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First Vietnamese bank allows transactions in South Korea for local card holders



All TPBank’s ATM cardholders could immediately implement payment and withdrawal transactions at some three million locations accepting card payments and nearly 40,000 ATMs in South Korea. — Photo courtesy of the bank

HÀ NỘI — TPBank has become the first bank in Việt Nam to allow all domestic cardholders to make payment and withdrawal transactions in South Korea in addition to international debit cards or credit cards.

TPBank, the National Payment Corporation of Việt Nam (NAPAS) and BC Card – the largest credit card network in South Korea with more than a quarter market share – successfully implemented the project to connect trans-international payment services.

Accordingly, all TPBank’s ATM cardholders can immediately implement payment and withdrawal transactions at some three million locations accepting card payments and nearly 40,000 ATMs in South Korea.

With the service, TPBank has helped customers completely eliminate worries of having to buy foreign currency in time to open an international debit card or credit card for travelling, business trips or transferring money to their children to study in South Korea. Moreover, keeping a local card in their wallet for direct payments via POS machines or withdrawing an amount of spending money at an ATM when needed will be much safer than carrying a large amount of foreign currency.

Nguyễn Hưng, TPBank’s general director, said: “Through this project, TPBank hopes to bring the best services and experiences to Vietnamese customers who have been living, working, studying and travelling in Korea as well as contribute to promoting the Viet Nam – Korea strategic co-operation partnership.”

Hưng added that with the dynamism, enthusiasm and the forefront in applying new technologies, TPBank is expected to join State agencies to expand this feature in other countries such as Thailand, China and Japan to give customers the best experience when using their bank’s services.

In recent years, South Korea has become one of the most popular destinations for Vietnamese to travel, work and study. The Korea Tourism Board said that in 2019 there were more than half a million Vietnamese travelling in South Korea, representing a 22 per cent year-on-year increase. The number of Vietnamese students studying in the country has reached 37,426 people, an increase of more than 10,000 compared to 2018.

In 2020, tourism activities from Việt Nam to South Korea were interrupted due to COVID-19. However, when the pandemic is controlled, the number of Vietnamese tourists travelling to the country will increase again. Korea has also implemented many policies to support Vietnamese students.

According to statistics from the Payment Department under the State Bank of Việt Nam, by the end of the second quarter of 2020, the total number of cards in circulation in Việt Nam reached more than 106 million, of which the number of domestic cards accounted for more than 90 million, nearly six times the number of credit cards. At TPBank, the growth rate of cards is always very high, at 50 per cent a year compared to the market. —



Vietnam’s full-year growth expected at 3% in 2020: Standard Chartered



Standard Chartered expects Vietnam’s economy to grow by 3 per cent in 2020 and surge to 7.8 per cent in 2021. 

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Rising consumption on improving sentiment, and faster manufacturing will drive growth in the last quarter of this year.

The forecast is highlighted in Standard Chartered’s recently published Global Research report entitled “Vietnam – Q3 disruption, but recovery remains intact”.

Vietnam is one of the few Asian economies to have registered positive growth so far this year, despite the second wave of infections. Improving services growth and infrastructure investment should help Vietnam outperform the rest of Asia, it said.

According to the latest macroeconomic report on Vietnam, a likely improvement in external demand in the fourth quarter should support manufacturing growth, forecast at roughly 7.3 per cent in full-year 2020. Both exports and imports are expected to increase as a result. Trade is likely to remain in surplus for the rest of 2020 as exports and imports move in tandem.

The study also forecasts that the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) will remain accommodative in the near term to support growth./.VNA


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Israel transfers irrigation technology to local university



Dương Văn Lượng, vice chairman of Thái Nguyên provincial People’s Committee (left) watches technicians demonstrate the irrigation system on Wednesday. — Photo Hoàng Sơn

THÁI NGUYÊN — The Embassy of Isreal to Việt Nam has handed over an irrigation system to the Thái Nguyên University of Agriculture and Forestry.

The system will be used to train students, organisations and individuals who are studying and working in the agriculture sector in the northern province.

The university will also strive to become a high-tech agriculture training centre for the whole country.

The solar-powered irrigation system operates on dripping technology that helps water the plants over time and reduce the chance of water overuse.

The system is installed in a net house and run by a control panel that connects to a smartphone to adjust the light, humidity and ventilation.

