Hanoi hosts first Vietnam–India defence industry workshop

A seminar on Vietnam–India defence industry co-operation was held for the first time in Hanoi on July 9, attracting the participation of representatives from the ministries of defence and defence industry businesses operating in the two countries.

In his opening speech, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh stressed that the workshop took place in the context of the Vietnam-India strategic partnership, including defence co-operation, that has seen fine development.

The Vietnamese Deputy Defence Minister suggested that through the workshop, the two sides would actively provide information on the capabilities and the fields where the business community of each country has strengths, to enhance mutual understanding and facilitate co-operative opportunities in future.

He also called on businesses of the two nations to offer proactive ideas and promising co-operation projects to promote the development of the defence industry, producing products not only serving Vietnamese and Indian markets, but also expanding to the Southeast Asian and South Asian markets.

Senior Lieutenant General Vinh urged enterprises operating in the field in Vietnam and India to contribute recommendations to the two ministries of defence and governments on measures to build mechanisms for developing co-operation in defence industry, helping businesses engage deeply and more effectively in the framework of Vietnam-India defence co-operation.

The event offered a good opportunity for enterprises in Vietnam and India to meet and exchange ideas, bringing practical benefits to both sides.

Cuban expert: China takes wrong actions in East Sea

China’s installation of the oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in Viet Nam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf has escalated tensions in the region, said a Cuban expert.

China illegally maintains over 100 ships of all kinds, including military ones, around the oil rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in Viet Nam's waters

China also sparked maritime conflicts with the Philippines and unilaterally established an air defense identification zone in the East China Sea.

According to Mr. Rivislei Gonzalez Saez, an expert from Cuba’s International Policy Research Institute, China said all issues should be resolved by peaceful measures but its actions ran counter to its statements.

He said that what China has done to Viet Nam was wrong and ignored the benefits to Beijing.

It has been more than two months since China illegally moved the rig as well as a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft to Viet Nam’s waters and positioned the rig at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude. The location is 80 miles deep inside Viet Nam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

Viet Nam has exercised utmost restraint, showed every gesture of goodwill and exhausted all dialogue channels to communicate with the Chinese authorities of different levels for expressing protest and demanding China immediately withdraw its drilling rig and armed and military vessels from the Vietnamese waters. Nevertheless, up to now, China has failed to respond to Viet Nam’s legitimate demand. On the contrary, China has been slandering and blaming Viet Nam while continuing to escalate its increasingly dangerous and serious acts of violation.

Lao condolences to Hanoi helicopter crash victims

Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong on July 8 sent a message of condolence to PM Nguyen Tan Dung over the July 7 crash of a Vietnamese helicopter in Hanoi’s outlying district of Thach That, killing 18 soldiers and injuring three others.

In his message, PM Thammavong said he was shocked and saddened on hearing the news, and he, on behalf of the Party, government and people of Laos, conveyed the deepest condolences to the Party, government, army and people of Vietnam, as well as families of the victims.

Vietnam hopes for multi-faceted links with German state

President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan has expressed hope for stronger cooperation in economics, science-technology, culture, education and tourism with the German state of Hessen.

The VFF leader made the comment at a reception for Hessen State Minister for Science and Arts of Germany Boris Rhein in Hanoi on July 9.

Nhan informed his guest that the Vietnam – Germany University is designing its training courses and asked Hessen state to continue with its assistance for the school.

for his part, Boris Rhein said he hopes Hessen state and Vietnam will work more closely together on education-training, science and technology.

Kagoshima learns about HCM City’s investment environment

A delegation from Japan’s Kagoshima city led by Mayor Hiroyuki Mori visited HCM City on July 9 to explore cooperation opportunities.

At a reception for the Japanese guests, HCM City People’s Committee chairman Le Hoang Quan said both cities have potential for increasing cooperation, primarily in tourism and high quality agricultural produce processing.

He said more than 200 representative offices of Japanese companies are currently operating in the city, with more than 300 projects capitalised at US$3.4 billion being undertaken in the locality.

In the first six months of 2014 alone, 24 more Japanese companies have invested in HCM City with a total capitalisation of over US$530 million.

Hiroyuki Mori told his host that many of Japanese businesses from Kagoshima are investing in HCM City and that the Japanese city is boosting relations with Vietnamese localities.

