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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 21/5   2010-05-21 - VietNamNet/VNA

Vietnam joins world trade week in US Kansas State


Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Le Cong Phung joined diplomats from six ASEAN embassies in the US for the 34 th Annual World Trade Week in Wichita city of US Kansas State from May 19-21.


The World Trade Council of Wichita and the Wichita State University jointly organised the week with the aim of increasing mutual understanding between Wichita and the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) member countries.


Secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce Bill Thorton and Wichita City Mayor Carl Brewer affirmed their wish to further promote the relationship between Wichita, which is considered the capital of the US aviation industry, and ASEAN members.


A number of US businesses, especially aviation and agriculture firms, said they plans to increase their presence in Southeast Asia, a region with great potential for growth.


The Frank Barton School of Business of the Wichita State University showed interested in establishing cooperative ties and exchanging students with Vietnam’s universities.


Ambassador Phung emphasised potential in bilateral trade and investment relations has not been fully tapped, saying he hoped to further enhance investment and trade activities between Vietnam and the US in general and Wichita in particular.


He went on to confirm that the Vietnamese government has been workig hard to improve the country’s trade and investment environment to make it easy for US businesses to explore and conduct business activities in Vietnam.


The diplomat took the occasion to invite the Wichita Mayor and local businesses to visit Vietnam as soon as possible.


According to the US-ASEAN Business Council, ASEAN is the fifth biggest trade partner and the fourth largest export market of the US with two-way trade reaching almost 180 billion USD in 2008.


US exports to ASEAN fetched more than 66 billion USD in 2008, equalling to its exports to China and the region also attracted the largest investment from US compared to other regions in Asia with around 150 billion USD.


Vietinbank allowed to increase charter capital


The Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank) has been allowed to increase its charter capital to 15.172 trillion VND (799.789 million USD) from 11.252 trillion VND in the first phase of 2010, following approval from State Bank of Vietnam (SVB).


According to the approval issued on May 19, Vietinbank is permitted to an additional 769 billion VND to its charter capital through allocating bonus shares for existing shareholders.


At the same time, the Hanoi-based bank will issueadditional shares worth 3.151 trillion VND in accordance with the resolution passed by its shareholders at the April 4 meeting.


However, the issuance can only start after the Ministry of Finance confirms about the state-owned capital in the bank under guidance from the prime minister, in order to ensure the state holding ratio at the bank.


Vietinbank posted a profit last year of over 3 trillion VND (157.89 million USD). As of December 31, 2009, it had total assets of 240 trillion VND (12.63 billion USD), an increase of 26 percent over the previous year. Bad debts accounted for 967 billion VND (50.89 million USD), or 0.61 percent, of total outstanding loans.


For 2010, the bank has targeted a profit of 4 trillion VND (210 million USD), up 18 percent over last year, as well as total deposits up 20 percent by the end of the year, and assets on December 31 of 300 trillion VND (15.78 billion USD), an increase of 20 percent.


Vietnam, Mexico discuss trade and investment


The possibilities for cooperation between Vietnam and Mexico in trade and tourism and a project to develop coconut tree plantations in Mexico were discussed at a seminar in the Mexican state of Guerrero on May 20.


Mexico is an important partner for Vietnam, stated the Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Van Que, adding that he hoped both countries would increase the number of joint projects and share their agricultural techniques and know-how to help reduce poverty.


The state of Guerrero is similar to Vietnam in many ways and the diplomat suggested that both parties look for ways to work together, particularly in aquaculture, coffee and coconuts.


Vo Van Long, the Vice President of the Vietnam Coconut Association and Director of Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Oil Plant Institute (OPI), said that both countries boast a lot of potential for developing and processing coconut based products.


Vietnam is ready to share its technology and the results of research it has conducted on coconut farming with Mexico , he confirmed.


He added that he hoped both countries would set up a joint pilot project on coconut processing in Guerrero State .


Jaime Pina Razo, the Director of Mexico’s National Institute of Forestry, Agriculture and Livestock Research’s (INIFAP) south-eastern Research Centre told the seminar that the institute is working with the Mexican Agriculture Ministry on a number of joint initiatives with countries overseas, including Vietnam .


The Vietnamese Ambassador to Mexico is scheduled to meet with representatives from the Mexican Agriculture Ministry on June 2 to discuss cooperation in agriculture towards the goal of an agreement between Vietnam’s Academy of Science and Technology and INIFAP, he said.


Hanoi’s biggest shopping mall to open in third quarter


Grand Plaza – an international standard shopping centre – will open in the third quarter of this year on Tran Duy Hung street, Hanoi’s Cau Giay district, according to Pham Cuong, the property director of IDJ Asset Management Joint Stock Co.


Located in the "golden" land of Hanoi , Grand Plaza with a total area of nearly 16,000sq.m will be the largest high-class shopping centre in the city and provide a wealth of shopping options for consumers.


The 34-million-USD centre is being developed and managed by the International Financial Investment and Enterprise Development Joint Stock Company (IDJ Financial) and IDJ Asset.


The five-storey centre is part of the Charmvit Grand Plaza , a 200 million USD international standard office and hotel complex developed by the Republic of Korea ’s Charmvit Group with total construction floor area of nearly 120,000sq.m.


To date, more than 80 percent of the centre’s retail space has been filled with representatives of international and local cosmetic, fashion and jewellery brand names.


Logistics giant DHL to build distribution centre


The world’s leading logistics company, DHL, is to build a distribution centre worth 1.5 million USD at the inland Song Than container depot, in the southern province of Binh Duong.


Construction of the 15,000sq m multi-user warehouse is expected to be finished in the fourth quarter of this year.


DHL Supply Chain Asia Pacific CEO Paul Graham said: "Our investment in the new facility signals our commitment to Vietnam and confidence in its dynamic and growing economy.


Quang Ngai targets four million USD in NGOs’ aid


The central province of Quang Ngai has set a target of raising 70 billion VND (roughly 3.71 million USD) in aid from foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for this year.


The province told donors at a regular meeting on May 21 that the funding would be spent to promote agricultural production and rural development, provide assistance for the disabled, victims of Agent Orange victims and orphans and strengthen local capacity to cope with climate change and national disasters.


A detailed plan on raising money from foreign NGOs for the 2010-15 period has been finalised while regulations related to foreign relations have been updated to help the province meet its targets in this field.

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