Vietnam Airlines postpones shareholders’ meeting until July 16
Vietnam Airlines Group will postpone its shareholders’ meeting until July 16, according to a decision signed by Chairman of Vietnam Airlines Executive Board Phạm Ngọc Minh.
The meeting was due to be held on June 29, however, it was delayed because the group had not yet completed preparations for the meeting.
In the first quarter of this year, Vietnam Airlines was among Vietnamese businesses suffering the most from the COVID-19 pandemic, reporting a drop of 26.3 per cent to VNĐ18.8 trillion (US$808.4 million) in net revenue in the January-March period and an after-tax loss of VNĐ2.6 trillion.
VNA suspended all international routes. It was only operating domestic routes at a minimum level while increasing operation of cargo flights to facilitate trade and increase revenue. It has also asked for Government support in terms of a loan package worth VNĐ12 trillion to help ensure the corporation’s solvency.
In the second quarter, Vietnam Airlines completely restored domestic flights. Even in May and June, the group also opened a total of 13 domestic routes. In July, Vietnam Airlines plans to open five more routes, bringing the total number of domestic routes of the airline to 57.
International passenger transport activities of Việt Nam have not been resumed due to concerns of COVID-19 re-entering Việt Nam.
Vietnam Airlines recently announced its restructuring schedule for low-cost airline Jetstar Pacific Airlines. The carrier was renamed as Pacific Airlines with a new logo and brand identity.
Major shareholder Qantas Airways is willing to divest 30 per cent of its capital from Pacific Airlines so that Vietnam Airlines will hold a majority share and complete restructuring.
Hoa Phat announces largest quarterly profit
Local steelmaker Hoa Phat Group announced its highest-ever quarterly profit in the second quarter of this year when after-tax profit hit VND2.7 trillion (US$115.6 million), up 32 per cent from the same period last year.
The group’s chairman Tran Dinh Long told the company’s shareholders at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders in 2020 in Ha Noi on Thursday: “Despite social distancing, the profit in the second quarter is the highest quarterly profit in Hoa Phat’s history.”
Long said the accumulated profit after-tax profit of the first six months reached VND5 trillion, up 29.5 per cent from the same period last year.
Long suggested paying a 20 per cent dividend made up of both cash and shares.
Tran Tuan Duong, general director of the company said through the sale of construction steel could not reach the annual goal, shareholders should not worry too much about.
“Though the total consumption of construction steel decreased by 5 per cent nationwide, sales in Hoa Phat increased by 10 per cent,” he said.
“Hoa Phat accounted for between 30 per cent and 35 per cent in the northern market while its southern market shares doubled from last year,” Duong added.
Duong said although the output of construction steel decreased in Viet Nam, the company’s export billets sharply increased and contributed greatly to the profit.
Chairman Long said: “While the local economy was affected by the COVID-19 but as a new industrial country, the Government was still focusing on public infrastructure and as a result, the steel industry was not influenced as seriously as other industries.”
Long said the company was expecting to launch its first batch of commercial hot-rolled coil (HRC) in September and believed the products would bring lots of profit.
“While Hoa Phat could annually produce about 3 million tonnes of HRC with full capacity, Viet Nam consumes 11 million tonnes of HRC in 2019,” Long said, adding, “the demand is much bigger than total supply so there is no difficulty in consumption of HRC.”
Except for steel production, thanks to increasing prices of pork, the contribution of the agriculture segment of the company in the second quarter accounted for about 10-12 per cent of the company’s total profit.
On Thursday, Hoa Phat shares (HPG) grew 0.35 per cent to close at VND27,350 on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange
BCG targets 31.1 per cent growth in after-tax profit in 2020
Bamboo Capital JSC has set revenue and after-tax profit targets of VND1.913 trillion (US$82.2 million) and VND184.2 billion ($7.9 million) this year, 24 per cent and 31.1 per cent higher than last year.
The targets were approved at its annual general meeting in HCM City on June 27.
The meeting also approved several other proposals, including an 8 per cent dividend for 2019 and the average annual dividend rate from 12 per cent for 2020-24.
Speaking at the meeting, Nguyen Thanh Hung, BCG’s deputy general director, said this year BCG would continue to focus on four key sectors: construction, real estate, energy and commercial activities.
BCG will also speed up completion of its existing real estate projects, including Radisson Blu Hoi An and King Crown, to hand over to customers.
