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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 31/3   2009-03-31 - VietNamNet/VNA

EC helps improve planning capacity

Resilient market The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) on Mar. 30 reviewed the main achievements of Component 5 of the European Technical Programme for Vietnam (ETV2) in assistance to Vietnam’s planning sector.

Speaking at the event, Truong Van Doan, Permanent Deputy Minister of MPI and head of the ETV2 Project Steering Board, thanked the European Commission for the technical assistance programme.

He said ETV2 is a technical assistance umbrella programme funded by the EC in cooperation with the Government of Vietnam.

The aim of ETV2 is to provide technical assistance to the Vietnamese Government’s key financial and economic institutions in its current reform drive under the 2001-2010 socio-economic development plan and in line with the Government’s Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy.

Component 5 – statistical analysis and policy tool - of the ETV2 programme has helped the MPI in working out proper and transparent policies, strategies, plans and laws, improving the quality of MPI’s decisions in order to perfect the forecast and information and data analysis and managment system as well as upgrade MPI staff members’ skills.

According to the Project Management Board, the EC provides funding amounting to a total of more than 11 million EUR for ETV2, including approximately 1.15 million EUR for Component 5.

ETV2 was launched at the end of 2005 and will come to an end in April 2009.

On this occasion, Deputy Minister Doan presented the insignia “For the Cause of Vietnam’s Planning Sector” to Vu Tuan Anh, representative of the EC in Vietnam; Sylvie Zaitra, head of the ETV2 international consultative group; Michael Colledege, main expert of Component 5 of ETV2 and Willy Van Den Berghe, head of the cooperation section of the EC in Vietnam.

Vietnam Expo reaches out to new export markets

Resilient market The 19th International Trade Fair – Vietnam Expo 2009 – scheduled for April 8-11 will introduce export products to current and new markets.

Hoping to increase exports amid a global economic crisis, this year’s expo will feature Vietnam’s primary export staples, including arts and crafts, wood products, foodstuffs, garments and textiles, footwear, household appliances, construction materials, electronics, and electronic components which will be showcased in 520 booths.

Three hundred enterprises have registered to attend the fair, themed “Vietnam – An Opportunity for Business and Investment” including new and high-potential markets such as China, Belarus, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Cuba, Laos, Cambodia and Algeria, the last of which is attending the event for the first time.

Vietnam Expo 2009 is one of the country’s most important trade promotion activities, helping boost exports and develop the local market, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien at a press briefing in Hanoi on March 30.

The annual trade fair will also give local enterprises the opportunity to approach new markets to strengthen future export activities.

Seminars between enterprises from China, Nigeria, Hong Kong and Vietnam are also on the agenda.

Since first being organised in 1990, Vietnam Expo has acted as a bridge linking Vietnamese and international economic and trade organisations, opening up export, trade and investment opportunities for local enterprises.

Egypt launches probe into Vietnamese fish

Egypt is investigating basa fish imported from Vietnam following reports they contain banned antibiotics that can cause cancer, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Luong Le Phuong said Friday.

Further exports are likely to be halted until Egypt announces the results of its investigation, he said.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will meet with concerned enterprises and the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers to discuss the issue before responding to Egyptian authorities.

Egypt is a major market for Vietnam’s basa fish, buying US$55 million worth last year.

Poor performers pay big bonuses

Many listed companies are paying out generous employee bonuses for 2008 despite sub-par earnings and sharp profit falls last year.

PetroVietnam Insurance Corp. announced it will give its staff bonus shares worth one percent of its VND1 trillion (US$56.46 million) chartered capital even though the insurer didn’t meet its earnings target last year.

The 2008 net profit of the insurer, which is listed on the Hanoi bourse, amounted to VND260 billion, 21.2 percent below the target of VND330 billion ($18.63 million).

The company has already set an easier VND275 billion target for this year, yet it has increased its bonus pool to 4.5 per cent of revenue, up 30 percent on the present 3.5 per cent of revenue.

Hoa Binh Rubber Co. is aiming for a pretax profit of VND40.6 billion in 2009, less than half of last year’s VND104 billion target. The rubber producer, however, will allocate 15 percent of its pretax profit to bonuses.

If the 2009 target is achieved, the company’s directors and supervisory board members will also divide up an extra bonus pool funded with 0.5 percent of the pretax profit. Otherwise it will be 0.3 percent.

Hoa Binh’s respective proportions last year were 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent.

Thong Nhat Rubber Co. saw it is 2008 pretax profit plummet by 75.72 percent to VND8.2 billion, against VND34 billion in the year before.

Yet the company will pay out VND413.35 million in employee bonuses plus 0.3 percent of pretax profit as separate bonuses for the directors and supervisory board members.

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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 30/3   2009-03-30