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A plan is being built by the Directorate of Fisheries with a view to promoting the conservation, development and sustainable exploitation of aquatic resources.

At a meeting to collect opinions on the planning on September 4, a representative of the directorate’s Department of Aquatic Resources Conservation and Development said the plan aims to protect, conserve, rehabilitate and develop fishery resources while ensuring efficient and sustainable exploitation, which is necessary to meet international requirements and support sovereignty safeguarding.

This plan will assess the current protection, conservation, rehabilitate, development and exploitation of aquatic resources; fishery logistics services; along with the situation of human resources in the field between 2010 and 2019. It will also set up concrete criteria for each aspect in certain periods.

According to the Research Institute for Marine Fisheries, Vietnam’s annual catch of aquatic products is about 3.4 – 3.6 million tonnes on average, higher than the sustainable exploitation level in relation to the country’s aquatic reserves.

Population growth, hydropower and irrigation development, and environmental pollution have adversely affected aquatic species’ migration routes while damaging their spawning grounds and habitat, leading to their degradation.

The Department of Aquatic Resources Conservation and Development said it has given exploitation quotas to 28 coastal provinces and cities.

It noted illegal fishing in foreign waters by Vietnamese boats has been reduced considerably, the fisheries sector gradually modernised with more responsible practices, and fishing groups and cooperatives formed.

So far, Vietnam has established 10 marine reserves, namely Cat Ba, Bach Long Vy, Con Co, Cu Lao Cham, Ly Son, Nha Trang Bay, Nui Chua, Hon Cau, Con Dao, and Phu Quoc.

Thua Thien-Hue is the first locality in the country to have set up protection areas for aquatic resources in its coastal lagoon system. There are 23 such areas in the province with a combined area of over 614ha, accounting for nearly 3 percent of the total lagoon area.

FDI disbursement up despite decline in capital inflow

Disbursement of foreign direct investment (FDI) saw a positive yearly increase of 7 percent to nearly 12 billion USD in the first eight months of this year, despite a fall in new FDI registered in Vietnam.

From the beginning of this year to August, the country lured a total of 22.63 billion USD in FDI, marking a slight decrease of 7 percent year-on-year, reported the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

More than 2,400 new foreign-invested projects were granted investment licences with a total registered capital of 9.13 billion USD in the period, up 25 percent in terms of number of projects but down 32 percent in level of capital over the same period last year.

Meanwhile, nearly 910 existing projects adjusted their investment capital with a total additional sum of 4 billion USD in the eight months, representing a yearly increase of 24 percent in the project number but equivalent to 72 percent of capital seen in last year’s corresponding period.

Notably, foreign capital flow to buy stakes in Vietnamese companies rose by 80 percent year-on-year to total 9.51 billion USD, according to the data.

Foreign investors poured most into the manufacturing and processing sector totalling 15.7 billion USD, or 70 percent of the nation’s total FDI. It was followed by real estate with 2.32 billion USD or 10 percent and the wholesale and retail industry with 1.2 billion USD or 5.2 percent.

Among 103 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, statistics showed that Hong Kong remained to be the largest in the eight-month period, pouring in nearly 5.63 billion USD, accounting for 25 percent of the total FDI pledged in the country.

The Republic of Korea came next with 3.48 billion USD, making up 16 percent of the total FDI and Singapore ranked third with 3.27 billion USD or equivalent to 15 percent. Mainland China and Japan were the runners-up with 2.78 billion USD and 2.34 billion USD, respectively.

The capital city of Hanoi retained its crown as the top destination for FDI flow which attracted 5.66 billion USD in the first eight months, accounting for 25 percent of the total registered capital. HCM City ranked second with 3.86 billion USD or 17 percent, then the southern province of Binh Duong with 1.95 billion USD or 9 percent.

As per the data, foreign-invested businesses gained an eight-month export turnover of 117.9 billion USD while their imports hit 96 billion USD, resulting in a trade surplus of 21.8 billion USD.

So far, there were more than 25,530 operating foreign-invested projects in Vietnam with capital totalling 353.7 billion USD. The country’s major sources of FDI were the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.

In the next 10 years, Vietnam will place greater emphasis on selecting investments which employ modern and environmentally friendly technologies, pursuant to the first decision on foreign direct investment (FDI) issued by the Politburo this month.

