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Export revenue of tra fish to the Russian market in the first 10 months of this year fell 31 percent compared to last year to 12.5 million USD, reported the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

According to the association, the sharp drop followed last year’s declining trend, and was likely to continue for the rest of 2019.

VASEP said that in the last two years, Russia’s tra fish consumption has been modest, with unstable import prices.

Meanwhile, the European country’s imports of frozen tra fish fillets have increased slightly by 3 percent, but that of frozen whole fish have fallen 29 percent./.

Conference on boosting exports to China

China is a big market for Vietnamese agricultural, forestry and fishery products, but it also poses many barriers to imported products, requiring businesses to be keenly aware of market conditions, according to insiders.

They were speaking at a recent conference on agricultural, forestry and seafood exports to China in Mong Cai City in the northern province of Quang Ninh.

The conference was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the People's Committee of the northern province of Quang Ninh within the framework of Viet Nam-China international trade and tourism fair 2019.

“China is a big market with a population of 1.4 billion people. Viet Nam is a neighbouring country with geographical advantages, so there are big opportunities for large import and export enterprises,” said Nguyen Quoc Toan, director of the Agricultural Products Processing and Market Development of Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“The Chinese market always appreciates the prospect and potential of development in trade of agricultural, forestry and fishery products of Viet Nam. However, recently, the number of Vietnamese agricultural and fishery products exported to China has dropped sharply,” he added.

China has been strengthening its management system and has certain requirements in terms of standards, traceability, packaging, labels and packaging, which has affected the exports of many enterprises.

Tran Van Cong, deputy director of the Agricultural Products Processing and Market Development of Department, said Vietnamese enterprises had to change their thoughts on production organisation.

“State management agencies from the central to local levels must also provide active support for businesses so Vietnamese goods can gain certifications, helping businesses have enough preparation to meet the Chinese market’s demand,” said Cong.

In recent years, bilateral trade turnover between Viet Nam and China has increased at an average rate of more than 20 per cent per year.

Two-way trade turnover reached US$108 billion last year and $94.5 billion in the first 10 months of this year.

China is consistently one of the largest importers for Vietnamese agricultural, forestry and aquatic products.

With its economic position, Quang Ninh had been a gateway of not only Viet Nam and other ASEAN countries with the Chinese market, but also the centre of the north-south corridor in the Greater Mekong Sub-region co-operation, said Bui Van Khang, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, at the conference.

The value of import and export of goods through the province in recent years has increased at a high level. Import-export turnover hit $3.2 billion in the first 10 months of this year, up 10.3 per cent over the same period last year.

To promote cross-border activities, the province has improved transport infrastructure, as well as border gate systems.

Also at the conference, there was a signing ceremony of business co-operation between six pairs of Vietnamese and Chinese enterprises with total value of more than VND15 trillion ($644 million).

SeABank's strong impression in the first nine months of 2019

According to the State Bank of Vietnam, the banking sector’s business performance in the first nine months of 2019 has been continuously improved with good results in terms of profits and credit growth. Besides such positive indicators, many banks also made a strong impression with significant events.

There were many highlights in the performance picture of the credit institution system. Credit continued growing at 8.64 per cent, capital mobilisation increased by 9.03 per cent, while the exchange rate and foreign exchange market were kept stable.

Remarkably, non-cash payment activities grew dramatically, as financial transactions via mobile phones increased exponentially with 202 million transactions worth VND2.09 quadrillion (US$88.6 billion). A series of banks were recognised as meeting Basel II standards.

Contributing to the whole sector’s achievements, Southeast Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SeABank) has made efforts to complete the database, promote risk management, improve financial capacity, and diversify products and services. One of the services welcomed by customers is free money transfers via electronic banking (SeANet, SeAMobile). All of these developments aimed at better serving customers' needs, offering them modern and convenient financial products and services.

By the end of the third quarter of 2019, SeABank also made a breakthrough with pre-tax profit of VND683 billion, up 65 per cent over the same period last year. Total bank assets reached VND152.56 trillion. Total outstanding loans reached VND93.32 trillion while total capital mobilisation was VND90.75 trillion. Non-performing loan ratio was 1.36 per cent. Net interest income reached VND2.25 trillion, an increase of 27.3 per cent year on year.

Especially, the bank's net income from service activities topped VND286 billion, triple the figure of the same period last year. In addition, SeABank also completed raising its chartered capital to VND9.37 trillion and has become one of the 16 banks with the largest chartered capital in Viet Nam.

