February CPI falls by 0.17 percent
The February consumer price index (CPI) slipped 0.17 percent from the previous month due to falling demand for goods after Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday, falling petrol prices, and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
Among 11 groups of products and services in the CPI basket, a decline was recorded in six groups: transport service (2.5 percent); culture, entertainment and tourism (0.43 percent); beverage and tobacco (0.28 percent); garment, head wear and footwear (0.13 percent); housing and building material (0.03 percent); and post and telecommunication services (0.05 percent).
Five groups with higher prices were restaurant and catering service (0.26 percent); other commodities and services (0.17 percent); medicine and medical services (0.13 percent); household appliances (0.08 percent); and education (0.04 percent).
Head of the GSO’s Price Statistics Department Do Thi Ngoc said that falling demands for goods after Tet made the prices of garment and textile, footwear, headwear, beverages and tobacco decrease.
She also said the decline in travel and festival activities due to the COVID-19 outbreak was behind the fall in prices of tourism, hotel and entertainment services.
In addition, prices of fresh and processed fruits dropped in the month as exports were impacted by close control at several border gates during the disease outbreak.
Ngoc added that petrol prices were adjusted down on February 14, contributing to a 0.22 percent fall of the CPI.
Meanwhile, there were some factors helping curb the CPI uptrend, Ngoc said, noting that the COVID-19 outbreak since January pushed prices of medicine up 0.18 percent from the previous month.
Demand for power and water upped 0.44 percent and 0.64 percent, respectively, in February as schools were closed and students stayed at home as a caution amid the COVID-19 threat, Ngoc stated, adding prices of vegetables also rose significantly in February due to shortage of supply caused by hailstones rain in the north and saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta region.
In February, gold prices moved in tandem with global gold prices, surging 2.74 percent from January to hover around 4.45 million VND (192.12 USD) per tael. Gold prices increased as investors move to invest in safer assets due to fear of a cloudy economic prospect caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The VND/USD exchange rate was kept stable, with one USD exchanged for 23,300 VND, thanks to abundant foreign currency reserves of the State Bank.
The GSO said that core inflation (CPI excluding food items, energy products and commodities under the State management like medical and educational services) in February inched up 0.17 percent from January, and 2.94 percent from a year ago. The two-month core inflation climbed 3.1 percent from the same period in 2019./.
Da Nang city designs plans to recover tourism after COVID-19 outbreak
As the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak has crippled the tourism sector, the central coastal city of Da Nang has outlined plans to recover the sector after the epidemic ends.
Da Nang is carrying out a project to restructure the tourism sector, as well as the municipal Party Committee’s programme on developing high-end tourism services and resort property products.
Towards the goal of building the city into a top tourist destination and a centre for international events in the region, the city is piloting a night-time shopping and entertainment street in Ngu Hanh Son district, and support investors to complete Bach Dang walking street and night market, which is slated to open on March 29.
Vice Director of the municipal Department of Tourism Tan Van Vuong said that the city is designing its economic development strategy and development planning for the 2021-2030 period with vision until 2045, while building measures to manage beaches across the city as well as ensure safety for tourist while visiting Son Tra peninsula.
Besides, the city is making adjustments to its plans on domestic tourism promotion and diversifying foreign markets in 2020, he added.
From the outset of the year, Da Nang city hosted more than 847,017 visitors, falling 24 percent from a year ago. The number of foreign arrivals was estimated at 478,860, a year-on-year decrease of 15.5 percent. The city also witnessed a decline of 32.7 percent in domestic arrivals.
Tourism revenue in the months was around 3.38 trillion VND (145.9 million USD)./.
Petrol prices continue falling in latest review
The retail prices of petrol were reduced as from 3pm on February 29 following the latest adjustment by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Finance, making it the fourth consecutive reduction since the beginning of 2020.
Specifically, the price of biofuel E5 RON92 was down by 157 VND to 18,346 VND (0.79 USD) per litre at the highest, and that of RON95-III also fell by 253 VND to 19,127 VND per litre.
Meanwhile, the prices of diesel 0.05S and kerosene were 14,785 VND per litre and 13,676 VND per litre, down 390 VND and 278 VND per litre, respectively.
Mazut 180CST 3.5S is sold at no more than 11,754 VND per kilogramme, down 102 VND per kilogramme.
