SEARAC

April 20, 2008

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Project SEA (Southeast Asian) Art is an undergraduate research
project by a group of students at the University of California,
Berkeley
. The aim of the project is to gather, document and feature
the different forms of artistic expressions of second generation
Southeast Asian Americans of Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, and
Hmong ancestry. In so doing, we hope to give voice, form and
resonance to the poetics and politics of young Southeast Asians in
America. Visual art works collected through this project will be
displayed at the UC Berkeley Southeast Asian graduation on May 24,
2008. We are also collaborating with the Southeast Asian Student
Coalition (SASC), who plan on compiling an anthology of selected
writings and literary expressions.

All forms of art – including literature, poetry, spoken word, music,
film, drawings, paintings, etc. – can be submitted for consideration.

The deadline for submission is May 1, 2008

Submissions may be mailed to:
Project SEA Art, 249 Cesar Chavez, Berkeley, CA 94720

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SEARAC (http://www.searac. org) is a national nonprofit organization working
to advance the interests of Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese Americans
through capacity building, advocacy, and education. SEARAC is proud to work
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Project SEA (Southeast Asian) Art is an undergraduate research project by a group of students at the University of California, Berkeley.  The aim of the project is to gather, document and feature the different forms of artistic expressions of second generation Southeast Asian Americans of Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, and Hmong ancestry. In so doing, we hope to give voice, form and resonance to the poetics and politics of young Southeast Asians in America.  Visual art works collected through this project will be displayed at the UC Berkeley Southeast Asian graduation on May 24, 2008.  We are also collaborating with the Southeast Asian Student Coalition (SASC), who plan on compiling an anthology of selected writings and literary expressions.

All forms of art – including literature, poetry, spoken word, music, film, drawings, paintings, etc. – can be submitted for consideration.

The deadline for submission is May 1, 2008

Submissions may be mailed to: Project SEA Art, 249 Cesar Chavez, Berkeley, CA 94720

Or, submissions may be emailed to the following email address: projectSEAart@gmail.com

To download the submission form, please click the following link: ProjectSEAart.doc

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Vietnamese garment exports rise 30 percent

Posted : Mon, 03 Dec 2007 10:18:02 GMT
Author : DPA
Category : Business
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Hanoi – Vietnam’s garment exports rose 30 per cent to 7.1 billion dollars in the first 11 months of 2007, officials said Monday, as the country’s entry into the World Trade Organization outweighed fears of possible restrictions in the US market. Le Quoc An, chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Garment Association, said the country was on target to meet its export goal of 7.8 billion dollars for the year. Vietnam is the world’s tenth-largest garment exporter. “Entry into WTO has also made Vietnam more attractive to foreign investors,” An said. “However, Vietnamese garment exporters still face an obstacle in exporting to the US, which is applying a monitoring mechanism on Vietnamese garment exports.”The US Department of Commerce began monitoring Vietnamese garment exports for dumping at the beginning of 2007. The measure was demanded by legislators from states with significant garment industries, who fear growth in Vietnamese exports will hurt their economies. Early in 2007, Vietnamese garment exporters worried that US importers might choose to source garments from countries which did not face such anti-dumping scrutiny. The US represents 55 percent of Vietnam’s apparel-export market. But such fears lightened in October when the Department of Commerce concluded that Vietnam firms had not engaged in dumping in the first half of 2007. “We feel very comfortable that (the department’s decision) will be continued for the second half of this year and for next year,” said Charles Kim, chief representative in Vietnam for the US department store chain Target. “So the anti-dumping concerns have been dismissed.”An said Vietnam had responded to the US anti-dumping monitoring program by diversifying its markets. “We have been exporting more to South Africa, Australia and African countries,” he said. “Exports to South Africa alone have grown hundreds of per cent in the first 11 months of this year.”

 
 
The Vietnamese property market is one of the fastest-growing in it’s region, largely due to greater foreign investment and household incomes.  Although investment in the region is growing at such a rapid rate, there are of course downfalls to consider when investing.

Marc Townsend, the director of CB Richard Ellis (Vietnam), attributes the real estate boom to Vietnam´s entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the rapid growth in the stock market.

WTO membership has encouraged more foreign companies to invest in Vietnam, pushing demand higher for mid- to high-grade office space and hotels, with an increasing number of business travellers.

CB Richard Ellis predicts the demand for retail space at shopping centres will continue to rise, with more companies competing in a more liberalised economic environment in the WTO era.

