Articles on this Page
- 05/30/18--03:18: _Article 0
- 05/31/18--06:41: _Article 3
- 05/31/18--06:56: _Article 2
- 05/31/18--06:59: _Article 1
- 05/31/18--07:19: _Article 0
- 06/01/18--01:02: _Article 3
- 06/01/18--01:26: _Article 2
- 06/01/18--01:33: _Article 1
- 06/01/18--01:57: _Article 0
- 06/04/18--01:31: _Article 5
- 06/04/18--01:50: _Article 4
- 06/04/18--01:59: _Article 3
- 06/04/18--02:10: _Article 2
- 06/04/18--02:28: _Article 1
- 06/04/18--02:45: _Article 0
- 06/05/18--02:12: _Article 2
- 06/05/18--02:35: _Article 1
- 06/05/18--02:44: _Article 0
- 06/06/18--01:40: _Article 2
- 06/06/18--01:56: _Article 1
- 05/30/18--03:18: Article 0
- 05/31/18--06:41: Article 3
- 05/31/18--06:56: Article 2
- 05/31/18--06:59: Article 1
- 05/31/18--07:19: Article 0
- 06/01/18--01:02: Article 3
- 06/01/18--01:26: Article 2
- 06/01/18--01:33: Article 1
- 06/01/18--01:57: Article 0
- 06/04/18--01:31: Article 5
- 06/04/18--01:50: Article 4
- 06/04/18--01:59: Article 3
- 06/04/18--02:10: Article 2
- 06/04/18--02:28: Article 1
- 06/04/18--02:45: Article 0
- 06/05/18--02:12: Article 2
- 06/05/18--02:35: Article 1
- 06/05/18--02:44: Article 0
- 06/06/18--01:40: Article 2
- 06/06/18--01:56: Article 1
Draft Law on Coast Guard of Vietnam discussed at NA
Speaking in a discussion on the Draft Law on Vietnam Coast Guard on May 29, Deputy Minister of Public Security Le Quy Vuong, Deputy of the National Assembly (NA) Delegation of Hung Yen, underscored the need to upgrade the Ordinance on Vietnam Coast Guard to the Law on Vietnam Coast Guard in order to create a legal framework for the force to ensure security, order and maritime sovereignty as well as to conduct law enforcement activities at sea.
Deputy Minister Vuong emphasized that the police force of Vietnam coordinated closely with the Coast Guard in various fields, including counter-terrorism at sea, and foreign-related crimes.
He also raised some questions about the implementation of the law, for instance the scope of the operation of the Coast Guard force mentioned in Clause 2, Article 11, and the range of patrol of the Coast Guard in Clause 2, Article 13 of the draft.
Meanwhile, Major General Sung Thin Co, Deputy Commander of Military Zone 2, Ministry of Defense, Deputy of the NA delegation of Ha Giang province said that the Coast Guard of Vietnam, which was established 20 years ago, is the major law enforcement force and responsible for international missions at sea. Once maritime sovereignty disputes arise, the Coast Guard, in addition to the Navy, directly engages in fighting to defend national sovereignty.
Major General Sung Thin Co also emphasized the significance of building the Law on Vietnam Coast Guard as well as of building an elite and modern Coast Guard force in the context of increasingly complicated developments in the region.
BUSINESS IN BRIEF 31/5
Gelex to increase charter capital in Gelex Eletric
The Vietnam Electrical Equipment Joint Stock Corporation (Gelex) may increase the charter capital of its subsidiary business Gelex Eletrical Equipment Co Ltd (Gelex Electric) six-fold, to VND2.2 trillion (US $98.6 million).
The charter capital increase will be carried out through merging Gelex Electric with three other subsidiaries of Gelex and cash funding. Gelex has a 100 per cent stake in Gelex Electric.
Gelex will hand over its ownership in the three sub-businesses, which are Vietnam Electric Cable Corporation (Cadivi), Electrical Equipment JSC (Thibidi) and Hanoi Electro-Mechanical Manufacturing JSC (HEM), to Gelex Electric after raising its stakes in these three firms to 100 per cent.
Gelex is holding a respective 79.76 per cent, 79.79 per cent and 65.88 per cent stake in the three companies. Therefore, the three companies may be delisted from the stock markets once the deals complete.
In addition to handing over the three companies to Gelex Electric, Gelex will also add VND19 million in cash to the charter capital of Gelex Electric.
Gelex has recently announced it will issue maximum 72 million shares to convert 1,440 warrants for bondholders at VND16,600 per share.
VN-Japan talk farm technology co-operation
Viet Nam and Japan can accelerate co-operation in applying Japan’s new technology and advanced value chain management methods to Viet Nam’s agricultural production, according to experts at a conference in the capital city on Tuesday.
Head of the Viet Nam Academy of Agricultural Sciences Nguyen Hong Son said Viet Nam was transforming its agricultural production to focus on increasing quality rather than quantity.
The application of science and advanced technologies is a key factor in this transformation process, he said, emphasising the importance of technology in the entire farming production chain from cultivation and harvesting to processing and trading.
Viet Nam has gradually co-operated with foreign partners to evaluate and choose suitable technologies which can help the country produce quality farm produce. Technologies from Japan and South Korea, where farming methods are relatively familiar to Viet Nam, are among the best candidates.
Son described the adoption of advanced technologies from Japan in several areas such as seeds, bio-preparations, soil improvers and biosecurity besides those in quality control as an effective way for Viet Nam to promote exports of agricultural products to Japan as well as other countries with which Japan has trade relationships.
If Viet Nam wants to export goods to Japan, its technology needs to be compatible with that of Japan in order to churn out products that meet the quality demand of this strict market, Son explained.
Koichiro Abe, CEO of Raycean Co from Japan, affirmed that cutting-edge techniques and marketing strategies can increase the value of agricultural goods.
During the event yesterday, Japanese firms discussed technologies Viet Nam could adopt in the areas of cultivation and livestock.
VN’s five-month agro-forestry-fishery exports
The country’s total exports of agro-forestry-fishery products witnessed positive year-on-year growth of 10 per cent to US$15.6 billion in the first five months of this year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) announced yesterday.
During the period, forestry products led the agro, forests and seafood export group with turnover of $3.4 billion, up 9 per cent year-on-year and accounting for nearly 22 per cent of the total export value.
Among major importers of Vietnamese wood and wood-based products were China, Japan, South Korea and the US.
The export value of key agricultural products reached $8.25 billion, up 10 per cent from the same time last year.
In May alone, the country raked in $347 million from shipping abroad some 452,000 tonnes of rice, bringing the total value of rice exports in the January-May period to $1.45 billion, up 40 per cent and 14 per cent.
The average rice price in the period experienced an increase of 13 per cent to over $500 per tonne.
China remained the largest buyer of Vietnamese rice, holding nearly 34 per cent of the market share.
According to MARD, seafood products contributed $3.12 billion to the group’s five month export turnover, a hike of 10 per cent year-on-year.
The ministry also said that the country spent $12.29 billion importing agro-forestry-fishery products during January-May, marking a yearly rise of 11 per cent.
Imports of garment and footwear materials from Canada surge strongly
Imports of materials for garment and footwear industries from Canada saw a tremendous growth of 179.8% to US$11.8 million in the first four months of this year, according to the statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
Imports of the products in April reached US$497.05 million, bringing the total import value in four months to US$1.74 billion, down 0.02% against the corresponding period last year.
Currently, the five major suppliers with a value of more than US$100 million each are China, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, the US and Southeast Asian countries. China took the lead at more than US $645.95 million (down 4.3%), accounting for 37.2% of Vietnam’s total imports, trailed by the RoK (down 5.1% to nearly US$226.16 million), Taiwan (down 11.2% to US$148.11 million), the US (up 14% to US $118.83 million) and Southeast Asian countries (up 14.2% to US$113.55 million).
It’s noteworthy that imports of the materials from many markets particularly from Canada increased against the same period last year.
Meanwhile, imports from other markets suffered a sharp decline, including Argentina (down 51% to US$7.68 million), New Zealand (down 50.3% to US$4.23 million), France (down 41.6% to US$1.3 million), Austria (down 32.8% to US$0.44 million) and Germany (down 31.4% to US$8.44 million).
TH Group expects IPO in Singapore within next two years
TH Group may one-up Vietjet and VNG by becoming the first Vietnamese firm to have its stock listed on an overseas stock exchange. However, the IPO is planned for 2020, which leaves a lot of space for action for the other firms.
TH Group is planning to be listed on the stock exchange in the next two years.
Group founder and chairwoman Thai Huong said that the IPO will be conducted in Singapore. Since late last year, TH Group has consulted several financial institutions to prepare its plans for the initial public offering (IPO) of its dairy business.
TH Group set the revenue target of US$1 billion from the dairy business before listing.
The proceeds of the IPO will be used to develop their domestic market and expand business in Russia.
On the note of listing on overseas stock exchanges, one year ago, Vietjet announced intentions to become the first Vietnamese company to list its shares on a foreign stock exchange.
Currently, the carrier controls more than 40 per cent of the domestic air transport market and seeks more funds after spending billions of dollars to purchase aircraft.
A number of overseas stock exchanges, including London, Hong Kong, Singapore, and New York expressed interest in the stock of Vietjet.
This company is still weighing its options and has yet to make a final decision.
Not only carrier giant Vietjet, technology company VNG Corporation is also conducting the IPO process and expects to list its shares on Nasdaq.
On May 29, 2017, VNG’s general director and Nasdaq’s vice chairman signed a memorandum of understanding to hold the IPO of VNG’s shares on this stock exchange, enabling VNG to approach US funds.
According to the plan, VNG would take between 18-24 months to complete the procedures for listing and conducting its IPO.
In reality, Vietnamese firms are facing difficulties in listing overseas due to the strict listing criteria set by foreign stock exchanges.
Major corporations Vinamilk, Hoang Anh Gia Lai, and Saigon Securities Corporation have all put forward plans along these lines over the past ten years, but none of them have managed to succeed due to restrictions in foreign ownership (which have since been lifted), differences in accounting standards, and the global financial crisis.
After nine years of operations, TH Group established three subsidiaries, namely TH Milk Food, TH Milk, and TH Food, operating the biggest cattle farm in Asia and the largest dairy production facility in Southeast Asia with the total investment capital of $1.2 billion in the central province of Nghe An.
The group also intends to develop farms in other provinces, such as Ha Giang, Phu Yen, and Soc Trang, to reach the total scale of 137,000 milk cows by 2020.
Up to late 2016, these three companies made hundreds of millions of dollars in accumulated losses, despite a revenue growth of 20 per cent between 2014 and 2017.
TH Group’s Thai Huong said that the group has enough capital to develop its dairy business in the country and does not have to seek financial resources at the moment.
In addition to shareholders’ capital, the group received loans from BIDV, Vietnam Development Bank (VDB), Maritime Bank, and Bac A Bank, where Thai Huong is CEO.
In Russia, TH Group is investing into a dairy cow and high-tech milk processing complex worth $2.7 billion.
The project would be completed within ten years and would be divided into three phases in order to house 350,000 milk cows and a number of dairy factories with the total capacity of 1.8 million tonnes per year and the total area of 140,000 ha.
Several days ago, TH Group has signed a co-operation agreement with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which will invest $633 million into the former’s dairy projects in Russia.
Other potential markets for TH Group include China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
As TH Group is pouring immense amounts of capital into improving production, business, and developing overseas markets, the listing on an overseas stock exchange is a good decision to approach overseas funds.
50% of Viet Tien garments on local market fake
Brands of subsidiary companies of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment group (Vinatex) are commonly counterfeited for the domestic market, especially products of Garment 10, Viet Tien, and Duc Giang companies.
Last year, the garment and textile sector grossed an export turnover of more than US$31 billion. In the first four months of the year, total export turnover rose by 14% to US$10.3 billion against the same period last year, fulfilling 39% of the yearly plan.
Despite these positive signs, the sector faces a problem in the increasing number of counterfeit goods.
According to Le Tien Truong, general director of Vinatex, brands of subsidiary companies of Vinatex have been faked on the market, especially Viet Tien garment products, accounting for 50% of the products.
To secure a foothold in the local market, the sector needs to develop its own brands and seek ways to win the support and trust of consumers.
Mr Truong underlined the importance of building trademarks and developing intellectual property in accordance with laws in the country and in foreign markets.
Mr Truong noted that it takes time to develop trusted brands for the sector, with the starting point being the domestic market, before then gearing up for major markets around the world.
Vietnam's fruits struggle for ground in foreign markets
Despite relatively high export growth, it is not easy for Vietnamese fruits to look for expansion to international markets and acquire major market shares as it can take 5-10 years to negotiate necessary international business contracts.
According to the Plantation Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, many choosy markets including Japan, the US and EU have opened the door to Vietnamese water melon, mango, lychee, rambutan and dragon fruit, bringing the country quite huge value. However, it is not easy to get stable profits in these markets.
At a recent discussion between businesses and relevant ministries and departments on how to remove obstacles in production and trade, many participants held that there should have been a long-term strategy for Vietnamese fruits to secure their foothold in choosy markets.
So far, inadequate research on market demand and competition has resulted in some market entry failures. They cite the examples of exporting lychees to the US or dragon fruits to Chile.
In terms of profits, some experts warned businesses to keep calm after initial success. A report of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association shows that the average profit of fruit and vegetable businesses was just 7% last year as they failed to consider changes of material prices over seasons.
However, exporters find it difficult to control pesticide residues in the fruits before export.
No matter what, the fruit export strategy has further been boosted. Fruit and vegetable exports jumped by 42.5% last year and exceeded the mark of US$3 billion for the first time.
China topped Vietnamese fruit and vegetable importers with US$2.65 billion last year, making up 75.7% of market share. Exports to Japan, the US and the Republic of Korea also obtained high value with respective market shares of 3.63%, 2.92% and 2.45%.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) forecasts that the global fruit and vegetable market will grow by 8% in the 2017-2020 period and reach US$320 billion by 2020. Therefore,
the door for Vietnamese fruits to foreign markets still opens, but to retain a foothold in international markets is a thorny problem.
Experts suggest it is high time to develop a strict monitoring system for agricultural production towards reducing and excluding chemicals in crop protection and fruit preservation.
StanChart experts say M&A opportunities abound in Vietnam
Vietnam is regarded by foreign investors as a top ASEAN destination to explore investment opportunities via mergers and acquisitions (M&A), heard a recent seminar on ASEAN M&A in Ho Chi Minh City.
According to Ralf Pilarczyk, head of M&A for ASEAN at Standard Chartered, investors are seeking opportunities via the bank in various fields as they are appealed by the market’s large scale and growth potential.
Equitization and capital divestments at State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are giving foreign investors a chance to join the market, Pilarczyk told the seminar organized by Standard Chartered and the Malaysia Business Chamber Vietnam.
Tina Tejwaney, a Standard Chartered expert on M&A in ASEAN, said M&A deals in Vietnam tend to rise thanks to fast and stable economic growth and the big market with a large population.
This is proven by major transactions conducted by Thai investors in the past time like Central Group’s acquisition of Big C Vietnam and Thai Beverage’s purchase of a 53.59% stake in Sabeco via Vietnam Beverage.
These two deals are among the biggest M&A deals to be struck in ASEAN recently, she added.
Besides Vietnam’s loosening of foreign ownership limits at public companies, that SOEs have started to divest capital has attracted investors more, according to Tejwaney.
In addition to consumer goods and retail, logistics and transport infrastructure are expected to lure foreign investors in the coming time.
Talking about M&A trends in ASEAN, Pilarczyk and Tejwaney mentioned how Standard Chartered work with clients to effectively handle complex, cross-border mergers, divestments and investments.
Edward Lee, chief economist for ASEAN and South Asia at Standard Chartered, shared notable points in the bank’s recent report. He said that ASEAN has a bright economic outlook and government investments in infrastructure projects will boost short- and medium-term growth.
Theng Bee Han, president of the Malaysia Business Chamber Vietnam, said that ASEAN is the world’s sixth largest economic bloc with a total population of 650 million, a major global manufacturing and trading center and a fast-growing consumption market. M&A activities in Southeast Asia as well as Asia have been on the rise.
Theng Bee Han said that the chamber appreciates Standard Charter’s support for ASEAN enterprises as their operations grow and become more complex, as well as their capital needs.
Vinfast to launch first Vietnamese electric car
The dream of a low-cost "Made-in-Vietnam" electric car will be realised next year when Vietnamese car manufacturer Vinfast launches its electric cars at a highly affordable price.
Vinfast will realise the dream by co-operating with EDAG, the world's largest independent German engineering services provider.
Notably, on May 24, the two parties signed a contract for the complete development of the first electric vehicle for the Vietnamese automobile market, which is dominated by foreign players.
Accordingly, Vingroup, the investor of Vinfast, plans to conquer the car markets in Vietnam and beyond with two conventionally-powered vehicle models and a fully electric car. Top quality, affordable cars—this is Vinfast's formula for success.
"We are proud that Vinfast has chosen us as the overall engineering partner to work on their trendsetting electric vehicle project," stated Cosimo De Carlo, CEO of EDAG Group.
"Our all-round skills in vehicle and production plant development coupled with our expertise in the fields of eMobility, car IT, and electrics/electronics inspired the confidence of our customer Vinfast. EDAG’s
standing as an independent engineering services provider with international experience predestines the firm to go new ways at high technical levels and turn innovative concepts into marketable products," added Carlo.
Vinfast committed not to include expenses on copyright and design, on offsetting the depreciation of the plants or interest from loans to the selling price.
Earlier in late-March, Vinfast announced the most popular of the electric designs offered to vote. The winner was the IDC EV A design.
According to the plan, the small electric hatchback model will be launched in late 2019, one year earlier than initially planned.
These electric models will have a competitive selling price compared to other automobile brands at the same segment.
In order to achieve this competitive selling price, Vinfast committed not to include expenses on copyright and design, on offsetting the depreciation of the plants or interest from loans to the selling price of each car.
Along with co-operating with EDAG to manufacture electric automobiles, Vinfast has made itself known by concepts made by famous designers Pininfarina, Ital Design, Torino Design, and One One Lab.
These designs will become real automobiles within 16 months.
Moreover, Vinfast has collaborated with the leading technology brands worldwide, such as Siemens, Bosch, Magna Steyr, and BMW, and recruited a series of senior employees from international automobile manufacturers.
EDAG is an independent engineering service provider working for the global automotive industry. The company has a global network of some 60 branches at the world's major automobile centres to serve leading national and international vehicle manufacturers and technologically discerning automotive suppliers.
In addition, EDAG also offers engineering services in the vehicle engineering, electrics/electronics, and production solutions segments.
Bamboo Capital, Pavillion Corporation eye Vietnam’s largest water-borne project
Envisioned as artificial islands in Danang Bay, Lotus Island could become the largest water-borne project in Vietnam to date, simultaneously, it will mark a breakthrough in foreign investment capital inflow in Vietnam.
Bamboo Capital, Pavillion Corporation, and Danang Food JSC have expressed interest in developing the project named Lotus Island in the waters of Danang Bay with a total investment capital sum of $8 billion.
The original goal of the Lotus Island project is to build a special economic zone by constructing artificial islands that form functional areas, such as residential areas, casinos, financial centres, duty-free zones,
golf courses, and other infrastructure. The project would be located about 1 kilometre from the coast and connected to the mainland by modern bridges.
Pavillion Group, headquartered in Malaysia, is currently implementing many large projects across the globe. Danang Food JSC, formerly known as Quang Nam Danang Food Company, was established in 1992 and is not a realty company. Meanwhile, Bamboo Capital Fund is part of Bamboo Capital—a group of companies operating in various fields in Vietnam.
After the recent meeting with the three investors, leaders of the Danang People’s Committee assigned related departments and the authorities of Hai Chau, Thanh Khe, and Lien Chieu districts to work with the Danang Investment Promotion Agency to provide the necessary information for investors to complete their investment proposals.
VIR contacted Bamboo Capital for detailed information on the project, however, a staff stated that they, including the two remaining investors, have just expressed their interest to develop the project to the city leaders and so do not wish to publish further information just yet.
Lotus Island in Danang Bay will have massive investment capital, thus it will increase foreign capital inflows to the city by a significant amount, however, it also carries a risk of environmental pollution in case of lapses during monitoring and implementation.
This will not be Vietnam's first project built on the sea, although several projects which were not meant to be built in water per se but managed to encroach on significant water area have been giving such project a bad name. Take the Nha Trang Sao project, for instane.
In mid-May, Nha Trang Sao JSC filed another complaint in order to receive permission to continue a tourism project which was banned for illegally encroaching on the renowned Nha Trang Bay in the central province of Khanh Hoa.
The project on Pham Van Dong street was licensed in 2012 with the total investment of $33 million. The construction started in 2014 and was scheduled for completion in late 2016, according to plo.vn.
In early 2016, the project investor was fined for VND130 million ($5,909) for failing to monitor the environmental impacts of construction activities, and VND70 million ($3,181) for illegally filling up 23,000 square metres of the bay.
The project's investment certificate was also revoked. The investor was asked to restore the bay and remove an embankment. However, little has been done and the project has become stagnant. Nha Trang Sao JSC has since filed two complaints to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment.
On May 17, Hong Kim Yen, the legal representative of Nha Trang Sao JSC, claimed that the violations were not the investor's fault as they were decided by the company's old shareholders. After welcoming new shareholders in last March, they adjusted the architectural planning following the Khanh Hoa People's Committee's requests. They also submitted the planning to local authorities but received no feedback.
Yen requested the province to authorise the project to resume, saying that if the project is put into use, it will help boost the local tourism sector and protect the coral reef and the marine environment.
Meanwhile, the Khanh Hoa Department of Planning and Investment said that they had a meeting with Nha Trang Sao JSC on March 30 and the investor failed to provide sound evidence to prove their claims.
According to the department, not only did Nha Trang Sao JSC violate the regulations in the first place, it did not fix the wrongdoings even after being fined.
The department refused to issue another investment certificate and said that Nha Trang Sao had the right to file a complaint to the Khanh Hoa People's Committee.
SCG makes final acquisition in Long Son Petrochemical Complex
Leading ASEAN industrial conglomerate SCG has reached an agreement to buy PetroVietnam's 29 per cent in the long-delayed Long Son Petrochemical Complex, leaving it king of the hill.
This step once more confirms SCG's determination to implement the petrochemical complex that has been delayed for more than 10 years now.
According to Roongrote Rangsiyopash, president and CEO of SCG, the group has been investing in Vietnam for more than 20 years.
“Long Son Petrochemical Complex (LSPC) is our latest investment in Vietnam and is also positioned as Vietnam’s first petrochemical complex. LSPC will produce an important supply for the manufacturing industry which will in turn support Vietnam’s industrial and economic development. This will also be in line with the national economic development plan,” Rangsiyopash commented.
The Vietnamese economy, according to Rangsiyopash, is on an impressive growth path and LSPC is expected to encourage long-term investment in related industries throughout the value chain, as well as improving a competitive standard of products that will lessen the need to import petrochemical products.
Moreover, SCG also believes that this project will support the growth of downstream businesses in Vietnam and play a vital role in supporting long-term economic growth, as well as improving the quality of life for people in Vietnam and across the region. LSPC was initiated by PetroVietnam in 2008 with the participation of SCG, Qatar Petroleum International, and state-run chemical group Vinachem.
However, it was not until February 2018 that the project officially started construction by the remaining two investors, PetroVietnam and SCG. The Thai investor also increased the total investment capital of the complex to $5.4 billion from the previous $3.8 billion.
According to SCG, the engineering, procurement, and construction contract of the complex will be implemented from the third quarter of this year and the whole project is expected to be put into operation in 2023.
LSPC is located in Long Son commune of Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, 100 kilometres from Ho Chi Minh City. This integrated petrochemical complex will have a total olefin production capacity of 1.6 million tonnes per year.
The complex is designed to produce various petrochemical products, including essential plastic materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, and other products in excess of two million tonnes per year, enabling it to substitute imported polyolefin products. Non-petrochemical supporting infrastructure, such as a deep sea port and other facilities, are also included.
The project will create more than 20,000 jobs during construction, including more than 1,000 skilled labourers, and is expected to contribute around $60 million per year to the annual budget.
SCG began expanding its business in Vietnam in 1992. So far, the group has 23 subsidiaries and affiliates with over 8,300 labourers working in Vietnam.
Vietnam attracts additional US$7.1 billion in FDI
Vietnam reeled in around US$7.1 billion in newly registered and additional capital from foreign investors in the five months of this year.
Vietnam had granted investment licences to 1,076 new projects as of May 20, with a total registered capital of US$4.6 billion, up 14.6% in project numbers and down 16.8% in capital against those of the same period last year. 393 projects saw capital adjustments with additional investments of US$2.5 billion.
In the first five months of the year, there were 2,341 deals made by foreign investors to contribute capital to businesses and to buy shares of Vietnamese businesses with total capital of US$2.75 billion, an annual rise of 53.4%.
In the period between January and May, the manufacturing and processing industry was the most attractive destination with a total capital of US$2.2 billion, equal to over 49% of the country’s total registered capital. It was followed by the production and distribution of electricity, gas, hot water and steam, and air conditioners with US$898 million, accounting for 19.3%; real estates (US$623.3 million; 13.4%) and the remaining industries (US$846.1 million; 18.2%).
Among the 43 cities and provinces that received FDI in the first five months of 2018, Ho Chi Minh City was on top with US$541 million, followed by Hanoi (US$525.6 million), Binh Duong (US$403.8 million), and Dong Nai (US$373.6 million).
Among the 50 nations and territories investing in Vietnam in the first five months, the Republic of Korea topped the list with a registered capital of more than US$1 billion, accounting for 22% of the country’s total registered capital. Japan, Thailand and Singapore followed with US$904 million, US$536 million and US$503 million, making up 19%, 11,5% and 10.8% of the total capital, respectively.
HCM City to reduce salt farmland, expand aquaculture production
The HCM City Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has proposed reducing the land for salt farming in Cần Giờ District by one-third by 2030 and increasing the land for aquaculture farming.
Under the plan, the area of salt production would be reduced from 2,172 hectares to 850 hectares by 2025, and to 644 hectares by 2030.
These areas eligible for reduction are outside of the planned zones for salt farming and yield low economic efficiency. They would be converted to aquaculture farms and protection forests.
In Cần Giờ, salt output so far this year has been over 80,000 tonnes, double the amount of the same period last year.
The price of salt is VNĐ1,000-VNĐ1,100 (US$ 4-5 cents) per kilo, according to the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Solar, wind energy projects kick off in Ninh Thuận Province
The People’s Committee of Ninh Thuận Province, a typically hot and dry area, has urged investors to focus on solar and wind energy projects.
The province is less affected by storms than other areas in the country, and has become known as the renewable energy centre in Việt Nam.
Ninh Thuận Province has approved nine wind power projects and total investment of VNĐ26.5 trillion. It has also approved 22 solar energy projects, with total capacity of 1,259 MW.
However, the development of those projects have been implemented at a snail’s pace.
Among the nine approved wind power projects, only four are under construction including Công Trung Nam, Phước Dinh and Đầm Nại, according to Ninh Thuận Industry and Trade Department.
On January 23, construction began on the first solar energy plant by BIM Group (Vietnam) and AC Energy (Philippines), with total investment of VNĐ800 billion (US$35 million) and 90,000 solar panels in Phước Minh Commune in Thuận Nam District.
The second, Bầu Ngữ project, has begun construction since March 31, with a combined capacity of 50MW and total investment of VNĐ1 trillion.
Two other solar projects are due to be built in June this year.
The 18 remaining solar energy projects are still on paper.
The Ninh Phước District have the most with 9 solar projects with total capacity of 308MW and total investment of VNĐ 9.2 trillion.
The chairman of Ninh Thuận People’s Committee, Lưu Xuân Vĩnh, said the high cost and land clearance for construction of wind and solar power plants were the main reasons that have deterred many investors.
“However, if investors don’t have enough capacity and experience, we will withdraw their investment licences,” he said.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, investment in wind and solar power costs more than traditional electricity. Additionally, mobilising capital from banks is also difficult for investors.
New firms up by 3.5% in 5 months
Viet Nam saw an increase in the number of new enterprises and their registered capital in the first five months of 2018 due to improving business conditions.
This was reported by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).
According to MPI’s Business Registration Management Agency, the number of newly established enterprises in the first five months rose by 3.5 per cent year-on-year to 52,322 units, with a total registered capital of VND516.9 trillion (US$22.7 billion).
The capital increased by 6.4 per cent compared to the same period last year due to improving business conditions and registration procedure, the agency said.
The average capital for an enterprise reached VND9.9 billion, a year-on-year surge of 2.8 per cent.
New enterprises have focused on sectors such as wholesale and retail, repair of cars and motorcycles, processing and manufacturing as well as construction.
Twelve sectors saw an increase in newly established enterprises in the first five months. The real estate trading sector had the highest growth in the number of new enterprises at 41.1 per cent. The sector also saw the highest development in registered capital of new firms, accounting for some 29 per cent of the total registered capital.
Sectors such as electricity production and distribution, real estate trading, finance-banking and mining led in terms of average registered capital per enterprise.
Meanwhile, in the first five months of this year, 13,267 enterprises resumed operations, a year-on-year reduction of 1.4 per cent, while 15,974 enterprises temporarily stopped their operations, a year-on-year increase of 24 per cent.
Ha Noi attracts US$860mn in FDI
The capital city attracted US$860 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first five months of 2018, said municipal Department of Planning and Investment director Nguyen Manh Quyen.
Of this, $529.2 million were invested in 225 new projects, over $131 million were added to 48 existing projects and $199.5 million were invested in the stakes of domestic companies.
Quyen said the city carried out 27 non-State capital projects, with a combined investment of VND27 trillion ($1.2 billion). In addition to this, 13 projects were permitted to increase investment capital by VND1.98 trillion.
In the first five months of 2018, Ha Noi approved another public-private partnership (PPP) project with an investment of almost VND1.41 trillion, bringing the total number of PPP projects to 12, with a total investment of more than VND28.33 trillion.
During the reviewed period, 9,420 businesses were established in the city, with a combined registered capital of VND97.5 trillion, down by 1 per cent in number but up by 36 per cent in the volume of investment.
The figure raised the total number of enterprises in Ha Noi to 241,000.
Last year, the capital city drew up to $3.4 billion in FDI.
Central city to host int’l start-up event
The central city will host the third International Start-up Conference and Exhibition, or SURF 2018, on Tuesday, with the aim of attracting participants in technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and big data.
The event’s organisers hosted a press conference on Monday, stating that more than 2,000 attendees including 20 investors and 30 speakers have registered to take part in the conference and exhibition at the city’s administrative centre.
About 70 pavilions will be set up for the one-day conference and start-up exhibition with the theme ‘linkthewaves’, in the coastal city.
The start-up pitch competition this year, which is the largest in central Viet Nam, will offer a total cash-prize of US$6,000 for the winner.
Participants will take part in opportunities to share experience with start-up programmes from Israel, Canada, Ireland, the UK, Finland, Singapore and Viet Nam.
Deputy Chief of Mission of the Israel Embassy in Viet Nam, Doron Lebovich said SURF 2018 will be an event to mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Viet Nam and Israel.
He said Israel and Da Nang as well as the Da Nang Entrepreneurship Support Centre has been in positive partnerships with start-up programmes, and the city’s leadership has strongly committed to building a start-up programme and ecosystem.
He said experts from Israel will take part in sharing experiences and technology transfer at the exhibition and conference next month.
Da Nang has launched its business start-up programme eco-system from now until 2020, with a vision to 2030.
The city’s business start-up ecosystem debuted in 2014 as a base for a young generation beginning their business careers. Three hundred start-up projects, of which 10 received funding from investors, were born from the ecosystem’s co-working space.
In 2017, the Song Han Incubator Centre, which was seen as the first private sector incubator, was debuted as a consultancy for young people starting businesses.
It aims to develop a start-up ecosystem and popularise the spirit of business among other locals in Viet Nam.
Da Nang has 18,000 businesses, 95 per cent of which are small and medium-sized enterprises.
Vinamilk to spend $127m to advance 2018 dividend
Vinamilk will pay the interim dividend for 2018 and issue additional shares to increase the share-capital in the third quarter.
On September 6, the dairy company will finalise the list of shareholders that will receive the interim dividend for 2018 at the ratio of 20 per cent (equivalent to VND2,000 per share-holding).
The dividend will be paid in cash on September 26, which means Vinamilk will spend some VND2.9 trillion (US$127.2 million) for this payout.
Earlier, in its annual shareholders’ meeting on March 31, Vinamilk set a target of VND55.5 trillion in revenue and VND10.75 trillion in net profit in 2018.
The 2018 dividend ratio is set at least 50 per cent of the after-tax profit. The first payment will likely happen in the third quarter of this year, while the second disbursement will be made in May or June 2019.
In its filing to the State Securities Commission and HCM Stock Exchange, Vinamilk also announced the plan to issue 290 million additional shares to the existing shareholders at the par value of VND10,000 each.
The issuing ratio is 5:1, which means that for every five ordinary shares held at the record date, which will be September 6, shareholders will receive one bonus share.
The Vinamilk shares have been seeing a downtrend since last week with a total loss of 7.4 per cent during May 7-15, being traded at around VND176,000 ($7.72) per share.
The dairy firm reported a fall of 9 per cent in its consolidated net profit in the first quarter of this year, earning 2.68 trillion ($118 million) by the end of March.
StoxPlus: Cement industry to recover through robust export activities
As stated in StoxPlus Cement Market Report 2018, the Viet Nam cement and clinker sales volume reached 80.3 million tonnes in 2017, posting an increasing growth rate for three years in a row. Although the domestic consumption contributed to more than 70 per cent of the total sales for several years, the recent years have witnessed a sluggish growth rate from 9.5 per cent (2015) to 1.4 per cent (2017). While domestic consumption sustained its growth, the export activity drove the market with the export volume surging up to 19.7 million tonnes, leading to a robust growth of 27.7 per cent year on year, thanks to the increasing demand from key markets, including Bangladesh and the Philippines.
Additionally, China emerged as a potential export market as the Chinese government has implemented an unprecedented pollution crackdown in November 2017, with the country shutting down tens of thousands of cement factories in an effort to address China’s air pollution. Compared to 2016, the cement export volume fell sharply by 21.4 per cent, while clinker posted a strong growth of 53.8 per cent, making it the key driver of cement exports in 2017. This could be explained by the fact that foreign countries tend to favour clinker imports over cement due to the cost, and this trend will continue to shape Viet Nam’s cement exports in the long-term prospects.
Supply: While local private companies continued to launch “mega” projects, the foreign giant strengthened its presence via M&A activities
According to StoxPlus database, there are some 107 cement facilities with a total capacity of 120.9 million tonnes per year (MTPY) belonging to 93 companies in Viet Nam, of which VICEM and foreign-owned companies recorded high utilisation of more than 80 per cent. In 2017, private companies continued to operate five new “mega” projects with total capacity of up to 18.5 MTPY, resulting in a surge in the total production capacity by 18 per cent. The projects are developed not only by giant local private companies such as Vissai or ThaiGroup, but also by other local players, especially Thanh Thang and Long Son, which indicated a trend in favour of large-scale projects.
In line with StoxPlus’s analysis, cement facilities can hardly operate efficiently if the designed capacity is under one MTPY, especially when taking into account the electricity cost, maintenance expenses and other fixed costs. With regard to foreign players, 2017 witnessed active M&A prospects when SCCC and SCG invested heavily through the entire ordinary share acquisition of LafargeHolcim and VCM, respectively.
Positive signal from regulatory framework
In December 2017, the Vietnamese Government issued Decree No 125/2017/ND-CP, which is expected to boost Viet Nam’s cement export activities. The entitled zero per cent export tariff for cement has sharpened Viet Nam’s competitiveness, especially in the fierce race with ASEAN countries apart from China. It is estimated that export companies can now enjoy higher profit by US$3-4.5 per tonne under the new tariff.
Additionally, enterprises are being encouraged to participate in export activities thanks to the VAT reimbursement scheme. New regulations have taken effect immediately, which is indicated in the 4M/2018 export results. In 4M/2018, the total cement sales reached 29.83 million tonnes, recording a growth rate of 13 per cent year on year, mostly owing to the active export activities which increased by 29 per cent year on year.
Based on StoxPlus analysis of macroeconomics and the historical cement demand since 2000, associated with the impact of related factors such as the status of infrastructure development and the residential house construction recently, the demand for cement is projected to grow at a rate of 5 per cent until 2030. Viet Nam is expected to face continuous supply surplus before reaching the equilibrium in 2027 at 130.8 million tonnes of cement, if the uncertain cement projects in Viet Nam are not taken into account. Even though Viet Nam’s cement sector still moves in tandem with the real estate boom and burst, this industry is still expected to enjoy healthy growth in the years to come.
Telefilm expo attracts 250 exhibitors
The sixth Vietnam International Exhibition on Film and Television Technology (Telefilm) will be held next month in HCM City, showcasing products, services and technologies used in film and television.
It has attracted more than 250 exhibitors from 15 countries and territories and more than 2,000 film and television technology professionals.
On display will be TV programmes and serials; value-added and support services; technology and solutions for the TV, media, and communications industries and for image processing and transmission; and post-production services,
Several seminars will be held on the sidelines on current television trends amid rapid digitisation in the TV industry globally and in Viet Nam.
As a prestigious international exhibition specialising in film and television, Telefilm will offer visitors the opportunity to meet potential partners and learn about the latest international film and television trends.
Organised by Viet Nam Television and the ADPEX Joint Stock Company, the exhibition will he held from June 7 to 9 at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre in District 7.
Tiki reports second year of losses
Tiki’s consecutive losses raise the question whether these are still planned losses or are a result of losing the e-commerce race to competition.
Tiki was established in 2010 as a startup e-bookstore but has since diversified operations to sell phones, tablets, digital devices, electrical appliances, toys, and souvenirs.
In August 2013, Tiki signed a strategic partnership with Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation and became the first e-commerce company in Vietnam to receive investment from the Japanese company.
Under the partnership, Sumitomo would hold a 30 per cent stake in Tiki to become its second strategic investor, after Japanese investment fund CyberAgent Ventures (15 per cent).
In May 2016, VNG Corporation, Vietnam's top provider of Internet content, completed a VND383-billion ($17.02 million) deal to acquire a 38 per cent stake in Tiki. Accordingly, VNG spent VND104,000 ($4.57) per share, with the expectation to acquire benefits from one of the largest e-commercial platforms in Vietnam.
With backing from Japanese investors Sumitomo Corporation and CyberAgent Ventures, which own a combined stake of 45 per cent, in collaboration with the investment from VNG, Tiki was expected to become a heavyweight in the e-commerce sector in the country. However, the firm has been reporting losses for two consecutive years now.
Notably, according to the financial statement of VNG Corporation, a shareholder of Tiki, in 2017 Tiki reported a loss of VND282 billion ($12.38 million), triple its charter capital and seven times higher than the loss in 2016. Hence, Tiki’s total losses two years after receiving investment from VNG were VND320 billion ($14.05 million).
