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  • 06/14/18--01:59: Article 3

    Wood furniture firms advised to optimise domestic materials

    Three consultants commit to assisting SMEs, Livestock production projected to be hit by several FTAs, ACV seeks funding for local airports from Canadian bank, Land speculators in Bac Van Phong take flight

    The world’s wooden interior décor market is predicted to grow 3.5 percent in 2018 and continue expanding, bringing chances for Vietnamese businesses to raise exports of the products.

    If Vietnamese businesses optimise the material sources they have and make the best use of trade promotion activities, their export earnings can surpass 8 billion USD. 

    According to Huynh Van Hanh, Vice President of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City, in the past 15 years, the wood industry has maintained the growth rate of 8-15 percent a year despite world economic fluctuation.

    The biggest issue of the wood processing enterprises in Vietnam is they are focusing on a market section with low added value, mostly concentrating on outsourcing for foreign clients.

    To further develop the domestic wood sector, the businesses should pay attention to a higher target of selling abroad the whole space of high-end interior décor instead of doing outwork and selling separate products.

    Meanwhile, the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association (VIFORES) asserted that it is necessary to make full use of domestic material sources to create a breakthrough for the sector.

    Statistics showed that Vietnam has more than 3 million hectares of acacia with an output of 150 cubic metres of wood in one hectare per year. If exploiting only a half of the total area, Vietnam will have 22.5 million cubic metres of wood a year, meeting the material demand of the whole sector for both domestic and foreign markets.

    Especially, acacia wood is much cheaper than imported wood, which will help facilitate a closed production chain for made-in-Vietnam wooden products.

    Along with optimizing material sources, trade promotion activities should also be strengthened to help domestic increase sales.

    Hanh said that currently, trade fairs and exhibitions are considered the most economic and effective method of promotion. Therefore, in 2018, HAWA has informed its members of a number of events abroad and support them in joining the events to seek partners and broaden markets.

    However, Hanh said that exhibitions in the country have drawn an increasing number of enterprises, especially small ones, as they would know the number of deals they secure immediately. 

    He noted that the Vietnam International Furniture and Home Accessories Fair (VIFA Expo) 2018 attracted 4,528 firms, while the 2017 event gathered only 2,000. Transactions at the event also increased.

    Besides traditional trade promotion, digital marketing is popular in many countries such as the US, Germany, Italy and China. However, it is hard to find Vietnamese wooden décor firms on the Internet as the Vietnamese firms have yet to efficiently exploit this method.

    Three consultants commit to assisting SMEs

    Corporate consultants the Verco JSC, the PDCA Education and Consultant JSC, and the Onnet JSC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on June 11 to cooperate together to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in tackling the difficulties they currently face.

    Mr. Nguyen Kim Hung, General Director of Verco, said that some SMEs are unaware of the importance of financial management and lack critical thinking and vision in planning their financial operations. Financial control tends to be weak and passive.

    Understanding the difficulties and limitations of SMEs and with a mission of “Raising the level of Vietnamese enterprises”, Verco offers restructuring services, fund management and capital solutions, corporate valuations, merger and acquisition (M&A) consulting, and corporate training.

    The three will provide SME business owners with a five-in-one solution that will assist them during Industry 4.0: capital - administration - automation - marketing - business. The cooperation between Verco, PDCA and Onnet will bring to the SME community a solution package that helps them improve their business operations and develop automation.

    They will also provide strategic capital and financial solutions, help businesses avoid any loss of capital structure, and develop financial strategies for development over the next five to ten years.

    Marketing and sales solutions would help SMEs compete and gain market share, so represent a key service.

    Representatives from the three companies confirmed that the package will resolve all difficulties facing SMEs and improve their performance in corporate governance and development. Through the SME support program, the three leaders in corporate consultancy will act in line with the government to achieve the target that, by 2020, Vietnam will have 1 million active enterprises.

    Livestock production projected to be hit by several FTAs

    Vietnam’s livestock production industry is expected to suffer from several free trade agreements (FTAs), in which import tariffs for husbandry products are to be truncated after the agreements take effect.

    At present, NTTS Trading JSC is busy making preparations for the expansion of its warehouse system, which is expected to commence operations by the end of this year.

    The system, covering more than 6,000 square metres in the northern province of Hung Yen, will be used by the firm to preserve meat and meat-related products imported from Australia and New Zealand.

    “We are importing meat and meat-related products from India and the US, and will now expand import markets to Canada, Australia and New Zealand,” said the firm’s vice director Nguyen Thi Nguyet. “Various types of meat products from these three new markets will enjoy a 0% import tax rate beginning from 2019, under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).”

    For example, Vietnam will have to cut import tariffs for a number of key Canadian husbandry exports, such as beef (tariffs of up to 31% on fresh, chilled and frozen beef will be eliminated within two years, and tariffs of up to 34% on all other beef products will be eliminated within seven years), and pork (tariffs of up to 31% on fresh, chilled, frozen and prepared pork products will be eliminated within nine years).

    From 2018, the domestic husbandry sector will face bigger difficulties due to import tariff slashes under several free trade agreements (FTAs), including the CPTPP signed in early this March, the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) and the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).

    For example, upon CPTPP’s entry into force, expected to begin in early 2019, import tariffs of many livestock products, such as beef, pork, sheep, goat, poultry, many types of frozen aquatic products, dairy products, animal feed, and poultry eggs, will begin to be gradually reduced to 0% within three or five years.

    Products from nations that have strong advantages in husbandry, such as Canada, Japan and Australia, will come to Vietnam in great numbers. This will have negative impacts on the domestic livestock production, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Livestock Production Department.

    Furthermore, after the CPTPP becomes valid, all products with registered national brand names will also be allowed to be exported to all CPTPP countries without any quotas, providing they meet the importing nation’s conditions. Even, not only raw products, but also finished products from CPTPP markets will be able to be imported into Vietnam.

    According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, under its commitments this year, Vietnam will have to remove the remaining 669 tariff lines under ATIGA, and 588 tariff lines under ACFTA. In which the average import tariffs for livestock-related products will almost be reduced to 0%.

    Under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), ACFTA, and CPTPP, enterprises and investors may concentrate production lines in a chosen partner country, and then export finished products tariff-free to other member countries, as well as to ASEAN’s free-trade partners in the region (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea).

    According to a recent survey by the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research on the impacts of the AEC on Vietnam’s livestock sector, local livestock production would drop because of harsh competition from AEC partners.

    The survey revealed that within the AEC, tariff cuts by Vietnam in the husbandry sector would negatively affect the total production value of the sector mainly because of higher competition from imported goods.

    Besides, animal, meat and dairy products are the most affected by tariff cuts, among the livestock sub-sectors. Once the tariffs are removed by the AEC, substitutions for cheaper imports of meat products reduces the demand for domestically produced meat products, and this effect is projected to result in a US$107 million loss for the livestock sector.

    Under the impacts of AEC tax slashes, livestock exports, mainly in swine meat and poultry, from Vietnam to other ASEAN countries are forecast to decline. Reductions of 82% to Thailand, 7% to the Philippines, and 3% to Indonesia are expected.

    At present, Vietnam is importing meat and meat-related products from many foreign markets, including Australia, Canada, China, India, New Zealand, and the US. Vietnam is also Australia’s second largest importer of live cattle and wheat.

    In 2017, Vietnam-based enterprises spent nearly US$500 million importing assorted types of meat, including over 6,500 tonnes of pork worth nearly US$12 million, and over 81,000 tonnes of poultry meat worth nearly US$76 million.

    Moreover, last year, the enterprises also imported more than 262,300 live cattle, and nearly 420,000 tonnes of beef and buffalo meat, worth a total of US$410 million.

    Women face multiple career challenges

    Women are coping with a host of challenges in the workplace and with career advancement at companies in Vietnam, according to the results of a survey released by Navigos Group on June 11.

    The lack of fair capability assessments and promotion opportunities for women compared with men, the lack of support and understanding from their families and common perceptions of women’s role in the household were the three key barriers to female leadership development, said the respondents of the survey.

    These barriers are the main sources of worry and stress faced by female leaders, according to the survey available from Navigos Group Vietnam’s database, managed by VietnamWorks and Navigos Search. The survey attracted almost 1,000 respondents, with the majority working at middle and senior management levels.

    Respondents holding management positions were greatly interested in developing female leaders at their companies. However, the survey indicated that 39% of respondents reported their companies did not have plans for a female leadership, and 37% shared that development plans for female employees were not included in the top strategies of their companies. 

    Respondents pointed out that the major challenges to female leadership development included a lack of empowerment, mentors and advisors and training designed especially for female leaders. They said women also had to grapple with strong pressure to maintain a work-life balance.

    However, these challenges should not put off women’s strong desire to becomecompetent leaders. Passion for the job, the desire to prove themselves and human development are among the major factors expected to motivate women to achieve their leadership goals. 

    Respondents underscored the importance of gender diversity in enterprise development. Half of the respondents noted that gender diversity would contribute to more effective resolutions to problems, 41% assumed it would enable companies to better serve diverse groups of customers and 26% believed it would better help with talent recruitment and retention.

    Respondents acknowledged that female employees had been given more opportunities to hold management positions. More than 40% of respondents said the number of middle and senior managers at their companies accounted for at least 30% of female employees.

    Nguyen Phuong Mai, managing director of Navigos Search, suggested companies need to identify the importance of gender diversity in their development strategies to make the most of the strength of their staffers, especially managers.

    Despite difficulties related to the deployment of gender diversity plans, Mai suggested enterprises should promptly adopt policies to assist their female employees with health, work-life balance and training issues as well as to create equal development opportunities for male and female employees.

    AEON seeks Vietnamese suppliers

    Three consultants commit to assisting SMEs, Livestock production projected to be hit by several FTAs, ACV seeks funding for local airports from Canadian bank, Land speculators in Bac Van Phong take flight

    Leading Japanese retailer AEON is currently looking for Vietnamese goods suppliers and manufacturers for its retail chains, which include four commercial centers, AEON Mall, 53 supermarkets and 110 convenience stores across the country, company officials have said.

    The retailer plans to expand its business scale in the years to come. Further, AEON TOPVALU, one of the company’s brands, is currently in search of local manufacturers to produce TOPVALU products for local consumption as well as for export to its overseas retail outlets.

    AEON Vietnam on June 11 marked its fifth anniversary of operation in the country by collaborating with the AEON Association to host a meeting for AEON suppliers, attracting over 100 local enterprises and 30 foreign firms that have been in partnership with AEON Vietnam, AEON TOPVALU and AEON Retail over the years. This was the first time the association had hosted such an event for its potential and strategic partners in the country.

    As shared by one AEON representative, the corporation is placing emphasis on TOPVALU products, which boast high quality and reasonable prices, to gain competitive advantages, so qualified local providers are required.

    At the event, distributors at home and abroad were briefed on AEON’s retail orientation and strategies in Vietnam, as well as strategies for developing new products that serve local consumption and exports to promote cooperation with local distributors with the aim of achieving sustainable development together with the company’s strategic partners and making a contribution that boosts economic growth and the export turnover of Vietnamese commodities in both the Japanese market and other Asian nations, noted the head of AEON Vietnam.

    Later, representatives of AEON TOPVALU Vietnam and Japan shared information on policies and requirements for developing products that serve local consumption and foreign shipments, especially in the three main sectors of foodstuff, apparel/fashion and household appliances.

    AEON TOPVALU Vietnam operates in collaboration with 15 Vietnamese suppliers and has launched 15 product lines in AEON supermarkets. It aims to sell 100 diverse products through local distributors this year.

    ACV seeks funding for local airports from Canadian bank

    The Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) on June 8 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Bank of Canada on technical support required to enhance the management of, investment in and use of airports in Vietnam.

    The signing ceremony took place at a Vietnam-Canada business roundtable discussion in Canada attended by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

    According to a source from the Ministry of Transport, apart from signing the MoU, the head of ACV introduced the Canadian partners to projects involving the upgrade of existing airports and building of new ones across the country, including Long Thanh International Airport. ACV plans to seek overseas investment to build this airport, after selecting a potential research consultant at the beginning of this month.

    The Long Thanh airport will be financially backed by two sources: The State fund will be used for site clearance and building State management head offices at the airport, while the private capital will be used for developing sites that will provide commercial services such as aircraft maintenance, a food-processing area and fuel-pumping stations.

    Regarding the private fund, ACV will balance the financial resource, ensuring that 50% of the total amount is used to execute phase one in terms of building runways, an airport apron, passenger terminals, cargo terminals and parking lots. ACV will mobilize the remaining capital by issuing shares or taking out banks loans.

    ACV recently announced its investment plan for key airport projects for the 2018-2021 period, with a vision toward 2025, using total capital exceeding VND116 trillion to increase the capacities of Noi Bai International Airport, Tan Son Nhat International Airport and Long Thanh International Airport.

    Land speculators in Bac Van Phong take flight

    Speculators on land in Khanh Hoa Province’s Van Ninh District are now looking for ways to withdraw their capital, having cashed in on the land fever in the area, Phap Luat newspaper reports.

    Land transactions in Van Ninh have dropped considerably following earlier instructions by local authorities to stop accepting applications for land handover or a switch in land use rights until the draft law on Special Administrative and Economic Units is passed by the National Assembly (NA). The transactions have almost come to a dead halt after the NA decided to adjourn a vote on the draft law to the next sitting of the law-making body.

    Van Ninh is scheduled to convert to a special administrative and economic unit named Bac Van Phong.

    Most real estate transaction offices in the area saw few clients on June 9 and 10, and some have even shut their doors. Reporters of Phap Luat saw no staff in charge on entering a few agencies, or they received no reply when calling these firms.

    Further, crowds have dwindled at neighboring coffee shops, where people once gathered to discuss land prices. One coffee shop near real estate agency VPL, where transactions amounting to tens of billions of dong once took place, now sees only a few local people stopping by for drinks. The owner indicated that many people were at their wits’ end, wondering when they would get back their invested capital, as they had spent billions on land speculation.

    According to Nguyen Cong Bang, chairman of Van Gia Town’s People’s Committee in the district, most of the land transactions came to a halt following instructions from the provincial leader, with the exception of wholly residential lots. However, many property experts pointed out that some land speculators are carrying out underground transactions to quickly regain their capital, including performing illegal land transfers without having the agreement notarized or land use rights authorized.

    Suspending the vote on the draft land law only adversely affects the land speculators as they have no long-term plans for their monetary flow, noted Tran Dinh Quy, chairman of Khanh Hoa Province's Association of Real Estate Brokers. Meanwhile, large professional investors have more time to perform better research and analyze the land market, Quy added.

    Around 9,500 tons of litchis exported overseas

    The northern province of Hai Duong has exported 9,500 tons of litchis, accounting for 34% of the total output, according to the province’s Department of Industry and Trade. 

    As many as 28,000 tons of litchis were consumed, reaching nearly 47% of the expected quantity. 

    China has been the largest importer of Viet Nam’s litchis with 9,340 tons. It was followed by the Republic of Korea 120 tons and Australia, the United Kingdom and France with 40 tons. 

    A total number of 18,500 tons of litchis were consumed domestically, especially in large cities such as Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phong City, accounting for 66% of the output. 

    The province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Department forecasted the total quantity of litchis to 55,000-60,000 tons this year. 

    Currently, 131.68 ha of litchis were granted with area code by the U.S. Plant Protection and Quarantine to export to the U.S., the EU and Australia. 

    New decree clarifies PPP projects

    The Government will abolish administrative procedures for issuing investment registration certificates for Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) projects, according to the government’s Decree 63.

    This is one of the key contents of the newly-issued decree on investment under the PPP model, which is set to replace a previous one. It will come into effect on June 19 this year and is expected to simplify administrative procedures and save time for investors.

    Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment (MPI) Vu Dai Thang said that the PPP investment model was not new in Vietnam. It had been developed with the participation of the private sector and foreign investors at different levels. There were infrastructure projects, notably those in the transport and energy sectors, that had been deployed.

    With some important amendments, Thang said the new decree introduced regulations and made procedures for PPP projects clearer and more transparent. Meanwhile, the authority to decide PPP projects was also detailed.

    “This increases transparency and publicity in PPP investment projects. The abolition of the procedures for issuing investment registration certificates for PPPs will contribute to simplifying administrative procedures for investors,” said Thang.

    With the new points introduced in the decree, Thang said he hoped that there would be practical innovations in the implementation of the PPP model for ministries, departments, provinces, localities and investors in the future.

    To overcome the problems arising from this abolition, ensuring that information on the project contract is publicly supporting State management agencies and the communities in supervision, the decree supplemented the regulation on the disclosure of project contract information. The contractors are required to make their bids accessible to the public on the National Procurement Network (NPN).

    Tran Viet Dung, Chief of the Office of the MPI’S Procurement Management, said that Decree 63 also contained some other important new points such as strengthening decentralization (more authority given to localities), self-control and self-responsibility at ministries, sectors and localities.

    Dung said it was necessary to remove the investors who were weak in financial capacity, increase participation of the State in PPP projects and vice versa, and strengthen participation of investors in public investment projects converted to PPP projects, helping reduce the burden on the State budget.

    At the meeting, the participants also discussed and gathered ideas for the orientation for the development of the circular guiding the implementation of the Decree 63.

    Prudential commits long-term investment in Vietnam

    Prudential Vietnam has got approval from the Ministry of Finance to increase its chartered capital to 4,128 billion VND (around 181.8 million USD).

    The move affirmed the company’s commitment to make long-term investment in the Vietnamese market.

    Besides strengthening the company’s financial capacity, the additional capital will also enable Prudential Vietnam to further improve its products and services and expanding its reach across the country.

    In recent years, Prudential Vietnam has actively expanded its business activities and recorded strong growth. In 2017, it reported revenues of 16,019 billion VND (some 705.7 million USD), an increase of 20 percent year on year.

    It paid out 6,261 billion VND (275.8 million USD) in insurance settlements last year.

    The company’s total assets were valued at 74,112 billion VND (3.26 billion USD) by the end of 2017, while its total investment into the economy was 66,241 billion VND (2.91 billion USD) in 2017, the highest by a life insurance company in the country.

    In line with its long-term business strategies, Prudential Vietnam has acquired 5,188 billion VND (228.5 million USD) and 2,100 billion VND (92.5 million USD) worth of 30-year and 20-year bonds. 

    Showing appearance in Vietnam in 1995 and officially commencing operations in 1999 with the motto of “Always Listening. Always Understanding”, Prudential Vietnam has successfully been the pioneer of the life insurance sector. 

    The business system of Prudential Vietnam has stretched nationwide with more than 300 customer care centres and branches located in 63 cities and provinces of Vietnam thanks to the cooperation with seven partner banks.

    Prudential Vietnam has achieved multiple awards from domestic and foreign prestigious organisations. Especially, in 2014, it was awarded a second-class Labour Order by the Vietnamese President in recognition for its contributions to the country’s socio-economic development.

    Along with business activities, Prudential Vietnam has paid due attention to the social contributions for the community development and sustainable growth purposes.

    HCM City, IFC target result-oriented cooperation

    Ho Chi Minh City will work closely with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in translating the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the two sides into projects, said a municipal official.

    At a reception for Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, in HCM City on June 12, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen thanked the institution’s financial support and technical consultations as well as its assistance to Vietnam in mobilising foreign investments, especially from the private sector. 

    IFC has actively implemented the MoU it inked with HCM City in December 2017, particularly through the project on building a programme assessing credit confidence in the city, and training courses on green cities for municipal officials, Tuyen said. 

    He urged the corporation to share experience with and provide consultations for the city in mobilising financial resources and investors having adequate experience and technologies in order to help the locality develop in a sustainable and environmentally friendly fashion. 

    The official called on IFC to assist the city in addressing issues regarding green city building, waste treatment and efficient use of energy resources through consultations and connection with investors.

    In reply, Kyle Kelhofer said IFC commits to continuing its assistance to the city in carrying out public-private partnership (PPP) projects, stressing that IFC has enough experienced personnel to help the Vietnamese southern metropolis build green facilities. 

    IFC hopes that with successes in using the PPP, mobilising capital from financial confidence and building green facilities, HCM City would become an example of development for other major urban areas in Vietnam and Asia.

    Vietnam vegetable oil company eyes 4.8 trillion VND in revenue

    The Vietnam Vegetable Oil Industry Corporation (Vocarimex) has set a target of 4.8 trillion VND (211.2 million USD) in revenue and 300 billion VND (13.2 million USD) in after-tax profit for 2018, heard the company’s shareholder meeting held on June 12.

    The corporation’s revenue is expected to rise 9 percent year on year.

    Vocarimex’s representative said that the company will focus on developing whole sale channels and exploring more export markets while enhancing access to organisations using vegetable oil in their production process in an effort to expand its markets.

    It will join hands with KIDO Group, an integrated food and beverage consumer company, to complete market development strategies for regions, and study to design rational products, meeting demands of different groups of customers.

    By increasing its presence in foreign markets and investing in specialised products appealing to the consumers’ taste, Vocarimex eyes to become Vietnam’s leading exporter of vegetable oil.

    Also, attending international trade fair will help the corporation to branch out its brand in target markets, break into potential ones, and set up long-term and sustainable cooperative ties with its partners.

    According to the firm’s report in 2017, Vocarimex recorded a revenue of 4.38 trillion VND (192.72 million USD) and 300 billion VND (13.2 million USD) in after-tax profit, surpassing 50 percent of the set plan.

    Last year, the company slashed 59 percent of its operation costs as compared to 2016, or 212 billion VND (9.3 million USD). 

    Apart from paying due attention to investment restructuring in its joint ventures, focusing on whole sale customers and export, the company has given priority to research and development activities.

    72 percent of Fintech firms in Vietnam cooperate with banks

    “In Vietnam, 72 percent of financial technology (Fintech) firms chose to cooperate with banks in their business and service delivery, instead of entering a direct competition,” according to an official from the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV).

    The local banking system has made slow changes and lacked flexibility when it comes to application of new technologies, leading to high banking fees and banking services failing to satisfy customers’ needs, said Le Anh Dung, Director of the SBV’s Payment System Department, at a national workshop on Industry 4.0 and new changes in the finance – banking sector held in Hanoi on June 12.

    Meanwhile, Fintech firms are capable of providing innovative, flexible and effective technology-based services that help reduce fees and enhance customer experience, he noted.

    Fintech companies, however, still lack experience in finance-banking activities, capital, customers and a system for internal compliance control and risk management. Meanwhile, banks now have all of these factors, he added.

    Therefore, cooperation between banks and Fintech firms is viewed as a foundation for improving financial service assess, the official stressed. “Fintech is a fast-growing sector and a dynamic intersection between technologies and financial services that reflects the impact of Industry 4.0 on the banking and finance industry.”

    Operating costs of a bank will be cut by 80 percent if Fintech is applied, said Prof. John Wong from the Paris Graduate School of Management, adding that thanks to Fintech, banks can reduce the numbers of transaction offices and unnecessary ATMs; and with only a smartphone, Visa or Master cards will be no longer needed.

    Nguyen Dinh Thang, Chairman of the Board of LienVietPostBank, pointed out three major challenges to Vietnamese commercial banks in developing the digital banking system: legal environment, capital, and human resources and risk management.

    The slow change of related regulations that does not keep up with the pace of technological growth has hindered the development of high technologies and digital banking, posing great legal risks for banks and Fintech firms, he explained. At the same time, research and development of digital banking requires big investment while technological risks and threats of banking frauds remain, he added.

    The SBV acknowledged these challenges and has been continuously investing in upgrading the local financial infrastructure to prevent cyber risks and introduce warnings and new policies on information security, Dung said.

    He urged the commercial banks to strengthen system security themselves to avoid card frauds that can negatively affect the industry’s reputation.

    The Fintech industry is thriving in Vietnam with the market value expected to increase from 4.4 billion USD in 2017 to 7.8 billion USD by 2020, according to a report by Solidiance, a management consulting firm in the Asia-Pacific.

    Amongst three segments of Fintech services, the digital payment leads the way, accounting for 89 percent of the local market share. The personal finance and the corporate finance, meanwhile, are forecast to experience respective Compound Annual Growth Rates (CAGRs) of 31.2 percent and 35.9 percent between 2017 and 2025.

    The main factors driving the Fintech development in Vietnam include the Government’s plan to expand the local access to banking services to 70 percent by 2020; the respective increases of 52 percent and 72 percent in the numbers of Internet and smartphone users in urban areas in 2016; and the growth of e-wallet services driven by the small number of bank account holders. 

    The number of e-wallet users in Vietnam was estimated at 10 million people last year.

    In addition, increasing income is leading to the expansion of the middle class and as a result, consumption is on the rise.

    The growth of Fintech has been also fueled by the robust development of e-commerce which will see the number of users hitting 42 million by 2021 alongside the improvement of the country’s regulatory framework.

    Hao Hao instant noodle rated as top fast moving consumer goods

    Hao Hao instant noodle has come first in Vietnam’s Top 10 most chosen fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands by sector 2018 for the category of food in the Brand Footprint 2018 ranking by Kantar Worldpanel, a global expert in shoppers’ behaviour.

    Kantar Worldpanel, which has over 60 years’ experience, a team of 3,500, and services covering 60 countries directly or through partners, placed Hao Hao in number one spot in Urban 4 cities,  making its way into the kitchen of an additional 65,000 households in 2017.

    The debut of Hao Hao Handy (cup noodle), a new pack type of Hao Hao, taps into the rising need for convenience and contributes an important part to the brand’s success.

    Hao Hao noodle is also ranked fourth in the top 5 best sellers in rural areas.

    Introduced 18 years ago by Vina Acecook, Hao Hao has become popular among the community due to its special taste.

    The noodle packs are manufactured in accordance with Japanese standards and technology, with the support and supervision of trained Japanese and Vietnamese staff.

    According to the Vietnam Investment Review, instant noodle market in Vietnam is considered extremely attractive with a market value of 27 trillion VND (about 1.19 billion USD).

    At present, Vina Acecook ranks first in Vietnam in sales, with 43 percent of the market share. It sold nearly 3 billion packages of instant noodles in 2016 for 9 trillion VND (396.1 million USD).

    Kien Giang eyes large investment     

    The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Kien Giang aims to mobilise VND215 trillion (US$ 9.5 billion) for socio-economic development by 2020 and VND 1,000 trillion (US$ 45 billion) by 2030.

    The adjusted target was recently approved by the PM as part of a master plan to 2020 and towards 2030 for the province.

    Pham Vu Hong, chairman of the province’s People’s Committee, said that Kien Giang targeted becoming a well-developed locality and a transportation and tourism service destination in the Mekong Delta, and a development hub of the southern key economic region.

    As part of the target, Kien Giang will adjust and improve the quality of its planning activities and its master plans and plans for specific sectors such as tourism, agriculture, aquaculture and industry.

    It will also create favourable conditions for enterprises to upgrade technologies and access markets at home and abroad, and credits, as well as offer training to labourers.

    The province aims for an average Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) of 7.5-8 per cent per year by 2020 and 8-9 per cent per year in the 2020-30 period, an average income per capita of around $3,000 and a poverty rate of below 3 per cent by 2020, according to Hong.

    With the population of more than 1.8 million, the authorities will try to create jobs for 38,000 residents per year as well as achieve a 67 per cent training rate from now to 2020.

    Tourism will become a key economic sector with investment in construction of key tourism areas like Ha Tien, Rach Gia and U Minh Thuong National Park.

    Also, Phu Quoc Island will become a center of modern, high quality tourism services, and international trade in the region.

    The province is striving to hit 10 million tourists by 2020.

    It is striving to improve quality of transport services, while promoting its advantageous geographical location and natural conditions of the province

    This will help improve transport system of waterways and the marine economy.

    To meet this target, the province has drawn up measures to improve its investment environment, which includes establishing one-stop shop administrative procedures for granting investment licences and improving connectivity with other provinces and cities.

    The province also plans to have modern infrastructure in both rural and urban areas; invest in infrastructure of industrial zones and clusters to attract investment; upgrade transportation systems; modernise communication systems; improve electrrical power and safe water supply; and address environmental pollution.

    It will also invest in key products and sectors, particularly agriculture and tourism, to create long-term advantages for the province.

    In addition, the province will hasten urbanisation, and develop central urban and outlying areas, as well as rural residential areas.

    The plan also calls for a focus on high quality human resources and on fostering scientific and technological potential to meet international integration needs.

    Vocational training institutions will also be improved to meet the demand of the province and other localities.

    Last year, Kien Giang attracted 690 domestic projects worth VND451.5 trillion. Of this, 321 projects are in operation, accounting for 31 per cent of the registered capital.

    The province has attracted 41 FDI projects from 19 countries and territories with a total registered capital of $1.44 billion, of which 37 per cent has been disbursed. 

    VCSC downgrade local pharmacy firm     

    The Viet Dragon Securities Company (VCSC) has forecast a bleak outlook on sluggish sales and rising input costs for Hậu Giang Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company (DHG).

    The company has downgraded the potential growth of DHG to 'Underperform', VCSC said in its report.

    VCSC predicts that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of DHG’s after-tax profit in the 2017-2020 period would stand at only 3 per cent per year.

    In the first quarter of 2018, DHG’s in-house sales slid 4 per cent year-on-year, VCSC said, adding that amid stiff competition in the over-the-counter (OTC) channel, DHG still lacks distinctiveness in its products.

    OTC or over-the-counter means distributing drugs through drugstores.

    “We have not seen enough changes in DHG to overcome the headwinds in the OTC channel.”

    DHG’s past success was premised on its market-leading distribution network. However, its sales of in-house products have stalled over the last four years as DHG’s distribution coverage has matured, VCSC said.

    Its OTC channel, which accounts for 90 per cent of DHG’s sales, is losing its share to hospitals due to the wide coverage of public insurance and domestic pharmacy players, who are intensifying their efforts in the OTC channel, as they struggle to compete against cheaper imported drugs in the hospital bidding process.

    “In the coming years, we will see DHG’s in-house sales grow in a low- to mid-single-digit range, bolstered by sales force expansion to provide better services to the pharmacies,” the company said in its report.

    Besides this, VCSC said DHG’s in-house products’ gross profit margin (GPM) is poised to contract in 2018, owing to a sharp increase in active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) prices.

    The GPM narrowed by 3.1 percentage points year-on-year to 53 per cent in Q1 of 2018. Given DHG’s inventory period of some 3.5 months, we believe the effect of higher API prices will be even more pronounced from Q2 of 2018, given that the rally in Chinese API prices only started in November 2017.

    “As such, we project the in-house GPM will reach 51.8 per cent in full-year 2018, down 3.5 percentage points compared to 2017.

    In addition to this, DHG has announced its plan to raise its foreign ownership ratio cap from 49 per cent to 100 per cent, which means that the firm will have to stop its pharmaceutical provision to two foreign partners of MSD and Mega.

    Another factor negatively affecting DHG’s profit is taxation.

    In Q4 of 2017, the tax authority issued a decision on the calculation of DHG’s tax rate, which resulted in a significant upward adjustment in the company’s effective tax rate, VCSC said.

    “DHG’s reported tax rate in Q1 of 2018 was not adjusted in accordance with this tax decision, but this will be rectified in H1 2018 financial statements,” VCSC said.

    DHG planned to earn a net revenue of more than VND4 trillion (US$175 million), equivalent to the target set for 2017. However, its pre-tax profit is expected to increase by 6.7 per cent to reach VND768 billion.

    The revenue from self-manufactured products will account for VND3.5 trillion and grow by more than 13 per cent compared to 2017. 


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  • 06/14/18--02:21: Article 2
  • Government News 14/6 (Hourly Updated)

    ACMECS, CLMV cooperation promotes integration, development in Mekong basin

     Vietnam, Myanmar promote defence cooperation, Vietnam promotes rights of people with disabilities, Russia’s National Day observed in Hanoi, Prime Minister receives Mozambican Ambassador

    A Vietnamese delegation led by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will attend the eighth Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy Summit (ACMECS 8) and the ninth Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam Summit (CLMV 9) in Bangkok, Thailand from June 15-16.

    *ACMECS: enhances cooperation, narrows development gap

    The ACMECS, also known as the Economic Cooperation Strategy (ECS), was set up in November 2003, named after the three main rivers in the Mekong River basin. Vietnam joined the framework at its first ministerial meeting in November 2004. It now consists of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, aiming to strengthen bilateral economic collaboration, tap comparative advantages of member regions and countries and narrow development gaps. 

    The ACMECS now covers eight cooperation fields of trade-investment, agriculture, industry-energy, transportation, tourism, human resources development, health care and environment. 

    Each country coordinates at least one field. Thailand coordinates joint efforts in trade-investment and health care, Vietnam directs workforce development, industry-energy and co-coordinates with Cambodia in environment. 

    Cambodia coordinates tourism collaboration while Laos and Myanmar direct transportation and agriculture, respectively. 

    The biennial ACMECS Summit is held alternately in each country. During the ACMECS 2 in 2006, countries agreed to hold a mid-term review on the sidelines of ASEAN high-level meetings. 

    Vietnam hosted the ACMECS 3 in Hanoi from November 4-7, 2008, which adopted a joint statement on trade, investment, tourism facilitation and prioritised economic connectivity, especially promoting internal trade and investment to cope with challenges and established a working group on the environment. 

    The Phnom Penh Declaration and ACMECS Plan of Action were adopted during the AMCECS 4 in the Cambodian capital city in 2010. 

