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State budget collection in the first nine months of this year reached VND975.3 trillion (US$42.4 billion), equivalent to 64.5% of the estimate and representing a drop of 11.5% year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Finance.

Of the total, central budget revenue fulfilled 60.4% of the estimate and local budget revenue, 69.8%.

The ministry said that the sector deployed measures to achieve the highest target in revenue collection 2020 and strengthened revenue management in the area, prevention of revenue loss, smuggling, trade fraud and transfer pricing, and reduction of tax debts; while focusing on reviewing tax debts of branches and classifying groups of recoverable tax and irrecoverable tax debts.

Meanwhile, the total State budget spending in nine months was over VND1,113 trillion, equivalent to 63.7% of the estimate, rising 8.1% over the same period in 2019. The spending aimed to meet the demand of socio-economic development, defence, security, State management and payment for debts as well as pandemic prevention and natural disaster mitigation.

As of September 24, VND17.49 trillion had been paid to COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control and support to affected people.

In the rest of the year, the ministry will direct the Administration of Taxation to focus on reclaiming tax debts and make information public in line with the Law on Tax Management.

Besides, the ministry will continue assessing the State budget collection in 2020 in accordance to economic growth scenarios, while making reports on State budget spending management for the fourth quarter, and coordinating with relevant agencies to speed up the progress of capital allocation and disbursement.

Finance Ministry orders Ministry of Construction to inspect VICEM’s investments

The Ministry of Finance has asked the Ministry of Construction to inspect and supervise the management of investments by the Vietnam Cement Industry Corporation (VICEM) to ensure the effectiveness of its investment activities.

In a document on VICEM’s financial capacity and performance in 2019 sent to the Ministry of Construction, the firm earned nearly VND1.4 trillion in revenue, or 82% of the figure recorded in 2018.

According to the Ministry of Finance, VICEM’s revenue from dividends decreased by VND370 billion or 27.6% to VND971 billion.

With a total investment of over VND13.6 trillion, the ratio of dividends to the total investment last year stood at 7.1%, down 2.7% over 2018.

By December 31 last year, VICEM was meant to take back loans worth more than VND2.2 trillion, including VND700 billion from Tam Diep Cement Co., Ltd, VND100 billion from Halong Cement JSC and VND288 billion from Song Thao Cement JSC. However, these companies have incurred heavy accumulative losses and are finding it hard to pay back the loans.

The financial condition of the three companies is poor and they are dependent on loans to maintain their operations. Therefore, they must also be placed under special supervision.

In addition, other VICEM subsidiaries, such as But Son, Hoang Mai and Hai Van Cement JSCs, have reported a poor performance and are finding it tough to pay the short-term loans.

As a result, the Ministry of Finance has asked VICEM to control and take back loans from its subsidiaries, assess investments to ensure effectiveness and work out solutions over inefficient investments.

In addition, it must uncover the reasons for and find solutions to deal with the difficulties of its subsidiaries and restructure its capital sources to prevent financial risks.

As for the equitization of VICEM, the Ministry of Construction should quickly approve a plan to deal with VICEM’s assets and land lots and equitize the firm as scheduled. In case of changes in VICEM’s equitization plan, the Ministry of Construction must report these changes to the prime minister.

According to the Ministry of Finance, both the parent and subsidiary companies of VICEM generated a total revenue of VND29.3 trillion and a profit of nearly VND2.5 trillion, up 4.05% and 2.43%, respectively, over 2018.

However, the dividend that the parent company received last year was only 72.4% of that received in 2018 as Ha Tien 1 Cement JSC paid a dividend of 80% of the dividend in 2018, while the dividends paid by other affiliated companies were less than half of those in 2018.

According to the Ministry of Finance, it is unreasonable that the firm reported a growth in production and business but received lower dividends against the previous year. Therefore, it asked VICEM to direct its representatives at subsidiaries, joint ventures and affiliated companies to vote for higher dividend ratios to ensure the effectiveness of the use of capital, especially at joint ventures with foreign firms.

HCMC seeks capital for two big-ticket traffic infrastructure projects

The HCMC government has requested the Ministry of Planning and Investment to arrange capital for the An Phu Intersection project in District 2 and another project to revitalize the Tham Luong-Ben Cat-Rach Nuoc Len Canal, which costs an estimated VND13 trillion (US$560.8 million), both aimed at boosting regional connectivity and the city’s socioeconomic development.

The city wants the two projects to be executed in the 2021-2025 period.

Specifically, the An Phu Intersection project will connect Mai Chi Tho Avenue with the HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway, and the North-South Expressway with HCMC.

The intersection, when completed, will help ease traffic congestion in the area, which is always overcrowded with vehicles. The project is also in line with the Ministry of Transport’s plan to expand the HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway to eight lanes.

The project includes two tunnels, two two-lane overpasses, a rapid transit road for cars between the two lanes of the HCMC-Long Thanh-Dau Giay Expressway and the Ba Dat bridge.

The project costs more than VND5.1 trillion, of which over VND3.28 trillion was proposed to be sourced from the State budget and some VND1.82 trillion from the city’s budget.

