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Quang Ninh gets ready for busy cruise season



As the cruise season usually starts in October and ends in April, travel agencies in the northeastern coastal province of Quang Ninh have made plans and established linkages to welcome cruise ships.

Quang Ninh gets ready for busy cruise season hinh anh 1Silver Muse ship docks in the northeastern coastal province of Quang Ninh. (Photo: VNA)

Quang Ninh – As the cruise season usually starts in October and ends in April, travel agencies in the northeastern coastal province of Quang Ninh have made plans and established linkages to welcome cruise ships.

In late October, two cruise ships – the Viking Orion of Norway and the Bahamas’s Silver Muse – carried some 1,200 tourists from Europe to the province, where the visitors explored the famous Ha Long Bay and local cultural and cuisine traditions.   

Since the beginning of the year, Quang Ninh has welcomed many cruise ships, some of them having returned twice. According to the Quang Ninh Department of Tourism, so far 18 international cruise ships have registered to bring tourists to Ha Long Bay from late October to the end of the year. 

They are all luxury ships which have docked in Quang Ninh many times such as Viking Orion, Silver Muse, Celebrity Solstice, and Silver Whisper. The cruises specialise in serving tourism routes in Asia and South Pacific, and depart from many different countries.

With an adequate port system, beautiful landscapes, and a prime location in Asia’s important maritime traffic routes, Quang Ninh is a suitable stop for cruise journeys in the region and the world.

Especially, the province is located near China – a potential market for cruise tourism with many international shipping lines operating cruise ships. It is also a convenient stop near other North Asian markets such as Taiwan (China), the Republic of Korea, and Japan.

In addition, Quang Ninh has developed many destinations that meet cruise tourists’ needs for entertainment or shopping, such as the high-class amusement and entertainment area SunWorld Ha Long Complex, Bai Chay beach, Quang Ninh Museum – Library, Quang Ninh Expo Centre and Ha Long market. 

The operation of the Ha Long International Passenger Port since November 2018 has created a big boost for the province’s cruise tourism. The port can serve two ships at the same time and can serve cruises of up to 225,000 GRT, carrying 8,460 people.

Marko Snajdar, Captain of the Viking Orion said that Quang Ninh has many advantages to develop cruise tourism thanks to its location, its nature, a developed infrastructure system and adequate services.

According to him, when arriving at the province, tourists have got memorable experiences here.

With the recent changes in Vietnam’s visa policy, cruise tourists can complete procedures quickly and have more time for sightseeing and relaxation. 

Quang Ninh tourism businesses have also taken the initative in linking with travel agencies to form a synchronous tourism product chain. 

Nguyen Thi Thu Hang, Director of Tan Hong Ltd Company’s Quang Ninh branch, said that she highly appreciates the infrastructure investment and improved quality of services on Ha Long Bay. She said the activities on the bay are very interesting and safe, attracting a large number of tourists to spend the night on the bay.

She added that foreign tourists, especially European ones, love to learn about the local ethnic culture, so her company has piloted a tour in the mountainous area of Hoanh Bo, which received positive feedback. Hang said the company will bring more guests to the area in the coming time.

To make Quang Ninh become an attractive destination for cruise tourists, the province has implemented communication marketing campaigns, especially promotional activities abroad, and cooperated with shipping companies to promote the locality’s images. The province has also developed specific short-term and long-term plans for the development of the cruise tourism market.

At the same time, the province’s tourism sector continues with efforts to improve service quality, focusing on developing luxury tourism product lines, and training human resources, promoting the strengths of transportation infrastructure, and ensuring security and safety for visitors./.  



2 Japanese firms join Vietnamese partner in suppling affordable houses



A tripartite real estate joint venture including Vietnam’s TT Capital Investment Corporation (TT Capital) and Japanese partners was launched in Ho Chi Minh City this week with the aim of building and marketing about 1,000 affordable apartments each year.

TT Capital, a Ho Chi Minh City-based real estate firm established in 2021, entered into a joint venture with two real estate Japanese firms, namely Cosmos Initia Co. Ltd. and Koterasu Partners Pte. Ltd., in a ceremony held in the city on Tuesday. 

The three parties expect to invest about US$150 million over the next five years, after which they will build about 1,000 affordable apartment units every year and offer them at less than VND2 billion ($82,300) apiece.

The joint venture will develop its first residential building project in Di An City of Binh Duong Province, a northern neighbor of Ho Chi Minh City, to provide 2,000 apartments, which cover 50 – 60 square meters each, at the aforementioned price, or VND35 million ($1,440) per square meter.

The capital contribution for the tenement project was completed last month and the project will be commenced officially in mid-2024.

