HCM City supports firms hard-hit by COVID-19
Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City’s Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan has told municipal agencies to help local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic maintain production and avoid bankruptcy.
Director of the municipal Department of Planning and Investment Le Thi Huynh Mai said that as of June 20 more than 8,300 enterprises in the city have closed temporarily, a 40 percent increase from the same period last year.
In addition, more than 2,500 businesses have completed dissolution procedures, a 10 percent increase year on year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The number of enterprises that have dissolved or temporarily stopped operations in the second quarter also increased sharply.
This trend may continue to increase in the coming months, Mai said.
The top priority now is to help businesses maintain production and avoid to go bankrupt, and prevent workers from losing jobs, she added.
The city plans to help companies reduce production costs and encourage domestic production to replace imported goods.
It will also help expand the domestic value chain, the city’s Party Committee said.
With this support, the city aims to significantly help more than 8,300 businesses that have suspended operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deputy Minister: Digital transformation offers more export opportunities
A shift to digital platforms is considered an effective means for businesses to expand export markets as Vietnam integrates more deeply into the global economy, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung has said.
In his remarks at the 2020 Vietnam Online Import – Export Forum (VOIEF), co-hosted in Hanoi on July 28 by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Vietnam E-Commerce Association (VECOM), Hung said the event was held in the context of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) being signed and creating a driving force for Vietnam’s economy and exporters in particular.
The Vietnam E-Business Index 2020 report reveals that a number of Vietnamese companies have embarked on e-commerce to support exports and imports, under both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer models, he said.
The comprehensive plan on national e-commerce development for the 2021-2025 period and the national digital transformation programme to 2025 and vision to 2030 were approved by the Prime Minister in May and June and set digital transformation as an indispensable process in modernising distribution networks, improving business competitiveness, and developing domestic and foreign markets.
Hung said digital transformation will help enterprises join new supply chains and replace old ones disrupted by COVID-19, as well as further diversify export markets and avoid any dependence on certain markets.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has committed to developing more online level 4 public services, to be a pioneer in administrative reform and e-Government and better serve the public and businesses, he added.
VCCI President Vu Tien Loc highlighted the cooperation between agencies in running digital platforms as being a crucial point in ensuring exports and imports, in regard to self-certification of origin, customs, logistics, and banking services.
On the occasion, the MoIT inaugurated a support platform for exports, at www.ECVN.com, featuring various functions and including a community of exporters and importers to help companies seek online trade opportunities.
Once the EVFTA takes effect, the platform is expected to fully support online trade promotions and link EU and Vietnamese companies together.
In particular, it will help popularise trademarks and develop geographical indications for major Vietnamese exports to the EU such as apparel, footwear, aquatic products, coffee, rice, sugar, wood and wooden furniture, fresh and processed vegetables, mobile phones, machinery, and computers.
Vietnam’s exports hit 122.8 billion USD in the first half of this year amid the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, up 0.2 percent year-on-year, while imports were down 2.9 percent to 117.3 billion USD./.
Phu Tho striving to make tea a key agricultural staple
Described as the cradle of Vietnam’s tea, the northern mountainous province of Phu Tho has carried out a host of measures to develop the crop in a sustainable manner and ensure its quality and food safety.
This has helped with developing the Phu Tho tea brand and turning the crop into its key agricultural staple.
Local farmers have primarily grown low-quality varieties that yield black tea for export with low returns, and this made them turn their back to the work. However, authorities have now introduced incentives to encourage them to expand cultivation areas and plant high-yield varieties instead.
Tea has gradually become a major contributor to local economic development and poverty reduction. Many villages, cooperatives, and processing firms specialising in tea production have been set up in the area, and they team up with one another to ensure raw materials, stable output, and clear product origin.
The Van Mieu cooperative is home to more than 20 ha of tea and has links with an additional 70 ha owned by local households to ensure safe production. The shift towards growing tea from traditional methods to safe production methods, however, requires proficiency and time-consuming techniques.
Vice Chairwoman of the Thanh Son District People’s Committee Dinh Thi Kieu An said the district has helped local residents improve the soil, use organic fertilisers, and replace old varieties of tea with high-quality ones with larger yields.