At the same time, it is in the process of completing legal procedures to begin construction and sales this year on many projects such as the Casa Marina resort project phase 2 in Quy Nhon which consists of 160 five-star villas, Capri resort and condotel project in Phan Thiet with .
36 villas in phase 1, King Crown Infinity premium apartment project in Thu Duc, and Con Bap tourist resort complex in Hoi An.
In the renewable energy sector, it aims to develop at least 330MW of solar power on land, and 50 MW of rooftop solar power and 50MW of wind power in Soc Trang this year.
BCG Energy will implement an M&A deal for renewable energy projects to achieve a total generation capacity of 2GB of electricity in the 2020-22 period.
Pham Minh Tuan, a member of the board of directors of BCG, said BCG aims to become a leading renewable energy development company in Viet Nam.
In addition, BCG plans to enhance production of high-quality products for export such as coffee and cassava starch.
Nguyen Ho Nam, BCG’s chairman, said revenue and profit from 2021 will increase sharply thanks to real estate and renewable energy projects, ensuring an average annual dividend expectation of 12 per cent or above.
BCG achieved impressive business results last year, with its consolidated revenue and after-tax profit up by 41.4 per cent and 1,141 per cent over 2018 to reach VND1.576 trillion ($67.78 million) and VND140.5 billion ($6.04 million), respectively.
Measures sought to resolve difficulties faced by HCM City housing industry
The property industry in HCM City, and in fact the country in general, faces several problems that need urgent solutions, especially with regard to legal provisions.
Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, general director of Dai Phuc Land, said it took her company 15 years to complete procedures for one of its projects.
The long delays often meant by the time a project was underway the design became outdated, she said.
But if the company made adjustments to meet market requirements, it would have to apply from the beginning again, she lamented.
Tran Quoc Dung, deputy general director of Hung Thinh Group, said it took at least one year for a project to complete basic procedures and begin sales, but in most cases it was more like four or five years.
The final step of issuing red books – the title deeds — to buyers also faced difficulties, he said.
Le Hoang Chau, chairman of the HCM City Real Estate Association, said there had been a remarkable decline in the supply of new housing projects in HCM City in recent years.
It was down 20 per cent in 2018 and 70 per cent last year.
In 2019 only one project managed to complete legal procedures and begin sales.
Conflict and overlapping legal provisions were mainly to blame for the decline, Chau said.
“The current licensing process involves four steps, which take a lot of time,” he added.
Nguyen Trong Ninh, director of the Ministry of Construction’s housing and real estate market management department, admitted these regulations were not consistent because they were found in multiple laws.
He said HCM City should therefore draft solutions for the difficulties faced by developers, and his ministry and others would give their opinions on them.
Asked about the procedures for issuing land use right certificates, he said in general people must be granted the certificate immediately after the deal is completed.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is responsible for the issuance of red books and handles them based on each case, according to Ninh.
The Law on Investment prescribes the procedures for adjusting a project and which ones are handled by the Department of Planning and Investment and which ones by others.
The law also stipulates that the Department of Construction is the authorised agency to handle issues related to construction procedures and apartment planning and adjustment.
He admitted that supply had decreased this year due to not just to the Covid-19 pandemic but also to the overlapping and inconsistent laws.
The Government had this year provided many solutions to help revive the market and resolve the difficulties faced by the industry, he added.
Real estate brokers required professional
Real estate brokerage activities should be professionalised and often individual sellers need better training, especially when the market is in need of momentum after the COVID-19 pandemic, experts said.
Speaking at the Viet Nam Realtors festival held in Ha Noi on Saturday, Nguyen Trong Ninh, director of the Housing Management and Real Estate Market Department under the Ministry of Construction said the Vietnamese National Assembly has ratified the Law on Real Estate Business in which recognises real estate brokerage as one of services in this sector, contributing to the country’s development of property market.
“Development of brokers has changed the perception and habits of people participating in the real estate market. The purchasing of property products used to happened spontaneously. People now are seeking the support of real estate brokers,” Ninh said.
However, he said there were many estate broker offices operating with a lack of professional training. Some realtors have only provided home buyers with information, but do not bring convenience and professional consulting services to help customers quickly make good investment decisions. Many localities have not well managed realtors.
