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A spark for wire and cable exports, Vietnam’s economy grows robustly but risks intensify, Vegetable, fruit export growth slows, An alliance of 17 domestic taxi companies makes debut                

Firms should seek to grow stronger in global economy: experts

Vietnamese businesses need to urgently adapt their management methods and bravely step out into the world in order to survive and develop in the context of global integration, said experts at a workshop held Ho Chi Minh City on December 13.

Vu Thi Thuan, Chairwoman of Traphaco JSC, said Vietnam is going through an extensive and intensive integration process by engaging in groups such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

This allows businesses to expand their markets but also presents a lot of challenges and competition, she said, adding that the development of technology and artificial intelligence requires enterprises to map out sustainable development strategies.

Businesses should make plans to maintain comprehensive development and harmonise between economic efficiency, social responsibility, and environmental protection, as well as continuously promote innovation, she suggested.

Do Cao Bao, Deputy Director of FPT Group, shared that the global economy allows businesses to expand their operational scale and access larger markets. 

The expansion of markets helps businesses think and learn quickly regarding technology, management, and effective business models, he said.

However, in order to successfully join regional and global markets – like TH True Milk, Viettel, and FPT have – businesses need to accumulate internal strength in improving the quality of products, services, and human resources, as well as devise effective marketing strategies, he said.

The key to succeed in foreign markets is sale capacity, he pointed out, adding that businesses should be familiar with the host culture, religion, law, and consumption habit.

Bao recommended that the State build strategies to put forth investment in production and deep processing, focusing on products with high technology volumes such as automobiles, motorbikes, and electronics.

Besides traditional markets, Vietnam should also fully tap into others with great potential like Asia, Africa, and Latin America, he suggested.

Choi Bong Sik, Chairman of the World Federation of Overseas Korean Traders Association (OKTA), advised Vietnamese firms to expand exports to foreign markets and optimise the nearly 100 million strong domestic market to replace imported products with those made in Vietnam.

Other experts suggested Vietnamese businesses build a network of strategic partners and cooperate with foreign partners and multinational groups to rapidly join the regional and global production value chains. 

Vietnam International Fashion Fair 2018 opens in Hanoi

The Vietnam International Fashion Fair (VIEF) 2018 opened at the Cultural Friendship Palace in Hanoi on December 13, gathering nearly 150 leading garment-textile, leather-footwear and cosmetics firms from localities nationwide.

During the event, big players of the Vietnamese fashion sector such as Viet Tien, Hanosimex, Duc Giang, Hoa Tho and Phong Phu showcase their new products and run their biggest promotion programme in the year.

Covering more than 4,000 square metres, the fair highlights more than 200 booths with diverse products. A number of fashion seminars and shows, including one by designer Do Trinh Hoai Nam, will also be held. 

Le Tien Truong, General Director of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group, said that the fair is a chance for enterprises to promote their new products, meeting customers’ demand ahead of the coming Christmas and New Year events.

Over the past 22 years, the fair has not only been a major trade promotion activity in the fashion sector that contributes to strengthening the export of garment and textile, footwear and jewelry sectors, but also a shopping festival of consumers, he said.

This year, the fair is expected to draw over 10,000 visitors.

The VIEF 2018 - jointly held by Vietnam Exhibition Fair Centre JSC, the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group, the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbags Association, and the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association - will run until December 18.

Ride hailing platform Be makes debut     


Be – a new player in Viet Nam’s ride hailing market that made its debut on Thurday morning – aims to have 6.6 million downloads and 105 million rides in the first year of operation.

Run by Vietnamese start-up BeGroup, which was founded by former technology director of VNG Corporation Tran Thanh Hai, Be will go operational next Monday in HCM City with its first two major services: beBike for motorbike rides and beCar for car rides.

BeGroup said it would also develop delivery services next year and would offer a customer loyalty programme and an e-wallet on the Be platform.

Be’s expansion plan will start in February next year when it hopes to receive approval from the State management agencies. In 2019, Be plans to operate in 15 provinces and cities and expand operation to all 63 provinces and their major cities by 2020.

BeGroup hopes the platform will attract around 10 million regular passengers in the next three years.