Investments which introduce efficient technologies that produce greater added-value and help integrate the country’s industries into the global supply chain will receive priority.-

G-bond auctions raise more than 466 million USD in August

The State Treasury raised close to 10.85 trillion VND (466.5 million USD) via 13 auctions of Government bonds (G-bonds) at the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) in August.

About 94 percent of the G-bonds offered were sold last month.

The annual interest rates were 3.3 percent for the five-year bonds, 3.75 percent for the seven-year, 4.18 – 4.42 percent for the 10-year, 4.46 – 4.68 percent for the 15-year, 5.06 percent for the 20-year, and 5.35 – 5.51 percent for the 30-year bonds.

Compared to July, the sum of money mobilised from the G-bonds was down 66 percent while the annual interest yield dropped 0.09 – 0.26 percent.

Vietnamese mangoes enter Chilean market

Mangoes have become the next Vietnamese fruit to be exported to Chile, following dragon fruit.

The first batches of Vietnamese mangoes and Chilean apples were shipped to each other’s markets on August 15, a representative of Chile’s trade office (ProChile) in Ho Chi Minh City said at a recent meeting between the two countries’ businesses.

The two sides are also negotiating for the trading of Chilean cherries and Vietnamese grapefruits.

Due to limited promotion, Chilean consumers know little about Vietnamese fruit, despite the South American nation importing a relatively large volume of fresh fruit from tropical countries like Mexico and Ecuador every year.

At the meeting in HCM City, the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association spoke highly of the trade potential between the two countries.

Mangoes are grown in large scale in 59 of the 63 provincial-level localities in Vietnam, with the Mekong Delta accounting for 48 percent of total farming area. The fruit has been exported to 40 countries, including the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, China and Thailand.

Vietnam earned nearly 4 billion USD from fruit and vegetable exports in 2018 and another 2.3 billion USD in the first seven months of 2019, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Kido Foods to buy back 3 million shares

KIDO Foods (KDF), the frozen foods subsidiary of KIDO Group, plans to buy back three million shares, equivalent to 5.36 per cent of the firm’s total outstanding shares.

The purchase, funded by undistributed after-tax profits and other capital, aims to stabilise KDF's stock price.

The company will buy the shares at market price but not for more than VND40,000 (US$1.7) per share, meaning the maximum spending for the purchase will be some VND120 billion.

KDF, listed on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM), has been traded at about VND28,000-33,000 per share in recent sessions. It hit the daily limit rise on Thursday to VND35,600 per share after the purchase was announced.

As of June 30, the company had VND9.8 billion of development investment fund and VND201 billion of undistributed after-tax profit.

In the first half of the year, the company achieved VND766 billion in net revenue and VND92.5 billion in after-tax profit, up by 9 per cent and 105 per cent year-on-year.

With these results, KDF fulfilled 52.3 per cent of the revenue plan and 76.7 per cent of the profit plan.

TV station VTVCab set to list on UPCoM next week

The Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) has approved the listing of 45.7 million shares of Viet Nam Television Cable Corporation (VTVCab) on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) with the code CAB.

The first trading day is scheduled for September 6. With a starting price of VND140,900 (US$6.13) per share, VTVCab's market capitalisation will exceed VND6.4 trillion ($274 million) on the first day of trading.

In April 2018, while implementing equitisation, VTVCab issued more than 42 million shares for its initial public offering (IPO) at the starting price of VND140,900 per share.

The number of shares brought to auction accounted for 47.8 per cent of VTVCab's expected charter capital after equitisation. However, VTVCab's IPO was not successful as only one investor registered a bid.

In June 2018 VTVCab began operating as a joint stock company with charter capital of VND457.5 billion, equivalent to 45.74 million shares registered for trading, 664,800 shares of which were sold at a preferential price to company employees. Since equitisation, VTVCab has yet to increase its charter capital.

Regarding shareholder structure, after equitisation, Viet Nam Television (VTV) is the parent company holding 98.55 per cent of VTVCab, which currently operates in paid television services, wired telecommunications activities and advertising.

VTVCab also has a number of member companies such as Viet Thanh Technology JSC (51 per cent owned), VTVLife JSC (51 per cent), VTVCab Sports Development JSC (50.1 per cent), and VTVCab Nam Dinh (39 per cent), among others.

