The banking system and credit institutions are the lifeblood of the nation's economy, with digital information in banking and finance set to become one of the key factors in the digital economy, according to experts.

The issue was discussed in an online forum “Digital Finance 2021” held by the Vietnam Financial Times last week.

Addressing the online forum, Nguyen Viet Hung, deputy head of the Financial Informatics and Statistics Department, told participants that the digital economy, digital government and digital society were three key pillars that supported the national digital transformation programme.

"Digital government helps the government operate more efficiently, effectively and transparently. The digital economy promotes innovation, creates new values, new growth engines and helps increase labour productivity. Digital society helps people have equal opportunities to services, training and knowledge, narrows the development gap and reduces inequality," he said.

Hung added the process of digital transformation was to build a digital banking ecosystem.

In 2018, the Ministry of Finance built an e-government architecture model to act as an information management and planning tool. Last year, the ministry changed it to an overall e-government architecture model towards the goal of becoming a digital financial ecosystem, in which the Government plays a vital role in creating connections with ministries and agencies through the sharing of digital platform data.

To achieve this, the digital financial ecosystem must be capable of building, integrating and sharing public budget financial data for many subjects, giving them the right of quick access to data via the Internet.

Financial and budgetary data was the raw material for people and businesses to use to create digital services that match their demands and models of businesses and individuals in the fastest manner possible.

Hung said that it was expected that a strongly advanced financial industry in 2030 would become a platform for the development of a digital economy by enhancing the value-added in financial services, and transforming economic models.

Hoang Van Cuong, vice rector of National Economics University, said over the past years, the financial sector had gained achievements in administrative reform and in the application of computerisation and digitisation.

In particular, tax management administration and customs have made great strides with a radical change by shifting from paper-based and face-to-face identification and authentication to modern management models by applying information technology in public services arrangements.

The General Department of Taxation has conducted an online tax declaration and payment system, which is connected to commercial banks to implement transactions for tax payments. Switching to online payment has reduced work for customs officers and helped businesses save time and money.

Around 99 per cent of custom clearance procedures are made online. The ease of online tax payment has pleased the business community and new payment methods have prevented errors and ensured immediate cargo clearance.

The World Bank has also acknowledged the efficiency of the electric customs clearance process conducted by Viet Nam Customs. It has helped cut time, and costs worth US$200 million per year.

According to Cuong, this not only saved time, costs and human resources for businesses and citizens, but also enhanced awareness and transparency. It also helped changing methods of communication, minimising negative behaviours, creating a favourable business climate for businesses as well as luring foreign investors to do business in Viet Nam.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation is no longer an option but a critical need for all businesses and countries. The pandemic forces businesses to transform from traditional to new economic models with the application of new technologies. 

US extends conclusion of circumvention probe into local stainless steel plates

The US has unveiled an extension to the time limit for issuing the final conclusion of the anti-dumping and anti-subsidy probe into stainless steel plates originating from the nation, according to the Trade Remedies Authority of Vietnam.

This comes after the US Department of Commerce (DOC) initiated an investigation on May 15, 2020, into anti-dumping and anti-dumping duties on stainless steel plates from the country.

In line with the investigation, the DOC has conducted a probe into a scope inquiry to determine whether Vietnamese stainless steel products are subject to tax imposition or anti-circumvention behaviour.

The DOC had suspected that these products were manufactured in China and then outsourced in Vietnam before subsequently being exported to the US.

According to details provided by the Trade Remedies Authority of Vietnam, the DOC believes that there have been signs that Vietnamese steel products has been able to circumvent the US safeguard measures which had been imposed on Chinese products.

Since February, 2017, the DOC has imposed anti-dumping and anti-dumping duties of between 63.86% and 76.64% on Chinese stainless steel products, while the US‘ import tax rate applied to Vietnamese stainless steel plate is 0%.

As a means of protecting the legitimate interests of local exporters, the Trade Remedies Authority of Vietnam has therefore advised businesses to closely monitor the developments of the case, actively co-operate with the investigating agency, and provide timely feedback on the DOC’s conclusions. This should be done as well as regularly co-ordinating efforts with the authorities who are in the process of handling the case.

Moving forward, the DOC is expected to launch final conclusions of probe into the case by January 5, 2022.

Pandemic taking fizz out of ThaiBev stock

Global food and beverage (F&B) stocks are tumbling amid continuing worries surrounding COVID-19, with ThaiBev’s investment and ambitions in Vietnam being hit hard in particular.

Four years after ThaiBev, one of Southeast Asia’s major brewers, spent nearly $5 billion to acquire a majority stake in Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corporation (SABECO), the stock price of the largest brewage company in Vietnam sits at less than half what it was in 2017 in part due to the ongoing pandemic.

SABECO has made efforts to improve its business performance and management since the pandemic emerged, with stocks hovering around VND150,000 ($7.15) a share last week.

In April, ThaiBev announced that it was postponing plans to sell a 20 per cent stake in its regional beer business via a Singapore listing due to the tough market conditions, aggravated by the raging pandemic.

In response to investors and shareholders in its 2021 virtual annual meeting, ThaiBev said it was hard to avoid some financial impact from the unprecedented situation. However, ThaiBev believed its portfolio is sufficiently resilient as it caters more to off-trade rather than on-trade consumption.

“Thailand and Vietnam have also commenced the rollout of domestic vaccination programmes. It is hoped that the situation in the respective countries will improve as the vaccination rate increases,” said ThaiBev.