Primary apartment selling prices from 2021 to the first half of 2023 in Binh Duong increased 11 percent year on year, reaching up to VND40 million ($1,640) per square meter in the second quarter, CBRE Vietnam said.

Addressing the ceremony, Nguyen Trung Tin, chairman of TT Capital, said that cooperation with its two Japanese partners will help the company improve its capital source, further promote its existing capability, and quickly launch new products to the market.

“The joint venture is committed to creating housing products of excellent quality to enhance customers’ living experience with our outstanding services,” Tin told the ceremony.

TT Capital’s aspiration is to become a property developer providing the most livable urban towns in Vietnam and the Southeast Asian region, the firm said on its website.

The total local housing demand in Ho Chi Minh City for the period 2021-30 is estimated to be around 37 million square meters but the supply of affordable housing in the city and its surrounding areas remains limited, Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) newspaper cited housing analysts.

Therefore, when the joint venture’s target of 1,000 apartments priced under $82,300 each is realized, it will considerably contribute to the supply of the affordable housing segment not only in Binh Duong but also in Ho Chi Minh City and its neighbors.

A subsidiary of Japan’s Daiwa House Group, Cosmos Initia, founded in 1969, engages in real estate sales, rentals, and brokerage activities in Japan.

It has some subsidiaries that participated in developing a number of real estate projects in Vietnam.

Koterasu is an enterprise established in 2020, specializing in cross-border real estate asset management, consultancy on international expansion for Japanese clients, and other fields.

Founder and CEO of Koterasu Masakazu Yamaguchi is a member of the board of Ho Chi Minh City-based An Gia Real Estate Investment and Development Corporation, with which Koterasu signed an agreement in September to invest $10 million.

Speaking at the ceremony, Japanese Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Ono Masuo wished the joint venture successful operations, contributing good value to the housing development in Vietnam, according to local media.

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Festival to drive national rice trade



Expanding the Festival of Vietnam Rice Industry internationally will make it possible to showcase the rice production potential, strength and quality, thereby driving national rice trade, heard a press conference in Ho Chi Minh City on December 1 to introduce the Vietnam International Rice Industry Festival – Hau Giang 2023 slated for December 11-14.

Festival to drive national rice trade hinh anh 1Harvesting rice in the Mekong Delta (Photo: VNA)

HCM City – Expanding the Festival of Vietnam Rice
Industry internationally will make it possible to showcase the rice production
potential, strength and quality, thereby driving national rice trade, heard a press
conference in Ho Chi Minh City on December 1 to introduce the Vietnam
International Rice Industry Festival – Hau Giang 2023 slated for December

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural
Development Hoang Trung said over the past years, Vietnam has achieved
significant milestones in rice production, making a crucial contribution to
ensuring national food security and maintaining its position as one of the
world’s leading rice exporting countries.

The festival will take place at
a time when Vietnam is aiming to become a leading nation in the production of
quality rice in a green and sustainable direction, he said.

Dong Van Thanh, Chairman of the Hau Giang provincial People’s
Committee, said the festival will be elevated to an international level for the
first time this year with a series of exhibitions and seminars on a larger

During the event, the Prime Minister will officially announce
the approval of a project on the sustainable development of one million ha of
high-quality rice cultivation with low emissions associated with green growth in
the Mekong Delta by 2030, thus conveying the Vietnamese Government’s commitment
to greenhouse gas emission reduction, which was declared by the PM at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, he said.

According to him, the festival will enable
organisations, localities, businesses and farmers to access new production
knowledge, technological advances and modern techniques applied in the overall
agricultural digital transformation and specifically in rice production.

It will feature a wide range of activities,
including seminars and contests which aim to arouse the desire to develop
agriculture and rural areas.

There will be more than 700 booths showcasing
products under the One Commune One Product (OCOP) programme, and culinary
delicacies from rice and the introduction of various types of machines and
drones that serve rice production.

One of the highlights of the festival is the
Vietnamese rice journey from December 11 to January 3 which is arranged to show
the development of the country’s rice cultivation from shortage of food to
become the second rice exporting country in the world./.


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Vietnam’s aviation sector grows as economy develops: Emirates GM



Vietnam’s aviation sector is growing in tandem with its economic development as the geographical location definitely gives a benefit to the Southeast Asian country, said Majid Al Falasi, country manager of Emirates in Vietnam.

With both tourism and transportation demands increasing after the COVID-19 pandemic, the carrier expects Vietnam to remain an important market in Southeast Asia.

Responding to Tuoi Tre News via a video call, Falasi affirmed that Vietnam has a favorable position to connect with the world by both air and sea.

Please tell us about the upcoming plans that Emirates has for its operation in Vietnam after COVID-19.

I have been in Vietnam for almost three months, going on four months. I am delighted to be here, looking forward to the upcoming time in Vietnam. The country has a lot of things to offer. It has a lot of unique features.