Be also hopes to have 10,000 partner drivers each in Ha Noi and HCM City by the end of this year and expected the number of partner drivers to increase to 110,000 by the end of 2019.

Be is registered to operate as a transportation company, a major difference of Be from other ride hailing platforms such as Grab – the most popular such service in the country after acquiring Uber’s operations in Viet Nam. Other players include FastGo, Go-Viet, Vato, Aber and Now, which were all competing to expand their market shares.

There is controversy over whether ride hailing firms are transportation companies or simply platforms connecting drivers and passengers. The ambiguity has caused difficulties in managing the sector.

FPT Online lists over 14 million shares on UPCoM     


FPT Online Service Joint Stock Company on Monday started trading more than 14 million shares on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) at a starting price of VND110,000 (US$4.7).

The shares, under the code FOC, increased 40 per cent in the first session to VND154,000 to hold the highest price on UPCoM.

At this price, FPT Online’s market capitalisation stands at nearly VND2.28 trillion.

FPT Online was established on July 1, 2007 with initial charter capital of VND40 billion. Since then the company has increased its charter capital to over VND140.8 billion.

The firm operates primarily in the areas of online advertising, games and music, as well as social networking and SMS services.

In 2017, the company recorded revenue of nearly VND520 billion and after-tax profit of more than VND250 billion, year-on-year increases of 6 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively.

This year, FPT Online targets revenue of VND570 billion and after-tax profit of VND267.2 billion.

Property market to grow in coming year     


The property market in Viet Nam grew steadily this year, but continued to lack sufficient social housing amid a growing supply of buildings, a ministry official said.

Speaking at a conference in HCM City on December 11, Vu Van Phan, deputy head of the Ministry of Construction’s Housing and Real Estate Market Management Agency, said the property market this year had a stable number of transactions, consistent prices and an increase in supply, which exceeded demand.

Dr. Tran Dinh Thien, a member of the Economic Advisory Group for the Prime Minister, said that Viet Nam’s economy was on the rise, with constant improvements to the business climate and a planned reduction in administrative procedures.

Stephen Wyatt, general director of Jones Lang Laselle Viet Nam, a real estate service firm, said the number of apartments sold within the first nine months of the year was more than 31,000, or 2.9 per cent higher against the same period last year.

It is expected that the supply of new apartments for 2018 will be 43,000 – 44,000, while the selling rate is predicted to be about 70 per cent for apartments and 90 per cent for villas.

However, property inventory remains large at VND22.9 trillion, including real estate projects far from the city centre with underdeveloped infrastructure.

"While there is a surplus of high-end and mid-end housing, the market still lacks enough social and low-cost housing, which is in high demand," Phan said, adding that policies to encourage investment in these property segments are needed.

In addition, disputes regarding management and land-use rights between investors, boards of management, and customers were ongoing issues, Phan said.

The market next year is expected to continue to grow steadily, but the prices of land lots in areas with infrastructure development could sharply increase.

Wyatt said that more policies were needed to discourage land speculation and to develop social housing. Cumbersome procedures for investors should also be streamlined.

The conference was held by CafeLand, an online Vietnamese newspaper specialising in real estate. 

Property tax reduces household incomes and expenditures     

Property has been suffering a variety of taxes in the process of formation, meaning applying an annual tax on property is unreasonable and distorting the taxation principle.

That was the statement made by Nguyen Duc Thanh, Director of the Viet Nam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR), at a conference held in Ha Noi on Wednesday.

The conference announced the result of the study "Applicability and impact of property tax in Viet Nam", implemented by VEPR in co-operation with Dutch NGO Oxfam Viet Nam.

Recently, the Ministry of Finance proposed a tax on houses depending on their construction value as part of a draft law on property tax.

Under the proposed law, there are two options: imposing tax on houses with construction value of either more than VND700 million (US$30,400) or VND1 billion ($43,500).

The proposed rate is 0.3 or 0.4 per cent annually, with only the surplus construction value above the proposed threshold to be taxed.

Thanh said this law was proposed in context of not having a complete database on distribution of social assets, while this would be the reference function for calculating the most appropriate tax rate.

In the study, the research team has assumed tax rates of 0.3 per cent and 0.4 per cent for the threshold of VND700 million, VND1 billion and VND2 billion, thereby assessing the impact of these rates on the people.

