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Taxation desperation in Vietnam
23.07.2017 By David Hutt (Asia Times) - ... While taxation from standard taxi firms accounts for annual revenue of US$91.7 million, according to local media reports, the app-based businesses have contributed a mere fraction of the total tax haul.
Grab paid US$250,000 in taxes last year in Vietnam; Uber paid about US$1.7 million.
To be sure, the Vietnamese government is desperately seeking new sources of tax revenue. Government expenditure has reached unsustainable levels, with a budget deficit of 4.4% of GDP last year and public debt now near the state-imposed limit of 65% of GDP.
Social media businesses are also in the taxman’s sights. Last month, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City’s taxation departments began drawing up plans on how to collect taxes from e-commerce businesses that operate on social media platforms like Facebook. [read more]

With TPP’s demise, Vietnam looks to Europe for free trade
23.07.2017 By David Hutt (Asia Times) - Vietnam and the European Union are tentatively set to agree to and ratify a wide-ranging free trade pact, known as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, or EVFTA, by early 2018. The agreement was first envisaged in 2012 and once enacted is expected to accelerate trade between Vietnam and individual EU states.
Recent developments mean that timeframe could be delayed, due namely to a ruling that means each EU member state must individually agree to the deal. Phuc’s visit was to Germany was thus largely a lobbying effort to expedite the deal’s enactment. [read more]

Pollution de l'air : le Vietnam veut interdire les deux roues à moteur à Hanoï
22.07.2017 (Sud Ouest) - Initiative radicale au Vietnam pour lutter contre la pollution de l'air : le 4 juillet, les autorités ont annoncé leur volonté d’interdire les mobylettes et motos d’ici à 2030 à Hanoï. Dans une ville où l’essentiel du trafic se fait à deux-roues, la mesure fait tousser et les réactions, en s'en doute, sont mitigées. Mais ne pas les prendre, ferait tousser la population bien davantage. Au sens propre du terme.
Au Vietnam, l'un des pays d’Asie du Sud-Est qui compte le plus de deux-roues, Hanoï est connu pour ses légions de mobylettes pétaradant aux feux rouges. Dans une ville où les transports en commun sont peu développés, la mobylette fait office de voiture familiale (avec les enfants entassés entre les deux parents).  [en savoir plus]

Vietnam pollution fight hits supplier to global fashion brands
21.07.2017 Mai Nguyen (Reuters) - HANOI - Vietnamese villagers blockading a textile plant that serves global fashion brands are seeking the permanent closure of the factory due to pollution concerns, highlighting a growing readiness in Vietnam to campaign over environmental issues.
Hundreds of people from Hai Duong, 50 km (30 miles) east of Hanoi, have kept watch in shifts day and night since April to stop work at the Pacific Crystal Textiles mill, operated by Hong Kong-based Pacific Textiles. [read more]

Gemüse aus Asien mit wahren Giftcocktails an der Grenze abgefangen
19.07.2017 (Blick) - Gemüse aus Asien enthält mitunter wahre Giftcocktails. Auch 2016 musste bei Kontrollen an der Grenze fast ein Drittel der Proben wegen überhöhten Pestizidgehalts beanstandet werden. Kritisch waren vor allem Produkte aus Thailand und Vietnam wie Koriander und Chilis.
Schon frühere Untersuchungen auf Pflanzenschutzmittel-Rückstände hatten bei Grünzeug aus asiatischen Ländern Beanstandungsraten von 20 bis 53 Prozent ergeben. Das Bundesamt für Lebensmittelsicherheit und Veterinärwesen (BLV) hat deshalb erneut eine nationale Einfuhrkontrolle für Frischgemüse und Früchte aus Asien organisiert. [Weiterlesen]

FDP Wirtschaftspolitik - Zusammenarbeit mit Vietnam vertiefen
14.07.2017 (FDP) - In Zeiten von Abschottung und Protektionismus setzen sich die Freien Demokraten für mehr internationalen Austausch und Freihandel ein. In Rheinland-Pfalz etwa engagiert sich Landeswirtschaftsminister Volker Wissing für eine vertiefte Zusammenarbeit mit Vietnam. Hierzu unterzeichneten er und der vietnamesische Industrie- und Handelsminister Tran Tuan Anh einen entsprechenden "Letter of Intent".
"Wir haben vereinbart, eine Arbeitsgruppe einzusetzen, die bis zum Frühjahr 2018 die Möglichkeiten der praktischen Zusammenarbeit für die Zukunft weiter konkretisiert", erklärte Wissing. Er sehe viel Potenzial, um mit Vietnam über eine wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit zu sprechen. [Weiterlesen]

Report: Asia facing dire future toll from climate change
14.07.2017 (AP) - A report by the Asia Development Bank says Asia will endure extreme heat, rising sea levels, growing losses from severe weather and increasing food insecurity in coming decades as climate change raises temperatures and alters weather patterns across the globe.
The survey released Friday by the Manila-based lender paints a grim outlook for many communities in Asia, home to about 4 billion people.
It's based on the latest scientific research, with or without more aggressive efforts to curb carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. [read more]