The Ministries of Industry and Trade, and Finance review fuel prices every 15 days to adjust domestic prices in accordance with fluctuations in the global market.
The decreases in fuel prices are expected to contribute to reducing difficulties facing people and businesses in the context of the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)./.
Ho Chi Minh City’s February CPI down 0.18 percent
Ho Chi Minh City reported a decrease of 0.18 percent in its consumer price index (CPI) in February compared with that of the previous month, according to the municipal Statistics Office.
Specifically, a decline was seen in four out of 11 commodity groups, including restaurant and catering service (0.18 percent); beverage and tobacco (0.83 percent); culture, entertainment and tourism (0.31 percent); and transport (2.8 percent).
The fall in prices of these products was attributed to declining demand of local people and impacts of the acute respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
Prices of five commodity groups reported an increase, with the highest level recorded in medicine and medical services (0.64 percent); and housing, fuel, and building material (0.51 percent).
Meanwhile, prices of education; and post and telecommunication services remained unchanged in February.
In the month, gold prices increased by 2.87 percent against the previous month, and the VND/USD exchange rate was also up 0.32 percent month-on-month.
Vietnam posts trade deficit of 176 million USD in two months
Vietnam reported an estimated trade deficit of 176 million USD in the first two months of the year, according to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO).
The GSO said that total export revenue during January-February picked up 2.4 percent year-on-year to 36.92 billion USD despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, partly thanks to Samsung’s export of its new mobile phone model S20.
Products with high export value included telephone and spare parts (6.9 billion USD, up 2.3 percent); electronic products, computers and components (5.4 billion USD, up 26.7 percent); machinery and equipment (3 billion USD, up 19.6 percent); and footwear (2.7 billion USD, up 3 percent).
Meanwhile, export revenue of several farm produce fell such as seafood (921 million USD, down 17.7 percent); coffee (497 million USD, decreasing 9.8 percent), vegetables and fruits (481 million USD, falling 17.4 percent); cashew nut (315 million USD, dwindling 19.3 percent); and pepper bean (81 million USD, dropping 18.8 percent). Rice is an exception, earning 372 million USD, up 20.5 percent.
The US remained the largest importer of Vietnam, splashing 9.8 billion USD on Vietnamese commodities, surging 19.6 percent from the same time last year.
Revenues from exports to China increased by 3.7 percent to 4.8 billion USD and to Japan by 8.9 percent to 3.2 billion USD) while the value of exports to the EU and ASEAN dropped by 7.7 percent to 5 billion USD), and 9.3 percent to 3.5 billion USD, respectively.
During the period, Vietnam’s import revenue inched up 2.4 percent to 37.1 billion USD, with high-value imports including electronic products, computers and spare parts (8.6 billion USD); equipment, tools and components (5.3 billion USD); and telephones and components (2.1 billion USD).
Vietnam imported 10 billion USD worth of products from China in the two months, falling 0.4 percent from a year ago. It spent 4.5 billion USD on goods from ASEAN, 2.8 billion USD on goods from Japan, 2.1 billion USD on EU products and 2.1 billion USD on US goods./.
State Audit Office, GIZ boost cooperation
A Vietnamese delegation led by State Auditor General Ho Duc Phoc held a working session with leaders of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in the German city of Bonn on February 28.
Speaking at the event, Nguyen Kim from the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, who is in charge of cooperation with Vietnam, said the State Audit Office of Vietnam (SAV)’s interest in information technology and environment audit is also part of the focus in coordination between the two countries and Germany’s development strategy in Asia and partner countries in the near future.
Auditor General Phoc, for his part, said thanks to the GIZ’s effective support, the SAV built and issued 36 standards based on international audit standards set by the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI).
From 2011 to 2019, the GIZ continued to assist the SAV via a regional project to improve the capacity of the ASEAN Supreme Audit Institutions (ASEANSAI), he said, expressing hope for further support from the GIZ, especially in operational, environment and information technology (IT) audit.
According to him, the SAV is working to improve operational audit to better assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the use and management of public finance and assets.
He suggested the German side share experience in devising strategy, selecting topics, and presenting reports on operational audit.
