January budget revenue rises 7.5 per cent
State budget revenue was estimated at a total of VND144.6 trillion (US$6.15 billion) in January, representing a rise of 7.5 per cent over the same month of 2018.
The month’s budget collection was equivalent to 10.2 per cent of the target for the full year.
According to the latest report from the Ministry of Finance, domestic revenue accounted for more than 83 per cent of the total and rose by 5.3 per cent over January 2018.
Revenue from crude oil was estimated at VND4.5 trillion, up 5.7 per cent.
Imports and exports maintained their growth momentum in the first month of 2019, the ministry said, adding that trade revenue reached VND19.5 trillion, or 10.3 per cent of the plan for the full year.
Budget spending was estimated at VND92.9 trillion.
In January, VND30.4 trillion worth of Government bonds were issued.
The ministry said that, in January, it asked the Prime Minister to issue a directive on enhancing the use of official development assistance (ODA) funds. An estimated sum of $79 million in ODA was disbursed in January.
The Government spent VND42.7 trillion to pay off debts in January.
Livestock sector focuses on exports
The animal husbandry sector hopes to enhance exports of animal products to many markets this year.
The Department of Livestock Husbandry has said intensive efforts would be made to boost exports of animal products this year.
The livestock sector has enjoyed annual average growth of 5-6 per cent for the last two decades.
Meat production has more than tripled since 2005 from 1.6 million to 5.3 million tonnes, egg production has almost quadrupled and milk output has increased 18.6 times, it said.
Nguyen Xuan Duong, the department’s acting director, said, for the first time in the history, Viet Nam exported chicken to Japan in 2017, and last year marked the beginning of pork exports to Myanmar.
“Though the export value is not high yet, these have greatly improved Viet Nam’s commercial reputation. These milestones are good proof of the efficiency of authorities, capabilities of the livestock enterprises and the quality and safety of Vietnamese livestock products, which will make their way further into developed markets.”
To enhance exports, the sector needs to improve productivity, quality, cut production costs and ensure hygiene and food safety, he said.
To reduce production costs and increase productivity, besides choosing high-quality strains, “We need to restructure the sector with production based on linkage chains,” he said.
Enhancing linkages between businesses, co-operatives, business groups and small farmers and breeders is very important for developing the sector in a sustainable manner in terms of efficiency, food safety, environment, and exports, he said.
In addition, with animal feed accounting for 70 per cent of costs, reducing feed prices is very important to cut costs and improve the competitiveness of Vietnamese livestock products, he said.
The Government has cut tariffs on imported raw materials for animal feed, and producers should cut costs to reduce feed prices, he said.
Last year many large enterprises such as Masan, CP, Dabaco, and Ba Huan have invested in meat processing facilities, experts said.
Masan opened a VND1 trillion (over US$43 million) meat processing complex in Ha Nam Province.
The 10ha complex can process 140,000 tonnes of pork a year and uses Danish technology.
Most large companies have invested in all stages from breeding to processing, and the investment made by these firms is important and contributes to the development of the industry, they added.
Prime Minister opens New Year’s trading session
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc beats the gong to open the New Year’s trading session in Hanoi on February 12
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc highlighted a bright outlook for Vietnam’s economy while opening a stock trading session after the Lunar New Year holiday in Hanoi on February 12.
Citing international organisations’ forecasts, PM Phuc said the World Bank has predicted that Vietnam will record an economic growth rate of over 6.6 percent in 2019. Meanwhile, Standard Chartered and ANZ believe the economy will enjoy the fastest growth in ASEAN and be a highlight in the world’s economic panorama.
Some organisations also perceived that there is room for Vietnam’s economy to grow at a pace of 7 percent this year. Echoing the view, the National Financial Supervisory Commission said the economy is likely to expand by 7 percent.
The Government leader said those forecasts show the confidence in Vietnam’s economic development in 2019 and the following years.
He expressed his delight at the vigorous expansion of the stock market in the past nearly 20 years, noting that the market capitalisation has increased by almost 17-fold in 12 years to be equivalent to 72 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) last year, compared to only 22.7 percent in 2006.
