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Tony Milton MRICS

BSc (Hons) Est Man

Fast Facts

Date : Thursday, 21 January 2010
Category : Socio Economic

Chronological Order : - Scroll to bottom for latest info


291209-HCMC's public parks and flower gardens cover a mere 535 hectares, just over half the coverage tenyears ago, according to an official of the city Transport Department's Park and Greenery Office. According to the Transport De¬partment, the city's target for 2006¬2010 was 4-5sqm of public parks and gardens per capita but there was only 0.7sqm per capita, far behind the stan¬dards of necessary trees for each person, but that the department was drawing a plan to extend per capita greenery to 4-5sqm by 2025. The city would ex¬pand Gia Dinh Park in Phu Nhuan District by 17.4 hectares and Sta¬tion 2 Park in Thu Duc District by 12 hectares and build six public flower gardens in Go Vap District. SGT

291209-According to the director of the HCMC Transport Dept, the city in 2007 estimated a need for US$26bn to expand roads and public transportation. Today the need is for US$40 billion. According to the department, the city has 4.5m vehicles comprising 404,000 cars and over 4 million motorbikes. Each day, another 115 newly-registered cars and 1,150 new motorbikes are added to the problem. "With the annual increase of pri¬vate vehicles by 15% while the road area is limited, the traffic jams in the city will be more terrible in coming years if the city does not hasten exist¬ing projects.” SGT

301209-Skilled work¬ers earn less than manual labourers, according to a recent report issued by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs. A new university graduate earned an average of about VND50,000 (US$2.90) daily, while a self-em¬ployed, untrained labourer earned about VND80,000 ($7.90). The Viet Nam Economic Institute said, "There must be something wrong with the wage system if the salary of a university graduate is lower than that of a manual labourer." And the ministry's report also said that average wages generally were insufficient to maintain a reasonable stan¬dard of living in major cities due to the high costs of food, electricity and housing. Agricultural or industrial park workers able to live in their native provinces gener¬ally fared farbetterthan work¬ers in more expensive urban areas, spending an average of VND359,000 ($20) per month in living expenses compared to the VND738,000 ($41) in expenses faced by urban workers, according to 2006 figures. Workers in the agriculture and garment sectors were the lowest paid, averaging from VND1.1 million ($61) to VND1.4 million ($77) a month. while those in avia¬tion, petroleum, finance, mining, and healthcare ser¬vices received wages of VND3.46 million ($192) to VND 13.6 million ($755) per month. The average income of workers in private enter¬prises was also much lower than that of employees of State-owned and foreign-in¬vested companies, averag¬ing 56.6% of the earn¬ings of employees in State ¬owned enterprises and 68.4% of those in the for¬eign-invested sector. The report also found that 20-25% of uni¬versity graduates in the fields of law and business administration ended up accepting work in market¬ing, retail sales, or even as waiters in restaurants. Viet Nam has more than 44 million people at working age, over half of which work in the agricultural sector. VNN

301209-Since its establishment in 1997 the Waste Recycling Fund of HCMC has funded no businesses in the filed. Research has shown that the city produces 6,000 tons of waste a day, of which 1/3rd could be recycled. Urban waste has increased from 0.6 kg per person per day in 1996 to 1 kg per person per day. Most of it has been buried with 15%-20% collected by garbage trucks and sold to small enterprises for recycling. SGT

050110-Gender imbalance will be the biggest challenge for local authorities in years to come as the ratio of male/female infants was 111/100, according to results of the country's national population census 2009.The census also shows people over 15 with profes¬sional training increased by 35% since 1999. Laborers in the agricul¬ture, industry-construction and ser¬vice sectors were 51.5%, 15.4% and 32.8% respectively while they were 69.4%,14.9% and 15.7% in 1999. SGT