SABECO reported consolidated revenues in the second quarter of VND7.27 trillion ($316 million), similar to the same period last year. In the first six months of 2021, its revenues reached VND13.2 trillion ($574 million), up 9 per cent over the year, with profit after tax climbing 6.4 per cent to VND 2.05 trillion ($89.1 million). However, its selling expenses have skyrocketed by 39 per cent and other expenses increased by 210 per cent, leading to a 12 per cent slump in its after-tax profit to VND1.07 trillion ($46.5 million).

It reached nearly 39 per cent of target 2021. SABECO aimed to achieve a net revenue of VND33.49 trillion ($1.46 billion) and after-tax profit of VND5.28 trillion ($229.5 million).

Truong Sy Phu, senior analyst at Bao Viet Securities Company, said, “According to our observations, after only one year of replacing shareholders, SABECO’s profit margin has improved a lot thanks to production management, product distribution, sales organisation and standardisation of cost production and business costs. SABECO today has become much more professional and efficient than before, which is a success for Thai Beverage.”

Since late 2019, ThaiBev has repeatedly denied rumours that it is seeking a buyer for its Vietnamese business. However, the most difficult problem of Thai Beverage lies in revenues: how to increase the presence of SABECO in the on-trade channel (the battle for brand promotion, promotion, and on-trade sales) and increase market share in the high-end segment.

“This is quite an expensive war. This also explains the fact that SABECO and other F&B companies like Heineken are both spending heavily on selling expenses to gain market share,” commented Phu. “However, in the medium and long term, we expect the SABECO’s brand, with the help of Thai Beverage, to gradually become more successful and regain market share from major cities in general and in the mass premium segment.”

SABECO has been standing by Vietnam in the fight against COVID-19 through activities including its community care programme, supporting healthcare frontliners because it believes the quicker the state stabilises economic recovery, the sooner enterprises will return to their development momentum.

Brokers pointed out that stocks in the F&B industry have a quite high dividend payout ratio, very suitable for medium and long-term investment. The pandemic has made it difficult for many businesses to do business, but this has been reflected in prices.

From Wall Street to Sydney, stocks in the F&B sector worldwide continue to dip as the globe attempts to get back to some sort of normality.

Vietnam’s beer industry in particular could take up to two years to recover to pre-pandemic levels. By 2024, spending on alcoholic beverages could reach $13 billion with a compound annual growth rate for 2020-2024 of 9.5 per cent, according to Phuc Hung Securities.

Seven-month export of fine art ceramics sees significant rise

The export of fine art ceramics from Vietnam during the seven months of the year surged by 51.5% to reach US$143.22 compared to the same period from last year, according to statistics compiled by the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

July alone saw the export value of fine art ceramics reach US$19.55 million,  representing a rise of 0.8% compared to June and a year-on-year rise of 43.7%.

The nation exported fine art ceramic products worth a total of US$42.11 million to the EU market during the seven months of the year, a climb of 33.3% on-year.

Furthermore, the export of fine art ceramics to Belgium during the reviewed period soared by 102.3% from last year’s corresponding period to reach US$3.34 million.

Despite the export of fine art ceramics to the Netherlands and France experiencing a decline in July, exports of these products to both markets during the seven-month period skyrocketed, with respective increases of 29.1% and 50.0%, 

Elsewhere, the export of these products to the United States throughout the reviewed period also soared by 63.9% to US$54.36 million on-year.

HCMC: total retail sales of goods decrease by nearly 16 percent

According to the Department of Industry and Trade of Ho Chi Minh City, from August 23 to now, the city has continued to strengthen social distancing following the motto of “staying put wherever you are”, trade activities of goods, food, and foodstuffs in the area encountered many difficulties at first, especially in the supply and distribution activities of food and foodstuffs to citizens.

Total retail sales of goods in August this year were estimated at more than VND24.18 trillion, down 15.93 percent compared to the previous month and 49.3 percent compared to August last year. Of which, retail sales of food and foodstuffs in August were estimated at nearly VND7 trillion, down 7.95 percent compared to the previous month and down 12.2 percent compared to the same period last year.

The city currently has 2,714 places of supply of goods, including 92 supermarkets, nine traditional markets, and more than 2,100 active convenience stores. With the policy of opening following the roadmap within the extent of safety, and ensuring pandemic prevention, the supplement of other distribution channels of essential goods in the near future, such as extending the operating hours of supermarkets, convenience stores, and food stores; allowing people in areas with good pandemic control to go to the market once a week; opening points for gathering and transshipment of agricultural products and food at wholesale markets; especially allowing catering service businesses to operate from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily in the form of takeaway sales, continue to be improved to meet the needs of people.

To ensure smooth circulation and transport of goods, food, and foodstuffs for people, the city continues to collaborate with provinces and cities to establish green channels, deploy flexible traffic plans, and create favorable conditions for enterprises in the supply chain to organize the supply of goods from provinces and cities to HCMC; issue travel permits for priority subjects, and support shippers in the implementation of delivery activities in districts and Thu Duc City.

Up to now, the city has put into operation the point for gathering and transshipment of agricultural products and food at Binh Dien Wholesale Market to supplement the source of essential goods for citizens, with strict regulation that people entering the market must have a negative Covid-19 test result. To support businesses to maintain and restore production and business activities, improve the self-supply capacity of goods, the Department of Industry and Trade has coordinated with the Department of Health, the HCMC Police, and the People's Committees of districts and Thu Duc City to promote vaccination for businesses, timely issue travel permits, urgently complete the set of criteria for evaluating safe activities in the prevention and control of the Covid-19 pandemic at production and commercial establishments in the city.

The Department of Industry and Trade has established a working group to cooperate with districts and Thu Duc City in coordinating the supply of goods, arranging additional workers to prepare and deliver goods to meet the basic needs of people. The supply and distribution of goods through the grocery shopping service is carried out once a week and distributed directly to people. People can also purchase goods through many flexible ordering methods.

