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- 03/07/17--01:38: Article 3
- 03/07/17--01:49: Article 2
- 03/07/17--02:08: Article 1
- 03/07/17--02:20: Article 0
- 03/08/17--01:13: Article 3
- 03/08/17--01:38: Article 2
- 03/08/17--01:42: Article 1
- 03/08/17--02:20: Article 0
- 03/09/17--01:12: Article 4
- 03/09/17--02:13: Article 3
- 03/09/17--02:25: Article 2
- 03/09/17--02:46: Article 1
- 03/09/17--03:09: Article 0
- 03/09/17--23:24: Article 5
- 03/09/17--23:37: Article 4
- 03/09/17--23:41: Article 3
- 03/09/17--23:58: Article 2
- 03/10/17--00:30: Article 1
- 03/10/17--00:53: Article 0
- 03/11/17--05:54: Article 3
Japanese capital streaming into Vietnam
Vietnam received over US$297 million registered capital from Japanese investors and over 100 Japanese businesses coming to learn about, survey and do investment procedures in the country during the first two months this year, recently reported Japan Trade External Trade Organization (Jetro).
Japanese food stalls in AEON supermarket, HCMC
According to Jetro, Japan is ranked second in the list of nations and territories investing in Vietnam with the total investment value of US$42.29 billion.
Japanese investors have chosen Vietnam because that is one of the potential markets with the crowded population of nearly 100 million people. The ratio of people in labor and consumption age accounts for 60 percent.
Upper middle class has increased quickly, making consumption demand on high quality food products likely increase in the upcoming time. Meantime Vietnamese consumers have predilection for Japanese products with diversified types meeting consumers’ different needs.
Japanese investors have paid heed to clean farm produce and food, one of segments short of supply sources in Vietnam.
The latest survey by Jetro covering 1,200 Japanese firms early February shows that 62.8 percent of Japanese firms in Vietnam are profit making and 60 percent of respondents said that they planned expansion in the country this year.
Many Japanese businesses have earned the profit of over 60 percent especially those in food processing industry.
Jetro forecast that Japanese firms will reduce investment in the previously familiar manufacturing industry and broaden fast-moving consumer goods and processed food fields.
Mr. Kazuhiro Takahshi, director of Jetro’s agricultural, aquaculture and forestry products center, said that Japanese companies were then intensifying direct connection with Vietnamese businesses ranging from distributors, restaurants to hotels to take their goods into Vietnam.
Domestic firms worry about diminishing market share
Amid Japanese expansion, many local firms have expressed concern about their shrinking market share.
A representative of HCMC Food and Foodstuff Association said that local food processing companies have already struggled to compete and exist in the market not including investment extension by Japanese businesses.
The competitive ability of local products has not been strong with 80 percent materials depending on import.
In addition, many modern distribution channels have been usurped by foreign giants, threatening to keep many Vietnamese enterprises out from the competition right in domestic market. Many have been forced to move to rural markets.
Director general of Vietnam Meat Industries Limited Company (VISSAN) Van Duc Muoi, says that difficulties which domestic businesses have met with have been long referred to without suitable solutions.
At present, over 90 percent of Vietnamese businesses are of small and medium scale. They need to connect together to exist and develop in the time of regional and global integration. Still the connectivity has seemed to be difficult because they have been rivals of each other.
Another matter in need of considering carefully is that how connectivity should be in order not to break the Competition Law.
About material source, businesses have many times proposed the Government to implement material zone plans and assist them to build material processing plants. However the proposal has yet to be weighed. As a result, small assistant capital has been scattered and inefficient.
Would Vietnamese automakers prosper if foreign counterparts leave?
Economists and representatives of Vietnamese automobile enterprises believe the threatened departure of foreign automobile manufacturers would not be a problem for Vietnam.
JETRO HCMC Branch said recently that Japanese automobile manufacturers are considering scaling down automobile production in Vietnam as the tax policies are not encouraging enough for them to maintain production.
The organization said Japanese investors plan to focus on making cars at their factories in Thailand and Indonesia to export products to Vietnam, which plans to cut the import tariff to zero percent from 2018.
According to Takimoto Koji, chief representative of JETRO HCMC Branch, the Vietnamese automobile market is too small with 250,000 products sold every year. The Thai market has 2 million products.
While the Vietnamese market is small, the competition here is very stiff. As one automobile manufacturer can sell 50,000 products a year at maximum, the profit is not attractive enough. In general, a manufacturer needs to make 200,000 products a year to make profit.
Though JETRO’s representative later said that there is only ‘low possibility’ of Japanese automobile manufacturers leaving Vietnam or scaling down production here, the announcement about departure still has caught the attention of economists.
An economist said that in 2015, Toyota Vietnam once asked for preferential tax in exchange for its stay in Vietnam. Two years before that, a series of automobile manufacturers lodged complaints to the government, asking for policies to help them expand the production scale of some product lines.
Pham Chi Lan, a renowned economist, commented that the plan of increasing localization ratios in automobile products failed because of the policies applied since the very beginning.
“Vietnam wants ‘made in Vietnam products’, but it only does assembling. Meanwhile, automobile manufacturers have larger markets in other ASEAN countries,” she said.
“Vietnam also want to develop supporting industries for automobile manufacturing. However, it depends on foreign manufacturers,” she continued.
“Vietnam gives incentives based on enterprises’ commitments,” she said, adding that enterprises broke their promises.
Director of An Phuc Trading Nguyen Tuan, agreeing with Lan, said that if foreign invested enterprises want protection from the Vietnamese government, they have to transfer technology to Vietnam.
Regarding the development of supporting industries, president of Vinaxuki Bui Ngoc Huyen said the current policies don’t encourage enterprises to invest in the field.
He said to improve the localization ratio, Vietnam needs to apply drastic measures to protect local production, such as high taxes on car part imports. China, for example, imposes a high tax rate of 30-40 percent, twice as many as the rate in Vietnam.
Tran Thuy, VNN
Vietnam, Cambodia look to expand bilateral trade
Vietnam and Cambodia have officially signed agreements to promote bilateral trade and investment, although concrete details about how that will be accomplished have yet to be released.
The two countries have struggled to boost bilateral trade volumes and fell far short of their announced plan pursuant to the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle to achieve US$5 billion in bilateral trade by 2015.
In 2014, trade between the two countries reached US$3.3 billion, only to fall to US$3 billion and US$2.8 billion in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Party chief lauds Women’s Union at National Congress
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong congratulated the women’s movement and the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) for their past achievements in his speech at the opening of the 12th National Women’s Congress in Hanoi on March 7.
Savills: More investment opportunities in Vietnam
Investors need to look beyond first-tier cities and at new types of assets to make profits, including emerging markets such as Viet Nam, as the Asian property market slows.
HCM City is one of the hottest performing office markets in the region.
This was stated in a report on real estate tips for the Asia-Pacific market 2017, released by Savills Viet Nam on March 3.
Savills said in Viet Nam, a core area is the office segment in HCM City. HCM City is one of the hottest performing office markets in the region, with Q4, 2016 occupancy at 97 per cent. Strong demand continues as occupiers move up the quality chain and ensure the FIRE (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) sectors increase their requirements for contemporary buildings.
For the education sector, as the middle class expands, there is greater demand for more refined educational needs within Viet Nam. There is an array of existing offers, however the industry is dynamic and will change based on the country’s orientation. One can expect co-location near burgeoning startups.
Meanwhile, investors would also see opportunities in the logistics sector, Savills said. The dynamic retail industry is being challenged by successful online retailers. Effective warehouse and logistics locations to provide efficient supply chain and last mile delivery will be critical.
Savills also said with its huge scale and diversity, Asia encompasses some of the world’s most sophisticated real estate markets, alongside emerging economies with very little investable real estate.
Some real estate sectors in Asia barely noticed the 2008 financial crisis. Real Australian residential property prices, for example, saw continuous growth – capital values in cities throughout the region have reached record levels in recent years.
Cities such as Singapore may still have some scope to squeeze more before capital values peak.
Investors will be wondering where to place emerging markets such as Viet Nam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia on the risk and yield curve.
The long-term success of many new and emerging markets in the region will depend on them being able to offer the same tradability, openness and transparency for investors that the core gateway cities currently provide.
Social News 8/3
Measures against bird flu stepped up
Locales across the country are strengthening efforts to prevent the outbreak of bird flu and other strains of influenza viruses from penetrating into Vietnam.
In the southern province of Binh Duong, the prevention and control of avian influenza A/H5N6 and avian influenza strains are extremely urgent. As many as eleven quarantine checkpoints, including the Vinh Phu animal quarantine station and the Thu Dau Mot veterinary station, are operating at full capacity.
All means of transportation carrying cattle, poultry and animal products must show proof of origin when going through these quarantine stations.
In the complicated situation created by avian flu, Ba Ria–Vung Tau Province’s agricultural sector has organised vaccination and disinfection activities, while increasing inspections of abattoirs and poultry-trading points, in addition to propagandising and mobilising livestock producers to monitor and report on the disease situation for prompt handling.
Currently, veterinaries in Long Dien District are organising the vaccination of about 170,000 poultry in the locale. Ba Ria–Vung Tau has a total of over 3.6 million poultry.
In the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, local authorities have provided 5,000 litres of Benkocid chemical to localities in the province to implement disinfection to prevent bird flu. Functional agencies closely inspecting and supervising key areas of poultry farming, slaughtering and trading in local areas.
There are more than 14 million poultry in Tien Giang Province. During March, local veterinary services have opened a peak movement for environmental disinfection phase 1–2017 to limit the persistence of dangerous pathogens at units related to livestock and poultry production.
In Kien Giang Province, there are nearly 5.3 million poultry. During the last two rounds of environmental disinfection, local authorities allocated more than 4,000 litres of chemicals for spraying disinfectants in accordance with regulations.
The northern province of Thai Nguyen, the Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Sub-Department has provided over 3.6 million doses of vaccines in its first vaccination programme this year, while also distributing 4,000 litres of chemicals to locals at areas where there is a high-risk of avian influenza.
As planned, from March 10 to April 10, locales in Thai Nguyen will carry out the simultaneous vaccination of cattle and poultry.
Contaminated pepper seized in Binh Phuoc
Police in the southern province of Binh Phuoc has just raided a local pepper trader found mixing chemicals into their product.
Police came to an agricultural trading centre at Bu Gia Map District's Da Kia Commue for a sudden check on March 4.
Two workers were found mixing and cooking different kinds of flour in two large pots.
One of the workers, Le Dinh Le, 43, told police that he cooked a mixture of corn flour, sticky rice flour and an unidentified red-coloured powder and then mixed with imperfect pepper grains.
These grains would then be dried and have better shape and colour and weigh more.
According to a report by the centre's owner, Du Thi Toan, they usually buy bad-quality pepper from local farmers at cheap prices and then turn into high-quality product using this way.
"We produce about 360 kilos of perfect pepper from 300 kilos of lower quality pepper grains every day. And we’re earning a profit of VND900,000 (USD40) on each 100 kilos," the report said.
Toan said that she bought the red-colour powder from a shop in HCM City but did not know about its name or ingredients.
"The shop owner in HCM City told me that this substance was often used in food processing and would cause no harm to people's health and I believe in her,” Toan explained.
The centre's owner also added that her pepper is being distributed at local markets.
After the check, police seized 500 kilos of yellow-colour powder, 15 kilos of white-colour powder and a box of red-colour powder for testing.
Over 1.122 tonnes of processed pepper were also seized for further investigation.
This poses another problem for Vietnamese pepper, in addition to its problems with pesticides.
A report released last month by the Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA) showed that Vietnamese pepper will face stricter scrutiny this year following excessive use of agricultural pesticides, especially in the EU and US markets, according to the Vietnam News Newspaper.
The VPA report identifies quality control in pepper production and processing as a major problem, which becomes more difficult to solve when a mind-set of favouring quantity over quality persists among farmers and traders.
A majority of farmers use unnecessary amounts of fertilisers and pesticides, weakening natural resistance and requiring even higher doses of the chemicals for subsequent crops, resulting in diminishing returns.
The EU and the US have been major buyers of Vietnamese pepper at about 40,000 tonnes a year each, 46 per cent of total annual pepper exports.
According to VPA, pepper export to these two markets will face challenges this year as they set to issue new rules on the quality of imported agricultural produce, including pepper from Vietnam.
Binh Thuan cracks down on illegal sand mining
Following the efforts of authorities of Ham Thuan Bac district in the central province of Binh Thuan, illegal sand mining in Ham Liem commune has stopped, Radio the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) reported.
After VOV’s report on illegal sand mining, which caused outrage among residents last year, a supervision team was established by the district’s People’s Committee. The nine supervisors are officers of the district’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, police officers, leaders of the commune’s People’s Committee and the army.
Nguyen Thanh Giang, commander of the Ham Liem commune’s army, said the supervisors regularly patrolled areas of illegal mineral exploitation in the commune and were often threatened by sand miners covertly driving trucks into the mining area at night.
According to the report, the path leading to the commune centre is now free of sand miners. Sand dredging vehicles have also been moved.
Although sand mining has ended, the supervision team is still patrolling round the clock to ensure it does not resume, Le Thanh Cuong, Chairman of Ham Liem communal People’s Committee, said.
Ham Liem commune is home to a huge amount of high-quality sand right next to Phan Thiet city. The demand for sand in Ham Thuan Bac district and Phan Thiet city is relatively high, posing a high risk of sand mining resuming in the future.
Pregnant woman suffers brain death after treatment in private infirmary
Inspectors from the municipal Department of Health in Hanoi yesterday liaised with the 168 Hanoi Polyclinic in Thanh Tri District to clarify the case in which Tran Thi Thu T. who suffered brain death after being treated at the facility.
Chief Inspect of Hanoi Health Department Nguyen Viet Cuong said he was informed the case and the department convened a meeting with the infirmary after that.
The victim’s relative said that 29-year-old pregnant Tran Thi Thu Tr. from the northern province of Quang Ninh, arrived in the infirmary on March 5 for prenatal check-up; however, in the same evening, her relatives were informed that she was transfered to Bach Mai Hospital while in a deep coma, with doctors diagnosing her with cerebral edema and brain death.
Before, Tr.'s health was good, therefore, the family filed a letter of complaint to the police station in Thanh Tri District.
In the meeting with the woman’s relative yesterday, Dr. Phuong Van Soan, who is in charge of the infirmary, said that Tran Thi Thu Tr. was diagnosed to have 21 week pregnancy yet she had vaginitis; accordingly, doctors suggested to have tests.
Dr. Trinh Tuc Vinh, a Chinese doctor, said that she was treated with vibration therapy. After three minutes into the treatment, the patient showed symptoms of seizure and had difficulty breathing. Soon, the infirmary took her to Bach Mai for emergency treatment..
Noticeably, within three years, the infirmary has been fined many times for violations in treating and illegal advertisement and employing Chinese doctors without license.
NA mission group takes heed to origin for food safety
A mission group from the National Assembly February 6 in Ho Chi Minh City held a meeting to review the implementation of food safety for 2011-2016.
Phung Quoc Hien, vice-chairman of the law-making National Assembly, said that food safety is a hot issue which people and the National Assembly pay often much attention to.
The group has liaised with leaders in 19 provinces and listened to reports of food safety regulation from relevant departments and agencies.
In the period 2011 - 2016, the health sector inspected over 3 million businesses detecting 20 percent of them to violate the law.
