Hà Nội: A Case Study in Congestion and Chaos - News on 26 December 2016


Hà Nội: a case study in congestion and chaos

Last week, Hà Nội municipal authorities asked the Standing Committee of the National Assembly to consider a number of special financial mechanisms for infrastructure development of the capital city, arguing that current budget constraints prevent it from responding to an urban planning and transportation "debacle". Hoàng Trung Hải, Secretary of the Municipal Party, said the city had completed the planning for eight metro lines with a total length of 300km, but there had been no progress on implementing the project since investors deem it unattractive.

Nguyễn Đức Chung, Chairman of the municipal People's Committee, requested that the sale of shares in state-owned enterprises - estimated at VNĐ50 trillion (US$2.2 billion) in the next five years - be given to Hà Nội to invest in its development projects. He also requested that the city be given more autonomy in large-scale projects. However, many experts are of the opinion that the paralysing traffic stress on …

Read more

Country sees record number of newly-formed enterprises in 2016

The number of newly-established enterprises in 2016 hit a record high, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

As of December 20th, Vietnam saw 110,100 enterprises formed, a year-on-year rise of 16.2%, with pledged capital of more than VND891 trillion. With these, each newly-established enterprises had an average capital of VND8.09 billion, up 48.1% over a year earlier. Meanwhile, the number of enterprises recovering their operation was 26.689, up 43.1%.

The newly-established enterprises created jobs for more than 1.3 million workers, said the ministry. Sectors seeing higher newly-established enterprises than 2015 were real estate (83.9%), health and social supporting activities (52%), and education and training (43.1%). Ho Chi Minh city and Hanoi continued to hold the majority of the newly-established enterprises this year with 53.7%, in which 36,442 enterprises were formed in the southern hub and 22,663 new enterprises was …

Read more

Red tape slows health insurance signup

The Government has targeted over 90 per cent of nationwide population covered with health insurance by 2020.

Despite preferential policies to encourage citizens to buy health insurance, the number of health insurance card holders, especially household health insurance, remains low due to red tape. Without health insurance, Hoàng Thị Yến, renting a house in HCM City's District 2, had to pay over VNĐ60 million (US$2,700) for leg surgery, Tin Tức (News) reported. "To buy household health insurance, I have to bring the family register book of my landlord and all health insurance cards of the family members to the ward authority. Then I have to register for temporary residence. However, my landlord's family has yet to buy health insurance cards so I cannot buy it," she said.

Prolonged waiting time is another challenge for health insurance card holders. Trần Thị Bốn from Thủ Đức District in HCM City, said "I have to wait for the whole day for each health check-up." Getting …

Read more

PM urges Laos to monitor impact of hydropower plants

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has proposed that the Lao National Mekong Committee continue working with Việt Nam to monitor the practical impact of hydropower plants on the trans-boundary river and protect its environment.

Phúc made the proposal while receiving Lao Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sommad Pholsena in Hà Nội on Saturday. He expressed his hope that the Ministries of Natural Resources and Environment of Việt Nam and Laos would step up bilateral co-operation in the field of natural resources and environment as defined in a cooperative agreement between the two governments for the 2016-20 period, and build co-ordination blueprints.

For his part, Minister Sommad Pholsena said Laos would apply modern technologies in waste treatment and learn from Viet Nam's experience to avoid environmental pollution during its development process. He affirmed that the construction of hydropower plants on the MekongRiver will strictly follow the Mekong River …

Read more

Pollution eats Vietnam’s growth

Experts have advised the government to dump cheap and dirty industries. Environmental pollution and natural disasters are eating Vietnam's growth, according to new findings from Vietnam's National Center for Socio-Economic Information and Forecast (NCIF).

The NCIF study reported that both natural and manmade environmental problems will continue to consume about 0.6 percent of Vietnam's annual GDP from now until 2020, said Dang Duc Anh, head of the Forecast and Evaluation Department. Anh added that policies to mitigate the effects of climate change and protect the environment could ensure sustainable development.

“Vietnam’s economic growth still heavily relies on the exploitation of natural resources and relatively low-tech assembly," said Tran Dinh Thien, the director of Vietnam Economic Institute. "Many industries such as cement and steel use a colossal amount of energy,” Prioritizing energy-saving industries could put Vietnam on track toward a more sustainable …

Read more

Da Lat to be leading vegetable production centre in Southeast Asia

A plan has been issued to realize the Resolution of the Da Lat city Party Committee on intensifying hi-tech agricultural development for the 2016-2020 period.

Accordingly, Da Lat will develop comprehensive and sustainable hi-tech agriculture towards multi-sectoral approach and investment climate improvement; contributing to building Da Lat and surrounding areas into the leading vegetable production centre in Southeast Asia and the top agricultural tourist attraction in Vietnam.

By 2020, the city will have about 65-70% of area applying hi-tech (equivalent to 7,000 hectares) with an average value of more than VND350 million per hectare a year; bringing VND4.34 trillion for the agriculture sector, in which fruit and vegetable exports make up about 20%. Da Lat will build 3-5 standard hi-tech agricultural production areas by 2020. In addition, sustainable agricultural production models in combination with developing agricultural tourism and services will be built to create tourism …

Read more

Head photo by: United Nations Photo