Ryu Hashimoto, Japanese, HCM City I saw big size paper motorcycles, cars, mobile phones and houses burnt as offerings when I came to Viet Nam. After my Vietnamese wife explained things, I realised comparisons could be made with the Bon festival in the middle of August. Next week Over the past few years, privately-owned apartments have been traded illegally in Viet Nam, especially in big cities like Ha Noi. This business is likely to be made legal following the decree that recognises these mini-apartments and has since caused prices for them to skyrocket. These apartments are in high demand as many people, especially those with middle-incomes, can afford them when most of the land and houses in Ha Noi are very expensive. The demand for mini-apartments has almost doubled that of normal apartments, which only wealthy people can afford. Clients who buy these apartments are usually newly married couples, migrants and students. Most of the apartments are located in crowed residential … [Read more...] about Are offerings to the dearly departed getting out of hand?
Tax returns how much will i get back
Hanoi - For several days I'd been kick-starting my old Yamaha Nuovo. Then one long drive seemed to recharge the battery, or whatever, and for a weekend it started with just the usual click-and-throttle. Then I drove to a coffeehouse. An hour later, it wouldn't start, period. This is something that many tourists don't hear about Vietnam. They are warned to be wary of unscrupulous cab drivers with hot meters, or cyclo hustlers that demand outrageous prices for a little ride about town. They are advised, correctly, to shop around and bargain. But expatriates, many of us, learn that many Vietnamese business operators and technicians don't try to take advantage of foreigners presumed to have deep pockets. Many expats think they are over-charged as a matter of routine - "a white man's tax," my Viet Kieu bride calls it. But I'm convinced that I'm more often treated fair and square. I left my motorbike with Mr. Phuong in the afternoon and he assured me it would be ready in the morning. … [Read more...] about An honest mechanic
Last week, Viet Nam News asked its readers about bribing at large crowded hospitals, the faiths of patients and their relatives about the miracle of envelops which give them faster treatment and suggestions to eliminate the situation. Here are some responses: James Godber, British, Ha Noi Next week: Under the national master plan to improve the teaching and learning of foreign languages during the 2008-20 period, most students from Viet Nam's colleges and universities would be expected to speak English or another foreign language upon graduation. The plan aims to help Vietnamese students use foreign languages in their research, communication and studies - part of the nation's strategic efforts to improve the quality of high-skilled workers. At an E-conference held earlier this week, education officials called for a renewal in the foreign language teaching method, especially for English, so that students would be more comfortable using foreign languages in real life as a critical … [Read more...] about Uncollected tax may be key to never-ending corruption
Opinion is divided on whether the common man will benefit if the government licenses these gambling houses; analysts are skeptical even about tourism benefits Ethnic women smile on Dong Van Plateau in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang. It is not clear how the idea of building a casino there would benefit the needy. The plan is part of an intended casino-building spree across Vietnam, where entry barriers for foreign investors are much higher than in neighboring countries. Photo by Luu Quang Pho After being dogged by financing and licensing issues, the five-star casino-resort The Grand - Ho Tram Strip finally opened last week in Vung Tau as part of a US$4.2-billion tourist development aimed at attracting foreign visitors. The massive integrated resort is the sixth casino to be licensed in Vietnam. Elsewhere, in tourism-haven Phu Quoc Island, local leaders have been looking for investors for a casino planned since 2007. Ha Giang and Quang Binh provinces have apparently … [Read more...] about Vietnam’s casino rush in the offing, but will it be a silver bullet?