From August 23 to September 10, the number of households having registered the grocery shopping service was 1,693,834, accounting for 67.31 percent of the total households in the area. The number of households supplied with goods was 1,666,772, and the rate of fulfilled orders reached 98.4 percent of the registered demand.

According to the plan, the Department of Industry and Trade continues to urgently complete the set of criteria for evaluating safe operations in the prevention and control of the Covid-19 pandemic at production and commercial establishments in the city; at the same time, speed up the progress of vaccination for workers to prepare the “green" human resources for production resumption; coordinate with the People's Committees of districts and Thu Duc City to implement the plan to allow people in District 7 and Cu Chi District to go shopping once a week; review and assess the situation of active traditional markets to study and propose a plan to reopen traditional markets at an appropriate time; grasp difficulties and problems to propose timely solutions for the operations of distribution systems in the area. The Department also coordinates with the HCMC Police to review, supplement, and organize the issuance of travel permits to subjects following regulations; support to increase the shipper force following the roadmap for the delivery of food and goods.

Vietnam’s automobile sales slip to record low due to COVID-19

Vietnam’s automobile sales have borne the brunt of COVID-19 and saw a record low in August since 2015.

In the month, the figure slipped 45 percent compared to that in July as 8,884 vehicles were sold, according to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA).

It was the fifth consecutive month seeing the downward trend of the country’s automobile sales.

In the first eight months of 2021, VAMA members sold a total 175,400 vehicles, representing a decline of 13 percent against the figure recorded in the same period of 2019, when COVID-19 had yet to break out.

The vehicles included 121,549 passenger and 50,034 commercial cars, down 18 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, 3,817 special-purpose vehicles were sold, inching up 1 percent.

The number does not reflect the sales of non-VAMA members such as Audi, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Subaru, Volkswagen and Volvo.

In the eight months, TC Motor of Hyundai Thanh Cong sold 40,248 vehicles, while VinFast of conglomerate Vingroup sold 22,030 units.

A total of 2,310 vehicles of VinFast were handed over to customers across the country in August.

The domestic carmaker is planning to release the first model of its VF e34 electric compact vehicle by the end of this year.

Since the beginning of the fourth wave of COVID-19 outbreaks in Vietnam in late April, various plants, car dealers and repair centres of VAMA members have to halt operations due to social distancing measures in an attempt to curb the spread of the pandemic./.

Shares to accumulate before new earning results season

Market analysts expect the coming easing of social distancing measures will help soothe investors' sentiment and the market will continue to have a few more weeks of accumulation before the third-quarter business results season.

On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, the VN-Index increased 0.1 per cent to close Friday at 1,345.31 points.

The index had risen 0.8 per cent over the last week.

An average of 736 million shares was traded on the southern exchange during each session last week, worth VND22.7 trillion (US$996.3 million).

According to MB Securities Joint Stock Company (MBS), the easing of social distancing measures from September 15 will help stocks in the airlines, retail and export industries rebound strongly.

According to statistics of Saigon Hanoi Securities Joint Stock Company (SHS), last week the consumer service group increased the most thanks to the contribution of stocks in the aviation industry such as Vietnam Airlines JSC (HVN) up 19.6 per cent, Airports Corporation Of VietNam (ACV) rising 7.7 per cent, Vietjet (VJC) up 3.4 per cent, SCSC Cargo Service Corporation (SCS) up 2 per cent, retail stocks such as Digiworld Group (DWG), increasing 19.6 per cent, Mobile World Group (MWG) up 7.9 per cent.

They were followed by stocks in the steel industry such as Hoa Phat Group (HPG), up 4.7 per cent, Nam Kim Group (NKG), up 4.9 per cent and Hoa Sen Group (HSG), up 12.1 per cent.

The information technology group also made gains with notable gainers of FPT Corporation (FPT), up 1.2 per cent, and CMC Group (CMG), increasing by 3.6 per cent.

The banking group increased with gainers Vietinbank (CTG), up 0.8 per cent, Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), up 0.9 per cent, Military Bank (MBB), up 1.1 per cent, Bank for Investment and Development (BID), up 1.7 per cent, Techcombank (TCB), up 2.1 per cent and Vpbank (VPB), up 5 per cent.

SHS said VN-Index was in a struggling price range of 1,330-1,350 points and the trend can only change if it can break out of this zone.

SHS forecast two scenarios for the market trend this week. In the negative scenario, VN-Index may correct again if it cannot overcome the nearest psychological resistance of around 1,350 points. In a positive scenario, if VN-Index surpasses the psychological threshold of 1,350 points, the index may head to the zone of 1,375-1,380 points.

According to Vietnam Foreign Trade Bank Securities Company Limited (VCBS), it is likely that the market will continue to witness a few more weeks of accumulation before the launching of the third-quarter business results season of 2021.

VCBS said that investors could consider gradually accumulating stocks with good prospects for business results in the third and fourth quarters of this year, and observe more to wait for a new price level then look for disbursement opportunities in the next period.

According to news site tinnhanhchungkhoan.vn, VN-Index was in the strong support level of 1,330 - 1,335 points, ready to return to the recovering trend to the old peak resistance of 1,375.

“Never before have we seen so many M&A deals and business acquisitions as this time. Stocks such as Nam MeKong Group JSC (VC3), Vina2 Invest And Construction Joint Stock Company No2 (VC2), BGI Group JSC (VC7), Louis Land JSC (BII), APG Securities JSC (APG), Louis Capital JSC (TGG) have all been restructured,” it said.

“Acquisitions and ownership ratio increasing have led to an improvement in corporate quality and efficiency in the production of business, which will be what every shareholder always looks forward to,” the site said.

