Samsung concludes third training course for Vietnamese consultants
Samsung Vietnam and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) rounded off its third training course for Vietnamese consultants in the supporting industry with a ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City on October 19.
Speaking at the ceremony, Truong Thanh Hoai, Director of the MoIT’s Heavy Industries Department, pointed out some of the industry’s weak points in terms of competitiveness and spare parts materials, attributing them to the limited management and investment capacity of local companies.
He said the Government and other relevant ministries have issued many policies to support the growth of the sector, adding that Samsung’s courses are an important part of such efforts.
Eight courses of this kind are scheduled to take place in 2018 and 2019, each lasting for three months, aiming to train 200 consultants in total. They are part of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the MoIT and Samsung Vietnam, signed during the President of the Republic of Korea’s visit to Vietnam in March. The aim of the effort is to improve the production efficiency of local enterprises in the sector, thus gradually meeting the requirements of global supply chains.
Participants are set to be provided with theoretical knowledge on quality control and production management during the first four weeks, followed by eight weeks of practice at enterprises, where they will apply Samsung’s tested process. The process starts with assessing operations and the business situation of enterprises, advising them on how to renovate their production process, quality management, and circulation of products by maintaining a good working environment and improving productivity.
The third and fourth courses, also held in HCM City, are designed for consultants from southern localities, while the first two were for northern provinces.
According to Director General of Samsung Vietnam Shim Won Hwan, from the success and positive feedback of the first and second courses, it can be expected that the training for southern provinces will provide new knowledge and useful experience for learners, who will later become core human resources for domestic enterprises in enhancing their capacity and competitiveness, thus allowing them to join supply chains of transnational groups, including Samsung.
Samsung has been providing support for Vietnamese enterprises in this field by sending experienced experts to help them improve their capabilities. A total of 32 Vietnamese firms have benefited from this support to date.
At the Ho Chi Minh City ceremony, representatives from companies in the south – such as Nghia Nippers JSC, Dien Quang Lamp JSC, and Khang Thanh packaging company – received their certificates of completion.
Nguyen Thi Thanh, Vice Director of Khang Thanh, said that with the knowledge gained from the course, her company has made changes to its production process, resulting in a 30 percent increase in productivity.
IT Mekong Club makes debut
The Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s branch in Can Tho Province (VCCI Can Tho) debuted the Information Technology (IT) Mekong Club on Thursday.
VCCI Can Tho said the club is designed to enhance co-operation between IT enterprises and promote IT development in the region.
Nguyen Phuong Lam, VCCI Can Tho’s Deputy Director, said IT is more important than ever in the era of Industry 4.0 and the digital economy.
The region is focusing on developing IT into a spearhead industry. In 2017, the Government gave the green light to the development of a 20.3-hectare Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta IT Zone with a total investment of VND174.6 billion (US $7.6 million).
DATC to auction off transportation businesses stocks
Viet Nam’s Debt and Asset Trading Corporation (DATC) branch in HCM City is selecting a consulting agency to auction shares of Dong Thap Transport Construction Joint Stock Company.
DATC will publicly auction 544,200 shares of the firm, valued at VND10,000 (US$0.43) per share, at a starting price of VND5,600 per share. If the auction is successful, DATC expects to earn more than VND3 billion.
DATC is also attempting to sell assets and other receivables including investments, debts and property. It is organising a property auction that includes buildings, machinery and inventory tools.
The properties come from Ha Tinh Urban and Environmental Works Stock Company and Ha Tinh Water Supply Joint Stock Company.
In addition to selling assets and shares in these two companies, DATC also announced the sale of receivables from the Ha Noi Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering Company.
Vietnamese enterprise to conduct $250m infrastructure projects in Indonesia
Three infrastructure projects between a Vietnamese and an Indonesian enterprise with total investment to the tune of US$300 million have been signed in the presence of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
According to the agreement, Nikko Sekuritas Indonesia, one of Indonesia’s biggest investment banking firms, and the construction company Licogi 16 JSC of Viet Nam will together implement two construction projects in Indonesia – a $50-million financial tower in Jakarta and a 6.7km highway with estimated capital of $200 million – marking the first time a Vietnamese enterprise has conducted an infrastructure project in the neighbouring country.
At the same time, Nikko would invest $50 million into Licogi 16’s 50MW solar energy project in central Viet Nam.
The signing took place on the morning of October 12 as the Vietnamese Government leader is on a visit to Indonesia to attend the annual IMF-World Bank meeting on the popular tourist island of Bali.