Statistics from Viet Nam Association of Realtors (VARs) showed that only 10-12 per cent of roughly 300,000 real estate brokers in Viet Nam are eligible to do the work though the number of workers in this sector is on the rise. The realtors are mostly operating in the two big cities of Ha Noi and HCM City.
A survey by the ministry revealed that up to 80 per cent of brokers said they did not participate or had not attended a training course for employees. The main form of training was that employees in companies teach their experience to new ones.
Tran Huu Ha, director of the Academy of Managers for Construction and Cities (AMC) said the realtor profession has prospects in Viet Nam as it played an important role in circulation of real estate goods. The growth rate of real estate brokerage averaged 15 per cent annually in the last three years, resulting in the rising number of brokers. It is urgent to provide professional training to brokers to help the real estate market stay transparent.
“The real estate market would develop more sustainably if the brokers are trained, fostered and managed more closely,” Ha said.
“Currently, the laws do not require individuals to have a certificate to work as a property broker. This has created a trend of individuals who do not really want to study and research on real estate brokers but sometimes just to deal with exams.”
He said the professionalism of real estate brokerage would enhance their role in development and integration. Therefore, in-depth training for estate brokers is necessary.
Nguyen Van Dinh, VARs’ vice chairman and general secretary said many directors of real estate trading floors were not qualified to carry out their duties and some housing projects were that were still in the development stage were being sold without any warnings about the status of the transaction.
In some cases, he said, this had led to the arrest and prosecution of some realtors for fraud.
“It is necessary to improve the role and legal status of the broker in real estate transactions as well as reorganise training and granting certificates to make the service professional,” Dinh said.
Brokers should be considered as an official and respectable profession with a system to manage the people with identification codes.
He suggested that the sector should have an app to look up brokers’ information, including details about professional qualifications and career roadmap. This would create trust for the brokerage community and information transparency for customers.
Compulsory transactions through trading floors proposed
Dinh said the property market now has two type of products including those that are already built and others still in the development stage. Estate products which have not been built would have high risk during transactions.
“Therefore, we propose to supplement article that all real estate products must be traded through real estate floors into laws in the future. The trading floors would be responsible like notary public offices at the same time. They will disclose information to avoid any negative consequences during the trading process,” he said.
Sharing the ideas, Luu Duc Minh, AMC’s deputy director said for a market that lacks information, the role of real estate brokers was very important. To improve the real estate brokerage service and raise the level of the profession to catch up with the international trend, it is necessary to have solutions.
“In my opinion, the most important solution is to quickly improve the legal institutions and policies for real estate brokerage,” Minh said.
“At the same time, the Government need to strengthen control over the activities of the current brokerage centres; publicise planning information and further strengthen infrastructure system for real estate brokerage training in the future.”
Vietnam’s economy records decade-low H1 growth
Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased 1.81 percent during the first six months of 2020, the lowest first-half growth pace since 2011, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
At a press conference on June 29, the office reported that in the second quarter alone, the GDP rose by just 0.36 percent year on year, which was also the smallest expansion in Q2 during the 2011 – 2020 period.
This was attributed to the fact that the economy was hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic in Q2, when the Government ramped up social distancing measures, the GSO noted, adding that the agro-forestry-fisheries sector grew 1.72 percent, industry – construction rose 1.38 percent, while the services sector contracted 1.76 percent between April and June.
During the six months, the agro-forestry-fisheries sector recorded a growth rate of 1.19 percent and contributed 11.89 percent to the overall economic growth. The respective figures for industry – construction are 2.98 percent and 73.14 percent, and the services sector 0.57 percent and 14.97 percent.
GSO Deputy General Director Nguyen Thi Huong said facing complex developments of COVID-19 that have negatively affected all socio-economic aspects, the whole political system, the Government and the Prime Minister have given the top priority to the pandemic fight and showed the determination to protect people’s health and lives, even at the expense of economic benefits.
This is the solid foundation for the Vietnamese economy to sustain growth and avoid contraction, she said, adding that the data show all-level authorities, enterprises and people’s success in concurrently combating the coronavirus, maintaining production and business activities, and gradually bringing the economy to the pre-pandemic status./.
Businesses eye consumer trends to penetrate ASEAN market
With Vietnam taking on the role of ASEAN Chair for 2020, the position is expected to create a range of opportunities to elevate the country’s profile regionally and internationally, while simultaneously expanding trade and investment activities with other members of the bloc.