Output, along with quality, has increased significantly and hit an average of 13 tonnes per ha, she noted.
Established in 2017, the Phu Thinh cooperative in Phu Ho commune has built a concentrated production area spanning over 22 ha, yielding in excess of 500 tonnes of tea annually.
It has worked with the Northern Mountainous Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute to come up with new varieties and arrange training on safe tea production, food safety, and VietGap standards.
Products from the cooperative have gained a foothold in the market and tea viewed as a major crop of the commune.
Phu Tho province has more than 16,000 ha of tea, yielding more than 185,000 tonnes per year. Cultivation areas for new tea varieties represent 75.3 percent.
The province ships materials for processing black tea to countries such as India, China, Germany, the UK, and Pakistan.
Meanwhile, areas for green tea production have been zoned off in the districts of Tan Son, Thanh Son, and Doan Hung, among others.
To remove bottlenecks, the local agricultural sector and agencies have reviewed current tea production establishments.
Accordingly, there are 55 companies, each capable of processing 1 tonne of fresh tea leaves per day, together with 14 cooperatives, 18 villages, one farm, and nearly 900 small-sized processing establishments.
Some processing plants have linked up with cooperatives and tea-growing groups to guarantee stable material supplies and to control product quality. More than 3,300 ha of tea have been produced under safe procedures to date.
Phu Tho has also carried out the building of production models as part of the Quality and Safety Enhancement of Agricultural Products and Biogas Development Project (QSEAP), which are based in major tea-growing districts.
They serve as a basis for the production of high-quality tea that avoids the abuse of inorganic fertilisers and pesticides.
In the time to come, the province will continue to restructure its tea sector towards efficiency and sustainability. It is set to mobilise more than 118 billion VND (5.1 million USD) for projects improving productivity and quality.
At the same time, it will seek ways to switch to modern technologies and equipment, in a broad effort to increase product value and the incomes of tea growers while developing a Phu Tho tea brand./.
THACO finishes contract to export semi-trailers to US
Truong Hai Auto Corporation, known as THACO, has exported its remaining 33 semi-trailers to the US, completing the contract to supply 69 units to the country in 2020.
In order to make its inroads into the US market, THACO has conducted surveys and signed a memorandum of understanding on distributing semi-trailers in the market with PITTS Enterprises Company – one of 15 major semi-trailers manufacturers in North America.
According to THACO, the semi-trailers are manufactured at THACO Special Vehicles Manufacturing Limited Company (THACO SV) in the central province of Quang Nam, the firm that specialises in manufacturing high-quality semi-trailers and special vehicles for local and foreign markets.
THACO said that THACO SV has conducted surveys in foreign markets and seek partners in Japan, the US, Australia and the ASEAN region, in which the US is one of the most potential markets.
Since 2019, THACO SV’s research and development engineers have visited factories of its partners in the US to understand more about the demand and requirements of the market.
J.P Pierson, General Director of Dorsey Intermodal – a subsidiary of PITTS Enterprises, said THACO SV’s products completely meet requirements set by PITTS Enterprises.
He added that cooperating with THACO SV will help Dorsey increase its supply capacity from 3,000 to 10,000 products per annum, while meeting the diverse needs of customers that currently manufacturers in the US have not yet to meet.
Previously, on June 1, THACO shipped its first 36 semi-trailers to the US.
THACO SV expects to export more than 300 semi-trailers and fuel tanks to the US, Japan, and the Republic of Korea in the year.
The firm is also focusing on researching and developing export products for new markets such as the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, and Australia, while establishing joint ventures and partnerships to expand its export markets.
Administrative reforms crucial to capitalisation of EVFTA: dialogue
Reforming administrative procedures and improving infrastructure quality are decisive factors in capitalising on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), heard a dialogue between officials of Ho Chi Minh City and the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) on July 28.
EuroCham Vice Chairman Jean Jacques Bouflet said over the past years, Vietnam has made considerable strides in adjusting business conditions, improving the investment climate and modernising the legal framework to seize new investment and business opportunities.
The business climate index recently unveiled by EuroCham showed EU businesses’ growing confidence in the country’s development, he said, adding that the EVFTA, already ratified and about to become effective in August, could be considered a vote of confidence from the EU for Vietnam’s international integration efforts.