In 2016, inspectors paid more visits to businesses and issued harsh penalties to violating ones. The number of violators increased from 17.6 percent in 2015 to 23.4 percent in 2016; moreover, violators paid more fines for violations. However, Deputy Health Minister Truong Quoc Cuong said that inspectors must trace back the origin of food.
Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Deputy Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Thu said that the government has had policies to support farmers such as land lease reduction, preferential tariff and loan as well as encourage cooperation in agricultural production and aquatic breeding; connecting farmers and enterprises and other partners in consuming of produces.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, 61 cities and provinces built up 519 agricultural, aquatic supply chains including 224 chains being accredited to be safe for consumers.
Secretary of HCMC Party Committee Dinh La Thang attended the event.
Free eye examination for 40,000 students
40,000 students from six cities and provinces will receive free eye examination sponsored by Rohto- Mentholatum Vietnam from March to April.
To improve eye health and provide knowledge of eye care to students, the company has planned to carry out eye examination and give free consultation to students.
The program will be conducted in six cities and provinces with the participation of doctors from Phuong Nam Eye Hospital and Eye Hospital in Hanoi.
Students in Ho Chi Minh City will receive eye examination on March 6-10, in the Mekong Delta City of Can Tho on March 13-17, the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak on March 20-24, the central province of Binh Dinh on March 27-31, Hanoi on April 10-14 and the northern province of Thai Binh on April 17-21.
HCMC gets first food safety chief
Pham Khanh Phong Lan, ex-deputy director of the HCMC Department of Health, has been picked as head of the city’s newly established Food Safety Board.
HCMC chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong yesterday handed over an appointment decision to her with a term lasting until December 6, 2019.
Le Minh Hai serves as her deputy. He was formerly deputy director of the Rehabilitation and Occupational Disease Hospital in HCMC. The second deputy head is Huynh Thi Kim Cuc, deputy director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
This is the city’s first agency responsible for food hygiene and safety.
Voters had repeatedly proposed the health and other agencies of the city carry out regular inspections into wholesale markets to prevent the trading of food of unclear origin.
Statistics show the demand for meat citywide ranges from 1,000 to 1,200 tons a day. Imports of frozen food amount to around 264,000 tons a year. City residents annually consume one million tons of vegetables and 170,000 tons of seafood.
The management of food safety in the city involved different agencies but their responsibilities were unclear, leading to poor food safety control.
Data indicates the city had six food poisoning cases with 512 victims but none of them were life-threatening. To prevent food poisoning, a major scheme for pork management, identification and traceability at Hoc Mon and Binh Dien wholesale markets has been carried out on a trial basis.
The municipal authorities also have plans to organize training courses this year to equip food producers and traders with best food safety practices.
Friendship associations work to boost Vietnam-Laos relations
The Vietnam – Laos Friendship Association (VLFA) will continue to work closely with the Laos-Vietnam Friendship Association (LVFA) to promote friendship exchange activities, thus enhancing mutual understanding and tightening the bilateral relations, said VLFA Chairman Tran Van Tuy.
The VLFA Chairman made the pledge during his meeting in Hanoi on March 7 with visiting Lao National Assembly Chairwoman Pany Yathotou.
He asked the Lao side to continue creating favourable conditions for the two friendship associations to expand cooperation in the coming time.
He took the occasion to inform the Lao top legislator of operation plans of the two associations in 2017, especially activities to celebrate the 55th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the bilateral Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation.
The Lao legislative leader stressed that the pure and loyal relationship between the two nations was based on the sacrifice of Vietnamese voluntary soldiers and nurtured by generations of leaders of both countries.
She vowed to do her utmost to promote the special bilateral ties.
The same day, the Lao NA Chairwoman met with representatives from the National Liaison Committee of Vietnamese voluntary soldiers and military experts in Laos.
She also visited former Vietnamese NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung.
Documentary film commemorating musician Tran Lap to debut in Hanoi
A documentary film commemorating musician Tran Lap will make its premiere in Hanoi on March 17.
The performance titled “Fire lighting hands” featuring the rock band, Buc Tuong (The Wall) and its founder, composer and vocal Tran Lap take place at the Vietnam Exhibition Fair Center in Hanoi last January.
The film titled “Yesterday story” celebrating the 22nd anniversary of the establishment of the rock band, Buc Tuong (The Wall) will be screened at National Cinema Center, and at the film studio, 465 Hoang Hoa Tham Street in Ha Noi.
The 75-minute long movie is directed by Dang Linh and Hong Thang, and produced by the Viet Nam National Documentary and Scientific Film Studio.
The documentary tells about 20-year long-term voyage of the rock band, and outstanding moments and the living of the group’s members.
Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to child patients with cancer at Tan Trieu National Cancer Hospital.
As plan, the film will also be presented to the public in Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho, Da Nang and Hai Phong.
Famous rocker and songwriter Tran Lap died in Hanoi in March last year after a courageous 5-month battle with cancer. The iconic singer whose real name is Tran Quyet Lap was born in 1974 in the northern province of Nam Dinh.
He was founder of the Buc Tuong (The Wall) rock band that was formed in 1995. The rock band includes three members, musician Tran Lap, guitarist Tran Tuan Hung and Nguyen Hoang. The band grew up from musical movement of students. The band is regarded as a leading rock band in Vietnam.
Lap was author of many ballad rock songs, favored by generations of students over the past 20 years, such as Bong hong thuy tinh (The glass rose), Dung nhu hon da (Don't be like a stone), Nguoi dan ba hoa da (The woman turned into stone) and more.
The most popular song, Duong toi vinh quang (Road to glory) is used as a theme song for several editions of the popular "Road to Mt. Olympia's Peak" quiz show organized by national broadcaster Vietnam Television.
He was one of the four judges of The Voice of Vietnam 2012 program that was aired on VTV3.
Nghe An strives to have 225 new-style rural communes by 2020
The central province of Nghe An has set a goal of having 225 communes and three districts recognised as new-style rural areas by 2020.
In 2017, building new-style rural areas has been set as a focus of all provincial departments and sectors.
Nam Dan district, along with three communes of Kim Lien, Son Thanh and Quynh Doi have been chosen to become new-style rural area models in the province.
Each commune categorised as a new-style rural area will be presented a welfare facility worth 500 million VND (21,930 USD) while each new-style rural district will have a facility worth two billion VND (87,723 USD).
The national programme on building new-style rural areas, initiated by the Government in 2010, includes 19 criteria on socio-economic development, politics and defence, aiming to boost rural areas of Vietnam.
The criteria cover infrastructure development, production capacity improvement, environmental protection and cultural value promotion.
Ireland, Da Nang to cooperate in education
The central city of Da Nang and the Irish Embassy in Vietnam have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on high quality human resources education, management skills for the city’s personnel and start-up programmes for students in the central city.
The MoU, which was signed on March 3, will also include a master education programme, education exchanges among Da Nang’s Economics College and Irish universities and a humanitarian programme supporting disabled citizens of the city.
Cait Moran, Ambassador of Ireland to Vietnam, said the MoU aims to boost the relationship between Ireland and the central city and strengthen cooperation between Da Nang with locals and cities in Ireland.
In 2014, Ireland and the city also signed a MoU for the project of Strengthening Capacity and Sustainability On Early Childhood Disabilities Detection and Intervention with total 302,500 EUR (377,278 USD) through Irish Aid.
The project aims to help screen prematurely-born babies and help with 9,000 children with disabilities and 120 kids that need intervention surgeries from 2013-20.
In 2012-14 the Irish Aid also supported the ’Enhancing the Capacity of the Healthcare Network in the Prevention and Early Detection of Children’s Disabilities’ project in the city’s Cam Le District.
Military doctors in Truong Sa Island District
Military doctors and nurses in Truong Sa Island District, Khanh Hoa province, must fulfill two missions at the same time: provide health care to islanders and soldiers living there and provide first aid and emergency medical treatment to fishermen engaged in offshore fishing.
In such a remote place, the military doctors cope with environmental hardships and shortages of supplies and equipment.
Early this year, the Nam Yet Island infirmary was informed that Pham Hoa, a fisherman working on fishing boat QNG 90927-TS, was in distress after an accident.
The infirmary’s chief and several island soldiers immediately went by speedboat to the spot of the accident, administered first aid, and moved the patient to the island for surgery and further treatment.
Hoa recalled that while pulling in his fishing nets, he was struck by an eel and received a severe injury. He was later diagnosed with a broken tendon, a dislocated thumb, and broken blood vessels and nerves, and underwent an emergency operation.
Hoa says he was very lucky to have received prompt treatment and excellent care from the doctors and nurses on Nam Yet Island.
“I feel better now. The doctors have given me careful treatment, so I’m not worried any more. When we go offshore fishing and sustain any injuries, we fishermen have long been accustomed to getting treated on the island. We are very grateful for the whole-hearted assistance of the military doctors on the island. Despite difficult conditions, they are always ready to go out to the fishing boats to give first aid and necessary medical treatment to ill or injured fishermen,” he said.
It took 2 hours to complete Hoa's surgery. Coming out of the operating room, Doctor Nguyen Dinh Thanh, chief of the Nam Yet infirmary, said the surgery was a success, adding that some fishermen who sustain soft tissue injuries simply bandage their wounds and continue working. Those wounds can become inflamed or infected.
Doctor Thanh said, “We have sufficient equipment to perform both minor and major surgeries, including setting broken femurs and abdomenal and thoracic surgeries. We have a surgeon, an internist, and nurses for various medical specialties. We are fully trained. Previously, we were general practitioners, but now we are specialists. Before starting to work here, we attended a 6- to 12-month course to learn how to deal with emergency situations, so we are very confident about emergency cases.”
Song Tu Tay (Southwest Cay) island commune in the northern Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago is home to a drylock and fishing logistics area that supports commercial fishing vessels working the Truong Sa fishing grounds.
The Song Tu Tay infirmary has been well-equipped for internal medicine and surgery. It even has ultra sound scanners. Last year, the infirmary provided medical examinations and treatment for more than 1,300 cases.
Hoang Chi Trung, who has worked on the island for 4 months, recalls one industrial accident - an emergency case in which all the doctors and nurses had to take turns caring for the patient.
“On the mainland, the patient could have been put on a respirator. Here we had to take turns manually operating a resuscitator to give the patient oxygen throughout the night. The patient had a serious accident and couldn’t breathe. It wasn't until noon the next day that a helicopter could reach the island to transport the patient to the mainland for intensive treatment,” according to doctor Trung.
Doctor Dang Dinh Dung, chief of the Song Tu Tay infirmary, says the daily work on the island is very different from that on the mainland. Every doctor and nurse must be prepared to treat all kinds of injuries and illnesses, from broken limbs to appendicitis.
“When we decided to work on the island, we all made up our minds to do our best. Being so far away from home, we, of course, miss our families, our wives and children. But we always encourage each other to be strong and fulfill our duties here”, Dung noted.
Over 2 mln households in disadvantaged regions get preferential loans
More than 2 million households have received loans totaling 44.2 trillion VND (1.95 billion USD) from aprogramme designed to help business households in disadvantaged regions as of February 28, 2017, according to the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP).
Currently, 640,000 households are borrowing 16.4trillion VND (722 million USD), of which the rate of overdue debt is only 0.35 percent.
According to statistics from the localities, the demand for capital from business households by 2020 will be at least 6.6trillion VND (290.7 million USD).
The programme was launched on March 5, 2007, aiming to assist business households, including those running farms, with maximum assistance of 50 million VND (2,250 USD) at an interest rate of nine percent per year.
Because commercial banks do not have transaction offices in remote areas, the VBSP, with its nationwide network, was entrusted to help those households access capital.
The VBSP now has 11,000 transaction points across the country.
Programme honours Vietnamese women
A programme called “Proud Vietnamese women” was held in Hanoi on March 7 as part of activities to mark the 107th International Women’s Day (March 8) and the 12th National Women’s Congress.
The event aims to honour women who have a big influence on the community and make significant contributions to national building and development.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and former Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan presented the 2016 Kovalevskai award to female scientists from the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology and Professor, PhD Nguyen Kim Phi Phung, a lecturer of chemistry at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Science.
The award, named after the great Russian mathematician Sofia Kovalevskaia, was established in 1985 to honour outstanding female scientists.
Some 100 women with contributions to science, education, health, economics, agriculture, and charitable activities received certificates of merit from the Vietnam Women’s Union.
Speaking at the programme, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said addressing gender inequality is a crucial part of the millennium target programmes.
It’s necessary to build a national action programme on gender equality along with enacting the Law on Gender Equality, he said, adding that the Government has requested the Ministry of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs to work with the Vietnam Women’s Union to implement this programme.
Improving the legal system and promoting communication on gender equality at all levels is also important, he noted.
The Government is preparing a bill for submission to the National Assembly to approve the law on developing small-and medium-sized enterprises, focusing on female entrepreneurs, he said.
The PM noted that Vietnam had more than 110,000 businesses in 2016, but only a small proportion of them are owned by women.
The Government has designed a programme to help women run small-and medium-sized businesses, he said.
In Vietnam, nearly 50 percent of workers are women and the start-up programme was launched for both men and women, but the Government will pay special attention to small-and medium-sized enterprises run by women, he affirmed.
He hoped 35 percent of small-and medium-sized companies will be owned by women in 2020.
The PM also pledged to approve a project supporting female entrepreneurs of the Vietnam Women’s Union.
Epic tale staged in Hà Nội to celebrate Women’s Day
Vietnamese writer Nguyễn Du’s classic Tale of Kiều will be performed at the Việt Nam National Drama Theater until March 10 to celebrate International Women’s Day, which falls today.
The theatre, located at 1 Tràng Tiền Street, is staging the play from March 1-10 at 8pm.
The play - directed by People’s Artist Anh Tú - tells the Tale of Kiều in a new way, combining singing, dancing and body art. However, he respects the story’s original content: the injustice of Vietnamese feudal society and the emotional suffering of people, especially women. The work, which debuted November of last year, celebrates kindness, filial piety, and loyalty.
The Tale of Kiều, an epic poem written by Nguyễn Du (1765–1820), is widely regarded as the most significant work of Vietnamese literature. It depicts the arduous life of Thúy Kiều, a beautiful and talented young woman who had to sell herself into prostitution to save her father from prison. Nguyễn Du overcame harsh social prejudice to praise Kiều’s physical and soulful beauty, as well as her talents and personality.
VN celebrates female nation builders
Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng yesterday praised the significant contributions made by Vietnamese women in the past struggles for national independence and the current task of nation-building.
Delivering the opening address at the 12th National Women’s Congress in Hà Nội, he said women, accounting for more than half of the population and 48 per cent of workforce, have been active in every field.
They have actively responded to patriotic emulation campaigns and abided by Party guidelines and State laws, he said.
He also congratulated the women’s movement and the Việt Nam Women’s Union (VWU) for their past achievements.
The Congress for the 2017-2022 tenure, themed “Solidarity – Renovation – Equality – Integration,” attracted 1,153 delegates representing women from all walks of life across the country.
The Party leader also praised the Women’s Union for continuing to play a crucial role in promoting the cause of gender equality cause and performing better its tasks of representing and protecting the legitimate rights and interests of women.
The VWU has served as a bridge connecting the Party and women, contributed to strengthening national unity and building a strong and transparent Party and political system, he said.
Trọng noted that the presence of female leadership in the political system was growing, with 25 per cent of legislators being women. Women working in the science and technology sector account for nearly 40 per cent, he added.