Tiki CEO Tran Ngoc Thai Son stated that the losses are a part of the firm’s long-term development plan. Tiki is expanding its scale of operations via investing in infrastructure, warehouses, human resources, and technology.
In reality, according to the statistics of Euromonitor, Tiki ranked sixth among the online shopping sites of Vietnam in 2017 with the visitor volume of 15.08 million. However, according to customers, there is a painful lack of transparency in Tiki’s promotion programmes. Notably, the firm often increases selling price quietly to then provide discounts at the original price.
Earlier this year, Tiki received $54 million in Series C investment made by Chinese internet giant JD.com and South Korea's STIC Investments. The additional capital is expected help Tiki to consolidate its market presence.
At present, the Vietnamese e-commerce sector holds great potential but is also a playground ruled by strict competition by numerous heavyweights.
The fierce competition was shown after a series of e-commerce floors had to shut down because of big losses. Beyeu, Deca, and Lingo left the market after long struggles to survive.
According to industry insiders, companies need to allocate enormous expenses for their e-commerce business from sales and marketing to warehousing and logistics, so it can easily eat up profits. Also, many platforms suffered losses from special discount offers and promotion campaigns to snag new customers.
At present, it is still early to conclude that the consecutive losses of Tiki is a show of weakness, however, Beyeu, Deca, and Lingo are signals that the market is not for players lacking financial potential or methodical development strategies.
VINACAS Golden Cashew Rendezvous to be held in Halong Bay
The 10th Vietnam Cashew Association (VINACAS) Golden Cashew Rendezvous (GCR-2018), a Vietnamese national trade promotion program, will be held from October 5 to 7 in Ha Long Bay. Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an iconic tourism destination of Vietnam.
The program is organized by the Vietnam Cashew Association (VINACAS) and is supported by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam.
As the world’s cashew hub, the GCR-2018 is the place where more than 500 esteemed cashew stakeholders can find real cashew partners and deals and acquire the most reliable cashew information and forecasts from qualified panelists from all over the world.
VINACAS hopes that all cashew kernel buyers, raw cashew nut sellers, and other cashew stakeholders will have a wonderful time and enjoy Vietnam’s unique atmosphere, splendid scenery and traditional cuisine.
One day prior to the event, a wonderful tour called “Cashew Roadshow” will be held from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay. Along the Cashew Roadshow, attendees will have the opportunity to visit the sites and culture of Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi. These places include Hanoi Old Town, Hanoi Water Puppet Show, and Bat Trang Pottery Village, which are on the list of top ten destinations by TripAdvisor. Upon arrival at Ha Long Bay, the attendees can enjoy the marvelous “Ha Long Bay Sea-Caravan Tour.”
In addition to the pre-tour, the organizers will bring the participants on a memorable trekking post-tour from Ha Long Bay to Sapa - a mountainous region in the north of Vietnam where there are a few nearby cashew processing units.
Sapa, one of the most attractive tourism destinations in the country, is a precious gift that Mother Nature has given Vietnam. Located here is Fansipan or "The Roof of Indochina," where one can view many picturesque sights.
UOB to debut in July
The Singapore-based United Overseas Bank (UOB) has received a business registration license and is scheduled to open on July 2.
Under the license, the bank will be able to expand its network in the country enabling UOB to extend financial support and offer best-in-class products and service to consumers and businesses beyond Ho Chi Minh City.
UOB Vietnam has a charter capital of VND3 trillion ($131.3 million) and has permission to operate in the country for 99 years.
This is the first Singaporean bank in Vietnam and is the ninth bank with 100 per cent foreign capital in Vietnam.
On March 23 last year, during Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s visit to the country, the State Bank of Vietnam announced that it had given preliminary approval for UOB to set up in Vietnam. The bank received its in-principle license in July of the same year.
Previously, UOB had launched a business banking service dedicated to helping small businesses in Vietnam grow. This followed the State Bank of Vietnam’s licensing of UOB as a foreign-owned subsidiary bank on September 26, 2017.
The bank recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Toong to provide UOB’s small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers with preferential rentals at any of Toong’s five co-working office spaces in Vietnam.
UOB customers will enjoy up to 20 per cent off rentals and have access to Toong’s business partners, including legal and accounting firms, who can advise them on issues such as local incorporation.
The bank has also partnered with the Foreign Trade University (FTU) to launch the finance industry’s first tertiary education program designed for small business bankers in Vietnam.
Aside from UOB Vietnam, the eight other foreign banks in Vietnam are Standard Chartered (UK), Shinhan Vietnam (the Republic of Korea), Hong Leong Bank, CIMB, Public Bank Berhad (Malaysia), CitiBank (US), HSBC (Hong Kong), ANZ (Australia).
Online counterfeit goods trap consumers
Fraudulent trading and counterfeits have been complicated in the southern province of Dong Nai. Violations have become more diverse, highly sophisticated, and uncontrolled, especially trading and rampant advertising cosmetics and pharmaceuticals via the social network.
Some traditional medicines labeled as "Ethno medicine" for various illness including joint treatment, cough, diabetes, and even gynecology are advertised widely on Facebook, said the Dong Nai province Department of Market Management.
Without prescribing or consulting with doctors, consumers can click through to purchase and receive folk medicines at home with a guarantee of "a full refund if they do not work" offered by "online pharmacists".
However, not only is it hard to check the origin and use of these drugs but also they pose a lot of potential health risks. For example, some mothers have recently passed on the use of a cough medicine for kids which was widely advertised on Facebook. It was said to be an application for pain relief, swelling, cough, cold, healing, burns, insect bites, acne, and itchy rash. The online pharmacists also asserted that the drug was 100 percent natural, formulated by the Dao, and safe for all ages, including infants.
However, the medicine was detected falsely labeling its features and use which were originally in the form of emulsion, deodorant, and anti-odor to assist with massage and skin care.
It is hard to monitor the quality of the folk medicines heavily advertised online. These products represent both a cost to consumers' pockets and a risk to their health as they are often mixed with modern ingredients to bring immediate effects such as pain relief, acne clearing, firm and youthful skin maintaining, appetite increasing, and weight gain, according to the authorities.
"The use of traditional medicines actually takes a certain amount of time and does not work immediately. That some people trust in the misleading advertisement for drugs derived from nature and use for a long time causes a danger to their health", a traditional medical practitioner warned.
During the first quarter of 2018, the authorities carried out over 630 inspections, detected 280 violations, fined, and remitted about VND 2.6 billion to the state's budget, the department reported.
In particular, counterfeits accounted for the highest rate with 114 cases, food safety 94 cases. The rest included smuggled goods and undocumented foreign goods with low quality.
Cosmetic counterfeits are the most common. The Feb.2 inspection of the HMH Trading & Services Co., Ltd (Tam Hiep Ward, Bien Hoa City) came upon more than 600 products without challan, most of them were cosmetics, such as toner, moisturizer, face cleanser, shampoo, conditioner, and lipstick.
Previously, the authorities also conducted a spot check on the branch of HV Cosmetics Company (Trang Dai Ward, Bien Hoa City) and found out thousands of undocumented cosmetics, including 18,000 bottles of body lotions, 224 bottles of body shower, 432 bottles of whitening cream, and 40kilogram of cream ingredient and other additives.
According to Mr. Huynh Kim Hoa, Head of Professional and Staff Division under Dong Nai Department of Market Management, the department directed the relevant teams to enhance market inspection and control as well as to propagate business households and individuals to strictly comply with the provisions of law to combat against smuggling, counterfeits, and commercial fraud.
However, the obstacles to access product information and establishments, and those trading online resulted in the limited number of cases detected and handled by authorities, Hoa concluded.
GDP grows 7.38% in Q1
This year’s first quarter saw the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth hitting 7.38%, or 30 basis points higher than in the final quarter of 2017, heard a meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee.
Ha Ngoc Chien, head of the NA Ethnic Council, was quoted by VnEconomy as saying at the meeting on May 14 that the higher GDP growth rate of last quarter was a good result, as GDP growth in the first quarter of the previous years was often lower than in other quarters.
Deputies attending the meeting spoke highly of positive socio-economic results of last year.
Chairwoman of the NA Justice Committee Le Thi Nga said the Government had acted promptly upon pressing issues, and relevant agencies have managed to live up to commitments by the Government. Such performance is made possible owing to a working group having been established to oversee the implementation of conclusions of Government leaders, she added.
According to Nga, much red tape has been removed. In addition, the Government has operated in a more transparent manner when dealing with cases such as the MobiFone-AVG deal and the 12 loss-making projects under the management of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
However, while factors behind good results were analyzed in detail in socio-economic reports, areas with poor performance have not been brought to light, head of the NA Committee for Legal Affairs Nguyen Khac Dinh commented on the Government’s reports.
According to Dinh, export growth has still depended greatly on foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises. Besides, the capital of investment projects licensed in January-March averaged out at only US$3.4 million, equivalent to one third of the projects in 2014.
Head of the NA Committee for External Relations Nguyen Van Giau asked the Government to pay special attention to dealing with weaknesses and drawbacks of the economy, including low labor productivity.
CAAV rejects service discounts for Etihad Airways
The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has requested the Ministry of Transport to not offer service discounts on flights to Vietnam as requested by the UAE’s Etihad Airways.
According to the CAAV, the price range for air services is stipulated in Decision 2345/QD-BGTVT dated August 8, 2017, which does not provide special price policies for airlines operating flights to and from Vietnam. The discount request by Etihad Airways cannot be accepted.
Since October 2013, Etihad Airways has been operating flights to and from Vietnam’s Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat international airports. Of these, Abu Dhabi-Tan Son Nhat flights are operated on a regular basis.
In fact, discounts have been offered to airlines but at some smaller airports only.
In 2013, the Ministry of Transport provided special service prices for international airlines flying to Phu Bai, Cam Ranh, Lien Khuong, Can Tho and Phu Quoc airports, with discounts of up to 50% on landing, takeoff and security screening services in up to three years.
The discounts were applicable to new airports which have handled a small number of international flights. As for Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat airports, only special cases can enjoy service discounts.
In related news, the Ministry of Transport has permitted Thai Vietjet to continue operating flights between Lam Dong Province’s Dalat City and Bangkok of Thailand. The Ministry of National Defense earlier agreed on Thai Vietjet operating regular flights between Dalat and Bangkok to promote the province’s economy and tourism, attract investors, and stimulate trade between the two countries.
Dalat-Bangkok flights were operated between December 18, 2017 and March 24, 2018 with four flights per week using A320 and A321 aircraft.
Forum spotlights business development in digital age
Telecom and Internet providers in Vietnam have recorded 6.1 billion USD in revenue and created more than 851,000 jobs, as heard at a forum on enterprises in digital age held in Hanoi on May 17.
The forum took place in conjunction with the announcement of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s annual report on Vietnam business for 2017/2018.
As heard at the forum, IT and telecom sector’s production value contributed over 0.7 percent to the nation’s GDP on average. In 2016, the number of IT/telecom businesses surpassed 11,000, accounting for 2.2 percent of Vietnam’s total figure.
Apart from the application of advanced technologies in traditional sectors, the digital age has given birth to a number of non-traditional business models in Vietnam, like online car hailing and financial technology (fintech) services.
Expert said fast changes of these new models have sometimes left legal regulations behind, thus causing difficulties for their providers and benefit conflicts between them and their traditional peers.
VCCI Chairman Vu Tien Loc said last year, the Prime Minister issued Decree 16 on capacity building for the 4.0 industrial revolution.
He said the decree put forth key measures on IT infrastructure development, and prioritised the building of digital industry, smart agriculture, and smart cities.
He noted companies ought to design their relevant action plans and join the public sector’s efforts in building strategies for smart governance and innovation.
Loc also acknowledged achievement of the business sector last year, with the establishment of 126,859 new firms, the highest number recorded to date.
Pham Thi Thu Hang, head of the Vietnam Business Insight Survey – a VCCI initiative, said the year saw improvements in the private sector, but the trend of smaller-scale firms persisted and the rate of performance failure among small scale businesses remained high.
Seminar collects opinions on inspection on exports-imports
A seminar took place in Hanoi on May 17 to collect opinions on building the draft Decree on the national one-stop shop mechanism and specialised inspection on exports-imports.
Co-organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Finance Ministry’s General Department of Vietnam Customs, the event attracted over 100 delegates from ministries, agencies, local customs and businesses.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Customs Nguyen Cong Binh said administrative reform on exports-imports has been the top priority of the Government in recent years, adding that the Decree No.19 on improving business climate and national competitiveness requests reducing the rate of goods under specialised inspection in customs clearance to below 10 percent from 25 – 27 percent at present.
Despite achievements in administrative reform, the World Bank’s Doing Business Index pointed out that Vietnamese enterprises still meet difficulties in abiding by regulations on specialised inspection on exports-imports, he said.
Pham Thanh Binh, advisory expert for the USAID’s GIG project, said regulations on specialised inspection on exports-imports are set in laws, decrees and circulars of ministries and agencies, leading to overlapping in management.
Launched in November 2014, the national one-stop shop mechanism has so far connected with 11 out of 14 ministries and departments and 47 out of 284 administrative procedures on specialised inspection. However, a number of procedures on specialised inspection are yet to be conducted online.
The draft Decree on the national one-stop shop mechanism and specialised inspection on exports-imports will help simplify customs clearance procedures and establish an inter-sectoral mechanism to ensure effective coordination among units via the national one-stop shop.
The Vietnamese Government is also working with the USAID via the Governance for Inclusive Growth Programme to facilitate sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the country.
Tien Giang expands fruit production as prices rise
Tien Giang province, the Mekong Delta’s largest fruit producer, has increased its fruit cultivation area to nearly 75,000ha this year, up three percent against the same period last year.
Farmers have planted 1,300ha of new dragon fruit, 1,200ha of pineapple and 400ha of new green-peel and pink-flesh grapefruit this year.
Under its agricultural structuring plan, the province has encouraged farmers to turn farmland unsuited to growing rice into fruit orchards.
Cao Van Hoa, Director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province had set up concentrated fruit planting areas to produce specialty fruits for domestic and export markets.
Specialty exports include Lo Ren Vinh Kim milk apple in Chau Thanh district, Ngu Hiep durian in Cai Lay district, and citrus fruits in flood-prone districts.
The province has also established a 7,000 concentrated durian planting area in Cai Lay district, the largest durian planting area in the Mekong Delta.
The milk apples, which are exported to the US, offer high profits for farmers.
Advanced farming techniques, especially for off-season fruits, and good quality seeds have helped farmers increase profits by 300 million – 500 million VND (13,200 – 22,000 USD) per ha of specialty fruit a year. Some farmers can earn a profit of up to 1 billion VND (44,000 USD) per ha a year.
Huynh Van Kem, who plants 7,000sq.m of two specialty durian varieties - Ri6 and Mong Thong - in Cai Lay district, said he harvests an average of 20 tonnes of durian a year and earns a profit of 1 billion VND.
Durian yields high profits, but farmers must choose good seedlings, use advanced farming techniques and produce off-season fruits, according to Kem.
Le Van Can in Cho Gao district said he earns a profit of 100 million VND a year from planting 4,000sq.m of dragon fruit.
This profit is four times higher than from rice, he said, adding that he planted rice on his farmland.
Concentrated fruit planting trees have helped farmers increase their income, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The province has also started production chains for durian, Hoa Loc mango and dragon fruit cultivation to 2020.
The development of new fruit orchards has increased the demand for fruit seedlings.
Ut Phuong, a fruit seedlings producer in Cai Lay district, said the price of seedlings of Ri 6 and Mong Thong durian varieties had risen to 100,000 VND a seedling, up two times against the same period last year.
Vietnam continues to enjoy large trade surplus in UK market
Vietnam enjoyed a 1.5 billion USD trade surplus with the UK for the first four months of 2018 as the country exported 1.75 billion USD worth of goods to the market and imported 238 million USD.
According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), Vietnam’s export revenue to the European country in the first three months of 2018 reached 1.31 billion USD, up 30.6 percent over the same period last year.
Meanwhile, Vietnam imported 185 million USD worth of goods from the UK, up 17.6 percent year on year, resulting in a big trade imbalance.
From January until the end of April, Vietnam mainly exported to the UK telephones and spare parts, footwear, garment, and aquatic products, with respective export value exceeding 705 million USD, 201 million USD, 215 million USD and 78 million USD.
At the same time, Vietnam imported from the UK 67 million USD worth of machineries, equipment and spare part, 45 million USD of pharmaceuticals and more than 13 million USD of chemicals.
Earlier in 2013-2017, the UK was among the 15 largest trade partners of Vietnam with average annual growth of nearly 5 percent. Two-way trade grew a total 44 percent in the review period to 6.15 billion USD in 2017 from 4.27 billion USD in 2013.
Last year, the UK was the eighth biggest export market of Vietnam, one position higher than 2016. Meanwhile, it was Vietnam’s 26th biggest import market, down two positions compared to the previous year.
In the past five years, Vietnam’s exports to the UK surged 46.4 percent to 5.42 billion USD, accounting for 2.5 percent of the country’s total export volume.
In the same period, the Southeast Asian’s import revenue in the UK market increased 30 percent, reaching 733 million USD in 2017.
Vietnam continuously enjoyed a large trade surplus with the UK, with last year’s figure hitting 4.68 billion USD.
The UK is also the third biggest trade partner of Vietnam among EU countries.
Proposed regime for reporting market prices
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has drafted a circular on rules and methods of collecting information and reporting market prices of some domestic goods and services.
The move aims to facilitate the synthesis, analysis and projection of commodities prices by central and local agencies, in order to standardise information and gain a better picture of the national inflation situation.
The list of commodities and services subjected to the newly-recommended market price reporting regime includes essential commodities that can represent groups of goods and services relating to food, construction materials, medicines and medical services, transportation, education, entertainment and tourism.
The draft recommends that the Departments of Finance of centrally-run cities and provinces nationwide send monthly, quarterly and annual reports on market prices of commodities in their localities to the MoF’s Price Management Department.
Reports will include information on the evolution of the consumer price index (CPI) calculated within each locality, together with analysis on the status and the causes of the factors affecting CPI.
The reports also evaluate the efficiency of local management and administration of prices, including the price management of some important and essential goods in the locality and the promulgation of legal documents related to commodities’ market prices.
In addition, the reports will also forecast the CPI and the market price situation in the next period.
In case of abnormal fluctuations in prices, the provincial and municipal Department of Finance have to make irregular reports on price fluctuations of some essential goods and services in the locality.
The commodities included in the price report include rice, pork, beef, chicken, fish, shrimp and seasonal vegetables (for food), cement, construction steel, sand, bricks (for construction materials), car fare, bus fare, taxi fare (for transportation services), tuition fees of public kindergartens, public school fees and university fees (for education).
The Ministry of Finance is gathering public comments on this draft by posting the draft in the Ministry’s e-Portal.
HCMC boosts supporting industries
HCM City is enacting policies to aid businesses in the supporting industry by encouraging investment, networking between firms and banks, and creating special zones.
The city’s People’s Committee has approved 15 investment projects related to the mechanical, plastic and food industries, with total investment of VND938 billion (US$41 million), VND581 billion of which would be supported by the government in the form of paid interest on loans, according to the city’s Department of Industry and Trade.
A city multi-disciplinary team has also appraised nine projects, at a total of VND943 billion. Two of them have been approved by the city.
The HCM City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority (HEPZA) is working with related authorities to form supporting-industry zones in Hiep Phuoc Industrial Zone and Le Minh Xuan 3 Industrial Zone.
Nguyen Phuong Dong, deputy director of the Department of Industry and Trade, said that to provide space for businesses to operate, HEPZA was also building factories at Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone and Linh Trung 1 Export Processing Zone.
Factories in the former are already being rented, while those in the latter are expected to start construction within this month.
In addition, the Department of Industry and Trade is working with the State Bank of Viet Nam - HCM City Branch to connect banks with businesses and encourage credit unions and financial institutions to offer credit packages to businesses in the supporting industry.
Also, in accordance with Circular 29/2018/TT-BTC issued by the Ministry of Finance to manage funding for supporting industry development, nation-wide cities and provinces including HCMC can use state funds to provide financial aid to companies and organisations so they can organise exhibitions and conferences on attracting investment.
Accordingly, the companies and organisations in the city would be given up to 70 per cent of the total costs for such activities, or up to VND12 million per participant, as well as help in promotion and brand registration, up to VND50 million per brand.
Also, according to the circular, the costs for sending business delegations to events in other countries will also be covered up to VND70 million per participant, depending on the country.
In addition, the costs for appraisal, counselling and certification for businesses in the supporting industry would be fully covered by the State Budget.
All of these efforts are part of HCM City’s plan to develop its supporting industry. The city targets meeting 45 per cent of national demand for manufactured inputs by 2020 and 65 per cent by 2025.
The supporting industry has not grown as quickly as others, affecting the city’s economic development as a whole.
Vietnam Airlines to build logistic hub in Can Tho
The Vietnam Airlines Corporation plans to build a logistics centre in the southern city of Can Tho this year, said Deputy General Director Trinh Hong Quang at a meeting with local leaders on Friday.
The 30ha centre will be built next to Can Tho International Airport to meet the increasing demand of goods transportation by international and domestic airlines, with a capacity of transporting at least 600,000 tonnes of goods per year.
Along with the construction of Can Tho logistics centre, Quang said the corporation will open new routes from the city to other destinations in Viet Nam and abroad.
He said the corporation opened three logistics centres at Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat and Da Nang international airports, however expanding these centres was difficult due to a lack of land.
According to General Director of Tan Son Nhat Cargo Service Joint Stock Company Nguyen Cao Cuong, cargo throughput at Can Tho International Airport is currently 4,200 tonnes per year. Meanwhile, the output of agricultural and fishery products and other products of Can Tho through Tan Son Nhat International Airport is 150 tonnes per day.
Speaking at the meeting, Vice Chairman of municipal People’s Committee Dao Anh Dung said the city was ready to create good conditions for Vietnam Airlines to build a logistics hub.
He expected the corporation to work with Can Tho City to complete the procedures soon to receive an investment licence in August, when the city will host an investment promotion conference.
Hoa Sen puts up steel construction pipe plant in Yen Bai
Steel maker Hoa Sen Group on Friday inaugurated a plant that can produce 60,000 tonnes of steel construction pipes annually in the northern province of Yen Bai.
The 20ha Hoa Sen Yen Bai cost VNĐ1.05 trillion.
It is expected to meet the demand for steel pipes in the north-west.
The production lines incorporate modern technologies imported from foreign countries, the company said.
In the first phase, the plant would employ 100 workers, it said.
Expanding production is one of its strategies now, it added.
Hoa Sen has 11 plants around the country equipped with modern technologies.
Spreading them around the country helps the company save transport costs and reduce delivery times.
It is also focusing on developing its distribution system by opening more branches and sales points. It now has 400 branches.
The giant steel maker exports its products to many markets around the world.
VN records huge trade surplus in UK market
Viet Nam recorded a trade surplus of US$1.5 billion with the United Kingdom in the first four months of 2018.
The country exported $1.75 billion worth of goods to the market and imported $238 million.
According to the General Statistics Office, Viet Nam’s export revenue to the European country in the first three months of 2018 reached $1.31 billion, up by 30.6 per cent over the same period last year.
Meanwhile, Viet Nam imported $185 million worth of goods from the United Kingdom, up by 17.6 per cent year-on-year, resulting in a huge trade imbalance.
From January until the end of April, Viet Nam mainly exported telephones and spare parts, footwear, garments and aquatic products, with the respective export values exceeding $705 million, $201 million, $215 million and $78 million.
At the same time, Viet Nam imported $67 million worth of machineries, equipment and spare parts, $45 million worth of pharmaceuticals and more than $13 million worth of chemicals.
During 2013-17, the United Kingdom was among the 15 largest trade partners of Viet Nam, with an average annual growth of nearly 5 per cent. Bilateral trade grew by a total of 44 percent in the reviewed period to $6.15 billion in 2017 from $4.27 billion in 2013.
Last year, the United Kingdom was the eighth-largest export market of Viet Nam, moving up one place from 2016. Meanwhile, it was Viet Nam’s 26th largest import market, down by two places compared to the previous year.
In the past five years, Viet Nam’s exports to the United Kingdom have surged by 46.4 per cent to $5.42 billion, accounting for 2.5 per cent of the country’s total export volume.
In the same period, Southeast Asia’s import revenue in the UK market has increased by 30 per cent, reaching $733 million in 2017.
Viet Nam has continuously enjoyed a huge trade surplus with the United Kingdom, with last year’s figure hitting $4.68 billion.
The United Kingdom is also the third-largest trade partner of Viet Nam among the EU (European Union) countries.
AES Corporation keen to invest in thermal plant
US-based AES Corporation wants to invest in Son My 2 thermal power plant in the central province of Binh Thuan under the form of Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT).
The proposal was made by AES Vietnam President David Stone at a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue in Ha Noi on Thursday.
Stone said AES was listed among the 200 global energy companies ranked by Fortune magazine. The company currently owns a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the Dominican Republic and had invested in an LNG depot in Panama.
At the meeting, Stone said his company was carrying out researches for investment in Son My 2 gas-fired thermal power project in the form of BOT and hoped its participation would contribute to boosting trade and investment between Viet Nam and the United States.
The project consists of three LNG-powered plants, with a designed capacity of 750MW each. Built at the Son My industry-services-gas complex in the central coastal province of Binh Thuan, the facilities are set to become operational in 2023-25.
Hue said he supported the LNG terminal project, urging both sides to speed up the signing of a partnership contract to implement the project at the earliest.
Regarding the Son My 2 project, he requested AES to work with PV Gas to identify the most suitable investment model, adding that the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade will directly address difficulties, if any, arising from the cooperation.
AES is known for its 1,242MW Mong Duong 2 power plant in the northern province of Quang Ninh in Viet Nam. The coal-fired power plant was built under a BOT agreement and will be transferred to the Government after 25 years. It has been constructed in collaboration with PetroVietnam Gas JSC to carry out a liquefied gas depot project in Ham Tan District in Binh Thuan Province.
President: Vietnam – Japan ties at the best
Vietnam-Japan relations are at their best point since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties 45 years ago, President Tran Dai Quang told Chairman of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) Kazuo Shii during a reception in Tokyo on May 31.
President Tran Dai Quang (R) and Chairman of the Japanese Communist Party Kazuo Shii
Lauding the achievements of the JCP, especially the realisation of the resolution adopted by its 27th Congress, President Quang believed that the JCP will continue to be an important political force, contributing to national construction and development.
He wished that both sides would maintain regular exchange of visits and strengthen the friendship between the two parties, thereby reinforcing the friendship between the two countries’ people and enriching the bilateral extensive strategic partnership.
Shii, for his part, expressed his delight at the development of Vietnam – Japan ties over the past 45 years. He spoke highly of Vietnam’s important role in ASEAN and its status as the 10th member ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
He expressed his wish that Vietnam would uphold its role for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.
The host hoped for tighter bonds between the two parties via visits and theoretical exchanges as well as their close coordination in celebrating the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.
Host and guest also discussed regional and global issues, including the East Sea situation.
President receives Japan’s Komeito Chief Representative
President Tran Dai Quang (R) meets with Chief Representative of Japan’s Komeito Party Natsuo Yamaguchi in Tokyo on May 31
President Tran Dai Quang met Chief Representative of Japan’s Komeito Party Natsuo Yamaguchi in Tokyo on May 31 as part of his State visit to Japan.
President Quang expressed his delight at strongly developing relations in all fields, 45 years after the two countries established diplomatic ties.
Japan has been the leading economic partner, the biggest official development assistance provider and the second largest investor of Vietnam. It also ranks third in terms of the number of tourists to the Southeast Asian nation.
The two countries have coordinated closely at regional and international forums, reflected through the success of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Vietnam in 2017 and the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), he stated.
President Quang thanked the party for supporting Vietnam’s nation building cause and developing Vietnam-Japan relations.
He asked the party and Chief Representative Natsuo Yamaguchi to continue making contributions to the bilateral Extensive Strategic Partnership, particularly in economy, investment, human resources training, hi-tech agriculture and climate change response.
Welcoming the Vietnamese President, the Komeito leader said that the visit will contribute to strengthening rapport in all fields, especially in the context of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
He affirmed that his party will make efforts to deepen Japan-Vietnam relations in all aspects and coordinate with the Vietnamese side in regional and international issues of shared concern.
Switzerland’s largest airline opens new route to Vietnam
On May 30, Edelweiss, Switzerland's leading leisure airline, announced it will open a direct air route between HCM City and Zurich this November, serving two flights per week as part of the carrier’s plan to expand its flight network in Asia.
This is the first direct air route between Vietnam and Switzerland, aiming to reduce travel times, stimulate tourism demands, and trade between the two countries.
Some travel agents are preparing to launch online ticketing services to help passengers to purchase tickets easily.
Edelweiss CEO, Bernd Bauer, said that Vietnam has become popular among Swiss people thanks to the attractive destinations on offer.
The airline expects to serve 10,500 passengers traveling from Switzerland to HCM City each year, earning a revenue of US$32 million per year.
The new air route helps to bring tourists from Switzerland and Europe closer to Vietnam and provides a wide range of options for connecting flights from Zurich to other famous tourist attractions through the Swiss airline.
At present, Edelweiss are working with major travel operators in Vietnam to design tour packages for the new route between Vietnam and Switzerland. The predicted passenger growth for the route suggests an increase of about 10% per year over the next 3-4 years.
According to the General Statistics Office, in the first five months of the year, more than 16,500 Swiss passengers arrived in Vietnam, up 4.2% against the same period last year.
As a wealthy country, Switzerland’s tourists tend to spend more when holidaying abroad than visitors from other nations.
Work safety given priority status
HCM CITY — Local authorities have been pushing to promote a work safe environment, aiming at protecting workers’ health and businesses’ property, said online newspaper baotintuc.vn.
Local authorities have been pushing to promote a work safe environment, aiming at protecting workers’ health and businesses’ property. — VNA/VNS Photo
BUSINESS IN BRIEF 1/6
Deputy PM pushes CPI measures
Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has urged the Government’s Steering Committee for Price Management to keep consumer price index (CPI) growth below 4 per cent in 2018.
This could be done by minimising external impacts on domestic prices, he said.
Speaking at a meeting of the committee in Ha Noi on Tuesday, Deputy PM Hue, who also heads the committee, said CPI growth in the first four months of this year was in line with the scenario set by the group thanks to a coordination in price management efforts between ministries.
However, he said higher prices of oil, gas, pork and food, plus complex developments in the global market over the past two months have put huge pressures on price management efforts.
Nguyen Anh Tuan, director of the Finance Ministry’s Price Management Department, said CPI expanded by 3.01 per cent in the first five months of 2018.
The ministry forecast that factors such as floods, the adjustment of prices of health care and education services, along with an increase in the basic salary and environmental tax on fuels, would put more pressure on CPI.
This pressure would eventually ease, however, thanks to stable demand for fresh food in the summer, a decrease of 10-15 per cent in medicine prices under the centralised bidding programme for drugs, and stable interest rates, among others.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said his ministry has instructed the Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) to save production costs to maintain current retail power prices, while closely coordinating with the Ministry of Finance to effectively and harmoniously use the oil and gas stabilisation fund.
Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho said Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) toll stations have adjusted road fees in line with the Government’s instructions and stabilised prices of seaport and airport services.
Concluding the working session, Deputy PM Hue said it is possible to keep CPI growth below 4 per cent in 2018.
He asked the ministries to maintain the prices of goods managed by the State and continue with review work to accelerate the decrease in prices of products such as drugs and medical equipment.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other relevant ministries were asked to maintain the rice export structure, control the number of pig farms, and actively negotiate with China to ship more Vietnamese fruits there.
The Deputy PM also urged the Health Ministry to push the centralised bidding of drugs and the bidding of medical equipment, while promptly issuing a circular to replace Circular No 37. The new circular should come into force on July 15, 2018 and stipulate a decrease in the process of 80 kinds of medical services.
CPI increases 0.55 percent in May
Can Tho posts high export growth
The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho earned an estimated 618.5 million USD from exports in the first five months of this year, up 20 percent year on year.
Director of the city’s Planning and Investment Department Nguyen Van Hong reported to the regular meeting of the municipal People’s Committee on May 30 that the figure was equal to 43.9 percent of the yearly export value target.
Most staple goods posted good growth compared to the same period last year, such as rice with increases of 26.5 percent in volume (316,050 tonnes) and 24.2 percent in value (nearly 134 million USD). Aquatic products brought home 226.4 million USD, up 18.56 percent with shipment volume rising nearly 33 percent to 63,484 tonnes.
Some other minor exports also enjoyed high increases in value, such as fine art and handicraft up 31.2 percent, garment 41.3 percent, and steel products 147.4 percent.
The good performance of export is attributable to efforts of relevant agencies and enterprises in the city in seeking new markets and improving product quality.
In 2017, trade promotion activities helped Can Tho lure investment and increase export revenue.
The city earned nearly 1.8 billion USD from export and service revenue, 5.9 percent above its goal and 13.9 percent higher than the figure in 2016.
Can Tho is the only city in the Mekong Delta and a development driving force of the Southwest region.
Vietnam owns special advantages for fintech development: ADB economist
Vietnam owns special advantages, especially in the IT sector, which can be a basis for the development of financial technology (fintech) towards financial inclusion, according to Dominic Mellor, senior economist of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
He made the remark at the Fintech Vietnam Forum 2018 in Hanoi on May 30, noting that the ADB is always ready to assist the SBV in both encouraging fintech development and perfecting legal framework in the field.
At the event, participants shared fintech development trends in the time ahead and management measures in this field in some countries.
Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Le Minh Hung said fintech and banking can contribute to financial inclusion, poverty reduction, social equality and sustainable economic development. Over the past years, the central bank has actively held dialogues with fintech businesses to remove obstacles in a timely manner and help them enter the market.
Since 2008, the SBV has permitted many companies to provide payment services on a trial basis to meet market demand. After setting up a relatively clear legal framework, it has officially licensed 27 intermediary payment service providers.
A steering committee on fintech was also established by the SBV in March 2017 to devise solutions to facilitate the development of fintech enterprises in Vietnam, he noted, adding that many banks have cooperated with fintech companies to provide relevant services, which has been a growing cooperation trend in recent years.
The development of fintech and cooperation between fintech firms and banks are considered prerequisites for promoting Vietnamese users’ access to financial and banking services.
SBV Deputy Governor Nguyen Kim Anh, head of the steering committee on fintech, noted the central bank will ask for the Prime Minister’s permission to build a regulatory sandbox framework for fintech businesses and start-ups to test their new products and services under the SBV’s supervision, thus minimising risks for clients and relevant sides.
Through the Mekong Business Initiative, the Fintech Vietnam Forum was co-organised by the ADB, the Australian Government, and the SBV.
Five-month import-export value hits 182.8 billion USD
Vietnam’s total import-export value was estimated at 182.8 billion USD in the first five months of this year, up 11.9 percent annually, said the General Department of Customs on May 30.
Of the figure, export earnings hit 93.1 billion USD, up 15.8 percent while import value rose 8.2 percent to 89.7 billion USD.
Shipment of mobile phones and accessories soared 19.8 percent annually to 19.48 billion USD. Apparel export reached 10.68 billion USD, up 13.3 percent while computers, electronics and spare parts brought home 10.9 billion USD, up 14.2 percent year-on-year.
Aquatic products earned 3.15 billion USD from export, up 11.1 percent annually.
In May alone, the country’s total foreign trade hit 38.9 billion USD, up 9.4 percent month-on-month. Of which, 19.2 billion USD was export revenue, marking a 4.5 percent rise and the remaining was import value, surging 14.5 percent.
Vietnam spent 6.14 billion USD on importing computers, electronics and accessories in five months, up 14.1 percent. Another 13 billion USD was used to buy machinery, equipment, and tools while 5.18 billion USD was spent on mobile phones and accessories, up 1.3 percent.
Fabric import hit 5.1 billion USD, up 13 percent annually.
The country ran a trade deficit of 500 million USD, but a trade surplus of 3.4 billion USD for the January-May period.
Vietnamese firms contribute to Cambodia’s development: Ambassador
Vietnamese businesspeople in Cambodia serve as an important bridge to foster the traditional friendship between the two countries, making contributions to the development of the host nation.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh made the remark at a gathering of Vietnamese businesses in Cambodia on May 30. The event, organised by the Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia, aimed to help Vietnamese entrepreneurs share their experience in doing business in the country.
He said the event affords participants a chance to raise ideas to build support policy and facilitate their effective operations in the near future.
Vietnamese Commercial Counsellor in Cambodia Le Bien Cuong said the Vietnamese Party, State and people always encourage the development of Vietnamese firms in Cambodia.
Vietnam ranks sixth among countries investing in Cambodia, mostly in agriculture, services, banking, insurance and consumer goods.
Participants shared advantages and disadvantages in doing business in the country and wished that their difficulties would be removed by the two countries’ ministries and agencies.
Concluding the event, Ambassador Minh vowed to gather businesses’ feedback to submit to Vietnamese and Cambodian authorities, thus facilitating their operations.
HCM City has eyes on India as potential tourism market
Ho Chi Minh City’s Tourism Department is launching plans to attract more visitors from India, which is considered a market of great potential.
At the May meeting on socio-economic issues of the municipal People’s Committee on May 30, Director of the department Bui Ta Hoang Vu said his agency is working with several airlines to promote Vietnam to India. He noted that while 1.6 million Indians travelled to Thailand in 2017, only 170,000 visited Vietnam.
The low-cost airline Vietjet Air is scheduled to open direct flights between HCM City and India this September.
The Tourism Department has developed products designed for this market and held some tourism promotion activities in the country.
Vu added that the department has also asked local restaurants to design dishes specifically for Indian guests.
It was reported at the meeting that an estimated 566,390 foreign tourists arrived in the city in May, up 37 percent year on year. Revenues from tourism came to around 9.3 trillion VND (over 406 million USD), up 3.03 percent.
For the January-May period, the total number of foreign arrivals was 3.18 million, a 32 percent increase, while tourism revenues were estimated at 51.65 trillion VND, up 14.8 percent.
A recent survey jointly conducted by the Tourism Department and the municipal Statistics Office showed tourists both domestic and foreign stay for an average 5 days in the city and spend around 145 USD a day, which showed a reduction in stay duration compared to a survey of the Vietnam National Tourism Administration in 2013 but the spending stays the same.
Chairman of the People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong stressed that tourism has been defined as a spearhead economic sector of the city. He urged the sector to study ways to keep visitors stay longer.
Russia’s Republic of Bashkortostan eyes stronger ties with Vietnam
The Republic of Bashkortostan of Russia wants to promote trade cooperation with Vietnamese localities in many fields, especially in producing oil and gas, and agriculture, said President of Bashkortostan Rustem Khamitov.
