Vingroup listed in Asia’s Fab 50
Property developer Vingroup has been honoured by Forbes magazine in its list of Asia’s top 50 enterprises (Asia’s Fab 50 2018) for its rapid growth, vision and high performance for many years.
The 50 Best Companies in Asia – ‘Fab 50’ – were selected from 1,744 regional companies including China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Thailand and Vietnam. The companies must meet strict criteria such as: reaching the minimum market capitalisation of 2 billion USD on the stock market, not having more than 50 percent of shares owned by the State, a debt ratio not exceeding 50 percent and ensuring steady revenue growth over the last five years.
Forbes also examines the financial strength of companies through a variety of analytical and measurement methods in order to honour the best listed performing companies among firms in the region.
With a market capitalisation of 14.1 billion USD on the stock market and multidisciplinary operations in key areas such as real estate, tourism-entertainment, retail, agriculture, education, health and technology, Vingroup has overtaken nearly 1,700 other bright companies to appear in the ‘Fab 50’.
According to the consolidated financial statement for the second quarter of 2018, Vingroup had total consolidated revenue of 32.7 trillion VND (1.4 billion USD), marking an increase of 63.3 percent over the same period of 2017. Pre-tax profit in Q2 this year was 3.6 trillion VND, up 90.3 percent year-on-year.
By June 30, Vingroup had total assets worth 242.17 trillion VND and owner’s equity of 86.8 trillion VND, up 13.3 percent and 65.2 percent, respectively.
Earlier, Vingroup was recognised by the international community as in the top 40 most valuable brand names of Vietnam in 2018 (Forbes), the top 300 most dynamic businesses in Asia (Nikkei Asia ) and Top 50 Brands in Vietnam (Brand Finance).
Qatar Airways to launch direct flights to Da Nang
Qatar Airways will open direct flights to the central city of Da Nang by the end of this year, according to the municipal Tourism Promotion Centre.
Accordingly, the Qatar airline will offer four weekly flights from Doha capital city to Da Nang city on Boeing 787-8 aircraft, featuring 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class.
Da Nang is the third Vietnamese destination, after Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, connecting to Qatar.
Currently, there are 24 international airways with 15 direct flights operating at Da Nang international airport.
The city expects the new air route will help promote trade, investment and tourism between the central region and the Middle East
Da Nang welcomed more than 4 million tourists in the first half of 2018, surging by almost 30 percent year-on-year.
Vietnam – Russia air route anniversary marked
The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines held a ceremony in Moscow on September 7 to mark the 25th anniversary of its route to Russia.
The event took place on the occasion of the official visit to Russia by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong, and was attended by many leading officials of the Party, State, National Assembly and Government.
Prominent among the attendees was Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh who delivered his congratulatory address.
Vietnam Airlines opened its first route from Hanoi to Russia on July 7, 1993 with stopovers in Ho Chi Minh City, Dubai or Berlin. Later on, it started to conduct direct flights connecting the two countries in 2005, increasing the volume of passengers by over 10 folds compared to the time before that. It is projected that by the end of this year, Vietnam Airlines will have served about 1.6 million passengers travelling between the two countries.
Russia always remains in the list of top 10 markets of tourists to Vietnam, with a stable yearly growth averaging 30 percent. Thanks to the deployment of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft with a frequency of three flights per week starting in March, the revenue from passengers and cargo to Vietnam Airlines increases by 14 percent and 69 percent, respectively, over the same period last year.
Also on September 7, Vietnam Airlines and the Russian flag carrier Aeroflot signed in Moscow an agreement on the development of cooperation, under which the two will, from next year, implement the code sharing on Vietnamese and Russian domestic flights.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Vietnam Airlines Director General Duong Tri Thanh described the anniversary as an important landmark in the connection between the two countries, calling the flights the cultural bridges linking European and Asian civilizations.
Ninh Thuan seeks ways to develop tourism
Strategies to promote tourism in the south-central coastal province of Ninh Thuan, including more incentive for investment to make it a friendlier and more exciting place to visit, were discussed at the Ninh Thuan Tourism Promotion 2018 conference held in Ho Chi Minh City on September 7.