ASEAN represents the nation’s fourth largest export market with a turnover of nearly US$24 billion last year. During the first five months of the year the country’s exports to other ASEAN members reached only US$9.8 billion, with this disappointing figure being put down to the negative impact caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.
Aside from causing numerous difficulties, the COVID-19 epidemic has also served to create plenty of opportunities for Vietnamese agricultural products to conquer regional markets such as Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.
According to the Vietnamese trade office in Singapore, the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic has led to the trade office actively strengthening connectivity with associations and businesses in an effort to boost the export of agricultural products and food items to Singapore.
Indeed, March alone saw the trade office help firms to place more than 20 orders for agricultural products.
Since the beginning of this year, fruit and vegetable exports to Thailand have increased sharply. Most notably, the first four months saw fruit and vegetable exports to the Thai market enjoy an annual rise of over 244% to US$58 million.
According to economic experts, the ASEAN Economic Community has been presented with opportunities, whilst a number of challenges are being posed for the country which will face fierce competition from other nations in the bloc.
Experts have therefore advised enterprises to restructure their production activities and change their business mindset in an effort to meet market demand and ensure sustainable development.
With regard to the export of rice to the Philippines, Nguyen Van Thanh, director of Phat Thanh VI Company, recommends that domestic businesses try to improve product quality whilst ensuring a reasonable price in order to compete with regional rivals.
Nguyen Thanh Hai, general director of Quy Phuc Manufacturing and Trading Co., Ltd, emphasised that as a means of making inroads into the ASEAN market, local enterprises have been urged to devise a business strategy in order to follow consumer trends and connect with reputable domestic distributors.
Fukunari Kimura, Chief Economist of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, suggested that firms give priority to consumers’ tastes and largely focus on the application of technology in the new era of digitalisation to boost trade and investment activities.
Leading Vietnamese brand names revealed
The majority of businesses who received the awards operate in such fields as real estate, retail, tourism, and hospitality, with popular names like Hung Thinh Land Joint Stock Company, Saigon Co.op, Big C, Vinpearl, and Saigontourist.
Each of the winning businesses are required to meet relevant criteria, including financial capacity, investment in brand development, and business activities towards sustainable development.
During the awards ceremony, Nguyen Tan Phong, editor-in-chief of Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper, underscored the importance of the annual event that has supported businesses to develop Vietnamese brands over the past 15 years.
Phong noted that the award serves as a practical activity that can help local businesses expand into international markets, improve the overall competitiveness of Vietnamese goods, and can suitably respond to the campaign “Vietnamese people prioritise using Vietnamese goods”.
Le Thanh Liem, Standing Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, spoke highly of the practical contribution the winning businesses have made to stabilising the market and introducing Vietnamese goods to both domestic and foreign consumers.
Liem therefore underlined the significance of businesses contributing to the southern city’s overall economic development, adding that the city will make greater strides if it is able to simplify administrative procedures and create a transparent investment environment to become the country’s economic spearhead.
Wind energy development marks strategic step in long-term planning
Due to the country being in a favourable geographical position for the development of wind power sources, with a monsoon climate, it’s weather is largely shaped by a coastline of more than 3,000 km.
Indeed, 39% of Vietnamese territory receives wind speed greater than 6m/s, equivalent to a consistent wind power output of 513 GW, of which roughly 10% is considered to boast huge wind power potential and is located in the nation’s central and southern provinces, in addition to the Central Highlands.
With traditional energy resources such as fossil energy being gradually exhausted and polluting the environment, falling reserves of crude oil, traditional oil, and gas fields such as Bach Ho, also known White Tiger, Su Tu, also known as Lion, Rong, also known as Dragon, and Ruby, the question of boosting electricity production from renewable energy sources has become an inevitable trend.
With the preferential feed in tariff price mechanism extended for an additional two years, it will serve to create a driving force for the local wind power market to develop following a period of slowdown caused by low prices.
According to economic experts, wind power has great potential and will be an important source of electricity that contributes to ensuring energy security ahead during the 2021 to 2025 period, thereby making up for shortages as a result of many other major power projects that are currently behind schedule.
Dr. Vo Tri Thanh, former vice president of the Central Institute for Economic Management, shares, “Clean energy and renewable energy is a new area that has received attention in recent years. The Electricity of Vietnam determines that from 2020 to 2023, there will be a dire shortage of electricity if the implementation of major projects continues to fall behind schedule.”
