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"¢ The Vietnam Gold Traders Association said it had proposed that the Finance Ministry remove the 10 percent export tax on the metal, arguing that it contributed to the country's growing trade deficit.

"¢ All Nippon Airways Co. may add cargo flights to Singapore and Vietnam from its hub on the Pacific island of Okinawa on growing intra-Asia trade. "We need to expand our cargo network," President Shinichiro Ito said in a January 14 interview in Hong Kong. He didn't say when flights to the two new destinations may begin.

"¢ Supermarket operator BigC has become the first retailer in Vietnam to stop importing foodstuff from Germany, having taken 10 products off its shelves on Monday. German authorities said on Tuesday that a toxic chemical dioxin had been discovered in pork as well as poultry products, increasing the scope of a health alert that began on January 3, Reuters reported.

"¢ PetroVietnam Insurance Corp., the country's second-biggest listed insurance company, said pretax profit rose 55 percent to VND340 billion (US$17.4 million) in 2010 from the previous year. Revenue at the Hanoi-based company rose 25 percent to VND4.46 trillion last year, the company said in a statement handed to reporters in Hanoi on Monday.

"¢ Saigon Beer-Alcohol Beverages Corp. reported revenue of VND17 trillion ($872 million) in 2010, the Vietnam Economic Times reported, citing the company. Sabeco, as Vietnam's biggest beer producer is known, reached record sales of 1.1 billion liters of beer, according to the report.

"¢ Rice farmers in parts of Vietnam's Mekong Delta have started harvesting the winter-spring rice crop early, delivering a yield of 6 to 7.5 tons per hectare. Many paddy fields in Vietnam's northern central provinces have been waterlogged because of high tides and heavy rains.

"¢ Vietnam expects to export $5 billion of seafood this year from $4.94 billion in 2010, the Vietnam Economic Times reported, citing information from the Ministry of Rural and Agricultural Development. Total seafood volume will reach about 5.3 million tons this year, according to the report.

"¢ Vietnam hopes to receive 5.3 million international arrivals this year generating revenue in the tourism sector of VND100 trillion ($5.65 billion), or 4.6 percent of gross domestic product, the Tourism Administration said.

"¢ The Planning and Investment Ministry's Foreign Investment Agency said it has granted a license to EVN International Joint-stock Co's Ha Se San hydro-power plant project in Cambodia, which is worth $800 million.

"¢ Vietnam Airlines Corp. will restart plans to sell shares to investors as the stock market has recovered from the global financial crisis that stymied an initial public offering planned for 2008. The state-owned carrier aims to complete an IPO by the end of 2012, Chief Executive Pham Ngoc Minh said in a telephone interview Monday.

"¢ Partly private lender Trust Bank said it has started issuing short-term bills with terms of up to 364 days between January 18 and May 31 to raise VND2 trillion ($102.7 million), the Vietnam Economic Times reported.

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