Rustem made the statement during a meeting with Ambassador of Vietnam to Russia Ngo Duc Manh, who was on a working visit to Bashkortostan’s Ufa capital city from May 28-30.
While highlighting potential and strengths of Bashkortostan, he said the authority welcomes Vietnam’s TH True Milk Group’s project to breed dairy cows and process milk in Bashkortostan.
Over 3,000 ha of land are ready for the project, and the authority will create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese firm to successfully implement the project, he added.
He revealed that officials from the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau of Vietnam would visit Bashkortostan to bolster cooperation between the twinned localities.
For his part, Ambassador Manh pledged to do his utmost to further promote the traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia, including connection among the two countries’ localities, especially in economic, trade and investment link, and in training experts working in the oil and gas industry.
During his stay, Manh met with representatives from the State Committee for Foreign Economic Relations, the Bashkortostan Development Agency, and those from the Vietnamese community in the locality. He also visited Ufa State Petroleum Technological University (USPTU), and the petrochemical research institute Birintex.
Telefilm expo 2018 attracts 150 exhibitors
The latest equipment and technologies used in the film and television industry will be showcased at the sixth Vietnam International Exhibition on Film and Television Technology (Telefilm) organised at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre in Ho Chi Minh City from June 7-9.
As many as 150 exhibitors from 15 countries and territories worldwide, including India, Japan, Taiwan (China), Thailand, and the Republic of Korea, will display their products at more than 200 booths at the event.
Organised by Vietnam Television and the ADPEX Joint Stock Company, the Telefilm will offer investors and visitors opportunity to meet potential partners and access to up-to-date international film and television trends.
Several seminars will be held on the sidelines of the event, focusing on current television trends amid rapid digitalisation in the TV industry globally and in Vietnam specifically.
Festival promotes consumption of Thanh Ha litchi
The first-ever Thanh Ha litchi festival will be organised in the northern province of Hai Duong on June 10 to promote consumption of the local specialty fruit, the organising board said at a press conference on May 30.
The festival is designed to create opportunities for local farmers to connect with supermarkets, and processing and export firms while facilitating the signing of contracts, memorandum of understanding on the consumption of litchi and other agricultural products.
An array of activities will be held during the festival, including tours to the ancient litchi tree in Thuy Lam village, Thanh Son commune, Thanh Ha district; visits to VietGAP litchi gardens; and boat tours to visit litchi orchard along Huong river, among others. Visitors can also try their hand at picking litchi in gardens in Thanh Ha district and Chi Linh town.
Hai Duong litchi received the geographical indication from the Ministry of Science and Technology National Office of Intellectual Property in 2007. The local fruit was in Top 10 quality products in 2013 and 2014 and received the Gold Brand prize in 2015.
The Vietnam Association of Food Science and Technology granted a “trustful and safe food brand” certificate for Thanh Ha litchi in 2016. The same year, the ancient litchi tree in Thuy Lam village was recognised as the oldest of its kind in Vietnam.
According to Nguyen Thi Ha, Vice Director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, the province has 10,500 hectares of litchi, which are expected to yield 55,000-60,000 tonnes of fruit this year. The harvest time is from May 15 to the end of June.
Currently, 131.68 hectares of local litchi cultivation are qualified for exports to the US, EU and Australia. The province is also home to 334 hectares of litchi grown in accordance with VietGAP standards.
Besides domestic market, Thanh Ha litchi has increased its presence outside the country. The fruit has been sold in Australia, Canada, China, France, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and the US.
HCM City customs revenues drop in first half
Revenue from the customs sector in HCM City fell in the first five months of the year due to a decline in import tax rates agreed to under several trade agreements that took effect earlier this year, according to the city’s Customs Department.
The information was released at a meeting held on May 30 to review the city’s socio-economic development in the first five months of the year.
Customs revenue reached VNĐ39.500 trillion (US$1.72 billion) in the first five months, accounting for nearly 37 per cent of the plan, a drop of more than 6 per cent over the same period last year.
The Customs Department was asked to target VNĐ108 trillion in collections for the city’s budget this year, VNĐ1 trillion lower than the target set last year.
But because customs revenue is expected to fall by about VNĐ11 trillion in 2018, it will be difficult for the department to achieve the target.
The meeting also discussed problems related to overloaded infrastructure at seaports.
Cát Lái Port in District 2 remains overloaded, with the surrounding area suffering from traffic congestion most of the time, while the other ports are operating at a much lower capacity (30 per cent).
Cái Mép Port is also operating at a much lower capacity, because some container trucks want to avoid Highway 51, which is not in good condition.
In the first five months, the city’s total revenue reached VNĐ155.217 trillion ($6.78 billion), with many kinds of taxes increasing over the same period, such as corporate income tax,VAT, personal income tax and registration tax.
The city’s total retail sales of goods and services increased over the same period, contributing significantly to overall economic growth.
Retail activities of the city have been focused on quality and good performance, ensuring supply of goods for people’s daily needs.
Speaking at the meeting, Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said the city’s economy, however, was facing many challenges.
Phong asked the Department of Industry and Trade to continue developing a list of key products that would create high added value.
He urged the HCM City Investment Trade Promotion Centre to prepare for the coming major events, including a conference on co-operation in trade and investment promotion in the southern region and investment promotion conferences in the city and in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai.
The centre has also been asked to improve investment and trade and promotion activities with other countries.
In addition, Phong asked that the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to continue improving the quality of tourism products and services, focusing on water tourism.
Da Lat vegetable prices plunge
Prices of vegetables have fallen in Da Lat, itself a vegetable growing hub, due to imports from China, traders said.
Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourer) newspaper reported that many traders in the districts of Lac Duong, Don Duong and Duc Trong recently imported large volumes of cheap Chinese vegetables.
As a result, prices of local produce have plummeted, and farmers and traders have been unable to sell their stocks despite cutting prices, it said.
The prices of some vegetables have fallen by 50 per cent.
Potato costs only VND7,000 per kilogramme, half the price a year ago, onion costs around VND3,000 and carrot, VND2,000-3,000. Last year all of them were selling at above VND10,000.
Tran Thanh Nha, a farmer in Don Duong District, has planted vegetables on 1.5ha.
In previous years two traders would regularly come to his farm to buy his vegetables, but this year they deposited VND50 million (US$2,100) and had not returned, he said.
He called them many times but they did not reply, he said.
Nguyen Thi Phuong Binh of Da Lat has grown onions but cannot sell them now.
“Traders bargain for under VND5,000 per kilogramme. At this price, I lose since the wages for harvesting is around VND250,000 per day,” she told the newspaper.
Nguyen The Hien of the Da Lat market management board said not only farmers but also traders at the market face difficulties due to the low prices.
Many traders who have been doing business at the market for a long time have closed their shops since they are unable to sell Da Lat vegetables, something he had never seen happen before, he said.
Not only individuals but also large companies have been hit.
Nguyen Thi Anh Tuyet, deputy director of Anh Dao Agriculture Service Co-operative, said while her co-operative has not been affected by the competition from Chinese products, it has been hit by the low prices.
Local farmers blame the situation on the cheap imports from China, admitting that vegetables and fruits from China look good and are cheap. Even local specialities like cherries are unable to compete with the Chinese products, they lamented.
Many people have been warning for a long time about the threat from Chinese vegetable imports but little has been done to local production.
Le Thi Huong of Don Duong District said some companies imported vegetables from China and then attached Da Lat labels.
Tran Thanh Vu, head of Tan Duong District’s economic and infrastructure department, said a large quantity Chinese imports is not sold locally meaning authorities are unable to prevent fake labelling and other dubious activities.
There is no prohibition against import of Chinese products, he said.
Nguyen Van Son, director of the Lam Dong Province Department of Agriculture, told The Labourer that the province has adopted many methods to ensure the quality and origin of products.
Farmers and traders do co-operate with each other to protect the Da Lat trademark, but it would take more time to achieve critical mass, he said.
Viet Nam, Indonesia boost cooperation in construction, property
Viet Nam and Indonesia sought to boost cooperation in construction and property at a business forum in Ha Noi on Wednesday.
The event was organised by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia and the Viet Nam Federation of Civil Engineering Association.
“The forum aims to improve cooperation between Indonesia and Viet Nam in construction and property businesses in an effort to promote wide opportunities and achieve the target of bilateral trade worth US$10 billion by 2020,” said Ibnu Hadi, Indonesian ambassador to Viet Nam.
According to him, bilateral trade between the two countries in 2017 saw an increase of 16.36 per cent to reach $6.50 million from $5.58 million in 2016. This two-way trade comprised $3.63 million worth of Indonesian exports to Viet Nam (an increase of 22.51 per cent), while Indonesian imports amounted to $2.61 million (an increase of 9.37 per cent).
With populations of more than 260 million and 96 million in 2017, respectively, Indonesia and Viet Nam are among the fastest growing economies in the world. With a gross domestic product rate of 5.17 per cent and 6.81 per cent, Indonesia’s and Viet Nam’s per capita income in 2017 were $3,859 and $2,385, respectively, Hadi said.
According to the embassy, Indonesia’s investment in Việt Nam during 2017 was valued at $45.84 million, taking the total number of projects in Việt Nam to 69 worth $477.02 million. Last year, Indonesia ranked 30th among investor countries in Viet Nam. Meanwhile, Viet Nam has invested in eight projects in Indonesia in mining, media and manufacture processing industry worth $51 million.
For Indonesia, the growth of the real estate sector is dependent on infrastructure, which is predicted to grow at 5.9 per cent every year between 2017 and 2026, outperforming the overall construction industry’s projected annual growth rate of 3.9 per cent. Both residential and non-residential sectors will benefit from Indonesia’s strong demographics and a high urbanisation rate of 53 per cent.
“Although the investment cooperation between the two countries is still relatively not as huge as with South Korea, Japan and Singapore, the inflow of Indonesian investment to Viet Nam continues to increase. Indonesian investors are starting to capitalise on the potential and market opportunities offered by Viet Nam,” Hadi said.
High return from share sale
The Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (ACB) may earn between VND1.3 trillion (US$57.8 million) and VND1.5 trillion from selling treasury shares, according to HCM City Securities Corp (HSC).
ACB is holding more than 41.4 million treasury shares out of its 1.12 billion listed on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, equal to 4.03 per cent of the total shares.
The bank bought those treasury shares back from investors in January 2015, May 2014 and July 2013 for an average price level of VND16,080 (71.5 US cents) per share.
HSC said in a recent report there has been no news about of the bank selling its treasury, however, it could be a good way to increase its charter capital.
If ACB decides to sell at the current market price, it could generate VND1.3 trillion to VND1.5 trillion in profit that could be added into the bank’s share premium.
ACB shares closed Wednesday at VND38,400 per share, nearly 2.4 times the average price the bank paid.
ACB has some VND3 trillion worth of guarantees related to various loans, including stocks and some real estate projects. The bank is forecast to sell entire or a part of those assets in the next few years, HSC said.
HSC also forecast that ACB would record VND6 trillion in pre-tax profit, a yearly increase of 127 per cent.
Total lending and raised deposit would rise 18 per cent each to VND234 trillion and VND284 trillion at the end of the year, HSC said, adding that the bank’s net interest margin (NIM) rate would increase to 3.55 per cent from 3.48 per cent in 2017.
ACB would be able to reduce its provision set aside to pay for anticipated future losses by 81 per cent as it would clear entire VAMC bonds and loans to eight companies involved in the prosecution of the bank’s former chairman Nguyen Duc Kien, HSC said. The bank’s non-performing ratio is also estimated at 0.8 per cent this year.
CapitaLand runaway leader as PropertyGuru awards nominees announced
The shortlist of nominees for the 2018 PropertyGuru Vietnam Property Awards have been announced after they were chosen by an independent panel of judges.
A total of 25 companies have made it to the list in the competition categories. The fourth annual awards have 43 categories, including new awards in the categories of building communities, design and construction, customer care, and public facilities.
The competition is welcoming returning and new entrants amid the launch of many world-class projects across the country.
Leading the shortlist is CapitaLand Vietnam with 16 nominations. It had been chosen best developer last year.
The second-most nominated developer is Alpha King, whose luxury condo project Alpha City has been shortlisted in six categories across development and design.
Tied in third place are Gamuda Land and KIEN A Corporation with eight appearances each on the list, including for Best Mid End Condo Development and Best Affordable Condo Development, respectively.
KIEN A Corporation’s founding chairman Huynh Ba Lan has been named Vietnam Real Estate Personality of the Year, an award not selected by the jury but by editors of PropertyGuru Property Report magazine.
Lan was chosen for leading an organisation that prioritises developing quality projects for lower-income consumers and building schools to international standards.
The exclusive gala dinner on June 22 at the InterContinental Saigon Hotel ballroom is the award’s biggest edition yet.
Organisers expect the black-tie ceremony to be attended by nearly 500 guests and members of the media.
Terry Blackburn, founder and managing director of the PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards, said: “Viet Nam real estate is fast becoming a major draw for investors in the Asia-Pacific because of its acclaimed offerings in the condominium, hotel, resort and mixed-use segments.
“Whilst HCM City and Ha Noi continue to be the main engines of the industry, it is encouraging that a provincial location such as Khanh Hoa now has a strong domestic market that developers there can be recognised on an internationally-known platform like the PropertyGuru Vietnam Property Awards.”
Tracodi targets over $50m revenue this year
Transport and Industry Development Investment Joint Stock Company (Tracodi) has targeted a revenue of VND1.15 trillion (US$50.44 million) and an after-tax profit of VND77.1 billion in 2018.
The year-on-year increase would be five per cent and three per cent, respectively, revealed the company’s report preparing for the upcoming annual shareholders’ meeting on June 15, 2018.
In the revenue structure of 2018, the commercial segment is expected to account for the largest share, contributing some VND450 billion, followed by infrastructure and real estate projects with VND390 billion. The stone exploitation project with the joint venture Antraco is expected to contribute VND300 billion, the remaining will come from the labour export and training projects.
This year, Tracodi plans to invest in a high-rise apartment complex at No.89 Cach Mang Thang Tam, District 1, HCM City, which is also the headquarters of the company. The project has an area of 1,048sq.m with total investment capital of VND850 billion. Currently, Tracodi is carrying out procedures for investment approval.
The company’s board of directors also plans to pay dividends in 2017 at the rate of 10 per cent in shares, through the issuance of 3.4 million shares.
Tracodi has 28 years of operating history in many fields such as infrastructure construction, taxi transportation, quarrying and labor export.
In May 2017, the company listed 32.48 million shares on the HCM Stock Exchange at a reference price of VND16,000 a share.
Bamboo Capital is currently the parent company owning Tracodi’s 50.61 per cent stake.
Customers can use QR code to buy petrol
Individual customers will be able to pay for petrol using the QR code technology in petrol stations of the PetroVietnam Oil Corporation (PV Oil).
This was announced by Cao Hoai Duong, general director of PV Oil, at the meeting of shareholders and investors.
Duong said the “PVOIL Easy” programme managed the purchase of gasoline using QR code (quick response code, also known as bar code matrix on mobile devices) for PVOIL members.
Every QR code issued to a driver contains complete personal information, including the driver’s name, licence number and gasoline purchase limit. When drivers buy gasoline at PV Oil’s petrol station, they will only need to use their personal phones containing QR codes to make payment.
At the same time, all transaction information, including the location where drivers buy gasoline and the amount and type of gasoline purchased, will be sent to the drivers and owners of the vehicles as well as be stored on PVOIL’s system.
With the QR technology, both drivers and owners of transport service companies will not have to spend a lot of time to compare the amount of gasoline traded daily, Duong said.
Thanks to its advantages, the PVOIL Easy programme has been positively received by many transportation companies, such as Viettel Post, as well as other private transportation companies, after nearly four months of implementation.
PVOIL is the first petroleum business unit to use QR code technology. According to Duong, PVOIL plans to apply this programme to individual customers to make the QR code utility available to more customers in near future.
Mercedes-Benz VN recalls 284 cars over faulty airbags
Mercedes-Benz Viet Nam is recalling 284 vehicles over a wiring defect that could unexpectedly trigger faulty airbags.
According to the German car maker, the recalled vehicles include the GLA 200, GLA 250 4MATIC, AMG GLA 45 4MATIC, and the CLA 200. Others included in the recall list are the CLA 250, CLA 250 4MATIC, AMG CLA 45 4MATIC, and A 200, as well as the 9: A 250 and AMG A 45 4MATIC models. The recalled units were manufactured between November 2011 and July 2017.
Owners of the affected models have been told to contact their dealer immediately when the red airbag warning light appears on their dashboard. The cars, however, are safe to drive under normal conditions, Mercedes said.
The process of checking and repairing airbags is expected to take 60 minutes for each car.
The recall programme begins on May 28, 2018, and will end on December 31, 2022.
In April, Mercedes-Benz Viet Nam recalled 3,624 vehicles which it said were at risk of catching fire due to a potentially faulty fuse.
That recall, which runs until December 31, 2022, applies to its C200, C250, C300, and E200 models, as well as GLC 250 4MATIC and GLC 300 4MATIC units, which were manufactured between September 2015 and February 2017.
Fruit, vegetable exports hit 1.62 billion USD in five months
Vietnam earned 1.62 billion USD from exporting fruits and vegetables in the first five months of 2018, a year-on-year rise of 16.54 percent.
In May alone, the country grossed 303.1 million USD from selling fruits and vegetables abroad, up 10 percent against the same month last year, according to Vietnam Customs.
Fruit-vegetable was the second biggest foreign currency earner in the agricultural sector, after aquatic products.
Vietnamese fruits and vegetables have been sold across 60 countries and territories, including four main markets namely China, the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
In January-April, fruit-vegetable exports to most markets registered growth with China importing nearly 989 million USD worth of products, a year-on-year increase of 30.3 percent and 75 percent of fruit-vegetable export turnover.
The US came second with 39 million USD (up 12.3 percent), followed by Japan at 36.55 million USD (up 15.9 percent) and the Republic of Korea 34.78 million USD (up 13.28 percent).
Southeast Asian countries imported 56.39 million USD worth of fruits and vegetables, an annual rise of 19.4 percent and 4.3 percent of the fruit-vegetable export turnover.
Strong growth was also seen in markets such as France (up 41.3 percent) and Australia (up 34.9 percent).
Notably, Vietnamese fruits and vegetables were also exported to Thailand and Indonesia, which have strengths in agriculture.
In the period, Vietnam imported 575 million USD worth of fruits and vegetables, up 15.3 percent over the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The country mainly purchased fruits and vegetables from Thailand, China and the US.
With the positive outcomes in 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, Vietnam is expected to gross 10 billion USD from exporting fruits and vegetables in the near future.
The country earned a record 3.45 billion USD from fruit and vegetable exports in 2017, a year-on-year rise of 40.5 percent, much higher than traditional staples like rice, crude oil and coffee.
Japan set to invest more multi-billion-USD projects in Vietnam
Japan, the second biggest investor in Vietnam, is continuing to pour billions of USD into new projects in the Southeast Asian nation, an investment partnership expected to grow stronger after a State visit to Japan by President Tran Dai Quang.
New Japanese investment projects have appeared in Vietnam since the beginning of 2018.
Notably, Sumitomo and Mitsubishi have agreed to cooperate with Vietnam’s BRG Group to invest in the Nhat Tan – Noi Bai smart city project.
This is the biggest-ever Japanese project in Vietnam with total investment of 4.2 billion USD and promises to gather technologies being used in the most modern urban areas in Japan.
In mid-May, the Japanese-invested AEON Mall Vietnam started the construction of a mall in Le Chan district of northern Hai Phong city. This is the second shopping centre this firm began to build in 2018 after the one in Ha Dong district of Hanoi, raising the total number of AEON malls in Vietnam to six.
The inflow of major projects has consolidated Japan’s second position among 116 countries and territories investing in the ASEAN country.
According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as of the end of March 2018, Japan had 3,693 projects with total capital of 49.84 billion USD in Vietnam. In 2017, its direct investment hit a record of 9.11 billion USD, ranking first among foreign investors.
Japan is expected to continue choosing Vietnam as the destination for its multi-billion-USD projects, particularly after a big investment conference is held in Tokyo during a State visit to Japan by Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang from May 29 to June 2. Many economic cooperation projects are expected to be revealed at this event.
In a recent interview given to Japanese media, President Quang said to better capitalise on each other’s strengths, the two sides should further promote economic links through enhancing ties in trade, investment and the implementation of the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.
He voiced his belief that with joint efforts, consensus and sound policies, the two countries will continue to develop bilateral relations and lift their Extensive Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in Asia to a new height.
HCM City enjoys robust economic achievements
Ho Chi Minh City recorded key economic achievements in the first five months of the year, heard the municipal People’s Committee’s meeting on May 30.
According to report from the municipal Department of Planning and Investment, total revenue from retail trade and services reached nearly 84.5 trillion VND (3.72 billion USD) in May, bringing total earnings for January-May to 421.9 trillion VND (18.56 billion USD), or 11.9 percent higher than the same time last year.
Total budget collection was estimated at more than 154.3 trillion VND (6.79 billion USD), 41 percent of the annual target.
The city raked in 14.5 billion USD from exports, a year-on-year rise of 5.5 percent. Strong export growth was recorded in Hong Kong (China) with 17 percent, Taiwan (China) with more than 60 percent and Indonesia with more than 78 percent. Meanwhile, shipments to the US, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Germany were stagnant in the period.
It spent in excess of 18 billion USD on imports of equipment and material for production like machines, tools and spare parts.
HCM City licensed the establishment of 16,493 domestic firms with total registered capital of 185.5 trillion VND (8.16 billion USD). Meanwhile, the city secured 1.85 billion USD in foreign investments from January-May, up 34.7 percent compared to last year’s same period.
Aquatic exports rise by 10 percent in five months
Vietnam recorded a year-on-year rise of 9.7 percent in aquatic exports to 3.12 billion USD in the first five months of 2018, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
Fishery exports in May alone were estimated at 671 million USD.
The US, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea were the four biggest importers of Vietnamese aquatic products between January and April, making up 52.7 percent of total fishery exports in the period.
Meanwhile, markets with strong growth in aquatic imports from Vietnam were the Netherlands (60.2 percent), China (28.8 percent), the UK (27.4 percent) and Germany (27 percent).
Also in May, the country imported about 165 million USD worth of fishery products, raising the five-month aquatic import value to 698 million USD, up 33.5 percent from a year earlier.
The MARD added in the first five months, while total export value of agro-forestry-fishery products reached 15.6 billion USD, about 12.29 billion USD was spent on importing these products, respectively up 9.9 percent and 10.6 percent from the same period last year.
Direct Swiss-Vietnam flights
Switzerland’s leisure airlines Edelweiss, an affiliate of the Swiss International Airlines, has announced direct flights to HCM City.
This will be the first direct air route between Switzerland and Vietnam.
According to the plan, the air route will be launched in November with two flights per week.
At present, some air ticket agents have received the booking from customers, while the carrier is about to sell tickets online.
Bernd Bauer, managing general director of Edelweiss, said that the airline hopes to carry about 10,500 passengers to HCM City a year, raking in USD32 million.
Besides bringing tourists from Switzerland and Europe to Vietnam, the new air route is expected to create favourable conditions for passengers to travel from HCM City to other places in Europe, with various destinations in the Swiss International Airlines’ network.
Edelweiss has worked with Vietnam’s big travel firms to build tours between the two countries. The carrier expects to see the annual passenger of around 10% in the next three-four years.
Edelweiss currently offers flights to 68 destinations in 33 countries.
National Assembly deputy questions SOE investments abroad
A National Assembly (NA) deputy in Kien Giang Province have asked the government to provide more detailed information about the failure of overseas state-owned enterprise (SOE) investment projects.
According to the government’s report on capital management by SOEs in the 2011-2016 period, 18 wholly-owned SOEs invested USD12.6 billion in 110 projects, mostly focused on post and telecommunications, petroleum, rubber plantations and mining.
Among those, PetroVietnam topped the list with USD6.7 billion, followed by Viettel with USD2.1 billion, Vietnam Rubber Industry Corporation with USD1.4 billion.
By the end of 2016, USD7 billion of USD12.6 billion in registered capital had been disbursed, including USD3.4 billion from PetroVietnam, USD1.1 billion from Viettel and USD729 million from the Vietnam Rubber Industry Corporation.
However, just four of 18 enterprises were able to recover their estimated USD1.5 billion investment.
The reported indicated that up to 25.5% of the projects faced losses in 2016 and 29% of them saw accumulated losses by late 2016.
The Ministry of Finance said that many projects have encountered problems related to legal produces, while others have proved slow in investing.
NA deputy Nguyen Minh Son from the southern province of Tien Giang said the report needed to provide more detailed information about SOE investment abroad. It was important to specify the condition of specific projects and the reasons for their loss.
The government needs to have measures for the situation. The government needs to consider selling or handing over loss-making projects in some cases, Son proposed.
Seminar held to collect feedback on export-import inspection
A seminar was held in Ha Noi on Thursday to collect feedback on the draft decree on a national one-stop shop mechanism and specialised inspection of exports-imports.
Co-organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the finance ministry’s General Department of Vietnam Customs, the seminar attracted over 100 delegates from ministries, agencies, local customs and businesses.
Speaking at the event, deputy director general of Vietnam Customs Nguyen Cong Binh said administrative reform on exports-imports had been the top priority of the Government in recent years, adding that Decree No 19 on improving the business climate and national competitiveness stipulates a reduction in the rate of goods under specialised inspection during customs clearance to below 10 per cent from the current 25-27 per cent.
Despite achievements in administrative reform, World Bank’s Doing Business Index pointed out that Vietnamese enterprises still faced difficulties in abiding by regulations on specialised inspection of exports-imports, he said.
Pham Thanh Binh, advisory expert for USAID’s GIG project, said regulations on specialised inspection of exports-imports are set in laws, decrees and circulars of ministries and agencies, leading to overlapping in management.
Launched in November 2014, the national one-stop shop mechanism has so far connected with 11 out of 14 ministries and departments and 47 out of 284 administrative procedures on specialised inspection. However, many procedures on specialised inspection are yet to be conducted online.
The draft decree will help simplify customs clearance procedures and establish an inter-sectoral mechanism to ensure effective coordination among units via the national one-stop shop.
The Vietnamese Government is also working with USAID via the Governance for Inclusive Growth programme to facilitate sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the country.
Cuba new investment destination for Vietnamese firms
Cuba has emerged as the third-largest investment destination for Vietnamese enterprises after Laos and Cambodia.
According to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Vietnamese firms registered to invest US$19.9 million in Cuba in the first four months of 2018 despite geographical distance.
This is expected to open numerous business opportunities for the two countries.
FIA revealed some investment projects of Viet Nam in the new market, including an oil and gas exploration project of PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation and diaper and washing powder production projects at Mariel Special Economic Development Zone of Thai Binh Company.
Several years ago, Cuba was predicted to emerge as a promising market for Viet Nam after Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. There is plenty of room in this market, and the Cuban government has repeatedly called on Vietnamese enterprises to invest in the country.
The opportunities have become more obvious after the visit of Secretary General of the Communist Party of Viet Nam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong to Cuba in March 2018, where he signed a number of cooperation agreements.
Viet Nam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment signed a deal concluding the official negotiation between the two countries on a new bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).
The two sides committed to conduct legal revisions to bring the FTA into force as soon as possible to support trade growth and attract investment.
Trade experts said these moves were important to boost Viet Nam-Cuba trade and investment relations.
According to FIA, Vietnamese firms invested $153.6 million abroad in the first four months of 2018. This included nearly $129 million in newly registered capital and $24.6 million in existing project expansion.
Viet Nam invested $80.12 million in Laos, making up 52.2 per cent of the total investment capital, and $25.9 million in Cambodia from January to April this year.
VN farm products export to Thailand
Wholesale supermarket MM Mega Market Vietnam has exported more than 100 tonnes of Vietnamese agricultural products to Thailand for selling through 700 Big C malls, where the two retailers share a parent.
Its first batch of farm exports comprise yellow sweet potato, purple sweet potato, dragon fruit, dried fruits, and rice paper.
It follows joint efforts by the supermarket and farmers in provinces of Lam Dong and Binh Thuan and other places to meet the quality requirements of business partners.
Phidsanu Pongwatana, managing director of MM Mega Market Vietnam, said: “As soon as we got the export licence, we moved quickly to understand the needs of our business partners in Thailand and look for domestic goods with a competitive edge that we can supply.
“This does not only offer a richly diversified and competitive source of supply to the Big C system in Thailand, but can also help Vietnamese farmers bring their quality agricultural products to other countries in the region.”
While dragon fruit is the main item in the consignment, it also has more than 45 tonnes of sweet potatoes.
The purchasing division in Thailand has said Vietnamese agricultural products have unique advantages, especially sweet potatoes, whose supply is reliable and offers high quality and safety standards.
Vietnamese farm products are therefore likely to see large orders and for long terms.
“In addition to steady orders of over 100 tonnes a month, we are also working on exporting an average of 50 tonnes of frozen catfish filet a month,” Pongwatana said.
He said the potential for Vietnamese exports looked great because of the 700-plus malls and supermarket distribution channel of Big C.
MM Mega Market Vietnam’s export strategy is built on a professional platform system and direct interaction with farmers to create a quality and diverse source of supply.
The company has three hubs, which it calls "platforms": for fruits and vegetables in Da Lat, for fish in Can Tho, and for pork in Dong Nai. A fruit hub is taking shape in Ben Tre.
These facilities, which also include warehouses, not only supply the company’s 19-store domestic distribution system but also help provide quality products for exports.
Besides exporting, MM also provides technical assistance and market research to local exporters trying to reach the Thai market.
It helped export more than 1,200 tonnes of dragon fruit and several other agricultural products last year.
EVN ensures stable electricity supply
HCM City is expected to have a stable electrical supply during the summer, according to the HCM City Power Corporation (EVN HCMC).
In April, demand for electricity during peak hours rose to 80.3 million kilowatt hours per day, which is 4.8 per cent higher than in April last year. The maximum output for April was 4,138.5 megawatts, which is 7 per cent higher than April last year. To prepare for the hot season, EVN HCMC has been upgrading the current power system by opening remote operating centres, unmanned substations, and other modern technologies to increase operating ability and ensure that any problems are resolved quickly.
In addition, EVN completed grid maintenance in March, and is now operating the grid carefully to avoid overloading, under a power supply plan approved by the Ministry of Industry and Trade late last year to ensure full coverage.
Accordingly, every month, the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Viet Nam works closely with EVN HCMC and other related parties to manage monthly supply plans.
To maintain uninterrupted electricity supply, EVN said that hotline maintenance will be applied to the electrical equipment while it is in use, and highly pressurised hoses will be used to clean ceramic insulators, which will not require electricity to be shut off.
Mobile generators and substations will also be used. Families and businesses have been urged to save electricity and ease the supply burden for EVN by carefully using electricity. Businesses have been encouraged to look at their production schedules and minimise electricity consumption during peak hours, as well as invest in energy-efficient machines.
Organic fertiliser demand rises
An expected rise in demand for organic fertilisers has sparked many companies to invest more in production.
The Binh Dien II Fertiliser Joint Stock Company opened a plant in March with a capacity to produce 100,000 tonnes a year in Long An Province, which in its first phase produces organic and microbial fertilisers and high-grade NPK fertilisers.
The company plans to invest VND200 billion (US$8.77 million) to annually produce 40,000-50,000 tonnes of nano organic fertiliser, a new generation of fertilisers, from next year.
Nguyen Kim Thoa, general director of Con Co Vang Group, said her company already supplies organic fertilisers to the market and plans to dedicate an 11ha plant to produce them.
Many companies have shifted to organic products to meet demand for safe agricultural produce.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as of the end of last year, 180 establishments had been licensed to produce 2.5 million tonnes of organic fertilisers a year, or 8.5 per cent of total output.
Meanwhile, statistics show import of organic fertilisers rocketing in recent years. Last year, 220,000 tonnes were imported, double the 2016 volume.
The ministry said Viet Nam has great potential in organic fertiliser production since annually around 60-70 million tonnes of agricultural by-products and 20 million of seafood by-products are produced.
The by-products can be used as raw materials for making organic fertilisers, but they have not been fully exploited for a long time, it said.
This would also help reduce pollution and improve soil fertility and farm produce quality, it said.
Nguyen Dinh Hac Thuy of the Viet Nam Fertiliser Association said long-term use of chemical fertilisers worsens the quality of not only soil but also crops themselves.
Many countries have shifted to organic agriculture to ensure sustainability, food safety and consumers’ health, and it is time to increase the production and use of organic fertilisers to foster organic farming in Viet Nam, he said.
But according to experts, promoting their use remains difficult since farmers still prefer the quick impact of chemical products.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said last year the Government issued Decree No 108/2017/ND-CP on fertiliser management with policies to boost organic fertiliser production.
Using organic fertilisers is an inevitable trend and it is time to focus on solutions from the Government and enterprises to encourage farmers to use them, he said.
A growing number of enterprises who collaborate with farmers have switched to the use of organic fertilisers since demand for such produce is increasing.
HCMC honours top quality firms
The HCM City Department of Science and Technology on Wednesday honoured six enterprises from the city that won National Quality Awards for having outstanding performance in improving the quality and competitiveness of their products and services amid regional and global integration.
The enterprises are the Thinh Phat Real Estate-Cables Joint Stock Company and Binh Minh Plastics Joint Stock Company which won the gold prize; and Tan Quang Minh Manufacture and Trading Co. Ltd., Saigon Transportation Mechanical Corporation, Dong Viet Non-Ferrous Metal Joint Stock Company, and Center of Analytical Services and Experimentation of HCM City which won the silver prize.
They were among 73 enterprises winning the annual National Quality Awards.
Nguyen Khac Thanh, the department’s deputy head, said the awards encouraged enterprises to take the initiative in carrying out activities on innovation and creativity.
He said the State and relevant agencies were ready to provide guidance to enterprises, and that HCM City has many programmes to assist enterprises interested in innovation.
By 2020, the city aims to have 10,000 enterprises attending its innovation and creativity programme, he said.
Nguyen Van Ha, head of the HCM City Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Quality, said that the winning enterprises are given priority in the city’s preferential policies for development and innovation.
Thought the number of enterprises in HCM City accounts for 50 per cent of the country’s total, only 7.6 per cent won the awards, he added.
The city will strengthen communication and encourage enterprises to increase the number attending and winning the awards.
It is important that they have awareness about improving quality in production and operation.
The ceremony was part of the celebration of Viet Nam Science and Technology Day on May 18.
SHB honoured as Best Bank in VN
The Sai Gon Ha Noi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB) has won the Best Bank award in Viet Nam 2018 from the American magazine Global Finance.
The annual award is given based on the growth of financial indicators such as total assets and profit, quality of products and customer services and technological development.
Established in 1993, SHB is one of the five largest private banks in Viet Nam.
In the first quarter of 2018, its total assets exceeded VND286.9 trillion (US$12.6 billion USD), including more than VND12 trillion of charter capital and VND18.8 trillion ($826.2 million).
The bank mobilised VND264 trillion of capital in the January-April period.
SHB posted pre-tax profit of more than VND500 billion in the period, up 63.5 per cent against the same period last year.
Home Credit gets B3 credit rating from Moody’s, matches banks
Moody’s Investors Service has assigned a B3, or stable, credit rating to Home Credit Vietnam Finance Company Limited.
It is the first consumer finance company in Viet Nam to get the rating, matching that of some banks despite its high-risk business model.
According to Moody’s, a further upward rating is possible if the company improves its funding and liquidity while maintaining stable asset quality and capital.
The rating reflects Moody's expectation that Home Credit Vietnam will maintain stable credit fundamentals over the next 12-18 months.
Home Credit also got a B3 rating for its credit profile, reflecting its exposure to the high credit risk inherent in Việt Nam's rapidly growing unsecured consumer finance market.
Moreover, its funding and liquidity are vulnerable to disruptions in case of market and/or credit shocks.
But the rating reflects the company's good market position, high profitability and good capital buffer.
Home Credit offers small unsecured consumer loans. Its exposure to credit risk is high, as highlighted by loan loss provisions to average gross loans of 7.7 per cent at the end of 2017, and non-performing and written-off loans of 7.8 per cent of gross loans as of the same date.
The company posted a return on assets of 9 per cent and return on equity of 44 per cent at the end of 2017.
Despite high cash dividends and rapid growth, Home Credit's high profitability will allow the company to maintain a good capital buffer over the next two years.
VPBank awarded for its contribution to GTFP
"2017 Best Issuing Bank Partner for Women-Owned Businesses in East Asian Pacific”.
It received the award from International Finance Corporation (IFC) for its contribution to the Global Trade Finance Programme (GTFP).
After nearly two years of participating and implementing the GTFP of IFC, VPBank has achieved impressive results in promoting import, export and local trade.
In 2017, VPBank saw remarkable achievements in transaction banking in 2017, including increased off-balance sheet balance, foreign exchange trading balance and fees income. The Bank’s off-balance sheet balance rose 20 per cent, with fees income from trade finance transactions up 13.8 per cent year-on-year. Twenty supply chain financing programmes were implemented with year-on-year TOI growth of 31 per cent.
In 2017, VPBank implemented an initiative to support women business owners with the sponsorship and cooperation of IFC.
Women-owned businesses account for 18 per cent of the SME category and 85 per cent of the household category, which brings some 85 per cent of fees income from insurance and trade finance transactions.
As a leading bank in this segment, VPBank has supported more than 40,000 enterprises accessing banking capital, which helps businesswomen realise their potential and contribute to economic growth.
HCMC to get 1st Mandarin Oriental 5-star hotel
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group on Wednesday announced plans to set up its first five-star hotel in Viet Nam.
Under an agrement signed with Union Square Saigon Company on Wednesday, Manadarin Oriental will develop the hotel at the Union Square Saigon building in HCM City which has four facades looking over Nguyen Hue, Dong Khoi, Le Thanh Ton, and Le Loi streets.
The hotel will come up between the fourth and ninth floors of the existing building. The remaining floors will continue to house the shopping mall and food and beverage areas.
Scheduled to open next year, it will have 228 guest rooms, six restaurants and bars, a spa, and an outdoor pool of international standard.
Richard Baker, chief relationship officer of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, said: “Our hotels and resorts have their own personality with a distinctive sense of place, thereby reflecting the best of their city or country. We look forward to creating unique experiences in the heart of HCM City.”
The hotel is being designed by architect and designer Patricia Urquiola, the designer of the renowned Mandarin Oriental Barcelona in Spain and one of the most famous interior designers with many award-wining interior masterpieces and architectural projects all over the world.
Mandarin is the owner and operator of a global chain of luxurious hotels, resorts and residential services that have won many prestigious awards like Conde Nast Traveller, Business Traveller UK, DestinAsian, Forbes Travel Guide, and Best Hotel Awards.
It operates 31 hotels and eight penthouses in 21 countries and territories.
