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Massive cost overruns to blame for sluggish construction of Saigon metro
In a break from the city’s previous position that slow capital disbursement is to blame for the snail-paced construction of Saigon’s first metro line, Vietnam’s investment minister revealed Thursday that enormous cost overruns are the real culprit.
Stretching 19.7 kilometers across Ho Chi Minh City, Metro Line No.1 will connect Ben Thanh Terminal in District 1 with Suoi Tien in District 9, stopping in District 2, Binh Thanh District, and Thu Duc District along the way.
Now, the goal of opening the metro line by 2020 seems in jeopardy as some contractors suspend their work and others consider terminating their contracts, all due to insufficient investment from the project’s developers.
On Thursday, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said the setback is primarily due to the developer’s proposed increases to the project’s total investment by an amount so enormous that only the National Assembly is authorized to give approval.
The project was initially approved at an estimated investment value of VND17 trillion (US$748.9 million), while Ho Chi Minh City authorities have proposed adding an additional VND30 trillion ($1.32 billion) to the budget, Dung said at a meeting of the lawmaking National Assembly Standing Committee in Hanoi.
Dung said a deputy prime minister has suggested authorizing Ho Chi Minh City authorities to approve the proposed capital adjustment.
“However, due to its large scale, the metro line has been classified as a key national project and any adjustments should be reported to the legislature for approval,” the minister underlined.
To date, additions to the investment in the Ho Chi Minh City metro have yet to be approved due to disagreements between the finance ministry, transport ministry, and the municipal administration on what percentage will be funded by the state budget.
In the meantime, the initially approved capital of VND17 trillion has been depleted and the project is at-risk of being put on-hold.
Postponed construction of the Japanese-developed project will result in negative consequences for the country’s eco-social development and Vietnam’s foreign relations, the investment minister warned.
He therefore called on the National Assembly to urgently approve the proposed capital increase so that the project can continue.
National Assembly chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and her deputy Phung Quoc Hien, however, have asserted that no official report regarding the capital increase has been submitted for their consideration.
By Tuoi Tre News
Korean investors contest Vietnamese consumer finance
Since the beginning of the year, myriad financial investors from South Korea have been actively searching for opportunities to enter the Vietnamese banking sector, especially the consumer finance segment. A typical example is Lotte Card, who is negotiating to acquire Techcom Finance.
Lotte’s “whole-package” strategy
Recently, Techcombank has approved the main contract and other transaction documents related to the sale of a 100-per-cent stake in Techcom Finance. The prospective acquirer is Lotte Card, a subsidiary of Lotte Group. If the deal is approved, Lotte Card will be the first Korean card company in Vietnam to offer instalment loan services and consumer credit cards.
At present, consumer lending is considered extremely lucrative, bringing about a trillion dong profit for financial companies in Vietnam, of which FE Credit is an outstanding example.
However, Nguyen Duc Vinh, VPBank’s general director (the parent bank of FE Credit), admitted that the consumer lending market has been saturated. In particular, while cash loans still see positive growth, lending via credit cards is inevitably emerging as the new trend. This is also the strategic direction that FE Credit is pursuing.
According to State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), even though transactions via credit cards remain modest, card purchases have been increasing rapidly, especially as the government is enthusiastically pushing its scheme on non-cash payments.
This is definitely a good time for Lotte Card to enter the Vietnamese credit card market. Moreover, the company also has the giant customer base of Lotte Group to rely on, building on the corporation’s more than 10 years of presence in Vietnam.
Can Van Luc, a banking expert, said that given the financial capability of South Korean investors, Lotte Card will surely expand its scale of operations in Vietnam.
Apart from Lotte Card, numerous other financial investors from South Korea are looking for opportunities in the Vietnamese financial market. So far, since the beginning of the year, three more Korean banks have entered into official cooperation with domestic banks and insurance companies in the country.
Given their excellent services and open lending policies, Korean banks and financial firms are likely to threaten the market share of domestic banks.
Specifically, in July 2017, Daegu Bank signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement with OCB. Prior to that, Korea Development Bank (KDB) signed a similar agreement with BIDV, while Woori Bank Vietnam signed a cooperation agreement with Vietnam Post Insurance Corporation (PTI).
Currently, there are two of the eight wholly foreign owned banks in Vietnam are held by South Korean firms, namely Shinhan and Woori Bank. In addition, many other large banks in South Korea have established branches and representative offices in Vietnam, such as KEB Hana, Industrial Bank of Korea, Kookmin, Busan and Nonghyup. Banks from South Korea are ranked number one among foreign investors present in the banking sector of Vietnam.
Furthermore, regarding the corporate lending segment, large Vietnamese banks might lose customers to their Korean counterparts.
By Thuy Lien, VIR
BUSINESS IN BRIEF 13/10
Senior managers in consumer goods sector receive salary of $13,203
As per Navigos Group’s salary survey of high-ranking employees in the field of consumer goods in Vietnam released on October 10, in the third quarter, maximum salary of these people is up to VND300 million ($13,203) a month.
Meanwhile their counterparts in realty, banks, IT and production receive wages from VND100 million to VND220 million per head monthly.
When it comes to recruitment trend, demand of employees in high- and medium ranking position increased strongly with year-on-year rise of 19 percent, especially in financing- banking, consumer goods, retail, IT, production and service.
Salary of senior managers in retail enterprises is high because Viet Nam is on the way to becoming one of the most developed retail markets in Asia and the retail market is attractive. Foreign retail enterprises continued to pout capital into Vietnam. The boom of foreign fashion outlets in the country has brought employment opportunities for Vietnamese people at all level.
In retail sector, mergers and acquisitions continued to take place especially large corporations from Japan and Thailand which acquired companies with available leading brand names.
An increase in M&A activity has opened up job opportunities for Vietnamese employee to get access to professional work environment as per chain model and system.
Additionally, M&A also offered attractive employment for experienced managers in building and developing new markets and in E-commerce.
To attract good managers, enterprises in consumer goods sector are ready to pay bonus to new staffs; yet they are still facing difficulties in recruiting managers especially multinational companies in consumer goods in the mountainous North Vietnam.
Navigos also predicted personnel market in renewable energy will soar in the next time because Vietnam has potential for solar energy.
Lately, the government has adopted mechanism to encourage investment in solar energy which is attractive for investors. Many investors have applied for investment projects to produce solar battery and solar electricity in provinces across the country.
Besides, coal-electricity industry is predicted to escalate to meet local increasing demand. With strong potential of development in next year, labor market in electricity and energy will be promising after a long pause.
Vietnam to facilitate gas exploitation from Blue Whale
The Vietnamese Government will facilitate gas exploitation from Ca Voi Xanh (Blue Whale) field in order to receive the first flow of gas in 2023, pledged deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung yesterday while receiving Mr. Paul Greenwood, deputy chairman of Exxon Mobil Corp.
At the reception, Mr. Dung affirmed that Vietnam appreciated the company’s participation in developing and exploiting gas at Blue Whale field and implementation progress for the last past.
The project plays an important role in specifying and deepening the cooperation relationship between Vietnam and the US, he said.
Mr. Greenwood affirmed that the project plays a significant role to the group in intensifying cooperation with Vietnam in oil and gas exploitation and processing.
In the upcoming time, the group together with Vietnam will study implementation of oil and gas exploitation projects in Vietnam.
The Blue Whale locating at 100 kilometers east off the coast in Vietnam’s central region, is considered as the largest one in Vietnam at present.
One being exploited, the project will supply an especially important source of natural gas for electricity generation demand and petrochemical industry. It will be the motive power to develop local industries, contributing in ensuring energy security for the country and creating jobs for the central region.
Recently, the Prime Minister has approved the plan of building four gas fired power plants with the total capacity of 3,000MW. The plant will use gas from the Blue Whale.
Of these, two will be built in Tam Quang commune, Nui Thanh district, Quang Nam province and two in Dung Quat Economic Zone, Binh Son district, the neighboring province of Quang Ngai.
Previously, the PM had approved the policy of setting aside a volume of gas from the Blue Whale to develop petrochemical industry.
HCMC approves two $88mil waterway infrastructure projects
The HCMC People’s Committee has approved two river dredging projects to improve cargo transport capacity by waterway and reduce the pressure for overloaded road system with the total capital of VND2 trillion (US$88 million).
That was announced by the HCMC Department of Transport, saying that the two projects will be implemented in District 9 from 2017-2019.
The first project will dredge Mon canal-Kinh river and Ba Da canal-Giang canal, build Cay Me and Dinh bridges in Long Thuan street under BT (Build-Transfer) form with the capital of VND868 billion.
The second project will dredge Tac river, build new Truong Phuoc bridge to replace the old bridge in Long Thuan street under BT form. Total investment capital will approximate VND1,174 billion.
After being built, the two projects will contribute in completing the traffic system in HCMC, connect with waterway transport network, shorten cargo transport route between eastern HCMC and Dong Nai province and reduce the travel density of vessels in the Saigon river.
The city People’s Committee has proposed the Ministry of Transport to adjust the detail plan of seaport group in the southeastern region including HCMC, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dong Nai and Binh Duong provinces by 2020 to reduce pressure for Cat Lai seaport.
Specifically, it suggested giving priority to developing seaports in Hiep Phuoc area, Nha Be district and not investing in seaports in Cat Lai, District 2.
In addition, road system should be developed synchronously to connect with seaports, dry ports, goods distribution centers and logistics centers in the region.
HCMC calls on investors to 133 projects
HCMC called on investors to 133 projects including 116 projects calling for social investment, 11 national projects and six new others in Thu Thiem new urban area at an investment promotion conference hosted in the city yesterday.
The conference was hosted by HCMC Investment and Trade Promotion Center (ITPC), chaired by deputy chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen with the attendance of 500 domestic and international delegates.
Among the 116 projects calling for social investment are 64 ones in traffic infrastructure field, five urban technical infrastructure, five anti flooding, three agriculture, one industry, four commerce and service, 21 urban planning and resettlement, six education, one health and four sports and culture.
The 11 national projects comprise six traffic infrastructure, one education and training and one health.
Six projects in Thu Thiem new urban area include one hotel and urban resort, four international standard primary schools and one general theatre.
Stating at the conference, deputy chairman Tuyen said that HCMC has become a super city with about 13 million residents. The municipal authority has determined to develop a traffic infrastructure system synchrous with social and economic development speed and resident density, make the city an ideal place attractive to domestic and foreign people.
The city does need the assistance from businesses and financial organizations to do that, Mr. Tuyen said.
According to the city People’s Committee, in 2013 the Government approved an overall social economic development plan by 2020 with the point of view of developing HCMC on a sustainable foundation, maintaining high growth rate and improving residents’ awareness of environmental protection.
To obtain the above targets, HCMC has focused on calling investors to nine groups of services namely finance, banking, insurance; tourism; transport, ports-warehouse-yard; post-telecommunications, information and communication; consultancy; science and technology; health; education and training and four key industries namely mechanics; electronics-information technology; chemical-plastics-rubber; food and foodstuff processing.
In addition, the city has changed economic structure in agricultural field towards urban agriculture.
Businesses, domestic and overseas organizations made lot of questions for city leaders at the conference. For instance what HCMC has done to assist foreign investors and startups, the human resource in Vietnam has many problems so there is any way for businesses to invest in Vietnam but do not spend much time and costs on training; what are solutions for Tan Son Nhat Airport overloading; if the city considers setting aside a specific area to test environmental friendly production models.
In reply, office chief of the HCMC People’s Committee Vo Van Hoan said that HCMC needs over $40 billion to invest in projects especially infrastructure ones by 2020. That is a too big investment amount for the city so through the conference, it invites businesses, domestic and foreign financial organizations to invest in these projects.
The city can create the best conditions for businesses to invest in the city, he affirmed.
At present, HCMC is establishing two working groups on investment and construction to implement one door policy for investors. Within its jurisdiction, the city will focus on solving difficulties in investment procedures for businesses.
So far, the city has prepared clean land fund to hand over to investors, approved priority policies for hi-tech, not labor intensive and high added value projects and encourage businesess to develop environmental friendly production models.
HCMC is also ready to provide high quality human resource through training programs locally and abroad and residents’ awareness of self training to meet jobs’ requirements has strongly developed. Therefore businesess can set their mind at rest to invest in the city, said Mr. Hoan.
Deputy director of the Department of Transport Vo Van Tam said that HCMC has combined many solutions to tackle traffic jam in Tan Son Nhat Airport area by building flyovers and Nguyen Thai Son intersection to improve traffic connectivity to the airport. In the upcoming time, the city will broaden Lang Cha Ca intersection, upgrade Hoang Hoa Tham street to connect directly to the airport, broaden Cong Hoa, Truong Chinh and Au Co streets.
The airport’s expansion is still waiting for an adjustment which will be approved by the Prime Minister, said Mr. Tam.
Dragons lose to Catfish, set dubious record
With eight defeats so far, Danang Dragons have shown no signs that they are the defending champions of the Việt Nam Basketball Association League.