"Investors can still choose to find different promising stocks to build a complete portfolio," it said.

In the short termight return to the area of 1,360 - 1,380 points.

“Supporting information for the market is probably the easing of social distancing, the review of the ETFS portfolio taking place in the last two weeks of September and some stock groups have started to accumulate quite actively, such as financial services and insurance stocks,” it said. 

Da Nang industrial zones remain open during lockdown

Production is continuing at six industrial zones and hi-tech parks in the central city of Da Nang, while nearly 80 percent of the total labour force has been maintained since the city began lockdown on August 16.

At least 137 businesses have kept a ‘three-on-site’ policy with a total labour force of 11,000 workers, who have been COVID tested every three days since the lockdown started.

The Head of the Da Nang Hi-tech Park and Industrial Zones Authority (Da Nang HPIZA), Pham Truong Son said more than 8,000 workers of 106 businesses had been given regular tests.

He said 70 percent of 55,000 workers had received their first vaccine shots, and the second shot programme had been planned.

Sơn said Hoa Khanh Industrial Zone was seen largest with 41 enterprises and 5,500 three-on-site workers.

He said businesses at industrial zones and industrial parks needed at least 50 or 60 percent of workers on-site rather than 30 percent as per COVID-19 regulations required by the city’s authorities during lockdown.

“Ensuring three-on-site working status in prevention of the coronavirus was really a hard job for all businesses at industrial zones and industrial parks, while limiting road travelling permissions among workers and vehicles as well as logistics and food supplying added more difficulties,” Son said.

“Businesses have asked for one test every week among 20 percent of total workers in reducing cost for them. They also need one-day off for 30 percent of three-on-site workers, for health recovery,” Son said.

“The city should allow at least one logistics carrier remaining service for providing international payment invoices for B2B and banks. More food and logistics supplies are needed for labour forces at factories.”

Despite difficulties of lockdown and social distancing regulations, the Da Nang’s Information Technology Park JSC has planned the first export cargo of printed circuit boards and electronic components for the US market later this year.

General Director of Da Nang’s Information Technology Park Nguyen Anh Huy said production of the first surface-mount technology factories had remained at Da Nang Hi-Tech Park since early this year.

Executive Director of the Sunshine Aerospace Components Factory of the Universal Alloy Corporation – a leading global manufacturer of aircraft components for aerospace companies – from the US, Liviu Lese said the first sample cargo had already been sent to a partner in the US.

He said COVID-19 had created many difficulties in production progress at the factory since it was put into operation from March 2020.

The Da Nang-based factory will be a sole-source supplier producing over 5,000 unique aerospace components for Boeing aircraft.

According to a report from Da Nang HPIZA, six industrial zones and hi-tech parks earn an annual revenue of 2.5 billion USD, of which more than 1 billion USD comes from exports, contributing to 25 percent of the city's budget.

Da Nang HPIZA has urged the city to speed up vaccination programmes for production recovery as well as resuming exports soon.

The city has been boosting investment from the Middle East, and calling for investment in the first Pharma Park in Vietnam from 30 pharmaceutical production companies in India./.

Securities companies report good growth amid pandemic

Securities companies have recorded growth in eight-month business results amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while stock prices keep rising as investors find opportunities in this group.

Although Viet Nam's stock market witnessed a strong correction in July and is in a sideways phase, the VN-Index still increased by 20.62 per cent in the first 8 months of this year.

Market liquidity continued to grow with the average trading value of the whole market at about VND23.79 trillion (US$1 billion) per session, 3.2 times higher than the average in 2020.

Particularly in August, HOSE set a record on August 20 with a trading value of VND38 trillion, the highest in the past 21 years, equivalent to a trading volume of nearly 1.2 billion shares.

With the above market movements and liquidity, this is a great business condition for the securities industry.

SSI Securities Joint Stock Company reported pre-tax profit of VND1.87 trillion in the first 8 months of the year, higher than the initial plan. In the first half of the year, SSI recorded a pre-tax profit of VND1.23 billion, so in two months, SSI recorded an additional VND650 billion in pre-tax profit.

SmartInvest Securities Joint Stock Company (AAS) announced 8-month revenue of VND467 billion and pre-tax profit of more than VND100 billion, fulfilling 85 per cent of the revenue target and 22 times higher than the profit target.

In July, the company successfully completed the issuance of 49 million private shares, raising the charter capital from VND310 billion to VND800 billion.

On September 27, 2021, AAS will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting to approve the 2021 dividend payment plan of 30 per cent in stock or cash, and adjust the profit plan for 2021 from more than VND4.8 billion to VND200 billion, while keeping the revenue target unchanged.

On the stock market, AAS has recently had a pretty good price increase. Since the beginning of August, it has recorded an increase of 32 per cent.

VNDIRECT Securities JSC (VND) announced 7-month revenue of more than VND2.2 trillion, completing more than 86 per cent of the yearly plan, profit after tax of VND1.1 trillion, 20 per cent higher than the whole year’s plan.

With this result, the Board of Directors of VND expect to consult shareholders on the adjustment of business targets. VNDIRECT sets a new plan with revenue of VND3.95 trillion, up 55 per cent; profit after tax of VND1.6 trillion, up to 82 per cent compared to the original plan.

In the first half of the year, the boom of the market helped many securities companies fulfil or exceed the full year’s plan, such as BIDV Securities (BSC) which recorded a pre-tax profit of VND216 billion, exceeding 20 per cent ​​of the yearly plan; SHS Securities Co (SHS) with VND722 billion, completing 96 per cent of the plan.

