SOEs awash in debts

Nov 25, 2012. The outlook for the State corporate sector is never so dreadful after a report sent by the Ministry of Finance to National Assembly deputies in Hanoi this week unveils the black hole of crippling debts that will likely push many State-owned groups to the verge of bankruptcy. The path to survival looks rocky, and is only to open up in case macro-economic stability is achieved in the coming time.

As covered in local media, the total liabilities of 91 State groups and corporations amounted to nearly VND1,300 trillion last year, or around US$63 billion, a staggering increase of nearly 19% from the previous year. Such an amount of debts, says Sai Gon Tiep Thi, was equivalent to 65% of the national gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011.

Topping the list of debtors is PetroVietnam with nearly VND287 trillion, followed by Vietnam Electricity Group with over VND257 trillion, reports Tuoi Tre.

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Weekly Update Dec 3: VBF, Direct Selling, Governors’ Ball, Annual General Meeting, Customs Dialogue


Mo, Dec 3 Vietnam Business Forum
Fr, Dec 7 Roundtable • Direct Selling in Vietnam
Sa, Dec 8 AmCham Governors’ Ball • Christmas in San Francisco
… Many Wonderful Prizes and Silent Auction Items at the Governors’ Ball
Tu Dec 11 Annual General Meeting and Members’ Night
We, Dec 12 AmCham Dialogue with General Department of Vietnam Customs
Sa, Dec 15 Application Deadline for VN and U.S. Professionals Fellowships
Sa, Feb 9 – Su, Feb 17 TET Lunar New Year Holidays • 9 days • Plan ahead …
New FDI $12 billion, 21.4% drop compared with 2011
Business leaders discuss investment environment at VBF
Vietnam Empty Office Towers Show Dreams Turned to Rubble
SOEs debts up 19% over 2011, equal 65% of Vietnam’s GDP
Rampant corruption in Vietnam: #1 Concern of Vietnamese Citizens
Tropical Storm (ex Super Typhoon) Bopha in Eastern Sea … Vietnam next?

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Vietnam and U.S. Professionals Exchange Program: Economic Empowerment in Public Private Partnerships

A great opportunity. Intensive short-term fellowships for up to 16 Vietnamese to visit the USA and broaden their professional expertise. Up to 16 Vietnamese professionals will be awarded Professional Fellowships to help increase integration in global markets; transparency and accountability in business and government; linkages between conditions facilitating entrepreneurship and free markets; good governance standards; public-private partnerships; sustainable and inclusive economic development; and corporate social responsibility

The U.S. Department of State Professional Fellows Program

“Vietnam and USA mid-level professionals exchange program: Mutual learning for economic empowerment in the context of business and government partnerships”

Center for Public Service
Mark. O. Hatfield School of Government
Portland State University
Portland, OREGON

Application Form and Program Guidelines

Application Form
To apply, go to and submit your on-line application by Dec 15, 2012.

Program Guidelines
To learn more about the program guidelines, go to

U.S. Department of State Professional Fellows Program

The Professional Fellows Program is one of many professional exchange programs funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Professional Fellows Program brings emerging leaders from around the world to the United States for intensive short-term fellowships designed to broaden their professional expertise. Participants are placed in non-profit organizations, private sector businesses, and government offices across the country to learn first-hand how issues in their field are addressed in the United States. While deepening their understanding of American society, the visiting participants also build a broad network made up of both their new American colleagues and the other visiting Fellows. The second phase of the Professional Fellows Program sends American participants overseas for follow-on programs conducted with the International Fellows.

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Government to disband several State Owned Enterprises (SOEs)

HANOI, Sep 6, 2012. Minister Chairman Vu Duc Dam of the Government Office said the Prime Minister had closely directed the arrest of Duong Chi Dung, former head of the Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines).

Speaking at the regular press conference of the Government on Wednesday, Dam said after Duong Chi Dung had taken flight, the police issued an international arrest warrant for him. Now, Dung has been captured.

The Prime Minister strictly directed this process under the spirit that all people are equal before the law, without any exception, Dam stated. The Prime Minister also sought to clarify whether there was any act of abetting in Dung’s getaway.