He said the VWU needs to fully grasp the Resolution adopted by the 12th National Party Congress and take specific measures to implement its provisions.
The leader urged further improvement in the quality of emulation campaigns, combining it with those launched by the Việt Nam Fatherland Front to support the poor and following the moral example set by President Hồ Chí Minh.
VWU chapters at all levels should continue assisting women in implementing policies related to marriage, families, healthcare for mothers and children, and environmental protection, he said.
He said the VWU chapters should adopt uniform measures for advancement of women in terms of brainpower, innovation capacity and sense of civic responsibility while building a contingent of qualified staff with political firmness and virtue.
They should introduce capable women to Party committees, local authorities, ministries, agencies and sectors from the grassroots to the central level, he said.
Trọng asked the VWU to seriously implement the Resolution on Party building and rectification passed by the fourth plenum of the 12th Party Central Committee.
It should encourage its members to engage in the tasks of social supervision and join the fight against corruption, wastefulness and other negative phenomena, he said.
Trọng also urged Party committees, local authorities and sectors to devise specific plans to improve the efficiency of women’s work and the operations of VWU chapters, and raise public awareness of gender equality.
VWU Chairwoman for the 11th tenure, Nguyễn Thị Thu Hà, said the Congress will review past activities, discuss orientations and goals for the 2017-2022 tenure, adopt amendments and supplements to the union’s regulations and elect an executive board for the VWU Central Committee.
A highlight in the past tenure was support for women in economic development, she said, adding that VWU chapters had helped more than 2.4 million poor households led by women. With funding from Vietnam Bank for Social Policies and the Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development 430,000 of them have escaped poverty, she added.
The VWU raised over VNĐ1 trillion (US$43.4 million) to assist policy beneficiaries and families of soldiers tasked with safeguarding sea and island sovereignty. It helped repaired about 20,000 houses and successfully proposed 119 policies.
During the 2017-2022 tenure, VWU will continue improving the material and spiritual lives of women, build a strong and professional women’s union and continue emulation campaigns to promote gender equality and women’s advancement.
It will focus on three key tasks of assisting women in building a happy family, in engaging in start-ups, and in protecting the environment. Members would contribute to Party-buidling and step up people-to-people diplomacy, she said.
Vietnam's knowledge about network security unchanged in last 20 years
While the risk of cyberattacks has increased and hackers have become more sophisticated, the public's knowledge about network security has not improved in the last 20 years.
Ngo Viet Khoi, a respected network security expert, said that computer and internet users lack knowledge to protect themselves from cyberattacks.
At an internet café, one computer user may have to face 18,000-20,000 malware risks each hour and a high risk of losing data.
Khoi said that if just one officer lacks knowledge about network security, the entire organizations where he works will be unsafe. Therefore, security policies of organizations and businesses must have three Ps - Product, People and Policy & Process.
As for Product, the minimum action is using copyrighted anti-virus software, while free software will not ensure safety for users because it is not updated regularly.
As for People, leaders of organizations and businesses have to allocate reasonable budgets for information security solutions, while terminal users, who directly insert USBs into computers, click mouses and open emails, need to follow strict procedures to ensure network security.
Policy & Process, according to Khoi, still cannot receive appropriate attention from businesses. Some businesses spend big money on hardware and security solutions, but they don’t have a good policy and process.
Khoi said the second P is very important. When staff do not access certain websites, do not use Gmail for work or use unlicensed software, organizations will be safer.
The CIO of a business in Hanoi said that many Vietnamese seem to turn a deaf ear to all warnings from experts. A young man, for example, recently posted his picture on Facebook with a passport in hand with the notice that he is going to the US. There was information about the number of passports with name, birthday and age.
Vu Hoang Lien, chair of the Vietnam Internet Association, cited a Ministry of Information and Communication’s report as saying that 53 percent of Vietnamese, or 50 million people, use the internet.
Meanwhile, We are Social Singapore reported that in Vietnam, 78 percent of internet users access internet daily.
Vietnam now ranks 16th among the top 20 countries with the highest number of internet users in the world.
Mai Chi, VNN
BUSINESS IN BRIEF 8/3
AIIB to offer loans for HCM City infrastructure projects
The secretary of HCM City’s Party Committee, Đinh La Thăng, on Monday met with Jin Liqun, the chairman of the Asian Investment and Infrastructure Bank (AIIB) to discuss financing for infrastructure projects in the city.
The city needs a total investment of about US$50 billion to develop infrastructure, Thăng said, adding that he welcomed the support of the AIIB as well as other investors.
The chairman of AIIB said loans would be offered for development projects at preferential rates equal to or better than other international financial organisations.
He said that AIIB wanted to help to resolve the city’s problems, including traffic congestion, waste treatment and urban transport infrastructure.
The bank will also provide preferential loans to support the city’s private businesses operating in infrastructure development, according to Jin.
He noted that Việt Nam was developing quickly, with one of the fastest economic growth rates in Asia.
Thăng said the city would offer the bank favourable conditions in lending or direct investment to implement key projects.
Thermal tech assoc chairman: Coal-fueled power plants inevitable
Vietnam has no other choice but to continue building coal-fueled power plants to meet higher energy demand and back economic growth, said Truong Duy Nghia, chairman of the Vietnam Science and Thermal Technology Association.
Speaking at a seminar on coal-fired power generation technology and the environment in HCMC last Friday, Nghia said hydropower has almost reached its full potential in Vietnam, the cost of gas-fueled electricity generation remains high, and the nation's first nuclear power plants have been shelved. Therefore, the country will have to continue building coal-fueled power stations in the coming years.
Phuong Hoang Kim, deputy head of the General Directorate of Energy under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said power development is crucial to economic growth. If the country wants to achieve gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 7% a year in 2016-2020, commercial electricity supply should grow at least 10% in the period and 16% in 2021-2025.
Large- and medium-scale hydropower plants with a combined capacity of around 20,000 MW are running at full tilt, and the country can develop new small-scale hydropower facilities after 2020. Meanwhile, coal stocks for power generation total 45-50 million tons, a volume which is sufficient to generate 15,000 MW of power. The electricity sector may have to import 82 million tons of coal this year and 85 million tons in 2020.
Kim said the country would have to buy gas from foreign suppliers from 2023 to fuel thermal power stations as domestic supply of natural gas would dwindle then. Sources of renewable energy like hydropower, wind and solar will account for 21% of the country’s total power output by 2030.
Kim said thermal power plants will continue playing a vital role in the coming years. They are projected to account for 49% of total power output in 2020, 55% in 2025 and about 50% in 2030 based on the demand which is predicted to rise to 235 billion kWh in 2020, 352 billion kWh in 2025 and 506 billion kWh in 2030.
More investment in new coal-fueled power stations has caused concern among experts about the country’s energy development strategy. What technology will be used to control emissions at coal-fired power projects is a tough question, according to experts.
Experts were quoted by local media as saying that coal-fueled power facilities pollute the air, water resources and land around their premises. They discharge mercury, arsenic, lead, heavy metals and dust into the environment, causing acid rains harmful to agricultural and fish farming.
Experts warned coal-fired power stations would have lasting impact on the environment and the marine ecosystem.
However, Nghia told the seminar that a number of organizations and scientists, including those who are not experts in coal-fired power generation, have not provided sufficient evidence on its potential effects, prompting a misunderstanding among the public.
Nghia said it was reported that a survey of Harvard University had found every year around 4,300 people in Vietnam died of diseases caused by pollutants from coal-fueled power plants. The local media did not make clear where it took the survey as there has not been a survey on deaths caused by coal-fired power generation in Vietnam.
He wondered why the university had not warned the United States, Australia, Germany and China where there are large-scale coal-fueled power plants.
A number of newspapers quoted experts as saying that the Mekong Delta region would need to invest in 14 coal-fired power plants and their emissions would total 70 million cubic meters of water at 40 degrees Celsius, affecting the environment. If this had been the case, coal-fueled power plants in Vietnam and elsewhere in the world should have already been shut down, he stressed.
Nguyen Duy Binh, head of the production technical department at Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN), said coal is a source of energy which could be used for about 300 years and it would continue to be a main energy supply in Vietnam. It is important to reduce dust emissions at coal-fueled power stations so as to control air pollution.
Binh said EVN has installed systems to deodorize sulfur in emissions at eight of its 11 coal-fueled power stations and tools to filter electrostatic dust at all the facilities. Their water is cooled before it is discharged into the environment, and the group is looking for firms to buy its well-stored ash to make tiles, cement and prefabricated building materials.
VND54 trillion in G-bonds, govt-guaranteed bonds sold in Jan-Feb
VND54.1 trillion (US$2.37 billion) was raised from sales of Government bonds (G-bond) and Government-guaranteed bonds in the first two months of this year, according to the Ministry of Finance.
The ministry said in a report last week that of the total, G-bond sales of over VND41.9 trillion met 22.9% of the whole year’s target of VND183.3 trillion. Of the amount, VND26.9 trillion was raised from G-bond auctions on the market and VND15 trillion by Vietnam Social Insurance.
The secondary market saw an average daily volume of G-bonds and Government-guaranteed bonds worth VND4.37 trillion sold in February, down a staggering 31.3% compared to the average of last year.
In the January-February period, the ministry clinched four borrowing agreements totaling US$203.2 million. In the year to February 22, the country had paid VND5.82 trillion (US$262.8 million) for foreign creditors and disbursed over VND5.77 trillion in foreign loans.
The ministry estimated budget collections totaled VND185.8 trillion in the first two months, equivalent to 15.3% of the year’s estimate. Budget contributions from State-owned enterprises reached only 11.5% of the year’s target, environmental protection tax 14.4%, and public land and assets in communes 11.1%.
Meanwhile, total budget spending had reached VND175.8 trillion, 12.6% of the year’s estimate, in the year to February 28.
The VN-Index, the main index of Vietnam’s stock market, rose to 710.79 points at the end of February, up 6.9% over late last year, while the HNX-Index closed 8.4% higher at 86.83 points. Market cap neared VND2,217 trillion, leaping 14% over December 2016 and equivalent to 49.2% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
VCCI proposes scrapping 24 poor rules
Chairman Vu Tien Loc of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has written to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc proposing doing away with 24 of the 30 regulations that have been rated as improper by the business community.
VCCI published a report on February 28 on a vote for 30 good and 30 bad regulations.
VCCI has petitioned the Prime Minister to order relevant ministries and agencies to quickly modify the inappropriate rules. Meanwhile, the chamber has suggested the Prime Minister commend the ministries and agencies related to the 30 regulations that have been praised as good.
The VCCI assessment on legal documents was carried out in line with the Government's Resolution 19/NQ-CP and Resolution 35/NQ-CP on collection of enterprises’ views on regulations issued by ministries, ministerial-level agencies and local authorities. This is also a preparatory step for the Prime Minister’s forthcoming meeting with business executives this year.
Some of the bad rules sought for annulment:
Clause 8, Article 4 of the Government's Decree 05/2015/ND-CP which provide detailed guidelines for implementation of the Labor Code. The clause requires employment contracts to include a term on labor safety for staff which makes clear volume, category, quality and duration of use of each labor safety equipment.
Clause 1, Article 7 of the Government’s Decree 78/2015/ND-CP on business registration, which requires businesses to use level-four business codes (which have four digits). However, how to choose appropriate codes is tough.
Clause 1, Article 50 of the Ministry of Transport’s Circular 63/2014/TT-BGTVT that stipulates transportation of goods without direct charges must have a business license.
Point b, Clause 5, Article 5 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Circular 21/2015/TT-BNNPTNT that restricts registration of active substance content for each type of finished plant protection products.
Clause 1, Article 9 of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Circular 12/2015/TT-BNNPTNT that imposes an import condition on commodities originating from flora that exporting countries must have registered with Vietnam.
Article 1 of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Circular 20/2011/TT-BCT that specifies importers of passenger cars of nine seats or fewer must have a letter of authorization from manufacturers.
Articles 3, 4 and 5 of the Ministry of Information and Communication’s Circular 09/2014/TT-BTTTT which provides conditions for establishment of social networking websites.
The regulations proposed for amendment:
Article 16 of the Ministry of Finance's Circular 56/2014/TT-BTC guiding implementation of Decree 177/2013/ND-CP with details and guidelines on the implementation of a number of articles of the Price Law, which should be revised to permit enterprises to notify State agencies, instead of asking them for approval.
Article 25 of the Government’s Decree 83/2015/ND-CP, which should be changed so as to allow local businesses to inform authorities of their termination of offshore investment projects, instead of seeking approval from authorities.
Clause 1, Article 4 of the Ministry of Public Security's Circular 57/2015/TT-BCA, which should be revised in a way that does not require passenger cars of nine seats or below to have fire equipment.
Article 106 of the Labor Code 2012, which should be revised to increase the minimum overtime hours for workers.
Gasoline prices slightly drop
The domestic retail price of RON 92 petrol and E5 bio-fuel dropped by 76 VND and 58 VND per litre, respectively, from 15:00 on March 6, following a joint decision by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Finance.
This has been the first reduction of petrol prices for the year 2017.
With the decision, the ceiling prices of RON 92 and E5 bio-fuel are 18,022 VND and 17,760 VND per litre, respectively.
The price of diesel 0.05S inched up 142 VND per litre, while that of paraffin oil was up by 76 VND per litre, to 14,447 VND and 12,834 VND per litre, respectively.
The average global price of RON 92 during the last 15 days to March 6 was 65.677 USD per barrel, down 2 USD compared with previous price adjustment, hence the reduction in the domestic prices.
The prices of petrol and oil are adjusted every 15 days by the two ministries depending on changes in the world market.
TPP expected to continue despite US withdrawal: VCCI
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), whose fate seems uncertain after the US’ withdrawal, will certainly continue in another form, the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has said.
“We believe that TPP member countries, even the US, don’t want to waste the six years of negotiation and the large opportunities the trade deal would bring,” Vũ Tiến Lộc, chairman of VCCI, said to reporters last week.
“The TPP will certainly continue. It could be a bilateral or multilateral trade deal,” he said, adding that it, however, may come into effect at a later date than previously scheduled, which was 2018.
Việt Nam has a lot of expectations from the TPP and the European Union-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) as they open large markets and create significant opportunities for trade growth and for improving domestic economic institutions.
The fate of the TPP became uncertain in January after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order formally withdrawing the US from the 12-nation trade deal on his fourth day in office.
In 2016, the US was Việt Nam’s largest export market, bringing in a revenue of US$38.5 billion, a 15 per cent rise over the same period last year, customs statistics showed. The US has maintained this position in the first two months of 2017, with the turnover rising by 18.9 per cent compared to the same period last year, to $6 billion.
With the TPP on shaky legs, Việt Nam is now looking more towards the EVFFTA, which is expected to come into force in 2018.
Việt Nam should focus on three measures to grasp opportunities from the EVFTA, which include hastening the signing and approval of the EVFTA, continuing institutional reforms, and improving its competitiveness and business environment, Lộc said.
The trade deal will help connect the Southeast Asian country of nearly 90 million people to the European Union (EU), which has an estimated population of 500 million. The market size would be nearly 1 billion if the ASEAN markets are included.
Việt Nam’s export to the EU in the first two months of 2017 reached $5.4 billion, up 13.2 per cent, while import from these markets rose by 24.6 per cent to $1.7 billion.