With the threshold of VND2 billion, if the tax rate is 0.3 per cent, the tax per household is VND763,000 (equal to 0.53 per cent of total income), reduced spending rate is VND525,000 (0.22 per cent of total expenditure). If the tax rate is 0.4 per cent, the tax payable per household is VND1.019 million (equal to 0.72 per cent of the total income), the reduced expenditure is VND700,000 (equal to 0.29 per cent of the total expenditure).

For the threshold of VND700 million, if the tax rate of 0.3 per cent, the tax per household is VND978,000 (0.66 per cent of total income), reduced expenditure is VND638,000 (0.27 per cent of total spend). If the tax rate is 0.4 per cent, the tax rate per household is VND1.3 million (0.89 per cent of total income), the reduced expenditure is VND851,000 (0.36 per cent of total expenditure) .

For the threshold of VND1 billion, if the tax rate is 0.3 per cent, the tax per household is VND897,000 (0.61 per cent of total income), reduced spending is VND600,000 (0.25 per cent of total expenditure). If the tax rate is 0.4 per cent, the tax payable per household is VND1.198 million (0.82 per cent of total income), the reduced expenditure is VND800,000 (0.34 per cent of total expenditure).

As a result, the tax rate of 0.3 per cent for the threshold of VND2 billion for housing has the smallest impact on the household, said Nguyen Viet Cuong, vice director of Institute of Public Policy and Management, National Economics University.

“The asset tax will reduce household disposable income by about 0.9 per cent; real expenditure reduction of about 0.7 per cent,” he added.

VEPR’s director identified that if property taxes are issued with tax thresholds as mentioned in the proposed law, household incomes and expenditures will be reduced. However, it does not affect poverty and primarily reduces the income of the rich. Thus, the inequality index is improved but mainly because the rich are less rich, not because the poor are getting richer.

“So property tax is not a sustainable tax if public spending does not promote social well-being and productivity, " Thanh told Viet Nam News. 

MobiFone to put TPBank shares on sale     

State-owned telecommunications corporation MobiFone has announced a plan to sell its entire share of Tien Phong Joint Stock Commercial Bank (TPBank).

 MobiFone will offload nearly 5.55 million shares of TPBank on the stock market, TPBank said in a note published on Monday.

TPBank is listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) as TPB. The transaction may be carried out through order-matching and put-through sales.

MobiFone expects the price for TPBank shares in the deal to be no lower than VND25,230 (US$1.11) per share or the shares’ average price in the 30 days prior to the announcement.

At VND25,230 per share, MobiFone expects to earn VND140 billion ($6.15 million) from the deal.

In the 30 days leading up to December 10, TPBank shares had moved between VND21,150 and VND25,880 per share.

Its 30-day average price was VND25,655 per share.

The deal is expected to be complete in April 2019.

TPBank listed more than 671.8 million shares on HoSE on April 19, 2018 at VND32,240 per share.

The bank shares were up 0.5 per cent on Wednesday to close at VND21,250.

This means the bank has lost total more than one third of its share value since the April listing.

MobiFone had previously offered its share at TPBank for sale in October for at least VND29,150 per share.

But the State-owned telecoms corporation failed to complete the deal because TPBank shares moved to between VND23,900 and VND27,500 per share, lower than MobiFone’s expected price.

Van Don International Airport meets requirements for open in December     

The first private airport in Viet Nam had met all required standards and was ready to be put into operation as scheduled in December, according to the State Check and Acceptance Board.

After checking Van Don International Airport on Saturday, the board said that work had been completed, meeting the design quality and technical standards to be fully eligible for operation.

Deputy Minister of Construction Le Quang Hung urged the developers to complete relevant procedures early to put the airport into operation at the end of this month.

Vu Van Dien, deputy chairman of Quang Ninh Province’s People’s Committee, said that Van Don International Airport played a significant role in the northern province’s socio-economic development in general and the development of the northeast region in particular.

Dien said that Quang Ninh was developing policies to attract tourists to the northern province by air as well as co-operating with the airport’s developers to promote flights connecting the province.

Several domestics carriers are planning to launch flights to Van Don International Airport.

