Strategy to be built to develop modern industry
The Research Institute for Industry Policy and Strategy under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) held a seminar in Hanoi on February 28 to collect ideas to build a strategy on industrial development until 2030, with a vision to 2045.
Director of the institute Nguyen Van Hoi said that the seminar is the very first step in drafting a new strategy to replace the industrial development strategy 2014 with a vision to 2025 as assigned by the Government.
The MoIT expects to submit the strategy to the Government for approval in the second quarter of 2020.
Duong Dinh Giam of the Vietnam Association of Economic Sciences said that in the context of international integration and on the basis of existing resources, from now until 2030, Vietnam should give the priority to completing the target of industrialisation and modernisation and becoming a modern industrial country.
It is also necessary to focus national resources on forming and developing several industries which have international competitiveness to participate more in the global value chain, Giam stated.
To become a modern industrial country after 2030 with a vision to 2045, Vietnam should focus on developing products which have high added and huge export values, developing support industry, applying high technologies in suitable fields, and gradually reducing the use of non-renewable minerals and simple labour.
He stressed the need for the State and the associations of industries to provide legal assistance for businesses to address trade conflicts in international markets.
Pham Tat Thang, senior researcher at the MoIT, said that along with agricultural and fishery products, such products as garments, footwear, and ceramics are potential exports.
To boost the export of these products, it is important to develop support industry and deep-processing industry, Thang stated, adding that it is also the development direction of the industrial sector in the next 20-30 years./.
Conference talks ways to fight illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development hosted a conference in the central province of Binh Dinh on February 28 to discuss measures to strengthen the leadership and instruction over combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU).
Speaking at the event, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong asked localities across the country to absolutely end illegal fishing in foreign waters by May 2020.
As planned, the European Commission (EC) will conduct the third round of inspection over Vietnam’s exploitation of seafood.
In order to have the EC’s IUU warning lifted, Vietnam has strived to follow its nine recommendations by adopting and applying the Law on Fisheries 2017, he said.
Cuong requested that all vessels with a length of over 15m must be equipped with global positioning systems (GPS) between now and April 1, 2020.
State management agencies must reach consensus on equipment standards and technology, he added.
At present, 61 fishing ports in 28 coastal cities and provinces are qualified for tracing the origin of aquatic products.
According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien, there are 125 fishing ports and 146 anchorages across the country, but only 46 percent of the ports and nearly half of the anchorages have met set standards.
Cuong asked units concerned to build a plan to improve fishing ports and anchorages between now and May 2020, thereby suggesting the government adding it into the medium-term capital use plan.
The move is meant to restructure the fishery towards reducing fishing output and increasing aquaculture, he said.
On the occasion, the minister also urged ministries, agencies and localities to instruct farmers to follow the EC’s recommendations on IUU combat./.
Vietnam determined to continue improving investment environment: PM
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on February 28 affirmed that the government is determined to continue implementing strong measures aimed at improving the investment environment, thus further facilitating foreign investors, including those from Japan.
Receiving General Director of the Japanese-invested Aeon Mall Vietnam Iwamura Yasutsugu in Hanoi, the government leader reiterated that Vietnam takes the successes of the foreign investors as its own.
Vietnam hopes to expand its cooperation with the Aeon group, PM Phuc stressed, expressing his expectation that Vietnam can push up the direct export of its commodities through the group.
The leader asked the Japanese official and the group to continue broadening investment and business in Vietnam, and to open more establishments in the country’s other localities. He also asked Aeon to raise Vietnam’s export revenue to top its current 500 million USD.
For his part, the Japanese official expressed his thanks to Vietnam for its support to the group’s operation in the country. Aeon’s decision to broaden its investment and business in Vietnam is of great importance, he said, affirming that the group will further boost operation in the time to come.
He also briefed his host on Aeon’s investment projects in Vietnam. By 2025, the group will operate 25 trade centres in Vietnam with a combined investment of 2 billion USD, and it will bring Vietnam’s export revenue to 1 billion USD in 2025 from the current 500 million USD as the country boasts many products suitable to making the goal achievable, the official added./.