Private businesses’ capital mobilised through issuing corporate bonds and stocks soared by 70 percent in 2017 and 30 percent in 2018 to 68 trillion VND (2.9 billion USD), turning Vietnam into one of the Southeast Asian nations with the largest amount of capital raised through stock exchanges.
Via the stock market, the Government has mobilised capital with between 20- and 30-year terms, helping it gear up long-term capital for public investment and public debt restructuring, the PM said.
Pointing out the stock market’s shortcomings and the complicated international situation, PM Phuc said the Government will press on with improving the investment and business climate, stabilising the macro-economy and reforming the growth model. It will also keep the viewpoint of considering the private sector as an important driving force for economic development.
He underlined the importance of sustainably developing the stock market and promoting its role in creating medium- and long-term capital for the economy, enhancing growth quality and boosting the economy’s transparency.
In his speech, the PM asked the Ministry of Finance and relevant agencies to improve the legal framework for securities-related activities, take measures to upgrade Vietnam’s stock market from the frontier to the emerging market status in the rankings of rating agencies, and apply achievements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the stock market.
He also requested inspection, monitoring and settlement of violations be stepped up to boost discipline in the market and consolidate the public and investors’ trust.
VN aquatic exports record two-digit growth in January
Vietnam raked in 700 million USD from aquatic exports in January, a year-on-year rise of 15.2 percent, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
China, Japan, the US and the EU were the biggest importers of Vietnam’s aquatic products in the month.
China topped the list with growth of 50 percent to 109.26 million USD, followed by Japan with 100.71 million USD, up 18.1 percent.
The US came third with an import turnover of 95 million USD, a year-on-year increase of 17.1 percent, while the EU posted an annual decrease of 9.1 percent to 86 million USD.
In January, most aquatic products recorded good growth, except for shrimp due to fierce competition from markets like China, India and Ecuador.
Specifically, shrimp export turnover was estimated at 190.7 million USD, down 10.6 percent against the same period last year.
On a positive note, tra fish exports rose 34.7 percent to 192 million USD and tuna exports hit 48 million USD, a year-on-year rise of 16.9 percent.
VASEP Secretary General Truong Dinh Hoe said in 2018, the aquatic sector exported nearly 9 billion USD worth of products, a figure expected to grow from 15 to 18 percent to reach 10 billion USD in 2019.
The backbone for this year’s growth target lies in tuna exports because there is plenty of room to develop this fish, he said.
The shrimp sector aims to boost exports to the EU to 1 billion USD in 2019 from 750 million USD in 2018, he added.
Apart from the quality of products, goods certification and added value, businesses should outline plans to make inroads into the EU, Hoe suggested.
He expressed his belief for a better outcome of the aquatic industry in 2019 thanks to new-generation free trade agreements and the State’s favourable policies.
BIDV among world top three banks of highest brand strength change
The Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) recorded a brand strength improvement of 22 percent between 2018 and 2019, the third largest change among 500 banks worldwide.
The ranking was part of the 2019 list of the world’s top 500 valuable bank brands recently announced by the Brand Finance, an independent branded business valuation and strategy consultancy firm.
BIDV was 307th on the list, up 44 places against 2018. First named in the top 500 in 2016, it landed at 405th place worldwide and 30th place in Southeast Asia the next year.
As of December 31 last year, BIDV’s total assets exceeded 1.28 quadrillion VND (55.11 billion USD), the most among banks in Vietnam. The bank also posted more than 9.63 trillion VND (414.2 million USD) in pre-tax profit, an annual increase of 11 percent.
Apart from BIDV, the Vietnam Prosperity Joint-Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank), Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) and Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) were also ranked on the list.
VPBank was the first and only private Vietnamese bank to be named, at number 361. VietinBank and Vietcombank moved up significantly from 310th and 368th in 2018 to 242nd and 325th this year, respectively.
Commercial banks anticipate soaring profits ahead in 2019
Commercial banks are projected to maintain their momentum of profit growth during 2019, primarily driven by digital banking applications.
Although commercial banks are not set to release their official growth and profit targets for 2019 until their general meetings with shareholders, slated for April, an optimistic outlook for the profits of commercial banks lies ahead in 2019, according to a reference by Vietnam Economic Times to bank officials.