Tan Viet Securities In (TVSI) reported 6-month revenue of VND1.4 trillion, up 207 per cent over the same period last year, exceeding the whole year’s plan. Profit before tax reached VND273.5 billion, up 162 per cent over the same period last year, exceeding by 16 per cent the plan for the whole of 2021.

TVSI also completed increasing its charter capital from VND1.08 trillion to VND2.64 trillion in July.

Tri Viet Securities Joint Stock Corporation achieved profit after tax of VND163 billion in H1, exceeding 36 per cent of the yearly plan.

In August, TVB completed increasing its charter capital to VND1.07 trillion, supplementing resources to boost securities brokerage, investment banking and derivatives operations.

In the favourable stock market scenario, TVB plan to exceed the adjusted business plan with an expected profit of VND350 billion.

With good business prospects, securities stocks have become the destination of cash flow, many stocks recorded strong gains.

Da Nang industrial zones remain open during lockdown

Da Nang Hi-Tech Park maintained production when the city was locked town for nearly one-month. — Photo courtesy of Long Hau Corporation

Production is continuing at six industrial zones and hi-tech parks in the central city, while nearly 80 per cent of the total labour force has been maintained since the city began lockdown on August 16.

At least 137 businesses have kept a ‘three-on-site’ policy with a total labour force of 11,000 workers, who have been COVID tested every three days since the lockdown started.

 

The Head of the Da Nang Hi-tech Park and Industrial Zones Authority (Da Nang HPIZA), Pham Truong Son said more than 8,000 workers of 106 businesses had been given regular tests.

He said 70 per cent of 55,000 workers had received their first vaccine shots, and the second shot programme had been planned.

Son said Hoa Khanh Industrial Zone was seen largest with 41 enterprises and 5,500 three-on-site workers.

He said businesses at industrial zones and industrial parks needed at least 50 or 60 per cent of workers on-site rather than 30 per cent as per COVID-19 regulations required by the city’s authorities during lockdown.

“Ensuring three-on-site working status in prevention of the coronavirus was really a hard job for all businesses at industrial zones and industrial parks, while limiting road travelling permissions among workers and vehicles as well as logistics and food supplying added more difficulties,” Son said.

“Businesses have asked for one test every week among 20 per cent of total workers in reducing cost for them. They also need one-day off for 30 per cent of three-on-site workers, for health recovery,” Son said.

“The city should allow at least one logistics carrier remaining service for providing international payment invoices for B2B and banks. More food and logistics supplies are needed for labour forces at factories.”

Despite difficulties of lockdown and social distancing regulations, the Da Nang’s Information Technology Park JSC has planned the first export cargo of printed circuit boards and electronic components for the US market later this year.

General director of Da Nang’s Information Technology Park, Nguyen Anh Huy said production of the first surface-mount technology factories had remained at Da Nang Hi-Tech Park since early this year.

Executive Director of the Sunshine Aerospace Components Factory of the Universal Alloy Corporation – a leading global manufacturer of aircraft components for aerospace companies – from the US, Liviu Lese said the first sample cargo had already been sent to a partner in the US.

He said COVID-19 had created many difficulties in production progress at the factory since it was put into operation from March 2020.

The Da Nang-based factory will be a sole-source supplier producing over 5,000 unique aerospace components for Boeing aircraft.

According to a report from Da Nang HPIZA, six industrial zones and hi-tech parks earn an annual revenue of US$2.5 billion, of which more than US$1 billion comes from exports, contributing to 25 per cent of the city's budget.

Da Nang HPIZA has urged the city to speed up vaccination programmes for production recovery as well as resuming exports soon.

The city has been boosting investment from the Middle East, and calling for investment in the first Pharma Park in Viet Nam from 30 pharmaceutical production companies in India. 

Vietnam enjoys export potential to Turkish market

Despite the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, agricultural exports are seeing bright signs, with Turkey emerging as a potential market for Vietnam, according to insiders.

Data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) show that in the first half of 2021, Vietnam accounts for 94 percent of the market share of cashew imported to Turkey with 4,607 tonnes, bagging 16.47 million USD.

Moreover, the export price of Vietnam's cashew nuts in recent months has decreased compared to the beginning of this year, which has partly helped boost the amount of the product exported to Turkey and occupied a lion's share despite the increasing cost of transportation. The export of Vietnam's pepper to in the Turkish market also recorded a significant growth.

Vietnam keeps the position of the largest exporter of pepper with 2,236.3 tonnes to Turkey for more than 4.32 million USD, occupying nearly 60 percent of the market share in the first 6 months of 2021.

It is currently ranked 4th in terms of export turnover of natural rubber products, accounting for 11.7 percent of the export market share to Turkey.

This shows that the rubber importers of Turkey have gradually paid more attention to this product of Vietnam instead of that from Indonesia or Thailand. The main reason is that the price and quality of Vietnamese product are gradually gaining a competitive advantage over other competitors. Some other Vietnamese exports having strengths and opportunities to penetrate the Turkish market include rice, tea, and seafood.

The Vietnam Trade Office in Turkey recommends that the Government continue to encourage domestic enterprises to participate in trade promotion programmes and fairs in Turkey so as to seek cooperation opportunities with Turkish cashew processing and distribution enterprises./.

OVs actively bring Vietnamese agricultural products to the world

Thanks to the enthusiastic support of Overseas Vietnamese communities and businesses, many Vietnamese agricultural products have been heavily promoted and distributed to assorted markets around the world.

In the Australian market, MCQ supermarket chain and AusViet Company are implementing a programme entitled ‘Vietnam, Land of the World's Best Rice’ from August 18 to September 27, aiming to present 10,000 bags of Vietnam’s Ban Mai Cung Dinh rice to consumers in Australia. The rice will be distributed via the M-Import company and MCQ supermarket chain.

