Archive for the ‘Ho Chi Minh City’ Category

Vietnam: Official Suspended For Alleged Bribery

November 19, 2008

A Vietnamese official has been suspended from his job while authorities investigate whether he accepted bribes in connection with a Japanese-funded highway project, state media reported Wednesday.

Huynh Ngoc Sy, vice director of Ho Chi Minh City’s transportation department was overseeing a highway project that allegedly received bribes from Japan-based Pacific Consults International.

Four executives from Pacific Consults International pleaded guilty in a Tokyo court last week to paying $820,000 in bribes to Sy in exchange for contracts in the highway project. They said the payments were made in 2003 and 2004.

According to a report on the VietNamNet news Web site, Vietnamese authorities suspended Sy from his job on Wednesday while they conduct their own investigation into the bribery charges.

Officials at the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee were not available for comment.

Last week, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung promised Vietnamese lawmakers that the government would investigate the case thoroughly.

Corruption is rampant in Vietnam and the ruling Communist Party has vowed to make corruption one of its top priorities. Dozens of senior government officials have been jailed for graft in recent years.

Japan is Vietnam’s largest aid donor and has committed to giving the country $1.1 billion in aid this year, according to Vietnamese government figures. (AP)

Vietnam: Jobs Disappearing In Asian Tiger

November 12, 2008

The Philippine Embassy in Hanoi warned jobseekers against unauthorized recruiters promising work in Vietnam after it received reports that certain Filipinos based in Ho Chi Minh City have recruited workers from the Philippines for jobs in that city.

However, upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh without valid job contracts, work visas, and work permits, the victims found out that there were no employers and no jobs waiting for them.

The “recruiters,” who allegedly earned from the overpriced plane tickets paid by the victims, leave the recruits to fend for themselves.

By Pia Lee-Brago
Philippine Star

Philippine Ambassador to Vietnam Laura del Rosario said concerned members of the Filipino community in the city brought the matter to the embassy’s attention and noted that Vietnam’s labor market may be affected by the global recession.

The victims allegedly pawned their properties and availed themselves of loans to be able to pay the Manila-Ho Chi Minh City-Manila plane ticket arranged for them by recruiters.

The victims paid from P25,000 to P30,000 per person for the plane ticket, which is around $535 to $640. 

The airfare of Cebu Pacific and PAL ranges from $150 to $400 only.

The embassy urged all Filipinos who want to work in Vietnam to go through the proper channels of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA) for proper documentation to avoid being victimized by illegal recruiters.

As in all other countries, proper documentation (i.e., valid contract, work visa, and work permit) is a must for foreign workers in Vietnam.

A majority of Filipinos working in Vietnam occupy executive and managerial positions in fields such as construction and engineering, accountancy, banking and investment, education, garment/textile industry, hotel and restaurant management, food and beverage, marketing, furniture industry, medicine, and foreign investment projects.

Vietnam Farmers Sue Vedan for Damage to Aquaculture

October 23, 2008

By Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen

Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) — Vietnamese farmers will sue Vedan Vietnam Co. a monosodium-glutamate maker, for damaging aquaculture by releasing untreated waste into a river, Vietnam News reported, citing Nguyen Van Phung, vice president of the Ho Chi Minh City Farmers Association.

Many farmers are now in debt after more than 300 hectares (741 acres) of land in Thanh An commune in Ho Chi Minh City that farmed clams and oysters have become severely polluted and can no longer be cultivated, the report said, citing Phung.

The Vietnamese government earlier this month suspended Vedan Vietnam’s operations and fined the company for improperly discharging effluent and chemicals into the Thi Vai River near Ho Chi Minh City. Vedan Vietnam is a unit of Hong Kong-based Vedan International Holdings Ltd.

On Vietnam factory floor, worries grow about global downturn

October 19, 2008

VAN LAM, Vietnam (AFP) – The whirr of 200 sewing machines fills a Vietnamese factory hall, where workers and bosses hope desperately that the wheels will keep spinning once the global downturn hits home.

Row upon row of workers, most of them women, are busy making handbags, backpacks and briefcases for customers as far away as Germany, Hungary and Mexico in this plant, set amid rice fields on the outskirts of Hanoi.

