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  • 01/09/17--01:59: Article 3
  • Foreign beer companies boost investment in Vietnam


    With high growth potential, Vietnam has become a promising destination for leading global beer companies, according to Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper.


    Foreign beer companies boost investment in Vietnam, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news 

    Belgian Anheuser Busch InBev firm opened a beer factory in the southern province of Binh Duong, while the Netherlands’ Heineken plans to expand its factory in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau and increase productivity from 50 million litres at present to 60 million litres by 2025. 

    The Japanese Sapporo beer company has introduced new products to the public.

    According to Kirin International Food JSC, Vietnam produced nearly 4.7 billion litres of beer in 2015, becoming the world’s third largest beer producer. With this output, Vietnam recorded the highest growth rate of over 20 percent compared to 2014, much higher than the figure of 8.8 percent recorded by Belgium – the runner-up.

    Asian and global beer output in 2015 saw year-on-year declines of 1.3 percent and 1.1 percent respectively.

    Along with India, Vietnam is one of two nations recording consecutive growth in beer output over the past 15 years.

    VNA


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  • 01/09/17--02:14: Article 2
  • Poor infrastructure obstructs logistics development


    Reports by Vietnamese and international institutions have all pointed out that Vietnam’s logistics industry is weak in competitiveness. 


     vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, vn news, logistics, Vinalines, fleet

    Meanwhile, Vietnam hopes to rank in the top 4 in ASEAN and top 50 in the world in logistics by 2020.

    A report of FTI Logistics Corporation showed Vietnamese logistics firms account for 80 percent of total firms in the field in Vietnam. However, they only provide simple services within the Vietnamese territory, while transnational services must be undertaken by international conglomerates.

    According to the Vietnam Logistics Association (VLA), Vietnam’s logistics industry could take full advantage of FTAs and bustling import/export activities, but it has been growing by 20 percent only per annum, while a two-digit growth rate would be maintained in the next 5-10 years.

    Vietnam’s logistics industry could take full advantage of FTAs and bustling import/export activities, but it has been growing by 20 percent only per annum, while a two-digit growth rate would be maintained in the next 5-10 years.

    According to the World Bank, Vietnam’s logistics now ranks 64th out of 160 countries in the world. The fall in grade is attributed to low capacity, poor infrastructure and limitations in technology application.

    A survey by the Institute for Economics & Development Research, an arm of the Hanoi Economics University, found 54.7 percent of logistics firms lack professional staff and the capability of managing works with IT apps.

    Regarding transport infrastructure, experts emphasized the lack of connection between seaport and road systems, between railway and post-seaport supporting services, and the lack of logistics centers located in advantageous positions in key economic zones which can serve as points for goods transshipment and distribution.

    Tran Bao Ngoc from the Ministry of Transport believes that one of the reasons behind the problem is inappropriate investment.

    Experts believe that in Vietnam, where two key economic zones are located in the north and the south, railways should be developed as a major means of transport. 

    However, the railway does not play an important role in the economy now as it undertakes only one percent of total goods transported and is not the means of transport favored by enterprises.

    Vietnam’s railway system has a total length of 2,653 kilometers, while 6.67 percent can satisfy international standards. This explains why the majority of the goods on the North - South route are currently transported by truck.

    Vietnam’s road transport network is described as having a fishbone shape which comprises a backbone route, a highway, while the branches are the inter-province and inter-district roads. 

    Regarding maritime transport, Vietnam has many seaports, but the number of deep water seaports capable of receiving vessels with tonnage of over 30,000 DWT is modest, just 9.2 percent of total berths.

    MOT plans to develop more deep water seaports to receive container ships with high tonnage. However, the projects have been going slowly because of many reasons.

    Kim Chi, VNN


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  • 01/09/17--02:53: Article 1
  • VN can meet 6.8% growth target in 2017: Forbes
     

     
    Foreign investment will be an engine that guarantees Việt Nam faster economic growth in 2017. - Photo dantri.com.vn


    HÀ NỘI - Việt Nam will keep attracting investment, expanding export production and watching domestic consumption spread in 2017, according to Forbes’ forecast.

    The country can also meet its economic growth target of 6.8 per cent set by the Government thanks to these advantages, Forbes said.

    According to Forbes, US President-elect Donald Trump is expected to scrap Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the 12-nation trade agreement that would particularly help member Việt Nam as an exporter. However, there are some who suspect Trump will somehow salvage it.

    If not, according to Forbes, Việt Nam already takes part in 16 free trade agreements (FTAs), including with economic powerhouses China and Japan. It can pursue bilateral agreements with other TPP members if the US Congress declines to ratify the deal signed in 2016.

    Việt Nam is also on the list to join a Chinese-championed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trading group that would encompass 30 per cent of the world’s GDP.

    Besides this, Việt Nam will also keep giving foreign companies reasons to invest, Forbes said, adding that foreign investors already benefit from lower tariffs under the trade deals. Some also get lavish tax breaks.

    In 2015, the country made its rules on foreign investment clearer and sped up permit processing.

    Last year was a “transition year” for those changes, and in 2017, Việt Nam will start to “collect the fruits of having a more structured and competitive business legislation, which has had an impact on attracting more FDI and also helped Việt Nam become one of the major manufacturing hubs in the world,” Forbes quoted Oscar Mussons, international business advisory associate with Dezan Shira & Associates consultancy in HCM City, as saying.

    In addition, Vietnamese people are getting richer and spending more. The country’s middle class will double by 2020 to 33 million people and that means more consumption, the Boston Consulting Group estimated last year. People in that group earn at least US$714 per month, enough for phones, motorcycles, travel and health products, items that usually make the short list of local consumer preferences.

    The middle class has got where it is because wages are rising along with a boom in jobs linked to growth in export manufacturing.

    According to Forbes, factory work in Việt Nam is moving up in value from traditional industriesHigh-tech’s share of total exports from the country reached 25 per cent in 2015 from five per cent in 2010 and kept going last year, with no signs of abating currently.

    Investments by electronics giants Hon Hai Precision, Intel and Samsung – worth billions of dollars  – have led the shift. Samsung Display is considering a new $2.5 billion investment in a project already worth about $4 billion, according to a stock market research firm in Hà Nội.

    Electronics are replacing traditional industries, such as garments and shoes, production of which is slowly moving to other Asian countries.

    Policymakers in Việt Nam aim to increase annual export value by 8-10 per cent this year, Louie Nguyen, editor and founder of the news website Vietnam Advisors, said. The trend will bring new skills, higher wages and more revenue for those companies making high-value products.

    Private business is, meanwhile, expanding and doing more kinds of work in Việt Nam. - VNS


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  • 01/09/17--03:51: Article 0
  • Achievements in 2016 impetus for future development: Party chief


    “Although there remain many difficulties and challenges, the outcomes obtained last year were encouraging, giving favourable conditions for the country to enter a new stage of development with new opportunities,” Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has said.


    Achievements in 2016 impetus for future development: Party chief, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news 
    Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong


    He made the remarks during an interview with Vietnam News Agency (VNA) on the threshold of the Lunar New Year.

    The domestic and global situation also posed numerous difficulties and challenges in 2016, he said, noting natural disasters such as floods, drought and saltwater intrusion along with serious marine pollution in four central provinces, which heavily affected national socio-economic development and people’s lives.

    Facing those facts, thanks to consensus, solidarity and resolve of the entire Party, people and army, Vietnam successfully held many important events, particularly the 12th National Party Congress and the election of deputies to the 14th National Assembly and all-level People’s Committees for 2016-2021.

    The State apparatus was consolidated, ensuring stability for the implementation of set targets and tasks, he said, adding that under the leadership of the Party Central Committee and the Politburo, the whole political system became involved in the work and made improvements to many social aspects.

    The content and spirit of the Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress was institutionalised through resolutions, directives and action plans. The National Assembly, Government, sectors and authorities at all levels have been working hard to improve, the Party leader said.

    As a result, Vietnam posted a good GDP growth rate (6.21 percent), successfully kept the macro-economy stable, controlled inflation, basically ensured big economic balances, and recorded the fastest rise in foreign reserves.

    He noted that the private economic sector thrived, foreign direct investment surged and total development investment capital surpassed set targets. The tourism sector welcomed a record 10 million foreigners and 62 million domestic visitors in 2016.

    The General Secretary told VNA that strides were made in cultural and social aspects with a declining household poverty rate and an improvement in people’s material and spiritual life. The country paid heed to lawmaking and administrative reforms while strengthening defence-security and safeguarding national sovereignty.

    External activities and international integration have been conducted in a comprehensive manner, intensifying Vietnam’s foreign relations and lifting its stature in the region and the world. That has also helped to maintain peace, stability and favourable conditions for national development and protection, he noted.

    He underlined enhanced Party consolidation and the fight against corruption and wastefulness. A number of serious corruption and economic-rule-violating cases were brought to trial. Irregularities relating to personnel appointments were uncovered and many senior officials were punished, moves which received strong public support.

    General Secretary Trong stressed that growth model reforms aim to raise growth quality and ensure rapid and sustainable development in all economic, social and environmental spheres. Vietnam has to promote growth but not at all costs or by exchanging the environment for economic projects.

    He described the marine pollution in four central provinces, caused by Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Co. Ltd, as an “expensive lesson” which reminded Vietnam that it must carefully select investment projects and prioritise ones that use high technology and ensure environmental safety.

    Aside from fueling economic growth, it is also necessary to enhance living standards, promote social equality and ensure all people benefit from growth. Raising growth quality improves people’s living conditions, he added.

    The investment and business environment should continuously be improved, in each locality, to facilitate start-ups, he stressed, pointing to the must to bolster regional connectivity to fully tap the respective locality’s potential and advantages in service of regional and national fast and sustainable development.

    In terms of Party reinforcement, the Party chief considered it a difficult and complex task that is vital. Party building must be conducted in tandem with fostering economic growth, he said.

    The leader called on the entire Party, people and army to augment solidarity and join efforts to bring into play their patriotism and Vietnam’s steadfastness, intelligence and traditions to realise the Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress, build an incorruptible and strong Party while promoting the country’s prosperity and people’s happiness.

    VNA


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  • 01/10/17--01:39: Article 3
  • BUSINESS NEWS IN BRIEF


    HCMC to open flower trading center


    Image result for LANG HOA DA LAT 

    Authorities of HCMC this year will start construction on the first phase of an ornamental fish, tree and flower trading facility at Binh Dien commercial center in District 8, Dao Nhu Minh at Saigon Trading Group (Satra) told a conference last Saturday.

    At the conference on establishment of flower trading centers in HCMC and Dalat City, Minh said that besides retail space, the center would provide financial, packing and cold storage services for flower growers and traders, thus contributing to the development of hi-tech agriculture.

    Nguyen Vinh Luyen, director of the Center for Infrastructure Development in Dalat City, said the city this year is expected to open a flower trading center on 16.6 hectares at Minosa Pass, 10km from central Dalat City. The center is forecast to supply around 550 million branches of flowers a year.

    The trading centers in both cities will ensure transparent pricing, improve the quality of flowers, guarantee profits for growers and traders, develop a flower farming industry and promote flower exports.

    Flower farmers and traders would be able to receive assistance in terms of farming techniques, finances and seeds or seedlings to increase business efficiency and export opportunities.

    HCMC targets industrial growth of 7% in 2017

    The city’s industrial growth is expected to rise by more than 7% this year compared to last year, according to the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade.

    Four key industries -- mechanical engineering, electronics, chemicals-rubber-plastics, and processed food -- are projected to expand 7.2%. Total retail sales of goods and services to surge 8-8.5%. The city will strive to keep its consumer price index (CPI) growth below the country’s.

    Turnover from exports, excluding crude oil, will rise 8% while commercial electricity output will rise by 8.6% to 24.1 billion kWh.

    To reach these targets, the industry and trade sector will focus on implementing the price stabilization program, developing domestic goods distribution systems, promoting exports, removing difficulties faced by enterprises and supporting production in HCMC.

    Pham Thanh Kien, director of the Department of Industry and Trade, said at a review conference last Friday on the city’s 2016 industry and trade performance and a 2017 plan that the city will put into use a pork quality control application after a trial period.

    Vice chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem said the city’s industrial sector holds the potential of achieving growth of more than 8%, and trading and services over 9%, helping the city’s gross domestic product (GDP) reaching 8.3-8.7% this year.

    Industrial production in HCMC last year grew an estimated 7.33% over 2015, exceeding the target of 7%. In particular, the processing and manufacturing industry expanded 7.69% and four key industries 7.77%.

    Tay Ninh calls for investment in hi-tech agriculture

    The southern province of Tay Ninh will set aside 1,800 hectares of land for domestic and foreign investors committed to hi-tech agriculture.

    The province last Friday held a conference to find ways to attract investment in hi-tech agriculture and organic farming in the coming years.    

    Speaking at the conference, Pham Van Tan, chairman of the province, said local farmers mainly supply semi-processed goods which do not meet meet local and international quality standards.

    Therefore, the provincial government plans to offer investors policy incentives for investors involved in hi-tech agriculture projects.

    The province is strong in farm products such as cassava, rice, sugarcane and vegetables.

    Le Thanh, head of the Institute of Vietnam Organic Agricultural Economics, said farmers in Tay Ninh Province could raise their income from VND85.5 million to VND110 million per hectare in the next five years if they concentrate on value-added produce.

    Gov’t highlights untapped potential of Mekong Delta

    Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ has instructed ministries and local governments in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta to prioritise investment in transportation and logistics services to help improve the region’s competitiveness.

    Speaking at a conference on logistics services held yesterday in the delta city of Cần Thơ, Huệ said poor road connections and waterway transportation throughout the area have directly affected its socio-economic development. But investment in infrastructure remains low, and water transport has developed poorly despite the delta’s dense river network, its biggest advantage.

    Huệ, chairman of the Southwestern Region Steering Committee, urged local authorities and ministries to submit their plans to the Government soon on the development of transport infrastructure and logistics services.

    Huệ asked several agencies, especially the ministries of Industry and Trade, Transport, and Planning and Investment, to review and improve policies and incentives for logistics services, and asked the region to mobilise local and foreign resources.

    The Southwestern Region Steering Committee said it would work with the delta provinces to carry out an action plan on logistics services development.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade will also help establish a regional logistics centre in accordance with a plan approved by the Prime Minister.  

    Huệ said the regional logistics centre was essential because most enterprises are heavily dependent on HCM City and Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province, and a large-scale centre would help relieve the burden on HCM City ports and road networks linking the city with the region.

    More than 70 per cent of imports and exports from the region are transported to the Cái Mép-Thị Vải Port in Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province, raising transport costs and creating pressure on connecting road networks.

    Experts at the conference urged the Government to develop policies and tax and land leasing incentives to encourage investment in waterway transport, such as container ports and terminals, as well as specialised ports.

    Lê Duy Hiệp, vice chairman of the Việt Nam Logistics Business Association, said that Cần Thơ should be the delivery hub for exports from the region.

    He said there should be multiple logistics centres, an upgrade of old facilities, and establishment of new centres easily accessible by road and waterway. “Up to 80 per cent of logistic service costs are in transport and goods handling, so the development of logistics infrastructure and centres plays a major role in promoting logistical operations and reducing costs,” he said.

    The Mekong Delta contributes 60 per cent of Việt Nam’s seafood exports and more than 90 per cent of its rice shipments.

    The delta has roughly 4,718km of national highways, 2,030km of provincial roads, and 72,851km of district and country roads. It has 13,000km of waterways, with 7,000km managed by authorities.

    But the waterways, which connect it to the country and neighbouring states, have not proven very efficient. Marine traffic has not developed well since many river mouths have not been dredged, according to experts.

    Trần Hữu Hiệp, of the Southwestern Region Steering Committee, called on enterprises to invest in major logistics projects in the region because the volume of goods transported via ports in the region is expected to surge - reaching 25-28 million tonnes a year by 2020, and 66.5- 71.5 million tonnes a year by 2030.

    According to experts, logistics costs should account for 10-13 per cent of GDP in developed countries, and 15-20 per cent of GDP in developing countries. However, the logistics costs often account for 20-25 per cent of Việt Nam’s GDP, which has affected the competitiveness of exports.

    At the conference, local and foreign investors signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with a number of agencies in Việt Nam.

    Policy aims to boost HCM City industry

    The trade and industry sector in HCM City plans to offer more support to local companies this year, Phạm Thành Kiên, director of HCM City’s Department of Industry and Trade, said at a meeting reviewing the sector’s activities last year.

    Kiên said that representatives from the trade and industry sector would revise their approach this year and hold direct discussions with company officials about their difficulties. In the past, companies which faced challenges had to visit his department’s office.

    This year, the trade and industry sector targets reaching an industrial production index growth of 7 per cent, while retail and consumption value is expected to increase by 8-8.5 per cent.

    To reach the goal, Kiên said his sector would focus on stabilising prices as well as the market, while developing domestic distribution systems and increasing exports.

    The department will also develop two sub-regions for the supporting industry, and with this investment, will aim to reach a localisation level of more than 65 per cent.

    With the goal of organising a model market selling safe and clean food by 2020, the city plans to develop industrial material sources for clean and safe processing.

    Lê Thanh Liêm, deputy chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said at the meeting that he had given guidance to the city about the revised policy and goals.

    He said the industrial production index growth should be 8 per cent, while retail and consumption value must be 9 per cent.

    This growth would ensure that the city reach GDP growth of 8.3-8.7 per cent this year, Liêm said.

    Last year, the sector had good growth, with the industrial production index gaining 7.3 per cent, an increase of 33 percentage points compared to the annual target. 

    VIB: 2016 results positive; shares listed on UPCoM     

     More than 564.4 million shares of Vietnam International Bank (VIB) made their debut on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) on Monday.

    The reference price on the first trading day was VND17,000 per share. At this rate, VIB’s market capitalisation is nearly VND9.6 trillion (US$423 million).

    “VIB’s listing is aimed at creating transparency in our activities, share price, market capitalisation and share liquidity so as to make it easier for investors to make investment decisions,” the bank said in its statement.

    Last year, VIB maintained a stable growth momentum, as per the bank’s unaudited business results.

    The bank made VND1.3 trillion in profit before provision and VND702 billion profit before tax, which is 4 per cent higher than the target set by the General Council of Shareholders early in 2016, and 7 per cent higher than in 2015.

    Its total lending balance was around VND68 trillion, a 25 per cent growth against 2015, while its total assets amounted to approximately VND105 trillion.

    According to the latest data, the bank’s non-performing loan (NPL) rate continues to be under control at under 3 per cent while its loan-to-deposit ratio (LDR) was 66 per cent, much lower than the maximum limit of 80 per cent set by the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV).

    At the end of 2016, VIB shareholders’ equity was more than VND8.7 trillion, while the bank’s charter capital increased to around VND5.64 trillion, based on the General Council of Shareholders’ plan, which was approved by SBV.

    Among the 10 local banks selected by the central bank for pilot implementation of Basel II, VIB has the highest readiness level and a high CAR of 10 per cent, based on Basel II standards.