More than 350 representatives including tourism companies and investors attended the event.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Luu Xuan Vinh said the province would promote its cultural values, famous landscapes and typical tourism products, and create a platform for tourism authorities and travel agents to meet investors.
“Ninh Thuan has favourable conditions to develop tourism, which have shown over the past five years,” he said, noting that tourism revenue as well as the number of tourists has both increased, particularly during weekends and holidays.
The province will continue to create a favourable investment environment such special land rental prices, preferential taxes and streamlined investment procedures, he said.
Last year, the number of visitors to the province reached 1.7 million, a rise of about 12 percent. Tourism revenue rose 17.7 percent in comparison with 2016’s figure.
At the conference, the province announced that the Grape and Wine Festival 2018 will take place on October 5-10 in Phan Rang–Thap Cham City in the province.
Grape is a specialty of the province, with a yearly output of between 60,000 and 65,000 tonnes.
The festival aims to promote the local landscapes and people, and introduce local specialties to Vietnamese and foreign tourists, while offering grape farmers, businesses and consumers opportunities to meet and seek partners.
The main activities of the festival will include a fair, conference, tourism promotion, and the Kate festival.
Ninh Thuan province has a 105km coastline with many pristine and serene beaches, including Binh Tien, Ninh Chu and Ca Na.
Its Vinh Hy Bay is one of the most beautiful bays in the country, and the Nui Chua National Park is home to 1,500 plant species, 160 bird species and 60 species of mammals.
The province, the driest and hottest region in the country, is well known for its white sandy beaches and vast gardens of grapes, onions and hot peppers.
New opportunities for Japanese firms in Vietnam
Equitisation of State-owned enterprises, public-private partnership (PPP) in infrastructure and start-ups in the fourth industrial revolution are expected to open up new opportunities for Japanese firms in the Vietnamese market.
The opportunities were explored at the Vietnam – Japan Investment Cooperation Forum held in Yokohama port city, the Japanese prefecture of Kanagawa on September 7.
Speaking at the event, Governor of Kanagawa prefecture Kuroiwa Yuji said it was the fourth time the forum was held within the framework of the Vietnam Festa in Kanagawa.
He said six Vietnamese firms invested in Kanagawa last year while the prefecture has invested in four industrial parks in Vietnam, adding that the annual forum will help reinforce Vietnam – Japan ties, and Vietnam – Kanagawa ties in particular.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Nguyen Quoc Cuong, for his part, said the investment and business environment in Vietnam is considered favourable, with the country’s GDP growth surpassing 7 percent in January-June, and predicted at 6.8 percent this year by the World Bank.
Vietnam and Japan have signed and promoted the enforcement of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Vietnam will also soon sign the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and is actively negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, he said.
Cuong added that the Vietnamese government is working to create a service-oriented environment which is conducive to growth.
Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Vu Dai Thang highlighted advantages in doing business in Vietnam such as a huge market with nearly 100 million people, over 60 percent of them age below 35, competitive labour costs, political and economic stability, transparent legal mechanism that gradually meets international standards.
Vietnam already signed 12 free trade agreements, has been an active member of ASEAN and APEC and has relations with many countries and regions, especially G7 and G20 member states, he said.
According to him, Vietnam is pitching for foreign investment in SOEs equitisation, promoting PPP in traffic, sea and seaport infrastructure, developing a start-up ecological system linking with regional and global markets.
Officials from Hung Yen, Long An and Ha Nam provinces also took the occasion to present their local strengths and incentives for foreign investors.
PM urges increased support for start-ups
Innovative start-ups will enjoy financial support from the National Technology Innovation Foundation (NATIF) fund, according to a directive issued by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
The PM asked the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) to draft a charter on the operation of NATIF to include innovative enterprises as recipients of the fund by the end of the year.
Under the directive, innovative start-ups will enjoy preferential loans and guarantees to incubate new ideas and business models. Star-ups will need to ensure they comply with the Law on Support for Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises as well as the criteria set out by the fund.
The directive aims to lure investment in innovative start-ups from domestic and overseas resources.
The Prime Minister approved the project in 2016 with Decision 844/QD-TTg/2016. It focuses on supporting the national innovation start-up ecosystem through 2025 and developing a legal system and a national e-portal for start-ups by 2020.