These impressive figures have helped SeABank be highly appreciated by investors, partners, customers and gain a certain position in the sector’s rankings. This is best evidenced by Moody’s – one of the three most prestigious credit rating organisations in the world – has given SeABank a B1 long-term credit rating, which reflects SeABank's good financial capacity and development potentials.

After the announcement from Moody's, in October 2019, SeABank was approved by the State Bank of Vietnam to apply Basel II standards ahead of the deadline set for banks under Circular 41/2016/TT-NHNN. The bank was also voted by The Asian Banker in the Top 500 Asia and Pacific's largest and strongest banks and was honoured by Vietnam Report as 70th among the 500 most profitable private enterprises in Viet Nam in 2019.

Along with financial and banking operations, SeABank also features a series of activities for the community, one of which was the ‘SeABank Run For The Future 2019’ competition. The programme helped raise funds, nurturing the dream for poor high school students, with 41 scholarships worth VND3.2 billion offered. Another campaign is ‘Let's Go Green With SeABank’ to call for the bank’s employees to limit waste discharge.

Sharing her thoughts about these impressive achievements, Ms. Le Thu Thuy, SeABank's General Director, said: “SeABank has impressive business results, and we have also been recognised by the State management agency and prestigious international organisations for our stable performance and contributions to the development of the country, and above all our relentless efforts to best serve our customers.

“These are very significant milestones for SeABank, reflecting its good financial capacity, effective operations and strong reputation, and contributing to enhancing its position and increasing SeABank's competitiveness in the market, especially in international financial markets.”

“When considering options of banking services, customers can feel completely secure when deciding to use the products and services of a bank with good financial capacity, healthy and stable operation authenticated by the State Bank of Vietnam, Moody's and other prestigious organisations,” Thuy said.

SeABank has created a good journey for customers to experience when they decide to do transactions at the bank, she added.

SeABank's performance is one of the highlights of the banking industry, along with many other banks that are actively providing customers with the best products and services. With the current growth rate, it is absolutely possible to expect a “big win” in the financial year of 2019 of the banking industry.

THACO sets up major auto parts industrial park

Developing supporting industries to increase the use of locally produced parts is an urgent requirement if Viet Nam's automobile industry is to be developed, and this will also help grow other industries.

In the context of the country’s increasingly deeper integration and facing fierce competition from car imports from ASEAN member countries and elsewhere in the world, investment in supporting industries to increase the rate of use of locally made parts and gradually enter the global supply chain is the direction chosen by many businesses to improve their competitiveness and ensure sustainable growth.

Truong Hai Auto Corporation (THACO) is one of the pioneers and largest investors in supporting industries.

Based on the situation on the ground in the automobile industry and the company’s production and business, THACO developed a strategy for increasing the use of local parts and participation in the global value chain right at the beginning when it invested in the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone in 2003.

In addition to investing in new auto manufacturing and assembly plants and upgrades to existing plants to increase automation and digital management for mass production to meet customers' specific requirements, THACO has built Viet Nam's largest automobile parts manufacturing industrial park at the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone in Quang Nam Province. It is almost 100 hectares in size.

It has 12 factories producing automobile parts, a mechanical engineering complex, not only supplying THACO's auto assembly factories and other companies but also exporting to Southeast Asian markets and elsewhere.

The products made in these factories include interior and exterior items for buses, trucks and passenger cars; composite components; leaf springs; glass; air-conditioners; bumpers; auto frames; seats and seat covers; wire harnesses; chassis; and many others.

The factories have acquired technology from Japan and South Korea and installed modern equipment and use intelligent management systems throughout the production chain from ordering, to manufacturing and distribution.

For instance, the automotive springs plant uses production technologies transferred from South Korea’ s Daewon Group with a modern machinery system such as heat treatment line, ram line, shot blasting line, zinc coating line and quality control equipment on each stage.

The plastic components plant is equipped with a 3,200-tonne-injection moulding system and the most advanced plastic coating technology in Viet Nam with paint robots and an automatic paint feeding system.

The automobile seat plant has modern, automatic machines imported from Europe and South Korea, which produce seats for many different models and brands.

To master its own technologies and designs, THACO has invested in an R&D centre.

It also promotes joint ventures and collaborates with partners to acquire new technologies to improve their products and receive technical support for manufacturing spare parts and components for trucks, buses and passenger cars from Korea and Japan.