    In the past two years, VIB continued to have high dividend payment rates – it was 23.5 per cent and 25 per cent in 2014 and 2015, respectively, including payment in cash and by bonus share.

    This year, VIB has set a profit target that is 10 per cent higher than the 2016 target.

    “VIB will continue to develop its core bank activities, focusing on personal customers, SME customers and foreign-invested enterprises,” it said, adding that that the focus is on developing innovative solutions and using more technology to maximise its productivity, increase revenue and save costs. 

    New policy aims to boost growth of local enterprises, support industry     

    The trade and industry sector in HCM City plans to offer more support to local companies this year, Pham Thanh Kien, director of HCM City’s Department of Industry and Trade, said at a meeting reviewing the sector’s activities last year.

    Kien said that representatives from the trade and industry sector would revise their approach this year and hold direct discussions with company officials about their difficulties. In the past, companies which faced challenges had to visit his department’s office.

    This year, the trade and industry sector targets reaching an industrial production index growth of 7 per cent, while retail and consumption value is expected to increase by 8-8.5 per cent.

    To reach the goal, Kien said his sector would focus on stabilizing prices as well as the market, while developing domestic distribution systems and increasing exports.

    The department will also develop two sub-regions for the supporting industry, and with this investment, will aim to reach a localisation level of more than 65 per cent.

    With the goal of organising a model market selling safe and clean food by 2020, the city plans to develop industrial material sources for clean and safe processing.

    Le Thanh Liem, deputy chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, said at the meeting that he had given guidance to the city about the revised policy and goals.

    He said the industrial production index growth should be 8 per cent, while retail and consumption value must be 9 per cent.

    This growth would ensure that the city reach GDP growth of 8.3-8.7 per cent this year, Liem said.

    Last year, the sector had good growth, with the industrial production index gaining 7.33 per cent, an increase of 33 percentage points compared to the annual target. 

    Car rental cost doubles ahead of Tet


     
         

    Automobile rentals have doubled in price in the run-up to Tet (Lunar New Year), which begins in late January.

    In Ha Noi, most car rental agencies said they would rent cars for a minimum of seven to 10 days during the holiday at VND12 million (US$532), double the price on ordinary days.

    Daily costs of car rentals will be at least VND1 million ($44.32), depending on the kind of car, a rise of 30-50 per cent compared to other days.

    In Ha Noi, a Hyundai i10 car (2014-2015 model) will cost VND12 million for seven days beginning on January 26, the first day off for Tet for government employees.

    Customers must deposit VND5 million and the rest will be paid upon returning the car.

    Other car rental packages for Tet for seven days include rentals of Vios at VND14 million ($620.59), Camry VND17 million ($753.57), Hyundai Santa Fe VND20 million ($886.56), Toyota at VND15-17 million and Fortuna at VND15-20 million.

    Luxury car models for rent such as Mercedes C250 cost VND1.7-1.8 million per day.

    Most car rental agencies in Ha Noi said they could meet only 20 per cent of the demand.

    Car rentals with a driver will cost an additional VND600,000-700,000 per day compared with VND400,000 on normal days.

    Customers will have to negotiate the schedule and surcharge with the driver in case the trip exceeds the number of daily kilometres regulated by the car rental agency.

    Car rentals that include a driver are more expensive, but if there are damages, the customer will not be responsible.

    In HCM City, car rental activities have also become busier.

    A representative of a car rental agency in Tan Binh District said the number of customers renting a car had increased since the beginning of the new year.

    “The agency has nearly 50 cars from four-seat cars to nine-seat cars for rent. More than 80 per cent of customers have booked to rent,” he said.

    Vu Ngoc Thieu, 48, of Go Vap District, who signed a contract to rent an Innova for 10 days, said although he was able to afford to buy a four-seat car, he preferred to rent.

    “The streets are narrow and have become too crowded. My family only needs to use a car during the holidays. I decided to rent one, so I don’t have to worry about parking at my house,” he said.

    Car rental prices have doubled in HCM City.

    For example, Kia Morning (2010-2013 model) rental is now VND1 million a day, up from VND500,000 on normal days, the cheapest price of car rentals.

    Rental prices for other cars such as Innova and Fortune (2010-2013) are VND1.8-2 million. The rental price for a Kia Sorento is from VND2.4 million.

    According to a car rental agency in HCM City, due to high demand during the holidays, customers are advised to book early so they can choose their desired car.

    “On average, we receive 20 phone calls to rent a car every day. Many customers have completed their bookings,” he said.

    Unlike Ha Noi, in HCM City, customers will have to pay 100 per cent of the contract upon signing the contract and the minimum time for rent must be 10 days.

    He also advised customers to check the status and condition of the car before accepting it. The procedure is to submit a family passbook and a motorbike for deposit and its registration certificate.

    Most visitors in the city rent a car to travel to Vung Tau, a coastal city in the southeastern region, Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa Province, and Da Lat, a resort city in the Central Highlands region.

    Tet is Viet Nam’s most important traditional celebration, which honours family reunions and recreation.

    During the period, some families travel, while others decide to visit pagodas or return to their hometowns, expressing best wishes to each other and showing gratitude to their ancestors. 

    Vietnam ministry to inspect 12 major real estate firms

    The Vietnamese Ministry of Construction will carry out routine compliance inspections on 12 major corporations, including Vingroup, Sun Group, Bitexco, and Phu My Hung.

    A leader of the ministry’s inspectorate told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on January 9 that the agency will cooperate with relevant provinces and cities to inspect the 12 companies with regard to their compliance to government laws, rules, and policies on property planning, quality control, and development during the 2011-16 period.

    The firms to be inspected are Muong Thanh Group, Vingroup, Sun Group, Tan Hoang Minh Group, Bitexco Group, FLC Group, Empire Group, Dai Quang Minh Real Estate Investment Joint Stock Company, Phu My Hung Development Corporation, Citra Westlake City Development Co. Ltd., Phat Dat Corporation, and Hung Thinh Corporation.    

    All have developed major projects across Vietnam.

    The inspectorate will look into Muong Thanh’s projects in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa, the leader, who prefers to remain anonymous, said.

    Bitexco will have their projects in Ho Chi Minh City inspected while Empire will get their Cocobay Da Nang Entertainment Complex checked.

    An inspection will be conducted at Dai Quang Minh’s project to build four arterial routes in the Thu Thiem New Urban Area in District 2, Ho Chi Minh City.

    Inspectors will also work with Phu My Hung on Scenic-Valley, Scenic-Valley 2, and their other projects in Ho Chi Minh City.

    In Hanoi, the Ciputra residential complex developed by Westlake City Development Co. Ltd. will be inspected.

    “These inspections are carried out on an annual basis by the inspectorate, and are not something unexpected or unusual,” the leader told Tuoi Tre.

    The inspectorate will also look into the implementation of a national housing development strategy in 63 provinces and cities nationwide.

    Any problems with the strategy will be addressed to the prime minister for modification.

    Housing projects for low-income people, factory workers, and students as well as commercial housing are also on the radar, the leader said.

    Lawbreakers will all be harshly punished, he added.

    Housing crisis brews in Vietnam as low-income homebuyers forgotten

    Industry leaders warn that the market will suffer a severe imbalance in supply if developers keep chasing after upscale buyers.

    Major cities in Vietnam have been told to prepare for more urban challenges ahead as the housing market is expected to fail the large number of low to middle income earners over the next 10-15 years.

    This group, believed to account for 80% of the market, has been consistently overlooked by developers who mostly focus on the lucrative high-end segment.

    Housing demand is rising fast in Vietnam, which has one of the highest urbanization rates in Southeast Asia. Just 15 years ago, only 24.6% of its population lived in cities. Today, about 32 million people live in urban areas, accounting for approximately 34.1% of the total population.

    Urban planners estimated that Vietnamese cities will be home to 40 million people by 2025. But not all will be able to find a home.

    Since the country pushed through economic reforms 30 years ago, Vietnam's urban housing policy has been radically changed and reshaped by involving private developers. However, even as more products hit the market, they are mostly beyond the reach of low-income households and migrants.

    Marc Townsend, general manager of property consultancy firm CBRE Vietnam, said that in the next 10 years, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will still struggle with the supply-demand imbalance of affordable housing. The company also believed home prices could increase by about 3% annually.

    “By 2030, the largest cities Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will remain thirsty for low-cost housing,” said Le Hoang Chau, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association.

    He said Ho Chi Minh City’s supply of affordable housing has kept shrinking in recent years, estimated at 27% of the whole market in 2014, down to 25% in 2015 and then to 20% in the first nine months of 2016.

    In an effort to meet the expected demand for low-cost housing, same developers have started going down market, shifting their attention from high-end condominium complexes to affordable apartments.

    Property giant Vingroup, for instance, has recently unveiled its new brand Vincity targeting low-income residents. Apartments will range from VND700 million (US$30,800) to VND1 billion (US$44,000).

    To put the figures into perspective, the country’s average annual income was estimated at US$2,200 last year, according to the General Statistics Office.

    Vingroup planned to build between 200,000 and 300,000 of these affordable apartments over the next five years on the outskirts of seven cities, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

    “The new supply of affordable home priced between VND700 million and VND1 billion is expected to catch up with the demand, as the result, mitigating the risk of a housing bubble,” said Chau from the association.

    Stephen Wyatt from consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle said investors have been courting Vietnam’s expanding middle-class population with higher incomes and they prefer high-end apartments, which they believe can quickly bring back the money.

    However, since 2015, experts have warned of an imbalance between supply and demand in the luxury segment. Sales of high-end homes fell 10% in the first nine months of 2016, while those in the affordable segment increased 10% from a year ago, according to Dragon Capital market data.

    As several property giants announced large-scaled plans for affordable housing, the year 2017 may mark a big move for the real estate market, said Wyatt.

    Mekong Delta asked to expand investment in logistics

    Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has urged investors to expand their investment in logistics in the Mekong Delta.

    Speaking at a January 9 conference on logistics investment in the region, the Deputy Prime Minister asked localities to focus on promoting economic growth, and building sound administrative apparatus to ensure rapid and sustainable growth.

    He asked the Ministries of Industry and Trade, Transport, and Planning and Investment to facilitate the development of logistical services.

    A number of cooperative agreements were signed at the conference. Cargo throughput in the Mekong Delta is expected to reach 71 million tons by 2030.

    Meanwhile, at an earlier conference to review the work of the Southwest Region Steering Committee in 2016 and discuss plans for 2017 in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, Deputy PM Hue also requested the Committee continue consulting the Government on incentives for the region to develop, with a focus on its strategic tasks.

    The Southwest region posted a gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth of 6.9%, higher than the nation’s average of 6.21%, in 2016.

    The region saw an increase in total retail sales of goods, exceeding 13%, almost double the national figure. Regional budget collection also exceeded its target by 11.3%.

    Logistics businesses urged to invest in Mekong Delta

    Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has called on logistics businesses to invest and expand investments in the Mekong Delta.

    Deputy PM Hue made the call at a conference which was jointly held in Can Tho City by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Steering Committee for the Southwestern Region, and the Vietnam Logistics Business Association.

    He urged the Mekong Delta localities to build a favourable business and investment environment, provide maximum support for and increase dialogues with investors to promptly remove bottlenecks.

    The Deputy PM asked relevant agencies, especially the Ministries of Industry and Trade; Transport, and Planning and Investment, to continue reviewing mechanisms, policies and legal regulations to address shortcomings in the field.

    The ministries were requested to facilitate logistics service development by mobilising domestic and foreign financial resources, while encouraging businesses of economic sectors to invest in this sphere.

    The Steering Committee for the Southwestern Region will coordinate with localities to build a regional action plan to develop logistics infrastructure and services, including the building of a master plan on logistics development for the Mekong Delta.

    Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is requested to work with localities to speed up the building of a logistics centre in the region and call for investment in key logistics infrastructure projects.

    Tran Huu Hiep, a member of the committee, pointed out restrictions in the region’s logistics infrastructure and services such as small-scale ports and the asynchronous operation between means of transport, especially waterway and road tranport.

    He suggested businesses invest in key logistics projects in the delta between now and 2020 since the amount of cargo handled through the regional ports is forecast to increase in the coming time. 

    Specifically, the delta is expected to receive 25-28 million tonnes of cargo per year by 2020, and 66.5-71.5 million tonnes of cargo by 2030, he noted.

    The southwestern region comprises of 12 provinces, namely An Giang, Bac Lieu, Ben Tre, Ca Mau, Dong Thap, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, Long An, Soc Trang, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh and Vinh Long, and Can Tho city.

    Vietnam spent about 20-25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on logistics services, which is higher than the levels of 10-13 percent in developed countries and 15-20 percent in developing nations.-

    Eight Tay Bac localities enjoy fruitful tourism cooperation

    Eight Tay Bac (northwestern mountainous) provinces enjoyed a year-on-year rise of 11.8 percent in the number of visitors in 2016 thanks to their close cooperation in tourism promotion.

    Last year, the localities, comprising Phu Tho, Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Son La, Yen Bai, Ha Giang and Hoa Binh, welcomed nearly 18 million visitors, including 1.2 million foreigners.

    At a conference held in Phu Tho on January 9 to review the localities’ tourism partnership in 2016, participants noted that the affiliation showed good results in terms of policies, expansion of products, promotion and development of human resources for the tourism sector.

    However, they held that in the coming time, the localities should organise more regular exchanges to boost tourism towards exploiting their similarities and promote each locality’s unique.

    They sought measures to further diversify tourism products and develop strong products of each locality, while stressing the need for higher quality human resources for the sector as more than 60 employees in the regional tourism are untrained.

    In 2017, the eight localities will work closely to implement the National Tourism Year Tay Bac-Lao Cai 2017, while holding a Tay Bac tourism fair and join international events. They will also focus on building a waterway tour on the Da River.

    On the occasion, the culture departments, tourism promotion centres and travel associations of the eight localities signed a cooperation programme for 2017.

    PM approves pumped-storage hydropower project

    The Prime Minister has given the green light to the construction of the Bac Ai pumped-storage hydroelectricity plant in the south central province of Ninh Thuan.

    Invested by the Electricity of Vietnam, the project will be located in Bac Ai district’s Phuoc Tan and Phuoc Hoa communes.

    It will consist of four turbines with combined capacity of 1,200MW.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade is tasked with examining the design and financial evaluation of the project. 

    Pumped storage is the largest-capacity form of grid energy storage available. The method stores energy in the form of water pumped from a lower elevation reservoir to a higher elevation. Off-peak electric power is used to run the pumps. During periods of high electrical demand, the stored water is released through turbines to produce electric power.

    PVEP, Halliburton Landmark cooperate in oil & gas exploration

    The PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation (PVEP) and Landmark Software Services of Halliburton, a US multinational corporation, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in oil and gas exploration and exploitation.

    The signing of the MoU aims to share knowledge in using advanced analysis technology Big Data and data science to contribute to improving effectiveness in oil and gas exploration and exploitation.

    It also allows experts of both sides to exchange experience in order to use and analyse data scientifically.

    The MoU will help PVEP and Landmark increase mutual support in case of market fluctuations.

    The two sides will first organise conferences to determine key zones for data analysis to reduce drilling cost, share experience to create professional data models for PVEP and build procedures for data use in upcoming time.

    Halliburton Landmark has provided geographic drilling software for almost all oil and gas contractors in Vietnam, including PVEP and its member units. It now continues to develop the most modern technologies to be applied in this field.

    High hopes for Vietnamese economy

    With stable economic growth and efforts of the government, Vietnam is expected to meet its growth target this year, according to economists and businesses. 

    Economist Tran Du Lich said Vietnam had maintained economic growth and curbed inflation while speeding up the settlement of bad debts, reducing lending interest rates and restructuring equitised firms last year. 

    A positive sign is the government’s determination to build a transparent and constructive cabinet that offers maximum support to businesses. 

    Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association Le Hoang Chau said a 6.2 percent growth put Vietnam among the world’s fastest-growing economies last year. 

    He suggested improving export quality, especially farm produce and aquatic products, and facilitating start-ups in information technology. 

    In real estate, he said many projects have been delayed due to site clearance, not to mention difficulties in the cost of land use, administrative procedures involving project approval and credit policies. 

    In order to develop a sustainable and stable real estate market, the government and localities should remove such hindrances, he said. 

    Pham Xuan Hong, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Association of Garment Textile Embroidery and Knitting, hailed the government for achieving efficiency instead of chasing targets. 

    Vu Thanh Tu Anh, Director of Research at the Fulbright Economic Teaching Programme in Ho Chi Minh City, said the biggest barrier to Vietnam during integration is capacity. 

    Opportunities are aplenty but tapping them requires brainpower and vision, he said, citing that the garment sector is predicted to enjoy the most benefits when Vietnam accelerates global economic integration but is incapable of performing the dying, fabric and weaving stages. 

    Chief economist Sebastian Eckardt from the World Bank in Vietnam forecast that Vietnam is likely to grow 6.3 percent this year thanks to strong domestic consumption and increasing investment.

    Vice General Director of Him Lam Land Trading Corporation Ngo Quang Phuc said the business community has high hopes that under the leadership of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc the economy will be propelled forward.

    RoK’s Inha University keen on Long Thanh airport project


     

    Leaders of the Republic of Korea’s (RoK) Inha University showed interest in taking part in the consultation, design and planning of Long Thanh Airport in the southern province of Dong Nai during a working session with provincial leaders on January 9.

    Inha University leaders held that the model of Long Thanh airport is quite similar to that of Incheon Airport in the RoK, which is operating effectively.

    Along with growth in passenger number and goods volume, services and urban areas surrounding the airport are also contributing greatly to Incheon’s income, they noted.

    They advised that Long Thanh airport should be developed under an airport city model, underlining the need for transportation connectivity between Ho Chi Minh City and the airport.

    They also proposed a number of measures to effectively exploit the airport and the building of a city surrounding the airport.

    At the session, Tran Van Vinh, Vice Chairman of the Dong Nai People’s Committee said that the Long Thanh International Airport is among major projects of Vietnam.

    Covering a total area of 5,000 hectares, the airport is expected to serve 100 million passengers and handle five million tonnes of goods each year. It will have four runways and four terminals with a total estimated investment of about 16 billion USD.

    The first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed by 2025, with an annual capacity of 25 million passengers and 1.2 tonnes of goods.

    Vinh also revealed that Dong Nai plans to zone off 21,000 hectares surrounding the airport for developing services, urban areas, logistics, industrial parks, entertainment areas and themed parks. 

    He also asked Inha University to continue supporting Dong Nai in studying Incheon airport model as well as the airport city model, and help the province in training personnel serving the project.

    Airlines announce red hot TET holiday flight deals

    A large number of airlines operating in Vietnam have released a whole bunch of last-minute sale fares for travel this TET holiday.

    airlines announce red hot tet holiday flight deals  hinh 0 Vietnam Airlines is offering special deals on flights through March 31 to Seoul, the Republic of Korea starting at US$170 and US$350 from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, respectively.