To date, Việt Nam has signed 12 bilateral and multilateral trade deals, 10 of which have already come into force. Four other Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are under negotiation, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, ASEAN-Hong Kong FTA, FTA with Israel and with European Free Trade Association.
State units earn VNĐ14 trillion from divestment
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) have contributed VNĐ14.2 trillion (US$621 million) to the coffers through divestment in the first two months of 2017, the finance ministry has said.
Around VNĐ36.3 billion has come from selling stakes in five sensitive areas – securities, insurance, banking and finance, real estate, and investment funds – and another VNĐ2.1 trillion from other fields.
The State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) sold stakes worth VNĐ1.2 trillion in 11 companies, earning a total of VNĐ12.1 trillion. Of the estimates, SCIC divested VNĐ780 billion from the Việt Nam Dairy Products JSC (Vinamilk). It gained nearly VNĐ11.3 trillion from the sale of Vinamilk stocks.
Though no SOEs have been equitised in the first two months of this year, those companies listed for equitisation in the 2016-20 period are actively involved in the process.
In 2016, 56 enterprises were approved for equitisation. The total value of these firms was VNĐ34 trillion, of which the State capital was valued at VNĐ24.4 trillion.
As per the equitisation plan, the charter capital of the 56 companies was VNĐ24.37 trillion, of which the State held VNĐ11.9 trillion. The stakes sold to strategic investors were worth VNĐ7 trillion, those sold to workers were worth VNĐ388 billion, and shares sold at public auctions were worth VNĐ4.3 trillion.
Construction of Melia Ho Tram at Hamptons condotel begins
Tanzanite International has begun construction of the Melia Ho Tram at the Hamptons on Ho Tram Beach in Ba Ria – Vung Tau.
The condotel, situated around 95km from HCM City, measures 16.9 hectares, including 518 metres of private beach, in a place considered to be among the most promising for tourism development in Viet Nam.
Construction will be in two phases, with 156 hotel suites and 82 villas built in the first and 16 villas in the second.
They have been designed by foreign companies Sala Design Group and KKS and their local counterparts CMV Architects and 2050AP.
The resort will have plenty of space for facilities like a spa, gym, sports and recreational activities, restaurants and bars, and will be managed by Melia.
The construction is being done by AIC Management and Sagotic JSC.
Business community acknowledges progress in tax procedures reform
The business community acknowledged progress in the tax sector’s administrative reform but urged more efforts in improving law quality, simplifying procedures, applying IT and cutting informal costs, according to a report released at a workshop in Hanoi on March 7.
In opening the event, President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc underlined the significance of the report on the satisfaction of enterprises with the taxation sector, the second of its kind, saying that it provided a channel for firms to express their assessment of the tax sector’s performance.
Nearly 3,500 enterprises across 63 provinces and cities participated in the survey for the report.
According to Dau Anh Tuan – head of the Legal Department of the VCCI, the 2016 report showed positive changes in the tax sector compared to the previous one in 2014. He cited as an example that 78 percent of surveyed enterprises said it was easy to access law documents on tax, compared to 51 percent in 2014.
The respondents also recognised the improvement in the attitude of tax officers, and more favourable conditions in carrying out tax procedures.
At the same time, the business community wanted better quality of tax-related legal documents and publicity work to support tax payers. They urged the sector to continue simplifying tax procedures and expanding the application of information technology.
More effective measures are needed to reduce unofficial fees while strengthening monitoring and supervision of tax payment and greater support should be provided for micro and small-sized enterprises in observing tax-related law, the surveyed businesses said.
Pham Sy Danh, Chairman of Vietnam Association of Certified Practicing Auditors (VACPA) underlined improvements in the tax procedures, noting that 32 procedures had been eliminated and 40 others simplified.
He, however, said that many tax regulations remain obscure and the sector should continue to improve them, including the system of tax forms.
The report on the satisfaction of enterprises with the taxation sector was unveiled by the VCCI, the Ministry of Finance’s General Department of Taxation, and the World Bank.
Huge trade potential in Australia
The opportunities for Viet Nam to tap the Australian market are huge if businesses create competitive products up to international standards, experts have said.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam and Australia enjoy favourable conditions to boost economic and trade ties.
Two-way trade reached US$5.26 billion in 2016, a year-on-year increase of 6.5 per cent.
The Vietnamese trade office in Australia said Viet Nam posted a trade surplus of about US$480 million in 2016.
Growth was seen in cameras and spare parts, iron and steel products, apparel and footwear materials, computers, electronic products and components, and interior decoration.
Australia has demand for Vietnamese staples such as garment-textiles, footwear, seafood, and timber products.
It also imports Vietnamese lychees, which have enjoyed a surge in export turnover over the past two years.
The Vietnamese trade office in Australia noted that Australian consumers are open to imported goods and they care about quality, appearance and price.
The most urgent thing to do is to popularise Vietnamese products and connect businesses with the market.
Australian importers do not accept products which fail to meet their quality standards and they attach great importance to long-term business partnerships.
Robert Chua, an Australian market consultant, said import demand in Australia is huge but Vietnamese products are not strong enough to dominate the market.
In fact, Australia imports various products from Asia-Pacific countries, including Viet Nam, especially footwear and garment-textiles.
Therefore, it is essential to improve the quality management of manufacturing factories and abide by global criteria on plant protection drugs, dyes and food additives, experts suggested.
Businesses could invite quality control experts and skilled workers from Australia to work in Viet Nam to popularise locally-made products, they advised.
Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh called on the two sides to exert efforts to drive bilateral trade forward, on par with their economic potential and comprehensive partnership.
The enforcement of the free trade agreement between ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand has helped increase Viet Nam-Australia trade ties, creating a significant milestone in the two countries’ relationship, he added.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade will entrust its Import-Export Department to address difficulties via a hotline and simplify administrative procedures as well as promulgate documents to highlight opportunities and challenges from free trade agreements for businesses to help them boost exports, he said.
Since Viet Nam and Australia normalised relations in 1973, bilateral ties have been reinforced by external affairs, trade, and economy.
Bilateral rapport has developed since the two nations set up a comprehensive partnership in 2009, especially in economy and trade.
Singapore shares urban development expertise with HCM City
Singapore’s experience in sustainable urban development such as transport, environment, trade and industry was shared with officials of Ho Chi Minh City during a working session on March 7.
Talking to municipal officials, Singapore’s former Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan said his country faced the same challenges as many big cities in Asia.
To achieve sustainable development, a city must build a strong economy while ensuring good living standards and protecting the environment. It must issue effective development policies and programmes, he noted.
He also shared Singapore’s expertise in solving problems in housing, education, public transport, personal vehicle management, and wastewater treatment.
Valuing Mah Bow Tan’s experience, Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem said his city is facing an array of challenges such as transport, floods and pollution.
The experience Mah Bow Tan shared will help HCM City devise appropriate solutions to those challenges, he added.
Argentinian, Chilean left-wing women visit HCM City
A delegation of left-wing women from Argentina and Chile, led by President of the Argentina-Vietnam Cultural Institute (ICAV) Poldi Sosa, visited the War Remnants Museum and met with former Con Dao female prisoners in Ho Chi Minh City on March 7.
At the meeting, Sosa said she and many international friends have great admiration for Vietnam’s fight for national liberation and the country’s socio-economic achievements.
On the occasion, she also presented some documents to the War Remnants Museum, including pictures and newspapers articles on demonstrations in Argentina and Chile supporting Vietnam during the quest for national liberation.
The ICAV has sent several delegations to study Vietnamese culture and people while extending a warm welcome to delegations from Ho Chi Minh City.
Sosa started a movement to support Vietnam during the US war from 1967. She was granted the Friendship Medal by former President Tran Duc Luong during his visit to Argentina in November, 2004.
HCMC resolved to have 500,000 enterprises by 2020
The HCMC government has shown a strong determination to increase the number of active enterprises to half a million by 2020.
To this end, the city is working hard to help household businesses register as enterprises, improve the business and investment environment, create a startup ecosystem, and support those investing in new equipment and technology and expanding production.
As of December 31, 2016, the city had had 295,235 enterprises with total chartered capital of over VND2,245 trillion, according to a report which the Department of Planning and Investment sent to the municipal government last Thursday. The number of newly registered enterprises in 2016 was 36,339, while the number of firms dissolved was 3,833.
A majority of HCMC-based enterprises are active in wholesale, retail, and vehicle repair (38.91%), manufacturing and processing (11.07%), construction (9.92%), science, technology, consulting, design, advertising and others (9.61%), and accommodation and catering services (4.41%).
The city is expected to have 607,185 by 2020 to offset the number of dissolved firms. To meet the target, at least 100,000 household businesses should be converted into enterprises.
Thus, the Department of Planning and Investment has proposed plans to back household businesses to switch to enterprises, with each district having a specific target. For the districts with a lot of household businesses, their targets should be higher than those for the others.
Districts 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 are assigned to attain a 20% increase in newly-registered enterprises. The rate is 15% for districts 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, Binh Tan, Binh Thanh, Go Vap, Phu Nhuan, Tan Binh, Tan Phu and Thu Duc, and 10% for districts 12, Binh Chanh, Can Gio, Cu Chi, Hoc Mon and Nha Be.
In the coming years, the city will focus on developing distribution networks, wholesale and retail, assisting product consumption. A modern warehouse system will be built. Seaport, logistics and import-export services will be improved for optimal operation.
The city will adopt solutions to remove any hindrances to the real estate market. An appropriate mechanism will be created to attract finances from international financial institutions, investment funds, insurance firms and finance leasing companies, among others.
Bricks and mortar sales bring highest profits
Sales at bricks and mortar outlets is where the highest profits can be made, according to research released recently by Bizweb, part of the DKT Technology Joint Stock Company.
It researched 5,000 website owners, of which three-quarters have physical stores.
Sale at shops or showrooms brings the highest rate of profit, at 38.9 per cent, followed by websites with 35.7 per cent, Facebook 33.8 per cent, and e-commerce platforms 11.9 per cent.
Owners also use Zalo, Instagram, YouTube and online forums for sales but not effectively.
The omni channel approach has become a trend among businesses, replacing traditional sales channels, with retailers applying multiple channels to approach customers.
The research also found that marketing budgets at physical outlets in 2016 increased 16 per cent compared to 2015.
Ninety-two per cent of shops invest in marketing. Over 70 per cent invest more than VND10 million ($438) per month and 26 per cent more than VND20 million ($877), or as much as three times the figure in 2015.
Most shops investing less than VND10 million ($438) per month on marketing have not grown significantly in the last year, which is proof of the role marketing plays.
“If shops keep thinking sales are low and want to save on marketing costs, it will be very difficult to see a breakthrough,” said Mr. Tran Trong Tuyen, CEO of DKT Technology. “Rather, shops should think about how much marketing is needed to reach revenue targets.”
He added that shop owners should focus on sales and let others take care of technology.
Bizweb is an online sales platform popular in Vietnam, where 27,000 clients sell goods.
The DKT Technology JSC was founded on August 20, 2008 with a passion for success in the field of e-commerce. Thanks to a clear strategy, it has rapidly developed and been successful. In the 2010-2015 period it continuously achieved growth of 300 per cent. As at February this year, it has more than 27,000 business customers and expects to reach 50,000 by 2018.
HoREA: Nine ways to boost HCMC's property market
The Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association (HoREA) has sent a proposal for the development of the city’s real estate market in the 2017-2020 period to the city’s People’s Committee.
HoREA: Nine ways to boost HCMC's property market
Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association sends development proposal to city's People's Committee.
Nine solutions have been put forward. Firstly, HoREA proposes the National Assembly approve the draft “Law Amending and Supplementing a Number of Articles of the Law on Investment and Business” to effectively adjust the economy and the real estate market. It will also create a transparent business environment and build and develop a transparent and sustainable real estate market.
Second is to reform administrative procedures in a simple, transparent, open and fast manner.
Third is about tax policy. To encourage market growth, a lower tax rate should be applied to income from transferring real estate. To properly regulate when the market shows signs of a bubble appearing, higher rates can then be applied. To encourage investment in and the development of social housing, the government has applied a 5 per cent value added tax rate and a 10 per cent of corporate income tax rate.
Fourth relates to credit tools. In order to encourage market growth, HoREA proposes applying policies to loosen credit and cut interest rates. When the market shows signs of a bubble appearing, credit restrictions can then be applied, including credit tightening, high interest rates, stricter loan policies, and credit growth control. HoREA said that credit policy is becoming an effective tool to regulate the real estate market.
The association also proposed the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) direct commercial banks to develop internal operating regulations to encourage developers, contractors, consultants, and customers to open accounts. These would facilitate banks in monitoring cash flows for the right purpose, help investors and stakeholders to effectively use credit, and minimize risks for customers.
Fifth is regarding planning tools, including land use planning, construction planning, urban development planning, and housing project planning. In order to encourage market growth, HoREA proposes the State approve an increased supply of land funds to the market and bolster policies for investing in real estate projects. When the market shows signs of bubble appearing, policies restricting the supply of land to the market can then be applied, with limits on the approval of real estate investment projects.
Sixth is that the government apply risk control tools in the real estate market. Such measures are aimed at protecting consumers and building a transparent and sustainable real estate market.
Seventh is implementing a coordination mechanism for developers, contractors, suppliers, banks, and the government.
Eighth is implementing a socialization mechanism for investment in the form of land exchanges with infrastructure, through build-transfer (BT) and public-private partnership (PPP) projects.
Finally, HoREA proposed developing social housing, affordable housing, and cheap commercial housing. This is the foundation for the development of the city’s real estate market.
UN high-level meeting continues trade facilitation discussion
Delegates to the UN high-level meeting for the Euro-Asia region on improving cooperation on transit, trade facilitation and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development will seek how to work together to facilitate international trade on their second day in Hanoi on March 8.
The three-day UN meeting, opened on March 7, was jointly held by Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry and the UN Office for the high representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS).
On the day, the delegates will seek measures to step up cooperation between landlocked and transit countries to promote trade and facilitate international commerce as well as share success stories.
They will also discuss enhancing legal cooperation bilaterally, regionally and globally for landlocked and transit countries as well as find solutions to using existing related agreements in a more efficient manner to make it easier for transit activities.
On this occasion, the delegates will share national strategies and experience in customs cooperation.
At the opening session on March 7, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said Vietnam believes that strengthening international collaboration with the engagement of various parties is crucial to help countries, including transit and landlocked nations, to overcome challenges and achieve sustainable development goals.
He affirmed that Vietnam always attaches much importance to fostering relations, including economic connectivity, with its neighbouring countries, adding that their success and prosperity will create positive impacts on Vietnam’s growth and ensure sustainability for the whole region.
UN meeting debates cooperation in transit, trade facilitation
A high-level UN meeting in Hanoi on March 7 discussed challenges and opportunities in developing transit infrastructure and corridors.
The ongoing meeting for the Euro-Asia region on improving cooperation in transit and trade facilitation and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is being held by Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry and the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and the Small Island Developing States.
Ambassador Michael B. Christides, Secretary General of the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), said countries should be aware of the importance of transport and trade facilitation to connect regions and continents. He said it was necessary to boost connectivity between Asia and Europe.
He said the BSEC plans to form an expressway network in the Black Sea area to link the capitals of the member countries. It also plans to upgrade existing roads to meet European standards.
Another project on upgrading sea routes of the Mediterranean and North Polar regions is being considered to reduce road transport and increase the volume of goods transported by sea, thus saving expenses.