As the coronavirus outbreak has been causing serious losses to the global economy, the EVFTA is expected to create a momentum for trade and investment in the post-pandemic period.
However, to implement this deal effectively to gain economic benefits and strongly attract FDI from the EU, Vietnam needs to step up administrative reforms and trade facilitation, according to Bouflet.
Bob Fletcher, deputy head of the Transportation and Logistics Sector Committee at EuroCham, noted although Vietnam has made efforts to streamline administrative procedures and align its legal documents with international practices, there remain many problems in reality, such as those related to the granting of certificates of origin and the customs sector’s management mechanism.
Meanwhile, Alexandre Sompheng, head of the chamber’s Digital Sector Committee, pointed out that the country is working hard to digitalise its economy and boost IT application to socio-economic activities. Yet, some local banks still refuse to accept contracts with electronic signatures and ask for paper contracts and photocopies which pose higher risks of being falsified, thus confusing many EU firms.
Given these, EU businesses hope that Vietnam will enhance the consistency and efficiency in policy implementation, step up the building of mechanisms for self-certification of product origin, and create conditions for enterprises to receive preferential treatments in line with commitments, especially when the EVFTA is about to come into force soon.
Aside from administrative reforms, EU firms also called for promotion of infrastructure and logistics quality to better serve commercial activities, particularly e-commerce that is developing strongly.
This will help facilitate not only their distribution of products but also the flow of goods in the country, thereby substantially cutting down transportation expenses.
At the dialogue, Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong said the EU has been an important economic partner of his city for many years, and it is currently the third largest importer of goods from the southern metropolis of Vietnam.
However, the revenue and market share of HCM City’s exports to the EU have yet to match potential, he said, adding that as the EVFTA is about to take effect soon and promises bright export chances, it is necessary to swiftly remove barriers in terms of mechanism and policy.
Phong affirmed that municipal authorities will take into account EU enterprises’ opinions when building action plans and quickly address local shortcomings in policy implementation. They will also submit proposals to higher authorities on issues beyond the city’s jurisdiction so as to create the best possible conditions for foreign businesses, including EU ones, to operate in the long term./.
Seven-month agro-forestry-aquaculture export reaches 22.3 billion USD
The export turnover of agriculture, forestry and aquaculture in the first seven months of 2020 was estimated at 22.3 billion USD, a decrease of 2.8 percent year-on-year.
Of which, the group of major farm produce earned 10.4 billion USD, down 4 percent and aquatic products 4.4 billion USD, decreasing by 6.4 percent. Meanwhile, major forestry products brought home 6.5 billion USD, up 6.7 percent.
In the reviewed period, although many export items saw decreases in turnover over the same period in 2019, increases were recorded in the export of rice, vegetables, cassava, shrimp, timber and wood products, cinnamon, and rattan products.
The country raked in 1.9 billion USD from rice in the period, up 10.9 percent, while earnings from cassava surged 101.8 percent to 107 million USD.
The export turnovers of wooden products, shrimp, and rattan and sedge products respectively reached 4.5 billion USD, nearly 2 billion USD, and 305 million USD, increasing by 9 percent, 12.1 percent, and 14.7 percent.
China remained the biggest importer of Vietnamese agro-forestry-aquaculture products in the last 7 months, accounting for a market share of 24.1 percent with a total value of nearly 5.4 billion USD, down 11.1 percent compared to the same period last year./.
HCM City exports rise by 3.99 per cent
HCM City’s exports in the first seven months of this year were worth US$31.46 billion, 3.99 per cent higher than in the same period last year, according to its Department of Customs.
Computer and component exports were up 32.8 per cent to $9.978 billion.
They were followed by rice at $1.56 billion, a 10.02 per cent increase.
Shipments of textiles and footwear declined by nearly 16 per cent due to the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic to $4.92 billion.
The department forecast full-year export to grow by 6-8 per cent to around $60.6 billion, with the strongest growth coming in agricultural produce, seafood, computers, and electronics.
Shrimp exports in first six months up 5.7%
The first half of 2020 saw a 5.7 per cent increase in shrimp exports year-on-year, reaching US$1.5 billion despite COVID-19, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.