Unwetter tobt in Vietnam - Überschwemmungen fordern 13 Todesopfer
12.07.2017 (n-tv) - Im Norden Vietnams sind bei schweren Überschwemmungen mindestens 13 Menschen ums Leben gekommen. Unter den Todesopfern ist auch ein Elternpaar mit zwei Kindern im Alter von vier und acht Jahren.
Insgesamt wurden in dem südostasiatischen Staat seit Beginn der schweren Regenfälle am Wochenende mehr als 175 Häuser beschädigt. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam reports outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in north - OIE
12.07.2017 (Reuters) - PARIS - Vietnam has reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu among backyard birds in the northern province of Ha Nam, the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Wednesday, citing a report from the Vietnamese farm ministry.
The virus was detected at a backyard location with 1,135 birds. It directly killed 300 birds, with the rest of the flock slaughtered, the report said. [read more]

China, Vietnam and hard talk about the Mekong: China Daily columnist
27.06.2017 By Asit K Biswas, Cecilia Tortajada (The Straits Times) - Much has been written about the building of hydropower dams in the upper reaches of the Mekong River and their role in causing droughts in the Mekong delta region in Vietnam.
Many environmental and social activists claim Chinese dams have reduced the water flow in the delta, seriously harming rice cultivation and allowing saltwater to seep into soil.
Closer scrutiny of the facts reveals that drought dealt a serious blow to Vietnam’s agriculture and forestry and seafood sectors in the delta region last year. Official data show the growth rate in these sectors was only 1.36 per cent in 2016, the lowest since 2011. The drought also had major economic, social and environmental impacts as it severely affected Vietnam’s coffee, rice and shrimp production and exports.
There are many reasons why Vietnam is facing serious water scarcity. First is climate change. [read more]

Hanoi targets over 13,000 Facebook accounts for tax
22.06.2017 (Nikkei Asian Review) - HO CHI MINH CITY -- Tax authorities in Hanoi on Tuesday advised thousands of social network users to register properly as businesses and pay taxes.
Some 13,400 Facebook accounts with evident advertising and sales activities have been directed to the tax department for further information.
Operations making more than 100 million dong ($4,400) annually are liable for value added tax and income tax according to regulations posted on the tax department website. [read more]

Vietnam sacks senior environment official over toxic leak that caused mass killing of fish
21.06.2017 (The Straits Times) - HANOI (AFP) - A senior Vietnamese environment official has been fired for negligence over a toxic waste dump that killed tonnes of fish in a major environmental crisis last year, according to officials and state media.
Luong Duy Hanh, director of Vietnam's Environment Protection Management Department, is the latest official to be punished over the toxic leak, which was blamed on a multi-billion dollar steel plant run by the Taiwanese firm Formosa. [read more]

Upstream projects risk Mekong Delta disaster
16.06.2017 By Pratch Rujivanarom (The Nation) - FEARS are rising in the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam about food and social insecurity caused by hydropower dams and water-diversion projects planned or already started further upstream.
The delta has an extensive system of canals and green paddy fields that stretches for kilometres, creating a part of the world that seems blessed with abundance like a virtual Garden of Eden. Local people are down-to-earth, but troubled by the increasingly frequent and serious saltwater intrusion, which destroys their crops, while the riverbanks and seashore are eroding at an alarming rate.
One farmer in Kien Giang province, who asked to be known just as “Tron”, told reporters on a recent field trip that her farm was threatened by saltwater intrusion and erosion every year – and the problems seemed to be getting worse. [read more]

Vietnam's solar energy push draws investors
16.06.2017 (Nikkei Asian Review) - Vietnam's TTC Group is planning to sink about $1 billion into solar energy projects in a country still dependent on coal-fired thermal and hydro power for its power needs, with national electricity demand growing faster than 10% annually.
TTC Group, a sugar, energy and real estate conglomerate, said it plans to build as many as 20 solar parks with a total capacity of 1,000 megawatts by next year. The group executed a number of clean energy projects using sugarcane waste before moving into the solar sector. [read more]