Christides also suggested cooperation in streamlining and harmonising customs and border check procedures to facilitate trade.
Meanwhile, Mircea Ciopraga, Secretary General of the Intergovernmental Commission of the Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA), said as public capital cannot fully fund projects, TRACECA has called for funds from the private sector. Public-private partnerships have proven effective.
The improvement of transport infrastructure in TRACECA has also been made along with measures to ensure the smooth movement of goods and persons, and the application of IT in transport, he said.
At the meeting, participants discussed enhancing cooperation between landlocked and transit countries to promote the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. They looked into the role of transport to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in landlocked nations.
Macharia Kamau, Special Envoy on Sustainable Development Goals implementation and climate change, said being landlocked doesn’t mean a country is unable to prosper and progress.
These countries should consider being landlocked as an advantage to create momentum for scientific and technological advances, thereby remaining part of the development flow and benefiting from the same progress and integration as other nations.
VN Index struggles to maintain growth
The VN-Index on the HCM Stock Exchange closed almost flat yesterday on investor caution over a possible lending rate increase by the US central bank and exchange-traded funds’ portfolio review.
The benchmark index was up 0.03 per cent to end at 716.54 points, near the february 22 nine-year peak of 717.24. It has gained 1.3 per cent in the last three trading days.
Market trading liquidity rose compared to Monday with more than 195.6 million shares being exchanged, worth VNĐ3.82 trillion (US$169.8 million).
Foreign investors turned to net sellers, recording a net sell value of VNĐ106.2 billion compared to a net buy value of VNĐ19 billion on Monday.
Among the top 10 largest listed companies, dairy producer Vinamilk (VNM), HCM City-based brewer Sabeco (SAB), Vietinbank (CTG) and Bank for Investment and Development of Việt Nam (BID) were decliners.
VNM fell 0.7 per cent, SAB lost 0.8 per cent, CTG edged down 0.5 per cent and BID decreased by 0.6 per cent. Smaller groups such as rubber and plastic producers also dropped from their closing levels on Monday. Binh Minh Plastic JSC (BMP) was down 0.5 per cent, Da Nang Rubber JSC (DRC) declined by 0.7 per cent and Phuoc Hoa Rubber JSC (PHR) shed 1.8 per cent.
Some of the energy, property and construction stocks maintained their positive trends to lift the market. Faros Construction Corp (ROS) and Hoa Binh Construction and Real Estate Corp (HBC) rose 2.9 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively.
The energy sector was boosted by PetroVietnam Drilling and Well Services Corp (PVD), which gained 2.1 per cent following the rise of crude prices.
Investor confidence is low due to lack of good business news to advance further, resulting in the mixed performance of blue chips, BIDV Securities Corp (BSC) said in its report.
The VN-Index may not surpass the 720-point level in the short term and could go sideways, the Hà Nội -based brokerage firm added.
Investors should be cautious and wait for macro-economic news to become public, such as the ETFs’ investment portfolio reviews and the US Fed’s meeting to decide whether its lending rates should be increased, BSC advised.
On the Hà Nội Stock Exchange, the HNX Index inched up 0.2 per cent to finish at 86.7 points, reversing Monday’s 0.1 per cent decline.
Nearly 54.5 million shares were traded on the northern bourse, worth nearly VNĐ 496 billion.
Reference exchange rate remains stable
The State Bank of Vietnam maintained the reference VND/USD exchange rate unchanged from the day ago at 22,246 VND/USD on March 8.
With the current /- 3 percent VND/USD trading band, the ceiling exchange rate is 22,913 VND per USD and the floor rate is 21,579 VND per USD.
In the opening hours, some commercial banks made slight changes to their rates.
Vietcombank listed the buying rate at 22,770 VND/USD and the selling rate at 22,840 VND/USD, up 10 VND.
BIDV set the buying rate at 22,765 VND/USD and the selling rate at 22,865 VND/USD, unchanged from March 7.
Meanwhile, Vietinbank offered its buying rate at 22,760 VND and its selling rate at 22,830 VND, per USD, down 5 VND.
Vietnam attends largest food fair in Japan
Vietnamese food is drawing attention at the 42nd FOODEX, Japan’s largest international food and beverage exhibition, which opened in Chiba prefecture on March 7.
Seventeen Vietnamese firms are displaying products, including fruits, vegetables, cashews, rice product, aquatic products, and juices. They are from localities with potential for agro-fishery product export, namely HCM City, Hanoi, Nghe An, Bac Giang, Hai Phong, Ninh Binh, Dong Thap, Ben Tre, Tien Giang, Dong Nai, Lam Dong, Binh Duong, and Phu Quoc.
Vietnamese Charge d'Affaires in Japan Nguyen Truong Son said during his Vietnam visit in January, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to allow imports of Vietnamese red dragon fruits to Japan.
Vietnamese red dragon fruits are being showcased for the first time at a big trade fair like FOODEX, Son said, adding that bringing Vietnamese agricultural products to this promising market will push the development of the country’s agriculture and trade in Japan.
Vietnamese Trade Counselor to Japan Nguyen Trung Dung said FOODEX Japan 2017 represents a great opportunity for Vietnamese firms to connect with potential clients. Vietnam has recorded an increase of 140 percent in shipment of agro-forestry-fishery products to Japan.
Vietnamese agricultural products have huge potential in the Japanese market, Dung said, noting that firms should focus more on promotion activities and ensuring stable and high quality supply to carve out a niche in the market.
Kazuki Mizutani from VOX Trading Company in Japan said Vietnamese red dragon fruits are popular in Japan. Vietnamese firms need to ensure the quality of their products at a reasonable price to make inroads into the Japanese market.
The trade show, which lasts through March 10, gathers 3,250 enterprises from 83 countries and territories worldwide and is estimated to welcome 80,000 visitors.
Vietnamese telcos to make and export telecom devices
Viettel and VNPT, two of the three biggest network operators, are preparing to export telecom devices in large quantities.
In 2016, VNPT launched 90,000 kilometers of optical fibers into the market and 2.4 million products, including optical terminal devices, MyTV box, DVB-T2 set top box, Smartbox, smartphone, and wifi Access Points, worth VND9 trillion in total.
Xa Hoi Thong Tin, a website on information technology, reported that in 2016, VNPT introduced its industrial products to 30 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and America. At the end of 2016, VNPT began exporting its products to Laos, Myanmar and Malaysia, earning $4 million.
The telco hopes its products can be exported to at least 10 countries in the next five years.
To satisfy the demand in the domestic and foreign markets, in 2016, VNPT built another factory in the Hoa Lac High-tech Park with modern production lines and equipment, raising the total capacity to 1 million products a month. It now also runs a factory at No 124 Hoang Quoc Viet street in Hanoi.
Most recently, on February 18, 2017, VNPT kicked off construction of a VND287 billion factory that makes glass fiber for optical communication, which covers an area of 5,000 square meters.
At a recent meeting with VNPT, Minister of Information and Communication Truong Minh Tuan urged telcos to ‘go to the open sea’, emphasizing that only by doing this will Vietnam become an IT power in the region and the world.
The services most promising in the international market include data and broadband services, which can both satisfy international bandwidth demand and bring high revenue to VNPT.
Viettel, the military telco, is also moving ahead with its plan to boost production and export of telecom devices.
According to Dau Tu, of the four network operators which deploy 4G technology in Vietnam, Viettel is the one that goes the fastest. Just within months, Viettel has installed 10,000 BTS, and the reason behind the rapid implementation of the plan is that Viettel can make most of the 4g equipment.
A senior executive of Viettel said the group plans to export 4G equipment to Laos and East Timor in early 2017.
It is now working on 4G core network and the transmission equipment Site Router, planning to replace imports with products made by the company from 2018.
Hoang Son, deputy CEO of Viettel, said that Viettel had jumped into the field of making telecom network equipment. There are only five suppliers in the world.
Ha Mai, VNN
Make Vietnam traffic great again: Don’t turn right at red lights
A frustrated reader shares his story of being insulted for not making way for others to turn right at red lights with Tuoi Tre(Youth) newspaper’s “Make Vietnam traffic great again” forum.
Motorcyclists turn right from Pham Van Hai Street into Truong Sa Street in Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City when the light is still red, despite a sign saying that is not allowed.
Nguyen Huu Long, a resident of District 3, Ho Chi Minh City weighed in with his comments on an ordeal many have been through while driving motorbikes in the southern city.
Read his story below and leave a comment or write to firstname.lastname@example.org to join the discussion.
Insulted for obeying traffic laws
If you pay attention at a crossroads, you will notice that the majority of those that turn right at red lights are motorcyclists. On my part, I rarely see cars violating this basic piece of traffic law. Motorbikes in Vietnam tend to disregard red lights completely when it comes to turning right, even when traffic is sparse.
People from all walks of life are guilty of this violation, including gipsy boys with dyed hair, motorbike taxi drivers, young couples in fancy clothes, and parents driving their kids to school.
If you have ever found yourself stopping at the front of the line at traffic lights, you must surely understand the tremendous stress of being honked at by those behind you, urging you to make way for them to turn right on red. Complying with the request means running over the road markings and thereby committing a traffic violation.
I don’t usually give in to such absurd requests, for which I find myself the frequent victim of unapologetic insults hurled at me by angered drivers.
One time while stopping at a red light on Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, two youths on a motorbike behind me honked their horn continuously while waiting to turn right onto Pham Ngoc Thach Street. I pretended not to hear anything and stayed where I was. “Please let us through,” the driver said, apparently impatient with my indifference.
“Please wait a little more, I can’t move now!” I objected. The men gave up, appearing discontented nonetheless. When the light turned green and I was finally on the move, the two men overtook me, spat some insults, and turned right.
When I later read on the news that some guy had been stabbed to death for not giving way to others on the street, I couldn’t help but recall my own experience and felt a chill running down my spine.
The habit of turning legally
Some people argue that allowing motorbikes to turn right at red lights helps reduce the number of stopped vehicles, thereby easing traffic congestion. I find this argument single-sided.
Most streets in Ho Chi Minh only have one lane for motorbikes (next to the sidewalk), measuring between two and three meters wide. If we allowed motorbikes to turn rights at red lights, others would have to make way by either making longer lines or illegally occupying car lanes, each of which would make traffic worse.
That is not to mention motorbikes turning right at red lights might conflict with traffic flowing from the perpendicular direction, slowing traffic on the other street. In other words, we are just moving congestion from one street to another without solving any problems.
Therefore, I suggest that traffic police officers elevate the penalization of motorcyclists who illegally turn at red lights to restore order on the street and begin establishing a habit of stopping at red lights amongst Vietnamese drivers.
I believe that after one month of such drastic measures, traffic at intersections would be greatly improved. After the said period, right-turners can be fined through CCTV footage to reduce workload for police officers. The urgent task right now is to make drivers lose their habit of reckless driving and understand that time is not golden when it comes to safety.
TUOI TRE NEWS
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Vietnamese fish, seafood segment isn’t ‘cashing in’ with Walmart
Nearly one hundred farmers and exporters recently attended a business forum on the ins and outs of contract fish and shrimp farming for US based retail giant Walmart, organized by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.
Speaking at the forum, Nguyen Hoai Anh, deputy director of Thuan Phuong Company, said that the opportunity to supply millions of fish and seafood products to the 5,000 US Walmart stores under a Vietnamese brand is a dream that is not likely to happen anytime soon.
Will 86 percent of garment workers lose jobs because of robots?
With the development of automation technology, many unskilled workers are expected to be replaced by robots on production lines.
An ILO report says that more than two-thirds of 9.2 million workers in the textile & garment and footwear industries in South East Asia will be threatened by automation technology, including 86 percent of Vietnamese workers.
Adidas in Indonesia said it plans to cut 30 percent of the labor force, while Hung Wah in Cambodia has removed all manual workers in the cutting and stitching phases.
In Vietnam, automatic cutting and stitching technology has been used since 2015. Each automatic cutting machine can replace 15 workers, while businesses can take back investment capital within 18 months.
A survey in the US in 2016 showed that a company replacing three workers with one automatic sewing machine would be able to save $180,000 within five years. As the automation technology is getting cheaper, the cost for automatic sewing machines would be four times cheaper than manual workers by 2020.
However, Dr Phan Minh Ngoc, a respected economist, has reassured the public that automation in the labor intensive industries such as textile & garment and footwear won’t be a big threat, but an inevitable and laudable trend.
The reports by ASEANstats and other agencies all show that Vietnamese population growth has slowed down.
Vietnam had 90.7 million people in 2014 but it saw an average growth rate of 1.06 percent in the 2009-2014 period, the lowest level in the last 35 years.
The figure is lower than the average growth rate of 1.3 percent per annum in the region.
With the reduced fertility rate and increased life expectancy, Vietnam has entered the aging period with the percentage of people over 65 on the rapid rise, though Vietnam still has a high percentage of young working age people.
The aging of the population will lead to the gradual decrease in the number of workers, thus putting pressure on wages.
Wages are expected to increase even more rapidly than economic growth rate and productivity.
In fact, this tendency has been seen in the last few years. A report by CIEM showed that the real wage in Vietnam has been increasing by 8 percent per annum in recent years, higher than GDP growth rate and productivity (4.2 percent)
In such conditions, automating labor-intensive work and replacing workers with robots will be the most effective way to deal with the labor shortage.
In principle, many unskilled workers will lose their jobs because of automation.
However, Ngoc believes that new opportunities will be brought to workers, because the demand for skilled workers will be increasing.
Kim Chi, VNN
Fishing village launches community-based art project
Tam Ky City and Tam Thanh Commune have launched a community-based art space as part of a tourism development pilot project.
Vice Chairman of Tam Ky City’s People’s Committee Nguyen Minh Nam said at a press conference on Wednesday that the project is Viet Nam’s first to weave art space into community lifestyle.
Nam said the fishing village, with population of 6,000, is known nation-wide and by foreign tourists for the murals project in Trung Thanh Hamlet.
The village was decorated with colourful murals on moss-covered walls by the Korea Foundation Community Art Exchange Programme.
“The mural commune of Tam Thanh sparked the idea to build an art space in the community as a base for tourism development. The art space – offering painting workshops and decorating houses and fences – will attract tourists looking to explore the village culture and lifestyle,” Nam said.
Volunteers and art college students started creating the art space last year, making the village into a favourite eco-tour site in Quang Nam Province after UNESCO-recognised heritage sites Hoi An Town, My Son Sanctuary and World biosphere Cham Island.
Project chair Le Dieu Anh said the space is the first-ever project developed from ideas and consensus from local people.
“We try to bring artists who can create on fishing tools, walls, public works and fishing boats. Community art space is lacking in most Vietnamese rural villages,” Anh said.
She added that the art tourism boost has given locals work opportunities in home-stay, cuisine, fishing products and bike keeping.
Vice chairman of Tam Ky City said bus routes, infrastructure and tour services will be revved up this June.
The commune has a 6km pristine coastline and a tranquil environment, and tourists can easily connect with Tam Ky and Hoi An City.
BUSINESS IN BRIEF 10/3
Coffee fair attracts 234 domestic, foreign exhibitors
As many as 234 domestic and foreign enterprises are showcasing their top-quality products at a coffee fair which opened in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak on March 9.
On display at the five-day event, themed “High-quality coffee for public health”, are various kinds of coffee, products made from coffee, handicrafts and coffee processing machines.
Famous coffee brands like Buon Ma Thuot, Trung Nguyen, Bien Hoa, Nescafe and An Thai, are introducing their new products, which have been favoured by both domestic and foreign markets.