They suffered the eighth defeat yesterday, losing 99-105 to Cantho Catfish in Cần Thơ City.
The reigning winner seemed to have got back on track after beating HCM City Wings 63-60 last Sunday, their first win of the season. However they came down to earth losing to Hanoi Buffaloes 60-66 on Tuesday and yesterday’s loss kept them firmly at the bottom of the league.
It was the third time the Dragons lost to the Catfish in their three meets this year. However, the result of the match made a record of highest points in VBA history.
With their sixth win, the Catfish rank third, behind Thang Long Warriors and Saigon Heat.
In the next fixture, the Catfish will visit Thang Long Warriors and the Heat will welcome the Buffaloes on Saturday.
Hội An resort wins luxury award
Hội An Beach Resort has won a world luxury hotel award for 2017.
Vatthanachai Tony Phipatthongpanta, manager of the resort, said the resort received a confirmation email from World Luxury Hotel Awards on Tuesday.
Vatthanachai said the official announcement and other details would not be released until December 2 at a gala ceremony at the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz in Switzerland.
The Hội An Beach Resort, which was built in 2006, includes 174 bungalows and 140 five-star villas facing the sea, as well as an 18-hole golf course on 120ha, 5km north of Hội An town.
In 2013, An Bàng Beach, 3km east of Hội An, was voted one of the top 100 beaches in the world by CNN Summer Travel, while two resorts in Hội An – Life Heritage and Nam Hải – were included in the top 15 resorts in Asia by the US magazine Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers Choice Awards in 2012.
In 2016, An Bàng Seaside Village, a home-stay complex in An Bàng beach of Hội An, received the ASEAN Homestays 2016 award from the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).
Fortuna offers virtual reality tour
Fortuna Hanoi Hotel is the first hotel in Hà Nội to utilise the cutting-edge technology of 360-degree video to entice potential visitors.
Guests can take a 3D Virtual Hotel Tour through guest rooms, the Capital Lounge, spa, fitness centre and swimming pool. These videos give guests more information and, industry-wide, are changing the way they select hotels.
“Before even stepping foot on the property, guests will be able to view guest rooms, VIP lounge, and amenities, as if they were there in person,” said Albert Leong, General Manager of Fortuna Hotel Hanoi. “Fortuna is the first mover in this effort, and we know our guests and our hotel will benefit from this game-changing technology.”
While impressive on desktop, tablet and mobile, the full effect of the 3D format is best realised with a VR headset. When seen in this way, 360-degree video can deliver the kind of immersive experience that has been promised by decades of hype.
To experience this latest technology experience, please visit fortuna.vn.
Vinamilk ads among most viewed on YouTube
Vietnam’s largest dairy producer Vinamilk said its advertisement on YouTube was among the top 10 most watched ads on the channel in the Asia – Pacific region from July 2016 – July 2017 recently released by Google.
Vinamilk led the four Vietnamese brands listed in the top ten.
The YouTube Ads Leaderboard not only honours the agencies behind the outstanding ads but also shows the boom in the creative industry in the Asia – Pacific region, particularly in Vietnam.
According to Google’s analysis, what makes the ranked ads successful is they are about telling stories rather than selling products. They also have attractive music and actors.
The long video advertising Vinamilk’s Dielac Alpha baby powder milk features a three-generation family, whose members care for each other, therefore racking a massive view counts.
The ranking is determined by an algorithm that factors in paid views, organic views, and click-throughs. The higher the rate between organic and paid view is, the better, according to a representative of Google Asia.
The ranking proves the attraction of the Vinamilk brand name and its ads video.-
Bosch becomes VINFAST’s supplier of automotive parts
Bosch Vietnam, a German multinational engineering and electronics firm, will be a supplier of technology and services for VinGroup’s automobile and electrical motorbike project VINFAST.
VinGroup and Bosch signed in Hanoi on October 12 a Memorandum of Understanding which noted down the German-based group’s commitments to providing its Vietnamese partner with automotive parts and software and other software for design, virtual interaction, and customer development.
The two groups will together develop global cutting-edge technologies for VINFAST to produce car models with advanced functions and bring outstanding experience to customers.
The MoU includes Bosch providing smart campus solutions for Vietnam’s first automobile manufacturing complex, namely safety solution, smart security, connected mobility and connected industry.
Invested by Vinfast manufacturing and trade company - an affiliate of Vingroup – the 335-hectare complex is expected to roll out a five-seater sedan model, a seven-seater sports utility vehicle model and an electric motorbike meeting European standards during the first stage.
The designed capacity is estimated at 100,000 – 200,000 vehicles per year. Its first product in the next 12 month will be electric motorbike model while automobiles will be made in the next 24 months.
Bosch will also help VINFAST establish a German-standard human resources training centre to develop skilled workers capable of operating advanced manufacturing lines and receiving transfer of technological know-how from other countries.
VN-Index extends gain on large caps
Shares continued to rise on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange on October 12, fueled by the growth of several major large caps, while the Hanoi Stock Exchange closed in the negative zone under high selling pressure.
On the southern bourse, the VN-Index ended up 0.24 percent to land at 815.87 points, lifting the four-day rally to 1 percent.
High selling pressure pushed down many large-cap stocks in HCM City as 17 of the top 30 largest shares by market value and liquidity lost value and 12 advanced.
After a strong rally, bank stocks reversed course to decline on Thursday when six of seven listed lenders tumbled, including the Big Four (the four biggest banks by market value and total assets). Vietcombank (VCB), Vietinbank (CTG), BIDV (BID) and Military Bank (MBB) dropped by less than 1 percent. Only VPBank (VPB) rose by 1.4 percent.
Also, the two biggest listed steel companies – Hoa Phat Group (HPG) and Hoa Sen Group (HSG) – decreased 0.1 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.
Insurance, technology and real estate companies were the main supporter of the market on the day. Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) was the biggest gainer, up 3.5 percent; FPT Corp (FPT) increased 2.2 percent; and Masan Group (MSN) was up 3 percent.
Property firms like VinGroup (VIC), Novaland Investment Group (NVL) and FLC Faros Construction rose by less than 1 percent.
“In general, cash flow is still likely to look for large-cap stocks and the market is hoped to go higher… However, the current cash flow is very risky as it only focuses on the basic stocks with positive earnings prospect,” analysts at Sai Gon-Hanoi Securities wrote in a note.
On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, without the backing of large caps, the HNX-Index decreased 0.25 percent to close at 108.38 points.
The HNX30 which tracks the top 30 largest shares by market value and liquidity here also dropped 0.37 percent to 199.23 points.
October 12’s trading volume decreased 13.3 percent from the previous session, totaling 198 million shares in the two markets, but the trading value increased 6.8 percent to reach 4.7 trillion VND (207 million USD).
Reference exchange rate stays stable
The daily reference exchange rate for VND/USD on October 13 was kept unchanged from the previous day at 22,453 VND/USD.
With the current trading band of +/-3 percent, the ceiling rate applied to commercial banks during the day is 23,127 VND/USD and the floor rate 21,779 VND/USD.
The opening hour rates at major commercial stayed stable, with major banks keeping their rates unchanged from the day ago.
The greenback is being bought at 22,685 VND and sold at 22,755 VND per USD at Vietcombank and Vietinbank and BIDV
Vietnam’s exports to Algeria grow 17 percent in nine months
Vietnam’s exports to Algeria were estimated at nearly 240.9 million USD in the first three quarters of 2017, an increase of 17 percent from the same period last year, according to the Trade Office of Vietnam in Algeria.
Coffee continued to be the largest earner with export value exceeding 91.7 million USD, up three percent year on year. Exports of rice jumped 145 percent during the period to exceed 13.3 million USD.
Meanwhile, shipments of mobile phones and parts declined eight percent to about 58.77 million USD.
Despite the growth, Vietnam’s exports to the North Africa nation will be unlikely to reach the target of 300 million USD this year, said Vietnamese Trade Counsellor Hoang Duc Nhuan.
This was largely due to recent tighter Algerian import policies. Vietnam only exported 13 million USD worth of commodities to Algeria in September, a significant decrease from previous months. Notably, mobile phones and parts saw dramatic falls in June and July and reported no orders in the next two months, he noted.
Nhuan said that the Trade Office of Vietnam is working with authorities in Algeria to help Vietnamese exporters resolve difficulties and boost exports in the final quarter of the year.
Vietnam’s shipments to Algeria were estimated at 271.42 million USD in 2016, a year-on-year increase of 37 percent with most of the revenue coming from coffee and rice.
HCM City wants French investment in transport, urban development
Ho Chi Minh City wants to cooperate with France in transport infrastructure and urban development projects, said Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan.
He made the statement while meeting French Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Vincent Floreani and Director of the French Development Agency (AFD) in Vietnam Fabrice Richy on October 12.
Vietnam and France have enjoyed ties in various fields, Nhan said, noting that Ho Chi Minh City has been home to many cooperation projects between the two countries, including HCM City Financial Investment Company, Hiep Phuoc port and Franco-Vietnamese Hostpital.
Ho Chi Minh City wants the AFD to continue its efforts to promote relations between France and the Vietnamese southern hub, he added.
Nhan said that the city is in need of support in transport infrastructure planning for socio-economic development of a special urban area of 10-15 million people.
The city is prioritising investment in ring roads connecting with neighbouring provinces, metro lines, Tan Son Nhat International Airport and other transport projects to ease traffic jams.
In addition, floods, fresh water for local people and the preservation of historic relic sites are also challenges for the city, Nhan said, expressing his hope that the AFD will support the city with both finance and skills.
According to the French Consul General, Ho Chi Minh City is home to 80 percent of French investment in Vietnam and houses a lot of French architectural works.
He said that French Government wants to work with Ho Chi Minh City in infrastructure development and cooperate with local businesses to branch out economy and trade.
Meanwhile, Richy stated that the AFD and French investors are interested in the second stage of the metro line No.2 Ben Thanh- Tham Luong and sustainable and green public transport system in the city.
Along with French resources, the AFD will mobilise others from the EU to help HCM City develop infrastructure and handle other issues in urban development, he said, adding that the move will help consolidate relations between the two nations.
3 expos open in HCM City venue
Advanced metalworking solutions, electronics assembly technologies and industrial grade parts are on display at three exhibitions that opened at a single venue in HCM City on October 12.
Metalex Vietnam, Vietnam Electronics Assembly and Industrial Components and Subcontracting Vietnam feature over 500 brands from 25 countries and territories, and 10 international pavilions from China, Germany, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.
Metalex Vietnam 2017 brings a new experience for Viet Nam’s manufacturers with its “Universal Robots Chef & Barista” and “The Drone Racing Technology Showcase”, which are organised in Viet Nam for the first time.
“The Drone Racing Technology Showcase” will display the latest models of drones by Furious FPV. In addition to seeing the exhibits, visitors can also learn about components and drone assembly, along with experiencing “Virtual Reality Drone Racing Competition” and dance performances.
Other activities such as a “Koma Taisen” competition and “Engineer Master Class” to provide experiences to enterprises in the process of developing the local manufacturing and supporting sectors and connect businesses will be held on the sidelines of the three events.
Suttisak Wilanan, deputy managing director of Reed Tradex Co Ltd, said to stay ahead of the competition in the 21st century during the Industry 4.0 era, “Manufacturers must improve their business to be more efficient, collaborative and agile than ever so they could secure a competitive edge.”
The events will be a good chance for Vietnamese enterprises to learn about advanced machine tools, solutions and services, and to keep pace with current manufacturing trends.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ureerat Ratanaprukse, the Thai consul-general in HCM City, said: “Metalex Vietnam 2017 will serve as one of the important bridges to connect and advance the state of manufacturing and supporting industry as well as a platform to showcase and foster science, technology and innovation, which are fundamental to sustainable economic growth.”
Iku Hara, director for overseas market development, commerce and industry division, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, said 15 SMEs from the Japanese capital are displaying a wide range of technologies and products from level sensors to parts for aircraft at the Tokyo Pavilion.
“It is our hope that everyone will take advantage of this opportunity to directly experience these products and technologies and truly feel the capabilities of SMEs in Tokyo, and that this will be a catalyst for starting business with Japanese companies.”
The exhibitions, at the Sai Gon Exhibition and Convention Centre, will run until October 14.
HR managers discuss ways to retain talent
More than 600 CEOs and human resource managers at local and global companies discussed the latest trends in building an engaged, efficient and loyal workforce at a workshop yesterday in HCM City.
The event, titled “Driving sustainable growth through happier workforce”, was a forum for leaders and managers to share advanced methods for human resource management, Thanh Nguyen, CEO of Anphabe, an agency that offers solutions for employer branding, said.
Twenty five speakers discussed five topics: happiness trends, happiness essentials, happiness and business, happiness leadership, and happiness innovation.
Nguyen Thi Bich Van, chairwoman of Unilever Vietnam, which employs more than 1,700 employees, said companies need to transform in the new setting in terms of human resource management.
