BUSINESS NEWS 14/8

Online revenue suddenly plunges at MWG

This second quarter, even as Mobile World Group (MWG)'s online revenue increased by 13 per cent on-year, its June revenue was the lowest in the last 14 months.

According to data published by MWG, in the first six months, the company's online revenue reached VND7.72 trillion ($335.65 million), up 39 per cent compared to the same period last year and accounting for 15 per cent of its total revenue.

However, this growth is uneven. In the first quarter, online revenue grew by 67 per cent, but in the second quarter, it was only 13 per cent.

Notably, in this May and June, MWG's online revenue suddenly plunged below VND1 trillion ($43.48 million).

The report of Viet Capital Securities (VCSC) stated that the reason for the decline in the online segment of MWG was that since this May, the company has cut promotions (for example, discount vouchers) on the online channel to unify its online and offline prices.

According to MWG, the adjustment of its online pricing policy has not affected the company's total sales so far as customers who used to buy products online for a cheap price can now access the same products at the same price directly at the stores, too.

Correspondingly, data from iPrice shows that visitor count at the thegioididong.com website has dropped sharply in the second quarter to 25.3 million, which is only two-thirds of the figures measured at the end of 2017.

In the first half of 2019, the thegioididong.com chain closed 21 stores, mainly due to being merged into Dien May Xanh. As the mobile phone market is growing saturated, MWG's revenue from the segment reached VND17.3 trillion ($751.17 million), down 4 per cent over the same period.

Additionally, on August 8, Mobile World will launch its new store brand selling "super-cheap phones" under the domain name is dienthoaisieure.com. The new chain of mobile phone stores will follow a cost-cutting strategy and will aim to draw in residents living around the stores. This will be a direct competitor to small mobile phone shops through its marketing and management strategy and scale.

The store will provide the same mobile phone models but at a cost nearly 10 per cent cheaper than thegioididong.com and only sell models in the price range below VND8 million ($350).

Each store will have only two counsellors and is not equipped with reception chairs nor Wi-Fi or even a security guard for parking vehicles.

In 2006-2007, a similar chain was opened, called Nettra under Network Trading & Investment International Co., Ltd. However, after about two years of operation, the chain disappeared, making dienthoaiSIEURE.com a questionable course of action for MWG.

Ninh Thuan spends nearly 130,000 USD on craft village development

The south-central province of Ninh Thuan has earmarked close to 3 billion VND (129,000 USD) for developing local craft villages in a bid to boost rural incomes and build new-style rural areas.

The sum will be channeled into vocational training, infrastructure building and the formation of cooperatives, while supporting production, environmental treatment and related tourism development.

Ninh Thuan also plans to design technical demos, a website for craft villages, and assist craft facilities in attending exhibitions and trade fairs.

To date, the province has three recognized traditional craft villages – Bau Truc for pottery, and My Nghiep and Chung My for brocade weaving – in addition to dozens of others working in seafood processing, as well as producing fish sauce, woodwork products, and grape wine, among others. They have so far created thousands of jobs and contributed to the preservation of the culture of the ethnic communities in the locality.

However, many of them have been struggling to survive due to capital and human resources shortage, as well as poor competitiveness.

Amid such context, some are seeking their ways to boost production quality and spur demand from the market.

According to Ham Minh Thieu, head of the Cham My Nghiep brocade services and production cooperative, Cham ethnic people are working to improve their brocade product designs and diversity to meet consumers’ demand but still conserve their cultural identity.

The Bau Truc pottery village has followed suit by developing a modern line of pottery products serving the domestic market and export.

By 2020, Ninh Thuan aims to have four to five more accredited craft villages, including aquatic processing one in My Tan and a fish sauce village in Ca Na commune.

Enterprises seek chances to export farm produce to Mexico

BUSINESS NEWS 14/8

A delegation of the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) made a working visit to Mexico from August 3-7 to look for chances to export rice and other farm produce to American country.

While in Mexico, the 12-member delegation visited wholesale farm produce market of the capital city and had working sessions with representatives of rice and farm produce importing companies Lozano Magana and Semillas y Granos, as well as supermarket chain City Market.

