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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 21/6   2009-06-21 - VietNamNet

 
Hanoi grants licenses for 120 FDI projects

In the first half of this year, Hanoi granted licenses to 120 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects, including 110 new ones capitalised at US$500 million and 10 additional capital projects worth US$12 million, according to the municipal Department of Statistics.

New projects include the Vietnam Satellite and Digital Television Ltd Company (a joint venture between the Vietnam Cable TV Technology Centre and France) worth US$54 million, and a wastewater treatment plant by the Gamuda Land Group from Malaysia capitalised at US$382 million. However, the number of FDI projects and registered capital fell compared to last year due to impact of the global financial crisis.

In the review period, total social investment capital reached VND48,507 billion, up 14.2 percent over the same period last year, of which domestic capital increased by 16.87 percent and foreign capital fell by 8.37 percent. The city also granted business licenses to 9,350 enterprises (up 45 percent over the same period last year) with a combined capital of VND53,896 billion (down 34 percent.)

Circle K joins Vietnam’s retail market

Circle K - an international chain of convenience stores in the US with more than 7,000 stores around the world put five stores into operation in district 1, HCM City on June 19.

In the second half of this year, Circle K will open another five locations in HCM City and enter the retail markets in Hanoi, Danang, Nha Trang and Can Tho with the aim of opening around 550 stores in 20 provinces and cities throughout the country.

Circle K stores are characterized by a small retail space stocked with convenient items customers buy daily and supplementary products.

Circle K has devised an ambitious plan to develop a chain of top stores in the Vietnamese market then expanding its retail network to other regions.

HCM City: CPI inches up 0.6 percent in June  

The consumer price index (CPI) in Ho Chi Minh City increased by 0.6 percent in June compared with the previous month, and 3.13 percent from the beginning of the year.

According to the city’s Statistics Department, foodstuff prices rose by 0.9 percent while food grain prices dropped 0.68 percent.

Other commodities seeing price increases included housing and construction materials with 1.41 peercent, household equipments and utensils with 0.74 percent, tourist and entertainment services with 0.7 percent.

Postal and telecommunications services saw a CPI decline of 3.95 percent, and medicines and medical services – 0.34 percent.

Experts predicted that the rice prices, which are now rather low, will continue to drop, while prices of construction materials, fuels and electricity will rise.

Tax agreements with Qatar, Kuwait approved

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved two agreements on avoiding double taxation and preventing evasion of income taxes between Vietnam and Qatar and Kuwait.

The Vietnam-Qatar agreement was signed in the Qatari capital of Doha on March 8, 2009.

The similar agreement between Vietnam and Kuwait was inked in the Gulf country on March 20, 2009.

Techmart Vietnam ASEAN+3 to kick off

The Technology and Equipment Trade Fair (Techmart Vietnam ASEAN+3) will open on September 17-20 in Hanoi with the participation of ASEAN countries, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK).

The event was announced by the Ministry of Science and Technology at a meeting of members of the organising board of Techmart Vietnam ASEAN+3 on June 19.

The trade fair aims to promote the establishment and development of the technology market, strengthen the connection between research, training and production, support the modernization of technology and boost the competitive capacity and quality of goods and service.

Participants will consist of science and technology organizations, domestic and foreign businesses, research institutes, universities and colleges.
The trade fair is expected to attract the participation of 600 companies with 700 stalls, including 100 from ASEAN countries, China, Japan, the RoK and other countries in the world.

Exploration work begins for coal gas in Thai Binh

The Song Hong Oil and Gas Company has begun drilling for coal gas at the Tien Hai C-08 field in Tien Hai District of northern Thai Binh Province.

The exploration is expected to be completed within a month.

The 1,100-meter deep well, the biggest of its kind so far in Vietnam, is believed to contain 18 million cubic meters of gas.

Within the Red River Delta area there are eight coal fields that house an estimated 210 billion tons of coal, mainly in Thai Binh Province, according to the Vietnam Coal and Mineral Industries Group.

Vietnam gov’t asked to cut import tax on raw seafood

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) wants the government to lower the import tariffs on raw seafood now that local production has been pared to the bone.  

Vice Chairman Nguyen Huu Dung says seafood processing companies are importing up to 70 percent of their supplies, so the 10-20 percent import duty is a heavy expense for them.

According to VASEP, it will be difficult for the industry to meet this year’s export target of US$4.5 billion because of the global economic contraction, and the reduced amount of fish farming in Vietnam after last year’s heavy losses.

In the first five months, the country shipped slightly over $1.3 billion of seafood abroad, down 9.4 percent from a year earlier.

Shrimp can be farmed throughout the year in the delta and harvested after four or five months, but VASEP says that many shrimp ponds in the Mekong Delta have been lying idle since farmers took a heavy hit last year.

Two glaring examples are Bac Lieu Province, where only 2,000 out of 10,000 hectares of shrimp ponds are still being used, and Soc Trang Province, where 4,000 of 5,000 hectares are idle.

Truong Thi Loan, deputy director of Kien Long Seafood Processing Co. in Kien Giang Province, says her company could not fill all its export orders as it could buy only two tons of raw shrimp per day, or one fifth of its processing capacity.

Kim Anh Seafood Processing Co. in Soc Trang Province is in the same boat and running at 15-20 percent capacity, according to Deputy General Director Do Ngoc Tai.

The central region is experiencing a shortage of raw seafood too, but for another reason.

Earlier this month, industry insiders said the unilateral Chinese ban on commercial fishing in the East Sea was starving the region’s seafood factories of input.

Nguyen Tuan Ngoc, manager of Tho Quang fishing port in Da Nang, says that barely 100 tons of seafood is being unloaded at the port daily, compared with 150-180 tons before two weeks ago.

 ASEAN-China maritime transport deal ratified

 Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has adopted the maritime transport agreement between the governments of the ASEAN countries and the government of China.

The agreement was signed in Singapore on October 2, 2007 by the Transport Ministers of the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, and China.

The compact aims to facilitate and foster cooperation in passenger and cargo transport by sea among the concerned nations. It will take effect once ratified by all the ASEAN members and China.

Russian naval ships visit Da Nang city

 Two ships from the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet anchored at Tien Sa Port on June 19, starting a four-day visit to the central city of Da Nang.

During their stay, Russian guests will pay courtesy visits to Da Nang’s leaders and the High Commands of Military Zone 5 and Naval Zone 3.
They will also join in a friendly volleyball match with a team from the Naval Zone 3 High Command.



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