      

    Emirates Airlines is touting highly discounted special airfare on one-way and round trip tickets from Hanoi and HCM City to Yangon, North America, the Middle East and most locations in Europe.

    Economy class round trip tickets start at US$130 on the Hanoi-Yangon route and range US$600-US$875 on others. All airfares are good for tickets purchased through January 17 for travel departing before November 30.

    Meanwhile, Nok Air also has one-way tickets from Hanoi or HCM City to Bangkok on offer for the low price of just US$37. The special pricing applies for tickets booked through January 11 for departures January 12-September 30.

    JW Marriott Phu Quoc set to open late this month

    The JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort and Spa at Khem Beach on Phu Quoc Island off Kien Giang Province will be launched on January 25, just three days prior to the Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet.

    The resort designed by renowned architect Bill Bensley offers a selection of 243 lavish rooms, suites, apartments and villas. Measuring a minimum of 54 square meters, the resort’s guestrooms provide generous space for indulgence. 

    There are three restaurants and a bar, including Tempus Fugit (meaning “Time Flies” in English) with three distinctive dining experiences of authentic Vietnamese cuisine, contemporary Japanese kitchen and classic French delights; Red Rum, a beach side seafood grill, and Pink Pearl, serving exquisite Cantonese cuisine in a splendid beachfront mansion, and the Department of Chemistry Bar.

    Guests can stroll along Rue de Lamarck and find many exquisite local crafts from selected artisan boutiques. For those cultural enthusiasts seeking enriching experiences, a full range of cultural events and daily rituals are scheduled to be explored. 

    For a more leisurely pace, guests laze at the resort’s pristine beach or at one of the resort’s outdoor pools or experience Spa by JW.

    The resort has 1,100-square-meter meeting space, 715-square-meter grand ballroom and spacious breakout rooms designed to suit every meeting purpose, from a world-class summit, conferences or a wedding reception.

    The resort’s opening rate is priced from VND9 million (US$400) including breakfast for two persons and VND1.1 million (US$50) daily resort credit. The opening offer can be booked via http://bit.do/PQCJW. 

    For more information, access www.marriott.com/pqcjw or www.facebook.com/ JWMarriottPhuQuocEmeraldBay.

    Vietnamese farmers prepare to sell rooster-shaped trees for Tet

    Displaying decorative trees shaped like different animals has long been a hallmark amongst Vietnamese Lunar New Year decoration, with Mekong Delta farmers striving year-after-year to introduce new animal-like creations to the market.

    This year, the Lunar New Year, or Tet, will start on January 28.  As each year honors an animal, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster, as indicated in the lunar calendar.

    Artisans in Ben Tre Province have therefore pruned and clipped trees into various forms of poultry, ready to embrace the holidays.

    Kumquat trees shaped as roosters, hens, and chicks are put on display along the National Highway No.57 in Cho Lach District, for visitors to stop by to place their orders.

    Le Hoang Vinh, a tree-shaping artisan, said that while it is easy to make a rooster-shaped frame from zinc or iron, it can take up to a year of extensive care for trees to develop and maintain the defined shape.

    “It is also important that the rooster-shaped kumquat trees are full of fruit,” Vinh added.

    Aside from rooster-shaped trees, Cho Lach farmers also showcase trees dolphin, dragon, and buffalo trees. This year, about 100 of these decorative trees are up for sale.

    “The animal-shaped trees have brought about economic profits and a positive reputation for Cho Lach farmers as some of the country’s best plant artisans,” Bui Thanh Liem, head of the district’s agriculture bureau, said.

    Goods suppliers ready for Tet

    Suppliers of necessities have readied themselves for the upcoming Tet, or Lunar New Year, with higher volumes of goods for the market than last Tet.

    Van Duc Muoi, general director of Vietnam Meat Industries Company (Vissan), said the company expects to provide 3,000 tons of fresh meat, including pork and beef, and around 3,200 tons of processed food for the market during Tet.

    Vinh Thanh Dat Food Joint Stock Co. in HCM City is stocking up on ten million poultry eggs per month from the beginning of the final lunar month to the end of the first lunar month, its director Truong Chi Thien said.

    The volume is equivalent to that of last Tet and egg prices are expected to stay stable during the coming holiday season.

    If the market has further demand, Vinh Thanh Dat can still provide more but Thien said he is afraid that consumption may not be that high.

    Nguyen Cong Thua, head of Anh Dao Agriculture Cooperative in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, said the cooperative will launch 350 tons of products per day on the market during the last ten days of the old lunar year.

    Due to unusual weather this year, the volume of vegetables in Lam Dong’s farms has fallen 20% year-on-year, Thua said and predicted that the market can fall short of farm produce.

    Prices of vegetables may rise 30% in wet markets during Tet but will stay stable at supermarkets, he said.

    The volume of goods prepared for Tet at supermarkets is higher than that of last year.

    The Saigon Union of Trading Cooperatives, or Saigon Co.op, the operator of Co.opmart stores, has prepared more than 110,000 tons of goods, up 15% over last year, with the volume of products under HCM City's price stabilization program rising 5-30%.

    Saigon Trading Corporation, or Satra, is expected to put on sale 21,300 tons of products, surging 29% compared to the level it registered with the city’s government.

    Companies joining the price stabilization program will cut prices of many products in days near Tet. Supermarkets participating in the stabilization program will extend opening times in days before Tet.

    In particular, from January 17 to 24, they will be operating from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day. From January 24 to 26, they will open at 6 a.m. and close at midnight. On the 30th day, or the final day of this lunar year, they will close at noon.

    After Tet holiday, which falls on January 28, supermarkets will resume operation from the second day of the first lunar month, opening at 8 a.m. and closing at noon.  

    HCM City ensures sufficient Tet goods

    Ho Chi Minh City is preparing a large quantity of goods, thereby meeting half of market demands during Tet (Lunar New Year festival).

    At a meeting organized by the municipal People’s Committee on January 8, the local leaders said businesses will distribute goods worth more than US$400 million.

    Nguyen Huynh Trang, Vice Director of the Department of Industry and Trade said 10,000 shops are selling Tet goods, mostly food, at lower prices. In addition, there are 198 food vans this month.

    The municipal authorities asked banks which are running 4,200 ATMs to supply enough cash to customers during Tet holidays.

    Coffee export reaches 1.79 million tonnes in 2016

    Vietnam exported 1.79 million tonnes of coffee in 2016, earning 3.36 billion USD, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. 

    The figures represented increases of 33.6 percent in volume and 25.6 percent in value on a yearly basis. 

    In 2015, the sector saw a fall by 20.63 percent in volume and 24.82 percent in value year-on-year.

    Germany and the US continued to be the two largest markets for Vietnamese coffee, accounting for 15.2 percent and 13.1 percent of the country’s total coffee exports, respectively. 

    In 2016, Vietnam’s total coffee tree area increased by 0.3 percent from 2015, to 645,400 hectares, producing 1.47 million tonnes, up one percent from 2015 in spite of a year-on-year drop of 0.4 percent in productivity due to droughts in the Central Highlands.

    Additionally, the sector saw a growing contribution of processed products to total export value.

    Vietnam is the world’s largest grower of robusta beans. It is the second biggest coffee exporter worldwide behind Brazil.

    CBRE: Affordable housing to play key role in 2017

    Property service provider CB Richard Ellis Vietnam (CBRE Vietnam) has estimated that over 43,800 apartments will be sold this year, with around 40% of them in the medium segment. The figure last year was 37,419 apartments.

    In particular, there will be more than 13,000 high-end apartments and 1,627 luxury ones to be offered this year. The remainder will belong to the budget and medium segments, with around 40% of new apartments to be sold at US$800 per square meter.

    Domestic investors and joint ventures are making adjustments in order to adapt their projects to the market trend.

    Last year saw gradual adjustments making the market more balanced. As a result, the respective proportions of mid- and high-end apartments sold accounted for 48% and 30%, respectively. The mid-end segment achieved positive results, with more 15,000 units sold, 40% of the total.

    Earlier, the HCMC Real Estate Association (HoREA), in its final report of 2016, estimated 30,000 homes had been launched in the city. Of which, low-cost and mid-end housing accounted for 79.7% and was the key segment of the real estate market.

    HoREA chairman Le Hoang Chau said the property market this year may witness a major shift to the affordable housing segment, meeting the real need of the majority of average-income earners. In addition, there might be a big adjustment to address the supply-demand mismatch that is currently skewed towards the premium segment.

    Duong Thuy Dung, head of CBRE’s Research and Consulting Department, predicted the market would see high consumption in the 2017-2019 period, with the medium-cost segment rising from the 40-50% proportion in previous years to 60% this year, followed by the luxury segment with over 50%.

    “Limited available land in the central areas for residential projects is a key factor that helps lure potential customers in the luxury segment. The prices of high-class housing projects in HCMC are still lower than those of other cities in the region. Therefore, the segment is still attractive to local wealthy people, and overseas customers,” she added.

    VEF/VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/Dantri/VET/VIR


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  • 01/10/17--01:52: Article 2
  • Outstanding events of Vietnam's startup community in 2016


    Vietnamese startups became better known worldwide in 2016 and are expected to shine even more brightly in 2017.


     vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, vn news

    Startup community in tumult because of Criminal Code

    One of the most controversial issues among technology startups in 2016 was Article 292 of the 2015 Criminal Code on illegal provision of services on computer and telecommunication networks.

    The article said individuals and institutions providing services without licenses will be fined up to hundreds of millions of dong or sentenced to non-custodial reform for two years.

    This raised concern among startups because most technology startups deploy their business, provide services and collect money via computer and telecommunication networks.

    PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the August regular meeting proposed to remove the Article 292.

    Startups receive huge foreign investment

    As Vietnamese startups have become better known, they can catch the eyes of foreign investors. The deal in which Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) and Golman Sachs poured $28 million into MoMo e-wallet was considered the most successful capital call so far.

    Other startups also received huge investment capital in 2016, including GotIt ($9 million), Vntrip.vn ($3 million) and Toong ($1 million).

    Silicon’s 500 Startups arrive

    In early 2016, 500 Startups, a large US-based venture fund, announced it would set up a small fund with $10 million to pour capital into 100-150 Vietnamese startup projects

    The fund in Vietnam will be managed by Binh Tran, the co-founder of Klout, and Eddie Thai. Both of them were born in Vietnam but have been living for a long time in the US.

    Vietnamese startups win international prizes

    These included software which allowed practice for speaking English designed by two Vietnamese – Van Dinh Hong, 33, and Ngo Thuy Ngoc Tu, 29 – and a Spanish PhD Xavir Anguera. Winning over 1,200 rivals, the education startup won first prize at a competition held in Austin, Texas in the US.

    One of the most controversial issues among technology startups in 2016 was Article 292 of the 2015 Criminal Code on illegal provision of services on computer and telecommunication networks.

    Meanwhile, Monkey Junior, an app for teaching languages to children, won first prize at GIST Tech-I 2016 in the US. In late 2011, Monkey Junior won the gold prize at ASEAN ICT Awards.

    VND100 billion fund for agriculture startups

    While most existing funds focus on injecting money into technology firms and F&B chains, SSIAM, a fund belonging to Saigon Securities Incorporated, has set up a VND100 billion fund to invest in agriculture projects.

    Hellomum, a safe food distribution chain, has become the first company receiving investments from SSIAM’s fund.

    Thorny path for startups

    Lingo.vn, a e-commerce website was dissolved in a strange way. Nearly 300 workers at Lingo said they were informed just two hours in advance and they had to leave the office the same day, while they did not receive any type of allowance.


    Thanh Mai, VNN


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  • 01/10/17--02:30: Article 1
  • Vietnamese apparel firms receive full orders until March


     
     Illustrative image (Source: VNA)


    Hanoi - Garment and textile enterprises have received enough orders to keep them busy through the first quarter of this year, said Le Tien Truong, General Director of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (VINATEX).

    At a press conference on January 9, Truong said that in 2017, the group targets a rise of 11 percent in export turnover, 14 percent in production value, and 12 percent in revenue.

    He predicted that this year, Vietnam’s garment and textile sector will face numerous challenges, including a lack of support in taxation policies as several important trade deals such as the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, will not become effective in 2017.

    Competition will become fiercer as other countries will continue attracting orders thanks to their advantages in tax and exchange rate, he said, adding that the instability in the EU economy will also affect the industry.

    Last year was gloomy for the world apparel sector. Major importers, including the US, the EU and Japan experienced low or decreased demand for garment and textile products, he noted.

    Vietnam’s apparel also saw under-expectation result with 28.3 billion USD in export, up 5.7 percent year on year. VINATEX earned over 2.5 billion USD, a rise of 5 percent over 2015, with a pre-tax profit of over 41 trillion VND on a 5 percent year on year increase. Its employees’ average income rose 8 percent over the previous year to reach 6.7 million VND per month.

    Truong also said that the results showed the great efforts of the sector, as Vietnam recorded higher growth than major competitors such as China, India, Bangladesh and Indonesia.-VNA


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  • 01/10/17--02:36: Article 0
  • VN to produce 11.3b tonnes of crude, rolled steel
     

     
    A steel production line of VINA KYOEI Steel Limited Company in Phú Mỹ 1 Industrial Zone in Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu Province. - VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam

    HÀ NỘI - Việt Nam’s steel industry plans to produce 5.5 million tonnes of crude steel and 5.8 million tonnes of rolled steel this year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

    These figures represent a year-on-year increases of 16.6 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.

    The combined output of 11.3 million tonnes will fully meet domestic demand, especially for steel ingots, steel beams and cold-rolled steel, the ministry said.

    Meanwhile, the Việt Nam Steel Association (VSA) said production would continue to grow, but at a slower pace than in 2016. The total steel output for this year is estimated to increase 12 per cent year-on-year to reach 19.6 million tonnes.

    This year, the ministry will use trade barriers to ensure fair competition with steel imports and also follow closely the impact of such measures on domestic production and consumption.

    The ministry has directed steel enterprises to upgrade production technologies and save production costs to become more competitive. They should also have flexible monthly and quarterly plans to build a distribution network and promote their brands.

    VSA Chairman Hồ Nghĩa Dũng said the association will continue to propose development policies for the steel industry. It will also monitor the market for raw materials and semi-processed products that have a direct impact on the domestic market, including iron ore, scrap steel, steel ingots and hot-rolled steel in order to provide timely information to local enterprises, he said.

    Construction steel boom

    The steel industry turned out 17.5 million tonnes of steel last year, up 16.8 per cent from 2015, according to the VSA.

    This included 5.1 million tonnes of crude steel and 5.3 million tonnes of rolled steel, a year-on-year growth of 20.5 per cent and 26.8 per cent, respectively.

    More than 15.3 million tonnes of the annual output was sold, representing an annual increase of 23.7 per cent, the association said.

    VSA Chairman Dũng was quoted by the bnews.vn. website as saying the growth in construction steel, which makes up about 50 per cent of the total steel products, was a highlight of 2016.

    Over 8.5 million tonnes of building beams were produced last year, an increase of 18.3 per cent year-on-year, and sales of the product also jumped 20.6 per cent to 8.4 million tonnes.

    The sector exported US$2.4 billion worth of goods last year, but imports soared to $9.1 billion. Due to uneven development within the sector, Việt Nam has to import large volumes of raw material and semi-processed products to serve production, the VSA said.

    The country imported more than 1.8 million tonnes of pre-painted galvanised iron, as well as 8.1 million tonnes of alloy steel. Despite having spare production, the country still imported more than 1.1 million tonnes of steel ingots last year, or 12.6 percent of what was available in the market. – VNS


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  • 01/11/17--00:44: Article 3
  • BUSINESS NEWS IN BRIEF


    Ministry scraps conditions on rice export


     Image result for XUAT KHAU GAO

    Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh on January 4 issued a decision revoking Decision 6139/QD-BCT on a master plan for rice exporters which has made life difficult for domestic enterprises.

    The decision sets out criteria and conditions to become a rice exporter, including requirements for warehousing and milling facilities, and the applicant’s rice export performance in the preceding year.

    The abolition of the rule will partly remove difficulties for enterprises, boosting rice exports at a time of rising rice export woes and fiercer competition.

    In Official Letter 8768/BCT-XNK, the ministry proposed the Government consider cancelling the plan last September, on the basis of the review of its implementation in the past time.

    Vietnam’s rice sector has secured sustainable growth since the late 1980s. The steady increase has helped the country not only ensure food security, but also become one of the three largest rice exporters in the world. However, incomes of farmers have yet to rise correspondingly.

    Thailand, India, Pakistan and Vietnam are major rice exporting countries, accounting for 71.8% of global rice exports, while China, Nigeria, Iran and Indonesia are main rice importers.

    Each rice exporting nation often has its own key export markets and competes in other markets.

    However, by focusing too much on output expansion, the sector has compromised on rice quality, which has in turn affected prices. Falling rice prices have hurt many stakeholders, especially farmers.

    Vietnam did not fully achieve its targets for rice exports last year, falling sharply in both volume and value year-on-year.

    Early in 2016, the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) predicted that the nation’s total rice exports would amount to 6.5 million tons, equivalent to the export performance of 2015. However, the objective was unattainable.

    Figures of the General Statistics Office (GSO) showed as of December 15, rice export shipments reached 4.68 million tons, with turnover of US$2.1 billion. Both volume and value tumbled by with 1.62 million tons and US$600 million respectively over the same period of 2015.

    Before 2010, the country shipped around 6.3-7 million tons a year, with revenues of some US$2.7-3.3 billion. In Vietnam’s agriculture, rice export turnover always comes third after seafood and coffee.

    Vietnam exported 7 million tons of rice in 2012, earning US$3.6 billion. The following year saw signs of decline, with 6.5 million tons and US$2.9 billion. The figure fell to 6.3 million tons in 2014 before inching up to 6.5 million tons last year.

    Many policies have been introduced over the years, having direct and indirect impacts on market players. However, some policies have revealed many inadequacies and have not gained desired results, such as the decision setting rice export as a conditional business field.

    The removal of such criteria and conditions is aimed to eliminate inappropriate business conditions following the introduction of the 2014 Investment Law. This would partly improve the transparency of the business environment, and create favorable conditions for firms to invest in the sector with a peace of mind, contributing to an increase in rice exports, and rice consumption for farmers.

    PVN oil production cost goes down

    Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN) said in a report on its 2016 performance that its oil exploitation costs dropped by US$3.2 per barrel against the estimate to US$23.8 last year.

    According to the report released on January 5, the group managed to cut exploitation costs, thus sending them down to US$23.8 a barrel compared to the estimate of US$27 a barrel. Costs of electricity, urea fertilizer and fuel products fell by 15-20% compared to the plan.

    PVN exported crude oil at an average price of US$45 a barrel in 2016, much lower than US$60 per barrel projected in the State budget plan approved by the National Assembly.