               File photo shows workers sewing on a production ... 
Workers sewing on a production line at a garment factory in Ho Chi Minh City. The whirr of 200 sewing machines fills a Vietnamese factory hall, where workers and bosses hope desperately that the wheels will keep spinning once the global downturn hits home.Photo:/AFP

They are the backbone of Vietnam’s post-war success story, part of an army of low-wage labourers who have transformed a poverty stricken command economy since Vietnam in the 1980s embraced the Asian model of export-led growth.

For more than a decade, textile and apparel exports have helped drive national economic growth rates above 7.5 percent — lifting the fortunes of businesses such as the Ladoda Company, whose staff grew to 400 from 15 in 16 years.

But now — with the dark clouds of recession gathering over the United States, Europe and many of Vietnam’s other export markets — many of the workers here have started to worry that tougher times may lie ahead.

“I heard on TV and the radio that the world economy is in bad shape,” said 33-year-old Nguyen Thi Thuy, who supports two children with her performance based wage of around 1.7 million dong (100 dollars) a month.

“I am sure it will affect Vietnam and our company in some way.”

It is a concern shared by the management of the company, although both Thuy and her boss said that through hard work and innovation this family-run business hoped to dodge the bullet of a global downturn.

“We are worried,” admitted deputy…

Read the rest:
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/081019/world/
finance_banking_vietnam_exports_1

Vietnam rice troubles could affect region

March 20, 2008
by Cecil Morella 

LOS BANOS, Philippines (AFP) – Vietnam‘s farm sector is reeling from outbreaks of pests and disease that could threaten its neighbours including China, according to one of the world’s leading rice experts.

A vendor puts rice into a bag for sale at a rice market in Ho ...
A vendor puts rice into a bag for sale at a rice market in Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam’s farm sector is reeling from outbreaks of pests and disease that could threaten its neighbours including China, according to one of the world’s leading rice experts.
(AFP/File/Hoang Dinh Nam)

Hanoi and the world scientific community have yet to find a way to prevent another crop failure following a virus attack on rice crops last year, said Robert Zeigler, head of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Vietnam is the fifth-largest rice producer and number three exporter in the world, and last year’s troubles hit some of the best rice-growing areas, Zeigler told AFP in an interview at the Institute, just south of Manila.

“The fact is, they got taken by surprise and they had some significant yield losses that they were just not….

An elderly woman sits sorting rice at a rice market in Ho Chi ...
An elderly woman sits sorting rice at a rice market in Ho Chi Minh city on March 6. Vietnam’s farm sector is reeling from outbreaks of pests and disease that could threaten its neighbours including China, according to one of the world’s leading rice experts.(AFP/File/Hoang Dinh Nam)

Read the rest:
 http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080320/wl_asia_afp/foodcommodityricevietnam
chinapest_080320061706

Related:
Inflation and Food Shortages?

Vietnam sentences Australian heroin trafficker to death

March 19, 2008

HANOI (AFP) – An appeal court in Vietnam has sentenced an Vietnamese-Australian woman to death for heroin trafficking after prosecutors appealed against her original life sentence, a court clerk said Wednesday.
A policeman guards Ho Chi Minh City courthouse, seen in 2003. ... 
A policeman guards Ho Chi Minh City courthouse, seen in 2003. An appeal court in the city has sentenced an Vietnamese-Australian woman to death for heroin trafficking on Wednesday.(AFP/File/Hoang Dinh Nam)

Jasmine Luong, 34, was handed the death penalty on Tuesday by the court in Ho Chi Minh City, he said on condition of anonymity.

Luong, who was born in Vietnam, was arrested at Tan Son Nhat airport outside Ho Chi Minh City in February last year as she preparing to fly to Sydney with nearly 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) of heroin, according to a police source.

“She had been hired to transport those heroin packs, hidden in her luggage and shoes,” the source said.