Wall Street firms gambled on Mitt Romney and lost. Now, faced with the prospect of even tougher regulations in President Barack Obama's second term, they have to build better ties with the new financial regulators he will appoint. … [Read more...] about Wall Street left to rebuild Obama ties after backing Romney
SHANGHAI/NEW YORK – Chinese Internet entrepreneur Jack Ma is buying back up to half of a 40 percent stake in his Alibaba Group from Yahoo Inc for US$7.1 billion, in a deal that moves the Chinese e-commerce leader closer to a public listing. Employees play table tennis inside the headquarters office of Alibaba (China) Technology Co. Ltd on the outskirts of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province in this May 17, 2010 file photograph. Yahoo Inc shares rose as much as 6.7 percent on May 18, 2012 after a report that it was close to selling part of its valuable stake in the Alibaba Group. Yahoo and Alibaba Group, the Chinese Internet group that runs e-commerce site Alibaba.com, are close to an agreement that could happen as soon as Monday, according to a report in All Things D, citing unnamed sources. Photo: Reuters Under the agreement, Yahoo will sell half its stake in Alibaba for at least $6.3 billion in cash and up to $800 million in new Alibaba preferred stock. The deal, announced in a … [Read more...] about Alibaba buys back 20 percent stake held by Yahoo for $7.1 billion
Tran Quang Chieu, permanent member of the National Assembly (NA) Committee for Financial and Budgetary Affairs made the remark in a recent interview given to a Radio Voice of Vietnam (VOV) reporter about management of income from winning casino games and football betting on the fringes of the ongoing 8th session of the 13th NA. Reporter:The Ministry of Finance is drafting a decree on casino, under which Vietnamese citizens can play casino games. What do you think about this? Mr. Chieu: There should be compulsory conditions for Vietnamese to enter the casino. In the initial period, only those having an ABTC card is entitled to enter the casino. Due to a lack of management experience and different habits, it is impossible to allow all to play casino games. At first, casino game should be open to only those who meet certain background and financial criteria so as to prevent social unrest. Reporter: According to the draft decree, casinos are to be open to Vietnamese citizens aged 21 … [Read more...] about How to effectively manage Vietnamese casinos
The GE veteran and one-time cod fisherman has led a remarkable turnaround at the industrial giant. By Shawn Tully, senior editor-at-large FORTUNE -- Dave Cote is feeling the beat. He takes a sip of Mountain Dew and bobs his head in time to the throbbing bass of Jay-Z's "Hard Knock Life." The CEO of Honeywell International, one of the world's largest industrial conglomerates, with $37.1 billion in sales, is wearing his usual work attire -- a beat-up leather bomber jacket, baggy jeans, and clunky work boots. Cote's office in the company's frozen-in-the-1960s headquarters in Morris County, N.J., is nothing fancy. Boston Red Sox jerseys adorn the walls, and a 210-gallon fish tank he inherited gurgles in the background. But for inspiration, he turns to his iTunes and hits SHUFFLE. "I've got 10,000 songs on my server," he says. "The music never stops!" Neither does Cote. While tunes like Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child" and Neil Diamond's "Forever in Blue Jeans" play in the … [Read more...] about How Dave Cote got Honeywell’s groove back
The dismissal of a high-ranking Communist Party bigwig. The “voluntary return” of a fugitive executive hunted in a widening corruption crackdown. The exposure of the shady assets of a public official.Vietnamese readers first got wind of all those headline-grabbing developments thanks to Facebook, not the mainstream media, crystalizing how the social media giant is well ahead in a country where more than half of its nearly 92 million people are online.Nguyen Cong Khe, Thanh Nien newspaper’s retired founding editor, wrote in a 2014 New York Times op-ed that Vietnamese readers, hungry for more up-to-speed news, were leaving traditional media outlets in droves for an anonymous blogosphere dominated by Facebook.That has barely changed in the past three years. The Communist Party, which has repeatedly warned traditional media that it risks trailing behind digital technology, today urges the newspapers to capitalize on the Internet and … [Read more...] about Why Vietnam can’t hold back Facebook
If any doubt exists about whether President Obama gets the message that the American public wants him to put revitalizing job growth at the top of his priority list, the last two weeks should surely put them to rest. Even as the White House was forced to turn much of its attention to the crisis in Egypt, the president and his aides unveiled an almost daily array of new initiatives aimed at demonstrating that jobs and the economy are now solidly at the forefront of the president's agenda. [ For complete coverage of politics and policy, go to Yahoo! Politics ] The onslaught started with the State of the Union address, which the president largely devoted to laying a longer-term vision for strengthening the American economy and competitiveness. Since then, he and his advisors have followed up with a series of proposals to flesh out that vision, laying out plans for everything from boosting energy efficiency in commercial buildings and increasing access to high-speed wireless to … [Read more...] about Obama’s olive branch to big business: Will it work?