This lack of electricity could pose a threat to national production and the business situation, causing a double dose of difficulties for the Vietnamese economy. In addition to solving the nation’s long-term energy problems, promoting the development of offshore wind power and the marine-based economy can contribute to protecting national security, sovereignty, territorial waters, and attracting plenty of financiers from different nations globally.
Understanding the domestic market’s demand for renewable energy, numerous local firms have become involved in this highly lucrative field, including Trung Nam Group, BIM Group, Xuan Cau Group, Pacific Company, FECON Company, Thanh Cong Group, BCG Bamboo Capital, Truong Thanh Group, and Ha Do Group.
According to an assessment conducted by PetroVietnam Securities Joint Stock Company, the development of renewable energy will be part of an indispensable trend globally moving forward, with it developing into a major part of the country’s energy sources.
Most notably, electricity demand is anticipated to continue to increase sharply over the course of the coming years in order to serve production activities once the country has officially joined both the the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). Moreover, the nation is keen to be regarded as a key market that benefits from the shift in production of global firms amid escalating trade tensions between the United States and China.
In the listed stock market, there are approximately 30 enterprises capable of producing electricity, the majority of which operate in coal-fired thermal, gas thermal, and hydroelectricity.
However, these firms are unlikely to be able to increase their capacity in the near future due to the impact of raw materials and hydrological conditions. Therefore, businesses that are keen on investing in renewable energy must be fully able to utilise opportunities for the development of the clean energy market, a sector that is considered to be a potential field that can serve to boost the revenue of firms in the time ahead.
GDP growth rate hits six-month record low of 1.81%
Nguyen Thi Thu Huong, deputy director general of the GSO, told a press briefing held in Hanoi on June 29 that GDP during the second quarter of the year was estimated to grow annually by 0.36%, the lowest second quarter increase recorded throughout the 2011 to 2020 period.
This can be attributed to the second quarter of the year being heavily disrupted by the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic along with a range of heavy social-distancing measures implemented by the Government. As a result, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector saw an increase of a mere 1.72%, the industry and construction sector by 1.38%, whilst the service sector suffered a drop of 1.76%.
With regard to general growth in the economy as a whole, the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector increased by 1.19%, contributing 11.89% to overall growth, with industry and construction rising by 2.98%, accounting for 73.14%, whilst the contribution and service sector grew by 0.57%, contributing 14.97%.
Most notably, the opening months of the year have been strongly affected by the effects of the COVID-19, seriously affecting trade, service, and import-export activities. Indeed, the service sector during the reviewed period reached the lowest rate of during the 2011 to 2020 period.
Within the service sector, the contribution of a number of markets make up a large proportion of the increase in total added value during the reviewed period. As such, wholesale and retail increased by 4.3% on-year to make it the largest contributor to the increase in total value added of the economy. This was followed by finance banking and insurance, which went up by 6.78%, whilst transportation and warehouses fell by 3%, with accommodation and catering services down by 20.7%.
According to Huong, amid the challenging context of the COVID-19 epidemic negatively affecting all socio-economic fields, the entire political system, the Government, and the Prime Minister have made epidemic prevention and control top priorities, choosing to sacrifice some economic benefits to ensure the lives and health of citizens are protected. This will serve as a solid foundation for the national economy to maintain growth momentum without falling into negative growth.
“The above results are attributable to the great efforts by sectors, the business community, and people in the fight against the pandemic, at the same time maintaining production and business activities and gradually ringing the economy back to normal as it was before the epidemic occurred,” GSO deputy general director Huong emphasised.
Local agricultural products make it onto shelves of Japanese supermarkets
This comes after import restriction on Vietnamese fruits were lifted back at the AEON December, 2019, when the becoming the first retailer began to sell this fruit to Japanese consumers.
In addition to lychees, plenty of other special Vietnamese agricultural products can be found on shelves, such as mangoes, dragon fruit, and coffee, all of which has been exported and sold in AEON’s supermarkets based in Japan since 2015.
Most notably, the successful export and distribution of Vietnamese agricultural products throughout AEON’s retail system in Japan can be viewed as a result of efforts made by companies under the AEON Group in Vietnam.
AEON has so far fully co-operated with the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to organise activities to help Vietnamese suppliers improve the quality of their products, aiming to export to foreign markets, especially Japan.