VTVCab is currently managing and using many land plots such as the 69.7-square-metre plot at 89 Giang Van Minh, a 50-year land-use right for a more than 1,000-square-metre plot in 12D Nguyen Tat Thanh, Viet Tri City in the northern province of Phu Tho, and long-term land-use rights of a 93-square-metre plot in the southern province of Khanh Hoa.

Regarding business results, consolidated revenue in 2018 reached VND2.949 trillion and pre-tax profit was VND74.3 billion. VTVCab forecast 2019 revenue of VND3.5 trillion and strives to reach VND4.5 trillion by 2022. Pre-tax profit in 2019 is expected to reach VND81.2 billion and VND282.5 billion by 2022.

In the first quarter of 2019, VTVCab had more than VND501 billion in revenue and over VND7.3 billion in after-tax profit, far from the target for the year.

Grade A office building in HCM City on schedule for completion in Q1 2020

Friendship Tower, a grade A building in downtown HCM City, is expected to be ready for handover of 13,700sq.m of leasable office space in the first quarter of next year, according to CZ Slovakia Vietnam, its developer.

With construction by Coteccons, Friendship Tower has been structurally complete for nine months, and meets all safety requirements.

Tu Thi Hong An, head of commercial leasing at Savills Vietnam said: “Unlike some recent projects in HCM City that have not been able to meet their delivery deadlines, Friendship Tower is making great strides towards completion.”

The building received the prize for Best Office Architecture Vietnam at the 2019 Asia Pacific Property Awards.

According to a recent report from Savills Vietnam, high-end office space in HCM City is currently 98 per cent occupied, with the slim margin of available space expected to further decrease in the coming months.

Central bank says small companies should be able to access bank loans

A conference meant to link up banks with companies in the Mekong Delta was held in Can Tho City on August as part of efforts to ease the difficulties small and medium-sized enterprises in the region have in accessing credit.

Dao Minh Tu, deputy governor of the State Bank of Viet Nam, told the conference that the delta is a dynamic economic region with strengths in agriculture, renewable energy and tourism.

Nguyen Quoc Hung, director of the central bank’s credit department, said the 500-odd credit organisations in the delta lent some VND 71.3 trillion (US$3 billion) to firms in the first half of this year, but little to those in value chains or applying advanced technologies because of their lack of profits.

Many also cannot show enough finances for banks to lend, he said.

Many SMEs cannot meet the criteria to borrow though banks are willing to ease their conditions, he added.

A report from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said 70 per cent of SMEs in the Mekong Delta still cannot borrow from banks.

The greatest difficulty for SMEs and micro-enterprises remains the lack of funds, with most start-ups having no resources or collateral, only ideas and business plans.

Tran Minh Dung, a business executive, said banks usually ask for mortgaging a lot of assets since they value them at a fraction of their market price. Thus, if an enterprise wants to borrow VND100 billion, it must have properties worth VND300-400 billion, he added.

Besides, they are cautious about lending to agricultural firms since it is associated with high risk, and borrowers are often unable to repay in time due to natural disasters and diseases and fact that sales of farm produce depend heavily on the Chinese market, a HCM City Development Joint Stock Commercial Bank (HD Bank) executive said.

The prices of agricultural produce are not consistent, making banks reluctant to lend to them.

Tu said banks and businesses should work together to find a way out. The central bank would consider relaxing lending requirements so that SMEs could get easier access to bank loans, he promised.

This would make available more loans, especially to priority sectors, simplify lending procedures and diversify banking products, he said.

Banks should offer lower interest rates and share the risks with businesses, he added.

Retail sales up 11.5% in January-August

Viet Nam’s total revenues for retail trade and services reached an estimated VND3.21 quadrillion (US$137.4 billion) in the first eight months of 2019, up 11.5 per cent year on year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) has announced.

This positive growth proved the rising demand of local people, GSO statisticians have said, adding that if the price factor was excluded, purchasing power in the first seven months increased by 9.03 per cent, higher than the 8.9 per cent recorded in the same period of last year.

Retail sales of goods during the period were estimated at VND$2.44 quadrillion ($104.9 billion), surging 12.5 per cent year on year or accounting for 76 per cent of the total revenue.

