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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 2/5   2009-05-02 - VietNamNet/TN, VNA, VOV, SGGP

Holiday food purchases rise


With the two day public holidays creating a four day weekend and promotions throughout the city, shoppers have been rushing to buy food.


Traders in large markets, such as Tan Dinh and Ben Thanh in District 1, said that sales of meat, fish and vegetables has doubled compared with normal days.


At Hoc Mon Market, beef sales have quadrupled.


Though demand has been strong, prices have remained stable.


At BigC, Coopmart, CitiMart supermarkets, the number of customers have also increased two to three times the normal rate.


Shoppers are expected to continue buy in large numbers, with many taking advantage of a 50 percent cut in VAT.


Tra fish output falls: An Giang


The number of tra catfish harvested in the Mekong delta province of An Giang in the first three months of the year fell 2,319 tons compared with the same period last year, the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said.


Tra catfish output in An Giang Province fell 2,319 tons over the same period last year

Tra fish breeding grounds in the province have fallen to around 1,000 hectares, down 400 hectares over the same period last year.


Businesses have processed around 22,000 tons of tra filet for export, with a turnover of US$6 million, both a reduction in quantity and value over the same period last year.


An Giang’s seafood exports are expected to improve with Russia having agreed to lift a ban on importing Vietnamese tra fish, with orders so far of 70,000 tons.


Base interest rate in VND put at 7% per year from May 1


The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) on April 29 issued a decision no.137/TB-NHNN on several interest rates in VND applied from May 1.


Accordingly, the base interest rate in VND is put at 7% per year while the refinancing rate and the discount rate between the SBV and credit organisations are 7% and 5% per year respectively. The overnight rate in the inter-bank electronic payment and the rate of loans to finance short balances in clearing transactions between SBV and commercial banks is 7% per year.


RusVietpetro to start pumping oil in Russia


A joint venture between the Russian firm Zarubezhneft and PetroVietnam will start extracting oil in the Nenets autonomous region of northern Russia this month, the Vietnam News Agency reported.


RusVietpetro plans to drill 13 wells this year and next, the agency reported, citing the Voice of Russia.


It anticipates extracting 500,000 tons of oil by the end of 2010 and two million tons the following year.


RusVietpetro, formed in July 2008 with PetroVietnam holding a 51 percent stake, is aiming for a maximum output of 6.4 million tons of crude oil by 2020.


Elsewhere in the world, PetroVietnam has been short-listed to negotiate drilling contracts in 11 oilfields in Iraq, the news agency reported in April.


Nine consortiums formed by 38 companies are vying for the tender, which was put out on December 31, 2008.


Besides Petro Vietnam, the short-listed candidates are Rosneft and Tatneft of Russia, KazMunaiGas of Kazakhstan, Sonangol of Angola, Pakistan Petroleum, Japan’s Jogmec, Oil India, and Britain’s Cairn Energy PLC.


PetroVietnam is also planning to explore for oil and gas in Bolivia as it seeks to expand its interests in Latin America, Bloomberg said in late March, citing the president of Bolivia’s state energy company, YPF Bolivianos.


Tuna exports on the rise


Vietnam has exported nearly 6,000 tonnes of tuna since the beginning of this year, earning US$19 million, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP).


Most of the consignments were conducted in the past two months. 


This is a positive sign for the seafood sector following a month-long fall in exports, says VASEP.


The European Union, the United States and Japan remain Vietnam’s biggest tuna importers. The export volume to the US and Japan increased by 34.8 percent and 34.5 percent respectively while the figure to the EU market rose by 23.3 percent. 


Tra Vinh to expand its economic zone


Mekong Delta’s Tra Vinh Province is slated to develop a 39,020-hectare economic zone, according to government officials.


The project, called Dinh An Economic Zone, will cover the lands of Tra Cu and Duyen Hai districts. It aims to develop marine industries, tourism, and the port’s economy, along with a port-related non-tariff area and an urban residential complex.


The first phase of the project, carried out on about 15,400 hectares, involves building a fairway for large vessels to enter Hau River, an industrial park, and Ba Dong Tourism Resort. The project will also upgrade the two districts’ Duyen Hai and Dinh An towns.


The project is the Mekong Delta’s second and also one of the country’s 15 coastal economic zones to be set up in accord with a decision signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.


The Mekong Delta’s first economic zone is located in Nam Can Commune, southern Ca Mau Province.


The 15 coastal economic zones are expected to account for about 15-20 percent of the country’s total gross domestic product and create from 1.3- 1.5 non-agriculture jobs by 2020.

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