“Know-it-all leaders no longer exist. Servant leadership is the new norm.”
Managers need to empower their employees, recognise their value and take more time to talk with their employees to build trust and improve employees’ engagement, she said.
“The best place to work is where people leave milestones of life, where their heart and mind belong, and where they can grow.”
Le Quy Don, human resources director at Heineken Vietnam, said not only human resource executives but also all other leaders and managers should be involved in building and improving employee engagement.
“CEOs and managers should regularly meet and have a straight talk with their employees to understand their concerns and address their problems in a timely manner.
“It is one of the important factors to build employees’ trust as well as their engagement.”
Phillippe Richart, general director of Siam City Cement Vietnam, agreed that communicating is very important.
“We spend a lot of time communicating with employees. When employees meet their managers, they are able to express their concerns. [It helps] build trust and transparency.
Human resources should be part of business models and strategies in every department, he added.
Stephen James Clark, country head & CEO, Prudential Vietnam, said: “It is always challenging in today’s fast moving world. We have to recognise that younger people have different views to careers.
“In Viet Nam, it is not unusual to see people move within two or three years from one organisation to another.”
“We need to provide skills that allow people to develop and make a contribution to the success of their organisation. That is win-win.
“We need to recognise that a city like HCM City is very stressful. Things like work-life balance are also important.
“We should be honest and transparent, and be humble and respect other people when we take the position of leaders.”
Viet Nam ‘Best Place to Work’ survey
At the workshop Anphabe launched the “Viet Nam Best Places to Work” survey.
This year the survey will focus on jobs, workforce and the working environment in the world of Industry 4.0.
The annual survey conducts in-depth measurements of employer brands and employee happiness at working for the top 500 businesses.
Based on assessments by employees in 26 industries, the 100 best places to work list will be drawn up.
The research methodology and rankings will be audited and advised by INTAGE Vietnam, a market research company.
The survey will be out in March next year.
Hưng Yên creates more favourable conditions for enterprises
Authorities of Hung Yen will continue to create favourable conditions for enterprises’ production and business activities to ensure high efficiency and sustainable development in business.
Chairman of the People’s Committee of the northern province of Hung Yen Nguyen Van Phong said this at a meeting held on October 10 between provincial authorities and more than 300 entrepreneurs in Hung Yen Province on Viet Nam Business Day.
At the meeting, Nguyen Xuan Duong, chairman of the Hung Yen Business Association, said enterprises in the province have made important contributions towards improving economic structure and development of the province.
Tran Quoc Van, director of the Hung Yen Department of Planning and Investment, said to support and develop the business and improve the business environment, the provincial authorities have directed departments and agencies to regularly review and simplify administrative procedures, reducing time to process these procedures for people and enterprises.
As a result, time was reduced by 50-60 per cent for handling administrative procedures and by 30 per cent for solving administrative procedures in the land and environmental protection areas. Departments and local authorities are continuing to implement programmes on supporting enterprises.
Meanwhile, Phong highly appreciated efforts of local enterprises in renovating management method and technology, raising the efficiency of operation, obeying regulations, fulfilling financial obligations and actively participating in social security activities.
He said that with regard to the proposals of the business community, Hung Yen People’s Committee has asked the departments and localities to receive proposals from businesses and come up with solutions to support them. They should hold dialogues to get information and remove difficulties of enterprises, along with proposing policy changes to central State offices.
For enterprises, Phong said they should speed up the construction of approved projects, use land economically and effectively, and realising commitments on environmental protection.
Enterprises should also enhance further renovation of technology to increase productivity and reduce production costs, he said.
In another development, the northern province of Hung Yen attracted 182 investment projects in the first nine months of 2017, up 44 per cent year-on-year, according to local authorities.
During the period, registered capital of domestic and foreign projects reached more than VND12 trillion (US$528.12 million) and more than $145 million, respectively.
The province is currently home to 1,619 projects, with total registered capital exceeding $8.44 billion.
Ha Tinh green lights 76 investment projects
Central Ha Tinh Province approved in principle 76 projects over the past nine months, including three foreign-invested projects, with combined investment capital of over US$330 million, local authorities said.
Among these projects is a $55.3 million-maritime tourism complex, developed by An Giang Dragon Ha Tinh Co; a $54 million hotel and trade centre complex, financed by Viet Trung Investment Co; and another eco-tourism project, valued at $13.4 million.
So far, the province is home to 740 projects, capitalised at $4.38 billion. Of them, 69 were financed by foreign investors from 15 countries and territories with capital totaling more than $11.63 billion.
Japan, South Korea, Brunei and Australia, as well as the US, Thailand, Philippines and Laos, along with Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong, are the province’s leading sources of foreign investment.
Under this year’s investment promotion programme, the province plans to lure potential investors from Japan, South Korea and Germany with the help of those currently investing in the province.
The province is calling for investment in hi-tech farming, support industries, tourism and services, as well as high-quality personnel training projects and waste and wastewater treatment projects.
The Thien Cam and Xuan Thanh tourism sites and Ke Go Lake eco-tourism spot are also seeking foreign investment.
To attract more investors, the province will continue to speed up administrative reform, perfect infrastructure facilities, accelerate land clearance and foster investment promotion activities.
Provincial authorities will also hold dialogues with entrepreneurs and investors in the locality to get recommendations and help resolve problems.
SHS replaces SSI on HNX
Sai Gon-Ha Noi Securities Co (SHS) has displaced Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) to be the leader among the 10 brokerage firms with the highest third-quarter market share on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX).
SHS’s market on the HNX increased by 3.78 percentage points to 14.05 per cent in the past quarter compared with 10.27 per cent in the second quarter.
Meanwhile, SSI’s market share lost 2.59 percentage points to 11.08 per cent from the previous 13.67 per cent.
VNDirect Securities (VNDS) and MB Securities (MBS) remained at the third and fourth positions, respectively.
Also on the list of the top 10 brokerage firms with the highest market share, ACB Securities Co (ACBS) and FPT Securities Co (FPTS) switched places, with the latter rising to the sixth position from the previous eighth place.
In addition, VietCapital Securities (VCSC) replaced VPBank Securities (VPBS) at the ninth position, while Vietcombank Securities (VCBS) stayed in tenth place.
On the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM), VNDS topped among the 10 firms with the largest market share in the third quarter.
VNDS increased its market share by 7.72 percentage points quarterly to 16.09 per cent in the previous quarter.
The companies that followed included MBS, SSI, BIDV Securities (BSC) and SHS.
Ambassador: Vietnam welcomes Washington firms
Vietnam welcomes enterprises from Washington State, like Boeing and Microsoft, to do business in the Southeast Asian nation.
The statement was made by Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh during his recent working visit to the state to meet local leaders, aiming to boost Vietnam – US relations.
During his meeting with Washington Governor Jay Inslee on October 9 Vinh detailed progress in Vietnam – US ties, saying the two sides agreed to deepen the multifaceted relations within the framework of their comprehensive partnership, including in economics, trade, investment, security-defence, education-training, and people-to-people exchange.
For his part, Inslee briefed Vinh on local development and policies to expand international trade towards Asia, including Vietnam, which has several cooperation agreements with the state.
Vinh expressed his hope that the locality will continue creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese enterprises and people to operate, live and study in the state.
The Vietnamese diplomat later visited the Boeing headquarters, where he was provided with the group’s plan on expanding cooperation with Vietnam, including aircraft supply, spare part production, personnel training assistance, enhancement of aviation safety standards.
Vinh highly valued Boeing’s effective cooperation in recent times and pledged to facilitate cooperation projects with Vietnam.
The Vietnamese diplomat also attended a seminar with the local business community hosted by the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle and the US National Center for APEC.
He briefed the attendees about Vietnam’s socio-economic situation and Vietnam – US economic – trade relations, and answered questions raised by local firms on investment and business opportunities in Vietnam.
Leaders of participating firms expressed their wish to accelerate the supply of goods and services to Vietnam, as well as expand investment and cooperation with Vietnam in various fields, including finance-banking, manufacturing, infrastructure development and real estate, hi-tech agriculture, health care and education.
Washington State serves as an important gate of the US to the Asia – Pacific region, with 75 seaports, 139 airports, and 3,666km of railroads. It is the fourth biggest US exporter, with one third of local jobs related to exports.
In 2016, the state exported and imported 79 billion USD and 47 billion USD worth of products, respectively.
Vietnam is the eighth biggest exporter of the state, with shipments valued at 983 million USD in 2016.-
Workshop spotlights green infrastructure in Can Tho
Authorities of Can Tho and the World Bank held a training workshop on green infrastructure in the Mekong Delta city on October 12.
Ignacio Ortinez from the Thailand Environment Institute detailed an example of covering concrete walls in Thailand with various plants.
He suggested Can Tho build more parks in urban areas, which can serve as entertainment zones in the summer and reduce flood risks during the rainy season.
Nguyen Nguyen Minh, a research at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, said green infrastructure means a network that connects green space with the infrastructure system to function as a natural ecosystem.
He noted alongside planting trees on the surface, attention should also be paid to underground drainage systems.
Marcel Marchand from Deltares, an institute researching the field of water and subsurface, recommended several popular green infrastructure models worldwide, including rainwater harvesting systems using underground tanks and swamp-like public flower gardens.
He also stressed that careful research is needed to select suitable models.
Vice Chairwoman of the municipal People’s Committee Vo Thi Hong Anh said the city will study all recommendations collected at the workshop and soon turn them into practical plans.
Can Tho has implemented various projects to adapt to climate change, particularly in flood prevention. Green infrastructure solutions are important, as the city is going to build a 54-hectare new residential area in Ninh Kieu district’s An Binh ward.
Seminar seeks to promote Vietnam’s brands to RoK
A seminar held by the National Brand Programme’s Secretariat on October 12 in Hanoi discussed promoting Vietnamese brands in the Republic of Korea (RoK).
The event aimed to help Vietnamese enterprises make use of their advantages, understand more about the RoK market and pay more attention to brand development to increase their competitiveness.
The seminar is expected to open up more export opportunities for participating businesses and promote Vietnam’s brands.
Deputy head of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency Do Kim Lang said that the two countries’ Governments have paid much attention to tightening their partnership.
The RoK is currently Vietnam’s largest investor and second largest trade partner, while Vietnam is the RoK’s third biggest trade partner, following the US and China.
At the seminar, participants analysed opportunities and challenges facing Vietnamese products in the RoK, and discussed issues related to intellectual property and brand registration in the country.
According to Le An Hai, Deputy Head of the Asian-Pacific Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnamese enterprises are supplied with sufficient information about the country’s preferential policies and mechanisms so as to expand exports to the Asian-Pacific region and the RoK.
Enhancing role of Vietnamese entrepreneurs in new stage of development
Today is Vietnamese Entrepreneurs Day, an occasion to review the six years of implementing the Politburo’s resolution on promoting the role of entrepreneurs in the period of deepening industrialisation, modernisation and international integration.
According to official figures, Vietnam currently has more than 496,000 active enterprises, of which small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up 97%. Since the start of the year, nearly 94,000 new enterprises have been established, with registered capital totalling VND902 trillion (US$39.7 billion), up 15.4% in enterprise number and 43.5% in terms of capital over the same period last year. In addition, 21,100 have resumed their business, while those dissolving and suspending their operation number 8,736 and 49,345 respectively.
The general trend is that Vietnamese enterprises are growing in both number and quality. If Vietnam can maintain the rate of 100,000 new enterprises established each year, then Vietnam’s target of one million active enterprises by 2020 is highly probable.
Strong development investment and GDP growth is significantly bolstered by SMEs which are present in all industries and areas in the country, creating jobs for 60% of the workforce and contributing 40% of the economic output. However, there are still a small number of dishonest entrepreneurs who are involved in fraudulent activities, making fake goods and appropriating funds.
In order to further promote the key role of enterprises in national development and international integration, it is necessary to bring the Law on Support for SMEs, adopted by the National Assembly last June, into operation as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, measures must be taken to push through administrative reform, and cut bureaucracy and red tape in order to maintain the entrepreneurial spirit and encourage enterprises to expand their business.
Vietnam also has a strong contingent of hundreds of thousands of household businesses which could quickly switch themselves into enterprises if the relevant government agencies work with them in this process.
The close cooperation between the government agencies and the business community, represented by trade associations, is highly significant in helping enterprises to grow in both number and quality, towards the goal of one million healthy, highly competitive, enterprises by 2020.
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc works with PetroVietnam
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended a working session with the key leaders of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) in Hanoi, on October 12.
Speaking at the session, PM Phuc urged PetroVietnam to continue upholding its role and build on its momentum in order to maintain its standing in the national economy.
The Government leader emphasised that PetroVietnam has played an important role in the national economy over the past few decades as a leading group that has contributed significantly to the state budget.
Every one million tonne of oil contributes to 0.25% of the GDP, he noted, adding that through oil and gas cooperation, Vietnam's international relations have been extended and strengthened.