There are lots of potential and a lot of things that the country has and can provide. At the moment for Emirates, we are looking at getting things back to pre-COVID levels. Then from there, we’ll look forward to growing.

We see travel demand is increasing in Vietnam. We saw a huge volume of cargo during the pandemic, specifically from the Vietnamese market, which indicates that it is one of the critical markets in the region. We used to have more than 30 aircraft coming to Vietnam during that COVID-19 period.

The manufacturing industry, the bilateral agreements that are being signed, and the relationship between other countries are all things that help us as an airline. Many corporations in manufacturing industries are available in the country, which definitely supports us from a cargo perspective.

The cargo business is now more stabilized. It is more similar to pre-COVID levels.

In 2022 and the beginning of 2023, we achieved numbers higher even than pre-COVID levels [for passenger transport]. This is understandable because during the pandemic there were a lot of people who were just kept at home and could not travel. So they were very eager to travel, specifically from the year 2022 to the beginning of 2023. During this period, we saw numbers even higher than pre-COVID levels.

Some claim that Vietnam has the dilemma of ‘good location, bad infrastructures,’ which prevents the country from playing a more crucial part as a commercial air transport hub of Southeast Asia and the wider region. What are your thoughts?

Looking at the global tendency now, you see a lot of big companies opening up factories in Vietnam. Numerous foreign investments are coming into Vietnam. The geographical location definitely gives a plus to Vietnam.

I think Vietnam has the potential to grow. I believe Vietnam can be one of the region’s biggest economies in the next few years.

I think the geographical location of Vietnam plays a good role in attracting investment as Vietnam has a long coastline and many ports. So this helps those manufacturers and investors when they do their costing. So the country is very well connected in terms of air and sea transport. That is why Vietnam has the potential and I do believe in the vision for the future.

I have recently read in the news that there is a US$1-billion project for a Lego factory, for example. It shows that this country has something special and unique to offer, which is driving the investment. Foreign investors are coming here to do the manufacturing.

I understand that Samsung is already present in Vietnam and they have a big manufacturing business there. When you see big players in the global market have a presence in Vietnam, it clearly shows the strength of this country.

I do not see it [the infrastructure] as a weakness. I think this is an opportunity to develop and it is a starting point for development. 

We, on the other hand, help take these products globally. Whatever the product is, with our aircraft and our procedures, we ensure that the whole streamline is safe. We ensure that you will receive your products exactly as we receive them. We assure you that the process Emirates follows maintains the highest standard in terms of the cargo business. 

So challenges are there, and opportunities are there, but the situation and the potential of the country are super high, which is shown by foreign investors’ investments in this country. 

Speaking of new investments, the Vietnamese government has set its ambition in the semiconductor industry. So how can foreign airlines like Emirates contribute to this goal?

Building the supply chain for these semiconductors is a complex task. We integrate this consideration into all our standards and measures while undertaking the process.

Emirates contributes to Vietnam’s ambition and the global semiconductor supply chain through an extensive global network, reliable and flexible cargo services, and temperature-controlled solutions.

These are all things that Emirates already has. Security and safety measures are also something that is always on our top list and priority. Customer experience and expectations are always our highest priority. Collaboration with the local stakeholders is also taken into consideration. 

The strength of the airline lies in its pivotal role as a valuable partner in supporting Vietnamese endeavors to elevate its position in the semiconductor industry and on a global stage. 

What is Emirates’ business development orientation and vision in Vietnam in the next five to 10 years?

Our biggest goal at the moment is to support the growing demand for air travel to and from Vietnam and contribute to the country’s GDP by creating jobs for Vietnamese talent across various business units and in different roles. We have different setups that we manage to support them.

At Emirates, there are now more than 160 Vietnamese employees in varied business units including cabin crew, Emirates outstations, customer services, and other roles.

Is Vietnam a regional aviation center?

Falasi said Vietnam has the potential to become a new regional aviation center as novel plans are being implemented.

“The government’s vision for airport development, as articulated in an announcement, aligns with a forward-looking perspective for the year 2050. The ambitious plan entails the construction of 30-33 new airports, signaling a significant stride toward bolstering the country’s connectivity and overall infrastructure,” he explained.

“This will give a push overall. Now the vision clearly says that they want 97 percent of the people to be 100 kilometers away from any of the airports, which helps people and businesses stay connected.

“Air transport locally will be easier. Being in Ho Chi Minh City, I also saw the news about the new Long Thanh International Airport. The government’s commitment to this project not only indicates a dedication to modernizing infrastructure but also opens up promising opportunities for international airlines.

“So we believe things and actions are already being taken. It is just a matter of time for them to be implemented. Yes, of course, that’s precious!”

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