130110-In 2008 more than 10,000 people were killed in 11,000 traffic accidents in Vietnam. In Australia with 20m people about 300 were killed. Many drivers appear to have absolutely no knowledge of road rules. They wander all over the roads, stopping whenever and wherever they feel like. They appear out of side streets without ever looking at oncoming traffic, they race through red lights, and regularly drive against oncoming traffic on one-way lanes. Many drivers in Viet Nam seem to lack this basic training, this basic care and respect for other people's safety. VNN

140110-The death toll from traffic accidents declined by 0.7% in 2009 to 11,516, far below the target of 5% the National Traffic Safety Committee announced. There were 12,492 accidents, down 3% in which 7,914 others were also injured. Speeding and driving in wrong lanes were the main causes of accidents in 2009. VNN

200110-HCMC’s green space is shrinking significantly, with just 0.75sqm available per person now compared to 1.6sqm in 2005. The reasons for the shrinkage include rapid population growth and developers' disregard for the city's green-space norms, said the deputy director of the Department of Transport. HCM City's per capita green is extremely low compared with other cities around the world - in Moscow it is 11sq.m and in London, 9sqm. VNN

210110-Vietnam is facing the risk of water shortage with its freshwater reserve of 4,400 cubic meters per capita a year, lower than the world average, said Deputy Prime Minister. SGT

010210-Around 50% of helmets in HCMC have been found to be fake prod¬ucts. SGT

020210-Around 90% of electric cables in Hanoi City have failed to meet safety regulatons said Hanoi Power Company. SGT

050210-Salaries in 2009 – VND
Average Salary – 2.84m / $154 month up 10.08% on 2008
State Owned Enterprises – 3.35m / $181 month up 7.37%
Foreign Invested Enterprises – 2.65m / $143 month up 9.96%
Private Enterprises – 2.05m / $111 month up 10.81%

050210-Auto Imports – Units
2007 28,000 – worth over $500m
2008 50,400 – worth over $1bn
2009 76,300 – worth over $1.17bn

050210-There are 22.8m Internet users in Vietnam or 26.5% of the population, up 2m yoy. SGTW

080210- Vietnam has entered into 2010 with an ideal population with 2/3rd of it at working age. SGT

220210-At least 738 bridges in the country are in a weak condition, not fit to carry their designed loads according to the Vietnam Road Administrations. VNN

050310-According to the Road and Railway Transportation Police 2009 was a deadly year with over 10,000 people killed in nearly 11,000 traffic accidents nationwide. HCMC new has more than 4 million motor vehicles. VNN

090310-Just 1/3rd of towns nationwide have access to tap water due to increasing urban population and unequal water supply, according to the Ministry of Construction. SGT

120310-The starting salary for workers, says Hepza, is between VND1.28-1.45m / $67-76 only a month. For workers with seniority of several years, the monthly pay remains modest, at some VND1.4-2.5m / $73-131. The Philippines and Laos have the wage level some 20% higher than in Vietnam. Highlighting the unequal labor allocation in the country, unveiling that enterprises in the southern focal economic zone make up 37% of the total number of enterprises but they are using 40.5% of labor. In the Mekong Delta, the number of enterprises accounts for 11.7% ofthe total, but they are using a mere 6.7% ofthe laborforce, although the work force there accounts for 21.5%. Such a situation results in migration. In many provinces, policymak¬ers ignore or fail to anticipate labor demands, allowing industrial parks to spring up without adequate labor preparations. That is not to mention policies of discrimination against migrant workers by setting up barriers relating to residential registration or recruitment. There is a reversal in the migration process, when workers originating from the countryside are returning to their hometowns in rural areas where factories have been being erected recently. Many workers from rural areas see jobs in the city as tempo¬rary, and fret about an uncertain future there, so comes the exodus. Labor movements are occurring according to economic rules, and workers are flocking into those places where they are treated better, so it is time for enterprises to look back at themselves, said the chair of the labor federation of Binh Duong Province. Furthermore, there must be long-term plans for socio-¬economic development including labor allocation so that labor shortage as the acute issue now will not become a chronic problem. SGT

