As the Lunar New Year festival (Tet) is coming, the interest rate for mobilizing US dollars is approaching six percent annually, nearly equal to the peak in 2008.
The Phuong Tay Bank has raised the rate to 5.3 percent per year for terms of three months or more.
The corresponding figures for other banks are 5.7 percent (Viet Nam Tin Nghia), SCB (5.48 percent), and ABBank (5.6 percent).
These increases are attributed to the rising demands of borrowing in US dollars for imports at the end of the year.
The annual interest rate for the US dollar loans has also reached 8 percent.
Some banks are giving priority to short term loans, but most offer higher interest rates for longer terms. Deposits for more than 12 months enjoy interest rates exceeding 5.5 percent per year.
Japanese investors praise Vietnam’s renovation achievements
Many Japanese people admire Vietnam’s achievements in its renovation process which started 25 ago.
Susumu Igarashi, Director of the Social Innovation Company, dealing in securities and financial investment in Vietnam and other ASEAN countries, said he first heard of Vietnam’s renovation in 1995 when the first wave of Japanese investment hit Vietnam.
At the time, Japanese newspapers often emphasized the words “doi moi” (renovation), but nowadays, these words simply imply Vietnam.
“Japan’s media new deserible Vietnam as a powerfully growing economy. Many Japanese admire Vietnam’s renovation achievements, and I am one of them”, Igarashi said.
“Only when I came to Vietnam, I really understand the significant of innovation in the country. It was a nice surprise to witness new things occuring everyday as in Phu My Hung urban area. I was very impressed by investment opportunities opening up in Vietnam”, he added.
Akira Shiraishi, Chief Executive Officers of the Social Innovation was interested in Vietnam’s innovation since its beginning. He said he had been in Vietnam before 1975, and was closely following Vietnam’s economic development.
Shiraishi attributed that the success to Vietnam’s successful mobilization of all resources available, including remittances from overseas. “After the war, many Vietnamese left the country, but now they have returned. Vietnam’s policy regarding overseas Vietnamese is wonderful, because the homeland always forgive and encourage them to come back”, he said.
According to Shiraishi, another reason for Vietnam’s achievements is its policy of harmonious development among regions in the country. This has led to social stability and helped attract many foreign investors.
Tomio Iwasaki, an expert in securities investment was also impressed by Vietnam’s efforts to preserve and promote its traditional values.
Iwasaki highly spoke of Vietnam’s economic development in spite of many challenges. He said past is the time Japan’s investment was its assistance to Vietnam. Now on the contrary Vietnam’s acceptance of Japanese investment is promoting Japan’s economic development.
Vietnam’s monetary market to face difficulties in 2011
Vietnam’s monetary market will continue to face major challenges in 2011, according to economic experts.
Last year, the monetary market experienced fluctuations caused by high interest and foreign exchange rates. This year, bank interest rates will remain high as a result of inflation in 2010.
However, experts said the current deposit interest rate of 14 percent per year and lending interest rate of 17-18 percent per year will not increase.
In the first quarter of 2011, the monetary market will continue to face difficulties in terms of capital and liquidity. It is expected that in the second quarter, commercial banks will reduce interest rates to 15-16 percent per year, experts forecast.
This year, the State Bank of Vietnam aims to keep the credit growth target of 23 percent, two percent lower than last year. It focus will be more on the production sector and less on non-production areas.
SBV’s monetary policies should be more flexible to meet unexpected developments in the world market this year.
Waste energy to be used for cement production
Holcim Vietnam Cement Ltd., Co will develop a facility which produces electricity from waste energy for cement production at its Hon Chong cement plant, located in the Mekong delta province of Kien Giang, in early February, 2011.
Holcim Vietnam’s Director General Gerhard Schutz told at a press briefing in HCM City on January 10 the 6.3 MW facility will use heat of exhaust fumes from the cement kiln system to produce electricity.
The facility is expected to help reduce power consumption from the national power grid, harmful impacts to environment as well as production costs, Gerhard Schutz said.
The project will be constructed at a total cost of US$28 million, of which US$10 million will be used for maintenance.
Once operational, slated for August, 2012, the facility will churn out about 44 million kWh per year, sufficient to ensure electricity for 88 days of operation of Hon Chong cement plant, saving more than 9,000 tonnes of coal and reducing 25,300 tonnes of CO2 discharged each year.
State Treasury reviews activities
The State Treasury held a meeting in Hanoi on January 10 to review activities in 2010 and implement tasks for 2011.
Last year, the State Treasury fulfilled its tasks by modernizing state budget collection to create favourable conditions for tax payers nationwide, as well as assisting businesses to surpass their state budget revenue estimates. This is a breakthrough in administrative reform in the management of the state budget’s revenues.
Regarding management over state budget’s spending, last year, the State Treasury controlled nearly VND380 trillion, discovered 43, 000 cases of illegal spending, and refused payments of nearly VND280 billion. In addition, the disbursement rate reached more than 90 percent regarding spending for capital construction investment.
