return icon Vietnamnet.vn

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 20/12

 Trade deficit with China up 76 times in 10 years; PM: banking sector must act strongly on restructuring; Ministry looks to improve OTT management; New law brings in caretaker for bankruptcy assets

Trade deficit with China up 76 times in 10 years

Vietnam’s trade deficit with China increased from US$210 million in 2001 to US$16 billion in 2012.

At a recent conference on guiding the implementation of free trade agreements (FTA) by 2020, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade (MoIT) Tran Quoc Khanh said the country’s deep integration and FTA signing have given a boost to its bilateral trade exchange.

The Head of the Asia-Pacific Market Department Bui Huy Son said Vietnam’s exports to ASEAN grew by 30.7% and 27%, in 2011 and 2012, respectively, to Japan (39.5% and 25%), China (52% and 17%) and the Republic of Korea (52.5% and 18%).

However, Vietnam is still at risk as an export market for FTA member countries.

The MoIT reported that the country’s trade deficit has dropped from 85% in 2001-2008 to 17% in 2009-2013, mostly with China, ASEAN member countries and the Republic of Korea.

Vietnam’s trade deficit with the RoK rose from 13.6% in 2003-2006 to 21.8% in 2007-2010.

The main reason is that Vietnam has not yet fully exploited FTA advantages as many of its key export products have enjoyed low or zero tariffs, such as raw materials and agricultural products meanwhile, other products like machinery, equipment and electronics which are listed among products receiving incentives accounted for low proportion in total export earnings.  

PM: banking sector must act strongly on restructuring

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung pressed for more drastic actions to restructure the credit organisations’ system for the 2011-15 period as scheduled when he addressed a conference held by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) to launch its 2014 tasks in Hanoi on December 18.

He asked the banking sector to do all it can, following monetary and fiscal policies, to keep next year’s inflation at 6.5-7 percent.

It was also required to control interest rates and credit in line with macro-economic situation while making it easier for firms to access loans.

In order to forge a healthy banking system, it is advisable to improve its monetary regulations and operations up to international standards, alongside cleaning up bad debts and rearranging asset management companies, he said.

SBV Governor Nguyen Van Binh said the bank has set the goal of actively and flexibly management of monetary tools that is expected to curb inflation and maintain the macro-economic stability.

At the same time, interest and exchange rates will be settled at reasonable levels so as to ensure the value of the Vietnamese currency, he added.

Binh also vowed to extend credit packages to more together with closely checking whether they are effectively used.

About how to make banks more transparent, he underscored all necessary solutions in the settlement of bad debts and increased inspection of their activities.

Reviewing banking sector’s performance this year, Binh said the SBV in collaboration with relevant ministries and agencies have abided by Resolutions on socio-economic development set by the National Assembly and Government.

He credited inflation kept under control and better banking liquidity with its strenuous efforts and disciplines. More loans have made their ways to areas of priority while foreign currency and gold markets are in good shape.

The plan on banking restructuring has come to fruition, he noted.

Thua Thien-Hue intensifies trade promotion with India

Thua Thien-Hue province’s potential and its policies to attract investment were introduced to Indian businesses at a seminar held in the central locality on December 18.

Jointly held by the provincial People’s Committee, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Indian Embassy, the seminar also offered a chance for local businesses to meet and cooperate with Indian investors.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Phan Ngoc Tho said that India is a market with huge potential for businesses of Vietnam in general and Thua Thien-Hue in particular, especially in electronics, information technology and garments and textiles.

The province has implemented the one-stop-shop mechanism and simplified administrative procedures along with providing support for businesses in investment and trade promotion and vocational training, he said.

Do Huu Duy, deputy head of the Africa, West Asia and South Asia Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, briefed participants on potential of the Indian market, the Vietnam-India trade ties, advantages of the ASEAN-India free trade agreement, as well as proposals to boost bilateral trade in the time to come.

According to him, India is now one of Vietnam ’s leading trade partners. Two-way trade is estimated at more than US$3.9 billion in 2013, of which over US$ 1.8 billion come from Vietnam ’s exports to India .

Vietnam mainly sells mobile phones and components, machinery, rubber, iron and steel to India, while buying animal feed, pharmaceutical products, machinery, corn, cotton and plastic materials from this market.

Vietnam-India trade valued at US$4.75 billion

Vietnam earned US$2.19 billion from its exports to India, bringing bilateral trade turnover to US$4.75 billion in the past 11 months, up 33.12% from the previous year, according to statistics released by the Vietnam General Department of Customs (VGDC).