    Last year, the State-owned firm pumped 17.23 million tons of crude oil, 1.19 million tons higher than targeted. It generated revenue of VND452.5 trillion (US$19.9 billion) and paid VND90.2 trillion in taxes.

    The company did not announce its 2016 profit or losses. PVN would be profitable if the oil price exceeds US$45 per barrel, the firm said in a report.    

    PVN’s exploitation costs and payments to the State budget are estimated at US$43.5 a barrel so its profit, if any, is small. Notably, PVN’s exploitation costs at Song Doc oil field amount to US$58 per barrel.  

    The company has to increase output over the past two years to offset the global oil price plunge.

    According to PVN’s financial plan for 2017, the oil price is projected to stand at US$50 a barrel.

    Central bank to take over one more lender

    The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) plans to acquire one more ailing bank at zero dong as part of the banking restructuring scheme this year, a leader of the central bank told the Daily on January 5.

    The SBV will only acquire the bank if it fails to find strategic investors. The lender, whose name is not yet disclosed, has reported negative equity and been under special control while law enforcement officers have taken legal action against its former leaders.

    The acquisition of 100% shares of loss-making banks at zero dong each aims to avoid causing negative impact on the banking system. The move would be made if their existing shareholders fail to inject additional capital and if banks cannot find new investors.

    No organizations have offered to buy shares of the troubled bank, prompting the central bank to mull the acquisition. The agency is considering a suitable acquisition scheme to secure its normal operations, the official said.

    In 2015, the central bank took over Construction Bank, Ocean Bank and GPBank at zero dong. The three lenders had negative equity and huge bad debts while some of their leaders were arrested.

    According to the SBV leader, the lenders have made positive changes in recent times. Their liquidity has improved and they have not made bad impact on the banking system any more. However, it takes a long time for the banks to get back to the good old days.

    Besides, the central bank has ordered all banks to consolidate operations and fix shortcomings to obtain sustainable development in the coming years. In 2017, the central bank will gather resources to deploy measures of the bank restructuring plan and handle bad debts for the 2016-2020 period.

    The official also rejected rumors that the SBV would acquire Sacombank at zero dong because the bank is not in the troubled group. Currently, Sacombank maintains normal operations with total assets as of November 2016 rising 12.03% against the end of 2015 and the bad debt ratio curbed at 2.22%.

    Speaking to the Daily, Sacombank vice chairman Nguyen Mien Tuan said Sacombank is concentrating on systematic restructuring after Southern Bank was merged into it. The merger has impacted on its operation, so it will need time to adjust.

    A foreign organization has offered to become Sacombank’s strategic partner but both sides have yet to reach agreement. At present, a domestic business group has offered to buy a 20% stake at Sacombank at VND15,000 a share. However, the bank is still waiting for approval from the central bank to carry out the deal.

    Starbucks launches loyalty programme
       
    US beverage chain Starbucks has launched a loyalty programme called Starbucks rewards for its customers.

    Customers who register for the programme will earn a star for every VNĐ40,000 they spend in its stores.

    There are two tiers of membership offering increasingly greater rewards. Green and gold offer more surprises and personalisation with each tier.

    Gold, for instance, offers a buy-one-get-one offer when reaching gold and a free beverage for every 25 stars earned.

    Members will also receive many exclusive offers during the year.

    The company has launched a new flavour for the winter, golden sesame caramel crunch latte, and brought back chestnut white chocolate truffle.

    VIB: 2016 results positive; shares listed on UPCoM
       
    More than 564.4 million shares of Vietnam International Bank (VIB) made their debut on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) on Monday.

    The reference price on the first trading day was VND17,000 per share. At this rate, VIB’s market capitalisation is nearly VND9.6 trillion (US$423 million).

    “VIB’s listing is aimed at creating transparency in our activities, share price, market capitalisation and share liquidity so as to make it easier for investors to make investment decisions,” the bank said in its statement.

    Last year, VIB maintained a stable growth momentum, as per the bank’s unaudited business results.

    The bank made VND1.3 trillion in profit before provision and VND702 billion profit before tax, which is 4 per cent higher than the target set by the General Council of Shareholders early in 2016, and 7 per cent higher than in 2015.

    Its total lending balance was around VND68 trillion, a 25 per cent growth against 2015, while its total assets amounted to approximately VND105 trillion.

    According to the latest data, the bank’s non-performing loan (NPL) rate continues to be under control at under 3 per cent while its loan-to-deposit ratio (LDR) was 66 per cent, much lower than the maximum limit of 80 per cent set by the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV).

    At the end of 2016, VIB shareholders’ equity was more than VND8.7 trillion, while the bank’s charter capital increased to around VND5.64 trillion, based on the General Council of Shareholders’ plan, which was approved by SBV.

    Among the 10 local banks selected by the central bank for pilot implementation of Basel II, VIB has the highest readiness level and a high CAR of 10 per cent, based on Basel II standards.

    In the past two years, VIB continued to have high dividend payment rates – it was 23.5 per cent and 25 per cent in 2014 and 2015, respectively, including payment in cash and by bonus share.

    This year, VIB has set a profit target that is 10 per cent higher than the 2016 target.

    “VIB will continue to develop its core bank activities, focusing on personal customers, SME customers and foreign-invested enterprises,” it said, adding that that the focus is on developing innovative solutions and using more technology to maximise its productivity, increase revenue and save costs.

    Siemens Healthineers brings new ultrasound systems to VN
       
    Siemens Healthineers held a launch ceremony to introduce its new ultrasound system ACUSON NX2 TM to the Vietnamese market late last week.

    The ceremony took place during the National Conference on Ultrasound organised for the first time in Hue City’s Hue Central Hospital on January 7.

    According to a representative of Siemens Healthineers, ACUSON NX2™ ultrasound system is a smart-inspired solution, providing premium imaging performance across clinical applications.

    The system utilises largest-in-class hardware, supporting enhanced operator workflow functionality to improve system uptime and user comfort, bringing efficient and reliable diagnostic information.

    ACUSON NX2 TM presents an intuitive control panel design combined with up to four front-facing transducer ports to optimize workflow efficiency and reduce the need for repeat examinations.

    The system is engineered to ensure clients get the most out of their investment. Compatible transducers provide access to a wide range of imaging capabilities across clinical segments. The intuitive design promotes ease of use and technical proficiency.

    It can also be easily upgraded as clients’ needs evolve towards advanced applications and value-performance platforms available within the ACUSON NX™ Series portfolio.

    During the launch ceremony, Siemens Healthineers also celebrated a contract-signing ceremony with the HCM City-based Medical Center Medic Hoa Hao to supply its Vietnamese partner 10 ACUSON NX2 TM ultrasound systems.

    Siemens Healthineers, part of global industrial conglomerate Siemens AG, is a medical technology company and is headquartered in Erlangen, Germany. The company began in 1847 as a small family business in Berlin, co-founded by Ernst Werner von Siemens. It has 45,000 employees worldwide who are passionate about empowering healthcare providers to optimally serve their patients.

    At Co.opmart, buy gift hamper in Ca Mau, get it delivered free to Ha Noi
       
    Customers can visit any Co.opmart or Co.opXtra store around the country,choose readymade Tet gift hampers and ask them to be delivered to relatives, friends or business partners in any province or city where they have outlets.

    This is a unique service that Co.opmart and Co.opXtra supermarkets are offering.

    For instance, customers can go to Co.opmart Phu Lam in HCM City's District 6 to choose from 42 varieties of Tet gift hampers and request the supermarket to send it together with a greeting card to Ha Noi, Nha Trang, Can Tho, Ca Mau or any other locality.

    The service is completely free if the recipient lives within 5km of the supermarket if the giftis worth more than VND200,000 (US$8.8), 10km if above VND500,000 ($22), and 20km if above VND2 million ($88).

    Customers can place orders from now until January 17, and the gifts will be delivered by January 23.

    Customers can refer and order Tet gift baskets at http://gioquatet.co-opmart.com.vn , 1900.5555.68 or any Co.opmart and Co.opXtra outlet.

    70% of Vinhome Skylake apartments sold on launch day
       
    VinGroup launched its world-class lakeside mansion project, Vinhomes Skylake, on Sunday.

    It received tremendous response, with an impressive 700 apartments - 70 per cent of the total flats - being sold on the launch day.

    The project, which integrates leisure facilities such as skypool, four-season swimming pool, sky bar, multifunctional sports ground, a plaza and a school, attracted 1,500 visitors on Sunday.

    Located at the junction between Pham Hung and Duong Dinh Nghe streets, in front of a beautiful park and lake in Cau Giay District, the project will be built on 2.3 hectares. Especially, it can benefiy from 32 hectares of greenery, including a lake whose water surface measures 19 hectares, which is 1.5 times larger than the famous Hoan Kiem lake.

    Inspired by Blue Lifestyle, an emerging trend in architecture, Vinhomes Skylake’s design aims to bring in the harmony of the sky and the water into the living space. The project will have a skypool, and the apartments will have long glass windows and balconies with lake views.

    On Sunday, VinGroup launched S1 and S2 towers. While S2 is located at the centre of the project and will have great internal facilities and a view the skypool, S1 will have an ideal density of only 12 apartments per floor, with three sides offering park and lake views.

    On the occasion of the New Year, VinGroup introduced an attractive promotional package for first-home buyers, including a three-year free management service (applicable to first 200 buyers), interest rate subsidy for loans of up to 65 per cent of the apartment value – zero interest rate is applied from the time of disbursement to the date of delivery, but not later than July 31, 2019.

    People looking to buy a second apartment onwards will be offered a discount rate of 1 per cent of the unit value.

    Apartments are between 49m2 to 171m2 and will have furniture and products from famous brands such as Teka, Kohler, Duravit and Hansgrohe.

    Vinhomes Skylake is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2019, after the Cau Giay park and lake project are ready, which are scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2018.

    Central Highlands province launches Krông Nô 2 hydro-power plant

    The Krông Nô Joint Stock Company of the Trung Nam Group started operations of its Krông Nô 2 hydro-power plant in the Central Highlands province of Lâm Đồng on Saturday, supplying 105.87 million kilowatts per hour to the national grid.

    The two-turbine 30 Megawatts (MW) plant was built with a total investment of VNĐ1.4 trillion (US$70 million).

    The company said the Krông Nô 2 and Krông Nô 3 plant inaugurated last year on the Krông Nô River will contribute to socio-economic development of Đắk Lắk and Lâm Đồng provinces, and provide power for the national grid system in the Central Highlands.

    The two hydro-power plants are expected to supply a total 170 million kwh for the national power network per year.

    Last year, the company also started construction of Đắk Kegui hydro-power plant in Lâm Đồng Province, with a total investment of VNĐ119 billion ($5.3 million).

    In  2015, Trung Nam Group started operations of the 70MW Đồng Nai 2 Hydropower Plant in the province, supplying 263.8 million kwh to the national grid.

    The Group has developed 19 projects of wind power and hydro-power.

    Yen Bai looks to diversify crops

    The northern mountainous province of Yen Bai is taking steps to diversify crops under its plan on agricultural restructuring, encouraging local farmers to adopt high-yield food crop varieties and high-value industrial plants new to the locality.

    Besides hybrid rice and maize, farmers began to cultivate wheat, soya bean, potato or rubber trees for the first time, while expanding the area under local specialties such as tea, cinnamon and hawthorn trees.

    Several projects to develop the cultivation of hawthorn, cinnamon, maize and citrus trees have surpassed the targets set for 2016. The area of hawthorn reached 1,080ha, nearly double the target of 550ha, and that of cinnamon was expanded to 4,759ha while the goal was 2,642ha.

    Mu Cang Chai District has led the way in restructuring the local crops. Due to a severe climate which is cold and dry in winter, local farmers used to leave more than 4,000 ha of wet rice uncultivated in winter. But in the 2015-2016 winter-spring crop, the district authorities experimented with new cold-and drought-resistant plants, cultivating 12ha of wheat, 700sq.m of potato and 2ha of rapeseed (Brassica napus). The good harvest of the new plants prompted the district to plant 20ha of wheat, 15ha of potato and 500ha of rapeseed in the 2016-2017 winter-spring season.

    According to Luong Van Thu, deputy head of the district’s division for agriculture and rural development, the district has coordinated with enterprises in supplying farmers with seeds and fertilizers and in buying all harvested produce.

    Thu said wheat, potato and rapeseed produce the same or much higher economic value than wet rice, which is the reason why the district decided to expand the farming of those plants.

    In this winter-spring crop, Pung Luong Commune has the largest area cultivated with wheat, with 8ha. Ho Thi Sung in De Cho Chua B hamlet said her family grew wheat in dry fields, and after harvesting wheat, it is the right time to start the spring-summer wet rice crop.

    Along with introducing high-value plants, Mu Cang Chai has stepped up the application of scientific and technological advances in farming by building demonstration models for new farming techniques.

    As a result, several large-scale farming areas of certain crops including maize, tea, cinnamon and hawthorn have formed in Yen Bai, a step forward in the province’s orientation of developing sustainable agriculture based on local farm produce with competitive edge.

    Timber industry starts off New Year with major milestone


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    A landmark event occurred in the last few weeks of 2016 between the EU and Vietnam government that promises to have far-reaching favourable implications for the development of sustainable timber industry trade.

    In November, following nearly six years of negotiations, the two sides agreed in principle on the terms of a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) to improve forest governance, address illegal logging and promote trade in verified legal timber products from Vietnam to the EU.

    The two sides are expected to ratify the agreement in early 2017.

    "Vietnam and the EU today celebrate a milestone in their cooperation in the global fight to end illegal logging," said EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella, at the signing ceremony for the new VPA last November.

    "Now we must focus on implementation to ensure that the VPA delivers on its social, environmental and economic goals.”

    To implement the VPA, Vietnam has agreed to put a timber legality assurance system in place among other reforms— including the passage of legislation to ensure the legality of timber Vietnam imports from other countries for processing and re-export.

    The European Commission has published a memo describing the VPA and timber legality assurance system. When this system is operating as described, it will ensure that exports from Vietnam of timber and timber products to the EU will be entirely from verified legal sources.

    “A key commitment is to establish a credible and robust system, which involves all stakeholders and includes effective mechanisms to detect violations and ensure law enforcement,” said Vella.

    The EU would continue to support the efforts of the Vietnam government in this regard and would be monitoring closely how the country works to implement the agreement, he noted.

    The VPA is expected to boost confidence in the legality of timber products exported by Vietnam, as well as deliver wider social and environmental benefits.

    An EU-Vietnam Joint Implementation Committee would oversee implementation of the VPA once it enters force. Until then, key elements of the interim arrangements have been agreed that would help transition to the implementation phase.

    The decision by the parties to sign the agreement, which would eventually lead to a requirement for licensing by the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade facility of the EU of all timber products imported into the EU from Vietnam, was jointly announced by Vella and Vietnam Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong following a meeting on November 17.

    The range of timber products included in the scope of the agreement encompasses all major products exported by Vietnam to the EU – particularly logs, sawn timber, railway sleepers, plywood and veneer.

    In addition, it includes many ancillary timber products such as wood chips or particles, parquet flooring, particle board and wooden furniture.

    Innovation is critical to competitiveness, was the message of Mr Hans- Joachim Danzer, Chief Executive Officer of Danzer Holding AG, at the ECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry in Geneva, Switzerland.

    There are significant opportunities for Vietnam and other countries to increase yield and reduce material costs in the international hardwood industry, he continued, but these are being squandered due to a widespread lack of capacity and willingness to innovate.

    There’s also a need to work with Vietnam and others towards a smarter regulatory environment, driven more by sound scientific data and less by the concerns of narrow lobby groups, to encourage innovation, improve competitiveness and stimulate trade in the industry.

    Mr Danzer offered these views from the perspective of a company that is the largest producer of decorative sliced wood worldwide and amongst the largest producers of sawn hardwood in Africa and North America.

    Vietnam maintains a stable economic growth in 2016

    Although Vietnam’s economy had no major breakthroughs in 2016, it managed to maintain a stable growth thanks to careful government management.

    Vietnam’s GDP grew 6.21% for the year, short of the 6.7% target set by the National Assembly, mainly due to natural disasters, drought, and saline intrusion in the Mekong River Delta crippling agricultural production. Another reason was falling exports and falling prices of crude oil in the global market.

    In that context, service, industry, processing, manufacturing, and construction posted relatively high growth. The highlight was the processing and manufacturing industry, according to Pham Dinh Thuy, Head of the Industrial Statistics Department of the General Statistics Office.

    “The industrial production index of the processing and manufacturing sector has set records in recent years. The industry’s steady production contributed significantly to this year’s economic growth,” Thuy added.

    In 2016 Vietnam signed a number of milestone free trade agreements. Last year saw a boom in the amount of registered and expansion capital, and capital disbursement for FDI companies, who contributed 70% of Vietnam’s export growth. Vegetable and fruit processing also saw significant growth last year, thanks to the application of advanced preservation techniques and safe production standards.

    Economist Nguyen Minh Phong said “Our success was due to changes in our strategy in the direction of national integration to create appropriate institutions. Vietnam has signed many bilateral agreements on investment protectionism and trade encouragement and 11 FTAs to create a fairer environment in our trade with more than half the countries in the world.”

    Coffee export rebounds in 2016

    Coffee export last year rebounded back from the previous year reduction, reaching 1.79 million tons with the total turnover of US$3.36 billion, reported the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    The numbers were up 33.6 percent in volume and 25.6 percent in value over 2015, when the country saw a year on year fall of 20.63 percent in volume and 24.82 percent in value.

    Last year, Germany and the U.S. continued to be the largest markets of Vietnam with the market share of 15.2 percent and 13.1 percent respectively.

    Coffee area was up 0.3 percent over 2015 to 645,400 hectares. Output was estimated to increase 1 percent to hit 1.47 million tons but productivity dropped 0.4 percent because of drought in the Central Highlands early 2016.

    The contribution of processed products to the total coffee export value of the country was on the rise.

    CBRE: Affordable housing to play key role in 2017

    Property service provider CB Richard Ellis Vietnam (CBRE Vietnam) has estimated that over 43,800 apartments will be sold this year, with around 40% of them in the medium segment. The figure last year was 37,419 apartments.

    In particular, there will be more than 13,000 high-end apartments and 1,627 luxury ones to be offered this year. The remainder will belong to the budget and medium segments, with around 40% of new apartments to be sold at US$800 per square meter.

    Domestic investors and joint ventures are making adjustments in order to adapt their projects to the market trend.

    Last year saw gradual adjustments making the market more balanced. As a result, the respective proportions of mid- and high-end apartments sold accounted for 48% and 30%, respectively. The mid-end segment achieved positive results, with more 15,000 units sold, 40% of the total.

    Earlier, the HCMC Real Estate Association (HoREA), in its final report of 2016, estimated 30,000 homes had been launched in the city. Of which, low-cost and mid-end housing accounted for 79.7% and was the key segment of the real estate market.

