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EU pledges US$736 million in ODA for 2014

Last update 09:56 | 26/06/2014

The European Union (EU) has committed EUR542 million (US$736 million) in official development assistance to Vietnam this year, and the level of aid would also be maintained for the coming years.


The information was announced by Dr Franz Jessen, Ambassador-Head of the Delegation of the EU to Vietnam, at a ceremony on June 25 to launch the Blue Book 2014, an annual report on the EU development cooperation in Vietnam.

The EU would also sign the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Vietnam before the end of this year as a way of supporting the country to develop its trade ambitions and international commitments. The FTA negotiations are expected to be concluded by autumn this year.

The EU has remained the leading provider of development assistance to Vietnam, with a total of US$619.8 million of disbursement in 2013, he said.

The ambassador said the organization had met some barriers accessing relevant authorities and sectors and solving disbursement procedures, so the disbursement figure was low compared to the pledged aid.

Apart from giving non-refundable aid to Vietnam, the EU focuses on commercial cooperation with the country to help it stabilise the economy. He said that the tense standoff between China and Vietnam on the East Sea and the Japanese Government’s decision to halt ODA to Vietnam due to alleged bribery on railway projects would not affect the EU’s aid to Vietnam in the next year.

The EU has been Vietnam’s largest trade partner in recent years, with the country’s export turnover to the EU reaching US$ 25 billion last year.

This year, the EU has focused on eradicating poverty among ethnic minorities, which was featured in the Blue Book 2014.

Although important progress has been achieved in reducing poverty among ethnic minorities, the percentage of poor people is still much higher than rest of the nation.

The book included some of the challenges Vietnamese Government faces, and suggestions to overcome them.

In 2013, the EU and its members disbursed EUR56.5 billion (US$76.8 billion) globally as the world’s largest ODA provider, despite being seriously affected by the economic crisis.

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FDI into Ho Chi Minh City, up 202 percent compared to the same period


Vốn FDI vào TP. Hồ Chí Minh tăng 202% so với cùng kỳ
22/06/2014 20: 24

(TBTCO)-Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City Le Hoang Quan said, the sources of FDI continued to rise sharply in the early months of 2014 is not only economic but also demonstrate the investment environment of the HO CHI MINH CITY.Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam's generally very safe, attractive.

Specifically, in just over 5 months of the year, there were 169 new FDI projects were granted with total registered capital of 967 million, with 423% in 2013. In addition, there are 53 investment projects adjusted capital gains with capital increased by 110 million dollars.

The general situation, investment FDI in receiving from the beginning of the year reached approximately 1.08 billion dollars, with 202% over the same period last year.

To attract investment, Ho Chi Minh City currently has more robust policies to improve investment environment, such as the reform of administrative procedures, reducing the time permitted.

Reportedly, on 21/6, Ho Chi Minh City PEOPLE'S COMMITTEE has also awarded certificates for investment in projects with a total FDI capital in both the new and the capital increase more than 220 million.

In particular, there are three new investment projects: German homes Ltd. (38.9 million dollars); Aeon co., Ltd Vietnam (128.5 million dollars); Nickel co., Ltd Vietnam (US $ 711,000); 2 increased capital projects: Aeon co., Ltd. (43.3 million dollars); Freetrend Industrial Co., Ltd (8 million USD)./.

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Monthly CPI rises in major cities

June, 23 2014 08:03:00

The Ha Noi Statistics Department reported that the capital's CPI in June edged up by 0.08 per cent over May and 1.16 per cent against the same period last year.— Photo TNMT

HA NOI (VNS) — The month-on-month consumer price indices (CPI) in the country's two biggest cities in June increased after being down for several months, according to statistics departments of Ha Noi and HCM City.

The Ha Noi Statistics Department reported that the capital's CPI in June edged up by 0.08 per cent over May and 1.16 per cent against the same period last year.

It said the development of the CPI in June this year was similar to the rate in June last year, and also increased after reduction in previous consecutive months, reported the Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times) newspaper.

Nine out of the 11 baskets of goods, which contribute to the calculation of the capital's CPI data, saw an increase in prices this month. Among these, the prices of building materials, electricity, tap-water and fuel reported the highest increase of 0.84 per cent against last month.