290310-HCMC government plans to reduce the ratio of poor families to 6.6% by the end of 2010. SGT

150410-Decree No. 117 took effect from March 1, allowing for a maximum fine of VND500m / $26,178 or 7 times higher than provided for in the old regulation. The decree is meant to rejuvenate the deteriorating en¬vironment as many companies are ignoring warnings and continuing to discharge untreated waste and wastewater. "Companies fear about being frequently visited by authorities, be-cause they known that faults can be found everywhere at anytime," said the environment manager of the Hiep Phuoc Indus¬trial Park Joint Stock Company. SGT

190410-HCMC needs to set aside some 25,500 hectares of its total natural area for building floodwater draining canals and runoff regula¬tion lakes, otherwise flooding will turn catastrophic in 2025 upon any downpour, said the deputy minister of agriculture at a meeting with irrigation scientists. Over 70% of the city would be submerged under water by any downpour if runoff canals are not expanded he said citing a project prepared by the ministry that the city would have to earmark 25,560 hectares of land for building new canals, plus 8,400 hectares of water regulation lakes at current parks. That means the city has to set aside over 16%, or some one-sixth, of its total natural land for the purpose, he stressed. Some scientists at the meeting expressed their doubt whether the city would be willing to set aside such large areas for building canals and lakes, especially at a time of fast urbanization and development in the city like now. The Southern Irrigation Planning Institute said at the meeting that the area for water drainage in the city currently totals 9,500 hectares, or 4.6% of the city's natural land. The institute said that rainwater should be completely drained out in HCMC 30 minutes after any down¬pour in line with standards for major metropolises in the world. To achieve this goal, there should be some 5,000 pumping machines in the city to quicken the drainage. Deputy Minister however played down the suggestion saying, "It is not feasible to install such a big number of pumps." The city needs to make a prudent calculation to develop canals and lakes to regulate the water flow upon heavy rains. He added that the ministry is also mulling ways to build a system of dikes for protecting not only HCMC but other coastal provinces in the Mekong Delta as well to cushion the impact of higher sea levels in the future. SGT

090510-Currently HCMC’s land fund for transport infrastructure is a modes 7% while it is about 20% in developed countries. VNN

150610-A shortage of treatment facilities and the lack of modern tech¬nology have prevented HCM City from control¬ling the hazardous waste it generates. The city has just 11 facili¬ties to treat hazardous waste treatment. This is vastly insuffi¬cient to net the demand of processing around 600 tonnes of hazardous waste discharged daily in the city. In fact, as little as 30 tonnes of the hazardous waste is collected and treated every day. Around 1,000 tonnes of hazardous waste would be discharged per day in 2015, and this would increase to 1,300 tonnes in 2020. Meanwhile, the low capacity of existing fa¬cilities, at 0.5-4 tonnes per day, is compounded by the problem of outdated tech¬nology. A new hazardous waste treatment facility in Hoc Mon District, the first one with a high treatment capac¬ity of 21 tonnes per day, is still under construction. Furthermore, there is no means of dispos¬ing of the ashes left over after incinerating hazard¬ous waste because there are no safe landfills for burying hazardous waste landfill in the city. The Northwest Solid Waste Treatment Complex has a land fund to set up hazard¬ous waste landfills, but to date the city People's Committee had not approved its use. VNN

160610-Some 61% of HCMC's total area is predicted to be submerged by 2050 due to rising sea levels and other negative impacts of climate change. In 4 decades' time 177 out of 333 communes and wards in the city would be regularly flooded. At the moment, some 154 communes and wards around the city are regularly flooded upon downpours or tidal rise. "HCMC is on a list of 10 cities worldwide most threatened by climate change." SGT

260610-Hanoi has about 3.5m motorbikes and 330,000 cars on its roads. VNN

020710-Around 12-13,000 workers meet labour accidents each year and 10%are killed. SGT