Vietnam Airlines will open a daily route connecting HCM City and Quang Ninh Province on December 30.

Vietjet plans to launch routes to and from Van Don International Airport in January 2019.

Construction started in March 2016 with total investment of around VND7 trillion (US$304.5 million). The airport is expected to receive 500,000 passenger arrivals/departures in the first year of operation.

The airport is designed to receive 2.5 million passengers in the first phase and 5 million by 2030. 

An alliance of 17 domestic taxi companies makes debut     

An alliance of 17 domestic taxi companies with 12,000 vehicles launched Monday, aiming to compete with ride-hailing services company Grab.

According to Le Vinh Quang, the alliance’s deputy president, the alliance hopes to increase the number of members to reach 20,000 vehicles next year.

The alliance’s members now operate in 40 provinces and cities and hope to expand to all 63 provinces and cities in 2019.

The alliance will operate on the platform EMDDI, an app which could be downloaded from Play Store and App Store, developed by the Viet Nam National University, Ha Noi. The alliance is also promoting online payment through deals with Viettel, Momo and VN Pay.

Quang said it would take only 1-2 minutes to book a ride and promised there would be no fee hikes in rush hours. The alliance hoped it would enhance service quality to compete with Grab, a popular ride hailing services in major provinces and cities.

In Ha Noi, six taxi companies joined the alliance, namely Thanh Nga, Van Xuan, Thang Long, Sao Mai, Long Bien and Que Lua. Taxi firms Open99 and Vic are expected to join soon to bring the alliance’s total number of taxis in Ha Noi to 4,000.

Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry said it was important for taxi firms to use advanced technologies and improve service quality to better serve passengers.

Canada will be potential market for Vietnam's export garments     

Canada will be a potential market for Viet Nam’s export garment products when the Comprehensive Partnership and Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) takes effect in early 2019, according to Le Tien Truong, general director of Viet Nam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex).

Truong said although the CPTPP does not include the US - which accounts for nearly half of Viet Nam’s annual garment export value, it has other great potential markets such as Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Canada

Canada imports textiles and garments worth of US$13.3 billion per year. However, Viet Nam’s textile and garment export value to Canada has reached only about $550 million a year, he said.

Meanwhile, Viet Nam the CPTPP is Viet Nam’s first free trade deal including Canada.

To seize this opportunity to access the Canadian market, Vinatex has sought Canadian garment enterprises and provided them information about Vietnamese export textile and garment products.

Specifically, Vinatex sent a delegation of local textile and garment companies to Canada to look for opportunities with textile and garment importers in this market, including Ha Noi Textile and Garment Joint Stock Corporation (Hanosimex), Hoa Tho Textile and Garment Joint Stock Corporation, Duc Giang Corporation and Phong Phu Corporation.

In Canada, the firms introduced their potential and strong points to potential partners.

Phong Phu’s representative said the corporation learned about the demand for textile and garment products of this market via direct contacts with Canadian customers. Next, it will set up production plans to achieve its goals in Canada.

Meanwhile, Hanosimex introduced its production meeting yarn rules of origin for two products. It has met 12 companies and introduced to them 40 kinds of cotton towel and knitwear.

Hanosimex has looked for more input material suppliers in Viet Nam or other member countries of the CPTPP to diversify commodities and build a flexible production model to meet demand from contracts of large volume with medium quality to contracts of small volume with high quality products.

Besides of trade promotion activities held by Vinatex, Hoa Tho Textile and Garment Joint Stock Corporation has connected with 14 customers to introduce 15 samples of trousers and suits made from Vietnamese, Thai and Indian materials. 

Vegetable, fruit export growth slows     

The growth of vegetable and fruit exports slowed down significantly this year but the target of reaching US$10 billion in revenue in 2025 was still within reach, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The ministry’s Agro Processing and Market Development Authority anticipated a growth rate of 10 per cent for vegetable and fruit exports for the full year of 2018, much lower than the growth rate of more than 40 per cent recorded in 2017.

Viet Nam exported vegetables and fruits worth US$3.5 billion between January and November, representing a rise of 11.6 per cent over the same period last year.

China remained the largest importer of Vietnamese vegetables and fruits, accounting for 73.8 per cent of Viet Nam’s vegetable and fruit export revenue.