Phoc said the SAV will build a database on IT audit and databases on other fields in order to compile an overview of the national finance and public assets, conduct periodic audit on key IT systems and projects, step up training of IT auditors, build a big data system and an intellectual database.
He expressed hope that the SAV would continue receiving support from GIZ in environment and IT audit, application of IT in audit activities and use of artificial intelligence in big data analysis./.
Enhancing anti-corruption law enforcement in non-state sector
As the Law on Enterprises is no longer suitable due to heavy burdens of administrative procedures it placed on local firms, a revised bill is necessary to better the business climate and enhance the competitive edge of the economy, according to the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM).
At a workshop held in Hanoi on February 28, CIEM Deputy Director Phan Duc Hieu said that there are a wide range of irrational regulations that bar market entry of many businesses, including administrative costs, human resources training costs, and equipment purchase to satisfy legal regulations.
“A reform, though small, will create drastic impacts on the business community”, Hieu said, adding for the sake of local firms, the Government should work to remove regulations that cause troubles to the businesses.
Besides ending the use of company seals in the legal system to reduce the costs and procedures for businesses, the Government should remove regulations on requiring enterprises to make periodic reports on labour use, he recommended.
Regarding the protection of minority shareholders, CIEM experts said that weak business management capacity at joint stock firms is threatening the rights of minority shareholders, who do not contribute in large part to the ownership of a company and do no come close to have a controlling interest in the firm.
They said that under the amended law, even minority shareholders must have the rights to order independent auditing, while shares owned by major shareholders should be kept at 5 percent of the firm’s total shares instead of the current 10 percent.
CIEM experts said that besides the Government’s efforts to give practical and effective support to boost the business community development, local firms should make meticulous preparations to enter the market as well as improve their management capacity and make in a modern fashion and in line with international trend.
Particularly, there should be specific and full rules to protect minority shareholders so as to prevent manipulation of major shareholders./.
Aquatic product exporters seek ways to overcome COVID-19 impact
Vietnam’s aquatic product exporters are being hit hard by the impacts of COVID-19, but there are still opportunities for domestic businesses despite the gloomy outlook, experts have said.
They explained that the new coronavirus epidemic will hinder aquatic product exports from China – the world’s largest supplier with value exceeding 20 billion USD in 2017, thus leading to a global shortage.
As a result, Vietnamese fishery businesses should take this chance to diversify their markets, they suggested.
Moreover, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which was ratified by the European Parliament on February 12, 2020, is expected to facilitate Vietnam’s export of aquatic products.
After the pact comes into force, taxes imposed on some processed seafood products like oyster, cuttlefish and octopus will drop from 20 percent to zero.
The zero percent tariff will also be applied to frozen cuttlefish, octopus, surimi, shrimp and tuna, among others.
Vietnam’s export of aquatic products to China has dropped significantly since early this year. The market’s share in Vietnam’s aquatic export value decreased from 10 percent in January 2019 to 8.9 percent in January 2020.
The value of aquatic product shipments to the neighbouring country via land is forecast to contract about 20 percent monthly as long as the epidemic continues.
However, some businesses are optimistic as China is likely to increase its import of aquatic products after it successfully controls the illness./.
Hai Phong gears up to restore tourism after COVID-19 epidemic
The imminent loss of tourism revenue due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic has prompted the tourism sector in the northern port city of Hai Phong to outline plans to recover local tourism after the epidemic ends.
The tourism sector will continue with tourism promotional activities, including participating in a travel fair in Thai Binh province and the Vietnam International Travel Mart Hanoi 2020, as well as signing a tourism cooperation deal with the capital city.
Besides, it will complete a project to develop and manage Hai Phong tourism brand by 2025 with vision until 2030, while outlining a scheme on tourism development in tandem with agriculture and new-style rural area building.
A travel guide book for Hai Phong and publications to popularise local tourism will be also published soon.
The city currently has 502 lodging facilities with 11,806 rooms. Particularly, a five-star hotel together with luxury cruise service provided by Vingroup have cast a new look for the local tourism infrastructure.
In the first two months of the year, the city served over one million tourists, including more than 121,200 foreigners, a year-on-year decrease of 0.2 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively, under the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.
According to head of Cat Hai district’s culture, sports and tourism bureau Vu Tien Lap, the number of arrivals to Cat Ba district fell significantly, particularly those from Asian nations.