June alone saw a 19.2 per cent growth in exports, the highest growth rate since March.
White leg shrimp accounted for 70.1 per cent of the exports, and their export value rose by 11 per cent. Meanwhile, giant tiger shrimp accounted for 18.2 per cent of exports and their value dropped by 15 per cent.
Processed shrimp products had higher sales than raw or frozen shrimp.
The US is Viet Nam’s biggest importer of shrimp, accounting for 21.2 per cent of exports. Exports to the US in the first six months rose by 29 per cent compared to the same period last year, at $323.3 million.
Vietnamese shrimp are more competitive in the US than other supply countries because Viet Nam was able to stabilise its production faster after COVID-19, while exporters and processers in countries like India and Ecuador are still affected by lockdowns and an undersupply of factory workers.
Exports to China in June rose by 23 per cent year-on-year. Major suppliers of shrimp to China have faced problems, leaving more room for Vietnamese exports. China suspended shrimp imports, for example, from three Ecuadorian businesses this month after detecting a virus in their recent shipments.
Exports to the EU in the first six months dropped by 7 per cent.
According to the association, the prices of Viet Nam’s shrimp are trending upward, and the shrimp stock within main markets such as Japan, the US and the EU is not as high as before, so Viet Nam’s shrimp exports are expected to grow in the next few months.
Viet Nam is one of the world’s biggest producers of shrimp. It exported $3.4 billion worth of shrimp in 2019.
Digital transformation helps firms join new supply chain
Local businesses have an opportunity to accelerate digital transformation to join new supply chains, replacing traditional ones that have been disrupted or stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic, a top official has said.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade (MoIT) Cao Quoc Hung made the statement at the Viet Nam Online Import Export Forum (VOIEF) 2020 held in Ha Noi on Tuesday.
Hung said the forum, organised by the MoIT, Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and Viet Nam e-Commerce Association (VECOM), took place after the European Union- Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) was signed, opening new doors and creating momentum for the economy and exporters.
Per the deal, the EU will remove 85.6 per cent of tariff lines on Vietnamese goods immediately when the EVFTA takes effect, equivalent to more than 70 per cent of Viet Nam’s exports to the EU.
“Along with the opportunities from the EVFTA, the trend of switching from traditional business to digital platforms is becoming increasingly popular. Digital transformation is considered an effective solution to help businesses penetrate and expand export markets, in the context that Viet Nam is increasingly integrating deeply into the world economy,” he said.
According to the Viet Nam E-Commerce Index 2020 Report, many Vietnamese enterprises have implemented e-commerce to support import-export activities under both business-to-business (B2B) as well as businesses customer (B2C) models.
This is also the time for businesses to realise the advantages of the digital economy and the urgent need for digital transformation. During the recovery phase after the COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation would help Vietnamese firms, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), find a more flexible business model while cutting costs and optimising resources.
The National Digital Transformation Programme and the overall e-commerce development plan for 2021-25 have also been approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, which identifies digital transformation as an indispensable process of Viet Nam to promote modernisation of distribution systems and improve enterprises’ competitiveness.
“The key role in digital transformation for taking advantage of the opportunities the EVFTA offers is to provide Vietnamese businesses with a digital platform to be able to access the EU market more effectively than previous forms,” Hung said.
The VCCI’s chairman Vu Tien Loc said that “fear of loss and change” is the biggest barrier to digital transformation among businesses. At this point, there are still a lot of firms very indifferent to digital and see digital transformation as cost to be borne, not an important investment to improve their competitive advantage.
“Digital transformation success stories show that pioneers in the process were willing to change and abolish traditional business models to set up new ones as well as creating supply chains,” Loc said.
He added that integrating digital technology in the entire process of import and export activities would be compulsory. For ministries, co-ordination operating a digital platform among agencies in the whole network of digital services to ensure import and export such as the certificate of origin (CO), customs, tax, logistics, and banking would be a vital issue.
At the forum, the Ministry of Industry and Trade also launched the Viet Nam Export Support Platform at ECVN.com, with features including the Import-Export Business Community, which helps businesses find opportunities to trade online.