As for the project to revitalize the Tham Luong-Ben Cat-Rach Nuoc Len Canal, which connects HCMC with Long An via the Cho Dem River and with Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces via the Saigon River, the required investment will be VND8.2 trillion.

Accordingly, the city will build a 32.7-kilometer dyke, dredge the canal, upgrade sewers linking to the canal, build 14 wharves along the canal and construct roads and infrastructure facilities along the banks of the canal.

The project is aimed at preventing floods in districts 12, Binh Tan, Tan Phu, Tan Binh, Go Vap, Binh Thanh and Binh Chanh, forming a road and waterway system connecting HCMC and the Mekong Delta as well as Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces in a bid to reduce traffic jams and develop tourism and cargo transport, revitalizing the area and reducing the environmental pollution.

The site clearance work for the project has been completed. The HCMC government proposed the State provide more than VND7.2 trillion for the project while the remainder will be sourced from the city’s budget.

Two sub-projects of North-South Expressway not have enough investors

After the bidding period for the Nghi Son - Dien Chau and National Highway No.45 - Nghi Son expressway projects has expired, there have not been sufficient number of investors following the regulations.

Particularly, the Project Management Board No.6 has not received any bid files from investors of the Nghi Son - Dien Chau expressway project.

Regarding the National Highway No.45 - Nghi Son expressway project, only one investor submitted the bid document to the Project Management Board No.2. 

According to the Ministry of Transport, the expiration of the deadline for bidding extension, but there are not enough investors submitting their bids (from two investors according to regulations of the National Assembly and Government.

Previously, on October 2, the Project Management Boards opened bids to select investors for five sub-projects of the North-South Expressway in the East. As a result, there were only three sub-projects having from two investors submitted bidding documents, including Dien Chau - Bai Vot (two investors), Nha Trang - Cam Lam ( two investors) and Cam Lam - Vinh Hao (three investors).

The two rest projects do not have any investor submitted bids, including The National Highway No.45 - Nghi Son and Nghi Son -Dien Chau.

Amid the situation, the Ministry of Transport approved to extend the bidding closing time for these two projects until 2:30 PM of October 12.

The Nghi Son - Dien Chau section has 50 kilometers length passing through two provinces of Thanh Hoa and Nghe An with a total investment capital of the project for the technical design worth VND7,371 billion (US$318 million). Of which, the capital from the investors is VND4,821 billion (US$208 million) and the State's support capital is VND2,550 billion (US$110 million).

The National Highway No.45 - Nghi Son project has a length of 43 kilometers with its total investment of about VND6,333 billion (US$273 million). Of which, the State's capital support is about VND2,033 billion (US$87.6 million), the rest comes from the capital of investors.

HCMC-based enterprises propose construction of supporting industry zones

At the recent meeting in the third quarter of the Ho Chi Minh City Association of Mechanical and Electrical Enterprises (HAMEE), economic experts, the executive committee of the association, and nearly 400 members, which are typical enterprises in the industry, urgently petitioned for the building of supporting industrial zones and clusters to help enterprises to develop sustainably.

Although Ho Chi Minh City is the leader in the economic development of the country, so far, there has been no supporting industry development zone or cluster to create a destination and connection point for both domestic and foreign-invested enterprises to have opportunities to trade and establish cooperation with each other.

Previously, to create conditions to support enterprises, the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City issued Decision No.1790/QD-UBND on May 22 on the establishment of industry development councils. To implement this decision, HAMEE has been cooperating with the Department of Industry and Trade of HCMC to carry out the project "Made by Vietnam", which is considered a breakthrough program, aiming to increase the localization ratio, and replacing the previous situation of only specializing in assembly under the form of "Made in Vietnam" of foreign-invested enterprises, as well as domestic assembly enterprises.

The form of “Made by Vietnam” not only helps to increase competitiveness, opens up great opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises, but also promotes the development of supporting industries by supply and value chains, and joins hands with the State and associations to develop strategies for the development of industries, clusters, provinces, and the country from actual needs of the market.

Vietnam seeks investments from Japan, S.Korea into supporting industries   

Vietnam will actively and selectively attract foreign investments, taking high-quality, efficiency, modern technology and environmental protection as the key benchmarks.

Vietnam is looking to attract investors from Japan and South Korea into the country’s supporting industries as the localization rate of the sector is quite low compared to some countries in the region, according to General Director of the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment Do Nhat Hoang.

“To create favorable conditions for businesses who want to invest or expand their footprint in Vietnam, we have established a task force with the aim of solving every hurdle they are facing,” Mr. Hoang said at a signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the FIA and Ernst & Young Vietnam Limited (EY Vietnam) on October 6.

The MoU targets promoting investment opportunities towards the investors including EY clients across the globe, paving the way for their new and/ or expanded investment in Vietnam.

Under the MoU, FIA will provide EY Vietnam with updated information on directions and policies to draw investment into Vietnam. The agency also assists investors introduced by EY Vietnam to conduct researches and implement business-investment procedures in accordance with the law; endorse, resolve or forward the investors’ recommendations to the relevant authorities.