Among all sectors, purchases of educational and cultural products grew by 14 per cent year on year, followed by food and foodstuff (13.6 per cent), home appliances (11 per cent) and textiles and apparel (10.5 per cent) and transportation (8.5 per cent).

The localities with the highest purchasing power growth rates included Quang Ninh (20 per cent); Binh Duong (18 per cent); Thanh Hoa (15 per cent); Hai Phong (14.7 per cent) beside to Nghe An and Binh Dinh (14 per cent) and Da Nang (13.5 per cent). Meanwhile, two economic hubs of HCM City and Ha Noi lagged behind with respective growths of 13.3 per cent and 13 per cent.

According to GSO, revenue from accommodation and catering services rose 10 per cent year-on-year to nearly VND386 trillion ($16.56 billion), making up 12 per cent of the total revenue.

During the same period, travel service revenues totaled VND29.7 trillion (more than $1.27 billion), with Binh Dinh Province witnessing the largest increase at 19 per cent, followed by Thanh Hoa and Khanh Hoa at 15 per cent and 14.5 per cent respectively and HCM City at 13 per cent.

Revenues of other services were estimated at VND355 trillion ($15.27 billion), 7 per cent higher than the same period last year.

According to the Vietnam Institute for Trade Research, the goods retail market is seeing a increase at mini marts and convenience stores.

The institute forecast that convenience stores would see double-digit growth in the next three years and reach 37.4 per cent growth in 2021.

Under the domestic trade development strategy, total sales of goods and services would grow by 13 per cent each year through 2020 and by 14 per cent per year in the 2021-25 period.

The Foreign Investment Agency’s statistics showed the wholesale and retail sector ranked third in attracting foreign direct investment in January-August period with total registered capital of $1.2 billion, accounting for 5.2 per cent of the country’s total FDI.

Industrial production up 9.5% this year

The country’s index of industrial production (IIP) saw a year-on-year increase of 9.5 per cent in the first eight months of 2019, a report from the General Statistics Office (GSO) shows.

GSO statisticians said the nation’s IIP ensured a stable growth since the beginning of this year.

According to the report, the processing and manufacturing sector recorded the largest IIP rise at 10.6 per cent.

It was followed by electricity production and distribution with IIP growth of 10.2 per cent while supply and waste treatment sector and mining rose by 7.4 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively.

Sectors posting a high industrial growth rate were coke and refined petroleum products at 41 per cent; metal production at 40 per cent; metal ore mining at 19 per cent; rubber and plastic production at 15 per cent in addition to furniture at 12 per cent and weaving at 11 per cent.

From January to August, a strong IIP rise was also seen in some major industrial products such as crude iron and steel (57 per cent); petroleum (43 per cent); television (23 per cent); liquefied petroleum gas (14 per cent) and handsets (11 per cent), as per the report.

The production of electronics, computers and optical products increased by a modest 4 per cent compared with 17 per cent recorded during the same period of 2018 beside to the manufacturing of mean of transport which saw a yearly IIP decline of 5 per cent.

As of August 1, the number of workers in industrial enterprises rose 1.7 per cent month on month and 1.5 per cent year on year. Job numbers in the State sector declined by 1.9 per cent while those at domestic private companies and foreign-invested firms edged up by 0.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively.

In an eight-month period, the southern economic hub of HCM City also witnessed a year-on-year growth of 7.1 per cent in industrial production, according to the municipal Department of Industry and Trade.

However, the IIP of the city’s four key sectors - food processing, chemical-rubber-plastics, mechanics and electronics - saw an increase of 5.5 per cent, nearly one percentage point lower than the average rate of the whole industry sector.

Of the four key sectors, the electronics sector saw the highest growth rate of 24 per cent. The mechanical sector was up 9.4 per cent, while the chemical-rubber-plastics rose by 0.7 per cent and the food processing sector hiked by 0.4 per cent.

Nguyen Phuong Dong, deputy director of the department said the inventory index of the city’s processing and manufacturing in August rose remarkably by 53 per cent over the same month last year.

From now to the year-end, the department planned to organise fairs to help enterprises promote consumption of their products. Its officials would regularly meet with industry executives to address their difficulties in a timely manner.