So far, two commercial banks have set out their target estimates for 2019.
Vietcombank plans to increase profits this year by 12 per cent to VND20.5 trillion (US$896.84 million) while HDBank embraces an estimated VND5.077 trillion (US$222.11 million) in pre-tax profits, up 26 per cent against the previous year.
Both commercial banks saw profits surge by some 64 per cent in 2018.
Most commercial banks are cautious in putting out their 2019 targets as the growth credit is still kept under close watch by the State Bank of Vietnam. Additionally, high risks regarding unpredictable developments in the world market are imminent and could result in adverse impacts.
Nguyen Dinh Thang, chairman of LienVietPostBank, outlined his high hopes of free trade agreements to which Vietnam is a signatory, explaining these trade pacts would help to initiate a wave of foreign investment into Vietnam, thus giving a big push to domestic production and sales.
Thang elaborated further by identifying that better prospects could lay ahead for the growth of both enterprises and banks in 2019 if they are proactive in the opportunities presented.
Nguyen Le Quoc Anh, CEO of Techcombank has high expectations regarding the growth of retail and service sectors which commercial banks are pursuing.
Meanwhile, Do Minh Phu, chairman of TPBank voiced his belief that digital banking would act as a catalyst to cutting down operation costs and subsequently lower cost-to-income ratio.
Digital banking helps to slash costs when expanding a bank’s network, therefore improving the competitiveness of commercial banks.
Digital banking is set to remain a buzzword in 2019. Along with mobile and internet banking, electronic wallet applications have emerged as a trend which is set to drive the future of payments.
Digital banking applications also are said to create spillover effects on the growth of divisions of commercial banks.
ODA funding urged for key bridge in Mekong Delta region
The Ministry of Transport has sent a document to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc proposing the use of official development assistance for building Rach Mieu 2 bridge in the Mekong Delta region, reports baodautu.vn.
The Ministry of Transport (MoT) made the proposal after the Rach Mieu 2 bridge project connecting the two provinces of Tien Giang and Ben Tre had proved financially unfeasible under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) investment format.
The document suggests PM Phuc assign both the Ministry of Planning and Investment, and the Ministry of Finance, to work alongside the MoT in order to seek official development assistance (ODA) and foreign concessional loans, with a view to hastening the implementation of the project.
The MoT attributed the unfeasible BOT execution of the Rach Mieu 2 bridge project to several ongoing BOT projects throughout National Highway 60 which stretches 115 km in total.
The first phase of Rach Mieu bridge project was inaugurated back in 2009 with toll collection underway on the Km4+617 section of the highway.
Meanwhile, the second phase is being executed to expand four sections connecting Rach Mieu bridge to Co Chien bridge. This phase is scheduled to be completed during 2019 with toll collection lasting until 2034.
Additionally, National Highway 60 is also home to the Co Chien bridge project which connects the two southern provinces of Ben Tre and Tra Vinh. This project was first put into service in 2015 with the toll collection expected to end by 2027.
The MoT had previously worked alongside Ben Tre province to find investors for the Rach Mieu 2 bridge project, including those who had invested in the Rach Mieu bridge project. However, this scheme failed as many potential financiers felt that the project had high levels of risk with unspecific returns on their investment.
Nguyen Nhat, MoT Deputy Minister, said that the use of the State budget to buy ongoing BOT projects along National Highway 60 is impossible as the country’s financial resources are limited. This also goes against the nation’s policy of incentivizing private investments in infrastructure projects.
Earlier, the MoT had met with representatives from the Republic of Korea’s Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF). They revealed that the EDCF is likely to consider funding for the Rach Mieu 2 bridge project if the Vietnamese side makes a proposal.
The construction of Rach Mieu 2 bridge is an urgent need to ease traffic jams and boost socio-economic development in the Mekong Delta region as Rach Mieu bridge is currently overloaded.
Decisive approach needed for Industry 4.0 to succeed
Vietnam is likely to miss out on the unparalleled opportunities brought along by Industry 4.0 if it does not take decisive and prompt action now, noted Nguyen Chi Dung, Minister of Planning and Investment.