King Broker eyes nation-wide expansion
King Broker plans to expand operations to all 63 provinces and cities, according to Trinh Nguyen Tuan Anh, the founder of the real estate company.
King Broker has been in operation for five years, during which time it has set up systems to support property brokers including organising online training, setting up social media channels to connect brokers and solutions based on Big Data.
It now has nine branches — in Lao Cai, Ha Noi, Thanh Hoa, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Binh Thuan, Dong Nai, Vung Tau, and HCM City – Anh said.
Late last week, to connect brokers, King Broker and Investment Review organised a seminar for 200 brokers in Vung Tau and Dong Nai provinces.
Participants spoke about the market in the two provinces and discussed opportunities and challenges thrown up by industry 4.0 were discussed so that brokers could learn how to succeed in the new technological era.
Gemadept eyes 227% rise in profit
Logistics firm Gemadept Corporation (Gemadept) estimates its full-year pre-tax profit will jump 227 per cent to VND2.13 trillion (US$94.7 million) in 2018.
The expected soar in profit growth is attributed to the firm selling its stakes in three subsidiaries, and an affiliate, which is forecast to produce returns of up to VND1.56 trillion.
Excluding asset sales, Gemadept predicts its pre-tax profit may increase by a more modest 6 per cent year on year to VND570 billion.
According to general director Do Van Minh, the company’s full-year revenue is estimated at VND2.4 trillion, down 40 per cent from 2017.
Of the total figure, revenue from seaport operations accounted for 91 per cent, a rise of 19 per cent year on year, while income from the logistics side of the business fell 90 per cent year on year.
In the first quarter of 2018, Gemadept posted a one-fifth decrease in its revenue from core business activities, which reached VND689 billion, but its pre-tax profit rose to VND1.5 trillion thanks to the successful sale of its stakes in two subsidiaries.
During the first quarter, the company sold a 51 per cent of its ownership in CJ-Gemadept Logistics Holdings Co Ltd, which was formerly known as Gemadept Logistics Co Ltd before the deal; and a 49 per cent stake in CJ-Gemadept Shipping Holdings Co Ltd, which was previously named Gemadept Shipping Co Ltd, for VND1.35 trillion.
The stake sales also helped the company accomplish 71 per cent of its full-year pre-tax target and 29 per cent of the full-year revenue target. Without the sales, it has fulfilled just 23 per cent of the full-year pre-tax estimate.
Despite higher-than-expected full-year earnings, Gemadept shares (HoSE: GMD) have been on a downtrend since early March. They finished Friday at VND27,900 per share, having lost 22 per cent in value since March 2.
According to Viet Dragon Securities Co (VDSC), the establishment of Nam Dinh Vu Seaport’s first component in the northern city of Hai Phong is expected to make a big contribution to the firm’s logistics and shipping revenues this year.
However, as the company is still operating at Lach Huyen Seaport, which is built in another site of Hai Phong City, the competition between the two seaports may result in a struggle for the firm’s business structure this year, VDSC said in a note this week.
Nam Dinh Vu’s first compartment began operations in February 2018 and was officially launched on May 7, 2018. It has an annual capacity of 600,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (teu). The Nam Dinh Vu Seaport has total area of 65 hectares and is able to receive ships of up to 40,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT).
Gemadept is strengthening its port operation by constructing the second component of the Nam Dinh Vu Seaport in the third quarter of the year. This plan is seen as a suitable strategy to ensure the company can receive more ships from upstream seaports, especially Lach Huyen, given that shipping firms in said ports have yet to clarify their short-term business plans.
Hai Phong plans to keep the city’s import-export growth at an annual rate of 15 per cent in the next few years thanks to increasing demand from the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector. It may benefit shipping companies to transport containers to downstream ports more often, VDSC said.
Gemadept will benefit from the flow of containers to downstream ports, as the Nam Dinh Vu Seaport is more capable of handling a large amount of containers, the brokerage firm reported.
Hoa Phat to issue 606 million bonus shares
Steel producer Hoa Phat Corporation plans to issue more than 606.8 million bonus shares, worth VND6 trillion (US$266.7 million), to pay a 40 per cent dividend for its performance in 2017.
Each shareholder will receive four additional shares for every 10 shares owned. The share issuance is scheduled in the second or third quarter of 2018, after receiving approval from the State Securities Commission.
The share issuance will increase the firm’s charter capital to VND21.2 trillion from VND15.2 trillion.
In 2017, Hoa Phat Corporation posted VND46 trillion in net revenue, a yearly increase of 38.7 per cent. Its post-tax profit in 2017 rose 21 per cent year on year to more than VND8 trillion.
The company is listing more than 1.5 billion shares on the HCM Stock Exchange with code HPG.
Its share price rose 1.7 per cent to end Friday at VND53,900 ($2.4) per share, down 19 per cent from the record-high of VND66,700 per share in early March.
Korea’s Woomi Construction buys stakes in Bamboo Capital, Tracodi
Korea’s Woomi Construction bought 10.26 million (9.5 per cent) shares of Bamboo Capital and 1.72 million (5 per cent) shares of its subsidiary Tracodi on May 16.
After identifying potential co-operation opportunities, Woomi decided to invest directly in both companies, and will assist BCG in developing a diversified portfolio of real estate projects and connecting with Korean partners.
At TCD, it will play the role of a technical consultant, being in charge of technology transfer.
Pham Minh Tuan, deputy general director of BCG, said with Woomi’s vast experience in the field of construction, its partnership with BCG and TCD would be an important step for both companies’ future real estate projects with regard to quality enhancement and meeting international standards.
Woomi is one of the largest companies in residential construction in Korea, providing services such as real estate development, civil and industrial construction and infrastructure design.
BCG is a diverse investment company with interests in agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure, real estate, and renewable energy.
TCD’s core businesses include construction and infrastructure, quarrying, trading of industrial and agricultural products, and labour export.
Samsung Pay records 500,000 transactions within 6 months
Samsung Pay reported nearly 400,000 registered users and 500,000 successful transactions, taking the total transaction value up to VND350 billion (US$15.4 million) within six months of being operational.
Launched in September last year, Samsung Pay is a payment application on Samsung’s mobile devices.
The application operates on platforms of the National Payment Corporation of Viet Nam, Visa or Mastercard connected with banks to provide mobile payment services in a simple, safe and convenient way.
“We expect Samsung Pay to continue to bring mobile experiences beyond the capabilities of a phone, becoming a leading mobile payment method,” said Nguyen Quang Hien Huy, deputy general director and executive director of Samsung Vina Electronics Co Ltd.
We will continue making efforts to further develop and improve Samsung Pay to bring more benefits to Samsung mobile users, he added.
To enhance user experience, making mobile payment by Samsung Pay easy, convenient and safe continues to be the goal of Samsung Pay this year.
Up to now, 15 banks and three card switching organisations have joined the Samsung Pay mobile payment network, accounting for 75 per cent of the domestic payment card market.
VN produce aims to reach French buyers
The Viet Nam Agricultural Product Week 2018 will offer various kinds of farm produce such as fruits, vegetables, aquatic products, processed food and beverages at France’s Rungis market from June 26-28.
France is the third-biggest economy in Europe and sixth in the world with a population of 66 million, according to Hoang Van Du, deputy director of the Agricultural Trade Promotion Centre under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Rungis is one of the biggest farm produce markets in the globe, which provides agricultural products for the French capital and surrounding areas home to 18 million people, he said.
Paris and France in general are home to a large number of Asian people who have great demand for made-in-Asia farm produce, he added. Each day, up to 6,000 tonnes of farm produce are transported to the market, one-tenth of which are transported to the nearby airport for outbound shipment, Du unveiled.
The forthcoming event will feature a wide range of activities to promote Vietnamese agricultural products to French distributors and wholesalers, restaurants, hotels and supermarkets as well as increase business-to-business connectivity, he said.
Forum spotlights business development in digital age
Telecom and internet providers in Viet Nam have recorded US$6.1 billion in revenue and created more than 851 jobs, experts said at a forum on enterprises in the digital age held in Ha Noi on May 17.
The forum took place in conjunction with the announcement of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s annual report on business in Viet Nam.
The IT and telecom sector’s production value contributed over 0.7 per cent to the nation’s GDP on average in 2017-18. In 2016, the number of IT/telecom businesses surpassed 11,000, accounting for 2.2 per cent of Viet Nam’s total figure.
Apart from the application of advanced technologies in traditional sectors, the digital age has given birth to a number of non-traditional business models in Viet Nam, like online car hailing and financial technology (fintech) services.
Expert said fast changes in these new models have sometimes outpaced legal regulations, thus causing difficulties for their providers and conflicts between them and their traditional peers.
VCCI Chairman Vu Tien Loc said last year, the Prime Minister issued Decree 16 on capacity building for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
He said the decree put forth key measures on IT infrastructure development, and prioritised the building of digital industry, smart agriculture and smart cities.
He noted companies ought to design their relevant action plans and join the public sector’s efforts in building strategies for smart governance and innovation.
Loc also acknowledged the achievements of the business sector last year, with the establishment of 126,859 new firms, the highest number recorded to date.
Pham Thi Thu Hang, head of the Viet Nam Business Insight Survey, a VCCI initiative, said the year saw improvements in the private sector, but the trend of smaller-scale firms persisted and the rate of performance failure among small scale businesses remained high.
Italian coffee producers highly evaluate Vietnamese coffee beans
Italian coffee producers highly evaluated Vietnamese coffee beans as they are essential ingredients of their products, Mario Vicentini from Comunicaffe International, an Italian daily newspaper about coffee, told Vietnam News Agency reporters at Milano Coffee Festival.
Vietnamese Robusta coffee beans are of high quality that meets strict requirements of Italian coffee producers, he said, noting that Italian producers import raw coffee from Vietnam for the production of coffee products which will be supplied to both Italian and foreign markets. Italy has more than 1,000 coffee factories and all of them have known about Vietnamese coffee.
Federico Colombo, an Italian businessperson operating in the field of import-export, sharing the view, saying that high-quality Robusta coffee from Vietnam is very popular in the Italian market.
The Milano Coffee Festival is being held in Italy from May 19 – 21, gathering the world’s leading coffee makers, including Vietnam.
Visitors to the festival are not only able to have a taste of the world’s most popular coffee products from many countries but also get to know the processes to produce and make coffee of different cultures. This year, Vietnam brings to the festival Robusta and Arabica raw coffee beans and several Vietnamese processed coffee products.
According to Nguyen Duc Thanh, Trade Counsellor of the Embassy of Vietnam in Italy, Vietnam exported 3.2 billion USD worth of coffee in 2017, an increase of 34 percent from a year earlier. The country has remained the world’s second largest coffee producer for years, behind Brazil.
Italy is the country’s third biggest buyers, just behind the United States and Germany. Last year, Italy purchased 274 million USD worth of coffee from Vietnam, up 30 percent year on year and accounting for 8.5 percent of Vietnam’s total exports.
Vietnam plans to step up coffee marketing in 2018 and the following years to ship more raw and processed coffee to Italy.
Dong Nai draws nearly 690 million USD in foreign investment
The southern province of Dong Nai absorbed nearly 690 million USD in 76 newly-licensed and existing foreign-invested projects this year to May 17, up 143 percent against the same period last year and fulfilling nearly 70 percent of the annual target.
Of the amount, over 346 million USD was poured into 42 new FDI projects and over 343 million USD into 34 existing ones, according to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment.
In May alone, Dong Nai attracted several new major projects such as the 40-million-USD project of the Republic of Korea’s HI-KNIT Company at Nhon Trach 6A industrial park; the 33-million-USD project of the Netherlands’ Air Manufacturing Innovation Vietnam at Giang Dien industrial park, the 32-million-USD project of Singapore’s Logistic Property Vietnam at Loc An – Binh Son industrial park, and the 29.8-million-USD project of Japan’s Kolmar Vietnam at Long Duc industrial park.
Some projects with big amounts of additional capital included the Netherlands’ Bosh Gasoline Systems – HCP plant at Long Thanh industrial park with an addition of over 71 million USD, Singapore’s OPV Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company at Bien Hoa 2 industrial park with over 47.7 million USD, Japan’s SMC Manufacturing Vietnam at Long Duc industrial park with 47 million USD and Belgium’s Terumo BCT Vietnam at Long Duc industrial park with 30 million USD.
According to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, the locality prioritises projects applying advanced and environmentally friendly technology and requiring skilled labour as well as those in the supporting industry.
So far, Dong Nai has attracted 1,792 FDI projects with total registered capital of 32.5 billion USD, of which 1,323 worth 27.46 billion USD are still valid.
The projects come from 45 countries and territories with the Republic of Korea, China’s Taiwan and Japan being the biggest investors.
Overseas investors are interested in the fields of industry, logistics, energy and technical infrastructure.
Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Van Vinh said local authorities will push ahead with administrative reforms to reduce time and expenses for businesses.
The committee and relevant units such as customs, taxation, planning and investment will maintain periodical dialogues with enterprises to listen to their problems and discuss joint measures to improve operational efficiency, he added.
Quang Ninh looks to optimise sea tourism potential
The tourism sector in the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh has been growing at a fast pace in recent years, establishing its important role in the province’s economy and moving towards sustainability.
Quang Ninh is endowed with natural advantages for sea and island tourism. It is home to the Ha Long and Bai Tu Long Bays, the Ha Long Bay National Park and some islands, the best known of which is Co To and Van Don.
In particular, Ha Long Bay has been twice recognised as a World Natural Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The Heritage site has become a magnet drawing visitors to Quang Ninh.
In 2017, a total of 9.87 million tourists visited the province, including 4.28 million foreigners. More than 70 percent of the tourists came in sea and island tours.
In 2018, Quang Ninh welcomed more than 10 million tourists, 4 million of them came from other countries. The province aims to attract over 12 million visitors this year, including 5 million foreigners.
Quang Ninh is expanding the space for sea and island tourism farther from Ha Long Bay towards islands such as Co To, Van Don and Hai Ha.
Equipped with a strategic vision for developing the sea-based economy, the province in 2014 approved an Overall Plan for tourism development to 2020 with a vision to 2030. Under the scheme, the sea space in Quang Ninh is divided into five zones, which are the strictly preserved Ha Long Bay, the conservation area in Bai Tu Long National Park, the tourism zone, the zone with restricted development to serve national defence and security, and the zone with no development. Each zone, with their specific characteristics, has close links with each other to support the development of sea-based tourism and economy while ensuring national defence and security and serving the province’s sustainable development.
The Overall Plan has made positive impacts on the local tourism sector, helping attract a series of investment projects. Many big investors such as Vingroup, Sun Group, Myway, Tuan Chau and FLC have poured money into tourism infrastructure and entertainment facilities in Quang Ninh.
Also during the 2010-2017 period, the province’s administration issued many directives, resolutions and decisions on concentrating resources on tourism development, especially Resolution 07-NQ/TU dated May 24, 2013 of the provincial Party Committee. At the same time, the provincial authority strengthened leadership and guidance over tourism development.
Guided by the strategic orientations, Quang Ninh’s tourism sector has recorded high growths in the number of visitors, revenues, workforce and service infrastructure.
The province has paid attention to the creation of new tourist products and improvement of service quality. A diverse range of sea and island tours are now available for visitors, from relaxation to entertainment and adventure.
All those efforts have contributed to building and establishing a unique trademark for Quang Ninh sea-based tourism.
This year, Quang Ninh is hosting the National Tourism Year 2018 which has the theme “Ha Long - Heritage, Wonder, Friendly Destination.”
Under the Overall Plan for Tourism Development in Quang Ninh, Quang Ninh strives to become an international tourism centre and a leading tourism destination in Vietnam with modern infrastructure and diverse, high quality and competitive tourism products.
Vietnamese farm produce promoted in Japan
Vietnam’s firms are striving to promote Vietnamese farm produce in the Japanese market at a trade promotion programme held within the 10th Vietnam festival in Tokyo.
The event was organised to celebrate the 45th founding anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations (1973-2018).
According to Ta Duc Minh, Trade Counsellor and head of the Vietnamese Embassy’s Trade Office, the country has currently shipped dragon fruits, mango and banana to Japan, with all of the fruits meeting Japanese food safety requirements.
Last year, Vietnam exported 2,500 - 3,000 tonnes of banana and more than 1,500 tonnes of dragon fruits to Japan.
Vietnamese firms are advised to ensure food safety and quality, Minh said, adding the export of agricultural products to Japan is also an opportunity for Vietnam’s farm produce to access other foreign markets.
Hidekatsu Ishikawa, President of Vient Co. Ltd, said in 2017, his company imported an average of about 200 containers of fruits from Vietnam worth up to 500 million JPY (4.6 million USD) to Japan, adding that Vient wants to introduce other high-quality fruits of Vietnam to Japan’s consumers.
He pointed out that Vietnam should work to improve logistics services to reduce transportation time.
The two countries are negotiating for the export of Vietnam’s lychee to Japan.
Government News 1/6
Vietnamese official lauds ties with EU
Head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Nguyen Van Binh (R) and Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen
Head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Nguyen Van Binh has lauded the active development of Vietnam – European Union (EU) ties over the past years, especially in trade and investment.
During a recent working session with Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen as part of his ongoing visit to Belgium and the EU from May 30-31, Binh hailed the EU as the second largest trade partner of Vietnam (behind China), the second largest export market (behind the US) with 18 percent of Vietnam’s shipments arriving in the bloc, and one of the five largest foreign investors in the country.
Last year, two-way trade neared 52 billion USD, 31.8 billion USD of which was Vietnam’s trade surplus.
Both sides shared the view that the ratification of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement has created an important legal framework to lift Vietnam – EU ties.
They wished that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) would be signed soon. The EU would assist Vietnam in improving capacity to fully and effectively deliver on commitments mentioned in the deal.
Binh highlighted benefits that EVFTA will bring to Vietnam and EU member states, laying a foundation to connect EU with the Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific, especially in the context of rising protectionism.
While in Belgium, Binh also met Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo, former Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Foreign Minister and President of the Christian Democratic and Flemish Party parliamentarians’ group Steven Vanackere, and Minister of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development Marie - Christine Marghem.
During working sessions with Belgian leaders, Binh expressed his delight at the active, diverse and practical development of Vietnam – Belgium ties, from the federal to regional level, adding that the visit is of significance on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.
The two sides affirmed that economic-financial cooperation is a priority pillar in bilateral ties and vowed to continue effectively realising outcomes of the fourth session of the Joint Committee on Economic Affairs in November 2017 in Hanoi.
The Belgian side committed favourable conditions for Vietnamse goods to enter distribution channels, supermarkets and retail shop in the country, especially farm and aquatic products.
The host leaders pledged to continue supporting Vietnam – EU comprehensive partnership, including the early signing, ratification and full implementation of the EVFTA.
The Vietnamese side expressed readiness to help Belgium enhance cooperation with ASEAN and its member states.
Vietnam is striving to improve business climate, accelerate economic restructuring with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises, he said, adding that the country hopes Belgian government will encourage domestic firms to do business in fields of their strength and Vietnam’s priority such as maritime transportation, logistics services, green technology, agriculture, renewable energy, health care and equitisation of State-owned enterprises.
He suggested speeding up projects in urban development and climate change response in the central provinces of Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan and Ha Tinh using non-refundable aid provided by Belgian government, as well as completing the second stage of the project on water drainage and wastewater treatment in Cua Lo town, the central province of Nghe An.
During his stay, Binh also visited and held a working session with the Vietnamese embassy in Belgium.
Shangri-La Dialogue to mull multiple regional security issues
US Defence Minister James Mattis will deliver a speech on the US leadership in the Indo-Pacific region at the Shangri-La Dialogue 2018
The Shangri-La Dialogue 2018 is set to last from June 1-3 in Singapore with the participation of defence ministers and officials from 50 countries worldwide and representatives from international organisations.
Taking place ahead of the US-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Summit scheduled for June 12, the dialogue will concentrate on the Korean Peninsula situation, along with other issues regarding regional security.
The agenda includes five plenary sessions on US leadership and the challenges of Indo-Pacific security, de-escalating the crisis in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, shaping new dimensions of terrorism and counter-terrorism and raising the bar for regional security co-operation.
The event also features several sessions covering such issues as new strategic technologies and the future of conflict, maritime security enhancement, strategic implications of military capability development in the Asia-Pacific and the management of competition in regional security cooperation.
US Defence Minister James Mattis will deliver a speech on the US leadership in the Indo-Pacific region. Apart from the DPRK issue, Mattis will speak of the US’s viewpoints on an array of regional matters.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will present a keynote speech at the dialogue, mentioning New Delhi’s role in shaping the regional order amidst global uncertainties. This is a first time an Indian Prime Minister has attended the Shangri-La Dialogue.
The Vietnamese delegation to the dialogue is led by Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich, who will address the third plenary session, focusing on changing security order in Asia.
Vietnam has been invited to attend the dialogue since the first editions.
This is the fourth time a Vietnamese Defence Minister has participated in the event, reflecting the country’s goodwill and wish to promote friendship and cooperation, and share experience with other countries in resolving common security challenges, thus building trust as a foundation to enhance cooperation for peace and development.
This is a good opportunity for Vietnam to voice its views on regional security issues relating to national legitimate interests, towards peaceful settlement of disputes in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Convened by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Shangri-La Dialogue is the most important regular gathering of defence professionals in Asia-Pacific, a vital annual fixture in the diaries of ministers and their civilian and military chiefs of staff.
Since its launch in 2002, the dialogue has built confidence and fostered security ties by facilitating easy communication among the region’s most important defence and security policymakers.
Prime Minister asks Binh Thuan to develop industry, agriculture
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses the working session
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked Binh Thuan province to further improve the investment environment, remove difficulties for enterprises, and boost the growth of both industry and agriculture.
The province should prioritize implementing these specific solutions, said the leader at his working session with key provincial leaders in Hanoi on May 31 to tackle difficulties and speed up a number of key socio-economic and infrastructure projects for faster growth of the locality.
He highlighted the potential and strengths of Binh Thuan in tourism, natural resources and energy.
He commended the province on its recent good socio-economic performance and budget collection, saying it has shown strong performance in planning, forest protection and improving the investment environment.
However, Binh Thuan is still a poor locality that still needs support from the central budget, he pointed out.
The PM suggested that the province should review its socio-economic tasks to make sure these are relevant to development goals and strength of the province.
The locality should stick to the Party and State policies and law on natural resources and land management, avoiding losses and waste of land, he requested.
The province needs to efficiently deal with prolonged complaints and denunciations and protect the environment during its socio-economic development process, he said.
At the working session, the PM and leaders of some ministries also responded to the province’s proposals and requests regarding some transport infrastructure, air port and tourism projects.
Vietnam attaches importance to ties with Greece
Delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam meets delegation from Communist Party of Greece
Vietnam always treasures and wants to intensify its friendship and multifaceted cooperation with Greece, a Vietnamese Party official has said.
Vo Van Thuong, Head of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education made that statement at his meetings with Deputy Speaker of Greece’s Hellenic Parliament Christodoulopoulou Anastasia, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece Dimitris Koutsoumpas, and General Secretary of the ruling Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) Panagiotis Rigas during his working visit to Greece from May 27 to June 1.
Thuong noted that both sides have coordinated closely and supported each other at multilateral forums and international organisations. Two-way trade has posted an average annual growth of more than 20 percent in the past 5 years.
However, economic cooperation should be stepped up to meet the two countries’ fine relations, he stressed.
The official said Vietnam’s economy is developing significantly and its defence security is maintained and social welfare policies are ensured.
The country continues its foreign policy of peace, independence, self-reliance, cooperation, development, multilateralisation and diversification of relations, and active international integration, for the interests of people of Vietnam and other nations.
Vietnam is always a friend, reliable partner and responsible member of the international community and proactively participates in regional and international cooperation, he added.
He took the occasion to thank Greece for supporting Vietnam’s efforts to boost ties with the European Union, including the Hellenic Parliament’s ratification of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, the country’s efforts to speed up the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and its recognition of Vietnam’s market economy.
The Greek leaders spoke highly of the visit by the Vietnamese Party delegation, believing that it will contribute to bolstering the bilateral relations.
The two sides discussed measures to boost the ties, especially in economics, trade, investment, tourism, marine transport, seaport services, and the cooperation with the Communist Party of Vietnam.
They agreed to maintain the exchange of high-level delegations, regularly organise consultant mechanisms, and coordinate in raising bilateral trade and boosting cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
While in Greece, the Vietnamese delegation visited several localities, historical relic sites and farm produce processing facilities, and met Governor of Edessa city Dimitrios Giannou.
The Vietnamese delegation left Greece on June 1, concluding its working visit to the European country.
Japanese media covers talks between President, Japanese PM
President Tran Dai Quang and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands in their meeting in Tokyo on May 31.
Japanese media on June 1 covered the talks between President Tran Dai Quang and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a day ago, highlighting the agreements reached in multiple key areas.
Vietnam and Japan agreed to expand the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to include more countries and regions for the future benefit of both nations, reported The Nikkei newspaper from Japan.
The leaders have discussed the possibility of launching negotiations on a bilateral social welfare agreement which prevents the double payment of social security contributions for Vietnamese employers who have employees working in Japan and vice versa, the newspaper said.
Japan also pledged to provide Vietnam with 15.6 billion JPY in Official Development Assistance (ODA) to build educational establishments for human resources training in the industrial sector, it added.
In addition to cooperation in economics, the Japanese media also highlighted the Vietnam-Japan relations in East Sea issues, freedom of navigation, promotion of respect for international law, and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The two sides exchanged concerns over the current situation in the East Sea and shared common awareness of the significance of fostering peace and stability in the waters and of the demilitarization through diplomatic efforts, NHK Television reported.
PM Shinzo Abe expected that the two nations will continue taking their partnership in maritime security to a new height and pushing for the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy”. He stressed that the freedom of navigation is important to the region’s peace and prosperity, reported Sankei, Mainichi, JIJI, and Kyodo News Agency.
Vietnamese, Cambodian fronts boost cooperation
Nhem Valy, Permanent Vice Chairman of the National Council of the Solidarity for the Development of Cambodian Motherland, has highly valued efforts made by the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) in building a peaceful and friendship borderline between the two countries.
Speaking at the talks between the two fronts’ delegations in Phnom Penh on May 31, Nhem Valy affirmed his country’s front also made contributions to the stability along the shared border between the two countries, and to implementing the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the fronts of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
According to the Cambodian official, the two fronts have worked with the Vietnamese Ministry of Defence to repair and upgrade the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monuments in Cambodia.
With the active assistance provided by the Vietnamese side, Cambodia has completed the upgrade and construction of the monument of this kind in 10 provinces, he said.
For his part, Vice Chairman of the VFF Central Committee Hau A Lenh urged the two sides to roll out plans to effectively implement the Joint Statement on building the Vietnam-Cambodia border signed at the 5th international conference on building Vietnam-Cambodia border of peace, friendship, cooperation and development in Cambodia in 2017.
He asked the two sides to continue promoting communication activities to raise public awareness of the significance of nurturing bilateral relationship.
The fronts need to further enhance the exchange of delegations at all levels, he stressed.
The officials emphasized the necessity for the two sides to continue their coordination in well performing above-mentioned works in the coming time, contributing to deepening their cooperation.
Social News 1/6
Anesthesia and Intensive Care Simulation Center opens in HCM City
Doctors work with state-of-the-art simulation equipment.
The Anesthesia and Intensive Care Simulation Center opened yesterday at the University Medical Centre (UMC) in HCM City with the aim of providing training to healthcare professionals in southern Việt Nam.
Sponsored by GE Healthcare and VietMedical, the new centre is expected to train at least 400 doctors, specialty trainees and students each year by supporting simulation training and teaching of anesthesia and intensive care techniques, as well as promote knowledge sharing in the field through demonstrations and equipment showcases.
“This is where we will have the chance to interact with international trainers, exchange domain expertise, and simulate crisis scenarios that, although rare, will demand the most of a doctor’s skill and expertise in the most critical moments,” Nguyễn Hoàng Bắc, director of UMC, said.
“It will help medical staff become well-prepared for unexpected situations, resulting in safer surgery and better patient outcomes for the Vietnamese community,” he added.
GE Healthcare will develop the training plan and content, and organise training courses tied to international best practices with support from experts.
Meanwhile,VietMedical, GE Healthcare’s authorised distributor in Việt Nam, will be responsible for providing a suite of innovative equipment including anesthesia machines, patient monitors, ventilators, information connecting systems, monitor systems, ECG carts, ultrasound machines and simulator.
These cutting-edge technologies cover advanced features of low flow anesthesia, target-controlled infusion, balanced anesthesia, and pulmonary mobilisation in general anesthesia, as well as high-level hemodynamic parameters.
The anesthesia system also includes basic anesthesia machine which is suitable for provincial hospitals.
“Human capacity and technology are the key to enhancing healthcare systems sustainably. Well-trained anesthesiologists deliver safer and better patient treatment, while advanced equipment supports them to make decisions faster and more accurately,” said Nilesh Shah, general manager for GE Healthcare’s Clinical Care Solutions, ASEAN, Africa and South Asia.
This center is the second of its kind in the country, following the successful model called the Simulation Lab for Anesthesia and Intensive Care launched at Việt Đức Hospital in Hà Nội in July 2016, which is under management and administration of the Việt Nam Society of Anesthesiology (VSA).
The country’s healthcare system is facing numerous challenges, one of which is the lack of skilled doctors working in anesthesia.
According to a report by VSA, the ratio of anesthesiologists in Việt Nam is 1 for 96,491 people while it is 1 for 24,748 in Singapore and 1 for 28,118 in the Philippines.
Ly Son Island to face overloaded traffic
Cars and vans are served for transporting tourists at Lý Sơn Island’s port. Booming of transport vehicle would lead to damage of infrastructure.
Lý Sơn Island’s roads could be overloaded with commercial transport vehicles in the near future, according to a local official.
Vice chairwoman of the island district’s People’s Committee, Phạm Thị Hương, made the warning after the Quảng Ngãi Province decided to increase the number of transport vehicles operating on the island to 160 cars in 2017-20.
Hương said the island has now 108 cars including four-seat cars, light-trucks and battery-powered cars travelling on the 10sq.km island, and 22 electric cars on An Bình Islet – 3 miles off Lý Sơn’s coast.
The current vehicles can meet the travel demand for the island’s 21,000 population and 200,000 tourists each year, while infrastructure would be damaged if more vehicles are brought to the island, according to Hương.
She said most vehicles operating on the island and islet were bought by local people due to the booming tourism industry in recent years.
The vice chairwoman said the new vehicles would lead to conflicts between businesses and local community over serving tourists.
She said the island always priorities sustainable development in tourism, focusing on the benefit of the community.
According to deputy director of Quảng Ngãi provincial transport department, Đỗ Tiến Đại, the department will add 160 more cars and battery vehicles by 2020, and 90 more cars in 2025.
He said 210 cars will operate on Lý Sơn Island, and 82 cars will travel on An Bình Islet in 2020.
The island, 30km off the coast of Quảng Ngãi Province, is a tranquil destination with 21,000 inhabitants, most of whom make their living from farming garlic and spring onions and fishing.
Illegal wood cutting rampant in Kon Tum
Trees are cut into slides to be transported easily.
A forest belonging to Đăk Tô Forestry Company in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum’s Đăk Tô District, has been exploited severely, according to local people. The company, however, refuted the report.
At least five big trees in the forest area near Ngọc Ló Mountain is reported to have been cut down. Only some slides of wood, with diametre around 60cm and height of up to 4m, remain in the area as loggers have removed the trees out. Moreover, a 3m-wide road has been opened by the lumberjacks to access the area.
Considering the evidence, Nguyễn Thành Chung, company director, told the Vietnam News Agency that they tried their utmost to protect the forest.
“We put an end to massive wood exploitation. Regarding small cases when loggers cut and transport trees at night using motorbikes, we are unable to stop it,” he said.
Nguyễn Mạnh Vũ, head of Đăk Tô District Forest Ranger, said the forest company has showed its inability in capturing information to handle the illegal cases of wood exploitation. Moreover, the collaboration between forest owners and the local authorities is not strong enough to conduct frequent investigations and stop the phenomenon.
The subdivisions numbered 274, 275, 276 and 279 in Đăk Rơ Nga Commune next to Đăk Ang Commune, Ngọc Hồi District, have become the hotspot for deforestation for a long time, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
Loggers usually fell and slide trees at the spot then transfer them to hide all evidences. They divide themselves into groups of two to 15 each. Wood slides are then transported to Đăk Ang Commune or the adjacent area between the communes of Đăk Tô and Ngọc Hồi.
HCM City’s District 2 gets new bridge
A bridge that passes through Diamond Island in HCM City’s District 2 to link Mai Chi Tho Highway with Thạnh Mỹ Lợi residential area was opened to traffic on Wednesday, according to the city Department of Transport.
The four-lane bridge is 300 metres long and 22 metres wide, cost VNĐ93 billion (US$4 million).
Nguyễn Mỹ Lợi, a resident of District 2, said: “I used to take 20 minutes to reach District 1 but thanks to this bridge now I take [only] 10 minutes. The bridge is wide and beautiful.”
The works included a 291m bridge over the Giồng Ông Tố River, planting of trees and a lighting system.
According to Lê Ngọc Hùng, director of the Urban Management Centre No.2, the bridge would ease traffic jams during rush hour in the Mỹ Thủy area.
Vehicles travelling from the Sài Gòn River Tunnel to Cát Lái port can now take this bridge.
Surrounded by the Sài Gòn and Giồng Ông Tố rivers and owned by Bình Thiên An company, Diamond is the only natural island in HCM City.
Media football tourney to kick off
More than 300 journalists from the central and Central Highlands region will take part in the annual Media Football tournament in Đà Nẵng on June 2-3. — Photo courtersy JFC Đà Nẵng
More than 300 journalists from the central and Central Highlands region will compete in the annual Media Football tournament to mark the 93rd anniversary of Việt Nam Journalism Day (June 21), in Đà Nẵng from June 2-3.
The event’s organisers said eight teams from Thanh Hóa, Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh, Huế, Quảng Nam, Đắk Lắc-Đắk Nông, Bình Định and Đà Nẵng will compete in a round-robin format in two groups, with the top team from each group qualifying for the final.
All matches will be played on a seven-a-side pitch in Tiên Sơn Sports Centre.
At the tournament, the organising committee will present scholarships worth VNĐ30 million (US$1,300) to underprivileged students and poor patients in the region.
It’s the fifth time the tournament has been held for journalists in the central region.
In 2016, journalists in the region and sponsors donated VNĐ6.3 billion ($278,000) to help storm and flood victims in the central provinces.
Mekong sluice project is not necessary, experts say
A boat anchors at Cái Bé River in Kiên Giang Province’s Châu Thành District.
Many experts and scientists on Monday continued to express concern about the Cái Lớn-Cái Bé dual sluice project in Kiên Giang Province and its possible impact on the region.
The project is expected to control saline intrusion and adapt to climate change.
At a meeting on the sluice project held in Cần Thơ on Monday, a report from the independent group of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and United Nations Development Programme in Việt Nam showed that saline intrusion was from the region’s eastern sea, but the sluice only controls water from the western sea.
Traffic is increasing on the two rivers of Cái Lớn and Cái Bé, forcing sluices to open, so it is difficult to control salinity as required.
However, the group concluded that the Cái Lớn-Cái Bé dual sluice project is necessary.
Đặng Kiều Nhân, representative of Mekong Delta Development Research Institute, said the project owner was unclear about the VNĐ8 trillion (US$350.9 million) investment.
As scheduled, the management board for investment and building irrigation infrastructure project No.10 under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development collected public opinions about the project’s implementation last year.
But residents have not been informed about the project, Nhân said.
Nguyễn Hữu Thiện, an independent expert on Mekong Delta’s ecology, said the project should not be carried out. Severe drought and saline intrusion in 2016 was caused by El Nino’s impact at that time, and it only occurs one time every 90 years.
The independent group said that the project was needed because of rising water levels but he disagreed with that conclusion.
In reality, the sea water rises only 3mm per year, while the region faces dangerous depression because of exploitation of underground water, Thiện said.
The environment has been damaged and rivers blocked, so people have been forced to exploit underground water, he added. If the project is carried out, the environmental risk and depression could worsen.
The project would not help ensure food security as the independent group claimed, Thiện said.
He said that in 2016 when the region suffered severe drought and saline intrusion, nearly 5 million of tonnes of rice were exported. Food security was not severely affected.
There is no evidence that shows the project would prevent fresh water from running out in the region, he said.
Dr Dương Văn Ni of Cần Thơ University’s faculty of environment and natural resources, said the project could affect thousands of people in the region.
On the same fields, farmers sometimes need both salt water and fresh water. So it is not necessary to carry out the project to prevent saline intrusion, he said.
Preferential loans for the poor
Farmer Phan Văn Nhu in Lương Hòa Commune in southern Trà Vinh Province is happy to receive preferential loans from the Bank for Social Policies to start cow farming. — Photo kinhtenongthon.vn
Preferential loans from Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies have been proved effective in helping poor people in southern province of Trà Vinh to imporve their lives.
Quỳnh Minh Nhân, chairman of Hiệp Mỹ Đông Commune People’s Committee in the province’s Cầu Ngang District said that preferential loans played an important role in reducing the poverty rate in the commune, from over 10 per cent in 2014 to just 4 per cent at present.
He said that as soon as poor families received the bank loans, they were instructed to spend the money effectively, for example, investing in developing shrimp or cow farms.
Phan Văn Oanh, chairman of Lương Hòa Commune, Châu Thành District said that the commune used to be especially disadvantaged, with a poverty rate of 29 per cent.
Thanks to preferential loans, local people had money to start businesses, according to Kinh tế Nông thôn (Farming Economy) newspaper.
Local authorities encouraged farmers to grow two rice harvests, as well as vegetables throughout the year to increase productivity.
The vegetables helped generate up to VNĐ 100 million (US$4,400) per hectare every year, five times higher than rice production, he said.
Oanh said that when a production model was introduced to local people, the local authorities offered training classes to ensure they could employ it effectively.
“With a proper understanding and farming technique, people could use their loans effectively,” Oanh said.
Farmer Phan Văn Nhu in Lương Hòa Commune said that for years his family was unable to escape from poverty because he had no land for growing produce.
In 2013, he borrowed VNĐ10 million ($440) from a lending programme for poor households from the Social Policies Bank, and spent it on some cows.
Last year, Nhu received a preferential housing loan, so, together with his savings, he built a new house.
“Thanks to the loans, now I have business to run, a new house to live in, and my children can go to school. Life is much better,” Nhu said.
Thạch Thành Trung, another resident in Thuận Hòa Commune, said that he also built a house with his loan, worth VNĐ100 million.
A few years ago, I borrowed VNĐ40 million ($1,750) from the bank’s programme for the poor and another VNĐ8 million from bank’s programme for people of ethnic groups to start growing peanuts, okra and rice.
Earlier this year he decided to build a house after bringing in a stable yearly income of VNĐ100 million. He also got a loan worth VNĐ25 million from the bank’s housing programme.