At a conference on the business chances between the two countries held with the participation of representatives of the host country’s ministries of economy and foreign affairs as well as local enterprises, the two sides spoke highly of the potential for accelerating the trade of rice and other farm produce.

An official of the host side highlighted the great chance for the trade of food between the two countries within the framework of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and stressed the role of the Vietnam-Mexico joint committee on economic cooperation, trade and investment in pushing up the bilateral cooperation.

He also announced that a business delegation of Mexico will visit Vietnam to explore the market in October and seek partners.

For his part, VFA Chairman Nguyen Ngoc Nam affirmed that Mexico is a potential market for Vietnam’s food-exporting firms, adding that key exports include rice, pepper and cashew nut.

Also at the conferences, enterprises of the two sides had business-to-business contacts on food and other farm produce they need or want to export such as rice, fruits, beef and pork.

Seven-month fishery export value drops 1 percent

The fishery export value in the first seven months of 2019 was estimated at nearly 4.7 billion USD, down 1 percent from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Department of Farm Produce Processing and Market Development.

Japan, the US, China and the Republic of Korea were the top four importers of Vietnam’s fishery products in the period. In combination they accounted for 55.9 percent of the Southeast Asian country’s total fishery export revenue.

Meanwhile, strong growth was recorded in shipments to Mexico (21.3 percent), Taiwan (16.6 percent), Malaysia (13.2 percent) and Japan (11 percent).

The department noted that shrimp export to the EU, the largest importer of Vietnamese shrimp, in the first half of this year reduced by 25.9 percent year on year to 300 million USD.

However, the department hoped that shrimp shipments to this market would rebound under the impact of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) which was signed in Hanoi on June 30 this year and is expected to take effect in the time ahead after being approved by EU member states.

Under the EVFTA, import tariffs on several kinds of Vietnamese shrimp products would be reduced to 0 percent.

Export of wood pellets to Japan to rise

Vietnam’s Eastwood Energy JSC and Sweden’s CellMark Group signed a long-term contract in Ho Chi Minh City on August 8 to supply wood pellets to the Japanese market.

Under the contract, the first of its kind inked by the two sides, at least 300,000 tonnes of wood pellets will be shipped to Japan each year as from 2021.

Pham Trung Cang, Chairman of Eastwood Energy, said Vietnam has huge potential for wood pellets production, adding that with a wooden furniture market worth about 20 billion USD, the production of pellets from by-product of wood processing will bring about many opportunities to businesses.

Eastwood Energy aims to export over 500,000 tonnes of wood pellets to the Republic of Korea (RoK) and Japan in 2019, and at least 300,000 tonnes to the Japanese market alone in 2021, he said.

According to Cang, wood pellets exported to Japan must satisfy technical standards set by the picky market and be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council that requires businesses and consumers to identify, purchase and use wood, paper and other forest products made with materials from well-managed forests and/or recycled sources.

Craig Jackson from CellMark said Japan is expected to overcome the RoK to become the largest wood pellets consumer in Asia in 2021 and its demand may double that of the RoK in 2023.

Last year, CellMark purchased 324,600 tonnes of wood pellets from Eastwood Energy, up from over 19,800 tonnes in 2015.

In Vietnam, the Swedish group is one of the pioneers in promoting the export of wood pellets, accounting for 25 percent of Vietnam’s total wood pellet export volume last year.

The group is seeking Vietnamese suppliers of this product for the Japanese market on a long-term basis.

Cavory Takes Charge of The Anam in Cam Ranh

A seasoned professional with almost four decades of experience in the luxury hospitality industry across four continents has been appointed to the helm of the award-winning Anam.

French national Philippe Cavory comes to the 12-hectare resort on Vietnam's pristine Cam Ranh peninsula after four years with YTL Hotels, during which he oversaw a collection of five-star resorts in Malaysia as area general manager.

Cavory brings a stellar background in luxury hospitality to the independently owned and operated Anam, having worked in senior management roles for some of the industry’s most prestigious names including Cheval Blanc Randheli and Soneva Fushi in the Maldives, Banyan Tree properties in the Maldives, Morocco and Laos, and at LUX Grand Gaube in Mauritius.

In addition to Asia and Africa, his career has taken him across Europe and to the United States. Along with hotel management, he has substantial experience with hotel openings and renovations.