    During the ACMECS 5 in Vientiane, Laos in 2012, leaders adopted the Vientiane Declaration and ACMECS Plan of Action for 2013-2015 which specifies plans for cooperation in industry-energy, tourism, trade-investment, agriculture, workforce development, transport connectivity, health care, social welfare and the environment. 

    The ACMECS 6 in Myanmar in 2014 passed the Nay Pyi Taw Declaration and Action Plan for the 2016-2018 period with a view to turning ACMECS into a top destination for investment and tourism. 

    The ACMECS 7, held in Hanoi in 2016, was themed “Towards a Dynamic and Prosperous Mekong Sub-region”. It adopted the Hanoi Declaration and pledged to boost priority collaboration in transportation, trade-investment, industry, tourism, agriculture and environment. 

    *CLMV: Promotes integration in Mekong sub-region and ASEAN

    During the ASEAN-Japan Summit in December 2003 in Tokyo, leaders of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam agreed to hold the first CLMV Summit on the occasion of the 10th ASEAN Summit held in Vientiane in November 2004. 

    The CLMV cooperation is based on the idea of narrowing development gap between CMVL and other countries in the region, thus facilitating their integration into the region’s development. It is also a channel to call for support from other ASEAN countries and development partners for CLMV countries as well as a forum for CLMV to coordinate stances, thus protecting their interests during the process of economic connectivity in ASEAN and between ASEAN and its partners. 

    CLMV cooperation covers trade, investment, agriculture, industry, energy, transport, tourism and human resources development. The countries agreed to establish six working groups and Vietnam coordinates three of them, namely trade-investment, information technology and human resources development. 

    The CLMV 1 in 2004 ratified the Vientiane Declaration on enhancing economic partnership and integration within Mekong Sub-region, ASEAN and regional cooperation frameworks. 

    The CLMV 2 in 2005 adopted the Action Plan that mentioned joint work with Thailand to consider the possibility of combining CLMV with ACMECS coordination to avoid overlapping and improve cooperation efficiency. 

    The CLMV 3 in 2007 saw the signing of agreements on combining CLMV and ACMECS action plans. 

    The CLMV 4 in 2008 set orientations for regional collaboration in trade, investment, transport, agriculture, industry, energy, tourism and human resources development. It committed favourable conditions for partnerships across processing industry, mining, hydropower, infrastructure, services and logistics. 

    Vietnam built the CLMV Scholarship Fund from which tens of scholarships are offered to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar each year, which will continue till 2020. 

    The CLMV 5 in 2010 adopted Joint Statement on enhancing cooperation to narrow development gap with other ASEAN members. 

    The CLMV 6 in 2015 pledged to improve cooperation efficiency and facilitate trade, investment and tourism and strengthen connectivity via developing economic corridors and human resources. 

    The CLMV 7 in 2016 vowed to reinforce trade-investment ties among the four countries, devise new policies to facilitate trade and signed bilateral and multilateral agreements. 

    The CLMV 8 in Hanoi in 2017 agreed on work to launch projects in transport, trade and investment facilitation, industry, tourism and human resources development.

    Hanoi pledges to roll out red carpet for Dutch businesses

    Vietnam, Myanmar promote defence cooperation, Vietnam promotes rights of people with disabilities, Russia’s National Day observed in Hanoi, Prime Minister receives Mozambican Ambassador 

    Chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung (R) receives outgoing Ambassador of the Netherlands to Vietnam Nienke Trooster (Source:

    Hanoi is willing to create favourable conditions for businesses from the Netherlands to invest in infrastructure development, clean water supply and wastewater treatment, said a local official.

    Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung made the remark at a reception for outgoing Ambassador of the Netherlands to Vietnam Nienke Trooster in Hanoi on June 13.

    He recognised the ambassador’s important contributions to enhancing the friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the two countries as well as between Dutch localities and Hanoi over the past years.

    Chung hoped that in any new position, Trooster will continue serving as a bridge to develop the bilateral relations.

    While highlighting bilateral cooperation prospects, Chung said Hanoi prioritises applying technologies from European countries, including the Netherlands, to carry out its development plan through 2020.

    Apart from clean water and infrastructure development projects, Hanoi is partnering with the Netherlands’ Philips Lighting group to implement a project to light up the area around Hoan Kiem Lake, he said.

    In agriculture, an asparagus growing project in Phu Xuyen district using the seeds from the Netherlands is reaping success, the chairman added.

    He took this occasion to invite the Dutch diplomat to attend a conference entitled “Hanoi 2018 – investment cooperation and development” at the National Convention Centre on June 17.

    Ambassador Trooster described Hanoi as one of the most beautiful cities in Asia.

    Over the years, the two countries’ businesses have worked to promote the bilateral partnership in various fields, she said, adding that their cooperation potential remains huge.

    Vietnam, Myanmar promote defence cooperation


    Vietnam, Myanmar promote defence cooperation, Vietnam promotes rights of people with disabilities, Russia’s National Day observed in Hanoi, Prime Minister receives Mozambican Ambassador
    Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lieut. Gen. Tran Don (Source: 

    Senior military officers of Vietnam and Myanmar have agreed to foster cooperative ties in the defence industry, army logistics and medical services. 

    During a working visit to Myanmar from June 8-12 by a Vietnamese military delegation led by Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lieut. Gen. Tran Don, the two sides discussed measures to deepen bilateral defence links on par with the comprehensive cooperative partnership between the two nations. 

    The visit aimed to review defence cooperation between the two countries in the recent past, especially after the official visit to Vietnam in March 2017 by Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and the official visit to Myanmar by Vietnamese Minister of National Defence General Ngo Xuan Lich in October 2017. 

    As part of its trip, the Vietnamese delegation paid courtesy visits to Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and Defence Minister of Myanmar Lieut. Gen. Sein Win, during which the Myanmar officers highlighted the high political trust between the two countries and their armies. 

    They stressed that defence links between Myanmar and Vietnam in a number of fields have borne fruit, especially in training, military medicine and defence industry. 

    The Vietnamese delegation also attended a ceremony to launch telecoms service of the Viettel Military Industry and Telecoms Group in the Myanmar market (Mytel). The project is one of highlights of the bilateral defence cooperation in recent times. 

    At the ceremony and meetings with Vietnamese delegates, Myanmar’s leaders agreed to create favourable conditions for Vietnam enterprises, including defence firms, to invest in Myanmar. 

    During their stay, the Vietnamese delegation visited the Defence Services Academy of Myanmar, the Vietnamese Embassy and the defence attaché office in Myanmar.

    Vietnam promotes rights of people with disabilities


    Vietnam, Myanmar promote defence cooperation, Vietnam promotes rights of people with disabilities, Russia’s National Day observed in Hanoi, Prime Minister receives Mozambican Ambassador
    Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, Head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations 

    Vietnam regards equality and non-discrimination as the fundamental principles of ensuring the rights of all people, including those with disabilities.

    Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, Head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN), made the statement at the 11th session of the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in New York on June 13.

    She highlighted Vietnam’s efforts in promoting the participation of people with disabilities in society, including the establishment of independent living support centres for people with disabilities and incentives encouraging organisations to provide financial and technical support for vocational training, education and job generation for disabled people.

    She welcomed the theme of this year’s session, “Leaving no one behind through the full implementation of the CRPD”.

    The topic illustrates the close relations between the implementation of the UN Agenda 2030 and the CRPD, looking toward building a better future for all people, she added.

    The CRPD is one of the most widely-ratified international human rights treaties with 177 ratifications since its adoption in 2006. The convention protects the rights of some 1.5 billion people worldwide.

    The 11th session, which took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from June 12-14, featured themes such as national fiscal space, public-private partnerships and international cooperation for strengthening the implementation of the CRPD, women and girls with disabilities and political participation and equal recognition before the law.

    Nine new members of the CRPD for 2019-2022 were elected at the event including Lithuania, Nigeria, Australia, Switzerland, the Republic of Korea, Ghana, Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico.

    Russia’s National Day observed in Hanoi

     Vietnam, Myanmar promote defence cooperation, Vietnam promotes rights of people with disabilities, Russia’s National Day observed in Hanoi, Prime Minister receives Mozambican Ambassador 

    The Vietnam-Russia Friendship Association in collaboration with the Russian Embassy in Vietnam organised a ceremony in Hanoi on June 13 to mark the 28th National Day of the Russian Federation (June 12).

    Congratulating the Government and people of Russian on their National Day and as well as Russia on its hosting the World Cup 2018, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam-Russia Friendship Association Trinh Quoc Khanh expressed his delight at the fruitful Vietnam-Russia relations in the past years. 

    Traditional friendship and cooperation between the two nations have been nurtured by generations of leaders and peoples of both sides, he said, adding that Vietnam always treasures and prioritises to develop relations with Russia in various fields.

    Russian Ambassador to Vietnam Konstantin Vasilievich Vnukov affirmed that the two countries have diversified the comprehensive strategic partnership with an array of new kinds of collaboration.

    Cooperation has been expanded from politics-diplomacy, economy-trade, culture, and education to people diplomacy, he said, adding that both nations have paid due attention to bolstering mutual understanding between the youths of the two countries.

    A special art performance programme was included in the event, featuring Russian songs favoured by Vietnamese people.

    Two-way trade between Vietnam and Russia topped 3.55 billion USD in 2017, a year-on-year surge of 35 percent. The two countries aim to lift the bilateral trade to 10 billion USD by 2020.

    Prime Minister receives Mozambican Ambassador


    Vietnam, Myanmar promote defence cooperation, Vietnam promotes rights of people with disabilities, Russia’s National Day observed in Hanoi, Prime Minister receives Mozambican Ambassador
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) shakes hands with newly-accredited Mozambican Ambassador Leonardo Rosario Manuel Pene 

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc received in Hanoi on June 13 newly-accredited Mozambican Ambassador Leonardo Rosario Manuel Pene, affirming Vietnam’s willingness to send experts in agriculture, education and health care to the African country.

    The PM agreed that the two countries need to organise a session of the Vietnam – Mozambique inter-governmental committee soon to discuss cooperation in the fields of each side’s strength. 

    He said he wishes Mozambique create conditions for Vietnamese businesses to cooperate and invest in coal and gas fields while supporting Vietnam’s telecom firms to invest in Mozambique.

    Besides, Vietnam will send a prestigious enterprise in agriculture to Mozambique, he added.

    Ambassador Pene thanked Vietnam for its sending experts to help Mozambique in agriculture, especially rice cultivation. Thanks to the help, Mozambique’s rice productivity risoe from 2 tonnes to 7 tonnes per hectare. Each year, Mozambique cultivates two rice crops instead of one in the past, he added.

    The diplomat expressed his wish to boost cooperation with Vietnam in the important areas of health care, education and energy.

    PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc welcomes new RoK Ambassador


    Vietnam, Myanmar promote defence cooperation, Vietnam promotes rights of people with disabilities, Russia’s National Day observed in Hanoi, Prime Minister receives Mozambican Ambassador
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) hosted a reception in Hanoi on June 13 for Kim Do-hyun, newly-appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Korea (RoK) to Vietnam 

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception in Hanoi on June 13 for Kim Do-hyun, newly-appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Korea (RoK) to Vietnam.

    PM Phuc voiced his hope that with his experience, the new RoK Ambassador will make many contributions to promoting the strategic partnership between the two countries in a more practical and effective manner.

    He lauded the RoK’s role in the success of the summit between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the US, which took place in Singapore on June 12.

    Regarding the Vietnam-RoK relations, he said the two countries’ agencies should enhance cooperation in all fields and regularly exchange delegations at all levels, thus laying a foundation to implement bilateral agreements.

    The two nations also need to promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges as well as exchanges between sectors in order to facilitate for the successful cooperation in many fields, including tourism, he added.

    PM Phuc noted that two-way trade increased by more than 15 percent in the first quarter of 2018. The RoK is currently the biggest foreign investor in Vietnam and the second largest provider of official development assistance (ODA) for the country.

    Emphasising the importance of setting the target of 100 billion USD in bilateral trade by 2020, he said the two sides need to take measures to ensure a more balanced trade in the coming time.

    Vietnam has been stepping up the equitisation of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) in many important sectors, the PM said, expressing his wish that RoK firms will become strategic investors of these SOEs, as well as transfer advanced technology to Vietnamese companies.

    For his part, Ambassador Kim said Vietnam holds great potential to become an economic hub in Southeast Asia as the country has emerged as one of the world’s major manufacturing centres.

    He highly evaluated the Vietnamese government’s efforts to promote the country’s socio-economic development, which brought in important achievements.

    Agreeing with the PM’s proposals, the ambassador expressed his hope that more Vietnamese businesses could participate in the global production chains of RoK firms. He also pledged to contribute to the development of Vietnamese start-ups.

    President voices support for stronger Vietnam-India defence ties


    Vietnam, Myanmar promote defence cooperation, Vietnam promotes rights of people with disabilities, Russia’s National Day observed in Hanoi, Prime Minister receives Mozambican Ambassador
    President Tran Dai Quang (right) and Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

    The Party and State of Vietnam will create optimal conditions for the Vietnamese and Indian Defence Ministries to cooperate closely and effectively, thus deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries, said President Tran Dai Quang.

    At a reception in Hanoi on June 13 for Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, President Quang urged leaders of the two ministries to actively instruct competent agencies to comprehensively and effectively implement defence cooperation contents, including delegation exchange and collaboration in personnel training, defence industry, information-technology, strategic research and UN peacekeeping operations. 

    The partnership would help maintain peace and development in each country and the region as well, he said, asking the ministries to continue their mutual consultation mechanisms at regional and international forums. 

    Noting with pleasure the enhancement and comprehensive development of the Vietnam-India comprehensive strategic partnership, President Quang stressed that Vietnam backs the Indian Government’s “Act East” policy. 

    The Vietnamese State, people and army highly appreciate good sentiments and great spiritual and material support from their Indian counterparts over the past time, he said. 

    Recalling his state visit to India in March, the President said the two sides reached many important common perceptions in order to reinforce the comprehensive strategic partnership in the time ahead. 

    The leader believed that the bilateral friendship and cooperation will be consolidated thanks to the high political resolve of senior leaders of the two countries along with mutual trust and will for cooperation and development, for the sake of their people, as well as peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world. 

    In reply, Minister Sitharaman briefed the host about the outcomes of her talks with Vietnamese Defence Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich, during which the two sides emphasised the significance of maintaining and expanding bilateral cooperation in training personnel and developing IT and defence industry. 

    India always treasures and wants to beef up the comprehensive strategic partnership with Vietnam, she said, adding that the two nations still boast substantial potential for stronger cooperation, especially in security-defence.

    Anti-corruption law high on agenda of parliament on June 13


    Vietnam, Myanmar promote defence cooperation, Vietnam promotes rights of people with disabilities, Russia’s National Day observed in Hanoi, Prime Minister receives Mozambican Ambassador
    Deputy Nguyen Minh Duc of Ho Chi Minh City speaks at the fifth session of the 14th National Assembly 

    Draft revisions to the Anti-Corruption Law were the focus of the National Assembly (NA) on June 13, part of the ongoing fifth session of the 14th parliament.

    At the plenary debate, most of lawmakers agreed on the necessity to amend the law. They gave opinions on the expansion of the bill’s scope to the non-State sector, the inspection and examination of the non-State sector, the agencies controlling assets and income, and persons subject to asset and income declaration.

    They also discussed the settlement of dishonestly declared assets and income or those whose origin is not explained reasonably.

    Inspector General of the Government Inspectorate Le Minh Khai also provided additional information to clarify some issues mentioned by NA deputies.

    On June 14, the parliament will vote on a law on amendments and supplements to some articles of the Law on Physical Training and Sports and the law on surveying and mapping.

    They will also look into the draft revised Law on People’s Public Security Forces and the draft law on animal husbandry.


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  • 06/14/18--02:29: Article 1
  • Bids for medicine increase as new policy takes effect

    CITY - The number of bids  for medicine and medical equipment has risen dramatically in HCM City, according to the city’s Health Department.

    Bidding activities for medicine and medical equipment have increased in the last two weeks as a new government policy for transparent bidding, which aims to lower drug prices, has taken effect. — VNA/VNS Photo Phương Vy

    Many of the bids, which are worth a total of thousands of billion of Vietnamese đồng, occurred in the past two weeks after the department selected the slate of potential pharmaceutical suppliers.

    The bidding stages, including the hiring of consultants and preparation of bidding documents as well as financial arrangements, have also been completed, according to the department.

    Last week, Thống Nhất Hospital in Tân Bình District announced that it would invite bids for three packages to buy medicine and medical equipment, including a bid package for generic drugs worth VNĐ600 billion (US$26.29 million). This attracted the attention of many pharmaceutical suppliers.

    The other two bid packages include 309 kinds of special brand drugs (or the equivalent), with a total bidding package value of VNĐ260 billion (11 million).

    Chợ Rẫy Hospital last week also invited bids for two packages to buy medical equipment, of which the bid security payment was already VNĐ600 million ($26,000).

    Bidders have also been interested in three bidding packages from the HCM City Oncology Hospital to buy radioactive substances and marking compounds and other medical equipment with total value of VNĐ82 billion ($3.5 million).

    Severe competition

    Winning the bids can be highly profitable as the annual procurement value has reached thousands of billion of Vietnamese đồng, experts said. However, there is severe competition among contractors.

    A representative of Minh Châu Health Co., Ltd, a major pharmaceutical company in HCM City, said: “Contractors must increase their capacity in terms of quality, service delivery, and, of course, price competition to be able to win the bid.”

    At a recent bidding event for generic drugs by District 2 Hospital, 140 contractors submitted bids.

    For a package of VNĐ142 billion (medium-sized package), this was considered a very high number, according to the hospital.

    The hospital also invited bids for two other packages, including one to purchase special drugs and one to buy traditional medicine and herbs, with total bidding value of more than VNĐ45 billion.

    The three packages at District 2 Hospital have attracted more than 30 tenders, including major contractors in Việt Nam and around the world such as Domesco, Bidiphar, Agimexpharm, Pymepharco, USS Pharma, Zuellig, Yteco and Bến Thành.

    Bùi Mạnh Côn, director of An Bình Hospital, said that 121 contractors had submitted bids worth a total of VNĐ80 billion for one package.

    During a tender event, a representative of the contractor, Mekong Company, said it had already participated in many bid packages.

    “All of the packages have rigorous standards. Contractors must ensure many criteria, including GSP (Good Storage Practice), GDP (Good Distribution Practice) and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice),” he said.

    To win the bid, contractors have to prove their capability and experience, including the number of contracts they have signed, experience in production and business, and financial capacity of contractors.

    “We have tried to offer the most competitive price,” said the company representative.

    Three levels

    According to the Health Ministry, drug bidding is being conducted at three levels in the country: national, provincial and hospital.

    Việt Nam Social Security (VSS) is the State agency in charge of organising bidding.  

    The ministry said this year it would open national centralised bidding for 30 of the most commonly used drugs. It will also extend the list of drugs eligible to be bid at the provincial level.

    In addition, the ministry will negotiate prices of eight types of highly used patented medicine.

    Speaking at a recent meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ, said that centralised drug bidding would be a vital solution to reduce drug prices.

    Extending the list of biddable drugs would not only be economically beneficial but also a humanitarian imperative, especially to ensure that the poor can buy drugs without worry about price hikes, he said. 

    Huệ asked the Health Ministry to conduct open, transparent and competitive bidding on medical equipment and other supplies at some Health Ministry hospitals. 


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  • 06/14/18--02:44: Article 0
  • Vietnam’s railway boss vows resignations of subordinates if accidents persist

    Three high-profile train crashes in Vietnam occurred in a single week last month, raising serious concerns for commuter safety


    ​Vietnam’s railway boss vows resignations of subordinates if accidents persist
    A locomotive and a freight train badly damaged after a collision in Quang Nam Province in central Vietnam on May 26, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

     The top leader at the state-run corporation responsible for train services between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City has warned that the directors of its subsidiaries will be forced to resign or face dismissal from their posts if the current spate of accidents continues.

    In a stern statement released after a series of accidents last month, Vu Ta Tung, general director of the Vietnam Railway Corporation, asked all employees to abide strictly by safety regulations in the coming months, warning that should any crashes occur subsidiary leaders might find themselves on the company chopping block.

    For employees, disciplinary actions could include a lower grade on their performance report, ultimately affecting their pay rate, Tung added.

    He fell short of mentioning any consequence he himself might face should an accident occur.

    Though smartphones and tablets are strictly prohibited for train operators, dispatchers, and conductors who are on duty, Tung statement pointed the finger at employees who caused accidents while being distracted by mobile games and social media.

    The railway boss and his deputy Doan Duy Hoach were ‘seriously criticized’ this week for holding responsibility for a spate of train accidents that claimed two lives in May.

    On May 24, a passenger train traveling from Hanoi collided with a truck in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa, killing two people and injuring at least six others.

    On May 26, another train with a rock-carrying carriage derailed in neighboring Nghe An Province, but no casualties were reported.

    The same day, a freight train slammed into a locomotive which was moving cars at a station in the central Vietnamese province of Quang Nam, causing many carriages to derail and goods to be thrown off the train.

    The accidents further dampened public confidence on the safety of Vietnamese railways system following the discovery last year that a US$300 million automatic railway signaling system critical to preventing collisions and derailments was ineffective despite high expectations.

     Tuoi Tre News

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  • 06/15/18--01:15: Article 3
  • Shaky Internet connections lead to rocky start for World Cup 2018 viewing in Vietnam

    Internet traffic surges led to disappointing streaming quality for many Vietnamese fans during the opening ceremony and match from 9:30 pm Thursday to 12:30 am Friday

    A TV using FPT Play to stream VTV6 on June 14, 2018 is seen in this photo posted on Facebook.

    Many Vietnamese fans were disappointed when their set-top box devices left them with jerky streams of the opening ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Thursday evening.

    While people around the world enjoyed a brief but polished opening ceremony of the World Cup in Russia last night, many Vietnamese were left with shaky connections as they tried to access the show through web applications using cable boxes from their provider.

    The issue did not appear random, as customers of all four major Internet TV suppliers in the Southeast Asian country seemed to experience the same glitches.

    Some locals took to social networking sites to express their anger.

    “I tried all four providers, including MyTV, FPT Play, Clip TV, and VTV Go, but still had issues getting a clear connection for the game," Facebook user Hoang Hai reported in a post.

    “I could only watch for ten seconds at a time before the image would freeze. It kept happening to the point that I couldn’t continue watching the match," Yen Lam, a football fan based in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City, wrote on his Facebook.

    Notably, poor connection seemed to be coming from channel VTV6 – the country’s most popular World Cup broadcaster – from 9:30 pm Thursday to 12:30 am Friday. Other channels showing the event seemed to be operating smoothly.

    After the kick-off match between Russia and Saudi Arabia ended with a five-star win for the hosts, VTV6 resumed operating normally on all set-top box devices.

    A representative from the FPT network, Nguyen Viet Thang, confirmed the issues and said that the firm’s technical department is working to solve them.

    “Due to the surge in traffic, not only FPT Play but other OTT [over the top] platforms such as MyTV and Viettel also faced the same situation,” Thang added.

    A set-top box (STB) or set-top unit (STU) is an information appliance device that generally contains a TV-tuner input and displays output to a television set and an external source of signal, turning the source signal into content in a form that will then be displayed on the television screen or other display device.

    They are used for cable television, satellite television, and over-the-air television systems.

     Tuoi Tre News

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  • 06/15/18--01:28: Article 2
  • Major airport runways require urgent repairs

    The runways of the two largest airports in the country need VND4trn (USD176m) in repairs.

    illustrative image

    Le Manh Hung, director of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), said a runway at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport and a runway at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport had cracked severely due to continuous over-use. They have filed reported to the Ministry of Transport to get permission for the repairs.

    “The runways have many cracks and the surfaces are peeling off. During rainy season, mud and dirt will appear,” ACV wrote in the report.

    The 25R/07L runway at Tan Son Nhat Airport was repaired and used in June 2013 with the capacity for 55,100 takeoffs and landings in 10 years. But it had already handled 126,000 takeoffs and landings as of April.

    Runway 1B at Noi Bai was also put into use in 2003 with capacity to handle 10,500 take-offs and landings in 20 years but it has already 284,200 takeoffs and landings. ACV said the damaged runways were a severe threat to the aviation safety. The biggest obstacle is the funds for repairs.

    The Ministry of Transport proposed to the government to provide over VND4.20trn to upgrade the airport. If not possible, the ministry suggested that ACV should be able to use revenues from apron area activities, which is managed by the government, for the work. ACV currently earns VND1trn in revenue.

    If management authority is transferred to ACV, it can use its own funds. 

    The Civil Aviation Authority said it was drafting plans on the use of aprons and management and will submit it to the Ministry of Transport in August.


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  • 06/15/18--01:50: Article 1

    Commercial banks to support WB projects     

    Sai Gon-Ha Noi Bank (SHB) and Viet Nam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank) have been assigned to support projects signed between Viet Nam and the World Bank.

    The decisions were issued by the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV).

    Accordingly, SHB will support the project "Medium Urban Development" - Financing Agreement for Additional Financing Credit 6070-VN and Financing Credit Code 6071-VN, signed on December 15, 2017.

    In addition to this, SBV also assigned Techcombank to serve “Sustainable development of Da Nang City” - Financing Agreement for Additional Financing Credit 6032-VN, signed on September 29, 2017.

    The general directors of SHB and Techcomback are responsible for implementing the provisions of Decree 16/2016 /ND-CP dated March 16, 2016, of the government on the management and use of official development assistance (ODA) and preferential loans of foreign donors, guiding documents of the SBV and the Ministry of Finance, as well as the guiding regulations of the World Bank to better serve the implementation of the project.

    These decisions are effective from the signing date on June 6, 2018. 

    Phuong Nam Cultural plans to sell stakes     

    Phuong Nam Cultural Joint Stock Corporation has proposed a plan to shareholders to sell its stakes in CJ CGV Vietnam Co Ltd, which operates Viet Nam’s largest multiplex cinema, CGV.

    The decision to sell its stakes comes in the wake of financial distress faced by the corporation.

    Phuong Nam plans to sell 12.5 per cent stakes in CJ CGV Vietnam to Black Diamond Investment Joint Stock Company. If implemented, the move will reduce Phuong Nam’s holding in the cinema operator from the current 20 per cent to 7.5 per cent.

    The divesture, expected to bring in VND160 billion (US$7 million), will be used to repay its debt to the CJI Group, which includes $7 million in principal and VND18.5 billion in interest, and is due on June 30 without debt extension.

    According to the management board, the company is forced to sell investment to mitigate the risk of insolvency. In May, it sought shareholders’ approval to raise the charter capital but was rejected.

    The company could not borrow from the bank due to the lack of collateral and was unable to get loans from other organisations and individuals under the agreement with the CJI Group.

    Shareholders are requested to reply in writing by June 27.

    In 2017, Phuong Nam earned VND606 billion in revenue, up by 12 per cent year-on-year. However, it reported a loss of VND67 billion after paying taxes, raising the two-year loss to VND106 billion.

    In the first quarter of this year, the cultural company’s revenue grew by 28 per cent over the same period last year, but it still recorded a loss of VND1.8 billion against a profit of VND3.4 billion in the first quarter of 2017.

    Its shares, which are trading on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange with the code PNC, are currently under special control for reporting losses for two consecutive years. It will probably be forced to delist if losses exceed the owner’s equity.

    Its short-term debt as of March 31, 2018, exceeded the short-term assets by VND195 billion. Its total liabilities amounted to VND321 billion as of May 18.

    Meanwhile, CJ CGV Vietnam reported positive business results, with total sales reaching VND1.46 trillion in 2017, making up more than 45 per cent of the total sales of films in Viet Nam and exceeding the combined sales of four other major cinema operators, including Lotte, Galaxy, BHD and National Film Centre.

    CGV’s film distribution also makes up 60 per cent of the market.

    The Viet Nam Film Distribution Association has petitioned to the Competition Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade for possible violation of the competition law. They fear that the Vietnamese film market is being aggressively taken over by foreign companies.

    VEAM to list on HOSE


    Mai Linh group cooperates in passenger transport with Japan’s Willer, Vocarimex to focus on industrial customers, Fintech firms offer banks cost-effective solutions, IoT changing business landscape, Vincom Retail appoints new chairwoman
    The Viet Nam Engine and Agricultural Machinery Corporation (VEAM) will present to shareholders a plan to list on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE).

    The proposal will be presented at a shareholders’ meeting on June 29.

    VEAM has a chartered capital of VND13.3 trillion (US$580 million), of which 88 per cent is held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT). The company has been equitised since 2016 but has yet to be listed or registered for trading on UPCoM despite having been granted the stock code VEA in 2017.

    According to its financial statement for the first quarter of 2018, VEAM achieved consolidated revenues of nearly VND1.8 trillion, while gross profits from sales and services reached VND104.5 billion.

    The company’s after-tax profit reached over VND1 trillion and basic earnings for each share stood at VND775.

    VEAM is a large corporation specialising in the production of all kinds of engines, agricultural machines, components, and spare parts, as well as manufacturing and assembly of automobiles and motorcycles.

    The company is one of the MoIT’s most profitable enterprises. It currently owns 30 per cent of Honda Viet Nam, 20 per cent of Toyota Viet Nam, and 25 per cent of Ford Viet Nam.

    VEAM also has large land ownings spread across Ha Noi, HCM City, Hai Phong, Dong Nai, and Vung Tau, many of which are in prime locations, such as the 2,734 sq.m VEAM building in Ha Noi’s Tay Ho District and a 3.6ha lot in Ha Dong District. 

    Vocarimex to focus on industrial customers     

    Viet Nam Vegetable Oils Industry Corporation (Vocarimex) on June 12 said it plans to expand sales to business customers as well as exports this year.

    At its annual general meeting in HCM City yesterday the company said through the expansion plan it targets revenues of VND4.8 trillion (US$210 million), a jump of 9 per cent from last year.

    Its pre-tax profit target is VND300 billion ($13 million).

    Nguyen Thi Xuan Lieu, general director of the company, told the meeting that vegetable oil is not only used in households but also restaurants and industries.

    The consumption of oil by the latter category would grow at 8-11 per cent in 2016-22, she said.

    The company supplies oil to industrial customers making 11 product categories including instant noodles, dairy, confectionery, and processed foods.

    Lieu said Vocarimex is the leading exporter of seasame oil to Japanese market and the company plans to explore more possibilities.

    “Research will be strengthened to create specific products to meet the demands of various customers. The shipping methods will also be improved to expand exports,” Lieu said.

    The company reported revenues for 2017 of nearly VND4.4 trillion ($192 million), while profits were VND300 billion ($13 million), or 150 per cent of the target.

    Sales to industrial customers grew by 52.6 per cent and exports by 15 per cent.

    The company attributed its success last year to a restructure focused on industrial customers and export markets. 

    Fintech firms offer banks cost-effective solutions     

    As many as 72 per cent of Vietnamese fintech companies were opting to co-operate with local banks instead of competing, according to Le Anh Dung, director of the Payment Department under the State Bank of Viet Nam.

    Dung told a conference on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and updates in the financial and banking sector held in Ha Noi on Tuesday that fintech and banks were co-operating to provide services and products to customers.

    Fintech, or financial technology, covers different sectors and applies new technology such as cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence and biometric systems.

    Dung said that the banking sector had been slow and lacked flexibility in terms of applying new technology, resulting in high transaction costs.

    “Fintech is a rapidly developing sector, a combination of technology and financial services. It is evidence of the affects of what the Fourth Industrial Revolution could have on the finance and banking sector,” he added.

    Sharing the idea, Prof. John Wong from the Paris Corporation University said the operating costs for banks could fall by up to 80 per cent if they used fintech.

    Wong said banks could reduce the number of branches and ATMs by co-operating with fintech firms. Visa and Mastercard could be replaced by smartphones using fintech.

    However, Nguyen Dinh Thang, chairman of LienVietPostBank’s management board, said commercial banks would face major challenges in developing the digital banking system, including the legal environment; capital; human resources and risk management.

    Thang said the current legal regulations had not kept up with new technological developments, thus deterring hi-tech applications and digital banking. These could cause risks to banks and fintech companies when they deployed hi-tech applications.

    In addition, the cost of research and development would be high.

    Dung from the central bank said the SBV recognised the risks of network security with the rapid development of new technology.

    Commercial banks should enhance security measures to prevent illegal withdrawals that would affect their reputation and the banking sector in general, he added. 

    IoT changing business landscape     

    The internet of things (IoT) is growing rapidly world-wide ushering in momentous changes and huge opportunities for businesses, a conference heard in HCM City on June 12.

    Leigh Madden, vice president of IT consulting, Asia-Pacific, for Bosch, said across the world billions of devices such as cars and smart phones are already interacting and sharing information, and things are increasingly becoming an active part of the internet.

    “Every ‘thing’ in the world can transmit data to the web and communicate with every other ‘thing’ in order to perform a variety of tasks for its owner. On the internet of things, the physical and virtual worlds are fused.”

    According to the Gartner, the world’s leading IT research and advisory company, some six billion devices are already connected, and by 2020 this number is expected to exceed 20 billion.

    As early as 2020 the IoT market will be worth some US$250 billion, Leigh Madden said.

    Bosch has used IoT technology to create smart containers (to monitor food condition during transportation), community-based parking (transmitter vehicles within a community send data about free parking lots as they drive by and a parking area map is created), Kuri, a home robot, smart railway, and others, he said.