Vietnam imported Indian goods worth US$2.56 billion, or a year-on-year increase of 31.81%, resulting in an import surplus of more than US$371 million with India, up 14.59% against 2012’s figure.

Vietnam’s key exports to the Indian market include telephones and components (US$870.74 million), machinery and equipment (US$220 million), computers and electronics (US$216.48 million), rubber (US$197.48 million), and coffee (US$56.76 million).

India’s exports to the Vietnamese market mostly consisted of animal feeds and materials (US$305.26 million), corn (US$300.46 million), steel products (US$290.58 million), pharmaceutical products (US$226.36 million), and machinery and spare parts (US$177.16 million).

Workshop focuses on improving financial system

Financial supervision, financial restructuring and financial security system were main topics of an international conference in Hanoi on December 18.

The event was jointly organised by the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, the Economic Committee of the National Assembly and the World Bank (WB) in Vietnam.

Government officials, Vietnamese foreign financial and economic experts examined ways to build a healthy, efficient and sustainable financial system.

In his speech, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh said that the Vietnamese financial system has developed rapidly and enhanced its role as a main capital distribution channel for the national economy, thus greatly contributing to the country’s socio-economic development achievements.

However, the system has revealed shortcomings in its initial period of development such as declining asset quality, huge bad debts and poor liquidity, Ninh noted.

The Vietnamese Government has defined restructuring the financial and banking system as crucial for the economic restructuring to shift from the quantity-based growth model to the quality-based one, ensuring the rapid and sustainable development of the economy.

Deputy PM Ninh said after two years of implementing the project, the Vietnamese financial and banking system has seen drastic changes, thus helping maintain macroeconomic stability, improving the efficiency of using resources, especially financial resource, and facilitating the economic restructuring and growth model shifting.

Ninh said  he hopes practical and long-term policy recommendations will be made as a foundation for the Government to build a specific roadmap for improving the financial system and supervision capacity.

Regarding the impacts of the financial system on the sustainable development, Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Head Vuong Dinh Hue, said that Vietnam sets a target of building a healthy national financial system and ensuring financial security, macroeconomic and financial-monetary stability  in its financial strategy by 2020 to stimulate economic development, growth model renovation and economic restructuring.

The country will develop the financial market and services, step up cooperation and international integration on finance, as well as intensify supervision and inspection to ensure a firm national financial security, Hue said.

Drastic changes predicted for next year

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has predicted that 2014 will be a year of great changes.

At the Commercial Counselor Conference, which opened in Hanoi on December 18, Dam reported that Vietnam now has over fifty trade offices, seven branches and one trade promotion centre across five continents, with a total staff of 122 in charge of trade and industrial fields abroad.

He asked each trade staff and counselor to become not only policy advisors for the Government, especially for the Ministry of Industry and Trade but also diplomats, politicians and scientists.

The deputy PM suggested that every employee within the industry and trade sector should be able to see their contribution to the national export turnover of US$133 billion. For example, Intel Group has exported a lot without promotion activities, he said

He added that trade offices abroad will do nothing without strict coordination from the host country. Trade staff do not merely represent trade offices and businesses abroad they are also responsible for promoting and elevating Vietnam’s global image.

Industry and Trade Minister Vu Huy Hoang said that the sector will devise solutions to overcome difficulties to promote the results in 2013 and fulfill objectives for the country’s socio-economic development plan for next year

In 2013, industrial production index is predicted to increase by 5.6% against last year’s same period while the proportion of the processing and manufacturing industry will grow from 60.2% in 2010 to 78% in 2013.

In recent times, imports-exports have progressed with an estimated export turnover reaching US$132 billion, up 15.3% compared to 2012.

Many key export items have earned high turnover such as garments and textiles, timber, computers, electronic products and components. Vietnamese goods are now available in nearly 200 nations and territories worldwide.

Exports to Italy estimated at US$2.2 billion

Vietnam-Italy trade turnover is expected to reach a phenomenal US$3.3 billion by the end of this year, including US$2.2 billion from Vietnamese exports.

The two countries plan to increase the figure to US$3.5 billion next year.

Vietnam’s key exports included telephones and components, coffee, seafood, footwear, and garments and textiles.

Predominant imports from Italy include machinery, animal feeds, pharmaceutical products, chemicals, and raw materials for garment and footwear industries.

