Vietnam, Japan to proceed with currency swap talks

Vietnamese Finance Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung and his Japanese counterpart Hirosi Watanabe.
Vietnam and Japan will speed up negotiations for a bilateral currency swap agreement worth some 1 billion USD to stabilize Vietnam’s currency market, said the finance ministers of both countries.
Vietnamese Finance Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung and his Japanese counterpart Hirosi Watanabe reached an agreement about the issue at a meeting on the sidelines of the 9th Conference of Finance Ministers of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (AFMN). The conference opened in Laos on April 6.

Vietnam launches largest power complex

Five electricity plants were officially opened in Vietnam’s largest power center in southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau province April 10, helping the country meet growing demands for power.
The five plants, which have combined capacity of 2,258 MW, were built by the country’s biggest power firm, Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), in the Phu My Power Center.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai was present at the inauguration ceremony of the facilities, which are expected to supply more than 23 billion KWh a year and consume more than 4.1 billion cubic meters of natural gas, EVN said.

Vietnam’s new enterprise bill excludes state-owned firms

Vietnam’s state-owned businesses need to be transformed to fall within the scope of the new Enterprise Bill, said experts at a Monday seminar in Ho Chi Minh City.
The new bill will only be applicable to four types of businesses: liability limited companies, joint-stock firms, partnerships and private enterprises, said Nguyen Dinh Cung, secretary of the bill’s drafting committee.

The seminar, hosted by the drafting committee in HCMC, was held to gather the suggestions from residents on the bill.

Electronic exports set to hit US$1.5 bln in 2005

With electronic exports expected to reach 1.5 billion USD in 2005, nearly 15 per cent higher than last year’s figure, Vietnam’s electronics producers are also combining efforts to further boost exports.
The Vietnam Electronics Industry Association (VEIA) said it had invested about 3 billion VND (around 200,000 USD) to promote trade and organize international electronic trade fairs and exhibitions with an aim of beating the expected forecast.

Vietnam imports expected to hit US$9 bln in Q2

Vietnam’s import value is forecasted to reach 9.1 billion USD in the second quarter of this year, roughly 14.8 per cent higher than last year’s same period, the Ministry of Trade said April 11.
Of the total, import goods by fully domestic-invested companies will be around 5.9 billion USD, the ministry said.

In the second quarter, the country will continue to trade in machines, equipments and production materials, the ministry said.

Vietnam growing tourism among world’s fastest

Vietnam earned a spot in the 2005 Top 10 List of Travel and Tourism Economies, with an expected annual growth of 7.7 per cent for the next 10 years, according to a world tourism body.
The assessment on Travel and Tourism Demand in 2006 to 2015 was reported at a summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council in New Delhi, India Saturday.

Vietnam stands in seventh place, following sixth place Sudan which has the same estimated annual growth of 7.7 per cent.

More Vietnamese publishers heed copyrights

More local publishing houses have started partnering up with foreign counterparts to seek permission to reproduce books in compliance with the Berne Convention, said a top official April 11.
Publishing houses are now taking a more active role in seeking out copyrights to publish books in the Vietnamese language than when the Berne Convention was first applied, said Deputy Minister of Information and Culture Do Quy Doan at a publishing industry meeting in Hanoi Monday.

Vietnam became a participating member of the Berne Convention in October 2004.

Domestic business pitch to US market

Ha Noi — Vietnamese enterprises need new trade promotion strategies, such as campaigns to market the country’s image and tourist services, and the establishment of trade centres and wholesale networks, to increase their competitiveness in the US market, reported an official from the Ministry of Trade.

At a seminar held by the ministry’s trade promotion agency (Vietrade) on Wednesday, its deputy head An The Dung said Vietnamese businesses should devise long-term strategic plans, choose quality products, and study data on US market demand before exporting to the US.

Country set for Hung Kings Festival

Hundreds of thousands of locals and foreign travel-lers will have a chance to join the Hung Kings Anniversary and Hung Temple Festival 2005 starting next Wednesday in the midland province of Phu Tho.

"The festival is aimed at confirming the position and great meaning of the anniversary of the death of our Hung Kings," said Nguyen Thi Kim Hai deputy head of the State festival organising committee. "It is a day of national patriotism and expressing our profound gratitude toward the Hung Kings and our ancestors for building our country and defending it."

Vietnam must turn to transparency to tackle graft; PM

Vietnam needs to resort to transparency and openness to fight against corruption, which still remains a constant problem, the prime minister said at a meeting with international donors April 8 in Hanoi.
Vietnam is working on formulating an anti-corruption law, PM Phan Van Khai said in the 100th session of the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Monthly Donor Group Forum.