Vietnam’s export turnover up 7.3 percent in eight months

Vietnam’s export turnover hit nearly 170 billion USD in the last eight months, a year on year increase of 7.3 percent, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

Thanks to contributions of the group of mobile phone and accessories, the country enjoyed a trade surplus of 1.7 billion USD in August, which brought the trade surplus for January-August to 3.4 billion USD.

The US remains Vietnam’s biggest importer, buying 38.6 billion USD worth of goods, up 25.3 percent year on year.

It was followed by the EU, China and ASEAN with 27.7 billion USD, 23.8 billion USD, and 17.3 billion USD, respectively.

In the eight months, the country spent 166.58 billion USD on imports, up 8.5 percent from the same period last year.

Experts said enterprises need to tap incentives from free trade agreements Vietnam has signed and pay attention to ensuring regulations related to origin of goods to enjoy tariff preferences.

The MoIT asked its import-export department to build import and export scenarios for markets and sectors, thus devising proper measures to promote exports.

FDI pledges to Vietnam reach US$22.63 billion in first eight months

Vietnam attracted US$22.63 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first eight months of 2019, down 7% over the same period of last year, according to the Foreign Investment Agency.

Specifically, US$9.13 billion was poured into 2,406 new projects while an additional US$4 billion was pledged to existing projects.


Foreign investors also invested another US$9.51 billion through capital contributions and share purchases.

During the same period, FDI disbursement rose 6.3% to reach US$11.96 billion.

Manufacturing remained the most attractive sector to foreign investors, who committed US$15.74 billion, followed by property trading at US$2.31 billion and wholesale and retail at US$1.19 billion.

Among the 103 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, Hong Kong (China) was the largest investor at US$5.63 billion, while the Republic of Korea and Singapore came second and third with US$3.48 billion and US$3.27 billion, respectively.

A breakdown of recipients shows that Hanoi received the largest share of FDI in the January-August period with US$5.66 billion, followed by Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong province with US$3.86 billion and US$1.95 billion, respectively.

Construction on Cam Lo-La Son Expressway to start

The Ministry of Transport announced that the construction on the Cam Lo-La Son section of the major North-South Expressway started on September 1.

The Cam Lo-La Son Expressway section will be 98.35km long, of which over 37km will run through Quang Tri Province and 61km will run through Thua Thien-Hue Province. The expressway will have two lanes allowing maximum speeds of 80km/h. The total investment is estimated at nearly VND7.7trn which will come from government bonds.

Cam Lo-La Son Expressway will connect with Cao Bo-Mai Son Expressway that runs through Nam Dinh and Ninh Binh Province. It is expected to be completed in 2021 along with La Son-Tuy Loan section in order to create the Cam Lo-La Son-Tuy Loan route.

"The bidding must follow procedures and the contractors must be reviewed carefully to prevent weak contractors from the start," said Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The.

The Eastern North-South Expressway consists of 11 sub-projects. There are eight public-private partnership projects and three projects that use state budgets.

Vietnam-Israel trade likely to top 1 bln USD this year

Bilateral trade between Vietnam and Israel will continue thriving this year with its value likely to top 1 billion USD, the Vietnamese trade office in Israel said recently.

According to Vietnamese trade counsellor to the Middle East country Le Thai Hoa, Vietnam exports an estimated 520 million USD to the country and splashes out some 127 million USD on Israeli imports during January-August.

Despite formidable challenges in the Israeli market, Vietnam’s shipments to the country are expected at over 800 million USD, and imports at around 200 million USD for the whole year, he said.

Instable political situation in Israel has made Vietnamese enterprises feel insecured to do business with their Israel partners. Therefore, Vietnamese exports to the country fell slightly during January-July while imports dwindled dramatically, mostly due to a drop in the purchase of Israeli computers and electronic spare parts.

Hoa stressed as the two markets share complementary features, their products do not directly complete with each other. In fact, most of Israeli imports are strength of Vietnam’s exports. Many Israel firms have expressed their interest in buying Vietnamese cashew, tuna, frozen shrimp, squid, beverage, garment, footwear, consumer goods, and dried fruits.

Notably, footwear shipments to Israel in the seven-month period surged 31.8 percent year on year. Besides, Vietnamese rice and shrimp have gained a firm foothold in the Israeli market. However, exports of seafood tapered off 32 percent as Israel started strengthening food safety measures on imports at the end of 2018.