On the other hand, EY Vietnam will introduce and recommend potential investors who are EY clients globally to invest in Vietnam, especially those from Japan and South Korea, countries that have the largest FDI value realized in Vietnam.

Additionally, EY may coordinate with the FIA to organize seminars, conferences and round-table discussions for investors introduced by EY, depending on the scale and features of each event.

EY Capital Confidence Barometer’s survey conducted in early 2020 indicated that 74% of Japanese companies interviewed will likely to change the set-up of their supply chain after Covid-19. Therefore, this could be a good opportunity for the Vietnamese government to attract investment arising from that trend.

Implementing the MoU, EY Vietnam will also keep FIA well informed of trading and investment trends regionally and globally; support FIA to conduct detailed and strategic researches in order to evaluate opportunities, effective investment models, solutions and best practices for Vietnam.

The MoU signed in the context that Vietnam has favorable conditions to engage international investors. As a result of the negative impacts triggered by Covid-19 and trade tensions among substantial countries and territories, multinational corporations are accelerating the restructuring of their global value chain while seeking to reduce the dependence on a single market.

“Vietnam will actively and selectively attract foreign investments, taking high-quality, efficiency, modern technology and environmental protection as the key benchmarks” said  Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong. "Vietnam also prioritizes advanced technology and green projects, with high value-added components, connecting with global production and supply chains”.

Mr Tran Dinh Cuong, Country Managing Partner, EY Vietnam said the company is committed to supporting multinational conglomerates and hi-tech firms to gain a thorough understanding of local business environment, incentives policies, promoting sectors and areas – whereby leading to an increment of both foreign direct and indirect investment.

By the end of September 20, 2020, Vietnam had 32,658 valid FDI projects with a total registered capital of US$381.5 billion. Aggregated implementation capital of these projects is estimated at US$225.8 billion, equivalent to 59.1% of the total legitimately registered investment capital, according to data from the FIA.

Australia's LOGOS acquires its first Vietnam development site in Hanoi   

Hanoi and two other cities in Vietnam are key markets of the Australian logistics and real estate company.
LOGOS announced that it has completed its first acquisition in Vietnam of a 13-hectare development site located in Hanoi following the establishment of LOGOS Vietnam Logistics Venture last month.

The new venture has an initial estimated portfolio of approximately US$350 million by gross asset value. It is the fourth by LOGOS this year, totaling over US$1 billion raised by the group throughout the region.

Through this venture, LOGOS and its investment partners aim to establish a modern, quality portfolio of logistics facilities to support local and international customers’ growth across Vietnam.

Located within the VSIP Bac Ninh Phase 1 Industrial Park, the site offers immediate access to National Highway No.1A and surrounding transport networks, and is 35 minutes from the central city and Noi Bai airport and 1.5 hours from Hai Phong seaport. The site is considered one of the key logistics locations in Hanoi and is strategically positioned for its customers.

The acquisition was realized after two years of assessing the local market and following the establishment of its Vietnam venture in August. “Our decision to invest in the VSIP Bac Ninh Phase 1 Industrial Park was reinforced by major occupiers having existing facilities within the park, including FM Logistic, Emergent Cold, LinFox and DB Schenker,” Glenn Hughes, Head of Vietnam, said.

The company is currently in discussion with a number of existing and new customers regarding the estate.

Vietnam logistics market continues to experience strong growth driven by global trade wars, decentralization of supply chains and a natural evolution of the market. Occupier demand, driven by e-commerce and third-party logistics operators, remains solid as occupiers are starved of suitable logistics facilities to sustain the growth of their business operations.

Enterprize Energy eyes to invest US$12 billion in Vietnam’s offshore wind power

If the project is approved by the Vietnamese government, the investor’s partners will come to Vietnam to manufacture wind turbine.

UK-based Enterprize Energy is seeking approval from the Vietnamese government to invest US$12 billion in an offshore wind power project off the coast of the central province of Binh Thuan.

Ian Raymond Hatton, chairman of the UK energy group, told Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the meeting on September 30 that the group will invest in wind power, transmission network, and wind turbine manufacturing in the country. They are working closely with Binh Thuan province’s government and local partners to speed up the project.

The group plans to use electricity from the project to electrolyze seawater for producing liquefied hydrogen gas and ammonia. In the first phase, it plans to mobilize investment capital from foreign partners and also invest in transmission lines to connect to the national power grid.

In particular, Mr. Hatton proposed the prime minister add the wind power project to the Vietnam National Power Development Plan (PDP) VIII with a view to starting generating electricity by the end of 2025 and becoming fully operational by 2028.

As this is the largest project of its kind to be carried out in Vietnam, problems in the process of seeking approval and executing may arise, the prime minister said. He asked the investor to closely work with relevant Vietnamese agencies to remove obstacles and accelerate the progress. He also hoped the investors will cooperate with Vietnam in the fields of oil, gas, and wind power equipment manufacturing.

The prime minister asked the group to work with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) for the inclusion of this project in the PDP VIII.