Chemie-Tanker vor Vietnam havariert
12.06.2017 (Heute) - Der 168-Meter-Koloss ist vor der Insel Phú Quý auf Grund gelaufen: Er ist mit 30.000 Tonnen gefährlicher Chemikalien beladen.
Vor Vietnam ist am Samstag der Chemietanker "Chemroad Journey" mit einer Fracht von mehreren Tausend Tonnen gefährlicher Chemikalien vor der kleinen Insel Phú Quý auf Grund gelaufen.
Medienberichten zufolge soll die Chemroad Journey bereits deutliche Schieflage (15,5 Grad) haben. Die Behörden bereiten sich bereits auf eine mögliche Chemiekatastrophe vor, denn im Laderaum des Tankers befinden sich rund 30.000 Tonnen gefährlicher Chemikalien (Butanal, Ethylenglykol, Monoethanolamin und 2-Ethylhexanol), sowie hunderte Tonnen Treibstoff, wie "Der Standard" am Montag berichtet. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnamese rice labeled with foreign names sells better than domestic brands
12.06.2017 (UkrAgroConsult) - Vietnamese choose foreign rice not because the latter is better, but because Vietnamese enterprises don’t know how to build their brands, experts say.
According to VIBIZ, the market research and analysis website owned by Global Yoilo JSC, 64 percent of rice in the domestic market is Vietnamese but is labeled as foreign rice so that sellers can make higher profits.
Meanwhile, 53 percent of consumers say they like foreign rice grown in Thailand, Cambodia and Japan. [Weiterlesen]

Bad water linked to dialysis deaths in Vietnam, says Health Dept
11.06.2017 (The Star) - Hanoi: Poor water quality used in dialysis machines might have led to eight deaths in the largest fatal medical incident in Vietnam, said the Hoa Binh Province Department of Health.
The incident took place on May 29, when seven of the 18 patients undergoing dialysis at Hoa Binh hospital displayed symptoms of anaphylactic shock and died soon after. Another patient from the same group died last Sunday after multiple organ failure, raising the death count to eight. [read more]

Vietnam’s rice export price hits 3-year high
09.06.2017 (UkrAgroConsult) - The price of Vietnamese export rice has hit a three-year high thanks to increasing import demand and restricted supply.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the demand for Vietnam 5% broken rice has been rising, hitting US$390 per tonne in the first days of June, against US$360 - US$380 per tonne in late May.
This is the highest price since December 2014, the ministry said, attributing it to the rising global demand for rice imports, especially in the Asian region.
The export price rise has also led the paddy price in the domestic market to soar. A tonne of 5% broken rice in the domestic market stood between VND7.65 million (US$340) and US$7.75 million in early June, up by VND550,000 (US$24) per tonne against last month.
The global rice market has been heating up after top importing countries, such as Bangladesh and the Philippines, announced to import roughly 950,000 tonnes of rice recently. [read more]

Can Vietnam reform without the TPP?
08.06.2017 Author: Tran Van Hoa, Victoria University (East Asia Forum) - The withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) under President Donald Trump almost immediately after his inauguration has raised a number of national policy and reform issues for its other members, especially Vietnam.
Conceived first as a signature instrument of former president Barack Obama’s ‘pivot’ to Asia, the TPP — whose then 12 member countries comprise nearly 40 per cent of global GDP — was mandated to benefit all members. But to most analysts it was a strategic political instrument for the rebalance policy of the United States, not just a trade agreement. [read more]

Vietnam conglomerate plans US$1b solar parks project
08.06.2017 (The Business Times) - [HO CHI MINH CITY] Vietnam's TTC Group, a sugar, energy, real estate and tourism conglomerate, is planning to spend as much as US$1 billion on an ambitious plan to build one of the country's largest portfolio of solar projects in an effort to capitalize on the nation's growing power needs.
TTC's interest in solar marks an expansion into clean energy in a country that relies on hydropower for most of its renewable capacity. Vietnam is also facing a power gap. The country will need to invest US$74 billion in coal, gas, wind, solar and hydro power plants through 2025 as power demand doubles, Bloomberg New Energy Finance wrote in a report in March. [read more]

Vietnam Is Losing Economic Ground To China Due To Lack Of High-Skilled Worker
07.06.2017 Ralph Jennings (Forbes) - ... Vietnam has grown at an average 6.2% per year since 2000, gaining fame worldwide as a go-to place for export manufacturing, largely because of cheap labor. The minimum wage in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is just 3.9 million dong ($172) per month. But this advantage from one of the world’s fastest-growing economies looks like less of a good deal when you realize that 78% of the workforce has no academic qualification and just 9% have credentials from a university or higher. The lack of more skilled labor has become an increasingly obvious barrier to growth in value-added exports such as high-tech goods, which require advanced studies for mastery.
“While this has allowed Vietnam to maintain lower labor costs than its neighbors, especially China, it will also restrict the country’s ability to attract investments in high technological manufacturing,” professional services firm Healy Consultants Group says in a May 2017 report on the issue. [read more]

Boomland Vietnam
07.06.2017 (Börse-Online) - Nicht nur als Urlaubsland ist Vietnam einer der heißesten Tipps. Auch die Wirtschaft in dem asiatischen Land boomt. Unter Fondsmanagern gelten vietnamesische Aktien als einer der Geheimtipps. Die stabile ökonomische Entwicklung macht den Frontier Market zunehmend interessant für Investoren.
Allerdings ist die Lage nicht überall rosig. Obwohl die Wirtschaft boomt und einen Leistungsbilanzüberschuss aufweist, beträgt das Haushaltsdefizit sechs Prozent. Die Staatsschuldenquote liegt bei erträglichen 65 Prozent. [Weiterlesen]