    At the conference, Bosch exhibited some of its innovations in smart agriculture, connected buildings, factories of the future, and urban mobility.

    Mallikarjuna Guru, managing director of Bosch Vietnam, said Viet Nam is in the process of industrialisation and international integration, and IoT provide great opportunities for it to develop its economy as well as industrial sector.

    “For some years now, we have steadily expanded our software and engineering expertise and capacity in the areas of connectivity.

    “Moving forward, we strive to make HCM City one of the key IoT solutions hubs for Bosch in the Southeast Asia region through our Bosch Software and Engineering R&D centre.”

    The German company had organised the first conference on the internet of things in the city last year.

    Bosch is a global supplier of technology and services with a presence in the Vietnamese market since 1994.

    In the 2017 fiscal year, it recorded over 17 per cent growth in Viet Nam, with consolidated sales reaching $114 million. 

    Vincom Retail appoints new chairwoman

    The Vincom Retail Joint Stock Corporation, a member of property developer Vingroup, has appointed Thái Thị Thanh Hải as its new chairwoman, starting on June 7.

    The appointment was made on Tuesday during the first meeting of the company’s board of directors (BOD) for the 2018-23 period.

    Vincom Retail held its annual shareholder meeting for 2018 on June 7. The newly-elected BOD consists of nine members, including Thái Thị Thanh Hải, Mai Thu Thủy, Trần Mai Hoa, and Nguyễn Thị Dịu. Other members of the board include Jeffrey David Perlman, Timothy Joseph Daly, Brett Harold Krause and Phan Thanh Sơn.

    Vincom Retail’s BOD also confirmed that Daly, Krause, and Sơn are independent members of the board.

    Prior to Hải’s appointment as Vincom Retail chairwoman, Mai Thu Thủy was the head of the company’s BOD from March 2018.

    Mai Linh group cooperates in passenger transport with Japan’s Willer

    Japan’s Willer, Inc. and Vietnam’s Mai Linh group have signed a memorandum of understanding on business cooperation in the transport of passengers.

    Senator of the Japanese parliament Takei Shunsuke and Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Van Cong witnessed the signing ceremony in Tokyo on June 12.

    CEO & President of the Japanese group Shigetaka Murase said Willer will partner with Mai Linh to complete infrastructure for the express bus route between Ho Chi Minh City – Can Tho and satellite cities in the Mekong Delta.

    Willer will train officials for managing traffic safety management and operating the transport connectivity system, he said.

    Chairman of Mai Linh group Ho Huy said the group will send more drivers to Japan for advanced training to further improve its taxi service quality.  

    The two sides will also work together to improve traffic safety and help address transport congestions in Vietnam via launching such services as e-booking, card payment, operation of bus stations and bus stops according to Japanese standards, he added.

    The main goal of Mai Linh and Willer is creating unique values in passenger transport, meeting a wide range of demands for high-quality services.

    Vietnam – India defence industry businesses gather in Hanoi

    The Indian Embassy in Vietnam together with the General Department of Defence Industry organised the 4th Vietnam – India defence industry business get-together in Hanoi on June 13.

    In his opening speech, Major General Ho Quang Tuan, deputy head of the Vietnamese department, said the gathering, which takes place during Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s official visit to Vietnam, is an activity to implement the defence cooperation policy agreed between Vietnamese and Indian governments and defence leaders. 

    It provided a chance to boost mutual understanding and trust for partnership formation between defence businesses of the two nations, while enabling participating units and businesses to access updated information on cooperation contents of their interest and to come up with more suitable orientations and action plans for their joint work.

    At the event, the two sides discussed a wide range of topic including research collaboration, design – manufacturing, technological transfer, defence goods purchase, and cooperation in defence industry and human resources training.

    Sixteen companies from India introduced their outstanding research studies in suggestion for bilateral partnerships.

    Speaking at the gathering, Rajib Kumar Sen, Joint Secretary & Economic Adviser at India’s Department of Defence Production, said Vietnam – India defence ties were built based on their time-honoured traditional relations.

    Effective joint activities have been carried out by the two defence ministries, he said, adding that the Indian Government attaches importance to the defence industry and has invested heavily in it. 

    The official expected the event will connect Vietnamese and Indian defence businesses in developing their new cooperation paths.

    Binh Son refinery reports high profit in six months

    The Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Company (BSR) estimated a profit of 2.947 trillion VND (129.66 million USD) in the first half of 2018, meeting 84.7 percent of its target for the whole year.

    BSR is a subsidiary of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and the operator of the 3 billion USD Dung Quat Oil Refinery in the central province of Quang Ngai, the first oil refinery in the country.

    With the achievement, which accounted for 30 percent of PetroVietnam’s total profit during the period, the company is the second biggest earner in the group.

    According to BSR General Director Tran Ngoc Nguyen, thanks to smooth operation, the productivity in the reviewed period was estimated to hit 3.56 million tonnes of the company’s products, exceeding by 11.4 percent of the target set for the first half of the year.   

    BSR also sold 3.6 million tonnes of its products, surpassing by 11.5 percent of its target set for the reviewed period.

    The outstanding performance was partly attributable to the company’s optimisation of management work and efficiency.

    Nguyen said in the remaining half of the year, BSR set the goal of producing and distributing more than 3.17 million tonnes of products, earning a pre-tax profit of 1.754 trillion VND (77.176 million USD).

    Power plant lacks capital

    A lack of capital has made the Thái Bình 2 Thermal Power Plant fall behind schedule to pay credit loans even as the deadline approaches, reported Vietnam Finance newspaper.

    Petro Vietnam (PVN), the project’s main investor, plans to release bonds as a possible solution.

    The Thái Bình 2 Thermal Power Plant project includes two machine units with a designed capacity of 1,200MW. The project has an investment of nearly VNĐ41.8 trillion (US$1.8 billion) and is featured in the list of emergency electricity power projects issued in 2013 by former Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng.

    The project is expected to provide 6.7 billion kWh of electricity to the national power grid per year, for which it will consume an estimated three to 3.5 million tonnes of coal.

    The disbursement values of the project during its start in 2011 and its completion in 2017 were some VNĐ10 trillion ($440 million) and VNĐ29.3 trillion ($1.3 billion), respectively.

    Regarding foreign loans, PVN, in its latest report to the government, said the total loans signed were valued at $937 million. Until now, $432 million have been disbursed while $81 million of the original debt have been paid. The remaining $505 million are yet to be allocated.

    According to PVN, the final disbursement deadline mentioned in the contract is September 28, 2018, which was based on the completion of the project’s two machine units. Decision No. 428 on the national electricity development plan during 2011-20 approved by Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc in 2016 says the Thái Bình 2 Thermal Power Plant will put machine unit No. 1 and No. 2 in operation in 2017 and 2018, respectively. However, PVN asked to extend the deadline to June 2019 for machine unit No. 1 and September 2019 for the other. The proposal is yet unapproved.

    Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) recently issued a debt reminder document for the disbursement of loans to credit institutions by September 2018. MoF said since it did not allow the extension of loan contracts after September 28, PVN had no choice but to find an alternative.

    PVN said it would be a huge challenge for the company to allocate capital without government guarantee. To solve the crisis, PVN has proposed releasing bonds valued at VNĐ10 trillion to related agencies.

    More shoppers in Hanoi buy fresh food online

    An increasing number of consumers are buying fresh food online, according to the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade.

    The department said that food, especially fresh food, was previously difficult to market online, but it is picking up now.

    Most online stores compete with traditional markets by trading organic foods produced in clean processes.

    In particular, thanks to the development of technology, shop owners can post their product images online directly, enabling both sellers and buyers to interact more quickly.

    Tran Hoai Thu, a Techcombank staff, started selling food online after buying clean pork at an online store on Facebook. Finding it delicious, she introduced friends to it and ordered for them.

    When the number of buyers increased, Thu decided to build a trading website to provide clean pork.

    Selling clean food online can save the cost of rent and involves less capital, flexible time, and cost, therefore, profits can be 15 percent to 30 percent higher. In addition, selling food online is convenient for consumers.

    "I have heard of a lot of unsafe food, so I am afraid to buy fruits and vegetables, which have no origin in the market. Off late, I have been buying food at supermarkets or online, where the products have a clear origin," said a customer in Hai Ba Trung district.

    Customer Ngan Anh in Hoang Mai district said that she often buys food online due to her busy working hours and workplace, which is located far away. Food is shipped to her house or office, and therefore, it helps save time. 

    However, there are still many individuals doing online business through websites and social networking sites without quality and origin licences, posing a risk of unsafe food, affecting the health of consumers.

    According to Hanoi’s Market Management Department, it found many online food businesses without documents of origins and no assurance of food hygiene and safety.

    Therefore, consumers should choose to buy clean food at reliable addresses to avoid “spending money and getting worse food.”

    Dragon fruits dominate Vietnam’s fruit exports

    Dragon fruits have dominated Vietnamese fruit exports in the first four months of 2018 with total exports reaching 427 million USD, a year-on-year increase of 9 percent.

    According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, dragon fruits accounted for 32 percent of the total export value of Vietnamese vegetables and fruits. The export value of dragon fruits was nearly four times higher than the two fruit exports ranked below it – longan, which had an export value of 121 million USD, and mangos, whose export value stood at 104 million USD. Dragon fruit exports also outperformed the vegetables group, which had an export value of 143.8 million USD, and processed products, at 143.6 million USD.

    Thanks to favourable exports, prices of different variations of dragon fruits in the raw materials sector have remained high since the beginning of the year. The price of white dragon fruits currently stands at about 20,000 VND (0.87 USD) per kg while red dragon fruits are sold for 40,000 VND per kg. In addition to Binh Thuan, called the “dragon fruit capital,” the fruit is now being grown in many southern provinces in Vietnam, specifically Long An and Tien Giang.

    Aside from dragon fruit, mango exports also made a strong impression by doubling its export value in the first four months of the year compared to the same period last year, reaching 104 million USD and pushing its market share from 5 percent in 2017 to nearly 8 percent from January to April 2018. Mangoes are mainly exported to China, the Republic of Korea, Australia, and Japan.

    The value of mango exports to the Chinese market during the same period reached 95 million USD, up 119 percent over the same period last year and accounting for 91 percent of Vietnam’s total export turnover of mangoes.

    According to statistics from the Department of Farm Produce Processing and Market (DFPPM) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, fruit and vegetable exports from January to May reached 1.62 billion USD, an increase of 16.4 percent against the same period last year.

    China remains Vietnam’s largest importer of vegetables and fruits.

    In the first five months of 2018, Vietnam’s total vegetable and fruit import value reached 575 million, a year-on-year increase of 15.3 percent.

    In order to maintain the export growth of vegetables and fruits and avoid devaluation, the DFPPM said Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable industry must maintain control over quarantine and food hygiene and safety, especially pesticide residues. 

    In addition to inspecting and speeding up the processing of factories every year, they must coordinate with localities to concentrate on reinforcing the raw materials sector to ensure the quality of raw materials for production and processing for export, the DFPPM said.

    Soc Trang works to tape coastal economic strengths

    Bestowed with more than 72 kilometres of coast and three estuaries, the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang has built a master plan to develop its coastal economy until 2020 with vision until 2030.

    Per the plan, four coastal localities including Vinh Chau town and Tran De, Long Phu and Cu Lao Dung districts will be zoned off to form a marine economic region, covering 1,182 square kilometres. Its core activity will be to develop seaports for import-export activities.

    The province is asking for the Prime Minister’s approval to construct a deep-water seaport in the locality and encouraging investors with strong financial capacity to get involved in the project.

    The province will prioritise connectivity among the seaport system, urban areas, industrial parks and tourism sites along the Hau River, while developing spearhead economic sectors like aquaculture cultivation, sea tourism, energy industry and thermoelectricity.

    As aquaculture is a major pillar in local economic development, the province will build a pilot irrigational model for specialised shrimp farming in Tran De district and Vinh Chau town. Soc Trang is home to more than 74,000 hectares of aquaculture land, 50,000 hectares of which were set aside for brackished-water shrimp breeding, mostly in coastal areas. 

    According to Luong Minh Quyet, Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, alongside calling for investment in aquaculture breeding, the province will support local businesses in rearranging aquaculture production towards intensive farming, while linking farmers with processing and export companies.

    Soc Trang province also poses potential to develop clean energy. According to the province’s wind-power development plan, some 37,340 hectares in Tran De district, Cu Lao Dung district and Vinh Chau town will be zoned off for wind-power development.

    Earlier this year, the Super Wind Energy Cong Ly Soc Trang Joint Stock Company began building a wind farm in Lai Hoa commune, Vinh Chau town. The project has a total capacity of 98 MW and is invested in three phases at a total cost of more than 5.39 trillion VND (237 million USD).

    The project aims for long-lasting and sustainable benefits, not only contributing to power resources in the Mekong Delta, but more importantly, contributing to the economic restructuring of the region and boosting tourism.

    Regarding tourism development, the province has joined hands with Con Dao district in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province to operate a speedboat connecting the two localities. In addition, investment has been promoted at many eco-tourism sites like Ho Be-Vinh Chau and Mo O-Tran De.

    Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Van Chuyen said the province will roll out the red carpet for both domestic and foreign investors who commit to clean, green and sustainable development.

    Vietnam – India defence industry businesses gather in Hanoi

    The Indian Embassy in Vietnam together with the General Department of Defence Industry organised the 4th Vietnam – India defence industry business get-together in Hanoi on June 13.

    In his opening speech, Major General Ho Quang Tuan, deputy head of the Vietnamese department, said the gathering, which takes place during Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s official visit to Vietnam, is an activity to implement the defence cooperation policy agreed between Vietnamese and Indian governments and defence leaders. 

    It provided a chance to boost mutual understanding and trust for partnership formation between defence businesses of the two nations, while enabling participating units and businesses to access updated information on cooperation contents of their interest and to come up with more suitable orientations and action plans for their joint work.

    At the event, the two sides discussed a wide range of topic including research collaboration, design – manufacturing, technological transfer, defence goods purchase, and cooperation in defence industry and human resources training.

    Sixteen companies from India introduced their outstanding research studies in suggestion for bilateral partnerships.

    Speaking at the gathering, Rajib Kumar Sen, Joint Secretary & Economic Adviser at India’s Department of Defence Production, said Vietnam – India defence ties were built based on their time-honoured traditional relations.

    Effective joint activities have been carried out by the two defence ministries, he said, adding that the Indian Government attaches importance to the defence industry and has invested heavily in it. 

    The official expected the event will connect Vietnamese and Indian defence businesses in developing their new cooperation paths.

    Expositions focus on rubber, paper, coatings, paper ink industries

    Domestic and foreign firms operating in the fields of rubber, paper, coatings and paper ink are displaying their products at international expositions that synchronously kicked off in Ho Chi Minh City on June 13. 

    The expositions - Rubber & Tyre Vietnam, Paper Vietnam and Coatings Vietnam 2018 - draw the participation of 250 units from 15 countries and territories worldwide like India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, Malaysia, Singapore, the US, Germany, the UK and Vietnam, said Min Shui, a representative of the organising board. 

    On display are machines, equipment and materials used in the paper, rubber, tyre, coatings and printing ink industries. The events offer an opportunity for businesses to explore new products, services and technologies, while seeking partners. 

    Rubber & Tyre Vietnam 2018 focuses on machines and technologies in the rubber production sector. 

    Paper Vietnam 2018 is the only international exposition on the paper and pulp industry in Vietnam. 

    Meanwhile, Coatings Vietnam 2018 is the most professional expo on the coatings and printing ink industry in the country. 

    Vo Hoang An, Vice President and Secretary General of the Vietnam Rubber Association, pointed out challenges caused by the integration process to the domestic rubber sector. 

    Given this, associations have proactively stepped up trade promotion activities under different forms, including trade fairs to introduce new products and technologies, and connect producers and consumers, he said. 

    K. Srikar Reddy, Indian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, said up to 50 Indian businesses are participating in the events to introduce their products and set up partnerships with Vietnamese firms, looking towards the target of advancing the trade venue between the two countries to 15 billion USD in 2020. 

    Within the framework of the expos, there will be symposiums with the participation of many domestic and foreign experts. 

    The events will last until June 15.

    Thai Nguyen ready for investment promotion conference

    The northern province of Thai Nguyen will host an investment promotion conference in early July 2018 to introduce its potential, strengths and policies to international investors and organisations. 

    During the event, the province will call for investments in four key fields and in Quyet Thang hi-tech industrial zone; Yen Binh, Song Cong I, Song Cong II industrial zones and industrial clusters. 

    In agriculture, the province mapped out projects in concentrated tea growing zones, organic agriculture and large-scale paddy fields. 

    While in tourism, Thai Nguyen will appeal to investors for investment in Nui Coc lake national tourism site, the north of Tam Dao national garden, the western urban area, and Yen Binh hi-tech industrial, agricultural and service complexes. 

    Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment Hoang Thai Cuong said preparations for the event has been basically completed, adding that the province has issued a portfolio of 65 priority projects in need of capital in industrial zones and clusters, agriculture, infrastructure for trade, culture, sports and tourism, transport and urban areas, health care and education. 

    Thai Nguyen has made a list of qualified investors for five projects worth over 3.4 trillion VND (149.7 million USD), and granted licenses to eight projects valued at more than 1.8 trillion VND (79.3 million USD). 

    During the conference, the province will sign cooperation agreements with investors on 23 projects worth more than 12.43 trillion VND (547.8 million USD). 

    Lying at a strategic location in the northern mountainous mid-land region with abundant natural resources and modern infrastructure, the province has 7 out of 9 district-level units offering waive and exemption of land tax and corporate income tax. 

    Apart from government incentives, the province also supports investors in agricultural and hi-tech projects. 

    For large-scale projects, the province pledges to work with investors to ask for the government’s permission to adopt preferential policy.

    Mekong Delta province to shift rice fields to aquaculture

    The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang, the country’s largest rice producer, plans to shift 86,625ha of unproductive rice fields to aquaculture and cultivation of other high-value crops from now to 2020.

    Of the rice fields, 3,420ha will be used to grow perennial trees, 10,492ha for short-term crops, and 72,713ha for rotating shrimp and rice or fish and rice on the same field, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    Mai An Nhin, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said the conversion of rice fields was being done to suit the ecology of each area. This will increase income for farmers and establish concentrated agricultural and aquaculture areas that meet market demand, he said.

    The province has instructed agencies to set up detailed plans to convert the rice fields and has also encouraged the establishment of agricultural co-operatives to produce a large quantity of agricultural products and improve profits for farmers.

    In the 2017-18 winter- spring rice crop, about 150 rice co-operatives signed contracts with 10 companies to grow more than 32,000ha of rice, and were guaranteed outlets.   

    The province has improved the transfer of advanced techniques to farmers so they can produce high-quality agricultural and aquatic products for export.

    In the past, Kien Giang specialised in planting only rice, and in recent years, under the encouragement of local authorities, more farmers have rotated shrimp and rice in fields which lack fresh water in the dry season.  

    The province now has nearly 90,000ha devoted to the shrimp - rice rotation model, the largest area of its kind in the delta.

    Duong Tuyet Nga, who has rotated farming shrimp and rice in her field in Hon Dat district’s Tho Son commune, said the model had helped her family escape poverty.

    “Rotating shrimp and rice has a higher profit than planting only rice, so many households have switched to this model,” she said.

    Under the model, farmers plant rice in the rainy season and breed shrimp in the dry season on the same field.

    The model offers farmers an average profit of 21 million VND (925 USD) per ha for a rice crop and an average profit of 29 million VND (1,300 USD) per ha for a shrimp crop.  

    Dao Xuan Nha, head of the Hon Dat District Division of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the model had reduced pollution and disease among shrimp.

    The province’s shrimp-rice farming model includes one crop of black tiger shrimp and one rice crop a year, and two crops of white-legged shrimp and one rice crop a year.

    The model produces clean rice and shrimp as farmers use less chemicals and the shrimp eat natural food in the fields. The model is suitable for areas affected by saltwater intrusion in the dry season.

    The model produces about 300 - 500 kilo of shrimp and four to seven tonnes of rice per ha a year.

    However, irrigation systems at shrimp-rice farming areas have not been perfected, so saltwater intrusion has entered deep inland.

    In addition, farmers’ profits from a shrimp crop are much higher than that of a rice crop, so many farmers breed two shrimp crops in their fields and do not grow a rice crop.

    The province plans to focus on investing in infrastructure and farming techniques for the shrimp-rice farming model and establish a brand name for these areas, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    The province aims to have 90,000ha devoted to shrimp-rice rotation by 2030.

    Soc Trang works to tape coastal economic strengths

    Bestowed with more than 72 kilometres of coast and three estuaries, the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang has built a master plan to develop its coastal economy until 2020 with vision until 2030.

    Per the plan, four coastal localities including Vinh Chau town and Tran De, Long Phu and Cu Lao Dung districts will be zoned off to form a marine economic region, covering 1,182 square kilometres. Its core activity will be to develop seaports for import-export activities.

    The province is asking for the Prime Minister’s approval to construct a deep-water seaport in the locality and encouraging investors with strong financial capacity to get involved in the project.

    The province will prioritise connectivity among the seaport system, urban areas, industrial parks and tourism sites along the Hau River, while developing spearhead economic sectors like aquaculture cultivation, sea tourism, energy industry and thermoelectricity.

    As aquaculture is a major pillar in local economic development, the province will build a pilot irrigational model for specialised shrimp farming in Tran De district and Vinh Chau town. Soc Trang is home to more than 74,000 hectares of aquaculture land, 50,000 hectares of which were set aside for brackished-water shrimp breeding, mostly in coastal areas. 

    According to Luong Minh Quyet, Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, alongside calling for investment in aquaculture breeding, the province will support local businesses in rearranging aquaculture production towards intensive farming, while linking farmers with processing and export companies.

    Soc Trang province also poses potential to develop clean energy. According to the province’s wind-power development plan, some 37,340 hectares in Tran De district, Cu Lao Dung district and Vinh Chau town will be zoned off for wind-power development.

    Earlier this year, the Super Wind Energy Cong Ly Soc Trang Joint Stock Company began building a wind farm in Lai Hoa commune, Vinh Chau town. The project has a total capacity of 98 MW and is invested in three phases at a total cost of more than 5.39 trillion VND (237 million USD).

    The project aims for long-lasting and sustainable benefits, not only contributing to power resources in the Mekong Delta, but more importantly, contributing to the economic restructuring of the region and boosting tourism.

    Regarding tourism development, the province has joined hands with Con Dao district in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province to operate a speedboat connecting the two localities. In addition, investment has been promoted at many eco-tourism sites like Ho Be-Vinh Chau and Mo O-Tran De.

    Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Van Chuyen said the province will roll out the red carpet for both domestic and foreign investors who commit to clean, green and sustainable development.


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  • 06/15/18--02:12: Article 0
  • HCM City seeks authority to make direct decisions on metro projects

    HCM City authorities have asked the Government to consider allowing the city and provincial level administrative agencies to approve metro projects to ensure that construction remains on schedule.

     Railway development, ODA, the list of metro sponsors, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
    An elevated section of HCM City’s Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien metro line runs along the Sai Gon River. — VNA/VNS Photo An Hieu

    In a report sent to the Ministry of Transport on the city’s railway development over 10 years, Tran Vinh Tuyen, vice chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, said that ministries required a lot of time to screen and approve the list of metro sponsors before sending it to the Prime Minister.

    He said that, by the time the construction starts, the design and total investment costs must be adjusted to fit the new situation.

    Vietnamese regulations on the use and management of official development assistance (ODA) funds and preferential loans are different from those of international funding sponsors for metro projects.

    As such, every adjustment needs to be discussed and approved by the sponsors, which further delays the project.

    The city metro lines, which are huge billion-dollar projects, have to go through different levels of approval, which also lengthens the process.

    The city’s plan calls for eight metro lines with a total length of 220km at a cost of US$25 billion; six bus rapid transit (BRT) routes with a total length of 100km at a cost of $1 billion; and three tramway or monorail routes.

    Fifty-three per cent of the work on metro line No 1 (Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien route) has been completed. It is expected to open for operation sometime in 2020.

    Metro line No 1 was approved by the city in April 2007 with an investment of VND17.4 trillion ($766.4 million). After investment costs were re-calculated by consulting agencies, costs rose to more than VND47.3 trillion.

    The cost adjustment has been submitted to the National Assembly for approval.

    HCM City authorities attributed the rising costs to price changes for construction materials, an increase in the minimum wage, and the depreciation of the Vietnamese dong and Japanese yen, among other reasons.

    As for metro line No 2, which connects Ben Thanh Market in District 1 with Tham Luong in District 12, the city People’s Committee in 2010 approved a design by a local consulting firm with a total investment of $1.37 billion.

    However, after the completion deadline was extended from 2020 to 2026, investment capital needed for metro line No 2 rose, from VND26 trillion to nearly VND48 trillion.


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  • 06/18/18--03:06: Article 0
  • What is the future for Vietnam’s retail industry?

    The Vietnamese retail market is undergoing a restructuring with new trends expected in the next three years, especially changes in investors’ strategies.

    vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, retail chain, supermarket, department store 

    Vietnam is listed among the most attractive retail markets globally 

    Vietnam is listed among the most attractive retail markets globally. There are 800 supermarkets, 150 shopping malls, nearly 9,000 traditional markets and 2.2 million retail households throughout the country.

    A.T. Kearney’s 2017 report showed that Vietnam jumped five grades to the sixth position in its GRDI (global retail development index), after India, China, Malaysia, Turkey and UAE.

    A report showed that the sales in traditional retail channels decreased by half, from $1.9 billion to $1 billion, but the sales in modern retail chains soared from $1.4 billion to $3.7 billion.

    The government has allowed to set up 100 percent foreign retail companies since 2015, while preferences, rapid urbanization and a young population all make the country among the world’s most attractive markets, according to the Vietnam Report.

    The government has allowed to set up 100 percent foreign retail companies since 2015, while preferences, rapid urbanization and a young population all make the country among the world’s most attractive markets, according to the Vietnam Report.

    In the last two decades, the department store in Vietnam has had success.

    Parkson is considered a typical example. Its name became well known in Vietnam in 2005-2010 with department stores opened in many large cities, including Hanoi and HCMC.

    Since 2011, the department store model has shown some shortcomings and become less favored than the shopping mall, an integrated complex that serves customers’ diverse demands, from shopping to entertainment.

    Parkson has shut down all of its stores in Hanoi.  Even Trang Tien Plaza is meeting difficulties. Meanwhile, shopping malls such as VIncom Times City, VIncom Royal City and The Garden are doing well.

    Analysts have also noted that e-commerce has affected the traditional retail model.

    According to Savills Vietnam, in the first quarter of 2018, the total supply of retail premises in HCMC was 1.2 million square meters of floor area with 73,000 square meters.

    Meanwhile, three projects shut down and three others changed functions, thus leading to the decrease of 39,200 square meters in floor area.

    The rent decreased by 1 percent quarterly, while the average occupancy rate fell slightly by 1 percentage point, mostly because new supplies in non-central areas had low rents and low occupancy rates.

    Philippe Courbois from Savills said the retail market is witnessing a strong rise of apps and e-commerce activity.

    The cooperation between traditional retailers and e-commerce has also generated big changes and created more conveniences for customers.

    Experts recently said that omni-channel services, a new terminology in the retail industry, will be a growing tendency for now and the near future.


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  • 06/19/18--02:14: Article 0
  • Foreigners may quit stock market if inflation is high: analysts

    High inflation may put pressure on the exchange rate and prompt foreign investors to withdraw capital from Vietnam’s stock market, analysts say.

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    The 0.55 percent CPI (consumer price index)  increase in May, the highest in six years, has raised concerns about the possible high inflation rate in 2018.

    As such, after two months of staying at low levels, the CPI has bounced back with the high increase of 3.86 percent compared with the same period last year, very close to the 4 percent inflation rate targeted for this year.

    In principle, high inflation will put pressure on the exchange rate. The official VND/USD exchange rate announced by the central bank remains stable compared with the sharp depreciation of other currencies against the dollar.

    However, this doesn’t mean that the exchange rate will be stable in the time to come.

    If the VND depreciates sharply, this would encourage foreign investors to sell stocks. At the least, they would not buy shares for the fear that the risks may erase all the gains they made recently.

    If the VND depreciates sharply, this would encourage foreign investors to sell stocks. At the least, they would not buy shares for the fear that the risks may erase all the gains they made recently.

    The total net sales by foreign investors in May climbed to VND7 trillion. If foreign investors keep selling and withdrawing capital, the local currency will depreciate further.

    Though foreign investors sell more than buy, they are still injecting money into newly listed shares, equitized state-owned enterprises and enterprises which the State divests from. Foreign cash still has not fled from Vietnam.

    The high inflation rate may also force the State Bank to tighten monetary policy to curb inflation. The solutions of raising interest rates and reducing the money supply will have negative impact on the stock market in general and enterprises in particular.

    Higher capital costs will lead to the decrease of enterprises’ profitability. As for investors, as the loans are no longer cheap, they will not borrow money to invest in the stock market

    Current factors are having pressure on the CPI. The crude oil price is on the rise. Vietnam adjusted the petrol price twice in May, creating a 0.16 percent increase in CPI.

    The pork price, after falling dramatically last year, has increased sharply because of short supply. According to the General Statistics Office, the pork price has increased by 5.85 percent.

    Some international finance institutions recently warned that Vietnam may not be able to keep the inflation rate at 4 percent in the context of the goods price increase and the recovery of the greenback in the world market.


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  • 06/19/18--02:21: Article 1
  • Social News 19/6

    Vietnam contributes to climate change response

    Vietnam contributes to climate change response, Dien Bien police raze 2 drug trafficking rings in 3 hours, Project helps improve food security for women in rural areas, Da Nang: project hopes to revive ancient coastal villages 

    The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) conference on climate change response toward sustainability which opened in Can Tho city on June 18 is of great importance for Vietnam as the country is accelerating the implementation of the Paris Agreement and Agenda 20 and Agenda 30 on Climate Change.

    The three-day event shows the global efforts of Vietnam and its contributions to ASEM and creates the conditions for its Mekong Delta region to take the advantage of the support, assistance and cooperation of Asia-Europe partners in climate change adaptation and sustainable development.

    Vietnam’s initiative to organize the conference has been supported by a number of countries including Australia, Denmark, Myanmar, Finland, and Italy. The event is one of the most important inter-regional meetings on climate change hosted by Vietnam in the framework of ASEM 2018.

    The ASEM conference provides a forum for Vietnam to gain experience and boost cooperation in climate change response with ASEM member economies.

    On the table for discussion are Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, solutions to climate change, opportunities for sustainable growth, shifting to a low-carbon economy, funding for climate change response and development, and climate change response in the context of the 4th industrial revolution.

    ASEM member economies will discuss lessons and experience in natural disaster response, sustainable water management, renewable energy, clean technology, and climate-change-response-agriculture.

    Delegates will hold talks on the participation of stakeholders such as policy makers, enterprises, local administrations, funding organizations, socio-economic organizations, and foreign partners.

    They have agreed on the need to strengthen Asia-Europe cooperation in climate change through technology transfer, networking, and a shared evaluation system.

    Vietnam is one of the countries hardest hit by climate change. The Mekong River Delta is one of the world’s three deltas most vulnerable to sea level rise. Climate change is seriously threatening Vietnam’s food security and agriculture development.

    In recent years, the Mekong River Delta and Can Tho city in particular have implemented several solutions and received foreign support to respond to climate change. The conference creates an opportunity for natural resource and environment experts to share and gain experience in climate change response, renewable energy development, sustainable water resource management, and resource mobilization.

    Volunteers join hands for trash-free Ha Long Bay

     Vietnam contributes to climate change response, Dien Bien police raze 2 drug trafficking rings in 3 hours, Project helps improve food security for women in rural areas, Da Nang: project hopes to revive ancient coastal villages

    Over 100 volunteers have joined hands to collect rubbish along beaches in Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO Heritage Site in the northern Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh, as part of a program to turn the bay into a green and garbage-free tourist destination.

    The management board of Ha Long Bay coordinated with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Center for Supporting Green Development (GreenHub) to organize the trash collection event this week.

    This is the fourth time the program has been held since it was first initiated in June 2016, aimed at developing a green and rubbish-free Ha Long Bay.

    This year’s event was attended by more than 100 volunteers who are representatives of local yacht companies and tourist firms, university students and lecturers of tourism and hospitality, members of non-governmental organizations, and experts from the Ha Long Bay management board.

    It was also part of a series of activities to mark the 2018 World Environment Day under the theme of reducing plastic waste.

    The volunteers were divided into two groups to collect trash at Coc Cheo and Bang Ang Beaches stretching a total length of 200 meters and were able to gather about 741 kilograms of garbage.

    Jake Brunner, program coordinator of IUCN Vietnam, believed that the goal to turn Ha Long Bay into a green tourist destination is achievable as long as local authorities, businesses, and international organizations keep contributing to the effort.

    According to Nguyen Huyen Anh, deputy head of the Ha Long Bay management board, over 2,000 metric tons of trash was collected along beaches in the bay.

    The board and competent authorities have been focusing on protecting the environment at the destination and minimizing the negative impacts of tourism on the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Anh remarked.

    “We have required all tourist boats to be equipped with onboard recycle bins. Those boats that are caught dumping rubbish into the water will be sternly punished,” she stated.