HDBank, MoneyGram sign deal for home remittance service

MoneyGram, a global provider money transfer and payment services, and HDBank recently signed an agreement to provide home remittance delivery services in Vietnam.

Customers in urban areas using HDBank's home remittance service through MoneyGram will receive money within three hours if the transaction is done before 10:30am local time.

Customers living in suburban and rural areas will receive money on the same day, though in remote areas in the north the money might take one day.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Sheshagiri (Sukesh) Malliah, MoneyGram regional head, Indian Subcontinent, Malaysia and Indo-china, said: “MoneyGram has been associated with HDBank for a while now for cash pick up and now HDBank will also help MoneyGram receivers get the money delivered to their doorstep.

“MoneyGram is committed to enhancing our products offerings in Vietnam and we believe this is a progressive and mutually rewarding step towards that goal.”

Le Thanh Trung, deputy CEO of HDBank, said the agreement “marked an important milestone in the co-operation between HDBank and MoneyGram in improving the quality of remittance services.”

“HDBank is one of the few banks in Vietnam to have cash to home service via MoneyGram in AUD besides USD and VND.”

According to MoneyGram, remittances to Vietnam last year reached 18.9 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 37 percent.

Vietnam is among the top 10 countries in the world and second in Southeast Asia after the Philippines in terms of inbound remittances.

Bivalve exports face difficulties: forum

Though exports of bivalves such as clams and scallops have great potential, the industry is facing challenges related to food safety standards and farming, experts told a forum in HCM City recently.

Le Hang of Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers said their exports were worth around $89 million last year, 10 per cent down than 2017 and only around 19 per cent higher than 10 years ago.

Inconsistent supply and tough requirements from importers are hindering exports, she said.

The EU is Viet Nam's biggest market for these products, accounting for around 63 per cent of its exports in 2018 but down 20 per cent from the previous year.

Scallops are the most popular of Viet Nam's bivalve products, accounting for 68.5 per cent, followed by clams.

Hang noted that bivalves fit for export must be harvested from farms that are a part of a national programme, and carry detailed information such as the address of harvesters, harvest dates and location, and the harvesting area's hygiene status.

Most cannot be exported in raw form and have to be heat processed.

Nguyen Thi Dieu Hien of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said many farmers are still small and use old-fashioned ways without forming chains, and thus have to rely on traders.

Small processing businesses are limited in capability and technologies, while bigger businesses are not part of a value chain.

Hoang Quang Phong, deputy chairman of the VCCI, said the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the EU - Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement offer markets and tariff cuts, which could help improve the competitiveness of Vietnamese seafood.

But Vietnamese companies have to abide by regulations governing quality standards, origins and traceability and social responsibility, and could have to change how they operate, harvest and manage their business, he said.

The forum was held by the VCCI and International Collaborating Centre for Aquaculture and Fisheries Sustainability.

Vietnam Airlines launches cash and miles payment method

Passengers can pay for Vietnam Airlines flights with a combination of cash and Lotusmiles when buying tickets from September 2.

This scheme - the first of its kind in Vietnam - is exclusively for Lotusmiles members purchasing tickets on the website or at its ticket offices, the airline said, adding that it is working to extend this payment method to its mobile app.

Starting from 2,000 Lotusmiles miles per passenger per flight, members can use miles to pay for a part of a flight's cost or the whole value of a flight operated by the carrier (not including payment of taxes, fees, and additional costs). The value of the miles used for the payment depends on the time of purchase, departure date, itinerary and booking class.

In addition, Lotusmiles members can use cash and miles to buy a ticket for an accompanying passenger if they share a reservation code, select the seat in advance and purchase checked baggage during the payment process.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the Lotusmiles programme, Vietnam Airlines is offering 2,000 bonus miles for new members registered by September 2019 and on the 20th day of each month until December 31, 2019.

The cash and miles payment method has been implemented by many major airlines in the world including Emirates (UAE), Lufthansa (Germany), Delta Air Lines (US), Thai Airways (Thailand) and EVA Air (Taiwan).

The launch of this payment method allows Vietnam Airlines’ passengers to enjoy its 4-star services at attractive prices, the carrier said in a statement.