Vietnam's Social Media Shaping New Environmentalism
06.06.2017 James Borton (Geopoliticalmonitor) - ... It was a turning point for Vietnam’s environmental and social activists, many who became first-time citizen reporters and posted their photos of tons of dead fish swept along a 125-mile coastline, devastating sea life and local economies dependent on fishing and tourism spanning several provinces from Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, and Quang Tri. With more than 35 million users, Facebook is rapidly becoming a lighting rod for environmental activism and sparking demands for improved environmental safeguards.
Hundreds of thousands of images of dead fish flooded social media following the incident. During last year’s central Vietnam industrial fish kill, internet censors blocked Facebook over the environmental hash tag, #IChooseFish, or the Vietnamese version, #toichonca. [read more]

Vietnam quickly becoming Asia’s latest property hotspot
06.06.2017 Summer Zhen (SCMP) - Vietnam is fast becoming the region’s hottest property market for Hong Kong and mainland China investors, as prices at home continue to go through the roof.
Alex Shen, a Hong Kong-based finance industry worker, agreed to buy a luxury three-bedroom apartment in a new district of Ho Chi Minh city last month for HK$3 million (US$385,000), and hopes to see his new asset appreciate quickly in value.
He has paid an initial deposit of HK$30,000, and will fly to Vietnam shortly to visit the project for the first time, and decide then if he plans to pay the rest.
“Home prices in Vietnam are still very cheap compared with Hong Kong or mainland China,” said Shen, “and with the local government keen on attracting buyers, through various stimulus measures, this looks like a big chance to win.” [read more]

7-Eleven will open its first Vietnam store in June
05.06.2017 (IGD) - Seven & I Holdings, which operates the largest chain of convenience stores in Japan, will enter Vietnam with its first store in Ho Chih Minh city.
Japanese business model will be applied in Vietnam. The first store will be in District 1, 2, 3 or Binh Thanh. [read more]

Spotify will Asiengeschäft mit Expansion nach Vietnam und Thailand ausbauen
01.06.2017 (IT-times) - STOCKHOM/SINGAPUR - Der schwedische Musik-Streaming-Dienst Spotify will sich den lukrativen Musikmarkt in Asien offenbar nicht entgehen lassen und schmiedet Pläne für einen Markteintritt in weitere Länder.
Die Schweden sollen bereits an Plänen für eine Ausweitung des Geschäftes in Asien arbeiten. [Weiterlesen]

As blast hits newly reopened Formosa Plastics plan, Catholics continue to be threatened and attacked
01.06.2017 (AsiaNews) - Hanoi  – A major explosion stopped production at a steel mill owned by Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group in Ha Tinh province, central Vietnam, the same that saw the worst environmental disaster in the country's history in April 2016. No casualties have been reported.
The deputy chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee, Duong Tat Thang, said that the incident was caused by congestion in the dust filter system of a lime kiln at the steel mill, which led to an increase in pressure, causing the blast. The incident occurred at around 9 pm on Tuesday, less than two days after the plant re-opened.
The incident polluted more than 200 kilometres of Vietnam’s coastline, and killed about 115 tonnes of fish. Hundreds of thousands of fishermen in four Vietnamese provinces were left jobless and without a source of income.
The Church has stood by the affected communities and has engaged in a number of actions to defend their rights. As a result, Catholics in the most affected areas have been targeted by Vietnamese authorities because of their protests against the government for failing to help the victims. [read more]

Explosion at Vietnamese Steel Plant
01.06.2017 (Financial Tribune) - An explosion rocked Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa Plastics Group's new steel plant in Vietnam late on Tuesday, a day after it resumed test operations for the first time since causing one of the country's worst environmental disasters.
"The so-called dust explosion was caused by the combustion of fine particles in the air as a result of an equipment malfunction," Chang Fu-ning, an executive vice president of Formosa Ha Tinh Steel, told Reuters.
The Formosa Ha Tinh Steel plant spilled toxic waste that polluted more than 200 km (125 miles) of Vietnam's coastline in 2016, devastating sea life and local economies dependent on fishing and tourism. [read more]

Explosion in wiedereröffneter Stahlfabrik in Vietnam
31.05.2017 (Westfällische Rundschau) - HANOI.  Kurz nach Wiedereröffnung einer Fabrik im Vietnamesischen Ha Tinh kam es zu einer Explosion. 2016 war aus der Fabrik Abwasser ins Meer gelangt.
Sie war nach einem Fischsterben geschlossen worden, nun hat eine Explosion eine erst kürzlich wiedereröffnete Stahlfabrik in Vietnam erschüttert. In dem Unternehmen Formosa Ha Tinh Steel in der nördlichen Provinz Ha Tinh sei ein Kalkofen explodiert, berichteten örtliche Medien am Mittwoch.
Im Frühjahr 2016 war aus der Fabrik unbehandeltes Abwasser ins Meer gelangt, wie die Behörden später feststellten. Hunderte Tonnen Fisch verendeten damals. Die Fabrik war erst seit Montag wieder in Betrieb. [Weiterlesen]