    Dien Bien police raze 2 drug trafficking rings in 3 hours

    Police of northern Dien Bien province have busted two drug trafficking rings, arresting three suspects and seizing nearly 1.7kg of heroin.

    Ho A Dia Dien Bien police in coordination with the Anti-Drug Enforcement Team (Dien Bien Customs Department) caught red handed Ho A Dia (born in 1984 and residing in Muong Pon commune, Dien Bien district), for transporting five cakes of heroin at 6pm on June 17.

    Lo Van Son and Luong Van Minh Three hours later, they successfully razed another drug trafficking ring, arresting Lo Van Son (born in 1975 and residing in Ang Cang commune, Muong Anh district) and Luong Van Minh (born in 1984 and residing in Muong Ang town), who were in the process of smuggling 37.99gram of heroin.

    These men used murder weapons to fight against functional forces to escape, but failed. Police captured the suspects together with exhibits.

    Both cases are under investigation.

    ‘Copyright knights’ volunteer to fight World Cup piracy in Vietnam

    With the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches illegally streamed on different Internet platforms in Vietnam, infringing the copyrights of Vietnam Television, a group of ‘knights’ have dedicated their time and efforts to help the state broadcaster tackle piracy.

    VTV is the exclusive telecast right holder for all 64 matches of Russia 2018 in Vietnam. An undisclosed deal entitles the state broadcaster to the rights of airing the matches on all platforms, from TV and radio to the Internet.

    VTV also allows some local partners such as HTV and Viettel TV to share its telecast rights on their own platforms.

    But in just three days since the World Cup opening on June 14, the national television has detected more than 700 cases of telecast right violations of the football fiesta on the Internet, according to Lao Dong (Labor) newspaper.

    VTV has asked a number of law firms specializing in copyright to take on the issue, whereas some local fans have volunteered to find and report illegal broadcasters of the World Cup matches to the genuine copyright holder.

    According to Phan Vu Tuan, head of the Phan Law Vietnam law firm, there are currently three main forms of World Cup piracy in Vietnam.

    The most common and also most complicated form involves users downloading software programs for mobiles and computers that allow them to stream international television programs for free.

    The second type of copyright pirates is websites that illegally relay matches broadcast on VTV and Viettel TV. Some 28 websites employed this tactic to pirate the broadcast of the tournament’s Russia - Saudi Arabia opener, according to Phan Law Vietnam.

    The last method is to illegally live-stream the World Cup matches from VTV via Facebook and YouTube, disguising as VTV affiliates.

    Some 100 different accounts were found streaming the Russia - Saudi Arabia game, only minutes into the opening match where the hosts claimed a 5-0 win.

    Many Facebook accounts even live-streamed the entire matches, including VTV comment sessions before and after the games.

    VTV said it had managed to block some of the violations two to three minutes after detection, but many websites would only change into other IP addresses to continue their copyright infringement, according to Lao Dong.

    For instance, the number of Facebook and Youtube accounts illegally live-streaming the Portugal - Spain clash was much bigger than those airing the opening game without permission.

    Lao Dong said the widespread piracy could lead to the worst consequence, with FIFA suspending all telecast rights for Russia 2018 in Vietnam.

    In 2017, Vietnam Cable Television, or VTVcab, was forced to terminate live broadcasts of the UEFA Champions League due to continued copyright infringement from local websites and TV stations.

    “It is very unlikely we will be able to obtain and maintain the rights to broadcast such major international events as the World Cup if blatantly copyright infringement remains rampant,” Tuan asserted.

    A group of local football lovers did not want to see FIFA bans the World Cup from being officially broadcast in the country, and have emerged themselves as ‘copyright knights,’ working voluntarily to help VTV combat violations.

    The team originally consisted of only 11 members, who work for paid television companies or manage TV-themed social media pages and forums, according to tech news website ICTNews.

    As of Saturday, the group expanded into 23 members, who would ‘scour’ the Internet for illegal broadcast during every live matches.

    When detecting violations, the group members will report to Google and Facebook or VTV and HTV for intervention.

    Their efforts to prevent World Cup piracy have been proven effective, according to ICTNews.

    According to a founding member, illegal live-stream sessions of Russia 2018 matches on YouTube and Facebook started to reduce significantly from Saturday.

    “We only found a few violators, whereas the number of infringements was too many to count on the first days of the tournaments,” he said.

    “But we will still have to work actively to protect the World Cup copyright [in Vietnam],” he added.

    A lot of viewers have also sent links of websites or platforms that infringed the World Cup copyright to the VTV official Facebook page.

    Over 200 fans have so far reported around 700 violations to VTV, with the state broadcaster already handling 300 of them.

    VTV has also called on cooperation from the Ministry of Information and Communications to help fight against the World Cup piracy on the Internet.

    Project helps improve food security for women in rural areas

     Vietnam contributes to climate change response, Dien Bien police raze 2 drug trafficking rings in 3 hours, Project helps improve food security for women in rural areas, Da Nang: project hopes to revive ancient coastal villages

    Reducing food shortages and malnutrition in the northern provinces of Lao Cai, Lai Chau and Ha Giang is the main goal of a project sponsored by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada.

    The project has been carried out in the three localities from November 2015 to June 2018, heard a conference in Hanoi on June 18.

    A representative from the National Institute of Nutrition under the Ministry of Health said the project aims to build a supply chain meeting the standards of the institute to address food safety barriers for the target populations, especially mothers and children, in the aforesaid provinces.

    After nearly three years of implementation, the project has built a system of 13 consulting desks on child raising in the localities, opened training courses on safe agricultural practices for needy women and provided online courses on food security.

    Over 1,600 children under two years old in nine communes along with more than 2,500 children in 10 kindergartens and poor women with children have benefited from the project.

    The ratio of underweight children has decreased remarkably from 17.2% to 13.9% while that of wasted ones has dropped from 7.6% to 3.4%.

    According to the National Institute of Nutrition, besides the aforesaid outcomes, the implementation of the project still meets some challenges in approaching public-private partnership on nutrition.

    It remains difficult to access to areas where ethnic minority people inhabit and provide safe materials for food workshops.

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has recently issued a National Action Programme on Zero Hunger, aiming to ensure enough food and nutrition for all citizens.

    The programme is part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No 2 which focuses on sustainable solutions to eradicate hunger in all its forms by 2030 and to achieve food security.

    The programme prioritises the reduction of malnutrition among children under two by 2025.

    More specifically, a target has been set to reduce the ratio of children under two who are a low height for their age (stunted) to less than 20% across most of the country, and 25% for children in mountainous areas in the northern and Central Highland regions.

    The target for children under two who are a low weight for their height or a low weight for their age has been set at below 5%.

    Association contributes to boosting Vietnam-Switzerland ties

    Vietnam contributes to climate change response, Dien Bien police raze 2 drug trafficking rings in 3 hours, Project helps improve food security for women in rural areas, Da Nang: project hopes to revive ancient coastal villages 

    Under the sponsorship of the Switzerland-Vietnam Association (SVA), Binh Minh School, the first Vietnamese language teaching school in Switzerland, was established in 2017.

    Binh Minh school is one of various achievements recorded by the association during 2017-2018, reported SVA President Anjuska Weil at the association’s annual meeting last weekend. 

    The school has been opened for children of Vietnamese origin in Zurich city and its adjacent areas every Saturday morning. 

    Anjuska Weil expressed her hope that the school will contribute to preserving Vietnamese language and culture among young people of Vietnamese origin in the country. 

    Besides, the association has implemented exchanges and charitable programmes, with the most noteworthy being a three-week trip to Vietnam by eight of its members in October 2017. 

    During the visit, the SVA members presented US$3,000 to the elderly in difficult circumstances in Hue city, the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, said the President. 

    In November 2017, the association organised the “Solidarity Day” to raise funds for victims of Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin and natural disasters in Vietnam, she added. 

    The SVA has joined hands with the Vietnam les Enfants de la Dioxin organisation based in Paris to launch many projects in support of Vietnamese AO victims, especially children. 

    The association has also coordinated with the Vietnamese Embassy in Switzerland in an array of friendship and community-based activities. 

    Established in 1992, the association brings together hundreds of Swiss friends of different generations, who are interested in Vietnam.

    Da Nang: project hopes to revive ancient coastal villages


    Vietnam contributes to climate change response, Dien Bien police raze 2 drug trafficking rings in 3 hours, Project helps improve food security for women in rural areas, Da Nang: project hopes to revive ancient coastal villages
    Son Tra district in the central city of Da Nang has almost completed research and preparations for a project to bring community arts into living space and preserve ancient coastal villages.

    The project has its origin in the idea of local famous photographer Nguyen Van My, also known as My Dung, a member of the Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists.

    After receiving permission of the municipal People’s Committee, the district began studying and surveying the target area, which covers An Tan and An Don coastal villages in the district’s An Hai Bac ward with a combined area of 5.2ha.

    Based on the proposal of photographer Nguyen Van My, the project is seeking an appropriate solution to preserve the status quo of the two villages besides the Han river, where the special architectural characteristics of traditional Vietnamese villages are still kept almost intact.

    Such interesting features include communal houses, old wells, small alleys, banyan trees, temples, and hundreds-year-old houses.  

    Vo Thi Phuong, head of the Son Tra District Culture and Information Office, said the execution of the project will be divided into two stages, with the emphasis on ensuring the harmonious combination between the essence of the traditional culture and modernity.

    She remarked the preservation work will help preserve the traditional Vietnamese coastal culture, diversify local tourism products, and enhance the living conditions and livelihoods of residents living there as well.

    Appreciating this idea, Tran Chi Cuong, Deputy Director of the municipal Tourism Department, stated that the villages will become part of a chain of tourism products, and connecting Tran Hung Dao and Ngo Quyen streets to form a walking route linking with Bach Dang street.

    While supporting the project, 60-year-old Hoang Thi The, a local inhabitant in An Don village, said she hopes it will also help local residents get better incomes besides providing a new attractions for both residents and visitors.

    To realise the initiative, Son Tra district authorities have coordinated with photographer Nguyen Van My and authorised offices to devise plans, survey existing houses, cultural and historical relic sites in the villages, as well as the distinctive cultural identities and the lifestyles of villagers.

    The Son Tra District Culture and Information Office said that it had basically completed the collection of locals’ opinions.

    This year, the district plans to build 800m of roads in the villages and seek investors to carry out the project.

    Once completed, the project is expected to lure more tourists from both inside and outside the country to Son Tra district in particular and Da Nang city in general.

    Da Nang is a popular tourist destination in central Vietnam. The online marketplace and hospitality service Airbnb announced a list of the world’s top 10 destinations for the 2018, in which Da Nang ranked fifth in booking surges of up to 255 percent.

    According to the municipal Department of Tourism, the number of visitors to the central coastal city is increasing at annual average rate of 20.06 percent in the 2013-2017 period.

    In 2017, the city welcomed 6.6 million tourists, 2.1 times higher than the figure in 2013. The tourism industry generated 186,770 jobs in 2017 and grossed over 19.5 trillion VND (854.1 million USD) in revenues, 2.5-fold increase from 2013.

    This year, the city was ranked second in the list of the 10 most popular destinations among solo or couple travelers, according to the Republic of Korea’s Ticket Monster Inc.

    The website said people who plan to travel abroad with family members chose Da Nang as the most popular destination.

    The city is also the second-most popular destination among couple of travelers, followed by Bangkok (Thailand) and Guam (the US), it said.

    According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Da Nang was said to be the best place to live in Vietnam with many world-recognised records. 

    The US’s New York Times listed Da Nang among 52 places to go in 2015. The city was recognised as one of the world’s 20 low-carbon cities at the 44th APEC Meeting on Energy in the US in 2012.

    In addition, Da Nang International Airport was ranked third among the best airports in the world in 2014, according to a survey by Dragon Air.

    President commends disadvantaged students with high academic results

    Vietnam contributes to climate change response, Dien Bien police raze 2 drug trafficking rings in 3 hours, Project helps improve food security for women in rural areas, Da Nang: project hopes to revive ancient coastal villages

    President Tran Dai Quang has extolled 70 underprivileged students for their efforts to overcome a range of difficulties to achieve high academic results for many years.

    At a meeting in Hanoi on June 18 with the students from 14 cities and provinces across the country, President Quang mentioned the fact that nearly 1.5 million out of 26 million children in Vietnam are still encountering difficulties such as orphanage, disabilities or early labour, while over 2.1 million kids are likely to fall into special circumstances and need attentions from the social community.

    According to the President, in order to increase protection, education and care for children, especially disadvantaged kids, it is necessary to raise public awareness of the issue and provide children with self-protection skills while condemning and strictly handling violence against children.

    He emphasized the need to enhance efficiency of State management, responsibility of families and the entire social’s engagement in protecting, caring for and educating children, particularly those from disadvantaged, ethnic minority, remote and isolated areas.

    The President suggested making proper land use plans to build more entertainment parks and promote culture, sports and art activities for children.

    He asked the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and relevant ministries and agencies to continue implementing effectively the 11th-tenure Politburo’s Directive No. 20-CT/TW on strengthening the Party’s leadership on caring for, educating and protecting children.

    The meeting took place on the occasion of the action month for children themed “For children’s safe and healthy living” which was launched in the northern province of Phu Tho on May 27.

    A series of events to support children in need have been held during the action month such as organising entertainment activities, providing free medical checkups and scholarships for children.

    The National Fund for Vietnamese Children will allocate more than 14 billion VND (616,000 USD) for activities 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 “for children’s safe and healthy living”, “safe and healthy summer for children”, “summer without child drowning”, “listen to children with heart, protect children with actions”, “calling 111 to report any acts of violence against children and child abuse”, and “using social media for the safe and healthy life of children”

    Can Tho city reels from dengue outbreak

     Vietnam contributes to climate change response, Dien Bien police raze 2 drug trafficking rings in 3 hours, Project helps improve food security for women in rural areas, Da Nang: project hopes to revive ancient coastal villages

    The Department of Health of the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho said there have been 213 cases of dengue fever in the city this year and 60 hotspots.

    Eighty eight percent of the victims were people aged under 15 years, according to the department.

    Thach Minh Duc, deputy head of the dengue fever division at the Can Tho Children’s Hospital, said: “The hospital received 200 patients this month. The disease is expected to spread further.”  

    The downtown area is among the worst affected, with Ninh Kieu district accounting for 25 cases and O Mon for 32, he said.

    The department said the southern region is severely affected in the rainy season. There have been four deaths in the country in the first six months out of 20,552 cases.

    In Can Tho, the number of cases has decreased by 41.4% this year, according to the department.

    Huynh Minh Truc, Director of the city’s Preventive Medicine Centre, said unhygienic living conditions are the major cause for the spread of dengue in Can Tho and its neighbouring areas.

    Besides, local authorities do not educate or warn the public about it, he said.

    The city has failed to clean up hotspots like vacant lands where wastewater stagnates, he said.

    The department has urged health authorities in other cities and provinces to carry out prevention activities on ASEAN Dengue Day, June 15.

    Can Tho authorities plan to set up teams of health workers who will supervise activities to combat the disease in key areas together with their counterparts from Mekong Delta provinces.

    It includes campaigns to destroy mosquitoes and their larvae especially in hotspots.

    Nguyen Trung Nghia, deputy director of the department, said: “We are focusing on completely clearing infection hotspots of dengue-causing mosquitoes.”

    Quang Ninh police seize 72 bricks of heroin in drug ring bust

     Vietnam contributes to climate change response, Dien Bien police raze 2 drug trafficking rings in 3 hours, Project helps improve food security for women in rural areas, Da Nang: project hopes to revive ancient coastal villages 

    Police in the northern province of QuangNinh have busted a drug trafficking ring, arrested suspects and seized 72 bricks of heroin (equivalent to 23.76 kg).

    Chairman of QuangNinh People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long has praised the five police teams who successfully uncovered the trafficking ring operating in Tra Co, MongCai city on June 16 and granted them a reward worth VND50 million.

    Mr Long acknowledged the efforts and courage of the police in uncovering the drug trafficking ring, who illegally transported a huge amount of drugs.

    Local authorities asked the relevant agencies to co-ordinate with the Ministry of Public Security and police at central and grassroots levels to continue apprehending suspects involved in the drug ring.

    Earlier, QuangNinh police also stopped and examined two suspects and their car on National Highway 18 in Ha Long city. The police discovered bricks of heroin had been concealed within car, seizing 100 bricks of heroin in total.

    Exhibition promotes Vietnam – China cultural industry cooperation

    The National Library of Vietnam on June 18 opened an exhibition on cultural products of China’s Nanjing city and a seminar on cultural traditions and the creative industry.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Kieu Thuy Nga, director of the library, said Vietnam and China are close neighbours, sharing a long history of cultural exchanges and cultural similarities.

    She recalled that in November last year, on the occasion of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Vietnam, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in cultural industry.

    The exhibition and seminar are activities in realisation of the pact, she added. 

    The exhibition featured 50 products bearing both traditional and modern cultural traits of Nanjing, helping Vietnamese understand more about Chinese cultural values.

    Charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam Yin Hai Hong said China’s cultural industry has thrived in recent year, with its total value contributing 4.5% to the national GDP in 2016.

    In this field, Nanjing has done a good job in optimizing its rich cultural heritage, Yin said, noting that a series of supporting policies have helped stimulate cultural creativity in combination with traditional cultural values, hence the establishment of many outstanding businesses in the field.

    The exhibition and the seminar were said to create an opportunity for Vietnamese and Chinese experts to discuss and exchange opinions in search of new development path for the cultural industry.


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  • 06/19/18--02:32: Article 0
  • Đà Nẵng to host AgroViet 2018 in June

    HÀ NỘI – The central city of Đà Nẵng will host the 18th Việt Nam International Agriculture Trade Fair (AgroViet 2018) from June 28 to July 1, organisers announced.


    Themed “High-tech farm produces towards sustainable agricultural development”, AgroViet 2018 gives the agriculture sector a chance to boost international cooperation while connecting businesses and consumers. — VNA Photo

    The announcement was made at a press conference in Hà Nội on June 18.

    Themed “High-tech farm produces towards sustainable agricultural development”, AgroViet 2018 gives the agriculture sector a chance to boost international cooperation while connecting businesses and consumers, creating opportunities for enterprises to promote the domestic market.

    The event will feature high-quality agro-forestry-fishery and handicraft products and introduce new technologies in agricultural production. 

    With about 180 booths, the fair will showcase equipment and machines used in agricultural production and processing, veterinary drugs, pesticides, and safe agricultural and aquatic products, as well as animal and plant varieties. 

    The annual event, one of the biggest agriculture fairs in Vietnam, will also draw 18 agricultural firms from Thailand. 

    Đào Văn Hồ, director of the Trade Promotion Centre for Agriculture, said the fair will highlight achievements in science and technology for producing safe and organic agricultural and aquatic products with the aim of  improving the image of Vietnamese agriculture in both domestic and foreign markets.The fair will also provide spaces for provinces and enterprises to showcase their capacity and potential to attract investments. 

    The organising board also announced at the press conference the holding of a trade fair for safe farm products with geographical indications (GI) and a Chi Lăng custard-apple and Lạng Sơn specialties week, slated for August 22 to 28 in Hà Nội. 

    With 200 pavilions, the specialties week will showcase safe and GI-certified agricultural products, along with Chi Lăng custard-apple, flowers, and handicraft products of the northern mountainous province of Lạng Sơn. 

    Currently, the province has over 2,800 hectares of custard-apple trees with an output of over 26,000 tonnes, of which 152 hectares are cultivated in accordance with VietGAP standards and five hectares to GlobalGAP standards. Last year, revenues from sales of the fruit reached over US$700 million. 

    Custard-apples from Lạng Sơn ripen from the middle of the fifth month to the ninth month of the lunar calendar. 

    A Chi Lăng custard-apple day will be held in mid-August in Lạng Sơn Province.


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  • 06/19/18--02:41: Article 1
  • Lack of equipment weakens Vietnam’s railway inspectorate

    Railway inspectors occasionally have to use a bicycle or motorbike taxi on duty, and ‘analyze’ blood alcohol content by their eyes and noses

    ​Lack of equipment weakens Vietnam’s railway inspectorate 

    A broken-down car given to the Vietnamese railway inspectorate lies disused at a headquarters of the body in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    Vietnamese railroad inspectors have encountered a number of problems stemming from inadequate equipment of vehicles and tools for the job to the detriment of their statutory power.

    Railway inspectors, by law, act as advisors to the Vietnam Railway Authority and Ministry of Transport in railroad safety nationwide, but this role is not matched by what they have had and done.

    Vietnam’s 58 railway inspectors, assigned to work in the country’s northern, central and southern regions, have never had their own headquarters for 13 years since the inception of their inspection body.

    Instead the offices are based in buildings of member companies of the state-run Vietnam Railways, the operator of the north-to-south rail system.

    This appears to be a deliberate arrangement, as the railway officials are also supposed to find wrongdoings in these very firms.

    The inspectorate, whose monthly salary is around VND5 million (US$220), cover offenses like impinging on railway track zone, damaging railroad protective structures, and failing to abide by railroad regulations.

    Around 85 percent of those booked for breach railway safety regulations in 2015 were members of the public, while railway workers and companies under the Vietnam Railways accounted for eight percent and three percent, respectively.

    Also in 2015, it was estimated that each inspector were responsible for managing over 100 kilometers of Vietnam’s 1,730-kilometer lifeline railway, which was daunting as the line partly stretches through many remote, mountainous regions inaccessible by other means of transport.

    Even so, the inspectors have not been provided with sufficiently functional vehicles for unexpected patrols.

    One of their three given cars has been severely broken-down, while the others were returned to the government due to being not registered.

    The officials are occasionally seen riding bicycles, motorcycles, motorbike taxis or buses as the transport modes during their duty.

    They also have no cameras, voice recorders and breathalyzers, which can explain why arguments between them and supposed violators occur quite frequently.

    Violation notices they issue often contains very general information about the offence, for instance, ‘this person has used alcohol.’

    “We wrote down violations that way because we had to estimate blood alcohol content only by eye and notice alcohol by nose,” an inspector said.

    Furthermore, the inspectorate are allowed to hand out only fines under VND500,000 ($22), and larger financial penalties must be levied by their superior – the head of the Vietnam Railway Authority.

    This force failed to contribute to an investigation into a high-profile case late last year, involving a near head-on collision between two trains due to the high-profile malfunction of China-installed railroad switch system then worthy over VND2 trillion ($88 million).

    Ill-equipped, the railroad inspectors have compared unfavorably with their counterparts, who patrol inland waterways, or deal with aviation or maritime missteps.

    Tuoi Tre News

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  • 06/19/18--02:43: Article 0

    Nawaplastic still hungry for Binh Minh Plastic shares

    Owning a dominant stake in Binh Minh Plastic (BMP) did not quench Nawaplastic Industry Co., Ltd. (Nawaplastic)’s thirst for BMP shares.

    Most recently, Nawaplastic registered to buy an additional 1.17 million BMP shares to increase its holding to 44.525 million shares, equalling 54.39 per cent of the charter capital.

    The transaction is expected to occur between June18 and July16.

    The registered share volume is the remaining part of the 2.86 million shares that Nawaplastic failed to buy during previous transactions.

    Notably, Nawaplastic registered to buy 2.86 million BMP shares during transactions on May 14-June 12, however, the Thai investor ended up buying 1.69 million of the registered shares as BMP did not match Nawaplastic’s target price.

    BMP manufactures and trades civil and industrial products made of plastic and rubber. The company also designs, manufactures, and trades in plastic moulds for the casting industry; produces and trades machinery, materials, and sanitation equipment for the construction industry; provides interior decoration and water supply and drainage services; and offers appraisal, among others.

    According to its financial statement published at the annual shareholders’ meeting on April 20, in the first quarter, the firm reported VND663 billion ($29.06 million) in revenue and VND105 billion ($4.6 million) in pre-tax profit, up 80 and 85 per cent on-year.

    BMP expected that in the first half of this year, it will acquire VND1.86 trillion ($51.5 million) in revenue and VND275 billion ($12.05 million) in after-tax profit, equalling 43 and 44 per cent of the whole-year targets.

    Sticky rice sees price reduction

    The prices of Vietnam’s sticky rice are facing a downward trend due to its over-supply and dependence on a single large market, according to the Department of Farm Produce Processing and Market Development under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

    Although it is now the beginning of the harvest of the summer-autumn crop, sticky rice farmers have few orders and few prospective buyers.

    The statistics of Vietnam Food Association (VFA) showed that, in 2017, Vietnam exported 1.4 million tonnes of sticky rice, mainly to China.

    Last year, as Vietnam was expanding sticky rice production, China also quickly increased sticky rice cultivation. The current inventory of Chinese enterprises is quite large; therefore, it is impossible to promote the export of sticky rice to China in the near future, a sticky rice exporter to China revealed.

    Due to the declining demand for sticky rice, its price declined sharply from 530-540 USD per tonne in January-February to 460-470 USD at the moment. The domestic sticky rice price also fell sharply compared to other types of rice.

    In contrast, the consumption of fresh rice IR50404 in the last winter-spring crop in the Mekong Delta has been quite "smooth". Domestic supply is not sufficient to meet all export contracts.

    Therefore, prices of IR50404 rice in this region have continuously risen, setting the highest record in recent years. In some periods, the price of fresh rice IR50404 in the field was purchased by traders at a price of nearly 6,000 VND per kg, up 1,000 VND per kg compared with the peak price of 2017. The export price of this type of rice also rose significantly, higher than the price for rice from Thailand, India and Pakistan.

    Looking at the contrast between the two types of rice, it is clear that the current crop structure in the country’s largest granary is not yet flexible enough to quickly adapt to meet market demands.

    Exporters said in order to avoid the oversupply of sticky rice and the undersupply of other rice types, MARD should coordinate with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the VFA to study the import market and the demand for each type of rice. Then they can provide information to farmers, enterprises and localities to make adjustments before the planting season, they suggested.-

    Bright prospect predicted for agricultural products’ export

     vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news

    Good prospect is forecast in the export of several agricultural products, including rice, in the rest of the year as demand in importing markets has shown optimistic signs, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

    The ministry predicted that domestic rice prices will continue to stay high until the end of June 2018, buoyed by hope for resuming exports to the Philippines.

    According to a report by the General Department of Vietnam Customs, in the first five months of 2018, rice shipments overseas rose 25.7 percent in volume and 42.6 percent in value, with prices picking up 13.4 percent over the same period last year.

    Statistics showed that 452,000 tonnes of rice were shipped abroad in May for 347 million USD, pushing the five-month rice export volume to 2.66 million tonnes with value of 1.45 billion USD. China was still the biggest market of Vietnamese rice.

    Vietnamese rice quality has gradually approached international standards, prompted by the shift in world demand for rice of higher quality. According to the MARD, importing countries now prioritise the import of fragrant and Japonica rice varieties. Currently, African countries are also increasing rice imports, creating opportunities for Vietnamese firms in the markets.

    Meanwhile, exports of aquatic products in May fetched 700 million USD, raising total value in the first five months of 2018 to 3.1 billion USD, up 11 percent over the same period last year.

    Particularly, export volume of tra fish in May was estimated at 104,000 tonnes, a year on year rise of 11.6 percent, marking a record growth rate in many years.

    The US, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea were the top markets of Vietnamese aquatic products, which consumed over 50 percent of total exported volume.

    High frowth was seen in many markets, including the Netherlands (60 percent), China (27 percent), the UK (27 percent), Germany (26 percent), and the Republic of Korea (21 percent).

    At the same time, chicken meat is also among products with high hope for growth in latter half of the year. Since the beginning of 2018, export volume of the product expanded 3 times compared to that in 2017.

    Hanoi licenses $5.4 billion worth of FDI projects

    Hanoi granted investment certificates and awarded decisions of investment agreements to 71 projects with a total registered investment capital sum of VND397.33 trillion (over $17.65 billion) at the Hanoi 2018-Investment and Development Cooperation conference held on Sunday.

    The projects included 11 foreign-invested projects totalling at VND130.06 trillion ($5.4 billion) in capital and 60 domestically-invested projects worth VND267.27 trillion ($11.87 billion).

    What is more, the conference included the ceremony of exchanging Memoranda of Understanding on investment cooperation between Hanoi, neighbouring cities and provinces, and the Management Authority of Hoa Lac High-Tech Park, as well as enterprises in the fields of smart city, education development, high-tech agriculture, healthcare, tourism, and environment.

    The Hanoi 2018—Investment and Development Cooperation conference is the third consecutive annual edition, showing Hanoi’s strong commitment to improve the business climate.

    The event attracted the participation of more than 1,500 delegates, including leaders of the government, ministries, central agencies, and cities of the Northern Key Economic Region, the Red River Delta, as well as representatives of diplomatic offices, international organisations, and domestic and international enterprises.

    Over the past two years, Hanoi’s business climate has improved much, boosting its standing on the provincial competitiveness index (PCI) and a much enhanced administrative system.

    Hanoi’s economy has maintained a steady growth of 7.15 per cent in 2016, 7.31 per cent in 2017, and 7.07 per cent in the first six months of 2018.

    “In the months to come, Hanoi will prioritise calling for investment in high-tech, clean energy, housing projects for workers, waste treatment plants, high-tech agriculture, universities, vocational schools, and the manufacturing and supporting industry,” said Nguyen Duc Chung, Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee.

    As of June 15, 2018, Hanoi licensed 4,300 foreign-invested projects with the total registered capital of $33.38 billion. The sum included $12.46 billion attracted in 2016, 2017, and in the first half of 2018, making up 59 per cent of the total FDI attraction in 1986-2015.

    In the first half of 2018, Hanoi lured in $5.91 billion worth of FDI, becoming the most attractive destination among the nation’s 63 cities and provinces.

    Vietnam sees more global hotel brands

    Vietnam has witnessed an influx of international hotel brands and hotel management companies in the last few years, according to property consultant Savills Vietnam. 

    The five-star Vinpearl Phú Quốc Resort on Phú Quốc Island. More and more hospitality brands and hotel operators are coming to the booming Vietnam market.

    From 30 hotels with international brand names in 2010, the number had increased to 79 at the end of last year.

    There has been a particularly big jump this year with recent announcements by Mandarin Oriental and Movenpick in HCM City and Best Western Premier in Quảng Bình and Long Hải.

    There have also been new brands entering the market in the last three years, including Ozo and X2 Vibe (Hội An), Hilton’s Double Tree (Hạ Long, Vũng Tàu and Hà Nội), Four Seasons (Quảng Nam and Hà Nội), Oakwood (HCM City), Glow (Đà Nẵng), and Mai House (HCM City).

    Compared to a few years ago projects of higher quality, focus on international design, trust in foreign hotel management companies and need to create a competitive advantage have all increased significantly.

    Mauro Gasparotti, director of Savills Hotels Asia Pacific, said a large increase in interest among operators in the country in the last three years has resulted in the expansion of the hospitality market.

    “The number of international operators is expected to grow in the coming years along with local management companies.”

    Operators are launching new brands to target all kinds of clients including millennials and health-conscious travellers, he said.

    Việt Nam is a promising market for them to introduce focused brands since people travelling here are largely diversified, he said.

    Vietnamese investors are still new to hospitality products, but with a large amount of supply coming, there would be rapid learning for some of them and more quality assets are expected to come up, he said.

    Savills expects more than 30,000 rooms to be added by the end of next year.

    Việt Nam has also experienced a strong growth in condotels in the last 2 years.

    It is expected that within two years condotel and second home products will account for 65 per cent of new hotel supply, and one in every four will be categorised as condotels.

    A condotel is actually much more complicated than a pure hotel possessing features of both a house and a hotel, and thus requires more support in terms of management.

    Most condotels are managed by their developers, and some lack experience in hotel management.

    However, a few have begun to create brands and engage management companies, mostly in the case of complexes with a hotel or resort component.

    The number of international tourist arrivals in Vietnam in the first five months of this year was 6.7 million, up 27.6 per cent year-on-year, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

    Tourism revenues are estimated at VNĐ260.2 trillion (US$11.41 billion), a year-on-year increase of 22.6 per cent.

    The strong growth of the tourism sector has also given a boost to the hospitality industry.

    HCM City to host smart-tourism TPO Forum

    As many as 130 delegates from six countries will share experiences about smart tourism at the 8th Tourism Promotion Organisation for Asia Pacific Cities (TPO) Forum from June 21-22 in HCM City.

    The biennial forum, with the theme of “Smart Tourism”, is being held for the first time in Việt Nam, according to Nguyễn Thị Ánh Hoa, deputy director of HCM City’s Department of Tourism.

    Representatives from 25 member cities will give presentations about their smart tourism promotions and services, Hoa said at a press meeting held in HCM City on Friday (June 15).

    Hoa said the event is a great opportunity for the city’s tourism sector to develop new ideas and strategies for smart tourism. 

    As the host city of the TPO forum, HCM City will also have a chance to promote the country’s tourism industry as well as strengthen cooperation with other member cities of TPO.

    The forum will include city leaders, policymakers and officials in the tourism sector from member cities, according to Shin Yeon-sung, Secretary General of TPO.

    Forum delegates will discuss the use of technology in tourism, which is now in an early stage in TPO member cities.

    Various programmes will be held in conjunction with the main events of the forum, including a TPO travel-trade and smart-tourism product exhibition that will promote tourism brands and resources of member cities via one-on-one consultations with major travel agencies and tourism-related institutions.