In total, export revenue of Vietnamese products through the AEON system has enjoyed an upswing in recent years, with nearly US$250 million recorded in 2017 whilst making US$370 million last year. Furthermore, this figure is expected climb to US$450 million for this year.
Elsewhere, AEON Vietnam Co., Ltd. has also launched a broad range of activities aimed at stimulating the consumption of agricultural products among the domestic market and hold trade promotion schemes through its General Merchandise Store & Supermarket system nationwide.
Additionally, AEON Vietnam has been striving to partner with the MoIT and the departments of Industry and Trade of various provinces and cities in order to organise a host of business matching activities, fairs, and exhibitions to boost domestically-made product consumption.
Huge potential for Vietnamese coffee exports to North Africa market
Coffee is one of the nation’s agricultural commodities that has grown a presence in Africa in recent years, with a specific focus on North Africa, according to the latest statistics released by the Vietnamese trade office in Algeria.
Indeed, coffee is considered to be an essential product in Algeria, alongside other foods such as bread, cooking oil, sugar, and milk. The North African nation currently imports approximately 130,000 tonnes of coffee beans of all varieties each year, of which the country provides over 50% of production output.
Last year saw the nation export coffee to 13 African countries, raking in US$153 million in the process with the main importers being Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and South Africa.
However, the figure remains modest compared to the country’s total average export turnover for coffee of US$3.13 billion per year during the 2011-2018 period.
Moreover, in the North African market, Vietnamese raw coffee has to take on with coffee products from a variety of competitors, including Colombia, Brazil, Guatemala, Indonesia, India, the Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and Uganda.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the export of canned and instant coffee from Vietnam to several North African territories remains limited due to the consumers’ tastes and concerns regarding Halal standards.
The MoIT have therefore advised local businesses to strictly adhere to Halal standards as they export finished coffee products into these markets, especially when introducing these type of items to supermarket chains.
As a means of maximising orders in an effort to booost exports to the African market, the MoIT has actively organised trade promotion activities in potential markets such as North Africa, South Africa, and the Middle East in order to gradually increase export volume whilst developing brands for Vietnamese processed coffee.
How to improve National Single Window mechanism for businesses
With the National Single Window seeing a positive change in terms of the time and costs of making administrative procedures for enterprises after undergoing an implementation period, there remains obstacles for local businesses due to their poor procedures when handling and submitting numerous documents to different agencies.
Upon conducting an assessment of the satisfaction level of nearly 3,100 enterprises about implementation administrative procedures through the National Single Window, up to 95% of respondents said that the majority of the e-portal’s basic functions work fine. However, several ministries and agencies have so far failed to ensure the progress of administrative procedures following their implementation through the National Single Window.
Nguyen Kim Dung, director of Legal and Foreign Affairs of the British School System in Vietnam, states that local firms often encounter problems when applying to “one-stop” agencies.
Many difficulties that businesses face come from the fact that they do not know what contents of a document needs to be submitted, submission deadlines, whilst knowledge about what constitutes a valid profile is also a problem for them.
“The national portal needs to specify which application procedures and lists of documents to submit and how long it takes to complete these procedures. At that time, all procedures will become clearer for businesses as well as officials working at the national portal,” Dung said.
According to Truong Van Cam, vice chairman of Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, it is imperative to deal with inconsistent documents and regulations that exist among ministries and agencies so that the new National Single Window mechanism can operate both effectively and smoothly.
With there being a desire to create more favourable conditions for the domestic business community, both the Ministry of Finance and the General Department of Customs will continue to co-ordinate greater efforts alongside relevant ministries and sectors.
This will be done in an effort to accelerate the reform of administrative procedures and modernize procedure implementation on the National Single Window portal.
The National Single Window serves as a one-stop system for carrying out customs clearance procedures that can help streamline administrative procedures used in import and export activities whilst being in accordance with international standards and practices.
With the nation increasing its deeper international integration and participating in many bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, the business community can expect that various ministries and sectors should accelerate the deployment of electronic payment forms to help businesses alleviate difficulties when using digital signatures.
This should be done simultaneously as a way of improving the transparency offered in information provision, the process of handling documents, publicising the procedure settlement results, and simplifying forms and papers, therefore making it easier for enterprises to understand.