    HoREA chairman Le Hoang Chau said the property market this year may witness a major shift to the affordable housing segment, meeting the real need of the majority of average-income earners. In addition, there might be a big adjustment to address the supply-demand mismatch that is currently skewed towards the premium segment.

    Duong Thuy Dung, head of CBRE’s Research and Consulting Department, predicted the market would see high consumption in the 2017-2019 period, with the medium-cost segment rising from the 40-50% proportion in previous years to 60% this year, followed by the luxury segment with over 50%.

    “Limited available land in the central areas for residential projects is a key factor that helps lure potential customers in the luxury segment. The prices of high-class housing projects in HCMC are still lower than those of other cities in the region. Therefore, the segment is still attractive to local wealthy people, and overseas customers,” she added.

    Unemployment grows strongly

    The number of workers in HCMC who got unemployment benefits last year amounted to 122,204, an increase of 13,822 compared to 2015, Tran Xuan Hai, director of the HCMC Centre for Employment Service (CES), said at a conference here in the city on January 4.

    The conference was held by the HCMC Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs to review the employment situation in 2016 and discussed plans for 2017.

    Last year, the number of laborers who claimed jobless benefits reached 122,771, the highest since 2012, Hai added. However, a few hundreds were ineligible for unemployment allowances.

    He ascribed the sudden increase last year to the increased awareness among workers on jobless benefits.

    In addition, the deadline for laborers to register their unemployment was extended, giving the unemployed more time to claim benefits.

    However, the number of people coming to the center to look for jobs was 330,425, down 25,812 compared to a year earlier.

    Nguyen Van Lam, deputy director of the department, said 311,135 people found jobs and 130,109 new jobs were created in 2016, which helped to cut the jobless rate in the city to 4.4%.

    SBV puts bad debt at 2.46%

    The bad debt ratio was estimated at 2.46% at the end of November 2016 and kept steady at less than 3% last year, says the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV).

    By the end of last November, Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC) had acquired 839 non-performing loans worth VND23.28 trillion in principal at the price of some VND22.48 trillion.

    In a statement issued on January 4, the SBV attributes this result to coping solutions, inspections, supervision, restructuring and settlement of bad debt.

    Inspection and supervision of banking activities were further strengthened last year, actively assisting the implementation of monetary policy as well as bad debt restructuring and settlement. Thanks to this, the operations of credit institutions underwent many positive changes, helping them achieve growth in deposits, assets and credits.

    Notably, the safety and stability of the system were maintained, with improved financial capability. Weak banks were strictly controlled, restructured and monitored, while shortcomings were radically tackled.

    The SBV believes money supply was reasonably regulated last year, enabling credit institutions to stabilize their deposit rates and cut lending rates, and helping the State successfully issue large amounts of G-bonds at low interest rates. Also, this helped keep the exchange rate stable and ensure effective control of inflation.

    Therefore, the monetary indicators went up according to the targets set at the beginning of the year. By December 29, money supply had increased by 17.88% and deposits had risen 18.38% against the end of 2015. The banking system’s liquidity was ample and the interbank market was running smoothly.

    Besides, interest rates were stabilized. A number of credit institutions brought down their lending rates to support production and business thanks to the solutions offered by the central bank.

    One of the solutions is to flexibly use the tools to keep liquidity in the system ample and interbank interest rates at low levels. In addition, credit institutions are directed to take measures to balance their capital, maintain stable deposit rates, reduce costs, improve business efficiency, and gradually adjust down the ratio of short-term funds used for making middle- and long-term loans.

    The SBV said the exchange rate and the foreign exchange market were relatively stable last year despite the pressure from unexpected global market movements.

    VAT no longer refundable for boats of over 400 HP

    The Government has decided to stop refunding value added tax (VAT) for fishing boats which have capacity of more than 400 HP.

    The decision was provided for in Decree 172 issued late last year to amend Decree 67, which was issued in 2014 to provide incentives for the seafood sector.

    Decree 172 abolishes a provision of Decree 67 that gives value added tax (VAT) refunds to owners of newly-built and upgraded boats with capacity of 400 HP or above.

    According to the new decree, the removal will be effective from February 15.

    However, for boats that have been completed and transferred to their owners before January 1, 2015, their owners can still get VAT refunds based on the time of contract signing.

    In case the boats were built or upgraded before January 1 last year without contracts, the VAT will be refunded based on invoices for goods and services related to works to build or upgrade the boats.

    For boats which were completed and transferred to owners after January 1 or contracts signed after that, owners will not be allowed to get VAT refunds.

    Can Tho takes third position in retail sales

    Can Tho City’s total retail sales of goods and services last year totaled an estimated VND95.6 trillion (some US$4.2 billion), ranking third in the country behind HCMC and Hanoi, Can Tho’s Department of Industry and Trade said at a conference on January 4.

    In the Mekong Delta region, An Giang Province took the second position after Can Tho City, with total retail revenue amounting to nearly VND84.6 trillion. Meanwhile, retail sales in Tra Vinh Province stood at around VND21 trillion, the lowest in the delta.

    Among five cities under the central Government, HCMC took the lead with its retail revenue climbing to VND682.7 trillion while Hanoi ranked second with nearly VND505 trillion.

    In addition, the northern city of Haiphong and the central coastal city of Danang reported total retail sales of around VND91 trillion and VND77 trillion respectively.

    At the 2016 review conference, Huynh Trung Tru, deputy director of Can Tho Department of Industry and Trade, said 2016 was a busy year for the retail sector of the city as many businesses strongly expanded investment, contributing to the city’s rising retail revenue.

    Last year, four new supermarkets and commercial centers were put into operation in the city, raising the total to 18.

    Nguyen Minh Toai, director of the department, said Saigon Trading Corporation, or Satra, will open Satrafoods convenience food stores and develop Centre Mall centers and Satramart supermarkets citywide, mostly in Ninh Kieu District.

    This year’s target of the city is to obtain VND105 trillion in retail revenue, up 9.87% compared to 2016, Tru added.

    The city’s export turnover last year exceeded US$1.5 billion, an increase of 3.4% compared to a year earlier. Meanwhile, import expenditures totaled US$293 million, down 26%, and representing just 58.4% of the full-year target.

    Railway sector asked to develop sustainably in 2017

    Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong urged the Vietnam Railway Corporation (VNR) to enhance transport quality and use technology in management for sustainable development in 2017.

    During a conference on VNR’s production and business plan in 2017 in Hanoi on January 5, the Deputy Minister underlined efforts the railway sector made in 2016 to maintain growth.

    According to Doan Duy Hoach, VNR Deputy Director General, the company’s output and revenue hit 7.97 trillion VND (350.9 million USD), and 8.34 trillion VND (366.87 million USD), respectively, equivalent to 87.7 percent and 88.8 percent of the figures in 2015. The company earned post-tax profits of 137 billion VND (6.03 million USD).

    Hoach attributed the fall in output and revenue to the reduction of its joint stock companies and networking due to divestment and equitisation.

    The collapse of the Ghenh Bridge in Dong Nai, storms and floods in the central region, uncompetitive transport prices, and newly-restructured subsidiaries also explained the corporation’s poor performance, Hoach said.

    To improve the sector’s competitiveness and efficiency in 2017, VNR aims to submit a proposal to the ministry to enhance the performance of the railway network nationwide, with focus on the Hanoi – Vinh route.

    VNR will also mobilise social resources, investing in means of transport and support facilities.

    Additionally, the corporation will accelerate the implementation of key projects, particularly on infrastructure and train building.

    Efforts will also be made to better business management and reform administrative procedures.

    Rice producers, exporters aim to increase consumption

    An Giang Import Export Company (Angimex), one of the large rice export companies in Vietnam, plans to focus on improving its rice quality and better controlling plant-protection residues to promote rice exports, especially to the US and EU markets.

    Vo Truong Giang, director of Angimex’s raw material development centre, said that Angimex exported about 120,000 tonnes of rice last year to many markets, including Asia, Australia, Japan and the US.

    Exports fell by 20 percent over 2015 due to drastic competition with Thai rice and an increase in rice production in Vietnam’s traditional rice-importing countries, he said.

    “It will be hard to compete with Thailand in exporting white rice. Therefore, our orientation for this year is to focus on controlling residues and expand production of specialty fragrant rice to boost export to the US and EU.”

    “The US has a huge demand for fragrant rice. But to export to the market, our rice must meet hygiene and food safety standards.”

    The company has decided to rent 100ha of land to cultivate rice for export to the US, he said.

    Giang said the company has more than 3,000ha of rice material zones in which it has developed close linkages with farmers and cooperatives in An Giang, Kien Giang and Dong Thap to grow Japonica (a Japanese rice variety) and Jasmine fragrant rice, he said.

    “Asian countries, especially China, have high demand for Japonica rice,” he said.

    With a forecast that rice export would continue to face difficulties this year, not only Angimex but also other rice exporters and producers have mapped out measures to boost consumption of their products this year.

    Duong Van Hung, director of Tan Cuong Agricultural Services Cooperative in Dong Thap province, which has more than 1,200ha under rice cultivation, mainly fragrant rice, said the co-operative would focus on improving quality to ensure that its rice meets hygiene and food safety standards set by importing countries.

    “Currently, we have 200ha for growing organic rice and 100ha for safe rice,” he said. “We collaborated with a rice export company to market our organic rice in the US market and to be accepted by the market.”

    Rice productivity following organic cultivation is in general 20-30 percent lower than traditionally planted rice, but selling prices are 30-40 percent higher than traditionally planted rice, he said.

    “We will expand the area to cultivate safe rice in the coming time. I think if our products meet hygiene and food safety standards, there will be nothing to worry about in terms of consumption,” he said.
    According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam exported an estimated 4.88 million tonnes of rice last year, earning 2.2 billion USD, a year-on-year decrease of 25.8 percent in volume and 21.2 percent in value.

    Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam said free trade agreements would open opportunities for Vietnam to enter markets like the US, the EU and Japan, but it would bring challenges due to lack of competitiveness, especially in terms of quality and branding positioning, compared to competitors.

    Nam said that rice exports last year did not meet expectations, especially because of market difficulties.

    “But I think it was a lesson for enterprises. Previously, we mainly focused on quantity. This should be changed now. Enterprises must establish their own material zones and focus on improving quality of their rice to international standards,” he said.

    Pham Thai Binh, director of Can Tho-based Trung An Hi-Tech Farming JSC, a large rice exporter, said consumers both at home and abroad are becoming more and more aware of what they eat and are willing to pay more for safe products.

    To improve the competitiveness of Vietnamese rice, farmers and businesses must join hands to create large-scale rice fields, apply modern farming techniques and mechanise production, he said.

    “Businesses must play a main role in the connection chain, providing farmers with input materials and strictly supervise the production process of farmers as well as ensure outlets for their products,” he said.

    The company has established a close link with farmers to grow fragrant Jasmine rice, Japonica and other rice following GlobalGap and organic standards, he said.

    Its rice products are available in many countries, including the US, the EU and Southeast Asia, with exports accounting for 65 percent of its total production output, he said.

    According to experts, the variety of rice is an important factor to improve rice quality.

    Huynh The Nang, chairman of the Vietnam Food Association, said there are hundreds of rice varieties but many have similar quality.

    Researches to create new high-quality rice varieties that are fragrant, soft and different from other varieties should be encouraged, he said, adding that this would improve Vietnam’s rice quality and competitiveness.

    Le Van Banh, head of the ministry’s Department of Processing and Trade for Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Products and Salt Production, said that developing brands for rice products was important to help raise the competitiveness of Vietnamese rice at home and abroad.

    VEF/VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/Dantri/VET/VIR


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  • 01/11/17--01:12: Article 2
  • Vietnam's two leading airline corporations have strategic shareholders


    The national flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines (VNA) and the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) found their strategic shareholders, announced the Ministry of Transport at a meeting held in Hanoi on January 10.


     Vietnam's two leading airline corporations have strategic shareholders, AVC, Vietnam Airlines, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest

    VNA have completed the negotiations and signed strategic shareholder deals with Japan's ANA Holdings Inc (ANA Group). Meanwhile, ACV is negotiating with Aéroports de Paris and is scheduled to sign purchase deals in March.

    The Ministry of Transport is also working to equitise four other corporations, namely: Vietnam Expressway Corporation; Cuu Long Corporation for Investment, Development and Project Management of Infrastructure (Cuu Long CIPM); Vietnam National Shipping Lines; and Shipbuilding Industry Corporation.

    In 2016, the Transport Ministry completed the equitisation of Vietnam Expressway Operation and Maintenance Company under the Vietnam Expressway Corporation and completed the divestments from 22 joint stock companies.

    So far, 37 equitised companies have listed their shares with a total value of VND35 trillion (US$1.54 billion).

    Regarding the project on business restructuring in 2017, Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong said the ministry will report to the Government the plan to equitise 17 companies in 2017. In addition, the ministry will carry out divestments from seven equitised corporations as approved by the Government.

    This year, the ministry will also direct VNA, Vietnam Railway, Cuu Long CIPM, Vietnam Expressway Corporation and others to continue to divest from the areas that the State does not have to hold a stake.

    Nhan Dan


    0 0
  • 01/11/17--01:26: Article 1
  • Gov’t to further classify and equitise businesses


    Based on a recent decision issued by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on the classification of state owned enterprises from 2016 to 2020, a total of 240 businesses will be listed as under government management.

     
    Queue to buy lottery tickets from Vietlott. The company’s instant success and large revenue had drawn great attraction from the public and itself had been equitised along with many other businesses. - Photo vietq.vn


    Out of the 240, 103 businesses have 100 per cent of their charter capital held by the government, including 62 provincial lottery companies and the Viet Nam Lottery Company (Vietlott).

    The Vietnam Railways, Vietnam Oil and Gas Group--VietNam Electricity along with three state-acquired banks of Global Petroleum Bank, Vietnam Construction Bank and Ocean Bank Vietnam--will continue to be completely owned by the government.

    Other businesses in important socio-economic sectors such as national defence and security, telecommunication, bill printing, gold smelting, publishing and marine insurance are also on the list.

    Four notable businesses owned 65 percent by the state are the Vietnam National Coal - Mineral Industries Group, Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation and the Vinaconex investment and mineral trading Co. Ltd.

    27 stated owned businesses at 50 per cent to 65 per cent total charter capital belonged to major fields such as telecommunication and food production, whereas 106 companies with less than 50 per cent state ownership were all sorts of major businesses, such as the Saigon Jewellery Company or the Vietnam Multimedia Corporation.

    The decision is set to take effect from February 15, 2017.

    VNS


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  • 01/11/17--01:45: Article 0
  • Vietnam tea mogul, daughter suspected of co-conspiring in $401mn bank loss


    Prosecutors have suggested that police look into the possible relationship between the chairman of a major Vietnamese drinks company, his daughter and a former-bank CEO that caused multimillion-dollar losses.


     
    Tran Ngoc Bich (c), daughter of Tan Hiep Phap chairman Tran Quy Thanh, walks to a court in Ho Chi Minh City.Tuoi Tre

    On September 9, a court in Ho Chi Minh City sentenced Pham Cong Danh, former chairman of the erstwhile Vietnam Construction Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VNCB), to 30 years behind bars for his role in the loss of more than VND9 trillion (US$401.79 million) from the state budget.

    Danh, 51, was sentenced on charges of “violating lending regulations of credit institutions” and “deliberate acts against state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences” after the court concluded its’ month-long trial of a case considered one with the largest-ever financial frauds in Vietnam.

    In addition to the ex-VNCB chairman, 25 other defendants also received their sentences in court.

    Danh and all of the other convicted filed an appeal against the ruling shortly after the September trial, and that appeal hearing took place on Tuesday.



    Pham Cong Danh

    At the appeal, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Procuracy demanded that the Ministry of Public Security determine the criminal responsibility of Tran Quy Thanh and his daughter, Tran Ngoc Bich, for allegedly co-conspiring with Danh to illegally withdraw VND5.19 trillion ($231.7 million) from the VNCB.

    Thanh is chairman of Tan Hiep Phat Group, known for its Dr. Thanh brand of bottled herbal tea, and Bich is the company’s vice director. Tan Hiep Phat made local headlines in December 2015, after winning a fly-in-a-bottle case against one consumer, who was sentenced to seven years in prison for blackmail.

    According to the prosecutors in the bank fraud case, Thanh and Bich had assisted Danh in his plot to illegally withdraw money from VNCB, which eventually resulted in huge losses for the bank.

    Danh, as the then VNCB chief, granted a VND5.49 trillion ($245.09 million) loan to a group led by Bich, who put 124 savings books up as collateral.

    The lending was said to be staged, as Danh later withdrew VND5.19 trillion from the money lent to Bich. VNCB never retrieved this sum, resulting in a massive loss for the state budget.


    Tran Ngoc Bich

    According to the municipal procuracy, Danh acted as the mastermind behind the plot, while the father and daughter duo, along with the owners of the other savings books misused their loans.

    “The [VND5.49 trillion] loan was settled as earlier agreed upon by Danh and Thanh, so not investigating the possible criminal responsibility of those two in this case may result in the non- prosecution of criminals,” the procuracy said.

    Thanh failed to appear at both the first-instance case in September and the appeal court on health grounds.

    The procuracy yesterday also demanded that the court uphold the 30-year jail sentence given to Danh, as well as the sentences to the other 25 defendants.

    TUOI TRE NEWS


    0 0
  • 01/12/17--00:03: Article 1
  • Three-hour airline check-ins for Tet criticised


     Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho said asking passengers to arrive three hours at the airport early is evidence of weak management skills.


     

    Passengers at Tan Son Nhat Airport

    Tho discussed the problem with the Southern Airports Authority on January 11 about preparations for the Lunar New Year. "This must be organised again. If all the airlines want passengers to come three hours early then it's no better than living at the airport," he said.

    Tan Son Nhat Airport authorities have advised passengers to arrive three hours before flight departure in the run-up to the Lunar New Year to avoid traffic jams and delays at check-in. Passengers are also advised to do check-in via web, mobile or check-in kiosks located near domestic terminal gates 1 and 2, besides checking in at counters.

    They also suggested limiting the number of people coming to the airport to pick or see off passengers.

    "Advising passengers to arrive at the airport three hours early isn’t a good thing. This shows weak management and that we can't regulate the traffic," he said. "Airliners should discuss and co-operate to deal with problems."

    He went on to say that close collaboration with traffic police was the key to ease congestion around the airport. He advised all agencies to share information and develop a close cooperation.

    Director of Southern Airports Authority Tran Doan Mau said the number of passengers and flights would increase by 19.6% compared to previous Lunar New Year. There are 776 flights scheduled with 113,000 passengers at Tan Son Nhat Airport two days before Tet, an increase of 141 flights compared to the same period last year.


     

    Hoang Van Thu Street near Tan Son Nhat airport sees serious congestion in recent days.

    Mau said they had installed more check-in counters and detectors to serve passengers. In addition, he had asked the city police deal with congestion on the route to the airport.