After an increase last month, the price of gas continued to surge since June 1 by VND50,000-60,000 per 12-kg gas tank due to higher import prices.

This June also saw a surge in the prices of cultural, sports and entertainment products, as it did in June last year with a rate of 0.54 per cent because prices of domestic and foreign tours increased. The prices of tickets for entertainment products also increased on the occasion of International Children's Day on June 1.

The hot weather also resulted in an increase in prices of categories of beverages and tobacco products and of garments, hat and footwear products up to 0.45 per cent and 0.41 per cent, respectively, against last month.

Meanwhile, prices of postal and telecom products dropped 0.17 per cent and categories of rice and food products reduced by 0.27 per cent.

Gold prices in Ha Noi dropped 0.82 per cent while the US dollar surged 0.36 per cent as compared with last month.

HCM City Statistics Department also reported an increase of 0.58 per cent in the city's CPI for June against last month. The index had a year-on-year surge of 1.1 per cent.

The increase was expected due to a decision permitting an increase in the cost of health care services in the city since June 1.

Therefore, the categories of medicine and health care services had the highest price increase of 8.69 per cent among the 11 baskets of goods, which contribute to the calculation of the city's CPI data, against last month. Rice and food items came second with a rise of 0.53 per cent, as the price of food items was up. But the price of rice reduced slightly due to stability in supply as the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces finished harvesting rice of the winter-spring crop.

The categories of housing, building material, electricity, tap-water and fuel had the third highest increase in prices at 0.44 per cent in June compared with May.

HCM City had three categories of goods that reported reduction in prices this month. Cultural, sport and entertainment products were down 0.13 per cent due to the low demand for tourism by the people, while postal and telecom products were down 0.35 per cent and beverage products down 0.05 per cent.

In June, gold and US dollar prices in the city rose 2.7 per cent and 0.86 per cent, respectively, against last month. — VNS

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Bac Ninh, Thai Nguyen compete for huge Samsung project

Last update 15:00 | 23/06/2014

VietNamNet Bridge – Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen provinces are competing to win the contract for a new Samsung investment project that involves manufacture of hi-tech screens.

Samsung project, Bac Ninh, Thai Nguyen
Samsung project, Bac Ninh, Thai Nguyen

Sources said the “super project” that Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen are trying to scramble for is Samsung Display, specializing in making screens of different kinds with advanced technologies.

Sources from Bac Ninh said the project is capitalized at $1 billion, while Thai Nguyen provincial authorities said the total investment capital is about $1.7 billion.

Though many cities and provinces wish to have Samsung’s project in their localities, Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen are the candidates with the most potential.

They both have been serving as the South Korean group’s production bases in Vietnam for the last several years.

In Bac Ninh, the giant Korean company now runs SEV, a technology complex which has registered investment capital of $2.5 billion.

By the end of 2013, Samsung had disbursed $1.7 billion for SEV, which started its operation in April 2009. It has committed to disburse the remaining $800 million from now to 2017.

In 2013 alone, SEV exported $24 billion worth of products, making up 18.07 percent of Vietnam’s total export turnover of the year. The project created 43,000 jobs.

Samsung also has a hi-tech production complex – SEVT – covering an area of 112 hectares in the Yen Binh Industrial Zone in Thai Nguyen Province.

After local authorities created favorable conditions for Samsung to implement its project, the investor built a mobile phone factory in a rush and put it into operation in March 2014. The other two factories, capitalized at $1.38 billion, will be completed by September.

Investment incentives

In order to attract the project, Thai Nguyen authorities have decided to expand the Yen Binh Industrial Zone by 70 hectares.

“Everything is nearly ready for the 70 hectare land plot, including cleared land, infrastructure items (electricity, water) which can be allocated to the investor soon,” said a senior official of the provincial authorities.

The local authorities have also offered a preferential infrastructure lease to Samsung’s projects.

Meanwhile, Bac Ninh has promised to reserve a land area of 46 hectares in the Yen Phong Industrial Zone for Samsung projects, which are hoped to create 8,000 more jobs by 2020.