Last year, Enterprize Energy received the permission from the government to carry out survey for its 3.4GW wind farm off the coast of Binh Thuan province on an area of 2,000 km2.

Vietnam needs US$133.3 billion investment in power projects by 2030

The power industry is still facing many challenges to meet the rising demand in Vietnam.

Vietnam needs US$133.3 billion to invest in new power plants and transmission networks from 2021 to 2030, according to Vice Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong.

At the second conference on the National Power Development Plan VIII (PDP) VIII for the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2045 on September 28, the Vietnam Energy Institute (VEI) reported that of the total investment, US$96 billion will be spent on new power plants and US$37.3 billion on expanding the power grid. It means the country needs an annually an amount of US$13.3 billion for investment in new power plants and transmission networks in the next 10 years. 

Deputy Minister Vuong told the conference that according to the power source development program until 2030, the total power capacity is expected to increase by 80,000MW, of which fossil fuel power stations would generate 30,000MW and the other 30,000MW will be obtained from renewables.  

However, most of these sources are located far from the transmission centers, posing great challenges for the power industry, Mr. Vuong said. 

Current challenges include the increasing power demand, the imbalance in generation and demand among regions, the slow construction pace of many large power projects, especially coal-fired thermal power projects. The new PDP VIII aims to address those challenges and develop the electricity sector.

The country’s demand for electricity is forecast to annually rise 8.6% during the 2021-2025 period, and 7.2% in the 2026-2030 period, compared to 10.5% over the past decade, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

In the structure of energy sources, coal energy is expected to decrease and while liquefied natural gas energy would rise to international commitments.

According to the MoIT, the implementation of the new PDP is complicated. The MoIT estimates that Vietnam will import 1.2 million tons of LNG and 35.1 million tons of coal by 2025, 8.5 million tons of LNG and 45 million tons of coal by 2030 to fuel power plants.

Earlier, the MoIT planned to submit the PDP VIII and the National Energy Development Master Plan to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in October and by the end of 2020, respectively.

Urgent steps needed for Vietnam to attract high quality FDI

While global FDI is projected to decline by 40% year-on-year in 2020, FDI commitments to Vietnam in the first eight months dropped 13.7% year-on-year to US$19.54 billion.

At a time when countries around the world are competing for high quality foreign direct investment (FDI) as investors look to diversify their global supply chains, Vietnam should take more urgent steps to ensure its leading spot in this race, according to economist Nguyen Minh Phong.

Vietnam is currently home to 32,000 FDI projects with registered capital of a combined US$378 billion from 136 countries and territories.

While global FDI is projected to decline by 40% year-on-year in 2020, FDI commitments to Vietnam in the first eight months fell only 13.7% year-on-year to US$19.54 billion, and the disbursed amount was down 5.1% to US$11.3 billion. Such weaker declines are testament to Vietnam’s attractiveness in the eyes of foreign investors, stated Mr. Phong.

Nikkei Asian Review previously reported that Apple is planning to produce 30% of total classic AirPods, equivalent to three to four million units, in Vietnam after having started the process since March. Google, Microsoft or Panasonic are mulling to shift parts of their production chains in Asia to Vietnam.

The list could go on with other global names such as Pegatron, Amazon and Home Depot, who all considered Vietnam a viable option for their supply chains.

According to Mr. Phong, Vietnam’s attractiveness to foreign investors lie in its large population of nearly 100 million and growing middle-income class; young and dynamic labor force; cheap labor cost and rental fees at industrial parks which are 45 – 50% lower than regional countries, including Thailand, Malaysia or Indonesia.

These factors, coupled with Vietnam’s strategic location, stable socio-political environment, growing economy, partners of a number of next-generation free trade agreement (CPTPP, EVFTA, EVIPA), and success in containing the Covid-19 pandemic, have been a major plus for Vietnam in terms of FDI attraction.

A high-quality FDI inflow not only has spillover effects for local enterprises, but also helps the host country move forward in the global value chain.

Mr. Phong, however, said it is not easy to attract this investment capital flow given the fierce competition among countries around the world.

For Vietnam not to miss this opportunity and realize the target of at least 50% of enterprises using high technology by 2025 and 100% in 2030, the country should have a strategic vision and specific plan, Mr. Phong noted.

Firstly, Vietnam is expected to set up a host of criteria for high quality FDI projects, which stays in line with each development phase of the country and the world’s technological trend; focusing on improving the infrastructure and state management efficiency in a number of industrial parks designated for major FDI projects.

Secondly, there should be a portfolio of investment projects that are looking for FDI while government agencies must stay proactive in calling for high quality projects. In this regards, Mr. Phong expected the authorities to be prepared to meet investors’ requirements in terms of intellectual property rights, incentives, infrastructures, or legal framework, among others.

Thirdly, Vietnam should step up efforts in helping the supporting industries so that they are capable of joining multinationals’ production network chains.

The government’s task force specialized in attracting FDI should make recommendations to create breakthroughs in existing legislation to ensure mutual benefits of both investors and the country.

Mr. Phong said as the government plays a key role in luring high quality FDI, there should be a new mindset and governance to speed up the decision-making process, adding this would help Vietnam better persuade projects that are much sought after.