At present, Italian businesses have involvement in nearly fifty projects in Vietnam, with a total registered investment capital of US$257.2 million, ranking 29th among 101 countries and territories currently investing in Vietnam.

Italy is also in the top ten European Union (EU) investors of the Vietnamese market.

Many Italian investors have shown a keen interest in the fields of manufacturing, processing industry, agro-forestry, fisheries, wholesales, retails, and maintenance services.

Taiwan – a potential but difficult market to penetrate

Vietnamese businesses should improve product quality and be proactive in learning about Taiwan and enhance their competitive edge in order to successfully penetrate the market.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’ Asia-Pacific Market Department has made the remark while stating that Taiwan is a potential market but not easy to access due to its strict food safety and hygiene standards, tax policies, and non-tariffs for agro-forestry and seafood imports.

The department said Vietnam always considers Taiwan to be one of its important trade and investment partners.

Taiwan is currently Vietnam’s fifth largest trade partner and ranks 16th among the country’s largest exporters.

The statistics have proved that Vietnam should focus on promoting exports and fully tap the potential market.

Over the past 20 years, different economic development levels have made the structure of goods exchange between the two nations vast but highly supplementary to each other.

Vietnam’s major exports to Taiwan included telephones and components, garments and textiles, agro-forestry-fishery products, rubber, equipment, machine, paper, wood, footwear, ceramics, computers and components with low export value.

The department reports that Taiwan serves as a bridge allowing Vietnamese products to penetrate European, American and East Asian markets.

In addition, the consumer demands of the 200,000 Vietnamese community) (making up 1% of Taiwan’s population) will contribute to boosting bilateral trade and disseminating information on Taiwanese consumer habits.

Poland, Vietnam boost trade links

Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan and the Polish Parliament Deputy Speaker Jerzy Wenderlich met in Hanoi on December 18 to discuss the need to strengthen future trade and investment links between the two nations.

The leaders agreed that businesses should be assisted to explore respective investment opportunities to increase bilateral trade value, which has seen a recent gradual rise.

Doan said Vietnam always values its traditional relationship and comprehensive cooperation with Poland, noting that Vietnam regards Poland a priority partner in  Central Eastern Europe.

In response, the Polish delegate expressed his satisfaction at the development of bilateral diplomatic ties and extensive cooperation over the past few years.

He reported that the over 40,000 Vietnamese expatriates in Poland have made remarkable and invaluable contributions to the two countries’ national development.

Ministry looks to improve OTT management

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Bac Son asked the ministry's National Institute of Information and Communications (NIIC) to conduct research and suggest solutions to manage over-the-top (OTT) services.

The internet-based OTT service, which offers mobile phone users free phone calls and text messages, runs on the telecommunications infrastructure of local companies, affecting both telecom quality and information security.

The minister asked the institute to provide proposals on OTT management, without affecting the service, to meet consumer demands. He added that solutions should ensure national information security and not impact the benefits of telecom providers.

Speaking at the meeting, NIIC director Le Xuan Lan said that in 2013 the institute completed important projects, such as implementing a plan to broadcast 10 TV channels and four radio channels via internet for overseas Vietnamese.

The institute is also in charge of making restructuring plans for the Viet Nam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) and Viet Nam Television Corporation (VTC) this year.

In 2014, it is expected to develop a communication plan for the sea and islands and formulate a scheme for centralised information technology in Viet Nam until 2020.

The minister said he hoped that the agency will enhance international cooperation for improving information technology within and outside the country to help develop effective forecasts and strategic visions.

New law brings in caretaker for bankruptcy assets

New regulations for bankruptcy asset caretakers in the third draft of the Law on Bankruptcy were discussed in Ha Noi on Tuesday by the International Finance Corporation and the Viet Nam Business Forum.

According to the drafting committee, under the current law the members of an asset liquidation team held multiple tasks at the same time and were ineffective in overseeing bankruptcy assets.

"The ineffectiveness is because there are too many parties on the team, plus they have limited knowledge, mostly having few skills in statistics and liquidation," stated Nguyen Thi Dieu Hong from the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry's legislation committee.

This is the first time the concepts of a bankruptcy asset caretaker have been put into the law, replacing the asset liquidation team. The draft added Article 12, stating that an asset caretaker is defined as a lawyer chosen by the court.

However, KPMG's director of restructuring services, Phil Smith, recommended the expansion of conditions for the asset caretaker, such as being a qualified accountant.