If Samsung chooses Bac Ninh, it would be able to enjoy attractive investment incentives designed specifically for hi-tech firms.

As for tax rates, Bac Ninh hopes it would get the nod from the Prime Minister on its proposal to apply the preferential corporate income tax of 10 percent for 30 years for Samsung.

Phap Luat

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Why exchange rate USD/VND do not suffer hypothermia?

18/06/2014 13: 09

(TBTCO)-after a long time new market balance price buy-in-sold USD being co so narrow. If rates cool down fast and strong, he is going to have the Bank losses.

Photo illustrations

A week after the State Bank Governor Nguyen Van Binh voiced about the fluctuating exchange rate USD/VND in more than a month ago, a consensus response as desired by the operator's policy is not yet available, even in reverse.

Signal dropouts

After Governor Nguyen Van Binh stated, price USD of the immediate commercial bank falling backwards in comparison to the previous adjustment trend.

Binh's Governor said, the Bank will keep rates stable from now to year-end, as was stated the basis of the weight as foreign exchange reserves at a high level, the balance of trade surplus grew ... However, he left unanswered a likely will adjust the exchange rate in the near future as a way to limit the PRICE was too high, to support exports.

Notably, in his remarks, Governor Nguyen Van Binh said that, if the exchange rate adjustment will not exceed 2%. This is particular attention to market, by just over a month before, at the regular government session in April 2014, he confidently disambiguation, if adjustable rates, through the end of the year is also no more than 1%.

The passengers in this orientation could certainly impact the expectations of the market, when the level if any adjustments were much larger that the rest of the year was less by half.

Besides, times adjusted on March 6 last year probably also haunt on the wait of the holding of foreign currency. Understand simple, when Governor opening adjustment, which can level up to 2%, if sold at the moment-while not yet adjusted-can be hớ; or middlemen buy the USD expecting adjusted nor are bad investments in the short term.

Some members had also seen markets like this. Newsletter investor support of a commercial bank has just announced that specific conclusions: "the main cause for the sudden increase in rates in the past week are psychological instability of the market after the Central Bank Governor made the message in terms necessary to support exports, the exchange rate can be changed not more than 2%, this made the psychology of investors as well as banks suffered a lot because not long ago, the new Governor also announced exchange rate will stabilize and do not fluctuate more than 1% this year ".

News on further analysis, it made for psychological expectation of devaluation of USD/VND in short time to rise and making enterprises as well as the Bank massively purchasing DOLLARS.

And earlier this week, a new phenomenon has appeared. After a long time, price USD buy in to the closing price at commercial banks, while the sales value increased as allowed. To 17/6, spread on-sold the lowest with only 26 USD, narrow pole level indicates increased bridge capacity from commercial banks.

Also according to information from a member of the market, some banks have raised the status of Exchange Ocean up a price on 21,200 USD. If rates cool down fast and strong, capable of easy holes occur if not enough "ball". This is also a factor causing rates hard to cool down fast.

Faith challenged USD

No coincidence that go along with the volatility of the exchange rate is an interest rate raise USD decreased in the short term at some commercial banks. Again, the excess copper money status in the system of back pressure on the exchange rate, or the value and belief in USD are affected.

Nodes of the situation on the credit is yet to be dismantled. By the end of may, an increase of credit from new year's day are only 1.31%. As a rule, money and goods, the reduced value. Plus, the money and many without output channels, the Bank pushed it into foreign currency investment is also a way, especially given the psychologically expect adjustable rates. The members raised a positive foreign currency status as mentioned above is notable.

The condition on can be more aggressive, when a large amount of money from bonds and Canal bills are calculated as being up to maturity. This also helps explain the rumors appeared in the last week, the State Bank lowered reserve requirement ratios to kick more money to the market is the paradox.

And this also explains why up until this point, through the recent updates, the State Bank has yet to "eject" the capital for the Bank through refinance using the special bond of VAMC-one of these rights when reselling bad debt. Tens of thousands of billion through bond VAMC if "eject" out will accrue more pressure on payment of surplus status, values and faith in VND.