Binh Duong, Dong Nai prioritise high-tech projects

The southern provinces of Binh Duong and Dong Nai have given top priority to projects with high added value and rolled out the red carpet for investors with technological breakthroughs.

According to Nguyen Thanh Truc, director of Binh Duong province’s Department of Planning and Investment, the province has lured more than 1.8 billion USD in FDI so far, up 87 percent year-on-year and exceeding its plan by 31 percent.

Notably, the province drew a large-scale project from Japan-based Nippon Telegraph & Telephone (NTT) Group worth 171 million USD. NTT and Vietnam Technology and Telecommunication Joint Stock Company will join hands to provide cloud-based wifi for local enterprises, build optic cable systems and offer ICT solutions.

According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Mai Hung Dung, the province has maintained regular dialogues with large investors like China’s Taiwan, Japan and the Republic of Korea to tackle their challenges while doing business in the locality.
Meanwhile, Dong Nai province is working to solicit foreign investments in various sectors.

As the occupancy rate at local industrial zones has already reached 81 percent, with only 1,300 hectares of space remaining for lease, the province will be more fastidious about choosing foreign investments, with a focus on high-tech projects which are environmentally friendly.

The province welcomed more than 1.1 billion USD of FDI in the first seven months of this year, up 16 percent from the same period last year.

An outstanding project in the support industry is the 72 million USD plant invested by Japanese Otsuka Techno at Nhon Trach Industrial Park, aiming to produce 11 million square metres of plastic film and 220 million plastic ports each year.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Van Vinh said the locality will hold an investment promotion event in Japan in mid-September to attract investment in industry, agriculture and tourism.

Besides, Long Duc industrial park has developed a range of preferential policies for Japanese investors, focusing on mechanics, electricity, electronics, high-quality materials, pharmaceuticals, stationery and interior décor.

Nestle Vietnam doubles production in Hung Yen

Nestle Vietnam launched the second stage of its Nestle Bong Sen plant at Thang Long II urban area, the northern province of Hung Yen, on September 4.

The plant will double its production capacity to meet consumers’ demand for high-quality nutrition products.

Within only two years, Nestle Vietnam’s total investment in Hung Yen rose to nearly 100 million USD.

Since 2017, it has tripled its capital and expanded operation in Hung Yen, with the inauguration of Nestle Bong Sen plant in May 2017 and Nestle Bong Sen distribution centre in March this year.

Nestle’s Technical Director for Asia, Africa and Oceania Christian Schmid affirmed that it gives the top priority to product quality and safety for consumers.

Speaking at the event, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Dang Ngoc Quynh hailed the company for improving local lives and protecting the environment, thus contributing to the province’s sustainable socio-economic development.

Nestle Bong Sen is the sixth plant of Nestle in Vietnam and the second in Hung Yen.

The company is expected to generate about 600 direct and thousands of indirect jobs by 2025.

Leading steelmaker exports 165,000 tonnes in eight months

Leading steelmaker Hoa Phat shipped abroad 165,000 tonnes of construction steel in the first eight months of this year, up 38 percent year-on-year, according to the group.

During the period, it churned out a total of 1.77 million tonnes of construction steel, an increase of more than 20 percent against the corresponding time last year.

In August alone, Hoa Phat produced 193,000 tonnes of construction steel, a year-on-year rise of 7.6 percent, and exported nearly 18,000 tonnes, almost doubling the amount recorded in the same period last year, earning 9.4 million USD.

With these achievements, the group has maintained its leading position in the domestic steel industry with a market share of 25 percent.

Between January and August, Hoa Phat sold 252,883 tonnes of steel to the domestic market, up 2.15 times as compared with the same period of 2018.

Hoa Phat plans to produce some 4 million tonnes of construction steel in 2019.

Last year, it shipped 240,000 tonnes of steel abroad, up 50.97 percent against the previous year.

New, high-tech products displayed in Hanoi

The fifth Vietnam International Conference and Exhibition on Control and Automation (VCCA 2019) opened in Hanoi on September 4.

The event features 200 pavilions established by hundreds of businesses from Vietnam and foreign countries such as Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Thailand, China and Malaysia.

On display are new and high-tech products in smart lighting and agriculture, energy, transport and supporting industry.