Licogi 16, previously a State-run firm under the Ministry of Construction, had under its belt several critical large-scale projects including the Ha Long-Van Don express in the northeastern province of Quang Ninh, upgrades and expansion of National Highway No.1, and the water treatment facility at the Formosa Ha Tinh plant.
All three projects are slated to begin in early 2019.
On the occasion, PM Phuc held talks with Harianto Solichin, President Director of Nikko’s board of directors.
The Vietnamese leader applauded the agreement and expected further co-operation and more public-private partnership (PPP) projects between the two companies, both in Viet Nam and Indonesia.
He hoped that Nikko, with its experience, global network and financial capacity, would support Vietnamese enterprises in investing in Indonesia, and facilitate Indonesian firms’ investment in Viet Nam, especially in airports and sea ports.
The Vietnamese leader reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to maintaining social order and economic stability, improving the business environment for overseas firms to invest in Viet Nam.
For his part, Nikko’s President Director shared his impressions of Viet Nam’s outstanding socio-economic development in recent times, which is made possible by the Government’s commitment to reforms.
He hoped that the PM and concerned authorities would create favourable conditions for the company’s projects in Viet Nam.
Central bank issues standard set for domestic chip cards
The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) has recently issued a standard set for domestic chip cards for the first time to enhance safety and service quality of the country’s bank card operations.
The new standard set, which includes technical requirements for bank cards using contact and contactless chip technology in Viet Nam, is compatible with EMV standards as well as standards of international card organisations such as Visa, MasterCard, JCB and UnionPay.
The new set will also help commercial banks switch from the current magnetic strip ATM cards to chip cards.
The SBV expects some 70 million bank cards with magnetic strips, which can be easily hacked due to weak security features, to be replaced by chip cards with EMV standards by 2020 as planned.
International card-issuing organisations have been asking Vietnamese banks to switch to chip cards that meet EMV standards to increase safety amidst growing card information thefts. Security experts have also warned that Viet Nam’s delayed transition to chip technology could put the country at risk of becoming a “haven” for card criminals from around the world as it is among the few countries where the use of magnetic swipe cards is still prevalent.
Each chip card costs US$1.5-2.5, so Viet Nam’s leading card-issuing banks, such as Vietcombank with 14 million cards, VietinBank (13.7 million cards), Agribank (11 million cards) and BIDV (10.4 million cards), will have to spend nearly $50 million to make the transition.
Japanese financial group wants to raise holding in VietinBank
Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) expected to increase its holding in Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) from the current 17.7 per cent to 50 per cent of the bank’s charter capital, according to the group’s vice chairman Eiichi Yoshikawa.
Yoshikawa made the statement at a recent meeting between Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Japanese firms.
Responding to Yoshikawa, Governor of the State Bank of Viet Nam Le Minh Hung said that raising VietinBank’s capital was necessary to ensure the bank’s financial status.
Hung said the Vietnamese Government welcomed foreign investment in Vietnamese banks, especially in weak banks where there was no foreign ownership limit and investors could hold up to 100 per cent of the banks’ charter capital.
According to the current regulations, the foreign ownership limit at Vietnamese banks is capped at 30 per cent of the banks’ charter capital.
In the case of VietinBank, it was feasible for MUFG to increase its holding in the bank as the World Bank’s International Finance Corp was seeking a buyer for its 8 per cent stake in Viet Nam’s third-largest lender by market value, Bloomberg reported.
SBV currently owns 64.5 per cent of VietinBank, while MUFG is the second-biggest shareholder with a 19.7 per cent stake. MUFG acquired the 19.7 per cent stake in VietinBank for US$742 million in 2013.
It is estimated that foreign investors have poured some US$2.2 billion into Vietnamese banks since the beginning of 2010.
A group of related foreign investors sell shares of VnDirect
Shinhan Bank Vietnam Limited is no longer a major investor in VnDirect Limited Securities Company after a foreign investor sold some of its stake of the securities company.
Yurie Vietnam Accumulated Target Return, a member of Shinhan Bank’s group of investors, has recently sold 87,000 shares of VnDirect, equal to 0.04 per cent of ownership. The move brought the group’s ownership from 5.01 per cent to 4.97 per cent.
With less than 5 per cent of the fund, the group is now classified as a minor investor.
Of Shinhan Bank’s group of related investors, only Yurie Vietnam Securities Investment Trust still holds a stake in VnDirect with 10.7 million shares.