He proposed increasing business and student exchanges to bring mutual benefits for both sides and strengthen mutual understanding between the two peoples.

He invited HCM City’s children to attend an international children’s festival to be held in Kagoshima in October 2014.

Prime Minister urges tax office to eradicate complicated procedures

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked tax agencies to focus on reducing complex tax payment procedures and impose strict punishments on officers who harass the people and businesses.

At a working session with key leaders of the General Department of Taxation in Ha Noi yesterday, the Government leader acknowledged the sector's efforts in carrying out administrative reform and improving staff capacity.

However, he stressed that more needed to be done, particularly in tax management and addressing significant losses incurred through tax collection and cumbersome administrative procedures.

The amount of time needed to prepare and pay tax in Viet Nam is the largest in the region, PM Dung said, adding that many tax officers had intentionally caused trouble for tax payers.

"These are very serious problems that the sector must pay special attention to and take specific and effective measures to solve," he said.

The PM urged the sector to continue revising tax regulations to allow people and businesses to pay their tax in the quickest and most convenient way while eliminating legal loopholes to prevent tax losses.

According to the sector's reports, in the first half of 2014, tax collection fulfilled nearly 54 per cent of the estimates and saw a year-on-year increase of 14.5 percent.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh has urged Mekong Delta localities to speed up economic restructuring, focusing on the agricultural sector.

He made the request at a conference in Can Tho yesterday to review the operation of the Steering Committee for the Southwest Region in the first half of 2014 and define directions for the rest of the year.

Deputy PM Ninh, who heads the Committee, said regional localities should do more to connect farmers and businesses to make it easier for the consumption of local farm produce.

Localities should also enhance the application of high technology in production to increase product quality and value, he said, adding that quality was vital for local farm produce to enter larger markets around the world.

During the conference, Deputy PM Ninh praised the achievements that the Mekong Delta localities made in the first six months, with many socio-economic improvements from the same period last year.

According to a report, the region's GDP reached VND237.7 trillion ($11.17 billion), representing economic growth of nearly 9 per cent.

Industrial production also rose by 6.6 per cent year on year, while exports increased 11.4 per cent to $5.4 billion, said the report.

At the same time, total social investment reached VND99.6 trillion ($4.68 billion), up 12 per cent against the same period last year, it added.

However, Deputy PM Ninh also pointed to a number of difficulties including poor infrastructure and unsustainable development.

He asked the Steering Committee for the Southwest Region to co-ordinate with ministries, sectors and regional localities to promote agriculture product sales for farmers and implement support policies for people from ethnic minority groups.

The committee was also assigned to work closely with relevant agencies to organise the Mekong Delta Economic Co-operation Forum later this year in Soc Trang Province.

Senior officials visit helicopter crash survivors

Politburo member and President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan on July 9 visited three soldiers injured in a military helicopter crash in Hanoi two days ago.

The number of fatalities in the accident has increased to 18 after two of the injured passed away due to serious injuries, reported the Military Medical Institute 103’s Le Huu Trac National Institute of Burns in the capital.

The VFF leader said the death of the military men is a huge loss of their families, the army and the country.

Earlier the same day, Defence Minister Gen. Phung Quang Thanh and head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Mobilisation Ha Thi Khiet also visited and presented gifts to the injured soldiers and their families.

A memorial service for the fallen soldiers will be held at the Military Hospital 108 on July 11.

The Russian-made MI-171 helicopter with 21 military personnel on board lost contact and came down in Hoa Lac village, Binh Yen commune, Hanoi’s outskirt Thach That district at 7:46 am on July 7, only 16 minutes after it took off from Hoa Lac Airport in the west of Hanoi for a parachute training exercise.-

Vietnamese, Lao defence ministries boost financial cooperation

Deputy Defence Minister Senior Lieutenant General Le Huu Duc has suggested his ministry’s Department of Finance and its Lao counterpart work together to promptly realise a memorandum of understanding they signed on July 8.

At a reception the same day, Duc also told Colonel Khamdeng Phengvilay, Director of the Planning and Finance Department under the Lao Defence Ministry, that Vietnam attaches importance to reinforcing and expanding its special solidarity and friendship with Laos, describing military cooperation as a spotlight in relations between the two countries.