Trung said that his mother was so poor that she sold her land to have money to raise eight children.
Despite working hard, Trung was unable to earn enough money to get his family’s land back.
“The VNĐ40million loan from Social Policies Bank helped me to take back the land, so my family could farm it,” he said.
Vice director of Trà Vinh Province’s Bank for Social Policies Lê Hoàng Phi said that the bank was providing preferential loans to nearly 127,000 households including poor households and near-poor ones who have just escaped from poverty.
More beneficiaries can access preferential loans through lending programmes such as the programme for poor households, a programme on clean water and rural hygiene and environment, and a programme for business households in disadvantaged areas.
Trà Vinh Province now has 23,000 families, accounting for 8.41 per cent of its population, living under poverty line. Last year about 7,300 families, or 2.75 per cent of poor families, reportedly escaped from poverty.
Vietnam Social Security collects 121.1 trillion VND in revenue
The Vietnam Social Security (VSS) collected 121.1 trillion VND (5.38 billion USD) in revenue as of late May, or 36.7 percent of the yearly plan, it announced during a press conference in Hanoi on May 30 on social and health insurance.
Of the figure, 83.6 trillion VND was social insurance revenue while 5.6 trillion VND and 31.8 trillion USD was from unemployment and health insurance, respectively.
There were 13.79 million compulsory social insurance, 240,000 voluntary social insurance, 11.6 million unemployment insurance and 81.3 million health insurance participants, or 86.6 percent of the entire population.
In May alone, VSS handled 10,125 cases entitled to pensions and monthly social insurance benefits, 85,117 cases of lump-sum allowances, 858,380 people enjoying sickness, pregnancy and health rehabilitation benefits.
In the first five months this year, up to 49,765 people enjoyed pensions and monthly social insurance benefits, 296,916 received lump-sum allowances and over 3,95 million received sickness, pregnancy and rehabilitation benefits.
During the period, 70.6 million people underwent health check-ups and treatment using health insurance, 205,894 enjoyed unemployment allowances and 11,538 others received grants for vocational training.
Total spending on social, health and unemployment benefits hit 122.5 trillion VND, or 41.62 percent of the yearly plan.
Deputy head of the VSS’s Insurance Payment Collection Department Mai Duc Thang said total delayed insurance payment topped 10 trillion VND in five months, accounting for 5 percent of the total, down 1 percent annually.
He added that the VSS is inspecting firms that have delayed insurance payment for three months and more. Those delaying for six months are under unscheduled inspection.
Thang said the VSS could surpass its insurance revenue target by 1-2 percent this year.
Uncle Ho’s love for children expressed in photos
An art performance at the 21st Childhood World festival
A photo exhibition depicting Uncle Ho’s love for children is being held as part of the 21st Childhood World festival in Hanoi from May 30 to June 1.
The annual festival is organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on the occasion of the International Children Day (June 1).
The exhibition captures Uncle Ho’s moments with children and displays documents and objects on Vietnam’s youths in national building and safeguarding movements.
It aims to encourage children to follow the moral example of President Ho Chi Minh.
Children are also called to do good deeds such as cleaning their schools and supporting poor people.
Other activities held within the framework of the 21st Childhood World festival include an exhibition on children’s rights, a reading space for kids, an entertainment area with games and an art performance.
Earlier on May 27, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs launched the 2018 action month for children, themed “For children’s safe and healthy living” in the northern province of Phu Tho to promote children’s rights to protection, respect and living in a safe and healthy environment.
During the action month, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs will hold events and activities to support children in need. It plans to hold children’s forums, entertainment activities and free medical checkups for children and at the same time, provide those in need with scholarships and deformity correction surgeries.
Meanwhile, the National Fund for Vietnamese Children will allocate more than 14 billion VND (616,000 USD) to support about 5,000 children from difficult backgrounds across the country.
The action month aims to raise public awareness of a wide range of child-related issues through a number of messages, including children’s safe and healthy living, a safe and healthy summer for children, summer without child drowning, listen to children, protect children, calling 111 to report violence against children and child abuse, using social media for the safe and healthy life of children and more.
Central island gets face lift thanks to solar power
The solar power panel system in An Binh island.
Life in An Binh Island, also known as Be Island, in Ly Son island district, the central province of Quang Ngai has changed since solar power was introduced.
Together with a system of diesel power generators, the An Binh Power Plant has put into use a solar power facility, comprising 300 IREX solar panels with total capacity of 96kW, 100kW grid-connected inverters and 72kW battery inverters.
Thanks to the combined system of diesel and solar power generators which produce about 700 kWh daily, more than 100 local families have stable and constant access to power. Previously, the island only had electricity for some of the day.
Now, their quality of life has improved as many families have more electrical appliances in their homes, particularly televisions.
Owners of restaurants on the island are among the happiest. They used to not dare to buy refrigerators to store food due to electricity shortages, but now many have purchased large-capacity fridges to provide better services to tourists.
The system has also helped cut electricity costs. According to Nguyen Van Hong from An Binh seawater desalination plant, it used to cost the plant about 2.1 million VND (92.4 USD) per day using diesel power but with the new system, the cost was cut by more than two-thirds to only 600,000 VND (26.4 USD) per day.
The solar system also allowed the plant to operate for longer hours to ensure water supply for the locals, he added.
Be Island has had a facelift, especially in tourism, thanks to solar power, said Huynh Luy, Secretary of the Party Committee of An Binh Commune. Before, tourists normally only visited the island for a day; now they can stay for several days as homestay services and other facilities have developed. The local average income has been raised to more than 21 million VND (924 USD) per person per year.
Traffic accident kills two, causes power outage
The scene of the accident
A concrete mixer hit a motorbike and an electrical pylon after losing control, killing two people and causing a power outage on Cat Ba Island on May 30.
The accident occurred at 7.50 pm. When going down a slope, the driver of the concrete mixer lost control and hit a motorbike driver before continuing hitting the electricity pylon and headquarters of a drainage company.
The motorbike driver died on the way to the hospital. The guard of the drainage company was killed under the rubble of the destroyed building. His body was recovered at 1 am. A rescue team and two fire trucks were sent to the scene to clean up the rubble and help the victims.
Two people on the truck were injured and transferred to Vietnam Czech Friendship Hospital at Hai Phong City.
The accident also caused a power outage that left the whole island without electricity. Major establishments such as hotels were able to use generators.
The authorities are investigating the case.
After ‘horror trip,’ Aussie offered free tour of Vietnamese destinations
An Australian tourist has been invited to tour Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay and other destinations for free after news outlets highlighted a Facebook post titled "Horror trip, Ha Long Bay" last week.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has written of apology to Lynne Ryan and invite her to return to Vietnam for the free tour.
Nguyen Van Tuan, head of the administration, said in the letter that he was "sorry for what happened" and informed Ryan that Vietnamese authorities have "seriously punished" companies responsible for the cruise that proved to be a disaster.
Ryan, who'd visited Vietnam along with five other Australian tourists in early May, wrote the post after returning home. She said her group had booked a Ha Long Bay cruise with a travel agency in Hanoi. She said she'd been shown a glossy brochure with beautiful pictures of a boat and its services, but the actual tour proved to be vastly different.
The tourists were taken on a rat infested "junk boat" with a “rat house” under the sink in the bathroom, a rat coming through a window, and rat droppings in the room. One of their rooms had a broken toilet door and a non-functioning air-conditioner.
"Sun decks on the top of boat had wood borers and were falling to pieces," the news reports quoted her as saying.
The group described their Ha Long Bay tour as a "nightmare."
Once the news spread, authorities swung into action. They fined the owner of the cruise ship and the travel agency in Hanoi that booked the tour VND15 million (US$660) and VND8 million (US$351) respectively, and suspended the ship’s operation.
Tuan said VNAT will take care of the free trip for Ryan; but the Australian responded saying she was wondering if she could take her friends along, since they were also victims of the scam.
Ha Long Bay welcomed more than 28,000 foreigners in the first four months this year, according to tourism department of Quang Ninh Province, home to the famous bay which is known as one of the top natural wonders of the world.
Australia is a major source of tourism revenue for Vietnam. The country received nearly 147,600 Australian visitors in the first four months this year, up 13% from a year ago.
Ford Vietnam sued for PowerShift transmission problems
"Luckily, we were able to deal with the problem," he said.
When bringing his car, which still has the warranty, for repair and maintenance, he was told that his gearbox had a water leak and many parts became rusty. He was asked to pay USD1,760 but Binh said the conclusion was unreasonable and filed a lawsuit against Ford Vietnam at Hai Duong People's Court and Thu Duc District People's Court in HCM City.
The Vietnam Competition and Consumer Authority advised him to negotiate or go to court. Thu Duc District People's Court said since Ford Vietnam's headquarters are in Hai Duong, they do not have the authority to deal with this case. Hai Duong People's Court passed the case to Thu Duc People's Court and didn't give any feedback to Binh. Only when he came to ask about the case on May 22, he was asked to provide evidence.
The group of owners said their cars often suffered from serious problems including clutch shudder, excessive noisiness, delayed acceleration and excessive shuddering and jerking when accelerating and they would receive automated warnings.
The group has sued Ford Vietnam for false advertising.
According to the group, Ford issued an announcement that they will repair those cars and extend the warranty. But when they brought the cars to the garage, the employees switched the blame on them and demanded they pay for the repairs. Moreover, the problems have only been temporarily fixed.
The car owners demanded Ford Vietnam recall the cars or provide free replacements for the equipment, publicly apologise and compensate them. The group also sent a complaint to the prime minister, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Transport and Vietnam Register.
Similar faulty functions in Ford cars have also been spotted in the world. In April, the Federal Court of Australia ordered Ford to pay USD7.55m penalties for engaging in unconscionable conduct in the way it dealt with complaints about PowerShift transmission cars. In May, the civil court in Thailand accepted a case against Ford Thailand after it was sued by 308 car owners for USD750,000. Last year, nearly 7,000 customers in the US also sued Ford for the PowerShift transmission.
In 2016, Ford Vietnam recalled 2,150 EcoSport, 4,179 Fiesta and 2,010 Focus which were faulty and built between 2014 and 2015.
Vo Trong Nghia bamboo work at Venice Architecture Biennale
Vietnam’s Giang Brothers continue to wow at Britain’s Got Talent final
The Giang Brothers hold Vietnam’s national flag. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The Vietnamese Giang Brothers continued to leave audience and judges of the 2018 Britain’s Got Talent in awe with their jaw-dropping acrobatic show during the final night of the TV talent show on Sunday.
Tuoi Tre News
Health ministry warns on swine flu threat
BUSINESS IN BRIEF 4/6
Vietnamese catfish exports dominate US market
Vietnamese tra fish products has dominated the US market from January to April 2018 despite facing many trade barriers, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
It said from the first day of this year until the first half of April, the total tra fish export value to the US market reached US$108 million, a year-on-year increase of 26 per cent.
So far, this value has maintained a high growth compared to the same period last year.
The association expects Viet Nam’s tra fish export value to the US market to slightly increase in the second quarter of this year against the same period last year, although the number of tra fish exporters to the US market is likely to remain at less than three enterprises.
Viet Nam and China are the only exporters of tra fish to the US market, of which Vietnamese tra fish has accounted for 90 per cent of the total imports to the US at present, according to the association.
In previous years, China had mainly exported only fresh and frozen tra and basa catfish to the US market, but from 2017, it has increased the production of frozen catfish fillets worth some $37.2 million.
The average price of Chinese catfish in the US market is quite high, reaching $6.77 per kilo, while the price of Vietnamese catfish stands at only $3.42 per kilo.
Since Viet Nam’s catfish exports to the US market have been increasing, the cost of raw material of tra fish in the domestic market has surged by VND5,000-VND6,000 per kilo compared to the same period last year. This has, in turn, increased the price of catfish in all export markets, including the US.
However, anti-dumping duty and the catfish inspection programme have prevented local seafood enterprises from promoting exports of catfish products to the US market.
VN Silicon Valley Angel Camp improves students’ startup knowledge
The Vietnam Silicon Valley Angel Camp kicked off in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on June 2, offering a chance for students to learn from startup experience.
The event was jointly held by the city’s student support centre, Department of Science and Technology and the Korea-Vietnam Incubator Park (KVIP).
Vien Tuan Thanh, head of the centre, said that the programme helps students, who want to start up business, to meet and connect with investors and successful entrepreneurs, and provides them with knowledge and skills related to startup.
The programme is expected to help form a startup ecosystem in Vietnam.
During the three-day event, students are expected to discuss how to make investors find out potential startups, learn from experience to develop and control startups, and apply technologies in agricultural production.
Director of the KVIP Pham Minh Quoc advised students not to start up business alone.
He asked them to equip themselves with sufficient knowledge and seek assistance from local authorities, organisations and previous startups so as to ensure success and minimise failure.
An Giang’s infertile paddies grow other crops
Farmers in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang switched to growing other crops on 20,000ha of paddy fields during the 2017-18 winter-spring crop, earning big profits and managing to cope with climate change.
The fields are mostly in mountainous areas, and thus far from irrigation sources or infertile.
They grew soy bean, honeydew melon, corn, red chili, vegetables and other crops.
Pham Cong Tao, one such farmer in Tan Chau district’s Phu Loc commune, grew oriental onion in his 4,000 sq.m field and earned a profit of around 80 million VND (3,500 USD) per crop.
The production cost of planting the onion is higher than rice, but the profits from it are four to six times higher than from rice, he said.
Besides, the switch saves him plenty of water and he does not have to worry about drought, he said.
His field is situated in an area of the commune earmarked for growing vegetables and other crops, which has good roads enabling easy transport of the produce.
In any case, traders come to his farm to buy and harvest the oriental onion by themselves, he said.
Many farmers in Phu Tan district’s Tan Trung commune are harvesting soybean and reaping a bumper harvest.
The commune’s safe vegetable co-operative team planted 45ha of soybean in the 2017-18 winter-spring crop and has harvested 38ha so far.
Nguyen Van Minh, one of the co-operative team members, said he has been instructed in soybean farming by the commune Farmers Association and the Phu Tan district Agriculture and Rural Development Bureau.
His 22,000sq.m soybean field yielded a profit of 150 million VND (6,600 USD) in the 2017-18 winter-spring crop, he said.
Vo Chi Tam, Chairman of the Farmers Association, said to restructure agriculture local authorities have supported farmers in their switch to other crops in recent years.
Many farmers in the commune have shifted to soybean, he said.
Tran Anh Thu, Director of the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province has been encouraging farmers to grow other crops on infertile rice fields.
Growing sesame, green bean, corn, soybean, and certain other crops enables farmers to adapt to climate change and ensures a big profit, he said.
An Giang plans to have 40,000ha of specialised areas in its city and every district and town for growing vegetables and other crops by 2030.
It plans to develop those areas through a cooperation model to guarantee outlets for farmers and ensure they use advanced farming techniques.
It also plans to improve the quality of co-operatives and co-operative teams in the specialised areas, and prioritise roads and irrigation facilities there.
It will increase the use of advanced techniques such as automatic irrigation in net houses in those areas, with the crops grown to Vietnamese good agricultural practices standards.
The province will also focus on developing small- and medium-sized enterprises that grow vegetables and other crops and tie up with companies that buy their produce.
Contract signed to start feasibility study for Long Thanh airport
The Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) on June 2 signed a contract with a joint venture comprising of firms from Japan, France and Vietnam (JFV) for consultancy services and the feasibility study for the first phase of Long Thanh International Airport project.
The feasibility study will be carried out from June 2018 to June 2019 and it will be assessed before submitted to the National Assembly for review in October 2019, said ACV Chairman of the Board Lai Xuan Thanh at the signing ceremony.
The ACV is preparing all required resources and taking necessary steps for the construction of the airport to be started at the end of 2020, he noted. “The airport will be completed and put into use in 2025 at the latest.”
In March, the Ministry of Transport selected the lotus design developed by Heerim Architects and Planners from the Republic of Korea for the project.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho asked Heerim Architects and Planners to closely work the JFV to translate the design into reality in accordance with the agreement.
He also requested the ACV to exert its best efforts to ensure the quality of the feasibility study and enable it to be submitted to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the National Assembly in late 2019.
The JFV joint venture gathers leading consulting and design firms with years of experiences in the airport construction industry, including Japan Airport Consultants (JAC) which provided design and construction supervision services for the expansion of Tan Son Nhat and Noi Bai International Airports, ADP Ingénierie from France, Nippon Koei and Oriental Consultants Global from Japan, and Airport Design and Construction Consultancy (ADCC) and Transport Engineering Design (TEDI) from Vietnam.
The Long Thanh International Airport has a total area of more than 5,580 hectares, spreading cross six communes in Long Thanh District, the southern province of Dong Nai. It is set to have a total investment of 336.63 trillion VND (14.8 billion USD), with construction divided into three phases.
In the first phase, a runway and one passenger terminal along with other supporting works will be built to serve 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tonnes of cargo each year. This phase is hoped to be finished by 2025.
In the second phase, one more runway and another passenger terminal will be constructed to serve 50 million passengers and 1.5 million tonnes of cargo a year.
After the third phase expansion, the airport will be able serve 100 million passengers and 5 million tonnes of cargo each year.
Tinh Bien – An Giang international trade fair opens
The 12th Tinh Bien – An Giang international trade fair opened in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang on June 1.
Lasting through June 7, the fair features 350 stalls, which are showcasing a wide range of products like farm produce, household products, food and tourism products.
Ten percent of the total stalls are being operated by foreign businesses.
Visitors to the fair are treated to a speed bull race and art performances every night during its course.
Demonstrations of agricultural machines and gardening advice sessions are also scheduled to take place.
Aiming to enhance trade connectivity between enterprises in South Vietnam and regional countries, particularly ASEAN member states, the Tinh Bien – An Giang trade fair has evolved from a provincial event into an international one.
Agro-forestry-aquatic product exports likely to exceed 40 billion USD
Vietnam’s export earnings from agro-forestry-aquatic products are likely to exceed 40 billion USD this year after reaching 15.6 billion USD in the first five months, said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong.
The export value of key agricultural products was estimated at 8.25 billion USD in the January-May period, up 9.6 percent year on year. Meanwhile, aquatic products contributed 3.12 billion USD to the total export turnover, up 9.7 percent, and forestry products 3.4 billion USD, up 8.7 percent.
The Vietnam Administration of Forestry said that China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the US were the four largest importers of Vietnamese wood and wooden products. The export value of forestry products accounted for nearly 22 percent of the total export value.
In May alone, the country raked in 347 million USD from shipping abroad some 452,000 tonnes of rice, bringing the total value and volume of rice exports in the January-May period to 1.45 billion USD and 2.66 million tonnes, up 40 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively.
Average rice price in the period experienced an increase of 12.9 percent to 503 USD per tonne. China remains the largest buyer of Vietnamese rice, holding 33.5 percent of the market share.
Vietnam also enjoyed robust shipments of cashew nuts. In the five months, it sold 139,000 tonnes of cashew nuts abroad and earned 1.37 billion USD, rising 19 percent in volume and nearly 23 percent in value as compared to the same time last year.
Some 1.3 million tonnes of cassava and cassava products were sold in foreign countries for 460 million USD, falling 25.6 percent in volume and soaring 7.3 percent in value.
Meanwhile, coffee exports increased 16 percent to 820,000 tonnes but dropped 0.8 percent in value to 1.6 billion USD. Rubber exports also fell 12 percent in value to 620 million USD although the exported amount was estimated at 424,000 tonnes, or 16 percent higher than the same time last year.
The export turnover of pepper experienced a plunge of 37.6 percent. A total 108,000 tonnes were shipped abroad at a value of 377 million USD.
The ministry also said that the country spent 12.29 billion USD importing agro-forestry-aquatic products during January-May, a year-on-year increase of 10.6 percent.
Minister Cuong said that the agricultural sector should further its efforts to remove bottlenecks.
Agricultural restructuring towards applying more high technologies into production and branching out value chain is key to tackle the processing and preservation issues, particularly when Vietnam is among five countries most affected by climate change, he noted.
Furthermore, Vietnamese agricultural products also face fierce competition in both traditional and new markets due to tax and technical barriers. Thus, local businesses should keep close watch to the situation to have proper response, Cuong said.
Vietnamese garment sector maintains growth in traditional markets
Many Vietnamese garment firms have maintained high growth in traditional markets this year, including the US, the Republic of Korea, the European Union and member states of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Vice President and General Secretary of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) Truong Van Cam said a series of recently-signed free trade agreements (FTAs) is expected to boost the sector.
Since 2001, Vietnam has signed bilateral trade agreements with the US, Japan, China, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand and India, and joined the World Trade Organisation.
However, global demand for textiles and apparels only grows by 1-2 percent each year, resulting in fierce competition, he said.
According to him, most FTAs have rules on product origin for fibre and fabrics while Vietnam imports up to 80 percent of materials.
At present, Bangladesh cuts corporate tax to 20 percent from 35 percent andlinen fiber and spandex import tax from 10 percent to 5 percent. Pakistan waives material and energy taxes for exported apparel while India reduces fibre import tax to 2.5 percent from 5 percent.
The EU offers zero percent tax to apparel from Cambodia and Myanmar while the US waives tax for several Cambodia goods. Vietnamese apparels are still subject to 17.7 percent and 9.6 percent tax when exporting to the US and the EU, respectively.
VITAS called on the State to devise planning and grant licences to major garment industrial areas to attract investment in weaving and dyeing.
It also urged supporting wastewater treatment in industrial zones and discouraging foreign firmsfrom investing in fiber and sewing.
Five-month fishing output surges 2.4 percent
Total fishing output in the first five months of the year increased 2.4 percent year-on-year to 1.3 million tonnes due to favourable weather conditions, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
Of the total figure, seafood exploitation was estimated at 1.27 million tonnes, up 2.5 percent from the same time last year.
Coastal provinces specialized in ocean tuna fishing brought home 9,227 tonnes of tuna during January-May, a year-on-year drop of 8 percent. Of the figure, 4,750 tonnes were from Binh Dinh province, 2,287 tonnes from Phu Yen and 2,190 tonnes from Khanh Hoa.
The ministry urged fishermen to build modern fishing vessels and apply high technology in post-harvest process. Meanwhile, low-capacity boats which cause negative impacts on the marine eco-system should be abolished.
Also in the period, Vietnam recorded a year-on-year rise of 9.7 percent in aquatic export value to 3.12 billion USD. The figure for May alone was estimated at 671 million USD.
The US, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea were the four biggest importers of Vietnamese aquatic products between January and April, making up 52.7 percent of total fishery exports in the period.
Meanwhile, markets with strong growth in aquatic imports from Vietnam were the Netherlands (60.2 percent), China (28.8 percent), the UK (27.4 percent) and Germany (27 percent).
The country imported about 165 million USD worth of fishery products, raising the five-month aquatic import value to 698 million USD, up 33.5 percent from a year earlier.
Tiền Giang breeds more tra fish on alluvial areas
The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Tiền Giang is developing intensive tra fish farming in alluvial areas along rivers to produce high quality fish for export.
The province is using more than 120ha of ground area along rivers to breed fish, mostly tra fish, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Năm Đời, who has 20ha of alluvial ground area for farming tra fish in Cai Lậy District’s Tân Phong Commune, said he harvested about 5,000 tonnes of tra fish a year.
He earned a profit of billions of đồng last year as the price of raw tra fish had increased significantly since the previous year, he said. The rise in tra fish prices will encourage more farmers to develop tra fish breeding in alluvial ground areas along the Tiền River.
Tân Phong Commune, which is an islet in the Tiền River, is one of the major areas for breeding tra fish in alluvial ground areas in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province.
The commune has more than 60ha of alluvial ground areas used to farm tra fish, accounting for 50 per cent of the province total’s tra fish breeding area, according to Kiều Mạnh Quân, secretary of the Tân Phong Commune Party Committee.
Cao Văn Hóa, deputy director of the department, said to develop tra fish breeding in alluvial ground areas, the province has paid attention to zoning farming areas and transfering farming techniques for farmers.
The province will also create favourable conditions for tra fish breeders to participate in the delta’s three-tier co-operation plan for production of high-quality tra fish breeds in the delta.
The co-operation plan, which was approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in March, aims to establish three-tier tra fish breed production chains that produce about 50 per cent of the Delta’s demand of 2.2 – 2.5 billion fries a year by 2020.
The department has encouraged farmers to breed tra fish under Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) standards.
The province has 51.4ha of tra fish bred under GAP standards, including 6.4ha under global GAP standards and 45ha under Vietnamese GAP standards. It also has 15.8ha bred under Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standards.
In Tiền Giang, main tra fish breeding areas are in islets and alluvial ground areas along the Tiền River in Cai Lậy and Cái Bè districts.
The province plans to have about 180ha of tra fish with an annual output of 67,000 tonnes by 2020.
Located downstream of the Tiền River, a tributary of the Mekong River, Tiền Giang has a dense network of rivers and canals which have advantages for aquaculture development.
Paper sector unfolds into domestic market
Domestic paper production has been relatively stable from the beginning of the year, with the sector producing more than 1.18 tons of different types of paper over the first four months of 2018, a year-on-year rise of 60%, according to the Vietnam Pulp and Paper Association (VPPA).
The increase is attributed to strong performance of large capacity paper mills in the fourth quarter of last year and early this year.
The sector imported 465,000 tons of paper in four months, up 5% against the same period last year for domestic production and consumption, and exports. Most of the imported paper was mainly used for high-end packaging and paper production for the domestic market. However, paper businesses face numerous difficulties brought about by price fluctuation and competition. World prices soared in the first quarter and has further inched up in April.
Since late last year domestic businesses have had to compete with Chinese rivals for buying paper materials and finished products as China intends to reduce paper production to protect the environment.
In the domestic market, paper mills begin to accelerate production to meet increasing demands of the new school year and other activities in the last months of the year.
According to the Vietnam Packaging Association, the domestic packaging industry has achieved high growth over the last 10 years. As a result, the demand for materials has also increased strongly.
Last year, Vietnam imported around US$2.5 billion worth of paper and paper products, US$600 million of which came from China.
Meanwhile, the purchase of materials and paper by Chinese businesses also pushed Vietnam’s paper exports up high. Vietnam’s paper exports skyrocketed 400% to 187,056 tons in the first four months of this year.
Vietnam ranked 6th among countries with highest women business ownership: report
With 31.3% of businesses in Vietnam owned by women, the country has been ranked sixth out of 53 surveyed economies in terms of share of women business owners.
The country has maintained its position from last year and continues to surpass its Southeast Asian peers, China and the US in the ranking by Mastercard.
In the top five, Ghana took the lead, followed by Russia, Uganda, New Zealand and Australia.
The credit card company said Vietnam “stands out as an outperformer” as it ranks the country 18th worldwide in its Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE).
Vietnam scored 65.5 points overall in the index, which is based on three components: women’s advancement outcomes, knowledge assets and financial access, and supporting entrepreneurial conditions.
On the global MIWE map, Vietnam closely resembles Thailand and Hong Kong in Asia, Switzerland and Poland in Europe, and Costa Rica and Colombia in Latin America.
Vietnam’s strength is distinct in Women’s Advancement Outcomes, with 59.6 points - ranking 10th, and Knowledge Assets and Financial Access with 86.7 points - ranking third, trailing only behind Singapore and New Zealand.
Compared to their global peers, Vietnamese women are as likely as men to engage in business, according Mastercard.
The Knowledge Assets and Financial Access component shows Vietnamese women having equal higher education opportunities as men, and of the 57 markets in the MIWE study, Vietnamese women are the only ones who demonstrate equal inclination to borrow or save for their business undertakings as men.
However, Vietnamese women trail in Supporting Entrepreneurial Conditions.
At 56.2 points, Vietnam is ranked among the lowest, at 42nd, weighed down by unfavorable conditions in Quality of Governance, where it is ranked 47th, Entrepreneurial Supporting Factors, ranked 48th and Ease of Doing Business, ranked 36th.
Women’s opportunity to rise as business leaders is also surprisingly low as the country is ranked 41st with a point of 26.2, or only one female out of every four leaders.
They are also disadvantaged in terms of receiving relatively low acceptance from society with 68.8 points for Cultural Perception of Women Entrepreneurs, which is lower than most Asian markets, such as 76.2 in Indonesia, 82.2 in Philippines, 76.9 in Thailand, 73.8 in Malaysia, and 79.9 in Hong Kong.
In January, Bloomberg cited September data from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), an American worldwide management consulting firm, as saying that Vietnamese women hold more leading positions on the business map compared to other countries in the region, including Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
Women hold 25% of CEO or board level positions in Vietnam.
That figure stands at 14% in Malaysia, 10% in Singapore and only 6% in Indonesia, according to BCG.
Cooking gas prices up VNĐ18,000 in southern regions
The price of cooking gas in HCM City and the southern provinces has increased by VND18,000 (79 US cents) for a 12kg canister starting June 1.
The consumer retail price for 12kg canisters will now range from VND345,000 to VND374,000.
Gas traders said the latest hike is on account of the $57.5 per tonne increase in global gas prices this month compared to the previous month, raising prices to $560 per tonne. The price of domestic gas had to be adjusted in accordance with changes in the global market, traders said.
Agents, gas shops, and consumers in HCM City and the southern provinces have been informed about the new rates.
Vietnamese firms capable of joining support industry
Numerous Vietnamese companies have shown their ability to join Samsung’s supply chain thanks to the support of the South Korean group’s innovative consultant programme.
Samsung Viet Nam on Wednesday conducted a two-day visit to six local businesses including three in the north (4P Company Ltd in Hung Yen Province, Post and Telecommunication Equipment Joint Stock Company - Postef in Bac Ninh Province, Me Tran Electric - Electronic Company Ltd in Vinh Phuc Province) which participated in the programme. The other three companies in the south were Y Chi Viet Company Ltd in Dong Nai Province, TBM – Minh Phat Producing and Trading Company Ltd and Phu Tho Hoa Mechatronics JSC – VIEMCO in HCM City. These are enterprises operating in the field of technology, manufacturing mechanical products, electrical and electronic equipment.
After consultations with South Korean experts, Vietnamese firms have improved their productivity and human resources management as well as enhanced their labourers’ skills, thus increasing competitiveness.
Hoang Minh Tri, general director of 4P Company Limited – one of three companies in the north that received the consultation said the electronics sector has always changed rapidly. It was the reason that his company specialising in producing, assembling and providing a vein to electronics devices still has shortcomings though they incorporated numerous changes.
“We targeted to raise our quality to the level of global standards and minimise the prices of products. However, we need many changes to reach those targets,” Tri said, adding that the Samsung consultation programme has helped them include big changes in production and organisation.
For example, the productivity of many of the product segments at the company was increased by up to 85 per cent. The error rate was also reduced by 75 per cent.
Sharing the ideas, Nguyen The Hung, director of Electric - Electronic Company Ltd said the company had striven to make changes in production in a short time after consultation.
Hung added that all of the ideas from Samsung’s experts were valuable and they would be applied in their new factory, which is under construction, to improve their production levels.
The assessment is part of the 12-week Samsung’s business consultation programme designed to strengthen the capacity for the Viet Nam businesses in the supply chain of components and accessories for Samsung.
Accordingly, within 12 weeks, from March 12, South Korean experts have surveyed, assessed these enterprises and directly consulted and worked with Vietnamese businesses in order to innovate their production processes and complete the standards in supplying products and components for Samsung factories in Viet Nam.
For the first time, the field trip to vendors has seen the participation of 25 probationary consultants, who are trainees from the first course of the co-operative training programme for Vietnamese consultant experts that officially kicked-off on April 17.
“I highly appreciate the great potential, the will and determination of Vietnamese enterprises. With support from Samsung, in only 12 weeks, we have clearly recognised the results of innovation efforts that are aimed at improving and enhancing the competitiveness of these enterprises.
The programme is also an opportunity for the trainees of the cooperative training programme between Samsung and Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to experience and learn from Samsung’s South Korean experts, thereby improving the re-coaching capacity for Vietnamese enterprises, creating core suppliers that have significant impact on the development of Vietnamese supporting industry,” said Shim Won Hwan, president of Samsung Electronics Viet Nam Complex.
Vu Khanh, a representative from the MoIT said the co-operative training programme for Vietnamese consultants between Samsung and the ministry showed that the Vietnamese Government has paid a lot of attention to promoting the local support industry in the world integration process.
“The visit and assessment revealed that all of the production processes in the firms participating in the programme had improved and were quite different from the previous three months,” Khanh added.
He expected the Vietnamese consultants joining the consultation programme to gain the experience and knowledge from South Korean experts to apply them in the local firms.
Along with the commitment to jointly develop Viet Nam’s support industry, after great efforts to seek and connect with Vietnamese vendors, the total number of Samsung’s suppliers has increased to 308 vendors, of which, the number of Vietnamese tier-1 vendors has increased dramatically from only 4 in 2014 to 29 in 2017. It is expected that this number will reach 50 by 2020.
Việt Nam values business, diplomatic ties with Japan
Viet Nam always considers the Japanese business community a leading strategic partner in the process of restructuring its economy, as well as in improving the growth, quality and competitiveness of the country, said State President Tran Dai Quang at the Viet Nam Investment Promotion Conference in Tokyo on May 31.
Speaking at the event, organised by Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), which saw participation from representatives of some 600 Vietnamese and Japanese businesses, Quang said that Viet Nam’s consistent policy is to co-operate with Japan based on 45 years of shared interests in geography, politics and strategic economics.
Quang stressed that towards achieving the goal of modernisation, Viet Nam was in great need of a modern and synchronous infrastructure system, as well as an advanced education system, which are present in Japan.
Japanese businesses could expand co-operation and investment in Viet Nam, especially in the fields of manufacturing, modern agriculture, information technology, smart cities, services, infrastructure, finance, banking, start-ups based on innovation and creativity, as well as take part in the equitisation of State-owned enterprises.
Quang said Viet Nam had become an attractive economic partner for Japanese enterprises. The successful co-operation among enterprises played an important role in promoting the development of relations between the two countries.
Japan is the largest official development assistance (ODA) partner of Viet Nam, with over US$30 billion committed at present. This contributes significantly to developing infrastructure, improving human resource quality, strengthening the governance capacity, and accelerating hunger elimination and poverty reduction.
Projects funded by ODA from Japan are being put into effective operation throughout Viet Nam. The T2 Terminal of Noi Bai International Airport, Lach Huyen International Port and the HCM City-Trung Luong Expressway are some notable examples.
On investment, Japan is always the leading partner of Viet Nam with over 3,700 projects with total registered capital of over $50 billion. In 2017, two-way trade turnover reached more than $33 billion.
Last year, over 30,000 Vietnamese people visited Japan, and nearly 80,000 Japanese people visited Viet Nam.
President Quang also pointed out that the Viet Nam Investment Promotion Conference was a valuable opportunity for the business communities of the two countries to look back on the results of investment co-operation, as well as to share vision of development in the future. The event would play an increasingly important role in deepening the strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia over the coming years.
He said the Japanese business community, including leading corporations, would not only play a pioneering role in investment co-operation, but would also promote more efficient cooperation between the two countries.
"We appreciate the discipline, sense of responsibility, modern technology, advanced management and corporate culture of Japanese enterprises and entrepreneurs during the process of investment and business development in Viet Nam," said Quang.
Quang pointed out that Viet Nam had become a dynamic economy with a GDP of around $230 billion and a commercial scale of over $420 billion. With a population of close to 100 million people, Viet Nam was a rapidly growing purchasing power market with a fast developing middle class.
Viet Nam is an open economy and is actively promoting international integration with the free trade agreements that have been signed in recent years. To date, Viet Nam has attracted nearly $322 billion from 126 countries and territories in key economic sectors, such as manufacturing, infrastructure development, construction, real estate, energy, tourism, and distribution, said Quang.
Many leading international corporations are investing and doing business effectively and have become an important component of economic growth in the country, he added.
Speaking at the event, Japan’s State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yoji Muto said that infrastructure was an important factor for the development of a country, and Japan was paying attention to this field in Viet Nam.
Chairman and CEO of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) Hiroyuki Ishige recalled cooperation outcomes between Japan and Viet Nam, especially their efforts to the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), emphasising that the deal will be a driving force for economic, trade and investment cooperation between the two countries in the future.
Also at the conference, President Quang, Japanese State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yoji Muto, and JETRO Chairman Hiroyuki Ishige witnessed the ceremony of handing over investment certificates and memorandums of understanding on co-operation projects between enterprises and localities of the two countries.
The President and delegates also witnessed the launch of the Ha Noi-Osaka direct flight of budget carrier Vietjet Air, which will operate daily return flights from November 8 this year. With this milestone, Vietjet Air increased its total international routes to 45.
In a meeting with JETRO Chairman Hiroyuki Ishige, Quang expressed his thanks and appreciation for the cooperation and support of JETRO to Viet Nam in general and the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) in particular.
JETRO has helped the MPI in recent years to connect enterprises and organise the investment promotion conferences. On top of this, they have jointly held seminars to solve difficulties and obstacles faced by enterprises of the two countries.
Quang asked JETRO to promote investment from Japanese enterpises in Viet Nam in the fields of clean and high-tech agriculture, supporting industries and mechanical engineering, and help the country to improve value chains of Vietnamese agricultural products and foodstuffs in order to create favorable conditions for them to reach the Japanese market.
Gov’t aims to boost industry, construction
The Government aims for the industry and construction sector to account for 30-35 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020, according to the country’s new plan for industrial restructuring in the 2018-20 period, signed by Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung on May 25.
The plan aims to realise the National Assembly’s resolution on restructuring the economy in the 2016-20 period, including the industry and construction sector.
The plan stipulates that the industrial growth rate must be higher than the GDP growth rate; the proportion of manufactured goods in the total export turnover should reach 85-90 per cent and labor in industry and construction should account for 25-30 per cent of all jobs.
The Government aims for an annual average productivity growth rate in industry of over 5.5 per cent. It also seeks to narrow the gap between Viet Nam and ASEAN-4 countries on indices of industrial competitiveness and increase the number of hi-tech industries in the manufacturing and private sectors. The plan also targets value-added growth in the manufacturing industry from 8 to 10 per cent.
In the period up to 2025, the proportion of processed and manufactured products among total goods exported will remain above 85 per cent and the amount of labor, enterprises and investment in the industry will be higher than in the 2015-20 period.
In order to realise the above objectives, the Government proposed the following key tasks and solutions.
Firstly, the application of advanced technology in production must be strengthened and industrial production must be linked with environmental protection and response to climate change. A roadmap to replace and eliminate obsolete equipment in factories must be built while polluting factories must be shut down.
Secondly, the value chain of products such as textiles, leather, footwear, chemicals, food and electronics must be upgraded to increase value-added and the ability to participate in the global production network must be enhanced in order to effectively exploit recent free trade agreements.
Thirdly, priorities should be given to develop the domestic steel industry; plants should use environmentally friendly technologies; small-scale steel mills and rolling mills, backward technologies and inefficient use of resources must be reduced and the sustainable use of energy must be promoted.