PM Phuc wanted the MoST to recommend policies to foster an innovative start-up environment and organise annual meetings with investors and start-up enterprises at home and abroad.
The MoST will work in collaboration with the ministries of Planning and Investment, and Finance to identify innovative start-up individuals and enterprises and support the establishment of domestic networks connecting to global networks of “angel investors” in order to increase investment in Vietnamese start-up businesses.
In which, the contents of expenditures suitable for innovative start-ups will be paid for items including representatives of innovative start-up businesses participating in well-known nurseries or working places in the world, the activities of Vietnam’s innovative start-up representatives in a number of innovative start-ups ecosystems, and activities such as market research, expert hiring, payroll, and commercialisation of new technologies, products and services.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment will coordinate with the MoST to propose plans to fast-track investment registration certificates for foreign investors in Vietnam that are not yet covered by international treaties that Vietnam is a signatory to.
The Ministry of Education and Training in collaboration with the MoST and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry will continue to launch start-up training courses at universities. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs will be in charge of simplifying administrative procedures relevant to work licences for foreigners in Vietnam, according to the directive.
Statistics from the MoST showed that the country has about 600,000 enterprises, including 3,000 innovative start-up enterprises. They are expected to be a driving force for growth, effectively contributing to the socio-economic development of the country.
The number of venture capital funds and individual investors in the country has seen high growth. More than 40 venture capital funds have been set up, including IDG Ventures, CyberAgent Ventures, Capital Ventures, Gobi Partners and 500 Start-ups.
Meanwhile, many Vietnamese businesses have joined investment capital funds such as CMC Innovation Fund, FPT Ventures, Viettel Ventures and The Vietnam Innovative Startups Accelerator (VIISA), which is jointly operated by FPT, Dragon Capital Group, Hanwha Group (the Republic of Korea) and BIDV Securities Company.
Thai Nguyen emerges as ideal destination for foreign investors
With 131 operating foreign direct investment (FDI) projects valued at 7.29 billion USD, Thai Nguyen province has become one of the leading destinations for foreign investors in the northern mountainous region.
According to statistics from the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, the flow of FDI into Thai Nguyen began to accelerate in 2012. In particular, when Samsung Group from the Republic of Korea started its project in the high-tech complex in the Yen Binh industrial zone in Pho Yen town in 2013, Thai Nguyen jumped to the first place among 63 cities and provinces nationwide in FDI attraction. In that year, the province absorbed more than 3.4 billion USD in 22 newly-licensed projects.
Thanks to the spillover effect of the Samsung project, total FDI in Thai Nguyen during 2012-2017 rose 70 times compared to the 1993-2012 period.
General Director of Samsung Electronics Vietnam Shin Won-Hwan said at a recent investment promotion conference that strong support from the Vietnamese Government and abundant supply of labourers coupled with the good will of the province’s administration were the reasons why the group chose Thai Nguyen for its complex.
The foreign-invested sector has contributed to Thai Nguyen province’s economic development in the past years, with the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) expanding by an annual rate of over 12 percent, higher than the national average. In only three years, from 2015-2017, FDI firms contributed more than 5.3 trillion VND to the province’s budget.
In addition, Thai Nguyen is among the few northern mountainous localities having export revenue reaching billions of USD. In 2017 alone, the province raked in 25 billion USD from exports, a year-on-year increase of 30 percent.
Also, the FDI projects have created stable jobs for local workers and those in neighbouring provinces. Currently, more than 112,000 people working at FDI firms as compared to 10,200 in 2013.
Moreover, FDI projects have helped the province shift its industrial structure from metallurgy and mining to high-tech and support industries. In the recent five years, local industrial production grew at over 80 percent per year.
Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment Hoang Thai Cuong said that Thai Nguyen has been praised for its effective strategy to lure FDI from the RoK and some other foreign countries and territories like Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan (China).
However, the province is advised to work to attract more investments from European and American countries.
Vietnam continues topping world in entrepreneurship: Amway report
Vietnam maintains its top position in terms of entrepreneurship in the recently-released Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report 2018 (AGER 2018), followed by India, China, Malaysia and South Africa.
The highlight of the AGER 2018 results revealed that the risk of failing and the prospect of raising money are key obstacles for potential entrepreneurs.