In addition, the AusViet company is also offering hundreds of promotional gifts of Vietnam’s ST25 and Jasmine Vilaconic rice trademarks in Melbourne.

Established by a Vietnamese expat, the MCQ supermarket chain has conducted a number of campaigns to promote Vietnamese agricultural products in Australia such as lychee, longan, dragon fruit, mango, and frozen durian.

Previously in mid-June, the trade office of Vietnam in the Netherlands and the LTP Import Export BV company organised a tasting programme entitled ‘Vietnam fresh golden lychees – Taste it, love it’ at Thanh Hung Supermarket in Spijkenisse city, attracting the interest of visitors.

Van Anh, owner of the Thanh Hung supermarket, said that her business is willing to support the consumption of lychees in the host country, adding that as Chinese lychees are priced at EUR 22-25 per kilo, Vietnamese lychee with the lower price of EUR18 per kilo will definitely attract more customers. 

Overseas Vietnamese communities have provided strong support to bring Vietnamese goods to the world market, helping them be sold at supermarkets in their host countries.

Vietnamese supermarkets can be seen in most cities in France, including the Thanh Binh - Jeune supermarket in Paris or Tien Hung supermarket in Strasbourg . Vietnamese agricultural products and processed foods, such as rice, rice paper, and fish sauce, have also appeared on the shelves of French supermarket chains like Auchan or Carrefour.

Dong Xuan market in Berlin, Germany and SAPA market in Praha, Czech are big commercial centers serving as gateways to bring Vietnamese goods into the German and Czech markets. Vietnamese products at these markets are sold at cheaper prices than in other markets, making them a popular shopping placesfor both Overseas Vietnamese as well as local people.

President of the Union of Vietnamese Business Associations in Europe Hoang Manh Hue said that Overseas Vietnamese people in the EU currently have very good facilities to develop the trading and consumption of domestic products. Moreover, overseas Vietnamese enterprises have a certain understanding of European customs and tastes after years living abroad.

“We are willing to act as sales agents and representatives of Vietnamese goods in Europe,” Hue said.

In early August, the first batch of Vietnamese lychees was shipped to the Netherlands by sea by LTP Import Export B.V. The fruit still retained its original pink color and fragrant flavour after a five-week sea voyage, helping the lychee be sold at a price one-third lower than those shipped by air.

Pham Van Hien, Director of LTP Import Export B.V. said that in the coming time, his company will grow the import of goods from Vietnam. Currently, 50% of the company's imports are from Vietnam.

In order to further promote Vietnamese agricultural products in foreign markets, domestic businesses should boost efficiency in cooperation with overseas Vietnamese enterprises, which can help to reduce costs and increase the opportunity to penetrate foreign markets.

In addition, domestic businesses should also take measures to improve their product quality, maintain price stability, and upgrade the infrastructure serving exports.

Director of LTP Import Export B.V. Pham Van Hien said that in the long term, exporters and localities need to work together to improve their growing areas, particularly areas meeting VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards, in order to increase productivity and competitiveness.

Notably, businesses should make further investment in preservation technology so that fruits can be shipped abroad by sea, which can help reduce costs and increase competitiveness, he added.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has initially built a database of Overseas Vietnamese entrepreneurs, creating conditions for domestic and Overseas Vietnamese enterprises to connect and establish business partnerships, contributing to supporting the consumption of Vietnamese goods abroad.

Rice, devices provided to three provinces to aid COVID-19 fight

Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai has signed decisions to allocate rice, tents and electricity generators from the national reserves to Gia Lai, Binh Phuoc and Soc Trang province to support people affected by the epidemic and serve the localities' COVID-19 prevention and control.

Specifically, Decision 1499/QD-TTg assigns the Finance Ministry to grant 208,875 tonnes of rice from the national reserve to Gia Lai province to distribute to people affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.

Gia Lai is required to provide distribute the rice to the right people in a timely manner according to regulations and in line with local epidemic prevention and control.

Under Decision1500/QD-TTg, the Deputy Prime Minister also assigned the Ministry of Finance to provide tents and generators from the national reserve to the People's Committees of Binh Phuoc and Soc Trang provinces. Each province receives 30 sets of canvas houses and two sets of 30 KVA generators.

The local government of two provinces Binh Phuoc and Soc Trang are required to manage and use the devices in accordance with regulations./.

Quang Ninh proposes VND2.2 trillion general port in Q4 2021

The northern coastal province of Quang Ninh has proposed a project on building the Van Ninh general port with total investment of VND2.24 trillion (US$99 million), which, if approved, is expected to start construction in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the Viet Nam Maritime Administration.

The administration said in a document submitted recently to the Transport Ministry that at the request of the provincial People's Committee, the project has been added to the development planning for seaports capable of accommodating 10,000 DWT vessels.

Currently, under the research for a sea port development master plan for 2021-2030 submitted to the Prime Minister last July, Van Ninh along with Van Gia port, is designated as a general port, handling liquid and gas products as well as passengers, serving domestic waterway transport and capable of accommodating ships of up to 20,000 DWT and larger.

Therefore, the proposal of Quang Ninh is in line with the research.

Previously, at the end of August 2020, the People's Committee of Quang Ninh Province sent a document to the Ministry of Transport on the investment plan for phase 1 of Van Ninh general port.

Accordingly, the overall target was to build a general cargo and container port capable of receiving ships of up to 20,000 DWT, with a throughput capacity of 1.68 million tonnes per year by 2024 and 2.8 million tonnes per year by 2028.

The province hoped to start construction of the port in the fourth quarter of 2021; and put it into operation in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Vietnam’s onsen complex touted as world's first in UK, US newspapers

The Sunday Times of the UK and the International Business Times of the US have run articles entitled “The World’s First Onsen Complex” on The Landmark Swanlake Residences by Ecopark in Vietnam.