VnDirect has a charter capital of more than VND2.2 trillion (US$95.7 million). Shares were traded at VND20,850 on Friday morning.
VnDirect holds a securities brokerage market share of 7.71 per cent on the HCM City Stock Exchange, ranking fourth. On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, it holds a share of 9.64 per cent, ranking second. It ranks first on UPCoM with the share of 13.8 per cent .
New g-bond futures contract needs trading mechanism
The coming derivative product for government bonds (known as g-bonds) is expected to help financial institutions hedge risks, but experts have raised concerns about the trading mechanism.
According to Do Ngoc Quynh, general secretary of the Vietnam Bond Market Association, the fact that only seven commercial banks having been allowed to operate in the derivatives market would make trading more like a one-way road.
When bond yields increase, all banks would like to buy as many g-bond futures contracts as possible as a risk hedging tool for their g-bond portfolios, he told the online newspaper tinnhanhchungkhoan.vn.
The total value of g-bond portfolios held by commercial banks is estimated at VND800-900 trillion (US$35.5-40 billion).
The number of foreign investors holding g-bonds is modest, so there is little demand among foreign investors to trade g-bond futures contracts for hedging, Quynh said.
To lure more investors and traders, such as investment funds and securities and insurance companies, to the g-bond futures market, there must be good policies on charges and taxes as well as the implementation of comprehensive solutions to improve the trading mechanism, he added.
At the moment, commercial banks are struggling with how to create a specific financial account for g-bond futures trading.
The best way to solve this issue is for the Ministry of Finance and the State Bank of Viet Nam soon release instructional documents on accounting mechanisms for financial institutions that want to take part in the g-bond futures market, Quynh said.
In case the market regulators have not figured out how to do that, the best solution is to learn from other commercial banks, he added.
For example, the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BIDV) has developed an accounting mechanism that meets international practices and its new accounting mechanism has been submitted to the State Bank of Viet Nam.
If the central bank find no problems with that mechanism, other financial institutions may develop their own accounting methods based on BIDV’s model, Quynh noted.
According to Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, director of derivatives trading department at the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX), g-bond futures contracts will be soon available for trading.
“We began designing g-bond futures contracts in 2014-15. We planned to trade two products – the three-year and five-year g-bond futures contracts,” Ha told a meeting in early October.
The State Securities Commission has chosen the five-year g-bond futures contract for release as the three-year version proved infeasible, she said.
The five-year g-bond futures contract refers to the five-year g-bond with face value of VND100,000. The bond has an annual yield rate of 5 per cent, interest payment dues every year and bondholders will receive the deposit on the maturity date.
Nguyen Nhu Quynh, general director of HNX, said that the derivates market had made great achievements after one year of operation with a higher-than-expected growth rate, luring more and more investors to the market.
In the past five years, the g-bond market has developed strongly in both size and quality with an annual growth rate of 15 per cent and its market capitalisation reached 21.6 per cent of Viet Nam’s gross domestic product in 2017.
The average trading liquidity of the g-bond market was VND10 trillion in each session of 2018, raising the demand for risk hedging among investors in g-bond trading.
Pepper of Lam San Agricultural Cooperative meets EU organic standards
The Lam San Agricultural Cooperative has received a certification from the Germany-based CERES – Certification of Environmental Standards, for its organic pepper meeting the European Union’s organic standards.
According to Nguyen Ngoc Luan, director of the cooperative located in Cam My District, Dong Nai Province, the 3.5 hectares of the cooperative’s pepper have received the certificate after many years of investment and production of pepper in accordance with sustainable agricultural standards.
Since 2012, the cooperative has started to produce pepper according to organic standards.
Organic standards in European countries are granted to agricultural products that do not use toxic chemicals. There are strict limitations on the use of conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilisers, antibiotics and other substances during production.
In addition, the production process must be developed in conditions that are suitable with the ecological environment, not destroying nature and not harming the environment.
Luan said demand for organic agricultural products is increasing around the world so the Lam San cooperative will transfer organic pepper production to farmers joining the supply chain of organic pepper to expand areas growing pepper that meet standards for export.
The expansion of areas growing organic pepper in the province will create favourable conditions for promoting export of this product to European and American countries and increasing the value of pepper.
Now, the selling price of organic farming products in European countries is 30 per cent higher than the price of conventional products, he said.
