BUSINESS IN BRIEF 21/8

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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 21/8

The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has so far this year attracted 13 foreign-invested projects with a combined investment capital of 2.8 billion USD.

Kien Giang province attracts 13 FDI projects

Over half of the new projects, or seven, with a total investment of 1.72 billion USD came to the island district of Phu Quoc. Four of them are underway, including tourist sites of BerJaya Long Beach, Veranda, Cataco and Miramar.

Kien Giang’s Planning and Investment Department Director Dang Cong Huan said that almost all projects’ investors have enough financial abilities and can quickly carry out their projects.

However, he added, some projects are still lagging behind in site clearance as well as in detailed land zoning, resulting in the delay of their implementation as scheduled. No projects are subjected to be revoked their licences, he added.

Central Highlands plans investment promotion campaign

Buon Ma Thuot, capital city of Dac Lac province, is to host an investment promotion forum for the Central Highlands on September 5, said Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nguyen Phuong Nga.

Nga-taking over for former Spokesperson Le Dung, who has taken a new assignment-said the forum will provide an opportunity for regional provinces to keep domestic and overseas investors informed on the attractive opportunities, benefits, and incentives for investment boasted by the region.

The event is likely to attract strong participation, including provincial leaders from the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam development triangle.

Foreign diplomatic corps in Vietnam , representatives from international financial institutions such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and foreign businesses are also expected to attend the forum.

Vietnam welcomes investors in energy sector

The Vietnamese government calls upon domestic and foreign businesses to invest in energy works and is committed to creating favourable conditions for them to do so, a senior official said.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Huu Hao made the announcement at an international seminar on Vietnam ’s energy development planning and strategies in Hanoi on August 20.

In the coming time, national energy policies will focus on synchronously developing an energy system, including electricity, coal, oil and gas, and new and renewable energy sources, Hao said.

Energy development strategies will be implemented with international cooperation policies on energy import-export, the development of energy technology, especially for new and renewable sources, forming a competitive energy market and boosting the economical and effective use of energy, he added.

According to a representative of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the government’s objective is to continue attracting major foreign investors to large-scale power and clean energy projects.

To lure investment in the energy sector, besides policies to encourage investment and solve difficulties, the government should apply common electricity prices for both domestic and foreign businesses, he suggested, adding that power purchase negotiation procedures should be simplified to help investors save time and costs.

President of the Vietnam Energy Association Tran Viet Ngai said that the energy sector, including electricity, is yet to attract investors, especially those from foreign countries, because of unreasonable commercial electricity prices compared to electricity production costs.

Other participants at the seminar cited unclear foreign investment attraction mechanisms and policies as well as an asynchronous legal system on energy development as difficulties preventing the energy sector from luring more investment.

By July 2009, Vietnam attracted 143 FDI projects totalling 6.2 billion USD in the energy sector, accounting for 3.74 percent of the country’s total FDI.

Ten proposals made for development of paper sector

The Vietnam Paper Corporation and the Vietnam Pulp and Paper Association have made ten proposals, aimed at fulfilling their production plan for the 2010-2015 period.

The proposals were announced at a conference in Hanoi on August 20, which was hosted by the paper sector and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and aimed to review the sector’s operation over the years as well as to outline its action plan for the future period.

Among the proposals, four have been accepted by the ministry, covering paper recycling, tax policy for the paper industry and paper raw materials. The other proposals will be decided in the near future.

According to General Director of the Vietnam Paper Corporation, his company’s annual growth has been near 9 percent since 2006, while its growth in revenues has been 16 percent.

The corporation has provided jobs and ensured livelihoods for about 13,000 staff, he added.

Cambodian cashew sector expects bright future in Vietnam

Cambodia’s processed cashews will hit the world market after two processing plants are built in Kampong Thom and Kampong Cham provinces under joint ventures with Vietnam.

Construction of the plants with a combined capacity of 10,000 tonnes a year is scheduled to start in early 2010.

Cambodian State Secretary at the Commerce Ministry Mao Thora related that authorities from the two provinces were in discussions with their Vietnamese partners from the southern provinces of Binh Phuoc and Dong Nai. The State Secretary added that an agreement has been struck and a memorandum of understanding will be signed to secure a license from the Cambodian government.

According to the Vietnamese Trade Office in Cambodia , the two plants will not only buy local raw cashews for processing, but also for export to Vietnam . Of the total estimated volume they plan to purchase--60,000 tonnes a year--50,000 tonnes are to be shipped to Vietnam .

According to the Cambodian Economics Institute, the country’s cashew output is between 30,000-50,000 tonnes a year. However, only 5 percent of that is processed in the country and the remainder is exported to Vietnam .

Cambodia now has about 80,000 ha of cashew growing area.

Moody’s active assessment for VIB’s financial strength

Moody’s Investors Service, a global trust-rating company, has placed the ‘bank financial strength rating’ (BFSR) of the Vietnam International Bank (VIB) at level D, with a prospect of stability.

Under the rating, VIB is ranked second among four leading Vietnamese banks including one state-owned commercial bank and another three commercial joint stock banks which were rated by Moody’s.

The review of VIB’s D-BFSR is based on its inner financial strength, indexes of creditworthiness, risk management of credits and the safety of capital, Karolyn Seet, a Moody’s analyst said.

Moody’s also highly values VIB ability to limit bad debts and its capital safety factor, she added.

Through the end of June this year, the bank’s bad debt was rated at 1.99 percent, much lower than the general rate of the overall banking sector.

Before-tax profit of the bank reached more than 300 billion VND in the first half of this year, representing over 75 percent of the yearly plan. VIB’s capital safety coefficient is kept alive at 10 percent, higher than the regulations of the State Bank and international standards.

VIB plans to increase its chartered capital to 3 trillion VND by the end of this year.

VietNamNet/VNA

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