When the EVFTA comes into effect, the ECVN platform will take advantage of the agreement’s opportunities to maximise the support of online trade promotion activities, connecting business transactions between the EU and Viet Nam.
It will focus on enhancing brands and developing geographical indications for Vietnamese products with large export turnover.
Samsung and Hai Duong Province launch enterprise improvement consultancy project
Samsung Vietnam and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) on Tuesday officially kicked off the Enterprise Improvement Consultancy Project in the northern province of Hai Duong.
The project was conducted according to the Memorandum of Understanding on consultancy programme for Hai Duong enterprises in support industry between the provincial People’s Committee, MoIT and Samsung Vietnam, signed in February.
The project will be implemented by Samsung at five enterprises including Viet Nam Pattern Manufacture and Precision Mechanical Co Ltd, Dong Bang Co Ltd, Camex Vietnam Co Ltd, Hien Le Trading and Service Co Ltd and Nam Quang JSC.
The project was initiated on July 13, lasting 12 weeks. During this time, South Korean experts will conduct surveys, evaluate businesses and directly consult and co-operate with enterprises in Hai Duong Province to improve production process and standards in production and components supply to enhance capacity of provincial enterprises to participate in the supply chain of components and accessories for Samsung.
Speaking at the ceremony, Choi Joo Ho, President of Samsung Vietnam, said: “This year, as the first time implementing a consultancy programme in Hai Duong, we expect to make spectacular improvements, contribute to improving production capacity for the enterprises here. In particular, this programme is also an opportunity for the 11 Vietnamese consultants, who were students of the co-operation programme to train Vietnamese consultants between Samsung and the MoIT in 2018-19 to practice directly and improve consulting capability, to become a key factor in Viet Nam’s improvement consultancy activities in the future.”
Samsung Vietnam will continue to launch the enterprise improvement consultancy project in the South.
This has been an annual programme since 2015. Samsung has conducted a total of nine consulting programmes for 142 enterprises to date.
Samsung co-operated with the ministry to train 207 Vietnamese consultants to become key human resources in the field of consultancy and training for support industry enterprises in 2018-19 period.
Recently, Samsung has launched a project to support the training of 200 technicians for four years (2020-23) to improve production capacity and autonomy in the moulds industry for basic manufacturing industries of Viet Nam.
Over the years of searching, connecting and consulting to support Vietnamese enterprises, the number of tier 1 vendors of Samsung has increased dramatically. If compared to only four tier 1 vendors in 2014, by the end of 2019, there were 42 enterprises, expected to be 50 enterprises by the end of 2020.
PM calls for continued restructuring of credit organisations
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has requested the banking system work to enhance the reform of the credit organisation system in line with bad debt settlement while supporting socio-economic recovery and development amid the impact of COVID-19.
He made this request at a meeting reviewing the implementation of the National Assembly’s Resolution 42 and Project 1058 on restructuring the credit institution system in association with bad debt settlement for 2016-20 on Monday in Ha Noi.
The Government leader appraised the banking industry’s improvements over the last three years in many facets including financial scale, credit quality and restructuring, efficiency and security of the whole system.
Total asset value and equity have increased by 5 per cent while the non-performing loans (NPLs) rate has been brought down to 1.63 per cent. The system has handled VND557 trillion (nearly US$24 billion) worth of bad debt, of which credit institutions dealt with over 76 per cent while the ratio of internal non-performing loans (including sold to VAMC) and the potential bad debt plummeted from 10.08 per cent to 4.43 per cent.
The divestment of capital from non-core businesses and the settlement of cross-ownership and cross-investment have been carried out actively. As a result, VND2.2 trillion (US$95.2 million) has been divested, and manipulation by big shareholders has been basically solved.
Almost the entire system has been rectified and consolidated. Notably, State commercial banks continue to play an important role as their total assets account for 42.8 per cent and their loans 47.9 per cent of the whole system.
Besides, non-bank credit institutions, people’s credit funds and microfinance organisations have been restructured and operated more healthily, helping curb loan sharking.
However, the PM said the biggest test for the credit system is the COVID-19 pandemic. The system has not only sustained itself but also supported the country’s recovery in the past six months. Yet, there are still some obstacles in the restructuring process such as increasing charter capital, especially of State-owned commercial banks.