THACO has completely mastered the technologies used in manufacturing components like glass, seats, springs, wires, mechanical engineering components (passenger cars’ moving parts, trunks, exhaust pipes, hydraulic cylinders, bus frame, and punching components), plastic components (bumpers and interior components), air conditioning, composite components and others.

Increasing local parts rate, exports

By investing in spare parts and manufacturing plants, THACO has achieved a local parts use rate for certain auto models of over 40 per cent, meeting the regional value content (RVC) criterion and enjoying the zero tax rate when exporting to ASEAN countries while also exporting components to other countries and gradually joining the global value chain.

The largest exports are of car bumpers, passenger car wiring kits, leaf springs, and seat covers for passenger cars, with Korea, Japan, Russia, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, and Germany being the main export markets.

THACO’s component exports were worth over US$20 million last year and are expected to rise to $25 million this year. The company plans to expand its exports to the Europe and America in the coming time.

It plans to invest further in building new supporting industries plants to enhance automation, establish joint-venture components factories for Mazda vehicles when the output reaches 50,000 vehicles a year and acquire technology from companies who supply components to Mazda.

It will also continue to enter into joint ventures and partnerships with foreign companies to build factories for manufacturing products for export in the THACO Chu Lai Industrial Park, tie up with Kia Motors’s suppliers to produce high-tech parts, and enter the Kia and Foton OEM component supply chain in Viet Nam.

THACO also plans to develop non-auto products based on its existing technology platforms with appropriate quality and competitive prices to meet customer needs.

HNX approves listing of IDICO

The Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX) has approved the listing of 192 million shares by the Viet Nam Urban and Industrial Zone Development Investment Corporation (IDICO) on the HNX, under the code IDC.

The first trading day is scheduled for December 10, and the reference price has been set at VND18,500 (US$0.8).

IDC has charter capital of VND3 trillion, equivalent to 300 million shares.

After being equitised in October 2017, IDC offered 135 million shares to two strategic investors, real estate developers SSG Group and Bitexco, with 67.5 million shares each.

Some of the shares were offered to the company’s employees. The remaining 108 million shares are still owned by the State, specifically the Ministry of Construction.

In the first nine months of this year, IDC’s net revenue reached VND3.55 trillion, up 26.3 per cent year-on-year. Post-tax profit totalled VND424 billion, an increase of 21.6 per cent compared to 2018.

Seafood firm Vinh Hoan to pay dividend in shares

The Dong Thap Province-based Vinh Hoan Company (VHC), the largest tra fish exporter in Viet Nam, plans to issue nearly 91 million shares to pay a 2019 dividend.

The shares will be issued at the ratio of 1:1, which means a shareholder who owns one share will receive an additional share.

The source of dividend payout will come from the company’s undistributed post-tax profit as of December 31, 2018.

VHC’s undistributed post-tax profit reached VND3.1 trillion (US$134 million) at the end of 2018.

In the first nine months of this year, VHC achieved VND718 billion in pre-tax profit, down 55 per cent compared to the same period last year.

In the fist 10 months of this year, the company’s export turnover reached $229 million, down 16.6 per cent year-on-year, lower than the same period in 2017.

HFT Securities changes its name

South Korea-based Hanwha Investment and Securities Co's partner HFT Securities has launched its new name Pinetree Securities on December 4.

At the ceremony held in Ha Noi, Pinetree Securities announced it will promote investment into digital financial services.

“Pinetree Securities will offer digital finance services optimised for the Vietnamese financial market,” said Lee Jun Hyuck, Ceo of Pinetree Securities.

“From December 1,2 Pinetree will begin our lifetime free of transaction policy and we hope it will attract many investors.”

Established and operating since 2003, Pinetree has become the first online securities companies in Viet Nam.

It provides low cost securities services on a high technology platform, giving customers the best experience in the investment process.

Pinetree officially became a member of Hanwha Investment & Securities and Hanwha Group (Korea) in April 2019.

Pinetree Securities aims to become a leading securities company in Viet Nam by 2025.

Nearly 6,000 agricultural products granted traceability codes

The Ha Noi Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has so far managed and granted administrative account codes for 2,527 for facilities, co-operatives, businesses and shops which trade safe food, agro, forestry and fishery products in the capital city.

That marks an increase of 543 facilities compared to the end of last year.

The department also granted QR codes to access information transparently for 495 businesses that have completed the procedure of joining hn.check.net.vn, with a total of managed codes for more than 5,900 products, an increase of 2,700 product codes compared to end of last year.