Nguyen Chi Dung, Minister of Planning and Investment.
In his remarks at a meeting to share a vision for 2019 hosted by the Ministry of Planing and Investment in Hanoi on January 30, Dung stated that a great number of challenges are facing the Vietnamese economy in the years ahead. The openness of the economy will remain at a high level whilst its reliance on foreign investment persists.
In order to overcome risks of being stuck in a middle income gap, Vietnam needs to spur economic growth and make further breakthroughs to keep pace with regional and global development. Additionally, greater efforts must be made to ensure macro-economic stability and maintain high economic growth rates.
“If we manage to get on the Industry 4.0 train, it is highly possible that the country will keep up with regional and global development,” Minister Dung said.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment, a governmental agency providing advice on national socio- economic development strategies, will always pursue citizen–based policies with a view of leaving no one behind, the minister affirmed.
Citizen-based approaches should be implemented to foster national development, he stressed, adding that all policies have to appreciate the rights, benefits, and satisfaction of citizens. To ensure a thriving Vietnam, attempts must be made to grasp imminent opportunities, maximize all available resources, and try to turn challenges into opportunities.
Reviewing the results of 30 years since the implementation of Doi Moi (Renewal), Dung highlighted the country’s robust growth with its strong improvements in infrastructure and facilities while being named among middle income countries.
National gross domestic product (GDP) growth has risen annually by 6.8 per cent on average during the reviewed period. The scale of the Vietnamese economy has seen a 39 fold increase to US$245 billion, with GDP per capita amounting to US$2,587.
However, Dung said that the nation is still ranked among the list of lower middle income countries as its GDP per capita makes it 138th among 188 countries and territories.
The GDP per capita is equivalent to figures seen in Malaysia 20 years ago, Thailand 15 years ago, and Indonesia 10 years ago.
Labour exports generate over US$3 billion
Upwards of US$3 billion was sent home by Vietnamese workers living abroad during 2018, making a significant contribution to poverty reduction and overall socio-economic development, according to the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs.
More than 142,800 Vietnamese workers were sent abroad last year, marking the fifth consecutive year that the 100,000 benchmark has been exceeded. The figure posted a year on year increase of 6 per cent.
Japan received the largest number of Vietnamese workers in 2018, with 67,000 laborers, followed by Taiwan (China) with 65,000 workers, and then the Republic of Korea with 6,000 workers.
According to Dao Ngoc Dung, Minister of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs, the quality of the guest workers increased. He noted that previously, Vietnamese workers had entered foreign markets at any cost, but a trend is occurring with workers now selecting specific markets and more relevant work for their skills.
Many place priority on high-skilled and technical jobs so that they would return and serve the development process in their homeland, the minister said.
He commented that the cash remittances of US$3 billion from the Vietnamese guest workers significantly contributed to new-style rural area building, job creation, poverty reduction, and national socio-economic growth at large.
Vietnam leverages on 2018 progress for future growth
Vietnam has ended the year 2018 with impressive social economic progress. This has been an encouraging stepping stone for the government to achieve this year’s targets.
2019 is a pivotal year to complete the 2016-2020 objectives. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has emphasized on short term progress’ significance, in particular this year’s Resolutions 01 and 02 social economic development, business climate improvement and national competitiveness.
The two resolutions took effect on the first day of 2019, reflecting the government’s determination to ensure quality breakthrough.
Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said that Resolution 01 demonstrates disruptive improvement in terms of institutional and administrative reform.
He said, “The Resolution aims to create more practical transformation in strategic economic development through new growth model, innovation, advanced technological application and making full use of Industry 4.0.”
Head of the Central Institute of Economic Management, Nguyen Dinh Cung, says that Resolution 02 is based on 7 indication sets designed by international organizations with specific objectives by 2019 and 2021.
He noted, “Resolution 02 has used international rankings as benchmarks to measure progress and outputs in Vietnam’s business environment. It also recommends solutions to 4 priorities identified by the government, including removal and simplification of business conditions, less specialized inspection, for goods before customs clearance, cashless payment and level-4 public services. This will ensure more transparency in management and less chances for corruption.”