Viet Nam exported vegetables and fruits worth $2.41 billion to China in the period, an increase of 11.3 per cent over the same period in 2017.

Exports to Australia, the US, Thailand and South Korea saw strong growth rates of between 28 and 36 per cent.

The department said the export of vegetables and fruits might struggle in the remaining month of this year due to the impact of weather conditions which might cause drops in the output of several farming products.

The department forecast a modest growth of just 10 per cent for the export of vegetables and fruits for the full year, compared to the whopping growth rate of 42.4 per cent recorded last year.

The country imported vegetables and fruits worth $1.57 billion in the 11-month period, up by 11.5 per cent, mainly from Thailand (accounting for 41.3 per cent of the revenue) and China (24.4 per cent).

Experts said Viet Nam’s participation in a number of free trade agreements (FTAs) was creating opportunities to expand vegetable and fruit exports to new markets and reduce the reliance on a single market.

Viet Nam had significant potential to boost exports, and the target revenue of $10 billion in 2025 was within reach if the country could make a breakthrough in processing to increase product values.

The industry was still weak in processing and preservation, experts said.

Statistics showed that around 80 per cent of Viet Nam’s fruits output was sold in the domestic market, mostly in the form of fresh produce.

Nguyen Xuan Hong, former director of the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority, said the export of vegetables and fruits faced two technical barriers: food safety and phytosanitation requirements.

It was critical to pay special attention to food safety and phytosanitation to boost exports as import markets are now more demanding, Hong said. Strengthening processing would help ensure stable export prices of vegetables and fruits by preventing prices from tumbling when output is abundant.

Hong said that organising production was an important phase, adding that one solution would be to enhance co-operation between farmers and firms to apply standards such as VietGAP and GlobalGAP in production and ensure quality control for exports.

Hong suggested the Government create preferential policies to create favourable conditions for firms to invest in processing vegetables and fruits.

Hong said investing in processing would increase the added value of vegetables and fruits and boost exports.

According to Dinh Cao Khue, chairman of Dong Giao Foodstuff Export Company, the solution lies in developing large-scale plantation areas with huge volumes which must be associated with the building of processing plants.

Khue said it was also critical to apply advanced processing technologies to diversify products and enhance quality.

Nguyen Van Viet, director of the ministry’s Planning Department, said the ministry would continue to convert low-yield fields into cultivation areas for more efficient crops, including vegetables and fruits, and apply technologies that reduce costs while increasing output, quality, added value and competitiveness. 

Vietnam’s economy grows robustly but risks intensify 

Economic growth in Viet Nam had proven resilient despite weakening external conditions, driven mainly by strong domestic demand and a dynamic export-oriented manufacturing sector, according to the World Bank (WB)’s update on recent economic developments in Viet Nam.

Viet Nam continues to achieve robust growth accompanied by moderate inflation and a relatively stable exchange rate. —Photo

According to Taking Stock, the WB’s bi-annual economic report on Viet Nam which was released yesterday, the pace of expansion was forecast to remain at 6.8 per cent this year, higher than the projected figure of 6.3 per cent for emerging markets in the East Asia and Pacific regions.

Over the medium term, in line with global trends, Viet Nam would see a slower pace of 6.6 and 6.5 per cent in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Inflation would remain muted at 4 per cent as the result of tightening monetary policies.

“Despite a challenging global context, Việt Nam continues to achieve robust growth accompanied by moderate inflation and a relatively stable exchange rate” said Ousmane Dione, the WB Country Director for Viet Nam.

“Policy makers should take advantage of the still favourable growth dynamics to advance structural reforms to enhance private sector driven investment and growth, along with improving efficiency in public sector investment,” he said.

The report highlighted that risks to the outlook had intensified and were tilted to the downside. Given its high trade openness and limited fiscal and monetary policy buffers, Viet Nam remained susceptible to external volatilities. Escalating global trade tensions could cause a falloff in export demands while tightening global liquidity could reduce capital inflows and foreign investment. Domestically, a slowdown in reforming the State-owned enterprise and banking sectors could undermine growth prospects and create public sector liabilities.