Cuban President vows best conditions for Vietnamese investors
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has promised to provide all possible favourable conditions for Vietnamese investors while touring a ceremic floor tile plant in Cuba.
The SAVING factory is a joint venture between Vietnam’s glass and construction ceramic producer Viglacera and Prodimat Company of Cuba in Santa Cruz, Mayabeque, about 60 km to the east of Havana.
It was put into operation since the beginning of this year, capable of producing around 7,000 sq.m of ceramic tiles per day. The capacity is expected to reach 3 million sq.m a year. SAVING plans to start construction of another wall tile plant next year with a designed annual output of 3 million sq.m.
The Cuban leader said SAVING plays a crucial role in Cuba’s production expansion strategy as an effort to reduce imports of necessity goods.
He asked the joint venture to diversify its products to meet increasing demand in the Cuban market and emphasised that the firm should improve measures to ensure environmental standards.
President Diaz-Canel affirmed that he is ready to help SAVING solve difficulties in material supplies and others and support its future projects at Mariel Special Development Zone./.
Hanoi Party chief seeks to put urban railway into operation soon
New Party Secretary of Hanoi City Vuong Dinh Hue plans to work with the Ministry of Transport to find ways to put the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project into commercial service as soon as possible.
Speaking at a working session with the Vietnam Fatherland Front’s Hanoi chapter on February 26, Hue noted that the Ministry of Transport will take primary responsibility for the urban railway project.
However, the project is being developed within the city, so the municipal government and the ministry will come to the table to start operations, Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reported, citing Hue.
He also proposed the Vietnam Fatherland Front’s Hanoi chapter and the competent agencies gather feedback on the difficulties facing residents, such as traffic jams and traffic accidents, to address them promptly.
Apart from asking the competent agencies to handle the situation of motorcycle drivers driving on sidewalks during peak hours, Hue raised the issues of air quality, water safety and waste treatment at the working session.
The Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project was approved for construction by the Ministry of Transport in early October 2008, with total investment of over VND8.7 trillion, or US$552 million at the then exchange rate. During the process of developing the project, its investment requirement ballooned to a whopping VND18 trillion, or US$868 million, with US$670 million in loans from China.
After repeated delays, the 13-kilometer Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway was completed, with 12 stations and one depot, but it has yet to start official operations. The urban railway system runs from Cat Linh Station in downtown Dong Da District to the Yen Nghia Station southwest of Ha Dong District.
Vietnam Airlines puts promo tickets on offer
Vietnam Airlines has launched two promotional programs for its domestic flights from February 29 to March 6 and for some international services on February 29 to attract more passengers.
The national flag carrier is offering promotional tickets at VND199,000 each, exclusive of taxes and fees, for its domestic flights with departures between September 4 and December 26, VietnamPlus news site reported.
Meanwhile, international flights with promotional tickets to Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and Japan sold on February 29 alone are scheduled to depart from September 4 to December 10.
Covid-19 estimated to cost local airlines VND25 trillion
Local airlines are expected to sustain VND25 trillion in lost revenue this year due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, instead of the VND10 trillion announced half a month ago, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).
Speaking at a meeting held by the Ministry of Transport on February 27, Dinh Viet Thang, head of CAAV, said that the accelerating spread of coronavirus infections and the possibility of a global coronavirus pandemic has put local airlines under pressure.
Since late January, due to the fallout from the highly contagious coronavirus, the air transport market has lost steam. As of February 26, local airlines had suspended or scaled down many of their flights due to travel restrictions and fears, Thanh Nien newspaper reported.
They also cut all flights to China while slashing by 34% their weekly flights to Taiwan, leaving only 99 in operation.
As for the Hong Kong market, the local carriers have cut all flights, except for Vietnam Airlines, which operates a mere four weekly flights.
Local airlines have yet to scale down flights to Japan, but given the rapid spread of the virus, which causes a disease called Covid-19, the number of Vietnam-Japan flights will be lowered in the coming weeks.
In addition to a 41% cut in flights to South Korea, local airlines have seen their South Korean passenger numbers fall from 26,000 per day on average to 8,000-12,000.
A Vietnam Airlines report said that apart from lost revenue from Chinese passengers during the flight suspensions caused by the flu-like virus, the carrier will also face a drop in passengers on various international flights to and from Europe, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia and on domestic air routes this year.