Hong Kong, Singapore announce plan for 'travel bubble'

Hong Kong (China) and Singapore on October 15 said they had agreed "in principle" to set up a bubble allowing residents to travel freely between the two financial hubs as long as they test negative for the coronavirus.

The two sides released a joint statement announcing the deal, which they said would be implemented within several weeks.

The joint statement said there would be no limit on what type of travel will be allowed between Hong Kong and Singapore meaning tourists will be as welcome as business travellers.

 

Those travelling between the two hubs will need to have a negative coronavirus test result and travel on dedicated planes.

They will not need to quarantine for a period of time on arrival. No transit passengers will be allowed on board the "travel bubble" flights.

Both governments are committed to fleshing out the full details of the (travel bubble) in the coming weeks and look forward to the resumption of travel between the two sides, with the necessary safeguards in place to ensure that public health concerns of both sides are addressed, the joint statement said./.

Hai Phong targets annual growth of 14.5 percent for next five years

The 16th Party Congress of northern Hai Phong city for the 2020-2025 tenure wrapped up on October 15 afternoon, issuing a resolution that targets an average growth rate of 14.5 percent annually for the period.

In the congress’s resolution, Hai Phong expects that by 2025, its gross regional domestic product (GRDP) will account for 6.4 percent of Vietnam’s gross domestic product, and per capita GRDP will reach 11,800 USD.

It also aims for an annual increase of 21.5 percent in the industrial production index, 145 trillion VND (over 6 billion USD) in State budget revenue, 20 million tourist arrivals, all communes basically meeting criteria of a model new-style rural area, and no local households living under the national poverty line by 2025.

Delivering the event’s closing speech, the re-elected Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Le Van Thanh said Hai Phong looks to complete industrialisation and modernisation and become a modernity-oriented industrialised city, a key locality of sea-based economic activities in the country, and an international tourism centre in the next five years.

The city is working towards better material and spiritual lives for local residents, ensured social order and safety, guaranteed defence and security, along with a clean, strong, lean and efficient Party organisation and political system, thus creating a solid foundation for it to become a modern, smart and sustainable industrialised city on a par with counterparts in Southeast Asia by 2030, he noted.

The congress elected a 53-member municipal Party Committee for 2020-2025, along with 23 official delegates and two alternate ones representing the city at the 13th National Party Congress, slated for early 2021./.

Binh Duong focuses on supporting industry

Binh Duong province is pushing ahead with the development of supporting industries to increase the use of local content in manufacturing to reduce costs.

In recent years the province has been focusing on industries that produce raw materials for manufacturing such as fibre, fabric and colouring for the textile and garment industry and metal and components for the mechanical industry.

It has also been creating a favourable investment climate and encouraging small and medium-sized businesses to enter supporting industries.

Binh Duong is among the top five provinces and cities in the country in terms of supporting industries, with around 2,300 such businesses and having domestic businesses that are linked up with foreign businesses to gain access to modern technologies.

However, they only meet around 40-45 percent of the requirements of the textile and garment industry and less than 20 percent in the case of other industries such as electronics and automobiles, according to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade.

Mai Hung Dung, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said the department has been tasked to work closely with business groups to better understand their demands and with industrial parks to help supporting industry businesses network with domestic and foreign partners, and improve their capabilities.

COVID-19 is affecting manufacturing industries that rely on imports, and businesses are realising the importance of using domestic materials, the department said.

Binh Duong has 29 industrial parks and 12 industrial clusters occupied by over 43,000 businesses in a range of industries./.

Nutifood becomes first Vietnamese milk brand available at Walmart

The Vietnam Nutrition Food JSC (NutiFood) announced on October 15 that its soymilk products are now available in 450 Walmart supermarkets across China, making it the first Vietnamese milk brand to be accepted by the US-based multinational retail chain.

According to Nutifood CEO Tran Thi Le, the company had to meet over 250 strict criteria from Walmart, including those relating to material quality and production processes, transportation security, human resources policies, and social responsibility.

The success has helped Nutifood gain better access to China’s 1 billion people, who collectively consume up to 15 billion litres of soymilk each year - the highest worldwide.

In addition to the Chinese market, Nutifood’s products are also on the shelves of Walmart stores in the US.

Its Pedia Plus milk products were given the green light by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2018.

The company then entered into a partnership to build a dairy plant in Sweden producing organic goods to meet demand in Vietnam and Europe./.

Kien Giang attracts nearly 800 non-State investment projects

The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has welcomed a total of 796 non-State investment projects with over 540.66 trillion VND (23.35 billion USD) in capital, local authorities have said.

Fifty-five are FDI projects with capital of more than 2.7 billion USD. Nearly 400 projects are in agriculture, aquaculture, tourism, industry, and trade-services.

It attracted 206 projects in the 2016-20 period, including 22 FDI ones worth nearly 133 trillion VND in total.

The province has, over time, paid heed to improving its investment climate, administrative procedures, and working methods to save businesses time and money.

