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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   9 April  2012

Vietnam real estate slump hits construction industry

 9 April 2012
HCM City — The slump in the property market has in turn led to stagnation in the construction and construction materials industries.

Sales was down by 40 per cent now compared with the same period last year, said Hoang Van Tieu, deputy director of the Hoang Thien Phat Ltd company, which sells luxury interior materials.

"Many importing companies like us are offering big promotions but we still cannot sell because construction has no hope in the near future," he said.

Nguyen Kim Thuy, director of the Hoang Son Ltd company, said: "We are looking at other markets like Malaysia, Cambodia and Laos, but if the local market remains at a standstill, we will have to trade other products."

According to figures from the General Statistics Office, unsold stocks in the construction materials industry have increased by 21 per cent this year.
Some, like electric cables (86 per cent) and cement (84 per cent), have seen stocks rise by an astonishing rate.

There are also 30 million sq. metres of flowered enamelled tiles worth VND2 trillion (US$100 million) and 400,000 tonnes of steel in stock.
The Viet Nam Steel Association predicts around a fifth of all steel companies to go bankrupt this year since many big companies have had to cut production by 50-70 per cent.
Besides, the prices of major inputs like coal and electricity have risen sharply, causing manufacturers more difficulties.
Falling demand for their goods has been exacerbated by the loosening of controls on imports.

The construction materials industry wants the Government to tighten control over imports and help them tide over this difficult period.

For their part, it is vital to restructure production, work together within other industry players, build strong brands, cut costs, and improve their competitiveness.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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