PM Phuc emphasised the need to ensure system safety and limit black credit. He said it was necessary to review and improve the most relevant laws, especially on judgment execution, handling of security assets, asset recovery, promoting the handling of bad debts and restructuring of weak banks.
He basically agreed with the State Bank’s assessment of the achievement of goals under Decision 1058, which indicated there were three out of nine targets possibly to be completed, another three goals likely to be completed with solutions and conditions attached and the last three goals unlikely to be achieved.
He asked the State Bank to keep devising key tasks and solutions to achieve the targets.
Service charges lowered for local securities trading
The Ministry of Finance will maintain low service charges for investors and companies when trading securities products until June 30, 2021.
The ministry aims to keep boosting the local equity market amid the negative development of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision was made under Circular 70/2020/TT-BTC earlier this month to amend Circular 14/2020/TT-BTC.
Circular 14/2020/TT-BTC was released on March 18 to amend Circular 127/2018/TT-BTC dated December 27, 2018 to regulate the service charges on the Vietnamese securities market.
Circular 14 was developed to support the local equity market having been hit by the coronavirus spread in Viet Nam and other countries. It will expire on August 31.
Accordingly, investors and firms will still enjoy cuts of 10-50 per cent in trading service charges for nine services.
A 10-per cent cut of trading service charges will still be applied for the common stock market, the derivatives market, and depository service.
Investors will also enjoy a 15-20 per cent cut of charges for position management and margin collateral management when trading on the derivatives market.
In addition, charges will be reduced by 30-50 per cent for companies and investors in the management of listed covered warrants, position execution, securities transfer, and competitive bidding.
Companies will also enjoy free-of-charge services of listing registration, securities registration, initial online connection, margin lending through the Vietnam Securities Depository, registration for derivatives market membership, and registration for trading settlement membership.
Based on the new charge cuts, securities firms, asset management companies and investment funds will work to lower their charges to support the local market, which has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
All changes will be applied from August 31 and will be valid until June 30, 2021.
After the circular expires on June 30, 2021, service charges will be subject to Circular 127/2018/TT-BTC.
The VN-Index lost 35.2 per cent to hit a three-year low of 660 points in late March after the 17th coronavirus infection case was reported on March 6, ending Viet Nam’s 22 days without community transmission.
The benchmark quickly picked up to hit 900 points on June 10. Since then, the VN-Index has declined by total 12.8 per cent as the number of infection cases is increasing in Viet Nam and other countries, threatening the global economic recovery.
Consumer price index up 0.4 percent in July
The national consumer price index (CPI) in July grew by 0.4 percent against June and 3.39 percent year-on-year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported on July 29.
Of the 11 main commodity groups, nine saw prices rise. Transportation increased the most, by 3.91 percent, while housing and construction materials up 0.47 percent; culture, entertainment and tourism 0.3 percent; and goods and other services 0.17 percent.
The price of food and catering services and post and telecommunications, meanwhile, fell 0.18 percent and 0.02 percent, respectively.
Director of the GSO’s Price Statistics Department Do Thi Ngoc said the CPI rose in July on the back of higher prices of petrol, gas, electricity, and water due to increasing demand.
The petrol price increased 9.02 percent during the month, resulting in a 0.37 percent rise in the CPI in July.
Meanwhile, the prices of electricity and water increased 2 percent and 0.25 percent month-on-month, respectively.
The VND/USD exchange rate lost 0.23 percent during the month.
The domestic gold price was around 50 million VND per tael (2,160 USD), or 3.49 percent higher than in June.
The average CPI rose 4.07 percent year-on-year between January and July. The seven-month CPI was up 3.63 percent in urban areas and 4.51 percent in rural areas.
The GSO said that core inflation (the CPI excluding foodstuffs, fresh food, energy, healthcare, and education) in July and the first seven months of 2020 increased 2.31 percent and 2.74 percent, respectively, against the same period last year.
PetroVietnam explores oil and gas reserves
The Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) has announced that its exploration of the Ken Bau-2X well, located in the Red River basin offshore of Viet Nam’s northern continental shelf, helped the firm increase oil and gas reserves in 2020 ahead of schedule.