Notably, the department has piloted five traceability for agro, forestry and fishery products.

The department also has completed the regulation and pilot operation of e-commerce market Cho Nha Minh (My Home Market) at www.chonhaminh.gov.vn or www.myhomemarkets.gov.vn.

Work has also been reviewed on development of traceability system of agro, forestry and fishery products in the capital city of Ha Noi and e-commerce market consuming safe agricultural products.

The Ha Noi Department of Agriculture and Rural Development co-operated with the Integration Development Enterprise Center (IDE) under the Vietnam Association of Small and Medium Enterprises have completed the building of the traceability system for agro, forestry and seafood products in Ha Noi with the domain name at www.hn.check.vn.

Hotels must use latest digital technologies to stay ahead of the game

The hotel industry in HCM City should take advantage of technology to improve management, offer more conveniences to customers and increase profits.

Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, deputy director of the city’s Department of Tourism, said that disruptive technology was changing the face of the country’s hospitality sector.

Hospitality start-ups and technology firms had great potential to tap into the hotel industry in HCM City, she said at a meeting in HCM City this week.

“The (traditional) hotel industry is under pressure because it is using outdated business models and has had to adapt and change much more than many other asset classes."

Booking platforms and social media were all working to disrupt the industry. However, the application of IT in the hotel business was still limited and inconsistent, lowering business efficiency, she said.

“Application of technology will change the tourism industry, including tourism promotions, modes of travel, travel experiences at the destination, and the hotel sector,” Hoa said.

For the hotel sector, technology improves management, promotes marketing and responds to guest opinions, as well as enhances payment methods for customers.

“In addition, it helps increase professionalism and competitiveness with other hotels,” she said.

At the meeting, technology firms introduced tech solutions to improve management capacity and customer interactions during booking or paying.

Nguyen Duy Phuc, business director of ezCloud Global Technology Ltd, said in recent years the tourism industry had grown but become more competitive, which requires businesses to constantly innovate.

At the conference, domestic and foreign suppliers introduced a variety of technologies for business activities in the digital age. Technology solutions for managing and selling hotel rooms include CMC Telecom, Conera, Neolock, and Gotadi platforms, among others.

The company’s platform ezCloudhotel supervises all activities of the hotel, such as number of guests, revenues, reservations, room availability, and check-in and check-out activities, Phuc said.

It also features integration with smart locks and direct connection with online booking channels, as well as other essential utilities such as Point of Sales (POS), email marketing and mobile applications.

In addition, it offers real-time reports with statistics about arrivals, departures and revenues, and supervises an access hotel management system via mobile phones, laptops and tablets.

HCM City has more than 2,320 accommodation establishments, of which there are about 20 five-star hotels and about 120 hotels of three or more stars, according to the Department of Tourism.

The event was organised by the department in collaboration with ezCloud Global Technology Ltd.

Created in 2013, EzCloud aims to assist hoteliers simplify management and business. It provides a hotel business management platform in Viet Nam with more than 4,000 customers, according to Phuc.

Thai investors propose further delay to giant petrochemical project

Two Thai investors have requested a 3-year extension for launching a petrochemical complex in southern Vietnam owing to land acquisition delays.

They have proposed that commercial operations of the Long Son Petrochemical Complex in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province be deferred to December 2022.

The investors have also proposed that investment capital for the project be increased by 27 percent to $5.15 billion, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The investors, Vina SCG Chemicals Company Limited (VSCG) and Thai Plastic & Chemicals Public Company Limited (TPC), have said challenges in land acquisition and compensation have delayed implementation, the ministry said in a report to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The report also said the change in investment capital is to increase the competitiveness and economic efficiency of the project with new technologies.

The two investors are expected to contribute $2.1 billion, or 40 percent of the project, and borrow the rest from six banks in Thailand, Japan and Singapore. However, as of June, they had only released $800 million, or 38 percent of their commitment.

Long Son Petrochemical (LSP) was conceived as a joint venture between VSCG (a unit of Thai conglomerate SCG), the state-run PetroVietnam and Qatar Petroleum in 2008.

After the 2008 global financial crisis, the project stalled, and the Qatari partner withdrew in 2015, and SCG bought its stake in 2017. Last year SCG also bought PetroVietnam’s stake in the project.

The complex covers 464 hectares and will create over 1,000 jobs when operational. It is set to contribute $115 million annually for 30 years to state coffers.

Petrochemicals are used to manufacture a variety of products including plastics, medicines, cosmetics and electronics.