Of the nearly 49,000 people in 44 nations surveyed, only 47 percent were willing to take the risk of failing when it comes to starting a business, and just 38 percent reported that they knew how to raise money for a business idea. However, the figures are 88 percent and 78 percent in Vietnam.
In addition, up to 89 percent of Vietnamese respondents believe that they can develop business ideas, while the world’s average is 52 percent.
For eight years, Amway has conducted global research on entrepreneurship, examining perceptions and attitudes toward self-employment.
As world leaders increasingly emphasise the importance of entrepreneurship to economic growth, this year’s report fittingly examined what people believe will help them be successful as entrepreneurs and the type of business they could envision starting. The findings of the AGER are intended to foster
conversations about making entrepreneurship more accessible to anyone, perhaps
through better informed policy decisions and business incubator programmes.
“Gaining a greater understanding of why people decide for or against owning a business and what kind of businesses are most appealing is helpful for effectively fostering a world of entrepreneurs,” said Amway President Doug DeVos. “This knowledge can help business and government leaders to make decisions and take actions that help more people start their own businesses and reach their full potential in this area. More entrepreneurs mean more opportunity, more economic growth and more prosperity for everyone.”
The first iteration of AGER was launched in 2010 as the Amway European Entrepreneurship Report, then expanded worldwide with the 2013 AGER encompassing 24 countries.
The 2018 AGER was conducted by Amway, in partnership with Germany’s Technical University of Munich. Fieldwork was completed by the Gesellschaft fuer Konsumforschung, Nuremberg, from April through June 2017. Results are shared with the scientific community, including the 44 AGER academic advisors and all interested think tanks and academic and public institutions.
AEC helps Vietnam gain firm foothold in ASEAN market
After 23 years joining the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Vietnam’s economy has connected closely with the bloc’s economy, especially after the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) was set up in late 2015, said Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh.
According to the minister, since joining the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) in 1996, the total trade value between Vietnam and ASEAN has increased about 7.7 times, from 5.91 billion USD in 1996 to 45.23 billion USD in November 2017. The country’s export value to ASEAN rose by 12.4 times, from 1.6 billion USD in 1996 to 19.9 billion USD.
As of early July 2018, the total trade value had reached 28.1 billion USD, including 12.2 billion USD in export value and 15.9 billion USD in import value.
Notably, by the end of this year, Vietnam will remove tax for 98 percent of tariff lines with ASEAN countries under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), he added.
Tran Thanh Hai, deputy head of the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that entering the ASEAN market, many Vietnamese products have had positive changes and become more competitive.
The birth of the AEC marked a new integration step of ASEAN economies with a goal of building a competitive, dynamic and innovative ASEAN.
However, many Vietnamese enterprises remain vague about the AEC, and find it difficult to address technical barriers to protect domestic production and consumers.
ASEAN countries’ products are now available in the Vietnamese market, which is a challenge for domestic businesses with low competitiveness.
Therefore, it is important for domestic enterprises to understand both opportunities and challenges brought by the AEC, Hai stressed.-
Ha Nam remains attractive to foreign investors
The northern province of Ha Nam, located at the southern gateway of the capital city, has shown its strong attraction in foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction.
Thanks to its efforts in luring investment, the province has been listed among the top 10 leading localities in FDI attraction.
In the 2011-2015 period, the number of FDI projects and investment in the province surged threefold since the 2006-2010 period. In 2016 and 2017, the total number of FDI projects was 1.3 times higher than that in the 2006-2010 period, while investment was 2.4 times higher.
Currently, Ha Nam is hosting 240 valid projects with a total registered capital of 2.7 billion USD, including 205 projects in industrial parks worth a total of 186.5 million USD.
The development of FDI enterprises is also another important factor in the locality’s economic structure transformation.
Ha Nam’s budget collection from FDI enterprises in the 2011-2015 period reached nearly 3.26 trillion VND, accounting for 53.1 percent of its total collection. In 2016 and 2017, the figure hit nearly 2.32 trillion VND.
The FDI businesses have also created jobs for nearly 58,300 labourers, equivalent to 44.3 percent of the total labourers working in enterprises in the province. Industrial production of the FDI sector reached 40.91 trillion VND, or 52 percent of the province’s total industrial production value.