During January-February, 172,500 travellers spent their holidays on Cat Ba island, equivalent to only 78.4 percent of the number recorded in the same time last year, he said.
With a wide range of new tourism products, including the high-end Flamingo Cat Ba resort complex, slated to be launched soon, Cat Ba island expects to welcome more tourists during the Reunification Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1) holidays./.
Southern travel agents improve products amid coronavirus outbreak
Designing tours to safe places which have yet been hit by the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is among the choices most selected by travel agencies in Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta at this time.
The epidemic, which hit 54 nations and territories as of 6:30am of February 28, has seriously affected the tourism sector in Vietnam in general and in the south in particular.
Deputy Director of the Tourism Department of Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa said that revenues of several big travel agents in the city in February decreased by 40-60 percent. The number of tourists going to the city by air in the month was down 28.3 percent compared to January and nearly 23 percent year-on-year.
The number of tourists to other southern localities, including Can Tho city and Ben Tre province, also fell significantly.
To make tourists feel secured, travel agents in the southern region have strictly complied with authorities’ recommendations about disease prevention measures.
In addition, they have sought measures to change and improve the quality of tourism products and services, and implement attractive tourism promotion programmes.
The Saigon Travel Service Company (Saigontourist) has offered discounts of 10-60 percent for its designed tours.
Travel agents have also paid attention to ecotourism and community-based tourism to attract more visitors./.
Fishery sector works to remove IUU yellow card warning
The fishery sector has been working to implement recommendations by the European Commission (EC) for the past two years to remove its illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU) yellow card warning.
The south central coastal province of Khanh Hoa, for example, has gained profits thanks to measures taken to tackle IUU such as non-infringement of foreign waters and clear traceability of raw materials that helps boost prices.
Head of the provincial fisheries sub-department Nguyen Trong Chanh said the EC’s recommendations are welcomed. The province has strengthened measures to punish fishing vessels that violate foreign waters.
The province now has 430 ships equipped with GPS, and the remaining vessels will all be installed with the equipment in the first quarter of this year.
Meanwhile, owners of fishing vessels in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang have been informed of the importance of surveillance equipment.
As of February, the province had installed GPS equipment on 189 vessels. All the remaining 106 will be equipped with tracking and monitoring devices by April.
In October 2017, Vietnam received a “yellow card” warning for illegal seafood exploitation by the EC, which has seriously hit seafood exports to the European market.
To cope with the situation, many businesses have taken the initiative to check traceability.
Together with these efforts, authorised units have joined hands to combat illegal fishing.
Vietnam has carefully studied the legal framework to combat IUU with advice from the EC to have the yellow card rescinded./.
Vietnam described as East Asia’s trade hub
Mostafa Mousavi, head of the Iran-Vietnam Joint Chamber of Commerce, has described Vietnam as a trade hub in East Asia.
The Iran Daily cited Mousavi as saying that since the start of the trade war between China and the US, European states have concentrated on Vietnam and have established their technological and production bases in the Southeast Asian country.
Many of the world’s major cellphone and auto companies have set up production lines in Vietnam, Mousavi said.
Vietnam has a much higher economic capacity than many other countries, making it a suitable option for Iran to expand economic cooperation, he added.
According to the businessman, Vietnam has pursued an open economic policy over the years and has made very good technological and economic advances.
Statistical analyses show that Vietnam has enjoyed the fastest economic growth in the world over the past decade, the daily stressed.
According to the newspaper, annual trade between Iran and Vietnam reached 350 million USD in the previous Iranian calendar (which ended in March 2019), witnessing 100 percent growth year-on-year./.
Work starts on My Thuan Bridge 2
Construction started on February 27 on the My Thuan Bridge 2 to connect the Trung Luong-My Thuan and My Thuan-Can Tho expressways between Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho, linking the two economic powerhouses of the southern region.
The construction is forecast for completion in 2023 to facilitate traffic in the Mekong Delta.
The My Thuan Bridge 2 will start from An Thai intersection on the Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway in Tien Giang province’s Cai Be district and end at the intersection with National Highway 80, the starting point of the My Thuan-Can Tho expressway.
It is located 350 metres upstream from the existing My Thuan Bridge on the Tien River.