The CAAV also provided two scenarios for the aviation market. In the first scenario, which was considered more feasible, if the coronavirus is brought under control prior to April, the market may welcome 67 million air passengers this year, down 15% against 2019. Of this, local carriers may transport 12.7 million international passengers, dropping by 28.3% and 35.3 million domestic passengers, down 5.5%.
In the second scenario, if the disease lasts until June, with the plan to cancel all flights to and from South Korea in place, the number of passengers traveling through local airports could total 61.2 million, down 22.6% against 2019. Of the total, local carriers may carry 45.7 million passengers, down 17% year-on-year, with 10.4 million international passengers.
Many firms on verge of production suspension
Many local enterprises may have to suspend their production in the next one to two months as they are nearly out of material reserves and are facing multiple difficulties in importing materials.
At a meeting on February 26 on enterprises’ production amid the Covid-19 outbreak in other countries, especially Vietnam’s major partners such as South Korea, China and Japan, Hoai said Vietnam is being affected significantly by the epidemic. Domestic firms are heavily dependent on suppliers in China and South Korea, Thanh Nien Online newspaper reported.
The electric and electronics sector is among those most seriously affected. Electronics firms can maintain production until the middle or end of next month.
In addition, the textile and garment and footwear sectors have enough materials for production until early next month or April.
As for the automobile manufacturing and assembly sector, Hoai cited a report by the Industry Agency as indicating that Vietnam had imported nearly US$4 billion worth of automotive accessories last year, with the largest exporter being South Korea, followed by Japan and China.
Truck manufacturers use more than 70% of the accessories from China.
Hoai noted that vehicle assemblers may face a severe shortage of accessories next month.
Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh stated that many enterprises can only maintain their production until next month, as they are dependent on material imports. However, the issue cannot be resolved quickly.
He asked agencies under the ministry to work out response plans.
Vietnamese firms invest 30.3 million USD abroad in two months
Vietnamese businesses invested 30.3 million USD overseas in the first two months of 2020, according to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Of that number, 21.4 million USD was poured into 20 new projects while the remaining 8.9 million USD was pledged to two existing projects.
The FIA said restaurant and catering services received the lion’s share of Vietnamese investment at 14.3 million USD, 48 percent of the total.
Among the 12 countries and territories where Vietnamese investors were active in the first two months, the US was the largest recipient with 20 million USD, followed by Cambodia with 8.9 million USD or 29.5 percent. Others were Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and Myanmar.
According to analysts, in order for Vietnamese foreign investment to be more effective and reduce the risks, Vietnamese enterprises need to proactively study and keep themselves updated about policy changes, and to co-operate with the local governments and residents of the countries.
It was necessary to comply with local laws, international laws and related regulations in order to avoid possible disputes during the entire investment process, they said.
More substantive and attractive policies offered by the State to encourage enterprises to increase overseas investment should also be included.
Vietnamese enterprises invested 508.14 million USD abroad in 2019. The amount included 403.15 million USD worth of newly registered capital in 164 projects and 105 million USD worth of additional capital pledged for 29 existing projects./.
Vietnam needs new approaches to fund development: ADB expert
As Vietnam is estimated to need an average of 210 billion USD for infrastructure per year through 2030 to meet its development targets, an Asian Development Bank (ADB) expert suggested the country should adopt new approaches to get the huge capital.
Donald Lambert, Principal Private Sector Development Specialist from ADB’s Southeast Asia Department, said the Global Infrastructure Hub also estimated that the country needs to invest 110 billion USD between 2021 and 2025 for infrastructure and to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Based on historical trends, this will leave a projected 22 billion USD funding shortfall for Vietnam.
According to Lambert, 22 billion USD over five years is a big number, but it’s not insurmountable. In fact, Vietnam is in a better position than many. Whereas the Philippines, India, and other Asian countries have privately funded a large portion of their infrastructure, the private sector has historically only funded 10 percent of Vietnam’s. That means there is a lot of scope for Vietnam – particularly given its compelling growth story – to attract more infrastructure investment.
To make this happen, the ADB expert recommended that Vietnam should pursue three complementary strategies.