    The 31st TPO Executive Committee Meeting and the TPO Bilateral Meeting will also be held during the event.

    The members of the Executive Committee will discuss issues related to the operation of the TPO such as budget plans, joint projects, and the admission of new members.

    The Bilateral Meeting for TPO Member Cities will provide a chance for one-on-one talks between member cities in a more personal setting and will enhance mutual cooperation and exchange.

    The Tourism Promotion Organisation for Asia Pacific Cities, with 85 member cities and 45 industry members from 10 countries and territories, is an international organisation established in 2002 to promote the exchange and development of the tourism industry in major cities in the Asia Pacific region.

    The first forum took place in Busan, South Korea in 2004.

    Cashew nut exports rise, but processors face shortage of raw materials     

    Viet Nam exported 141,000 tonnes of cashew nuts for a value of U$$1.39 billion in the first five months of the year, a year-on-year increase of 21.4 per cent and 25.3 per cent, respectively, according to the Viet Nam Cashew Association.

    With this result, Viet Nam retains its position as the world’s largest cashew processor and exporter for the 13th consecutive year, accounting for 65 per cent of the world’s total cashew export revenue, according to Dang Hoang Giang, the association’s chairman.

    Despite having positive export growth, cashew farmers and processing firms enjoyed only 30-35 per cent of profit in the value chain, with the remainder in the hands of international cashew processors and traders, according to Nguyen Duc Thanh, Vinacas’s chairman.

    Currently, domestic processors are facing difficulties due to lack of raw materials.

    Speaking at a meeting in HCM City on Friday, Giang said the volume of raw material imports had been very low in recent months. As a result, many cashew processing firms had to suspend operations.

    In Long An Province, only 12 out of 33 cashew processing firms were operating, he said, adding that 80 per cent of cashew processors, mostly small and micro enterprises, in Binh Phuoc Province had also suspended operations.

    Ta Quang Huyen, who is also deputy chairman of Vinacas and director of Hoang Son 1 Company in Binh Phuoc Province, said in the first five months of 2018, Vietnamese firms imported 283,000 tonnes of raw cashews plus 370,000 tonnes from domestic supply and purchases from Cambodia via border trade, totaling 653,000 tonnes.

    With the ratio of 4.3 kilos of raw cashew materials offering one kilo of cashew kernels, and 141,000 tonnes of cashew kernels exported in the first five months of the year, all of the 653,000 tonnes of raw materials were processed in the first five months.

    "This means that enterprises have no inventory or very limited inventory, so they have to wait for raw materials," he said.

    Huyen said Vietnamese firms this year increased processing capacity by 25 per cent over the same period last year, providing the market with a large volume of cashew products. Thus, foreign traders had been able to force them to sell at lower prices.

    Cashew prices had fallen this year to $8.2 per kilo from $11 per kilo last year, so processing firms had broken even or taken a loss.

    "Cashew nuts can be stored for a year, but because most local processing firms are small scale and have limited financial capacity, they have to sell their products soon after production,” he said.

    "Cashew output globally is estimated to increase by 4 per cent this year, while demand for cashew products is expected to increase by 5 per cent. With limited inventory, cashew prices will recover in the coming time,” he added.

    Tran Van Hiep, head of the trade promotion board at Vinacas, said cashew prices were expected to increase again.

    Companies had strong potential, prestigious brands and quality products, and would be able to overcome this difficult period and continue to develop, he said.

    At the meeting, Vinacas announced that the 10th Vinacas Golden Cashew Rendezvous would be held from October 5 to 7 in Ha Long Bay to promote trade and expand markets for cashew products.

    Co-organised by the Viet Nam Cashew Association (Vinacas) and Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency, the largest event in Viet Nam’s cashew sector is expected to attract about 500 domestic and international delegates from 50 countries and territories. 

    Da Lat to launch $50-m sheep wool yarn spinning plant     

    Da Lat Worsted Spinning Limited Company on Friday held the ground-breaking ceremony for a sheep wool yarn spinning plant in Phat Chi industrial cluster, Tram Hanh Commune, Da Lat City.

    The plant has a total investment of US$50 million and is a joint venture project between Germany’s Südwolle Group and Lien Phuong Textiles Industry Company, based in HCM City.

    The wool spinning mill has a total area of more than 61,00sq.m, of which, the construction area is some 32,000sq.m.

    The designed capacity of the factory is some 4,000 tonnes of yarn per year, while the domestic consumption and export markets account for 50 per cent.

    Once in operation, the plant will use imported raw wool to carry out fiber production. Subsequently, the finished wool yarn from the factory will be shipped to textile companies using sheep wool. Currently, there are some 50 garment factories in Viet Nam that use sheep wool, most of them imported from Australia.

    Da Lat sheep wool spinning mill will be in operation from April 2019, and is expected to earn more than $100 million in revenue per year. In addition to the production function, the factory will be open to visitors who can watch the whole process of producing yarns from natural wool. The project will contribute to the employment of local workers with the need to employ up to 400 people.

    State Treasury raises over VND65.8 trillion from G-bonds     

    The State Treasury of Viet Nam has mobilised over VND65.8 trillion (US$2.89 billion) via Government bond (G-bond) auctions at the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX) since the beginning of 2018.

    From mid-April till date, the interest rates of different terms of G-bonds have continued to increase. Most recently, an auction at HNX on Tuesday raised VND4.2 trillion worth of G-bonds.

    As much as VND2.1 trillion were mobilised from 10-year bonds with an annual interest rate of 4.32 per cent, up by 0.02 per cent against the previous auction on June 6.

    Bonds with 15-year and 20-year maturity terms raised VND1.6 trillion and VND500 billion, with annual interest rates of 4.65 per cent and 5.18 per cent, respectively, both up by 0.02 per cent from the previous auction on June 6.

    The National Financial Supervisory Commission has predicted that the G-bond market in 2018 will see modest changes against last year, thanks to an economic growth of more than 6.7 per cent and inflation of below four per cent.

    The value of G-bonds issued in 2018 is estimated at some VND180 trillion, with the focus being on long-term maturity and keeping the interest rate at low levels.

    G-bonds worth VND159.9 trillion with an average maturity of 13.52 years, up by 4.81 years against 2016, were issued last year.

    The bonds had an average annual interest rate of some 6.07 per cent, down by 0.2 percentage points against 2016, according to the Ministry of Finance. 

    VN banks actively applying 4.0 technologies     

    Vietnamese banks have actively researched and invested in technologies of the fourth industrial revolution, said Nguyen Kim Anh, Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV).

    A seminar on the banking sector in the fourth industrial revolution was organised in Ha Noi on Friday.

    Some of the technologies applied include cloud computing, big data analysis, artificial intelligence and applications and solutions such as biometric authentication and open application programme interface (open API).

    These technologies help to improve operational efficiency and overall customer experience, Anh said.

    Banks also utilise distribution channels and access, and interact with users on digital platforms, smartphone applications and social networks. They have applied digital technologies to improve the efficiency of internal systems operations and business process optimisation.

    As a result, banks can improve their customer relationship management, helping them to better understand the habits and tastes of their customers to provide the best products and support risk management, said Anh.

    Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Pham Dai Duong said that banking is one of the leading sectors in applying scientific and technological advances in management and business.

    This has created a solid foundation and competitive advantages in the context of digital economy development as the world economic centre gradually shifts from the West to the East.

    However, according to Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Pham Dai Duong, besides the advantages there are many risks and challenges when the development of new technologies such as blockchain, big data and artificial intelligence requires the banking industry to adapt its management and product structures.

    The risks also come from issues such as cyber security, he said.

    Deputy Governor Nguyen Kim Anh also said that the banking sector will face great challenges in completing the legal framework for banking operations in accordance with the context of industrial revolution 4.0 development. Other challenges for banks include changing their governance and business model to adapt to customer trends, alongside threats in cyber security risk prevention and customer information protection.

    Economic experts said that to develop rapidly and efficiently in line with the trends of the world, the banking sector should concentrate resources to apply new legal frameworks, and create a good ecological environment for credit institutions and fintech companies to develop financial services in the digital platform to increase the access of people and businesses.

    In addition, the experts also advised the sector to invest in IT infrastructure to modernise and automate most of the banking process, and to develop banking services through digital technology.

    This requires the resources of not only banks and credit institutions, but also of the Government. The Government needs to invest in the development of national technological infrastructure, and implement incentives to encourage banks to develop financial products and services. 

    Foreign trading to be focus of markets     

    Local markets are set to feature lots of foreign trading again this week, with foreign investors’ taste likely to change market sentiment after foreign selling pressure had weighed down the stock market for the last two months.

    The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange inched up 0.08 per cent to close Friday at 1,016.51 points, a weekly decline of 2.16 per cent.

    The HNX Index on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange gained 0.86 per cent to end last week trading at 115.90 points. It fell a total 3.3 per cent week on week.

    Last week’s decline was mostly caused by investors’ caution as they anticipated a rate hike decision from the US’s Federal Reserve and quarterly portfolio reviews of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in Viet Nam.

    On early Thursday, the Fed raised its interest rates to a range of between 1.5 per cent and 2 per cent and promised to make two more rate increases in 2018. The decision resulted in a worldwide withdrawal of foreign capital from emerging and frontier markets.

    Investor sentiment was also on edge during the final week in which the two ETFs – FTSE Vietnam ETF and VNM ETF – reviewed their investment portfolios for the coming quarter.

    As investor confidence was down, average trading liquidity last week also fell comparatively to the previous week.

    More than 207.4 million shares were traded in each session of last week, worth nearly VND6 trillion (US$265.5 million). The figures were down 7.1 per cent in volume and 3.6 per cent in value from the previous week.

    These factors resulted in a net foreign sell value of nearly VND1.74 trillion on the two local exchanges, focusing on property developers and other large-cap stocks.

    Real estate business Vingroup (VIC) topped the must-sell list with some VND1.06 trillion worth of stocks net-sold by foreign investors. VIC was followed by steel producer Hoa Phat (HPG) and another property developer in Dat Xanh Group JSC (DXG).

    Since the VN Index hit a historic high of 1,204.33 points on April 9, foreign investors have posted VND23 trillion worth of net purchases in local stocks, including VND28.55 trillion worth of put-through transactions for high-end property firm Vinhomes (VHM) shares when it debuted on the HCM Stock Exchange on May 17.

    If the value of VHM share transactions was excluded from foreign trading, foreign investors were net sellers with total net sell value of VND5.46 trillion.

    According to Ngo Quoc Hung, an analyst at MB Securities Company (MBS), foreign trading would still be a major concern for the whole market.

    The stock market was still in a correction stage and low liquidity in recent sessions may be due to investors who were quiet when ETFs review their portfolios, Hung told

    Net foreign selling last week was a certainty as ETFs sold more than buying in this review period, but it has been questioned if the two ETFs made up the whole net foreign selling last week or if the transactions were carried out by both ETFs and other investment funds, he said.

    It would become clear if ETFs created the net sell last week or not if they stop selling this week, and investors should be cautious, Hung added.

    Le Duc Khanh, director of market strategy department at PetroVietnam Securities Inc (PSI), said investors should not worry over foreign selling as it only had short-term impacts on the market.

    Instead of worrying about foreign selling, investors should look for opportunities in firms that are forecast to report better-than-expected earnings for the second quarter and the first half of the year, Hung said.

    Those firms may be property developers, led by Dat Xanh Group JSC (DXG), aviation service provider Taseco Air Service JSC (AST), Duc Giang Chemical and Detergent Powder JSC (DGC) and other firms such as PetroVietnam Power Nhon Trach 2 JSC (NT2) and the Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Corporation (REE).

    TRACODI shareholders set $3.4mln profit goal     

    Shareholders in the Transport and Industry Development Investment Joint Stock Company (TRACODI) approved this year’s business targets at the company’s annual general meeting in HCM City on Friday.

    The company expects to achieve after-tax profits of VND77.1 billion (US$3.38 million) and revenue of VND1.15 trillion ($50.4 million), up 3 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.

    Nguyen Ho Nam, the company’s chairman, said manufactured and agricultural products were expected to account for the largest share of sales at around VND450 billion, followed by infrastructure development and real estate with VND390 billion.

    Mining was expected to contribute VND300 billion, while the rest would come from labour exports and training, he said.

    The targets are based on the impressive results achieved last year, when profit and revenue reached VND74.95 billion and VND1.095 trillion, up 24 per cent and 32 per cent from 2016.

    General director Nguyen Thanh Hung said the company would focus on its core business activities: trading in manufactured and agricultural products, infrastructure construction, real estate, mining and labour exports.

    In terms of infrastructure construction, it would focus on the BT 830C project and social housing in Long An Province, solar power and property projects under parent company Bamboo Capital, he said.

    Shareholders also approved several other proposals, including paying a 10 per cent dividend for 2017 in shares and a 10-12 per cent cash dividend for this year.

    Bamboo Capital owns a 50.61 per cent stake in the company. 

    Digital economy offers SMEs a bright new world of opportunity

    With the application of digital technologies and e-commerce, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be able to compete on a more level playing field with major enterprises when accessing the market.

    Mr Trinh Duy Hoang, from Vietanalytics Market Research Company said the digital economy has developed rapidly in Vietnam but there remains limited application of digital technologies in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

    According to Mr Hoang, digital technologies have become perceived as ‘strange’ by many businesses and there has still only been a small-scale rollout of these technologies in production activities due to high investment costs.

    From the perspective of Mr Hoang, the biggest hindrance for businesses is the human resource factor. Currently, newly-emerging tech start-ups in Vietnam are mostly SMEs which originate from households. Especially, these businesses have not improved the capacity and qualifications of human resources to get access to advanced technologies in the digital economy. 

    Mr Hoang emphasized the need for investments in the field of information technology (IT) as several businesses have gained access to digital technologies and data.

    He noted that to integrate into the digital economy, relevant agencies need to overcome any hindrances in terms of management thinking for new business forms related to digital technologies.

    Many economists say that the digital economy presents a revolution in economic development with the foundation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which has provided huge opportunities for SMEs and micro businesses to develop and get access to the global market.

    With the application of digital technologies and e-commerce, micro-businesses will gain a more equal footing to compete with big companies in seeking new partners and markets, opening up huge opportunities for future development.

    Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry says that the digital economy and e-commerce have brought the world’s markets closer together and helped SMEs to grow while removingbarriers for them when approaching the global market.

    “To seize these opportunities, businesses of any scale should become more transparent by applying the global standard management system. The State needs to create a favourable mechanism for the application of digital technologies and must invest in creating infrastructure to facilitate the development of technical infrastructure for the digital economy,” says Mr Loc.

    Mr Loc also underlined the importance of restructuring and reforming the entire system of education and training with a focus on human resources in accordance with the requirements of the digital economy. In the coming time, the demands for the workforce in the digital and IT field has increased sharply, leading to a workforce shortage for the digital economy.

    Furthermore, several fields face the risks of growing unemployment, such as garment and textile, footwear, and electronics, as they are impacted by the digital economy and the automation process brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Therefore, businesses need to re-train their workforce to adapt to the jobs available under the digital economy, says Mr Loc.

    He also identified measures to ensure safety and protect privacy and confidentiality in business activities and in people’s social lives.

    It is essential to devise mechanisms and legal frameworks for the digital economy and to ensure suitable infrastructure to promote creativity and strengthen control over information security as Vietnam’s digital economy is still in its initial stages, notes Mr Loc.

    Investor of Trung Luong-My Thuan Expy gets funds for construction

    The investor of the Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway has negotiated an agreement with four local banks to receive VND6.86 trillion (US$298.7 million) to develop the long-delayed build-operate-transfer (BOT) expressway project, the Government news website reports.

    BOT Trung Luong-My Thuan JSC has recently signed a credit agreement with Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank), Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), Vietnam Prosperity Commercial Bank (VPBank) and Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) in Hanoi City.

    Under the agreement, Vietinbank will provide a loan package of VND3.3 trillion, BIDV and VPBank VND1.28 trillion each, and Agribank VND1 trillion.

    The loans are to be used to carry out the first phrase of the big-ticket project, which is of national importance. The project is included in a master plan for developing Vietnam’s expressway system until 2020, with a vision afterwards and a detailed plan for the Eastern North-South Expressway.

    Duong Quang Chau, chairman of BOT Trung Luong-My Thuan JSC, said at the signing ceremony that the expressway project requires more than VND9.6 trillion (US$421.3 million), with the owner’s equity accounting for 30% of the total, equal to VND2.8 trillion.

    “The project has already had more than VND1.7 trillion disbursed from the investor’s capital, including over VND1.3 trillion for site clearance and roughly VND460 billion for construction, consultancy and other costs,” Chau said.

    The company plans to start work on three out of 21 construction packages later this month so that the expressway will be opened to traffic by late 2020, according to its general director, Phan Anh Dung.

    Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said the Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway is part of the HCMC-Can Tho Expressway. Local residents, especially those from HCMC and the Mekong Delta, hold high expectations for the project.

    The said the Government has issued various policies to ensure the early execution of the project. However, despite having broken ground for the project many times in the past five years, the execution process has moved slowly.

    In a bid to soon complete work on the Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway, the transport ministry has suggested the Government and the National Assembly give the green light to develop a bridge called My Thuan 2, facilitate work on the My Thuan-Can Tho Expressway project, and complete an expressway section between Can Tho and HCMC.

    The minister added the National Assembly has approved VND5.5 trillion to build the bridge. He also pledged to create favorable conditions for BOT Trung Luong-My Thuan JSC to execute the project and remove remaining obstacles in a timely manner so that the project is completed on schedule and guarantees high quality construction.

    The four-lane expressway will be some 51 kilometers long, with 4.5 kilometers of access roads, through five outlying districts of the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang. It will start at the intersection of Than Cuu Nghia T-Junction and HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway, and end at the intersection with National Highway 30.

    Work on the Trung Luong-My Thuan-Can Tho Expressway is scheduled for completion by late 2020. The expressway is expected to shorten travel times between HCMC and Mekong Delta provinces, bolster the socio-economic growth of Vietnam’s southwest region, and reduce traffic congestion on National Highway 1.

    Grabbing Grab’s share a tough ask in Vietnam

    After Uber Technologies Inc sold its ride and food-delivery businesses in Southeast Asia to bigger regional rival Grab last March, Vietnamese firms have tried to chip away at Grab’s dominance.

    A number of ride-hailing apps have been introduced recently, like Aber, which was developed by a group of Vietnamese students studying in Europe; FastGo, an affiliate of NextTech Group; and MVLchain - a Singapore-based transportation startup; VATO; Didi; and MaiLinhBike.

    Besides competing in the bike- and car-hailing businesses with dominant player Grab, the new entrants also plan to offer good delivery, car rentals and long-haul ride services.

    But, for the moment, none of them have shown the ability to fill the gap left by Uber or to threaten Grab’s supremacy, because they have not differentiated themselves from the competition.

    Newcomers did look for some “killer features” that are absent from previous apps to lure customers. For instance, VATO allows users to bargain with the driver for the most competitive price and Mai Linh Bike says it will collect lower commissions from its drivers and will not increase ride prices during peak hours.

    But such measures are not enough because ride-hailing is a cash burn business and only those with strong financial resources can endure, experts say.

    EasyTaxi has probably learned how tough this fight is. The Brazil-based company came to Vietnam at the end of 2013, six months before Grab and Uber’s presence in this market. Despite being the first comer, it withdrew from the market just two years later. Money, or the lack of it, was the reason, industry insiders say.

    Even big players like Grab and Uber have reported heavy losses in Vietnam. According to the General Department of Taxation, Grab, with a total registered capital of only VND20 billion (US$881,057), has incurred losses of nearly VND1 trillion in three years of operating in Vietnam.

    But this cash burn strategy is how Grab and Uber are eating up traditional taxi firms’ market share. In 2014-2015, they launched intense promotional programs including free rides and discounts to lure customers. They also expanded their driver networks by providing them with subsidies and big rewards based on performance.

    Limited funding limits the budding competitors’ ability to offer incentives the way the big players can, so the former are always playing catch up. They can’t offer discounts, and can’t expand their network of drivers in order to offer faster, better rides.

    In a price-driven market, customers are always looking to choose the cheapest possible ride. And they have complained that it is not easy to book a ride with the new apps even in downtown areas.

    Duc Huy, a senior student at the Academy of Journalism and Communication in Hanoi, told VnExpress that he found it difficult to get a ride on MaiLinhBike as there are not many drivers around North Tu Liem District where he lives.

    “I have to wait for 10 minutes to get on a MaiLinhBike ride because the river is 2-3 km away,” he said.

    Drivers too see Vietnamese ride-hailing platforms as backup options. They are not ready to switch despite Grab cutting back on drivers’ incentives.

    Taxi driver Duy Ngoc said he operates on both Grab and VATO apps, but gets just two or three rides booked on the VATO platform a day.

    “So, I mainly drive on the Grab platform to ensure my income,” he said.

    “New apps do not have a large customer base. Drivers just sign up to get incentives, so their main driving service remains the previous one (Grab),” said 25-year-old Grab motorcycle driver Quoc Anh.

    With Go-Jek about to set foot in Vietnam with its Go Viet app, competition is only get tougher for local firms. The Indonesian ride-hailing firm is a heavyweight competitor to Grab in the Southeast Asian region. Will local apps stand a chance? The answer is, unlikely, in a head-to-head fight.

    “Capital shortfall is a disadvantage for Vietnamese ride-hailing apps, so they should not enter the cash burn race,” said Dr Nguyen Duc Thanh, head of the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research.

    He said going head-to-head with bigger rivals is not the right path to follow. There are other ways to succeed, he added.

    “They can enter niche markets like good delivery, car rentals or long-distance ride services. Instead of trying to divide market share in the beginning, newcomers should think of a long-term strategy to build a solid foundation,” Thanh added.

    It was not a fluke that even a well funded Uber lost to a more localized opponent, he said.

    Australia a land of opportunity for Vietnamese wood

    Vietnam’s wood enterprises have plenty of opportunity to bolster their exports to the Australian market due to its increasing import demands, favourable geographic position and preferences brought by free trade agreements (FTAs).

    The General Department of Vietnam Customs reports that exports of wood and timber products hit US$3.37 billion during the first five months of this year, a year-on-year rise of 11.3%. Australia was one of the top ten importers of Vietnamese wood and timber products with a value of more than US$66.7 million 11.3% higher than the corresponding period last year.

    According to the statistics from the International Trade Centre, the Oceanian nation imported US$362.8 million worth of wooden furniture from major markets such as China, Vietnam and Malaysia during the first quarter, up 6.4% over last year’s same quarter. But, the statistics show that Australia’s imports from China displayed a drastic upturn and a fall in imports from Vietnam in the above mentioned period, which demonstrates that Vietnam’s wooden furniture has not yet met the tastes of Australian customers.

    IBISWorld - a global business intelligence leader specializing in industry market research and procurement and purchasing research - has announced the results of a review of the 2013-2018 period, showing that Australian customers tend to favour low-cost furniture as local producers failed to compete with imported products in terms of prices due to high labour and material costs. Therefore its furniture industry is following a slow upward trend while imports are seeing strong growth. Particularly, Australian customers pay no or little attention to the origin of products but rather pay heed to the quality, designs and prices of products.

    The Vietnamese Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade emphasizes the need for Vietnamese businesses to fully grasp opportunities to the highly lucrative market by improving their technology, research, and product designs and quality, and reducing prices in order to suit Australian customers’ tastes.

    Localities promote litchi trading

    Bac Giang and Hai Duong province, Vietnam’s litchi hub, farmers are busily preparing for harvesting. The authorities have stepped up trade promotion programs inside and outside the country.

    With favourable weather and the application of good agricultural practices to VietGAP and GlobalGap standards, litchi growers are enjoying a bumper harvest. The bountiful fruits taste as delicious as they look. Bac Giang province is estimated to harvest 150 to 180 thousand tons of litchi this year. Wholesale prices range from 8,000 to 25,000VND per kg.

    China remains the key export market. Last month, Bac Giang province held a trade promotion program in Pingxiang city to promote litchi exports.

    Nguyen Thanh Binh, Chairman of the Luc Ngan district’s People’s Committee, says “The local authority has organized trade promotions to help farmers sell their products at reasonable prices. We have worked with businesses, distributors, and retailers such as Big C, Hapro, SaiGon and Coop... Businesses have placed orders with farmers to buy around 10,000 tons. About 50% of our litchi will be exported to China, the US, Japan, Australia, and South Korea.”

    Hai Duong province hosted a Thanh Ha litchi festival for the first time this year. The province has 10,500 ha of litchi farms in Thanh Ha and Chi Linh districts with an estimated annual production of 60,000 tons.  Hapro, Coopmart, Fivimart, Vinmart, and Big C have all secured contracts to sell Hai Duong litchi. The province will also export litchi to the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, France, Sweden, China, and Singapore.

    Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nguyen Xuan Cuong said “When we apply science and technology in production, we have to take into consideration the material zone and cultivation areas to ensure the best quality. We have also prepared the consumption market to complete the chain of production.”

    Beauty spas targeting Koreans thrive in Da Nang

    The number of beauty spas catering to Korean visitors to Da Nang, central Vietnam, is racing to meet the demands of the 575,000 tourists from the East Asian country who visit the city each year.

    "Where there is a Korean, there is a beauty spa,” claims Pham Khac Hieu, a 32-year-old beauty spa owner with several years of industry experience working in Busan, the Republic of Korea (RoK).
    Appearance is key

    Looking good is an essential part of traveling in this day and age.

    After all, what kind of person posts a travel selfie when they are not looking their best?

    Korean tourists, however, are known to take that mentality to the next level, particularly when traveling to far-flung destinations.

    Pham Khac Hieu completely agrees with that assertion.

    With years of experience in the beauty industry, he can spot a Korean tourist from a mile away.

    Their thick make-up, water mist handheld fans, and no hats are a dead giveaway, he says.

    And if their make-up does get damaged by poor weather or rough travel? Never fear, a trip to the beauty spa can put anyone back in tip-top conditions.

    Knowing this, many Koreans choose to brave the harsh sunshine of Vietnam rather than attempt to cover themselves under wide-brim hats or with face masks like visitors from other East Asian countries.

    Azit, a beauty spa on Phan Boi Chau Street in Da Nang, is known for its Korean customer base.

    According to Hansol, a Korean traveler visiting the spa, the ‘beauty index’ takes precedence in the way Koreans judge other people.

    She also said that both Korean men and women go to great lengths to make sure they look their best before leaving their houses.

    Hansol had intended to bring her own make-up set, but could not afford the space in luggage.

    Instead, she chose to resort to visiting beauty spas during her stay in Vietnam.

    “In my country, traveling is a retreat from our stressful lives, so comfort and appearance are key to the success of any trip. Skin and nail care ensures the body is at its best,” Hansol elaborated.

    Within Da Nang’s main Korean neighborhood, beauty spas are situated alongside mini-marts and food stores.

    Customers at these spas include young women, men, and even entire families.

    Zo In Sung, a 36-year-old male Seoul-based tourist, said that making up is a necessity for women in his country.

    He and his wife, in fact, take advantage of beauty service packages on a regular basis and stick to a primarily vegetarian diet.

    Sung further shared that this way of life has spread to countries where Koreans have started to settle down.

    He attributed his Korean fellows’ on-trip spa time to shifts in dietary habits and lifestyles.

    “Also, pollution can turn you into a totally different person once you’ve returned home,” he added.

    According to several beauty spa owners, Koreans are willing to spend plenty on beauty services, but are not so easy to please.

    They are said to be rather generous when it comes to tipping, but also highly demanding in terms of service quality.

    This is reflected in the type of make-up they often select.

    Le Binh, a spa owner on Nguyen Van Thoai Street, said that nail polishes and moisturizing cream at his place are imported directly from RoK as their customers are wary of poor product quality.

    “They prefer to see familiar products from their own homeland as this gives them a better sense of security,” he added.

    “We once tried to use French products, but the customers did not want to accept them.”

    Also according to Binh, punctuality plays a crucial role in servicing Korean customers, and staff should possess good communication skills, preferably by speaking Korean.

    “Koreans also don’t like to see employees with tattoos,” he added.

    Nam Long Corporation offers five million shares for foreign investors

    Nam Long Group, one of the leading housing developers in Vietnam, will put 40 million shares on sale to whip up money for its key projects, one of which is the $341 million Akari City in Binh Tan district, Ho Chi Minh City.

    The starting price for Nam Long’s shares will be VND26,500. The group expects to acquire VND1 trillion($43.8 million) from the sale.

    Foreign investors can buy a maximum of five million shares, equalling 12.5 per cent of the offered shares.

    With the sale, Nam Long becomes the first private firm in Vietnam to conduct a share sale via an auction to increase its charter capital.

    Nam Long stated that it will use the money from the sale to invest in its commercial real estate projects and expand land funds in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

    Most recently, in April, Nam Long signed a strategic partnership agreement with its Japanese partners Hankyu Hanshin Properties Corp. and Nishi Nippon Railroad to develop the Akari City township project.

    Accordingly, the two Japanese investors and Nam Long will contribute 50/50 per cent of the total investment of about VND7.676 trillion ($341 million). This will be one of Nam Long’s key projects in the next 3-5 years and the fifth project to be built in cooperation with the two Japanese partners.

    According to Steven Chu Chee Kwang, CEO of Nam Long, the company and the two Japanese partners are increasingly tightening relations to create not only homes but also a real estate system where properties for various purposes—commercial properties, schools, hospital, services, and entertainment, etc.—are developed synchronously, offering residential communities high-quality and unique lifestyle.

    The project has a total floor area of 539,000 square metres, consisting of 4,600 apartments designed following the standards of Nam Long’s Flora product line, with separate facilities, such as community club, swimming pool, children's playground, gymnasium, and many other facilities.

    UNDP, Citi Foundation support innovation, startups in Vietnam

    The UN Development Programme (UNDP), Citi Foundation and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) jointly organised a diagnostic workshop on the state of the social impact startup ecosystem in Hanoi on June 15.

    In his opening remarks, MOST Deputy Minister Tran Van Tung said sustainable development is one of the important orientations in the country’s socio-economic development. 

    “Social impact businesses both make profit and have a positive effect on the community. And with their ability to adapt and replicate quickly around the world, these innovative businesses are the best models to tackle social challenges, create social impact, and accelerate the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.  

    “A vibrant startup ecosystem and skilling are key to unleashing the creative energies of youth in meeting the most pressing SDG challenges in Vietnam,” said Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Vietnam Country Director, at the event. 

    She also informed that UNDP will open up applications for SDG Innovations Incubator and selected teams will receive an intensive business incubation and impact acceleration programme as well as the opportunities to pitch their ideas to national and international investors. 

    Director and co-founder of Healthy Farm Nguyen Thi Thuy said her company will target providing clean and safe farm produce with clear origin to consumers, hotels and restaurants in order to develop social renovation and startup spirit among youths in Vietnam.

    At the workshop, speakers focused on discussing young social innovators, developing startup spirit among youths in Vietnam, sustainable investment, and investment vectors, among others.

    The workshop was part of the Youth Co:Lab Vietnam 2018 initiative, which is looking for the next generation of leading social entrepreneurs in Vietnam, following the success of the SDG Challenge in 2017.

    Sharp drop in pork and beef imports

    Vietnam purchased 477 tons of pork worth US$797,250 from foreign markets in April, down 44.8% in volume and 46.2% in value compared to March, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

    Approximately 19,750 tons of meat and meat products valued at US$30.64 million were imported into the country over the period, a drop of 19.7% in volume and 21.3% in value compared to March. In addition, imports of beef and buffalo meat also saw a fall from March.

    The country bought meat and meat products from 34 markets in the world, with the US ranking first, making up 37.3% of the total import volume with 7,360 tons, worth more than US$10.49 million (down 11% in volume and 11.9% in value). Poland came second with 1,930 tons, worth more than US$2.16 million, down 17.8% in volume and 6.1% in value.

    Last year, Vietnam spent nearly US$527 million on meat imports, including US$11.07 million on pork, US$75.7 million on poultry meat and more than US$415 million on live cows and buffaloes, and beef and buffalo meat.

    Developer of Hanoi-Haiphong Expressway loses $110,000 a day

    After more than two years in operation, VIDIFI JSC is facing difficulties as total revenue cannot cover its interest payments.

    Vietnam Infrastructure Development and Finance Investment JSC (VIDIFI) has just submitted its report to the Ministry of Transport (MoT) on the 2017 business results of the Hanoi-Haiphong Expressway project.

    Accordingly, the revenue from the seven tolls booths on Hanoi-Haiphong Expressway in 2017 hit only VND1.258 trillion ($55.42 million), equivalent to VND3.4 billion ($150,000) per day. Meanwhile, the revenue of two tolls booths on National Route 5 running nearly parallel to th Hanoi-Haiphong Expressway reached VND832.9 billion ($36.7 million) in 2017.

    The total revenue of the entire project was VND2.091 trillion ($92.12 million), equivalent to VND5.7 billion ($251,100) per day, excluding the costs that VIDIFI spent to operate the nine tolls booths and maintain the two roads.

    Meanwhile, in the recommendation submitted to the prime minister before his 2017 conference with enterprises, VIDIFI claimed to have to pay VND8 billion ($352,500) of interest a day.

    Thereby, this project has been making negative VND2.5 billion ($110,132) in profit a day, equivalent to VND900 billion ($40 million) per year. Interest payments capture 94 per cent of the total costs, VIDIFI confirmed.