With the issue of exchange rate, the present tense is only short term. By balanced macro support direction stabilize that State Bank offer, especially the power of the foreign exchange reserves, the balance of trade surplus is large, the source of remittances and FDI flows remain quite strong ...

To intervene and avoid pressure on the purchase price in USD closing price as at present (a premise is easy to make the regeneration status of the two reviews in the Bank, or the spleen ceiling rates using various techniques), first measure and direct the Bank could sell off foreign currency stabilize demand; increased rates of interbank average to reduce expectations on the market; more basic still is how to promote credit growth-free output for flow of capital USD stagnant.

And perchance, if no increase is credit, the banks as surplus funds that do the dose rate, the Bank can also increase the reserve requirement to "freeze" or which, though this solution is extremely hard and has no place.

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VIETBUILD 2014 opens in HCM City

  • Updated : 6/18/2014 6:24:42 PM



(VOV) - An international exhibition featuring real estate, interior and exterior design and construction materials – VIETBUILD 2014 was held in HCM city on June 18.

The event attracted 800 businesses and economic groups, showcasing their products from 18 nations, including Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, the Republic of Korea and Canada.

Deputy Construction Minister Phan Thi My Linh said that the national economy is on the right track to recovery in the early months of the year, owing to positive signs in the production of construction materials and the real estate market.

Linh added that the event aims to stimulate demand, promote trade activities and help businesses and investors introduce their new products and advertise real estate projects for sale as well as transferring technologies.

Seminars on the latest advanced technologies were also held during the event which will run through to June 22.

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Government bonds suck capital out of economy

Last update 10:00 | 18/06/2014

VietNamNet Bridge – The volume of government bonds issued by the State Treasury in the first five months of the year equaled the number issued for the entire year of 2013.



The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Asian bond report released on June 4 showed that Vietnam was the fastest-growing bond market in South East Asia in the first quarter of 2014.

The issuance of government bonds in large quantities has put Vietnam on the list of the fastest-growing newly emerging markets in East Asia with a growth rate of 23 percent compared to the previous quarter and 17.8 percent compared to last year, reaching a record-high of $35 billion, according to the report.

Analysts noted that government bonds had been selling well despite sharp falls in the bond yield.

In May, the Hanoi Exchange organised 19 bidding sessions, issuing VND15.749 trillion worth of bonds. Of this, the State Treasury issued VND15.549 trillion, while the Bank for Social Policies issued VND200 billion.

The two-year bond interest rates hovered around 5.58-5.7 percent per annum, while three-year bonds were at 6.07-6.2 percent per annum, three-year bonds at 7.1-7.6 percent, and 10 year bonds at 8.7 percent

According to the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the amount of bonds sold in the primary market in May increased by 19 percent over April, even though the interest rates of the three and five year bond term in May were lower.

The interest rates of the two- and 10-year bonds remained unchanged, but the amount of bonds sold was still higher.

The State Treasury has reported that VND96.704 trillion had been collected for the state coffers by the end of May, equal to the total bond value mobilized in the entire year of 2013.

The sharp increase in the volume of bonds issued, in the eyes of analysts, is ominous. This shows that the people’s idle money mobilized by commercial banks is flowing into state coffers. Instead, it should have been pumped into the economy to serve production and business.

Some analysts have warned that the national economy will fall into the “bond trap”. The capital is just “wandering around” while it does not serve economic development.

In account books, commercial banks mad profits from investments in bonds, while the government has fulfilled its bond issuance tasks.

But in fact, the national economy doesn’t have enough capital to develop.

Commercial banks have to inject their money into bonds because they cannot find capital lenders because of weak demand.

A report of the State Bank showed that credit had grown by 1.31 percent only by the end of May, despite the banks’ strong liquidity and low lending interest rates. Some commercial banks offer credit packages at very low interest rates of 4.8 percent only.

The growth rate is modest, far below the targeted 12-14 percent credit growth rate in 2014 set earlier this year by the State Bank.

Can Van Luc, a well known economist, noted that businesses do not want to borrow money now because they don’t intend to expand production as they still have to deal with high inventories.