“The first strategy is more catalytic use of development assistance,” Lambert said, noting this required a different mindset.
He explained that Vietnam is no longer a low-income country, but it is also not ready to fund itself exclusively through private investment and domestic capital markets. A transition period is needed where Vietnam uses donors’ assistance to catalyse private investment that would not come otherwise.
“This transition period will, however, require new tools. This includes issuing counter-guarantees to ADB and other development partners so they can use their strong international credit ratings to de-risk projects.”
Vietnam should also prioritise development assistance to strengthen the financial sector, providing stand-by facilities or other enhancements to make it easier for State-owned enterprises tasked with key projects to access affordable financing, and allowing development partners to issue dong-linked bonds to lower the cost of capital for Vietnamese borrowers.
Using development assistance to attract private investment closely ties to the second priority: passing a strong law on public-private partnerships (PPP).
“The law needs to better mitigate the risk that the demand for an infrastructure project falls short of projections,” Lambert said, adding that Vietnam already does this with feed-in-tariffs for power generation projects. The PPP law should afford similar protection to other sectors, particularly transport. This can be achieved through minimum revenue guarantees or ensuring that availability payments extend automatically beyond the current ceiling of five years.
Lambert said the final strategic priority is better mobilisation of domestic capital markets. The passage of the new Securities Law in November 2019 was a good step as are recent regulatory changes that encourage companies to turn to the bond market instead of banks to fund long-term obligations./.
Work starts on petrol warehouse in central Quang Tri province
The Viet Lao Petrol Oil Investment Joint Stock Company began construction of its dock warehouse in the central province of Quang Tri on February 28.
Covering a site of over 16ha in Trieu An commune, Trieu Phong district, the warehouse has a storage capacity of 200,000 cu.m and a total investment of nearly 470 billion VND (20.4 million USD).
It comprises several facilities such as a depot, a pumping station, a petrol import wharf for vessels up to 40,000 tonnes, and a petrol export wharf for vessels weighing 3,000 tonnes.
During the first stage until 2021, a petrol warehouse with a storage capacity of 60,000 cu.m will be built. More facilities will be constructed and the storage capacity will increase by 140,000 cu.m in the second stage till 2035.
The warehouse will supply petrol to the central province of Quang Tri and nearby regions, as well as ship petrol to Laos and Thai provinces bordering Laos.
Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Quan Chinh said the province will actively remove difficulties faced by the investor to ensure the project’s progress./.
Dong Nai plans to build, expand industrial parks
Six localities, Long Thanh, Cam My, Thong Nhat, Trang Bom, and Nhon Trach districts and Long Khanh city, have asked provincial authorities to build more IPs, each between 200ha and 900ha large.
The province will expand existing IPs because they are all nearly full. There are 35 of them approved by the Government, though only 31 are in operation and one more is under construction, with a total area of over 10,000ha.
Cao Tien Sy, head of the industrial zones authority, said Dong Nai is a leading province in attracting domestic and foreign investment, but has not built enough IPs.
The remaining lands available for lease in the IPs are mostly small and scattered, whereas foreign companies seeking to invest want 8-10ha, which no longer exists, he said.
The province considers environmental protection a priority and solicits investment in tech-based projects that are not likely to cause pollution.
So far 1,700 companies have invested in Dong Nai, including over 1,200 foreign ones from 43 countries and territories, who have brought in US$24 billion.
In promoting investment in industry, Dong Nai has established relations with companies and localities around the world, which has enabled it to improve the level of science and technology at the new industrial parks and facilitated international integration.
Along with the development of IPs, related services are also developing rapidly in Dong Nai, including logistics, construction, healthcare, and housing.
MB Bank sells shares in a private deal
The share sale was approved by shareholders at the bank’s annual meeting held in late April 2019.
MB Bank is listing more than 2.37 billion shares on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) with code MBB.
Of the total, more than 2.34 billion shares are outstanding. The bank shares dropped nearly 1 per cent to end Wednesday morning at VND20,600 (US$0.89) per share.
At this price level, the private share issuance is worth VND4.35 trillion ($187.5 million).
The share issuance filing has been submitted to the State Securities Commission (SSC) and MB Bank has to make a final report on the deal within 10 days from the issuance date.
