Communist Tax Lawyer

A news, research and discussion platform for monitoring the evolution of Communist and ex-Communist countries to market economies



Vietnam Allocates $50 Billion to Develop Northern Coastal Region

March 5th, 2009

Vietnam’s President Nguyen Tan Dung approved a plan today which will allocate US$50 billion over the next 11 years to develop an economic belt along the country’s northern coast.

The goal of the project is to establish a vibrant economic area which will propel the country’s economic, technology, and scientific sectors forward through cooperation with China to the north as well as other ASEAN members.

The investment plan is split up into two phases – the first from 2009-2010 and the second from 2011-2020.

Phase one will require an initial investment of between $5 and $7 billion and will lay the foundation for the economic zone through the construction of basic infrastructure needed for the area.

Phase two will require more than $40 billion as integral projects are developed, including three seaports, one airport, and several tourist and entertainment attractions.

By 2020, the area is expected to contribute 6.5 to 7 percent of the country’s GDP.

Vietnam Continues to Profit from Rice Exports

February 26th, 2009

As financial institutions across the world take a dive and luxury goods become less affordable, simple commodities like rice continue to be in high demand. Vietnam, the world’s second highest exporter of rice (behind Thailand), has already earned US$268 million this year in the industry.

The country has already exported 373,760 tons of rice this month alone and expects its year-end total to be in the range of 4.5 to 5 million tons – or almost US$3 billion in earnings.

Vietnam Plans First Nuclear Plants

February 20th, 2009

In an effort to provide a stable source of energy, the Vietnamese government is conducting negotiations with Westinghouse Electric regarding the production of two 2,000 megawatt nuclear power plants.

If approved this spring, construction on the two plants would begin in 2015 and would take five years to complete. The country currently relies primarily on hydro and gas-fuelled power plants.

Annual Delegation from the Vatican Meets in Hanoi

February 17th, 2009

A diplomatic delegation from the Holy See arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam yesterday for the Vatican’s 16th annual visit to the country. Their arrival, however, comes at a time of discord between the Vietnamese government and the Catholic Church – a result of recent protests by Catholic followers regarding the confiscation of Church property.

“Many properties that once belonged to the Church have been administered by the State on the grounds that they were needed for social purposes. Even when their purposes are no longer met, the buildings are seldom returned to their owners,” said Fr. J.B. An Dang.

Yesterday and today, the delegation from the Vatican will be meeting with government authorities at the Foreign Ministry and the Central Committee on Religious Affairs to discuss future diplomatic relations between the two parties.

Vietnamese media awards outrage Catholic activists

January 28th, 2009

Lay Catholic activists in Hanoi are expressing outrage that the government has honored two media outlets for their coverage of property disputes with the Church. The awards to the New Hanoi newspaper and VTV1 television station came after the two outlets flagrantly distorted their coverage of the December trial of several Catholic activists on charges of destroying state property.

Poverty Rate Drops Among Vietnam’s Ethnic Minorities

January 23rd, 2009

The poverty rate among ethnic minority groups reduced sharply, from 60.7 percent in 2004 to about 43 percent by the end of 2008. The Vietnam News Agency reported that the average per-capita income of ethnic people is about VND500,000 per month, almost 30 percent up against 2006.

Vietnam’s overseas investment hits US$4.4 bln

January 21st, 2009

Asia is Vietnam’s largest investment destination, with 257 projects worth US$2.85 billion, followed by Europe, America and Africa.

Cambodia-Vietnam Trade Nears US$1.7 billion

January 16th, 2009

Trade between Viet Nam and Cambodia came close to US$1.7 billion in 2008, a 31 percent year-on-year increase, according to sources from the Vietnam Commerce Bureau in Cambodia.

According to state news, Vietnam exported more than $1.45 billion worth of goods, including construction steel, farm machinery, fertilisers, plant protectants, consumer goods, processed agricultural produce and seafood, dairy products and re-exported oil and gas.

Vietnam Catholics file suits against state media over trial reports

January 14th, 2009

Two Vietnamese Catholic women filed a legal case against state media outlets over their coverage of a recent trial stemming from a tense land dispute with the church.

The two women demanded corrections, apologies and damages from a state newspaper and a television station for reporting that they had pleaded guilty in court to charges of disorderly conduct and vandalism, which they deny.The women took part in mass prayer vigils last month for the return of a church property in the capital that was taken over by the government 50 years ago, reports the AFP.

New York Philharmonic to Perform in Vietnam

January 13th, 2009

For the first time in its 156-year history, the New York Philharmonic will perform in Vietnam, according to the orchestra’s executive director Zarin Metha.

“This is a country that we felt as Americans that we owed a visit to,” said Metha. “We had a big war with them. The country was coming back, and we felt it was a good thing to reach out to the people there.”

The NY Philharmonic made headlines last February for its Pyongyang performance.