As a result, domestic and foreign property developers are planning to inject millions of US dollars into the market to build five-star hotels, entertainment and shopping complexes, and office buildings in all the major urban centres.

However, these new construction projects are at a premature stage and are years from being completed, causing a short term shortage in available space.

According to HCM City Real Estate Association (HCREA), many high-end office buildings in Hanoi and HCM City are fully occupied and cost about US$35-38 a sqm per month. A booming stock market has also contributed to real estate growth. Along with this, fund managers are also flooding the market.

Townsend noted that the money earned from securities trading is being redirected to the more stable real estate market. This has led to greater domestic demand for high-rise apartments and villas.

VinaCapital controls 70 per cent of Hilton Hanoi after acquiring an additional 50 per cent stake earlier this year. The company also owns 70 per cent of Sofitel Metropole Hanoi, and operates two property funds that expect returns of 25-30 per cent.

Tran Thanh Tan, director of Dragon Capital’s securities investment fund, predicts that the future is bright for property in Vietnam, with the market expected to continue its steady growth in 2007 and the following year.


(04-04-2007)

HCM CITY — Nguyen Thuy Quynh and her partners are planning to open a new international school in anticipation of higher enrolment following the country’s membership in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The one-hectare school, expected to open in August, would have a modern campus situated in the fast-developing area of District 7, Quynh said.

“Because of the WTO, Viet Nam will have many opportunities to do business with other countries,” said Quynh, deputy director of Khai Sang Joint-Stock Co.

“The young generation must have the knowledge and qualifications to work with foreign partners, and we need to train the young from an early age to become skilled professionals.”

Quynh said the new Renaissance International School Saigon (RISS) would fill a need in the city for international-standard education.

Although as many as 45 existing schools claim to be ‘international’, only a few — including British International School (BIS), International School Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon South International School and ABC International School — have adopted a British or American curriculum with international baccalaureate preparation taught by certified native English-speaking teachers.

Of these schools, BIS has attracted the most foreign students, with a total of 1,200, while the others have an enrolment of about 500 each.

The BIS primary levels are nearly full, and Saigon South International School and ABC International School have limited spaces, reserved only for certain nationalities and grades.

The schools said they were trying to ensure that no single nationality was over-represented.

Quynh said quality education for expatriates’ children was in demand, and the current shortage could create a problem in the near future.

Her school will have a 350-seat auditorium equipped with high-end equipment, computers with broadband and wireless internet access in classrooms.

Alun Thomas, RISS’s headmaster, said the school would use the International Primary Curriculum and predicted that teachers would not be difficult to find.

“There’s now an awareness of Viet Nam as a good destination to work,” he said, “Viet Nam is also very central for traveling during holidays, another appealing feature.”

Quynh’s decision to create the school, she said, was based not only on need but national pride as well.

“All the international schools here have been invested in by foreigners so we thought there was no reason why Vietnamese could not invest in a real international school for Vietnamese and expatriate children,” she said. — VNS


(19-12-2006)

HA NOI — Vietnam Airlines plans to establish routes to the United States next year to satisfy projected blistering demand following recently-strengthened trade ties between the two countries and Viet Nam’s accession to the WTO.

The airline will submit a plan for direct US flights to the Prime Minister in two weeks, said the deputy director of the national carrier, Pham Ngoc Minh.

Officials expect the routes could play a significant role in strengthening political, social and economic ties between the countries.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asked the company to accelerate the process and have routes established by the end of 2007, said Minh.

Last November, Vietnam Airlines sent a delegation to the US to examine possible flights to San Francisco or Los Angeles.

One hurdle Asian carriers will have to overcome in gaining a foothold in the lucrative American market is Westerners’ preference for domestic airlines. US carriers have, on average, around 12 million dedicated customers, according to the deputy director. Frequent customers of US carriers enjoy many benefits, including discounts at shopping malls, entertainment centres and restaurants, both at home and abroad, said Minh.

To overcome the initial stumbling blocks, Vietnam Airlines is looking to partner with American Airlines. In addition, the airline will likely seek a stop-over hub in another country.

Recently released trade figures have buoyed the hopes of the travel sector. According to the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism, some 352,000 Americans visited Viet Nam in the first 11 months of this year, up 15 per cent from 2005.

That figure is expected to double next year on the back of the repatriation of 1.3 million overseas Vietnamese from the US and an increasing push by American investors into Viet Nam.