In many places around the world, professionals in practicing bankruptcy were normally those in the legal and accounting industries, said Smith.

The draft also regulates that an asset caretaker has the responsibility of helping businesses restructure. Therefore, he must have considerable knowledge and experience in corporate governance.

In addition, the Viet Nam International Law Firm said that other legal documents did not define how a lawyer could perform the jobs of an asset caretaker. The drafting committee should consider carefully not creating conflicts between the Law on Bankruptcy and the Law on Lawyers.

Enterprises and creditors can negotiate about the filing for bankruptcy is the content of a new provision that is not included by the current law.

According to the law firm, this would allow the parties to agree on a solution to handle debts without jeopardizing business operations.

Effective supervision vital for financial system

It is imperative for Viet Nam to build an effective financial supervision system that has the ability to provide analysis and timely warnings for the Government.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh made the statement at an international conference on strengthening the financial system held in Ha Noi yesterday.

Ninh said effectiveness and sustainability of the financial system has directly affected the world's economy, as well as each country, because it has been considered to be a lifeline for economies.

"As for Viet Nam, the financial and banking sector has rapidly developed and achieved encouraging results," he said.

However, he added that the financial system has faced risks of decreasing quality of assets, increasing bad debts and low liquidity, as it was in the initial period of development.

"Especially, after the world financial crisis in 2007-08 and economic slowdown, the shortcomings have become more clear," he said.

The deputy PM also said the country's financial system has improved after two years of restructuring.

The improvement has made liquidity more stable and prevented risks of collapse. In addition, Viet Nam's stock market has become one of 10 fastest growing markets in the world.

He said the country was still in need of building a sound, developed and sustainable financial system, as faces difficulties in the banking sector, stock market and cross-ownership.

Talking about the financial system, Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank country director for Viet Nam, praised the country for impressive results in the past decade.

The transparent financial market has brought about several new financial tools for Viet Nam, she said, adding that such a market has become an important factor for the country to achieve a new position as a middle-income country.

She added that Viet Nam should clarify a suitable role for the State in its financial system, such as when the Government played a vital role in stabilising the economy during the crisis.

She suggested that Viet Nam should make lending transparent in difficult times, with participation from financial institutions.

The Government should also ensure the effectiveness of mortgage assets, she added.

Sharing these ideas, the head of the Party Central Committee's Economic Commission, Vuong Dinh Hue, said the country's financial strategy for the years leading up to 2020 is targeted to build a transparent financial system, facilitating economic growth along with the restructuring process.

Hue said Viet Nam was required to implement solutions, including improving national financial resources, capital distribution, restructuring State-owned enterprises, developing financial markets and promoting integration activities to the world's financial markets.

Roberto Rocha, senior adviser from WB, said Viet Nam's financial system has endured the global crisis, but its soundness needed to be strengthened.

The system exposed a decline in profitability in indicators, high non-performance loans (NPLs) ratios, a weak credit response to supportive monetary policies and GDP growth below its potential.

He added that the financial system was excessively bank-based, while bank governance and incentives remain weak.

The Government needs to address two fundamental challenges, including the effective resolution of the stock of NPLs and the efficiency of the new flows of finance.

Do Thien Anh Tuan, from Fulbright Economics Teaching Programme, proposed that Viet Nam was applying the institutional supervisory approach, but tended to switch into an integrated model.

Tuan emphasised that the supervisory approach was not as important as the establishment of a foundation of supervision and policy co-ordination.

Meanwhile, Truong Thanh Phuoc, vice chairman of the National Financial Supervisory Commission, said Viet Nam should have a clear framework to handle system risks, maintaining financial stability, while establishing a solid framework to deal with financial disturbances.

Rice exports drop following falling demand

Rice exports are set to fall by around 15 per cent this year to 6.6 million tonnes after demand plunged in Southeast Asia, the general secretary of the Viet Nam Food Association has said.

Huynh Minh Hue told a seminar in HCM City early this week that the average export price was US$430.89 a tonne, down $14.5 from last year, as exports fetched $2.64 billion.

He blamed the situation on the fall in demand in some traditional markets in the second half of the year.

Indonesia did not buy at all while the Philippines and Malaysia reduced imports, he said.

But an increase in exports via border trade with China compensated partly and enabled farmers to sell their crops, he explained.

Next year, exports are expected to run into difficulties because of lower prices for Thai rice and stiff competition from some other major suppliers in Asia, he warned.