Vietnam sees uptick in new firms in June
The number of new enterprises increased across all industries in June, especially those hit by the coronavirus, compared with the previous month, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
The number of firms returning to business fell by a slight 1.1% to 4,998 while those filing for temporary suspension went down by 3.7% to 3,217.
Overall, the number of new enterprises in the first six months was 62,049, down 7.3% year-on-year, which is lower than the 10.5% and 13.2% decreases reported in the five-month and four-month periods, respectively.
Such improvement in figures indicates positive signs from the government’s business support policies and economic recovery plan following the coronavirus outbreak being brought under control.
Over US$8 mln sent to HCMC Covid-19 Prevention and Control Fund
After three months calling for donation , Ho Chi Minh City Covid-19 Prevention and Control Fund has received cash and goods with the total value of VND187.741 billion (over US$8 million), including VND165.655 billion (US$7.1 million) in cash.
People’s Hospital 115 receives ambulance to serve for Covid-19 prevention and control (Photo: Hoai Nam)
In addition, the Standing Committee of Vietnam Fatherland Front in Ho Chi Minh City launched a campaign of fundraising and calling for all the citizens to support the Covid-19 prevention and control and assist drought and saltwater intrusion- hit localities.
As of Mach 20, more than VND70 billion (over US$3 million), including over VND60 billion (nearly US$2.6 million) for the Covid-19 prevention and control activities has been supported by teams and individuals.
With the contribution above, the Fundraising Board of HCMC Covid-19 Prevention and Control Fund has deployed many meaningful activities such as supporting doctors, nurses and medical staffs at Covid-19 treatment facilities and concentrated isolation areas, interdisciplinary forces at round-the-clock posts and Covid-19 control stations in the city; purchasing medical equipment and ambulance; supporting lottery sellers and the poor affected by Covid-19 pandemic and those who are at isolation areas.
CPI increases 0.66 percent in June
The consumer price index (CPI) in June this year edged up 0.66 percent compared to the previous month, the highest level of June in the period from 2016 to 2020, but still dropped by 0.59 percent compared to that in December last year.
Ms. Nguyen Thi Huong, Deputy Director of the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, said that seven out of 11 key commodity and services groups posted increases, of which, transportation saw the highest increase as the prices of petroleum products climbed for three consecutive times after a long losing streak since the Lunar New Year and the prices of pork continued to escalate in early-June.
However, the CPI in June still declined by 0.59 percent compared to December last year.
The CPI in the second quarter of this year fell 1.87 percent compared to the previous quarter and surged 2.83 percent compared to the same period last year. In the first six months of this year, the average CPI jumped 4.19 percent over the same period last year. This is the highest level in the period from 2016 to 2020.
The average commodity terms of trade in the first six months of this year decreased by 0.78 percent over the same period last year, showing that the unfavorable export prices of Vietnam’s goods to foreign countries compared with the prices of goods imported from foreign countries to Vietnam. The average core inflation in the first six months of this year increased by 2.81 percent compared to the same period last year.
The gross domestic product (GDP) in the first six months rose 1.81 percent year-on-year, the lowest level in the period from 2011 to 2020. In the second quarter of this year alone, GDP is estimated to inched up by 0.36 percent.
In the economic growth of 1.81 percent in the first six months of Vietnam’s economy, the agro-forestry-fisheries sector augmented 1.19 percent, contributing 11.89 percent to the general growth; industrial and construction sector advanced 2.98 percent, contributing 73.14 percent; service sector shot up 0.57 percent, contributing 14.97 percent. The main motivation for the economic growth in the first six months of this year was industrial processing and manufacturing which emerged 4.96 percent and market services. Of which, wholesale and retail mounted 4.3 percent; finance, banking, and insurance activities rocketed 6.78 percent.
As for economic structure in the first six months of this year, the agro-forestry-fisheries sector accounted for 14.16 percent; industrial and construction sector 33.44 percent; services 42.04 percent.
Regarding the use of GDP in the first six months of this year, final consumption increased by 0.69 percent over the same period last year; accumulated assets gained 1.93 percent; exports of goods and services decreased by 0.31 percent; imports of goods and services slid by 2.54 percent.
The country’s socio-economic situation in the first six months of this year occurred in the context of an acute respiratory infection caused by a new strain of Coronavirus (Covid-19), a worldwide outbreak that seriously affected all economic and social aspects of countries in the world.