The newspapers said that new global standards of residential living are being set by the site, which is the world’s first onsen complex with the hot springs facility in every residential unit. It was the first real estate project of Vietnam to be featured in such prestigious newspapers.

According to International Business Times, the estate, part of Ecopark residential area in Hung Yen province outskirts of Hanoi, is disrupting the construction industry and changing the way homes are designed and built.

Vietnam’s onsen complex touted as world's first in UK, US newspapers hinh anh 2
The Sunday Times of the UK runs a article on The Landmark Swanlake Residences of (Photo: vneconomy.vn)
Ecopark previously surpassed over 10,000 rivals to earn the title of the urban area with the best scenery design in the world.

Hailing it as “revolutionary”, the newspaper said The Landmark will offer a living environment that goes beyond the most stringent criteria of Vietnam’s realty sector.

Currently under development, the residential project is one of Ecopark’s multiple construction phases, featuring onsen facilities in every residential unit. It is operated by leading Japanese groups such as Raymond, Nomura, and Tribe./.

Ha Noi continues to support businesses affected by COVID-19

The Chairman of the Ha Noi People's Council has issued Official Dispatch No 20/CD-UBND on accelerating the control of the COVID-9 pandemic in the city to promote socio-economic development.

Chairman of the Ha Noi People's Council Chu Ngoc Anh requested authorities to guide and support businesses to maintain safe production and business activities to ensure regulations on prevention and control of the pandemic, ensuring that production and circulation chains are not disrupted.

A representative of the Suntravel JSC, an enterprise which received tax support last year, said that Ha Noi created favourable conditions for businesses in the area to delay payment of a number of taxes, so that businesses were still able to operate and pay salaries.

Director of CNC Viet Nam Technology JSC Nguyen Trong Luc said that businesses were interested in policies such as tax extensions and reductions as most of them were suffering heavy consequences from the pandemic.

Ha Noi had always stood with businesses and promptly adjusted policies in a flexible manner, he added.

Questions and suggestions on accommodation and travel expenses of individual employees, whether they were supported or exempt from tax, were promptly answered by the tax authorities. This not only solved difficulties, but also created a more confident mentality, said the director.

Recently, the Government submitted Report No 289/TTr-CP on August 13 to the National Assembly Standing Committee and a draft resolution on a number of tax exemption and tax reduction policies to support businesses and people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Experts and businesses said that the support was necessary and urgent to help the business community and people overcome difficulties.

According to the draft resolution, it will continue to reduce 30 per cent of payable corporate income tax this year for enterprises, co-operatives, non-business units and other organisations affected by the pandemic as applied last year.

In addition, the Ministry of Finance has also submitted to the Prime Minister a 30 per cent reduction in land rent payable this year for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

ASEAN logistics sector could put on growth spurt without entry barriers: OECD

If some of the competition restrictions in ASEAN’s logistics industry are lifted, the bloc’s economies could be better off by more than US$4.5 billion annually, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has claimed in a report titled ‘OECD Competition Assessment Reviews: Logistics Sector in ASEAN.’

ASEAN and the OECD launched the report together with another called ‘OECD Competitive Neutrality Reviews: Small-Package Delivery Services in ASEAN’ at the virtual ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting on September 9.

According to the report, the logistics sector constitutes a cornerstone for the development of an integrated internal market in ASEAN.

It now accounts for 5 per cent of the bloc’s GDP and employment, providing around 17 million jobs.

But in some ASEAN member countries, logistics costs account for up to 20 per cent of the price of finished goods, almost double the global average. This is a de facto levy on consumers and businesses alike that could be reduced by addressing obstacles to competition in supply chains.

Rethinking regulations governing FDI in the logistics sector would help member states grow their economies. Some ASEAN member states still have FDI restriction in place as well as horizontal regulations that make it difficult to do business for both foreign and domestic firms.

It has been estimated that reducing barriers to trade and FDI restrictions to the global average could deliver a GDP boost of up to 17 per cent in the medium to long terms.

Additionally, pro-competitive policies have a gender dimension. Some studies have estimated that the removal of gender bias in the economy, including logistics, could increase GDP in the region by up to 30 per cent.

“If a number of the competition restrictions identified by the OECD in ASEAN’s logistics industry were lifted, the bloc’s economies could be better off by more than $4.5 billion annually. This is a very conservative estimate as it does not take into account spillover effects such as increased employment, lower barriers to market entry for small and medium-sized enterprises and improved cross-border trade.”

Ruben Maximiano, senior competition expert at the OECD, told Viet Nam News by email: “The reports find that Viet Nam has made significant progress over time in liberalising its foreign direct investment regime and is now one of the most open economies to foreign investment in Southeast Asia in terms of statutory restrictions.

“However, the reports find that for logistics, restrictions are higher than in other sectors or in comparable countries as many activities are considered conditional business sectors.

“The reports include data showing that the level of restrictiveness in the transport sector in Viet Nam is higher than in many other ASEAN countries. Such above-average restrictions in the transport sector compared to other ASEAN countries are likely to hamper competitiveness of local firms.

“Also, the broad formulation of criteria to assess FDI may result in uncertainty for investors and raise barriers to entry.

“More specifically, the reports identify some regulatory restrictions that might hinder foreign investments, such as restrictions on foreign equity for certain logistics activities (transport services by railway, road transport services or other logistics activities classified as conditional businesses).”

The OECD, in its recent report titled ‘OECD Competition Assessment Reviews: Logistics Sector in Vietnam’, recommends that the Vietnamese Government should exclude logistics-relevant businesses from the list of conditional business sectors and progressively relax foreign equity limits in the transport sector.