After starting out with hotel management studies at the acclaimed École Hôtelière du Comte de Nice in his native France in the early eighties, Cavory conducted further study with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust based in London. He became a sommelier based in Miami with Royal Caribbean Cruises and then an F&B consultant for the Eastern and Oriental Express in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, before rising through the ranks at various luxury hotels.

He has won numerous awards, including ‘Outstanding General Manager’ at the 2017 Asian Lifestyle Tourism Awards.

Cavory said he would bring his passion for working alongside many nationalities in the luxury sector and enthusiasm for developing and mentoring executives, teams and business units to the Anam, which has established a reputation as one of Vietnam’s top coastal resorts since its grand opening in April 2017.

Tiki clears ownership confusion, says JD.com not biggest stake holder

Vietnamese e-commerce company Tiki has clarified that one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies, China’s JD.com, is not its largest stakeholder as erroneously thought.

In a press release on August 7, it said the 25.65 per cent ownership by JD.com mentioned on the National Portal on Business Registration as of June 26, 2019, is in fact inaccurate and pertains to an older date.

But it refused to disclose the actual stake held on that date by JD.com.

The chart shows Chinese ownership in the company to be 21.47 per cent.

Vietnamese gaming and technology company VNG owns a 24.6 per cent stake.

Tiki was founded by Tran Ngoc Thai Son in 2010 with a capital of US$5,000.

It has since received funding from a number of investors: VNG and JD.com, the Singapore Government’s EDBI, Korea’s STIC and KIP, and Japan’s CyberAgent Ventures and Sumitomo.

Tiki was one of the top six e-commerce sites in Southeast Asia in terms of traffic in the last quarter of last year, according to iPrice.

US-China trade war badly impacts Vietnam’s export: Expert

The escalating trade tension between the US and China will cause considerable impact on Vietnam’s export, according to Pham Tat Thang, head of the Institute for Trade Research and senior expert from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Thang noted that China has devaluated its currency price to the lowest level recently, which has affected the world market, including Vietnam.

As Vietnam’s exports to the Chinese market are large, the devaluation of Chinese RMB will make Vietnam’s exporting activities to the country more difficult and almost unprofitable, the official said.

He advised local firms to seek other markets, especially those signing free trade agreements with Vietnam, including Eurasian Economic Union members.

Thang stressed the need to avoid US-China trade war’s impact on Vietnam’s currency market. This requires the Government to keep a close eye on the market to ensure the exchange rate between the VND and other currencies will not affect the country’s economy, he said.

The expert asserted that the development of the trade tension is unpredictable and may expand to other sector.

This will lead to changes in the demand-supply relations, which will harm all countries, especially those depending on export and investment, he said.

He also underlined the urgent need for the Government as well as ministries, agencies and enterprises to prevent Chinese goods to be marked “made in Vietnam” and exported to the US, as it will seriously and negatively affect Vietnam’s exporting activities to the US, not only for one but many sectors.

Da Nang aims to become sea-based economic hub

As a coastal city with considerable sea-related advantages, Da Nang is carrying out an action programme to boost development of blue economy, targeting to turn itself into sea-based economic hub in the future.

The move is part of the city’s efforts to concretise the national sustainable maritime economic development strategy towards 2030 with vision until 2045, which was adopted at the 8th meeting of the 12th Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

Under its action programme, Da Nang is targeting a 10 percent contribution by the sea-based economic sectors to the city’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) by 2025, and 15 percent by 2030. The sectors must develop sustainably in line with international standards, and have good control of natural resource exploitation.

According to the municipal Party Committee, developing the sea-based economy in a sustainable manner is the right and responsibility of all organisations, businesses and local residents. It must be made based on green growth, effective and sustainable exploitation of marine resources, and preservation of bio-diversity.

Besides, the sustainable maritime economic development also means protecting historical values and traditions, as well as ensuring local residents’ participation, benefits and responsibilities on the basis of equality and compliance with the country’s constitution and laws.

The city has considered advanced technologies and sciences, and high-quality human resources as breakthrough elements to protect the sea environment and marine ecosystem, and respond to climate change.

It has focused investment on human resources training and research and investigation activities in the field, while due attention has been paid to international cooperation to develop the sea-based economy based on equality, mutual benefits and respects of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of related parties.

Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Truong Quang Nghia said the city’s development progress has been made in tandem with the maritime strategy.

Accordingly, as a sea-based economic hub in the nation, Da Nang city will have a well-developed maritime economy, work to ensure social security and sustainable development, prevent degradation of the sea environment, and restore and preserve important marine ecosystems.

Da Nang city is home to 90-kilometre-long coastline, a fishing ground of 15,000sq.km, and aquatic reserves of about 1.14 million tonnes, and fishing has become a traditional industry in the locality for a long time.

With a goal to become a fishery centre in the central region, the city has made comprehensive investment in fishing port and seafood logistics services. Particularly, Tho Quang port has been upgraded, enabling it to welcome 24,600 boats and handle over 112,300 tonnes of seafood each year.

Aside from the Government’s support, Da Nang has issued its own “breakthrough” policies to support local fishermen over the past few years, including those on managing inshore fishing activities, developing offshore fishing fleets, and protecting and developing aquatic resources.

These policies have encouraged fishermen to upgrade and build boats for offshore fishing, thus helping to improve the quality and value of local seafood.

Da Nang city is also developing vessels supplying fishery logistic services so as to raise the number of logistic vehicles to 15 by 2020 and 50 by 2030.

It looks to increase the caught seafood volume to 38,000 tonnes by 2020 and 45,000 tonnes by 2030, the official said.

Besides supporting local fishermen with safe fishing, competent authorities have worked to raise public awareness of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, particularly measures have been taken to prevent the fishermen from illegally fishing in foreign waters.

Earlier in 2017, the city approved a plan on developing its sea-based economy towards 2025, with a vision to 2030. Accordingly, it has set a target for the tourist number growth rate at about 13 percent between 2016 and 2030, and the volume of cargo handled at local seaports at 12-13 percent by 2025. It also looks to have the output of processed seafood for export rising by 12-13 percent by 2025 and 8-10 percent by 2030.

Concrete activities are being carried out to create new tourism products relating to marine sports and the yacht industry, to perfect coastal tourism infrastructure, and to enhance knowledge amongst tour guides on marine sovereignty.

Meanwhile, the city is also working to turn Da Nang Port into an international gateway with the Tien Sa and Lien Chieu terminals. Tien Sa terminal will specialise in serving passenger ships and cruises, while Lien Chieu terminal will serve cargo transportation.

Resources are being spent on raising the capacity of the local fishery surveillance force, improving the information system for the management of fisheries, and promoting contact with fishing boats to ensure safety for vehicles and workers at sea.

Seafood processing companies have also been encouraged to apply cleaner production technologies to reduce waste, save materials and energy, and effectively treat sources of pollution.

Total capital needed for developing sea-based economy was estimated at over 19 trillion VND (815.9 million USD) for 2017-2020, 13 trillion VND (558.3 million USD) for 2021-2025, and 17 trillion VND (730.1 million USD) for 2026-2030.

Binh Duong seeks to remove difficulties facing local firms

The southern province of Binh Duong on August 7 held a meeting with trade associations, local businesses and domestic investors to listen to their voice and remove obstacles facing them.

Addressing the event, Nguyen Thanh Truc, Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, said that as of the second quarter of 2019, Binh Duong had attracted 31.15 trillion VND (1.33 billion USD) of investment from 3,172 new firms and 464 operating ones.

So far, the southern major industrial hub has hosted 39,541 domestic businesses with a combined registered capital of 332.13 trillion VND.

The majority of important indexes increased over the same period last year. The province expects to complete all the 31 goals for this year, some fields are likely to surpass the goal for the 2016-2020 period, said Truc.

He said that from now to the end of the year, Binh Duong will continue improving its investment and business environment, designing policies to support enterprises to deal with difficulties facing them, and attracting new projects.

At the conference, domestic investors and trade associations in the province discussed a number of issues, including the impact from the US-China trade tension, the overload of the local infrastructure system, the traffic connections between Binh Duong and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as warehouse and goods transportation costs.

 

They proposed that the province soon form a centre for consultation with and support to enterprises, thus supplying firms with updated information, and reducing time and cost for consultations.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Thanh Liem affirmed that local leaders will work hard to remove obstacles facing businesses. He recognised contributions by the firms to the locality over the years, stressing the province’s standpoint of considering businesses’ development as its own.