The bridge and approach roads will have a total length of 6.61 kilometres. The approach road in Tien Giang province will be 4.33 kilometres long and the approach road in Vinh Long province will be 0.4 kilometres.
The main bridge will have a length of 1.9 kilometres and six lanes with a speed limit of 80 kilometres per hour.
The bridge, part of the Eastern North-South expressway project, will cost an estimated 5 trillion VND (216 million USD).
When it opens, it is expected to ease traffic pressure on the existing My Thuan Bridge and National Highway 1A.
The project is one of 11 sections of the North-South expressway master project with a total length of 654 kilometres traversing 13 provinces and cities.
Three sections are being funded by the Government budget, while the other eight will be built under public-private partnerships.
The total cost for the 11 projects is estimated at 118 trillion VND (5 billion USD), of which the Government will spend 55 trillion VND (2.4 billion USD) on three public investment projects and site clearance for other projects.
The three sections that will be entirely funded by the State budget are Cao Bo-Mai Son (15km), Cam Lo-La Son (98km) and My Thuan 2 Bridge, which will cost a total of 14.279 trillion VND (614 million USD).
The sections to be carried out by private investors are Mai Son-National Highway 45, National Highway 45-Nghi Son, Nghi Son-Dien Chau, Dien Chau-Bai Vot, Nha Trang-Cam Lam, Cam Lam-Vinh Hao, Vinh Hao-Phan Thiet and Phan Thiet-Dau Giay./.
Dong Nai attracts 161 mln USD in two months
As many as 161 million USD of foreign direct investment (FDI) was poured into the southern province of Dong Nai in the first two months of 2019, equivalent to 78.2 percent of the same period last year.
According to the provincial Statistics Office, local authorities granted investment licenses to 15 new projects with total registered capital of 54 million USD, and allow 13 others to add 107 million USD during the reviewed period, up 6.67 percent and 196.12 percent year-on-year, respectively.
The management board of industrial parks in Dong Nai said almost FDI projects in the province are mainly hi-tech and environmentally friendly support industrial ones.
Besides, the local authorities also granted investment licenses to and approved investment plans for 16 domestic projects with total capital of nearly 4.39 trillion VND (189.4 million USD), 165 percent higher than that of the same period last year.
Dong Nai is now home to 1,460 FDI projects totalling over 30 billion USD. Enterprises operating in the locality are hiring about 1 million labourers./.
Ben Thanh underground shopping center still seeks investors
A planned underground shopping center in the landmark Ben Thanh Market area has received no interest from investors to date, a representative of the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment said on February 27.
As such, the commercial center with an estimated investment of VND6.8 trillion cannot be developed concurrently with contract package 1A, which comprises the underground track from Ben Thanh central station to the Opera House station of the city’s first metro line, VnExpress news site reported.
The construction of the shopping center after the metro line linking Ben Thanh Market in District 1 and Suoi Tien Theme Park in District 9 is in place will affect the operation of the metro line.
The underground shopping center, proposed to be located along Le Loi Street, stretching from Ben Thanh Market to the Opera House, was approved by the central Government in late 2016.
The center, covering 45,420 square meters, will comprise an underground pedestrian street; a shopping, dining and entertainment complex; and other auxiliary works.
To speed up the project, in September last year, the HCMC government assigned the HCMC Department of Planning and Architecture to hold an international contest to choose the best design for an underground commercial center at the Ben Thanh station of the city’s metro line No.1.
The center was required to be finished at the same time as the first metro line, which is expected to be put into operation in late 2021.
Covid-19 hurts Vietnamese fruit and vegetable shipments to China
The accelerating spread of the novel coronavirus worldwide has wreaked havoc on local export activities, sharply reducing the January shipments of Vietnamese fruits and vegetables to China.
Statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs indicated that Vietnam exported fruits and vegetables worth US$280 million overseas in January, dropping by 20.9% year-on-year. Of the total, the country shipped US$173 million worth of fruits and vegetables to China, which accounted for 61.8% of Vietnam’s total revenue from fruit and vegetable exports, dipping by 32.6% year-on-year.
Though the January revenue from Vietnamese fruit and vegetable exports to Thailand skyrocketed by 162.2% against the year-ago period, it failed to keep the country’s revenue from fruit and vegetable outbound shipments from falling in January due to the deep decline in these exports to China.