    The Hanoi-Haiphong Expressway, which is considered the most modern expressway in Vietnam, has six lanes with the maximum speed of 120km per hour. Its length is 105km, passing through the four cities and provinces of Hanoi, Hung Yen, Hai Duong, and Haiphong with the total investment of approximately VND45.6 trillion ($2 billion). Most of this came from loans at the interest rate of 10.5-11.4 per cent for 30 years.

    VIDIFI plans to repay around $17.7 million in 2016-2020 and $213.6 million in 2021-2044 to KEXIM Bank. From its $100 million debt to the German Development Bank (KfW), VIDIFI has returned over $46 million in 2013-2017, and intends to repay $29.2 million in 2018-2020. Therefore, VIDIFI has to repay $75 million by 2020, and $24.7 million between 2021 and 2023.

    Unless the state provides a bailout or incentive policies as proposed in Decision No.746/QD-TTg dated May 29, 2015 on the structure of capital sources for the Hanoi-Haiphong Expressway project, VIDIFI's financial solutions on exploiting the land on the two sides of the expressway will be unsuccessful and this company will face bankruptcy.

    VIDIFI was established in 2007 with the charter capital of VND5 trillion ($222 million) by Vietnam Development Bank (VDB), Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (VCB), and Vietnam Construction and Import Export Corporation (Vinaconex).

    Hoa Sen and Nam Kim not threatened by new Indonesian tariffs

    Domestic steel giants Hoa Sen Group and Nam Kim Group do not expect negative impacts from the Indonesian government’s high anti-dumping duties imposed on colour-coated steels.

    Indonesia has just announced applying anti-dumping duty of 12.01-28.49 per cent on colour-coated steel products imported from China and Vietnamfor five years. stated that accordingly, the two domestic steel manufacturers Hoa Sen Group and Nam Kim Group will be imposed tariffs of 12.01 and 19.16 per cent.

    Previously, Indonesia has been imposing similar taxes of 13.5-36.6 per cent on cold-rolled steel products imported from Vietnam, China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan since 2013 and has continued to maintain the safeguard measures after the country’s anti-dumping investigation in September 2015.

    According to Viet Dragon Security Company (VDSC), Hoa Sen Group and Nam Kim Group will not suffer much of an impact from the Indonesian government’s tax because exporting colour-coated steel has never been a major activity of the Vietnamese steel industry.

    Specifically, in 2017, the total output of domestic steel exports reached 1.6 million tonnes, including 47 per cent of galvanised steel, 38 per cent of cold sheet metal pads, and just 17.1 per cent of colour-coated steel, equalling 278,000 tonnes.

    VDSC also estimated that nearly three-quarters of colour-coated steel manufactured goes to serve the domestic market. In 2017, the total consumption of colour-coated steel was 1.1 million tonnes, while 278,000 tonnes were exported, equalling 28 per cent of the total consumption.

    The security firm also stated that domestic steel manufacturers tend to focus on developing products of gavalnised steel and cold sheet metal pads, and are steadily reducing colour-coated steel production because the durability and profit margins of the first two product categories are higher. Manufacturers like Hoa Sen and Nam Kim also have smaller capacity of colour-coated steel than other steel products.

    Thanks to Hoa Sen Group’s great market share and revenue from its retail chains over the country, the firm does not depend on exporting activities, as 70 per cent of its products go to the domestic market, while the rest is distributed to 70 countries.

    Indonesia used to be Nam Kim Group’s main market, taking up 60 per cent of its export output in 2015. However, by taking advantage of the globalboycott of Chinese steel, Nam Kim has expanded its export range to reduce indonesia's portion in its exports to 40 per cent in 2017. In addition, the firm’s colour-coated steel output last year only made up 13 per cent of its export output.

    Thus, the new Indonesian tariffs may not impact the two domestic steel manufacturers significantly.

    BSR considers second share sale before listing

    Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Co., Ltd. (BSR), the operator of Dung Quat Refinery, is considering putting more shares on sale before listing its shares on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange in April next year.

    BSR chief exclusive Tran Ngoc Nguyen told Reuters that in order to attract more interested investors, BSR will not limit the sale to only strategic investors as previously planned. The sale is expected to take place via a public auction.

    The money from the sale will be used to upgrade Dung Quat Refinery’s capacity to at least 192,000 from the 148,000 barrels per day (bpd) now and to allow it to process more types of crude oil.

    Nguyen added that BSR selected one from seven contractors bidding for the contract to upgrade its facility, but refused to disclose the selected contractor’s name.

    According to the approved equitisation plan, after selling 7.79 per cent of charter capital to investors at the IPO, BSR will continue to offer a maximum of 1.52 billion shares, equalling 49 per cent of the charter capital for strategic investors. However, BSR has yet to find strategic investors.

    At the second sale, BSR hopes to ease requirements such as lock-up time and minimum registered capital for the planned sale, and also expects the government to approve the changes in order to speed up the process.

    In the first half of this year, the firm reported a revenue of VND53.9 trillion ($2.36 billion) and after-tax profit of VND2.69 trillion ($117.9 million), equalling 69 and 77.6 per cent of the annual targets.

    Previously, BSR has targeted the total sales of VND78.1 trillion ($3.5 billion) for the whole year.

    Its net profit is expected to reach VND2.95 trillion ($129.3 million) by the end of June, exceeding the six-month target by 70.7 per cent and completing 84.7 per cent of the target set for the whole year.

    In the next six months, BSR aims to produce and sell more than 3.18 million tonnes of products and earn VND1.75 trillion ($76.7 million) in after-tax profit.

    Vinataxi and Savico Taxi to merge to compete with Grab

    Backed by ComfortDelGro Corporation Limited from Singapore, the merger between Vinataxi and Savico Taxi may help them overcome the competition with Grab and other ride-hailing applications.

    Most recently, the representative of Vietnam Taxi Company (Vinataxi) has announced the plan to merge with ComfortDelgro Savico Taxi—the taxi brand that had to suspend operations in March due to heavy competition.

    Vinataxi currently holds the third largest market share in the taxi sector in Ho Chi Minh City. Despite the firm claiming that its taxi business has not been much affected by Grab’s presence, its 2017 profit was only 10 per cent of the annual target. Notably, last year Vinataxi reported VND48.7 billion ($2.13 million) in revenue and VND1.2 billion ($52,553) in after-tax profit, equalling 49.8 and 9.87 per cent of the yearly targets.

    The representative of Vinataxi expects that the merger with Savico Taxi will help increase revenue and profit from taxi business by six times compared to 2017.

    Vinataxi was established in October 1992 by Tecobest Investment Ltd. (Hong Kong ) and Tracodi. In 2003, the Hong Kong partner transferred its holding to ComfortDelGro Corporation Limited from Singapore, one of the world's largest land transport firms.

    Once Vinataxi merges with Savico, ComfortDelGro Corporation Limited will be a common backer to both.

    However, there are concerns that Vinataxi’s optimism is misplaced as Savico might not give it the expected boost, especially after it had to suspend operations due to competition.

    Savico reported bleak business results prior to the suspension. Notably, according to Savico’s 2017 financial report, the taxi joint venture had total assets of VND92 billion ($4.038 million), however, its after-tax profit was VND235 million ($10,316) only. Previously, in 2016, its pre-tax profit was VND4.1 billion ($180,000), equaling 53 per cent of its plan for the whole year.

    According to Savico, the purpose of ComfortDelgro Savico Taxi’s decision was to look for other business opportunities as well as safeguard the capital that Savico and ComfortDelgro contributed to the joint venture.

    First container vessel received at the SSIT Port

    The SSIT port in Cai Mep welcomed its first container vessel on June 14. The MV MSC Rosaria is owned and operated by MSC Geneva, one of the world’s largest shipping lines. MSC will make regular calls at SSIT in the future.

    SSIT is a joint-venture port. SSA Marine, headquartered in the US, owns 50 per cent of the facility. Saigon Port controls 39 per cent and Vinalines Hanoi holds the remaining 11 per cent.

    SSIT was built to handle the largest container vessels in the world. These so-called Ultra-Large Container Vessels can carry up to 20,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) with a deadweight capacity of almost 200,000 tonnes.

    SSIT is a deep-water facility with a 16.5m draft alongside the berth. The terminal is equipped with the largest container shore cranes in Vietnam. The overall operational berth length exceeds 1km, of which 425m are dedicated to barge operations. The SSIT’s land area totals 60ha. The container handling capacity of SSIT will reach about 1.2 million TEU annually.

    SSIT has been actively handling bulk vessels since October 2014. Today, the terminal is the largest and busiest bulk port in southern Vietnam. Starting in June, container operations will be added, complementing SSIT’s operations going forward.

    First Vinfast cars to debut at Paris Motor Show

    Recently, images of the first two models of Vinfast’s sedan and SUV designed by Pininfarina through a $5 million contract sharing intellectual property rights from BMW are now exhibited at the Paris Motor Show at the end of last week.

    With the logo V in front and the word Vinfast in the back, the IDG Sedan 02 design which won the public vote in the sedan line-up with 22,400 votes (36.2 per cent).

    The vote for SUVs was won by IDG SUV 02, with 13,853 votes (22.4 per cent). However, according to information leaked on social media, IDV SUV 03 will also be introduced at Paris Motor Show. The commercial versions of these cars will be sold in 2019.

    At Vingroup’s annual general shareholders’ meeting (AGM) taking place on May 31, Vuong stated that the domestic market is the priority of Vinfast. Although Vietnam is a competitive market, he believes Vinfast’s chances of success are high.

    Vuong confirmed that Vinfast cars will beat competition in quality due to the highly automated manufacturing. There are 1,200 robots working in the welding factory of Vinfast.

    Moreover, the selling price will be very different from market standards as profit will not be a priority for Vinfast as instead the firm will focus on capturing the market.

    In the long term, however, Vinfast will export its cars. Russia and the surrounding countries will be the priority market at first because of the large population and the significant knowledge the leaders of Vingroup hold about this market.

    “In the long term, Vinfast will be the mainstay business line for Vingroup. Vinfast will not only manufacture automobiles, but also set foot in the heavy industry through cutting-edge technology to manufacture so many things. This is the new target of Vingroup,” Vuong said the AGM.

    With the total investment of VND35 trillion ($1.54 billion), the 335-hectare mega automotive factory project in Cat Hai (Haiphong city) is expected to place Vietnam on the global map of automobile manufacturing with the annual capacity of 250,000 electric motorbike and 250,000 cars in the first phase.

    Three billion-dollar thermal power plants running behind schedule

    Failure to discuss between investors and contractors as well as the weakness in management and inadequate operation capacity of contractors are two of the major reasons delaying the construction of three billion-dollar thermal power plants.  

    The three projects include $1.82 billion Duyen Hai 3 expanded, $2 billion Song Hau 1, and $1.2 billion Long Phu 1 thermal power plants.

    The project at Duyen Hai thermal power complex located in Dan Thanh commune, Duyen Hai district includes a 688MW power facility. The facility was scheduled to start operation in 2018, supplying approximately 3.9 billion kWh to southern region.

    In 2014, Sumitomo Corporation received an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract to construct a supercritical power station in the 688MW Duyen Hai 3 coal-fired thermal power station expansion project of Power Generation Corporation 1, a power subsidiary of state-run utility Electricity of Vietnam (EVN).

    Duyen Hai 3 is one of four power projects developed at Duyen Hai Power Centre with a combined generation capacity of 4,348MW as outlined in the nation’s power development master plan between 2011 and 2020 with vision towards 2030. The centre occupies a total area of 879 hectares.

    According to the report of the National Steering Committee for Power Development, the construction of Duyen Hai 3 expanded project is 6.5 months behind schedule.

    Sumitomo Corporation and sub-contractors’ weakness in management and operation capacity, in collaboration with the delays in supplying machineries and equipment, are major reasons for falling behind schedule.

    Especially, the fire at the construction site in March, caused by the carelessness of the sub-contractor Jurong Engineering Limited, will extend the delays in the construction of the project.

    Song Hau 1 thermal power plant is one of the key projects in the National Power Development Master Plan VII. It is invested by Petrovietnam and managed by PetroVietnam Song Hau 1 Power Project Management Board and developed by general contractor Lilama Corporation through the EPC format.

    This project is part of the 5200MW Song Hau Thermal Power Centre (including three member thermal power plants), located in Chau Thanh district, Hau Giang province with a $2 billion total investment.

    The construction of the project was started in May 2015. According to plan, the plant would come into operation with full capacity in 2019 and generate 7.8 billion kWh of power per year.

    However, as of April 2018, the construction progress only met 56.57 per cent of the schedule, meaning a 24 month delay.

    According tothe EPC contract, 12 months after the signing (April 10, 2016), the project’s management board and the general contractor will be permitted to discuss adjustments to the prices for a number of component construction projects.

    However, the documents of competent state management agencies do not provide detailed guidance on the method of adjustment, thus, parties have yet to reach a compromise ever since.

    Besides, according to the EPC contract that PetroVietnam and Vinaincon E&C signed on May 15, 2017, Vinaincon E&C will conduct the construction of the 500kV distribution yard segment within 602 days, however, the segment is still being evaluated and has not even started construction.

    Furthermore the delay in construction caused the investment capital of the project to increase by VND10.45 trillion ($458.04 million) due increases in the price of machinery, equipment, and labour, among others.

    On January 26, Power Machines, the EPC contractor of Long Phu 1 thermal power plant, was put on the US Department of Treasury’s extended list of Russian individuals and companies subject to sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.

    The move may delay the construction of Long Phu 1 project by 36 months. After the sanctions were imposed on Power Machines, General Electric announced cancelling the contract of supplying turbines and generators, which are two important segments of the project.

    In September 2015, PetroVietnam and the Power Machinery-PTSC contractor partnership held a ceremony to begin he construction of Long Phu 1 in the Mekong Delta’s Soc Trang province.

    The thermal power plant consists of two generators with a capacity of 1,200MW in Long Duc commune, Long Phu district, and is one of the key national projects within the National Power Development Master Plan VII.

    The first generator was expected to be put into commercial operation in 2018 and the second in 2019.

    Fire risks uncovered at another 108 buildings in Hanoi

    Duc Dai Phat Commercial and Manufacturing Company, Sudico Service JSC, and No.1 Dien Bien Province Construction Private Enterprise are three among a hundred developers running buildings that violate the fire code in Hanoi.

    The Hanoi Police Department of Fire Fighting and Prevention has just uncovered safety violations at 108 high-rise buildings across the capital. Adding to the list of 91 properties in late May.

    The announcement lists a hundred buildings run by well-known real estate developers that are located in Ba Dinh, Dong Da, and Cau Giay, and some suburban districts.

    14 of the listed buildings are developed by Duc Dai Phat Commercial and Manufacturing Company under the Ministry of Defence’s Urban and Housing Development Investment Corporation, including the A1, A2, A4, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, C1, C2, C3, C4, C5 buildings in My Dinh I urban area of South Tu Liem district.

    Sudico Service JSC under Da River Urban and Industrial Zone Investment and Development JSC is the developer of four buildings, namely CT1, CT4, CT5, and CT6 in My Dinh-Me Tri urban area of South Tu Liem district.

    Six buildings in Dai Kim and Hoang Liet wards of Hoang Mai district are managed by No.1 Dien Bien Province Construction Private Enterprise, the developer which was responsible for eight buildings from the 91 listed in May.

    The list of 108 buildings also includes buildings run by Vimeco JSC (a member of Vinaconex Corporation), Vinaconex Corporation, Hanoi Real Estate Investment JSC, Thang Long Victory apartment building (in Hoai Duc District) by IPACO, and Licogi 18, among others.

    The Fodacon apartment building in Ha Dong district where a fire occurred on May 25 is also included on the list.

    High-end apartment buildings are also listed, along with the headquarters of 35 companies, central and local agency offices, and four educational facilities.

    The 19 hotels listed include OASIS, Candle, Maydeville (Ba Dinh district), ASEAN hotel, Larosa, Emotion Hanoi (Dong Da district), and London Hotel (Cau Giay district).

    Officials said they would continue to work with building managers to address the shortcomings. Investors who do not follow regulations will be subject to criminal proceedings.

    Earlier on May 29, Hanoi announced a list of 91 buildings violating the fire code. As a result, there are nearly 200 buildings in Hanoi violating fire regulations.

    Thai KBank moves another step to bolster local SMEs

    KASIKORNBANK and Vietnam’s Agency for Enterprise Development last week signed a memorandum of understanding on the promotion of the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises and economic co-operation between Thailand and Vietnam.

    Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc witnessed the signing on the sidelines of the eighth Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy Summit held on June 15 in Bangkok.

    The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by KASIKORNBANK (KBank) president Pipit Aneaknithi and Agency for Enterprise Development (AED) acting director general Le Manh Hung.

    Under the MoU, the two parties will develop long-term co-operation to support and promote small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development in Vietnam by exchanging knowledge and initiatives to develop the SME community; design support programmes for innovative startups, business matching, and design scopes for SMEs; implement specific SME support and capacity building programmes to benefit SMEs; as well as to collaborate and connect enterprise data to provide support services for businesses.

    AED’s Le Manh Hung said the signing of the MoU shows the importance of mobilising international resources and bringing new support models for international SMEs to Vietnam, such as innovative startup training. The MoU signing also aims to promote the implementation of the Law on Supporting SMEs, which takes effect on January 1, 2018, and the government’s decrees in guiding the implementation of this law.

    Hung said after the signing, AED would co-operate with KBank to develop a collaboration plan for 2018, focused on supporting activities designed for innovative startups as well as business matching activities for enterprises.

    To emphasise KBank’s strong standing, Aneaknithi said he aims to provide Vietnamese SMEs with comprehensive knowledge and technical assistance programmes to substantially enhance their capabilities and improve their operational efficiency. This would include giving SMEs access to finances by using the supply chain concept with the bank’s network as a connector between Vietnamese SMEs and KBank’s customers – Thai conglomerates that have been investing in Vietnam through foreign direct investment (FDI), mergers and acquisitions, and equitisation in the recent past, with investments valued at over $15.5 billion.

    Given its expertise, holding almost 30 per cent of the SME loan market in Thailand, KBank aims to introduce its SME capacity development programme, which was previously successfully implemented in Thailand and Myanmar, to help support SMEs in Vietnam, in line with the government’s goal of having 1 million efficient private businesses by 2020.

    Prior to the co-operation with AED, KBank had successfully collaborated with the State Bank of Vietnam, ministries, and other government agencies in several initiatives and events which aimed to enhance further co-operation between Vietnam and Thailand.

    KBank, one of the leading SME banks and the fourth-largest commercial bank in terms of assets in Thailand, made an unwavering commitment to providing both credit and supporting investments, especially for FDI from Thailand to Vietnam, by sharing technologies and expertise for Vietnam’s SME development in both the credit and non-credit sectors.

    AMD targets 2018 revenue of $100.7 mn

    The FLC AMD Investment JSC (HSX: AMD) targets revenue of VND2.3 trillion ($100.7 million) and pre-tax profit of VND70 billion ($3.06 million) for this year, up 10 per cent and 20.5 per cent, respectively, over results in 2017.

    The company will focus on promoting the brand name of its AMDSTONE natural stone in addition to executing key projects, buildings, and resorts around the country and developing its distribution network nationwide. Exports are expected to contribute a significant proportion of revenue.

    A major partner from Belgium visited AMD’s offices, plants, and mines recently, with an eye to closer cooperation in the future. Many partners and agents from Italy, Turkey, and India have also come to FLC AMD to offer cooperation and distribute products.

    The company is also focusing on building its brand development by holding talks with hundreds of partners and architects on the quality of AMDSTONE natural stone compared to other imported marble.

    Along with the development of its business plans, communications, and brand development, AMD will continue to bolster information technology and modern machinery and equipment and improve risk management and internal control.

    The company targets becoming a mining and construction stone corporation with a high profile in the region and the world.

    Although the business environment in 2017 featured a lot of competition, especially in its core business fields of building and operating mines, AMD, a subsidiary of the FLC Group, continued to strive to achieve significant success. Total consolidated revenue was VND2.09 trillion ($91.5 million) last year, up 50.79 per cent compared to 2016 and exceeding the annual plan by 39.4 per cent. Pre-tax profit was VND58.1 billion ($2.2 million), equivalent to the 2016 figure and representing 83.1 per cent of the annual plan.

    AMD will also prioritize resources to invest in the construction of stone quarries and production plants in Loang Mountain and Ben Mountain in north-central Thanh Hoa province. In the first phase of mining at Ha Linh, also in Thanh Hoa, results were impressive, reflecting the efforts of the entire board of directors and staff at AMD.


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    Vietnam-EAEU FTA produces positive outcomes

    Officials of Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) lauded the upbeat outcomes brought about by the EAEU – Vietnam free trade agreement (EAEU – Vietnam FTA) in more than one year and a half since it took effect.   

    The enforcement of the FTA was reviewed at a working session between Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and Minister for Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Veronika Nikishina, in Moscow on June 18.

    According to statistics of the Vietnam Customs, trade between the two sides hit 3.9 billion USD in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016. Also in 2017, Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of nearly 1 billion USD with the bloc. 

    In the first four months of 2018, the bilateral trade was at 1.53 billion USD, an annual increase of 35 percent.

    Key exports of Vietnam to EAEU were phones – components, computers – electronic devices, apparel, footwear, fruit – vegetables, coffee, cashew nut, and seafood. It mainly imported petrol, oil, steel, fertilizers, and machinery from the EAEU. Commodities of the sides supplement each other, thus limiting the disadvantages usually seen with other FTAs. 

    However, the two ministers took note of the low use of incentives brought by the agreement, particularly the Certificate of Origin Form EAV.

    They urged more joint efforts to clear hurdles for Vietnamese and EAEU businesses so that they can capitalize on favourable conditions created by the bilateral FTA and bolster bilateral trade towards a value of 10 billion USD in 2020. 

    Tuan Anh voiced his concern over the EEC’s safeguard duties imposed on Vietnamese underwear and children’s wear products for nine and six months respectively since March 14, 2018. He noted that Vietnam had repeatedly asked for reconsideration of the duties considering that Vietnamese goods accounted for a low share in the EAEU’s total import of such products, had good quality, and supplemented garment and textile products made by EAEU countries.

    The Vietnamese minister asked the EEC to soon lift the duties and make criteria of its safeguard measures more transparent in the future.

    Concluding their meeting, the two officials agreed to pour more efforts to effectively implement the EAEU – Vietnam FTA and create maximum favourable conditions for bilateral trade of agro-forestry-fishery goods.

    They reached a consensus on speeding up negotiations to build an electronic origin assessment and certification system following the roadmap committed to by both Vietnam and the bloc.   

    In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency, Minister Tuan Anh said the FTA is a strong catalyst for trade with Russia, the important comprehensive strategic partner of Vietnam in EAEU. Trade value with Russia currently accounts for about 90 percent of Vietnam’s total trade with the bloc.

    He said the EAEU is intensifying its trade and investment with the ASEAN Community in its strategy to expand ties with the Asia-Pacific region, and Vietnam is also building production and distribution chains in this region. Therefore, deeper cooperation with Vietnam will give producers and suppliers in Russia and other EAEU opportunities to join supply chains in the Asia-Pacific.

    Vietnamese firms face uphill task to export farm produce to Thailand

    A delegation of 30 Vietnamese enterprises, mostly from Ho Chi Minh City and southern provinces, attended the recent Thaifex, the leading food, beverage and food technology in Thailand, to introduce outstanding farm produce of Vietnam in the market at a hope to export more products to the country.

    Aware that Thailand itself is a major farm produce exporter, the Vietnamese firms chose high quality products with marked differences in quality and taste from Thai products to showcase at the event, including organic products.

    Dang Thi Diem Thuy from Vinamit said that the firm brought organic rice, mango and  banana to the fair, which left strong impression on local consumers.

    Meanwhile, Co May company from the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap introduced its fried basa (pangasius bocourti) fish skin and mushroom deep fried crackers, and Betrimex company of Ben Tre showcased coconut products such as coconut milk and juice.

    According to the Asian-African Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, strong growth was seen in the Vietnam-Thailand trade revenue over the past years.

    Last year, Vietnam mostly exported to Thailand telephone and accessories, computers, electronic products, crude oil, transport vehicles and spare parts. Meanwhile, Thailand exported many agricultural products to Vietnam, especially fruit. In the first four months of this year, Vietnam imported 203 million USD worth of Thai fruits, up over 28 percent year on year.

    The department attributed the rise to Vietnam’s reduction of tax in line with the roadmap under the ASEAN agreement on trade in goods (ATIGA).

    Thai products are competitive thanks to their good quality and reasonable prices. Thai businesses have also been active in organising trade promotion activities and invested strongly in distribution channels in Vietnam.

    The department held that selling agricultural products to the Thai market is a tough task for Vietnamese firms.

    Vu Kim Hanh, President of the High-Quality Vietnamese Products Association, which brought the Vietnamese firms to Thaifex, said that this is the first time Vietnamese products are introduced abroad using the logos of “high-quality Vietnamese products selected for domestic products” and “high-quality Vietnamese products meeting global integration standards”.

    Due to the high requirements, only 60 enterprises in food industry are eligible for the title of “high-quality Vietnamese products meeting global integration standards”.

    Hanh held that Vietnamese agricultural products have high potential in expanding markets. However, she advised domestic firms to invest more in building value chain for their products, in order to broaden markets and compete with products of other countries.

    Canon unveils new projector range

    Canon Marketing Vietnam announced its entry into Vietnam’s exciting projector market at an exhibition entitled the “Big Screen Era” held in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 3 on June 15 and 16, where customers have the chance to experience the company’s advanced projection technology for home and business.

    The event marks the company’s 16th year in Vietnam and sees the projector range inherit Canon’s legacy of imaging excellence. Canon, which already markets a range of products in Vietnam such as cameras, printers, and photocopiers, brings world-leading technology such as Ultra Short Throw, advanced LCOS display screens, lens replacements that suit varying presentation purposes, and simple installation and maintenance thanks to Canon’s modular design.

    “Vietnamese consumers have come to love the Canon brand over the past 16 years through our cameras, printers, scanners, and other imaging solutions,” said Mr. Hiroshi Yokota, CEO of Canon Marketing Vietnam. 

    “We saw it was time to broaden our offerings to customers in the country. We are focused on maintaining our market leadership across all imaging categories. The ‘Big Screen Era’ exhibition showcases an array of realistic simulation areas that will bring an incredible experience to those who come and see our new Canon projectors.”

    The 400 sq m exhibition features seven key areas, each highlighting the important applications of Canon’s projectors. The Interactive Table will give visitors a unique experience with an interaction-integrated projector model, where they can use their hands to paint on the projector’s screen, play games just by tapping, or take notes directly when needed.

    The Business Solutions area will replicate a meeting room with a full range of printing equipment, security cameras, and projectors. Logitech will also be participating in this area, offering online video calling solutions. The Family Movie Theater area brings glamorous images from blockbusters or the energetic atmosphere of fiery football matches. This area will be a huge draw to guests given the 2018 World Cup is now underway in Russia.

    At The Mobile Game Zone, visitors who love mobile games are sure to become immersed in PUBG and Alliance, the two “hottest” games in Vietnam, on 200-inch screens. The Game Console takes visitors to a dusty race track in the Dirt 4 racing game and thrilling football games in PES 2018’s virtual stadium. In addition to the large-screen gaming experience using Canon projectors, visitors also receive gifts if they win the challenges.

    The Creative Painting Wall, meanwhile, will guide visitors on the basic drawing steps on the interactive screen and incorporate Wacom’s drawing board. They will also receive an adorable Chibi portrait of themselves.

    5M capital mobilization up 6.2%

    Capital mobilization by credit institutions had increased 6.2 per cent since the end of last year by the end of May and was 4.3 per cent higher year-on-year.

    Mobilized Vietnam dong (VND) rose 7.4 per cent while mobilized foreign currencies fell 3.1 per cent, according to a National Financial Supervisory Commission (NFSC) report released last month. VND accounted for 91.3 per cent of all funds mobilized under the CI system, after standing at 90.3 per cent at the end of 2017.

    Credit has increased 5.8 per cent this year after rising 6.9 per cent in the same period last year. Credit in VND rose 5.6 per cent and accounted for 91.9 per cent of total credit, while credit in foreign currencies rose 8 per cent but accounted for just 8.1 per cent of the total.

    Medium- and long-term credit increased 5.4 per cent in the first five months, while short-term credit rose 6.5 per cent; both down only slightly year-on-year. Long-term credit accounted for 52.7 per cent of the total, unchanged from the end of last year.

    Borrowers changed slightly. The proportion of household loans fell to 16.6 per cent of the total from 17 per cent at the end of 2017, while the proportion for construction and real estate increased slightly, to 16.3 per cent from 16 per cent.

    The NPL ratio was reported at 2.3 per cent at the end of May, after being 2.5 per cent at the end of 2017. Credit institutions have focused on bad debt management this year, primarily using risk provisions, and managed about VND20 trillion ($876.59 million) in bad debts. Collateral accounted for only 1.9 per cent.

    Alpha King to change HCMC skyline

    Alpha King Real Estate, one of the leading foreign property developers in Vietnam, has prepared the launch of two projects in prime locations on Ho Chi Minh City’s Tran Hung Dao Street in District 1: the Alpha Town office block and the Alpha City premium integrated development.

    Alpha King is a 100-per-cent foreign-owned company operating primarily in the field of developing multi-functional real estate projects, from shopping malls to luxury apartments. Its team of 90 professionals from 12 different countries are experienced in consulting on, designing for, and managing real estate and can be found in countries such as Hong Kong, Australia, China, and the US.

    Alpha Town will be the only 35-storey Grade A office block built by a foreign developer in the city’s prime CBD, just minutes away from the central bus station and future metro station and surrounded by major attractions such as Ben Thanh Market, Saigon Square, and Nguyen Hue Walking Street.

    Inspired by the “ao dai”, Vietnam’s iconic national dress, Alpha Town artistically reminds one of old Saigon in a modern way and sets a new standard in Ho Chi Minh City for living and working and in entertainment and leisure. Among a city full of block houses, Alpha Town is like a piece of art and will change the city’s skyline. With an open plan architectural design that maximizes open space inside, it will be a workplace where people feel inspired and relaxed.

    The project features a generous 2,000 sq m gross floor area (GFA), along with a meter-high ceiling, providing full views of the city. It will be the first office block in Vietnam to apply the most advanced technology in the world, such as facial recognition and guest enrolment systems.

    Built for the purpose of altering the view of real estate investment in Vietnam, Alpha City is a premium integrated development comprising residential and retail space. The project sits on one of the last few remaining freeholds in District 1.

    Within Alpha City, Alpha Mall is inspired by Saigon street art and block houses and will boast two large atriums, a transparent façade with LED promotion screens, and express elevators.

    In order to provide a comfortable and safe living environment, Alpha King’s projects are equipped with state-of-the-art technology such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Smart Building (SMART), which also help in the management of design, construction, operations, and marketing.

    Alpha Town and Alpha City were selected as the two pilot BIM technology projects by the Ministry of Construction.

    HATECO LAROMA to open at end-2019

    The Hateco Thang Long Joint Stock Company announced its high-end apartment project, HATECO LAROMA in Hanoi’s Dong Da district, will be in operation by the fourth quarter of 2019.

    The project covers a land area of 3,135 sq m and features 281 apartments and a commercial space on 31 floors.

    HATECO LAROMA will present a premium living option for local people and expats who are seeking a high-quality apartment in the heart of the city that is exceptionally well-managed and with a full range of amenities.

    Among the amenities are a swimming pool, a fitness center, spa facilities, a wine cellar, a children’s playground, a kindergarten, F&B options, and outlets of top quality fashion brands in the world.

    HATECO LAROMA was designed by the renowned FINENCO Architects from Italy, with exquisite lines from the landscapes, the building’s exterior, and the corridors to the interior of the apartments.

    Hateco Thang Long has appointed CBRE Vietnam as the exclusive agent for consultancy and property management.

    Proficient in property management and with an extensive track record in the operations management of hundreds of properties around Vietnam, CBRE’s experienced property managers add value to HATECO LAROMA, bringing higher-quality services and enhancing the lives of residents.

    “We believe that our extensive experience in the property management area, our understanding of the market and local needs, and a dedicated, professional team will reinforce the position of HATECO LAROMA in the market and ensure it is a pleasant place to live, work and play,” said Ms. Nguyen Hoai An, CBRE Hanoi Branch Director.

    HCMC property market showing signs of declining supply

    Ho Chi Minh City’s real estate market exhibited signs of declining supply in the first five months of this year compared to the same period last year, according to the latest report from the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association (HoREA).

    The total number of eligible projects for capital mobilization was 29, down 9.4 per cent against the 32 projects in the same period of 2017.

    The report also noted that declines are seen in different housing segments. Total housing launched on the market was 9,144 units, including 8,690 apartments and 484 low-rise buildings, down 44.5 per cent against the 16,506 units launched in the first five months of last year.

    The high-end segment has 3,828 units, down 25.9 per cent on the 5,164 units in the same period of 2017. The proportion of the high-end segment, however, accounts for 41.8 per cent of the market, up strongly compared to 31.3 per cent last year.

    The mid-end segment has 3,465 units, down 32.6 per cent against 5,136 units last year and representing 37.7 per cent of the total, up against the 31 per cent in the same period of 2017.

