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HÀ NỘI – The revised Vietnam Maritime Code and the Law on Property Auction will officially take effect from Saturday (July 1), online newspaper Vietnamplus reported.
With 20 chapters and 341 articles, an increase of 2 chapters and 80 articles compared with the Maritime Code 2005, the new Maritime Code is said to contain sufficient regulations overseeing all maritime activities. Passed by the National Assembly in November 2015, the Code is expected to provide new momentum to the maritime sector in line with its international commitments.
The Code provides detailed regulations on policies for maritime development. Of note, priorities will be given to investment into constructing maritime infrastructure, seagoing fleets, and human resources for maritime activities to meet domestic and international demand; and to enhanced international co-operation and integration as well as the application of advanced science and technology.
Well aware of the importance of maritime safety, security and environmental protection, the Code added a new chapter specifying maritime safety and security; search and rescue; scope for the protection and settlement of incidents related to maritime projects; and environmental protection in activities such as the dismantling of oceangoing vessels.
Improved administrative procedures were also a focus of the revised Code with regulations on the registration for purchasing and selling oceangoing vessels being clearly defined as well as a time-limit for temporary detention of seagoing ships to ensure publicity and transparency, as well as minimise damages and difficulties for vessel owners.
Crew passports are also eliminated to minimise the amount of personal paperwork the crew have to carry when operating on international routes; so are administrative procedures previously required for the naming of oceangoing vessels, seaports, offshore oil and gas ports, wharves, piers, and water zones and areas. The naming of these facilities now should only abide by principles defined by the Code.
Additionally, the Code revises provisions on towage of seagoing vessels, navigation, dismantlement of seagoing vessels, salvaging of sunken property, and disposal of dangerous sunken property. The provisions are clear and detailed in line with international treaties and practices.
Improved property auction
Under the Law on Property Auction, auctioned property includes property to be sold through auction as required by law and at the will of organisations and individuals.
Regarding auctioned property required by law, the Law details types of property on the basis of reviewing regulations stipulated in relevant laws in order to ensure publicity and transparency, which is used as a foundation for bodies, organisations and individuals to comply with orders and procedures stipulated in the Law when putting up the property at auction.
With 81 articles arranged in eight chapters, the Law specifies forbidden practices targeting auctioneers, auction organisations, property owners, auction participants, auction winners and relevant bodies and organisations in order to raise the legal and professional responsibility of auctioneers and improve the quality of auction activities.
The Law regulates that the wholly-State-owned organisation established by the Government to settle credit organisations’ bad debts (the Vietnam Asset Management Company – VAMC under the Enterprise Income Tax Law) are only allowed to put up at auction bad debts and VAMC’s bad debt guarantee property.
The Law on Property Auction was passed by the National Assembly last November. — VNS
The Vietnam Tourism Association has proposed to continue visa exemptions for Western European tourists to boost tourism.
|Tourists at the Pagoda of Celestial Lady in Thua Thien-Hue Province|
According to the Vietnam Tourism Association, in order to implement the government’s resolution to turn tourism into Vietnam’s key sector, visa exemptions should be continued for visitors from major tourist markets.
The association said they had received requests from tourism firms and local tourism associations to continue visa exemptions for tourists from France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belarus and the UK for five years.
They also suggested exempting visas for visitors from India, Australia, Canada, and countries in Eastern Europe including Poland, Czech, Bulgaria and Hungary, as well as former Soviet countries.
Vu The Binh, the association’s vice chairman, said it was competitive as neighbouring countries all have open visa policies.
“Expanding visa exemptions is a common trend.
Thailand exempts visa for tourists from 61 countries, Malaysia exempts visa for 155 countries and in Singapore, it’s 158. Meanwhile, we have only exempted visa for 22 countries,” he said.
Tourism firms said since the visa exemption programme only lasted for one year, they didn’t dare spend too much on promotion. Normally, their short-term plans last from three to five years and over five years for long-term plans. The one-year visa exemption has only attracted independent tourists as firms await a more stable policy.
Tran Thi Viet Huong from Vietravel said most European tourists plan their vacations six months to a year in advance while the programme would end this June. This will affect their decision-making about holidays next year.
Le Tuan Anh, Deputy Director of the International Co-operation Department of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said they had suggested extended the programme to five years and raise the standard length of stay for tourist visas from 15 to 30 days during meetings with other agencies.
“Resolution 8 on developing tourism states that pilot programmes can be carried out for urgent matters that don’t have their own regulations yet. This suits the tourism sector which includes many other sectors. Thanks to it that the e-visa programme was piloted quickly in February,” Anh said.