Besides the two resolutions, the government has asked ministers and heads of provincial People’s Committees, to promote creativeness and determination in their governance to address business difficulties.
Vietnam could leverage on its progress last year for future growth as the national economy has improved its resilience and global connectivity. Vietnam’s private economic sector has seen close ties with the world supply chain while the CPTTP coming into force is a good opportunity for market expansion.
Global financial capital flows are expected to come to ASEAN and Vietnam as attractive destinations. Vietnam needs to prepare well to grasp these opportunities by selective approach to welcome projects of advanced technology, environmentally friendly and close links with domestic enterprises to ensure rapid growth this year.
Vietnamese firm seeks main investor status in Long Thanh airport
The Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) desires to be the main investor in the Long Thanh International Airport.
ACV, which operates 21 airports in the country, has proposed that it contributes more than a quarter of the $5.4 billion needed to build the new Long Thanh International Airport.
Lai Xuan Thanh, chairman of ACV, said that the corporation is ready to contribute $1-1.5 billion needed for the first phase of the mega airport to be built in Dong Nai Province, neighboring HCMC.
In a proposal to the Ministry of Transport, ACV has said that its initial contribution will be used for major components of the airport including the terminal, runways, parking lots and cargo areas, worth a total of $3.77 billion, according to the Vietnamese government’s website.
The airport operator is currently working with the Ministry of Transport and Dong Nai authorities on acquiring about 1,800 hectares for the first phase of the airport.
Most of the targeted area is now covered by plantations belonging to the Dong Nai Rubber Corporation where 200 families reside.
The Ministry of Transport has asked the consultancy consortium of the airport, JFV, to finish an environmental impact report next month.
The consortium, comprising of three Japanese, one French and two Vietnamese companies, will also need to submit the feasibility report for the airport by June.
In turn, the ministry “will submit the feasibility report to the National Assembly in October. If it is approved, bidding will start in 2020 and construction in 2021,” Transport Minister Nguyen Van The told local media recently.
The Long Thanh International Airport, to be built in three phases over three decades, is set to become Vietnam’s largest airport.
The first part is scheduled for completion in 2025, when the new airport will be able to handle 25 million passengers a year. The next two phases will run from 2030 to 2035 and from 2040 to 2050.
Experts have previously warned that the construction cost of the airport could double every five years.
Lying 40 kilometers east of HCMC, the airport is expected to take up the overflow from the largest existing airport in the country, Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
Once completed, Long Thanh International Airport will have an annual capacity of 100 million passengers and five million tons of cargo.
The tourism surge of recent years in Vietnam has resulted in demands for an upgrade of existing airports and construction of new ones.
The country welcomed 12.5 million air passengers last year, up 14.4 percent from 2017, according to the General Statistics Office.
January sees Japan top list of foreign investors in Vietnam
The month of January saw Vietnam attract a total of US$760 million in newly-registered and additional capital with Japanese investors taking the lead, according to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Kyoshin, Katolec Global Logistics, and Sews Components Vietnam II are among the three most notable investors from Japan as January saw them inject US$200 million into Vietnam, making up more than half of US$364 million in Japan’s total FDI into the country.
One notable project was by Japanese company Kyoshin Vietnam which raised investment capital by US$134.7 million in order to construct a factory specializing in manufacturing molding products and electrical spare parts.
Others included a US$65 million logistics project funded by Katolec Global Logistics Vietnam in the northern province of Ha Nam and the US$64.89 million project funded by Hay Sews Components Vietnam II which saw a factory built in the northern province of Hung Yen.
With investment coming in three major projects, Japan retained its leading position among FDI investors nationally during January, this was followed by the Republic of Korea (US$349.1 million), and China (US$307.8 million). During the course of 2019, Japan is predicted to top foreign investors in Vietnam.
Goki Nobuka, CEO of the Thang Long Vinh Phuc Industrial Park Co, Ltd said the wave of Japanese investment into Vietnam has significantly increased, noting that a total of eight Japanese businesses have poured investment into Vinh Phuc Industrial Park recently.