Eni Vietnam B.V. – the operator of the project – and its partner ESSAR E&P each holds 50 per cent of the exploitation contract.
In 2020, Ken Bau-2X was drilled 2km away from the first Ken Bau-1X. The well was holed on February 29, 2020 and constructed within 150 days.
Eni Vietnam B.V. conducted two mini drill stem tests (DST) collecting fluid samples, which shows significant hydrocarbon accumulation at the well.
Exploration findings at Ken Bau-2X in 2020 and Ken Bau-1X in 2019 affirmed the existence of oil and gas reserves in the areas and adjacent blocks.
Eni and ESSAR E&P are building an overall appraisal plan for exploiting oil and gas in the area and drilling for exploration at similar structures in the block.
It will prepare a reserve and mine development reports and it is expected that Ken Bau-1X and 2X will be put into exploitation from 2028.
PetroVietnam said this is a crucial premise for exploration activities as well as further exploitation in the surrounding areas, contributing strongly to promoting the gas power industry and gas products in the central region.
It is also expected to contribute to ensure national energy security and promote the sustainable development of Viet Nam’s oil and gas sector in the future.
Eni is an integrated energy company engaged in oil and natural gas exploration, field development and production, and the supply, trading, and shipping of natural gas, LNG, electricity, and fuel. It has been present in Viet Nam since 2013 and currently operates four blocks, all located in the underexplored Song Hong (Red River) basin and the Phu Khanh basin which is located off central Viet Nam.
Song Hau 1 Thermal Power Plant to begin commercial operation in 2021
The Viet Nam Oil and Gas Group (PVN) on July 28 activated the first machine unit and a 500KV distribution facility of the Song Hau 1 Thermal Power Plant Project in Hau Giang Province to prepare for commercial operation next year.
Ho Xuan Hien, head of the Song Hau 1 Petroleum Power Project’s Management Board, said this activation allows the investor and the general contractor to check the quality of the boiler equipment and related systems for ensuring technical conditions to complete trial operation and the next important milestones of the project.
The Song Hau 1 Thermal Power Plant is expected to generate electricity and be connected to the national grid this year. It hopes to be put into commercial operation in 2021.
Nguyen Van Tuan, vice chairman of Hau Giang People’s Committee, said the operation of the Song Hau 1 Thermal Power Plant will contribute to ensuring energy for the province and the Mekong Delta region.
The project management board needs to follow the schedule for the remaining work at this project for operation as planned. The provincial authorities would solve obstacles in completing construction of this project, Tuan said.
The Song Hau Thermal Power Plant Project 1 has two machine units with a total capacity of 1,200MW to produce a total output of 7,800 GWh per year. Its commercial power output is estimated to reach 7,301 GWh per year.
This project has a total investment of over VND43 trillion (US$1.86 billion).
According to the project management board, up to now, 86 per cent of the total workload at the project has been completed, including design, procurement and installation of major technology equipment.
The project plays an important role in implementing the oil and gas industry’s power development strategy towards 2030.
Individual investors key to stronger market development
After 20 years of development, information transparency is still the key to protection of individual investors and stronger development of the securities market, SSI Securities Corp Chairman Nguyen Duy Hung said on Tuesday.
“Individual investors are the most vulnerable to any changes of the market so they should be protected,” Hung told an event held by the Vietnam Stock Journalist Club to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Vietnamese stock market.
“It doesn’t mean showing investors how to trade, it’s about providing the market with standards, which are kept updated, so company information is transparent,” he said.
It is important for the regulators and government agencies to lure idle money from people to the stock market while making the market more attractive than bank saving, the SSI Securities Chairman said.
“I hope the Vietnamese securities market will soon approach international standards and credit rating agencies will better value it.”
The number of companies trading shares on the three markets – Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX) and Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) – should increase and the listing of their shares will force them to clarify business information, he said.
Le Hai Tra, acting chairman of HoSE, said that securities firms have raised their equity capital by 41 per cent each year, equal to VND5.5 trillion (US$237.6 million) per year, since 2006.