He said with supply exceeding demand, rice prices could continue to fall for some time.

Viet Nam should be prepared for fierce competition, especially with Thailand, in exports of white and fragrant rice, he said.

It has competitive advantages in export of fragrant and high-quality white rice to Africa and a geographical advantage in supplying the product to China, he said.

Despite falling demand in Southeast Asia, the region remains a major market with many government-to-government contracts, he said.

With competitive prices and freshly harvested grains, Viet Nam would be more competitive when demand revives in these markets, he said.

China would remain the biggest importer of Vietnamese rice, he said, but there are risks like buyers flouting contracts.

In light of the likely hurdles, the VFA has forecast rice exports next year to remain unchanged at this year's figure of 6.5-7 million tonnes.

It has suggested measures to boost exports, including strengthening trade promotions in new markets, developing high-quality seedlings, and growing the varieties that are in demand in the market.

Setting new quality standards for and strengthening quality checks of exports are required to safeguard the country's prestige, it said.

At the meeting, the VFA and 13 provinces signed a memorandum of understanding for co-operation in rice production and consumption.

Pham Van Du, deputy head of the Department of Crop Production, said areas would be identified for growing high-quality rice for exports under the MoU. They would be 500-1,000ha each, he said.

The association, on behalf of exporters and in conjunction with the Department of Crop Production, will advise farmers on what varieties of rice to grow in each region, buy their crops at market prices, revamp the rice trading system, and develop brands for the grains.

Initially, 13 areas will be identified in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta for growing rice.

Handicrafts need creative spark

Designers in Viet Nam need to offer more creative products to meet the demands and tastes of foreign markets, speakers said at a seminar held yesterday in HCM City.

"The artworks and handicraft products of Viet Nam are weak in design and there has been less breakthrough in creativity," said Bui Thi Thanh An, deputy head of the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade).

The seminar was held in collaboration with the Viet Nam Design Association.

Handicraft and art exports have reached US$1.5 billion in turnover per year in recent years, accounting for 1.5 per cent of world market share.

An said that designers must begin to pay more attention to trademarks to increase their product value and improve competitiveness.

Tran Ngoc Danh, deputy chief representative of the Viet Nam Design Association's office in the southern region, said that good design greatly increased value.

"A breakthrough is needed for Vietnamese designers, such as combining different materials to make a product, especially using recycled materials to make sustainable products, a trend favoured by foreign customers," Danh said.

The two areas to exploit are graphic designs or products with many conveniences and functions, she added.

She noted that, apart from preserving national cultural character, the designers should make distinctive features for their products.

"Companies or designers should not copy designs of others, which negatively affects product appeal and export potential," she said.

Dr. Marcel Crul of the Design for Sustainability programme at the Netherlands' Delft University of Technology, said that products must satisfy the tastes and needs of customers.

This was necessary to create close cooperation between designers, managers, technical consultants and customers.

Designers should also be attuned to environmental problems, social issues, and health and safety to create sustainable products.

This is a strict requirement set by developed countries, especially European ones, he said.

Also speaking at the seminar, Ho Tan Duong, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Design Association, said that his group, along with the ADS International Design and Art Center and Vietrade were working on a handicraft sustainable development project through the connection to designers.

For designers, the association will help them expand corporate relations, customer research and partnership opportunities.

The designers will be provided with up-to-date design trends by local and international experts via design education, training and workshops. Festivals, exhibitions and competition will also be held.

They will have opportunity to enhance practical knowledge from businesses.

For businesses, they will find the right design partners. The businesses will also be consulted by local and foreign experts, expand corporate relations, be supported by the government organisations., he said.

Third brokerage company announces closure

Au Viet Securities Co, formerly listed as AVS on the Hanoi Stock Exchange, announced on December 16 that it would dissolve the company.

It became the third brokerage to voluntarily cease doing business this year, following the closing of Sao Viet Securities and Cho Lon Securities. The company has six months, from January 1 to June 30 next year, to liquidate its contracts and pay its debts.

Currently, Au Viet employs a staff of five, and the payment of salaries and allowances for workers must be finished by June 30 at the latest. To conduct the company closing, it has established an asset liquidation group of seven people, led by chairman Doan Duc Vinh.

The proceeds from the liquidation will be used to pay for employees, taxes and loans. The remainders will then be distributed to shareholders.

Vinh also said he would buy shares from small shareholders. "Shareholders can sell the shares on the over-the-counter market at negotiated prices," he noted.