Bilateral trade revenues are projected at US$11-12 billion this year, 50 per cent higher than last year.

Vietnam Airlines transported more than 5.1 million passengers in the first nine months of 2006, an increase of 17.5 per cent over last year. Of these, 2.3 million were foreign travellers. — VNS

Commitments to WTO not beneficial to majority of Vietnamese people
VietNamNet Bridge – Hanoi,Vietnam
has also pledged not to give subsidies to farm produce right after Vietnam joins WTO, which is believed to have a serious impact on Vietnamese agriculture and

 
16:37′ 07/11/2006 (GMT+7)

Soạn: HA 948359 gi đến 996 để nhn ảnh này
 

VietNamNet Bridge – Many experts have said that WTO membership will bring Vietnamese youngsters more opportunities, but what do the young say about their country’s integration. 

Dao Duc Quan, Director of Viet Joint-stock Media Company VietComs: “More opportunities for companies of young entrepreneurs to attract capital.” 

I think that Vietnam has been a very small market, which has not been able to catch the eyes of big companies in the world. WTO admission will further focus the world’s attention on the country. This therefore will create chances for young entrepreneurs in new business areas, especially in the media industry. 

In fact, big companies in Vietnam have built partnerships with international companies. For the smaller ones, having business partnerships with international companies has seemed unreachable. However, when the “door opens”, many international companies will come here and they will bring with them capital which “young” enterprises in Vietnam would love to have. 

We also understand that we need to find ways to thrive in a more competitive business environment; otherwise bankruptcy is the foreseeable result. We therefore need to better train human resources and management so that the integration will offer us more support than harm. 

The challenges that young entrepreneurs will face will be that they either get the chance to quickly expand their businesses or will they will be quickly left behind by the competition. 

PhD Nguyen Dac Vinh, Lecturer of the Faculty of Chemistry, Hanoi National University, Secretary of the university’s youth association: “The young will learn how to shorten the way to develop and to wait for opportunities in front.” 

Better integration into the world will provide Vietnamese youngsters with more opportunities to learn more knowledge and experience from more developed countries. This will shorten the distance that the young have to go to improve their knowledge. 

I think Vietnamese students have very good potential and are not “behind” students from other countries. This explains why when studying abroad, Vietnamese students are just as good as students from other countries. However, when they come back here to work they are left behind in comparison to foreign youngsters. This is obviously because the working environment here does not provide them with opportunities to apply the knowledge they learn overseas.  

I do hope that WTO membership will give us more chances to prove our abilities. This is what I expect the WTO to bring to us. 

Hoang Anh Tuan – Director of Hanoi Branch of Sacombank: “The tradition of older is better and wiser will no longer work.” 

The WTO is the turning point for many young entrepreneurs. Our customers mostly are young private companies. I think with the new “turning point” they will have more opportunities to expand their businesses and cooperate more with international companies as well as to promote their exports, with more customers interested in doing business with them. 

We as a bank will benefit from that. I do believe that the young nowadays have knowledge and will not have to work under the imposing tradition of “older is better and wiser”. If a young worker does well he or she will immediately be recognised and doesn’t need to be older. 

The young people therefore will have more chances to develop in terms of working in positions of managers or scientific researchers. 

Hoang Trong Thanh, student of the School of Technology, Hanoi National University: We have chances to “cope with hot time”. 

We understand that the time for the country to be fully recognised will be more than five years or even longer. This means that young people who are currently students will be the ones to directly deal with what should be called the “hot time”. 

We have the same thinking as other people: We will benefit from deeper integration. However, we need to overcome challenges to get more benefits from integration. 

People have said that after Vietnam joins the WTO there will be an investment wave into the country. This will provide Vietnamese people with more job opportunities, and chances to learn from big corporations. This definitely will be good for us, as with deeper understanding we will play our primary roles in a better way in the WTO time. 

If I talk about studying, I think Vietnamese students will get more advantages, such as better studying conditions, chances to study abroad, financial support from big companies, under a plan to come back to work for them. 

Students will also have chances to be trained through working or practicing with big companies. The government I think will have appropriate policies to have better human resources who have enough knowledge to work in the system or to provide human resources for international investment projects. 

No international investor would be interested in Vietnam if they thought that the human resources here did not meet their criteria. Students are the human resources for their companies, factories in the next five years or seven years, but they will also be the customers who will use the services provided by these foreign investors. 

(Source: TPO)