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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 22/5   2010-05-22 - VietNamNet/VNA, Thanhnien, Saigon giai phong

Japanese firms optimistic in Vietnam, says consular officer 

 

Japanese investors discuss opportunity investment at a seminar in Da Nang City.

Japanese businesses are optimistic about Vietnam’s economy and investment environment, said an officer from the Japanese Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City.

 

Economic officer Tadashi Kikuchi said the global economic slowdown had not disrupted Japanese businesses in the country too much.

 

Kikuchi said Japanese business in southern provinces had not felt the brunt of the crisis because they mainly worked in consumer production, whereas those in the north were mainly in heavy industry or assembly line industries.

 

The economy was on its way to recovering and so was the trust of Japanese businesses, he added.

 

He said Japanese firms were enjoying Vietnam’s retail market after the government opened it to 100-percent foreign-invested businesses in early 2009.

 

Vietnam is the second most attractive location in Asia for Japanese businesses and it lures about 900 Japanese businesses. This is second only after Thailand where there are 1,300 businesses from Japan, according to the officer.

 

Japan is improving its position on the list of Vietnam’s foreign direct investment as its investors are ranked second in this year’s fourth-month list after Holland. They were licensed to invest US$1.09 billion in 26 projects in the first four months.

 

The Japanese government has committed to providing $306 million in official development assistance to Vietnam this year for projects in infrastructure and environmental protection.

 

Aussie companies coming to seek opportunities in Vietnam 

 

This file photo shows the groundbreaking ceremony of an infrastructure development project in Ho Chi Minh City. Infrastructure is among the areas where a mission of 16 Australian companies are interested in during their Hanoi visit May 23-25. (Photo: Thuy Nguyen)

A delegation of sixteen Australian companies will visit Hanoi on 23-25 May to explore project opportunities in Vietnam’s development sector, the Australian Embassy said Friday.

 

The embassy in Hanoi said the companies will meet with officials from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Vietnamese ministries and bilateral donors to hear about Vietnam’s development priorities, key strategies and future projects. 

 

The companies are those who provide technical assistance to projects in energy, water, infrastructure, environmental management, education and training and health, according to the embassy.

 

An embassy statement wrote, “Developing Vietnam 2010 is the first mission of this nature the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) has brought to Vietnam and was formed in response to the growing interest of Australian companies in Vietnam’s development sector and the success of a similar mission to the ADB headquarters in Manila.”

 

“This mission helps Australian companies further their understanding of future development strategies and project opportunities and introduces key stakeholders in Hanoi to a large number of reputable, reliable project partners,” Mr. Tony Burchill, Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner to Vietnam, said in the statement.

 

Vietnam, Japan step up transport cooperation

 

The transport ministries of Vietnam and Japan on May 21 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance their wide-ranging cooperation.

 

The document was inked in Tokyo by Vietnamese Deputy Transport Minister Ngo Thinh Duc and Japanese Deputy Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Kiyomi Tsujimoto.

 

The Japanese deputy minister said the MoU “charts a new chapter” in the two countries’ transport and communications cooperation.

 

The MoU will allow the two ministries to step up bilateral cooperation in developing, managing and operating transport and communications infrastructure.

 

The two ministries will also work together in making policies, ensuring traffic safety, air and maritime security, using energy efficiently and carrying out environmental protection measures in the fields of transport and communications.

 

The two ministries reached a consensus on holding their annual high-level meeting on a rotating basis to work on cooperative measures and share information to handle arising problems when necessary.

 

In their talks held later, the two officials discussed issues relating to a project to build a railway route linking the capital city of Hanoi and Noi Bai international airport as well as possibilities to upgrade this route into express railways.

 

The Japanese side pledged to provide technical assistance to the Vietnamese Transport Ministry to conduct a feasibility study for the idea.

 

Turkey lures Vietnamese tourists by special tour

 

A special tour taking Vietnamese visitors to the world heritages and natural wonders in Turkey will be launched by the Turkish Airlines and the Turkey National Administration of Tourism in July.

 

The tour dubbed “Hello Turkey ” includes visits to Istanbul , the underground Cappadocia city and the ancient Ephesus .

 

In addition, the 9-day and 8-night tour will take tourists to the world’s largest markets.

 

Those visitors booking the tour will enjoy discounts until October.

 

Trade fair to boost trade, investment in Mekong Delta

 

The southern province of An Giang on May 21 opened the Mekong River delta trade, tourism and investment fair, drawing participation of enterprises from France , Thailand and Cambodia .