Upon completion, Vinh Phuc IP is expected to welcome 80 Japanese investors, focusing on a wide range of fields such as the supporting industry, hi-tech, engine, and component production for the automobile industry, electronics components, and precision mechanics.
Dr. Phan Huu Thang, former director of the Foreign Investment Agency, said with Japan’s investment achievements in Vietnam over the past 30 years since the Foreign Investment Law took effect in 1987, there has been a stable trend of Japanese investment into Vietnam.
He pointed out that with momentum for growth in 2018, Japan’s flow of capital into Vietnam is projected to keep increasing throughout 2019 and beyond.
VPBank named in Top 500 valuable bank brands for first time
The Vietnam Prosperity Commercial Joint Stock Bank (VPBank) has been the only Vietnamese private bank to be named in the 2019 list of the world’s top 500 valuable bank brands recently announced by the Brand Finance.
Accordingly, VPBank ranked 361st in the list.
Also in the list, VietinBank was in the 242th place, up from the 310st in 2018, and BIDV in the 307st, up 44 places, while Vietcombank moved up 43 places to rank 325st.
Topping the list, which is announced by the Brand Finance each year, is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China with a congregate value of 79.8 billion USD, up 35 percent annually.
In 2017, VPBank was named Best Issuing Bank Partner for Women-Owned Businesses in East Asian Pacific by the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Kien Giang focuses on shrimp farming in 2019
The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang strives to yield 21,500 tonnes of shrimp on a site of 3,100ha in Long Xuyen Quadrangle and U Minh Thuong in 2019.
Since early this year, local households have bred about 150ha of white-legged shrimp.
In order to ensure safe and sustainable shrimp farming, the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development worked with agencies concerned to monitor and offer environment warnings, control epidemics and adopt modern technology to raise shrimp up to VietGAP standards.
Several firms have registered to raise shrimp on a total area of over 1,000ha with an estimated output of 17,700 tonnes and more.
Last year, the province raised shrimp, mostly white-legged shrimp, on 2,590ha in Long Xuyen Quadrangle and U Minh Thuong, accounting for nearly 95 percent of the total area. The output of white-legged shrimp was over 18,100 tonnes out of the total 18,500 tonnes.
Do Minh Nhut, Deputy Director of the department, said shrimp farming on industrial and semi-industrial scales in Kien Giang remains slow compared to the set target, mostly due to the lack of clean water supply and skilled workforce, unstable shrimp prices, and insufficient capital for technological adoption.
Purchasing power higher during Tet
Purchasing power during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday increased by 10-12 percent from last year.
Purchasing power during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday increased by 10-12 percent from last year and 15-20 percent in comparison with previous months, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
The ministry said one of the essential goods served for the holiday was rice. Supplies were abundant and people were keen on buying high-quality products such as Seng Cu, Tam thom, Nang thom cho Dao and Bac Huong.
It was estimated rice reserves increased by 15 percent from the same period last year, and prices stood at 1,000-2,000 VND per kilogramme higher than previous months.
To stabilise rice prices, localities such as Cao Bang, Soc Trang and Dong Nai listed the item in their price stabilisation programme with lower prices of 5 to 10 percent against market rates.
In addition, supplies were topped up from the winter-spring crop in the southern region.
Prices of pork surged before the holiday due to increasing consumption demand and higher breeding costs.
The MoIT said pork supplies this year were higher than in previous years.
Pork prices in the north were lower than those in central and southern regions.
Beef and chicken prices increased at the end of January, but only a small percentage as supermarkets participated in the price stabilisation programme.
Vegetable prices were stable in the holiday thanks to abundant supply, and the price of some fruits fell 5-8 percent from the same period last year.
The ministry said the Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance conducted five inspections before the holiday to prevent smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods to ensure food safety in key localities.
HCM City to invest in agriculture products
HCM City will invest in six agricultural products and six craft villages under the One Commune One Product Programme in which each rural commune or district will develop its own specialty.
The six products are vegetables, flowers, dairy cows, pigs, brackish water shrimp and ornamental fish.