Meetings with businesses and symposiums are held regularly to remove bottlenecks and promote production, attracting more domestic and foreign investors to the province, especially Phu Quoc Island.

Kien Giang has welcomed investors from Australia, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Russia in fields where it possesses strengths, like agriculture, the maritime economy, tourism, and services, in keeping with the province’s economic restructuring efforts.

Growth has been posted in those fields as a result, particularly in agriculture and tourism, creating jobs and reducing the rate of poor households.

Of note, Phu Quoc island district now has hundreds of projects, more than 50 of which with capital in excess of 15 trillion VND are operational.

Kien Giang has further called for investment in environmentally-friendly high-tech industrial projects./.

Indonesia chosen to build EV battery plant

Indonesian Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Erick Thohir said on October 14 that the world’s two largest electric vehicle (EV) battery producers, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd of China and LG Chem Ltd of the Republic of Korea, are considering a plan to build an EV battery plant worth 20 billion USD in Indonesia.

Thohir said the presence of foreign investors in Indonesia would make the country's competitive edge stronger in support of energy resilience.

Early this month, Chairman of the Mining Industry Indonesia (MIND ID) company Orias Petrus Moedal said State-owned mining companies MIND ID and Aneka Tambang, State services company Perusahan Listrick Negara and national petroleum company Pertamina will jointly establish a new venture called Indonesia Battery Holding to promote domestic EV battery production sector.

Indonesia is known as the biggest producer and exporter of nickel as the main raw material for EV batteries in the world, which could meet 27 percent of the needs of the global market./.

State Audit of Vietnam works to complete 2020 plan

As the Chair of the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institution (ASOSAI) for the 2018-2021 term, the State Audit of Vietnam (SAV) has strived to implement its audit plan for 2020 despite formidable challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a wide range of the SAV’s activities were hampered by the coronavirus outbreak, the SAV has to adjust its foreign affairs plan for 2020, including the ASOSAI Chair’s activities.

It joined hands with the National Audit Office of China – the Secretary General of ASOSAI, and members of the ASOSAI Governing Board to make preparation for the Governing Board’s online meeting on July 27.

The SAV also sharpened focus on the implementation of commitments under the Hanoi Declaration, which was considered to be among the most notable outcomes of the 14th ASOSAI. The move will help it increase prestige and influence at global and regional forums.

At the 55th Governing Board meeting of the ASOSAI held in the form of a teleconference on July 27, the SAV proposed an audit on water resources in the Mekong River basin be conducted by the agency, called “ASOSAI’s cooperative environmental audit in Southeast Asia in the 2020-2021 period”.

A parallel audit on water issues in the river basin was successfully carried out with the participation of five Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, with technical assistance from the German Development Cooperation.

Audit results show that, at the national level, the system of policies and laws and compliance with policies and laws on water resources management in general and water resources management in the Mekong River basin in particular still bear limitations, leading to the unreasonable exploitation and use of water, absence of planning, and increases in water pollution.

The success of the audit provided valuable lessons on the efficient and sustainable use and management of water resources, especially water resources flowing through the territories of many countries, for ASOSAI members in general and SAIs in Southeast Asia in particular, thus reducing negative impacts on the environment and the social security of residents in relevant areas.

In the first half of 2020, the SAV represented the ASOSAI to attend two online technical-level meetings on building strategic plan of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), and gave opinions on orientation of the ASOSAI’s strategies, plans to build strategic plans, and survey of SAIs’ information.

The SAV’s initiative to set up a special committee, which is responsible for studying the establishment of an ASOSAI’s working group to carry out sustainable development goals of the state audits, was said as a pioneer recommendation in the INTOSAI.

Its documentary film “ASOSAI for sustainable development”, to be screened at the 15th Assembly of ASOSAI in Thailand next year, received enthusiastic support from members of the ASOSAI’s Governing Board. The film aims to popularise and acknowledge ASOSAI’s contributions to promoting and realising sustainable development goals under the Hanoi Declaration.

The ASOSAI founded in 1979, pursues a common mission like other working groups of the INTOSAI, that is “Professional supreme audit institutions promote good State governance” and with the core values of “Professionalism, Cooperation, Equality, Creativity”.

The ASOSAI’s goal is to promote mutual understanding and cooperation among member SAIs through the exchange of ideas and experience in public auditing, creating favourable conditions for the training of State auditors to improve working quality and efficiency.

The State Audit Office of Vietnam (SAV) became a member of ASOSAI in 1997. In the first period of the membership, the SAV mainly sent auditors to attend training courses and workshops sponsored by ASOSAI to enhance professional capacity. Since 2010, the SAV has undertaken a more active role in professional activities of ASOSAI./.

IMF expects Vietnamese GDP growth to jump 6.7% by 2021

Vietnam’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is projected to grow 6.7% by 2021 and will continue to rank among the leading economies in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of having the highest growth rate, according to the recently published World Economic Outlook by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The news comes after the IMF revised down its forecast for the country’s GDP growth to 1.6% in 2020 from its previous estimate of 2.7% in June, meaning Vietnam now ranks second in the Asia-Pacific region, behind only China on 1.9% growth.