Lastly, trade promotion and brand development for Viet Nam’s industrial products and industrial enterprises should be boosted. Resources on implementing the annual national trade promotion programme in industries in which Viet Nam has advantages, such as food processing, beverages, textiles and footwear, should also be expanded.
Vietcombank, PV GAS up co-operation
Vietcombank and PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (PV GAS) signed a comprehensive strategic co-operation agreement in the central city of Quy Nhon earlier this week.
The agreement marked an important step in cooperation between the two sides.
Under the agreement, Vietcombank and PV GAS agreed to ensure transparency, competitiveness and effectiveness in their cooperation.
Vietcombank will provide overall financial packages, including project financing, international payment, money flow management and individual finance with numerous preferential policies to PV GAS.
The two sides also signed a credit contract on the same day. According to the contract, Vietcombank will provide a short-term credit of VND4 trillion to supplement floating capital to PV GAS and its subsidiaries.
They will also enhance cooperation in retail services.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Nghiem Xuan Thanh, Vietcombank’s management board chairman,said the bank and PV GAS had been co-operating for 28 years.
“Vietcombank shared the key role of PV GAS in the Viet Nam gas industry development master plan as well as in implementing targets in the country’s petrolimex development strategy,” Thanh said, adding that the two sides will create success in their own business strategies, diversifying cooperation both domestically and globally.
Retail sales, services revenue up by 10.1%
Viet Nam’s total revenue from retail sales and services in the first five months of this year maintained a high growth since the beginning of the year.
This was partly due to improving living standards of the people, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
The total revenue rose by 10.1 per cent year-on-year to VND1.75 quadrillion (US$76.4 billion) in the first five months, said GSO.
If inflation were excluded, the increase would be 8.3 per cent, higher than the 7.5 per cent growth recorded in the first five months of 2017, it said.
The high growth rate was up by 9.5 per cent in the first month, by 10.09 per cent in the first two months, by 9.9 per cent in the first three months, by 10.8 per cent in the first four months and by 10.1 per cent in the first five months.
Vu Manh Ha, domestic economy expert at GSO, said the high growth in revenue showed an increase in people’s purchasing power and medium-income people as well as stability in price and high supply of commodities.
The high purchasing power pushed the revenue of retail goods in the first five months of this year up by 11 per cent year-on-year to VND1.33 quadrillion, accounting for three-fourths of the total retail sales and services revenue.
Sectors posting a positive revenue increase included food (up by 12.1 per cent), textiles and garments (12.4 per cent), home appliances (11 per cent), cultural and educational products (9.1 per cent) and transport services (8.5 per cent).
Meanwhile, retail sales in accommodation, restaurant and catering services surged by 8.9 per cent year-on-year to VND214.4 trillion.
Revenues from other services, such as wedding and beauty services, reaching a high level in this period showed the diversity of consumer demand, Ha said. The revenue rose by 4.6 per cent year-on-year to VND196.5 trillion.
HCM City recorded the highest growth in purchasing power at 13.5 per cent during the first five months. It was followed by Thai Nguyen Province, up by 13 per cent; Ha Noi, up by 12.6 per cent; and Lam Dong Province, up by 12.56 per cent.
Social News 4/6
Association of Vietnamese experts in Switzerland set up
Ambassador Duong Chi Dung (third from right) congratulates the AVIES's debut.
The executive board of the Association of Vietnamese Intellectuals and Experts in Switzerland (AVIES) debuted on June 2 at the headquarters of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the UN, WTO and other international organisations in Geneva, Switzerland.
Ambassador Duong Chi Dung, head of the Vietnamese mission, underlined contributions made by Vietnamese experts to the homeland’s socio-economic development.
Lauding the establishment of the AVIES, the Vietnamese diplomat committed to support intellectuals to carry out the association’s plans and projects while expressing his hope that more Vietnamese experts will join the association.
The AVIES gathers some 70 Vietnamese intellectuals and experts working in Switzerland in various fields of business management, finance, mobile technology, computer science, health care and infrastructure development, among others.
The association aims to accelerate the implementation of initiatives and cooperative projects for the development of the homeland, Vietnam-Switzerland ties and relations between Vietnam and the UN, WTO and other international organisations.
The AVIES establishment took place in the framework of the third talks on meeting Vietnamese intellects in Switzerland, during which blockchain technology and startup development were highlighted.
Hanoi hailed for environmental protection efforts
Representatives from foreign embassies in Vietnam attend the event
Ping Kitnikone, Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam has praised efforts and progresses made by the Hanoi authority in protecting and improving the environment.
Speaking at the Green Living Festival in response to the national action month for environmental protection and World Environment Day which took place in the capital city on June 1-2, she said representatives of embassies and international partner agencies had been working hard to launch a communication campaign against plastic pollution in Vietnam.
Notably, representatives from 41 embassies and international organisations will sign a code of conduct on plastic pollution prevention, committing to reducing plastic waste by adjusting internal regulations, and encouraging partners to apply solutions to minimize or eliminate plastic waste, she said.
She added that international diplomatic missions in Vietnam hope to work with the Vietnamese government and people, enterprises and other partners to continue joint efforts, aiming to reduce plastic waste in the country.
The municipal authorities pledged to gradually phase plastic bags out and replace them with more durable materials.
With sustainability in nature, plastic waste (plastic bottles, nylon bags, plastic food boxes and cups ...) along with other environmental pollutants have been negatively impacting on the environment, economy social and human health.
In that context, through the "Green Living Festival" with concrete and practical activities, Hanoi has expressed its determination and efforts in appealing consumers to save and recycle plastic waste; encourage the use of environmentally friendly energy, technologies and products; the electronic waste collection, towards a green and sustainable environment in Hanoi.
According to the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment, “the national action month for environmental protection” kicked off in many district and towns on May 15 and will last until July 31.
A series of activities in the framework of the programme have been organised, focusing on how to address issues related to management of natural resources; environmental protection; and collection, treatment and management of waste.
Attention has been also paid to intensifying the inspection, supervision and thorough treatment of projects prone to causing high environmental pollution; exploiting, using effectively and sustainably the water resources; and promoting the special control of production establishments, which are likely to cause high environmental pollution.
The Green Living Festival was organised by the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the People’s Committee of Hoan Kiem district, and Live and Learn Vietnam.
An activity themed “What is happening to the environment in Hanoi?” features games providing information about environmental pollution, along with an exhibition of installation art works made from plastic straws, plastic bags and bottles.
Street music performances are also set to be a special treat for participants in the festival.
On June 5, a clean-up campaign will be launched in Tri Thuy commune of Phu Xuyen district to clean the environment, dredge cannels, sort waste and plant trees. It is hoped to draw 500 local residents.
These events are part of efforts to connect state managerial agencies with civil organisations, schools and businesses to encourage joint efforts to protect the environment and promote sustainable development.
Bac Ha tourism week underway in Lao Cai
A performance at the opening ceremony of the Bac Ha tourism week
The Bac Ha tourism cultural week, themed “Colours of the White Highland”, began in Bac Ha district, the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai, on June 2.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chairman of the Bac Ha People’s Committee Nguyen Cong Huy said the event aims at promoting and preserving local cultural values, boosting tourism connectivity, and attracting investment in local tourism.
The same day, a road bicycle race took place with the participation of 150 riders who competed on the race spanning between Bac Ha and Xin Man district in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang.
A street festival was also underway, reenacting various ethnic cultural activities, like the ancient fair of mountain villages, Khen dancing, and part of a wedding ceremony of Phu La ethnic people.
The week is designed to treat visitors to a horse race, a plum festival and a mountain fair.
The plum festival offering various kinds of farm produce at 20 booths such as Tam Hoa plums, Nam Xit rice, Tuyet San organic tea, honey and mushrooms are held at Hoang A Tuong Palace from June 3-6.
The traditional horse race from June 8-9 is expected to lure thousands of visitors.
Endowed cool weather year-round, Bac Ha has amazing sightseeing such as mighty mountains, beautiful caves and terraced fields.
The district has exotic cultures with 14 ethnic minorities and historic sites like Bac Ha temple and Hoang A Tuong palace.
Bodhisattva Thich Quang Duc commemorated
An art performance at a ceremony
The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) held in Ho Chi Minh City on June 3 a ceremony to commemorate Bodhisattva Thich Quang Duc, who set himself on fire 55 years ago to protest against the repression of Buddhists by the American-supported Saigon government.
At the event, Chairman of the VBS’s Executive Council Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon reviewed the life of Bodhisattva Thich Quang Duc, praising the great sacrifice and patriotism of Bodhisattva Thich Quang Duc.
Most Venerable Thich Quang Duc was born as Lam Van Tuat in Van Ninh district, the central province of Khanh Hoa, in 1897.
He actively joined Buddhist movements for religious freedom and equality in the southern region. On June 11, 1963, when a procession of over 800 Buddhist monks, nuns and followers arrived at the intersection of Phan Dinh Phung boulevard (now Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street) and Le Van Duyet Street (now Cach Mang Thang Tam Street) in Sai Gon (now Ho Chi Minh City), Thich Quang Duc soaked himself in petrol, struck a match and set himself on fire.
He was honoured as a Bodhisattva in 1964 after the unified VBS came into being.
Da Nang emerges as popular destinations for RoK tourists
A beach in Da Nang
The Vietnamese central city of Da Nang has become one of the most popular tourist destinations for people of the Republic of Korea (RoK) this year, according to a RoK online ticket seller.
Da Nang ranked second in the list of the 10 most popular destinations among solo or couple travelers, Ticket Monster Inc. said, citing its analysis of air ticket reservations in July and August. Osaka of Japan topped the list.
The website said people who plan to travel abroad with family members chose Da Nang as the most popular destination.
The Vietnamese central coastal city is also the second-most popular destination among couple of travelers, followed by Bangkok (Thailand) and Guam (the US), it said.
The number of outbound RoK travelers has been on the rise in recent years with the increase of affordable tickets offered by low-cost local carriers.
Data compiled by the Korea Tourism Organisation showed more than 9.66 million Koreans traveled to foreign countries in the first four months of 2018, up 13.4 percent from a year earlier.
Tra Vinh farmers lend farmland for free to poor
Farmers in southern Trà Vinh Province are lending their land for free to poor farmers as a way of helping families escape poverty.
Farmers in southern Tra Vinh province are lending their land for free to poor farmers as a way of helping families escape poverty.
Duong Phac Ra Day in the province’s Duyen Hai district, for example, earned a profit of 15 million VND (600 USD) from his harvest of bird’s-eye chili crop on a 2,000 sq.m of land which was lent to him by Thach Tai, a farmer in Duyen Hai’s Ngu Lac commune.
Day is one of many farmers in the Mekong Delta province who have borrowed land from fellow farmers in recent years. As a result, many poor farmers have been able to escape poverty.
“I appreciate the help of my neighbour. It encouraged my family to strive for a better life,” Day said.
Before receiving the land, Day had worked as a daily hired labourer, struggling to earn enough for his family.
In Tra Vinh, more than 1,000 farming households have lent a total of 600ha of farmland to nearly 1,400 poor farmers, helping many households escape poverty, according to the province’s Ethnic Affairs Committee.
The province has more than 23,000 poor households, accounting for 8.4 percent of the total households. It targets reducing the poverty rate by 2-2.5 percent a year.
Farmers who lend land are classified by authorities as either near-poor or fairly well-off.
Tai of Ngu Lac commune, who is a near-poor farmer and has 6,000 sq.m of farmland, said his rice field often lacked irrigation water in the dry season, so the yield of rice was not high.
With guidance from local agriculture officials, Tai switched to one rice crop and one bird’s-eye chili crop a year beginning in 2014. Since then, he has had a stable income.
Knowing Day’s family difficulties, Tai last year decided to lend Day 2,000 sq.m of his farmland to plant bird’s-eye chili in the dry season.
“I was happy to see that his family could earn more income,” he said, adding that he would continue to lend his land to Day to grow the chili variety.
Thach Thi Hong Nghia, who has 4,000sq.m of farmland in Ngu Lac commune, has lent 2,000 sq.m to poor neighbouring farmers since 2013.
Ngu Lac, one of the poorest communes in Tra Vinh, has 4,200 households with a total of 18,000 people. Of the households, 64 percent are Khmer.
In the 2015-17 period, the number of poor families fell by 580. Many of them had borrowed land from other farmers.
Farmers with available land lend their land to poor farmers to grow crops in the dry season or year round.
Duong Van Lieu, Secretary of the Ngu La Commune Party Committee, said about 100 farming households were lending a total of 30ha of land to poor farmers.
Dak Nong defuses three 227kg-bombs
Preparing for defusing bombs
The armed force of Tuy Duc district, the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong, has defused three bombs each unearthed in the locality.
Each MK82 bomb is 227kg in weight, 1.33m in length and 27.3cm in diameter. They contain 87.2 kg of explosive substance each, with detonation diameter spanning 300 metres.
The bombs were found by local farmers in Quang Truc commune while he was doing field work in Bu Dar hamet.
Dak Nong is located in the south of the Central Highlands and houses the key road connecting the region with the southeast region. Once a warzone, the province has been tackling unexploded bombs for many years.
During the war, the US army dropped more bombs on Vietnam than were deployed in the First and Second World Wars combined, according to the US organisation Clear Path International.
It is estimated that about 30 percent of the bombs remain unexploded.
Grand meeting marks 70 years of patriotic emulation appeal
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) hands over the Government’s emulation flag to Vietnam News Agency
A grand meeting was held in Hanoi on June 3 to mark the 70th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh’s call for patriotic emulation on June 11, 1948.
Attending the meeting were General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, former Party General Secretaries Le Kha Phieu and Nong Duc Manh, President Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc who is also President of the Central Council for Emulation and Reward, Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, former NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung, permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Tran Quoc Vuong, and President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Tran Thanh Man.
Leaders of ministries and localities were also present at the event, along with 700 delegates who are Heroic Vietnamese Mothers, Heroes of the People's Armed Forces, Labour Heroes, and role models in various fields.
Seven decades ago, in the Spring of 1948, the country was struggling as it waged its resistance war against the French. To encourage the nation to contribute to the war, President Ho Chi Minh made an appeal for patriotic work emulation on June 11, 1948.
Opening the appeal he wrote: “The purpose of patriotic work emulation is to eliminate poverty and hunger and illiteracy and foreign aggressors. It means our entire people have enough rice to eat and clothing to wear. The entire population will know how to read and to write. The soldiers will have enough food and weapons to defeat the foreign aggressors. These are aimed to unite the entire nation. Thus we will have an independent nation, free civil rights and happy welfare of the people."
In her opening remarks, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, First Vice President of the Central Council for Emulation and Reward, said that 70 years ago, the call by late President Ho Chi Minh became an appeal opening up the nation’s patriotic emulation movement under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
The appeal has encouraged all people to promote the tradition of patriotism and solidarity and step up emulation work in order to overcome all difficulties and challenges in the struggle for national liberation and during the nation building and development cause, stated Thinh.
According to Thinh, over the past seven decades, the Party and State have granted the “Hero of the People's Armed Forces” title to 7,814 collectives and over 9,300 individuals, the “Labour Hero” title to 1,332 collectives and individuals, and the “Heroic Mother” title to nearly 140,000 women, and commended millions of role models across the country.
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong expressed his thanks for efforts by the Central Council for Emulation and Reward, ministries, sectors, localities and the entire people to step up patriotic emulation movements, thus helping create socio-economic development achievements, consolidate defence security, build a firm political system and safeguard the national sovereignty.
However, he pointed to several shortcomings in emulation movements and commendation work which need to be solved soon.
He asked the Councils for Emulation and Reward from the central to grassroots level, and leaders of ministries and local authorities to heighten their sense of responsibility and continue reforming the leadership and organisation of emulation and reward work.
The Party chief called on all people and soldiers to continue following late President Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts on patriotic emulation, add the emulation work in their daily activities, and effectively carry out the Party’s policies and the State’s laws related to emulation and reward work.
Emulation movement should be practical and bring about certain benefits for the nation, society and people, and inspire the sense of responsibility and self-consciousness of the entire people in order to create a new motivation for the nation building and safeguarding cause, he stressed.
On this occasion, 70 collectives and individuals who have made great contributions in research, learning, labour and production were honoured.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc handed over the Government’s emulation flags to 10 ministries, sectors and 10 cities and provinces leading in the emulation movements in 2017, including the Vietnam News Agency.
Earlier, leaders of the Party, State, Government and National Assembly, and delegates paid tribute to late President Ho Chi Minh at his Mausoleum.
Pacific Partnership 2018 successfully concludes in Khanh Hoa
The US Navy’s hospital ship USNS Mercy.
The US Navy’s hospital ship USNS Mercy left the port of Nha Trang on June 2 after two-week mission in Nha Trang, the central coast province of Khanh Hoa as part of the Pacific Partnership 2018 (PP18) since May 17.
It was the 13th Pacific Partnership and the second time the programme has come to Khanh Hoa, following the first in 2008.
The annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Pacific and Indian Ocean this year consists of more than 800 personnel from the US and partner nations, including the UK, Canada, France, Australia, Sri Lanka, Chile and Peru. The program aims to enhance national capacities and medical readiness and preparedness for disasters like earthquake, tsunami, and volcanic eruption.
During the Vietnam mission, the PP18 constructed, upgraded and repaired many classrooms, commune-based hospital rooms in Ninh Hoa town and Dien Lam and Dien Khanh districts. Training and experience sharing in disaster prevention and response were provided for hundreds of local people in the provincial capital of Nha Trang and Cam Lam district. Over 110 beach lifeguards working in beaches across Nha Trang were also offered training on drowning rescue and prevention.
In addition, the medical team of the ship USNS Mercy held training for nearly 1,100 local medical workers and worked alongside local hospitals to give medical checkups and treatment to hundreds people. Thanks to the programme, more than 190 people received free surgeries, including 78 knee and hip replacement surgeries.
Commissioned in 1986, the USNS Mercy is called “super hospital” of the US Navy. It is 272m long, 32m wide and equipped with 12 operation rooms, 100 beds and modern medical equipment to conduct complicated surgeries on board. The vessel provides not only medical care for US armed forces but also comprehensive health services for the US’s global humanitarian and disaster relief mission.
Thousands youths join summer volunteer campaign
At the launching ceremony of the 2018 summer volunteer campaign (Photo: dantri.com.vn)
As many as 2,400 youths participated in the 2018 summer volunteer campaign launched in Tan An city, the Mekong Delta province of Long An on June 2.
At the launching ceremony, jointly held by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union and the local authority, Head of the Party Central Committee’s Mass Mobilisation Commission Truong Thi Mai lauded the youths’ contribution to the society through voluntary activities and summer volunteer campaigns.
Urging the youths to renew their activities, Mai said that the campaign should pay due attention to urgent issues like environment protection, traffic safety, and civilised urban areas, among others.
The summer volunteer campaign will take place from June 6 to August 31 under the theme of “Innovative youths, volunteer for community”. It will include an array of activities like Tiep Suc Mua Thi (Assistance during Exam Season), Hoa Phuong do (flamboyant flower) campaign, Ky nghi hong (Red Holiday), and Hanh quan xanh (green operation).
The activities will be organised in 93 impoverished districts and the districts which have just escaped from poverty, polluted areas in 28 coastal provinces and cities, and international land in Laos and Cambodia.
As planned, the youths will repair 1,000 kilometres of road, construct 120 kilometres of new road, build 100 modern streets across the nation, and provide free medical examinations and medicines for 500,000 residents. Meanwhile, beach cleanup activities will be maintained in all 28 coastal localities.
At the launching ceremony, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union’s Central Committee presented 70 gifts to poor students and policy beneficiary families. Also, nine schools worth over 10 billion VND (440,000 USD), 13 mobile swimming pools worth 650 million VND (28,600 USD), 37 playgrounds worth 1.65 billion VND (72,600 USD), and four clean water facilities worth 40 million VND (1,760 USD) were handed over to the locality.
The same event was observed in Kong Plong district, the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum on June 1.
Da Nang marks World Ocean Day
Local people in Da Nang take part in a clean-up event in response to the World Ocean Day (June 8).
The central city of Da Nang on June 2 held a meeting in Son Tra district to celebrate the World Ocean Day (June 8) and the Vietnam Sea and Island Week.
Addressing the event, Vice Chairman of the city’s People’s Committee Nguyen Ngoc Tuan said making a living from the sea is a right direction. However, the protection of marine and coastal resources has become more urgent with a number of serious challenges, such as the over-exploitation and degradation of coastal and aquatic resources, threats to biodiversity and marine ecosystem and pollution.
This year’s World Ocean Day calls for better awareness of people’s responsibility to keep the ocean clean and encourage the initiation of solutions to tackle plastic pollution for a healthier ocean and a better future.
In response to the World Ocean Day and the Vietnam Sea and Island Week, the central city has launched a series of clean-up events, for example, cleaning up Tho Quang fishing port, streets and pavements, conducting an oil spill response drill at Lien Chieu Port, and seminars to educate people on the sea and promote the Law of the Sea.
Da Nang City is blessed with about 90 km of coastline and 11 public beaches. It aims to make the sea-based industry a backbone of the local economy by 2030 with tourist arrivals set to increase 13 – 14 percent from 2016 – 2025 and the cargo volume through local ports reaching 12 – 13 million tonnes per year by 2025.
Italy’s 72nd National Day marked in HCM City
At the ceremony to mark 72nd anniversary of Italy’s National Day (Photo: hcmcpv.org.vn)
The Consulate General of Italy in Ho Chi Minh City hosted a reception on June 1 to mark the 72nd anniversary of Italy’s National Day and the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Italy diplomatic ties.
Cecilia Piccioni, Ambassador of Italy to Vietnam and representatives of the Italian community in the city attended the event, among others.
Dante Brandi, Consul General of Italy in HCM City, said the relations between Italy and Vietnam have been consolidated over the past 45 years and grown strongly in various realms since the countries signed an agreement on the establishment of strategic partnership five years ago.
The official said he is confident that the Consulate General would become a reliable consulting destination in terms of consular affairs for the Italian community, the municipal HCM City authority and 22 provinces and cities in south Vietnam.
The Consulate General will work harder to step up its ties with local authorities in the southern region to boost cooperation in sectors with potential, like infrastructure, water and waste management, smart city development, industry-agriculture, and cultural exchange, he said.
Representing the municipal administration, Pham Duc Hai, Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Council stated that the signing of a joint statement on the establishment of strategic partnership in 2013 reflected the wish of both Vietnam and Italy to lift their ties to a new height as well as creating a firmer foundation to intensify their relations.
He said HCM City is one of the leading localities in stepping up cooperation with Italy and it will increase visit exchanges and expand cooperation with Italian localities.
In 2017, HCM City made a two-way trade value of 624 million USD with Italy, up 5 percent from 2016.
As of May, 2018, Italy had invested in 34 projects in HCM City with a total registered capital of 69 million USD, ranking 25th out of 95 countries and territories investing in the city.
HCM City and Italy boast potential for cooperation in garment and textile, and food and foodstuff processing.
Ly Son Island to celebrate First Culture Tourism Week
The central province of Quang Ngai will hold the 1st Ly Son Culture Tourism Week from June 29 to July 3, the Ly Son district People’s Committee said recently.
The week will feature a wide range of culture, sports, and tourism activities, aimed at providing meaningful and impressive events to both locals and foreign tourists. An exhibition entitled Ly Son - Di San Van Hoa Bien Dao (Ly Son - Islands and Sea Culture Heritage) will be one of the highlights of the week.
The exhibition will display photos of daily life and beautiful landscapes in Ly Son Island, as well as maps and documents on Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands. The maps and the documents are seen as historical and legal evidence proving Vietnamese sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos.
The exhibition also makes use of digital 3D technology.
The event aims to set a Vietnamese record with about 3,000 people singing the national anthem. It also features a human formation of the national flag on Hang Câu Beach, while about 1,000 tourists will participate in a music festival during the week.
A traditional boat-race will be held, with boats named after the four sacred animals – the dragon, unicorn, turtle, and phoenix. A boat-race has traditionally been organised between the fourth and eighth days of the Lunar New Year to commemorate ancestors and combatants who sacrificed their lives to safeguard national sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos.
A ceremony to recognise Be Island as one of the province’s relics will also be held. Be Island (Small Island) is one of three islands in the Ly Son island district. The week will also feature a night food market, which has been open since early May. It is expected to attract tourists, with 40 booths selling souvenirs, dried seafood, local cuisine and other specialties of the island.
"Transport services in the district are capable of transporting tourists to the culture tourism week, with 12 express ships offering about 1,450 seats in total," Nguyen Thanh, Chairman of the People’s Committee, said at a press conference.
"Different kinds of vehicles in Ly Son Island are also prepared to serve about 3,000 people every day,” he said.
The opening ceremony will be held at the Ly Son district centre at 7 pm on June 29.
PV Power to list on HoSE in June-end
PV Power has set a target of generating 5.928 million kWh of electricity and a revenue of VNĐ8.3 trillion the Q2. — Photo baodautu.vn
Social News 5/6
More opportunities for Can Tho to expand ties with US
US Embassy delegation take photo with delegation from Can Tho city People's Committee (Source: baocantho.com.vn)
The strong diplomatic relations between the US and Vietnam are opening up opportunities for the two countries’ localities and businesses to connect and seek cooperation opportunities.
The statement was made by US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink at his working session on June 4 with leaders of the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on investment potential and prospects to boost collaboration between the city and US agencies, partners and enterprises.
Kritenbrink said US investors want to set up comprehensive and long-term partnerships with Can Tho as it is the centre of the Mekong Delta region.
The US Embassy will support Can Tho and other Mekong Delta localities to gain access to the US’s Sustainable Agriculture Programme, he said.
Once joining the programme, Vietnamese businesses will have a chance to plant and develop farm produce in the US, and share and learn from US businesses’ experience in applying technology in production, he added.
The diplomat also mentioned cooperation potential in rice export between the US and Can Tho firms.
According to him, his country is stepping up the import of new rice varieties from Asia to meet increasing domestic demand. Therefore, Can Tho, with its quality varieties, is a leading choice for US agro-businesses in Vietnam.
In the field of health, the US Embassy will propose the US Department of Health and Human Services set up an emergency operations centre (EOC) in Can Tho. The first EOC in the southern region was inaugurated in Ho Chi Minh City in August 2017.
If the proposal is accepted, Can Tho will play an important role in disease studies and coordinate with Ho Chi Minh City’s EOC in preventing diseases from breaking out in the southern region, he stated.
Regarding environmental production and climate change response, the embassy will work with relevant offices to organise a visit for Can Tho’s scientists and researchers on the environment to US regions which have delta structure similar to the Mekong Delta so as to learn from the American country’s experience in responding to natural disasters, sea intrusion and landslides, Kritenbrink stated.
The delegation will be offered a chance to visit the US’s research centres and labs to learn how the country applies advanced technologies in climate change response, he added.
Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Vo Thanh Thong agreed with the US Embassy’s plans and proposals, affirming that cooperation with the US is a focus of sustainable economic development and investment attraction strategies of Can Tho.
Thong committed to further improving investment and business environment by intensifying administrative procedure reform and economic restructuring.
He expressed his hope that the embassy will organise regular meetings between the city and US businesses and investors.
USAID pledges to help Vietnam in civil judgment enforcement
At the workshop (Source: VGP)
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will make every effort to assist Vietnam in improving the efficiency of civil judgment enforcement, said a USAID official.
David Anderson, director of the USAID’s state administration project, said at a workshop in Hanoi on June 4 that the agency has cooperated with the Ministry of Justice and other ministries, agencies and businesses of Vietnam to complete a legal framework for business activities.
Such efforts paid off, he said, citing the World Bank’s Doing Business report which showed Vietnam jumped 14 places in the business environment rankings in 2017 compared with the previous year.
However, there remains much work to do to raise the efficiency of the settlement of contract disputes, including civil judgment enforcement, the official noted.
Other delegates at the workshop pointed out bottlenecks in regulations and administrative procedures in civil judgment enforcement.
Le Thi Kim Dung from the General Department of Civil Judgment Enforcement under the Justice Ministry mentioned sluggish settlement of complaints and prolonged enforcement due to inadequate legal documents.
Given this, she suggested issuing more legal documents to enable executors and judgment enforcement agencies to participate in or access information about the judgment process, making enforcement work easier.
Lawyer Nguyen Hung Quang underlined the need to clearly stipulate administrative procedures in civil judgment enforcement to save time and money.
He said performing administrative procedures online will improve efficiency and be welcomed by citizens and businesses.
Many experts at the workshop proposed clarifying the responsibility of agencies and organisations to coordinate in implementing the requests of civil judgment agencies, revising relevant legal regulations and popularising laws.
According to Nguyen Van Son, deputy head of the General Department of Civil Judgment Enforcement, between October 2017 and March 2018, some 635,198 civil cases were brought to court, an increase of 8.82 percent year-on-year.
Action month on environmental protection launched in Binh Dinh
Participants at the launching ceremony
An action month on environmental protection was launched in the south central province of Binh Dinh on June 4, themed “Resolving pollution caused by plastic and nylon”.
The event was part of activities to mark World Environment Day on June 5.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan said the event aims to encourage people to change their daily habits to minimise the impacts of plastic and nylon waste on the environment and health.
Statistics show that each household in Vietnam uses about 1kg of nylon bags a month.
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City each discharge about 80 tonnes of plastic waste and nylon bags into the environment each day.
Plastic bags are very difficult to decompose, polluting the soil and water environment and hindering the growth and development of plant species.
Burning plastic bags creates emissions of dioxin and furan, which harm human health, Nhan noted.
Nhan affirmed the determination to raise public awareness of the importance of preventing the pollution of plastic and nylon bags.
He called on ministries, political and social organisations and citizens to work to change the bad habit, thus protecting the environment.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Ho Quoc Dung affirmed the locality will promote action programmes to protect the environment.
The Canadian Embassy in Vietnam said about 300 million tonnes of plastics is produced globally each year, half of which is used to create single-use products like bags, bottles and straws. One million plastic bags are used every minute.
According to earthday.org, 8.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic has been produced since plastic was introduced in the 1950s. The amount of plastic produced in a year is roughly the same as the entire weight of humanity. 91 percent of plastics waste isn’t recycled. And since most plastics don’t biodegrade well, all that plastic waste could exist for hundreds or even thousands of years.
Some 8 million metric tonnes of plastic winds up in the oceans each year. That’s enough trash to cover every foot of coast around the world with five full trash bags of plastic compounding every year.
A recent international survey revealed that Vietnam is one of the five countries in the world discharging the most plastic waste, with about 1.8 million tonnes dumped each year.
An Giang: meeting marks World Environment Day
A meeting took place in Long Xuyen city, the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, in response to World Environment Day (June 5) and a national week on clean water and rural sanitation.
Beginning in 1974, the UN’s World Environment Day is now celebrated in over 100 countries. The theme for 2018 is beating plastic pollution.
At the meeting, Vice President of the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) Nguyen Thi Tuyet pointed to the fact that Vietnam disposes 12 million tonnes of waste on an annual average, which will be 20 million tonnes in 2020.
Of the total waste, 2,500 tonnes are plastics, which seriously harm the land, water and air, she added.
Tuyet and Vice Chairman of the An Giang People’s Committee Lam Quang Thi called for sectors, party members, public servants, VWU members and youths to take greater part in environmental protection and awareness-raising campaigns related to the issue.
Thi said the national week and World Environment Day will help boost the local completion of environmental criteria in building new-style rural areas.
He acknowledged good outcomes of a host of environmental campaigns by the provincial chapter of the VWU, like those calling for people to say no to single-use plastics and to build green and clean streets.
After the meeting, more than 1000 youths and VWU members walked together along main streets in Long Xuyen to spread their environmental protection message.
Similar meetings were also launched in other provinces and cities nationwide in response to World Environment Day (June 5).
HCM City seeks stronger cooperation with Argentinean provinces
Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem on June 4 received leaders of the Argentinean provinces of Entre Rios, Cordoba and Santa Fe to discuss opportunities for bilateral cooperation, especially in trade and investment.
Liem said Ho Chi Minh City has organised high-level visits and trade promotion events with Argentinean provinces and cities over the past years, adding that the city’s leaders will pay a working trip to the South American country to boost ties with its localities.
He believed that both sides will have many opportunities to penetrate each other’s market as well as intensify joint work in people-to-people diplomacy, culture and sports, contributing to the enhancement of Vietnam – Argentina ties.
Vice Governor of Entre Rios province Bahl Adan Humberto, head of the delegation, introduced the potential and locations of the three provinces, saying that they have strengths in agricultural production such as nuts, dairy products, fruits, fowls, beef and pork.
He expressed the wish to seek cooperation opportunities with Vietnamese firms, especially in farm produce, economy, tourism and culture.
Leaders of the three provinces pledged to provide optimal support for Ho Chi Minh City businesses to enter the Argentinean market, and serve as a bridge connecting Ho Chi Minh City firms with nearby markets such as Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile.
45th anniversary of Vietnam-UK ties celebrated in HCM City
A ceremony to mark the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-UK diplomatic relations and the 92nd birthday of Queen Elizabeth II was held on June 4 by the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) in collaboration with the Vietnam-UK Friendship Association (VUFA)’s chapter in Ho Chi Minh City.
Chairman of the VUFA-HCM City Tran Hung Viet expressed his respect for the Queen and delivered the best wishes to her on the 92nd birthday.
Vietnam and the UK have enjoyed a fruitful relationship which has been reflected through regular exchange of high-ranking delegations, sound bilateral trade, and robust cooperation between enterprises from both sides.
On the occasion, Viet thanked the UK General Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City and the UK Business Association in Vietnam for their close cooperation and support for the VUFA-HCM City so that it can well perform the role of connecting people from both sides in the fields of culture and education.
The association committed further contributions to bolstering people-to-people exchanges between Ho Chi Minh City and the UK, helping enhance the traditional relationship between the two countries, he noticed.
UK Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City Ian Gibbons, for his part, thanked the Ho Chi Minh City chapter of the VUFO for organising the event, highlighting that 2017 was a successful year for Vietnam-UK bilateral ties when Vietnam welcomed many delegations from the UK.
More UK high-ranking officials will pay visit to Vietnam in the coming time to tighten the cooperative relations between the two countries, he said.
People-to-people exchange through education is one of the most significant aspects in the bilateral ties, he underscored, lauding the VUFA-HCM City’s efforts in promoting the good friendship between the two sides.
As of April 2018, Vietnam and the UK enjoyed over 2 billion USD in two-way trade, with 1.75 billion USD of which coming from Vietnamese exports.
Last year, 285,000 British people visited Vietnam, including 116,000 arrivals to Ho Chi Minh City. Currently, there are more than 10,000 Vietnamese students pursuing study in the UK.
Blood clam farmers face losing their livelihoods
Blood clam farming in Thị Tường Lake in the southernmost province of Cà Mau. — Photo laodong.com.vn
A plan to turn a lake into a nature reserve has hit a snag due to blood clam farming.
Some 640 households in the three districts of Phú Tân, Cái Nước and Trần Văn Thời around Cà Mau Province’s Thị Tường Lake make a living from seafood, with 30 per cent of them involved in blood clam farming, Lao Động reports.
For years, they have ignored request from the province’s authorities to remove their blood clam farm constructions so as to turn the 700ha lake into a natural reserve.
New oyster farm constructions keep emerging despite warnings from authorities, as blood clam farming is their only means of earning a living.
Some farmers have been making billions of đồng per year. Thái Văn Đen, a farmer in Phú Tân District who lives on the lake, earned more than VNĐ1 billion (US$43,900) in 2017 after investing VNĐ520 million ($22,800) into raising clams.
Even those that were hired to raise the sea creatures for others have made good money, about VNĐ200,000 ($8.8) per day.
“We know raising blood clams is banned in the province, but we don’t know how to survive without it,” said a local farmer.
“We would only leave if the State deliberately wants to acquire the lake,” he said.
As a result of the booming seafood business, the lake’s water surface area has sparked disputes between farmers.
Some make money by selling or renting their parts of the surface to others, while some intentionally harvest blood clams from others’ farms.
Farmer Thái Phước Lợi has had 20 years of experience in clam farming and owns 8ha of the lake’s water surface area. The large farm was accumulated over the years by different generations of his family.
“We bought [different parts of the lake], and also sold some to other farmers,” he said.
“The rental fee and purchase price of the lake’s water surface area varies, depending on the location and flow of water,” he added.
Authorities of Phú Tân District are aware of this water surface business, but they don’t know how to deal with it.
“We have not been able to develop any preventive measures or effective solutions for the matter,” said Nguyễn Trường Sơn, vice chairman of the district’s People’s Committee.
“There are already 60 households that make a living out of the lake in one of the district’s communes alone, not to mention people from other districts who rent parts of the lake,” he said.
Turning Thị Tường Lake into a natural reserve seems a long way down the road. On the bright side, some farmers, like Thái Văn Đen in Phú Tân District, said he would consider giving up his blood clam farms to turn the plan into reality.
“If such a natural reserve is proven to provide benefits for local residents, some of my farmer friends and I will be willing to move out of the lake and return our water surface area to the State,” he said.
Charity programme makes disadvantaged children’s dreams come true
Phụ Nữ (Woman) newspaper and New Zealand goat milk formula maker organise a charity event at the Tam Bình Social Welfare Centre for Children in HCM City’s Thủ Đức District. — Photo courtesy of Woman newspaper.
A charity programme called Giving Mother’s Love has helped turn into reality some of the dreams of children living in 11 social welfare centres and shelters in HCM City.
Đoàn Nhật Minh from the central city of Đà Nẵng, who lives in Tam Bình Social Welfare Centre for Children in Thủ Đức District, wore the uniform of a firefighter and spoke about his dream of becoming a firefighter or rescuer after watching his hometown become flooded on television.
The programme also took him to an amusement arcade for children, where one of the attractions was simulation by visitors of many different occupations.
Đinh Thị Hoài Hương, an educator at Hoa Sen Shelter in Hóc Môn District, said through the programme she and her colleagues understood the dreams and thoughts of the children living in the shelter.
There was a drawing and writing contest for the children to express their dreams.
The two-month programme, meant for kids aged six to 14, held a review ceremony on June 2 upon completion.
It was sponsored by Phụ Nữ (Woman) newspaper and New Zealand goat milk formula maker DG.
According to the Department of Child Care and Protection, 156,000 out of 29 million children aged under 16 in Việt Nam are orphans.
Sports contest helps autistic children have fun
Children with autism play tug of war at a programme called Day for Angels held in HCM City.
Children with autism spectrum disorders in HCM City and neighbouring provinces competed against each other in running and swimming races, tug of war, and other sports at an event held on Saturday in the city by the Việt Nam Autism Network and the city Department of Culture and Sports.
Participation in physical activities is not easy for such children because of their conditions.
Many received assistance from their parents and volunteers to help take part in the competition.