050710-Vietnam's workforce in 2009 totaled around 48.34 million people. Of which, the number of youths aged 15-34 in the workforce was 20.97 million people, accounting for 43.4% of the total workforce. The report esti¬mated that the workforce would continue to expand significantly from 2010 to 2015 at an estimated 1.5% each year, or by 738,000 people. The weak employment generation compared with economic growth in Vietnam is evidence of this challenge. During 2004-2008, the employment elasticity of total employment to total gross domestic product was only 0.28%. That means that for every 1% increase in gross domestic product, employ¬ment grew by only 0.28%. VIR

280710-HCMC's Department of Natural Re¬sources and Environment plans to use Global Position¬ing System to monitor the movements of waste tankers after finding that as much as 80% of household sew¬age was being dumped into rivers and canals. The department said be¬tween 200-240 cubic metres of sewage was being dumped into public water sources ev¬ery day. SGT

030910-The poverty rate in Vietnam will increase from 10% to 13% this year given the new poverty standard said the UN. SGT

090910-Saigon Water Corp has admitted it supplied unclean tap water to many areas in HCMC. SGT

100910-Under Decree 177/2009 environmental polluters are subject to fines of between USD$5,300-USD$26,300. VIR

090910-The income gap has been widening in Vietnam in the meantime. Molisa figures show that the highest income earn¬ers in Hanoi last year, for example, received VND75 million ($3,846) per month, while the lowest income earn¬ers got VND1.8 million ($92) per month. The gap was reported to be much higher in Ho Chi Minh City. VIR

160910-Under national standards, the per capita green tree area should be 7sqm but in HCMC is infact just 0.92sqm per person. VNN

200910-In the first 8 months Mercedes-Benz Vietnam sold 1,656 units with over 1,000 passenger vehicles ie 4.11/day, recording a yoy increase of 13.2%. VNN

240910-Vietnam has spent tens of millions of USD$ to import 29 Rolls-Royce cars in the past 3yrs. SGT

240910-The number of people in the country having jobs will increase from 48.01m in 2009 56.95m in 2020, with jobs moving out of the farm sector and into industry and services sectors, according to MoLISA. In 2020 there will be a population of 96.3m and a workforce of 61.51m. The unemployment rate will not fall from the present 2.5%. VNN

270910-A new poverty line will apply from 2011, which classifies as poor those families who have a monthly income of VND400,000-VND500,000 / $21-26 per person in rural and urban areas. As the new poverty line is revised up, the pro¬portion of poor households will also rise to 15% from the current 10%. SGT

290910-The central coast city of Danang has an¬nounced high development targets for the next 5 years, aiming at an annual gross domestic product growth rate of 13.5%-14.5% to reach a GDP per capita of US$3,200 by 2015. The city boasts an average GDP growth rate of 11% in the 2006-2010 period. The GDP per capita this year is estimated at US$2,015, or 2.2 times higher than that in 2005 and 1.6 times that of the national average. SGT

300910-Air pollution in many areas around HCMC is worsening with the lat¬est examination results showing almost 92% of dust concentration along many streets has exceeded the permissible level by over 7 times. The examination, conducted by the HCMC Environmental Protection Agency, also indicates noise pollution has risen to a worrying level in many places as 78% of the inspected samples fail to meet the standards. For water pollution, the environ¬mental protection agency found that Tan Hoa-Lo Gom remains the heavily polluted canal in the city. Organic concentration in the canal exceeds the permissible level by 5,000 to 11,500 times. The pollution caused by organic concentration in this canal is up 219 times compared to the same period of last year. SGT

161010-It is estimated that the population will increase to 10m in Hanoi and 12m in HCMC by 2030. If the housing standard of 15sqm per capita is applied, the two cities will need some 160m sqm of housing to meet for the demand. SGT