Ta Anh Tuan, the State Treasury’s deputy director said that in 2011, the agency will cooperate with the financial sector to implement tasks on state budget management and carry out some major reforms, including the building of an information system on the state budget management.
24,650 people in rural areas buy Vietnamese goods
The first fair of Vietnamese goods in rural areas this year was held in Lap Vo district, Dong Thap province from January 7-9.
The event drew the participation of 46 businesses in the fields of electronics, cosmetics, food, garment and textile and pharmaceutical products.
The fair attracted 24,650 visitors to buy Vietnamese goods at reasonable prices, with a total turnover of VND1.45 billion.
Coal and mineral industry fetches VND70,000 billion in 2010 revenue
The Vietnam National Coal Mineral Industries Group (VINACOMIN) earned nearly VND70,000 billion in 2010 revenue, 11 percent more than in 2009, in which coal exports reached VND21,000 billion, up by 21 percent over 2009.
On January 8, VINACOMIN organised a conference to review business and production activities in 2010 and worked out the 2011 plan.
Despite facing a lot of difficulties due to the impact of the global economic crisis, VINACOMIN still perform well, carrying out its business plans. As a result, in 2011, VINACOMIN contributed more than VND8,000 billion to the State budget, 25 percent more than in 2009 while its mineral exploration hit VND2,500 billion, up by 31 percent; electricity production reached VND2,300 billion, up by 131 percent over 2009.
Asides from this, the group restructured its enterprises and production management while implementing key projects on mining, thermal-electric power and exploring new coal mines.
Last year, VINANCOMIN ensured job provision and stable incomes for more than 1.3 million workers with a monthly average salary of VND6 million each, 5 percent more than the level of the year before.
In 2011, the group will continue to implement measures to gain more than VND72,000 billion in revenue, apply advanced technology to increase production efficiency and reduce workplace accidents.
The group will also ensure social welfare for workers as well as adopt measures for sustainable environmental protection in its exploration process.
Second chain of But Son cement factory inaugurated
But Son Cement Joint Stock Company in Ha Nam province on January 9 inaugurated the second chain of But Son cement factory with the capacity of 1.6 million tonnes per year.
The total investment capital is over VND3,000 billion.
The construction of the chain began in 2007, and was conducted with the use of Japanese technology. The project belongs to the Government’s plan to develop Vietnam’s cement industry by 2010, with a vision to 2020.
The first tonne of cement was officially produced in late 2009.
By December 2010, the second chain had produced over 710,000 tonnes of clinker, grinded 511,800 tonnes of cement and packed more than 450,000 tonnes.
The chain was built by prestigious domestic and foreign units to manufacture good-quality cement products.
NA agrees to issue VND45 trillion in gov’t bonds
The National Assembly (NA) has agreed on the issuance of government bonds worth VND45 trillion in 2011 to mobilise capital for the country’s socio-economic development projects.
This information was announced at the closing session of the NA Standing Committee’s 37th meeting in Hanoi on January 7.
This is the first year of the national socio-economic development plan in the 2011-2015 period, however, the NA is yet to decide on the government bond issuance programme for the entire five-year period.
The majority of Standing Committee members agreed to prioritise the allocation of government bond capital for urgent transport, irrigation projects, healthcare and educational facilities, especially in poor and less-developed localities and flood-hit areas, and projects that are likely to be completed in 2011 and 2012.
NA Vice Chairman Nguyen Duc Kien proposed government bond capital should be prioritised for the northern mountainous region, provinces hard hit by floods, central provinces with difficulties, remote areas in the Central Highlands, localities being separated in the southwestern region, and key economic zones.
The NA has decided to carry out 15 national target programmes in 2011 and requested relevant agencies to work out criteria and plans to allocate capital for those programmes by January 31.
At the session, the NA Standing Committee made an initial review of the implementation of its plan No. 900 UBTVQH pertaining to the execution of the Party Political Bureau’s resolution No. 48-NQTW on a strategy to build and perfect the Vietnamese legal system in 2010 and orientations to 2020.
It oversaw preparations for the 12th Legislature’s ninth session and gave comments on the draft resolution on the election date and the establishment of the election council for the 13th Legislature and the people’s councils at all levels.
Vietnam ICT Awards 2010
The Ministry of Information and Communications announced regulations on Vietnam Information, Communication and Technology Awards (VICTA 2010) in Hanoi on January 6.
Thirty-two awards will be presented to six main sectors of information and technology (IT), including telecommunications, IT industry, IT human resources training, IT application, digital information security, and also to foreign businesses for their active contribution to the development of Vietnam’s ICT and to those domestic ones for the benefit of community development.
This year’s awards will honour new businesses credited with high growth rates and good services. Two awards will be given for the first time to those providing best security services and solutions.
There are also prizes for units of ministries and departments which have best applied IT in their work.
VICTA 2010 is focused on the quality, growth and effective operation of businesses involved in mobile telecommunications, Internet, software and digital information sources.
The deadline for businesses and units send in their dossiers is March 6.