Due to the fast spreading virus, several border gates and crossings with China had to be closed, preventing hundreds of container trucks full of produce from being shipped to the neighboring country, leading to the drop in export revenue.
Dr Luong Ngoc Trung Lap, former head of the market research department of the Southern Fruit Research Institute, told the Saigon Times that two-way trade between Vietnam and China has stagnated due to the limit of goods exchange at borders.
Although border gates and crossings have reopened, the number of farm produce container trucks crossing the borders remains low due to difficulties related to manpower, Lap noted.
“Besides this, China has restricted its residents from leaving their homes owing to coronavirus fears, affecting buying and selling activities,” he said, predicting that it will take the Chinese market a long time to rebound.
China is the main consumption market for Vietnam’s farm produce, and the country’s production still depends heavily on the demand of the Chinese market, so when China runs into difficulties, its impact on the local market, mainly the agricultural sector, is unavoidable.
Post-inspections should be enhanced for efficient business condition reform: experts
Ministries and agencies should create breakthroughs in reforming business conditions by enhancing post-inspections, stated experts at a seminar in Hanoi on February 27.
At the seminar “Quality of business conditions: issues and recommendations,” held by the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) and the Aus4reform program, Nguyen Minh Thao, head of the CIEM’s Business Environment and Competitiveness Department, noted that the business condition reform still has shortcomings as many unnecessary and unreasonable conditions remain in place, creating pressure for enterprises.
Many ministries, agencies and localities have issued decisions to abolish business conditions but these conditions are still being applied. Further, some ministries and agencies have failed to provide a strong basis for their business condition abolishment proposals.
In the coming months, it is necessary to enhance post-inspections, which should be carried out during the standard operations of enterprises. A channel to receive feedback from enterprises should be set up as well, Thao added.
According to CIEM Director Tran Thi Hong Minh, business condition reform is aimed at creating a favorable business environment for enterprises. In the 2017-2019 period, ministries and agencies proposed halving business conditions to reduce costs, time and risks for enterprises.
At the seminar, former CIEM director Nguyen Dinh Cung stated that in 2017, the institute had suggested cutting three-quarters of the 4,000 existing business conditions.
However, the proposal was later changed into “cutting and simplifying at least 50% of business conditions,” which is unclear as changing the name of a business condition or abolishing a small part of a business condition can also be interpreted as “simplifying business conditions,” Cung noted.
Cash payments for food remain high in Vietnam’s two largest cities
The country’s two largest cities, HCMC and Hanoi, are still seeing a large number of customers using cash for food payments, with over 80% of customers making cash payments at restaurants and for takeaway food.
Cash remained the most common method of payment for online shopping on smartphones, making up 66% in HCMC and 70% in Hanoi City, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported, citing a survey on the demand for food in Vietnam.
Some 48% of total online food orders were paid in cash in HCMC, while the figure was 52% in Hanoi.
According to the survey conducted by Indonesia’s Gojek, the parent company of ride-hailing firm GoViet, in collaboration with market research consultant Kantar Worldpanel, HCMC residents spent the most on online food orders, while they spent the least on takeaway food.
In Hanoi, the expenditure for the purchase of food through smartphones accounted for the largest proportion, while they spent the least on takeaway food.
The Hanoians’ average spending on meals at restaurants, takeaway food or food purchases on smartphones was 5-10 percentage points higher than that in HCMC.
Phung Tuan Duc, GoViet director, stated that the results of the survey of 4,000 respondents aged 15-40 had given the firm insights into current payment methods, residents’ eating habits and the demand for online food purchases in Vietnam.
Banpu enters Vietnamese power generation market
With the recent construction, Thailand’s Banpu Power Pcl. is cementing its footprint in Vietnam, taking the view that the country is a more promising investment destination.
BPP Vinh Chau Wind Power Co., Ltd. , a subsidiary of Banpu Power Pcl., started construction of the 65MW Soc Trang Wind Power Plant No 3. The first phase of 29.4MW is slated for completion at the end of 2020. Each year, the first seven turbines would generate about 84.7GWh of electricity, contributing to national energy security as well as the development of renewable energy in Vietnam.