Police-Hired ‘Thugs’ Beat Vietnamese Anti-Formosa Catholics
31.05.2017 (RFA) - Hundreds of “thugs” hired by authorities in Vietnam’s central Nghe An province over the weekend severely beat a group of Catholic parishioners, including women and children, that had protested the government’s handling of a toxic waste spill, sending dozens to the hospital, according to sources.
Members of Phu Yen and Van Thai sub-parishes, under Song Ngoc parish in Nghe An’s Quynh Luu district, told RFA’s Vietnamese Service they were attacked after gathering at the Son Hai commune People’s Committee on May 28 to retrieve a fellow parishioner who had been detained earlier by police. [read more]

Taiwan steel plant opens in Vietnam after fish deaths
30.05.2017 (Channel NewsAsia) - HANOI: A Taiwanese steel firm behind a toxic waste dump that killed tonnes of fish in Vietnam last year started operations on Monday (May 29), state media in Hanoi reported.
The incident was one of the worst environmental disasters in Vietnam, decimating livelihoods along the central coast and sparking angry protests that continue today.
"If any incident occurs then we will stop operations immediately," said Hoang Duong Tung, deputy director of Vietnam's Environment Administration, quoted by VNA.
Fishermen have continued to protest in central Vietnam, demanding greater compensation for the disaster, while some say they have still not been paid. [read more]

Vietnams Kampf gegen den Klimawandel
28.05.2017 (Inforadio) - Mehr als 245 Millionen Menschen werden weltweit mit Reis aus dem Mekong-Delta versorgt. Das macht Vietnam zum zweitgrößten Reisexporteur der Welt. Doch die Küstenregion kämpft wie kaum eine andere mit den Folgen des Klimawandels, die auch die Reisernte bedrohen.  Im Gespräch mit Gabriele Heuser berichtet Jochem Lange, Landesdirektor der GIZ in Vietnam, über die derzeitigen Herausforderungen und Aussichten für das Land.
Durch den stetigen Anstieg des Meeresspiegels leiden in Vietnam einige Küstenabschnitte inzwischen unter Erosionen von bis zu 30 Metern im Jahr. Die Mangrovenwälder entlang der Küste, die das Hinterland vor Überschwemmungen und Stürmen schützen, gehen dramatisch zurück, unter anderem weil die Bäume als Brennholz genutzt wurden.  Verschärfend kam 2016 im Mekong-Delta die schlimmste Dürre seit 90 Jahren hinzu. Gemeinsam mit dem steigenden Meeresspiegel trug  sie zu einer starken Versalzung in den Reisanbaugebieten bei. [Weiterlesen]

Can Vietnam Maintain Its Economic Success?
27.05.2017 By James Birkett (The Diplomat) - In order to keep up it remarkable progress, Vietnam will need to grapple with pervasive corruption. ... Vietnam’s economic success partly reflects circumstances. The end of the U.S. trade embargo in 1994 and the renewal of diplomatic relations in 1995 was a highly significant event for the country – the United States is now Vietnam’s largest export market. Its proximity to China is also a key asset. Vietnam has begun to be marketed as a cost-effective alternative manufacturing base to its larger neighbor, helped by its easy integration into existing supply chains planned around southern China.
The challenge for Vietnam is to sustain this momentum while dealing with some difficult structural limitations, a task made harder by the withdrawal of certain forms of development funding designed for poorer economies. The foremost issue is corruption, which is consistently ranked as a major problem facing companies doing business in the country. [read more]

Ohne Trumps USA: TPP-Abkommen soll gerettet werden
21.05.2017 (T-Online) - Nach dem Nein von US-Präsident Donald Trump zum weltweit größten Freihandelsabkommen TPP wollen die verbleibenden elf Staaten das Abkommen alleine fortführen. Wie Neuseelands Wirtschaftsminister Todd McClay nach einem Treffen mit seinen Amtskollegen in Hanoi mitteilte, wolle man damit gemeinsam die regionale ökonomische Zusammenarbeit stärken. "Dieses Ergebnis ist besser, als wir erhofft hatten", sagte McClay am Sonntag. Es gehe um mehr Wachstum und um "das Schaffen neuer Möglichkeiten für Arbeiter, Familien, Bauern, Geschäftsleute und Verbraucher". [Weiterlesen]