MB Bank has also raised the foreign capital limit in its capital to 22.99 per cent from more than 20.90 per cent.
At the 2019 annual shareholder meeting, the bank’s shareholders approved a plan to issue a total of 258.4 million shares in private deals.
Of the total, 211.35 million new shares will be issued and the bank will offload 47 million treasury shares to potential investors.
The shares are restricted from trading in accordance with the deals between the bank and buyers.
In the period between December 30, 2019 and January 29, 2020, MB Bank sold 21.4 million of the 47 million treasury shares to eight foreign investment funds.
In early February 2020, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) approved MB Bank to increase its charter capital to more than VND24.4 trillion from VND23.73 trillion.
The private-equity lender earned a total of VND10.03 trillion in pre-tax profit in 2019, up 29.2 per cent year on year.
At the end of last year, the bank had a total of nearly VND411.5 trillion worth of assets, up 13.6 per cent on-year.
Total lending increased by 16.6 per cent on-year in 2019 to VND250.3 trillion and total savings rose 13.6 per cent on-year to VND272.7 trillion.
SHB offers stimulus package for firms hit by coronavirus
The bank offers low interest rates for new loans and slashes the current rates for outstanding debts on the evaluation of the business operation amid the epidemic.
Interest rates will be cut by maximum 1.5 percentage points per annum for current dong-based loans and 0.5 percentage point per annum for dollar-based loans.
Other incentives include debt restructuring and discounts for prepayments.
The bank’s general director Nguyen Van Le said SHB is ready to help businesses ease financial burdens caused by the epidemic and boost their production.
SHB has previously worked with Amazon to connect local companies with international businesses to help them seek new business opportunities in overseas markets.
The bank will soon launch products and services for individuals and companies that are interested in selling outputs on Amazon’s e-commerce platform.
It is expected to introduce Vietnamese products to more than 300 million users worldwide through the platform.
Banks to reschedule debt payment for epidemic-affected customers
The SBV also reminded banks to choose the right customers to support and avoid potential abuse of supporting mechanisms.
Banks were told to consider rescheduling repayments, reducing interest rates and temporarily suspending debts for those affected by Covid-19 and have interest due between January 23 and March 31.
The central bank also asked banks to provide new loans to customers to stabilise their production and business.
Local banks then need to report back to the SBV between March 15 and March 31.
According to local banks, customers suffering the most were firms involved in transportation, storage, accommodation, tourism, restaurant and food service. Others include agricultural and fisheries companies whose major export market is China and those whose main materials are imported from China.
As those affected by the epidemic were banks’ major customers, risk of increasing bad debts in banks was clear. According to VPBank’s estimation, the total number of customers affected by Covid-19 was up to 1,000, and this may increase if the virus develops further.
Pham Toan Vuong, deputy director of Agribank, said that his bank had not estimated the number of affected customers and how much they suffered yet, but the virus certainly would affect debt repayments for their customers.
As agricultural exports to China have been impacted, bad debts at Agribank have increased, as 70 per cent of loans went to agricultural firms.
Vinacomin’s subsidiary to divest from Nghe An-based non-ferrous company
The auction, slated for March 10, will take place on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange at the starting price of VND26,000 ($1.12) each. They are equivalent to 60.93 per cent of the Nghe Tinh company’s charter capital.
The Nghe Tinh company, based in the central province of Nghe An, was founded in 1980. It is involved in mineral exploration, mining, processing and trading; and also constructs civil, industrial, transport and irrigation structures; produces and trades in building materials; and engages in some other activities like transportation, storage, and gas station operation.
Coded KLM, the company was listed on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) on December 30, 2019. The shares are trading around VND12,000 per share.
Dong Nai: FDI disbursement hits record high
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./.
IT firms in HCM City joint efforts against COVID-19
The Ho Chi Minh City Computer Association (HCA) and the municipal Red Cross Society on February 27 held a workshop calling for blood donation amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.
On this occasion, IT firms in the city presented 100,000 medical products, including face masks, soap and sanitisers, to local residents.
According to HCA President Lam Nguyen Hai Long, the association will continue to mobilise medical products until the end of March to help locals prevent the virus.