Permanent Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Hai Ninh said that the exhibition creates a golden opportunity for enterprises, scientists and farmers to promote trade, investment and technology transfer.
Visitors to the fair will have a chance to enjoy coffee products and standout cultural programmes delivered by ethnic minority groups in the region, he added.
The fair is being held as part of the activities within the framework of the 6th Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Festival and the Central Highlands Gong Culture Festival 2017, which will open on March 10.
With 203,000 hectares of coffee trees producing at least 450,000 tonnes of beans, Dak Lak is known as Vietnam’s coffee capital and features the famous Buon Ma Thuot coffee brand.
Local coffee beans harvested from 2015-2016 crop were shipped to 75 countries and territories worldwide. Top consumers of Dak Lak coffee are Japan, Switzerland and Germany.
SMEs get support to participate in public procurement market
The Public Procurement Agency (PPA) on Wednesday launched a project to improve the skill of its staffs in implementing public procurement and enabling small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to participate.
The project, launched in Ha Noi by the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s PPA, is a co-operation with South Korean Public Procurement Service (PPS), Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM Bank) and WTO’s International Centre for Trade (ICT/WTO). It aims to increase Vietnamese investors’ and contractors’ knowledge about public procurement across the world.
The South Korean partners will share their experiences in building and developing the public procurement system.
Nguyen Dang Truong, director of PPA, said SMEs account for a large portion of Vietnamese business, and the Government is focusing on providing support to encourage SMEs to participate in the public procurement market. However, SMEs have limited acknowledge about laws and regulations regarding public procurement. “The project will be useful for SMEs to join the market,” Truong said.
Get set for the largest natural, organic foods expo in Vietnam
The Phu Tho Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City on July 14-16 will be the site of the largest trade show for the natural health products segment in Vietnam.
The expo celebrates the vibrancy of the growing natural products industry by bringing together suppliers and retailers under one roof, say the organizers
This year’s expo of natural and organic foods is bound to be an exciting one as it represents the largest show ever. Leading local manufacturers, importers and distributors of natural health products and organics are participating.
Several international natural product suppliers from countries such as the UK, China and the US, will be in attendance as well.
Not only do health food retailers attend but natural health care practitioners (naturopaths, homeopaths, holistic practitioners, herbalists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists) show up as well because they depend upon the sale of natural health products to generate much of their income.
The organizers of this fourth annual edition of the expo are the Vietnam Association of Functional Foods, Asia Trade Fair & Business Promotion and the ASEAN Alliance of Health Supplement Associations.
Workshop spotlights sustainable seaweed cultivation
Managers, experts and producers of the seaweed business gathered to discuss growth outlook for the sector at a workshop held by the Directorate of Fisheries in Nha Trang city, the south central province of Khanh Hoa, on March 9.
According to the aquaculture division, Vietnam is home to over 800 seaweed species, with total natural reserves estimated at between 80 and 100 billion tonnes. However, the reserves are declining due to over exploitation and environmental pollution.
A representative from the Research Institute for Marine Fisheries said that seaweed harvest must follow right seasons and techniques to improve yield and protect the sources.
He proposed building seaweed reserves to protect genetic sources.
As heard at the function, seaweed cultivation in the country span over 10,000 hectares, mostly in northern and central coastal areas, and produce more than 101,000 tonnes of fresh seaweed per year.
Participants agreed that there is a need to expand the farming area spanning the coastal line across Vietnam, apply advanced technology in seaweed production, and diversify away from current products.
Le Nhut, head of the Dai Duong JSC – a company majors on seaweed planting, processing and exporting, said the business brings in high profit at low risk, but requires strong investment.
He noted that the State should devise policies to support farmers in accessing preferential loans and encourage small-scale producers to work together, forming supply chains.
Vietjet CEO makes world's self-made women billionaires list
More women entrepreneurs than ever before have climbed into the 10-figure club, said Forbes in connection with the release its most recent world's self-made women billionaires list.
A record 56 self-made women are now billionaires including the first ever from countries like Vietnam and Japan.
Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, CEO of Vietjet, ranked No. 45 on the list with total assets of US$1.2 billion. Educated in Russia in the 1990s, Nguyen also owns 5-star hotels and resorts in Vietnam.
The richest self-made woman in the world is Zhou Qunfei, whose publicly traded Lens Technology makes glass covers for mobile phones and tablets for customers like Apple and Samsung.
She is one of 29 self-made women billionaires from Asia named on the list.
MoIT to inspect fertiliser factories
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) will inspect adherence to inorganic fertiliser production regulations at production and processing enterprises.
The MoIT's Market Management Department will be responsible for examination and then the inspection team of the ministry will recheck the department's inspection in key areas.
According to MoIT Minister Tran Anh Tuan, the inspection is aimed at ensuring compliance with the regulations on producing and processing inorganic fertiliser by businesses.
The purpose is also to detect, prevent and deal with violations in production and uncover unlicensed firms to protect the interest of customers, he said.
It also aims to determine shortcomings in the management of fertiliser in general to timely report to competent authorities to deal, adjust and complete current regulations on fertilser management.
The inspection will help restore order in the fertiliser market, considered to have poor quality and fake goods, which were creating problems for farmers over time.
The minister also ordered inspection teams to not create obstacles for businesses.
According to statistics of the Vietnam Fertiliser Association, the country currently has more than 1,000 enterprises producing fertilisers of thousands of different varieties. However, businesses which do not have licence continue to exist.
A report of the Market Management Department showed that more than 2,000 cases of violation had been uncovered in 2016, increasing by 150 percent compared with 2015, and administrative fines had reached 22.7 billion VND (1 million USD).
The inspection will begin on March 15.
Mekong Delta farmers to be trained in sustainable rice cultivation
About 4,000 farmers in the Mekong Delta region will be trained to grow rice following standards set by the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) in the next two years.
The training is part of a project on sustainable rice production that was launched in Ho Chi Minh City on March 8. The Canadian Government sponsors the project via the World Bank’s International Financial Corporation (IFC), while the local partner is the Loc Troi Group.
Experts from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) will provide technical support to the scheme.
Joey Janiya, an IRRI senior expert, said the standard consists of 46 criteria, which are difficult for farmers to follow.
He added that however, the target farmers, who have participated in Loc Troi’s closed production line for years, are quick in catching up with new practices.
Huynh Van Thon, head of the Loc Troi Group, said the project not only assists his company in making high-quality rice products but also protects the environment and the health of the community.
Women’s start-up initiative launches in HCM City
A chapter of the international Women's Initiative for Self-Empowerment (WISE) program was launched on March 8 in Ho Chi Minh City to reach female entrepreneurs and support their business endeavours.
The WISE women’s business centre helps with one-on-one business counselling, training, workshops, and mentorship for those looking to start and grow a business.
Most importantly, the staff and certified business counsellors at the centre help design business plans for success.
The initiative takes on a broad approach that includes highlighting and telling the stories of well-known and lesser known successful women entrepreneurs from around the globe, special events, and organizes localized start-up weekend events.
Sustainable rice production program launched in Vietnam
A program on sustainable rice production in Vietnam was launched in Ho Chi Minh City on March 8 by the Loc Troi group, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the International Rice Research Institute, and the Sustainable Rice Platform.
The program targets to train 4,000 farmers in the Mekong Delta on environmental-friendly production method to obtain high yield and quality in the next two years.
The program has piloted two crops which earned higher income for the participants and it matches Vietnam’s agricultural reform towards building Vietnam’s rice trademarks in the international market.
Experts from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) will provide technical support to the scheme.
Huynh Van Thon, head of the Loc Troi Group, said the project not only assists his company in making high-quality rice products but also protects the environment and the health of the community.
Workshop promotes Mekong Delta’s agricultural product sales
A workshop was held in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang on March 8 to expand markets for regional agricultural and special products.
The event is part of the Vietnam High Quality Goods Fair 2017 in An Giang province.
Nguyen Lam Vien, Chairman and Director General of the Vinamit JSC, who is also Vice President of the Vietnam Agricultural Enterprise and Farm Association, said Vietnam’s agriculture production remains at a small-scale to meet the expectations of the domestic and international markets, while farmers still use chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
Vien suggested shifting to organic farming while developing trademarks and chemical standards for agricultural products to earn trust among consumers.
Enterprises should build their own consumption channels, while enhancing their reputation to carve out a niche in domestic and international markets.
Nguyen Phi Van, Chairwoman of the Retail & Franchise Asia Company, mentioned the market-oriented approaches of international firms, adding that Vietnamese firms should learn from them.
Participants also discussed fair competition in the sector and expanding the retail network to far-flung areas.
Belgian experts help HCM City to create special beef stock
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Ho Chi Minh City has carried out a programme to improve its beef products by 2020, with a vision to 2030.
This information was released at a conference held by the department and the Consulate of Belgium in the city on March 8.
The programme aims to develop high productivity beef stock, improve the quality of beef and provide breeds for other southern provinces.
At the conference, several ideas were raised by Belgian experts to improve cow-breeding.
The programme was launched in accordance of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the HCM City People’s Committee and East Flanders province of Belgium in October 2016 on agricultural cooperation. It will work to improve the value and product quality of high technology agriculture in 2016-2020.
The MoU has also offered cooperation opportunities for the city’s firms with their Belgian peers.
Furnishing, handicrafts fair opens in HCM City
A wide range of indoor and outdoor furniture, handicrafts, and interior furnishing and accessories are on display at the 2017 Việt Nam International Furniture and Home Accessories Fair (VIFA-EXPO 2017) that opened in HCM City on Wednesday.
This year the number of exhibitors has increased by 23 per cent to 313 and the number of booths by 24 per cent to 1,532, Nguyễn Quốc Khanh, chairman of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (Hawa), said.
Vietnamese and overseas firms based here account for a third of the exhibitors while the rest are foreign.
The number of foreign firms has gone up by 72 per cent. They are from 14 countries and territories, including Singapore, Taiwan, the US, Australia, Canada, China, and Italy, and have brought 100 brands, he said.
To serve international visitors, expected to number 4,500, the association has turned to the HCM City Tourism Association for assistance with hotels, transport, visas, travel, and other arrangements, Khanh said.
Inaugurating the event, Bùi Huy Sơn, head of the Việt Nam Trade Promotion Agency, said despite intense competition and trade barriers Việt Nam’s wood and wood product exports last year topped US$7 billion to remain among the country’s top 10 export items.
This was made possible by enterprises improving their production capacity and design and product quality as well as effective support from business groups and trade promotion agencies.
The fair offers an opportunity for trade promotion by bringing local and international companies together, he said.
A seminar on technical standards for wood glue quality was held on the opening day.
Organised by the city Department of Industry and Trade, Hawa, and Hawa Corporation, the fair at the Sài Gòn Exhibition and Convention Centre will go on until March 11.
VIGroup invests in Congnhadat.net
The Ho Chi Minh City-based investment firm Vietnam Investment Group (VIGroup) is leading a $2 million Series A funding round in the O2O real estate platform Congnhadat.net, founder of the realty portal, Mr. Vu Lam Chi Duc, told VET.
This comes after Mr. Do Huy Dung, investment partner at VIGroup, came on board as an angel investor in the company’s seed round. Australian real estate service provider Realestate.com.au also participated in the latest funding round.
The shareholders will pick up 15 per cent of Congnhadat.net upon closing the deal, valuing the company at over $10 million. The new funding will be used to build and train his brokerage team, Mr. Duc said.
He added that the company had planned Series B fundraising later this year, at a $50 million valuation. “A Vietnamese real estate developer and an international media corporation have expressed interest in us,” he added.
Congnhadat.net is working with leading developers in Vietnam, including Vingroup, Nam Long and Hung Thinh Corp. The real estate e-commerce platform claims to have 1,000 transactions and aims to boost the number to 15,000 by the end of this year.
Founded in 2016, Congnhadat.net offers real estate services in seven major cities in Vietnam, with some 230,000 listings of housing properties, and provides information on financial packages for the real estate sector.
VIGroup is one of Vietnam’s major private equity firms, having invested in a legion of industries in the country, including manufacturing, transport, hospitality, education, retail, affordable housing, technology, media and entertainment, and finance.
It has over $500 million in assets under management and typically targets holding minority stakes in companies over a four- to six-year investment.
The resurgence of Vietnam’s real estate market over the last year has been a catalyst for tech business in the field. Singapore’s PropertyGuru invested an undisclosed sum in Batdongsan.com.vn last October as part of its regional push, with the deal seeing Cyberagent Ventures exit the Vietnamese real estate portal.
A similar platform, called Gachvang.com, raised $500,000 in seed funding last year from a consortium of angel investors.
Zero-Energy to become new trend of township construction
The zero-energy township workshop held on March 7 at Nam Cuong building in Hanoi saw the participation of many experts from Denmark, the International Finance Corporation under the World Bank, and local experts as well as companies providing technology, solutions, and equipment for green building.
The workshop was a chance for experts to share information of the newest technologies and criteria in green building as well as the application of technology in developing a building as well as a whole township, such as the 200-hectare Duong Noi Township.
At the workshop, experts said that using natural resources faster than they can be recovered is the reason for the worsening climate change and for the toxic and unhealthy environment that people have to live in.
IFC calculated that currently buildings are consuming more than 30 per cent of the energy that fast developing countries, such as Vietnam, are consuming. Vietnam is one of the countries most heavily impacted by climate change. Though many developers are aiming to construct green buildings, the number of certified green constructions in the country is still limited, and these are mostly office buildings and supermarkets, with only a handful of residential buildings.
According to Poul Erik Kristensen, an expert who has been developing green buildings for more than 30 years in Denmark, Europe, and many countries in Asia, there are some townships in the world that aim to become Zero-Energy in the near future, including the whole city of Copenhagen in Denmark, with its 1.2 million people, the town of Uralla in Australia with the project Z-net Uralla, and the city of Crisfield in Maryland, US.
“In order to become a Zero-Energy township, Duong Noi needs to be planned and designed to use energy very efficiently and minimise dependence on the national grid. Besides, the township should develop enough renewable energy to meet the demand of local families and businesses,” said Kristensen.
At the workshop, the IFC presented the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) certification. Other presentations were held on experience in green building in Fujisawa city in Japan, SolarBK’s solutions using solar power in buildings, innovative and energy-saving plumbing systems by Grundfos, and more.
In her speech at the event, Tran Thi Quynh Ngoc, deputy chairman of Nam Cuong, said, “Green buildings that increase energy efficiency and save energy are going to have a good impact on the environment and society. Nam Cuong is going to focus on developing buildings that benefit the community, help protect the environment, and decrease dependence on fossil fuel and other non-renewable resources.”
Jane Henley, IFC's EAP EDGE programme manager, said, “Nam Cuong’s vision will have an impact on other developers.”
Nam Cuong is developing Duong Noi Township into a Zero-Energy township, the first of its kind in Vietnam.
Anland Complex and An Phu Shop-villa are both developed by Nam Cuong to meet the EDGE criteria. Specifically, the two are designed to decrease energy usage by 20 and 27 per cent, respectively.
Nam Cuong aims that by 2020, it is going to have all its buildings EDGE-certified, become a hub to share experience in green building with investors and designers, and be a trusted source for users regarding energy saving.
Two forms of trade reconciliation organization defined
The trade reconciliation organization includes the trade reconciliation centers and the arbitration centers, according to Decree No. 22/2017/NĐ-CP on principles, policy, requirements, sequence and procedures for resolving disputes through trade reconciliation.