As of September 30, Au Viet only had 221 billion VND (10.4 million USD) in assets, 54.6 billion VND (2.5 million USD) in cash, 86.84 billion VND (4 million USD) in short-term investments and 20 billion VND (943,390 USD) in receivables.

The company made a modest profit of 6.1 billion VND (287,700 USD) during the first nine months this year. During the same period last year, it lost more than 9 billion VND (424,500 USD).

Au Viet is still holding shares of Vung Tau Real Estate and Construction (VRC), Cuu Long Fish (ACL), Military Bank (MBB), retailer Pan Pacific (PAN) and Ho Chi Minh City Educational Book (SGD). Vinh said he would gradually sell these shares.

Despite having to dissolve the company, Vinh stated he would continue to invest in stocks.

Overseas trade offices urged to support domestic businesses

Vietnamese trade offices need to keep up their good work in assisting the country’s exporters and suggest the directions for export promotion of specific sectors in the coming time in order to serve as a mainstay of domestic businesses, delegates said at the Trade Counsellor Conference 2013 which opened in Hanoi on December 18.

According to them, apart from focusing on traditional markets, the offices should develop potential markets, promote investment in industrial sector and take part in dealing with trade disputes, especially in the context that protectionism is increasing.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu said the Vietnamese trade offices have created linkages between domestic and foreign enterprises.

They have made contribution to the ministry’s performance and their operation and prestige have been recognised and appreciated by the ministry’s partners as well as local and foreign enterprises, he added.

In 2013, the country’s export value is estimated at 132 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 16 percent, while import valued at 132.1 billion USD.-

Handicrafts in Vietnam need creative spark: experts

Designers in Vietnam need to offer more creative products to meet the demands and tastes of foreign markets, participants said at a seminar held in Ho Chi Minh City on December 18.

"The artworks and handicraft products of Vietnam are weak in design and there has been less breakthrough in creativity," said Bui Thi Thanh An, deputy head of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade).

The seminar was held in collaboration with the Vietnam Design Association.

Handicraft and art exports have reached 1.5 billion USD in turnover per year in recent years, accounting for 1.5 percent of world market share.

An said that designers must begin to pay more attention to trademarks to increase their product value and improve competitiveness.

Tran Ngoc Danh, deputy chief representative of the Vietnam Design Association's office in the southern region, said that good design greatly increased value.

"A breakthrough is needed for Vietnamese designers, such as combining different materials to make a product, especially using recycled materials to make sustainable products, a trend favoured by foreign customers," Danh said.

The two areas to exploit are graphic designs or products with many conveniences and functions, she added.

She noted that, apart from preserving national cultural character, the designers should make distinctive features for their products.

"Companies or designers should not copy designs of others, which negatively affects product appeal and export potential," she said.

Dr. Marcel Crul of the Design for Sustainability programme at the Netherlands' Delft University of Technology, said that products must satisfy the tastes and needs of customers.

This was necessary to create close cooperation between designers, managers, technical consultants and customers.

Designers should also be attuned to environmental problems, social issues, and health and safety to create sustainable products.

This is a strict requirement set by developed countries, especially European ones, he said.

Also speaking at the seminar, Ho Tan Duong, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Design Association, said that his group, along with the ADS International Design and Art Center and Vietrade were working on a handicraft sustainable development project through the connection to designers.

For designers, the association will help them expand corporate relations, customer research and partnership opportunities.

Designers will be provided with up-to-date design trends by local and international experts via design education, training and workshops. Festivals, exhibitions and competition will also be held.

They will have opportunity to enhance practical knowledge from businesses.

For businesses, they will find the right design partners. The businesses will also be consulted by local and foreign experts, expand corporate relations, be supported by the government organisations, he said.-

Workshop highlights role of design in handicraft trade

How to enhance competitiveness, increase economic values and expand market for the handicraft sector were major subjects discussed at a workshop held in Ho Chi Minh City on December 18.

The event aimed to promote links between designers and producers to reach the sector’s increasing growth target.

Addressing the event, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) Bui Thi Thanh An stressed the importance to raise the role played by the country’s design industry and change the public’s mind on designers’ position in production and business activities.

She said that there are numerous advantages and opportunities for Vietnam’s handicraft sector to boost export. However, the sector faces challenges in design so it is difficult in promoting products to international markets as well as drawing importers’ attention.