However, Ha Nam has yet to lure large-scale projects with high technology and those in support or processing and manufacturing industries.
The majority of FDI projects in the province are small to medium in size, focusing on assembly with low added value and middle technology.
Nguyen Van Quang, Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, claimed that in order to continue attracting FDI in the future, Ha Nam should continue promoting administrative reform to create the best possible conditions for enterprises.
Ha Nam is working hard to complete its target of seeing all of major industrial products made using high technology and meeting international standards.
In the 2021-2030 period, the province will focus on developing human resources with a strong creativity capacity, with priority on the locality’s strong areas of afro-forestry-fisheries, electronics, telecommunications, new and renewable energy, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical chemistry.
Int’l real estate event promotes Vietnam as destination of chances
The International Real Estate Conference (IREC) 2018 opened in Hanoi on September 6 under the theme “Vietnam: A World of Opportunities”.
Addressing over 300 international guests and thousands of Vietnamese delegates, Minister of Construction Pham Hong Ha said the recent growth of the property market has actively contributed to the fast and sustainable development of Vietnam.
He noted that the Vietnamese Government highly values the active role and efforts of domestic and foreign businesses in the country’s property market.
IREC 2018 is a chance to promote investment, share experience, and boost partnership between Vietnamese developers and foreign partners. It is also a good occasion to introduce the development potential of Vietnam, and in particular its real estate sector, to others, Ha added.
Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen The Hung said the capital city has the most vibrant property market in Vietnam. In the coming time, aside from developing the transport network, infrastructure, and new residential areas in a concerted way, Hanoi authorities will also step up the upgrade of inner areas and expanding new areas to turn the capital into a ‘livable city’.
Therefore, Hanoi requires many resources, including relevant experience exchanges, for development investment in order to become a magnet for domestic and foreign property investors, he said.
Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Van Sinh said that although the local real estate market is still young, it has recorded many positive developments, giving a facelift to cities and improving people’s living standards.
In the housing sector, more than 70 million sq.m of floor space has been developed each year since 1999. The country has about 2.1 billion sq.m of housing at present, raising the per capita floor area from 9.7 square metres in 1999 to 23.7 square metres in June 2018.
The official said that in the medium and long term, Vietnam will become an attractive destination for real estate investment and business because the demand for housing, industrial park infrastructure, shopping malls, and tourism property is still very big.
IREC 2018 will last until September 7 at the National Convention Centre and the National Exhibition Construction Centre. Its activities include a meeting of global real estate associations, forums on development trends of the world’s property market, investment promotion events, and the Vietbuild international exhibition.
Dong Nai’s exports hit 12.2 bln USD in eight months
Exports in the southern province of Dong Nai hit 12.2 billion USD in the first eight months of this year, up nearly 12 percent annually, according to the provincial Statistics Bureau.
During the period, imports in the province reached 10.4 billion USD, resulting in a trade surplus of 1.8 billion USD, accounting for more than 64 percent of the country’s total, reported the General Statistics Office.
The province’s high export currency earners include footwear at 2.4 billion USD, up nearly 11 percent year-on-year; apparel 1.3 billion USD, 7 percent; and fiber 1.1 billion USD, 17 percent.
The provincial Department of Industry and Trade attributed high export growth to the stable world economy and the high demand with increasing orders from businesses.
Apart from traditional markets such as the US, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the EU, enterprises also tapped into free trade agreements that Vietnam signed with countries to enjoy tax incentives, expand markets, and boost exports.
According to the department, Dong Nai is forecast to achieve a trade surplus of over 2.5 billion USD later this year.
Last year, the province recorded nearly 2.2 billion USD in trade surplus, making up 77 percent of the country’s total of 2.7 billion USD.
Customs bond aids trade: experts
A customs bond model for speeding up clearance of goods is required to deal with Vietnam’s complicated administrative procedures and boost its competitiveness, experts told a conference on trade facilitation in HCM City on September 6.
The system is meant to streamline import processing, with the bond being an agreement that ensures an importer (who would buy a custom bond from an approved surety company) will pay all fees and taxes as well as comply with laws and regulations.