Telecom group launches 5G technology in Myanmar

The telecom group Viettel has launched the fifth generation (5G) technology in Myanmar.

From this month, customers of Mytel (Viettel’s brand in Myanmar) are able to experience 5G services.

Mytel is the first operator to launch the 5G technology in the country.

At the launching ceremony in Yangon on August 5, customers had an opportunity to experience 4K VR and Video technology over 5G network.

Earlier on July 31, Mytel successfully conducted a 5G technical test on C band (3.5 GHz) with the connection speed of up to 1.6Gbps, far exceeding the 4G network limit of only 150 Mbps.

Along with this success of Mytel, the telecom giant has become the first operator to launch 5G technology in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar.

Hanoi votes for consumers’ most-favoured Vietnamese products

The Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade and the municipal chapter of the Vietnam Fatherland Front on August 7 co-organised a press conference to launch a voting programme to select consumers’ most-favoured Vietnamese products in 2019.

Tran Thi Phuong Lan, Vice Director of the department, said the programme will provide a list of outstanding products from Vietnamese firms to be voted by consumers.

These products are from the sectors of industry; construction–furnishings; pharmaceutical products-cosmetics; education–training; farm produce; banking services; tourism; media; and transport; among others.

This year, the event will add one more criterion on product models and packaging to its evaluation system, bring the total to 14. Each firm can register a maximum of three products to be voted.

Wining goods will receive a certificate and be featured on Hanoi’s trade promotion publications, while their producers can use the “consumers’ most-favoured Vietnamese product” title for them in their advertisements.

A ceremony to honour such products and to launch the city’s month-of-discount programme will take place at the Ly Thai To square by Hoan Kiem Lake on November 1.

National plan to promote digital transformation

A national plan is scheduled to be issued this year so as to serve as a basis to engage state agencies, businesses and individuals in digital transformation – a leading factor in growth facilitation and digital economy development.

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung said digital transformation and digital society will be a focus of Vietnam in decades to come. Digital transformation will open up great opportunities for the country as it will bring about comprehensive changes to organisations and businesses.

Truong Gia Binh, Chairman of the Vietnam Software and IT Services Association (VINASA), said digital transformation will generate several benefits like cutting down operating expenses, accessing more customers and making faster and more precise decisions, thereby improving businesses’ operational efficiency and organisations’ competitiveness.

According to him, in the IT era, the growth of businesses will largely depend on their digital transformation, without which they will lag behind and be eliminated sooner or later. That means amidst the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), digital transformation not only helps firms integrate and develop but also is decisive to their survival.

Minister Hung said the core of the digital transformation process in Vietnam is IT enterprises, noting that major telecom firms will invest in basic IT projects and the Government will rent their services.

In the draft national digital transformation plan, Vietnam aims to emerge as one of the top four countries in ASEAN in terms of digitalisation by 2025 with 80,000 digital technology companies.

A 2018 survey of the IDC Group shows that 90 percent of the companies interviewed had carried out digital transformation at different stages, from study to implementation. More than 30 percent of their leaders considered digital transformation as a matter of business survival.

As one of the leading IT groups in Vietnam, the FPT has taken the lead in digital transformation, its representative said, noting that it has provided solutions for the Government to develop an e-cabinet and a digital economy and participated in building smart cities, transport, health care and education.

To help prepare infrastructure for national digital transformation, the CMC Corporation recently debuted an open infrastructure ecosystem named C.OPE2N to provide enterprises and organisations with a platform for connecting with one another and sharing data in the digital environment.

The CMC said in Industry 4.0, Vietnam needs more open infrastructure ecosystems like C.OPE2N to create digital hubs for organisations and enterprises.

Apart from IT firms, companies in many other fields such as Viettel, Vietcombank, VP Bank and EVN have also begun their digital transformation efforts.

This month, the Vietnam ICT Summit 2019 will be organised by VINASA to give experts and businesses an occasion to discuss and share experience in this work.

Cement, clinker exports on track to reach yearly target

The nation’s cement and clinker exports are well on track to fulfill target set for the year with a positive turnover of nearly US$750 million seen in the first seven months, according to the General Department of Customs’ statistics.