The trade reconciliation centers have legal status and own stamp and credit and operate non-profit. They will have domestic and foreign branches and representative offices. The President of the trade reconciliation center is a trade reconciler.
Foreign trade reconciliation organizations operating in Viet Nam must respect and obey Viet Nam’s Constitution and regulations.
Foreign trade reconciliation organizations operate in Viet Nam in forms of branches and representative offices of the foreign trade reconciliation organizations.
Three more items join US$1 bln export club
Thee more items have been listed among the US$1 billion export club over the recent two months, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
The exports of machines, equipment and tools reached US$1.927 billion, vehicles and tools with US$1.050 billion and wood and wooden products with US$1.009 billion in the reviewed months.
These three items contributed US$3.986 billion to the nation's total export value.
Besides these three items, the export value of four items including phones and spare parts, garments, computers, electronics and accessories and footwear attained US$13.6 billion.
The exports of phones and accessories took the lead with US$4.83 billion, a year-on-year increase of 2.6%, followed by garments with US$3.657 billion, up 12.2%, electronics and accessories US$3.1 billion, up 34.4% and footwear US$2.069 billion, up 10.7%.
Viet Nam earned US$17.64 billion from exporting these seven items, which accounted for 64% of the total export turnover in two months.
The country gained US$27.3 billion from exporting in the first two months of 2017, an increase of 15.4% against the same period last year. The State and foreign-invested sectors contributed US$7.6 billion and US$19.7 billion, up 12.2% and 16.8%, respectively.
VietJet taking off on HOSE runway
Endorsed by a February 28 Hochiminh Stock Exchange (HOSE) decision on listing which marked the first transaction day of Vietjet Aviation Joint Stock Company’s VJC shares, Vietjet has become the first aviation company to be listed on Vietnam’s southern bourse.
Backed by charter capital of VND3 trillion and a price of VND90,000 per share, Vietjet’s capitalization at the moment of its HOSE listing reached VND27 trillion, or US$1.2 billion, accounting for 1.5% of HOSE’s capitalization (some VND1.63 million billion by February 15, 2017).
That means Vietjet is now among the top-15 of listed firms with the largest capitalization value on HOSE. Of the 24 international credit institutions having bid for VJC shares are famed investment funds such as GIC, Wellington, Eaton Vance, Morgan Stanley, Dragon Capital and VinaCapital. Foreign investors have so far clinched 24.48% of VJC shares versus the 30% rate they are allowed to.
Statistics show that in 2016, Vietnam’s aviation transport market posted a growth rate of 29% while the ratio of the population taking a flight rose from 0.5% in 2012 to 0.8% last year. Vietjet is Vietnam’s first private aviation company and is also one of the very few airlines in the world which are able to reap profit immediately in the second year of operation.
When 2016 came to an end, Vietjet grossed a total turnover of more than VND27.53 trillion, profit of almost VND2.4 trillion and Earnings Per Share (EPS) of VND8,762.
“Sustaining stable and high growth, we strongly believe in a bright future in the air for our passengers, our company and our investors,” said Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, CEO of Vietjet, at the ceremony in celebration of VJC first trading session.
“Vietjet is to become an airline targeting corporate governance quality and efficiency of listed company in line with the world’s best standards and practices. In addition to new values for passengers, we want to do the same to investors and both domestic and international capital markets.”
VJC’s share price rose to the 20% price ceiling during its first trading session, to VND108,000 per share, with only 12,000 shares transferred. Unsuccessful buying orders at price ceiling amounted to 3-4 million units. The same happened in the two following sessions when a very small number of shared were traded, mainly between foreign investors. In the fourth session, transactions boomed, and the closing price stood at VND132,100 per share. Liquidity was at 2,75 million shares, equivalent to VND395 billion, making up over 12% of the market’s total transacted value.
On the morning session of March 6, despite a hike of almost 50% from the initial price, VJC continued its gaining streak of more than 4% to soar to VND137,400 per share boosted by foreign demand. Of the total 1.15 million VJC shares traded in order matching on the March 6 session, the foreign side bought 524,400 shares, accounting for almost a half of the total transacted volume.
In the entire session, foreign investors net-bought 198,400 VJC shares, marking the fifth consecutive net-buying session. Given this level, VJC price gained 52.6% since its first launch while its capitalization reached VND41.2 trillion, surpassing that of Vietnam Airlines (VND39.77 trillion).
That said, after five trading sessions, Vietjet’s shares have earned profit of 59% for individual investors who bought VJC shares in December 2016. However, with more than 4.2 million shares traded in order matching after a week on HOSE, it seems that investors still want to retain their shares waiting for even better prices.
During the HOSE gong-beating ceremony for Vietjet, Jasper Reiser, Co-head of Asia Pacific Equity Capital Market of BNP Paribas, said BNP Paribas has participated in the team of international consultants in support of Vietjet’s IPO.
This event attracted special interest from both domestic and international investors, said Reiser. The success testifies to the management and business operations of the company’s leadership as well as its exponential growth, he added.
According to the International Aviation Transport Association, the Asia Pacific region has topped the world’s aviation market since 2009.
Given Vietnam’s young and big population, the disposable income of her citizens posting the highest rate in the region and the lukewarm development of other transport modes such as overland, railway and waterway, Vietjet and other airlines have favorable conditions for development in the Vietnamese market.
Currently, the remaining cap of foreign ownership ratio for VJC shares is only over 4% while foreign investors are continuing to buy them. GIC owned by the Singaporean Government is now the largest foreign investor to hold VJC shares, at 5.48%. Meanwhile, Dragon Capital has spent nearly VND1 trillion buying the shares.
VJC shares also account for almost a half of HSC’s propriety trading portfolio. Many foreign investors have managed to buy more or less 50% of the volume of VJC shares traded during the last December’s issue.
Considering big capitalization, high profit ratio, institutional investors, promising scope of business and so on, VJC shares seem to be so attractive to investors.
More firms burdened with informal fees
A recent Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) survey found 34% of businesses were grappling with informal fees last year, two percentage points higher than in 2014.
VCCI on March 7 announced results of the survey of 3,500 operational businesses in the country. Up to 39% of respondents said they would face discrimination if they declined to pay informal fees for officials.
Dau Anh Tuan, head of the legal department at VCCI, said firms had to pay informal fees for taxmen. “They are concerned that they would be in trouble and face more tax inspections although they are doing nothing wrong.”
An assessment report conducted in 2016 by VCCI and the World Bank (WB) on tax procedure reform and business satisfaction indicated 53% of firms grappled with tax inspections in the past year.
The bigger businesses are, the more inspections they face, Tuan said, adding inspections were reported at 74% of companies with chartered capital of more than VND100 billion, 68% with chartered capital of VND50-100 billion and 67% with chartered capital of VND10-50 billion.
Tuan said 80% of inspections were carried out by tax agencies, 9% by other authorities and 11% by interdisciplinary teams.
Tax refund procedures remained burdensome, the report pointed out. Tuan said the survey found 30% of eligible firms did not complete such procedures as they were complicated, 20% considered them as being time-consuming, and 17% complained the requirements were too difficult to meet.
However, Tuan said firms’ level of satisfaction with access to information about tax and administrative procedures was pretty high and the quality of information improved. For instance, 93% of respondents were satisfied with information posted on the websites of tax agencies and 92% were pleased with dialogues with tax officials.
Another improvement was that the number of foreign-invested enterprises complaining about tax procedures declined to 53% last year from 57% in 2014. The respective percentages of private companies were 49% and 41%.
But 31% of firms said tax filing was still troublesome while 26% grappled with tax refunds. Changing tax information and completing procedures for tax cuts and exemptions still challenged 15% and 10% of respondents respectively.
Speaking at the announcement ceremony of the survey, Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung said the time required for completing tax filing and payment procedures had been cut to 186 hours a year as recognized by the WB after the Ministry of Finance’s push on streamlined administrative procedures in this area. The ministry is reviewing more procedures and will make them public in the coming time.
Dung said tax agencies had been told to reduce inspections and not to bother businesses. Direct contacts between taxmen and corporate taxpayers should be limited.
VCCI chairman Vu Tien Loc said reducing the time for tax procedures from 872 hours a year to the current level was a great effort of the tax sector as assessed by the WB.
Loc said over the past two years the ministry had asked independent organizations to assess firms’ satisfaction with tax and customs procedures and management, and announced the final results.
Loc noted the tax sector should work harder to improve the quality of tax rules, simplify relevant administrative procedures and provide more backing for small and medium enterprises.
Social News 10/3
Vietnam and gender equality
With major achievements in gender equality, Vietnam has been considered by the UN a highlight in implementing Millennium Development Goals.
Vietnam adopted the Law on Gender Equality in 2006 and has issued a national strategy on gender equality until 2020 to improve public awareness, close the gender gap, heighten women’s status, protect women’s rights, and fight discrimination against women.
Vietnam accomplished the Millennium Development Goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women ahead of schedule, becoming one of the countries with the fastest pace in eliminating the gender gap over the past 20 years.
Women make up half of Vietnam’s population and workforce. With nearly 27% of National Assembly deputies being women, Vietnam is one of the countries with the highest proportion of female parliamentarians.
Women hold some major positions in the Party and State leadership, including Politburo members and National Assembly Chair. The number of female ethnic entrepreneurs is on the rise, particularly in healthcare and education.
Vietnam’s human rights report shows that the national strategy on gender equality has focused on regions experiencing gender inequality or prone to gender inequality. This has reduced domestic violence and the trafficking of women and and created conditions for women to improve themselves.
Vietnam aims to increase the percentage of ethnic women holding high-level posts, improve the living conditions and skills of ethnic women, and enhance international cooperation to bridge the gender gap, particularly among vulnerable groups and in strategic areas like education, healthcare and employment.
Bac Lieu hoped to increase ties with Lao localities
Lao National Assembly Chairwoman Pany Yathotou has called on the southern province of Bac Lieu and Lao localities to increase experience exchanges to address socio-economic issues.
The top Lao legislator expressed her wish at a meeting with Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Le Minh Khai in Bac Lieu on March 9.
Laos is a close friend of Vietnam and Bac Lieu in particular, she said, hoping that the two sides will enhance sharing their know-how to improve the operational efficiency of the People’s Councils at all levels as well as cope with natural disasters and climate change.
Khai told the guest about the local socio-economic situation and revealed that the province is mapping out a roadmap to develop a hi-tech shrimp breeding centre nationwide.
However, there are some difficulties in socio-economic development such as poor transport, irrigation and electricity infrastructure, and adverse impacts of climate changes like rising sea level and saltwater intrusion.
The two sides discussed elective agencies’ management, along with measures to improve the quality of meetings with constituents.
They also talked effective models in poverty reduction, new-style rural building, climate change adaptation, and environmental pollution settlement, in addition to ensuring national defence and security, and preventing and combating crimes.
Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly Tong Thi Phong said the ongoing visit by the Lao top legislator marks a new and significant development in the close-knit relations between the two countries.
The same day, Chairwoman Pany Yathotou visited the wind power plant project in Vinh Trach Dong commune, Bac Lieu city, which has completed two phases with 62 turbines having a combined capacity of 99.2 MW at a total cost of 5.2 trillion VND (228 million USD).
Village demonstrates solidarity of Vietnamese, Lao youths
The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU) and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Youth Union (LPRYU) on March 9 handed over the Vietnam-Laos border friendship youth village project to Khamkeut district in the Lao central province of Bolikhamsai.
Addressing the hand-over ceremony, First Secretary of the HCYU Central Committee Le Quoc Phong said the village is a symbol of the bilateral cooperation between the two youth organisations. It will provide a place for young people to settle down and serve as a key force in social-economic development and national defence and security in the border area.
The project also aims to provide a model for new residential areas with sustainable development and transfer modern technologies in agro-forestry production for young people, he added.
He hoped the Lao side will manage the village effectively and continue to build new production models to spur local socio-economic growth while strengthening the solidarity, friendship, and comprehensive collaboration between the two nations’ youngsters.
Secretary of the LPRYU Central Committee Sonethanou Thammavong expressed his deep gratitude to the Vietnamese Party, State and people, particularly the HCYU, for supporting Laos in any circumstances.
The project is expected to help Lao farmers change their mindset in cultivation and animal husbandry, thus improving their living standards, he said.
The village is not only a symbol of the two countries’ cooperation but also promotes the traditional solidarity between the two peoples, especially among youngsters.
Right after the signing and hand-over ceremony, the two youth unions prevented gift packages to a dozen of households living in the village, which covers 1,034 hectares in Khamkeut district.
Both sides also coordinated to provide free health check-ups and medicines for 300 local residents.
Vietnam worker assistance programme launched
This year’s Assistance Programme for Workers has been launched to provide free employment information for people who are seeking jobs in HCM City and other provinces, including Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Tien Giang, Dak Nong and Can Tho city.
The programme, which is carried out by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, traditionally lasts from after the Tet holiday until the end of the year.
In the programme, workers also are provided occupational counselling in addition introductions to companies looking for workers, said Nguyen Quang Cuong, director of the Youth Employment Service Centre of HCM City, which is a part of the youth union.
Workers can come to booths at bus terminals in the city or the centre to be introduced to possible jobs, Cuong said.
One difference in this year’s programme is that the centre is co-operating with nine other employment service centres in Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Can Tho, Tien Giang, Phu Yen and Dak Nong provinces to exchange employment information.
Local people of these provinces who want to seek jobs in other localities can go to local employment service centres to get information and be provided counselling as well as introductions directly to enterprises for applications and interviews.
The co-operation will help reduce the risk of being cheated through illegal employment service providers, he added.
During the launching ceremony on Saturday, a job fair also was organised to connect employees and employers.
More than 70 companies attended the job fair, seeking to fill 10,000 job positions. These firms are in fields of plastic manufacturing, consultancy, transportation and others.
The needed positions are accountants, traders, graphic designers, electronic or mechanic engineers and others.
Binh Minh Plastic Joint Stock Company, for instance, is seeking to recruit chemical, electronic, electric or mechanic engineers, traders, accountants, statistician and manual workers for manufacturing in HCM City, Binh Duong province and Long An province.
Provincial centres provided buses for local people seeking jobs to attend the fair.
Le Ngoc Bao Ngan of Can Tho College said that she came to the fair to speak to a job counselor.
“I will graduate in June. I have applied to many enterprises in Can Tho. Today, I came to the fair to seek more opportunities,” Ngan said.
Nguyen Thi Hoang Lan, 24, who recently graduated from HCM City Open University, said that the fair provided opportunities to meet with many companies.
Vuong Hoang Phong, 36, of HCM City’s District 8, spent around eight months seeking a manual job because he only finished 12th grade.
“After reading information about the fair in the newspaper, I came to the fair and hope to get a job,” Phong said.
The Assistance Programme for Workers started six years ago, attracting 14,762 enterprises with more than 135,980 recruitment positions in many fields.
The programme has provided employment counseling and introductions for more than 49,210 people. Of them, more than 25 percent have gotten interviews or jobs.
HCM City drama troupe celebrates 5th birthday
Students of the Ví Dầu Drama Troupe are preparing to stage new shows to celebrate the troupe’s fifth anniversary.
The artists will stage Bà Mẹ Đảm Và Bầy Con (Mother and Children), a tragicomedy adapted from a popular German literary work written in the 1950s.