Phạm Thị Kim Tâm, deputy chairwoman of the Việt Nam Autism Network, said the programme, Day for Angels, was held to create a playground for autistic children to play with each other.
They gained confidence and interacted with people through the programme, she said, adding it also aimed to improve public awareness of the condition.
Nguyễn Thanh Tâm, director of the city’s Integrated Education Support Centre for Children with Disabilities, said when public awareness improved, more programmes could be organised for children with autism to have a good time and socialise.
The programme gave parents of children with autism a chance to meet each other and share experiences in supporting them.
Trần Quốc Bửu of Đồng Nai Province brought his six-year-old son to the event, saying he wanted to help improve his social interaction.
Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer and Michael Rosanoff, assistant director of research and public health of Autism Speaks in the US, said on their website that sports and physical activities improve fitness, motor function and behaviours in individuals with autism.
The social implications of participating in sports and exercise are important advantages, they said, adding that physical activity can promote self-esteem, increase general levels of happiness, and can lead to positive social outcomes, all highly beneficial for individuals with autism.
Severe penalties needed to check speeding on HCM City roads: officials
Speeding is one of the major reasons for road accidents in HCM City, authorities told a review meeting held a few days ago. – Photo: Zing.vn
HCM City’s Traffic Safety Committee and traffic police have called for making penalties for speeding more severe at a meeting held to review a two-month traffic campaign that had run until March 31.
During the campaign, held to educate the public and clamp down on speeding, officers caught 7,368 vehicles speeding, including 2,320 private cars, 1,109 trucks, 180 buses, and 49 taxis. The number was almost a fourth up from the same period in 2017.
At the meeting, held on Thursday, traffic police officials said they faced many difficulties in tackling speeding, especially due to the poor quality and obsolete speed guns.
“When drivers are stopped, they ask to see the images and speeds recorded, but due to the poor quality, [they] are not clear and it takes us a lot of time to deal with them,” an official said.
They suggested that drivers should be asked to verify the data when they come to pay the fine and not on the road.
A traffic police official from District 3 said speeding was the main reason many accidents occur in his district.
Nguyễn Văn Thương, deputy head of the Road and Railway Traffic Police Division, was quoted as saying by Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper: “In Bình Chánh District, 12 roads have been allowed to increase speed limits and it leads to serious violations.”
The Department of Transport promised to review the traffic situation and adjust speed limits.
The Traffic Safety Committee announced it would closely co-operate with relevant authorities to patrol and detect speeding and penalise drivers.
“Fines should be increased significantly for speeding violations to reduce accidents,” a representative of the committee said.
MOLISA and Bloomberg join hands to prevent child drowning
Representatives pose for a photo at the cooperation agreement signing ceremony.
A cooperation agreement on child drowning prevention has been signed between the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and the Bloomberg philanthropy.
Speaking at the signing ceremony on Friday afternoon, MOLISA Deputy Minister Nguyễn Thị Hà said that in the period of 2010-13, about 2,800 children drowned every year. The number of child drowning cases decreased in the period of 2015-17, with about 2,000 cases annually.
“However, the number remains high and drowning is the biggest cause of fatalities in children. Studies show that Vietnamese children drowning at rates higher than in other Southeast Asian countries and eight times higher than in developed countries,” said Hà.
Families’ and community’s awareness of the issue was limited, she said. Supervision of children, especially in rural and poor remote areas, is often limited as they play outside.
Localities lack swimming teachers and infrastructure for teaching the skill, so children don’t know how to be safe near water and their surroundings contain many latent risks.
Deputy Minister Hà said that during the past few years, different organisations such as the World Health Organisation and the Bloomberg philanthropy have actively supported Việt Nam in preventing child drowning. Hà expressed her belief that in the future, with help from the organisations, child drowning prevention projects will be implemented effectively in different provinces and cities.
Kelly Larson, director of the public health programme under the Bloomberg philanthropy, said that since 2012, the philanthropy had assisted child drowning prevention programmes in Bangladesh and Philippines.
The programmes have been conducted well in the two countries over the past five years.
Larson said she hopes that with cooperation between MOLISA and the Bloomberg, the work of child drowning prevention would achieve effective results.
13th Hoa phượng đỏ summer campaign kicks off
Students in the Hoa phượng đỏ summer campaign in HCM City learn new things at a science booth.
The 13th Hoa phượng đỏ (Red Flamboyant) summer campaign officially began on June 3 in HCM City with thousands of students taking part in enriching activities, meeting new friends and learning valuable experiences.
The campaign activities include cleaning the city, learning various skills and taking part in charitable activities for the disadvantaged, all of which help students experience the real world and learn life skills.
More than 40,000 HCM City students and teachers are taking part in the annual campaign.
Nguyễn Tất Toàn, member of the Executive Committee of Hoa phượng đỏ, said: “The campaign aims to enrich the lives of students and teachers, promote the spirit of volunteering, and provide students with opportunities to learn life skills and become more mature.”
The opening event at District 1’s HCM City Youth Culture House attracted around 3,000 students and young teachers from 24 districts in HCM City.
There were booths for science projects, calligraphy lessons, traditional music, and presentations on life skills such as self-defence and sexual health, all of which were crowded with students eager to learn new things.
Some members of the campaign also spent Sunday morning cleaning the streets off rubbish and inappropriately placed posters in several districts.
Toàn said that this year the campaign would have more activities for disadvantaged children, visits to poor households, and fundraising events.
The campaign will also organise fairs, field trips, presentations and other events to help students learn about science, robots, foreign languages, safety skills and other everyday skills.
This year the campaign aims to attract an additional 5,000 members.
Nguyễn Quỳnh Anh, a 10th grader from Trần Đại Nghĩa High School for the Gifted, said: “I joined the campaign this year because I can take part in many great activities like helping kids and gain experiences. And this is also a great opportunity to hang out with my peers from other schools.”
“I have taken part in the campaign for three years and its activities such as helping poor people and children and learning about our history. My communication skills have improved and I am not as shy as before.” said Phạm Lê Gia Khiêm, a 12th grader from Hoàng Hoa Thám High School.
Thái Thanh Thanh, a 10th grader from Bình Phú High School, said: “We had a presentation on self-defence, which was very persuasive and can help us protect ourselves against assailants. The campaign’s other activities also help me broaden my perspective and network, as well as provide me with knowledge, public speaking skills and other skills, which can be useful for my future career in media.”
‘New-style’ Sóc Trăng cooperatives yields higher profits for farmers
A king-orange orchard at Đại Đoàn Kết Fruit Co-operative in Sóc Trăng Province’s Kế Sách District follows VietGAP standards. - Photo baosoctrang.org.vn
Agricultural cooperatives applying Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) in Sóc Trăng Province are offering sustainable incomes for member farmers.
The “new-style” agricultural cooperatives include Phước An Agricultural Co-operative in Châu Thành District, Đại Đoàn Kết Fruit Co-operative in Kế Sách District, Kế Thành Năm Roi Grapefruit and Green-Peel and Pink Flesh Grapefruit Co-operative in Kế Sách District, Toàn Thắng Fishery Co-operative in Vĩnh Châu Town.
Đặng Văn Nám, director of the Kế Thành Năm Roi Grapefruit and Green-Peel and Pink Flesh Grapefruit Co-operative, said the co-operative has 15 members that plant a total of 25ha of grapefruit.
Of the figure, 12 ha of green-peel and pink flesh grapefruit have borne fruit, while the remaining areas of Năm Roi, as well as green-peel and pink flesh grapefruit, have not yet produced fruit.
Each hectare of green-peel and pink flesh grapefruit has an annual yield of 45 tonnes and offers a profit of VNĐ1billion (US$44,000), Nám said.
Established in 2015, the co-operative’s green-peel and pink flesh grapefruit have received certification for VietGAP standards.
The Toàn Thắng Fishery Co-operative, which was established last May, has more than 30 members who breed 40ha of shrimp under VietGAP and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) standards.
Mai Văn Đấu, director of the Toàn Thắng Fishery Co-operative, said: “The co-operative is determined to produce clean products to meet market demand.”
A company guarantees to buy the co-operative’s products at a price 5-10 per cent higher than the market price.
The co-operative harvests about 150 tonnes of shrimp a year and earns a profit of VNĐ250 million ($11,000) per ha.
"The application of VietGAP standards has reduced production costs, increased profits and produced clean shrimp,"Đấu said.
The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province has 137 agricultural co-operatives, an increase of 26 co-operatives against the same period last year.
Most agricultural co-operatives are small but with the support of local authorities, have provided support for their members, including large-scale fields for production to reduce production costs.
They have also helped members find outlets for their products.
The Đại Đoàn Kết Fruit Co-operative, for instance, buys oranges from its members and transports them to the Thủ Đức Wholesale Agriculture Market in HCM City to sell.
The co-operative’s 24 members are planting 42ha of oranges, and produce about 30 tonnes of orange a month.
Huỳnh Ngọc Vân, deputy director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said co-operatives had been working effectively by supporting member farmers, helping them access new seed varieties, farming techniques, and market information and outlets.
The province will offer training for staff at co-operatives and find outlets for co-operative members, he said.
HCM City improves childcare services to poor, disadvantaged
A child plays a game at the launch ceremony for National Action Month for Children 2018 and “Day for Love Connection and Summer Entertainment for Children” held on Friday in HCM City.
HCM City is striving to build an environment in which all children can reach their full potential, particularly those most in need, according to the city’s standing board of children protection and care.
The city has allocated funds for large entertainment works and playgrounds for children, schools, and health facilities to meet demand, Trần Ngọc Sơn, the board’s deputy head and vice director of the city Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
Sơn spoke at a launching ceremony for National Action Month for Children 2018 and “Day for Love Connection and Summer Entertainment for Children” held on Friday in HCM City.
The city has called on the private sector and community to ensure protection for children, especially those who are disadvantaged, Sơn said. However, challenges remain, particularly for care of poor or disadvantaged youth.
The action month aims to improve public awareness on the responsibility for protection, care and education of all children, and the prevention of sexual abuse and violence against children in cyberspace.
During the action month, the city will offer entertainment activities for children with financial difficulties and those living at social welfare shelters.
The month also marks International Children’s Day which falls on June 1. Children who attended the launching ceremony played games and were presented with gifts.
On June 2 and 3, the city Public Health Association, in co-operation with the Department of Health, Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union and Đầm Sen Park, will organise a programme to discuss children’s healthcare.
Petrol tanker engulfed in flames
The tanker was destroyed along with the motorcycles parked nearby.—Photo giadinhvietnam.com
A tanker burst into flames while refuelling a petrol station in Cần Thơ Province yesterday. Firefighters spent half an hour getting the blaze under control. Unfortunately, the driver of the tanker sustained serious burns.
The fire started around 12:00 pm at Gas station No. 3 on Nguyễn Văn Cừ Road, Ninh Kiều District, Cần Thơ Province.
Fortunately, the fuel in the tanker didn’t leak, and the petrol station was spared from serious damage. However, the tanker was destroyed along with several motorcycles parked nearby.
The injured driver was rushed to nearby Cần Thơ Medical University Hospital for treatment.
The fire fighting force continued to monitor the area and is currently investigating the cause of the incident.
BUSINESS IN BRIEF 5/6
Work starts on Gelex Ninh Thuan solar farm
The construction of the Gelex Ninh Thuan solar farm project with a capacity of 50 MWp began in Phuoc Dinh commune of Thuan Nam district in the south central province of Ninh Thuan on June 4.
With a total investment capital of 1.3 trillion VND (about 56.9 million USD), the project is built on 70 hectares with many works, including the installation area of solar panels and inverter stations; a 22kV/110kV electrical substation and 110kV double-junction line are connected to the existing 110kV transmission line of Ninh Thuan 1 and other auxiliary facilities.
Construction is expected to be completed in June, 2019, with a capacity of 82 million kWh per year.
The project is one of 18 projects with investment planning to have been approved by the Ninh Thuan provincial People’s Committee last November.
Addressing the event, Luu Xuan Vinh, Chairman of the Ninh Thuan People’s Committee, stressed renewable energy is the top priority in the province’s economic development orientation. Ninh Thuan always encourages and creates best possible conditions to support investors.
So far, the province has counted 15 wind power projects and 27 solar power ones with designed capacity of nearly 800 MW and over 1,808 MW, respectively.
The Prime Minister and the Ministry of Industry and Trade had agreed to include these projects into the national power development scheme.
Ninh Thuan is a typically hot and dry area in the south central part of Vietnam. It is less affected by storms than other areas in the country, and has become known as the renewable energy centre in Vietnam.
It holds good solar energy potential with average sunshine hours of 2,600-2,800 per year.
The province is finalising a master plan for solar energy from 2016 to 2020 with a vision to 2030, which aims to generate some 2,000MW of electricity by 2020.
Cashew exports hit over 1.3 billion USD in first five months
Vietnam exported 141,000 tonnes of cashew in the first five months of 2018, raking in more than 1.39 billion USD, reported the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
The figures showed a rise of 21.4 percent in volume and 25.3 percent in value year-on-year.
In May alone, 35,000 tonnes of cashew were exported with revenue of 330 million USD, up 8.8 percent in volume and 6.4 percent in value compared to the previous month. Cashew exports have expanded for four consecutive months.
Export cashew price hit an average of 9,867 USD per tonne in the first five months, up 3.2 percent year-on-year.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as of the end of 2017, Vietnam was home to 337,143 hectares of cashew, 4,410 hectares more than the previous year. Yield, nevertheless, remains low at under a tonne per hectares.
There are more than 465 cashew processing firms with total designed capacity of more than 1.4 million tonnes per year. However, nearly 70 percent are small scale.
Vietnamese cashew is present in ore than 90 countries and territories. The country achieved its highest-ever cashew exports in a year in 2017 with 353,000 tonnes of cashew kernels exported for a value of 3.52 billion USD, a year-on- year increase of 1.9 percent in volume and 23.8 percent in value.
Also, the country has set up a cashew processing industry, creating jobs in the farming and processing sectors for nearly 1 million people.
Vietnam’s cashew industry has targeted 300,000 tonnes of cashew exports at a value of 3 billion USD this year, said the Vietnam Cashew Association.
HCM City cooperatives seek expansion abroad
With strong support from authorities, cooperatives in Ho Chi Minh City have developed strongly and are making efforts to expand their trade on agricultural products even into international markets.
When it was established in 2011, Phu Loc Agriculture – Trade – Services Cooperative had only 12 members growing vegetables and capital of 600 million VND (26,300 USD).
By 2016 the capital had increased 10-fold to 6 billion VND (263,000 USD), with the cooperative attributing it to members’ efforts to save.
To sustain production, the cooperative has developed five farming areas in Cu Chi and Binh Chanh districts of HCM City and in the provinces of Lam Dong, Tien Giang and Long An.
It has also invested in two processing plants in the two districts with modern technologies and meeting food hygiene and safety standards.
In the last four years the cooperative has taken part in the city’s price-stabilisation programmes for consumer goods, selling 400 tonnes of products a month, rising to 450 tonnes during Lunar New year.
Its products, which meet VietGap quality standards, are sold at many markets in the city like Ben Thanh, Van Thanh and Thi Nghe and supplied to restaurants, kindergartens and canteens.
Now it has 176 producers who grow 68ha of vegetables.
Phuoc An Agriculture, Production and Trade Cooperative is another successful co-operative.
Starting with 15 members and capital of 70 million VND (3,100 USD), it has grown to 62 members who farm 29ha and 1.8 billion VND (79,000 USD).
Every year it sells nearly 1,500 tonnes of vegetables and fruits, and last year earned revenues of 22.3 billion VND (98,000 USD).
The cooperative attributes the growth to close cooperation between members and its support for them.
It sells inputs to members at low prices after buying large quantities, enables them to obtain preferential loans, and helps them adopt advanced technologies.
The members have meanwhile actively looked for buyers and improved their management.
With the city planning to develop a new model for the sector in 2018-20, many co-operatives have made all-out efforts to improve the quality of their products.
Along with stamping their products, Phu Loc Cooperative has studied to diversify their products.
Phu Loc Cooperative plans to supply 500kg of vegetable buds to the market. It is growing hydroponic vegetables on an area of 3,500sq.m.
To expand its business, especially abroad, it has set up an online shopping page at www.phulocagain.com.
It has invested in technology to develop new varieties of vegetables, and sent samples to Australia to test the quality, following which it plans to export to that country.
To support cooperatives, the HCM City administration has tasked the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Cooperative Alliance with supplying them inputs like seeds and fetilisers and helping them sell their products.
The co-operatives also get priority in the city’s agricultural development programmes.
Hanoi’s e-commerce booms, entailing potential risks
Hanoi has been one of the two leading localities in e-commerce for the past five years, but the trend has posed considerable risks in database, technology, transaction procedures, legal regulations and technology standards.
According to the Vietnam E-business index announced by the Vietnam E-Commerce Association (VECOM), in 2017, Hanoi came second with 75.8 points, following Ho Chi Minh City with 78.6 points. The e-commerce market in the capital city generated a total revenue of 36 trillion VND (1.57 billion USD), accounting for 7 percent of the total retail sales of goods and services. As of May 2018, there were 7,726 e-commerce websites or applications registered by individuals and organisations in the city.
Despite the fact that e-commerce has been booming, it still pose many risks considering the low level of the electronic environment, small scale and low professionalism of businesses, along with the prevailing customers’ habit of using cash.
Vice Director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Hai said management authorities face challenges in managing fake and counterfeit goods in online trading. Besides, tax evasion has been a pounding headache, particularly when customers are individuals who do not care about receipts. Hai added that many online firms operate without business licenses and it is easy for them to swindle customers and evade tax.
Meanwhile, customers face great risks of lost goods, due to the complicated system of home address. This is the reason why many retailers refuse to ship products to Vietnam via postal service.
The value of e-commerce turnover is reckoned at 7.5 billion USD by 2025, but this is still just 5 percent of the total trade turnover.
To encourage the e-commerce development in the city, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Doan Toan signed Plan No.84/KH-UBND with focus on the deployment of computing cloud technology, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality (AR), and Internet of Things (IoT) to create modern business models.
Hai said that his department has applied many solutions to support e-commerce in its online public services, such as online tax filing and payment and e-payment to create a transparent and equal business environment. Also, it encourages the use of QR application to trace origin of products and prevent trade frauds.
The market management authority is ordered to keep close watch on e-commerce enterprises and handle violations in a timely manner.
Popularisation work on e-commerce policies and regulations will receive due attention while advanced e-commerce models will be introduced. In addition, the city encourages the establishment of websites and e-commerce applications which promote online sales of safe food.
The city will also invest in improving the local logistics networks from storage facilities to delivery services in companion with the development of online services in tourism, transport, healthcare and media.
Vietnam sees potential for organic fertilizer business
Vietnam’s imports of organic fertiliser has surged in the past three years, reflecting increasing demand for the green product.
In 2017 alone, Vietnam imported about 220,000 tonnes of organic fertiliser, double the amount of 2016.
According to Pham ThiVuong, acting director of the Plant Protection Research Institute, when farmers use organic fertiliser instead of inorganic and chemical ones, the surrounding environment and water resources become cleaner and plants grow stronger and rely less on insecticides. They will harvest cleaner and safer products, which have higher retail and export value.
Meanwhile, the production of organic fertiliser uses farming by-products and organic waste as its materials. Vietnam produces between 60 and 70 million tonnes of agricultural by-products annually.
The country currently needs about 11 million tonnes of fertiliser a year. As of December 2017, the number of registered organic fertiliser products was 713, accounting for 5 percent of the total, while the number of inorganic products made up 93.7 percent and biological products 1.3 percent.
The nation has 180 establishments licensed to make organic fertiliser but about 150 of them actively manufacture, with overall capacity reaching approximately 1.3 million tonnes a year.
The country aims to annually manufacture 3 million tonnes of organic fertiliser by 2020.
Vietnamese garment firms expect to navigate Australia
Vietnamese garment firms expect to navigate and increase garment exports to Australia once the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) takes effect, said director of the Yen Duong Ltd, Co. Thai Binh Duong.
Under the CPTPP, Australia will reduce import tax to 5 percent in the first three years after the CPTPP enters into force, and waive itfrom the fourth year.
Truong Van Cam, Vice President and General Secretary of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, said Australia’s apparel imports have grown stably over the past five years, 3-4 percent annually on average. Moreover, apparel retail prices in Australia aremuch higher the import ones, giving Vietnamese products an advantage.
However, Australia’s garment imports from China have accounted for more than 60 percent in recent years. Apart from China, India is also working to enter the market.
More than half of participating exhibitors in an international exhibition of garment materials held in mid-November in Melbourne were from China and one fourth were from India. In recent years, several Vietnamese enterprises have just joined the event.
According to Cam, Australian businesses often place small orders at first to explore supply capacity and market popularity. If successful, contracts of higher value could be signed at better prices.
Deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of Asia-Africa Markets Nguyen Phuc Nam said Australia is an important partner of Vietnam in Asia-Pacific. In 2017, Australia imported apparel worth nearly 9.32 billion USD, nearly 173 million USD of which was from Vietnam, roughly 1.9 percent of the total.
Australian companies are focusing more on Vietnam due to more competitive workforce costs than China’s.
To access the demanding market, Cam stressed the need to study demand, improve product design and workers’ skills, and invest in modern machinery.
Australia has a population of nearly 24 million people with a gross domestic product of nearly 1.39 trillion USD and average income per capita of about 50,000 USD each year, said the ministry.
PetroVietnam contributes 1.79 bln USD to State budget in five months
Drilling system at Bach Ho will (Source: pvn.vn)
The National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) has contributed 40.8 trillion VND (1.79 billion USD) to the State budget in the first five months of 2018, exceeding the plan by 32 percent and representing 55 percent of the yearly target.
According to the PetroVietnam, in the past five months, petrol market saw unexpected developments, negatively affecting the firms’ business.
In the first five months of this year, the group put the Bungka Pakma – PM3CAA field into operation from May 12, a month and 19 days earlier than the plan.
Total production of the firm in May reached 10.44 million tonnes of oil, exceeding the plan for the five-month period by 2.7 percent and representing 45.7 percent of the target for the whole year.
Alongside, the firm also produced 9.8 billion kWh of power in the January-May period, surpassing its plan by 6.1 percent, along with 695,000 tonnes of nitrogen, and 2.69 million tonnes of petroleum.
At the same time, PetroVietnam’s revenue in the first five months of this year hit 234.5 trillion VND, 21 percent higher than its plan. The group’s after-tax profit reached 9.8 trillion VND, exceeding the plan by 15 percent and fulfilling 51 percent of its yearly target.
Vietnam, Argentina target 5 billion USD in bilateral trade value
Vietnam and Argentina hold potential to push bilateral trade to 5 billion USD in the next few years, heard a commercial exchange event in Ho Chi Minh City on June 4.
The event was co-organised by the Argentina Federal Investment Council and the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Speaking at the event, Argentinean Ambassador to Vietnam Juan Carlos Valle Raleigh said Vietnam is a strategic partner that Argentine businesses want to boost commercial cooperation.
According to the diplomat, the two countries elevated bilateral relations to the level of strategic partnership in 2010, creating a premise for the development of economic ties.
Bilateral trade increased to 3 billion USD in 2017, with Argentina’s exports to Vietnam reaching 2.5 billion USD. In the first four months of 2018, Argentina exported 950 million USD worth of commodities to Vietnam and imported 170 million USD worth of Vietnamese goods.
Despite recording a trade deficit, Vietnam’s exports to Argentina surged 70 percent in 2017 compared to 2016. Vietnam mostly shipped to Argentina high value added products such as apparel, footwear, electronic products, farm produce and processed food. The two markets supplement and cater to each other’s demand.
Argentina is ready to open its market for high quality products from Vietnam, the ambassador said, adding that Vietnamese farm produce have potential to gain a better foothold in Argentina. The goal of 5 billion USD in bilateral trade is reachable, he stressed.
Vice Governor of Entre Rios province Bahl Adan Humberto, who is leading a delegation of three Argentinean provinces on a visit to Vietnam, said Argentinean firms consider Vietnam an important market with a lot of potential and opportunities for foreign investors.
According to the official, Vietnam has recorded a high and stable economic growth rate, with increasing per capita income pushing up demand for high quality products. Apart from promoting exports to Vietnam, Argentinean businesses also want to find partners for their imports of Vietnamese products.
The vice governor suggested organising business exchanges and trade promotion activities to help improve balance in bilateral trade. Argentina welcomes Vietnamese firms to study its market and introduce their goods, he added.
Argentinean companies also want to cooperate with Vietnamese partners in the areas of agricultural production, animal husbandry, tourism and investment, he said.
Vietnam Airlines, Sabre expand partnership
Vietnam Airlines and US-based Sabre Corporation, a leading technology provider in the global travel industry, have signed an agreement to expand their cooperation.
The carrier will broaden the scope of SabreSonic, Sabre's passenger service system (PSS) that Vietnam Airlines uses, to improve its performance.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vietnam Airlines Pham Ngoc Minh said the deal will allow the carrier to make use of Sabre’s technology to boost its sale and distribution capabilities.
Sabre has become an important partner of Vietnam Airlines and contributed to fulfilling its passengers’ demand via supplying the latest technologies, he noted.
Sabre’s solutions will increase Vietnam Airlines’ competitive advantage in the Asia Pacific market, said Dave Shirk, president, Sabre Airline Solutions.
"With our customer-centric retailing, distribution and fulfillment capabilities, Sabre will continue to bring significant value to Vietnam Airlines as they strive to become one of the region's largest carriers," he added.
Apart from the PSS, Sabre said it is committed to helping Vietnam Airlines meet distribution standards set by the International Air Transport Association.
This announcement came shortly after Sabre and Vietnam Airlines renewed a long-term content distribution agreement through the Sabre global distribution system, further strengthening the partnership between the two corporations.
Vietnam Airlines, a member of SkyTeam alliance, operates 90 routes to 20 domestic and 29 international destinations with an average of 400 flights per day.
Seminar talks development of shrimp farming
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong has ordered provinces and cities to focus on ensuring farmers raise shrimp using proper breeding processes and advanced techniques.
Speaking at a seminar held in Bac Lieu province on June 3 on measures to develop the shrimp sector sustainably, he urged provinces and cities to set up sustainable shrimp farming areas and ensure cooperation between farmers and processors and others in the production chain.
Farmers raise brackish shrimp on 637,000ha, slightly up from last year, including 582,000ha of black tiger shrimp and 54,500ha of white-legged shrimp, according to the Directorate of Fisheries.
In the first five months of this year a total of 200,000 tonnes of shrimp were harvested, an increase of 11.1 percent year-on-year.
White-legged shrimp accounted for the increase in both area and output, the directorate said.
Nhu Van Can, head of the directorate’s department of aquaculture, said the shrimp sector faced several difficulties.
Their exports came up against technical barriers put up by importing countries and there were not enough market forecasts, he said.
The price of white-legged shrimp has fallen by 10,000 VND – 30,000 VND a kilogramme since April, according to the directorate.
Higher output in major shrimp producing countries and lower imports by major importers have been a double whammy, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
Truong Dinh Hoe, VASEP General Secretary, said the price of raw shrimp, especially the white-legged variety, was not likely to increase by much this year.
Le Van Su, Deputy Chairman of the Ca Mau provincial People’s Committee, said the price of black tiger shrimp was steady and 40 percent higher than that of white-legged shrimp.
The price of black tiger shrimp remains high since 2011.
The crustacean fetches 225,000 VND – 250,000 VND a kilogramme if it is of a size that makes 30 to a kilogramme.
Participants at the seminar agreed that farming of white-legged shrimp should be reduced in terms of both area and output this year, and that farmers needed to adopt techniques that helped reduce costs.
They should focus on black tiger shrimp and control shrimp diseases, they said.
Cuong called on the directorate and other relevance agencies to efficiently forecast market conditions and warn farmers if their output seems likely to exceed demand.
The market would revive and so farmers should not panic and sell immature shrimp, he said.
“Shrimp processors should share in farmers’ difficulties and consider them long-term partners.”
He instructed agencies under his ministry to work with provinces and cities to help farmers adopt advanced techniques.
The ministry would work with other relevant ministries and sectors to resolve problems related to processing, infrastructure and prices to ensure the sustainable development of the shrimp sector, he promised.
Meanwhile, in Long An province, farmers are suffering huge losses.
Losing millions of dong, shrimp farmers in Long An like Truong Thanh Nhan suspended their farming to avoid debt, according to Nong Thon Ngay Nay (Countryside Today) newspaper.
In Nhan’s farm, ponds once filled with shrimps and aeration propellers are now deserted.
“Diseases wiped out most of my shrimp after solely a month farming. When I collected the leftovers, the prices were too low to make my investment back, let alone profit,” Nhan said.
He lost 200 million VND (8,800 USD) after two crop failures.
Le Van Hiep, a trader in Long An, said prices ranged from 70,000 VND (3.07 USD) to 105,000 VND (4.6 USD). Nhan claimed “if the financial values of shrimps stayed anchored at this rate — the lowest in three years’ time, I will cease cultivating shrimps.”
Shrimp farmers in Phuoc Lai commune had suspended operation, Nguyen Cong Danh, Vice Chairman of the commune’s People’s Committee, reported.
Their counterparts in Tan Chanh hamlet, the biggest feeding resource area for shrimps, were also said to be mulling suspending the farming of more than 100ha out of 850ha of shrimp ponds, according to Nguyen Trong Tuyen, Vice President of Tan Chanh hamlet.
Pham Phu Hung, Deputy Executive of Agriculture Extension Centre in Long An, attributed the cause to the low financial value of crops compared with high-priced inputs, which resulted in massive losses for farmers.
“If the prices for crops went up, farmers would continue growing shrimps at the drop of a hat,” he noted.
Dong Quang Don, Manager of Agriculture and Rural Development in Can Giuoc district agreed, suggesting farmers continue their work at a steadily low pace to sustain the ponds and minimise market price risks. In the long-term, Don said cutting edge technology should be applied in shrimp farms.
A spread of infections for shrimps was another reason for crop failure, Pham Phu Hung added, so farmers should only count on credited shrimp breed sellers for input and renovate their ponds carefully.
Vietnam’s shrimp exports to the US are in intense competition with India, according to cafef.vn, while traders were reported to only buy small prawns while refusing to take large shrimps.
Farmers all over Mekong Delta are facing the same issue, suspending their operation after their investment turned no profit, hoping for a rise in prices.
Vietnam eager to develop Lien Chieu deep seaport
The government has been urging the authorities to appraise Lien Chieu Seaport, showing strong support and promising smoother sailing for the project.
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung recently urged the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) to appraise the capital sources and mobilisation methods of investment capital at Lien Chieu port.
Besides, the DPM assigned the Danang People’s Committee to complete the pre-feasibility report for the project after the city studied MPI’ appraisal.
Based on reports of MPI and Danang city, the Ministry of Transport (MoT) was asked to build the investment planning evaluation report to submit the prime minister for approval.
The assignment of the DPM shows Vietnam’s eagerness to develop the Lien Chieu Seaport project, which is considered one of two key projects that aim to boost the central city as a main logistics centre in the ASEAN and the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC) that links Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Although the construction of Lien Chieu Seaport in Danang has just been appraised, domestic and foreign investors are already interested in the project.
Notably, Boskalis Inter A.V is the newest foreign investor that expressed interest in joining. Wanter Jacobs, regional business manager at Boskalis, said in a document sent to MoT that the investor wants to join component A–general infrastructure.
Boskalis will collaborate with T&T Group to deploy this project, particularly in conducting the feasibility study, design, and build general infrastructure system in component A.
With a massive investment capital and handling capacity, the $1.48-billion Lien Chieu Seaport located in Danang is expected to become Vietnam’s second international gateway port, following Lach Huyen port in the northern the city of Haiphong.
According to the city’s proposal, Lien Chieu Seaport, which would combine five functional areas, including a 50,000DWT (deadweight tonnage) harbour, another harbour which could handle 80,000-100,000DWT container ships with a loading capacity of 5,000-8,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEUs), a liquid cargo harbour handling 10,000DWT ships, and an inland waterway harbour for 1,000-5,000DWT ships, as well as a logistics services area and other infrastructure.
Retail receives a big boost in Vietnam
Vietnam’s growing revenue from retail services and the number of newly-established enterprises have reflected the upward-trend of domestic purchasing power and retail-related activities.
Last week in Tokyo, Japan’s AEON Group was licensed to build a US$180 million mall in the northeastern city of Hai Phong. The 9.3ha project was commenced in mid-May 2018 and is expected to become operational in 2020.
The mall will employ 2,000 local people, and is expected to attract more than 13 million customers per year from Hai Phong and surrounding provinces such as Quang Ninh, Hai Duong, and Thai Binh.
In March, AEON began construction of its mall in Hanoi’s Ha Dong district, with total capital of about US$90.4 billion. The joint venture between Hoa Binh Construction Corporation and Kajima Corporation are the general contractor designing and constructing the project. This is the second AEON mall in Hanoi, and the fifth in Vietnam.
The wave of new builds is not restricted to AEON, over a month ago, Vietnam’s giant retailer Saigon Co.op also commenced the construction of its supermarket Phan Ri Cua in the south-central province of Binh Thuan’s Tuy Phong district. This will be the third supermarket of Co.opmart in Binh Thuan, covering 7,000 square metres and costing VND 70 billion (US$3.1 million). The project is expected to be put into use later this year.
Last November, Saigon Co.op also put into operation its 88th supermarket in Vietnam – Co.op Mart Chu Van An in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Thanh district. It is the firm’s 33rd supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City.
The new US$1.82 million supermarket covers more than 3,000 square metres, and sells over 30,000 items.
Also in last November, Saigon Co.op launched its first two Co.op Food stores in Hanoi, laying the groundwork for it to expand its foodstuff business in the country’s northern market. With these two new stores, Saigon Co.op now has 181 stores of this type throughout the country.
In October last, Saigon Co.op opened the 2.27 million Co.op Mart Chu Se, also its second, in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai. This is a joint venture project between Saigon Co.op and Gia Lai Trade JSC.
According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), AEON Saigon Co.op is one of many firms that expanded operations in the wholesale and retail sector, which sits atop the GSO’s five-month list of sectors with the most newly-established enterprises.
Specifically, in the first five months of the year, about 17,800 enterprises were established in the wholesale and retail sector, accounting for 33.9% of the total of newly-established enterprises nationwide, up 1.6% year-on-year.
The GSO reported that in the first five months of 2018, the country’s total retail service revenue hit more than US$15.73 billion, up 10.1% compared to last year’s corresponding period. Vietnam also received more than 6.7 million international tourist arrivals, up 27.6% year-on-year. This greatly contributed to the rise in total retail service revenue.
Pham Trong Nhan, deputy general director of Binh Duong Construction and Material Co., Ltd. said that Vietnam’s retail sector is growing strongly. Nevertheless, he warned that local retailers are being “seriously threatened by foreign rivals”.
“Foreign retailers are driving local retailers, especially small- and medium-sized ones, into difficulties. All foreign-owned supermarkets are selling the majority of foreign-made products,” said Nhan, who is also a National Assembly member representing the southern province of Binh Duong.
“Within only three years, foreign retailers have grown to hold 70% of Vietnam’s convenience store market, 17% of the supermarket space, and 50% of the online retail sector. That’s unbelievable,” Nhan said. “These rates are continuing to surge, without any controls.”
On September 1, 2017, Korea’s leading distributor, DHI, set up Vietmate – its Vietnamese subsidiary – after a year of exploring Zalo’s potential in e-commerce. Their aim is to use the Zalo platform to distribute Korean products in Vietnam.
For Japanese retailer AEON, this group is targeted to have 20 malls operating across Vietnam by 2020.
Aeon is not only focusing on investing in large-scale trade centres, but also co-operating with Vietnam’s leading supermarket operators – Citimart and Fivimart – to grow its footprint in the lucrative local retail market, while partnering with Japan’s Sojitz Corporation to develop the Ministop brand of convenience stores.
According to the Korea Chamber of Business in Vietnam, foreign firms are finding ways to enter Vietnam’s retail market via mergers and acquisitions with local firms, such as those between CJ and Cau Tre, Lotte and Bibica, Masan and Vissan, F&N and Vinamilk, TCC and Metro Cash & Carry, Vingroup and Ocean Retail, and between Central Group and Casino Group.
Soai Rap Petroleum Service Industrial Zone to be revoked
PetroVietnam Construction Joint Stock Corporation (PVC) will have its Soai Rap Petroleum Service Industrial Zone revoked due to operation inefficiencies and low occupancy rates.
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung recently asked the Tien Giang People’s Committee to revoke Soai Rap Petroleum Service IZ and called on the investor to transfer the project to other investors.
Besides, the DPM assigned the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and relevant authorities to monitor the revocation and transfer of the project.
Covering an area of 285 hectares, the project was licensed in March 2011. However, after three years, the IZ had only one tenant.
As a result, in October 2014, the government approved in principle to transfer the IZ to the Tien Giang People’s Committee to manage according to the IZ development planning by 2015, with vision to 2020.
However, the transfer has yet to be completed despite repeated urging from the government.
The Soai Rap project is just one black spot in the bright picture of the local industrial real estate segment.
According to MPI’s Economic Zones Management Department, there are 328 IZs across the country at present, taking up a total area of 96,300 hectares of natural land. Of this, 223 zones have been put in operation and 105 are in the process of site clearance and compensation. Occupancy reached 51.5 per cent overall, and 73 per cent at operating IZs.
In addition, Vietnam also has 17 coastal economic zones (EZs) established on a land and water surface area of approximately 845,000ha, not to mention Ninh Co EZ in the northern province of Nam Dinh, which is included in the planning but has not been established yet.
IZs with high occupancy rates include Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park III in the southern province of Binh Duong or Que Vo I, Que Vo II, Tien Son, and Yen Phong I in the northern province of Bac Ninh, with the average occupancy rate of 85 per cent.
HDBank promotion offers deposit interest rate of 7.6%
HDBank has relaunched its Bach nien phat tai (100 years of prosperity) programme offering extra interest to several categories of depositors.
The bank will offer extra interest of up to 0.7 percentage points to customers depositing for six months or 13 months and having a minimum balance of VND500,000 (US$22) in their current account.
Besides, the interest rate will also be commensurate with depositors’ ages and deposit amounts.
The maximum interest a depositor can hope to get under the programme is 7.6 per cent.
This is the third installment of the programme, which will run until the end of June.
After two earlier instalments of the promotion this year, HDB had more than 8,600 existing customers renewing their saving accounts and attracted around 20,900 first-time depositors.
Central bank approves VPBank’s capital charter hike
The State Bank of Viet Nam has approved the plan of Viet Nam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) to increase its current charter capital.
The hike from VND15.7 trillion (US$690 million) to VND25.2 trillion was approved at a VPBank shareholder meeting held on March 19, 2018.
The bank’s management board will take responsibility for the capital increase pursuant to current laws and regulations. VPBank was also required to submit a revised application of their charter capital to the central bank.
