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25 | 12 | 2007
HCM City: 1billion USD for infrastructure in 2008: The Chairman of the People’s Council of Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City has decided to allocate 15.3 trillion VND (956 million USD) from the budget for 1,700 infrastructure construction projects in 2008.

Of the capital, 3.7 trillion VND (236 million USD) will be from central budget and the remainder will be mobilised from other sources.

The investment will focus on projects to build two metro routes and an elevated road along the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe canal. Those projects required a combined capital of 10 trillion VND (625 million USD).

The city also plans to complete a project on the management network of the city water supply system in 2008.

Danish loan plan for local SMEs ‘a success’

A plan to give Viet Nam’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) the chance to get preferential loans funded by the Danish Government has been a success so far, a representative of the Danish Embassy said on Dec. 19.

Project coordinator of the Danish Embassy to Viet Nam, Bach Thi Lanh Phuong, was speaking at the seminar entitled “Capital Solution for SMEs” organised by the Trade and Business Information Centre (TBIC) in Ha Noi.

The loans, totalling around 350 million krone (67 million USD) per annum, are part of the mixed credit programme offered via the Danish International Development Assistance (Danida).

Under the plan, Danida bankrolled non-interest loans to development projects in Viet Nam in a bid to reduce poverty and eliminate hunger, support enterprises and secure sustainable development of the economy.

Since 1995 to 2006, Danida mostly targeted the State-owned sector, the project coordinator said, and this was the first year the project had expanded to SMEs.

“In this new move, the programme continues to consider pre-feasible and feasible SME projects to receive the preferential loans over a duration of 10-15 years.”

Around 10 SME projects were currently under consideration, a TBIC representative said.

These projects were being judged on the grounds of their preferential areas of infrastructure, healthcare and management skills among others, the centre said.

Euro firms to equip urea plant

Viet Nam National Chemical Corporation (Vinachem) on Dec. 19 inked a deal with three foreign partners to supply equipment for the 667 million USD Ninh Binh Fine Coal-based Urea Plant.

When completed, this would become the nation’s second largest fertiliser plant with a capacity to produce 560,000 tonnes of urea fertiliser a year.

Under the deal, Germany ’s Linde AG, Denmark ’s Halder Topsoe A/S, and Italy ’s Snamprogetti would provide systems for fertiliser production, including purification technology and amonia and urea synthesis technology.

Wang Xinge, senior vice president of China ’s Huanqiu Contracting and
Engineering Corporation, which, as holder of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract, is the lead contractor for the project, said that three European firms were leaders in their respective fields.

“The deal today will help Vinachem improve the domestic fertiliser supply in the near future,” Wang said, noting that the finished plant would be a modern, environmentally friendly facility with high efficiency.

Jorgen Nergaard Gold, director of marketing and sales for the technology division of Haldor Topsoe A/S, said that the Ninh Binh plant was designed to serve the needs of the domestic market in Viet Nam ’s northern region.

“We will bring all effort and experience from our earlier cooperation with the Phu My Fertilisers Plant to create good system for Ninh Binh,” Gold said.

Vinachem vice president Chu Van Tuan said that it would take 42 months to equip the new plant, and the corporation would complete all legal procedures as soon as possible in order to ensure the target date for the plant’s operations.

Bonds to help with roads and bridges

The Government and the Ministry of Transport have devised a plan to revamp the national transport system by using funds from government bonds and the State budget.

Minister of Transport Ho Nghia Dung said funds from bond issues would compensate for the shortage of funds from officials development assistance and from the Government’s general budget.

A total of 11 trillion VND (687.5 million USD) from the State budget and 21 trillion VND (1.31 billion USD) from government bonds would be used for transport projects, health care and education and other projects.

Dung said lack of funds had contributed to delays on much-needed transport projects, such as the dredging of the riverbed of Cai Lan port in Quang Ninh province, and the construction of Da Nang International terminal.

Besides the two sources of capital, the Transport Ministry has also entered into BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) projects, which help ease the budget shortfall by providing start-up funds from foreign investors.

The disbursement for government bonds next year is expected to be 10,000 billion VND (625 million USD) double last year.

Stock indexes drop, cooling off investors

Stock indexes in both Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange and Ha Noi Securities Trading Centre slumped down on December 20 after a single day of recovery, cooling off short-term investors.

The VN-Index in HCM City lost 16.33 points, nearly half of the increase it had gained on the previous session on December 19, to close at 930.45 points.

Some 9 million shares changed hand at a total value of 916 billion VND.

The low demand at the market worried short-term investors who then bartered away, abating the prices of some 40 percent of shares.

In Ha Noi, blue-chip shares that made gains at the previous session like the Asian Commercial Bank (ACB), Southern Battery (PAN), Ha Noi Educational Book (EBS), Hai Phong Securities (HPC), experienced an uncontrolled fall.

The HaSTC-Index lost 3.81 points to 327.23 points. Only 1.9 million shares were traded at 190 billion VND, down 1.5 million shares and 120 billion VND as compared to the previous session.

Viet Nam, GTZ sign public-finance plan

Viet Nam and the German Technical Cooperation Agency, GTZ, signed an agreement for the second phase of a three-year public finance reform project on Dec. 20.

The agreement, signed by the Finance Ministry’s State Budget Department and GTZ, is part of a project that started in 2006.

The second phase, to begin next year, includes an aid package of 1.3 million euro (1.8 million USD) for the Finance Ministry to have the Budget Law changed; implement budget management reform and plan a treasury development strategy by 2020.

The project’s purpose is to have GTZ help Viet Nam build effective and transparent budgetary and financial policies to international standards.

The agency will provide advisory services for the drafting of a new national budgetary system and support its implementation, particularly in the less developed provinces.

Deputy Finance Minister Tran Van Ta described GTZ as an active partner that has been contributing to the progress of State budget and finance reform in Viet Nam .

The project had helped the public finance system become more transparent, he said.

GTZ agency has participated in development projects in Viet Nam ranging from poverty reduction, healthcare and environmental protection to micro and macro economic reform.

Third power plant built in Lao Cai’s Bat Xat

Construction on Nam Pung hydro power plant started in Bat Xat district, northern mountainous Lao Cai province on December 19.

The 167 billion VND plant, the third of its kind in the province, includes three engine groups with total capacity of 9.3MW.

The plant, which is built under the building-operating-transferring (BOT) form, is expected to be operational in 2009, providing 30 million Kwh per year.


Source: english.vietnamnet.vn
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