“Slower global growth, ongoing trade tensions and heightened financial volatility cloud on the global outlook,” said Sebastian Eckardt, the WB Lead Economist for Việt Nam. “As an open economy, Viet Nam needs to maintain a responsive monetary policy, exchange rate flexibility and low fiscal deficits to enhance its resilience against potential shocks.”

He recommended alleviating constraints to domestic investment, including boosting reforms of State-owned enterprises and deepening and accelerating equitisation; enhancing the business climate and regulatory reforms; capital market development to ensure efficient financial intermediation; and enabling private investment in infrastructure and improving public investment efficiency.

Investment in human capital or people and innovation capacity to improve labour productivity was also needed, he said.

In light of the recently ratified Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the special section of this Taking Stock edition focused on streamlining non-tariff measures to help boost Việt Nam’s export competitiveness.

The report observed that while tariffs were rapidly declining, the number of non-tariff measures (NTM) was increasing. Viet Nam’s average preferential tariffs fell from 13.1 per cent in 2003 to 6.3 per cent in 2015. In contrast, the number of NTMs increased by more than 20-fold during the same period. International experiences show that poorly designed and implemented NTM could restrict trade, distort prices and erode national competitiveness.

According to the report’s assessment, the NTM system in Việt Nam remained complicated, opaque and costly, resulting in a high cost of compliance. One study estimated that the equivalent tariff rate that sanitary and phytosanitary measures Viet Nam was imposing on imported goods was 16.6 per cent compared to the average level of 8.3 per cent for ASEAN countries.

WB’s Senior Economist Pham Minh Duc gave recommendations including defining and classifying NTMs in line with international standards, official use and regular updates of the Vietnam Trade Information Portal and establishing a standard procedure for reviewing NTMs.

He also suggested simplifying related procedures, applying risk management and strengthening interagency co-ordination.

VN and Greece promote trade and investment     

The Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) signed a co-operation agreement with the Federation of Greek Industries (SEV) and the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) in Ha Noi on Monday to tighten co-operation and boost trade between businesses of the two countries.

The agreement was signed at the Viet Nam – Greek Business Forum, which attracted representatives from Vietnamese businesses and 16 leading Greek groups in the fields of food, olive oil production, garments and textiles, real estate investment, energy, electricity and lighting.

Speaking at the forum, Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Terens-Nikolaos Quick said Viet Nam and Greece had actively co-operated and supported each other at regional and international multilateral forums such as UN, Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the ASEAN-EU.

He said Greece was one of earliest countries to ratify the EU-Viet Nam Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA) and supported the early adoption of the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). Greece wanted Viet Nam to strengthen its relations with the EU and expected to be a gateway for Vietnamese goods to enter this region.

Co-operation between the two sides would create strong investment in energy, transport and technology in Viet Nam. In particular, Greece had a lot of experience in the field of industrial technology, infrastructure and shipping, which would support Viet Nam’s development, said Terens.

Deputy Chairman of the VCCI Doan Duy Khuong said in the context of the difficult global economic situation, bilateral trade between Viet Nam and Greece had made encouraging progress, increasing steadily from US$196 million in 2015 to $335 million in 2017. However, it did not reflect the true potential of both countries.

“Viet Nam is now considered a dynamic developing economy in Southeast Asia, becoming an attractive destination for foreign investors. Viet Nam has strong export potential for agricultural products, textiles, leather and footwear. It has become one of the most attractive consumer markets in the world,” said Khuong.

Khuong said Viet Nam had also made a number of achievements in economic reform, improving the business investment environment, and perfecting the legal and institutional system, in addition to simplifying transparent administrative procedures.

The country has also co-operated extensively with key partners and ratified 10 bilateral and multilateral FTAs with regional and international partners. About 60 economies have been negotiating FTAs ​​with Viet Nam, including key trade partners that account for about 90 per cent of Viet Nam’s trade turnover.

He said Greece had a developed manufacturing industry, especially the shipping industry, which was developing at the top of the world.

"Viet Nam and Greece want to seek co-operation opportunities in this area. We are currently in the process of negotiating the signing of a co-operation agreement on maritime transport. If we can secure this deal it will become a great driving force in boosting economic relations between the two countries."