171010-China's average per-capita in¬come for the richest 10% was 65 times that of the poorest 10%, ac¬cording to a Credit Suisse-sponsored study by Chinese economists. Even an official estimate of a 23-fold gap is a stark one for a government pledged to socialist equality. SGT

251010-HCMC saw over VND16.4tr / $841m in public property trading and transfers in the first 9 months. There were over 10,700 public land lots and houses sold in the city ie USD$78,600 each. SGT

251010-Around 26% of HCMC residents are suffering from effects of climate change and the figure may rise to 60% in 2050 according to the Asian Development Bank. SGT

251010-The Government has approved a plan from the labor ministry to raise the poverty line twice as high from next year given strong price increases over the past time. "In this poverty line all the subsistence needs of people, including issues related to food, accommodation, and medical treatment have been taken into calculation.” In the medium term the minimum monthly income will be set at VND450,000 / $23 for rural areas and VND600,000 / $31for urban areas. Social Affairs, said the new poverty line would apply from early 2011, un¬der which those people with monthly income less than VND400,000 / $21in rural areas and VND500,000 / $26 in urban areas will be considered the poor. The current line set it at VND200,000 / $10 per person a month for rural areas and VND260,000 / $13 a month for urban areas. Many experts said that the poverty line from 2011 to 2015 was still too low because the Government did not want to increase the number of people con-sidered the poor. Many cities and provinces are applying a poverty line higher than the national standards, such as HCMC, Binh Duong, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, and Dong Nai, ranging from VND600,000 / $31 to VND800,000 / $41per person per month for rural areas and VND800,000 / $41 - VND1m / $51 per person per month for urban areas. Currently, people under the poverty line benefit from more social security policies such as health insurance, free training and job finding. SGT

251010-According to the General Sta¬tistical Office, the average per capi¬ta income of Hanoians stands at roughly $1,900, an increase of 23% year-on-year. VIR

151110-The rate of overweight and obesity in children under 5 years old in HCMC now stands at around 8.8%, up 400% within the past 10 years, said director of the HCMC Nutrition Center. SGT

161110-HCMC’s land sinking, while confined to its boundaries, will prove intractable if remedies are not taken immediately : - The tidal peak of 1.58m, while not significantly greater than the earlier crest, caused many places in HCM City to be more than lm below water, mainly be¬cause land sinking is accelerating here. Statistics show that 79 out of 116 flooded sites in HCM City are plagued by land sinking. This problem may stem firstly from the alarming rate at which un¬derground water is tapped into. The HCM City Department of Natural Re¬sources and Environment estimates this rate at 750,000 cubic meters per day while experts contend it equals 1.3 million cubic meters, far higher than the rate at which underground water is replenished (200,000 cubic meters per day). "With the exception of the top layer, 5 of the 6 aquifers hold significantly less water. The lay¬ers have relatively deep hollows, too." Evidence of land sinking abounds around drilled wells. Many of these wells in Binh Chanh, Binh Tan and Nha Be districts have seen the sur¬rounding land sink by 30-40cm. In late September, the Geomatics Center from the Vietnam National University of HCM City said that many districts sank by more than 10mm or even 15mm per annum, far higher than the international average of 5mm per annum. The second cause is rapid urban¬ization. As giant construction proj¬ects mushroom, the surrounding area inevitably sink under their sheer weight. Many new urban areas and roads are built 2m or 1.8m above sea level, but are still submerged under tide water. "This suggests the city is sinking." Land sinking was first observed in District 6 in 1996 and has accel¬erated lately. Since 2000, the degree of land sinking has exceeded 0.3m at some places, especially in Binh Chanh, Thu Duc as well as districts 6, 9 and 12. SGTW

311110-Vietnam aims to reduce the poverty rate to 5% of less by the beginning of the next decade from the current estimate of 9.45%. SGT

121210-Vietnam ranks 2nd after Cambodia for cheap labor among Asian nations with the average salary of US$49 per month. Cheap labor is one of factors slowing down the nation's industrial production value growth. SGT