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Firms delay dividend payout worth billions of dong

June, 16 2014 08:32:00



HA NOI (VNS) — Many firms have announced delay in dividend payout as their businesses are struggling.

Sai Gon Machinery Spare Parts Jsc, listed on HCM City Stock Exchange as SMA, delayed in paying dividends of 2011 to shareholders eight times.

The company attributed money shortage for dividend payout to the rising cost in the construction of Dak Glun hydroelectric plant, coupled with the prolonged economic recession resulting in tightened credits.

SMA targeted to pay the dividends of three years — 2011, 2012 and 2013 — within this year. Still, the company was making effort in restructuring to be able to arrange money for dividend payout.

It was estimated that with 16 million shares listed, the company required VND19 billion (US$904,000) to pay off dividends to investors (at a payout ratio of 12 per cent). Meanwhile, on its balance sheet as of March 31, the company had only VND14.6 billion ($695,000) in cash and cash equivalents and undistributed profit was modest at about VND8 billion ($380,000).

Song Da 9.06 (S96) has recently delayed to pay 2010 dividends, worth VND22 billion ($1.04 million), to the end of 2014. This was the sixth time within the last three years that dividend payout has been delayed.

To make matters worse, the company was delisted from Ha Noi Exchange in May 30, with a negative profit of more than VND50 billion ($2.38 million) and only VND140 million ($6,600) in cash.

Song Da 7 (SD7) also delayed dividend payout, worth nearly VND15 billion ($714,000) at a payout ratio of 16 per cent, of the year 2010 to the next year because the capital withdrawal and debt collection failed to meet its plan.

Previously, An Binh Bank had planned to pay around VND120 billion ($5.7 million) dividends to investors on May 30 but it was postponed. The bank stated that payout will be conducted as soon as the bank receives the approval of the State Bank of Viet Nam.

As rights of small shareholders were infringed with delayed dividend payout, the capital market group of the Viet Nam Business Forum proposed that updates of dividend policies and payouts must be announced on the enterprises' websites for investors to follow. — VNS


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State Bank ponders new charges

June, 16 2014 08:46:00



The Vietnamese market recorded 68.55 million bank cards in use by the end of the first quarter 2014, up 3.5 per cent against 2013, according to Viet Nam Bank Card Association's report. — Photo tuoitre


HA NOI (VNS) — Cash deposits and withdrawals at credit institutions will be charged a fee if the central bank's new draft rule on cash transactions gets approved.

This is seen as yet another step toward the Government's master plan of non-cash payment system. The draft has just been announced and is pending public feedback.

Customers who deposit or withdraw money via payment accounts at the State Bank of Viet Nam must pay a fee equivalent to 0.005 per cent of the total amount.

Commercial banks or branches of foreign credit institutions are allowed to set their own fee, but it must not exceed 0.03 per cent of total cash deposit value, or 0.05 per cent of total cash withdrawal value from payment accounts. These fees must be publicly listed.

Some industry insiders said that the fee may be necessary to compensate costs of maintenance activities of credit institutions, such as papers, machines, and human labour.

However, they said that the fee should only be applied to institutional customers whose values of transactions were large.

In case banks would like to charge fees to both individual and institutional investors who deposit and withdraw money, they should set a cap at which fees would be applied. This suggestion has been made to exempt the poor from this transaction since their income is already low.

Despite the growing popularity of bank cards that have cut the share of cash transactions in total money supply by cash from 20.3 per cent in 2004, to 12 per cent by the end of 2013, the ratio is still high.

68 million bank cards

The Vietnamese market recorded 68.55 million bank cards in use by the end of the first quarter 2014, up 3.5 per cent against 2013, according to Viet Nam Bank Card Association's report.

Debit cards took 92.14 per cent of the total, credit cards took 3.68 per cent, and the rest were prepaid cards, which were all issued by 52 card issuers. About 15,500 automated teller machines (ATMs) and 137,700 points of sales (POS) have been set up to facilitate the bank card market. The State Bank of Viet Nam aims to cut the cash ratio to fewer than 11 per cent by the end of 2014.

However, Viet Nam Bank Card Association warned that most of card transactions were cash withdrawals while other payment services like POS or money transfers were still modest. Infrastructure for the bank card market still needs to improve to avoid congestion.