During the period, 17.3 million tonnes of cement and clinker were shipped overseas, the data shows.

In the first half of this year, the country exported 15.6 million tonnes for $667 million, up 1.3 per cent in volume and 18 per cent in value compared to the same period of last year.

The Viet Nam Cement Association attributed the seven-month’s performance to positive demand from the world market and the export prices of cement which increased by 15-17 per cent year-on-year. That helped Vietnamese businesses increase their turnover.

Viet Nam’s cement and clinker market saw a solid growth of 7 per cent in 2018, fuelled by the improved real estate market and optimistic construction market, experts said.

Demand grew by 19 per cent last year to 96.7 million tonnes, with exports accounting for 31.6 million tonnes rising 55 per cent, according to the Ministry of Construction.

China’s shutting down of polluting cement plants and forcing others to cut production created an opportunity for Vietnamese firms to increase exports. Last year, Viet Nam exported 9.8 million tonnes of cement and clinker to the neighbour, accounting for 31 per cent of its total exports.

The ministry forecast that demand would likely to increase marginally to 98-99 million tonnes by the end of this year. This would include domestic consumption of 70 million tonnes and exports of 28-29 million tonnes, it said.

Japanese firm to build ingredient plant in Can Tho

Japanese food and ingredient firm Takesho plans to build a plant to process shrimp heads and shells, CEO cum chairman Toshinao Tanaka said at a meeting on Tuesday.

The company has succeeded in turning the oft-discarded pieces into ingredients and spices for the food processing industry, he said. In the near future, the Japanese firm and Can Tho University will release products made of tra fish and rice bran.

According to Le Viet Dung, vice rector of Can Tho University, the two sides signed an agreement in 2018 to study food processing technologies that target unused parts and could bring big profits.

Takesho has provided a US$1 million experimentation system for the university and it is expected to be fully operational in 2020, he said.

A Singaporean company, ranking fifth in the world in terms of ingredient and spice market share, has agreed to purchase the outputs of the study, he added.

Takesho expects construction of the spice plant to start in early 2020 at the Tra Noc 2 Industrial Park, where many food processing firms are already operating with high supply of resources.

Nguyen Thi Kieu Duyen, deputy director of Can Tho Industrial Park Management Unit, asked Takesho to set up a legal entity in the city as required so that construction can soon start.

Duong Tan Hien, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, vowed to support the firm to build the plant in January 2020.

Viet Nam earns $1.73 billion from rice exports in first seven months

Viet Nam exported 4.01 million tonnes of rice worth US$1.73 billion in the first seven months of 2019, up 2.1 per cent in volume but down 14.3 per cent in value from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In July alone, the country shipped 651,000 tonnes of rice worth $285 million.

Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said this year, prices of agricultural products in markets around the world have fallen by between 5 and 15 per cent. Notably, rice prices have fallen sharply in all segments.

He said the El Nino in late 2015 and the first half of 2016 led to a decline in global grain output, forcing countries to re-stock their reserves once supply returned to normal. As a result, 2018 was a very strong year for the rice market in terms of both export volume and value, helping Vietnamese rice prices reach a record of more than $500 per tonne on average.

However, many countries – including big ones that purchase large amounts of Vietnamese rice – had already restocked their reserves by the start of 2019, leading to a year-on-year downturn.

Cuong said that in the short term it is necessary to explore new markets, especially in Africa and ASEAN, to make up for the drop in shipments to China – a major importer. Meanwhile, production costs must be reduced by applying scientific advances to ensure farmers profit.

In the long term, the agricultural sector is planning to transform 500,000ha of land currently used to grow rice for use in aquaculture or growing fruit or other cash crops to ease the rice output pressure.

The rice industry will need to promote processing and value chains to make use of not only the grain but also its by-products like the husk, bran and oil and diversify offerings to provide organic and medicinal rice, the minister noted.

The Philippines was the biggest buyer in the first half of the year, purchasing 33.7 percent of Viet Nam’s rice exports.

The markets with strong growth in rice imports from Viet Nam included the Ivory Coast (up 67 per cent), China’s Hong Kong (60 per cent) and Saudi Arabia (38 per cent).

Export prices of rice averaged $431 per tonne in the six month period, down 15 per cent from the first half of 2018.