The PM also called on the group's leaders and staff to exert further efforts to overcome any challenges and difficulties and to further contribute to the national economy.
According to a report presented by the group at the session, PetroVietnam is striving to reach a total revenue of VND471 trillion, exceeding 7.4% of the annual plan, and contribute VND89 trillion to the State budget in 2017.
The group has also set a target of exploiting at least 13,28 million tonnes of crude oil this year.
HCMC honors successful entrepreneurs
On behalf of the city authorities, Deputy Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen congratulated businesspersons on the Vietnamese Entrepreneur Day , expecting them to have strategic vision and plans as well as close cooperation with city leaders to carry out seven breakthrough programs in the city’s socio-economic development.
HCMC honors successful entrepreneurs
At a meeting in HCMC Hall today, the city authorities honored over 800 representative attending the Vietnamese Entrepreneur Day.
Chairman of the HCMC Union of Business Associations (HUBA) Chu Tien Dung said Huba would organize a program to honor entrepreneurs and encourage them to overcome difficulties for further growth and international integration, contributing in building up the city and the country.
This activity receives much attention from city authorities and warm response from entrepreneurs.
This year is the first year Huba has organized a vote for best products and services with the aim of promoting good quality products and services and honor businesspersons and give incentives for them to surmount barriers during growth process.
The jury board has selected 79 products amongst 264 entries from 125 companies.
Additionally, Huba selected and honor 57 outstanding entrepreneurs, 23 of them have developed over 30 years and 34 of them have operated for over 40 years.
Company proposes to collect auto fee in downtown HCMC
The HCMC Department of Transport said that Tien Phong Technology Services and Development Joint Stock Company has submitted to the city People’s Committee a fee collection project to automobiles in downtown areas to limit traffic jam.
According to the proposal, fee collection time will be from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. The fee will be VND40,000 a private car, VND30,000 a taxi cab registered in HCMC and VND50,000 a truck or commercial bus.
The project will be built under Public Private Partnership (PPP) or Build-Lease-Transfer (BLT) models with the total capital of VND1,797 (US$79 million), including 36 multi-lane nonstop toll gates and a management center.
Fee collection gates will be arranged in streets surrounding the downtown area including Hoang Sa, Nguyen Phuc Nguyen, Cach Mang Thang 8 (August Revolution), 3 Thang 2 (February 3), Le Hong Phong, Ly Thai To, Nguyen Van Cu, Vo Van Kiet and Ton Duc Thang. Two gates will be installed in Bach Dang and Truong Son streets in the gateway to Tan Son Nhat Airport.
Implementation is expected to be from 2018-2019 and fee collection will start from 2019-2034. The project will bring the city a revenue of VND700 billion (US$30.81 million) a year within 15 years.
APEC to discuss U.S. protectionism and Brexit
Delegates from the 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum will discuss U.S. protectionism and Brexit during the APEC Leaders’ meeting in Vietnam, Dan tri news website reports.
At a press conference on the APEC Vietnam Week 2017 slated to take place in the central coastal city of Danang in November, Vu Tien Loc, president of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and chairman of the APEC CEO Summit 2017, expressed concern over growing protectionism in America which has made it more difficult for developing economies to keep pace with developed ones.
The U.S. initiated globalization at APEC 2006. However, the world’s largest economy has been steering towards trade protectionism, affecting the trade liberalization and globalization processes. Therefore, the APEC member economies should join in the fight against protectionism to keep underdeveloped countries from lagging further behind, he noted.
Vietnam is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and many bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. It has made some achievements in the globalization process thanks to its open-door policy.
Business events with 1,200 senior executives of leading corporations in the region and in the world will make up 50% of the high-level meetings and activities of the APEC Vietnam Week 2017.
APEC seminars will delve into topics such as development of micro, small and medium enterprises, and firms operated or owned by females. APEC meetings will come up with policies to support micro businesses and those led by women.
These enterprises will gather to discuss trade liberalization, startup movement and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Loc said.
The unethical hands that sway the stock market
The ways of manipulating the stock market are getting more sophisticated despite serious punishments.
The State Securities Commission (SSC) in mid-September imposed a fine of VND550 million on Phan Sy Hai for violations of regulations.
Hai was found using 28 accounts, including three in his name and 25 in other names to manipulate the price of VMD shares of Vimedimex, a pharmacy company, in the months from January to April 2016.
During the four months, Hai created artificial demand for VMD shares, causing the share price to fluctuate heavily from VND26,000 to VND40,000. It was estimated that 60,000 VMD shares were transferred in each trading session.
Prior to that, in mid-August, an agency imposed a fine of VND600 million on Tran Thi Minh Phuong for manipulating HNG shares of HAGL Agrico.
Phuong was found using 42 accounts opened at 16 securities companies to make transactions at HNG in order to create artificial demand.
Phuong began this behavior in mid-July 2015, when HNG made debut on the bourse. The sanction was released by SSC on August 10, 2017.
During the time when Phuong was active, the HNG price increased, once reaching the peak of VND33,500 per share.
After half a year of staying firmly at the peak, HNG prices unexpectedly dropped to below VND10,000 and sometimes to VND5,000 per share. The price of the share still could not bounce back to above face value of VND10,000.
A series of other cases have also been discovered. Hoang Duc Dung was fined VND550 million and forced to pay VND400 million to repair the damage after he opened 26 accounts to manipulate TNT shares.
Tran Thanh Huu, a member of the management board of Cmistone, has been fined VND705 million for manipulating CMI shares.
Tran Thanh Dien was found using his account and seven other accounts to create artificial demand for DAT shares.
However, investors commented that the real number of violations is much higher than the number of cases found. Meanwhile, the punishments are not heavy enough and the profits violators can expect are much higher than the fine.
Under the laws, violators may face criminal charges. However, if the damages cannot be calculated, they will face administrative fines only.
In most cases, the behavior caused serious consequences. With 770 million HNG, HAGL Agrico once had the capitalization value of $1.2 billion. However, later $800 million ‘evaporated’. A lot of investors suffered buying HNG when its price was at peak.
It takes long time to deal with the cases because agencies need time to collect proof and conduct an investigation.
H. Tu, VNN
Social News 13/10
Vietnam Railway’s all ticketing systems ready for Tet
Vietnam Railway will begin selling train tickets for the Lunar New Year, starting on October 15 at all booking offices and train stations nationwide. Passengers can also purchased at the e-ticket booking system, www.dsvn.vn.
Launched in July, 2014, the electronic ticket selling system helps ease overloads at ticketing offices at railway stations and ticket purchases via illegal channels during peak seasons. The system can receive one million access log entries at the same time
More than 15 million train tickets have been purchased successfully at the electronic ticket selling system, accounting for 13-19 percent of the total number of fares sold from 2015-2017.
Vietnam Railway plans to offer 300,000 seats in forthcoming Tet holidays.
Over 1 trillion VND raised for the poor
The Ho Chi Minh City Sponsoring Association for Poor Patients (SAPP) has raised over 1 trillion VND (46.46 million USD) from various community sources to help the poor over the past 25 years.
The association has sponsored more than 7,730 heart operations, 530,000 eye surgeries, 38,000 cleft lip/palate operations, 120 scoliosis operations as well as cancer screenings for more than 48,700 women.
SAPP has also provided 18,300 hearing aids for deaf children, 20,600 scholarships for poor students, 14,000 meal portions for hospitals, and nearly 146,000 health insurance cards to poor households.
It has also built more than 700 charity houses and 100 bridges in rural areas.
The association’s branches have raised more than 734 billion VND (32.3 million USD) over the last 10 years.
SAPP has supported the poor in other provinces and neighbouring countries, Vo Thi Dung, deputy secretary of the HCM City Party Committee, said at a meeting with SAPP on October 11.
Dung has asked Government agencies to create favourable conditions for the association so that it can expand its programmes.
University programmes encourage startup culture
Universities in the country are expanding academic programmes that encourage students to take part in the startup culture, HCM City Party Secretary Nguyễn Thiện Nhân said on Thursday at a ceremony marking the beginning of the academic year.
Speaking at Việt Nam National University- HCM City, Nhân said that creative startups established by young people were essential to spur the country’s socio-economic development.
“Startups should be integral to our country’s sustainable development,” he said, adding that students have many opportunities to start their own businesses.
Nhân said that more graduates should be involved in research efforts so that HCM City can become “an urban centre with good cybersecurity”.
Farmers in the Mekong Delta region, the country’s agricultural hub, for example, need advanced machinery, he said. “The need of smart machines for agricultural production is very high.”
Though startup programmes at universities exist, the number of people opening their own company remains low.
One of 200 people opened a new company last year in the entire country, but HCM City had a higher rate, with one of 53 people establishing new enterprises, according to Nhân.
He urged students to study business skills in operation and administration and after graduation seek help from city programmes that provide capital for startups.
HCM City has four startup programmes, organised by the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union, the Department of Science and Technology, the Việt Nam National University-HCM City, Saigon Hi-tech Park and Quang Trung Software City.
The city’s Saigon Hi-Tech Park includes many centres for startups.
Nhân encouraged Việt Nam National University-HCM City to work with city agencies to make robots, which are needed in many sectors, including healthcare.
He also said the university should cooperate with Saigon Hi-Tech Park and other universities to turn HCM City’s eastern districts of 2, 9 and Thủ Đức into a creative urban area with an advanced technological infrastructure.
Established in 1995,Việt Nam National University-HCM City has 41 training programmes that meet the standards of ASEAN, Europe and the US. It includes six member universities.
Ha Nam beefs up relations with RoK’s Gyeonggi
The northern province of Ha Nam and Gyeonggi province in the south of the Republic of Korea (RoK) will promote cooperation in socio-economy and culture, per a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) inked between the two localities on October 12.
Both sides will exchange cooperation plans and discuss initiatives to develop relations and investment through visits and working sessions between the two authorities.
Deputy Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Pham Sy Loi affirmed that the MoU aims to bolster economic, culture and education development as well as exchange between the two provinces.
Local leaders will facilitate cooperation with Gyeonggi and ask the provincial Department of Planning and Development and other organisations to connect with the locality to carry out the MoU, he added.
Meanwhile, Jung Ki Yeol, a leading Gyeonggi official, said that with stable politics and strong economic growth, Vietnam is an attractive destination for Gyeonngi investors, adding that Ha Nam is a magnet for enterprises thanks to its favourable business climate.
He pledged to effectively carry out the MoU, promoting economic and cultural exchange between the two countries.
Gyeonggi has a population of 13 million people and is home to 760,000 businesses.
HCM City eyes cooperation in support industries with Japan’s Kawaguchi
Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong said he looks forward to boosting cooperation with Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture in support industries and urban infrastructure development during his meeting with the Japanese city’s mayor Nobuo Okunoki in the southern hub on October 12.
Phong said Japan has been a big investor in and an important trade partner of HCM City but cooperation has yet to match potential. Thus, the city wishes to enhance ties with enterprises from Japan, including those in Kawaguchi.
He vowed to facilitate Japanese firms to do business in the city, contributing to the sustainable development of the Vietnam-Japan partnership.
Nobuo Okunoki, for his part, said he was impressed with HCM City’s dynamic growth, affirming that companies from his city hope to promote ties with Vietnam, particularly HCM City, in banking and finance, support industries, and high technology.
He also expressed his hope that his visit marks a new step forward in the two cities’ relations and they will work together to strengthen ties.
The mayor suggested HCM City coordinate with Kawaguchi City and Saitama Prefecture to hold friendship exchange programmes and cooperation activities to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties next year.
SAPP raises millions for the poor
The HCM City Sponsoring Association for Poor Patients (SAPP) has raised over VNĐ1 trillion (US$46.46 million) from various community sources to help the poor over the past 25 years.
The association has sponsored more than 7,730 heart operations, 530,000 eye surgeries, 38,000 cleft lip/palate operations, 120 scoliosis operations as well as cancer screenings for more than 48,700 women.
SAPP has also provided 18,300 hearing aids for deaf children, 20,600 scholarships for poor students, 14,000 meal portions for hospitals, and nearly 146,000 health insurance cards to poor households.
It has also built more than 700 charity houses and 100 bridges in rural areas.
The association’s branches have raised more than VNĐ734 billion ($32.3 million) over the last 10 years.
SAPP has supported the poor in other provinces and neighbouring countries, Võ Thị Dung, deputy secretary of the HCM City Party Committee, said at a meeting with SAPP on Wednesday (October 11).
Dung has asked Government agencies to create favourable conditions for the association so that it can expand its programmes.
VNRC releases emergency aid for flood victims
The Việt Nam Red Cross Society (VNRC) on Thursday released emergency aid of more than VNĐ950 million (US$42,000) to help flood affected households in northern Yên Bái, Sơn La, Hòa Bình and central Thanh Hoá and Nghệ An provinces.
Primary aid, including cash and 106 boxes of essential goods for families and 10 boxes of Aquatab water treatment tablets, have been provided by VNRC employees for families most affected by floods in the five provinces.