The six villages include Thai My bamboo basket craft village, Phu Hoa Dong rice paper village, Tan Thong Hoi bamboo curtain village in Cu Chi District; Hoc Mon District’s Xuan Thoi Son bamboo basket village, Binh Chanh District’s Le Minh Xuan incense-making village and Can Gio District’s Ly Nhon salt village.
The city also plans to develop dried shark catfish, bird nests, and Long Hoa mango in Can Gio District, and dried snakeskin gourami in Cu Chi District.
Under the programme, VietGAP standards will be used in production, and farmers will be encouraged to work with firms and co-operatives. The city will help enterprises with brand building, while trade facilitation activities will also be organised.
The city plans to set up two privately operated sites, both of which will work with tourism programmes, to promote and sell local specialties in Cu Chi and Can Gio districts.
Favourable policies for main agricultural products, craft village products and local specialities will also be created.
The city has assigned the Department of Industry and Trade to provide participants in the programme with information on prices and market demand for agricultural products.
Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, said the production value per hectare of agricultural land is on the rise, even though the amount of such land has dropped over time.
Da Nang welcomes nearly 329,000 visitors during Tet
Visitors take a tour through Da Nang. The city’s most attractive tourist sites include the Cham sculpture museum, Ba Na Hills, Da Nang Museum, Than Tai mineral water park, Sun World Da Nang and Son Tra – Linh Ung pagoda. — Photo vietnamtourism.gov.vn
The central city of Da Nang welcomed 328,810 visitors during the nine-day Lunar New Year (Tet holiday) festival 2019 (February 2-10), a year-on-year increase of 10.7 per cent according to the municipal Department of Tourism.
The number of international visitors to Da Nang reached more than 158,000, up 19.9 per cent compared to the same period last year.
This is peak tourism season for visitors from China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Europe and America, and for Vietnamese expats, said deputy director of the city’s Tourism Department Truong Thi Hong Hanh.
The 2019 Lunar New Year saw a number of new direct international flight routes to Da Nang put into operation such as flights from Seoul (Vietjet Air), Busan (Korean Air), Daegu (Vietjet, Jeju Air), Osaka (Vietnam Airlines), Bangkok (Thai Vietjet Air) and Doha (Qatar Airways), helping to increase the number of international visitors.
In addition, from January 31, national carrier Vietnam Airlines launched its Da Nang to Can Tho flight with a frequency of seven flights per week, attracting more tourists from southern provinces to visit Da Nang and vice versa.
Da Nang’s attractive sites during the Tet holiday included the Cham sculpture museum, Ba Na Hills, Da Nang Museum, Than Tai mineral water park, Sun World Da Nang and Son Tra – Linh Ung pagoda.
Da Nang has become a destination for both domestic and foreign tourists thanks to its location near world cultural heritage sites, diverse tourism products and a port system that can serve international cruise ships.
The city aims to welcome 8.19 million visitors throughout 2019, 6.9 per cent more than in 2018.
Vietnam Airlines listed among Viet Nam’s 10 most valuable brands
By January 1, 2019, the brand value of Vietnam Airlines reached US$416 million, up 34 per cent year on year, putting it one spot higher on the list of Viet Nam’s most valuable brands. — Photo Vietnam Airlines
Vietnam Airlines was the eighth most valuable brand in Viet Nam in 2018 according to Brand Finance, one of the world’s leading independent business strategy consulting firms.
By January 1, 2019, the brand value of Vietnam Airlines reached US$416 million, up 34 per cent year on year, putting it one spot higher on the list of Viet Nam’s most valuable brands.
Brand Finance estimated that the carrier’s 2018 brand value accounted for 10 per cent of its total value, up from 8 per cent in 2017.
Last year, Vietnam Airlines was also honoured as a national brand of Viet Nam by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the National Brand Council. The firm was the only aviation company to win the title at the 2018 National Brands.
Since 2007, Brand Finance has announced its annual ranking of the most valuable brands in each country, region and the world. This is the world’s only public ranking of brand value using the widely accepted ISO 10668 Royalty Relief method.
Through evaluating the effect of intangible assets on corporate value, Brand Finance rankings help businesses understand the importance of branding in creating profits to help them build appropriate marketing strategies.