While other advanced countries in the region such as Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand are facing negative growth, Vietnam is currently among the few countries in the Asia-Pacific region that have been able to successfully maintain positive growth amid the COVID-19 impact.

In terms of ASEAN, five economies, including Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines, are expected to contract by 3.4% in 2020, before enjoying growth of 6.2% in 2021.

The IMF therefore forecasts that Vietnamese GDP this year may exceed US$340 billion, higher than Singapore with US$337 billion, and the Philippines with US$367 billion.

SCIC to sell 36 per cent of Vocarimex to mobilise $43 million

State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) plans to sell its 36.3 per cent stake or 44.2 million shares in Vietnam Vegetable Oils Industry Corporation (Vocarimex, UpCom: VOC) on the Hanoi Stock Exchange in November.

With the initial price of VND22,690 (98 US cnts) apiece, SCIC is expected to collect VND1 trillion ($43.5 million).

Vocarimex was established in 1976. The corporation was equitised in 2011 and was transformed into a joint-stock company in 2014 with the initial charter capital of VND1.2 trillion ($52.17 million). The company began trading on the UPCoM in 2016.

VOC shares are being traded at the price of VND23,000 ($1) per share and have stayed almost entirely flat in the past two months, yet are up 147 per cent since the beginning of April.

The divestment of Vocarimex in the second half of 2020 is expected to help SCIC fulfil its yearly business targets.

Vietnam’s leading food company Kido Corporation is Vocarimex’s biggest shareholder, holding 51 per cent of the stakes. At the recent annual general meeting (AGM), Kido announced a plan to merge with its subsidiaries Kido Foods (KDF), Vocarimex, Tuong An Vegetable Oil (TAC), and Kido Nha Be.

So far, the merger plan of Kido Foods into Kido has been approved by shareholders at the AGM. Meanwhile, the merger plan with Tuong An was withdrawn before the AGM because it is entangled with the state capital in Vocarimex. Kido leaders expect that after SCIC’s divestment of Vocarimex, Tuong An will organise an extraordinary general meeting to discuss merger plans with Kido.

In 2020, Vocarimex plans to achieve VND2.19 trillion ($95.2 million) in revenue, up 14 per cent on-year and VND243 billion ($10.57 million) in pre-tax profit, matching last year’s result.

In the first nine months, Vocarimex expects its net revenue to reach VND1.91 trillion ($83 million), up 4.1 per cent over the same period last year. Meanwhile, its pre-tax profit is expected to reach VND181 billion ($7.87 million) an increase of 32.5 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2019 thanks to a 12.9 per cent decrease in operating costs.

Vietnam to outperform Singapore in terms of GDP growth in 2020
17:52 | 15/10/2020      Share Print Email
Vietnam is anticipated to see positive GDP growth of $340 billion by the end of 2020 which will help the country’s GDP exceed Singapore's, becoming the fourth-largest economy in Southeast Asia.
 

Vietnam is among the few countries in the world that are forecasted to have positive growth this year, about 1.6 per cent
The World Economic Outlook report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) showed that Vietnam is among the few countries in the world that has positive growth this year, about 1.6 per cent.

Additionally, Vietnam’s GDP would increase by 6.7 per cent. The number is higher than last year, resulting in Vietnam’s economy going beyond Singapore ($337 billion) and Malaysia ($336 billion).

The IMF also assumed that Vietnam will see a rise in GDP per capita from $3,416 in 2019 to $3,500 this year, ranking sixth in ASEAN.

According to the data by the end of the third quarter, the scale of Vietnam's economy was estimated at nearly VND4.17 quadrillion ($180 billion). Noticeably, at the end of 2019, the scale of the GDP was merely over VND6 quadrillion ($260.87 billion).

However, based on a reassessment of the economy in 2010-2017, the scale of Vietnam's GDP by the end of 2019 has exceeded the threshold of $300 billion.

The organisation forecasted global GDP to fall 4.4 per cent this year, less pessimistic than its June report. However, next year's growth outlook has been lowered from 5.4 to 5.2 per cent.

A series of other economies in ASEAN were calculated to have negative growth, such as Indonesia (-1.5 per cent), Thailand (-7.1 per cent), Malaysia (-6 per cent), the Philippines (-8.3 per cent), and Singapore (-6 per cent).

Vietnam to outperform Singapore in terms of GDP growth in 2020

Vietnam is anticipated to see positive GDP growth of $340 billion by the end of 2020 which will help the country’s GDP exceed Singapore's, becoming the fourth-largest economy in Southeast Asia.

The World Economic Outlook report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) showed that Vietnam is among the few countries in the world that has positive growth this year, about 1.6 per cent.

Additionally, Vietnam’s GDP would increase by 6.7 per cent. The number is higher than last year, resulting in Vietnam’s economy going beyond Singapore ($337 billion) and Malaysia ($336 billion).

The IMF also assumed that Vietnam will see a rise in GDP per capita from $3,416 in 2019 to $3,500 this year, ranking sixth in ASEAN.