The 60-minute play is directed by Thái Kim Tùng, head of the troupe, who works as a lecturer at the HCM City University of Theatre and Cinematography.
A series of three-act plays on love, family and social issues, such as Tình Yêu Muôn Màu (Colours of Love) and Yêu Không Dễ (Love Is Not A Game), will also be featured.
"Our troupe was first composed of only three members, but it now has 30 young actors from the city’s drama clubs and art schools,” said Tùng, one of the city’s young theatre talents.
"This troupe gives young actors the opportunity to develop their talent, knowledge and techniques used in emotional expression while still at school," he said.
Tùng said that his staff had staged 15 serious plays in the hope that the troupe would become a place for young people to enjoy the art in a different way.
”We bring our audiences closer to the art,” he said.
The troupe’s shows will be staged every Saturday and Sunday, from March 10 to April 15, at 8pm at 9 Thái Văn Lung St in District 1. Tickets are available at the box office.
Operations suspended at Hà Nội clinic after incident
The Hà Nội’s Department of Health on Wednesday suspended operations of clinic 168 Hà Nội until further investigations, after a pregnant woman admitted there was rushed to Bạch Mai Hospital in coma.
The incident took place last Sunday at the general clinic located in Thanh Trì District. The 29-year-old pregnant woman, who hails from northern Quảng Ninh Province, was being treated at the clinic for vaginitis when she was believed to have slipped into coma with dead brain.
The clinic, located on Ngọc Hồi Road, started operations in 2012 and has registered that it has two Chinese doctors, Dr Zheng Zu Rong and Dr Liu Chun Ming, both of whom have professional licences from the Ministry of Health.
Nguyễn Dương Trung, deputy chief of the health department’s inspectorate, said that 52-year-old Rong was handling the case. He received his professional licence for specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology in 2013.
This is not the first time that the clinic has been in trouble. It has been penalised regularly over the years, and in 2016 alone, it committed three violations. In September 2015, Rong had his professional licence suspended for nine months for selling medicine after a health check-up.
At the time of inspection on Tuesday, Rong was not at the clinic.
Barge capsize kills two in Quang Ninh
Two people died in northern Quảng Ninh Province after a barge sank on Wednesday early morning.
The accident occurred when the barge, belonging to Hạ Long Transport Company, was moving from Nét island to the shore, around a port in Quang Hanh Ward, Cẩm Phả City.
Four people were on board at the time. Two people on the barge’s upper part fortunately managed to escape; however, two others in the barge hold -- Ngô Quang Hiệp, 34, from Quảng Ninh Province and Nguyễn Văn Hoàng, 20, from northern Hải Dương Province -- died.
According to the survivors, the barge capsized due to a midnight whirlwind. There was no loss of property.
The barge was pulled to the shore the same morning.
The accident is under investigation.
Thanh Hóa offers extra allowance to medical lecturers
Thanh Hòa Province People’s Committee Chairman Nguyễn Đình Xứng has decided to offer extra allowances to attract medical lecturers to a branch of Hà Nội Medical University.
The university’s staff and lecturers working at the branch for several years could receive an extra allowance of VNĐ6 million (US$263) monthly besides their salary.
Lecturers from the headquarters of the Hà Nội Medical University or those working at both the university and major central hospitals would have their travelling cost, accommodation and other daily expenses covered by the Thanh Hóa branch whenever they are invited to lecture there.
They will also receive additional VNĐ120,000 ($5.3) for a theory class and VNĐ80,000 for a practice class.
Male professors under 60 years old and female professors under 55 could get allowance up to VNĐ1 billion ($43,860) if they commit to work for the branch for at least 10 years. The allowance would be paid once as a lump sum or several times in installments depending upon the recipient.
Similarly, associate professors – under 57 years old for men and under 52 for women – will receive allowance of VNĐ600 million.
Those with PhD degree – under 55 years old for men and under 50 for women – will receive allowance of VNĐ400 million.
Those completing the residency doctor training programme at the Hà Nội Medical University would get allowance of VNĐ300 million if they commit to work at the Thanh Hóa branch for at least 10 years.
Those having a masters degree granted by the Hà Nội Medical University would get allowance of VNĐ200 million.
In addition, Thanh Hóa Province will sponsor all training costs and daily expenses for students who attend residency doctor training programmes and commit to work for the Thanh Hóa branch for at least 10 years.
The allowance programme is scheduled to take place from 2017 to 2021.
The Thanh Hóa-based branch of Hà Nội Medical University was established in 2014.
Construction of Đuống river water plant begins
Work on the construction of the Đuống river surface water plant started on Thursday in Phù Đổng Commune in Hà Nội’s Gia Lâm District.
Located on nearly 62 hectares, the plant will be developed in three phases. The first phase, which will cost around VNĐ5 trillion (US$225 million) and have the capacity for 300,000cu.m per day, is scheduled to be completed by 2020.
At the ground-breaking ceremony, Hà Nội People’s Committee Chairman Nguyễn Đức Chung said the project would play an important role in providing a sustainable supply of clean water to the capital city.
“Upon completion, the plant will supply clean water to three million people in 168 wards and communes across eight districts in Hà Nội; to residential and industrial zones along Road 179; and the neighbouring provinces of Bắc Ninh and Hưng Yên,” Chung said.
Chung also asked local authorities, Đuống River Surface Water Plant JSC’s project management board, investors and contractors to ensure that the project process, quality, labour and environmental safety are not compromised and that every effort must be made to start the plant’s test runs by the second quarter of 2018.
“This is a key national project. It will meet the city’s demand for clean water and contribute towards speeding up urbanisation in Hà Nội and its neighbouring provinces,” said Đỗ Thị Kim Liên, chairman of Đuống River Surface Water Plant JSC. “The project will help improve the local people’s quality of life by reducing diseases caused by polluted water and environment.”
The plant’s capacity will reach 600,000cu.m per day by 2030 and 900,000cu.m per day by 2050.
Its clean-water piping system is the longest and most intricate in the country, running 76km long with two river-crossing sections over Hồng and Đuống rivers, and various sections running through railways, national and provincial roads.
At the ceremony, the company donated VNĐ12 billion ($526,000) to Gia Lâm District’s Social Welfare Fund for charity constructions for needy people in Phù Đổng and Trung Mầu communes.
Mass food poisoning in Tiền Giang
Some 70 textile workers were hospitalised at the Mekong Delta province of Tiền Giang’s Cai Lậy General Hospital on Wednesday for allegedly food poisoning.
The patients from the Eco Tank Garment Co., Ltd in Cai Lậy Town were reported to have symptoms such as dizziness, headache, nausea and breathlessness, as well as weakness in their legs and arms.
The symptoms appeared after they had a lunch consisting of tomato soup, chicken cooked in sauce and fried green beans at the company.
The poisoning was not fatal, Nguyễn Văn Ngưu, director of the hospital, said. Some patients were released the same day, while others continued to receive treatment at the hospital.
The cause of the poisoning is unclear.
The Tiền Giang Food Hygiene and Safety (under the province’s Department of Health) has taken samples of the food that the workers consumed for examination.
Man sells trees meant for local cemetery
A tree trader in central Quảng Trị Province has alledgedly committed fraud by selling huge trees meant for the local cemetery to residents of the neighbouring province.
Lê Quang Thuận, deputy chairman of the province’s mountainous Hướng Hóa District, said the district People’s Committee has stopped the tree donation scheme, which was being managed by local tree trader Bùi Ta Boong.
In February, Boong had proposed a tree donation programme for the district’s cemetery for war martyrs in order to create shade for visitors. The scheme was approved by the committee.
Under the programme, Boong was supposed to buy 10 perennial jarul (Lagerstroemia speciosa), weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) and bishop wood (Bischofia javanica) trees from four communes in the district and replanted them in the cemetery. These were all huge trees grown in public places in the communes, much larger than other trees of the same species.
Forest rangers from the local division supervised the removal and transport of these trees from their original habitats to the cemetery. Võ Văn Sử, the division head, said eight of the 10 trees had arrived at the cemetery under close supervision.
Later, people living in the area noticed Boong and his crew taking some of these huge trees away from the cemetery. Boong was replacing and replanting smaller trees of the same species in the cemetery.
Last Saturday, local forest rangers stopped Boong and his crew while they were transporting four of the trees.
Boong admitted to Lao Động newspaper’s reporters on Tuesday that he was selling the giant trees in the neighbouring Quảng Bình Province and that he had already sold two trees.
For a decade now, these giant trees, especially bishop wood, have been very popular among owners of villas around the country, who want them planted on their properties. Some of the trees fetch up to VNĐ100 million (US$4,400) each.
Although Jarul and weeping fig trees are more common, some giant trees could fetch the same price.
Boong is a tree trader and is known to have a reputation for buying cheap trees from local ethnic minority households and selling them at a high cost in Hà Nội.
Major flyover in Hà Nội opens to public
A flyover built across the Cổ Linh-Vĩnh Tuy Bridge intersection in the capital’s Long Biên District opened to public on Thursday morning.
The VNĐ161 billion (US$7 million) flyover is 211 metres long, 12 metres wide and has two lanes. It is a combination of steel frame and reinforced concrete box-shaped wall structures.
This is one of the eight major constructions in the city which the Prime Minister has approved the use of a direct contract system instead of sub-contracting.
The construction of the flyover was a smooth process. It went on for seven months and has met its deadline, said Phạm Hoàng Tuấn, director of the project’s management board, at the inauguration ceremony.
Deputy Chairman of the Hà Nội People’s Committee Nguyễn Thế Hùng appreciated the efforts of the contractors and the construction units in completing the work on time.
The flyover is expected to ease traffic at the Cổ Linh-Vĩnh Tuy Bridge intersection.
Fire rips through market in Dong Nai, no one hurt
Parts of a well-known market in the province of Dong Nai burned to the ground on March 9, fire officials have reported.
It started around 11:30am at the Tan Bien Market in the city of Bien Hoa. When firefighters arrived, they immediately called for backup.
It took two fire crews about 45 minutes to get it under control, but not before it burned seven kiosks all the way to the ground.
It was not the scene venders wanted to see on their way in to work.
As devastating as the fire was, vendors said they were grateful to the firefighters for saving the rest of the market.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Global Fintech matchmaker Opportunity Network eyes Vietnam
UK Fintech digitalising global matchmaking Opportunity Network eyes Vietnam’s market
UK-based Opportunity Network is striving to set a firm niche in Vietnam by cooperating with local banks. Nizami Namazov, vice president of Channel Sales, and Ly Nguyen, country managing director of FinTech, spoke with VIR’s Thanh Tung about this.
What sets Opportunity Network apart from other rivals?
Opportunity Network is a UK-based FinTech company providing a digital business matchmaking platform where members can find trustworthy counterparts for any deal above $1 million and which allows banks to grow their market share.
Members and key decision-makers selected by financial institutions from all over the world post opportunities anonymously that vary from mergers and acquisitions (M&A), commercial partnerships, and investments to joint ventures.
Opportunity Network, backed by The Boston Consulting Group, has now a valuation of around $180 million and is in on-going partnerships with top financial institutions like London Stock Exchange Group, CaixaBank, and Intesa Sanpaolo, Citizens Bank, and YPO—the largest global CEO network.
You ask me what makes Opportunity Network different from our Vietnamese rivals. In general, there is no company in the world that does something similar to Opportunity Network. So what makes us different from other disruptors is that we take the “trust factor” in business very seriously. We believe that when we trust each other, we can successfully co-operate with each other. For us, “trust” is the most important thing in doing business.
Via the “trust factor,” we enable banks to better serve their corporate clients by understanding their current needs and by giving the clients access to quality deal flows from around the world.
What we offer is to make the co-operation process much faster and much more efficient, while at the same time ensuring the “trust.”
We start with the idea that each company is worth as it has its own products and services. If they do not have these, they will not be able to compete and seize opportunities, and expand their co-operation network either.
Our business strategy ensures that only the highest-quality products and services come to be on offer, building up the “trust factor” in our business. That’s why there are 13,500 companies on our platform today, at lower costs than other platform providers.
How important is the Vietnamese market to Opportunity Network?
Vietnam is one of the most dynamic economies not only in Southeast Asia but around the world. The Vietnamese economy has grown at an average of over 6 per cent over the past many years, which is far higher than in many economies. Vietnam is also a very export-oriented economy, with double-digit annual export turnover growth rate year after year.
In addition, Vietnam is now seeing remarkable M&A activity in many sectors, such as aviation (Vietnam Airlines, for example) and banking and retail (supermarket chains), with the appearance of many new foreign firms. This has made Vietnam attractive to foreign firms, including Opportunity Network.
Moreover, the banking sector is also attractive. We have met with several commercial banks and many small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We see many opportunities for co-operation, as the Vietnamese government is trying to create a more accommodating business climate, so that the number of private enterprises in Vietnam can double from the existing 500,000 to about 1 million by 2020.
Why do local firms and banks need Opportunity Network?
I would like to stress that Opportunity Network has a very impressive track record. Currently, it serves thousands of companies across 128 countries and has hosted over $38 billion in opportunity deal flow. Hundreds of connections have been made on Opportunity Network’s platform, making a key contribution to sustaining global economic development.
Opportunity Network is a bank–FinTech collaboration platform digitalising deal matchmaking on a global scale by working with leading financial institutions worldwide and leveraging digital tools as strategic enablers for banking transformation.
We are helping banks leverage financial technology to deliver more value and create a better experience for their corporate clients, especially the SMEs who are looking for trustworthy partners to expand their growth both domestically and internationally and gain market share while saving time, money, and effort. This is absolutely in line with the Vietnamese government’s policy line to promote the growth of the private sector with a strong focus on SMEs, and facilitate trade, investment flows and M&A opportunities.
Connections on Opportunity Network generate business deals between members that banks can then serve and benefit from. Opportunity Network acts as a deal origination tool for clients and banks alike. Opportunity Network also acts as a tool that helps achieve key performance indicators in risk management by targeting the right client at the right moment and the right products.
You say the Vietnamese market is full of potential for Opportunity Network. What will the firm do in the years to come in Vietnam?
We will continue working with the domestic banking industry. We will further our co-operation with local banks to help enterprises, especially SMEs. Opportunity Network has been effectively supporting companies in 128 countries and we consider Vietnam a very important one of them.
What about Opportunity Network’s FinTech solutions, what are the benefits for Vietnamese banks and partners?
Our FinTech solution is a business-to-business digital platform supporting local businesses. It is in line with the development policies endorsed by the Vietnamese government. In this regards, we will continue working with the government and local banks, and other stakeholders as well.
FinTech can play a fundamental role in preserving banks’ supremacy in the financial services industry. The rapid evolution of financial services technology and the potential for disruptive entrants to the market should spur banks to develop their own technologies. While innovation in banking is always difficult - according to studies, 96 per cent of bankers agree that the industry is evolving towards a digital ecosystem, however, 87 per cent say their core banking systems cannot support it - FinTech companies are pushing the boundaries of customer experience and digitalisation and we are seeing obvious trends in payments and lending.
There is a wide scope of imaginative new approaches through which FinTech may serve to strengthen banks’ quality and deepen their relationship with their clients—the core competitive advantage in the banking sector/industry.
Partnering with FinTech companies, with a focus on collaboration and client relationships, and harnessing the respective strengths of each partner, could be the smartest way to gain leadership in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Vietnam halts poultry imports from avian flu hit US states
Vietnam halts poultry imports from avian flu hit US states