Professor Marcel Crul from TU Deft University of the Netherlands suggested that Vietnam should enhance designing, helping raise product value as well as making Vietnamese handicrafts access easily markets and customers.

Vietrade and the Vietnam Design Association (VDAS) will continue conducting other activities to promote designing work in other production sectors.

Nam Can EZ development plan approved

The Prime Minister has approved an overall development scheme for Nam Can Economic Zone (EZ) in the southernmost province of Ca Mau by 2030.

The EZ covers over 10,000 hectares along National Highway 1A running through Nam Can town, and Ham Rong, Hang Vinh and Dat Moi communes.

Under the plan, Nam Can will be a multi-sector economic zone divided into chains of urban and non-tariff areas.

It is designed to be an international trade exchange centre of the province and the Mekong Delta in general with major industries such as mechanics, shipbuilding, electronics, garments and textiles, financial service, ecotourism, telecommunications, and seafood processing, among others.

The EZ is now home to more than 34,000 people. The figure is expected to increase to 45,000 by 2020 and 90,000 by 2030.-

Canada helps Vietnam produce safe food

A seminar was held in Hanoi on December 18 to review the operation of a six-year Canada-funded project on food safety and market expansion for Vietnamese agricultural products.

The Food and Agricultural Products Quality Development and Control Project (FAPQDCP) was implemented during the 2008-2013 period by the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department and local stakeholders with funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

It aims to improve food quality and safety and expand market sharing of Vietnamese agricultural products by applying good processing practices and strengthening management ability, food safety control and market accessibility.

From its success, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development are now expanding the model to a broader scale through a project to develop a safe food chain in a bid to ensure the quality of farm products for consumption and export.-

Vietnam, Lao state banks review operations

The Governors of the State Bank of Vietnam and the Lao Central Bank met in Hanoi on December 17 to review their bank operations and monetary policy management.

Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Nguyen Van Binh told his counterpart that the year 2013 is still a difficult year for Vietnam ’s economy.

He, however, pointed out that the Government’s sound instruction has brought back encouraging outcomes in economic activities, and monetary policy management.

According to Somphao Phaysith, Governor of the Lao central bank, there are now 32 banks operating in the country and five of which are branches of Vietnamese banks.

All of Vietnam ’s bank branches are running effectively, he added.

In 2013, the two central banks have exchanged officials for further training and sharing professional experience.

At the meeting, the two sides agreed to work harder together in the coming time, especially in the sharing of experience and expertise and personnel training.-

Dong Nai province lures over 1.6 bln USD in FDI

The southern province of Dong Nai has lured over 1.6 billion USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) so far this year, becoming one of the leading localities in attracting the capital.

According to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, as of December 15, 834 million USD has been poured into 78 new foreign-invested projects and 773 million USD has been added to 73 operating ones.

Hi-tech projects and those in the support industry and services attracted the highest amount of FDI, the department said, adding that the province will not license those projects that use backward technology and are likely to cause environmental pollution.

So far, Dong Nai province has operated more than 1,380 foreign-invested projects, capitalised at nearly 24.32 billion USD. They include 1,067 valid ones with a total capital of nearly 20 billion USD.

Taiwan , the Republic of Korea and Japan have topped the list of 40 countries and territories investing in the province, the department revealed.-

Int’l workshop aims to make financial system healthy

Government officials, domestic and foreign financial and economic experts gathered at an international conference in Hanoi on December 18 to discuss ways to build a healthy, efficient and sustainable financial system.

Financial supervision, financial restructuring and financial security system issues were main topics at the conference.

Addressing the event, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh stated that the financial system in Vietnam has developed quickly and promoted its role as a main capital distribution channel for the economy, thus greatly contributing to the country’s socio-economic development achievements.

However, the system, which is now in the first stage of its development, has revealed shortcomings such as declining asset quality, increasing bad debts and poor liquidity, he said.

To cope with this situation, he said that the Vietnamese Government has defined the restructuring of the financial and banking system as one of the three focuses of the economic restructuring to shift from the quantity-based growth model to the quality-based one, ensuring the rapid and sustainable development of the economy.

According to the Deputy PM, after two years of implementing the project, Vietnam’s financial and banking system has seen drastic changes, making important contributions to maintaining macroeconomic stability, improving the efficiency of using resources, especially financial resource, and creating necessary conditions for the economic restructuring and growth model shifting.

Applauded initiatives raised at the conference, Deputy PM Ninh expressed his wish that participants will put forth practical and long-term policy recommendations as a foundation for the Government to build a specific roadmap to make the financial system healthy and improve supervision capacity.