Tran Lam Sinh, director of the Dong Nai Department of Plantation and Plant Protection, said the Lam San Agricultural Cooperative is the first and only cooperative in Viet Nam exporting pepper directly, with about 600 tonnes in total exported to European countries over the past three years, including Germany and the Netherlands.
Pepper from the Lam San Agricultural Cooperative will open new opportunities in exporting and branding Vietnamese pepper. This shows that local farmers are able to produce clean and safe agriculture to meet international requirements.
CERES, Certification of Environmental Standards GmbH, is headquartered in Germany. CERES offers certification for organic farming and food processing, for Good Agricultural and Good Manufacturing Practices in the food industry, and for organic textiles and biofuels.
Giant livestock processing factory opens in Dong Nai
The GreenFeed Viet Nam Corporation and the Dong Nai Food Industry Company on Wednesday inaugurated a processing factory in Trang Bom District, Dong Nai Province.
The Dong Nai Food Processing Factory features German and Danish technologies and has a total investment of US$7 million.
It is equipped with two slaughtering lines for pigs and chickens, and a European-standard food production system.
The idea behind the factory is to link the production and distribution of safe and quality products for domestic and foreign consumers.
The factory is expected to supply 19,000 tonnes of pork and 10,000-13,000 tonnes of chickens per year for the local and export markets.
In addition, the factory will produce from three to five tonnes of processed food products such as sausages and hams every day. These products will not only meet the tastes of Vietnamese and foreign consumers, but also ensure the quality and safety for fresh meat and processed food.
GreenFeed’s farm will supply the livestock so it can actively control quality and safety and trace the ingredients’ origins.
Japanese investor starts building seafood processing factory in Binh Dinh
Evertrust Foods Co Ltd started the construction of a seafood processing plant on Wednesday in Quy Nhon City, Binh Dinh Province.
The plant will cover five hectares in Nhon Hoi Economic Zone with total investment capital of US$8 million from Japan and a capacity of 2,000 tonnes of products per year. The products will be eligible for export to Japan, the US and Europe.
The company has invested in a similar factory in Cam Ranh City, Khanh Hoa Province, which has proved a success.
Japanese-invested Evertrust Foods is the first factory processing fresh food in Viet Nam with Japanese technology. The Japanese investor expects Binh Dinh to become the home of tuna for domestic and foreign customers to promote the freshness of Vietnamese tuna, reported nhandan.vn.
The first phase of the project is scheduled for completion in June 2019 so it can start supplying goods to the domestic and US markets.
In addition, Evertrust Foods will also build a Japanese cultural and tourism area in Binh Dinh, including a Japanese hot spring, food area, souvenir shop, entertainment area and supermarket.
Bac Giang attracts large investments in tourism development
Ten investors have pledged to invest more than VND35 trillion (US$1.52 billion) into 16 tourism development projects in the northern province of Bac Giang.
Nguyen Van Linh, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said at the Bac Giang Tourism Investment Promotion Conference on Wednesday that the province wanted to turn tourism into a spearhead industry.
Bac Giang wanted to become an attractive destination for cultural, spiritual tourism, eco-tourism and resort tourism, Linh said.
“Bac Giang promises to create favourable conditions for investors in tourism development,” Linh said, adding that incentives would be given to hotels from 3-star standard, restaurants, shopping centres, culture centres and tourism zones.
Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Le Quang Tung said that Bac Giang was rich in tourism resource but lacked tourism products.
Tung said the northern province should prioritise developing cultural and spiritual tourism products and resort tourism in combination with golf and eco-tourism for weekend getaways, meeting demands of tourists from neighbouring provinces and cities such as Ha Noi, Hai Phong and Quang Ninh.
Located just 60 kilometres from Ha Noi, Bac Giang should strive to become an important satellite destination for the capital city, Tung said, adding that the province should enhance co-operation in tourism with Bac Ninh, Thai Nguyen, Hai Duong and Quang Ninh to create a tourism chain.
Bac Giang received 1.2 million tourists in 2017, a leap of 128 per cent over 2016, bringing in tourism revenue of VND760 billion.
VN rice exports reaches new heights
Rice production and exports has shifted towards quality and added value, promoting safe production and applying high technology while organic agriculture has been given special attention for development.
That was the message from Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue delivered at the 10th World Rice Conference held in Ha Noi on Thursday.
Hue said agriculture and rural development is a major policy of the Vietnamese Party, State and Government, in which rice production and export play an important role in contributing to food security for Viet Nam, the region and the world.