VNRC said its charity SMS campaign, launched in September to help flood victims in the central provinces, received more than 107,700 texts, or more than VNĐ2.2 billion (US$96,000) from groups, organisations and donors nationwide.
The society will continue the campaign until November 11 this year. People from all walks of life can support the campaign by texting UH to 1409. Each mobile text message will contribute VNĐ20,000 (US$0.85) to the VNRC fund.
All the collected money will be used to buy essential goods, build houses and support livelihoods to help flood victims overcome difficulties and stabilise production.
Donors, organisations and groups may also donate money or goods directly at the VNRC headquarters on 82 Nguyễn Du Street, Hà Nội, or its southern representative office on 201 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, District 1, HCM City.
Urgent relief aid provided for flood-hit people
The Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRC) on October 12 provided urgent relief, including 900 million in cash and necessities worth over 50 million VND, for people severely affected by floods in the northern and central regions.
The VRC dispatched four working teams to visit flood-hit areas in northern Yen Bai, Hoa Binh, Son La, central Thanh Hoa and Nghe An provinces, where they presented cash, food, disinfectants and other supplies to affected people.
Accordingly, Yen Bai received 200 million VND; Thanh Hoa, 300 million VND, Nghe An, 100 million VND; Hoa Binh, 250 million VND and Son La, 50 million VND, along with the necessities.
Earlier, the VRC Central Committee launched a “texting” campaign “Vi dong bao vung lu” (For flood victims) calling people from across the country to make donations via texts. Donators can text UH to 1409 and each text worth 20,000 VND.
All money collected from the campaign, running through November 7, will be used to support affected people with necessities, housing and livelihoods, helping them overcome difficulties.
The project has to date received approximately 108,000 text messages, equivalent to over 2.1 billion VND (92,400 USD).
Meanwhile, the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee on October 12 also decided to allocate 2 billion VND (88,000 USD) to flood-affected people in the provinces of Hoa Binh, Yen Bai, Son La, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An and Ha Tinh.
Accordingly, Hoa Binh was presented with 1 billion VND (44,000 USD) while the remaining provinces received 200 million VND (8,800 USD) each. The funds will be sent to households that lost family members, with injured people, or had their houses damaged in floods.
Workshop seeks to boost CLMV cyber cooperation
A two-day workshop opened in Hanoi on October 12 to discuss cyber policies and cooperation among Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV).
Representatives of the four countries talked about the building of local legal regulations on cyber security and challenges facing information safety.
They agreed that such matter requires concerted efforts from the Government, public agencies, private sectors, and civil society and non-governmental organizations.
Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Hung said ASEAN member states are promoting international cooperation to devise a cyber security strategy for their bloc.
Countries worldwide need to join with important international partners in addressing online threats, Hung noted.
Participating Vietnamese and foreign experts gave information on new research and technologies, cyberspace code of ethics, and negotiation procedures for cooperation in the arena.
New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam Wendy Matthews said creating an open and safe online environment for global connectivity is a mutual concern of all nations, adding that a set of regulations for countries’ actions on the internet in line with international law is important.
The workshop is co-organised by the Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team (VNCERT) and ICT4Peace Foundation.
Forum talks Vietnam-Ukraine relations in new stage
The Embassy of Vietnam in Ukraine and the Ukraine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI) co-hosted a forum entitled “Vietnam-Ukraine relations in the new stage” in Kiev on October 11.
The event saw participation of Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong, who is Chairman of the Vietnamese Subcommittee of the Vietnam-Ukraine Intergovernmental Committee for Economic-Trade and Science-Technology Cooperation; Vietnamese Ambassador to Ukraine Nguyen Anh Tuan; Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Policies on Agriculture and Food Olga Trophiseva; Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Victor Dovgan; UCCI President Ghenady Chizhucov, Ambassador to Vietnam Alexey Shovkopkias, among others.
Representatives from over 60 Vietnamese businesses and 150 Ukrainian enterprises also attended the event.
The event was designed to boost the comprehensive cooperation and friendship between Vietnam and Ukraine, promote networking between Vietnamese and Ukrainian businesses, and provide support for overseas Vietnamese (OV) in Ukraine.
Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong and Vietnamese Ambassador to Ukraine Nguyen Anh Tuan highlighted the importance of bilateral cooperative ties and the role of enterprises in boosting economic-trade ties between the two countries.
They also underlined the Vietnamese Government’s cooperation orientations and measures to assist Vietnamese and Ukrainian firms and support overseas Vietnamese in Ukraine.
Vietnamese and Ukrainian speakers briefed participants on the socio-economic situation and economic policies of their respective nation as well as cooperation potentials between the two sides, while representatives from ministries, sectors addressed businesses’ questions.
A number of agreements were signed at the forum, which was held right after the 14th meeting of the Vietnam-Ukraine Intergovernmental Committee for Economic-Trade and Science-Technology Cooperation in Kiev.-VNA
Voters praise anti-corruption efforts at meeting with Party leader
Many voters in Hanoi applauded the Party and State’s recent efforts to combat corruption, wastefulness and violations in personnel-related affairs during a meeting on October 12 with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and other National Assembly (NA) deputies of the city.
The meeting with voters of Tay Ho, Ba Dinh and Hoan Kiem districts was held ahead of the fourth session of the 14th NA, which is scheduled to take place from October 23 to November 22.
Many constituents held that the Party has straightforwardly looked at existing weaknesses and taken drastic measures to fight the degradation of thought, morality and lifestyle, along with self-evolution and self-transformation manifestations.
They hailed the settlement of many serious cases of public concern involving senior officials of the Party, the State and State-owned enterprises.
Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Quoc Thuoc, a voter in Ba Dinh district, said the people want the Party and State to do better, and they are ready to stand side by side with the Party and the State.
Other voters expressed their hope that both central agencies and localities will take action. Local inspection committees must work as strongly as the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission while the press should also play a greater role in preventing corruption, wastefulness and negative phenomena. The entire Party, people and the whole country must join efforts to create strong, synchronous and comprehensive moves.
While appreciating the voters’ opinions, Party General Secretary Trong shared the view that central agencies are working more drastically than local authorities in fighting corruption and negative phenomena, stressing that all must engage in this work to make progress.
The Party leader added the fight against corruption and negative phenomena is a difficult and complicated job, which requires persistence, determination, right methodology and consensus.
He affirmed the Party and State’s resolve in this work, reiterating the “no-holds-barred” crackdown on corruption and negative phenomena.
In response to voters’ attention to personnel-related affairs, the Party chief said the personnel work is a key task in the Party building, adding that officials must have right leading and working methodology.
The freshly finished sixth session of the 12th Party Central Committee moved to improve the personnel work along with the leading methodology and the operation effectiveness of the political system and public non-productive agencies, he added.
Regarding the NA’s fourth session, the General Secretary said the parliament will discuss and approve some laws, including a law on planning and a law on anti-corruption. It is also set to decide the socio-economic and financial-budgetary targets and tasks for 2018, as well as some personnel issues.
Winners of press awards on poverty reduction effort honoured
Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue honoured winners of the first press awards on sustainable poverty reduction effort in the 2016-2020 period in a ceremony in Hanoi on October 12.
During the event, 24 prizes, including one A, four B, nine C, were awarded in five categories of print media, online newspaper, radio broadcast, television programme, and photo reportage. The only A prize was presented to a group of journalists from the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) for their radio programme on poverty reduction policies.
The awards received 300 entries from January 1 to September 10, 84 of which went to the final round.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Deputy PM Hue said the competition raised awareness among people and local authorities of the need to implement and enforce the government’s poverty reduction policies and programmes and motivated the poor to help themselves.
He asked journalists and media agencies to continue participating in the competition in 2018 and the following years, contributing to the national effort to achieve sustainable poverty reduction goals set by the State and Party.
The Deputy PM also took the occasion to launch the 2018 awards.-
Binh Phuoc: Upgraded plant supplies thousands with clean water
The Binh Phuoc Water Supply and Sewage Company put into operation a 10,000-cubic-metre clean water plant in Phuoc Long commune, southern Binh Phuoc province, on October 12.
Up to 22.9 billion VND (over 1 million USD) has been used for the plant to have a pump station, a power station, a pipeline system and a water container.
Using water sourced from the Thac Mo reservoir, the facility is now capable of supplying clean water for more than 50,000 residents.
Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Huynh Anh Minh said the plant can operate effectively in the long term with its natural water source, contributing to socio-economic development of Phuoc Long.
Deputy PM Minh meets with voters in Thai Nguyen
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and other National Assembly (NA) deputies of northern Thai Nguyen province on October 12 met with local voters to brief them on the planned agenda of the NA’s upcoming fourth session.
At the meeting, the deputies and people in Bao Ly commune, Phu Binh distric, talked about a number of pressing issues such as the transparency of personnel rotation, policies targeting revolutionary contributors and Agent Orange victims, the management of natural resources, and the fight agiantst corruption.
Voters also mentioned some problems facing their localities, including obstacles in seeking funds for the construction of commune-level administrations’ headquarters, overloading at kindergartens, and policies for agricultural development.
Minh also informed the locals about the country’s socio-economic development, external affairs and border and maritime issues since the beginning of 2017.
Opinions raised by local voters were summarized by the NA deputies and will be reported to authorised agencies for settlement.
Meetings between NA deputies and voters are part of activities before and after each session of the parliament.
The fourth session of the 14th NA is scheduled to open on October 23.
HCM City, Hungary seek to realise cooperative agreements
Ho Chi Minh City and Hungary should realise cooperative agreements through certain projects, especially in education, trade, investment, sports and tourism in order to fully tap their potential, said Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong.
Receiving Szilveszter Bus, Deputy State Secretary of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, on October 12, Phong affirmed that agreements between the city and Hungary’s Budapest capital in human resources training and clean water management and use have proved effective .
Delighted with fine development of the two countries’ relations, particularly in southern Vietnamese localities, Bus affirmed that Hungary always wants to boost collaboration with Vietnam and become Vietnam’s leading partner in Central Europe.
Hungary seriously hopes to make contributions to Ho Chi Minh City’s smart urban building and development, he said.
He asked municipal leaders to create favourable conditions for Hungarian enterprises to seek investment opportunities in the city in the fields of education, urban infrastructure, wastewater treatment, and supply of high-quality farm produce.
He also pledged to facilitate the construction of the Can Tho Tumour Hospital so that it can be put into operation soon to serve health care in the Mekong Delta region and reduce overloads of Ho Chi Minh City’s hospitals.
HCM City raises fund for flood-hit people in north, central
The Ho Chi Minh City Red Cross Society plans to deliver more than one billion VND (44,000 USD) raised by its chapters at all levels for flood-hit residents in the northern provinces Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Son La, and Hoa Binh October 13.
Relief delegations will also be dispatched to the central province of Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, and Thua Thien – Hue to help locals overcome flood consequences.
Previously, the municipal chapter raised more than 560 million VND (24,640 USD) for residents in the northern and central flood-hit provinces at a ceremony on October 12.
Addressing the event, Nguyen Hoang An, Vice President of the Society called on all local authorities, organisations, individuals to help flood-hit residents in many ways, including by placing donation boxes in all agencies, companies, streets and residential areas.
Two donators presented 25 million VND (1,100 USD) to support the family of the Vietnam News Agency reporter Dinh Huu Du, who was swept away in the floods.
The Ho Chi Minh City Fatherland Front Committee also mobilised three billion VND (132,000 USD) to support residents in the provinces from September 21 to October 9.-
HCM City provides preferential loans for poor households
Ho Chi Minh City has provided preferential loans for more than 1.3 million poor households and social welfare beneficiaries from the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) branch in the city.
The information was revealed at a conference in HCM City on October 12 to review the implementation of preferential credit policies in 2003-2017.
The VBSP reported that its branch in HCM City has helped more than 225,000 families overcome poverty over the past 15 years while generating jobs for more than 220,000 labourers and helping 88,000 students study.
Director Tran Van Tien said as of August 31, 2017, the total credit of the VBSP’s branch in HCM City exceeded 2.8 trillion VND (over 123 million USD), nearly 20 times more than in 2003 when it was established.
The effective implementation of social credit policies has helped reduce poverty and unemployment and narrowed gaps between the rich and the poor, participants said.
Vice Chairwoman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Thu urged the VBSP branch in HCM City to take more measures to sustainably reduce poverty.
She suggested improving the quality of preferential credit loans and controlling the ratio of overdue debts as well as increasing financial inspections.
Russian expert highlights Vietnam’s role in Asia-Pacific
Vietnam plays a crucial role in the Asian-Pacific region, Chairman of a foundation on Asian and European science and technology research, Grigory Trofimtruk has told Vietnam News Agency reporters in Russia.
He said Vietnam is one of Russia’s key partners in the region.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia as special and suggested the two countries promote their traditional friendship, he added.
Trofimtruk said hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum 2017 has reinforced the geopolitical position of Vietnam in the region
He noted that Vietnam was the first country to sign a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union, helping the union expand its influence in other Southeast Asian nations.