The surety company will act as a third party who will pay the customs if an importer is unable to fulfill its obligations before seeking reimbursement from the importer.
Customs bonds thus help speed up goods clearance.
The model is expected to be piloted beginning in 2020.
Nestor Scherbey, senior policy advisor to the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (GATF) in Vietnam, said Vietnam would be the first developing country in Asia to implement a customs bond system for commercial exports and imports.
He said a large portion of trade costs stems from economic policies and regulations, especially administrative procedures for border management, and according to a World Bank study of 126 countries, around 75 percent of delays are due to administrative hurdles such as certification, inspections and other custom procedures as opposed to physical infrastructure.
“Outdated trade regulations combine with burdensome and non-transparent administrative procedures to inflict a burden on economic growth through trade that is the equivalent of a 164.25 percent ‘Invisible Tariff or Tax’.”
The invisible tax is the most significant non-tariff or technical barrier to Vietnam’s exports, and is especially challenging for small to medium-sized businesses, as most of Vietnam’s businesses are, since they lack the resources to overcome it, he added.
Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhan, customs manager at Intel Products Vietnam, said adaptation to new technologies and regulatory changes and more involvement of private businesses in customs reforms are needed.
Reducing export clearance time by a day can increase annual exports by around 1 percent, which is around 2.13 billion USD, Scherbey said.
In the first half of this year, Vietnam’s exports and imports were worth 113.93 billion USD and 111.36 billion USD, respectively.
Eight-month budget collection increases by nearly 14 percent
Total budget collection in the January-August period was estimated at 871.8 trillion VND (37.3 billion USD), or 66.1 percent of the yearly estimates, an increase of 13.8 percent year on year, according to the Finance Ministry.
Of the figure, domestic revenues were estimated at 695.8 trillion VND, up 14.8 percent from the same period last year, and meting 63.3 percent of the yearly estimates.
The Finance Ministry said 44 out of the country’s 63 provinces and centrally-run cities met the scheduled pace of budget collection, meaning they have collected 67 percent or more of the yearly estimates; and 60 localities reported higher budget collection than in the same period last year.
Accumulated budget revenues from import-export activities were around 199.7 trillion VND, while revenue from crude oil was nearly 40.9 trillion VND.
In the same period, budget expenditures came to 873.5 trillion VND, up 10.2 percent on a yearly basis, and equivalent to 57.3 percent of the yearly estimates.
More than 176.8 trillion VND of investment in capital construction was disbursed in the past 8 months, meeting 44.24 percent of the plan assigned by the National Assembly and 45.57 percent of the plan set by the Prime Minister.
The Government raised 119.26 trillion VND from the sale of Government bonds in the period.
Vietnamese firms look to establish foothold in Mexican market
Fifteen Vietnamese companies operating in furniture, fine art, agricultural processing, coffee, rubber, and building materials visited Mexico from September 4-6 to seek opportunities in penetrating the market.
The trip was organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Trade Promotion Agency as part of moves to anticipate tax preferences when the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) takes effect.
Enhancing their presence in Mexico is a focus for Vietnamese firms looking to branch out into Latin American markets.
Working with the Mexican Internet Association, the companies had the chance to study the possibility of promoting their products through e-commerce. They were connected with several import enterprises and distributors who are members of the association.
The Vietnamese firms were also introduced to Mexican purchase procedures, as well as quality and factory requirements during their meetings with representatives from the Walmart Mexico and Liverpool department store chains.
The Mexican side also gave their evaluation on products from the Vietnamese businesses, informing them on the taxes levied on various goods, and offered counseling on Mexican consumer tastes.
Chairman of the Association of Importers and Exporters of Mexico (ANIERM) Luis Zavala said that Vietnamese agricultural, fine art, and furniture products pose huge potential for export to the Mexican market.
The ANIERM also offered to give detailed information on Vietnamese goods to its members if cooperation interest continues.
The Vietnamese firms also had a meeting with Vietnamese Ambassador to Mexico Nguyen Hoai Duong, during which they expressed their hope to receive positive support from the embassy in seeking partners in the host nation.
Informing the firms on essential pieces of information on the Mexican market, Ambassador Duong said that they should take full advantage of the preferences from the CPTPP when the pact comes into force, contributing to the enhancement of bilateral trade.