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Weekly Update Sep 10: Coastal Clean Up, Consumer Product Testing, Outsourcing FDI, Cloud Computing


Tu, Sep 11 Legal & VBF Liaison Committee Meeting
Sa, Sep 15 2012 International Coastal Cleanup Day
Tu, Sep 18 Consumer Product Testing and Certification (Textile, Toys & Footwear)
Th, Sep 20 Software, Labs, Business Process Outsourcing FDI in HCM City
Fr, Sep 21 Secure Cloud Computing
Th-Su, Oct 24-28 Hi-Tech Agro and Food Industry Fair HCM City
Fr-Su, Sep 21-23 AmCham Networking Weekend
We, Sep 26 AmCham Palooza Party
”European debt crisis, U.S. economic stagnation, a very critical situation in VN”
In Vietnam, Message of Equality Is Challenged by Widening Wealth Gap (SOEs)
President Truong Tan Sang addresses the nation on Vietnam’s National Day
Government to disband several State Owned Enterprises (SOEs)
New investment in education will boost Vietnam’s economic and social development
Arizona State University to help strengthen higher education in Vietnam
Tu, Nov 6, U.S. General Elections Day • U.S. Voter Registration Web Sites
Nov 13-21 Infrastructure Trade Mission to Indonesia and Vietnam

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Transforming Universities through Data Analytics and Systems to Drive Innovation

ASU Seminar, Aug 6, 2012

When: Mon, Aug 6, 2:15 – 4:00 pm
Where:HCMC University of Technology
.268 Ly Thuong Kiet St. Dist. 10
.A4 meeting room

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Vinalines sails into stormy financial seas: considering divesting three port investments

Jun 18, 2012. Vinalines will analyse the efficiency of the method for reducing state investment capital and increase contributions of private partners, including foreign ones in the ports

Financially troubled state-owned Vinalines is weighing up divesting from three port projects as a part of its comprehensive restructuring plan.

The government, in a report sent to the National Assembly last week, said Vinalines would review and restructure its capital contributed to joint ventures with foreign partners at Cai Mep-Thi Vai area in southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau province.

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In Vietnam, a shipping line raises alarm over debt (SOEs)

Jun 26, 2012. Shipping line Vinalines once symbolised the postwar promise of Vietnam when it began jockeying for global trade after the United States lifted sanctions on its former enemy in 1994.

Today, it represents all that has gone wrong since then: a bloated behemoth with 18,000 workers, a fleet of loss-making ships and $ 2.1 billion in debt. In recent weeks, two senior executives have been arrested, its former chairman is on the run, and the firm has become a byword for mismanagement.

Vinalines and other debt-ridden state companies are turning into a big test of the government’s graft-fighting credentials and whether Communist-run Vietnam is likelier to reclaim its status as a star among emerging markets or sink deeper into an economic malaise rooted in a state sector plagued by red ink and cronyism.

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Troubled waters: Illegal Chinese fish farming in Cam Ranh Bay

Jun 10, 2012. Vast areas of water surface in a bay in close proximity to Cam Ranh Military Base in Khanh Hoa Province become the hot topic in local media these days when it is unveiled that many Chinese have illegally farmed fish there for years without any intervention from State agencies. It is termed illegal because Chinese people with vast rafts for fish and lobster farming there do not have work permits, do not own business certificates, do not pay taxes, and do not even have residence approval in the locality. Even worse, the illegal presence of foreigners in the locality puts national defense and security at stake given the importance of the military facilities in the region. What makes it a grave concern is the loose management on the part of local State agencies that amounts to negligence.

The issue of illegal seafood farming, processing and trading by Chinese people stole the public limelight in late May when several newspapers rang the bell of alarm, which immediately captured attention from all walks of life.

As reported in Tuoi Tre, fish rafts are seen occupying a large swathe of the sea surface in Cam Ranh Bay. Big houses are erected on the fish rafts only some 200-250 meters east of Cam Ranh Port, from where people can see clearly Cam Ranh Military Base on the opposite side.

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Economy needs to focus on industries with key advantages (SOEs)

Jun 6, 2012. Nguyen Tu Anh from the Department for Economics Research spoke to the publicationThoi Bao Kinh Te Sai Gon (Sai Gon Economic Times) about the troubles of Vinashin and Vinalines.

What lessons can we learn from the losses at these State-owned corporations?

It’s a critically important lesson on management. A large flow of funds was poured into these State corporations and they somehow became unmanageable. They incurred losses but no one knew.

Does that have anything to do with the strategy to pick certain sectors as top priorities for development?

In the past, we picked too many sectors as priorities. These sectors weren’t chosen based on competitive advantages: for example, the auto industry.

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