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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 20/11   2008-11-20 - VNA

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) made an announcement on Nov. 19, stating that it is to apply international competitive bidding procedures for goods contracts for its Financial Sector Modernisation and Information Management System (FSMIMS) project. The International Development Association (IDA) has provided a credit facility of 60 million USD to support the SBV’s project. The money will be used to pay for goods and consultancy services necessary for the implementation of the project. The project consists of three primary components; the first of which is designed to modernise the SBV. It will assist the central bank in developing its policies and an institutional framework, as well as increasing capabilities for information management and informed decision-making.

It will provide key input to providing specifications of user needs and the functional requirements of a new ICT platform for information management, and design and build a centralised ICT platform that meets international IT standards to support SBV’s evolving role as a central bank, taking into account all relevant international practices and critical Vietnamese realities.
The second component focuses on strengthening the Credit Information Center (CIC) by assisting the CIC in restructuring the processes for its core business as Vietnam’s public credit registration centre, as well as acquiring and installing a centralised data management system for the collection, storage, processing, analysis and sharing of credit information.

The third component is aimed at enhancing the Deposit Insurance of Vietnam (DIV). It will assist the government-owned deposit insurance agency in re-engineering its business processes and increasing its technological capacity so that the government-owned deposit insurance agency can consolidate its role in Vietnam ’s financial sector safety network.

VietHaus features Vietnamese culture in Germany

VietHaus, a Vietnamese cultural and trade centre in Germany has become an attractive place for German and foreign visitors who wish to understand more about Vietnam and its people.

Visitors to VietHaus can learn about Vietnamese culture, while enjoying traditional Vietnamese dishes. They also understand more about the Southeast Asian nation when going to weekend markets featuring the country’s well-known traditional food and special products such as Minh Long high-quality ceramics and Trung Nguyen coffee.

In addition, many visitors from Italy, Spain, France, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Brazil and Scandinavian countries choose to stay at the centre’s Ha Long hotel, where they are offered unique Vietnamese-style interior design rooms with affordable prices.

According to VietHaus marketing officer Thomas Grotsch, the centre has contributed to promoting Vietnam’s image in Germany and boosting economic relations and cultural exchange between the two nations.

Viethaus, the first Vietnam’s investment project in Germany, was opened in Berlin in March 2008.

Wall Street Gold gets local agent

An agent for the Wall Street Gold (WSG) Trading Floor of the Wall Street Gold Joint Stock Company (JSC) opened on Nov. 19 at PetroVietnam Financial JSC Long Bien Central Trading Centre in Long Bien District, Hanoi .

The agent will take buying and selling orders for WSG and is also authorised to open WSG gold trading accounts.

Firms compete for best annual report

On securities trading floor
The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) and Dau tu Chung Khoan (Securities Investment) magazine launched a contest on Nov. 19 for the best annual report made by companies listed on its exchange as well as at the Hanoi Securities Trading Centre.

The first Annual Report Contest was organised in February for 2007 reports, open only to firms listed on the HOSE.

Le Nhi Nang, HOSE deputy general director, said the contest looked to promote transparency, professionalism, and creativity in reporting corporate performance and improving investors’ access to information.

Dominic Scriven, managing director for Dragon Capital, the sole sponsor for the contest, suggested reports with an analysis of impacts on the environment would gain significant advantage.

Prizes will be awarded at a ceremony on June 26.

Petrolimex revises business targets downwards

Petrolimex Import Export Joint Stock Company (PIT) has revised down its pre-tax profit target of 33 percent for the year, from 45 billion VND (2.7 million USD) to 30 billion VND (1.8 million USD).

The adjustment is based on disappointing results in the first nine months of the year, and estimates for the remainder of 2008.

Difficulties in the domestic economy also affected the results. In the first nine months of the year, the company made 1.38 trillion VND (82.1 million USD) in revenue and 36 billion VND (2.1 million USD) in pre-tax profit.

PIT expects to make a revenue of 1.7 trillion VND ( 101.2 million USD) this year, and earn revenue of 1.54 trillion VND (91.7 million USD) and a pre-tax profit of 33 billion VND (1.96 million USD) next year.

Vietnam – example for global economic integration

Vietnam is an example showing that global economic integration is a motive force for development and attraction of foreign investment, said President of the Lima Chamber of Commerce (CCL) Peter Anders Moores.

Vietnam has registered significant economic growth over the past years thanks to its Doi Moi (renovation) process, President Moores was quoted by Peru’s media on November 19.

Vietnam took advantages from participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, he said, stressing that after successful organisation of the APEC Summit in 2006, Vietnam’s attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI) has increased, remarkably, becoming one of the world’s 10 largest FDI attraction nations.

President Moores also hailed Vietnam’s export, saying the country’s export turnover increased from 788 million USD in 1986 to 49.9 billion USD in 2007. Vietnam now ranks 11 out of 21 APEC member economies in terms of export, he said.

The CCL President highlighted the importance of this week’s Peru visit by President Nguyen Minh Triet who will attend the APEC Summit. The Vietnamese President is expected to attend a business workshop to be jointly held by the CCL and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, according to Peru ’s website

Can Tho signs flurry of pacts

The first ever trade promotion conference in Can Tho city has ended with the successful signing of eighteen memorandums of understanding for industrial development.

The city and the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) co-hosted the conference, which had over 150 representatives from enterprises around the country and the world, said the Mekong Delta city People’s Committee.