Hoa Phat churns out nearly 1.5 mln tonnes of steel in eight months
Hoa Phat Group has announced that it churned out 179,400 tonnes of construction steel in August, 9,500 tonnes of which were for export.
Its export volume rose by 63 percent year-on-year.
In the eight months of this year, Hoa Phat manufactured 1.473 million tonnes of steel, up nearly 10 percent annually.
Consumption in the central region and Central Highlands posted the highest growth of nearly 18 percent. Meanwhile, the traditional market in the north bought over 1 million tonnes during the period, up 8.9 percent year-on-year.
Its traditional foreign markets include Australia, Cambodia, the US and Malaysia while Canada is a new one.
From January-August, Hoa Phat Group exported nearly 119,000 tonnes, mostly steel and rolled steels SAE1008, SAE1015, SWRM17.
According to the Vietnam Steel Association, sales of construction steel in August often decrease due to prolonging rains that slow the progress of construction works.
A representative from Hoa Phat said between now and the year’s end, the group will enhance production at its iron and steel complex in the northern province of Hai Duong and will soon put into an operation the first steel laminating line at its Dung Quat complex, towards increasing sales in the central and the south as well as exports.
Production at the complex in Hai Duong has risen by nearly 18,000 tonnes per month from the beginning of this year. Together with the first products at Dung Quat complex in the fourth quarter, Hoa Phat is expected to surpass its plan of selling 2.3 million tonnes this year.
Blockchain to promote trading identity of VN exports
Blockchain technology is expected to enhance agricultural exports by providing a global trading identity, speakers at a blockchain conference held in HCM City said yesterday.
Lê Thu Hiền, programme manager for the Asia Foundation Office in Việt Nam, said: “The ‘Empowering Local Agricultural Producers with a Global Trading Identity’ project has established a blockchain-based identity and proof-of-provenance platform that will enhance Việt Nam’s brand, empower small- and medium-sized enterprises, and provide consumers with valuable information from the first mile to the last mile.”
The technology being used is a result of this project, which is under sponsorship of the Australian Embassy to Việt Nam.
Đào Đức Huấn, director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development’s Rural Development Centre (RUDEC), noted that today’s consumers want to have safe products and a tracing system for what they buy.
“This consumption trend brings both opportunities for creating brand names and expanding markets, but it also poses investment and technology challenges,” he added.
Việt Nam was the first country to export fresh dragon fruit to Australia (the first batch was sent on September 20, 2017).
A tracing system based on blockchain technology provides consumers with information from production to consumption, all of which is done in real time.
“Việt Nam exported US$36 billion of agricultural products in 2017 with a growth rate of 7-8 per cent per annum to 40 countries and territories, and fresh dragon fruit accounted for over 50 per cent of the country’s total fresh fruit exports,” Hiền said.
A working prototype of a blockchain app was first applied to dragon fruit exports, and will be amenable for other agricultural exports.
The tracing system works this way: A farmer picks up fruit and sells it to a trader, who logs in on a platform and uploads information about the batch of fruit transacted. A transaction and a QR code is generated, which accompanies a batch of fruit until it is on supermarket shelves.
Traders log in on the platform and enter information about the transaction created by the farmer in the previous stage.
Other stakeholders who perform cleaning, packaging and exporting then log in on the platform and upload their information about the previous transaction.
Trà Vinh to develop “clean” agricultural production
Trà Vinh Province plans to use advanced technology in agriculture and increase production of specialty products, Deputy Secretary of the provincial Party Committee, Ngô Chí Cường, has said.
Cường said the goals would ensure a competitive wholesale market and higher income for local farmers, contributing to the provincial restructuring of the agricultural economics programme.
The provincial Party Committee’s directive calls for the application of microbial organic and bio-technologies in the province’s agricultural production by 2025, with orientation to 2030.
High-tech agricultural areas of more than 300ha will be developed by 2025, as well as 1,000ha of organic rice farming areas that meet international standards.
At least five per cent of farming areas will apply advanced technology, with a 50 per cent increase in revenue expected by 2025.
Technical infrastructure would be completed and put into operation in at least 10 high-tech agriculture areas by 2030.
