to celebrate the Vietnam Entrepreneurs' Day 2013 took place at the Hanoi Cultural Palace today (October 11, 2013). The ceremony also honoured and awarded Thanh Giong Cup to 100 exemplary entrepreneurs who had excellent achievements in production and business activities, made significant contributions to the State Budget, actively took part in social activities, and created much employment in 2010 - 2012. Attending the ceremony were Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh, leaders of central and local organs, and nearly 1,000 businesspeople. Delivering a speech to the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh said the economy is recovering at an unsteady pace and this is posing both challenges and great opportunities to entrepreneurs and enterprises in the country. However, he believed that Vietnamese businesses and businesspeople, with their dynamism, creativity and bravery, will make strong development. Remarking on the roles of entrepreneurs and the business … [Read more...]

About 29 people in Vietnam get HIV every day

An average of 29 people contracted HIV every day in the first five months of this year, announced a meeting yesterday in Ha Noi. Bac Ninh, Gia Lai, Lai Chau and Nghe An saw more HIV infections than last year.

About 29 people in Vietnam get HIV every day Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who is also chairman of the Vietnam National Committee for HIV/AIDS, Drugs and Prostitution Prevention and Control, said that Viet Nam faced a challenge due to reduced international financial support, which heightened the risk of infection for previously low-risk individuals. He encouraged social organisations to continue contributing to the fight against HIV/AIDS. Viet Nam has successfully kept the ratio of people infected with HIV below 0.3 per cent. The country now has over 213,000 people living with HIV. New infections declined for three consecutive years after the introduction of methadone treatment for drug addicts. Storm death toll in central Vietnam rises to 22 The 8th tropical storm which brought torrential rains to the central coastal provinces late last week has killed at least 22 people and injured six others. Seven other people are reported missing, … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 20/9

Hanoi Techmart - opportunities for local businessesHanoi will organise a technology and equipment fair (Techmart-Hanoi) from September 26-29 with the aim of providing a platform for local innovators and entrepreneurs to promote their products.The municipal Department of Science and Technology said around 248 businesses have registered to showcase their products and services at 303 pavilions.Foreign businesses from the UK, Finland and China will also join the event with 14 pavilion, introducing energy saving equipment, and new and renewable energy technology.The fair also reserves space for young businesses and outstanding farmers of Hanoi to introduce their initiatives in technology, biotechnology and agriculture.Vietnam, Pakistan see rapid trade growthVietnam and Pakistan have enjoyed a rapid growth in two-way trade in recent years, reaching 400 million USD in 2012 from only 27 million USD in 2000.The figure in the first seven months of this year was 178.6 million USD, according to … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 31/5

Social fund seeks investment methodsUsing the social insurance fund to buy bonds is the safest investment, said Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh at an NA discussion about social fund lending activities on May 25.As of late 2012, the social insurance fund had a surplus of VND200 trillion (USD9.6 million), with most of its loans going to the government and 24% to banks.NA deputy, Bui Sy Loi, said the fund would face grave consequences if they lend money to banks or invest in the stock market."In 2010 and 2011, we gave loans to four banks and the debt of one Agribank member company has turned bad, creating possible losses of nearly VND1 trillion. Of course banks always give collateral for loans, but in reality it is difficult to recover from the banks," he said.According to Loi, the government should revise the social insurance law to deal with stagnant debts. The number of insured people is about 15 million but only 10.5 million are actually contributing to the fund.Answering the … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 11/5

MOL to turn headsVietnam's online payment market is proving appealing to foreign players.Last month MOL Access Portal Sdn. Bhd. (MOL), Asia's leading e-payment service provider, entered into a joint venture agreement with pioneering Vietnamese e-commerce group PeaceSoft Solutions Corporation (PeaceSoft) to acquire a 50 per cent stake in NganLuong, PeaceSoft's online payments unit.Under the joint venture agreement, MOL and PeaceSoft will jointly operate one of the country's first online payments and escrow platforms together with other related e-payments services in Vietnam."This is an excellent combination as MOL can bring its global network of merchants into Vietnam, while giving the opportunity for Vietnamese merchants and publishers to sell their products and content directly to 12 markets through MOL's growing payment network," said PeaceSoft president Nguyen Hoa Binh."We have strong trust and belief that we will be able to bring NganLuong to the next growth level with our global … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 23/3

Dialogue discusses PPP projects in VietnamThe first high-level dialogue to accelerate Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects in Vietnam was held in Hanoi on March 21.The event was co-chaired by Minister of Planning and Investment (MPI) Bui Quang Vinh and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) General Director, Hiroshi Wantanabe, along with related representatives.Addressing the dialogue, Minister Bui Quang Vinh emphasised that the friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Japan has developed well and seen remarkable milestones across many fields.He highlighted Japan's support, especially in strengthening cooperation between the private sector and the State sector to develop Vietnam's infrastructure. Japan is now Vietnam's largest Official Development Assistance (ODA) provider and the biggest national investor.Vinh also spoke highly of JBIC's contribution to infrastructure projects with the involvement of a number of international partners. JBIC has been a solid … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 17/3