Meeting talks sustainable development of agricultural material areas

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) held a meeting in Hanoi on December 5 to discuss ways to sustainably develop raw material areas and improve processing capacity and market access for agro-products of Vietnam.

MARD Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said though the agricultural sector of Vietnam has obtained major achievements, it cannot rest on its laurels due to three challenges, which are the small production scale, climate change impacts and economic integration into the world.

He admitted that the country has good agricultural production capacity but the production remains ineffective due to the small scale. Besides, deep processing has just developed for only some commodities like shrimp, tra fish and milk to create products with higher added value. Most of other agricultural products have very short value chains.

Vietnamese farm produce have entered 180 markets with total export revenue of over 40 billion USD each year. However, the country has only done a good job in opening new markets while market exploitation and development efforts are still modest, the official noted.

 

Echoing the view, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam Ousmane Dione said there remain concerns about the quality and sustainability of the country’s agricultural growth, pointing out the low profit for smallholders, a lack of strong connection between product quality and food safety, big post-harvest losses, and limited innovation.

He recommended Vietnam consolidate the connectivity among the main factors in agricultural development, boost cooperation in production planning among provinces, and increase trade promotion.

According to Minister Cuong, to address those shortcomings, it is a must to boost agricultural restructuring with a focus on enhancing concentrated production, developing commodities of Vietnam’s strength, applying scientific advances, and re-organising production.

Dang Kim Son, former Director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, said raw material areas are the starting point and the foundation of agricultural value chains, noting that the successful formation of these areas will be the prerequisite for handling other stages in value chains.

Sharing their experience in forming raw material areas, a representative of the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) said they chose small- and medium-sized private companies located in the core zones of raw material areas so as to cut down intermediary steps, reduce the cost of risk, and better monitor input materials.

UNIDO has successfully applied this model to building chains for mango in the Mekong Delta and for vegetables in the northern mountainous region, the representative said, noting that one of the first two businesses licensed to export mango to the US is involved in this model.

At the meeting, the MARD and UNIDO signed an agreement to implement a project on improving the quality and the adherence to quality standards of mango value chains in the Mekong Delta.

Bac Giang agricultural products showcased in capital

The northern province of Bac Giang is showcasing its farm produce at Thanh Cong Supermarket in Ha Noi.

This move aims to bring the province's agricultural products grown in accordance with VietGAP or GlobalGAP standards closer to Hanoians.

In his speech at the ceremony on Sunday, Tran Quang Tan, Director of Bac Giang Department of Industry and Trade said Bac Giang has great potential for agricultural development, with many quality farm products.

The province has set up a large agricultural production zone with 47,000ha of fruit planting area, the third largest such area in Viet Nam. Most of the area, about 30,000ha, is used for planting lychees – a fruit well-known in Viet Nam and around the world.

Other fruits such as Luc Ngan orange and Luc Ngan grapefruit have won prestige in domestic and world markets, he said.

According to Tan, Bac Giang was the nation's first province to publish a list of 52 key and high potential farm produce including lychee, orange, grapefruit, quality rice, safe vegetables, tea, mushroom, chicken and fish.

In recent years, the locality has teamed up with the capital to promote consumption of key agricultural products and better serve the demand of consumers in the city, he added.

A juicy treat for orange lovers

Lovers of oranges rejoice! An entire week dedicated to the delicious cam sanh (King Orange) fruit is being planned.

The seven day orange bonanza will begin on December 20 featuring fruit from from the northern Ha Giang Province.

The event has been organised by the Ha Noi Promotion Agency (HPA), Ha Noi's Department of Industry and Trade and Hoan Kiem District.

According to the organiser, there will be about 20 stalls, including oranges and other products from Ha Giang's One Commune-One Product (OCOP)

The event will be held at Nha Bat Giac (Octagon House) located behind the bronze statue of King Ly Thai To, facing the Hoan Kiem Lake.

Organisers say this is a perfect opportunity to introduce the delights of the north to residents and tourists in Ha Noi,

Ha Giang king orange is famous for its sweet and juicy taste. It is also a bit bigger than other types of oranges in Viet Nam.

In recent years, Ha Giang Province has increased the orange plantation areas. In the 2016-2018 period, it added another 180ha each year, producing 12,000 tonnes every 12 months.

This year, the province is expected to harvest more than 50,000 tonnes of king oranges.

Quang Binh Province develops southward with eye on investment

Improved infrastructure, incentive policies and natural advantages have made the central province of Quang Binh a new investment magnet.

