Imports undercut sugar millsSugar producers in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces are losing huge profits to illegal imports of Thai sugar, which is being sold at VND500,000 ($24) a tonne lower than domestically produced sugar. Sugar is packaged by workers of the Thoi Binh Sugar Mill. Local producers cannot compete with illegal imports from Thailand because they must ensure sufficient profits for cane farmers. Local producers cannot compete with the Thai imports because they must ensure sufficient profits for factories and sugarcane farmers, according to the Viet Nam Sugarcane and Sugar Association. An average of 400,000 tonnes of sugar have been illegally imported yearly for several years, representing about 30 per cent of the total sugar sold in domestic markets, according to Nguyen Thanh Long, chairman of the association. The Market Management Bureau in southwest An Giang Province, where Thai sugar crosses the border, said it had been able to prevent only minor cases of sugar … [Read more...] about BUSINESS IN BRIEF 27/1
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Chinese customers choose frozen meat at a Wal-Mart store in Shanghai. After years of heralding China as one of its best markets, Wal-Mart in August said its performance there was among the worst in its major countries. A management shake-up and job cuts have followed. Although the reversals seem abrupt, cracks in the foundation of Wal-Mart’s retail business in China have been developing for years, hidden by questionable accounting and unauthorized sales practices, according to employees and internal documents reviewed by Bloomberg. The practices -- including bulk sales to other retailers and some sales allegedly booked when no merchandise left the shelves -- made business appear strong even as retail transactions slowed and unsold inventory piled up, these people and documents say. Wal-Mart said in August that it was unhappy with inventory growth internationally. Stores in China continue to make bulk sales, sometimes unprofitably and without required management … [Read more...] about How Wal-Mart made its crumbling China business look so good for so long
Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) workers walk past a power transmission tower at a road intersection in Hanoi. Photo: Bloomberg We have been hearing a lot about corruption these days. There are corruption studies, indices are drawn up and nations shown their place on the corruption scale. Countries like Vietnam rank high on the corruption scale, we are told by a bevy of experts, who warn that this is undoing or undermining the gains of rapid economic growth that the nation has achieved over the last two or three decades. Senior officials of state-owned and private companies have been given stiff prison terms for "economic mismanagement and failure to comply with the state's economic regulations." Friendly, well-meaning countries like Denmark are helping the nation fight corruption with several projects, helping the country integrate better into the global economy, we are told. Wise heads shake knowingly, fingers are wagged and sage warnings are issued about implications of … [Read more...] about Who are the corruption experts?
Refinery expansion set to clear land hurdlesThe project on expanding Vietnam’s first oil refinery, Dung Quat, is fine-tuning its progress targets and is in the final stages of its land acquisition work. Dung Quat refinery’s expansion is progressing smoothly, but is still far from completion According to Nguyen Van Hoi, deputy general director of Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Company (BSR) which operates and manages the central province of Quang Ngai-based Dung Quat refinery, to date 94 per cent of compensation work has been completed, with 1,533 out of 1,632 compensation claimants receiving payment. In a recent working session with BSR and the Project Management Unit, Deputy Chairman of the Quang Ngai People’s Committee Pham Nhu So asked the relevant management agencies and the Dung Quat Economic Zone Management Authority to speed up the project’s evaluation and appraisal and join forces to tackle any problems related to site clearance and compensation. … [Read more...] about BUSINESS IN BRIEF 30/6
Vietnam eager to develop Lien Chieu deep seaport The government has been urging the authorities to appraise Lien Chieu Seaport, showing strong support and promising smoother sailing for the project. Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung recently urged the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) to appraise the capital sources and mobilisation methods of investment capital at Lien Chieu port. Besides, the DPM assigned the Danang People’s Committee to complete the pre-feasibility report for the project after the city studied MPI’ appraisal. Based on reports of MPI and Danang city, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) was asked to build the investment planning evaluation report to submit the prime minister for approval. The assignment of the DPM shows Vietnam’s eagerness to develop the Lien Chieu Seaport project, which is considered one of two key projects that aim to boost the central city as a main logistics centre in the ASEAN and the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC) … [Read more...] about BUSINESS IN BRIEF 5/6