“That is an amazing number but brokerages are still much smaller than listed commercial banks,” he noted. Each year, listed banks raise VND32 trillion worth of equity capital.
“Securities firms would have to increase their capital in the future so they are capable of offering higher quality products and services to investors,” Tra said.
According to individual investor Tran Tien Dung, total savings in the country are huge and people are unwilling to spend on securities products on worries about potential risks.
The total number of domestic accounts is now 2.5 million, but it is modest compared to Viet Nam’s total population of 100 million while the total number of saving accounts is much larger, State Securities Commission Chairman Tran Van Dung said.
That fact proves there is room for further development of the local securities market, but there will be much more difficulties, he said.
The SSC will upgrade its technological infrastructure and develop new products and policies to support investors and provide them with better market transparency, Dung said.
“It is vital to gain the trust from individual investors and the market regulators should perform better to establish an efficient legal framework for the market,” he said.
First online platform for exhibitions to be launched in VN
The HAWA Online Platform for Exhibition (HOPE), which will connect Vietnamese wood processing and furniture firms with international and local buyers, will officially launch on August 7 in HCM City.
Developed by the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (HAWA), HOPE features vivid images of 360-degree showrooms, factories and workshops, a 3D product catalogue, social apps to enable 24/7 interaction between exhibitors and visitors, digital marketing, life events, and others.
HOPE will display thousands of products from hundreds of manufacturers and exporters that are verified by HAWA so that buyers can have peace of mind when they experience, search and select their potential suppliers as well as connect with the Vietnamese wood and furniture business community, said HAWA Deputy Chairman Nguyen Chanh Phuong.
With the message “Virtual Gateway to Vietnam Furniture Industry”, HOPE is an effective channel to help international buyers find products and suppliers during a time when many trade fairs and exhibitions have been delayed or cancelled due to COVID-19, he said.
HOPE’s mission is to help place Viet Nam’s wood and furniture industry among the top in the world, he added.
Nguyen Thanh Phong, deputy chairman of HAWA, said: “Previously, furniture firms mainly sought orders through fairs and exhibitions. However, from the beginning of 2020 until now, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, finding customers and direct orders has been very difficult. In this context, many businesses in the wood and furniture industry have stepped up their diversification of marketing and sales channels to maintain their operations.
“The establishment of HOPE will contribute to perfecting trade promotion channels, giving member businesses and shoppers a seamless and fast connection.”
Dinh Thi Huong Nga, CEO of Huong Nga Fine Arts, one of the first companies to display products and showroom on HOPE, said that within one month of introducing her company’s showroom on HOPE to customers, the company received two contracts, with one order from an long-time customer and another from a new customer.
“Shoppers, especially those who want to buy wood and handicraft products, often had to come to an exhibition or showroom to see, touch and study a company and its products before deciding to place an order. During the pandemic period, although customers have demands and the company often contacted customers, no order was signed. The vivid image technology and detailed information about products and factories on HOPE has created great confidence for customers to decide to place an order,” she said.
Tran Viet Huan, deputy chairman of CIO Vietnam, said the HOPE platform not only helps local producers connect with international buyers amid the pandemic, but also meets changes in marketing and trading in line with the trends of digital transformation and use of technologies to boost sales.
There are 50 virtual showrooms of Vietnamese furniture manufacturers and exporters on http://hopefairs.com, according to Phuong. The number is expected to be about 100 showrooms by the year-end.
Only 1.29 percent of G-bonds sold at latest auction
The State Treasury raised 116 billion VND (over 5.01 million USD), only 1.29 percent of the total G-bonds up for auction at the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) on July 29.
A combined 9 trillion VND worth of five-year, 10-year, 15-year, and 20-year bonds were offered by the State Treasury.
Some 100 billion VND out of the 2 trillion VND worth of five-year bonds were sold with an annual interest rate of 1.74 percent, 0.01 percent lower than the previous action on July 22.
Sixteen billion VND was mobilised from 4 trillion VND worth of 10-year bonds up for auction, with an interest rate of 2.8 percent per annum, the same as that of the previous auction.
There were no successful bids for the 15-year and 20-year bonds.
So far this year, the State Treasury has raised over 145.7 trillion VND from G-bond auctions./.
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