    Director of Tan Son Nhat Airport Dang Tuan Tu agreed and said the congestion mostly occurred from 10 am to noon and from 4 pm to 6 pm. According to Tu, congestion wasn't caused by rising number of passengers, but because of weak infrastructure and increasing traffic on Truong Son Street. He proposed to remove the median on Tran Quoc Toan Street to create more space for traffic.

    Bui Xuan Cuong, director of HCM City's Department of Transport said the situation this year was less serious and they would be able to quickly deal with congestion around the airport that are mostly caused by flooding and accidents.

    Cuong proposed to close a taxi parking lot on Truong Son Street and the airlines ask to increase security staff.

    By Quoc Anh, dtinews.vn


    0 0
  • 01/12/17--00:13: Article 0
  • The most notable tech startups in Vietnam in 2017


    Many technology startups that called for capital in 2016 are expected to be even more successful in 2017.

     vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news

    In 2015, Vietnamese startups had 67 successful capital call founds, an increase of 130 percent compared to 2014. There has been no official figure about 2016, but analysts believe the upward would continue.

    According to Deal Street Asia, there were more than 30 merger & acquisition (M&A) successful deals in 2016, more than the 22 deals in 2015. A series of projects won high prizes at domestic and international competitions.

    DesignBold is a tool described as ‘Photoshop’ for amateur designers. Launched on the market in October 2016, the startup caught the attention of many people, similar to the success of Nguyen Ha Dong’s Flappy Bird game in 2014.

    Targeting the global market, DesignBold had profit of $130,000 in the first two weeks after it was marketed. About 40,000 customers were reported using the tool while 52 percent of customers return.

    The founder of the project is Dinh Viet Hung, well known as the founder of Joomlart and the angel investor for some startups in Vietnam.

    DesignBold won the startup prize of the year at the Startup Festival 2016.

    GotIt is an education startup established in the US which successfully called for $9 million worth of capital in series A in April 2016. However, the founder and the developers are all in Vietnam.

    According to Deal Street Asia, there were more than 30 merger & acquisition (M&A) successful deals in 2016, more than the 22 deals in 2015. A series of projects won high prizes at domestic and international competitions.

    Though GotIt does not operate in Vietnam, Deal Street Asia said the founder of GotIt has carried out activities to support other Vietnamese startups.

    Operating similarly to Classpass or Kfit, which connects fitness centers and those who work out, WeFit is the first startup of its kind in the $60 million Vietnamese market.

    The founder of WeFit believes that the startup can obtain 20 percent growth rate per annum. WeFit is believed to target beginners willing to pay high fees for physical training.

    WeFit now has 500 customers who pay fees and 150 units which are partners in Hanoi. The service is expected to be developed in HCMC in the time to come.

    Giaohangnhanh is a fast delivery chain established in 2012 with investment from Seedcom. This is also the investor who poured money Tiki, Haravan, Pizza 4P’s and The Coffee House.

    Giaohangnhanh is the online delivery service with the highest number of users in Vietnam.

    A high growth rate has been predicted for giaohangnhanh because delivery is a fast growing sector still taking shape in Vietnam.

    The ecosystem for e-commerce in the country still lacks chains, including online payments and customer confidence. However, e-commerce’s prospects are bright thanks to people’s improved incomes.

    Le Ha, VNN


    0 0
  • 01/12/17--23:21: Article 6
  • Vietnam among top beer markets in Asia


    Vietnam is considered the biggest beer market in South East Asia with nearly 3.8 billion litres of beer consumed in 2016.


    Commercial reports from the Ministry of Industry and Trade show that each Vietnamese drank 42 litres of beer on average in 2016, an increase of 4 litres on last year. The ministry said beer industry's growth was 9.3% last year, 14.4% lower than the year-end goal because excise tax was increased by 5% to 55% last January. It will be raised to 65% next year. 

     Illustrative photo. Vietnamese people consumed nearly 3.8 billion litres of beer in 2016.


    Many brewing facilities had faced difficulties as they were forced to increase prices and pay tax arrears. Despite the prices, spending on drinking increased.

    It is forecast that 3.9 billion litres of beer will be produced this year, an increase of 10% compared to 2016. The beer industry hopes to produce 4.1 billion litres of beer in 2020 and 5.5 billion litres of beer in 2035.

    According to Canadean Group, the market research and analysis provider to the beverage industry, in 2015, average beer consumption reached 41 litres per person, behind South Korea and Japan. However, Vietnam's beer industry growth in the past five years has been high at 5.7%.

    Beer is favoured by many Vietnamese people. Beer accounts for 94% of total alcoholic consumption and the market will continue to growth at the annual rate of 4-5% thanks to young population and rising personal incomes.

    Habeco, Hue Brewery under Carlsberg and Sabeco hold huge market shares in Vietnam while Heineken is leading the premium segment.

    New brands that have just appeared in Vietnam recently such as Sapporo and AB InBev haven't reaped any significant results yet but their promotion campaign is posing tough competition to other brands.

    Vietnam is among the 25 countries with the highest rates of increase in alcohol and beer consumption in the world. It has 129 brewing facilities mostly in big cities like Hanoi, Hue and HCM City. In addition, Vietnam also imports 3 million litres and exports over 70 million litres of beer each year.

    dtinews.vn


    0 0
  • 01/12/17--23:35: Article 5
  •  Vietnamese startups – who are they?


    For foreign investors, most Vietnamese startups copy foreign ideas and develop ideas locally. However, many Vietnamese startups are creative and have brought big money to their owners.

     vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news

    According to Tech in Asia, there are about 1,500 operational startups in Vietnam. The figure, if compared with the population, is higher than Indonesia with 2,100 startups, China with 2,300 and India with 7,500.

    Reuters in April 2016 published an article commenting that most Vietnamese startups are in e-commerce and related fields. The e-commerce grew by 35 percent in 2015 to $4 billion which brought many opportunities.

    On Deal Street Asia, Jamie Camidge, a startup expert from Muru-D Center, commented that many Vietnamese startups simply copy successful business models in the world and develop models in Vietnam.

    The comments show foreigners’ outlook about the Vietnamese startup community: while the quantity is high, the quality isn’t.

    Vu Tuan Anh from Hoa Sen Group also commented that starting business from e-commerce is a ‘low-tech startup’.

    Tech in Asia said that there are very few startups in Asia which become public companies. In Vietnam, the number of companies which call for series B capital like MoMo or Tiki is so modest that it ‘can be counted with one’s fingers’.

    Jamie Camidge said that for the majority of businesses, calling for capital is a must. However, startups pay too much attention to calling for capital, while they should focus on developing products.

    In fact, many startups don’t have to call for capital because they can earn money from their high-quality products.

     Beeketing, the platform that helps companies analyse consumers’ behaviors, developed by Truong Manh Quan, 26, is an example.

    Beeketing can earn $2 million a year and revenue is mostly from US customers.

    According to Tech in Asia, there are about 1,500 operational startups in Vietnam. The figure, if compared with the population, is higher than Indonesia with 2,100 startups, China with 2,300 and India with 7,500.

    Design Bold, which connects graphic designers and those who need graphics for marketing and sales, is another example.

    Making its debut on October 27, 2016, Design Bold earned $132,366 just after 12 days. Dinh Viet Hung, the owner of Design Bold, said 98 percent of buyers are from the US.

    Like Beeketing, the authors of Offpeak decided to develop in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand first before attacking the Vietnamese market. Design Bold also targeted foreign markets before the home market.

    As for the startups which don’t target foreign markets first, they need to aim for certain niche markets where no one else has bigger advantages. Propzy, for example, connects people who have houses to sell and those who have real demand for houses.

    Vo Minh Toan, the manager of Dreamplex co-working space in HCMC, said many institutions from Singapore, Malaysia, China and South Korea organize events at Dreamplex every month. They are investors, incubators and accelerators who seek potential startups.

    Le Ha, VNN


    0 0
  • 01/12/17--23:45: Article 4
  • OV remittances contribute to national development

     
     Illustrative image (Source: VNA)


    Hanoi – The increasing amounts of remittances sent back to the homeland by overseas Vietnamese over the past few years have helped the country offset its trade deficit, reduce poverty, and improve living standards of recipients.

    Currently, nearly 4.5 million Vietnamese people are living and working in over 100 countries and territories around the world.

    In 2000, Vietnamese expatriates sent 1.75 billion USD to the homeland, which went up 117 percent to touch 3.8 billion USD in 2005. 

    The volume continued climbing to 8 billion USD in 2010. Also that year, Vietnam was ranked 16th out of the 20 nations receiving the biggest amounts of remittances by the World Bank, and the second in Southeast Asia, after the Philippines.

    In 2013, Vietnam entered the top 10 recipients of remittances with 11 billion USD. The country was ranked third in Asia and 11th in the globe in attracting remittances in 2015, with over 13.2 billion USD.

    In the 2002-2015 period, the flow of remittances was equivalent to 6 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) and nearly equivalent to foreign direct investment (FDI) which made up 7.7 percent of GDP, and doubling official development assistance (ODA) capital that accounted for 3 percent of GDP.

    Despite a decline, the volume of remittances transferred to the country still reached about 9 billion USD in 2016.

    Over 70 percent of the remittances are poured into production and business while 20 percent are injected into real estate.

    The remittances have helped Vietnam have a stable source of foreign currency earnings, increase the national foreign currency reserves, and reduce its dependence on foreign capital and pressure from the USD exchange rate.

    Ho Chi Minh City is leading the nation in attracting remittances. According to the State Bank of Vietnam’s branch in HCM City, around 50 percent of the remittances transferred to Vietnam go to the southern metropolis.

    The city received about 5.5 billion USD of remittances in 2015, a year-on-year rise of 10 percent. The figure dropped to 5 billion USD in 2016.

    More than 80 percent out of 1,100 overseas Vietnamese-invested enterprises are operating in HCM City.-VNA


    0 0
  • 01/12/17--23:59: Article 3
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 13/1


    As VN banks digitise, customer service key


     As VN banks digitise, customer service key, HCM City OKs inland container depot, Car, motorbike prices dance, Transport firms owe employees $31 million wages, premiums, Ministry predicts 2017 export growth
    Customers use service at the Timo Hangout, No 17 Ng Quyền Street in Hà Nội.


     Customers must be at the centre of banks’ attention as they make a move towards digital transformation in an effort to adapt to a changing landscape of financial innovation and disruptive technologies.
    This was said by the head of Retail Banking at VP Bank, Sandeep Deobhakta, at a conference held in Ha Noi on Thursday, titled, ‘The Future of Finance in Vietnam 2017.’

    Deobhakta, who has been holding this position since May 2015, said customers in Viet Nam are very open to new technologies and the nascent retail banking industry in Viet Nam can also adopt these technologies faster than other markets if they put customers first.

    In the future, traditional banks might lose business to companies that employ disruptive innovations if they failed to deliver better, simpler and faster solutions to customers, Deobhakta cautioned.

    VP Bank has been working with Timo, Viet Nam’s first mobile-only bank, giving customers better solutions to manage their money, bills and the ability to top up their mobile cards through the Timo app. At Timo Hangouts, one can forget about a typical bank branch and instead enjoy a coffee as one opens an account and uses bank services.

    Timo has about 4,000 customers in the HCM City and opened a Timo Hangout in Ha Noi last October, looking to attract more than 100,000 users by next year.

    Viet Nam has a huge untapped market for financial innovation, with only 20 per cent of the population having bank accounts and three 3 per cent owning credit cards, Foo Boon Ping, managing editor of The Asian Banker, said at the conference.

    “The stable GDP growth of around 6 to 7 per cent, low wages, a large population with a high savings and strong innovative approach are crucial factors that will accelerate the financial and industrial development in the Vietnam Vietnamese market,” he said.

    “Digital transformation is driven by real business needs to transform to become more cost efficient and to serve your customers as their behaviour and preferences change,” he added.

    According to fintechnews.sg, there are only about 36 fin-tech companies in Viet Nam, with most focusing on providing consumers and merchants with online and digital payment solutions.

    HCM City OKs inland container depot

    The HCM City People’s Committee has approved construction of an inland container depot (ICD) in suburban District 9.

    To be built in public-private partnership mode, the 60ha ICD will cost around VNĐ5.8 trillion (US$260 million) and be finished by 2019.

    It will serve the relocation of enterprises operating in the Trường Thọ Port area in Thủ Đức District, which will mitigate traffic congestion and environmental pollution in the area.

    The People’s Committee has identified Đức Khải Corporation, Tân Hoàng Real Estate Joint Stock Company and Tam Bình Real Estate Joint Stock Company as the private sector partners.

    The site is on Nguyễn Xiển Street, Long Bình Ward, which is only around 10m wide.

    Fearing traffic jams there when the ICD opens, the People’s Committee has instructed the departments of Transport and Planning and Architecture and the District 9 administration to widen the street.

    Car, motorbike prices dance

    There has been a boom in car and motorbike sales lately, leading to increased prices.

    Automobile showrooms in Ho Chi Minh City are crowded with customers. Shop assistant Dang Thi Ngoc Sang of Viet Thai Quan automobile shop on Quang Trung Street in Go Vap District  said that there has been an increase of 30 percent in purchasing power with 40 motorbikes being sold a day. Of which, all scooters account for 80 percent at the price of VND35-45 million ($1,550-$1,993).

    Apart from which, SH scooters at the cost of VND85-115 million are not available in the shop. Because of increased demand but decreased supply, it takes at least three days to have a scooter if a customer wants to buy.

    Additionally, prices of SH scooter at automobile shops are sold higher  than that of producer. For instance, SH scooter 125 is sold VND80 million, 12 million higher than producer’s listed price.

    Air Blade, Lead scooters are listed higher than producer’s prices yet they are sold like hot cake.

    Similarly, Yamaha scooter also hiked compared to the previous price. For instance, Yamaha deluxe scooter is worth VND53 million, up VND2 million compare to producer’s price.

    On the contrary, market for motorbikes of other brand names is sluggish. Shops can sell one vehicle a week. SYM Shark Mini 125 EFI is sold VND29 million, a decrease of VND600,000 compared to the producer’s price.

    Demand for car also increased this year with vehicle new comer of VND1.2 billion. Agents of Toyota and Ford said that sales of car in the fourth quarter increased from 30-40 percent or averagely an agent sells 400-600 vehicles a month. Customers even pay more ten to hundreds of Vietnamese Dong to have a deluxe car before Tet holiday (the Lunar New Year).

    Ngo Thanh Tri from Western Ford’s Sale Department said that the company’s agents sold out 450 vehicles a month near Tet holiday. Some vehicles are sold like hot cake, therefore, if customers want to have them, they must pay additional amount of VND100-250 million. For instance, agents sell the US-manufactured Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle at the price which is VND150-250 million higher than its original price of VND2.18 billion.

    Similarly, Mercedes-Benz car, assembled and manufactured in Vietnam, has come on the market since April, 2016 with two models 250 4MATIC and 300 AMG 4MATIC with prices of VND1.789 billion and VND2.039 billion respectively yet clients must wait until March,2017 to have the car even they signed contract to buy it at this time.

    Transport industry fails to meet disbursement plan

    The disbursement of transport projects was VND33,387 billion (US$1.48 billion) including state budget and government bond funds by the end of December, accounting for 75.2 percent of the plan for 2016, the Ministry of Transport reported this morning.

    According to the ministry, there are many reasons for the low disbursement progress. The major one comes from investors and project management boards who have not closely supervised total investment capital and construction costs of projects, causing established disbursement plans not close to reality. 

    They have been confused and short of the initiative in determining redundant funds while building projects. 

    After many times of review, projects expanding National Highway 1A and Ho Chi Minh Highway in the Central Highlands have kept reporting surplus capital raising difficulties for the ministry’s management. 

    Another reason for the low disbursement is the slow settlement of problems occurring during construction process such as compensation for cracks and depressions of citizen houses. 

    In addition, the final settlement of accounts has been late. So far, spending results of many projects using government bond capital in the phase of 2012-2015 have yet to be approved to create a basis to determine building costs, redundant or deficient expenses compared to the phase of capital arrangement. 

    In the phase of 2017-2020, the ministry has proposed the Prime Minister to allocate VND40,551 billion ($1.8 billion) from government bond source for North-South Express Railway project. 

    In addition, the ministry also suggests the PM to approve VND7 trillion ($310.17 million) from the source to repair and upgrade tunnels and bridges in the north south railway to increase train speed and traffic safety, VND22,449 billion ($995 million) to complete important projects which progress has been extended because of capital shortage. 

    The ministry said that it would instruct relevant agencies to solve problems from the start of implementing plans this year and in the phase of 2016-2020.

    Transport firms owe employees $31 million wages, premiums

    Many businesses in the transport industry owed employees VND700 billion (US$31 million) in wages and social insurance premiums and letting thousands of workers short of work last year, reported the Ministry of Transport on January 11.

    Workers’ average income in the field reached VND6.2 million a month, up 6 percent compared to the previous year. 

    By the end of November, unpaid wages of the entire industry was VND289.9 billion ($12.85 million) while health and unemployment premium debts topped VND442 billion ($18.7 million). Over 3,000 workers were short of work at their companies. 

    This situation mainly occurred in companies falling in difficulties for many years or waiting for procedures to go bankruptcy. 

    Among them are member companies under Vietnam National Shipping Lines and Shipbuilding Industry Corporation with VND1,700 workers short of work, VND130.5 billion ($5.78 million) unpaid wages and VND160 billion ($7.09 million) premium debt. 

    In addition, many businesses have not closed insurance books for workers causing long lasting complaints.

    Transport ministry wants road maintenance charge on power, telecom and water firms

    Road maintenance fee revenues and State budget are not enough to maintain roads, so the Ministry of Transport has proposed generating a new extra source of revenue for road maintenance by leasing infrastructure to telecom, electricity, and water supply and drainage companies.

    Le Hoang Minh, chief of the office of the central road maintenance fund, said the fund has two main sources of revenue: the road maintenance fee and the annual State budget allocation. Last year, the fund met just 48% of the total financing needs for maintenance of centrally managed roads.

    Minh said Article 42 of Government Decree No. 10/2013 governing the management and use of traffic infrastructure says that the traffic infrastructure assets, including bus stations, parking lots, road administration offices, rest stops and other works serving road transportation and safety corridors, can be leased out. However, the Ministry of Finance has yet to provide specific guidelines for this.

    Thus the office has plans to send a proposal to competent agencies for the issuance of a guiding circular that creates a legal framework to generate an extra source of revenue for road maintenance and reduce the State budget burden.

    As reported by the fund, its total revenue was VND10.3 trillion last year, a year-on-year increase of 8.9%, of which the central budget was over VND3.5 trillion, and fee revenue from vehicles was VND6.2 trillion. The cost for road maintenance was VND7.5 trillion.

    The fund had been allocated a total of VND2.4 trillion to 63 local funds to repair 263 roads.

    Revenue is estimated to reach VND9.8 trillion this year, with VND6.1 trillion from autos and VND3.7 trillion from the State budget.

