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    Vietnamese PM Calls for Direct Trade Route with China’s Yangpu Port

    Oct. 21 – Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung called for the opening of direct airline and shipping routes to China's Yangpu port to decrease trade costs, during a visit to China's island province of Hainan.

    Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung was in China as a guest of Premier Wen Jiabao.

    The Yangpu economic development zone is located around 40 kilometers north of its capital, Haikou. The zone has special economic policies and flexible governmental measures used to attract foreign investors.

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    Vietnam Upgrades Internet Link Between Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi

    Oct. 18 – Vietnam Data Communication (VDC) has upgraded the internet link from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi by an additional 2.5 Gbps; increasing the total capacity of line to 7.5 Gbps.

    In September, the company installed a 2.5 Gbps line from Ho Chi Minh to the United States, increasing the international internet bandwidth from 11.4 Gbps to 14 Gbps.

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    Construction Begins on Vietnam’s Major Port Complex

    Oct. 16 – Vietnam has begun construction of the Cai Mep-Thi Vai International Port Complex located in the southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

    Once completed, the port complex will be equipped with a container port section, in addition to two berths with a capacity of 80,000-DWT container ships and a total handling capacity of 700,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEU) annually.

    The general goods port section will have two berths that can handle 50,000 DWT ships and accomodate 1.6 to 2 million tons of cargo per year.

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    Vietnam’s Long An Province Cancels Industrial Zone Investments

    Oct. 13 – Vietnam's province of Long An has postponed investments in some of its industrial zones due to concerns on land use.

    The province’s Natural Resources and Environment Department Director Nguyen Van Thiep told Thanh Nien News that the province will only build one 300-hectare golf course in Duc Hoa District instead of the planned 13 golf courses.

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    Vietnam Official Says FDI Licensing Needs Stricter Regulations

    Oct. 10 – An official from the Investment Promotion Center for Central Vietnam said that the government’s licensing process needs stricter regulations to prevent inefficient and environment polluting projects.

    The director of the Investment Promotion Center for Central Vietnam, Le Huu Quang Huy, told Thanh Nien News that he expects the country to attract US$62 billion worth of FDI this year.

    The latest slew of foreign investments to enter the country include the US$6 billion oil refinery project in the southern province of Ba Ria–Vung Tau and a US$9.8 billion steel project in central Ninh Thuan Province.

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    Vietnam’s Consumer Price Index Rises by 0.18%

    Sept. 23 – According to Vietnam’s General Statistics Office, the consumer price index for September rose by only 0.18 percent.

    It is the lowest monthly gain since the start of the year.

    The CPI increases registered in seven out of ten essential commodity groups, with cultural, sports and entertainment services having the highest price hike of 1.45 percent, along with educational services with 1.4 percent.

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    Vietnam to Allow Oil Importers to Set Prices

    Sept. 22 – The Vietnam government is now allowing oil product importers to set retail prices in an effort to move towards a market-oriented mechanism.

    It will give oil product importers the flexibility to react with complicated market changes and should create a transparent business environment.

    Vietnam is Asia’s second largest importer of petroleum products and prior to the new regulation, finance and trade ministries have been in charge of dictating the price for retail oil products in the country.

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    Can Western schools help with Vietnam’s HR problems?

    April 24 – Some of Vietnam’s hottest sectors – banking, finance, and hi-tech, are struggling to find enough talent capable to keep up with the economy’s runaway growth.

    Banks increase their capital, network, and number of branches at every opportunity. One mid-size bank wants to increase its staff of 3500 by more than 50 percent this year. A spate of new securities firms seeking to capitalize on recent stock regulations have sent demand for skilled financiers soaring. And Ho Chi Minh City’s Hi-Tech park needs more than 14,000 new workers by 2009.

    Despite increased salaries and attractive bonuses, the industry is still facing HR shortages, for the simple reason that there just aren’t enough Vietnamese with the right skills.

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    Vietnam exerts pressure on delayed power projects

    April 14 – Two delayed major utility projects set to augment the country’s chronic blackouts have been given a May 1 deadline by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai. The Nhon Trach 1 and Ca Mau 2 gas-fueled projects remain unfinished and are three to eight months behind.

    The 450-megawatt Nhon Trach 1 and 750-megawatt Ca Mau 2 projects are expected to supply power when the dry season starts from November to June.

    According to Thanh Nien News, Hai said that should there be any more delays, the leaders of state-owned companies involved in the projects will be investigated. He added that work on other delayed power projects should also be sped up.

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