Despite a strong industrialisation and modernisation process, rice fields now account for around 60 per cent of Viet Nam’s total arable area, and production is essential for the livelihoods of nearly nine million farming households in the country.
After more than 30 years of renewal, Viet Nam has risen from a poor country which had to import food to one of the three largest rice exporters in the world.
Last year, Viet Nam exported nearly six million tonnes of rice, earning US$2.6 billion, up 21 per cent in volume and 22 per cent in value year-on-year.
Vietnamese rice is available in 150 nations and territories, Hue said, adding that Viet Nam is eyeing potential markets in Europe, America and Oceania, along with its traditional ones such as China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Cuba and African nations.
“Vietnamese rice is also able to meet all criteria to enter the most picky markets in the world, as the country has paid much attention to applying high technologies in production and developing organic agriculture,” he said.
The Vietnamese Government has set a target of intensifying production and export connectivity through a value chain, he added, ensuring the quality of exported rice, and entering more deeply into the global rice value chain so as to build and confirm the prestige of Vietnamese rice trademark.
Although rice production is facing numerous challenges from climate change, the Deputy PM expressed his belief that new scientific and technological advances would help the rice sector to produce new varieties that could adapt.
Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said Viet Nam holds an increasingly important role in co-ordinating with rice importers, exporters and partners to effectively participate in the globe’s rice product chain and food security.
The country’s rice export market development strategy for the 2017-20 period with a vision to 2030 focuses on developing export markets, helping raise farmers’ income, ensuring domestic food security and social welfare, and protecting the eco-environment. The strategy also targets to build Vietnamese rice trademark and intensify connectivity through a value chain from production to consumption and export, Anh added.
Jeremy Zwinger, The Rice Trader (TRT) President and CEO, said Viet Nam’s hosting of the 10th conference shows its Government’s commitment to the development and trade of rice.
He said Viet Nam’s rice production and trade has seen positive progress and expressed his confidence in the Vietnamese Government’s attention to developing the rice value in the future.
With a message of “investing in the rice sector in future”, delegates discussed global trends on rice production and trade in 2018 and the following years, shared experience in producing rice sustainably, controlling the supply chain, developing rice trademark and applying technology in this sector. Many stressed unpredictable changes in global trade, especially rice trade, as rice is a sensitive commodity with high requirements on food safety and environment protection.
The event is the world’s most premier conference focusing solely on rice. Attending the event were leading officials of Viet Nam’s Ministries of Industry and Trade, and Agriculture and Rural Development, representatives of the world’s major importers and exporters and major companies, and experts from more than 30 nations and territories all over the world.
The 2018 World Rice Conference is jointly held by The Rice Trader and Viet Nam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Experts talk local competitiveness
Companies should offer higher-quality products and authorities should provide better business networking opportunities to increase purchase of locally made goods and parts, experts said during a conference on competitiveness held on Thursday in HCM City.
Tran Quang Ha, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Industry Department, said that Vietnamese companies’ participation in the global supply chain was still limited, and that even though product quality was improving, most supporting firms supply simple, low-value components.
To enhance competitiveness, the ministry was pushing for more co-operation between local and foreign firms, as well as more training sessions for firms and business networking events, Ha said.
More favourable policies are also being considered to encourage firms to invest in the supporting industry.
Pham Minh Huong, operating director of the Viet Nam National Textile and Garment Group, said that urban areas still preferred foreign goods, and that domestic companies were facing more quality international brands, in addition to more smuggled and fake goods.
She said that companies should improve their production processes and conduct better market research to understand customers’ needs.
Nguyen Huynh Trang, deputy director of HCM City’s Department of Industry and Trade, said the city had organised trade promotion programmes and networking events with other southern authorities, with more and more businesses finding suitable partners.
The city was also buying a great deal of produce from provinces, which allowed provincial specialties to enter HCM City’s distribution networks.
However, many products were still made manually, on a small scale, or without proper certifications required by modern distribution channels.
HCM City and provinces would continue their efforts to link firms from different regions and invest in developing provincial specialties, Trang said.
The city would also push for more semi-processing of produce at the provinces before it is transported to the city to reduce waste and improve product traceability.
Ly Kim Chi, chairman of the HCM City Food and Foodstuff Association, said that small- and medium-sized businesses in the food industry were struggling to access big distribution channels due to limited funding and capability.
She said that more favourable tax policies and support policies should be provided to spur growth of small retailers.