The ministry forecast that rice prices in the country would increase in the coming months thanks to higher demand.

State Treasury raises nearly $80m via G-bonds

The State Treasury of Viet Nam mobilised VND1.85 trillion (US$79.54 million) through Government bond auctions on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX) on Wednesday.

Some VND2 trillion worth of G-bonds were offered, including 10-year and 15-year bonds each valued at VND1 trillion.

Specifically, bonds with 10-year terms were sold out at an interest rate of 4.42 per cent, down 0.02 percentage points against the previous session on July 31, 2019.

The State Treasury raised VND850 billion worth of 15-year bonds with average yield rate of 4.68 per cent per year, the same rate offered in the previous auction on July 31, 2019.

From the beginning of this year, the State Treasury has mobilised more than VND139 trillion through Government bonds issued on the HNX.

Vietravel to debut shares on UPCoM

The Ha Noi Stock Exchange has announced the decision to approve the registration of trading shares of the Vietnam Travel and Marketing Transport Joint-stock Company (Vietravel).

Vietravel will trade more than 12.6 million shares on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM), with par value of VND10,000 (43 US cents) per share.

In addition, Vietravel also transferred registration and depository data from unlisted mass market to UPCoM market on Vietnam Securities Depository system from August 7, 201

Vietravel currently operates domestic and international travel tours, labour export, vocational training classes, trade promotion and events.

The company is also implementing an online business growth project and carrying out charter flights for the business period in the last six months of 2019.

In the first half of this year, Vietravel’s net revenue is estimated at nearly VND3.98 trillion, a year-on-year increase of 6 per cent. The company’s pre-tax profit reached around VND30 billion, up 26 per cent compared to the same period last year and achieving 44 per cent of the year’s plan.

In 2019, the firm targets revenue of more than VND8.61 trillion and after-tax profit of VND60.8 billion.

GHN launches automated sortation system in Hanoi

Last-mile delivery firm Giao Hang Nhanh (GHN) has officially launched an automated sortation system with a sorting capacity of 30,000 orders per hour in its warehouse in Hanoi.

The automated sortation system will help GHN to improve sorting capacity while reducing mistakes to ensure faster and more stable delivery during the holiday shopping season.

GHN has a network of 2,000 drop-off and pick-up points nationwide. Its delivery drivers are present in 63 out of 63 localities and 700out of 700 island districts. Every day, GHN delivers over 300,000 orders across the country. The latest investment in the automated sortation system will help GHN to improve speed delivery.

Luong Duy Hoai, CEO and founder of GHN, said that the startup aims to serve the fast-paced development of Vietnam’s e-commerce and digital economy with a view to bringing products from sellers to consumers. Both buyers and sellers are increasingly focusing on two factors, namely delivery speed and reliable services. The automated sortation system will remove the bottlenecks in the operation process. This is a major investment in technical infrastructure and operation to help GHN meet the rising demand in the market.

It is noted that the average delivery speed of GHN is around 12-14 hours in cities, allowing same-day delivery. It takes around 24-36 hours for GHN to deliver products to provinces.

The e-commerce market is growing drastically in the recent years, prompting logistics providers like GHN to step up their investment in technology and operation system, improve services to meet the demand of customers.

“Technology is the key for GHN to create a break from the manual sorting method. It helped us reduce sorting time 3 hours to only 30 minutes, catching up to the average delivery speed in developed e-commerce markets like the US, China, and South Korea. We are looking forward to the opening of the second automated sortation system in Ho Chi Minh City in November,” he said.

Tran Ngoc Thai Son, founder of e-commerce platform Tiki, said that GHN is an important partner helping Tiki to deliver products to remote localities and even island districts. The efforts have not only brought tremendous benefits to customers but also removed geographical barriers. The investment in the new automated sortation system will help GHN to achieve faster delivery speed, thereby contributing to the growth of the Vietnamese e-commerce market.

Meanwhile, Tran Tuan Anh, managing director of Shopee Vietnam, lauded the latest investment of the automated sortation system by GHN, stating that it will help reduce the time for sorting based on the value, volume, and size of packages. This will improve client experience and satisfaction when shopping online on the Shopee platform.