 

Until May 26, fair goers visiting the Xuan To Industrial Zone in Tinh Bien district, An Giang province, will have a chance to pick up favourite products from more than 500 booths at the fair, of which 70 are run by foreign firms.

 

The fair this year attracted enterprises from provinces outside the Mekong River delta including Binh Duong and Dong Nai, with a view to diversifying the products on display and bring about an opportunity for local enterprises to reach out to farther market.

 

The exhibition area is divided into ten different display sections to make it easier for visitors’ tours, including one area showcasing socio-economic cultural achievements of An Giang, and nine separate sections displaying agro-forestry and aquatic products and processed food, consumer goods, textile and apparel, machinery and equipment, furniture and interior decoration, construction materials and handicrafts.

 

Notably, the fair spares space for gastronomers who love to taste delicacies of southern Vietnam and spcial dishes of France , Thailand and Cambodia .

 

The fair is part of the national trade promotion programme 2010 which takes the theme of “Cooperation for Trade, Tourism and Investment Growth.”

 

Within the fair, the Trade Promotion Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade will hold a trade exchange programme and a market survey trip for local enterprises wishing to invest in Cambodia.

 

Vietnam prioritises boosting trade with Finland

 

The Vietnamese State President has asserted that one of the priorities of his visit to Finland is to boost trade and investment between the two countries.

 

Addressing the Vietnam-Finland Business Forum in Helsinki on May 21, President Nguyen Minh Triet noted that the two countries’ leaders are determined to raise two-way trade to 1 billion USD and Finland ’s investment in Vietnam to 1 billion USD in the near future.

 

He told the forum that in Vietnam favourable conditions are well in place for Finnish entrepreneurs to facilitate their stable, productive and long term investment and partnerships.

 

The Vietnamese leader laid emphasis on those businesses which are involved in information technology, shipbuilding, timber industry, paper making, and environmentally friendly technologies.

 

He reminded the Finnish participants of Vietnam ’s advantages, such as its abundant human resources, an 86-million market, and the stable politics.

 

The President also underscored the country’s willingness to work as a bridge for Finnish businesspeople to penetrate into markets of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

 

He told the participants that leaders of the two countries have defined trade and investment cooperation as a priority in bilateral ties and agreed to continue boosting the ties on the basis of stability, long term, equality and mutual benefit.

 

Upholding that spirit, President Triet called on businesses of the two countries to take the lead in stepping up trade and investment cooperation, contributing more to bolstering the Vietnam-Finland cooperative partnership.

 

Addressing the forum, Finnish Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Vayrynen said the two countries have a high potential for boosting their economic, trade and investment ties.

 

“An increasingly favourable investment climate in Vietnam is creating an impetus for the promotion of trade between the two countries’ business communities,” the Finnish minister stressed.

 

He expressed hope that the two countries will soon agree and sign a free trade agreement to remove obstacles and difficulties deterring bilateral trade and investment.

 

Finland wants to continue to contribute to Vietnam ’s effort to realise its goal of becoming an industrialised country by 2020,” minister Vayrynen said.

 

Following the forum, President Triet witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a joint venture that will sell Vietnamese fine arts handicraft items in Finland and other European countries.

 

Late the same day, President Triet visited a timber processing model at Stora Enso farm run by Heikki Koskimaki in Loppi city, about 70km from Helsinki.

 

He also visited the Nokia group, the world’s leading group in telecommunications and information technology.

 

Within the framework of the President’s Finland visit, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem held a working session with Finnish Foreign Minister Cai-Goran Alexander Stubb.

 

Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan held a working session with Secretary of State for the Ministry of Labour Katariina Poskiparta to discuss ways and means to expand a pilot cooperative programme on migrant labourers.

 

Trade deficit hits record low in May

 

Vietnam’s trade deficit was 750 million USD in May, the lowest level since the beginning of the year or about 12.3 percent of the country’s total export turnover.

 

During the month, Vietnam posted an export value of 6.1 billion USD, up 12.6 percent over the same period last year, said the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) on May 21.

 

According to the MOIT, the total trade deficit in the first five months of the year hit 5.37 billion USD, accounting for 20.8 percent of the total export value.

 

Export value of the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector in May rose by 7 percent over the corresponding period last year due to an increase in export prices.

 

High increases were seen in the export revenues of rubber (85.3 percent), pepper (up 54.9 percent), cashew nuts (up 24.7 percent) and tea, seafood and vegetables (up from 17-20 percent), said the MOIT.

 

However, some economic analysts have warned that the export value could soon suffer if a number of difficulties are not resolved such as the increase in the cost of input materials, the rise in price of goods in the international market, unskilled workers in manufacturing and the high interest rates on loans.


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