Situated 200km from Da Nang City, Quang Binh boasts excellent transport links in the form of National Highway 1A, the Ho Chi Minh Highway, the Asia Highway and National Highway 12A.

This and the Cha Lo border gate with Laos have greatly helped the province foster trade.

Its Dong Hoi Airport is soon set to be upgraded to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)’s 4G standard after which it can handle three million passengers a year. Experts predict this to be a watershed in boosting trade and attracting investors.

Quang Binh also has many historical and tourism sites like the Ngang and Ly Hoa passes and beautiful beaches.

The top attraction attractions are of course the Phong Nha – Ke Bang , Thien Duong and Son Doong caves, the last of which is the largest natural cave in the world.

Quang Binh plans to develop towards the south with a focus on tourism.

It will improve infrastructure there in key places to connect Dong Hoi City with other districts as well as neighbouring provinces.

Phu Hai Ward would be developed into one of the key investment destinations, the province has said.

Many large infrastructure works have been completed here to ensure facilities for transportation, trade, healthcare, and services are available.

They include the Nhat Le 2 Bridge, which opened to traffic last year, and the Nhat Le 3 Bridge and Vo Nguyen Giap Boulevard to be finished by next year.

When the latter bridge is finished, it will take only three minutes to go from golf courses in the city to tourism areas along the sea.

Another major project is the widening of Quang Trung Road connecting Dong Hoi City with Phu Hai and Le Thuy wards.

A new market will be built, new parks will be developed and a modern bus station will come up in the south of Dong Hoi.

A number of resorts and restaurants have come up along beaches.

Besides improving infrastructure, province authorities also often meet with investors to help resolve their difficulties while doing business in.

The province attracted over US$7.05 billion worth of investments last year.

They were in a number of sectors like infrastructure, transportation, tourism, and energy, the province said, adding they would all be on stream by 2021.

PVOIL strengthens petrol quality management for benefits of customers

PetroVietnam Oil Corporation (PVOIL) has strengthened the quality control of petroleum in its storage, transport and distribution system to ensure the best interests of customers.

Cao Hoai Duong, PVOIL General Director speaks to Vietnam News Agency about this issue.

With nearly 600 petrol and oil retail stations in all provinces and cities and 23 subsidiaries, what solutions has PVOIL done to manage the quality of its petroleum products?

PVOIL has had a process of controlling petroleum quality at all stages including import, storage, processing, dispatching and transport to ensure quality according to current regulations.

PVOIL has only imported petroleum products from reliable partners such as Shell, Total, SK Korea and Singapore. We also checked all customs documents of the imports.

With domestic supply, PVOIL uses products from Dung Quat Oil Refinery Plant and Nghi Son Oil Refinery Plant. Besides checking certificates, PVOIL also performs quality testing before moving it to its storage facility.

During storage, quality control of petroleum tanks is carried out daily. In case the results do not meet the quality standards, PVOIL will immediately stop pumping gasoline from those tanks to the retail stations.

For blended gasoline products, input materials are checked for quality before blending. The additives for blending petrol and oil products must meet standards on safety, hygiene, human health and environment.

The blended petrol and oil products must meet Viet Nam’s quality standards. PVOIL has not sold petroleum products without quality certification.

In the transport stage, PVOIL has implemented GPS for control of all trucks transporting petrol and oil products. Thanks to the strict quality management process, up to now, the PVOIL has not received any complaints from customers regarding the quality of petrol and oil products.

How has PVOIL implemented quality control at its 3,000 agents, and affiliated and franchised stations?

PVOIL control and take responsibility for the quality of petrol and oil products sold at agents that sell PVOIL’s products exclusively.

However, it is difficult for affiliated and franchised stations because they may purchase from other sources.

PVOIL have economic contracts with them so the corporation cen terminate the contracts in case violations were found.

However, this solution is not efficient because if they do not buy from PVOIL, they can switch to buying petrol and oil products from other petroleum traders.

Therefore, we expect the State management agencies to strengthen inspection, post-inspection and strict sanctions against businesses that have violation relating to quality of product. In particular, it is necessary to have close cooperation between State management agencies and enterprises in controlling this issue.

How does PVOIL have a strategy to develop petrol stations in the future?

Petrol is an essential commodity. When buying this commodity, consumers must buy with confidence because they could not check quality and volume of the petrol they buy.

Therefore, PVOIL’s important principle is protection of customers' interests.