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Trade ministers commit to go ahead without United States
21.05.2017 (Firstpost) - Hanoi: Pacific Rim trade ministers meeting in Vietnam committed on Sunday to move ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact after the United States pulled out.
New Zealand trade minister Todd McClay said the remaining 11 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries are open to others joining, provided they accept the trade agreement's high standards on labour and environmental protection. He said the door remains open to the United States, even after president Donald Trump withdrew from the pact in January, saying he prefers bilateral free trade deals.
The 11 countries represent roughly 13.5 percent of the global economy, according to the World Bank. [read more]

Vietnam maintains ban on deep-water fishing in polluted area
18.05.2017 (AP) - HANOI, Vietnam -- Vietnam is maintaining the ban on deep-water fishing in four central provinces one year after a Taiwanese-owned steel plant discharged toxins into the sea and caused the country's worst environmental disaster.
State-run Tuoi Tre newspaper on Thursday quoted Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh as saying fishermen should not fish for seafood in deep water within 20 nautical miles from the coast in the four provinces until the Ministry of Health finds it safe to eat and maritime resources restored.
The $10.6 billion steel complex, which includes a steel plant, a power plant and a deep sea port in Ha Tinh province owned by Formosa Plastics Group, discharged toxins such as cyanide and phenol that exceeded allowable limits during a test run in April last year. [read more]

Vietnam's low-cost automaker Thaco set for growth spurt
16.05.2017 Atsushi Tomiyama, Nikkei staff writer (Nikkei Asian Review) - HANOI -- Truong Hai Auto, known as Thaco, is poised to take off as the Vietnamese automobile market's growth accelerates.
The largest local automaker in Vietnam manufactures vehicles for Mazda Motor, Kia Motors and Peugeot using imported parts, as well as building its own trucks and buses.
Vietnam's new-car sales surpassed the 300,000 vehicle mark for the first time in 2016, indicating that full-blown growth is around the corner. [read more]

Asia rice buyers turn to Vietnam
12.05.2017 (UkrAgroConsult) - Buyers of Asian rice turned to Vietnam this week as prices remained firm in Thailand and India, traders said on Thursday.
Thai benchmark five percent broken rice edged up to $387-$392 a tonne, free-on-board (FOB) Bangkok, from $380-$390 last week. Prices are expected to remain high for the next one to three weeks, traders said.
Thailand and Vietnam are the world’s second and third biggest rice exporters. [read more]

Vietnams Schweinebauern leiden unter dem Embargo der Chinesen
12.05.2017 (DW) - China war der wichtigste Abnehmer von vietnamesischem Schweinefleisch. Doch es gibt politische Querelen und seit einem halben Jahr ein Importstopp. Viele der Schweinebetriebe kämpfen um ihre Existenz. [Weiterlesen]

Lawmakers Urged To Promote Proper Solutions To Climate Change
12.05.2017 (Bernama) -- HO CHI MINH CITY - Delegates to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Asia-Pacific conference on response to climate change have stressed the need to raise lawmakers' awareness of linkages among climate change, gender inequality and health care, thereby building laws to promote appropriate solutions to climate change response, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Asia-Pacific conference discussing response to climate change and actions of lawmakers to realise sustainable development goals is taking place here from Thursday to Saturday. [read more]

Holz-Schmuggler zahlen Schmiergeld an Vietnam
11.05.2017 (Tageblatt) - Umweltschützer werfen der vietnamesischen Regierung und dem Militär des Landes vor, für Schmiergeldzahlungen über den Schmuggel von Holz aus Kambodscha nach Vietnam hinwegzusehen.
So sollten die landeseigenen Wälder geschützt werden, heißt es in einem Bericht der britischen Organisation EIA, der am Montag veröffentlicht wurde. Seit November 2016 seien in diesem Zusammenhang bereits mehr als 13 Millionen Dollar (11,79 Millionen Euro) an Bestechungsgeldern bezahlt worden.
Schätzungsweise seien im selben Zeitraum 300.000 Kubikmeter Rundholz von Kambodscha nach Vietnam geschmuggelt worden, hieß es in dem Bericht. [Weiterlesen]

Logging Corruption in Vietnam and Cambodia
10.05.2017 By Michele Penna (Asia Sentinel) - In a new report that promises to make waves all the way to Europe, the watchdog Environmental Investigation Agency takes aim at Vietnam’s timber processing industry and the role it plays in the illicit timber trade from Cambodia. The study comes just days before Vietnam and the European Union are meant to finalize their discussions for a Voluntary Protection Agreement (VPA), a deal critics say would spell doom for Cambodia’s environment.
That Cambodian timber ends up in Vietnam’s factories is one of Pnom Penh’s worst kept secrets. Activists and journalists – not to mention the authorities – have always known that business interests hailing from Vietnam scoop up valuable timber across the border, pay a pittance to locals and resell it overseas. [read more]