The number of visitors from Europe dramatically increased after the visa exemption was introduced. In the first quarter, the number of visitors from France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK reached 240,000, an increase of 12% compared to same period last year.
The growth rates from Spain were 23%, 13% from Italy, 13% from Germany, 11% from France and 9% from the UK.
Vu The Binh, the Vietnam Tourism Association’s vice chairman, emphasised that the e-visa was different programme and they still needed to expand the visa exemption programme.
The West Australian Vietnam Business Council (WAVBC) promotes and supports the development of bilateral trade and investment between Australia and Vietnam. We are proud to have a pivotal function in providing invaluable business and cultural support to our members’ by encouraging cultural exchanges between the business communities of Western Australia and Vietnam.
The WAVBC actively co-ordinates an annual program of business seminars, networking, and social functions within Western Australia.
WAVBC President David Morgan was in Sydney recently and caught with Australian Vietnam Business Council (AVBC) President Laurence Strano. The AVBC has been in existence for over twenty years and has a strong membership base that includes many of Australia’s leading corporate companies. David provided Laurence with an update of the recent WAVBC progress in restablishing the WAVBC in Western Australia and discussion took place about how the two councils could work together in the future to meet our joint objectives of providing value to our members and sponsors. Laurence advised that he is well advanced on establishing a new Vietnam Business Council in Queensland over the coming months which will add to our national presence.
By Reuters/Matthew Tostevin May 17, 2017 | 04:23 pm GMT+7
A motorbike waits in front of a sign promoting APEC Summit in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters/Kham
Support has built among the so-called TPP-11 for pushing ahead without the United States.
Japan and other remaining members of the Trans Pacific Partnership will this weekend decide how to revive the trade agreement ditched by U.S. President Donald Trump.
Their trade ministers will talk on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, where newly appointed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is also due to give more detail of Washington’s trade plans.
Uncertainty over those plans after Trump abandoned a trade deal he had compared to the “rape” of America has brought fears of protectionism and strengthened China’s leadership credentials in Asia.
Support has built among the so-called TPP-11 for pushing ahead without the United States although trade within the smaller block is only a quarter of that between the original 12 members, according to the most recent data.
Moving ahead could help the bargaining position of the members in bilateral talks with the United States.
It could also undercut the increasing regional dominance of China, which is not part of the TPP and backs a bigger but less comprehensive free trade agreement for Asia.
“We’ll be looking to see whether TPP ministers say they are definitely pushing ahead by simply by changing the articles,” said Alan Bollard, executive director of the APEC Secretariat.
“Or whether they come out and say they’re positive about the prospects but need more discussions,” he told Reuters in Hanoi.
After initially appearing reluctant to move ahead without the United States, Japan is at the forefront of the push along with New Zealand. Japan has emphasised that it would ultimately like to bring the United States back in.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan wanted to “steer the debate toward a clear direction” in Hanoi.
The backing of some other members is less clear.
Vietnam would have been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the original TPP because of lower tariffs and more investment from the United States. Malaysia is in a similar position and an official there voiced hope of an eventual return to the TPP.
Pushing TPP forward could help Japan’s position in negotiating a bilateral deal with the United States, said Nguyen Xuan Thanh of the Harvard Kennedy School. The same would apply for Vietnam, he said.
“It’s part of the game,” he told Reuters. “You don’t want to be seen as desperate for bilateral deals.”
Lighthizer in spotlight
New U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer’s individual meetings with counterparts, particularly from the world’s second biggest economy, China, will be closely watched.
Mexico and Canada, with which Trump seeks to renegotiate their North American Free Trade Agreement are also in APEC.
Trump’s “America First” trade strategy relies on better enforcement of U.S. trade laws and existing trade agreements, while trying to negotiate some to the advantage of the United States.
Lighthizer has said he will make trade “freer and fairer” to the benefit of U.S. workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses.
The final statement from APEC trade ministers will be scrutinised for any change to language which last year emphasised “free and open” trade and investment. It made no mention of the word “fair”.
The renewed push on the TPP has somewhat overshadowed progress towards the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), championed by Beijing, and which members hope to sign by the end of the year.
The agreement includes both China and India, but not the United States. It is largely about reducing tariffs and much less comprehensive than TPP: it has limited protections for intellectual property, labour rights or the environment.
China would not be particularly happy to see TPP taking on new life even without the United States, said Tu Xinquan, a trade expert at Beijing’s University of International Business and Economics.
“I also don’t think China would or should take an action specifically responding to it,” he said.
For the TPP to take effect without the United States it would have to drop a rule requiring ratification by at least six countries accounting for 85 percent of the combined gross domestic product of the original member nations.