Vietnam increases cooperation with Italian region A Vietnam Office will be established in Emilia-Romagna, an administrative region in North Italy, to promote trade and economic cooperation between the two sides. An agreement to this effect was signed in Bologna, the capital city of Emilia-Romagna on March 12 by Vietnamese ambassador to Italy Nguyen Hoang Long and representatives of the administrative region. They also signed another document to increase bilateral cooperation in economics and trade. The office, a Vietnamese-run model, will be allowed to have direct access to Italy's business connectivity system.  The facility, which is funded by Emilia-Romagna, will help local and Vietnamese companies seek business partnerships in each other's markets, as well as attracting investment capital and technology from Emilia-Romagna into Vietnam. Both sides discussed a number of measures to increase cooperation between Vietnam and Emilia-Romagna after both countries agreed to raise … [Read more...]

Awakening the potential of waterway tourism

(VEN) - Considering waterway tours as strategic tourism products in the 2011-2015 period, Ho Chi Minh City's tourism sector is concentrating on constructing a development plan aimed at gradually tapping this type of tourism so that it can contribute to the city's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), helping in tourism becoming a key economic sector. To awaken the potential of urban waterway tourism, the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee and departments concerned have carried out continuous surveys since the beginning of 2012 to collect the necessary data for planning. Surveys have been carried out from Bach Dang Port to Can Gio to prepare for developing stopover points on this tour line. Tours from Phu My Town of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province to Can Gio District in Ho Chi Minh City will be offered. The Ho Chi Minh City Culture, Sports and Tourism Department has prepared a research project on the issue. A feasibility study has been made regarding the development of waterway tours from Bach Dang … [Read more...]

Theme parks fail to thrill foreign investors

While local investors revel in building theme parks, foreign investors steer clear of them, wary of the industry that claims to be an investment goldmine Twin brothers receive a mascot welcome at the Dam Sen theme park in Ho Chi Minh City. The Vietnamese-owned CT Group is presently implementing plans to develop a Disneyland-style theme park in a 420-hectare patch in Ho Chi Minh City's Binh Chanh District. The project, which gained government approval in 1999, will include a township, office buildings, trading centers and a theme park offering ecological and cultural attractions. Its cost is estimated at US$1 billion and it is due to begin operations by 2015. Another Vietnamese entertainment project developer, Suoi Tien Group, broke ground last year with its second theme park project called Son Tien Ecotourism in Dong Nai Province. Its first success was with the 55- hectare Suoi Tien Park in HCMC. Tran My Duyen, deputy director of the group's business development … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 28/8

Fahasa among Top 500 Asia-Pacific retailers The Ho Chi Minh City Book Distributors Joint Stock Company (Fahasa) has been selected as one of the top ten retailers in Vietnam and among the top 500 Asia-Pacific retailers in 2012, by the Singapore-based Retail Asia magazine. Fahasa has currently 56 bookstores across the country with a turnover of VND1,400 billion in 2011. The company expects to earn VND1,500 billion in 2012. The country's leading book distributor has also been named one of the top ten retailers in Vietnam this year, along with Saigon Commercial Cooperative Union or Saigon Co-op; HCMC-based jewelry trader Saigon Jewelry Holding Company (SJC); Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company (PNJ); Nguyen Kim Electronic Appliance Center; Big C supermarket chain; Parkson department store chain; The Gioi Di Dong, a chain of mobile phone stores; Vien Thong A, a chain of mobile phone stores; and TCT Group, that has five marts and Nha Dep Decor & Furniture Shops. Launched in … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 8/7

Koreans to open car factory South Korea's FPF Vietnam has inaugurated an automobile accessory factory in northern Hai Duong Province's Dai An Economic Zone. The US$45 million facility, which covers 7ha, is expected to reach an output of 40,000 products in its first operational year. Maritime Bank sells Prudential British life insurer Prudential Viet Nam Assurance on Wednesday tied up with joint stock bank Maritime Bank to sell its products through the latter's over 200 branches and transaction offices nation-wide. The signing of the agreement was witnessed by the visiting UK Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne. Prudential's products and services will be made available by its personnel and bank staff at the branches. The minister hailed the tie-up as an expression of the strong relationship between the two countries. DongA Bank's assets rise DongA Bank has announced its total assets to date reaching VND65.5 trillion (US$3.13 billion). Established in 1992 with a capital of VND20 … [Read more...]