Over the past time, the municipal Red Cross Society has also delivered leaflets to raise public awareness of the disease, along with face masks, sanitisers and soap to people.
Tran Truong Son, President of the city Red Cross Society, said his agency and the HCA are working on an application for blood donors, and look forward to building an online humanitarian bank.
Vietnam needs around 1.8 million units of blood per year to keep up with demand. However, only 1.6 million blood units were collected nationwide in 2019./.
Thua Thien – Hue works to help tourism recover
A delegation of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and officials of the central province of Thua Thien – Hue had a working session on February 27 to discuss measures to remove difficulties facing the local tourism sector amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to the provincial Department of Tourism, the number of tourists to Thua Thien – Hue in February is estimated at 297,037, including 139,653 foreigners, down 21 percent and 24 percent year-on-year, respectively. The number of visitors is forecast to fall 25-30 percent in March.
The outbreak has caused an economic loss of 40 billion VND (1.72 million USD) to the local tourism sector, the department said, adding that the figure is predicted to be 35 billion VND in March.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Phan Ngoc Tho said to overcome difficulties facing the sector, the Department of Tourism has coordinate with the Department of Health to support the local Tourism Association in providing skills and knowledge on COVID-19 prevention for over 100 hotels and travel agencies.
A hotline has been established to receive information and provide assistance to enterprises and visitors to address problems related to COVID-19.
Besides, the province is carrying out a series of measures to stimulate tourism such as improving the quality of accommodation facilities and offering more services to serve tourists better.
It has also coordinated with other central localities to introduce promotional tour programmes in order to attract more visitors, he added.
Representatives from the department asked the VNAT to held training courses on knowledge related to restructuring tourism, diversifying tourism products and boosting tourism promotion activities; and support localities in expanding tourism markets./.
Diversifying markets – solution to boost fruit, vegetable exports
Actively seeking new potential markets while maintaining foothold in traditional ones is a solution to help the agricultural sector keep its growth momentum and raise export value, experts said at a forum for exporters of fruit and vegetable held in HCM City on February 27.
Le Thanh Hoa, Deputy Director of the Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, underlined the leaping development of the fruit and vegetable industry in recent years, earning the country billions of USD.
According to Hoa, Vietnam has many opportunities to increase its share of the world market for fruit and vegetable. He noted that while Vietnam is among the top 15 exporters of farm produce, its export of fruit and vegetable accounts for just under 1 percent of world demand.
At the same time, the sector is facing many problems, from domestic ones like backward techniques in farming, preserving to processing, to outside barriers such as strict regulations on food safety and plant quarantine in import markets.
The biggest market for Vietnamese fruit and vegetables – China – has also imposed many non-tariff barriers, resulting in a 13 percent decrease in Vietnam’s shipments of fruit and vegetables to this market, and a 1.7 percent reduction in the total export value of those products in 2019.
To regain the growth momentum and raise export value, experts said exporters should quickly change their approach to traditional export markets and proactively seek inroad into other potential markets.
According to Nguyen Minh Phuong, Director of the Asia-Africa Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Middle East and Africa are two new markets with great potential. Those two markets have large populations and depend on imports for farm produce.
She mentioned the differences in culture, religion and customers’ habits in those two markets, and reminded exporters to study carefully the demand in order to supply suitable products.
Meanwhile, many businesses are pinning hope on the EU market given the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement is expected to take effect soon.
Jos Leeters, Director of Bureau Leeters company, shared the view on the great potential of the EU market, but stressed that this market has high standards for product quality
Participants at the forum said diversifying markets requires both farmers and export businesses to quickly change their way of operation to meet the demand of many markets. They agreed that only when products can meet the increasing high demand of consumers then can the sector achieve sustainable development./.
Ninh Thuan removes employment difficulties
The central province of Ninh Thuan is taking measures to solve difficulties in sending workers abroad amid the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak.
This year, the province has set a target of sending 150 workers overseas.
Tran Van Trua, deputy head of the provincial Department of Labour, Sports and Tourism, said most workers opted for Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and several Middle East countries,
However, the disease outbreak and security uncertainties in the Middle East are making the goal difficult to achieve.