Phengvilay briefed Duc of the outcomes of a July 8 working session between the two departments and expressed his hope that the Vietnamese ministry will continue to provide financial support for the Lao army.-

Hanoi leader visits coast guard, fisheries surveillance forces

Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Pham Quang Nghi visited and presented gifts to coast guard and fisheries surveillance forces on July 8.

He praised the forces for their law enforcement activities at sea since China illegally placed its oil rig in Vietnam ’s waters over two months ago.

At the High Command of the Vietnam Coast Guard in Hanoi , Nghi said the city is always aware that it has a peaceful environment for development thanks to the efforts and sacrifice of law enforcement forces at sea, including the coast guard.

The municipal authorities and people always pay special attention to those who are safeguarding the country’s sacred sea and island sovereignty, he said.

As the protection of the national territory is a long-term struggle full of hardships and difficulties, the coast guard should be patient, ingenious and brave in demanding China to withdraw its oil rig from Vietnam ’s waters, he stressed.

Talking to the fisheries surveillance force at their city-based headquarters, the Hanoi Party chief praised them for consistently and bravely staying in the field over the past two months to safeguard the national sea sovereignty.

Long An intensifies support for Cambodian provinces

The Mekong Delta province of Long An has so far this year provided over 10 billion VND (476,000 USD) in support of its neighbouring Cambodian provinces of Svay Rieng and Prey Veng.

It has helped Prey Veng build a bridge spanning the Cai Co canal at the Tan Hung-Svai A Ngoong auxiliary border gate. The bridge is expected to be completed in 2015.

It has also trained eight public servants from the two Cambodian localities in the Vietnamese language and agricultural techniques as well as granted scholarships to Cambodian students of Vietnamese origin at the provincial School of Economics and Industry.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Do Huu Lam said Long An will continue maintaining and developing all-round relations with Cambodia, organise charitable activities and accelerate the implementation of cooperation agreements with the two Cambodian provinces in the fields of economics, socio-culture, security and defence.

PM asks for quick reform in customs sector

PM Nguyen Tan Dung on Wednesday urged the customs sector to focus on improving management capacity and reforming administrative procedures.

It is unacceptable to process customs procedures related to import for four days while the average time in the region is just three days, said PM Dung.

He called for further application of information technology in order to facilitate export/import activities and reduce contact time between enterprises and customs officers.

PM Dung assigned the Ministry of Finance to work with other ministries and agencies to design an inter-ministerial coordination mechanism and review relevant legal regulations so as to streamline customs procedures and cut down the number of papers currently required for imports.

The sector must also tighten management over customs officers at grass-root levels. Those who lend hands to smuggling and tax evasion must be excluded.

PM Dung tasked the sector to fruitfully implement the ASEAN and national one-stop shop customs models.

Tax and customs reform is among major tasks that the Government set out at the beginning of this year.

PM Dung on March 18 signed the Resolution No. 19/NQ-CP  which figures out solutions for improving the business environment and national competitiveness.

Under the Resolution, the Government will strive to reach the average of the ASEAN-6 countries with the following concrete targets:

- Simplify procedures and cut the time required to establish new businesses down to the maximum of six days; to improve other relevant steps to shorten the time from business registration to commencement;

- Further reform dossier processing steps and tax payment procedures and reduce the time for businesses to complete tax payment procedures to the average level of the ASEAN-6 countries (the average time to pay tax in ASEAN-6 countries is 171 hours per year);

- Shorten the time for businesses and investment projects to get access to electricity to no more than 70 days (the average time to access to electricity in the ASEAN-6 countries is 50.3 days);

- Improve the regulations on property rights and protection of investors in the Investment Law and the Law on Enterprises towards enhancing the protection of property rights, investors and minority shareholders in accordance with international standards;

- Facilitate and guarantee equality, openness and transparency in market-based access to credits among enterprises, organizations and individuals of all economic sectors;

- Simplify processes, dossiers and procedures related to export, import and customs and reduce the time for import and export clearance to the average of the ASEAN-6 countries (the average time for export clearance in the ASEAN-6 countries is 14 days and import clearance is 13 days);

- Cut short the time for handling business insolvency to no more than 30 months;

- Publicize the information about business performance and corporate finance in accordance with legal regulations international best practices.