Monday, March 26, 2007

Vietnam’s ties with China to grow further: Deputy PM

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem, who is visiting China, said Monday he is confident in the fine development of the two countries’ relations.

The two countries had reached consensus on developing economic cooperation, solving boundary issue and promoting cultural exchanges, Khiem told reporters during an interview.

The exchanges of high-level visits were conducive to enhancing mutual understanding and trust and become an impetus to bilateral ties, he said.

"We are glad to see that the economic and trade relations achieved remarkable development with increasing of bilateral trade volume, and we just signed an agreement on expanding and deepening our economic cooperation," he said.

The total trade volume between Vietnam and China hit almost US$10 billion last year, up 21.4 percent from the previous year.

There are over 400 Chinese investment projects in Vietnam with a total registration fund of more than $1 billion, Khiem also said.

The “traditional friendship” and bilateral ties would be cemented with joint efforts from the two sides so as to contribute to peace and stability in Asia and the whole world, Khiem added.

Khiem, who arrived in Beijing Saturday for a six-day visit, met Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan Sunday. They agreed that Vietnam and China would continue to join hands in promoting their relationship and forging multi-facetted bilateral cooperation

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Southern 2,640 MW power complex blueprinted

25/03/2006 -- 10:21 AM
HCM City, Mar. 25 (VNA) – A shared strategic plan for developing a 2,640 MW power complex using natural gas from Nam Con Son Basin was signed between Electricity of Viet Nam Corp (EVN), Viet Nam Oil and Gas Corp (PetroVietnam) and BP Exploration Operating Company Viet Nam (BP) in Ha Noi recently.

The plan will pave the way for the exploitation of new fields in Nam Con Son Basin’s blocks No. 5.2 and 5.3 and supply natural gas for the new power complex to be built in Nhon Trach, Dong Nai province.

According to EVN’s energy development plan, Nhon Trach Power Complex, with total capacity of 2,640MW, will require some 2.5 billion cubic metres of gas per year. The first plant at Nhon Trach is scheduled to become operational in 2008.

At the signing ceremony, Deputy Minister of Industry Nguyen Xuan Thuy said: “The ministry will give all the guidance and support necessary to make sure the project is successful and delivers a good return to investors.

“It will help meet the country’s demand for gas and power, contribute to economic development, and step up the development of the petroleum and energy industries in Viet Nam.”

The 1.3 billion USD Nam Con Son gas project, which became operational in 2002, has already proven that natural gas can be a reliable and clean fuel for power generation. During the 2005 dry season, the project increased the local gas supply by 30 percent in order to prevent power shortages.

Nam Con Son Basin, located 370 km southeast of Vung Tau, has reserves amounting to 58 billion cubic metres of gas. It is expected to supply natural gas to southern power plants for the next two decades.

The basin’s gas production rose from 2.58 billion cubic metres in 2004 to 3.58 billion cu.m last year.

BP operates Blocks 5.2 and 5.3 on behalf of its partners, PetroVietnam Exploration and Production (PVEP) and ConocoPhillips.-Enditem

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Banyan Tree to develop Vietnam’s largest integrated resort estimated to cost more than US$270m

Singapore Main-Board listed Banyan Tree Holdings Limited (“Banyan Tree” or the “Group”), has successfully obtained an Investment Certificate from the Management Board of the Chan May – Lang Co Economic Zone (the “Management Board”) to develop an integrated resort spanning more than 200 hectares (“the Site”) in Cu Du Village, Loc Vinh Commune. The Site is located 35 kilometres north of Danang International Airport.

The Investment Certificate is the critical for Banyan Tree to proceed with the proposed development of the Site into Vietnam’s largest integrated resort. The next step is for all the parties to agree to the terms of the lease contract for the Site. Master-planning and design work by Banyan Tree has already begun and construction is expected to start within 12 months

This latest development cements the Memorandum of Understanding which Banyan Tree signed in January this Site.

The project has been named “Laguna Vietnam” after Banyan Tree’s own “Laguna Phuket” which is currently Southeast Asia’s largest truly integrated resort.

On the cards for Laguna Vietnam, which will be built in three phases, are:

• A 170-key Banyan Tree resort and spa featuring beach and hill villas
• A 260-key Angsana resort and spa featuring Angsana suites and villas
• A 200-key golf hotel with convention facilities
• Two more 5-star hotels to be operated by other leading brands totaling 350 keys
• An 18-hole golf course
• Various residential villas and residences for sale

.The total project cost is estimated at more than US$270 million. The Site will be owned and master-planned by Banyan Tree. The Group intends to invite other co-investors to participate in the project, which has already attracted keen interest from various investors.

The entire Site is surrounded by lush green hills and features more than three kilometres of beachfront. Banyan Tree, well-reputed for its strong commitment to marrying economic development and ecological responsibility, plans to build its hill and ridge villas into the natural environment, offering guests unmatched and unblocked views of the South China Sea. The luxury development will offer guests their own exclusive space and yet provide them with the experience of being in a large integrated resort.

The high-profile Investment Certificate Transfer Ceremony was attended by principals from both parties, which included top officials from the People’s Committee of Thua Thien Hue Province, Chairman Nguyen Xuen Ly and President Nguyen Van Me, as well as the Management Board’s Permanent Deputy General Director, Mr Ho Sy Nguyen. Banyan Tree Group was represented by Executive Chairman Mr Ho KwonPing, Senior Vice President of Design Services Mr Ho Kwoncjan, Vice President of Design Services, Mr Dharmali Kusumadi and Assistant Vice-President of Business Development, Mr Paul Chong.

Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree, Mr. Ho KwonPing, expressed confidence that Laguna Vietnam can mirror the success of the Group’s flagship resort development in Phuket.

“We have always believed that Vietnam holds the greatest potential of replicating the success of Laguna Phuket within Asia,” said Mr. Ho. “We began our search in earnest for a suitable site in Vietnam in mid-2006 and found this site in Co Du only after surveying the entire Vietnamese coast. As impressed as we are with the Site, we are equally impressed with the efficiency of the Management Board of the Chan May – Lang Co Economic Zone who worked tirelessly and at incredible speed to help us realise this significant milestone in the development of Laguna Vietnam. We are grateful for their commitment to the project and are confident that with their continued support, Laguna Vietnam will become a reality.”