Mentioning the impacts of the financial system on the sustainable development, Vuong Dinh Hue, head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, said that Vietnam’s financial strategy by 2020 sets a target of building a healthy national financial system and ensuring financial security, macroeconomic and financial-monetary stability, thus facilitating the promotion of economic development, growth model renovation and economic restructuring.

In the coming time, Vietnam will continue to improve the efficiency of mobilising, allocating and using national financial resources, renovate financial mechanisms for public agencies and step up diversification of social resources for public services, while perfecting financial policies for businesses and restructuring State-owned enterprises, he said.

The country will develop the financial market and services synchronously, promote cooperation and international integration on finance, as well as increase supervision and inspection to ensure national financial security, he added.

The conference was jointly organised by the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, the Economic Committee of the National Assembly and the World Bank in Vietnam.

Vietnam Airlines performs well in Germany

Vietnam Airlines’ affiliate in Germany has seen an impressive business performance with 10 percent and 5 percent increases in passenger number and revenue, respectively.

General Manager of the affiliate Nguyen Quoc Phuong revealed the figures at a recent meeting with partners and agents in Berlin.

He expressed his belief that with profits earned from its SkyTeam airline alliance membership and the upcoming use of modern airplane models like B787-9 and A350 for flights to Germany, Vietnam Airlines will meet the demands of one of its most important international markets.

Once Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport is put into operation and a direct flight route linking Berlin and Hanoi is officially launched, Vietnam Airlines will get more popular in Germany and other European countries, he added.

Appreciating the carrier’s business outcome, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations of Berlin – Brandenburg Airport Till Bunse voiced his hope that the Berlin-Hanoi route will open soon, bringing about practical benefits to both sides.-

Source: VEF/VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/Dantri/VIR

MORE NEWS

Experts discuss need for capital disbursement, loans to enterprises

More public investment funds should be disbursed and credit limits lifted to provide capital and improve capital flow, experts have said.

Vietnam welcomes 2.95 million foreign tourists over 11-month period

The country welcomed 2.95 million foreign visitors during the initial 11 months of the year, a figure 21.1 times higher compared to the same period from last year, but still down 81.9% compared with pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Ministry to tighten control of joint training programs with foreign partners

About 25,000 students are studying in about 300 joint programs with foreign schools in Vietnam.

IPP Air Cargo approval procedure suspended at investor's request

The Transport Ministry has informed to the Prime Minister of a suspension of the approval procedure for the IPP Air Cargo JSC at the request of the carrier’s investor.

Borussia Dortmund touches down in Vietnam

Renowned midfielder Marco Reus and a delegation made up of 123 players and staff from leading German side Borussia Dortmund landed at Noi Bai International Airport on November 29.

National Assembly Chairman begins official visit to Australia

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and the Vietnamese NA's delegation arrived in Canberra on November 29 evening (local time), starting an official visit to Australia from November 30 - December 3.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES NOVEMBER 29

International Circus Festival to open in December

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS NOVEMBER 29

EVN's losses estimated at VND31.3 trillion in 2022

Co la, the food tray that demonstrates Muong ethnic culture in Hoa Binh

For Muong ethnic people, especially those living in Hoa Binh Province, cỗ lá (literally means a food tray displaying several dishes) is more than just a popular food.

Experts call for Hanoi to become a 'creative city'

Cultural industry development is a new issue, and Hanoi does not have much experience promoting its potential advantages.

Apple jumps to second highest seller of smartphones in Vietnam for first time

iPhone accounted for 20.5 percent of market share in Vietnam in October 2022, according to GfK.

Credit concerns affecting Vietnamese stocks should ease soon: VinaCapital

The demand for new housing units in Vietnam is still strong and prices are still affordable, and so the prices of real estate stocks are likely to recover if and when the Government takes action to ease credit conditions.

Fuel prices soar, EVN faces huge losses

Due to the global rise of coal, oil and gas prices, EVN’s electricity production costs and purchase costs have increased sharply. The group may incur losses of up to VND64.8 trillion in 2022.

Banks gain big profits from forex trading

Most banks reported strong profit growth from the foreign exchange business in the first three quarters of this year thanks to the sharp appreciation of the US dollar, Q3 2022 financial statements showed.

National Sports Games to take part in December

The 2022 National Sports Games (NSG) will be held in Quang Ninh Province from December 9-21.
back_to_top