Hoi An town to offer homestay accommodations

The famous ancient town of Hoi An in central Vietnam will officially launch homestay accommodations in a bid to attract more visitors who prefer to stay in an ancient home rather than a hotel.
Up to 40 ancient houses in Hoi An town, which is recognized as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO, will offer homestay accommodations to tourists.

Upgrade work will start on these houses to ensure convenience for visitors, said local authorities.

The town is due to launch homestay services at the beginning of the third quarter of this year.

New U.S. customs ruling threatens Vietnam shrimp industry

Vietnam’s shrimp producers and farmers are likely to face bankruptcy as shrimp exports to the American market, as well as shrimp prices, are dropping substantially following a new U.S. customs requirement over bonds.

Since March this year, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has told American importers of shrimp subject to anti-dumping duties to pay a much larger bond than ever.

CBP determines the amount of bond by multiplying the anti-dumping tax rate by an importer’s value of shrimp imports subject to penalty duties during the previous year.

Vietnam’s software industry targeting at US$1 billion in 2010

After the failure of the goal of US$500 million in the year 2005, the software industry of Vietnam set another aim for itself. That is to reach a revenue of US$1 billion in the year of 2010. Coming together with this target is the program draft for development of Vietnam’s software industry in the phase from 2006 to 2010 compiled by the Ministry of Post and Telecoms. As one more time mentioned in the draft, human resource is seen as the key factor for success of the program.

Education offers e-government boost

Ha Noi — With a high percentage of internet users in higher education, both among faculty and students, the education sector has proven fertile ground for the growth of Viet Nam’s e-government programme.

A recent survey on the use of the internet at universities in Ha Noi showed that almost all young teachers and lecturers use the internet regularly and conduct most of their communications through e-mail.

New tax guidelines may boost listing companies

HA NOI — With new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) on taxes applied for those listing on the Ha Noi stock exchange, officials hoped they will encourage more firms to file for listing on the stock market.

Under the new rules released in late April, firms will enjoy an exemption on corporate income tax in the first year of listing and another 50 per cent cut for the next two years.

Tran Van Dung, director of the Ha Noi Securities Trading Centre, said after the regulations were issued, many firms have sped up registration for listing.

Conservation fund to grant support to national parks

HA NOI — About 50 of Viet Nam’s national parks and nature reserves are to be provided with small grants and technical support for the protection of biodiversity in forests.

This is a new approach to the conservation of these areas in Viet Nam, initiated by the Viet Nam Conservation Fund (VCF) and supported with major grants from the Netherlands, through the Trust Fund for Forestry (TFF) and the Global Environment Facility.

Survey finds local enterprises growing but problems remain

 HA NOI — A three-year survey released yesterday found businesses operating in Viet Nam have, on the whole, demonstrated considerable growth.

The results were publicised in the capital during a meeting hosted by the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The survey followed State-owned enterprises (SOEs), non-State firms and foreign-invested companies, from 2002 to 2004 and was conducted by the GSO and World Bank.

Country encourages overseas science, technology exchange

HA NOI —Talented Vietnamese scientists and technicians have new opportunities to study abroad through a new plan created by the Vietnamese Government, to help speed up the nation’s modernisation process.

According to a Prime Ministerial decision made last week, around VND260 billion (US$16.4 million) of State money will be allocated every year to 400 Vietnamese people wanting to study in postgraduate science and technology courses overseas, between 2006-10.

TV viewers turn to cable

Ha Noi — The TV service market is very hot in major cities such as Ha Noi, HCM City and some central provinces.

In Ha Noi audiences can view domestic channels such as VTV1,2 and 3, Ha Noi TV, however they also have access to very different programmes provided by the Viet Nam cable TV (VCTV), Ha Noi cable TV (HCTV), digital TV (VTC and DTH), MMDS or VietnamNet TV.

But, for some this range of programmes is not enough, and quite a few people are using a disc illegally imported from China to watch foreign programmes.

Viet Nam vows to strive for nuclear weapons-free world

MEXICO CITY — Along with other peace-loving nations, Viet Nam is committed to striving for a world free from nuclear weapons, Vietnamese Ambassador Le Luong Minh told a Nuclear-Free Conference in Mexico City last week.

As a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Disarmament Conference, the Southeast Asian nuclear weapon-free zone, and a non-nuclear weapon state, Viet Nam supports disarmament and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, he said.

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