As of the end of August, 4.488 million tonnes of rice has been exported, valued at US$1.83 billion in FOB and US$2.05 billion in CIF.
Nguyen Tho Tri, vice chairman of the Vietnam Food Association on August 28 said that as of the end of August local businesses signed contracts to export 5.6 million tones, which leaves 1.144 million tonnes in rice orders to be filled in future.
By August 27, association’s members have purchased 369,459 tonnes of rice, reaching 92.36 percent of the plan.
Chevron wants to be Vietnam’s reliable partner
Chevron Corporation, the second biggest US energy company, wants to become a reliable partner of the Vietnamese Government and people, affirmed the General Director of Chevron Vietnam, Hank Tomlinson.
Mr Tomlinson told the Thoi Bao Tai Chinh Viet Nam (Vietnam Financial Times) reporter that Chevron has implemented its commitment to continue negotiating with the State-owned Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, PetroVietnam, to carry out a US$4 billion natural gas exploitation project.
The project, which will help Chevron become the biggest foreign investor in the nation, will tap gas resources in Blocks B&48/95 and 52/97 in the Gulf of Thailand, offshore southwestern Vietnam for more than 20 years to partly meet the country’s increasing demand for power and energy, he said.
In addition, Chevron is also involved in exploring Block 122 offshore eastern Vietnam but have yet found the commercial reserves, he said.
The Chevron Vietnam leader also said that his corporation has invested in Caltex lubricant trademark and an asphalt plant in the northern port city of Hai Phong. The two products have greatly contributed to Vietnam’s infrastructure construction and socio-economic development, he added.
He went on to say that Chevron, that has been present in Vietnam for a long time, is expected to stay in the nation for around 25 years.
EVN ensures power to fuel development
Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) will exert all efforts to ensure sufficient supply of electricity for the country’s socio-economic development in 2010, said EVN General Director Pham Le Thanh at a working session with the Ministry of Industry and Trade on the plan for 2010 in Hanoi on August 28.
EVN strives for a 13 percent growth in commercial electricity with an output of 81.95 billion kWh. It plans to produce 61.45 billion kWh and purchase 31.92 billion kWh in 2010, representing an annual growth of 13.6 percent.
The group is expected to put into operation seven power plants, 37 electricity grid projects and begin construction of four power plants and several electricity grid projects next year.
It will carry out synchronous measures, including saving electricity, reducing power losses and boosting its output, as well as coordinating with localities to overcome difficulties in accessing capital and site clearance for power projects.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade will urge investors to complete large power plants, including Son Dong and Cam Pha, which will supply electricity for the northern region from the dry season of 2009-2010. It also asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Finance Ministry to soon allocate a budget of VND1.78 trillion (nearly US$225 million) to EVN and provide capital from ODA sources to EVN’s projects.
First ethylene gas-carrying vessel launched
The Bach Dang Shipbuilding Industry Company launched a 4,900 DWT ethylene gas-carrying vessel, the first of its kind, in the northern port city of Hai Phong on August 28.
The King Arthur vessel, 104m long, 16.4m wide, 8.4m high and capable of carrying 4,500 cubic metres of ethylene gas, was built under a contract with the Italian Mediterranea Di Navigazione Company.
The Bach Dang Shipbuilding Industry Company has successfully built various kinds of vessels which have capacities ranging from 6,500 to 22,500 tonnes and containers from 610 to 1,700 TEU.
The same day, the company also started to build a second ethylene gas-carrying vessel and plan to build a third with the same capacity.
Fair encourages Vietnamese to use local products
A trade fair under the theme “Vietnamese youths and young businesses stand by Vietnamese goods” opened in Hanoi on August 28.
200 participating businesses have put up over 300 stands to promote their trademarks in various fields, ranging from finance to the oil and gas industry, tourism, jewellery, information technology, school equipment, building, mechanical engineering, electric and electronic appliances, stationery, textiles and garments and food.
The fair is in response to the domestic trade promotion campaigns called “Vietnamese give priority to consuming Vietnamese commodities” and “Vietnamese youths stand by Vietnamese goods” launched by the Vietnam Youth Union Association.
Businesses joining the campaigns will enjoy numerous benefits, including promoting their trademarks and products to consumers, receiving support and gaining access to information about domestic and international markets.
The fair opens until the National Day (September 2).
Declining blue chips torpedo gains
Continued mixed trading kept the VN-Index largely unchanged on August 27, ending the day’s session up just 0.21 percent at 527 points.
Blue chips FPT, PetroVietnam Finance (PVF) and Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Corp (REE) all closed unchanged and let the market to marginal overall gains despite advancers outnumbering decliners by 98 to 38.