Several Australians of Vietnamese origin have been arrested over the past few years for trafficking heroin from Ho Chi Minh City to Australia. Of those, some were given life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080319/wl_asia_
afp/vietnamaustraliajusticecrime
drugs_080319065639

Japan’s Navy Involved in 2nd Collision in Vietnam, Kyodo Says

March 4, 2008

By Stuart Biggs

March 4 (Bloomberg) — A Vietnamese cargo ship collided with two Japanese destroyers, the Matsuyuki and Hamayuki, docked in Ho Chi Minh City port in Vietnam, a day after the Hamayuki collided with another boat in the same port, Kyodo News said.

The Vietnam-registered Hailong-45 hit the Matsuyuki at 9:27 a.m. Japan time today and collided with the Hamayuki two minutes later, Kyodo reported, citing unidentified officials at Japan’s Defense Ministry. There were no reports of injuries, Kyodo said.

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http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601101&sid=aZZbTWF3poKI

Vietnam parade marks 40 years since Tet Offensive

February 2, 2008

HANOI (AFP) – Vietnam on Friday marked 40 years since the Tet Offensive with colourful military parades of its veterans and re-enactments of the surprise wave of urban assaults that marked a turning point in the war.

Veterans march during a parade held at the former presidential ... 

Communist Party leaders and military chiefs watched as former guerrillas and regular soldiers filed past Ho Chi Minh City‘s Reunification Palace, formerly the presidential palace of the US-backed Saigon regime ousted in 1975.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080201/lf_afp/
vietnammilitarytetoffensiveanniversary_
080201210115

Veterans of the Vietnam war march in rememberance. Vietnam on ... 
Veterans of the Vietnam war march in rememberance. Vietnam on Friday marked 40 years since the Tet Offensive with colourful military parades of its veterans and re-enactments of the surprise wave of urban assaults that marked a turning point in the war.
(AFP) 

Cal senators call for release of U.S. citizen detained in Vietnam

January 26, 2008

WASHINGTON — California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are calling on the prime minister of Vietnam to release a U.S. citizen from Sacramento who has been imprisoned since November.

Nguyen Quoc Quan and five colleagues were arrested in Ho Chi Minh City when authorities found them preparing to circulate pamphlets on behalf of a California-based pro-democracy group that Vietnam considers a terrorist organization.

Read the rest:
http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2008/01/26//news/state/
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Vietnamese Workers Strike Foreign Owned Factories

January 4, 2008

HANOI (AFP)–About 2,000 workers have gone on strike at a Taiwan-owned textile plant in southern Vietnam, complaining their wages are not keeping pace with rising consumer prices, a labor official said Friday.

The workers walked out on Thursday from the CCH Top company plant in Ho Chi Minh City and kept striking Friday, claiming a new basic monthly salary from Jan. 1 of VND1,070,000 (about US$67) was too low.

“With the rapid hikes in goods prices…the salary is not enough for living,” said workers’ representative Pham Dao Nguyen.

The industrial action was one of several this week in foreign-owned plants in Vietnam, a low-wage economy of 84 million and a major producer of textiles, garments and footwear as well as electronics and food products.

Workplace disputes have risen in recent years, with many strikes before the traditional Tet lunar New Year, which is in mid-February this year, when prices go up and workers need more money to travel home to their families.

Inflation topped 8% last year, and consumer prices jumped over 12% in December compared to the same month in 2006.

The communist government said it has raised the minimum wage from Jan. 1 for laborers to VND540,000 and to at least VND800,000 for workers in foreign- invested enterprises, the state-run Vietnam News Agency reported.

Several more strikes hit foreign-owned factories in the country’s south this week, labor and company officials said.

Some 1,480 textile workers went on strike at the South Korean-owned SH Vina Company in Long An province Wednesday, but workers were back Friday after salaries were raised to an average of VND1.4 million, an official said.

About 500 workers at the Japanese-owned Mitsuba M-Tech also went on strike Wednesday, asking for travel and accommodation allowances, and returned Thursday after winning a VND140,000 monthly allowance, said a company official.

About 1,200 workers at the Taiwan-Vietnamese Duc Thanh II footwear plant in Dong Nai went on strike Wednesday but returned Friday after the company raised monthly wages by VND150,000, a company offical said.

The Tuoi Tre newspaper also reported strikes by hundreds of workers in the Tung Kuang Company in