The two reports are the culmination of three years of independent research by OECD on regulatory and legislative obstacles to competition in the logistics industries in all 10 ASEAN member states, which was facilitated by the ASEAN Secretariat.

The reports identified legislative and regulatory issues in the logistics sector that would hinder it from reaching its full potential. They provide policy recommendations to governments to help the industry boost growth and speed up its recovery from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mathias Cormann, secretary general of the OECD, said, “As we seek to optimise the strength and the quality of the recovery, greater openness and pro-competitive reforms will be a crucial element to stimulate the growth of new businesses and jobs, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, which account for almost 90 per cent of all enterprises across the whole bloc and nearly half of all employment.”

Dato Dr Amin Liew Abdullah, chair of the AEM Meeting and minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and minister of finance and economy II, Brunei Darussalam, said, “The current economic and pandemic crisis confronting ASEAN and the world has brought on the need to reset competition policy and its implementation to suit the current economic and social context.

“Competition policy and law cannot work in isolation from other public policies and must be complemented by other related industrial policies, with robust implementation to support a competitive business environment.”

Project looks to bolster Viet Nam’s dragon fruit exports to Europe

A project to improve the quality of tropical fruit grown in Viet Nam sponsored by the Dutch government has kicked off, offering chances for sustainable exports of dragon fruit to the challenging market of Europe.

Viet Nam’s dragon fruit growing areas have been quickly expanded over the years to about 60,000ha. At present, consumption of the fruit heavily depends on the Chinese market.

The project aims to enhance chances for exports of the fruit to the European market, heard a recent webinar arranged by an affiliate of Eurofins Scientific testing laboratories company.

It is also hoped to support farmers to apply farming methods to meet technical standards of European importers, as well as connect importers in the Netherlands and tropical fruit growers in Viet Nam.

The project focuses on introducing tools, solutions and technology to help farmers enjoy higher yield.

Of note, it will apply Eurofins Scientific’s quality testing technology on soil for dragon fruit cultivation, along with in-field activities on farming techniques based on its own recommendations and process. Outcomes will be publicised widely.

Together with product quality and a trustworthy long-term supply planning, control over the use of pesticides is an important factor for the export of dragon fruit to Europe.

Vietnamese exporters are advised to learn about eligible substances and the accurate amount required by each importer so as to inform fruit growers.

In addition to the Netherlands, countries in western and eastern Europe are viewed as potential importers of Viet Nam’s dragon fruit.

The project, which runs until March 2024, is to support four southern Vietnamese provinces – Binh Thuan, Long An, Ben Tre and Dong Thap - to improve the quality of three local tropical fruits - dragon fruit, mango and grapefruit - for export to the European market. 

Oil company pays 278 million USD to state budget

Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Joint Stock Company (BSR) paid more than 6.33 trillion VND (nearly 278 million USD) to the state budget in the past 8 months.

Deputy General Director Bui Ngoc Duong said due to the sharp decline in domestic gasoline consumption in the third quarter, the company is experiencing difficulties in production and business activities. In the past 8 months, it produced 4.48 million tonnes and sold 4.13 million tonnes for 60.805 trillion VND.

It has developed four production and business scenarios on the basis of the COVID-19 pandemic development and the forecast of the domestic and foreign petroleum markets.

Director of Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN) Le Manh Hung asked the BSR to achieve 2 goals: cash flow management, and state budget payment target./.

Vietnam exploring Russian market

Vietnam has been benefiting from the Vietnam-EAEU FTA since it took effect in 2016, which has ever since created opportunities for Vietnamese exports to the Russia – the largest market in the EAEU.

According to data from the General Department of Customs, Vietnam's export turnover of agricultural, forestry and fishery products to the Russian market in the first seven months of 2021 increased by 34.2 percent over the same period last year, reaching 323.26 million USD.

Moreover, aquatic products, agricultural products saw high growth in export turnover compared to the same period last year. However, tea, rice, wood and wooden products experienced a decrease in export turnover to the Russian market.

According to data from the Russian Customs agency, in the first six months of 2021, the country imported a total of 117,880 tonnes of coffee, up 4.8 percent over the same period last year.

In particular, Vietnam is the largest coffee supplier to Russia with 36,770 tonnes, accounting for 31.2 percent of the marketshare.

However, it is hard to find Vietnam's branded coffee on the shelves of supermarket chains in Russia because about 99 percent of Vietnamese coffee imported into Russia is raw beans.

Vietnamese businesses are urged to carefully study and take advantage of the incentives of the VN-EAEU FTA to better improve the exports to the Russian market in the near future./.

Centre supporting RoK startups opens in HCM City

COO Builder, which supports startups of the Republic of Korea (RoK) to operate in Vietnam, has opened a startup centre in Ho Chi Minh City, reported the RoK’s Aju business daily.

Employees of the centre, with experience and great understanding in investment, startup and supporting startups, can speak Vietnamese, English, Chinese and Korean.

The centre will provide company building services required by the RoK side like recruitment of local workers, visa and housing issues.

Joo-Hong Lee, a co-founder of Coo Builder, said that it has exerted efforts to provide other supplementary services with a hope that RoK startups will contribute to the development of Vietnam’s startup ecosystem.

Coo Builder is to expand its operation to other Vietnamese cities in the first half of 2022.

Vietnam’s startup ecosystem is highly regarded in Southeast Asia, however, infrastructure shortages have been a spanner in its development./.

Vietnam business news
Vietnam business news

Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/SGGP/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes  

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS SEPTEMBER 12

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS SEPTEMBER 12

Vietnam continues to be attractive investment destination: HSBC