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March 30

Released at: 14:17, 30/03/2018 PRESS WATCH

March 30

VET's round-up of news from Vietnamese media for March 30.

2M imports of precious stones and metals up 4.5%

Vietnam spent $77.82 million in the first two months of this year on the importation of precious stones and metals, up 4.5 per cent year-on-year. It imported precious stones and metals from India worth $7.34 million, accounting for 22.3 per cent of all imports. Following was the EU, with which Vietnam imported precious stones and metals worth $7.79 million, then South Korea with $7.58 million, Hong Kong $6.8 million, Belgium $5.7 million, and Japan $4.8 million.

Changes at top at PNJ

The Phu Nhuan Jewelry JSC (PNJ) recently announced a resolution from its Board of Directors on the appointment of Mr. Le Tri Thong as General Director and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors. The decision comes into force on April 21. Mr. Thong will hold the position for a five-year term. Ms. Cao Thi Ngoc Dung will therefore only hold the position of Chairman of the Board.

HCMC travel app to be developed

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism and the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop smart travel solutions. They plan to launch a Ho Chi Minh City travel guide app in June, with information in both English and Vietnamese. Users can obtain useful information on tourist attractions, tours, restaurants, hotels, transport and events, among others. The quick booking feature enables tourists to check and book hotel rooms in the city.

T&T Group teams up with French partner in metro line development

The T&T Group and France’s Bouygues Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation for an urban railway project in Hanoi, during the visit to France by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. The T&T Group will develop Metro Line No. 3 connecting downtown Hanoi and the outlying town of Son Tay under the build-transfer (BT) format. The 31.1-km line will require an estimated $1.7 billion in investment. At the Vietnam-France Business Forum on the same day, the two sides also signed an MoU on upgrading Hang Day Stadium in Hanoi, at a total cost of around $294 million.

Vietnam - US hold energy security dialogue

The US and Vietnam have held an Energy Security Dialogue in the US; something the US has only done with five countries to date. Representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the US State Department were in attendance. Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Diplomacy Sandra Oudkird led the discussions.

Softbank signs MoU with Saudi Arabia for solar power project

SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son and Saudi Arabia’s prince Mohammed bin Salman have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the world’s largest solar power project. At the signing ceremony in New York yesterday, Son said the solar plants will run the gamut from power generation to panel and equipment manufacturing as a way to help Saudi Arabia free itself of its dependence on oil. The 200 GW plants will create 100,000 jobs and save $40 billion in power costs, as well as helping raise the kingdom’s GDP by $12 billion.

Vietnam down in open budget rankings

According to a report on the Open Public Budget Indicator Ratings (OBI) from the International Budget Partnership (IBP), Vietnam’s OBI 2017 ranking in the open budget index was under the global average. Vietnam’s budget transparency scored 15 points per 100 points, down 3 points from the previous survey. This is much lower than the global average of 42 points (down 2 points compared to the 2015 rankings). Vietnam’s OBI ratings now fall into the 5th-least public budget indicator group (0-20 points per 100 points), of which 27 countries are considered to have less or no budget transparency.

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