Vietnam pumps nearly 25 bln VND to upgrade central port

Three Vietnamese groups have pumped nearly 25 billion VND to upgrade the major Ky Ha port in central Quang Nam province in order for the port to receive larger ships by the end of June.
After construction is completed, larger ships with loading capacity of up to 10,000 tons can dock at Ky Ha port in the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone.

Since the middle of this year, the Vietnam National Maritime Bureau has invested 3.5 billion VND to dredge the waterway leading to the port to 6.5 meters deep.

Vietnam signs deal for construction of first oil refinery

An international consortium led by French group Technip signed a 1.5 billion USD deal May 17 to build Vietnam's first oil refinery, the biggest ever investment in the country, AFP reported.

Officials from Technip, Japanese engineering giant JGC Corporation and Spain's Tecnicas Reunidas signed the deal with state-owned giant PetroVietnam in Hanoi.

The long-awaited deal is seen as crucial to giving Vietnam energy autonomy as, despite being a major crude producer, the nation has to import its refined products.

Overseas Vietnamese musician Pham Duy returns home

The renowned Vietnamese musician and composer Pham Duy, 86, can happily say he is no longer an “overseas” Vietnamese after he arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday to spend the rest of his days.
After arriving Tuesday morning, Thanh Nien spoke with Duy at the Saigon Star Hotel, where he would stay in the coming time, about his big move.

How do you feel now?

Fisheries sector to fund promotion

Workers process shrimps for export in the Nam Hai Food Ltd Company in the southern Can Tho Province’s Tra Noc Industrial Zone. The fisheries sector will inject roughly US$88,000 into a promotion campaign designed to increase its exports to the US and Japan. — VNA/VNS Photo Trang Duong
HA NOI — The Ministry of Fisheries is planning to spend VND1.4 billion (US$88,000) on promotional campaigns encouraging shrimp exports to Japan and the US, Viet Nam’s two biggest markets, in an attempt to address the disappointing export levels for the first months of this year.

IT use up in nation’s classes

HCM CITY — Information technology is gradually replacing conventional teaching tools at many secondary schools in HCM City.

Teachers are finding it easier to use more convenient and livelier methods, like illustrative film strips, which employ computer technology.

"It does not require much," said Tran Thi Thu Thuy, a chemistry teacher at a secondary school. "All we need are a computer, a projector, and a wide screen television."

Bank card issuance to double

HA NOI — The domestic bank card market may see a boom this year, following reports of high growth by commercial banks, who expect to double their card issuance by the end of the year.

The State-owned Vietcombank, currently the country’s largest issuer with 700,000 cards in circulation, estimated that card issuance would reach 1.2 million by the end of the year.

Age for compulsory military service to fall

Ha Noi — The registration age for obligatory military service would be reduced by two years - from 18 to 25 instead of 18 to 27 - as part of proposed changes to Viet Nam’s Military Law, the National Assembly was told on Monday.

The change was forecast in a 10-year-review of the law delivered by National Defence and Security Committee Chairman Nguyen Phuc Thanh.

The changes would focus on parts of the legislation that were no longer appropriate to Viet Nam’s socio-economic conditions, he said.

Vietnam textiles up for fierce challenges

Vietnam’s textile industry will face great challenges, instead of opportunities, when the U.S. re-imposes quotas on Chinese clothing imports, a move which the European Union will likely soon follow. 

The U.S. has announced it will re-impose quota restrictions on three categories of Chinese clothing imports, arguing that the Chinese goods are damaging the American textile industry.

7.3 million cell phone users expected by year end

The total number of cell phone subscribers in Vietnam will increase to 7.3 million by the end of 2005 and 21 million in 2008, according to a telecoms market researcher.

Currently, there are nearly 6 million cell phone subscribers in the country.

Market researcher BMI Group recently reported that Vietnam's mobile information market had been developing rapidly, recording a growth rate of 65 per cent in 2004.

Joint stock bank unveils new service

HCM CITY — The joint stock Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) announced on Wednesday that it will begin its US dollar/VN Dong option service by the end of this month.

The option is a market-risk hedging instrument. ACB will offer its customers the exclusive right to buy or sell a fixed sum of the convertible currency, paying in Viet Nam Dong within a specified time at a set price. The term will range from one week to six months.

It is one of the first two banks to get permission from the State Bank to offer the service, the other being the joint stock Techcombank.