To address the issue, the department is planning to contact domestic businesses with high recruitment demands so that workers can find jobs in other provinces and cities.
Efforts are also made to inform people about the labour market and manage those who go overseas to work under legal contracts to prevent fraud and protect labourers’ interests.
Last year, Ninh Thuan had 210 labourers working in several nations and territories such as Malaysia, Japan, the RoK, China’s Taiwan, and Saudi Arabia./.
CPTPP pressurizes Vietnam to speed up institutional reforms
Whether Vietnam could take advantage of the CPTPP would depend on the country’s institutional capabilities and local enterprises’ adaptability.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) that has a clear timeline for signatories to realize their commitments would help speed up institutional reforms in Vietnam, according to Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, director of the WTO Center and Integration under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry
“Given the CPTPP’s broad scope ranging from traditional trading activities to environmental norms and sustainable development, the deal is considered to set standards and direction for a number of institutional reforms in Vietnam,” Trang said at a conference under the program “Australia supports Vietnam’s economic reform” (Aus4Reform) discussing the agreement’s role in Vietnam’s economic integration roadmap.
“This is clear that whether Vietnam could take advantage of the CPTPP would depend on the country’s institutional capabilities and local enterprises’ adaptability,” said Tran Thi Hong Minh, director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM).
Nguyen Anh Duong, head of CIEM’s Macroeconomic Policy Department, noted the foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow to Vietnam has been increasing steadily in the 2010 – 2019 period, expanding at annual growth rates of 12.4% in number of projects, 5.1% in registered capital and 7.4% in disbursement rate.
Notably, actual FDI amount reached its peak at US$20.4 billion in 2019, showing strong belief of investors in Vietnam’s business and investment environment, Duong said. “It reflects the significance of the CPTPP as it helps drive reforms in the country’s business environment.”
However, the majority of FDI inflow is still concentrated on low-value added sectors that use low or mid-level technologies, while there is only a handful number of high quality FDI projects, Duong added.
Meanwhile, Duong said Vietnam’s utilization rate of preferential treatments in CPTPP remains modest as it’s only been a year since the deal became effective, and local enterprises are still adjusting their operations to its requirements.
Specifically, Vietnam’s exports to six member countries stood at US$34.4 billion last year, up 8.3% year-on-year, and imports of US$30.1 billion, up 1%.
Duong added there were expectations that the CPTPP would help Vietnam diversify its export markets, but in reality, this should be seen as a “long-term goal” and “depends on Vietnam’s effort to restructure its trading activities with partners.”
Regarding the economic impacts of the CPTPP for Vietnam, Trang from the WTO Center and Integration said the institutional impacts at present may outweigh the economic ones, but as commitments in the CPTPP is very similar to those in the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), a combined economic impacts from these two deals would not only be a major boost, but also motivation for the country to continue its reform process.
Trang said as the EVFTA is scheduled to become effective in the first half of 2020, this would “bring extra motivation for Vietnamese enterprises to step up their preparation processes to grasp opportunities from both CPTPP and EVFTA.”
In addition to Vietnam, the CPTPP comprises Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, New Zealand and Peru. President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the pact in January 2017 days after his inauguration.
The 11-nation deal economies represent around 13% of global economic output, including the world’s third largest economy Japan, and embraces 500 million people. It provides tariff and non-tariff barriers cuts among its members and is designed around high standards on human rights, labor practices, and environmental standards.
Vietnam considers establishment of venture capital market
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has signed a directive requesting more support for startups, including the establishment of a venture capital market in the coming years.
Although Resolution No.01 was adopted by the government last month to create favorable conditions for businesses, there remain barriers restricting the development of Vietnam’s startup ecosystem, leading to a low level of competitiveness against those in the region.
PM Phuc requested the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) to continue supporting startups in business registration process, including the inclusion of new fields of business not listed in Vietnam Standard Industrial Classification into the national database for business registration.
A more important approach should be the creation of favorable legal environment and regulatory sandbox for IT companies, especially those in the sectors that have large impacts on the economy such as finance and banking.
Meanwhile, the Law on Investment should be revised towards greater convenience for foreign investors in capital contribution and acquisition of venture capital funds in Vietnam, stated the directive.
