Japan’s Tokyu Corp. and Becamex to develop new city and transport infrastructure in Binh Duong

Japan’s Tokyu Corporation and Becamex IDC Corporation on Wednesday clinched a cooperation memorandum on traffic system development in Binh Duong, after the two sides had got licensed to develop an urban area in the province.

Takahashi Toshiyuki, executive officer of Tokyu Corporation, said the memorandum was aimed at developing a modern bus transit system and possibly a rail line connected to the inter-provincial transport system between Binh Duong and other areas in the Southern Key Economic Zone.

According to Toshiyuki, Binh Duong has a strategic position as a center of the Southern Key Economic Zone, with an annual GDP growth of 14-15%, far exceeding the nation’s average level. Despite a population of 1.6 million over the total of 24 million residents in the southern region, the public transport infrastructure there is still full of shortcomings.

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PVN blasts Chinese oil firm for international bid invitation

Jun 28, 2012. China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC)’s bid invitation for nine oil and gas blocks in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam is an illegal and valueless act, stated the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PVN)
“PVN affirms the area where CNOOC puts out for international bidding lies entirely within Vietnam’s 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. This is absolutely not a disputed area,” PVN general director Do Van Hau was quoted by Vietnam News Agency as saying on Wednesday.

CNOOC on June 23 announced the invitation of international bids for nine oil and gas blocks under the 2012 Exploration Production Cooperation with foreign companies. The total area of these blocks is 160,129 square kilometers.

However, it is shown that these blocks lie deeply on the continental shelf of Vietnam, overlapping blocks from 128 to 132 and from 145 to 156 where PVN are operating.

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Investment attraction key for Mekong Delta

CAN THO, May 2, 2012. More policies are needed to draw foreign investors to the Mekong Delta where investment activities have still been insignificant compared to its economic contribution and potential, heard the conference ‘The Mekong Delta’s investment and development promotion’ held in Can Tho City last Friday.

The Mekong Delta is known as the country’s biggest farming and aquatic products producer and exporter contributing 18-19% to the national gross domestic product (GDP) annually.

Tran Bac Ha, chairman of Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), said the delta’s potential has yet to be fully tapped to serve the country’s economic development. “For instance, the planned rice, seafood and fruit production schemes have been deployed for years but their economic value is still very low. Besides, foreign investors find the area unattractive due to its poor traffic infrastructure system,” Ha stated.

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Exxon Makes Find off Vietnam’s central coast

HOUSTON, Oct 25, 2011. Exxon Mobil Corp. said it found oil and gas off Vietnam’s central coast, raising hopes that the South Asian nation will be able to reverse a decline in fossil-fuel production and exports.

Exxon said it drilled its second exploratory well off the coast of Danang City in August and found hydrocarbons. A company spokesman said Tuesday that data from the well, located in an area known as Block 119, are being analyzed.

Exxon’s discovery is important for Vietnam, which is trying to boost its oil and gas production as the country’s aging fields fail to meet growing domestic demand. Vietnam, a net oil exporter and the third-largest oil producer in South Asia, started awarding exploration rights in 2004 to companies from the U.S., Canada and India.

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Vietnam will be a very attractive manufacturing base: IFC Regional Manager Simon Andrews

International Finance Corporation (IFC), an arm of the World Bank, has committed this year to investing US$ 800 million in Vietnam, more than double the amount in 2010. The Saigon Times Daily spoke with Simon Andrews, IFC Regional Manager for Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand, on the company’s investment priorities in Vietnam. Excerpts:

The Saigon Times Daily: What are the investment priorities of IFC in Vietnam?

Simon Andrews: It is really around economic development. Our primary mission is to support the development of the private sector, since this is a sector that creates jobs and opportunities for people. We’re involved in three areas. One is in banking. By developing commercial micro-finance models, and increasing banks’ lending capacity, we help improve the access to finance for individuals and small and mid-sized companies.

The second area is infrastructure, both physical infrastructure and soft infrastructure. Over the next ten years Vietnam probably needs to invest about US$200 billion in building roads, ports, power stations, and water treatment facilities. And about half this amount of money will need to come from the private sector. So Vietnam has to develop new models for financing those kinds of projects. PPP, which is beginning to move, can be a solution. Within the second area is soft infrastructure and we invest in projects that can help improve the quality and access to education, the quality and access to health services.

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U.S. says East Sea events “troubling” after Vietnam meeting

Jun 18, 2011. Stability in East Sea is in the “common interests” of the international community, the U.S. and Vietnam said in a joint statement in which the American side referred to “troubling incidents” recently in the area.

Tensions between Vietnam and China have escalated, with the Vietnamese government accusing Chinese vessels of harassing Vietnam Oil & Gas Group survey ships twice within the last month. A Chinese fishing boat “tangled with the cables” of an exploration ship while being “chased” by armed Vietnamese ships on June 9, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

“The maintenance of peace, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea is in the common interests of the international community,” the U.S. and Vietnamese governments said in the joint statement, which followed yesterday’s meeting in Washington of the “U.S.-Vietnam Political, Security and Defense Dialogue.”

Jim Webb, a Virginia Democrat who is chairman of the Senate subcommittee on East Asian and Public Affairs and a former U.S. Secretary of the Navy, and James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, during the past week submitted a resolution condemning what they described as “the use of force” by Chinese vessels.

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