Memorandums signed between city authorities, investors and economic groups focused on credit supply and investment agreements. Most agreements dealt with investments in industrial development, telecommunication, steel complexes, five-star hotels and service, and hi-tech industrial zones.

It is hoped the conference will help the city become the economic hub of the Mekong Delta.

The city announced 29 projects worth nearly 56.1 trillion VND (3.4 billion USD) at the conference for which investment capital is now being sought. Many of these projects are in the food processing industry.

Thot Not Industrial Zone will be one of the biggest upcoming projects requiring total capital of 4.8 trillion VND (300 million USD). The project will encompass 1,000 ha near Highway 91A, 50 km from the city centre.

Another large-scale project will be the O Mon heavy-industry zone, which will be on 400 ha in O Mon District and require total capital of more than 1.9 trillion VND (120 million USD).

“Investments in infrastructure, ports, airports, industrial zones, the processing industry will be our strength,” say Nguyen Truong Danh, director of the city’s Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Centre.

To help attract investors, the city has significantly upgraded its infrastructure.

The city now has five highways, and a new bridge under construction to be finished in 2010. These projects will make it easier for businesses to access HCM City and other Mekong Delta areas.

Additionally, the Can Tho Port and Cai Cui International Port can now receive 10,000-20,000 tonnes ships. Tra Noc airport is being expanded and will be in operation late this year.

The city has received 52 million USD in financial support from the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) for these infrastructure upgrades and to complete the building of schools, hospitals, and hotels.

4.1 trillion VND for power projects in Da Nang

As many as 4,115 billion VND will be invested in the construction of 8 hydro-power plants in central Da Nang city.

Nhan Luat joint stock company, a big steel business firm, on Nov. 18 announced its investment in these plants which have a total design capacity of 166.5 MW and total output of 742.6 million KWh per year.

The Phu Tan 2 power plant, the biggest one of the 8 plants with a design capacity of 70 MW, will get 1,750 billion VND.

Its construction is expected to start in the 2 nd quarter of 2009 and complete in the 2 nd quarter of 2012. The plant will produce 329 million KWh of electricity a year.

Vietnam, China provinces find strength in unity

Authorities from provinces along the economic corridor that runs from China’s Yunnan province to Viet Nam’s Quang Ninh province have met to discuss future cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, tourism, transport, education, culture, sports and health care.

At the fourth annual conference on economic cooperation for Yunnan , Lao Cai, Hanoi , Hai Phong and Quang Ninh, taking place in Quang Ninh on Nov. 19-20, they agreed to enhance mutual assistance, particularly between provinces that share similarities regarding their strengths and potential.

This alliance between the five localities along the economic corridor has helped them to accelerate socio-economic development in the area and to cope with the effects of the global economic crisis.

Over the past year, Yunnan-based investors have poured 11.6 million USD into four projects in Vietnam, and the number of Chinese tourists using tourist visas to Vietnam has been steadily increasing, with more than 19,000 visitors during the first seven months of 2008, representing a 7.5 percent year-on-year increase.

Yellow Lion oilfield starts pumping black gold

Vietnam’s fourth-largest oilfield, the Su Tu Vang (Yellow Lion) oilfield, situated on lot 15-1 on a continental shelf off the central province of Binh Thuan, has officially commenced production.

Vu Ngoc An, General Director of the Cuu Long Joint Operating Company (CL JOC), told a press briefing in Hanoi on Nov. 19 that in the month since the field’s first oil well began pumping on Oct. 14, the company has put another four wells into use.

An said that, once the sixth well in the Su Tu Vang oilfield is operational, his company expects to double its crude oil output to 100,000 barrels per day. As a result, the total output for this year is expected to hit 3 million tonnes, 10 percent higher than planned.

The CL JOC, the first company of its kind in Vietnam, was established under an agreement regarding oil exploitation on Lot 15-1, signed on Sept. 16, 1998 by the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam)’s Exploration and Production Corporation (PVEP), the UK’s ConocoPhillips, the Republic of Korea’s National Oil and Gas Corporation and SK Company, and Monaco’s Geopetrol Company.

The company now operates four oilfields, including Su Tu Den (Black Lion), which commenced operations in Oct. 2003. Su Tu Trang (White Lion) and Su Tu Nau (Brown Lion) are scheduled to begin production in next few years.

The CL JOC has been one of the nation’s top two companies in crude oil output and export since 2003, second only to the Vietnam-Russia Oil and Gas Joint Venture (Vietsovpetro).

Trade fair opens to boost investment in central region

An international trade fair of the central key economic region, CREXPO 2008, was opened in central Da Nang city on Nov. 19.

The fair, jointly held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the municipal People’s Committee, drew 160 businesses from 20 provinces and cities nationwide and 20 foreign enterprises from China , Laos and the Czech Republic .

Businesses have showcased their products at 400 booths, including agro-forestry-fisheries items, foods and foodstuff, fine arts and handicraft products, construction materials, textiles and garments, and machines.

Banking and insurance services, information and telecommunications technologies as well as projects calling for investment were also introduced at the event.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien said this annual event is one of the important trade promotion activities which contribute to developing the domestic goods market of central and Central Highlands key provinces and cities.

It also serves as a bridge for domestic businesses to integrate into the world’s business community, promoting exports, investment and tourism, he added.

A seminar on trade promotion to China’s market and meetings on commercial exchanges between businesses will be held during the event which will last until Nov. 23

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