“It’s a ‘golden time for Viet Nam and Greece to tighten co-operation to bring their traditional relationship to a new height, especially in economy, trade and investment. The two sides need to step up exchanges and trade and develop potential areas such as maritime transport and logistics, shipbuilding, seaport exploitation, tourism and agro-processing,” he said.

In order to reach the target, Khuong stressed that the governments of the two countries would help businesses promote trade, but businesses must also try to develop their operations. 

Vietnamese goods fair opens in An Giang province

The An Giang Pride of Vietnamese Goods Fair opened in Chau Doc city in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang on December 13 in response to the “Vietnamese People Prioritise Vietnamese Goods” campaign.

This is the province’s largest-ever event honouring Vietnamese products and has attracted the participation of more than 100 businesses from 16 cities and provinces nationwide, displaying local foods, beverages, farm produce, and handicrafts, among others.

According to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, the fair has opened up opportunities to bring prestigious Vietnamese products closer to local consumers. 

Ta Minh Son, Director of Tu Son supermarket, said that the campaign has helped Vietnamese goods win the hearts and minds of domestic consumers. In the Tu Son supermarket, made-in-Vietnam products are now favoured over imported goods, he said. 

A wide range of activities have been scheduled in the framework of the fair, comprising a competition to learn about the campaign, product testing, and the introduction of safe goods production.

The event will run until December 17.

Vietjet Air launches first direct HCM City-Osaka flight

Budget carrier Vietjet Air launched daily flights between  Ho Chi Minh City and Osaka on December 14, making it the airline’s second direct air route connecting Vietnam and the Japanese city, after Hanoi-Osaka route.

“Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s largest city as well as the most modern and vibrant financial and tourism hub. We hope more locals and tourists from Japan and Vietnam will enjoy travelling and trading between these two countries thanks to Vietjet’s fun and affordable flights, Chief Commercial Officer of Kansai International Airport Gregory Jamet said at the launching ceremony at the airport.

“We expect that the airline will continue to expand its flight network to Kansai Airport, delivering even more convenience and exciting experiences to their customers,” he added.

On this occasion, passengers on the flight from HCM City to Osaka were treated to cosplay performances showcasing Japanese culture and souvenirs onboard Vietjet Air’s inaugural flight.

Vietjet Air operates return flights of more than five hours per leg between HCM City and Osaka every day. The flight departs from HCM City daily at 1:40 and arrives in Osaka at 8:30. Coming back, the flight takes off in Osaka at 9:30 and lands at HCM City at 13:30 (all local times).

The low-cost carrier launched its first direct flight connecting Hanoi and Osaka on November8, 2018.

Using new A321neo aircraft, the Hanoi-Osaka route operates a daily return flight with a time of just over four hours per leg. The flight departs from Hanoi at 1.40 and arrives in Osaka at 7:50 (local time). In the other direction, the flight takes off in Osaka at 9:20 (local time) and lands in Hanoi at around 13:05.

This is the first international route in the code-share programme between Vietjet Air and Japan Airlines. The code-share service is also applied to domestic flights connecting Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, and Hanoi and Da Nang.

The carrier plans to open another direct air route from Hanoi to Tokyo (Narita) on January 11, 2019.

With a fleet of more than 60 aircraft, Vietjet Air operates 385 flights each day. The airline has already transported more than 60 million passengers on a network featuring 93 routes in Vietnam and across the region to international destinations such as Thailand, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, China’s Taiwan and Hong Kong, mainland China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Cambodia.

Vietnam to lure more investment from UAE

Deputy Minister of Planning and investment Vu Dai Thang on December 13 met Vietnamese and Dubai businessmen who were in Hanoi under an investment cooperation programme.

The programme lays a firm foundation for Vietnam to lure more investment from Dubai and the Middle East region. It is also expected to help boost economic ties between domestic and Dubai businesses.

Vietnamese-German billionaire Mai Vu Minh - Chairman of Sapa Thale Group on behalf of the delegation vowed to exert all-out efforts to boost investment to Vietnam from Dubai in particular and United Arab Emirates (UAE) in general.

SAPA Thale Group is operating in finance investment in Germany, Vietnam and many other countries in the world.

Previously, the group and the Dubai Investment Development Agency inked a bilateral investment cooperation deal in Ho Chi Minh City on December 11.