141210-Employers in HCMC will need about 265,000 people next year. Around 45% of the figure is un¬skilled labor, 20% bachelor's degree holders and 35% people at interme¬diate level. The industries that need to employ more staff include electronics, mechanical engineering, textiles, footwear, marketing, finance, banking, fur¬niture, fine art, architecture and construction. The labor market is seen more volatile than the same period last year due to high inflation while pay rises in industrial parks are not in sight. Labor demand of indus¬trial parks in the city next year was forecast at over 30,000 employees, down 50% from this year. This is because the city is restructuring its economy with focus shifted to the high-tech and services sectors. According to General Statistics Of¬fice, there were 271,100 jobs created in the city in January-November, up 1.6% from the same period. In par¬ticular, new jobs numbered 120,600, up 3.3%. SGT

311210-In Vietnam over 31 people have been killed in traffic accidents each day this year. The hair raising figures released at the meeting indicate road traffic crashes have inched up by 1,700 year on year to 14,400 this year, with 11,400 people killed - almost the same as last year and 10,600 others injured - a rise of 2,500. So the traf¬fic safety committee has failed to achieve its target for a 5% reduction in road deaths. SGT

311210-In 2009 some 26m Vietnamese or 30.5% of the population, lived in cities and towns compared to 14.9m or 20.7% in 1995. In 2000 the urban population was 18.8m or 24.2% of the population, and in 2005 some 22.4m or 27%. More than 50% of the ur¬ban population now lives in Ha Noi and HCMC. Meanwhile, the number of cars in 2010 increased by 12.1% over 2009 and the number of mo¬torbikes rose by 10.3%. VNN

050111-Unemployment rate in the coun¬try has fallen by 20 basis points to 2.88% early this month, with the rate in urban areas at 4.43% and that in the countryside at 2.27%. SGT

110111-Last year, there were 184,000 newly registered cars and about 3m motorbikes, an increases of 12.1% and 10.3% respectively against the previous year. There are currently 33m legally registered vehicles on Viet Nam's roads. Of that number, there are 1.3m cars and 31m motorbikes. VNN

190111-There are currently 57,000 foreigners working in Vietnam, 70% of whom have work permits, and 30% working under a visa. SGT

250111-Viet Nam's number of malnourished children under 5 dropped from 18.9% in 2009 to 17.5% in 2010 according to a report from the child malnutrition prevention and control programme. However, the rate remains higher than in neighbouring countries. VNN

260111-Vietnam now has nearly 57,000 foreign laborers, half of which don't have work permits. SGT

150211-Siemens AG has released the overall results of an Asian Green City Index study that show Hanoi in a group of the cities below the aver¬age level of overall environmental sustainability categories. The finding is part of a study by the Econo¬mist Intelligence Unit (EIU) carried out in 22 major Asian cities, including Vietnam's capital city of Hanoi with a focus on environmental and climate protection. The study examined energy and carbon dioxide, land use and build¬ings, transport, waste, water, sanita¬tion, air quality and environmental governance. The survey methodology was developed by the EIU in cooperation with urban experts and representatives of the Organi¬zation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank and Asia's regional network of local authorities, CITYNET Following Singapore are Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul, Taipei, Tokyo and Yoko¬hama in the study's 'above average' section. Categorized in the 'average' ranking are Bangkok, Beijing, Delhi, Guangzhou, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Nanjing, Shanghai and Wuhan. Bengaluru, Kolkata, Manila and Mumbai share with Hanoi in the 'below average' of the overall Asian Green City Index results. Only Kara¬chi appears at the bottom and in the 'well below average'. According to the study, Hanoi's best results are 'average' for the en¬ergy and carbon dioxide, air quality and waste because of its relatively low estimated carbon dioxide emis¬sions and efforts to set and monitor standards for air pollution. But the other categories are classified as 'below average' including transport and water; and 'well below average' for land use and buildings, sanitation and environmental governance. SGT
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