Das ist der traurigste Bär auf unserer schönen Welt!
10.05.2017 (Heute) - Vier Pfoten enthüllt schockierende Bilder aus vietnamesischen Gallebären-Farmen. Dort werden die Tiere täglich "abgezapft".
Die vietnamesische Regierung hat zwar bereits im Jahr 2005 Maßnahmen gegen diese grausame Praxis ergriffen, indem sie den Verkauf und Konsum von Bärengalle verboten hat, doch es leiden immer noch etwa 1.300 Bären unter schlimmsten Bedingungen auf rund 400 vietnamesischen Bärenfarmen.
Die meisten Tiere fristen ihr Leben halb verhungert und dehydriert in engen Metallkäfigen. [Weiterlesen]

ADB facing pressure to change
09.05.2017 Rintaro Tobita and Jun Endo (Nikkei Asian Review) - TOKYO -- As the Asian Development Bank finds its regional hegemony threatened by the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, members of the ADB are pushing for internal reform.
Although Asia's infrastructure demand amounts to $1.7 trillion annually, ADB member nations are unable to keep pace. Vietnam, which is dealing with growing budget deficits, is approaching a self-imposed borrowing limit. [read more]

Ostdeutsche Firmen wollen Asien erschließen / Germany Trade & Invest organisiert Unternehmerreise nach Vietnam
08.05.2017 (PolitikExpress) - In der Woche vom 08. bis 12. Mai reist eine Gruppe ostdeutscher Unternehmer in Begleitung von Iris Gleicke, der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für die neuen Bundesländer, nach Vietnam. Die Delegationsreise wird von Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) organisiert und durchgeführt. Die Teilnehmer stammen aus den unterschiedlichsten Branchen. Mitunter sind Unternehmen aus den Bereichen Elektronik, Entsorgung, Kosmetik, aber auch Dienstleistungen wie Consulting oder Bildung dabei.
Zwischen Vietnam und Deutschland bestehen seit vielen Jahren enge bilaterale Wirtschaftsbeziehungen. Diese dürften von der 2018 geplanten Umsetzung des Freihandelsabkommens zwischen der EU und Vietnam zusätzlich profitieren. [Weiterlesen]

Asian development lender takes stock as U.S. policy shifts
07.05.2017 (The Asahi Shimbun) - YOKOHAMA--Accelerating growth in Southeast and South Asia can help make up for slowing momentum in China but it requires smart investments in infrastructure and technology, the president of the Asian Development Bank said Saturday as the regional lender started a meeting of its board of governors.
The unstated backdrop to the meeting is Japan's continued strong role in the ADB at a time when the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has adopted an "America first" stance and China is pushing ahead with its own infrastructure initiatives. [read more]

ASEAN Water Partnership - The great Mekong River
06.05.2017 By Ambassador Amado Tolentino (The Manila Times) - THE Mekong River is the twelfth longest river in the world at 4,173 kilometers. The headwaters originate in the Tibetan region of China and the river then flows through Yunan province in China into five Asean countries: Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.
It was the United Nations which drew attention to the potential for integrated development in the lower Mekong basin as early as the 1950s. A Mekong Committee was set up by Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and the then Republic of South Vietnam in 1957 “to promote, coordinate, supervise and control the planning and investigations of water resource development projects.”
What approach should be taken if and when the water flow from the Mekong River’s source markedly lessened or diminished because of the gigantic dam projects of China to divert the flow for its own use to open up agricultural areas to attain food security for its overgrown population? [read more]

Rising sea level a threat to Vietnamese farmers
05.05.2017 (Al Jazeera) - As sea levels rise, so the salt water is spreading further inland leading to saline intrusion and coastal erosion in Vietnam.
The Mekong River Delta is amongst the most vulnerable regions in South Vietnam. It is home to more than 17 million people and produces around half of the country's rice harvest.
The Vietnamese government has stated that 40 percent of the delta could be submerged if sea levels rise by one meter in decades to come, as levels are currently rising at the rate of 3mm per year. [read more]

Partnership For Green Global Goals Discussed In Hanoi
05.05.2017 (Bernama) - HANOI -- A workshop was held here on Thursday by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) and the Danish Embassy as part of efforts to shape the new initiative "Partnering for the Green Global Goals 2030", Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.
The event gathered policy makers, scientists, businesses and representatives of the public and private sectors in Vietnam and other countries. Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tornaes also attended. [read more]

Formosa to invest US$1bn in Vietnamese subsidiary
05.05.2017 By Kuo Chia-erh (Taipei Times) - Major members of the Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團), the nation’s largest industrial conglomerate, yesterday said they are planning to invest US$1 billion in its subsidiary in Vietnam.
The fund is to accelerate construction of a US$10.5 billion steel plant owned by the subsidiary, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp (台塑河靜鋼鐵興業).
The group’s plan was made nearly a year after Formosa Ha Tinh Steel was found to have polluted more than 200km of coastline in four Vietnamese provinces in April last year, which sparked public outrage across the nation. [read more]