Local firm receives foreign investment

Australia’s SEEK Group and Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneur Fund have invested in GetLinks, a platform and ecosystem that connects tech talents with opportunities across Asia.

GetLinks will benefit Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund’s network of resources, experience and know-how technologies.

It will also benefit frrom SEEK group’s network of online employment marketplaces across 18 countries in positioning GetLinks as the most effective tech HR platform in Asia.

The proceeds from the funding will help GetLinks expand from recruiting to offering skills and talent training, and developing hyper-localised operating hubs across the markets in which it operates.

The Thailand-based tech recruitment service has more than 500,000 profiles of developers, designers and digital marketers on its platform and caters to over 3,000 companies operating in six major tech hubs in Asia, including Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, India and the Republic of Korea.

It has been focusing on creating an online adaptive talent platform that enhances the skills of employees while providing them an open opportunity with leading tech companies across Asia.

“We’re constantly looking at ways to empower talents by helping them build their skills, connections, teams and careers. In other words, we bring humanity to technology and put the power back into the hands of the job seekers,” said Djoann Fal, co-founder and CEO of GetLinks.

During its three years of operation, GetLinks has established a community of talents across the tech world, ranging from developers, designers and digital marketers to operation managers and sale leaders.

Its priority is scaling up in existing markets by acquiring candidates through a series of networking activities, including organising events, producing content, and supporting digital transformation and talent mobility.

“Ultimately, we want to build an adaptive talent workforce and encourage the world’s best to help build a Silicon Valley in Asia,” Djoann said.

Some of the companies that have used GetLinks’ service include giant tech brands such as Alibaba Group, Traveloka, Baidu, Grab, Google, Line, Agoda, SingTel, Accenture, Garena, and others.


Pirated games flood the market as discounts are slashed on app stores

With app stores’ decisions to reduce discounts and support from payment service providers such as credit cards and e-wallets (MoMo), pirated games of international distributors, especially Chinese games, can easily enter Vietnam.

Vietnam needs to learn lessons in developing renewable energy

Dr Le Hai Hung says renewable power plants occupy much land, but environmental concerns remain controversial, and in the next 10 years, it will not be a reliable energy source for business production and people’s daily life.

High-end real estate developers advised to develop social housing

Realtors who specialize in high-end real estate projects should think of adding social housing projects to their business strategies, because the projects ensure sustainability and stability for them.

No time to waste in building the offshore wind industry

Action on accelerating offshore wind power projects is urgently needed if the government is to meet its targets for the decade.

Traditional markets in HCM City deserted, degraded

Many of the traditional markets in Ho Chi Minh City are dilapidated due to a lack of investment in upgrades and are facing the issue of small traders withdrawing due to low customer footfall.

Vietnam targets end of malaria by 2030

Vietnam will provide training to medical staff and apply new techniques in the prevention, detection, and treatment of malaria.

Vietnam auto makers project bumpy years ahead

Car manufacturers are calling for the reinstatement of measures used during the pandemic in order to help boost flagging vehicle sales.

Vietnam’s fintech reaches new heights

VGP - Viet Nam's fintech has reached new heights and the newly introduced regulatory sandbox is further fueling its growth.

Moody’s upgrades ratings of eight Vietnamese banks

VGP - Moody's Investors Service, a leading provider of credit ratings, research, and risk analysis, has raised ratings of eight Vietnamese banks.

MOIT: electricity prices to be set by March 31

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has asked the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) to negotiate with solar and wind power project developers and reach agreements about electricity prices prior to March 31.

Sapa mother fined for forcing her children to work

A woman in the northern tourist town of Sapa has been fined VND 22 million for forcing her two small children to sell products to tourists in the area.


Vietnam works hard to boost exports to Chinese market

Bamboo Airways wants to add VND10 trillion to charter capital

Bamboo Airways is planning to increase its charter capital by nearly VND10 trillion through a new share issue to restructure its debt and fund its business operations.

Vietnam's first community digital library to open in Quang Nam

The central province of Quang Nam's Tam Ky City’s first community digital library in Vietnam will open soon.

White List of certified websites released

The Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information under the Ministry of Information and Communications has announced on its website the White List of certified websites.