Vietnam also welcomes proposals in economics and finance, he said.
Better regulations needed for domestic helpers
The number of domestic workers at home and abroad has been on the rise. However, regulations meant to protect their legitimate rights and interests are insufficient.
A report of the International Labour Organization (ILO) shows there are at least 67 million domestic helpers all over the world, of whom around 21 million are based in Asia-Pacific. A majority of domestic workers are women, making up over 80%. They have contributed significantly to economic growth in host countries.
But at households, contract terms of employment are unclear, unregistered and not governed by labor legislation. As a result, they are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.
Doan Mau Diep, Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, said at a national preparatory meeting for the 10th ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Forum on Migrant Labor on Monday that the forum would find ways to protect the legitimate rights and interests of laborers, and help them have secure jobs and gain access to social security.
The growing Vietnamese middle class has stronger demand for domestic helpers. The Vietnamese Government has made great strides in strengthening the protection of domestic workers through the 2012 Labor Code and Decree 27/2014/ND-CP guiding the execution of the Labor Code.
These documents provide regulations relevant to minimum wages, insurance premiums, minimum rest periods, and annual leave for workers in this group.
The nation is also considering ratifying the ILO’s Convention on Domestic Workers (Convention 189) by 2020.
Ngo Thi Ngoc Anh from the Research Center for Gender, Family and Community Development said domestic workers at home and abroad are facing a slew of challenges despite the presence of relevant regulations.
In Vietnam, those working abroad do not benefit from social security schemes such as insurance for occupational accidents and diseases, health insurance and unemployment allowances.
International migrant workers do not have access to social security as native citizens do given the lack of general standards for qualification, professionalism and technical capability.
Anh stressed these legal gaps put the rights and interests of domestic workers at stake when they work overseas.
Nguyen Thi Anh Hang, a member of the Overseas Labor Department under the ministry, shared the same view, saying Vietnamese domestic workers in Taiwan, Macau, Saudi Arabia, and Cyprus are not mentioned in regulations of these receiving territories and countries. Therefore, they are not protected by law.
The settlement of cases related to domestic workers is quite difficult, she noted.
Delegates at the meeting said governments should reach general agreements, thereby creating legal frameworks to manage and protect the rights and interests of laborers working abroad. Besides, international agencies should discuss the protection of domestic workers at international forums.
The ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labor is an annual event held by the ASEAN members within the framework of the ASEAN Committee to advance the implementation of the principles of the ASEAN Declaration on Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.
High recruitment demand for senior and middle-level managers continues
The Navigos Group, the leading recruitment company in Vietnam and the owner of online recruitment portal VietnamWorks and executive search firm Navigos Search, released a report on October 10 on recruitment demand for senior and middle-level managers in Vietnam during the third quarter of this year, based on recruitment requests to Navigos Search.
Recruitment demand for senior and middle-level positions by Navigos Search clients are continuously increasing. In the third quarter of this year, the number of such job orders rose 19 per cent year-on-year.
Industries that have the highest recruitment demands for these positions include manufacturing, consumer goods and retail, ICT, banking and finance, and services. Demand for senior and middle-level managers in manufacturing continued to dominate, with 35 per cent of the total, primarily in construction and electrical and electronics.
Consumer goods and retail followed, with the majority of recruitment requests coming from food and beverage and fashion businesses.
ICT was third, mostly in IT services and systems integration. Most positions sought to be filled were managers and engineers experienced in different programming languages.
In banking and finance, the greatest recruitment demand was from banks, insurance companies, and consumer finance companies. In services, recruitment demand was mainly from companies in advertising and marketing.
Renewable energy forecast to grow in near future
Vietnam has great potential for solar power as it’s in the equatorial region. There were not many opportunities for renewable energy projects in the past, however, due to the high cost of solar cells, raising investment costs. Recently, the cost of buying and installing solar panels has fallen significantly, and at the same time the government has mechanisms to encourage investment in solar energy, which has in turn attracted more investors.
Many solar energy projects from foreign investors are being proposed in a large number of localities throughout the country. Thermal power is also forecast to continue to expand to meet electricity demand for production and life. With the potential for remarkable development in the years to come, the labor market in the power sector is expected to thrive after a long period of quiet.
VN Economic Times
Vietnam launches third pair of locally-made guided missile corvettes
HCM City travel firms hope to profit from waterway tours
Saigontourist has launched seven new waterway routes on the Sai Gon River and the river sections of Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Long An.
Five luxury motor boats with the capacity of 25 passengers each and maximum speed of 50 kilometers per hour have been put into operation, taking tourists to destinations in HCMC and neighboring areas.
The tour operator has also announced a plan to build more boat stops.
With Sai Gon and Dong Nai rivers and a large network of canals and arroyos that create a 1,000 kilometer waterway network, HCMC has great advantages to develop waterway tourism.
The outstanding feature of HCMC which no other city has is the Sai Gon Port. Cruise ships can dock at Nha Rong Wharf, a famous historical relic. At the end of Sai Gon River is the Can Gio Mangrove, the world’s biosphere reserve, the city’s green lung, where there are historical monuments and tourist sites.
Bui Ta Hoang Vu, director of the HCMC Tourism Department, said the launch of new waterway tours is a part of the plan to develop the tourism industry in the city.
However, despite support by the municipal authorities and strong determination by Saigontourist, analysts are doubtful about local waterway tourism development.
In fact, many waterway tours were launched in the past, but ‘died young’ after a short time of operation. The water tour on Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal, for example, later disappeared because there were few travelers and the revenue was not high enough to maintain operation.
HCMC has received 19 million domestic travelers so far this year and 4.2 million foreign travelers, an increase of 16 percent over the same period last year. Tourism has brought revenue of VND84.574 trillion, up by 10 percent, making up 10 percent of the city’s GRDP.
As for Saigontourist’s seven new waterway tours, an analyst commented that the tour fees are relatively high, between VND750,000 and VND2.145 million. Instead of taking the tours, travelers may consider driving cars to excursion points at a cost just equal to a half.
In order to develop waterway tourism, travel firms need to offer many different destination points. However, it is difficult to obtain licenses to build harbors and boat stops.
Vu from the tourism department admitted that there were not enough harbors, boat stops and stations, while the quality is also problematic. He said the serious pollution of rivers and canals also hinders the development of waterway tourism.
Kim Chi, VNN
Mid-priced flats in vogue in HCM City
HCMThe mid-priced apartment segment in HCM City is developing strongly with demand and supply and liquidity all looking up, especially in the eastern part, experts said.
The mid-priced apartment segment in HCM City is developing strongly with demand and supply and liquidity all looking up, especially in the eastern part, experts said.
Da Nang inaugurates International Convention Centre in service of APEC
Not time yet to celebrate or mock gender parity
A father of two sons, only half in jest, vented some ire on his Facebook page recently over couples being praised officially for raising two daughters.
“Raising two sons is much harder, but we are ignored. How unjust is this? Let’s raise our voices about such discrimination against families that only have boys!”
Half in jest or not, many readers responded seriously, agreeing with the sentiment, including parents with daughters and no sons.
On Sunday, the Ha Noi Department of Health and Ba Dinh District People’s Committee organised a ceremony to praise 60 two-daughter families in the district for complying with population policies and overcoming gender prejudices to successfully bring up their children.
The ceremony marked the International Day of the Girl Child (October 11) launched by the United Nations to address girls’ needs and challenges and promote their empowerment.
Several other districts in the capital city followed suit.
That the father’s post resonated with many people merits some consideration of the questions it raises, even indirectly. Does the move actually help reduce sex imbalance at birth in the country? Is giving birth to daughters an action that should be commended, congratulated?
“I do not like it that I’m hailed for having two daughters even though I’m very proud to be the mother of two girls. It’s not an achievement, they are God’s gifts,” said Ngo Thanh An from Ha Noi.
She said that on the contrary, it would make her feel she was being discriminated against in a condescending way by the deeply-embedded patriarchy in Vietnamese society.
“The traditional thinking is changing only because men outnumber women now. I see this praise as having no real significance, just propaganda value.”
“That families give birth to only daughters or boys is a natural phenomenon, beyond personal desire. There should not be any prejudice against families with only boys or families with only girls. Once they are born, they are raised and educated equally by their parents,” said Nguyen Huu Hai, a father of two daughters in Ha Noi.
“If my family is praised for having two girls, I feel no encouragement at all. And even if I was placed on the list of these 60 families, I would not receive it.
“It is the responsibility of parents to bring up their children. We should only denounce sex discrimination and sex selection at birth,” Hai said.
Another father in Ha Dong District, who has two daughters, also said that official praise was unnecessary. He felt that the number of children in a family should be the parents’ right and depend on their financial ability to rear and nurture them.
“It does not matter if a child is a boy or a girl, it is much more important that they are raised to be healthy and helpful citizens in the society,” he said, not wanting to be named.
Obviously, there is an opinion among many people that the matter of boys or girls and the number of children in a family should not be mandated by anyone.
While these arguments are honest and rational to a large extent, do they reflect the full reality of life in a society where strongly patriarchal Confucian norms still hold sway?
Whether it is access to education or jobs, Vietnamese women are still at a disadvantage, studies show.
The fact is that a law was required to prevent parents from knowing the sex of a foetus because those who’d already had a girl would abort the next one and wait till they got a boy. The fact is that sex discrimination and selection at birth continues is still a reality in our society. The fact is that there is a striking gender imbalance in the country that experts have been issuing stern warnings about.
According to the United Nations, women are still under-represented in politics and continue to earn less than men across economic sectors with a differential wage gap of around 80 per cent and 87 per cent. A 2013 UNDP report showed women’s representation in the National Assembly at just 24.4 per cent.
But are official interventions effective?
Let’s look at efforts to control the sex balance at birth.
Reviewing a two-year (2015-2016) project tackling gender imbalance at birth, the General Office for Population and Family Planning said in May this year that 38 provinces and cities had included criteria on controlling the imbalance in their socio-economic development plan, while 26 others used part of their local budget for the project. Besides, hundreds, if not thousands, of seminars, workshops and conferences were held to disseminate knowledge of the nation’s population law to nearly 700,000 people.
What was the result?
In 2014, 15 of 63 provinces and cities had what experts called an abnormal sex ratio at birth (115 males per 100 females). The number increased to 22 provinces two years later.
Now, because of declining fertility and population growth rates, the Ministry of Health has proposed that the two-child policy be relaxed to allow Vietnamese parents to decide the number of children they want to have.
Viet Nam had experienced a high birth rate from early 1960s to late 1970s, from 30.2 million people in 1960 to 52.7 million in 1979. The rapid increase affected socio-economic development, and the country adopted the two-children per family policy.
In a report in 2015, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom warned that Viet Nam’s overall birth rate (2.09) was already below what is needed to replenish and maintain the population at current numbers.
Based on the experiences of other countries like Japan, Republic of Korea and China, Prof. Nguyen Dinh Cu, former Director of Institute for Population and Social Studies, has recommended that Viet Nam’s two-child policy should be amended or abolished.
Ngo Thanh An of Ha Noi said the two-child policy should be done away with in order to ensure social stability and labour structure in the years to come.
"No one but the husband and wife should decide the number of children they want, provided that they can provide them with best conditions," she said.
Again, an apparently rational argument runs against the reality we face, the resources a society as a whole needs to take care of all children, not just those of well-to-do parents.
We might need to increase our population’s growth rate, but the long-standing gender discrimination and disparity, in all its insidious forms, needs to be tackled firmly.
That fight is far from over.
Nguyen Khanh Chi
CJ Group buying offensive to bring revenue to $90 billion
In order to accomplish the revenue target of $90 billion by 2020, CJ Group (South Korea) must dominate all four key business areas in which the group is expanding its business activities. Therefore, continuously acquiring targeted companies appears to be the fastest way.
The perfect match from Vietnam
In recent years, Gemadept has emerged as an attractive option for investors in the field of logistics, including JP Morgan, Nikko, NTAsset, Composite, Consilium, TAELPartners, Seafarer, Dunross, CIM, Indochina Capital, SSI, MBS, VFM, Sarus Capital, and Bao Viet Fund.
Projects that have been deployed at strategic locations in key industrial zones, especially those in core business areas such as port operations or logistics, are the highlight of Gemadept, making it appealing to the above investor community.
Gemadept is withdrawing its capital from companies operating outside the industry, seeking strategic partners to further promote the company’s businesses in port operations and logistics. Gemadept has transferred 50.9 per cent of its shares in Gemadept Shipping and Gemadept Logistics to CJ Logistics, which is a large enough amount for CJ.
The deal value was not disclosed by the parties, but at the Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting in late May 2017, Do Van Minh, general director of Gemadept, said that the two companies were valued at $250 million. Thus, the sale of nearly 51 per cent of the shares helped Gemadept to raise about $125 million in revenue. The company will use the proceeds to pay a special dividend of 85 per cent for shareholders.