In order to reach the goals, the province is speeding up planning for agricultural land, promoting collectives, developing farmhouses and large-scale farming, and applying advanced technologies in production and post-harvest processing.
The aim is to promote food safety and to increase productivity as well as the quality and value of products.
The province plans to issue preferential policies to attract investment in technical infrastructure and hi-tech agricultural services, in association with training of human resources.
Priority will be given to a new Biotechnology Centre under the provincial Department of Science and Technology, and an Institute of Biotechnology under Trà Vinh University.
The province will also set up three centres for animal and plant breeding in areas of fresh, salt and brackish water at the same time.
Trà Vinh has more than 180,000 ha of agricultural land. Of that amount, three rice crops a year are grown on 74,000 hectares, while 26,000 ha is used for other crops and industrial plants, and 35,000 ha for aquaculture.
At least 142 ha are used for safe vegetable cultivation, 100 ha for rice fields, and 100 ha for fruit trees, following VietGAP standards.
Việt Nam taps Japanese tourist market
Japanese tourists visit Thiên Mụ Pagoda in Huế in central Việt Nam.
With beautiful beaches and resorts, world heritage sites and modern cities, Việt Nam is an ideal destination for Japanese tourists, a Japanese travel official has said.
Since 2015, Japanese overseas travel has grown strongly, with Asian destinations mostly contributing to the increase, according to Hideaki Murai, deputy general manager of the Japan Association of Travel Agents’ Outbound Travel Promotion Division.
Thailand, Việt Nam and Philippines are key Asian destinations for Japanese tourists, he said at a conference on Việt Nam- Japan Tourism Development held on September 7 in HCM City.
More airline seats, an increase in overseas travel among youth, and more local holidays have all contributed to overseas travel among Japanese tourists.
Seniors with money and time are the most important segment of Japanese tourists to Việt Nam, according to Murai.
Females who travel for leisure are the most influential segment, while families with three generations of travel experience are also attractive segments that could be developed further.
Business travel to Việt Nam has also grown strongly in recent years.
Murai said that Japanese preferred staying at beach resorts and visiting world heritage sites, and having impressive and surprising experiences.
Popular destinations in the central region in Việt Nam are currently most favoured by Japanese tourists because of beautiful beaches, world heritage sites and natural resources.
Hạ Long Bay in the north and HCM City in the south also attract a large number of Japanese tourists.
More than half of Japanese tourists to Việt Nam visit HCM City, an ideal destination for shopping, dining, fashion and educational tours, according to Murai.
To lure more Japanese visitors, he said that tourism authorities in HCM City should develop new tourism spots and enhance the quality of tour guides as well as promotional activities. Relaxing Việt Nam’s entry visa regulations for Japanese would also be helpful.
Close business relations between the two countries should also be tapped to expand travel from Japan to Việt Nam.
To increase the number of repeat visitors, quality of services should be enhanced, according to Murai.
Kanda Mizuho, assistant director of the ASEAN – Japan Centre’s Tourism & Exchange Division, said the number of Japanese outbound travelers to countries in ASEAN last year totalled 17.8 million.
Last year, Việt Nam welcomed 798,100 Japanese tourists, up 7.8 per cent compared to the previous year.
The most common concerns among Japanese overseas travellers are safety, language barriers, anxiety about health, and cumbersome travel applications and procedures.
Việt Nam is popular for overseas education trips organised by high schools in Japan due to low costs, safety, and good relations with Japan.
The number of overseas school trips to Việt Nam rose to 17 in 2016 from only four trips in 2014.
Overseas school trips focus on foreign history, politics, economy and culture as well as exchanges with local schools and visits to Japanese companies in Việt Nam.
However, limited flight seat capacity, evening flights, temperature differences, food, and traffic are among the factors hindering Japanese student trips to Việt Nam.
Đinh Ngọc Đức, director of the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism’s Tourism Marketing Department, said the national tourism development strategy had identified Japan as the most important source market of tourists.
Japan is currently among the top three source market for tourists in Việt Nam, with China and South Korea taking the first and second spots.
In the first eight months of the year, Việt Nam welcomed more than 465,000 Japanese tourists. The country targets one million Japanese tourists by 2020.
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