Banks offer lucky money to customers after Tet
A bank officer gives lucky money to a customer on the first working day of the Lunar New Year. — Photo cafef.vn
On the first working day after the nine-day Lunar New Year 2019 holiday (February 2-10), a number of banks launched promotions to attract depositors.
At the Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank), from February 11 to 16, when customers deposit at least VND60 million (US$2,564) with a minimum term of six months, they will receive lucky money in cash valued at VND39,000 or VND68,000. With a deposit of VND1.5 billion or more, customers will be given one tenth of a tael of gold.
The Saigon-Hanoi Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SHB) is also handing lucky money to the first 19 customers (individuals and organisations) that make transactions at the banks’ counters.
At the Ban Viet Bank (Viet Capital Bank) from February 11 to 13, all customers who send saving money of at least VND20 million will have a chance to get lucky gifts, receive lucky money of up to VND100,000 or get a scratch card to win gold.
In Lien Viet Post Commercial Joint Stock Bank (LienVietPostBank), with savings from VND50 million to VND1 billion, customers will receive cash gifts from VND25,000. They will receive up to VND3.3 million if they deposit a minimum of VND20 billion.
Besides giving away lucky money, the banks’ Tet promotion programmes for customers reached several billion dong. In addition to attracting customers, the lucky money is intended to bring hope, luck and success to both banks and customers in the Lunar New Year.
HOSE hailed as important channel for businesses to raise funds
Nguyen Thanh Phong, chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, beats the gong at the HCM Stock Exchange on February 12 to mark the beginning of the Year of the Pig.
The HCM City chairman has hailed the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange for contributing to the steady development of the country’s stock market and the city’s financial market and to the equitisation of State-owned enterprises in the city.
Speaking at the gong beating ceremony at the exchange on February 12 to mark the reopening of the exchange after the Lunar New Year holidays, Nguyen Thanh Phong said it has grown rapidly in terms of scale to become an important source of capital for enterprises.
By the end of last year the bourse had 375 listed companies with a combined charter capital of VND780 trillion (US$33.5 billion).
Its market capitalisation is already over 70 per cent of the city’s GRDP, a target set only for 2020, and the daily average trading is VND5.6 trillion, or 85 per cent of the country’s total, he said.
“These clearly demonstrate the significance of the securities market to the country.”
“The establishment of the Vietnam Stock Exchange based on a parent-subsidiary model by rearranging the Ho Chi Minh and Ha Noi stock exchanges along with speeding up of the equitisation of State-owned enterprises will be the focal point of the city’s as well as the country’s stock market.
“In particular, in 2019 the Government and the National Assembly are preparing to approve the Securities Law (amended). This will be a solid basis for the stock market to develop sustainably.”
He expected HOSE, as a pioneer of the Vietnamese securities market, to continue to perform its role well, contributing more to the development of the country’s securities market and socio-economic development.
The city would continue to strongly back the exchange and speed up equitisation of State-owned enterprises to create investment opportunities for investors and enable businesses to mobilise capital, he said.
“The city will also enhance the transparency, management and supervision of the securities market to protect investors’ interests.”
Deputy Minister of Finance Huynh Quang Hai said: “In 2019, besides positive factors, the economy can also face many challenges, and so the management of the stock market should focus on steady and sustainable development.
“I hope HOSE will co-ordinate with relevant agencies to map out and implement measures to fulfil its assigned tasks.”
He also spoke about some key measures to make the stock market stronger and more effective and transparent.
They included improving the legal framework with a focus on amending the Securities Law, restructuring the stock market to improve the competency and quality of brokerage units, speeding up modernisation of infrastructure and IT systems, launching stock warrant products and new indexes at HOSE, and implementing measures to upgrade Viet Nam’s status from a frontier market to an emerging market this year.
Le Hai Tra, a member of the HOSE board of managers, said: “In 2019, though the market is forecast to face many challenges, it is expected to upgrade its status this year.”
Tran Thanh Tan, CEO of Vietfund Management, said Viet Nam’s economic stability offers a good platform for its stock market to grow strongly.