Tourism Year Ends with Record - News on 27 December 2016

Daily News - Vietnam: Dec. 27, 2016

Tourism Year ends with record

Việt Nam has received more than 10 million foreign tourists in 2016 - a new record for the country's tourism industry.

The figure was given at a conference held on Sunday to review the National Tourism Year 2016 - Phú Quốc - Mekong River Delta. At the event, which took place at the famous island of Phú Quốc in the southern province of Kiên Giang, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyễn Ngọc Thiện said that the new record is a meaningful milestone for the industry as the figure of 10 million is far beyond the target of 8.6 million tourists.

British citizen Michael Tonge became the 10 millionth tourist visiting the country when he arrived on Phú Quốc Island on Sunday. In 2016, Vietnamese tourism also has witnessed record growth, with the number of foreign tourists increasing 20 per cent. At the conference, vice chairman of the Kiên Giang provincial's People Committee Mai Văn Huỳnh, said as the National Tourism Year 2016 was focusing on Phú Quốc, the …

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VN firms urged to develop farm brands

Vietnamese businesses must focus on developing brands for their farm produce to become competitive both at home and abroad, a seminar heard in HCM City last Saturday.

Lê Văn Bảnh, head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Department of Processing and Trade for Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Products and Salt Production, said Việt Nam is among the largest exporters of many agricultural products like coffee, pepper, cashew, and fruits and vegetables. But 80 per cent of it is exported without brand names and sold in foreign markets under foreign brands, which is a big disadvantage for Vietnamese farm produce, he said.

Bùi Thị Thanh An, deputy director of the Việt Nam Trade Promotion Agency, said, "We export a lot of coffee and tea, but few consumers know they are using products from Việt Nam." Instead of supplying just raw materials, many firms have invested in modern production technologies to make products of good quality and with high value addition, but …

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Off the street, into the kitchen: Vietnamese kids find path out of poverty

A Hoi An social enterprise expands its hospitality training to Ho Chi Minh City as donations tighten.

A Hoi An-based restaurant and tourism company that claims to have equipped over 200 Vietnamese kids for the hospitality industry is expanding operations to Ho Chi Minh City. “Street kid restaurants have so much potential," said Neal Bermas, a New York businessman and hospitality consultant who founded Streets in 2007.

"Tourism creates jobs and opportunities that are often unmet because it brings five-star restaurants to a population that is untrained to take those jobs.” Over the years, Bermas said only two students have dropped out of Streets' 18-month training program "for personal reasons," two others were asked to leave for violating rules on fighting and smoking. The rest of its graduates all found work within 60 days of leaving the program. Some have gone on to jobs at five-star hotels, resorts and restaurants where they earn salaries of up to $1,000 a month. …

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NGOs contribute to VN economy

Thanks to the lobbying efforts of relevant agencies, non-government organisations (NGOs) in Việt Nam have contributed remarkably to the country's poverty alleviation, resolving social issues and bolstering sustainable development.

Bùi Thanh Sơn, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Head of the Committee on Foreign Non-Government Organisations, made the remark at a conference held in Hà Nội yesterday to review the NGO aid mobilisation in 2016 and set out tasks for 2017. Vice President and General Secretary of the Việt Nam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) Đôn Tuấn Phong said in 2017, the committee needed to closely follow the Prime Minister's instructions on the NGO-related affairs, ensuring transparency in financial activities.

Besides that, the committee needs to research, give advice to revising legal documents to make them clearer and consistent with the NGO affairs. The committee was asked to effectively implement solutions put forwards in the promotion programme …

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HCM City eyes 9-storey parking lot

A HCM City-based company has offered to build a nine-storey smart parking lot in the city's downtown area, and the Department of Transport has sought approval from the administration. If approved, En-parking Japan Clever System Development Joint Stock Company will build the 6,040sq.m, 21.8m tall facility, which will cost VNĐ161.2 billion (US$7.3 million), at Lam Sơn Square near the Opera House in District 1 and also operate it.

The construction will take a maximum of 14 months. The parking spaces will be from the second to ninth storeys, and 168 cars can be accommodated. To begin with, parking will cost VNĐ27,000 ($1.2) per hour and VNĐ468,000 ($21) per day. The parking will be automated, with machines arranging the vehicles in the proper places. The People's Committee and Department of Taxation have approved the proposal, but the Department of Finance wants the investor to consider the parking fees again and clearly indicate the expected cash flows, the Department of …

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Vietnam, Thailand chart AEC connectivity as the way forward

December 26 – 2016 Though Thailand has long been a country of great promise given its resources and geographic proximity to Vietnam, most experts say the potential has remained largely untapped, resulting in the two countries remaining among the world’s poorest.

Economic reforms that began in the mid-1980s have advanced in fits and starts, with much unfinished business lying ahead. Key to the development agenda of both nations was their joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) and now the further implementation of the AEC underscores the continuation of their emphasis on not only regional, but global economic integration. Given that the two nations are now at the dawn of the AEC, it is a good time to assess how well they have performed so far and what initiatives should be jointly undertaken to realize their fullest potential, they say.

Both nations have been on track in implementing their AEC commitments, notably in cutting tariffs, eliminating non-tariff trade barriers and creating a …

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Late-season typhoon enters East Sea, threatens central Vietnam

December 26 – 2016 The powerful Nock-ten is forecast to trigger heavy rains and floods in central provinces by early next week.

On Monday Typhoon Nock-ten entered the East Sea, internationally known as the South China Sea, and is expected to bring heavy rains and floods to central Vietnam in the next few days. At around 4 p.m., the typhoon was some 450 kilometers southeast off Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands, with wind speeds of up to 105 kilometers per hour. It is the tenth typhoon to form in the region this year.

Nock-ten is expected to move southwest before weakening into a low-pressure area in the next 24-48 hours. The typhoon and cold winds from the north are forecast to trigger heavy rains across the central region between December 28 and January 2. There will be high risks of floods and landslides in provinces from Quang Tri down to Khanh Hoa. According to AFP, a couple were reportedly killed by flood while an elderly man was crushed by a falling wall in the Philippines on Monday. More than …

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