The project is expected to boost the bilateral ties between Việt Nam and Israel in the agriculture sector, especially when the latter has abundant experience due to a lack of fresh water in its harsh geographical location.

The project costs the university more than US$20,000. Half of the expense is covered by the government of Israel via its Việt Nam-based embassy.

It is part of very meaningful and deep co-operation between the Israeli embassy and the university and the province, Israeli ambassador Nadav Eshcar said at the event.

“The dripping irrigation is a key Israeli technology which is relevant to the agriculture sector in Việt Nam,” he said.

The system here will serve not only exchange students, who have come to study in Israel, but also other students in Việt Nam, farmers and organisations in the surrounding area, the ambassador said.

“This is an opportunity for them to see how it works, to get the idea, to understand the technology, and to support the businesses and their future career.”


The Embassy of Israel to Việt Nam on the same day co-ordinated with the province of Thái Nguyên to organise a seminar discussing solutions for farming households.

Dương Văn Lượng, vice chairman of Thái Nguyên provincial People’s Committee, said the province is still weak in luring companies to invest in its agriculture sector.

Meanwhile, there are very few popular locally-made brands with low added value, he said, adding agricultural production is still not engaged with high technology.

Lượng hoped provincial farmers and agrico companies will have the chance to get access to Israeli technologies so that they are enabled to improve productivity and quality.

Speaking highly of the relations between Việt Nam and Israel in trade and education, the Israeli ambassador Nadav Eshcar hoped the ties between the two nations will grow in the future, especially in high-tech agriculture.

The Israeli government is willing to support the province to apply new technologies to help local farmers boost their production, the ambassador said. —


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Hanoi, HCMC’s metro lines to reduce huge volumes of CO2: JICA survey



A train from the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway system in Hanoi City. Once in place, Hanoi’s first and second urban railway lines and HCMC’s first metro line are expected to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – Once in place, Hanoi’s first and second urban railway lines are expected to help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by over 54,540 tons and 39,610 tons of CO2 emissions per year, respectively, while HCMC’s first metro line can help cut down GHG emissions by over 56,870 tons of CO2 per year, according to a survey conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The “Data Collection Survey on development of Measurement, Report and Verification (MRV) system in urban railway sector in Vietnam” was conducted between February 2019 and September 2020, targeting the three urban railway lines, which are financed by Japan’s official development assistance loans.

The survey, successfully completed in cooperation with the Department of Climate Change, the Department of Environment under the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment, is considered as a scientific basis to promote low-emission means of transport such as metro lines in metropolitan areas such as Hanoi City and HCMC.

Ken Kumazawa, team leader of the survey, said that urban railways have become a daily part of Japanese life. In Vietnam, where most people use motorbikes, getting them to change to urban railways would not be easy. In the future, ensuring the quality of service and showcasing the positive environmental impacts of the urban railways will surely increase the ridership.

“Besides providing more efficient mobility, urban railways can reduce carbon dioxide and air pollutants. We hope the survey will help people understand the importance of our metro projects and more people will shift from motorbikes and private cars to urban railways in Hanoi and HCMC. The urban railway systems to be developed in Hanoi and HCMC will not only meet the public demand for transportation but also contribute to the national target of a 9% GHG emission reduction by 2030,” said Murooka Naomichi, senior representative of JICA Vietnam Office.

Speaking at the final workshop of the survey organized by the JICA Vietnam Office in Hanoi on October 23, Tran Anh Duong, director general of the MOT Department of Environment, highly appreciated JICA’s support. “The survey provided suggestions for conducting interviews with households and proposed a simple methodology with an institutional arrangement to monitor the reduction of GHG emissions in the future when the urban railways are operational,” he said.

“MOT will utilize the results of the survey for the upcoming development of the MRV system in the transport sector,” he added.

Cities such as Hanoi and HCMC are suffering from severe air pollution, leading to the deterioration of health and an increasing number of respiratory diseases. The development of urban railways is not only considered one of the potential options for GHG mitigation but also widely known as an effective solution for traffic congestion and air pollution.

The results of the interviews with households living along the urban railways, which are planned in Hanoi and are underway in HCMC revealed that a significant majority of the interviewees (81% along HCMC’s first metro line and 66% along Hanoi’s first urban railway line) expressed their willingness to use the urban railways in the future.


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