Philippines cancels multinational rice purchases including from Vietnam
The Government of the Philippines has abandoned its plan to import up to 300,000 tons of rice from various countries including Vietnam.
The country had planned to import rice from Vietnam, India, Thailand and Myanmar under government-to-government contracts due to the apparent insufficient local inventory in the rainy season. It also reflected the government’s reaction to Vietnam’s announcement to stop rice exports in April.
The Philippine International Trading Corp under the Department of Trade and Industry issued a tender to import 25% broken, well-milled long-grain white rice on June 8.
“The decision for the government-to-government import plan was a result of the potential threat to maintaining a good buffer supply of rice for the country. Earlier, computations showed a threat to the targeted level of buffer stock following the imposed ban on rice exports of Vietnam in April,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement.
However, the Government of the Philippines has abandoned the plan, as it is no longer necessary under the current situation. Lopez said this was based on Vietnam’s decision to lift its rice export ban, following which the Philippines can expect “more comfortable buffer stock levels moving forward”.
“The potential tightness in domestic supply has been properly addressed with the lifting of the rice export ban by Vietnam and the arrival of some 1.3 million tons of rice imports as of the third week of June,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar explained.
The Philippines is the world’s biggest buyer of rice, while Vietnam is a major supplier, accounting for over 90% of the Philippines’ rice imports. Vietnam resumed its rice exports from May after a short suspension to assess its local supply during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Data of the General Department of Vietnam Customs indicated that Vietnam exported more than three million tons of rice from January to May, earning US$1.5 billion, up 12% in volume and 26.6% in value year-on-year. The country exported over 1.3 million tons of rice worth US$598 million to the Philippines, up 22.4% in volume and 41.1% in value compared with the same period last year.
Southeast Vietnam unites to boost tourism
Six cities and provinces in the southeast region of Vietnam signed a tourism cooperation agreement for the 2020-2025 period in Tay Ninh Province on June 28 to foster the exchange of tourists, develop tourism products, attract investors and help tour operators attract more visitors.
Under the agreement, HCMC, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai and Tay Ninh will regularly share their experience in their areas of expertise, with HCMC discussing the development of meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition tourism and Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province introducing sea and island tourism.
Dong Nai Province will offer information on ecological tourism, while Tay Ninh, Binh Phuoc and Binh Duong provinces will focus on culinary and community cultures and organizing festivals to diversify their tourism products.
HCMC will be in charge of calling on investors to pump money into the tourism industry of these localities and promoting tourism introduction activities.
In 2020-2021, the region will open the three tourism routes of HCMC — Ba Ria-Vung Tau — Dong Nai, HCMC — Tay Ninh — Binh Duong and HCMC — Binh Duong — Binh Phuoc, organize multiple investment promotion conferences and launch various stimulation programs to help the tourism industry recover after Covid-19.
Many firms said the southeastern region boasts of various advantages for investment and has the ability to generate a large number of tourists and create more favorable conditions for firms to develop tourism products.
Tay Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Binh Duong have enhanced investment in the tourism industry over the past few years.
Nguyen Huu Y Yen, general director of Saigontourist Travel, said that with suitable services and favorable conditions in Tay Ninh Province, the firm is set to introduce numerous tours and tourism products in the province to serve travelers in the coming months.
The southeastern region of Vietnam welcomed some 10.7 million international tourists alongside a large number of domestic visitors in 2019, fetching US$7 billion.
Vietnam Grand Sale 2020 launched
A national Vietnam Grand Sale 2020 promotional campaign has been launched with an aim to boost domestic consumption.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Trade Promotion Department, this is the first national-scale promotion programme. The event is expected to draw a large number of firms which offer discounts of up to 100% instead of 50% as prescribed. Enterprises can also use gifts in their promotions.
Le Anh Quan, a representative from the Trade Promotion Department, said that many kinds of products would have attractive discounts of up to 50-80%, including garments and textiles, consumer products and banking services.
Companies are allowed to organise their promotion activities by themselves with no need to seek approval from the programme’s organising board.
The programme, which was kicked off today, July 1 will end on the 31st of the month.
Vietnam News Agency cited a report from the General Statistics Office as saying that the nations’ total revenue of retail trade and services exceeded VND1.91 quadrillion (USD82.36 billion) in the first five months of this year, down 4% on-year.
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