Dao Hung, deputy director of the Petrolimex Sai Gon, noted that products with unclear, misleading labels or unclear origin were still sold in the market, and that some businesses remained unskilled in customer service.
“Businesses have to improve their product and service quality, as consumers now have more options than before, and can’t be persuaded to buy low-quality Vietnamese goods just because of patriotism,” he said.
More inspections to identify fraud and other violations were also needed, as well as public awareness about high-quality goods should be improved, he added.
A campaign to raise awareness of Vietnamese goods among local customers was launched during the conference. The campaign will feature events to help firms promote their products, and will include parades, musical performances and other promotional activities.
At the conference, an exhibition was held to promote products of more than 100 Vietnamese enterprises.
Tokyo firms eye VN opportunities
With its high economic growth, great market potential, and reasonably priced labour with improving skills, Viet Nam is an attractive market for Japanese investors, according to the Tokyo Small and Medium sized Enterprise Support Centre.
Speaking at the Japan-Viet Nam Business Matching held in HCM City on Thursday, Yoshiyuki Fukuda, president and CEO of the centre, said Viet Nam had been achieving one of the highest GDP growth rates among ASEAN countries.
“In contrast to Japan, the population in Viet Nam is increasing and there are many young workers in various industries, who are faithful and diligent.
“We believe Viet Nam is a promising market with immense potential for economic development by expanding exports.
“Looking at such positive economic activities in Viet Nam, many Tokyo SMEs with excellent technologies and products intend to develop products in collaboration with Vietnamese companies, sell their products in the growing Vietnamese market or penetrate the Vietnamese market [like the] Japanese companies have already done in the market.”
According to Nguyen The Hung, deputy director of VCCI in HCM City, Japan is Viet Nam’s leading economic partner, leading ODA partner, the second largest foreign investor, and the fourth largest trading partner.
Trade between the two countries has increased strongly in recent years to reach US$33.3 billion last year.
He pointed out the product structure of the two countries are complementary: Japan mainly imports seafood, textiles, leather and footwear, and processed foods from Viet Nam, and exports feedstock, equipment and machinery for production.
Last year Japan was Viet Nam’s largest foreign direct investor with a record $9.11 billion. In the first nine months of 2018 Japan invested $7 billion, accounting for nearly 28 per cent of total foreign investment in the country.
Japanese firms have invested a cumulative $55.77 billion in 3,899 projects in Viet Nam.
According to Fukuda the 14 Tokyo companies participating in this event and exhibiting their products at Metalex Vietnam have a big market share in Japan or whose products or technologies have already been used widely in electronic devices, four-wheel and two-wheel vehicles, engines for transportation equipment and chemical plants, and so on.
“All the companies in this event hope to have a win-win relationship and long-term partnership with Vietnamese companies.”
Hung said the expansion of Japanese investment in Viet Nam would enable Vietnamese enterprises to learn, access and adopt modern techniques and technologies.
“This will help Vietnamese enterprises increase production and improve their performance, which will … allow them to participate in the global supply chain.”
The event was organised by the VCCI in collaboration with the centre on the sidelines of Metalex Vietnam, which is being held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre in District 7 from October 11 to 13.
HCM City industrial production steady
HCM City’s industrial sectors have seen good growth due to the city’s efforts in creating a better environment for investment and businesses, the city’s Department of Industry and Trade said on October 11.
Within the first nine months of 2018, production activities remained stable, and the city attracted more foreign and domestic investment in production and processing.
Tran Tri Dung, head of the department’s General Financial Planning branch, said the city’s Index of Industrial Production (IIP) in September was 12.29 per cent higher than last September.
Total production of industrial goods in the first nine months was $17.47 billion, 7.1 per cent higher than last year.
Ly Kim Chi, director of HCM City Food and Foodstuff Association, said that customers’ incomes and demand for high-quality goods had risen, giving firms more opportunities to increase production and promotions.
Production in mechanical sectors also saw a high growth rate due to favourable policies; while electronic equipment and machinery grew by 19.14 per cent and 14.72 per cent, respectively.
Production of chemicals, rubber and plastics grew by 3.63 per cent in the first nine months, while electronics grew by 18.28 per cent.
Manufacturers have begun to invest more in the domestic market and compete with imported goods, as opposed to focusing mostly on exporting.
In addition, more companies are investing in modern machiney to produce automobile components.