There is also a space to support young researchers who have ambitions to launch their own startups.

The VCCA is held biennially by the Vietnam Automation Association (VAA), Hanoi University of Science and Technology and VIETFAIR.

Cambodia’s central bank governor hails Vietnamese firms’ contributions

Governor of the National Bank of Cambodia Chea Chanto has praised contributions by Vietnamese enterprises, especially those operating in the banking sector, to promoting the two countries’ prosperity and tightening solidarity between the two peoples.

Speaking at a recent ceremony to inaugurate a new branch of MB Cambodia – a subsidiary of the Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MBBank) of Vietnam in Phnom Penh, Governor Chea Chanto hailed the Vietnamese bank for its decision to expand investment after the nine years of operation in the Cambodian market.

The move shows Vietnamese investors’ increasing confidence in the market, he added.

He handed over an operation license to representatives of the Orusei office – the new branch of MB Cambodia in Phnom Penh.

In recent years, thanks to maintaining the high economic growth rate at 7 percent per year and political stability, Cambodia has become an attractive market to Vietnamese firms.

Vietnam has so far invested in 214 projects worth 3.2 billion USD in Cambodia. In the first seven months of 2019, Vietnam had four new investment projects in the country and four others with increased capital with total registered capital of 38.5 million USD, equaling to the capital poured into Cambodia in 2018.

The Cambodian Government has applied a series of preferential policies on taxes, customs procedures, licensing in order to attract and create favourable conditions for foreign businesses to invest and do business in Cambodia.-

Vinh Phuc succeeds in attracting FDI

The northern province of Vinh Phuc has reaped impressive achievements in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) over the past three decades, thanks to favourable geographical location and determination to improve business environment.

The province is now home to over 9,700 foreign businesses, against the only 136 recorded in 1997.

According to the provincial People’s Committee, Vinh Phuc now has 18 industrial zones approved by the Prime Minister with a total area of over 5,700ha.

It is expected to house 21 industrial complexes on a site of nearly 500ha by 2020 and 31 ones covering about 700ha by 2030. The province has attracted 11 infrastructure investors with eight zones being put into operation.

Statistics show that there are 224 business projects in the local industrial zones, including 186 foreign-invested and 38 domestic ones, generating jobs for more than 83,000 workers last year.

Last year, foreign firms in Vinh Phuc earned over 4 billion USD in revenue, up 13 percent year-on-year. Of this, 3.1 billion USD was from exports, up 23 percent from a year earlier. The province contributed over 2.6 trillion VND (113 million USD) to the State budget, up 34 percent annually.

In the first quarter of this year, the locality licensed 27 projects, including 19 foreign-invested ones with a total registered capital of more than 87 million USD and eight domestic projects worth 5 trillion VND.

Twelve FDI projects registered to add over 72 million USD to their capital.

As of March, the province recorded 344 FDI projects valued at 4.65 billion USD and 726 domestic ones worth 76.7 trillion VND.

Thanks to incentives for investors, Vinh Phuc has brought in a number of major and prestigious firms such as Toyota, Honda, Daewoo Bus, Piaggo and Sumitomo, contributing to the generation of jobs to 82,000 workers.

Dong Nai sees 2.1-billion-USD trade surplus in eight months

The southern province of Dong Nai enjoyed a trade surplus of 2.1 billion USD in the first eight months of this year, according to the provincial Department of Statistics.

Export turnover of the locality in the reviewed period hit 12.76 billion USD, representing a year-on-year increase of 5.22 percent, while the province spent 10.66 billion USD on imports, up 1.11 percent from the same period last year.

The foreign investment sector is the biggest contributor to the trade surplus with its 8-month export turnover reaching 10.44 billion USD. Meanwhile, the non-State and State-owned economic sectors respectively earned 1.98 billion USD and 333.2 million USD from export.

The provincial People’s Committee attributed the low growth of export turnover in the period to the reduced export of traditional farm products of the locality, including cashew nut, pepper, coffee and rubber.

The US remains Dong Nai’s biggest importer, buying 490.7 million USD worth of goods, accounting to 29.6 percent.

It is followed by Japan and China with 188.3 million USD, and 187.5 million USD, marking up 11.4 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively.

Dong Nai mainly imports animal feed, corn, yarn and plastic materials from China, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan (China).