Previously, another member of CJ Group, CJ O Shopping Co., Ltd., also acquired the remaining 15 per cent of shares in CJ Vietnam Limited (Gemadept Tower). Ho Chi Minh City Securities Company (HSC) estimated that the value of this transfer might reach at least VND165 billion ($7.27 million).
In 2014, Gemadept sold 85 per cent of its shares in Gemadept Tower to CJ Group for $45 million. A few years ago, before the deal was officially announced, Gemadept’s office building had been transformed into CJ’s headquarters in Vietnam, which could also be considered an affirmation.
The scale of logistics services in Vietnam currently hovers around $20-22 billion per year, accounting for 20.9 per cent of the country’s GDP.
However, Gemadept is not the only target of CJ in the field of logistics in Vietnam or in Asia. At the end of 2012, CJ partnered up with C.T Group to build and operate a logistics system including warehouses and storage facilities in Binh Duong, Danang, and Bac Ninh.
In particular, C.T is responsible for setting up the warehousing infrastructure, while its Korean partner will be in charge of investments in technology and expertise. Considering Song Than Logistics Center (Binh Duong) alone, CJ’s investment was estimated at $20 million, while that of C.T could amount to $12 million.
Recently, CJ has been continuously acquiring logistics companies in Asia. Last year, CJ spent $10 million buying 31.4 per cent of the shares in Malaysia Century Logistics and 50 per cent of Shenzen Speedex Commercial Service (China). In 2015, CJ bought China’s Rokin Logistics for $400 million to keep the battlefield in China and eking out the momentum to promote business growth in Southeast Asia.
CJ’s goal is to become one of the top five logistics companies in the world by 2020. The corporation is working to purchase a majority stake in two forwarding companies in Europe and the US to create a giant network covering the entirety of Asia. Other acquisitions are the purchase of 50 per cent of shares in India’s largest logistics company Darcl, the acquisition of a 51 per cent stake in Ibrakom Group, a project in the Middle East and Central Asia.
“We are diversifying our M&A channels and strategic alliances to become one of the five major logistics service providers in the world,” said Park Gun Tae, CEO of CJ Logistics.
With the advantage of participating in numerous international trade agreements, Vietnam is attracting a large number of foreign investors, especially big manufacturing groups such as Samsung, Microsoft or LG who are relocating their production lines to the country. This has led to an increase in exports, thereby leading to a surge in the demand for ocean freight shipping.
CJ has been eyeing this delicious piece of cake for so long and the decision to conduct M&A deals with domestic partners seems to be the most reasonable choice. Due to restrictions on foreign investors’ ownership ratio in previous years, many foreign companies choose joint ventures or strategic partnerships to do business in Vietnam.
By acquiring well-established and profitable domestic logistics companies like Gemadept, CJ will be able to quickly take advantage of its available network, customer base, and local operating experience. This carries smaller costs to enter the market than building everything from scratch.
Focus on the goal of $5 billion in revenue
The acquisition of Gemadept marked a new step in CJ’s plan to expand its businesses in Vietnam, formally tapping into the logistics industry. CJ’s strategy is to make Vietnam one of the three biggest foreign markets of the group after Korea and Japan. The goal of CJ Vietnam and CJ Indochina (Laos and Cambodia) is to reach $5 billion in revenue by 2020.
CJ entered the Vietnamese market in 1998, starting with the production of animal feed. In 2007, CJ debuted in the food industry with the launch of the Tous Les Jours pastry chain, which now has more than 30 stores across the country. In 2011, CJ spent more than $73 million to acquire an 80 per cent stake in Megastar, the largest cinema chain in Vietnam at the time.
In recent years, CJ has expressed its ambition to become a major name in the Vietnamese consumer food industry as it focuses more investments in local food processing partners. After failing to build a strategic partnership with Vissan, CJ acquired the kimchee brand Mr. Kim, as well as bought a 47.33 per cent stake in Cau Tre Food Joint Stock Company last November. The group then raised its stakes in the company to 71.6 per cent in May this year.
In the first quarter of this year, CJ invested $13.44 million to buy a 65 per cent stake in Minh Dat Co., a leading brand in the meatball market.
CJ has reinforced its relationships with numerous local partners. One of these is Saigon Trading Company (Satra), the largest state-owned company in Ho Chi Minh City. Satra is currently the owner of a number of well-known food brands and has a nationwide distribution network which is being utilised by CJ to distribute its products.
This year, CJ has invested $61.8 million in a food processing complex, including a research centre in Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park in Ho Chi Minh City. The project is being implemented through a partnership with a subsidiary of Satra and is expected to be put in operation by July 2018. CJ is also negotiating with some livestock companies to develop an animal feed supply chain.
Chang Bok Sang, Chairman and CEO of CJ Group Vietnam, says that the group has an investment fund for M&A deals and it is interested in Vietnamese state-owned enterprises that are going to be equitised. The company has achieved an annual growth rate of about 30 per cent and wants to diversify its businesses by stepping into many other potential areas in Vietnam. By 2016, the company has invested $500 million in Vietnam’s agricultural, entertainment, pharmaceutical, and retail sectors and plans to increase its portfolio to $1 billion by the end of this year.
Last year, CJ Vietnam raised over $740 million in sales and $36 million in pre-tax profit, mainly from the fields of animal feed, agriculture, and entertainment. Regarding the food industry alone, CJ considers Vietnam a strategic market for Southeast Asia as the group has set a target of gaining $700 million from the industry by 2020.
By Anh Hoa, VIR
Government urges drastic actions to complete 2017 targets
The Government has urged ministries, agencies and localities to take drastic actions to complete targets and tasks for 2017 (Source: VNA)In a recently issued resolution, the Government said the national economy in January-September grew by 6.41 percent year-on-year. In the third quarter of this year, growth hit 7.46 percent.
Better growth quality and economic competitiveness, macroeconomic stability, curbed inflation, lower interest rates and higher foreign reserves have created a healthy economic picture during the past nine months, the resolution said.
However, it said, there remain challenges to socio-economic development such as poor performance of the industrial and construction sectors, an increasing number of businesses ceasing operations, and red tape in administrative procedures, plus diseases and natural disasters.
Against this backdrop, the Government has asked the State Bank of Vietnam to flexibly manage monetary policy, which should be closely combined with fiscal policy and other macro policies to curb inflation, stabilise the economy and support growth.
The bank has also been tasked with lowering interest rates, giving loans to priority sectors, facilitating loan access of small-and medium-sized enterprises, restructuring weak banks and implementing a project restructuring credit institutions in tandem with addressing bad debts.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade was requested to spur exports, intensify trade promotion, expand markets, guide enterprises how to make the best use of free trade agreements and streamline administrative procedures in exports.
The ministry should team up with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deal with trade barriers in foreign markets, the Government said, stressing the need to tighten market management, particularly during the year end and Lunar New Year holidays.
The Government urged the MARD to ensure growth in rural areas at 3.05 percent and told the Ministry of Health to fight dengue fever and hand-foot-mouth disease, increase IT use in health check-up and treatment, and monitor medicine distribution.
Ministers and heads of ministry-level agencies were requested to make thorough preparations for the upcoming fourth meeting of the 14th National Assembly.
The Government also agreed with the Ministry of Education and Training to delay the implementation of a new curriculum and textbook programme for education.
The programme will be carried out at primary level from the 2019-2020 academic year, secondary schools from the 2020-2021 school year and high schools from the 2021-2022 school year.-VNA
SCIC to auction 3.33 percent of Vinamilk stake next month
Vietnam’s sovereign fund State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) will sell 3.33 percent of the State’s capital in the Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk) on November 10 this year, the SCIC announced on October 16.
Vinamilk’s grass for cattle feed which meets organic standards and contains no chemicals in the southern province of Lam Dong’s Don Duong District
This is the second sale of the State’s capital in Vietnam’s biggest dairy firm, with the first also run by the SCIC in December last year.
Details on the upcoming auction, scheduled for the HCM Stock Exchange, have not been disclosed, but the advisor consortium for the sale – the Singaporean branch of Swiss financial services firm UBS AG and Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) – will advise on the sale planning, set the initial price, seek foreign and domestic investors, and organise the sale.
SCIC holds a 39.34 percent stake in Vinamilk, equivalent to nearly 571 million shares as of December 31, 2016.
In the previous deal that took place in December 12, 2016, the SCIC offloaded more than 130 million shares in the dairy firm but sold only 60 percent of them.
Singapore-based dairy group Fraser and Neave Ltd (F&N) was the only foreign investor interested in Vinamilk’s shares then. Its two subsidiaries F&N Dairy Investment Ltd and F&N Bev Manufacturing Pte Ltd spent nearly 500 million USD at the auction.
The advisory firms for the previous deal were the Singaporean branch of Morgan Stanley Asia Limited, SSI and VinaCapital Corporate Finance Vietnam Limited.
SCIC Chairman Nguyen Duc Chi said the SCIC and the advisor consortium are working to organise two non-deal roadshows abroad – in Singapore and Hong Kong. In Vietnam, the SCIC will hold a roadshow in HCM Stock Exchange on October 18.
About 24 investors in Singapore have expressed interest in the auction, along with 11 in Hong Kong. Most of them are new investors and large international investment funds which want private discussions, Chi said, adding that the SCIC has yet to receive an offer from F&N.
F&N is now Vinamilk’s largest foreign shareholder, with a total 18.74 percent of shares.
In this offering, the SCIC will not either limit the proportion of shares one investor can buy or set criteria for investors, Chi said.
With regard to the initial selling price, the SCIC chairman said: “We have not decided the price yet. We expect to disclose it about 7-10 days prior to the auction so that the starting price will be close to the market price and not affect Vinamilk’s share price.”
He said the starting price of 154,000 VND (6.78 USD) per share was suggested by the Steering Committee for Enterprise Renewal and Development but investors must wait until the auction date for the official price.
Vinamilk’s shares closed on October 16 down 0.5 percent at 148,600 VND a share. The share price has increased 18.3 percent since the beginning of this year.
The SCIC will make public the information and draft regulations on the share sale by October 21 and announce the initial selling price and receive deposits from November 1.
Regarding foreign investors’ concerns about registration procedures, SCIC Deputy General Director Nguyen Chi Thanh said the SCIC has reported to the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance, the State Bank of Vietnam and the State Securities Commission to create favourable conditions for investors to participate in the auction, such as accepting deposits in US dollar and extending time for registering transaction codes.
Listed companies shall be exempt from making a public bid but must send interest of purchase to the auction board seven days before the auction.
Ho Chi Minh City’s per capita income forecast to hit $9,800 in 2020
The city is set to post a yearly GRDP growth rate of 8.5 percent between 2016 and 2020
The per capita income in Ho Chi Minh City is projected to reach US$9,800 in 2020 if the city is able to maintain a healthy gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth rate of at least 8.5 percent yearly.
The numbers were announced on Wednesday last week by Tran Vinh Tuyen, deputy chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, at a conference to promote investment in the city.
According to Tuyen, the city made remarkable economic progress between 2011and 2015, recording an average GRDP growth rate of 9.6 percent yearly over the period – 1.66 times higher than the national average.
With the help of a continued transition from agriculture to industry and services, the southern hub is set to post an average yearly GRDP growth rate of 8.5 percent between 2016 and 2020, Tuyen said.
By the beginning of the next decade, services will have accounted for 56-58 percent of Ho Chi Minh City’s GRDP, he added.
Based off those projections, the city’s per capita income in 2020 is forecast to top $9,800, up 22.5 percent from a 2014 prediction of only $8,000.
Ho Chi Minh City, which covers 0.63 percent of Vietnam’s total area, currently accounts for 21 percent of the country’s GDP and contributes to one-third of the state budget, Tuyen noted.
The city also attracts roughly half of Vietnam’s foreign visitors and 30 percent of its foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country.
In 2016, Ho Chi Minh City exported $31.8 billion worth of products to foreign markets following an average yearly export growth rate of six percent during the 2010-16 period.
Minh Phu due for a comeback: What will the “King of Shrimp” bring to the table?
Minh Phu Seafood Corporation (MPC) today listed its stock on the UPCoM Stock Exchange two years after voluntarily delisting from the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HoSE). The reference price at the opening trading session already reached VND79,000 per share ($3.48).
Founded in 1992, Minh Phu Seafood Company is not only known as “the King of Shrimp” in Vietnam but also among the leading shrimp exporters in the world.
The period of 2009-2014 was MPC’s golden age, with unceasing growth in business activities. In particular, 2014 was considered the peak when the company reported VND15,094 billion ($664.93) in revenue, VND921 billion ($40.57) in after-tax profit, plus $729 million in export value, accounting for 18.8 per cent of the national shrimp export turnover, 4.24 per cent of US shrimp imports, and 5.6 per cent of Japanese shrimp imports.