To reach the goal of 8-8.5 per cent growth of the city’s IIP in 2018, Nguyen Phuong Dong, deputy director of the department, said the department would help the People’s Committee organise meetings and tackle problems that firms are facing.
It will also hold more trade promotion events and develop an Exhibition Centre for Supporting Industry Products.
By 2020 the supporting industry for automobiles targets meeting 35 per cent of the nation’s demand for automobile components.
HCM City eyes ornamental fish breeding route to agricultural growth
Ornamental fish farming is among the segments HCM City targets to develop with the aim of boosting the whole agricultural sector.
In the first nine months of this year, over 15 million fishes were exported for US$17 million, up 14 per cent and 15 per cent year-on-year, respectively.
In the last quarter, the city plans to export five million fishes for $6 million.
Exports have risen sharply since 2015 when only 13 million fishes were exported for $12 million.
Last year, at $18.2 million, they accounted for 13.2 per cent of the city’s total agricultural exports.
The municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development reported there are about 290 farms breeding the fishes on a total area of 88.9ha.
They raise 60 freshwater fishes, including 40 hybrid varieties.
Thoi Bao Kinh Te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times) newspaper reported that 21 city companies export ornamental fishes by air, the biggest being Sai Gon Ornamental Fish Joint Stock Company.
They export to 43 countries and territories, with the EU being the biggest market, buying slightly more than half of all exports.
To develop the industry, the city has undertaken many programmes, including setting up a model under which participating companies have to properly manage their breeding.
They have to comply with requirements for controlling risks, preventing fishes from contracting diseases, reducing the impacts of climatic conditions, and improving their fish-raising skills .
Thanks to this, the breeders have been able to improve quality, raising the profile of the Vietnamese ornamental fish industry.
As of June, seven farms had joined the programme.
But the industry also faces certain challenges.
The fishes bred in the city are small in size and most farms lack proper infrastructure and raise the fishes using traditional techniques.
A lack of research activities means there are no unique products introduced to the market.
Corporate development criteria released
A set of criteria to evaluate the corporate development of the country and of each province and city were released at a press conference on Saturday in the capital.
The criteria, compiled by the General Statistics Office (GSO) gauge the level of business development in 2017 and from 2010 to 2017.
The 10 major criterion cover operating businesses, new businesses, businesses with resumed operations, businesses with suspended operations, dissolved businesses, workers, capital, revenue, pre-tax profits, contributions to State budget and workers’ income.
In his speech at the event, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said the criterion provide a good foundation for State agencies, sectors and localities to draw up proper policies in order to achieve the goal of one million enterprises in Viet Nam by 2020.
The Deputy PM also requested localities to utilise the criteria to assess how local businesses have been operating, so as to take appropriate measures in implementing the Government resolutions and continuing to improve local competitiveness.
From 2019, the GSO will release the business development criteria and the white book on the Vietnamese business situation annually on Viet Nam Entrepreneurs’ Day which falls on October 13.
As of December 31, 2017, the country was home to approximately 560,400 operating firms, up 11 per cent year-on-year, head of the GSO Nguyen Bich Lam said.
The service sector lured the highest quantity of new companies at over 390,000, a yearly hike of 10.3 per cent. The industry and construction sector came next with 164,000, up 12.2 per cent while the agro-forestry-fisheries sector ranked third with 5,400, up 23 per cent.
According to the GSO report, 40 out of 63 localities achieved stronger growth in number of new companies than the nation’s average level, such as Bac Giang at 34 per cent, Ha Noi at 32 per cent and Bac Ninh at 29 per cent.
Notably, 2017 saw the highest number of newly-established firms with about 127,000, up 15.2 per cent compared to 2016. Among localities recording the strongest yearly growth in number of new enterprises were Ben Tre (up 273 per cent), Ha Giang (55 per cent), Tuyen Quang (53 per cent), Bac Giang (49 per cent) and Vinh Phuc (46 per cent).
As per the data, the total registered capital of newly-formed firms in 2017 stood at VND1.2 quatrillion (US$52.6 billion), surging 45 per cent over the previous year. Average registered capital was VND10.2 billion, up 26 per cent year-on-year.
Malaysia suspends chili imports from Viet Nam
The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Malaysia (MOA) has announced plans to suspend imports of chilies from Viet Nam after detecting residue of chemicals used for plant protection exceeding the permissible level.
However, Pham Quoc Anh, Vietnamese Trade Counselor in Malaysia, has recently told Vietnam News Agency that there were two notable issues with the suspension.