    The affordable segment, meanwhile, has 1,881 units, down 69.7 per cent compared to 6,206 units in the same period of 2017 and representing only 20.5 per cent of the total, down by nearly half year-on-year.

    Mr. Le Hoang Chau, Chairman of HoREA, predicted that Ho Chi Minh City’s real estate market will continue to grow over the remaining months of 2018 and remain stable, with no chance of a “bubble” appearing. “Affordable housing with one or two bedrooms and priced at less than VND1 billion ($44,000) is the mainstream segment with the highest liquidity in the market,” he said. “The high-end segment will see strong restructuring to match purchasing power. The condotel market and land will continue to be controlled.”

    He added that the situation of disputes in apartment blocks will become increasingly complicated and needs to be controlled and handled efficiently and promptly.

    The report also revealed that a strengthening of links between businesses and foreign investors and the promotion of cooperation between enterprises is also expected to take place over the remainder of the year.

    Quang Binh works to boost tourism development


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    Sailing to the gate of "Hang Toi" (Dark Cave) in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh

    The north central province of Quang Binh, known for the UNESCO World Heritage Site Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, is working to promote its tourism potential by fostering links with other localities to create new tourism products and attract more tourists.

    A series of measures to boost tourism cooperation between the province and the Mekong Delta region were discussed at a conference held in Quang Binh’s Dong Hoi city on June 18.

    Endowed with stunning natural landscapes like untouched white sandy beaches and UNESCO World Heritage Site Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, coupled with excellent cuisine, Quang Binh province poses huge potential for tourism development, said Vice Director of the provincial Department of Tourism Dang Dong Ha.

    Quang Binh has affirmed its tourism prestige as it welcomed 3.3 million tourists in 2017 and the number is estimated at 1.8 million in the first six months of the year, including 85,000 foreigners.

    Appraised by international media and experts as one of the leading worth-experiencing destinations in the world, Quang Binh is an attractive place for tourism investors, Ha said, adding that the locality is channeling efforts in promoting sustainable tourism development in companion with improving local livelihoods.

    Meanwhile, An Giang, Can Tho, Kien Giang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Soc Trang and Hau Giang in the Mekong Delta region are local tourism and socio-economic hubs. Boasting with famous tourist attractions such as Cai Rang floating market, My Khanh tourism village, Truc Lam Phuong Nam Zen Monastery, Binh Thuy ancient house, Phu Quoc island and Son islet, the localities served nearly 22.5 million tourists in 2017.

    Therefore, enhancing tourism links between Quang Binh province and the Mekong Delta localities is significant to create favourable conditions for tourism businesses to expand their markets while making tourism as a spearhead economic sector of the provinces.

    Solutions to improving tourism products and services were on the table at the event. Participants said that relevant parties should pay due attention to improving tourism service quality, diversifying tourism products and introducing new tourist attractions. 

    In addition, tourism businesses were advised to share experience and seek cooperative opportunities.

    On the occasion, a Memorandum of Understanding on tourism cooperation was inked between Quang Binh province’s tourism department and the Departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Mekong Delta city and provinces.

    Accordingly, they will work to improve efficiency of state management and tourism promotion, and build mutual tourism products to attract more tourists.

    Seminar talks sustainability reporting for listed companies

    The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Hanoi Stock Exchange and Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange held a seminar in Hanoi on June 18 to discuss sustainability reporting for listed Vietnamese companies. 

    According to the GRI, since Circular No.155/TT-BTC guiding information announcement on securities market took effect on January 1, 2016, sustainability reporting has not been new to listed enterprises, but its quality remains limited. Only several firms are able to make sustainability reports up to GRI standards. 

    Nguyen Cong Minh Bao from GRI in Vietnam said GRI has invited Vietnamese companies to the Competitive Trade Programme funded by the Swiss government to support them in sustainability reporting, adding that they will receive free training and access to GRI’s online reporting system. 

    Business Development Director of Dragon Capital Pham Nguyen Vinh said investors and international organisations are seeking more non-financial disclosures to ensure the sustainability and efficiency of firms invested by them. 

    Le Cong Dien, Director of the State Securities Commission (SSC)’s Public Enterprises Supervisory Department, said the Circular No.155 has requested integrating data about environment, society and corporate governance into the annual business report, towards raising awareness and practices about sustainable development. 

    The SSC has continuously refined legal framework to ensure that the securities market runs in an open, transparent and effective manner, he said. 

    He said the SSC will direct authorised agencies standardise regulations on sustainability reporting, including factors regarding environment, society and corporate governance, as well as issue a code of rules on corporate governance in line with international practices.

    HCM City to carry out int’l credit confidence assessment project

    Ho Chi Minh City pays attention to a project assessing its international credit confidence and hopes that it will help raise the city’s position and prestige and expand financial resources to serve its development.

    The statement was made by Le Thanh Liem, Permanent Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, at his meeting on June 18 with a working delegation from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Standard & Poor (S&P) Global Ratings.

    Liem thanked IFC for actively coordinating with the city in realising the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding signed in late 2017, including the implementation of the above-mentioned project.

    The rating of international credit confidence for the city is an unprecedented issue, he said, adding that the city hopes IFC and S&P, the world’s leading providers of credit ratings, will work to ensure the project is implemented as scheduled.

    He emphasised the wish that the rating result will contribute to the city’s development through helping investors and international financial organisations have right assessments on the city’s capacity and potential as well as attracting more resources to serve the local socio-economic development programmes.

    Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, affirmed that this is the most favourable time for Ho Chi Minh City to have international credit rating and become a model in mobilisation of resources for development.

    Speaking highly of the city’s dynamic development, Kelhofer stated that credit confidence rating will create opportunities for the city to mobilise cheaper and more diverse capital resources.

    The project will also help boost other development projects and programmes in the city, especially in the fields of financial management, and policy making.

    Tien Giang: Investment sees 2.3-fold increase in H1

    The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang raked in a total investment of more than 7.2 trillion VND, or 316.8 million USD, in the first half of 2018, a 2.3-fold increase from the same period last year.

    Over 97.2 percent of the amount, or 7 trillion VND (308 million USD), have been poured into 18 new projects, according to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Thanh Duc.

    As a result, the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang has so far lured over 70.9 trillion VND (3.12 billion USD) in investment in a total of 282 projects, including 2.3 billion USD in FDI in 116 projects.

    Nearly 370 new enterprises have been established in the province in the January-June period with a total registered capital of more than 2.58 trillion VND (113.52 million USD), up 31.5 percent and 89 percent, respectively.

    Such remarkable progress is largely owing to the province’s adoption of new policies to improve local business climate and attract both domestic and foreign investors.

    Tien Giang has partnered with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to analyse and assess the province’s business environment, said Duc. It has collected opinions from experts, policymakers and businesses on the status of local business climate and come up with solutions to improve it in 2018 and the following years, he noted.

    The province has been mobilising all necessary resources to develop transport infrastructure, expand support for local businesses and foster the application of information technology to promote public administrative reforms. These move aims to provide investors with faster, more convenient and cost-saving public services and facilitate the development of e-government.

    The province has also worked to enhance the effectiveness of its investment incentives, particularly in terms of taxation, credit provision, land and human resources and encourage the use of advanced technology and the development of agriculture as well as the production and distribution of farm produces.

    Furthermore, the provincial and district leaders have held regular dialogues with local investors to update them with latest information on the local socio-economic situation alongside new regulations and reforms; and to learn about their obstacles.

    Made-in-Vietnam tyres present in 128 markets

    Made-in-Vietnam tyres have been rolling in 128 countries and territories worldwide, according to Vice President of the Vietnam Rubber Association (VRA) Vo Hoang An.

    Last year, the country earned 920 million USD from tyre exports, up 44.2 percent from 2016. Local tyre production enjoyed a trade surplus of 564 million USD in 2017, doubling the amount gained in the previous year.

    Highest export revenue was recorded in the exports of passenger car tyres with 591.5 million USD (accounting for 64.3 percent), followed by truck tyres with 146.2 million USD (15.9 percent), motorbike tyres with 77 million USD (8.4 percent) and bike tyres with 6.4 million USD (6.6 percent).

    The top 10 leading tyre exporters in the country included two domestic companies: the Southern Rubber Industry Joint Stock Company (Casumina) and Danang Rubber Company (RRC).

    Some 424,000 tonnes of rubber were shipped abroad at a value of 620 million USD in the first five months of the year, up 17.4 percent in volume but down 12.4 percent in value as compared to the same period in 2017. 

    China, India and Malaysia are the three largest rubber consumption markets of Vietnam. They make up market shares of 58.1 percent, 7.5 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively. 

    Report from the VRA showed that Vietnam was home to 971,600 hectares of rubber which yielded more than 1.08 million tonnes of rubber latex in 2017, accounting for 8.3 percent of the world’s total production. 

    Besides rubber products, the rubber sector brought home 2.25 billion USD from the export of rubber latex and 1.9 billion USD from rubber wood exports.-

    Conference to promote Soc Trang’s investment potential

    A conference on investment and start-up promotion will take place in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang on June 19, aiming to call for investments to the locality. 

    The event will be attended by Party and State leaders, representatives from ministries; sectors, localities, international organisations, foreign diplomatic agencies in Vietnam, trade and investment promotion organisations, financial and credit  institutions, economic associations and groups, and firms in and out the country. 

    The event will update participants on Soc Trang’s investment support policies, investment-related information and the list of projects calling for investments, towards attracting a maximum of investment sources to fully tapping potential and strength of the locality. 

    Soc Trang boasts great potential of agriculture development thanks to soil and climate. The agricultural economy with key farm produce has significantly contributed to the locality’s economic growth. 

    The locality’s total rice output in 2017 reached 2.11 million tonnes, of which the proportion of specialty rice accounted for 46.07 percent. 

    It is home to more than 74,000 hectares of aquaculture land, 50,000 hectares of which were set aside for brackished-water shrimp breeding, mostly in coastal areas. 

    The livestock sector has been developing strongly in the locality. Especially, the dairy cow-breeding project in 2013-2020 has proved effective and expanded to many districts and towns, with total number of 9,720 cows and total yield reaching 2,880 tonnes of milk per year. 

    Soc Trang has also strengths for marine economic sectors such as clean energy, seaport and shipping services.  The Mekong Delta province has built a master plan to develop its coastal economy until 2020 with vision until 2030.

    The province is asking for the Prime Minister’s approval to construct a deep-water seaport in the locality and encouraging investors with strong financial capacity to get involved in the project.

    The province will prioritise connectivity among the seaport system, urban areas, industrial parks and tourism sites along the Hau River, while developing spearhead economic sectors like aquaculture cultivation, sea tourism, energy industry and thermoelectricity.

    As aquaculture is a major pillar in local economic development, the province will build a pilot irrigational model for specialised shrimp farming in Tran De district and Vinh Chau town. 

    Earlier this year, the Super Wind Energy Cong Ly Soc Trang Joint Stock Company began building a wind farm in Lai Hoa commune, Vinh Chau town. The project has a total capacity of 98 MW and is invested in three phases at a total cost of more than 5.39 trillion VND (237 million USD).

    Regarding tourism development, the province has joined hands with Con Dao district in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province to operate a speedboat connecting the two localities. In addition, investment has been promoted at many eco-tourism sites like Ho Be-Vinh Chau and Mo O-Tran De.

    Soc Trang: Business Incubator’s new office inaugurated

    A new office was officially opened for the Investment Promotion and Enterprise Support Centre of Soc Trang province’s Business Incubator on June 18.

    The office is located at No 479A, Le Duan Street, Commune 9, Soc Trang city, the same name province.

    Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Le Thanh Tri, Chairman of the People’s Committee of the Mekong Delta province, said the pilot project Business Incubator, funded by the Government of Canada through the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Development Project, has been effectively carried out in Soc Trang to support local enterprises and startup businesses.

    The office will serve as a contact point for organisations in the province and across the country to facilitate the development of a local startup ecosystem in the coming years.

    Since 2011, through the Global Affairs Canada, the Government of Canada has provided 10 million CAD in financial assistance for Soc Trang to implement the SME Development Project, said Charlene Laurenece, First Secretary of the Embassy of Canada in Vietnam. The project has greatly contributed to supporting the growth of local enterprises and developing a better business climate and startup ecosystem in the province.

    At the event, the provincial Investment Promotion and Enterprise Support Centre inked a memorandum of understanding with six partners, including startup businesses, colleges and state agencies, paving the way for cooperation in supporting and developing the local startup community in the province in the time ahead.

    Lang Son to host Chi Lang Custard Apple Festival

    A festival to honour Chi Lang custard apples will be held in northern Lang Son province in mid-August prior to the launch of Lang Son specialities and custard-apple week in Hanoi.

    It was said at a press conference in Hanoi on June 18 by the Lang Son provincial People’s Committee and the Vietnam Trade Promotion Centre for Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    The festival will showcase many famous farm produce of Lang Son including anise, Dong Mo fermented bamboo shoots, forest honey and especially Chi Lang custard apple.

    This year’s event will highlight organic custard apples meeting VietGap standards, create a value chain of Chi Lang custard apple and attract more investments to develop Lang Son’s key agricultural products.

    Chi Lang custard apple has become one of the most delicious fruits in the north. The National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam under the Ministry of Science and Technology granted a certificate to “Chi Lang custard-apple” brand in 2011. 

    The Organisation of Vietnam Records listed the fruit among 50 best specialities in Vietnam in 2013.

    HCM City to host 3rd Denim&jean show

    The 3rd edition of Vietnam Show will take place at Riverside Palace, Ho Chi Minh City on June 27-18, heard a press conference on June 18.

    The event, jointly organised by the Vietnam Textile & Apparel Association (VITAS) and Balaji Enterprises of India, will introduce the world’s latest fashion trends and achievements in the Denims industry.

    According to Vice Secretary of VITAS Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, the event will see the participation of over 40 reputable firms specialising in producing denims, accessories and textiles from Vietnam and more than ten countries and territories, including India, Switzerland, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, China and Singapore. 

    By signing many free trade agreements (FTAs), especially the European Union (EU) - Vietnam FTA and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Vietnam becomes one of the leading attractive destinations for investors who are interested in textile and garment industry, Mai said.  

    The show is quite attractive to retailers, fashion brands and textile companies from around the world, especially those from the EU and the US, she said, adding that it will provide a good chance for exhibitors to seek and set up partnerships. 

    Sandeep Agarwal, CEO of Balaji Enterprises, highlighted the theme “Rock and Roll” of the event, which will look back on the formation and development of Denims and Jeans industry in connection with Rock and Roll music over the past years. 

    In the framework of the event, six seminars will be held with the participation of international experts who will focus their discussion on the future of denim supplies, the denim supply chain link for sustainable development, and the conversion from Analog to Digital.

    180 businesses attend AgroViet 2018

    About 180 local and foreign businesses are expected to attend the 18th International Agriculture Trade Fair 2018 (AgroViet 2018) scheduled for June 28 to July 1 in Da Nang.

    The information was released at a press conference in Hanoi on June 18, held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    With a focus on hi-tech products to support sustainable development of the agricultural industry, the event aims to expand international cooperation and serve as a bridge between businesses and consumers while offering opportunities to fully tap the domestic market.

    The event will also introduce cutting-edge technologies in agricultural production and high quality agro-forestry-seafood products and handicrafts.

    AgroViet 2018 is one of the biggest annual trade promotion activities of the agricultural industry. This year’s event also draws the participation of 18 Thai businesses.

    Dao Van Ho, Director of the Trade Promotion Centre for Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development emphasized that beyond introducing the potential of farm produce, the event also helps to strengthen connectivity among businesses operating in the fields of processing technologies and post-harvest preservation.

    Mr Ho noted that the event also helps in creating safe agricultural products for export and domestic consumption, leading to increased product value and developing the agricultural sector towards advanced-technologies and international integration.

    A seminar introducing agricultural eco-tourism products in Da Nang city will be held during the event.

    Australia a land of opportunity for Vietnamese wood

    Vietnam’s wood enterprises have plenty of opportunity to bolster their exports to the Australian market due to its increasing import demands, favourable geographic position and preferences brought by free trade agreements (FTAs).

    The General Department of Vietnam Customs reports that exports of wood and timber products hit US$3.37 billion during the first five months of this year, a year-on-year rise of 11.3%. Australia was one of the top ten importers of Vietnamese wood and timber products with a value of more than US$66.7 million 11.3% higher than the corresponding period last year.

    According to the statistics from the International Trade Centre, the Oceanian nation imported US$362.8 million worth of wooden furniture from major markets such as China, Vietnam and Malaysia during the first quarter, up 6.4% over last year’s same quarter. But, the statistics show that Australia’s imports from China displayed a drastic upturn and a fall in imports from Vietnam in the above mentioned period, which demonstrates that Vietnam’s wooden furniture has not yet met the tastes of Australian customers.

    IBISWorld - a global business intelligence leader specializing in industry market research and procurement and purchasing research - has announced the results of a review of the 2013-2018 period, showing that Australian customers tend to favour low-cost furniture as local producers failed to compete with imported products in terms of prices due to high labour and material costs. 

    Therefore its furniture industry is following a slow upward trend while imports are seeing strong growth. Particularly, Australian customers pay no or little attention to the origin of products but rather pay heed to the quality, designs and prices of products.

    The Vietnamese Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade emphasizes the need for Vietnamese businesses to fully grasp opportunities to the highly lucrative market by improving their technology, research, and product designs and quality, and reducing prices in order to suit Australian customers’ tastes.


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  • 06/20/18--01:20: Article 2
  • Social News 20/6

    Đồng Tháp Province to ban fishing in breeding season


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    To protect and develop the aquatic ecosystem, Đồng Tháp Province will ban fishing in the breeding season. Photo: 

    Local authorities in Đồng Tháp Province will ban fishing in the breeding season from May to June to proctect aquatic resources in the province.

    Nguyễn Văn Tùng, a resident in An Bình A Commune, said: “We have to protect the natural aquaculture areas for the future”.

    “Đồng Tháp Province has tangled canal systems with plenty of natural food, so fish can grow and develop faster there than in other places,” he added .

    A report from the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said that illegal fishing using explosives and electrical shocks was still continuing.

    In addition, the aquatic ecosystem and natural breeding grounds are also affected by boats engaging in illegal activities on the water. The boats are also causing pollution.

    The province’s People’s Committee said it would raise public awareness among residents about the importance of keeping these aquaculture areas free of waste and illegal activities.

    Poverty reduction model tackles malnutrition among women, children

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    Malnutrition rates among mothers and children improved remarkably in the northern provinces of Lào Cai, Lai Châu and Hà Giang through a poverty reduction project, which ended in June 2018.

    Malnutrition rates among mothers and children improved remarkably in the northern provinces of Lào Cai, Lai Châu and Hà Giang through a poverty reduction project, which ended in June 2018.

    The 32-month project, “Scaling up small-scale food processing for therapeutic and complementary foods for children in Việt Nam,” was implemented by the National Institute of Nutrition and the Ryerson University of Canada.

    It promoted food security by increasing the availability of fortified complementary foods for children and providing a higher and more stable source of income for small-scale women farmers.

    “The project has tackled poverty and malnutrition among women and children with fortified foods involving the use of locally grown crops, local manufacturing facilities and local distribution channels. The model is expected to improve livelihoods, nutrition and food security for thousands of rural Vietnamese farmers in the three provinces,” project official Huỳnh Nam Phương said.

    “According to the results of the project, the child underweight rate was reduced to 13.9 per cent from 17.2 per cent, while the wasting rate (low weight for height) reduced from 7.6 per cent to 3.4 per cent. The rate of anaemia among children also reduced from 61.3 per cent to 16.1 per cent,” Phương added.

    The project has benefitted more than 18,100 children underthe age of two through 10,150 counselling contacts and nearly 4,300 group counselling sessions. Some 450 women have been trained in Good Agricultural Practices, and some 15 easy-to-access Little Sun nutrition counselling centres have been set up at community health clinics at the provincial, district and commune levels.

    An ISO22000 compliant SSFP food production facility has been established in Lào Cai province, with a capacity of 100 tonnes of fortified instant porridge and two million packets of vegetablesevery year. The facility currently serves food to nearly 2,500 students in four primary schools as well as to Lào Cai General Hospital.

    According to Phương, the lesson learnt from the project will be the foundation for the development and implementation of national food security policies, such as Việt Nam’s National Nutrition Strategy. 

    New programming competition opens


    New programming competition opens, Hanoi tackes illegal building at 8B Le Truc Street, Residents volunteer land for development projects, Kid’s party offers summer fun for kids
    KMS Hackathon, a 30-hour programming competition, has opened. Photo courtesy of the organiser

    Applications are open for the inaugural KMS Hackathon, a 30-hour programming competition.

    The contest, with the theme “30-hour hacking for social impacts”, aims to address current issues in various areas such as social life, security, public health, energy, environment, and transportation by applying advanced technologies, smart solutions, AI, and chatbots with natural language processing.

    It is open to programmers, software engineers, IT specialists, project leaders and managers building software products, and IT and computer science students.

    Participating teams will have to develop their products within 30 hours.

    The US$10,000 prize consists of cash and gifts.

    Besides, participants will have the opportunity to attract investments from funds and start-up incubators and mentoring from experts.

    The jury will include Phong Bùi, KMS Technology’s deputy director of technology, Lâm Quang Vũ, deputy director of the HCM City University of Science’s IT faculty, Uy Trần, managing director of UpStar Labs, Tăng Hải Ngọc Sơn, winner of the 2016 Facebook Hackathon Southeast Asia, and representatives of local and international investment funds.

    The evaluation will be based on the ability to utilise state-of-the-art technologies such as AI and chatbot as well as teamwork, creativity and business potential.

    Registration is now open on the website of the competition at, and ends on July 10.

    The final round will be held on July 14-15.

    The contest is organised by KMS Technology.

    MoT reports Government on Tân Đệ toll station

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    A driver takes the barrier to make his truck travelling through the toll station without paying fee.

    The Ministry of Transport (MoT) has reported to the government about the operation of Tân Đệ Build-Operation-Transfer (BOT) toll station in the northern province of Thái Bình.

    Drivers have been rejecting to pay the toll and threatening the toll station’s staff since early May as they thought the payback period was over last month.

    The ministry said the BOT toll station belonged to the project to upgrade a section of National Highway No. 10, connecting La Uyên Bridge to Tân Đệ Bridge in the province, with an investment of more than VNĐ715 billion (US$31 million). The toll station became operational in July 2012.

    The payback period was initially estimated to be 21 years and three months. However, after the ministry re-considered the number of vehicles passing through the toll station, the payback period was reduced to 10 years and three months. Therefore, the deadline for toll collection was set in June 2019.

    Later, the ministry decided to add the Đông Hưng Bypass to the project following the approval of the government. The investment to construct the bypass is VNĐ430 billion ($18.7 million).

    Therefore, the payback period was re-adjusted again, this time at 11 years and nine months. This extends the deadline for toll collection until January 2021.

    In response to the situation, the administration of Thái Bình province has ordered relevant agencies to actively answer questions of drivers. Additionally, local police have also been asked to maintain order at the toll station. 

    Conference highlights role of journalism in HCM City’s development

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    HCM City Party Committee Secretary Nguyễn Thiện Nhân at a forum held yesterday (June 19) in HCM City tells the press that it should inspire the public by commending outstanding individuals who do good things.

    HCM City Party Committee Secretary Nguyễn Thiện Nhân yesterday asked city authorities to offer more financial assistance and new policies for the press for continued communication, especially to promote National Assembly Resolution No. 54 to “pilot a special mechanism and policy for the development of HCM City”.

    At a forum on journalism and publishing to mark the 93rd Việt Nam Revolutionary Press Day, Nhân said the press — including print newspapers, television channels, radio stations, and online news sites, should suggest solutions, not just offer criticism, for the city’s development.

    Journalists should observe, analyse, and seek solutions to the city’s shortcomings from people, experts and scientists, he said. 

    The press should also continue strengthen the fight against bureaucracy, corruption, waste, and social evils, he added.

    They should commend outstanding individuals who do good things to inspire the public, he added.

    The city plans to set up a press centre and meet journalists periodically to exchange information about the city’s issues, Nhân said.

    Thân Thị Thư of the city’s Party Committee said the press should encourage innovation and creativity among all the city’s residents.  

    The city’s agencies should also improve awareness about the role of the press and provide information for sufficient and timely communication for residents to have a better understanding and support for Party resolutions and National Assembly Resolution No 54. 

    The head of the city Department of Information and Communication, Dương Anh Đức, said the press has an important role in the implementation of Party resolutions and National Assembly resolution No 54.

    The forum was held to discuss solutions on how best to achieve communication about achievements and policies of the country and the city.

    Many publishers who attended the forum said that policies for the publishing sector should be issued to help them improve their services.  

    On the same day, the city Department of Science and Technology organised a scientific conference ”Journalism for Science and Technology Development and Community Service”.

    The department’s representative said that communication about science and technology had contributed to the city’s development.

    Many science and technology programmes, including a ecosystem for startup, international co-operation and markets, have been communicated well within the community.

    Information is also needed about assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises to improve competitiveness.

    Journalist Bùi Việt Hà of Khám Phá (Discovery) magazine said the Department of Science and Technology plans to carry out a tour for the press throughout the city about science and technology used in enterprises and organisations as well as startups.

    Nguyễn Khắc Thanh, the department’s deputy head, said the department will set up a network between managers, researchers, enterprises and journalists to strengthen communication about science and technology.

    Oysters die en mass, farmers incur losses


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    Oysters die en mass in the Tiến Thành Oyster Cooperative. — Photo

    More than 300ha of oyster farms producing some 500 tonnes of oysters have died in Long Hòa commune, Châu Thành district in southern Trà Vinh province.

    Phạm Văn Trường, director of the Tiến Thành Oyster Cooperative, said 200ha of the cooperative’s ponds cultivating oysters had died.

    Normally, with an investment of VNĐ5 billion (US$222,200), the cooperative can harvest 500 tonnes of oysters and earn VNĐ10 billion ($444,400).

    “This year we do not have any profits,” Trường said.

    The cooperative has 318 members, and more than 50 per cent of them are poor households.

    Huỳnh Văn Hoàn, head of the Hai Thủ Oyster Cooperative, said the cooperative had hoped to harvest 250 tonnes of oysters. However, it harvested only some 100 tonnes, incurring losses of more than VNĐ3.3 billion ($146,600).

    Forty poor households of the cooperative will not earn any profits this oyster season.

    According to Nguyễn Văn Nguyên, deputy secretary of the Party of Hai Thủ Village, many households in the area in recent years have been raising shrimps without any waste water treatment system in place. They discharge the waste water into the sea, which may have led to the death of oysters.

    “The waste water had dark blue colour and bad smell,” Nguyên said.

    More than 300 households in the village cultivate shrimps.

    Trường said tests revealed the presence of bacteria in ponds cultivating shrimps, which he believed was the main cause of oysters’ death.

    Nguyễn Thanh Thưởng, deputy chairman of the Long Hòa commune People’s Committee, said the commune had 1,600ha of ponds cultivating aquatic products, of which 320ha were used for shrimp cultivation.

    More than 50 per cent of the area did not have any waste water treatment system.

    “This is reason enough to claim that untreated waste water is the cause of oysters’ death,” Thưởng said.

    However, Huỳnh Quốc Vũ, chairman of the Long Hòa commune People’s Committee, said the committee was yet to arrive at a conclusion. Meanwhile, it is educating local farmers about the treatment of waste water from shrimp cultivation. 

    Kon Tum prepares for flood season

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    A view of the Đắk Uy irrigational dam, the biggest irrigational work in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum. 

    The Kon Tum Irrigational Work Management Board has spent nearly VNĐ2 billion (US$88,800) to repair 19 irrigational dams ahead of the flood season this year.

    The money has been spent from the provincial irrigational management budget.

    The 19 dams are in the four districts and cities of Ngọc Hồi, Đắk Glei, Đắk Hà and Kon Tum.

    At present, irrigational works in the Central Highlands province are scattered in 10 districts and cities. According to the management board, they are quite far from each other, and since the local terrain poses many obstacles, inspectors face a lot of problems in conducting checks.

    Many irrigational works that were built a long time ago have deteriorated.

    Whenever it rains, mud and trees from the riverhead drift to the dams and reservoirs, hindering their operations.

    Nguyễn Hữu Nghĩa, head of the Technology Division under the Kon Tum Irrigational Work Management Board, said the board had checked all irrigational works to better prepare for the flood season this year.

    The board has checked 71 reservoirs, set up plans for 24 reservoirs for flood prevention in residential quarters and plans to protect Đắk Uy and Đắk Yên reservoirs, which have a capacity of more than five million cubic metres. 

    Hà Nội tackes illegal building at 8B Lê Trực Street


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    Public safety is cited as the main reason for the delay in handling the second phase of demolition at 8B Lê Trực.

    The Hà Nội City People’s Committee is working on the second phase of the demolition of the illegally constructed 19th floor of a building at 8B Lê Trực Street, in Ba Đình District.

    The second phase of handling violations at 8B Lê Trực building has faced new problems, which need to be resolved thoroughly.

    According to the Phương Bắc Group Joint Stock Company - the unit which completed the first phase of the demolition, the breakdown of the unallowed area will undoubtedly affect the structure, safety and sustainability of the building.

    The building was licensed for 18 stories, but the investor illegally built the 19th floor. Phương Bắc company has completed demolishing the 19th floor in the first phase. However, the investor also adjusted the height of the floors so the authorities have to continue the second phase.

    Due to the complexity of the architecture and structure of the building, the demolition in the second phase will require the removal of most of the pillars and beams of the building. Therefore, the company has suggested the city authorities assign the task of the second phase of demolition to the building’s design unit because only the design unit fully understands the core structure of the building. 

    If the second phase’s dismantlement project is assessed as absolutely safe, then Phương Bắc company will have enough grounds to complete dismantlement measures to submit to relevant agencies for approval.

    But nearly two years since the demolition began, the design unit has still not come up with the second phase’s plan to ensure safety.

    Phương Bắc company said that the second phase’s dismantling has a high risk level, while destroying the whole building will waste social resources.

    At present, there is no legal document that allows the authorities to demolish the whole building.

    On the other hand, most of the areas from the 18th floor and below have been purchased. The second stage of dismantling will therefore face opposition from the people who have deposited on the apartments.

    For the above reasons, the Phương Bắc company has requested to thoroughly handle the illegally-constructed 8B Lê Trực building to save money and ensure the interests of people involved.

    If the work doesn’t affect security and national defence, the company has proposed investors to buy back the whole area that should not have been built but already been sold to customers and the money collected should be put it into the State budget instead of dismantling.

    The second phase’s dismantling wastes social assets and causes risks to people’s safety, including construction workers, residents living around the building, and road users.

    In addition, the company requires investors to pay the full cost of the first phase’s demolition and fund the maintenance of tower cranes, cage hoists and other equipment used since the end of first phase.

    During the rainy season, the storage of tower cranes and hoists causes risks, the company proposed to dismantle the tower cranes and cage hoists for maintenance.

    On the above recommendations, Vice Chairman of the Hà Nội People’s Committee Nguyễn Thế Hưng has assigned the Department of Construction to co-ordinate with Ba Đình District to re-check the process of handling violations.

    The 8B Lê Trực building’s developer was Lê Trực Garment Joint Stock Company. 

    Lending a helping hand


    New programming competition opens, Hanoi tackes illegal building at 8B Le Truc Street, Residents volunteer land for development projects, Kid’s party offers summer fun for kids
    Volunteers of Đà Nẵng City’s Youth Union help local residents set up e-citizen account. — Photo

    It may only be early, but Eko Community Support Centre in Đà Nẵng City is already busy.

    At 7.30am on Saturday, the venue in Hòa Minh Ward of Liên Chiểu District is filled with locals with one goal – to get help and support from the Youth Union.

    Over the past two years, these groups have become the place locals turn to for help dealing with issues relating to administrations procedures such as land, identity cards, household registration books or birth certificates.

    Local resident Nguyễn Thanh Sơn told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper his land paper problem was dealt quickly thanks the group.

    “I had to go many times to local administrative office to deal with problem on land paper because it requires many types of papers such as household registration book or birth certificate to complete administrative tasks,” Sơn said.

    “When I went to the support centre, a judicial officer guided me carefully about administrative papers related to land and every issue was dealt quickly.”

    Sơn said now he often goes to the centre to get help with other admin problems.

    Opening two years ago, the drop-in advice centres are held the first and third Saturdays of each month. Besides the youth union members, there are young judicial officers from wards and districts.

    “We assist the local people with all types of administrative procedures. This activity is implemented in seven districts and 56 wards and communes of the city to support people quickly and help deal with backlog of administrative procedures,” said Nguyễn Hoàng Huy, an officer of the support centre.

    Joining the centre two years ago, Lê Thị Giang, a judicial officer of Hòa Minh Ward, said she often helped local residents.

    “We do this voluntarily to help local residents without any pay,” Giang said. “We will report the issues which are not in our competence to higher agencies to help the people.”

    From this month, the City Youth Union in co-ordination with Department of Information and Communications and Public Service Information Centre also organised consultancy activities for citizens to set up e-citizen account and online public services.

    “I only showed my ID card and some necessary information to the centre’s volunteer and then I quickly received an e-citizen account a few minutes later,” said Trương Sáu, a resident from Hòa Minh Ward.

    “After getting an account, I was also guided to the simple online public services by the officers. It’s very convenient and saves time. The officers are also friendly,” he said.