To attract customers, we must have attractive petrol stations and professional services. Recently, it has had projects to improve the quality of customer service at its petrol stations.

With clean petrol stations and sales staff wearing uniforms with the PVOIL logo, customers can easily see PVOIL petrol stations to buy petrol products.

Currently, PVOIL has not had a lot of opportunities for developing petrol stations in big cities due to limited land, high land rent and a large number of available petrol stations.

Therefore, PVOIL will focus on developing petrol stations in other provinces and cities, new urban areas and industrial zones where there is still room for development.

With a lot of petroleum stores nationwide, it could ensure the transportation of petrol retail stations in rural areas to meet local demand and ensure competitive price.

Currently, PVOIL has nearly 600 stores on the domestic market, accounting for about 26 per cent of the domestic petrol retail system. The percentage is targeted to increase to 35 per cent in the future.

HCM City hosts international trade fair

The 17th Vietnam International Trade Fair, one of the largest trade promotion events in the country, opened 0n Wednesday in HCM City.

The four-day fair has attracted 850 businesses from 20 countries and territories making electronic devices and products, hardware products and hand tools, construction materials, household products, and consumer goods.

It features three specialised events - Hardware and Hand Tools Expo, Garden and Landscape Expo and Vietnam Electrical Appliance Expo.

The South Korea pavilion has more than 120 enterprises from industrial and technological centres such as Seoul, Suwon (Gyeonggido), Incheon, and Daejeon.

They businesses are expected to ink new deals with Vietnamese partners at the fair. Last year some 850 were signed at the expo.

The Indonesian pavilion showcases high-quality products such as pre-packaged foods, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, and seeks to provide links with Indonesia’s fast-growing industries and promote bilateral trade to achieve the target of US$10 billion set for 2020.

The fair is being organised by the Viet Nam National Trade Fair and Advertising Company (Vinexad) at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre.

JETRO opens agro business meeting

The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) opened the Japan-Viet Nam Agricultural Business Meeting 2019 in Ha Noion Wednesday.

The meeting drew 23 Japanese enterprises trading agricultural materials and equipment to seek opportunities in agriculture in Viet Nam. According to JETRO, 150 Vietnamese enterprises also registered for the event.

Tomofumi Abe, JETRO’s project director, told Viet Nam News that the Japanese businesses hoped to sell agricultural equipment and materials while Vietnamese businesses wanted to buy Japanese equipment and technology for agricultural production and processing of agricultural products.

For many years, Japanese enterprises have paid attention to manufacturing because this is a very important industry Viet Nam needs support for, Abe said. But now, they have focused on agricultural production, consumer goods and food industries of Viet Nam.

Aiming to develop agriculture, the Vietnamese Government has paid attention to using high-quality Japanese technology, machinery and materials in agriculture to improve productivity and the added value of agricultural products.

Private enterprises in Viet Nam are also planning to expand their business in agriculture.

“Therefore, many Japanese enterprises specialising in supply of equipment in agriculture production participated in this meeting,” Abe said. “They want to provide equipment and transfer preservation and processing technology in agriculture to Vietnamese enterprises to improve the quality of agricultural products.”

The meeting will help the two countries’ businesses establish long-term and reliable partnerships, Abe said.

Nearly 200 exhibitors join Vietnam Medipharm Expo 2019 the capital

The 2019 Viet Nam International Medical, Hospital and Pharmaceutical Exhibition (Vietnam Medipharm Expo) is taking place from Thursday until Saturday in the capital city, attracting 180 foreign and domestic exhibitors.

Firms taking part are from India, Poland, Belarus, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, mainland China and Japan, as well as the US, Russia, Spain, Turkey and Ukraine, according to the event’s organiser, the Viet Nam National Trade Fair & Advertising Company (Vinexad).

They are showcasing pharmaceuticals, herbs, functional foods; food processing and packing machinery; hospital services and medical tourism; beauty care, aesthetics; dental products, ophthalmic products; medical equipment; laboratory equipment and chemicals at 220 booths.

At the opening ceremony, Nguyen Dinh Anh, head of the Ministry of Health's Department of Communications, Emulation and Reward described the event as an opportunity for organisations and businesses to promote products, exchange experiences, seize investment opportunities, expand markets, and promote co-operation to improve efficiency in production and business.

The Ministry of Health wished to create a fair, healthy, stable and competitive business environment for enterprises, considering them as the driving force for economic development.