Firstly, not all of the chili producers in Viet Nam violated the maximum residue limits (MRL) standards of Malaysia. In addition, the decision to suspend the import of Vietnamese chili was likely related to efforts by the Malaysian government to support young entrepreneurs.
Anh said the MOA has paid much attention to chili planting households in Malaysia, especially encouraging young farmers to join the programme. The ministry also expected that its farmers could compete with foreign chili-planting households.
As part of these efforts, the MOA decided to send a delegation to Viet Nam and Thailand – the two biggest chili exporters to Malaysia.
It also conducted investigations on imported chilies sold in Malaysia.
The investigation results showed that there was no cause for anti-dumping action. However, the low selling prices of imported chilies caused pressure on local products.
For example, the chili planted in Johor was sold at eight ringgit (US$1.9) per kilo while that imported from Viet Nam was sold at 3.9 ringgit ($0.9) per kilo.
The investigations also aimed to clarify whether imported chilies violated Malaysian safety standards. The import suspension of Vietnamese chilies was announced after the investigations.
Meanwhile, Tran Van Han, a Vietnamese chili exporter to Malaysia, said the suspension has stalled their activities.
The suspension has not only affected Vietnamese chili farmers but also has negative impacts on Malaysian consumers as they have not had access to cheap imported chilies. Meanwhile, Malaysia has to import up to 80 per cent of its local chili demand.
In response to the situation, the Viet Nam Trade Office in Malaysia sent an official letter to the Viet Nam Agro-product Processing and Market Development Department, requesting the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) clarify the permitted pesticide residue standards for Vietnamese exporters to consult.
In addition, the two sides should enter discussions to reach agreement on the issue of quality assurance, helping Vietnamese enterprises meet Malaysian standards to continue being able to export products into the country.
The Malaysian Government should take measures to remove difficulties for Vietnamese chili exporters as well as ensure the legitimate interests of Malaysian consumers, the official said.
Malaysia needs to publish information on imported chili standards, especially criteria relating to allowable residue, to help facilitate exports of Vietnamese enterprises to the market.
Malaysia officially started importing Vietnamese chilies to serve its domestic market in 2016.
Malaysia, South Korea and China are the three largest chili buyers of Viet Nam.
Triip in strategic tie-up with blockchain solutions provider
Travel service website Triip has signed up blockchain solutions provider TomoChain to develop its Triip Protocol system.
Triip said through this partnership it would integrate a blockchain that has a functional marketplace and cross functionality to increase its number of users.
The company also said TomoChain would provide scalable and trustworthy blockchain infrastructure at a competitive rate.
Triip is also investing in TomoChain’s infrastructure.
Using blockchain infrastructure, Triip Protocol seeks to disrupt information network through a blockchain-based system.
The new system rewards travellers who share proof-of-travel with access to tailor-made experiences.
The system also offers service providers like restaurants, hotels, tour operators, and hotels access to live information on traveller movements.
The two companies said their strategic alliance provides mutual benefit and would create significant intellectual open source property.
Triip Protocol is pioneered by Triip Pte Ltd which has 100 other travel innovators across the world. The network currently has 100 million users.
Triip is a board member of the Pacific Asia Travel Association and an official member of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics programme run by the United Nations World Travel Organization.
SSI continues leading brokerage market share
The Saigon Securities Incorporation (SSI) remained the largest broker in Vietnam in the third quarter of 2018, announced the HCM City Stock Exchange (HoSE) on October 3.
The SSI was followed by the HCM City Securities (HSC), Viet Capital Securities (VCSC) and VNDirect Securities (VNDS), and MB Securities (MBS). The top five companies together accounted for 49.82% of the brokerage market share on the southern bourse during the period.
The HoSE report showed that the Q3 market recorded positive signs following strong adjustments made in Q2. The benchmark VN Index increased by 56.35 points or 5.87% from Q2. The capital flow in the market also recovered, with monthly increases recorded.
Trading liquidity in the quarter decreased slightly due to investors’ caution, which was resulted from previous long adjustments and the US-China trade war. Average trading liquidity rose to reach VND5.376 trillion (US$231.16 billion) for all securities products in September compared to August.
Foreign investors’ involvement also dropped, with their part in the total market trading value falling from 21.5% in Q2 to 16.5% in Q3.
A SSI representative said the company grew well in Q3, with its accumulated number of accounts at the end of the quarter hitting over 149,000, including more than 147,000 individuals and 1,800 organisations.
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