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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 3/12   2009-12-03 - VietNamNet/VNA, ND

Dung Quat oil refinery secures its final completion capital

 
The Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) has secured all the capital it needs to complete the nation’s first oil refinery, thanks to Britain ’s Standard Chartered bank.

Under the contract signed in Hanoi on December 2, the British bank will be responsible for arranging a total of 250 million USD in loans with 11 foreign banks. They will serve as accountant guarantor of the credit package.

Out of 3 billion USD budgeted for the construction of the Dung Quat project in the central coastal province of Quang Ngai , 1.7 billion USD was to come in the form of loans.

Earlier, PetroVietnam secured loans worth 1.45 billion USD from domestic banks such as the Vietnam Development Bank, the Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) and the Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank). This final loan via Standard Chartered brings the total capital needed in line with the target.

Once completed, by January, 2010 at the latest, the Dung Quat oil refinery will process 6.5 million tonnes of crude a year, meeting some 30 percent of national demand for oil and gas.

The refinery rolled out its first line of products on February 17, 2009

Later, on December 2, PetroVietnam signed an agreement of cooperation in principle with Standard Chartered for another loan package worth 1.5 billion USD, under which the British bank will arrange the credit over three years.

Standard Chartered will also work with the national oil and gas giant in cash management, commercial assistance and personnel training.

Int’l cooperative fair opens

An international fair on cooperatives and medium- and small- sized enterprises (MSEs) opened in Hanoi on December 2.

The six-day event has drawn over 200 businesses, including wholly-foreign invested, regional and international giants.

As many as 500 pavilions have been built to showcase a large range of products, from fine arts and traditional crafts to modern industrial products such as electronic appliances and cars.

Along with major exports such as sea food and farm produce, on display are environmentally-friendly production equipment and scientific and technological products as well as inventions.

The fair this year is marked by the exhibition of a 175 year old house in good state. Its architecture and interior design epitomises Vietnam’s culture beauties, especially the Hue royal palace.

Also on display are unique sculptures made from tree stumps by artisans from the Central Highlands provinces.

Ministers meet on Japan-Mekong culture, tourism

Vietnam’s cultural minister joined his counterparts from the five other countries in the Mekong sub-region in Can Tho city on Dec. 2 to discuss culture and tourism.

At a talk held within the framework of the “Mekong-Japan Festival of Tourism and Culture”, Vietnam ’s Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh, along with the other ministers, agreed that the Mekong region is one of the world’s most attractive tourist destinations.

Through Mekong-Japan cooperation, a number of culture and tourism programmes have been undertaken, the participants noted, adding that tourist arrivals, in general, to Mekong countries have been on the rise.

Mekong countries welcomed 1.6 million Japanese tourists in 2008 but the result still falls short of its potential, they said.

The ministers emphasised the necessity for close cooperation with Japan to share experiences and market information to develop new tours and promotion programmes to build up the image of the Mekong region as a tourist destination.

Minister Hoang Tuan Anh proposed that both sides coordinate with the ASEAN-Japan Centre to promote tourism activities in the region and jointly carry out tourism safety programmes to create an image of a safe and secure holiday destination. Both sides should work with the Mekong Area Tourism Promotion Committee of the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) to achieve these goals, he said.

The minister added that Mekong countries look forward to further assistance from Japan in preserving their cultural heritages--and taking full economic advantage of their unique value--as well as effectively coping with climate change.

Foreign arrivals to Vietnam recover

After declining for 10 consecutive months, the number of foreigners visiting Vietnam has seen its first monthly increase, according to the General Statistics Office.

Almost 389,000 foreign visitors arrived in Vietnam in November--0.2 percent more than October, and a year-on-year increase of 38.6 percent -which is seen as a positive sign for the tourism sector in 2010, experts said.

They went on to say that the increase heralds the recovery of the world economy, bringing with it stronger demand for tourism. The turn-around was also attributed to efforts by the tourism sector in carrying out numerous measures to attract foreign tourists.

The tourism sector plans to continue its promotional programmes, focusing on markets with high-growth potential like China , Japan , the Republic of Korea , Taiwan , and its fellow ASEAN member countries, as well as Western and Eastern Europe and Northern America.

First Vietnam Rice Festival closes

The first Vietnam Rice Festival ended in Vi Thanh town, Hau Giang province, on December 1.

The 4-day festival, from November 28 to December 1, attracted 400,000 arrivals of domestic and foreign farmers, sientists, managers and guests.

During the festival, 20 events including four workshops on the production and development of the Vietnam rice industry had been organised, attracting the attention of so many people.

Many of the over 720 pavilions showcasing Vietnam-made goods help bring Vietnam-made products to rural areas, making a contribution to making the activities in the festival more diverse and exciting.

Also during the festival, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in co-ordination with the People’s Committee of Hau Giang province held a scientific seminar themed ‘Vietnamese Rice’ on December 1.

The same day, the Organising Board awarded golden cups to 24 business brand names, 18 product brand names, and 21 prestigious rice exporters.

Specific mechanism applied to key projects in Vung Ang economic zone

The Prime Minister has agreed to apply the specific mechanism of mobilising, managing and using the investment capital for infrastructure construction, maintaining and rebuilding infrastructure in the Vung Ang Economic Zone in Ha Tinh province.

Accordingly, big and key projects in the economic zone will get the development investment capital from the State budget for technical infrastructure investment, land compensation for projects and resettlement.

With regard to specific capital level, the Ministry of Planning and Investment will base on the actual situation and the capability of annual budget balance to define the capital level before submitting it to the Government for approval.

For big investment projects of infrastructure construction, which play the key role in the Vung Ang Economic Zone, the Prime Minister has assigned the Ministry of Planning and Investment to preside and co-ordinate with the Ministry of Finance to make a report to the Government before submitting it to the National Assembly Standing Committee for the permit of investment from the source of the Government bonds

The Prime Minister has approved that the source from ODA capital be arranged for investment in important infrastructure projects in the economic zone.



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