    FDI approvals in Can Tho put at US$200 million

    Foreign direct investment (FDI) approvals in Can Tho City last year amounted to nearly US$200 million, the highest annual level since it became a centrally governed city in 2004.

    Truong Quang Hoai Nam, vice chairman of Can Tho City, announced this achievement at a conference to review FDI activity in 2016 and discuss plans for 2017, which was held on January 11 by the Can Tho City Center for Investment, Trade and Expo Promotion.

    The sport shoes factory developed by South Korea’s Taekwang Vina Industry Joint Stock Co accounted for US$172 million of the total FDI pledges in Can Tho last year, Nam said.

    The city now has 74 FDI projects with total registered capital of US$643 million.

    Data of the Southwest Steering Committee showed that the Mekong Delta had 171 fresh projects capitalized at US$1.36 billion approved last year. Meanwhile, 115 operational foreign-invested projects got the nod to add a total of US$555 million to their capital commitments.

    The delta is now home to 1,324 valid FDI projects worth more than US$18.9 billion.

    The number of FDI projects in Can Tho now accounts for 5.5% of the total in the delta while their registered capital only makes up 3.4% of the total.

    Nam proposed the center foster cooperation with investment funds and consulting companies as they constantly provide consultancy for big companies.

    Sun Life Vietnam makes first public appearance

    Sun Life Vietnam held a ceremony in HCMC on January 11 to mark its official debut in the Vietnamese market following Sun Life Financial’s acquisition of the remaining 25% stake in PVI Sun Life Insurance Co Ltd.

    Sun Life Vietnam became a wholly owned subsidiary of Sun Life Financial after the stake acquisition from PVI Holdings got regulatory approval in November last year, giving the international financial services organization further access to the Vietnamese market.

    Roger Steel, president of Sun Life Financial Asia for new markets and business development, described the new company as the opening of a fresh chapter in Sun Life’s journey in Vietnam.

    “With the recent achievement of sole ownership of our business here in Vietnam, and renaming of PVI Sun Life to Sun Life Vietnam, we reaffirm our commitment to this market and demonstrate our plans to be here for the long term,” Steel said.

    He told a press conference ahead of the grand opening ceremony of Sun Life Vietnam on January 11 that with PVI Holdings as its distribution partner, Sun Life Vietnam will continue its commitment to helping Vietnamese clients achieve lifetime financial security by offering a strong suite of life insurance, health riders and savings products.

    “Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies for life insurance and pensions in Asia and this transaction will enable us to strengthen our platform in this market,” Steel said, adding that Sun Life is excited about its future, especially in Vietnam.

    Larry Madge, general director of Sun Life Vietnam, said the firm’s business grew strongly last year and that it is aiming high for the coming years though it is new to the Vietnamese market. The company is determined to be one of the best insurance companies in Vietnam.

    “We will leverage our dynamic, client-centric and high performance startup with the global experience of Sun Life Financial Inc. We are already the market leader in corporate sales and will continue to strengthen our presence while leveraging the expertise from our parent company to take Sun Life Vietnam into the next phase of growth,” said Madge.

    Sun Life Vietnam said it has established itself as a market leader and industry pioneer in pensions.

    Sun Life Financial provides a wide range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. It has operations in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda.

    Slow rise in consumer lending

    Consumer lending is seeing only a slow rise ahead of Tet (Lunar New Year), despite commercial banks offering preferential loans to both individuals and enterprises, Dau tu Chung khoan (Securities Investment) newspaper reported.

    Vietnam International Commercial Joint Stock Bank (VIB) is offering auto loans to customers at 7.6 percent per year. The credit limit is up to 80 percent of the car value and the loan is for a maximum duration of eight years. Early repayment is free of charge from the fourth year of the loan.

    Car loans at preferential rates of 7 percent per year are also applying at HDBank.

    Maritime Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MaritimeBank) is also launching loans at 5.99 percent per annum for customers who need money to shop for Tet, and at zero percent to customers who take installment loans via credit card.

    Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MB) is also funding up to 90 percent of their customers’ capital needs for purposes of production and business.

    Similarly, to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during the festive season, Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (ACB) has offered loans at an interest rate of 7 per cent per year, with a ceiling limit of VND4 trillion (176.21 million USD).

    The ACB also has a promotional lending product at 7.5 percent per year for business households borrowing capital to supplement capital and expand business premises and for homebuyers.

    Though the demand for capital is rising sharply ahead of Tet, industry insiders said supply and demand are unlikely to match.

    General director of a bank, who did not wish to be identified, said that though this was a good time to develop outstanding loans, it would not be that easy as customers are expecting interest rates to drop further, an expectation that cannot be satisfied because the banks’ cost of mobilising capital tends to rise close to Tet. In fact, mobilisation interest rates have again increased at many banks by 0.2 to 0.4 percent per year, depending on the terms.

    Besides, financial expert Huynh Trung Minh said that the US Federal Reserve’s 25-percentage point hike in interest rate (from 0.25-0.5 to 0.5-0.75 percent per year) has strengthened the US dollar and put pressure on the dollar/dong exchange rate. When exchange rates rise, interest rates in dong go up as a sufficiently attractive interest rate gap is needed to prevent people from switching to depositing in US dollars, Minh said. This partly explains the slow growth in lending, though banks launched promotional products at the end of 2016.

    In addition, many customers are hesitant to take preferential consumer loans, home loans or home repair loans because they are worried about high lending rates after the promotional period is over.

    Lending interest rates are also forecast to inch up during the early months of 2017 because of increasing input costs.

    Banking expert Tran Du Lich said that further reduction of lending rates in 2017 would be tough as inflation has shown signs of rising and there is pressure as another Fed interest rate hike is expected this year.

    Ministry predicts 2017 export growth

    Products including telephones and spare parts, garment and textiles, electronics and computers are expected to bring highest export turnover to the country in 2017, said the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

    Last year, Vietnam’s total export turnover was 175.9 billion USD, an increase of 8.6 percent over the previous year. Therefore, the ministry has set an export turnover target of 188 billion USD for 2017, or 6.9 percent higher than last year.

    The ministry said telephones and spare part exports were expected to reach 39 billion USD, representing a 13 percent year-on-year rise, and the products with highest export turnover in 2017.

    The garment and textile products would follow with export turnover of 25 billion USD or 6 percent higher than that of last year.

    Electronics, computers and spare parts are forecast to achieve export turnover of 22 billion USD, increasing 19 percent from last year.

    The exports of shoes, seafood and fruits would also contribute high export turnovers of 14 billion USD, 7.5 billion USD, and 3 billion USD respectively.

    Minister Tran Tuan Anh believes that in 2017, import-export turnover would continue to increase thanks to the signing of a number of free trade agreements (FTAs) and FDI inflows shifting from other countries to Vietnam. Participation in the ASEAN Economic Community would also bring opportunities to the country by expanding its export markets as well as increasing competitiveness.

    Statistics from the ministry showed that last year Vietnam exported 25 products, with turnover of more than 1 billion USD each.

    In 2016, the country reported a trade surplus of 2.68 billion USD, accounting for 1.52 percent of its total import-export turnover.

    Vietnam’s export turnover to its traditional markets including Asia, Europe and the US saw positive growth last year. The export turnover to the US saw the highest growth rate of 13.2 percent, followed by Europe with 11.3 percent and Asia with 6.9 percent.

    VCCI to hold series of activities during APEC Vietnam Year

    The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) will hold a series of activities during the Year of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2017 hosted by Vietnam, heard a press conference in Hanoi on January 12. 

    They include the APEC start-up forum slated for September in Ho Chi Minh City, events on the sidelines of the APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting and the fourth meeting of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) in Da Nang from November 4-7, the APEC Business Summit with Vietnam in Da Nang on November 8, the APEC CEO Summit in Da Nang on November 8-10, and a dialogue between leaders of APEC economies and ABAC members. 

    With more than 20 major activities and 159 APEC meetings to be held in eight cities and provinces, the Vietnamese businesses will have chances to seek foreign partners, deeply join the global manufacturing chain and introduce products to key partners and the world’s leading corporations. 

    Permanent deputy head of the APEC Vietnam Secretariat Nguyen Minh Vu said the APEC Vietnam Year 2017 is a diplomatic of Vietnam’s external activities until 2025, making it easier to popularise domestic businesses, localities and people to friends in the region and the world. 

    Within the framework of the APEC 2017, the VCCI-hosted events will enable APEC leaders to share global business trends and their insight into APEC member states’ business climate. 

    The VCCI will also instruct localities to outline sets of papers to attract investment during the APEC Business Summit with Vietnam which is expected to be held annually in the country from next year. 

    In order to promote Vietnamese businesses’ involvement in APEC Year 2017, Vu suggested them attend the APEC Business Summit, the ABAC dialogue with leaders, and a summit on Vietnamese economy, thereby tapping maximum support from APEC’s support programme, including the APEC business travel card, the Boracay Action Agenda to Globalise Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises between now and 2020, a business training programme in specific fields, especially safety in exports.

    Luc Yen orange awarded collective trademark

    The Luc Yen orange cooperative had its specialty accredited as a collective trademark at a ceremony in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai on January 12.

    Grown for over 200 years, the Luc Yen orange is famous for its thick yellow peel and sweet juice.

    There are 645 households cultivating the fruit trees on a total area of 308.8 hectares across 18 out of 24 communes in the Luc Yen district. 

    The district produces between 2,000 and 2,500 tonnes of orange on an annual basis, which brings an average revenue of up to 40 million VND (1,760 USD) per hectare.

    The district plans to expand its orange plantation to 500 hectares by 2020.

    US investment fund to expand operation in Vietnam

    The Harbinger Capital Partners LLC of the US plans to expand investment and cooperation in Vietnam.

    President of the US investment fund Philip Falcone revealed the plan at a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi on January 12.

    He said Harbinger will actively work to encourage US investors to pay more attention to the Southeast Asian market, thus contributing to propelling the two countries’ economic-trade-investment collaboration forward.

    He also hoped the Vietnamese government will create the optimal conditions for US businesses, including Harbinger, to make long-term and stable investment in the country. 

    He informed the host about the progress of the Ho Tram resort and tourism complex project in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau. The $4.2 billion project is considered the biggest foreign-invested one in the field of tourism in Vietnam, which is expected to generate about 4,000 jobs for local labourers.

    For his part, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc highly valued Harbinger’s investment activities in Vietnam over the past time.

    He highlighted Vietnam’s policies to improve the investment environment for foreign investors, including those from the US.

    The PM proposed the US investment fund continue expanding investment in Vietnam and serve as a bridge to connect US enterprises with domestic partners.

    He urged Harbinger and other US businesses to actively support Vietnam in hosting the 2017 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

    Pharmaceutical firm acquires local partner of Canadian drug venture

    A Vietnamese pharmaceutical firm has inked a deal to acquire a drugmaker which is the local partner in a Canadian joint venture.

    Cuu Long Pharmaceutical (Pharimexco), located in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long, is expected to complete the deal to buy Euvipharm at VND170 billion (US$7.6 million) in the first quarter, with Pharimexco and its subsidiaries owning 90% of Euvipharm’s shares upon the conclusion of the transaction.

    Euvipharm was established in 2005, possessing one of Vietnam’s biggest and most complete drug manufacturing facilities. Its factory in Long An Province, located in the Mekong Delta, received an investment of US$17 million.

    In 2013, Euvipharm became a member of a joint venture with Canada-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International.

    In June, the company was suspended from all manufacturing activities for three months by the Drug Administration of Vietnam over violations in drugmaking, including the use of ingredients with unclear origin and substandard drug testing.

    Nguyen Van Sang, chairman of Pharimexco, said the acquisition of Euvipharm would boost the firm’s manufacturing power while enabling it to develop new lines of drug by making use of the modern equipment available at Euvipharm’s Long An factory.

    Pharimexco reported a pre-tax profit of nearly VND68.5 billion (US$3.06 million) in the first three quarters of 2016, a 23% growth rate from 2015.

    Foreign Trade University announces research topics     

    The Foreign Trade University has used the StoxPlus’ database platform in four areas of research with an aim to boost the school’s scientific study activities during 2017-19.

    The four research topic areas are: “Reform of the socio-economic regime for international integration,” “Green economy and corporate social responsibility,” “Restructuring of corporates’ financial system and behaviour,” and “Intelligence transfer for corporates.”

    The university emphasised that the research carried out under these heads will not only be recognised by the international science community but will also be applied practically to address some immediate obstacles that have been hampering reforms in Viet Nam’s economy and obstructing its growth.

    Speaking at a ceremony held on Wednesday where the announcement was made, the head of the Foreign Trade University, Bui Anh Tuan, said the school has always had faith in its researchers and they must fulfil their commitment to come up with high-quality scientific studies.

    The 24 groups of researchers, who used StoxPlus’ platform in conducting research papers, will publish 35 scientific studies in the next three years in international science magazines recognised by the US-based Information Sciences Institute (ISI).

    In order to support these researchers, currently employed by the Foreign Trade University, the school issued a regulation for these research groups to ensure the best working conditions for them and maximise their capabilities in carrying out scientific research.

    The university also funded an initial amount of US$4.375 million for the research groups.

    According to the General Secretary of the State Council for Professor Title, Tran Van Nhung, the funding proves that the Foreign Trade University is capable of conducting scientific research and the school will make progress when it comes to international ranking of universities.

    To support the research groups, the Foreign Trade University co-operated with StoxPlus, a joint-venture financial and business information corporation of Nikkei and QUICK Corp. This platform helped researchers gain access to StoxPlus’ database on Viet Nam’s economy and financial markets.

    At the ceremony, the university and StoxPlus also gave awards to three research groups for best research works, including one on volatility timing in the stock market and another on the impact of the macroeconomic variables on premium risks provision. The two sides also signed a comprehensive agreement to promote co-operation and enhance the effectiveness of scientific research conducted by the school. This is being seen as a breakthrough initiative, particularly when other universities, and in fact the entire education sector, are struggling to develop their scientific research programmes.

    The State Securities Commission’s (SSC’s) head of the Office, Nguyen Tien Dung, highly appreciated the co-operation between the Foreign Trade University and StoxPlus, saying it was comprehensive and covered scientific research which will help the State in applying the results in the decision making process.

    The co-operation not only produces excellent academic reports but also generates practical benefits for the securities sector, Dung added.

    He said the SSC helped select the topics, score the research papers and will consider using these research papers while formulating plans for the development of the securities sector.

    The SSC also appreciated the efforts of various individuals and organisations to set up research groups to improve the efficiency of the financial and monetary market.

    The co-operation between the Foreign Trade University and StoxPlus will serve as an instrument for the SSC to update its current market database. The market data will be now part of a well-organised and well-managed system, he added.

    As one of the major channels to mobilise capital for socio-economic development, the securities sector needs to improve its operational and market trading aspect in order to attract more investors. In 2016, Viet Nam was one of the five stock markets in Asia that registered the highest growth.

    The SSC also expected Viet Nam to transition from a frontier market into an emerging market, as per international standards. In order to achieve that objective, the government and all relevant agencies need to improve their legal framework, make local businesses more transparent and ensure availability of more products in the market. 

    Czech pharma firms target VN market     

    Pharmaceutical distributors from the Czech Republic are targeting the Vietnamese market, according to a report by Prague radio on Wednesday.

    Lekarnici 95 pharmaceuticals company, which owns a network of pharmacies in Karlovy Vary and Plzen provinces, plans to expand operations to Southeast Asia, including Viet Nam.

    Director of Lekarnici 95’s regional pharmacy network Petr Koudelka said the firm has begun to study Vietnamese pharmacies and hospitals’ demand for pharmaceuticals. It plans to import products from other countries, as well as its existing stock, to sell in Viet Nam.

    Last November, the Vietnamese embassy partnered with the Czech Management Association to hold a seminar on trade and investment in Viet Nam.

    Two-way trade currently accounts for nearly US$1 billion, but bilateral investment remains limited due to a lack of information about Viet Nam’s business climate. Ivo Gajdos, Executive Director of the Czech Management Association hailed Viet Nam as a promising market with its population of 90 million.

    HCM City’s 1st permanent flower market to open     

    HCM City’s first permanent flower trading centre will open at the Binh Dien wholesale market in District 8 this year, according to the municipal People’s Committee.

    The Saigon Trading Group (Satra) will build the 14ha centre at a cost of around VND700 billion (US$31.8 million).

    It will offer flower sorting, packing, refrigerated transport and cold storage, floriculture support, post-harvest handling, logistics, and financial services.

    Its first stage will be completed this year, with an expansion scheduled for next year.

    Some 90 per cent of the flowers consumed in HCM City come from Da Lat City, according to Satra.

    Da Lat grows flowers in the billions every year.

    It too plans to set up a flower trading centre this year — at the bottom of Mimosa Pass – which will supply flowers to HCM City. 

    Central province hopes for investment surge     

    The central province of Thua Thien-Hue expects to see a surge of investment in tourism this year in light of interest expressed by investors last year.

    Le Van Thu, director of the investment promotion and support centre of Thua Thien-Hue, said the province will conduct more investment promotion to attract investors in 2017.

    In 2015, the province granted only nine Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects for a total of $451 million. In all, the province attracted 88 foreign direct investment projects with total investment capital of US$2.1 billion from 2000 to 2016.

    Thu said the PSH Group from Spain is eyeing development of a resort in Vinh Thanh with a registered capital of $145 million, while the BRG Group has approached authorities with plans to develop a resort and golf course complex in Vinh Thanh-Vinh Xuan with an investment of VND2 trillion ($88.5 million).

    Bitexco also plans to invest VND545 billion ($24.1 million) in the hot-spring resort in My An.

    According to the centre, Bitexco Group was granted an investment license for an eco-resort and an urban project in Lap An lagoon with a registered capital of VND3.3 trillion ($146 million).

    The My Way Hospitality company also plans to invest in Bach Ma resort with an estimated investment of VND1.5 trillion ($66.4 million).

    Thu said the province is seeking investment in high-tech, tourism, logistics, health care and high-tech agriculture, offering competitive labour and land costs.

    Several financial incentives have been provided to attract investors, such as tax exemptions for the first four years of operation, a 50-per cent tax reduction for the next nine years, and a 50-per cent tax rate reduction for high-income employees, according to Thu.

    He said one of the largest planned tourism projects is a $875-million complex being financed by the Banyan Tree Group of Singapore.

    The Hue City area has 128 km of coast and 22,000ha of lagoon for tourism development in connection with UNESCO-recognised world heritage sites in the central region.

    The province has developed six industrial zones to attract garment, industry, food processing and mining, projects and create nearly 14,000 jobs. 

    Rubber sector enjoys 51% profit growth in 2016     

    Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) achieved a pre-tax profit growth of up to 51 per cent, reaching over VND2.36 trillion (US$103.8 million) in 2016.

    This was stated at a conference to review the firm’s production and business in HCM City on Tuesday.