Volume declined 8 percent from August 26 to 47.7 million shares, worth a combined VND1.9 trillion (US$106.7 million). Sacombank (STB) led the market with 3.6 million shares traded, or 7 percent of the total volume. On the Hanoi Stock Exchange on August 27, the HNX-Index closed off just 0.16 percent to 164.13 points, on a poor performance by major stocks including Bao Viet Securities (BVS, Petroleum Technical Services Corp (PVS) and PetroVietnam Insurance (PVI).
The value of the day’s trades reached VND940.4 billion (US$52.8 million) on a volume of 27.3 million shares, while Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) regained its position as the most active share with 2.6 million changing hands, followed closely by Vinaconex Group (VCG) with 2.5 million.
Vietnam International Securities Co analysts said that investors interest on August 27 returned to small shares in such areas as construction materials, marine transport, energy and minerals, and education, after concentrating on major stocks during the previous two sessions.
Can Tho calls for investment in industry, infrastructure
The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho is calling upon domestic and foreign investors to get involved in 18 projects in five sectors:
including industry, trade, transport, urban infrastructure and tourism, according to a conference to promote investment in Can Tho City on August 28.
The event was attended by representatives from the Ministries of Planning and Investment and Industry and Trade as well as domestic companies and potential investors from Japan, the US, Indonesia and Singapore.
Can Tho plans to develop six urban areas, including the Ninh Kieu-Binh Thuy centre, Cai Rang port, Binh Thuy-O Mon industrial zone, the O Mon hi-tech zone, Thot Not industrial and service park and Phong Dien eco-tourism resort by 2020.
The city needs to upgrade its transport infrastructure including national highways 1A, 91, 91B, 80, the Ho Chi Minh City-Can Tho, Vi Thanh-Can Tho and Bon Tong-Mot Ngan expressways, the HCM City-Can Tho railway, Can Tho port complex and Tra Noc Airport.
Situated in the centre of the Mekong Delta, Can Tho City boasts an annual GDP growth of 15.6 percent and a per-capita income of US$1,444, the highest level in the region. It contributes 10.9 percent of the whole region’s GDP.
PetroVietnam, Russia’s oil company ink new deals
The Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and Russia’s OAO Zarubezhneft Company signed a number of cooperation agreements on August 28.
The deals include a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to consider Zarubezhneft’s participation in developing some lots on the continental shelf offshore Vietnam.
Zarubezhneft also signed with PetroVietnam’s subsidiary, PetroVietnam Exploration and Production Corporation (PVEP), an MoU to ask permission for oil and gas exploration and exploitation in a contracted deep-water area off the shore of Cuba.
The Rusvietpetro joint venture company and the PetroVietnam Insurance Joint Stock Company (PVI) signed an insurance contract for an oil drilling project in Russia’s Nenevski Municipality, with the participation of large oil and gas groups from Russia and other countries.
With the contract, PVI becomes the first Vietnamese non-life insurance company to join an overseas project.
Addressing the signing ceremony, PetroVietnam Director General Phung Dinh Thuc said Zarubezhneft is a long-term partner which has made important contributions to Vietnam’s economic development. He said the two sides have cooperated since 1991 and exploited 180 million tonnes of crude oil from Bach Ho (White Tiger) and Rong (Dragon) fields.
Construction begins on north’s largest eco-urban area
Construction of the Eco-Park urban area in Van Giang district in the northern province of Hung Yen began on August 28.
As the main investor in the project, the Viet Hung Urban Development and Investment Joint Stock Company (Vihajco) has a total investment capital of US$8.2 billion.
Covering an area of 500ha next to Bat Trang Ceramic Village (around 12 km east of Hanoi), the Eco-Park urban area includes modern villas and houses, trade and shopping centres, a gym, an entertainment complex, ancient streets, international schools and hospitals.
Vietnam ramps up investment in Laos, Cambodia
Vietnam has become one of the leading investors in the Southeast Asian countries of Laos and Cambodia.
A recent issue of Laos’ Economic and Social newspaper reported that foreign projects in Laos, especially those of Vietnam, have contributed to the Lao economy and have improved the lives of Lao clan members.
Vietnam ranks third among the 32 countries that invest in Laos, according to the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment. Statistics through June showed that the Lao government had licensed 186 Vietnamese projects at a total capitalization of more than US$2 billion. These projects are mainly in four areas: electric power, mining, agriculture and services.
Vietnamese businesses are constantly expanding their operations in Cambodia. Local experts believe that Vietnam is likely to surpass China, the Republic of Korea and Russia to become the largest investor in Cambodia in 2009, thanks to a surge in Vietnam’s investment in the past eight months.
The President of the Cambodian Economic Association, Chan Sophal, said that with great untapped potential, Cambodia is now an attractive destination for Vietnamese investors.
Vietnam and Cambodia have signed a total of 13 new joint venture contracts worth nearly US$500 million since early July.