Amid positive business prospects, the 2015 business plan set the ambitious target of VND19,333 billion ($851.64 million) of revenue and VND1,452 billion ($63.96 million) of after-tax profit. At the end of March 2015, MPC officially delisted from HoSE, following a decision approved by all shareholders a year earlier. The reason given by MPC was that the market value of MPC’s stock did not reflect the true value of the corporation and MPC left the stock exchange to seek strategic partners to restructure the company and secure capital sources for further development.
However, since delisting, instead of continuing to grow as expected, MPC’s business results plummeted with a host of challenges rising in the shrimp export market. In 2015, MPC only earned VND12.2 trillion ($537.44 million) from sales, meeting 63 per cent of the year’s target, while the after-tax profit was minus VND7 billion ($308,370).
In 2016, MPC set a cautious target of VND16.3 trillion ($718.06 million) in revenue and nearly VND550 billion ($24.23 million) of after-tax profit. However, by the end of the year, the company still suffered from tremendous difficulties and only generated VND11.963 trillion ($527 million) in revenue and VND82 billion ($ 3.6 million) in profit.
After two years of failing to achieve its targets, in 2017, although the market is still challenging, MPC’s Board of Directors sets the bold target of VND15.78 trillion of revenue ($695.15 million) and VND840 billion of net profit ($37 million). However, by the end of the first half of the year, the company only gained VND158.5 billion ($6.98 million) in after-tax profit.
Given the industry’s characteristics, the second half of the year brings usually better sales due to high consumption demand during major holidays. However, taking into account the corporation’s recent business results and the current situation of both the domestic and international shrimp markets, it will still be a great challenge for MPC to complete the 2017 plan.
Regarding its financial situation, MPC has not yet made any attempts to scale up the capital stock as announced before delisting. Previously, the 2015 general shareholders’ meeting had already approved another plan to raise capital by issuing 30 million shares at a price not less than VND100,000 ($4.4) apiece which could yield VND3 trillion ($132.16 million).
Thereby, one might expect the issuance would reinforce the corporation’s financial capacity and improve capital ratios. As of June 30, 2017, the owner’s equity of MPC was VND2.437 trillion ($107.35 million), of which the chartered capital amounted to VND700 billion ($30.84 million). MPC is burdened with VND5.918 trillion ($260.73 million) in liabilities, 2.43 times its owner’s equity, of which interest-bearing loans accounted for 90.8 per cent.
At the moment, the corporation’s cash flow from trading activities is plentiful, payment risks remain under control, while short-term loans are mainly executed in foreign currency (VND3.035 trillion or $133.7 million of debts and loans as of the end of June 2017). Nevertheless, big debts have always been one of the factors in MPC’s consistently plummeting profit figures.
In 2015-2016, MPC’s interest from loans was estimated at around VND218 billion per year ($9.6 million), up 30.5 per cent year-on-year, rather large compared to net profits gained from its business and operation activities.
Struggle for market share
Vietnam is currently the world leader in black tiger shrimp production and third in general shrimp production. In 2016, when Vietnamese shrimp exports reached $3.1 billion in total value—the largest turnover in seafood products—MPC contributed $532.14 million.
MPC took the first position in terms of seafood exports, accounting for 7.54 per cent of the total seafood export turnover of the whole country, 2.1 times higher than the second Vinh Hoan. According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), Vietnam’s shrimp export value has reached $2.3 billion in the first eight months of 2017. It is also forecast to rise to $3.4 billion throughout the whole year, increasing by about 6 per cent compared to 2016.
Despite growth in revenue, shrimp exporters, including MPC, are facing myriad challenges, especially when they have to compete with Indian, Thai, and Indonesian shrimp exporters in terms of both price and quality.
With respect to the US, MPC’s main market, data from VASEP reveals that in the first eight months of 2017, Vietnam’s shrimp export value has reached nearly $416 million, down 4.4 per cent compared to the same period last year.
This decline was due to new US policies that had a negative impact on exports to this market in general. On the other hand, in the announcement of the preliminary decision made in its 11th administrative review (POR11), the US Department of Commerce (DOC) decided to increase anti-dumping duties on shrimp products imported from Vietnam. This, so far, has reduced the competitiveness of Vietnamese shrimp products.
“Normally, the price of shrimp exported from India, Indonesia or Ecuador is about $1 per kilogramme lower than that of Vietnam on average, while the products are of a higher quality. Undeniably, Vietnamese products are facing fierce competition,” said Le Van Quang, chairman of MPC’s Board of Directors.
Statistics from VASEP also show that the average price of shrimp products (frozen shell shrimp) exported from Vietnam to New York (US) is always higher than those from other countries.
MPC has experienced two stormy years in 2015-2016 due to the scarcity of raw materials for shrimp production. As a result, factories had to continuously raise the expenses on collecting raw materials to compensate for signed contracts. At the same time, export prices failed to keep up with the trend and were even declining.
Despite its position as one of the largest shrimp exporters in the world with a relatively high share of high-end exports, given the fact that its export prices are consistently higher than the average of other domestic firms MPC’s business results over the last two years have shown that the set of measures focusing on closed cultivation process, disease-free production, and clear origins have not been effective in terms of generating a breakthrough in competitiveness against international counterparts.
In this context, MPC’s Board of Directors says that they are still seeking to expand business to new markets, such as Russia, China, and even in the domestic market. Among these potential destinations China will be play a pivotal role. However, to date, these measures still need more time to prove their effectiveness.
Debuted on the stock exchange with a P/E ratio of 25 times earnings
As stated in the announcement of the Hanoi Stock Exchange, MPC shares will be officially traded on UPCoM from October 16, 2017 with the reference price of VND79,000 per share ($3.48), equivalent to a total sum of VND5.5 trillion ($242.29 million), double the total owner’s equity at the end of the second quarter.
Although business results have improved significantly in the first half of the year, the average earnings per share (EPS) for the last four quarters was just VND3,166 (less than 0.02 cent), far behind the VND13,157 ($0.58) in 2014. Given this EPS, MPC’s price/earnings ratio (PE) is approximately 25, significantly higher than that of other stocks listed on the stock exchange, such as VHC, FMC, HVG, ANV, and AGF.
In comparison with the closing price of VND122,000 ($5.37) in the last trading session on HoSE in March 2015, MPC’s shareholders clearly suffered numerous losses during this difficult phase, skipping on dividend payments for two consecutive years. The decline in profit has also brought down MPC’s stock value.
After several rearrangements, MPC’s shareholder structure is rather concentrated with most of the shares lying in the hands of internal shareholders or investment funds who wish to build long-term commitments with the corporation. Bearing that in mind, market volatility or price fluctuation may not exert much impact on these shareholders.
Investors are mainly interested in improving MPC’s production efficiency, business performance, and competitiveness to raise the position of the shrimp brand “Minh Phu” on the world market.
VN Index among 10 high-growth stock indexes
Analysts believe that the upward trend of the stock market will continue in the last months of the year, with the VN Index soaring to 820-850 points by the end of 2017.
The VN Index on October 6 reached 807.8 points, a 10-year peak. This represents a 21.6 percent increase this year, the fastest growth rate in South East Asia and the 10th fastest in the world.
By the end of 2006, the total capitalization value of the Vietnamese stock market had been reported at $14 billion, but the figure soared to $120 billion, up by 67 percent compared to the end of 2016, equal to 60 percent of GDP.
"Stable macroeconomic policies open up bright prospects for the economy. According to economic laws, the stock market is always ahead of economic growth, so the strong rise of the stock market is quite reasonable," said Duong Anh Vu, a financial expert.
In the first nine months of the year, the investors bought more than sold by $625 million on the Hanoi and HCMC bourses. Meanwhile, net sales were seen in Indonesia ($800 million) and Pakistan, which has been upgraded into an Emerging Market ($427 million).
Though VN Index has increased sharply in three-quarters of the time of 2017, the indicators in Vietnam are not high. The P/E ratio is around 16, lower than Thailand’s (Set Index) 17.1, Indonesia’s (JCI Index) 23 and the Philippines’ (PCOMP Index) 22.7. Regarding the P/B, the indicator is 2.3 in Vietnam, while it is 2.5 in Indonesia and the Philippines.
In its latest report, BIDV Securities gave optimistic predictions about the performance of the market in the fourth quarter of the year, commenting that the stock index would thrive on a series of positive factors. These include a high GDP growth rate of 7.46 percent in Q3, an increase of 30 percent and 13.4 percent in registered and disbursed FDI capital, respectively, a 9.6 percent increase in total money supply and 11 percent credit growth rate.
Economists all agree that the 6.7 percent GDP growth rate for 2017 is within reach, while BIDV Securities believe that the VN Index may reach 820-850 points by the end of the year.
In an optimistic scenario, VN Index will climb to a new high with the support of bluechips. The policy on loosening monetary policy will facilitate liquidity. The shares of banks and corporations which the state would divest from would still be the key shares in the market.
In a pessimistic scenario, the VN Index would drop to below the 780 point threshold, if there is bad news which prompts foreign investors to sell shares.
M. Ha, VNN
Vietnam proud of being responsible UN member
Over the past four decades, Vietnam has taken great pride in its membership to the UN. Despite its limited resources, the country has made all-out effort to make contributions to all three pillars- peace- security, development and human rights.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made the statement at a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of Vietnam’s membership to the UN in Hanoi on October 17.
Vietnam has always placed a top priority on boosting effective cooperation with the United Nations (UN) as part of its external policies, Phuc said while recalling the event on September 20, 1977 when the UN General Assembly admitted Vietnam as the 149th member. The admission marked the UN’s recognition of the independence, freedom and unification of the Southeast Asian country advancing to “Doi moi” (Renewal) process and international integration.
Since its establishment in 1945, the UN has been a leading organization in implementing peacekeeping activities, preventing conflicts, stepping up cooperation and development, and ensuring human rights, he said.
Vietnam has been trusted in election to many key UN agencies and the Vietnam - UN Development Cooperation Framework is seen as a successful model.
"Vietnam strongly supports the call of the UN Secretary General stating that 2017 is a year for peace. We look forward to the UN's greater role in maintaining international peace and security, preventing and settling disputes through peaceful means on the basis of respect for the Charter of the United Nations and international law," Phuc stressed.
On behalf of the Vietnamese Government and people, the PM thanked the UN and international community for their valuable support for Vietnam over the past four decades.
Vietnam pledges to continue to be a member of UN agencies and expand peacekeeping operations as well as carry out the sustainable development agenda and the Paris agreement on climate change. The country desires to receive more international support to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure, the government leader said.
He also urged the UN, development partners and international friends to continue helping Vietnam to successfully realize its renewal process towards sustainable development and prosperity in the future.
On this occasion, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres extended a congratulatory message to the Vietnamese people and Government in which, he hailed Vietnam’s commitments to the South-South Cooperation and assured the UN’s commitment to going ahead with stronger cooperation with the country.
He said he hopes Vietnam will become more involved in UN peacekeeping operations.
In his address, UN Resident Coordinator to Vietnam Kamal Malhotra greatly valued Vietnam-UN cooperation over the past four decades and the country's efforts to fulfill most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) before 2015.
He displayed his belief that with its strong political determination and experience in the MDGs realisation, the country will achive the Sustainable Development Goals with better results.
From an ODA recipient, Vietnam has become a development partner, remarkably contributed to the maintenance of international peace and security, and helped to prevent and peacefully settle disputes and conflicts in the world on the basis of the UN Charter, he noted.
Malhotra affirmed UN organisations's continuous support for the country in dealing with challenges through high-level policy consultation, experience sharing, and expertise provision, and actualizing innovative and feasible solutions towards achieving the 2030 Agenda.
On the occasion, PM Phuc and Resident Coordinator Malhotra cut the ribbon opening an exhibition highlighting 40 years of Vietnam- UN relationship.
Indictment finalised for former MHB leader
The Supreme People’s Procuracy on Tuesday has finalised charges against Huynh Nam Dung, former management board chairman of Mekong Housing Bank (MHB), and sixteen accomplices. They are accused of abuse of power and irresponsibility that wrought serious consequences.
Dung’s accomplices include former director general Nguyen Phuoc Hoa, former vice director general Bui Thanh Hung and former chief accountant Nguyen Van Thanh. They caused about VND457 billion (US$20 million) of losses to the bank.
The date of the trial has not yet been announced.
According to the indictment, Dung and Hoa took advantage of their positions to transfer nearly VND5 trillion (US$220 million) from MHB to Mekong Housing Bank Securities Company for the stated purpose of investing in Government bonds. But instead of investing in Government bonds, the MHBS deposited over VND3.3 trillion ($145 million) into different branches of the bank to earn over VND45 billion ($2 million) in interest payments.
In addition, MHBS used more than VND1.5 trillion ($66 million) to invest in bonds, of which nearly VND1 trillion (US$44 million) was used to trade MHB’s own bond investment via a middle company. This action resulted in a loss of nearly VND350 billion ($15 million) to the MHB.
According to investigation results, Dung earned VND460 million ($20 million) while other defendants also benefited to the tune of hundred of millions of Vietnamese dong.