    Besides supporting administrative procedures, the Youth Union helps elderly people navigate the web, said Nguyễn Duy Minh, secretary of the City’s Youth Union.

    “For elders who don’t have computer, the volunteers will help them create account and register online administrative procedures so they can get results soon,” Minh said. 

    Residents volunteer land for development projects


    New programming competition opens, Hanoi tackes illegal building at 8B Le Truc Street, Residents volunteer land for development projects, Kid’s party offers summer fun for kids
    Residents in Bính Xá Commune, Đình Lập District join hands to build a new road. — Photo

    A total of 317 households have donated more than 102,000sq.m of land to conduct 29 projects related to advancing infrastructure in Đình Lập District, in the northern Lạng Sơn Province from 2013-18.

    Last year, two more communes in the district, Bính Xá and Bắc Xa, were developed.

    Hoàng Thanh Đạm, deputy chairman of the Đình Lập District People’s Committee, said the committee joined hands with concerned organisations to educate to local residents on the benefits of a new lifestyle created by development to encourage them to volunteer to join the projects.

    Since the beginning of last year, local authorities held more than 70 talks about building a new rural lifestyle with the participation of more than 2,300 residents.

    Since being educated about the projects and grasping a better understanding of the targets of the programme many local people have volunteered to join.

    With the land donated from the residents, five schools and 18 roads were built.

    Dương Kim Thọ, head of the Còn Áng Village, Đình Lập Commune, donated nearly 3,900sq.m of his land to build the Bản Chuông-Bình Chương Road. He also gave encouraged 25 other households to join him.

    Bế Đức Toàn, a resident in Pò Mát Village in Bính Xá Commune, said that his family was aware of the importance and long-term benefits of infrastructure development.

    “Building new rural infrastructure will creating good conditions for the locality’s development, and will ultimately improve local residents’ lives,” he said.

    “So my family agreed to donate a part of our land for the community’s benefit,” he said.

    Toàn’s family donated 4,600sq.m of land to build the Khe Bủng Road. 

    Kid’s party offers summer fun for kids

    The kids’ summer party will offer a wide range of interesting activities for young participants. — Photo courtesy of Family Medical Practice.

    A kids’ summer party might offer a suggestion for parents who are looking for meaningful activities for their kids during the summer vacation.

    Jointly organised by Family Medical Practice, Young Hit Young Beat, LASKA, and British Council, as well as 10 other respected sponsors and partners, the party will feature outdoor stage performances, a magic show, and a Zumba dance session. At the same time, children can play in a bouncing castle and a water wall or create buildings with wooden legos, join henna tattoo activities, engage in face painting, or get their pictures taken in 3D photo-taking corner.

    There will also be a Charity Station where participants can donate used clothes, books, toys and school stationery for children in need.

    “Family Medical Practice sees great importance in the kid and the family, since it’s one of the two pillars that our primary care is built upon,” Ram Shahar, Chief Operation Officer of Family Medical Practice, said. “We do the kids’ summer party as a token of appreciation to the kids and the families. We also do it because the kids, all year long, come when they are sick and vulnerable and we believe that once a year the kids should enjoy and have fun when they come to the clinic.”

    The event will be free for all kids below 10 and their parents. The party will be held from from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. this Sunday at the Vạn Phúc Compound, 298 Kim Mã Street, Ba Đình District.

    For registration, please visit this link: For more details, please contact Huong Le via phone number 0913 781 696. 

    Cải lương show to raise money for poor artists

    New programming competition opens, Hanoi tackes illegal building at 8B Le Truc Street, Residents volunteer land for development projects, Kid’s party offers summer fun for kids 

    Meritorious Artist Tú Sương will perform for free at the charity show Kết Nối Thiện Tâm (Connecting with Love), in HCM City to raise funds for poor artists. — Photo courtesy of the organiser

    Veteran and young cải lương (reformed theatre) artists will perform at the HCM City Drama Theatre for a charity show this month to raise funds for poor theatre artists.

    The concert, Kết Nối Thiện Tâm (Connecting with Love), will feature Meritorious Artist Tú Sương and cải lương star Kim Ngân, together with young talents from traditional art troupes.  

    Extracts from historical plays such as Thái Hậu Dương Vân Nga (Queen Dương Vân Nga) and Trần Quốc Toản (Young Hero Trần Quốc Toản) will be performed.

    Featured performances will be staged by Sương, who has more than 30 years of experience in the theatre.

    Sương has won several top prizes at national theatre festivals and competitions, including the Golden Prize for best actress at Trần Hữu Trang Awards presented by HCM City Theatre Artists’ Association in 2015.

    She works for Trần Hữu Trang Theatre, one of the region’s leading traditional art troupes, and has performed as a lead actress in dozens of quality plays.

    Sương and her colleagues will perform for free. All proceeds will be given to help poor artists, elderly artists and backstage workers.

    The show Kết Nối Thiện Tâm will begin at 8pm on June 29.

    8 teams to compete in U17 football final

    New programming competition opens, Hanoi tackes illegal building at 8B Le Truc Street, Residents volunteer land for development projects, Kid’s party offers summer fun for kids 

    PVF Centre. — Photo

    Eight teams will compete in the final round of the National U17 Football Championship at the Promotion Fund for Vietnamese Football Talent (PVF) Centre in northern province of Hưng Yên from June 26 to July 6.

    The teams include Police, Viettel, SHB Đà Nẵng, Sông Lam Nghệ An, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai, Becamex Bình Dương, An Giang and hosts PVF, who have qualified in the qualifying round.

    The teams will play in a round-robin format in the group stage, and the four best teams will advance to the semi-finals.

    The final of the championship promises exciting matches for football fans. 


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  • 06/20/18--01:32: Article 1
  • Premium product market in VN set to take off

    Mollis organic towels of Phong Phu Corporation have received “very good response” in the market after being launched last year, a sign that premium products are becoming more popular in Viet Nam.

    Premium product market in VN set to take off, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news 

    Premium products on display at a Viet Nam International Premium Products Fair held in HCM City earlier this month.

    Doan Anh Dao, sales and marketing manager of Phong Phu Corporation, said the towels, which are made from 100 per cent imported cotton, are strictly inspected by the Control Union from all stages, from input to output to sales and inventory.

    They are priced 30-40 per cent higher than that of normal cotton towels.

    “Sales of the products via Con Cung shops are very good. At Co.opmart, Big C, Aeon and some Vinmart stores, more and more customers know about the products,” Dao said.

    According to retailers, sales of Vinamilk organic fresh milk have also been very good since its launch despite their much higher price compared to normal products.

    Realising the potential of the Vietnamese market, many foreign companies via exhibitions and fairs want to seek business partners to distribute their products in Viet Nam.

    For instance, Shin Je Hwan from South Korea’s Hap Chun Foods Co. Ltd, which participated in the VIPREMIUM 2018 held recently in HCM City, said: “This is the first time my company is participating in the fair. We want to look for agents or distributing and importing companies in Viet Nam.”

    Dao said: “There’s a great potential for organic and premium products in Vietnamese market because consumers have increasingly paid attention to products that are good for their health.”

    A recent survey of Nielsen showed that with significantly improved income, Vietnamese consumers are not only buying more goods, but also spending more money on premium products.

    Premium products have selling prices at least 20 percent higher than other products of the same kinds in the market, according to Nielsen.

    Imported products

    Despite the potential of the premium product market segment, the market is mainly dominated by imports, accounting for about 80 per cent, according to Nguyen Phi Van, chairwoman of the Saigon Innovation Hub’s Board of Advisors.

    Products are mostly from the Asia –Pacific region such as Japan and South Korea, and from Western Europe and North America, according to Van, who is also founder and chairwoman of Retail & Franchise Asia.

    The premium market in Viet Nam features mainly healthcare products, beauty care products, household appliances, consumer products, and electronic products as well as services.

    In the high-end market segment, Vietnamese firms find it hard to compete with foreign firms because they have not caught up with market trends, while their foreign rivals have done this very well, Van said.

    “Foreign firms are very knowledgeable about design and business model innovation to suit digital consumers as well as future consumers. Due to these difficulties, in the high-end consumer segment, Vietnamese goods cannot compete with products produced by foreign manufacturers,” she said.

    According to experts, Vietnamese producers of both premium and popular products do not understand world market trends and thus cannot take advantage of the trends.This is the biggest challenge for Vietnamese firms.

    Domestic businesspeople have accessed an international business mindset, but the application of these mindsets into production and business operations is still slow compared to that in other countries.

    Their resources are also very limited, and they struggle to protect their popular consumer products in the market. So they have not had proper investment in exploiting higher consumer segments.

    Vu Kim Hanh, chairwoman of the High Quality Vietnamese Goods Business Association, said: "Consumers like imported products from Thailand, Japan and Korea. One of the reasons is that as incomes increase, consumers can pay more for products in general, but they also pay more attention to the value that the products bring, especially foods and beverages good for health.”

    Van said: “I hope that more Vietnamese businesses will participate in the premium market segment, but it may take a long time for them to build their position in the market.”

    Many experts believe that with the current situation, imported premium goods in Viet Nam will continue to increase in the coming time.

    Under free trade agreements, tariff duties will be reduced, and imported goods will become more competitive, causing difficulties for Vietnamese firms.

    According to Van, in this situation, Vietnamese firms need to make a big change in their managerial mindset and expand co-operation, including with foreign partners to develop the market together.

    Businesses should also understand mega-trends that will lead the market not only now but also in coming years to develop suitable business innovation ideas as well as capitalise on market opportunities.


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  • 06/20/18--02:12: Article 0
  • US State Department bids farewell to Vietnamese ambassador

    The US Department of State has hosted a farewell ceremony for Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh on the occasion of the end of his term in the US. 

    US State Department bids farewell to Vietnamese ambassador, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news 

    Guests to the farewell ceremony for Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh.

    Deputy Assistant Secretary for South Asia Patrick Murphy, Chief of Protocol of the State Department Sean Lawler and representatives from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries in Washington joined the event. 

    Both Murphy and Lawler said during Vinh’s over-three-year tenure, the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership witnessed noted developments across fields, as reflected through high-level visits by the two countries’ leaders. 

    They cited the visits to the US by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong in July 2015 and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in May 2017, and the Vietnam visits by President Barack Obama in May 2016 and President Donald Trump in November 2017. 

    The bilateral ties in economy, trade, national defence and security, and regional cooperation have also been enhanced, they said. 

    The officials highlighted the US’s removal of its ban on the sale of lethal weapons to Vietnam, the first-ever visit to Vietnam by a US aircraft carrier in March 2018, the opening of Fulbright University in Vietnam, and projects on cooperation in settling war consequences. 

    They thanked Ambassador Vinh for his active contributions to the achievements. 

    For his part, Vinh said he attaches importance to the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership and expressed his hope that the bilateral relationship will continue to prosper in the time ahead.-


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  • 06/21/18--01:50: Article 3
  • HCM City woefully short of luxury hotels to meet soaring tourism demand

    HCM City’s hotel market, especially the luxury segment, is attractive to investors due to the relentless rise in tourist numbers.

    HCM City woefully short of luxury hotels to meet soaring tourism demand, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breakin 

    HCM City needs 1,000 luxury hotel rooms by 2020.

    The city People’s Committee reported that in the first five months of this year there were over 3.2 million foreign arrivals compared to 2.5 million in the same period last year.

    The tourism sector’s revenues rose by 14.8 per cent year-on-year to VND51.6 trillion (US$2.2 billion).

    Dai Ta Hoang Vu, director of the city Department of Tourisms told Viet Nam News that while the numbers of both domestic and foreign visitors are increasing sharply, the city has too few five-star and three-star hotels.

    “With annual growth of 20 per cent, the city tourism sector will receive around 10 million foreign visitors by 2020 and need around 10,000 luxury hotel rooms.”

    Nguyen Trong Thuc, head of hotel services, CBRE Vietnam, said the number of foreign visitors coming to HCM City would increase thanks to policies like e-visa and visa waiver, and this would create more demand in the luxury hotels segment.

    Many investors and funds want to invest in the city’s hotel market, he revealed.

    Many of them are buying old hotels and renovating them, he said.

    But there is no new supply, expect for the Mai House which should open by the end of this year, he said.

    He told Viet Nam News that the four-star segment would see intense competition from the many new luxury apartments that are being built and let out to guests through Airbnb and other similar services.

    The city is encouraging investment in the luxury hotel segment, he said.

    It would assist them by streamlining procedures, apprising them about plans and others with an eye on promoting tourism, he said.

    Development under way

    Last month Mandarin Oriental announced plans to build a five-star hotel at the Union Square Saigon building situated in the block between Nguyen Hue, Dong Khoi, Le Thanh Ton, and Le Loi streets.

    Scheduled to open next year, it will have 228 rooms, six restaurants and bars, a spa, and an outdoor pool.

    Swiss-owned Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has announced plans to develop a new property with 815 keys – 288 hotel rooms and 527 serviced apartments – besides several upscale business and leisure facilities.

    Scheduled to open in 2020, the project will form the centrepiece of the Kenton Node Hotel Complex, a major mixed-use development currently rising on the Rach Dia River bank on Nguyen Huu Tho Street in Saigon South.

    In addition to these two projects, the Department of Tourism said many other luxury hotels are also planned in HCM City.

    Without disclosing the exact number of investors who have applied for licences, he said by 2020 there would be enough luxury hotels to meet 70 per cent of demand.


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  • 06/21/18--01:59: Article 2
  • Government News 20/6

    Hà Nội keen to work with German businesses

    HCM City leader receives foreign military attache delegation in Vietnam, Vice President apprises Vĩnh Long voters about NA session, NA Chairwoman helps Can Tho voters understand special zone law
    Hà Nội has imported 100 cleaning machines from the Hako Group, which have helped make remarkable environmental changes.

    Chairman of the Hà Nội People’s Committee Nguyễn Đức Chung and a delegation of the capital city have embarked on a working visit to some European countries.

    Their first stop was Germany, where they arrived on June 19. 

    In Frankfurt, they had a working session with the Hako Group, one of the leading international manufacturers of cleaning and municipal technology. 

    Hà Nội has imported 100 cleaning machines from the Hako Group, which have helped make remarkable environmental changes. 

    Hako representatives informed the delegation of the group’s decision to open a representative office and a maintenance plant in Hà Nội. 

    Chung welcomed Hako’s long-term plan in the city and confirmed that the authority would provide optimal conditions for the opening of its representative office in Hà Nội. 

    He expressed hope that the group would bring other major German business to the capital. 

    Chung asked the group to increase the training of staff running the cleaning machines to maximise their operations. 

    He also urged the group to participate in building an urban management and operation centre in Ha Noi as the city was undertaking a strategy to develop smart urban areas. 

    NA Chairwoman helps Can Tho voters understand special zone law

     na chairwoman helps can tho voters understand special zone law hinh 0
    National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan gave voters in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho more details about the postponement of approval of the draft Law on Special Administrative – Economic Units and made clear the newly-adopted Law on Cyber Security at her meeting with them on June 19.

    The meeting, with the presence of a delegation of NA deputies of the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, was meant to update the voters of the results of the fifth session of the NA’s 14th tenure.

    Voters shared the views that many national socio-economic issues had been discussed productively at the meeting and praised the outcomes of the meeting.

    While noting down the voters’ opinions, Chairwoman Ngan clarified that the legislature decided to postpone the approval of the draft Law on Special Administrative – Economic Units in order to have more time to make it complete.

    The law-making body unanimously agreed to revise the regulation on land lease limit for production and business on the draft law towards applying the regulation on land lease of the current Land Law, and not allowing the lease of up to 99 years for special cases, she said.

    As guidelines and policies of the Party and State, the 2013 Constitution, and several legal documents have referred to the establishment of some special administrative-economic units, the making of the draft Law on Special Administrative – Economic Units began in mid-2013 with the view of forming special zones to spur economic development and create regions that play as a driving force for the nation building and development, Ngan stated.

    She said voters’ concerns about the draft law are right and the NA needs more time to acquire these feedback to fine-tune the draft law, and praised the people’s patriotism as well as their concerns about the country’s important issues.

    The leader told the voters that they can contribute their opinions to the Party, State and NA in various forms and should not let them be incited by distorted information, leading them to get involved in disturbing social order, sabotaging, and even committing legal violations like the incidents that have recently happened in some localities.

    “We made sacrifices and spent dozens of years undertaking the Doi Moi (Renewal) to ultimately have our present country of peace, independence, and reunification, and it is growing, so it is not simple that we will issue a law or establish special units that would drive our country into difficulty,” the leader said. 

    Regulations on the draft law were to be studied on the basis of acquiring constructive opinions and making revisions so they must ensure the national territorial integrity and sovereignty and safeguarding the security and defence of the special zones and the country, she confirmed.

    The law is novel, complicated, and first-time with many new and breakthrough regulations, Ngan said, adding the NA listened to comments from voters, people, and deputies and decided to postpone the time of adopting it in order to fully absorb the feedback from people.

    Regarding the voters’ questions about the newly-adopted Law on Cyber Security, she cited a foreign professor as saying that cyber is sovereignty of any countries, noting that in this “virtual space” hostile actions are as dangerous as those in real life.

    Together with the robust development of science and technology, the cyber has become an indispensible factor and played an important role in building an information society and developing an intellectual economy, she said.

    Science and technology has been applied strongly in our country to contribute gravely to speed up the national industrialization and modernization, develop the national economy, improve the living standards, promote people’s right to mastery, and safeguard the national defence an security, Ngan told the voters.

    The making of the Law on Cyber Security is necessary as it will protect national security, social order and safety, rights and legitimate interest of citizens, organizations and individuals inside Vietnam, and will handle all subjects that violate laws on the cyber, the NA leader said.

    The right to free expression on the cyber is not entitled to this law, she said.  “The law is meant to handle violations on the cyber, not bar the right to free speed of citizens.”

    Regulations on the law requiring foreign organizations and offices providing services on the cyber in Vietnam to store individual information of the service users in Vietnam and important data relating to national security, and set up headquarters and representative offices in Vietnam comply with laws in Vietnam, international norms and they do not run counter to the treaties that Vietnam has joined. Up to 18 countries worldwide did request the same things, she explained.  

    The screening of the documents regarding the country’s commitments to joining the WTO, GATS, and TRIPS, and CPTPP show they have contained regulations on security exceptions, allowing the national security to be respected and defended at the highest level, and that meant with the Law on Cyber Security Vietnam has not violated its international commitments.

    “There will be no hindrances to the traffic of data to affect the normal operations of agencies, organizations, and businesses, even the start-ups,” she also assured. 

    At the meeting, the leader noted down and explained the voters’ questions about the revised Law on People’s Public Security, the building of regular communal public security force, and the development of transport infrastructure in the Mekong Delta.

    Vietnam, Mexico talk ways to bolster trade

    HCM City leader receives foreign military attache delegation in Vietnam, Vice President apprises Vĩnh Long voters about NA session, NA Chairwoman helps Can Tho voters understand special zone law
    Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Hoai Duong (left) and Mexican Secretary of Economy Idelfonso Guajardo Villarreal pose for a photo at the meeting.

    Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Hoai Duong paid a courtesy call on Mexican Secretary of Economy Idelfonso Guajardo Villarreal in Mexico City to discuss ways to bolster the two countries’ economic and trade relations.

    Secretary of Economy Idelfonso Guajardo Villarreal highly spoke of the Vietnam-Mexico trade relations in recent years that see a growth of 10 – 15 percent annually.

    Vietnam is now Mexico’s 8th biggest trade partner in Asia-Pacific while Mexico is Vietnam’s 2nd largest trade partner in Latin America, he said, citing the Mexican Ministry of Economy’s statistics that showed bilateral trade hit nearly 5 billion USD last year. In the first quarter of 2018, the trade was estimated at about 1 billion USD.

    Idelfonso Guajardo also hailed Vietnam for its significant dedication to the conclusion of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and expressed his hope that Vietnam will soon ratify the treaty so it will enter into force in early 2019 as expected, to further facilitate the cooperation in economics, trade and investment between the two sides.

    Ambassador Duong, for his part, congratulated Mexico as the first member state to ratify the CPTPP.

    The Vietnamese diplomat also expressed his thanks for the efforts of the secretary and the Mexican Ministry of Economy in fostering the bilateral trade and economic ties that is important to Vietnam’s international economic integration.

    He expected the Ministry of Economy to support the Embassy of Vietnam to connect enterprises from the countries, open the local market for Vietnamese high-quality products and encourage Mexican investors to do business in Vietnam, a market of more than 90 million people and a gateway to the Southeast Asia, paving the way for greater connectivity between ASEAN and the Pacific Alliance that comprises of Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile.

    Vietnamese Vice President pays official visit to Laos

    HCM City leader receives foreign military attache delegation in Vietnam, Vice President apprises Vĩnh Long voters about NA session, NA Chairwoman helps Can Tho voters understand special zone law
    Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh is welcomed at the Lao Presidential Palace in Vientiane on June 19 

    Vietnam and Laos will continue giving the top priority and exerting all-out efforts to develop bilateral ties to ensure the success of each nation’s revolution, the countries’ vice presidents affirmed during their talks in Vientiane on June 19.

    At the talks after the official welcome ceremony for Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, Lao Vice President Phankham Viphavanh highlighted the visit’s significance to the two countries’ relations, noting that the Party, State and people of Laos always keep in mind the enormous and effective assistance Vietnam has given to them throughout history.

    Vice President Thinh, who is on her first official visit to Laos from June 19 to 22, reiterated that the Party, State and people of Vietnam always treasure the sincere friendship and mutual support with Laos.

    The two sides briefed each other about their respective countries’ security, political and socio-economic situation, stressing that amid numerous challenges in the world and the region, Vietnam and Laos should further intensify their time-tested friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation, which are the priceless asset that needs to be maintained and passed down to future generations.

    The vice presidents noted with satisfaction the flourishing cooperation in all aspects, including politics, security, defence, economy, trade, investment, education, culture, and people-to-people exchange. They said the frequent mutual visits by leaders of the countries’ Parties, States, Governments and National Assemblies are a vivid demonstration of the pure, faithful and trustworthy connections between Vietnam and Laos.

    It is necessary to continue implementing the agreements reached by their leaders well, they said, adding that building on the success of the Year of Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship in 2017, 2018 is favourable for them to enhance their special relationship.

    Phankham Viphavanh asked for both sides’ coordination to soon build a park named after Vietnam’s late President Ho Chi Minh in the north of Vientiane capital city so as to help educate young people on the great friendship of the countries.

    At the talks, they agreed to step up mutual visits at all levels with a focus on their effectiveness along with people-to-people exchange, especially among young people, to reinforce the two nations’ connectivity and create a solid foundation for future generations to foster the traditional relations.

    They agreed to bolster security-defence cooperation, including in fighting trans-national crimes and ensuring security and development in the countries’ shared border areas. They also urged better coordination to manage the borderline, reduce irregular migration, and carry out the agreement on the settlement of irregular migrants and undocumented marriages signed by the two Governments in 2013.

    The Lao Vice President thanked the Vietnamese Government for creating conditions for the Lao-Vietnam International Port Joint Stock Company to build Vung Ang No. 1, 2 and 3 wharves, which are important gateways for the economic development of the northeast of Laos. He also appreciated the Vietnamese sides’ promotion of trade and investment partnership, transport connectivity, investment cooperation projects, and removal of business obstacles.

    Valuing the Vietnamese Government’s scholarships for Laos, he asked the two sides to improve collaboration in education-training to meet each country’s human resource demand while strengthening ties in culture, sports, communications, science and technology.

    Phankham Viphavanh affirmed that the Lao Government always supports Vietnamese people to settle in the country under Laos’ law. The two sides should coordinate closely to manage and create favourable conditions for Vietnamese to work in conformity with Laos’ law.

    The two officials said their countries will continue working closely together and support each other at international and regional forums like the United Nations, ASEAN and the Mekong region’s cooperation mechanisms.

    On this occasion, Vice President Thinh thanked Laos and other ASEAN countries for pledging to support Vietnam’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council in 2020-2021.

    Also on June 19, the Vietnamese Vice President paid courtesy calls to General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and President Bounnhang Vorachith and Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.

    The Lao leaders emphasised that the Party and Government of Laos always attach importance to the enhancement of the countries’ special ties, agreeing to solidify the comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties and Governments.

    HCM City leader receives foreign military attache delegation in Vietnam

     HCM City leader receives foreign military attache delegation in Vietnam, Vice President apprises Vĩnh Long voters about NA session, NA Chairwoman helps Can Tho voters understand special zone law 

    Le Thanh Liem, Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee received a delegation of foreign military attaches in Vietnam on June 18.

    Liem highly valued the delegation’s working visit to learn about political, defence-security, socio-economic situation in localities in Vietnam and hoped that through the visit, the delegation will have more useful information on the country, including Ho Chi Minh City.

    He briefed the guests on the city’s socio-economic development, saying that the city is the country’s economic, financial and scientific-technological centre. The city every year welcomes foreign military ships to make friendship visits, thus contributing to strengthening understanding and exchange between people of the city and foreign countries, and building and maintaining an environment of peace and stability in the region.

    Colonel Ton That Tuan, military attache of the US in Vietnam, on behalf of the delegation, highly valued the city’s dynamic development as well as it role and position for the country’s socio-economic development.

    The visit will help the delegation’s members to more understand about the land and people of Vietnam in order to have advice to their countries’ leaders in promoting ties with Vietnam.

    Congratulations to Lebanese PM on re-appointment

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on June 18 extended a congratulatory message to Saad Al-Hariri on his re-appointment as Prime Minister of Lebanon.

    The same day, National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan congratulated Nabih Berri, who was re-elected as Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon.

    Vietnam and Lebanon established diplomatic ties on February 12, 1981.

    Vice President apprises Vĩnh Long voters about NA session

     HCM City leader receives foreign military attache delegation in Vietnam, Vice President apprises Vĩnh Long voters about NA session, NA Chairwoman helps Can Tho voters understand special zone law
    Vice President Đặng Thị Ngọc Thịnh met with 200 voters in Vĩnh Long City in the Mekong Delta province of Vĩnh Long on Monday. — Photo

    Vice President Đặng Thị Ngọc Thịnh met with 200 voters in Vĩnh Long City in the Mekong Delta province of Vĩnh Long on Monday to brief them about the fifth session of the current National Assembly term and listen to their demands and suggestions.

    Thịnh apprised them about important economic, social, military and security issues at the national and provincial levels.

    She told them about bills that would come up for voting at the next session.

    The voters expressed their support for some important issues, especially the Cyber Security Law, saying it would serve as the legal foundation to ensure information and cyber security.

    They voiced concern over the Law on Special Administrative - Economic Zones, saying before passing it, the Government should further consult experts, cadres and the public.

    Speaking about the Anti-Corruption Bill, they proposed confiscation of all assets instead of the 40 per cent stipulated in the bill.

    They wanted the use of harmful substances to produce foods and their trade to be attract the provisions of the Criminal Law to deter offenders. 

    PM: Soc Trang should work out proper measures to fulfill growth targets

     HCM City leader receives foreign military attache delegation in Vietnam, Vice President apprises Vĩnh Long voters about NA session, NA Chairwoman helps Can Tho voters understand special zone law
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (standing) speaks at the working session with leaders of Soc Trang province 

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang to work out proper measures to fulfill its set growth targets, especially gross domestic product (GDP) and provincial competitiveness index (PCI).

    PM Phuc made the request at a working session with provincial leaders on June 19 after attending the investment promotion conference in Soc Trang.

    A reported delivered at the working session showed that in the first six months of 2018, Soc Trang collected 2 trillion VND (88 million USD) for the State budget, equal to 55 percent of the estimates. However, the province’s economic growth only reached 6.11 percent, lower than the figure of 6.47 percent recorded in the same period last year.

    In recent years, the province has carried out a number of projects on agricultural production with high-yielding rice varieties and large-scale dairy cows.

    Particularly, Soc Trang reported the highest output of brackish water shrimps in the country.

    PM Phuc recognised Soc Trang’s achievements gained over the past time and noted that the province is encountering an array of difficulties in terms of credit capital, environment, and production connectivity and other social issues, which need to be addressed in the time to come.

    The province needs to make greater efforts to improve its investment climate and develop urban areas towards bettering the residential planning scheme in association with adapting to climate change, he said.

    Stepping up the building of new-style rural areas and improving the living environment for people are also major tasks of the province, he said.

    He suggested Soc Trang develop Tran De port to serve socio-economic development of the province and the whole Mekong Delta as well.

    The PM reminded the province to not neglect the maintenance of political security and social order and safety. It is necessary to enhance legal knowledge for local residents and raise high vigilance over the incitement of hostile forces, while promoting solidarity among ethnic groups in the province, he said.

    Soc Trang should pay more attention to supporting start-ups, particularly young generations, PM Phuc recommended.

    During his working visit to Soc Trang, PM Phuc visited a hi-tech shrimp breeding area of Khanh Sung Co., Ltd. in Lieu Tu commune, Tran De district.

    Philippine Independence Day celebrated in HCM City

     HCM City leader receives foreign military attache delegation in Vietnam, Vice President apprises Vĩnh Long voters about NA session, NA Chairwoman helps Can Tho voters understand special zone law
    At the ceremony to celebrate the 120th Independence Day of the Philippines held in HCM City on June 19 

    The Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organisations (HUFO) and the Vietnam-ASEAN Friendship Association on June 19 co-organised a ceremony to mark the 120th Independence Day of the Philippines (June 12).

    President of the HCM City Vietnam-ASEAN Friendship Association Phan Thi Hong Xuan said Vietnam and the Philippines have strengthened cooperation in different fields such as economy, culture, trade and education.

    The two countries have also worked together to promote solidarity within and maintained the central role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in major issues related to security and interests of each country and the region, she added.

    Xuan also noted that the Philippines successfully hosted activities celebrating the 50th founding anniversary of ASEAN, helping to enhance the bloc’s position in the international arena.

    Over the past years, the HCM City Vietnam-ASEAN Friendship Association has joined hands with the Philippine Honorary Consulate General in the city to hold many cultural exchanges and educational seminars between schools, thus consolidating the friendship between people of Vietnam and the Philippines, she said.

    Xuan expressed her belief that HCM City and the Philippines will further promote comprehensive cooperation by exchanging delegations and sharing experience in economic development, education, English training, tourism and cultural exchanges.

    Lauding the achievements of the bilateral friendship and cooperation, Philippine Ambassador to Vietnam Noel Servigon said Vietnam and the Philippines still hold potential to further enhance cooperative relations.

    The HCM City Vietnam-ASEAN Friendship Association needs to step up activities to strengthen cooperation between people of the two countries, especially in economy, trade, investment, education and training, he added.

    President Tran Dai Quang meets with voters in HCM City

     HCM City leader receives foreign military attache delegation in Vietnam, Vice President apprises Vĩnh Long voters about NA session, NA Chairwoman helps Can Tho voters understand special zone law
    President Tran Dai Quang meets with voters in HCM City  

    President Tran Dai Quang cleared up concerns over a draft Law on Special Administrative-Economic Units and a Law on Cyber Security when meeting with voters in Ho Chi Minh City’s Districts 1, 3 and 4 on June 19.

    Regarding the draft Law on Special Administrative-Economic Units, President Quang said that this is a big policy of the Party in many tenures with the target of building breakthrough institutions with outstanding incentives that are competitive enough to attract investment with the region and the world, thus helping create motivation for the growth of special units as well as economic zones and the entire country, boosting rapid and sustainable economic development and ensuring sovereign independence, defence and security.

    It is an important bill which institutionalizes the Party’s policy and realises the 2013 Constitution’s regulations on special administrative – economic units formed by the National Assembly, the State leader said.

    However, this is a new, complicated and unprecedented draft law, he said, adding that many of its regulations on mechanisms and policies have breakthroughs not only in the apparatus organisation but also development orientations in the context of intensive and extensive international integration and the complicatedly developing regional and international situation.

    The President agreed with voters’ ideas, saying that the draft law should be considered carefully and thoroughly before it is submitted to the National Assembly for approval.

    For the Law on Cyber Security, he stressed that the promulgation of the law is to meet demand for cyber security in protecting national security, ensuring social order and safety, fighting and preventing plots of hostile and reactionary forces to use cyber space to infringe upon national security, sabotage the great national unity bloc, incite demonstrations and disturb security on cyberspace.

    The law also aims to stop, respond to and address consequences of cyber attacks, terrorism and wars, as well as protecting important information on national security and eliminating those who conduct cyber espionage, and arrogate and post secret information and documents on cyberspace.

    The State leader affirmed that the law, once becoming effective on January 1, 2019, will help create a legal corridor to meet the need for cyber security in protecting national security and ensuring social order and safety.

    Mentioning the cases of social disturbance, property destruction and resistance to on-duty officers in several localities some days ago, President Quang expressed his agreement with voters’ opinions on punishments imposed by authorized agencies.

    He stressed the necessity to intensify disseminations to help the public understand more about the Party and State’s policies related to the draft Law on Special Administrative-Economic Units so that they are not incited by evil-doers and opportunists, and do not conduct extremist acts as well as legal violations.

    Regarding the fight against corruption, President Quang affirmed the Party and State’s consistent policy of combating corruption crimes and at the same time considering the responsibility of Party Committees and heads of agencies where corruption occurs and those involved in corruption.

    Economic cases must be considered carefully and handled in line with the Party’s regulations and the State’s law, he added.


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