Somruedee Chaimongkol, CEO of Banpu Power, said on the company website last year that, “Vietnam is the tenth country that Banpu entered to capture great business opportunities. The country is in the Asia-Pacific region that has fast-growing demand for electricity. The power demand of the country will double to 130GW by 2030 as a result of the country’s economic growth.“
“Given the confidence of our stakeholders in every country we have a business, our strong financial performance and our corporate governance, we are determined to grow sustainable business by looking for further investment opportunities that generate great returns and go in line with Greener & Smarter strategy”, said Somruedee.
“We focus on the development of three core businesses, including energy resources (coal and gas including related operations such as marketing, trading, logistics, fuel procurement, and transmission), energy generation (coal-fired and renewables power plants), and energy technology (total solar energy solutions, energy storage system, and energy technology system), in Vietnam and other countries in the Asia-Pacific.
These businesses are crucial for Banpu’s future growth and potential to create added values and to maximise long-term returns for our shareholders,” Somruedee added.
In 2019, Banpu increased its target to sell more than 2 million tonnes of coal in Vietnam to a trusted and diverse client base.
In January 2020, the group established a new wholly-owned subsidiary in Vietnam named Banpu Vietnam LLC with the registered share capital of VND23 million ($1,000). The objective of the subsidiary is to provide services to support coal and power businesses in Vietnam.
Recently, Thai enterprises are increasing funding into developing Vietnam’s energy sector thanks to the abundance of wind and solar power resources and government incentives for the power sector, especially for renewable energy. Some well-known names are B. Grimm Group and Gulf Energy Development Plc.
Vietnam – one of the most attractive investment markets in digital era
Vietnam targets by year 2025, to have 50% of its small and medium enterprises shifting to digital platforms and to create at least 100,000 digital technology enterprises.
Vietnam is now one of the most attractive investment markets with its global innovation index constantly increasing, strong economic growth, growing middle class and high technology absorption rate. Those are big premises for digital transformation in Vietnam which is enticing foreign technology investors, said Erich Gerber, TIBCO Software senior vice president of international sales.
Vietnam has also laid out its digitization mission, which targets by year 2025, to have 50% of its small and medium enterprises shifting to digital platforms and to create at least 100,000 digital technology enterprises.
“The current Vietnamese population is about 100 million and many are what we call “new middle-class people,” said Gerber. “This means that we recognize a significant need and opportunity for financial and insurance service organizations,” he added.
Moreover, mobile penetration in Vietnam remains at a staggering rate of 1: 1.5 compared to 1: 0.75 in the world. This shows that businesses and service providers in Vietnam are facing a significant challenge to serve consumers in an active and personalized manner.
In addition, Vietnam has a large number of IT universities that provide high quality education in technology and data science. These trends, of course, have a great influence on technology and increase the popularity of the information technology market in Vietnam.
With the great potential of Vietnam’s market, Gerber affirmed that TIBCO wishes to participate more deeply in the digital transformation process themed “Collaboration – Key to Modernize Vietnam with digital transformation.” The company, specializing in integration, API management and data analysis, officially opened a new engineering office on February 26 in Hanoi.
The company made its incursion in Vietnam more than 10 years ago and now has developed a network of customers and sales here. Recently with the decision to buy Orchestra Networks – a software company with strengths in data management and especially with nearly 100 high-quality IT professionals in Hanoi, TIBCO has shown its orientation to expand operations and increase its presence.
“Guided by the theme, we aim to share our knowledge and expertise with the companies in Vietnam on how to manage data, how to comply with data security and governing regulations, and how to use the shift in new holistic data governance in enforcing and realizing better business returns,” said Gerber at the opening.
“We also aim to expound our vision to collaborate with the most respected academic and financial institutions in search of highly competent local talents, and to explore partnership opportunities for future cross-country recruitment and internships.”
TIBCO is also looking for other M&A opportunities to expand its operations in Vietnam and around the world. After decades of its presence in Vietnam, the company has provided software solutions for some key aspects such as: telecommunications, finance, banks.
Revealing more details about TIBCO’s expectations in Vietnam in 2020, Gerber expects to have more customers, doubling its last year sales in Vietnam market. The company plans to increase the total headcount to 80 this year.
Currently, it is setting up a sales unit, including the appointment of country director, engineers and consultants. At the same time, the company will continue to invest in partner networks.
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