According to the data by the end of the third quarter, the scale of Vietnam's economy was estimated at nearly VND4.17 quadrillion ($180 billion). Noticeably, at the end of 2019, the scale of the GDP was merely over VND6 quadrillion ($260.87 billion).

However, based on a reassessment of the economy in 2010-2017, the scale of Vietnam's GDP by the end of 2019 has exceeded the threshold of $300 billion.

The organisation forecasted global GDP to fall 4.4 per cent this year, less pessimistic than its June report. However, next year's growth outlook has been lowered from 5.4 to 5.2 per cent.

A series of other economies in ASEAN were calculated to have negative growth, such as Indonesia (-1.5 per cent), Thailand (-7.1 per cent), Malaysia (-6 per cent), the Philippines (-8.3 per cent), and Singapore (-6 per cent).

Vietnam's coastal real estate market woos investors

Vietnam has considerable potential in its coastal real estate market, experts assured at the Coastal Appeal seminar held by VIR in Ho Chi Minh City. 

Mauro Gasparotti, director of Savills Hotels Asia-Pacific, said that Vietnam's condotel products concentrate on locations like Phu Quoc and Danang. Potentialwise, he likened Vietnam to Thailand.

However, Vietnam has bigger advantages than its neighbour due to its longer, breathtaking coastline, hospitable locals, and fine cuisine. Vietnam’s condotel market is also blooming after Thailand, giving it ample experience to build on.

Arnaud Ginolin, general director of Boston Consulting Group, noted that Vietnam’s market and infrastructure are going well. Despite the lasting effects of COVID-19, the development of coastal cities in the country is expected to pick up speed. 

Also, Vietnam’s coastal property needs improvements in diversity and quality. It is important to focus on quality in terms of customer connections and more recreation options because these factors prompt customers to return several times.

Do Thien An Tuan, economist from Fullbright University Vietnam, pointed out that Vietnam’s rising second home market is partly driven by the country’s rising affluent class. Specifically, Vietnam ranked as the economy with the second fastest-growing number of ultra-high net worth individuals worldwide for the last decade.

He highlighted Vietnam's potentials that attract second home investors. The country ranked third globally in the growth of the number of upper-class citizens between 2012 and 2017. 

The number of people travelling beyond their areas of residence increases on weekends, facilitated by a much-improved road system such as highways, which makes it easier and faster to reach farther destinations. Besides, a second home is also an effective channel for investors to use their idle money.

Another opportunity comes from the ageing population. Ageing population will boost demand for efficient social services for senior citizens, along with wellness and retirement tourism. Tourism products for elderly and retired people are also expected to grow.

For example, Phan Thiet-Binh Thuan located at a convenient distance from most of Vietnam's developed tourist spots such as Ho Chi Minh City, Da Lat, Nha Trang, and Vung Tau.

Moreover, natural endowments such as blue sea, white sand, and ample sunshine all year round make Vietnam's coastal destinations some of the top tourist destinations in the region and the world. Also, infrastructure systems such as highways and airports are the driving force for this area.

Green is the new black for hoteliers

Hoteliers and guests in Vietnam are changing their perception of green practices.

In its latest report on the “going green” movement among hotels in Vietnam, Outbox Consulting and Informa Markets Vietnam pointed out that the green hotel model has become a prominent trend in the hospitality industry and the hotel industry around the world. This model not only demonstrates social responsibility and environmental protection but also brings many business benefits and improves the quality of life of local people.

In recent years, changes in visitor’s perception, behaviour, and preferences towards sustainable development are reaching critical mass where green practices are becoming a base standard in the construction, sales, and operation of hotels.

Catching on to the trend, accommodation services providers in Vietnam have gradually rolled out measures and updated policies. Now hoteliers perceive that going green is not just an opportunity to polish their brand image but is part of their responsibility to protect the environment for future generations.

The new perception of hotel owners and general managers can have a determining effect on the extent of green practices applied in hotels and is expected to result in a marked increase in green buildings.

Akin to most other developing countries, the Vietnamese lodging sector is looking at several hurdles when going green. For new constructions and already operating hotels alike, green features can represent significant additional investment – which is doubly true for righting wrongs at older buildings.

As the ultimate purpose of a hotel is business, if hoteliers can make a convincing case for profitability in building green, shareholders will be less likely to stop them and may even loosen their purse strings some more.

With the green transformation being propelled to a great extent by community awareness (which alters management and investment attitudes as well as consumer expectations), customers are more willing to pay more to stay in hotels with a greener footprint, which could very well tip the scales in profitability calculations.

While in some instances a full-blown green transformation is not possible (or not financially viable), hoteliers can still generate tremendous benefits by looking to the future and implement smaller, more doable projects. This approach is particularly suitable for small hotels with limited budgets. Following a well-constructed plan, there are tremendous benefits and savings to be acquired through gradual improvement.

Seeing the initial gains even from the simplest improvements, hotels will be more confident in extending investing in eco-friendly facilities – not only boosting profitability and cutting costs, but leaving a greener, cleaner world for the future.

Source: VNA/SGGP/VNS/VNA/VOV/SGT/ND/VIR