The MPI is also tasked with drafting new incentive policies for the National Innovation Center, and submitting to the government in the first quarter.
Phuc expected the Ministry of Science and Technology to continue implementing the project supporting national innovative startup ecosystem to 2025, while promoting cooperation among various agencies in the startup ecosystem.
Another priority is supporting three innovation startup centers in three universities and developing a startup ecosystem in the field of education. The outcome of the process should be reported to the PM in the first quarter.
Phuc requested government agencies to provide legal consulting services for startups in schools and universities, as well as the establishment of startup ecosystem right in these institutions.
There should be strict punishments for those causing difficulties for enterprises when realizing administrative procedures, including business registration, registration for investment or capital contribution and acquisition, among others.
Vietnam’s Innovation Ecosystem 2019 report released by Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) revealed Vietnam has the third-highest rate of startups in Southeast Asia. “With accelerator programs, incubators and co-working spaces, Vietnamese cities are becoming fast-paced innovation hubs,” said the report.
Austrade also referred to a report by the Topica Founder Institute that investment capital poured into Vietnamese startups increased by more than four times in the 2016 – 2018 period, reaching US$900 million from US$205 million.
Tra Vinh: Pipe installation project to give clean water to drought-hit people
The Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh has earmarked roughly 9.2 billion VND (over 396,700 USD) to provide 4,000 drought-hit households in Cang Long and Chau Thanh districts with access to clean water.
A 170km-long pipe network will be installed to give nearly 2,800 families in Chau Thanh’s eight communes and over 1,200 households in Cang Long’s three communes, most affected by drought and saline intrusion, access to clean water.
These households have suffered water shortage during dry season, making them use unsafe or costly alternatives, such as surface water, rain water or bottled water.
According to Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Pham Minh Truyen, Tra Vinh has 158 rural water supply projects, 23 of which are located in areas prone to drought and saltwater intrusion.
The installation is expected to finish during this year’s dry season./.
Healthcare market attracts foreign investors
The healthcare market is drawing investors from home and abroad thanks to high demand and sustained growth.
Raghu Rai, Founder & CEO of Jio Health, described Vietnam as a fertile land with an annual average spending increase of 10 percent on healthcare services.
Moreover, Vietnam has one of the fastest growing middle-income class countries, where people give priority to healthcare and education services.
Meanwhile, director general of Nielsen Vietnam Louise Hawley said a survey conducted by the company showed that health is a major concern among Vietnamese people, besides a stable job.
In recent times, domestic and foreign businesses have invested in the healthcare sector through direct investment or mergers and acquisitions, she added.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son said the ministry is willing to work with firms that are interested in public-private-partnership (PPP) investment./.
- Microsoft to launch Windows 8 beta Feb. 29
- 9 Tax Tasks to Do by Feb. 29
- Weird Business News
- Visual Studio 11 beta due on Feb 29
- FAKE SCIENCE on parade as exact opposite news headlines appear right next to each other, citing the exact same study
- IT news for April 29: AMD targets small businesses, Microsoft releases dev kit for concept OS, 10 hottest IT jobs
- Google permanently shuts off ad revenues to 200 ‘fake news’ sites, but keeps CNN’s fake news headlines in Google News
- 2007 news headlines may affect 2008 hiring
- Small Business News: More Jobs, Less Pay
- Small Talk: Business News You Missed
- TR Out Loud - Feb. 29, 2008
- Security news roundup: October 29
- RIP Facebook Trending Headlines
- Wearable Technologies Conference 2017 Kicks Off In Europe Feb 7
- Stormzy and the BBC under fire after the rapper led a 100,000-strong crowd shouting 'f*** Boris' during his headline Glastonbury set
- LinkedIn's Trending Storylines aims to broaden users' news horizons
- Business Owners Beware: Counterfeit Money on the Rise
- Prime Day 2017 To Break Records For Small Businesses And Entrepreneurs
- Australian Muslim, 29, backed out of travelling to Syria to join terrorists because his views were even MORE extreme than ISIS
- 5 Goals I'm Setting For My Business In 2014
BUSINESS NEWS HEADLINES FEB. 29 have 6629 words, post on vietnamnet.vn at February 29, 2020. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.