Hanoi Health Authorities Warn of Dengue Outbreak Possibility
05.05.2017 (Sputnik) - MOSCOW – The Viet Nam News reported that the Hanoi health authorities called on the relevant agencies to remove waste water and take measures aimed at killing mosquitoes, as well as urged local residents to maintain sanitation and fight against mosquitoes.
According to the media outlet, the health experts warned that a number of unseasonable rains had created conditions for the breeding of mosquitoes and consequently for the spread of the fever. [read more]

Vietnam can leverage the ADB and AIIB to its advantage
04.05.2017 (Nikkei Asian Review) - Asia has two multinational lenders on the scene -- the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a situation some view as a recipe for rivalry. Others, however, see it as an opportunity.
Nguyen Ngoc Dong, deputy minister at Vietnam's Ministry of Transport, recently spoke with The Nikkei about how the Southeast Asian nation can maximize its links with the two banks. [read more]

ADB guides Vietnam, Cambodia to greater growth
04.05.2017 Rintaro Tobita (Nikkei Asian Review) - The Asian Development Bank funds physical infrastructure across the region, but unlocking a country's growth potential takes more than roads and railways. That's why in developing countries, the lender also focuses on education and job training, as well as on introducing state-of-the-art information and technology.
An estimated 1.2 billion people in Asia remain in poverty, defined as living on less than $3.10 a day. We visited Vietnam and Cambodia for a firsthand look at the ADB's ongoing efforts to spread prosperity. [read more]

Christenverfolgung in Vietnam
Vortrag und Diskussion mit Peter Kinast (Open Doors Deutschland)
13. Juni 2015

Im Weltverfolgungsindex (WVI) von 2015 liegt Vietnam mit 68 Punkten auf Platz 16. 2014 befand sich Vietnam mit 65 Punkten auf Platz 18.

Christenverfolgung in Vietnam Vortrag und Diskussion mit Peter Kinast

Peter Kinast von Open Doors Deutschland, der Vietnam besuchte und das Leiden der Gläubigen hautnah erlebte, wird vom schweren Los der verfolgten Christen in Vietnam berichten.  [Weiterlesen] - [tiếng Việt]

* Menschenrechte / Human Rights  
Letter from a father: Demand the Vietnamese Authority to review dead penalty for my son Nguyen Van Chuong
19.12.2014 (Dân Làm Báo) - My name is Nguyen Truong Chinh, born in 1945, I am currently residing at Hamlet 1 Binh Dan Village, Kim Thanh, Hai Duong Province. My telephone number is 01626627673 (+84 1626627673). I am writing this letter in desperation, asking you for help by calling on the Vietnamese Government to review my son's - Nguyen Van Chuong - case.
Having a son on dead penalty and soon to be executed, like many normal parents, we could not described the pains and heart aches we have endured in the last 8 years to see my son was unjustly put in jail and was constantly tortured for the crime he did not commit. My son was wrongly accused of murder a police major in Dinh Vu District, Hai Phong City on July 14, 2007 at 21:00 hours. However, at the time the homicide occurred, my son Nguyen Van Chuong was at Hamlet 1 Binh Dan Village, Kim Thanh, Hai Duong Province - our home village which was 40km away from the crime scene, visited friends and relatives as he normally did every weekend. There many alibis and witnesses are willing to prove my son's where about at the time the homicide occurred. [read more]

* Politik - Demokratie  
Streit um Rohstoffe: China baut vierte künstliche Insel
28.11.2014 (Der Spiegel) - Hamburg - Im Südchinesischen Meer lagern große Mengen an Rohstoffen. Jetzt zeigen Satellitenbilder, dass China dort erneut eine künstliche Insel angelegt hat - es ist mittlerweile die vierte. Landebahn und Hafen sind bereits zu erkennen. 
Am Fiery Cross Reef nahe der Spratly-Inseln haben Baggerschiffe demnach in den vergangenen vier Monaten eine drei Kilometer lange und bis zu 300 Meter breite Sandinsel geschaffen. Das Riff habe zuvor großteils unter Wasser gelegen. In den vergangenen Monaten hatte China bereits am Johnson South Reef, am Cuateron Reef und am Gaven Reef künstliche Inseln aufgeschüttet. [Weiterlesen]

* Menschenrechte / Human Rights  
Vietnam: Pervasive Deaths, Injuries in Police Custody
Cover Deaths in Custody and Police Brutality in Vietnam
16.09.2014 (HRW) - Bangkok – Police throughout Vietnam abuse people in their custody, in some cases leading to death, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Vietnamese government should take immediate action to end suspicious deaths in custody and torture of detainees by police, Human Rights Watch said.

The 96 page report, “Public Insecurity: Deaths in Custody and Police Brutality in Vietnam,” highlights cases of police brutality that resulted in deaths and serious injuries of people in custody between August 2010 and July 2014. Human Rights Watch documented abuses in 44 of Vietnam’s 58 provinces, throughout the country and in all five of the country’s major cities [read more]
read the full report