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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 21/1   2009-01-21 - VNA

Italy contributes 3 million EUR to developing Vietnam’s SMEs


Italy has pledged to grant 3 million EUR to develop clusters of small- and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam .


A technical assistance project to this aim was signed on Jan. 21 between the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), the Embassy of Italy and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).


According to UNIDO representative Nilgun Tas, SME clusters and enterprise networks will help Vietnamese SMEs achieve collective efficiencies and conquer markets beyond their individual reach.


The “SME Cluster Development” project will also assist MPI’s Enterprise Development Agency and selected industry associations in drawing lessons from the successful experiences of Italy and UNIDO, MPI Vice Minister Truong Van Doan said.


“With assistance under the project, partnerships to be established between Italian and Vietnamese industry associations and Italian and Vietnamese SMEs will further the excellent technical and commercial cooperation that exists between our countries and yield mutually beneficiary outcomes,” said Italian Ambassador to Vietnam Andrea Perugini.


The project is built on achievements recorded in a recently completed MPI-UNIDO project on “Assistance to Establish the National and Provincial SME Support Infrastructure” jointly financed by Finland , Italy and Norway .


It will be implemented under the UN’s “One Plan,” a joint action programme between the Vietnamese Government and all 14 UN organisations in the country.


SCIC earning exceed target by 39%


The State Capital Investment Corporation earned 1.94 trillion VND (110.9 million USD) of revenue in 2008, exceeding the year’s target by 39 percent.


The corporation also generated an after-tax profit of 1.3 trillion VND (74.3 million USD), increasing 30 percent over the year’s plan.


The corporation has spent 1.14 trillion VND (65.1 million USD) to buy shares from extra issues in 69 equitised enterprises. It also sold 122 billion VND (6.8 million USD) worth of State stakes in 70 enterprises, collecting 211 billion VND.


Index falls as sluggish trades continue


The VN-Index slid another 2.12 points on Jan. 20 to close at 302.86, as trading activity hardly improved on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange.


Trading volume reached nearly 5 million shares for a turnover of about 110 billion VND (6.5 million USD).


Foreign investor transactions also remained slow with around 1.2 million shares changing hands. They were net buyers of 255,000 shares with a net value of 5.5 billion VND (324,000 USD).


The Vietnam International Securities (VIS) analysis department said that investors are now cautious and waiting on clear signs from the market, adding that the Government’s 1 billion USD stimulus plan would partly support enterprises. It said the overall picture of the market would truly obvious when the majority of companies’ financial reports were released.


In Hanoi on Jan. 20, the HATSC-Index declined 1.24 percent to end the day at 100.69 points. Trading volume was about 2.8 million shares worth 54 billion VND (3.2 million USD).


The domestic stock market will be closed for the Tet holiday from Jan. 26 to Jan. 30.


Norwegian car carriers handed over after local refurbishment


The Hyundai Vihashin Shipyard Co., Ltd (HVS) officially handed over the Hoegh Trader, a seagoing vessel designed for the transport of automobiles, to Norway ’s Leif Hoegh & Co. Shipping Association on January 20.


The Hoegh Trader is the sixth of a total of eight vessels which HVS has agreed to upgrade for the Norwegian company, following the signing of a 72 million USD contract in 2008.


According to HVS’ management, the Vietnamese company is refitting the car carriers to increase their holding capacity from 6,125 to 7,352 automobiles.


HVS is continuing to upgrade the remaining two car carriers to fulfill the terms of the contract, with the last of the vessels scheduled to be handed over in April 2009.


Vietnam, Denmark establish clothing joint-venture


A new Vietnamese-Danish joint venture producing high quality made-to-measure (M2M) clothing was officially launched on Jan. 20.


Under the terms of the agreement, the Vietnamese partner, Anh’s Style Joint Stock Company will manufacture high-quality M2M men’s clothing while the Danish company, Enel Aps will provide the know-how and the management expertise for the joint venture, and will assume responsibility for marketing and management of the new company.


The clothing produced by the joint-venture, Alsinger-A’s Style Joint Stock Company, will be exported predominantly to Denmark and other European countries, according to Tran Thi Thu Trang, the company’s Executive Director.


The joint venture has been established using funds totaling one million Danish kronor (approximately 200,000 USD), provided by the Embassy of Denmark’s Business-to-Business programme, which was launched in 1997.


The Danish Government has agreed to provide 30 million kronor (5.3 million USD) each year for the implementation of the programme, Denmark ’s Minister of Development, Ulla Tornaes said.


RoK appreciates long-term investment prospects in Vietnam


The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea has reaffirmed the high expectations of RoK business circles, who predict that the Vietnamese economy will experience both medium and long-term growth in the future.


Im Hong Jae, speaking at the RoK embassy presentation on January 20, said that Vietnam has emerged as its second-largest trade partner, just behind Singapore . With regard to investment, RoK businesses have invested 1.6 billion USD in more than 2,000 individual projects. Over 1,600 businesses from the peninsula are currently operating in the Southeast Asian market.


“Despite the global economic downturn, RoK businesses, like the entire international community, continue to have high expectations regarding the Vietnamese economy’s long and medium-term prospects and have a positive view of the country’s investment and business climate,” said the diplomat.


Businesses from the RoK have actively contributed to Vietnam ’s social development through the implementation of 95 projects, funded with aid totaling 46.5 billion VND.


This aid has provided assistance to care homes for the elderly, children’s homes scholarships and health care, such as the supply of vaccines and humanitarian medical operations.


The biggest RoK donors include Shinhan Bank, IBK Bank, Dossan Heavy Industrial Group, Samsung, and Bridge Gold.

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