The document takes effect within 12 months from the date of signing. However, the document will lose its effectivity if the increase in charter capital is not completed in the allowable time.
In the first quarter of the year, VPBank’s total consolidated assets reached over VND284 trillion, representing a 24 per cent year-on-year rise. The bank’s deposit mobilisation and issued valuable papers stood at VND209.9 trillion, up 13 per cent from the same period last year.
Meanwhile, lending rose 24 per cent from the corresponding period last year to VND185.6 trillion.
BVS sets revenue target of nearly $20m
Bao Viet Securities Company (BVS) has set a target of VND454 billion (US$19.91 million) in revenues and VND143 billion, in after-tax profit, a company document preparing for 2018 shareholders’ meeting on June 5 revealed.
The document from the firm’s upcoming shareholders’ meeting stated that the revenue targets expected a year-on-year increase of 4.83 per cent and 9.44 per cent, respectively.
BVS is oriented towards the deployment of all business operations, focusing on promoting brokerage, advisory, proprietary trading, flexible and suitable for each stage, preparing the necessary conditions for effectively deploying derivative products.
The company also targets brokerage revenue of VND210 billion, up one per cent year-on-year and maintaining the top 10 market share in both exchanges. In case of big market fluctuations, shareholders will authorise the board of directors to adjust the business plan.
In addition, the company will focus on research, development and implementation of different capital mobilisation plans such as stocks and bonds in order to meet the capital needs for business activities as well as meet the capital requirements in the derivatives market.
It is expected that this year, the company will increase its chartered capital to VND1.083 trillion.
BVS, a subsidiary of Bao Viet Holdings, is a Viet Nam-based provider of investment services. The company offers securities brokerage services, underwriting services, custody services and investment advice to investors. It is also engaged in the trading of securities and the provision of corporate financial consulting services for share auctions and listings.
Expos to showcase latest ICT, broadcast, electronic products
International telecom, IT, communications, broadcasting, and electronic expos Vietnam ICT COMM, Broadcast Vietnam, and Electronic Vietnam will be held in HCM City on June 7.
The three expos have attracted more than 300 exhibitors from 20 countries and territories, including technology leaders in Asia such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, and India.
Speaking at a press briefing to introduce the expos on May 31, Ha Thi Phuong Lam, chairwoman of the Adpex Joint Stock Company, one of the events’ organisers, said the number of exhibitors this year has increased by 50 per cent.
The events have attracted leading Vietnamese IT corporations such as Mobifone, LeLong, Zioncom, Du Hưng Technology, Bizentro, TC Technology, and Tung Viet Communication.
They will showcase advanced technologies, equipment and solutions for the aviation industry, digital data systems and centres for libraries, schools, hotels, supermarkets, GPS applications, telecom products, broadcasting technologies, telecom services, Internet services and applications, games, software, electronics, and ancillary products.
They will also have business matching and seminars on dominant technology solutions in 2018, 5G mobile and solutions for online services, and improving commercialisation of research results on IOT solutions and others.
Known for their size and rich and specialised content, the expos forum for businesses in telecom, IT and communications, broadcasting, and electronics to compare notes and explore business opportunities, Nguyen Long, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Internet Association, said.
To be held by Adpex JSC, the Viet Nam Association for Information Processing, VIA, the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation Development, and the Viet Nam Climate Innovation Centre, the expos will take place at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre in District 7 from June 7 to 9.
Vietjet to open Hanoi - Osaka direct flights
Vietnam’s new-age carrier Vietjet Air will officially launch a direct route linking Hanoi with Osaka in Japan on November 8.
The airline held a special ceremony to announce the new route at the Japan-Vietnam Economic Forum in Tokyo on May 31, attended by Vietnam’s visiting State President Tran Dai Quang, Japanese Government representatives, officials from both countries, and representatives from Vietjet.
“The Hanoi-Osaka route is to be first service in Vietjet’s expansion into Japan - the Land of the Rising Sun,” said Vietjet Vice President Nguyen Thi Thuy Binh. “We believe that this new route and our expanding network will help make the travel dreams of millions of passengers come true.”
As part of Vietjet’s expansion strategy in Japan, Ms. Binh added, the carrier will continue to open new routes between economic and tourism hubs in order to diversify destination choices and better meet the growing demand for air travel between the two countries and beyond to better connect with the rest of the world.
Using Vietjet’s new and modern A320 aircraft, the Hanoi - Osaka route will operate on a daily basis with a flight time of over four hours.
Under the anticipated schedule, flights will depart from Hanoi daily at 1.45am and arrive in Osaka at around 7.50am. Return flights will take off from Osaka at 9.20am and land in Hanoi at around 1.10pm (all local times). The new service brings its total number of international routes to 45, while its domestic routes stand at 38.
Ticket sales for the new route are expected to be available from June 8, at www.vietjetair.com.
Vietjet has already cooperated with Japanese travel agencies to operate direct chartered flights from Vietnam to Osaka as well as to Narita in Tokyo, Sendai, Nagoya, Ibaraki, and Fukushima, demonstrating that the its services and efforts to link the two countries have been very well received.
Vietjet, SBI Leasing Services, Natixis, and some of the Japanese equity arrangers also signed an MoU on aircraft financing totaling nearly $600 million.
Following a “Consumer Airline” model, Vietjet Air continues to open new routes, add more aircraft, invest in modern technology, and offer more added-on products and services to meet the requirements of millions of passengers.
Hanoi apartment project accused of cheating customers
Hundreds of customers of an apartment building project in Hanoi's Ha Dong District have complained about being cheated by the investor who is accused of telling lies in their contracts.
Many people have hung banners or carried posters at the Anland Complex in To Huu Street, Ha Dong District to protest against the investor. They said that their nearly-completed apartments were not like what the investor showed in their advertisements and contracts.
Some of the banners and posters said, "The Anland Complex investor not follow contract with customers", "The Anland Complex investor tells lie", or " The Anland Complex investor please stop stealing from our furniture".
Nguyen P. N, a customer of the project said that she and many other customers were very disappointed when visiting their nearly-completed apartments.
"They were so different with what they showed us in the model apartment," N said. "The design had been changed a lot and the materials or furniture were from cheaper brands."
According to some customers, the investor said in the contracts that they would use 600x600-centimetre floor paving stone from Dong Tam, Viglacera, Prime or others brands of the same quality with estimated cost of VND275,000 per square metre. However, the paving stones they use have size of 300x300 centimetres and priced at only VND 151,000 per square metre. The colour of the stones were not like that shown in the model apartments.
"The contract said the wood floors are 12-millimetre thick but they were just 8 millimetres at apartments on the 12th floor of the HH01 Block," a customer said.
"The bathroom sink shown in the contract was ToTo LT710CS with price of VND 2.1 million but in our apartment now it is the ToTo L501C with price of just over VND 800,000," another customer said.
Some other customers also complained that the quality of the locks, doors, bells or ceiling decorations is also lower than what is shown in the contract.
Pham. N. P, another customer, said that they have sent complaints to the investors but received no reply.
"We've gathered here to voice our protest for more than a month but the investor has not shown up to answer our questions yet," P said.
South Korea travel firms seek more Vietnamese arrivals
Given the strong growth in the number of Vietnamese tourist arrivals, South Korean travel companies are seeking cooperation with more partners to bring more Vietnamese tourists to the beautiful city of Seoul.
A number of South Korean tourism companies, including Honey Moon, Lotte Hotels & Resorts, Travolution, SM Entertainment, and Football Faentasium visited Hanoi yesterday to look for Vietnamese partners.
"We saw a significant rise in the number of Vietnamese tourists in the recent three years. We upgraded our museums with technologies and services to serve international visitors. With the marvellous victory of the Vietnamese football team and its South Korean coach Park Hang Seo, we hope to partner with Vietnamese travel firms to attract more tourists," Shin Yeongeun, deputy general manager of Football Faentasium, told VIR.
Lotte Hotels and Resorts, a South Korean luxury hotel chain operated by Lotte Hotel Co., Ltd., the hospitality arm of Lotte Group, is also turning more to the Vietnamese market.
"We visit Vietnam every year to promote our services and products, thus contributing to a rise in Vietnamese tourism at our hotels and resorts. We now want to work with Vietnamese and South Korean companies operating in Vietnam to introduce our hotels and resorts in South Korea and abroad," said Sean OHM, regional director of the Singapore Branch of Lotte Hotels and Resorts.
Travolution came to Vietnam for the first time with similar intentions. As a startup company, it has so far attracted only a handful of Vietnamese tourists and is striving to increase this figure.
"We are going to translate our website to Vietnamese and work with more Vietnamese companies," said Inho Bae, CEO of Travolution.
Not only travel companies, but also South Korean districts are targeting Vietnamese tourists. SongPa-Gu—a district of Seoul—is a member of the working group to Vietnam this time. This was the first official visit to Vietnam by the district.
"Every year, we attract about three million tourists, 15 per cent of whom come from Southeast Asia. As the number of Vietnamese visitors remains modest, we want to lure in more of them," said Dae San Lee from SongPa-Gu's Global Tourism Division.
Seoul, which was ranked seventh among the most attractive tourism spots in 2017 by Lonely Planet, is famous for innovative tourism products and services. Last year, the city opened 20 new tourism sites.
Seoullo 7017, Seoul’s recently opened overpass-turned-park, is not only one of the city’s newest landmarks, but one of the best places to explore the city’s unique history and culture.
Other places to visit include Oil Tank Culture Park in Mapo, Seoul Night Markets, and Seoul Lantern Festival, just to name a few.
The promotional move proves how attractive the Vietnamese tourism market is to South Koreans. According to the Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO), the number of Vietnamese tourists to South Korea reached 302,260 in 2017 by November 19, up 29.9 per cent on-year. At the time, it forecast that the figure would hit 330,000 at end of 2017.
“Vietnam is a very promising tourism market. With strong growth, Vietnam ranked 8th among South Korea's tourism markets, up two notches from 2016,” said Jung Chang Wook, director of KTO in Vietnam.
Nawaplastic reports immense savings on BMP acquisition
Nawaplastic Industry Co., Ltd. makes massive savings by acquiring the shares of Binh Minh Plastic (BMP) step-by-step rather than buying a major share volume in a single purchase.
Nawaplastic completed the purchase of an additional 401,010 BMP shares to increase its holding to 42.75 million shares.
The transactions were conducted on May 23-25. The deal took the Thai investor closer to dominating BMP by increasing its stake to 52.23 per cent.
During the transactions on May 23-25, the highest price of BMP’s shares was VND60,300 ($3.11), thus, Nawaplastic spent approximately VND24.18 billion ($1.06 million) on the deal.
Most recently, on May 14-15, Nawaplastic spent approximately VND10 billion ($438,692) on buying an additional 170,000 BMP shares to increase its holding in the firm from 50.89 to 51.1 per cent. The highest price of the share on May 14-15 was VND60,000 ($3.10).
Following the recent value of the BMP ticker, it is easy to see that the share value was lower than the initial price at the auction organised on March 9.
Notably, according to information published by the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HSX), at the auction on March 9, two investors joined the auction: Nawaplastic and a domestic individual. As a result, Nawaplastic spent approximately VND2.329 trillion ($102.33 million) on buying 24.139 million of the 24.159 million shares on offer at the initial price of VND96,500 ($4.24).
If we compared the price of VND96,500 ($4.24) that Nawaplastic paid at the auction and the VND60,000 ($3.10) paid in recent purchases, we can see that Nawaplastic saved a massive amount of money.
In case BMP share’s value on the stock exchange continues to decrease and Nawaplastic keeps increasing its holding in the firm, it will make even higher savings compared to a one-time bulk puchase.
Lazada E-logistics to open automatic sorting centre in Hanoi
Lazada E-logistics Vietnam will officially open its automatic sorting centre in Hanoi on June 12 in a move to achieve sustainable growth and meet the boom in e-commerce.
The centre, which uses robots to sort parcels, is the second of Lazada E-logistics Vietnam, following the first in Ho Chi Minh City. The new facility has a capacity of tens of thousands of parcels per hour.
The move is part of Lazada E-logistics Vietnam's strategy towards going green and sustainable by investing in environmentally friendly vehicles and technology.
"We operate dozens of e-bicycles for delivery services and are planning to increase the number of this kind of vehicle to several hundreds by the end of 2018. We are studying investment in electrically-run three-and four-wheeler vehicles for distribution in the future," said Vu Duc Thinh, country manager of Lazada E-logistics Vietnam.
The green path is thus set, but developing it remains a big challenge, as three-wheeler vehicles are banned in Vietnam.
"We need support and detailed guidelines from government agencies to encourage Lazada E-logistics and others to widely develop electrically-run three- and four-wheeler vehicles in Vietnam in the future," he added.
Lazada E-logistics and Lazada Group have recently sprouted wings to fly high, as they have received an additional investment of $2 billion from Chinese tech giant Alibaba, thus increasing its total investment in the firms to $4 billion to date.
BASF and BIOMIN to introduce new phytase for Vietnam’s feed industry
BASF ties up with BIOMIN to introduce new phytase to unlock vital nutrients for Vietnam’s feed industry.
BASF, the first company to market a phytase for feed almost 30 years ago, has once again set a new standard in phytase technology with Natuphos® E. As a new generation phytase which helps pigs, poultry and aquaculture better utilize phosphorous and other key nutrients, Natuphos E ensures more productive and sustainable output for the animal feed industry and local farmers.
BASF will be launching the product in Vietnam, and BIOMIN Vietnam will be responsible for the distribution in the country.
“BIOMIN is honored and excited to bring Natuphos E to the Vietnamese market with BASF. This cooperation has been built on a strong relationship and trust that we developed over time. Innovation and quality are our focus and we look forward to building our partnership and further developing the business footprint of both BIOMIN and BASF in the region,” said Marc Guinnement, managing director of BIOMIN Asia Pacific.
“High quality products, good access to the market and sound technical support are the keys to success in any market,” said Stephen Crisp, regional sales head of BASF Animal Nutrition Asia Pacific. “BIOMIN is a multinational company with a strong market presence and penetration in Vietnam. Through our partnership with BIOMIN, feed manufacturers and farmers will benefit from considerable cost savings through a more efficient diet. Natuphos E releases phosphorus, amino acids and energy which can be utilised by the animal. This makes Natuphos E the most efficient choice available in the market.”
The majority of phosphorous in grains and oilseeds is bound to phytic acid, an anti-nutritive factor found in feed. Phytate-bound phosphorous cannot be absorbed well by animals such as pigs and poultry, and is therefore excreted and lost as a potential nutrient.
As a result, manufacturers need to supplement the feed with either inorganic phosphates or very effective phytases to make sure the animals are supplied adequately with the required amounts of the essential phosphorous.
Natuphos E also releases other valuable nutrients, making animals generally more efficient at digesting their feed. This leads to less excretion of undigested phosphate, which, as a result, helps reduce water pollution.
In addition to Natuphos E, BIOMIN Vietnam will also be responsible for the distribution of Natugrain® TS, a feed enzyme containing highly purified NSP-degrading enzymes, in the Vietnamese market.
The two companies officially announced the partnership as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of BIOMIN Vietnam.
Manufactured by BASF in Germany, Natuphos E delivers superior pelleting and premix stability in challenging environments and feed-production processes, in addition to a long-term shelf life stability. To date, the new phytase has been launched in some 10 countries in Asia Pacific and recently in the European Union market.
Vingroup expects to get breakthrough on comprehensive sectors this year
Vingroup, the leading real estate developer in Vietnam, targets creating breakthroughs in all sectors, while simultaneously focusing on developing Vinfast products.
According to the report of Le Khac Hiep, deputy chairman of the Board of Directors of Vingroup, at the 2018 annual shareholders’ meeting, the group’s revenue and profit soared last year in older business sectors and new ones that Vingroup has joined last year.
Accordingly, in 2017, the group earned VND89.35 trillion ($3.93 billion) in revenue and VND5.65 trillion ($248.2 million) in after-tax profit, signifying increases of 55 and 27 per cent.
In 2018, Vingroup’s shareholders approved the plan for VND120 trillion ($5.27 billion) in net revenue and VND8.5 trillion ($373.4 million) in after-tax profit, signifying increases of 34 and 50 per cent.
Notably, the highest-growth sector was real estate trading with the revenue of VND62.48 trillion ($2.74 billion), up 68 per cent on-year. Another sector that achieved impressive revenue was real-estate leasing and relevant services with VND4.41 trillion ($193.7 million), up 33 per cent on-year.
In addition, last year Vingroup joined numerous new sectors, including the heavy industry via manufacturing automobiles and motorcycles.
With these positive business results, Vingroup offered its shareholders 21 per cent dividend.
In the framework of the AGM, Vingroup sought shareholders’ approval to issue preferential shares to mobilise capital for its new sectors or operation.
Vingroup expects to offer these shares to foreign investors. The firm plans to conduct the sale this year and expects to acquire VND20 trillion ($878.66 million) in proceeds. If successful, the deal will increase Vingroup’s charter capital to VND52 trillion ($2.28 billion).
This year, Vingroup will increase the presence of its brands across the country, especially the Vincom shopping centre chain and the Vinmart and Vinmart+ retail chains. Simultaneously, the group will focus on developing new sectors, including automobile and motorcycle manufacturing.
Pham Nhat Vuong, chairman of the Vingroup Board of Directors, stated that at first, Vinfast will focus on the local market. Despite the strict competition in the local automobile market, Vinfast is still optimistic thanks to the quality of its products.
Notably, according to Vuong, the quality of automobiles assembled in Vietnam is still not high and the rate of automatic assembly is still low, while at Vinfast almost all assembly processes will be automated.
Vuong also stated that in the first period, Vinfast will focus on dominating the local automobile market, instead of running after profit and will run promotion campaigns with every new model. Besides, Vinfast will also focus on after-sale and customer services.
Regarding business targets, this year Vingroup’s shareholders approved the plan for VND120 trillion ($5.27 billion) in net revenue and VND8.5 trillion ($373.4 million) in after-tax profit, signifying increases of 34 per cent and 50 per cent.
Vinalines on firmer ground for IPO and strategic stake sale
Positive responses from ministries on its equitisation plan will accelerate Vinalines' IPO and place it in a better position to look for strategic foreign investors, adding to its considerable business results and influence in the shipping industry.
MoF has pointed out good assessments for most major contents in the equitisation plan of Vinalines. This is one of four ministries to be consulted on the plan before it can be submitted to the prime minister.
In Document No.5824/BTC-TCDN, Deputy Minister of Finance Tran Van Hieu assessed that the VND14 trillion ($618.8 million) charter capital after equitisation is higher than the book value of VND11.946 trillion ($526.3 million).
Thus, the corporation should issue additional shares to raise charter capital by VND2.1 trillion ($92.5 million). After equitisation, state capital in Vinalines will remain at 65 per cent, equivalent to 913 million shares. From the remaining 35 per cent 208 million shares (14.8 per cent) will be sold to strategic investors, 2.3 million shares (0.16 per cent) at a preferential price to employees, and 0.04 per cent to the trade union.
Additionally, Vinalines will auction 281 million shares (20 per cent of the charter capital) at the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) at the initial price of VND10,000. This volume is four times higher than the plan set forth in December 2017, decreasing the share volume offered to strategic investors by 15.2 per cent.
Tran Tuan Hai, head of Vinalines’ development strategy and communications division, said: “All four ministries have basically finished their assessment of Vinalines’ equitisation plan, agreeing that it is possible and complies with current regulations and the directions of the prime minister.”
If the prime minister approves the plan in June, Vinalines will conduct its IPO in August and will officially start operating as a joint stock company in October. The corporation intends to hire Saigon Securities INC (SSI) for IPO consultancy.
As of December 31, 2017, Vinalines owned ten subsidiaries in shipping, with the total investment value of VND1.52 trillion ($67 million). The corporation holds 91 vessels with the total capacity of 1.85 million DWT. Vinalines also owns 15 subsidiaries in seaport exploitation, with the total investment of VND6.86 trillion ($302.25 million).
Although this sector is still under depression, Vinalines holds stakes in high-profit companies in seaport, shipping, and maritime services. The business results of these subsidiaries are included in Vinalines’ consolidated financial statement.
The prime minister also allowed Vinalines to keep at least 65 per cent of the charter capital in joint stock companies like Port of Haiphong, Saigon Port, and Danang Port. Vinalines will maintain its share in logistics companies and divest as much as possible from shipping companies.
“The short- and long-term potential of the seaport sector will make the parent company’s equitisation more attractive,” confirmed Nguyen Canh Tinh, Vinalines’ acting general director.
CISS refutes information on foreign acquisition
Canadian International School System (CISS) in Ho Chi Minh City refutes the information published by Bloomberg that International Schools Partnership Ltd. (ISP) will acquire it for $150 million, according to vtc.vn.
Nguyen Thi Kieu Oanh, chairwoman of CISS, told vtc.vn that the acquisition is just a rumour.
Oanh stated that previously, through the introduction of a consultancy firm from Singapore, representatives of ISP met the major investor of CISS and expressed interest in co-operating, to expand the operations of CISS in Vietnam as well as Southeast Asia.
She added that at present, CISS is busy with the student recruitment for the 2018-2019 school year, thus it has no plans to either co-operate or transfer a stake to any partner.
Previously, Bloomberg reported that UK-based ISP, which is backed by Swiss buyout firm Partners Group Holding AG, is conducting due diligence on the school and may purchase a majority stake for about $150 million, including CISS’ debts, according to a source who wished not to be named. The parties could sign an agreement as soon as next month, the source added.
According to Bloomberg, the representatives of CISS and Partners Group declined commenting. ISP said in a statement that the company has been growing rapidly through acquisitions over the past few years and is continually in dialogue with school owners in many different parts of the world. It declined to comment on specific deals.
VIR contacted a representative of the legal division of CISS to verify the information once more, however, a comment was not available at the time.
Established in 2009, CISS operates a number of kindergartens, Canadian International School (CIS), Bilingual Canadian International School, as well as the Albert Einstein primary, secondary, and high schools.
Toronto District School Board, a key partner of Canadian International School System, is the consultant in matching and integrating Vietnamese and Canadian curricula to guarantee the effectiveness of the bilingual programme.
Siemens Healthineers inks MoU to foster education collaboration
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed yesterday between Siemens Healthineers – part of German industrial conglomerate Siemens AG, Pham Ngoc Thach Medial University, and Imed Medical Equipment JSC in Ho Chi Minh City.
The MOU aims to foster educational collaboration between three parties in order to leverage the quality and content of continuing medical education in the field of diagnostic imaging, especially ultrasound.
In the initial phase, all parties will organise the continuous ultrasound training programme. Workshops shall take place monthly with focus on clinical topic and know-how techniques such as elastography, pediatrics ultrasound or application of 4D utrasound on cardiac cases.
Principal of Pham Ngoc Thach Medical University Ngo Minh Xuan said, “One of our missions is to continuously develop and leverage our educational and training delivery.
"I believe the collaboration with Siemens Healthineers and Imed play an important role in fulfilling such mission because Siemens Healthineers is well known for their state-of-the-art technology and proven experience in education and training and knowledge transferring, while Imed is a strong supporter.”
New challenges to Vietnamese customers’ faith in Mercedes-Benz
Whether German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz’s car sales in Vietnam will be narrowed due to the impact from German authority’s investigation on it and its constant recalls in this year’s first months.
23 years after being launched in Vietnam, Mercedes-Benz is one of the country’s favourite car brands. Despite difficulties, such as the market putting on hold cap purchases in 2017 to wait out more reasonable prices in 2018, reducing consumption in the segment by 10 per cent, Mercedes-Benz Vietnam (MBV) recorded total sales of 6,000 vehicles, up 40 per cent against 2016.
Even after the recent recalls throughout the country, MBV seems to be going strong with sales in the first three months exceeding 1,400 units.
However, after numerous rounds of recalls in Vietnam earlier this year as well as the German authority's investigation, it remains to be seen whether MBV's sales growth will continue in Vietnam.
According to Consumer Report, C-Class vehicles "enjoyed" the highest rates of recalls in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio in 2013-2017. Specifically, the firm recalled 5.77 vehicles out of every 100,000 sold.
German newswire Bold stated that, Daimler, the owner of Mercedes-Benz, is being investigated for using illegal software to manipulate diesel emissions. 40,000 Vito vehicles and 80,000 C-Class vehicles had to be recalled for investigation.
Newswire Reuters stated that the investigation has been going since 2017, after which the German authorities have multiple times called on Daimler to explain its violations.
This scandal had a marked impact on Mercedes-Benz’s business. Reuters also stated that Daimler’s shares fell 2.1 per cent to EUR70.98 at the beginning of the trading session on February 19.
Phapluatplus.vn stated that in MBV announced eight rounds of recalls this year. The latest recall was in early May, when MBV announced recalling 7,000 vehicles between May 14 to December 31, 2022 to handle electric system flaws.
While Mercedes-Benz has been going strong despite its recent difficulties, none of the previous issues had direct relevance to Vietnamese customers’ faith in the brand. However, the newest recalls all over the country as well as the investigation in Germany are new challenges and it remains to be seen how MBV will weather the storm.
Posco VST-Thanh Nam Group judgement overruled
The Hanoi People’ Court has announced that it was unlawful for the South Tu Liem Court to dismiss the lawsuit between Posco VST and Thanh Nam on the grounds that the statutory limitation has expired.
According to Posco VST‘s petition, Posco VST and Thanh Nam Group signed a contract under which Posco VST was to supply stainless to Thanh Nam Group in 2010-2013. However, Thanh Nam Group could not meet the payment plan committed in a document released in December 2013 for a debt of more than VND58 billion.
Thus, Posco VST sued Thanh Nam Group at the South Tu Liem Court where Thanh Nam Group’s office is located since April 2014. However, “The consideration for admission of the lawsuit and the determination of the case at the Nam Tu Liem Court created an opportunity for Thanh Nam Group to evade its debts to us,” said Posco VST’s document sent to the prime minister.
The South Tu Liem Court decided to dismiss the case on the grounds that the statutory limitation has expired. In total, Posco VST sued Thanh Nam Group at the South Tu Liem Court three times with the same content.
The Hanoi People’s Court pointed out that South Tu Liem has delayed the admission of the lawsuit for consideration and was slow to reach a decision. Thus, the Hanoi People’ Court overruled the verdict of the South Tu Liem Court and returned the documents for further carefully consideration.
Authorities urge Bisuco's more mitigation efforts
While Binh Dinh Sugar JSC (Bisuco) has been working to mitigate the environmental impacts of its violations, the results have yet to meet the authorities’ expectations.
Huynh Quang Vinh, deputy director of the Binh Dinh Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DoNRE), told VIR that according to the latest monitoring result conducted approximately two weeks ago, the local authorities have urged Bisuco to quickly deal with its environmental violation.
“In the upcoming times, the authorities will direct Bisuco to compile a pollution treatment plan with a specific deadline. However, both the Binh Dinh People’s Committee and DoNRE understand the financial difficulties of the firm and that treatment is costly,” Vinh added.
Previously, after Bisuco’s environmental violations were reported by VIR, VIR tried to contact Bisuco via email and the telephone numbers taken from the document the company sent to VIR so many times, but received no reply (one phone number was wrong, while the other was simply not picked up). The company's website bisucovn.com does not even work.
Bisuco, 97 per cent of which is owned by India’s NIVL JSC—a subsidiary of Singapore-based Indo China Food Industries Pte., Ltd., reportedly carries VND800 billion ($35.56 million) in unsettled debts to creditors, local farmers, its employees, and local tax authorities.
MEF III invests in Vua Nem JSC
Mekong Enterprise Fund III (MEF III), an arm of Mekong Capital, has announced it has completed an investment in mattress and bedding provider the Vua Nem JSC.
The investment will allow Vua Nem to merge its two brands - Dem.vn and Vuanem.vn - into one single brand called Vua Nem, build a new e-commerce website, and expand its network to 300 stores around Vietnam by 2022. It currently has 40 stores in 23 cities and provinces, including in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong and Da Nang.
“Our vision is to become the biggest retailer for mattress and bedding products in the country,” said Mr. Hoang Tuan Anh, Founder and CEO of Vua Nem. “Thanks to the partnership with Mekong Capital, we have access to their value creation framework of Vision Driven Investing and best practice in the retail industry.”
“What makes us confident in this investment is the founders’ openness to building up the management team,” said Ms. Nguyen Thu Thuy, Mekong Capital’s Deal Leader for Vua Nem. “The team today is far from where we first met. This team will be able to make Vua Nem the biggest and most trusted expert in providing sleep products and solutions to local customers.”
Vua Nem is the seventh investee company announced by MEF III.
It was founded in 2007 by two Vietnamese entrepreneurs, Mr. Anh and Mr. Nguyen Vu Nghia, who had a firm belief in the model of US company Mattress.com. They bought the Dem.vn domain name, which until recently was one of the two brands the company had been operating, before merging to become Vua Nem.
Unlike other mattress retailers in Vietnam, which are showrooms for a single brand, Vua Nem provides a wide range of products from many brands, in order to offer the perfect solution to each customer.
Established in 2001, Mekong Capital is a Vietnam-focused private equity firm that has the most extensive private equity track record in the country. Its investee companies are typically among the fastest growing and market leading companies in Vietnam’s consumer-driven sectors, such as retail, restaurants, consumer products and distribution.
Mekong Capital commits substantial time and resources to adding value to the companies in which its funds invest and has played an important role in the success of many of its past investments.
Launched in May 2015, MEF III is a private equity fund and currently has $112.5 million in committed capital. It typically targets investments ranging from $8 to $15 million and makes both minority and buy-out investments.
It applies Mekong Capital’s well proven approach towards adding value as a shareholder, which is grounded in the Vision Driven Investing framework and Mekong Capital’s extensive network of international experts and resources.
FPT signs digital convergence deals in Japan
FPT signed two cooperative agreements on digital convergence with two Japanese companies - ISE Foods Inc. and Toppan Printing - on May 31 in Japan.
During his first State visit to Japan, State President Tran Dai Quang attended an Investment Promotion Conference entitled “Towards a New Era in the Friendship between Vietnam and Japan” and witnessed the signing of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between Vietnamese and Japanese enterprises and representatives from Vietnamse cities and provinces and industrial parks.
The two FPT agreements are worth a total of over $30 million. It will cooperate with ISE Foods on the application of new technologies to develop smart egg production plants in Japan and Vietnam. As a technology pioneer in digital convergence, FPT will apply new technologies to help ISE Foods develop smart plant models that increase productivity and efficiency. ISE Foods operates a farm system in Japan and the US with more than 130 million chickens.
FPT will conduct digital conversion for Toppan Printing’s business operations, cooperating in IT human resources training and business process outsourcing (BPO) over three years. The two sides also plan to set up security centers and a BPO center in Vietnam and the ASEAN region. Toppan Printing is one of FPT’s strategic customers in Japan.
Mr. Truong Gia Binh, Chairman of FPT, said that these represent practical contributions by FPT in tightening relations and promoting trade and investment between Vietnam and Japan. The two MoUs also mark FPT “transforming” itself in its relationship with leading partners in the world. It will move to become a core partner in deploying important IT projects for clients, ranging from consulting, research, deployment, and maintenance to acting as a Systems Integrator (SI).
FPT’s revenue in Japan reached VND3.6 trillion ($157.7 million) last year, accounting for 50 per cent of total revenue from its overseas markets and was 25 per cent higher than in 2016. FPT Japan has 1,000 employees in six offices, in Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Okinawa, and Shizuoka, and more than 7,000 employees in Vietnam.
FPT Japan aims to record $200 million in revenue this year and have 1,400 employees, while orienting to transform into a Japan-based company operating under the group model, with a head office in Japan and member companies in each business field.
Established in 2005, FPT Japan’s long-term goal is to become one of the Top 20 ICT companies and SI Tier 2 companies in the country, with estimated annual revenue of $500 million and 3,000 employees.
KN Golf Links Cam Ranh to open in September
Long considered just a gateway to the bustling bayside city of Nha Trang, Cam Ranh is rapidly becoming a destination in its own right due to the evolution of Long Beach, an idyllic, 8-km sweep of white sand less than five minutes from the airport.
Indeed, since 2015 more than 30 hospitality projects have been licensed for development along the strip. Many are hotels that do or will carry an international brand name.
The biggest venture is KN Paradise, an 800-ha resort slated to include a suite of hotels and an array of real estate opportunities and entertainment options.
Its first components - a Greg Norman-designed golf course called KN Golf Links Cam Ranh and a 572-key Wyndham Grand hotel - are scheduled to officially open in September.
“Cam Ranh has the potential to be a world-class tourist destination,” said Mr. Le Van Kiem, KN Paradise’s developer and a former military man who trained in the dunes of Cam Ranh when he was in the army. “With the airport expansion, we’ll now get to see just how long it takes.”
Designed to mimic a type of bird’s nest common in the local area, the new terminal at Cam Ranh International Airport is a two-story structure with almost 52,000 sq m of floor space.
Contractors on the project include the Singapore-based architects CPG Consultants, Pacific Architects & Engineers from the US, and the Vietnamese construction company Airport Design & Construction Consultancy.
The airport welcomed more than 30 international flights each day in May, with the majority coming from China, Russia, and South Korea.
The number is expected to increase significantly by the end of the year, with the addition of regular services from Singapore, Thailand and Japan and more flights from domestic destinations such as Phu Quoc Island.
Agoda reveals tourism hotspots for international visitors
With the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism’s May figures showing a 27.6 per cent year-on-year increase in visitor arrivals for the first five months of 2018, global online booking platform Agoda 1 has recently published its own findings examining where in Vietnam visitors from the Top 5 international origins head upon arrival.
Since 2016, Ho Chi Minh City has remained the “most booked” destination for travelers booking with Agoda. The southern metropolis is a magnet for business and leisure travelers and often used as a “jumping off point” for tourists to begin their Vietnam adventure.
2018 saw Da Nang become the country’s “most liveable city”, nudging out the capital Hanoi, which has held second place in both of the previous years. Neighboring Hoi An then led the charge as the country’s best recognized tourist hotspot, with Nha Trang, Phan Thiet, Da Lat, Phu Quoc Island, Hue and Ha Long Bay all holding places in the Top 10.
China is Vietnam’s number one origin market for travelers, with Ho Chi Minh City the top destination for Agoda’s China visitors in 2017 and so far in 2018, claiming the top spot previously held by Nha Trang. This augurs well for the Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Board’s recently announced goal of nearly tripling the number of Chinese visitors it welcomes annually to 1.5 million by 2020.
Vietnam’s beaches are a clear drawcard for visitors from its northern neighbor, with the various direct and charter services to Nha Trang ensuring the popularity of the bayside city. Surprisingly, the coastal town Phan Thiet displaced both Da Nang and Hanoi for bookings from China so far in 2018, which were placed fourth and fifth.
Australia assists Vietnam in economic reforms
With a fund of AUD$6.5 million, the Australian-funded programme, Aus4Reform, will assist the Vietnamese Government in achieving its goal of improving the business environment and modernising the national economy.
The information was announced at a workshop on assessing the progress of the Aus4Reform programme held on June 1 by the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) and the Australian Embassy in Vietnam.
One year after the launch of the Aus4Reform, the programme has made positive contributions to Vietnam’s efforts to improve its business environment and competitiveness, said CIEM Director Nguyen DinhCung. Thousands of unreasonable business conditions managed by ministries were reviewed and abolished, while there was also a simplification of the specialised inspection of import-export goods, Cung added.
Sharing Cung’s view, Dr Le Dang Doang, former director of CIEM said that after the first year of implementation of Aus4Reform, Vietnam’s business environment has been enhanced, while the start-up spirit has been promoted among the youth.
However, experts noted that Vietnam still has much work to do to encourage further economic growth as the Vietnamese business environment is seen as being inferior to other countries in the region and administrative reforms need to be stepped up.
Policy advisor of the Aus4Reform Ray Mallon said that the long-term goal in Vietnam is to improve labour productivity through a sustainable and inclusive growth model and Aus4Reform will assist Vietnam in reaching this goal through the provision of a AUD6.5 million fund.
Industrial production soars 9.7% in five months
Vietnam’s index of industrial production (IIP) rose by 9.7% in the first five months of the year compared to the corresponding period last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
The production of electronic products, computers and optical products posted the highest increase, ballooning 18.7% during the five-month period. The hike was mainly attributed to a rise in the production of high-end phones in February and March by electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co.Ltd.
The manufacturing sector continued to expand strongly with an increase of 11.8%, which contributed nine percentage points to the overall IIP. It was followed by the electricity production and distribution sector, which climbed 10.6%, andthe water supply and waste treatment sector,rising 6%.
The five-month IIP of almost all centrally-run provinces and cities increased compared to the same period in 2017, particularly Hai Phong, up 23.8%; Bac Ninh, up 22.2%; Thai Nguyen, up 12.1%; and VinhPhuc, up 11.7%.
The number of labourers working at industrial companies as of May 1, 2018 saw an increase of 3.8% over the same period of last year.
In May alone, the national IIP was estimated to have grown by 7.1% compared to the same month last year. Of which, the mining sector dropped by 7.6% while the manufacturing sector rose by 9.1%, the electricity production and distribution swelled by 11.2%, and the water supply and waste treatment climbed up 8.2% compared to the same period last year.
Vietcombank gains GPI certification
HÀ NỘI — Vietcombank has received SWIFT’s Global Payments Innovation Initiative (GPI) certificate, becoming the first bank in Việt Nam to gain the accolade.
Vietcombank becomes the first bank in Việt Nam receiving SWIFT’s Global Payments Innovation Initiative (GPI) certificate. — VNS Photo
Hanoi -The Bkav Corporation on June 5 warned that up to 1.2 million computers in Vietnam might have been infected with a destructive virus called W32.XFileUSB that can wipe all data on the users’ USB drive.
Up to 1.2 million computers in Vietnam might have been infected with a destructive virus called W32.XFileUSB that spreads through USB drive. (Photo: VNA)
According to Bkav, the virus can create a fake drive icon or a fake shortcut to attack files on USB drives. When a computer is infected with this virus, once the user connects to his USB device, the virus will delete the files on the USB and replace them with fake files containing malware. When the virus-infected USB is inserted into another computer, the virus will continue to spread.
Data loss is a common security breach in Vietnam, said Bkav Vice Chairman Vu Ngoc Son, adding that the virus can not only cause data loss but also take control of the computers to download more malware to spy the computers or launch a targeted attack.
Bkav estimated that computer viruses caused economic losses of up to 12.3 trillion VND, or 541.2 million USD, last year, up 18.27 percent from 10.4 trillion VND (457.6 million USD) in 2016 and more than 41 percent higher than 2015’s figure.
120-year-old liquor company to debut shares
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội Liquor Joint Stock Company (Halico) will start its first trading day on the Unlisted Public Company Market on June 8, Hà Nội Stock Exchange announced.
In 2017, Halico’s net sales halved to VNĐ125.4 billion but the loss increased by four times to VNĐ84.5 billion, compared to the previous year. — Photo baodauthau.vn