    Addressing the event, Standing Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh urged VRG to promote the equitisation of the parent firm and its subsidiaries and continue to withdraw capital from non-core businesses. It must also restructure shareholders of the group’s major companies, he said.

    Along with enhancing further trade promotion and seeking new markets, the group needs to devise solutions on saving production costs to cut prices and increase competitiveness towards promoting the industry’s sustainable development in the future, he stressed.

    The group should enhance processing of industrial products from rubber and rubber wood to reduce the export of raw materials and increase export value, Bình said. Medium density fiberboard (MDF) factories should promote production following the reduction in the price of material to increase market share.

    VRG General Director Tran Ngoc Thuan said in 2016, the agriculture in general faced the most difficulty due to the impact of climate change. Meanwhile, the rubber industry, in particular, suffered significantly from high rubber supply, the price reduction of natural rubber and fluctuation of global oil prices.

    However, VRG has outlined orientations and measures to tackle these problems, Thuan said. In 2016, VRG focused on restructuring the sector, applying further advanced technologies in production to improve the quality of products.

    He said VRG’s total revenue grew 14.4 per cent against the set plan, reaching over VND15.4 trillion. It contributed VND1.15 trillion to the State budget, up 39.9 per cent year-on-year.

    The company has targeted earning an estimated profit of VND4.18 trillion in 2017, up 47 per cent from 2016. 

    As VN banks digitise, customer service key     

    Customers must be at the centre of banks’ attention as they make a move towards digital transformation in an effort to adapt to a changing landscape of financial innovation and disruptive technologies.

    This was said by head of Retail Banking at VP Bank, Sandeep Deobhakta, at a conference held in Ha Noi on Thursday, titled, ‘The Future of Finance in Viet Nam 2017.’

    Deobhakta, who has been holding this position since May 2015, said customers in Viet Nam are very open to new technologies and the nascent retail banking industry in Viet Nam can also adopt these technologies faster than other markets if they put customers first.

    In the future, traditional banks might lose business to companies that employ disruptive innovations if they failed to deliver better, simpler and faster solutions to customers, Deobhakta cautioned.

    VP Bank has been working with Timo, Viet Nam’s first mobile-only bank, giving customers better solutions to manage their money, bills and the ability to top up their mobile cards through the Timo app. At Timo Hangouts, one can forget about a typical bank branch and instead enjoy a coffee as one opens an account and uses bank services.

    Timo has about 4,000 customers in the HCM City and opened a Timo Hangout in Ha Noi last October, looking to attract more than 100,000 users by next year.

    Viet Nam has a huge untapped market for financial innovation, with only 20 per cent of the population having bank accounts and 3 per cent owning credit cards, Foo Boon Ping, managing editor of The Asian Banker, said at the conference.

    “The stable GDP growth of around 6 to 7 per cent, low wages, a large population with a high savings and strong innovative approach are crucial factors that will accelerate the financial and industrial development in the Vietnamese market,” he said.

    “Digital transformation is driven by real business needs to transform to become more cost efficient and to serve your customers as their behavior and preferences change,” he added.

    According to fintechnews.sg, there are only about 36 fin-tech companies in Viet Nam, with most focusing on providing consumers and merchants with online and digital payment solutions. 

    HCM City reviews plans to lend to enterprises     

    The banking – enterprises connection programme enabled around 22,000 businesses in HCM City to borrow over VND280 trillion (US$12.5 billion) from banks last year.

    They had three kinds of loans available, with the city authorities acting as intermediaries for two: low-interest credit packages and loans for key sectors like agriculture, support industries, high-tech application and exports. For the third, district- and lower-level authorities helped bring the banks and enterprises together to address the latter’s funding needs.

    Sixteen banks joined the programme with total capital of nearly VND212 trillion. “The programme expanded with total loans last year being 60 per cent more than in 2015, and the number of customers increased by 2.3 times,” Nguyen Hoang Minh, Deputy Director of the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV)’s HCM City office, told meeting held on Tuesday to review the programme.

    According to the SBV, complaints from businesses about difficulties in getting credit had reduced, and in fact banks are meeting with enterprises in a bid to find customers since they are awash in funds.

    This year the programme will focus on high-tech agriculture, start-up businesses and household businesses that expanded into enterprises, and seeks to lend VND241 trillion ($10.7 billion) with short-term interest rates of under 7 per cent and medium- and long-term rates of 8–10 per cent.

    The city’s price stabilisation programme around Tet was also discussed at the meeting.

    HCM City furthers hi-tech agriculture, targeting higher production value

    Although agriculture contributes to less than 1 percent of HCMC’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP), the city has affirmed to continue focusing on developing the field and boosting hi-tech application in production, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said at a recent conference.

    Agricultural land has been narrowed to make room for industrialization and urbanization still HCMC has bravely set a target to get the production value of VND450 million ($19,800) a hectare this year.

    The city has changed from rice farming into other high value products since 2000 and continued restructuring toward hi-tech and bio technology application into urban agro production for the last two years.

    Last year, production value reached VND410 million a hectare, up 9.3 percent over the previous year. It was only VND170 million in 2011.

    Many hi-tech production models have been applied bringing higher than before income for farmers. A hectare of vegetables yields VND800 million to VND1 billion a year, orchid VND2 billion, tiger prawn VND800 million and ornamental fish over VND1 billion and a herb of 20 dairy cow brings VND800 million a year.

    While the country’s agriculture continued meeting with lot of difficulties with the growth rate of 1.2 percent, the city still sustained the growth momentum of 5.8 percent.

    Deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem has instructed to transfer rice and salt making areas in Can Gio district into other crops with higher value and effectiveness to further production value amid shrinking farming land.

    According to him, the city will continue having policies encouraging farmers and businesses to develop hi-tech urban agriculture and implementing agricultural restructuring to target product quality, food safety and hygiene, production efficiency and farmer profit instead of quantity.

    So far, the city has built HCMC Hi-Tech Agriculture Park and a dairy cow farm with Israeli technology.

    The park’s management board reported that in the phase of 2011-2015 it contributed in forming some hi-tech agricultural zones such as orchid planting communes in Cu Chi district; safe vegetable communes in Binh Chanh and Hoc Mon districts with nearly 330 producing models meeting VietGap quality standards with the total area of 145 hectares.

    Orchid planting communes in Cu Chi include Tan Thong Hoi, Tan An Hoi, Phuoc Hiep, Trung An, Nhuan Duc and Pham Van Coi. Vegetable production communes comprise Tan Quy Tay, Hung Long, Binh Chanh in Binh Chanh and Quy Duc, Xuan Thoi Thuong, Xuan Thoi Son and Thoi Tam Thon in Cu Chi.

    The productivity of these vegetable models is 15-30 percent higher than previous farming methods. The new models have been introduced and transferred to farmers providing them with farming knowledge and skills to improve output and income and reduce loss after harvest. These have contributed in speeding up the progress of the new urban development program in the city.

    Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has recognized four scientific achievements by the center including bellflower and orchid varieties.

    Dr. Nguyen Ky Phung, deputy director of the city Department of Science and Technology, said that the direct application ratio of accepted scientific research works into practice reached 35.5 percent in 2011-2015 when labor productivity increased 5.6 percent.

    The increasing application of hi-tech and biotechnology is expected to bring more values for the city’s agriculture.

    This year, HCMC will put into operation broadened hi-tech agro zones in Can Gio, Binh Chanh and Cu Chi, where together with the HCMC Biotechnology Center play major roles in human resource training and achievement transfer to farmers.

    Local authorities will continue implementing the agricultural restructuring project in the phase of 2011-2015, applying hi-tech and biotechnologies, issuing agricultural insurance assistance policies, boosting the establishment of new enterprises and cooperatives, creating supply chain connectivity to reduce costs, stabilizing production and ensure food safety.

    Parliament aims to clarify SME criteria     

    National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan called it critical to clarify criteria determining which businesses are small and medium sized in order to raise feasible support as the country aims to boost its private sector and start-up culture.

    As small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for around 97 per cent of firms in Viet Nam, the State’s limited resources must support SMEs, Ngan said while discussing the Law on supporting SMEs at the National Assembly Standing Committee’s sixth session Monday.

    National Assembly deputies agreed that supporting SMEs is of special importance to create momentum for economic growth, noting that attention should be given to ensure the feasibility and timeliness of the law.

    The scope of the draft law remains too large, making support infeasible and beyond State resources, Ngan said.

    Phan Thanh Binh, Chairman of the National Assembly Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children, said that SMEs should be classified into different categories for appropriate support.

    Deputies said that support should focus on SMEs operating in manufacturing, science and technology, especially those which could create high added value for the economy.

    In addition, it is necessary to have policies that will improve SMEs’ access to credit and capital.

    Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly Phung Quoc Hien said that the law must ensure the consistency with other major laws, such as the Law on State budget, the Law on Tax and the Law on Land.

    Deputies also said that further consideration must be given when drafting the law on supporting SMEs. The draft law will be discussed at the third meeting session of the National Assembly and might be passed at its fourth meeting.

    The National Assembly Economic Committee said that the law will be drafted with a focus on supporting start-ups, start-up funds and SME support funds. 

    VEF/VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/Dantri/VET/VIR


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  • 01/13/17--04:58: Article 2
  • Two FPT-owned companies debut shares on Jan 13


    FPT Telecom JSC and FPT Securities JSC, two companies under the umbrella of information technology company FPT Corp, both debuted shares on the securities market on January 13.


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    FPT Securities JSC will list its entire 90.3 million shares on the HCM Stock Exchange, with reference price of VND18,000 (US$0.80) per share.


    FPT Securities JSC will list its entire 90.3 million shares under code FTS on the HCM Stock Exchange, with reference price of VND18,000 (US$0.80) per share. At this price, its market capitalisation will reach VND1.62 trillion ($71.7 million).

    Founded in 2007, the securities firm with charter capital of VND903.4 billion is often ranked among the 10 largest brokerage companies by market share on the two national stock exchanges.

    Ending September 2016, the company reported total revenue of almost VND200 billion, up 7.7 per cent year-on-year, of which brokerage revenue reached VND65.8 billion. Its net profit in the first nine months touched VND111 billion, up 19 per cent year-on-year.

    The two largest shareholders of the company are FPT Corp and SBI Financial Services, with each holding some 20 per cent of its capital.

    With its presence, the number of listed securities companies on the two bourses has increased to 22.

    FTS shares were trading down 20 per cent, the maximum drop allowed for a share on its first trading day, at VND14,400 per share.

    FPT Telecom

    Unlike FPT Securities, FPT Telecom has chosen the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM), which is a subordinate market under the management of Ha Noi Stock Exchange, to debut its 137 million shares.

    Under the code FOX, its reference price is set at VND54,000 (US$2.39) per share, equivalent to market capitalisation of VND7.4 trillion ($327.4 million).

    Founded in 1997, FPT Telecom is one of the three largest internet suppliers in Viet Nam, with market share of 25.4 per cent in 2015, according to data of the Department of Information Technology under the Ministry of Information and Communications.

    State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) and FPT Corp are the largest stakeholders here, with 50.16 per cent and 45.65 per cent, respectively. The move to debut shares on the stock market is said to be the first step for SCIC to divest investment.

    The company reported net profit of VND662 billion in the nine months of 2016. It often pays high cash dividend of over 20 per cent per year.

    The shares are trading at the maximum increase of 40 per cent on the UPCoM at VND75,600 a share. 

    VNS


    0 0
  • 01/13/17--05:11: Article 1
  •  Vietnam, China hold high-level talks

    Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President Xi Jinping have compared notes on the state of affairs between the two nations as well as measures to further strengthen bilateral relationship in the future.

    vietnam, china hold high-level talks hinh 0

    The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation landed at the Beijing International Airport on January 12, beginning an official visit to China at the invitation of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President Xi Jinping. 

    An official welcoming ceremony for Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong and the Vietnamese delegation was held at the People’s Great Hall. 

    Following the welcome ceremony, the two leaders held talks on ways to strengthen bilateral relationship between the two Parties and countries in the near future. 

    Party leader Trong said, “I’m very happy to visit China and meet the Party leader and President Xi Jinping. On behalf of the high-ranking Vietnamese  delegation, I would like to express our sincere thank to the Chinese leaders for their warm welcome. On behalf of the Vietnamese Party and State, I would like to congratulate China’s great achievements in its cause of reform and building socialism with Chinese characteristics, especially its achievements since the 18th Congress of the Communist Party of China."

    General Secretary Xi warmly welcomed General Secretary Trong on his first China visit after the 12th Party Congress, saying the visit helps deepen Vietnam-China relations.

    He congratulated the CPV on its successful 12th Congress, while praising Vietnam’s attainments in all fields. He displayed his belief that the Vietnamese people will soon turn Vietnam into a modern, industrial country with wealth, democracy, justice, civilization, and socialism.  

    He affirmed his nation's recognition of great importance to ties with Vietnam and stands ready to work with the Party, State and people of Vietnam in strengthening the bilateral friendship and partnership, making the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership grow in a healthy and stable manner and to the previously agreed motto and spirit.

    Party leader Trong in turn congratulated China on its important achievements in reform and building the socialism with Chinese characteristics, expressing his wish that the Party, Government and people of China will successfully accomplish the target of building a well-off, democratic, civilized and harmonious socialist China.

    He affirmed that Vietnam always places importance on the ties with China and sincerely wishes to develop the sustainable friendship and win-win comprehensive cooperation with China for the sake of their people as well as peace, and prosperity in the region and the world.

    The two leaders expressed delight at the vigorous growth of ties and positive progress of the relations between the two Parties and countries over the past years.

    In the context of crisis and uncertainties occurring in many places around the world, the stable development and achievements of both countries are important to the two countries’ people, they said.

    Both sides concurred to continuously maintain high-ranking exchanges and meetings between leaders of the two Parties and States to promptly exchange views and deal with issues arising in bilateral ties as well as make strategic orientations and directions to augment cooperation, maintain friendship and develop Vietnam-China ties in a healthy and stable manner.

    The pair also consented to promote and improve existing collaboration mechanisms between the two Parties and countries, especially meetings between representatives of the two Politburos, the Steering Committee for the Vietnam-China bilateral cooperation for strengthening the full implementation of bilateral agreements.

    They shared the viewpoint on the importance of intensifying exchanges and cooperation in Party channel as well as among the two Parties’ agencies, the two parliaments and fatherland fronts, as well as stronger affiliation in diplomacy, defence, security and between border guard and law enforcement forces of the two countries.

    The two countries should also show close coordination at multilateral forums, while providing mutual support in international organisations.

    The Chinese President pledged that China will do its utmost to assist Vietnam in hosting the APEC Summit 2017, while the Vietnamese side affirmed support to China in organising an international cooperation summit on “One Belt, One Road” in 2017.

    The two leaders reach consensus on the significance of forging stronger win-win partnership in economy, trade, investment and other fields for rapid and sustainable growth of each country, creating a solid foundation for the development of bilateral ties.

    Both sides will urge ministries, sectors, localities and businesses to focus on timely and effectively realize agreed plans, programmes and projects, while applying measures to maintain bilateral trade growth in a more stable and balanced manner.

    China will work harder to make Vietnam-China trade ties grow faster and become more balance, vowed Xi, who also promised to create favourable conditions for Vietnam to launch trade representative offices in Chinese localities.

    He pledged to encourage Chinese firms to bolster imports of Vietnamese agro-forestry-fisheries products, such as rice, cassava, dairy products and processed fruits and implement high technology and environmental-friendly projects in Vietnam.

    The two leaders agreed to expand cooperation in science-technology, agriculture, environment, climate change response, while considering the extension of affiliation in running a hotline to receive complaints on arising problems in fisheries activities at sea, and strengthening the coordination in managing, protecting and exploiting Mekong-Lancang River and Red River-Yuan River water resources sustainably. 

    They also agreed to discuss principles and specific contents of a master plan on the building of Vietnam-China cross-border economic cooperation zones, so that the deal will be signed soon.

    Vietnam and China will enhance partnership in improving production capacity and strengthening the connection between the “Two Corridors, One Economic Belt” and One Belt, One Road” initiatives to match the demand, benefit and development strategy of each country.

    The leaders stressed the importance of the friendship between the two people, saying it is a source of power and a social foundation to spur Vietnam-China relations in a sound, long lasting and sustainable manner. They agreed that exchange activities between the two people, especially among youngsters and localities should be further propelled forward.

    Concerning the issues at sea, the two Party leaders shared the view that this is the major outstanding problem existed in Vietnam-China relations and the issue is very complicated and vital, hugely affecting and governing the political trust, people’s sentiments, the state of the two countries’ relations, as well as the face and situation in the region and the world.

    General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong asserted Vietnam’s consistent stance of persistently dealing with the dispute in the East Sea by peaceful measures in compliance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and with respect to diplomatic and legal processes; fully and efficiently executing the “Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC)” and  striving together with ASEAN to soon accomplish a “Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC)”.

    The leaders underlined the need to comply with the important conception reached by the two countries’ Party and State leaders and the “agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea issues between Vietnam and China”; optimize the negotiating mechanism to seek fundamental and long lasing solutions acceptable to both sides; actively study transitional solutions that do not affect the respective country’s stance and policy, including active seeking and discussing an issue of cooperation for mutual development.

    They agreed to boost cooperation at sea with a view to generating positive signals beneficial to the two countries’ relations; soundly accomplish follow-up works following the completion of the joint survey conducted at the waters off the mouth of the Tonkin Gulf, thus accelerating negotiations on the delineation of the waters off the mouth of the Tonkin Gulf and active cooperation for mutual development in this waters; continuously step up the working group in charge of discussing cooperation for mutual development at sea; and carry out cooperation projects in the less sensitive fields as agreed.

    They affirmed that the two sides will continue implementing the DOC comprehensively and efficiently and soon formulate the COC on the basis of consultation and unanimity; well manage sea-related disagreements, and take no actions that complicate and expand the dispute to protect peace and stability in the East Sea.

    On behalf of the Party and State of Vietnam, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong invited Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping to pay an official visit to Vietnam and attend the APEC Summit 2017. Party General Secretary and President Xi accepted the invitation with pleasure.

    Earlier, the two leaders joined in a cordial tea party at the Great Hall after witnessing the signing of cooperative documents between the two Parties and the two States. The tea party is an unprecedented gesture, constituting the Chinese top leader’s respect, goodwill and wish to increase the closeness and trust with Vietnam’s top leader.

    At the tea party, Party General Secretary Xi offered Party General Secretary Trong renowned tea produced in Fujian province as well as told him about Zhejiang province where he once worked. He also discussed China’s strategies, policies and several crucial development milestones. The two leaders also deliberated further measures to enhance bilateral friendship and cooperation in the time to come.

    Later on the day, Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping hosted a banquet to greet Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and the high-ranking Vietnamese delegation on their official visit to China

    Taking place at a time when the two countries are preparing to celebrate the 67th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations and welcome their traditional Lunar New Year, the visit is of great importance as it aims to set out healthy and long-term development directions for bilateral ties.

    VOV


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