This year, the event witnesses the participation of a large number of prestigious domestic enterprises such as Abipha International Pharmaceutical JSC, B.Pure VietNam Co Ltd, Minh Hoang Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, Vlaser Technology Science JSC, Attivo International Co Ltd, Hanoi IEC Co Ltd, Kim Dental Co Ltd, Phan Anh Manufacturers -Trading Medical Equipment Co Ltd and Avanta Diagnostics Co Ltd.

Besides the domestic exhibitors, the event also welcomes big names in the international market such as Tania (Japan); Apaxel, Mas, K-Beauty Katecare and Bio Health Doctor (Korea); Sole Pharma (Lavita); Biofaktor (Poland); Meditek (Russia); Corena (Turkey), Borimed (Belarus), Mexpo (USA) and Zdorovye (Ukraine).

A seminar on introducing and updating new policies and regulations in manufacturing and trading of pharmaceutical products and medical equipment in Viet Nam is also held on the sidelines.

Other activities such as a programme connecting domestic and foreign businesses (Business matching); a special customer purchase programme (VIPs Buyer) and a business meeting between Vietnamese and Russian businesses are also included.

Held at the Ha Noi International Exhibition Centre, the exhibition is expected to welcome around 10,000 visitors.

Vietnam Expo 2019 opens in HCM City

The 2019 Vietnam International Trade Fair (Vietnam Expo) kicked off in Ho Chi Minh City on December 4.

The event, the 17th of its kind held in the city, features 900 booths of 850 exhibitors from 20 countries and territories.

It is divided into respective exhibiting areas, including the hardware & hand tools expo, with 400 pavilions, the Vietnam electrical appliance expo and the garden & lands care zone.

Pham Dang Khanh, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Trade Fair & Advertising Company (Vinexad), one of the organisers, said the annual event aims to attract foreign businesses which are ready to collaborate with Vietnamese partners in various sectors.

Notably, the exhibition zone of the Republic of Korea this time sees the participation of more than 120 firms of the country’s technological and industrial hubs such as Seoul, Suwon, Incheon and Daejeon.

The expo will run until December 7./.

Directors key for company growth

With the Vietnamese economy still growing, firms' boards of directors should develop to take advantage of opportunities, a top businessman has said.

Dominic Scriven OBE, chairman of Dragon Capital Group and vice chairman of Vietnam Institute of Directors (VIOD), said the portents in the world economy were poor due to potential trade wars, slow growth and large public debt at the VIOD Annual Forum 2019 in Hanoi on December 3.

With the institute considering board leadership crucial during times of transition and rapid development, VIOD’s forum was a chance for board members to network to address various board leadership issues facing Vietnamese firms.

Scriven, who was awarded the Order of Labour, said he appreciated the strong growth in Vietnam, with inflation under control and foreign investment increasing.

He told Viet Nam News “Amid current uncertainty of the world economy, Vietnam still remains an 'oasis' with the national economy growing over the last 10 years.”

“The Vietnamese dong is one of the most stable currencies,” he added.

In the long term, he said: “Vietnam will witness strong growth of the middle class and the growing role of the private sector.”

Dominic said salaries at the top 50 listed companies in the past eight years had almost doubled.

He thought in such context, the role of boards of directors was “very important” as they were able to take advantage of Vietnam's opportunities.

Also at the forum, Elisa Mallis, Managing Director and Vice President, Asia Pacific, Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), said though men dominated Asian boards, the situation had improved in Vietnam.

A CCL survey showed that the percentage of women on board in Vietnam was 25 percent, the highest percentage in Southeast Asia, followed by Malaysia with 19 percent while Indonesia had the least with 8 percent.

Chris Lawley, Vice President, Diligent Corporation, APAC said a challenge for boards was limited innovation in governance. He told the forum that though digital technology had impacted board governance, it was surprising to see that few firms paid enough attention to the matter.

“Cybersecurity is an enterprise-wide responsibility with engagement required from the topmost levels," he said.

He took an example if one email address in a firm was attacked by hackers, there could be at least another 40 targets selected for further attacks. If those at the top were attacked, it could involve the whole firm.

Tieu Yen Trinh, CEO, Talentnet Corporation told Viet Nam News that boards sat at the centre of the corporate governance system and play critical roles in the direction and oversight of the company.

“Their benefit should be developed on an overall basis and should be used to motivate directors in their services,” she said.

Trinh suggested the board’s remuneration should be determined by the Board of Directors and disclosed completely to all shareholders./.