From the humble beginning of a last-mile delivery startup in 2012, GHN has launched the first instant delivery app Ahamove in 2015. GHN Logistics was officially introduced in 2018 to provide integrated logistics solutions, including transportation, warehousing, fulfillment and delivery services for brands and retailers.

In 2019, GHN teams up with VinMart+ chain to receive packages from customers at 1,000 VinMart+ convenience stores nationwide. It is clear that GHN is building an ecosystem for integrated logistics to meet the versatile demand of large corporates and small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Visa and Ho Chi Minh City sign MoU to deliver smart mobility

Visa, the world-leader in digital payments, and the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transportation have just signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to drive the development and adoption of digital

The MoU will support the city’s plans to become a smart city by 2017 – 2020, with a vision to 2025.

As part of this, Visa and the department (DoT) intend to collaborate to increase the acceptance of digital payments and implement a secure open-loop payment system across all transportation networks.

“Visa is committed to working with its clients, merchants, the government, and partners like the Ho Chi Minh City DoT to drive the adoption of digital payments in Vietnam,” said Dang Tuyet Dung, Visa's country manager in Vietnam and Laos.

“We are looking forward to bringing our expertise in digital payments and urban mobility to this partnership in the hope that we can accelerate Ho Chi Minh City’s smart mobility plans, providing people with secure, faster, and more convenient ways to pay for their transport and everyday purchases,” she added.

Visa has a successful history of supporting clients and public transport operators to deliver contactless payments acceptance in the mass transit industry with involvement in more than 100 projects across the globe.
The MoU positions Visa as Ho Chi Minh City DoT’s preferred partner in developing digital payment solutions for the city and outlines a series of initiatives they will be focusing on.

These initiatives may include leveraging Visa’s feasibility study on the transit payment system in Ho Chi Minh City to help educate relevant stakeholders and guide the future direction and policy making of the transit and transit adjacent payments infrastructure and ecosystem.

Visa also intends to work with the DoT to explore opportunities to upgrade the legacy closed-loop payment system by adopting an open-loop EMV contactless technology for all transportation networks.

Finally, Visa intends to share best practices with the DoT through knowledge-sharing workshops and a study tour to meet with transport authorities to share experience on delivering smart mobility solutions.

Visa has a history of successfully supporting clients and public transport operators to deliver contactless payments acceptance in the mass transit industry with involvement in more than 100 projects with public transport operators or authorities across the globe.

Apto Global expands to Vietnam

Apto Global, the world’s first global adaptation skills platform, has announced its expansion into Southeast Asia with a strategic partner, risconsulting, a learning organization that specializes in leadership development skills.

risconsulting will assist Apto Global in the expansion of its online applications and strategic consulting services to six countries in the region: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Apto Global also announced its latest customer acquisitions, including the International Language Program (ILP), which provides semester abroad experiences for college students, and XL Axiata, a mobile telecommunications service provider based in Indonesia.

Apto Global will provide ILP with a blended learning package for business English called BEPRO and provide custom services for XL Axiata to facilitate cross-cultural interaction among employees.

“We have seen a tremendous amount of traction in Southeast Asia with an increase in organic users since the launch of Apto 2.0 in February,” said Traci Snowden, Founder and CEO of Apto Global. “Forward-thinking organizations like ILP and XL Axiata are ready for real world global training solutions to prepare learners everywhere to adapt anywhere.”

Apto Global’s SaaS platform delivers language, culture, and global adaptation skills training through interactive live action video experiences with real life locals.

“Apto is the only solution to provide localized content to increase employee productivity in learning language and culture,” said Khrisna Ramadan, Founder of risconsulting. “We’re excited to bring this innovative solution to Southeast Asian companies in telecommunications, oil and gas, mining, and insurance.”

risconsulting is a learning organization offering consulting, assessment, and building of leadership character and skills. The company was founded in 2011 and partners with leaders in telecommunications, oil and gas, mining, insurance, and utilities.

Apto Global is the world’s first global adaptation skills platform. Learners in 135 countries and territories actively use Apto Global to prepare for travel, relocation, and interaction across the world. Apto Global is the only experiential learning platform that combines training for culture and language with local knowledge. The company partners with Nissan, Mitsubishi, Bridgestone, and Asurion, among others.

 
 
 
 
 
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