Service fees for internet banking in Viet Nam is usually between VND10,000 and VND20,000 (47-96 US cents) per transaction depending on the type and destination of the transaction. Due to fee issues, a large number of employees tend to withdraw sums at once to avoid fees and keep making daily payments in cash. — VNS

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Latex prices plunge, rubber trees axed

June, 16 2014 08:37:00
2.jpgThe price for one kilo of fresh rubber latex was only VND15,000, a significant fall compared with last year's price of VND30,000 – 40,000 per kg. — Photo DTCK


HCM CITY (VNS) — Farmers in central and southeastern provinces have cut down more rubber trees as the price of latex has plummeted.

The 1.5-ha rubber garden of farmer Ho Van Thanh in the central province of Quang Tri was planted in 1996, but this year he has cut down all of his trees.

The price for one kilo of fresh rubber latex was only VND15,000, a significant fall compared with last year's price of VND30,000 – 40,000 per kg.

"With 1.5 ha of rubber, I can earn less than VND100,000 (US$5) per day). If I hire workers to harvest latex, I will lose around VND200,000 ($10) per day. So, I have to cut the trees down and cultivate another kind of tree," Thanh was quoted as saying in Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

The capacity and quality of rubber in the two central provinces of Quang Tri and Quang Binh fell sharply because of a storm that hit the area in late 2013.

As a result, farmers spent at least VND14 million ($700) to clear their land.

In southeastern provinces like Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc and Tay Ninh, the situation was the same.

"I don't know when the latex price increased, but the cost of taking care of the trees and fertilisers is too much," said farmer Vo Hung Lam, who lives in Phu Chanh commune, Tan Uyen District, Binh Duong Province.

"The latex price is the lowest in the last 10 years and farmers have to cultivate something that is more stable," Lam added.

In 2007 when latex prices rose, Nguyen Thi Nga in Dong Nai Province's Thong Nhat District replaced her two-hectare garden of durian and mangosteen with rubber trees. The two fruits had turnover of VND70 million ($3,500) per year.

"If I had kept the durian and mangosteen, I would be earning now more than VND600 million ($30,000)," Nga said.

In 2010, Bui Van Rai, of Binh Phuoc Province's Hon Quan District, spent VND1 billion ($45,000) to buy one hectare of young rubber. Now he wants to sell at half price, but no one has asked.

At Dau Giay Rubber Plantation in Dong Nai Province, over the past year, 60 per cent of labourers of nearby Tran Hung Dao Hamlet in Tan Thanh Commune worked on rubber trees, but their monthly salary was only between VND500,000 and VND1.5 million ($24-71), half compared with the previous income.

"In the past, it was not easy to become a plantation worker, but now hundreds of workers have left within a two-month period," said worker Tran Minh Tuan, who has quit. "The remaining people are those near retirement."

Along with Provincial Road DT 785 from Tan Chau Town in the southern province of Tay Ninh to the Ka Tum border gate with Cambodia, young rubber trees were cut and replaced.

"I have to cut a 7-ha rubber garden at a loss of VND450 million ($22,000) and plant cassava because I cannot invest in more rubber," farmer Nguyen Van Chau in Tan Chau District, said.

In Tan Chau District, 160 hectares of rubber trees have been cut, and cassava plants have replaced them. The figure in Tan Bien District is 410 hectares.

"We have persuaded farmers to keep the rubber trees because they have invested a lot of money and time, but they have a right to cut down their rubber trees," said Nguyen Dac Hung, head of the Tan Bien District's Agriculture and Rural Development Department.

Most Vietnamese rubber-latex sales depend on Chinese traders.

Rubber prices reached their peak in 2011, but prices have now fallen by one-third.

"Most Vietnamese rubber plantations produce a small quantity, so most of them must export to China. If we want to seek another market, we must have at least 1,000 tonnes of rubber latex at one time to export. But that figure is huge for the limited capacity of Vietnamese plantations," said Nguyen Van Minh, director of Viet Trung Rubber Limited company, in the central province of Quang Binh. — VNS

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