BUSINESS NEWS 19/4

Three large-scale projects to kick off in Can Tho in Q2

BUSINESS NEWS 19/4

The Cần Thơ People’s Committee has granted approval in principle for three projects, worth a combined total of more than VNĐ8 trillion (US$348 million). — Photo cafeland



The Cần Thơ People’s Committee has granted approval in principle for three projects, worth a combined total of more than VNĐ8 trillion (US$348 million).

These projects, which are involved in urban area and resort development, are expected to start construction this quarter.

They will comprise a VNĐ1.62 trillion urban area, to be developed by HCM City-based Thủ Đức House JSC. It will cover 51ha in Cái Răng District.

The other project is a 51-ha Cồn Khương urban area, worth VNĐ4.9 trillion, in Bình Thủy District. The large-scale project will be implemented by a joint venture of the Hà Nội-located 216 JSC and Văn Phú Invest JSC.

Meanwhile, TMS Global JSC will also build a 75-ha ecological resort complex, valued at VNĐ1.57 trillion, in Bình Thủy District.

The Mekong Delta city will put 15 key projects with total investment of more than VNĐ2.1 trillion into use in 2019, director of the municipal Department of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Văn Hồng said.

Of the key projects, 10 have combined capital of more than VNĐ1.41 trillion sourced from the State budget while the remainder received investment from non-State sources.

As of last year, the city’s industrial and export processing zones had 243 valid projects, with a total investment capital of $1.72 billion. Of the sum, more than $1 billion was disbursed.

Among these projects, domestic investors pumped $1.32 billion into 218 projects, accounting for 56 per cent of the total capital while foreign investors injected $380 million into 21 projects.

Int’l beauty industry exhibition opens in HCM City


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Visitors at the 2019 Cosmobeaute Vietnam which opened in HCM City on Thursday (April 18).

The Vietnam International Exhibition on Aesthetic, Beauty, Cosmetic, Hair, Nail and Spa and Wellness, known as Cosmobeaute Vietnam, opened in HCM City on Thursday with more than 200 exhibitors taking part.

Exhibitors are from 10 countries and territories: Japan, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Portugal, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the US and Viet Nam.

Cosmobeaute Vietnam 2019 features the latest salon equipment and supplies, hair care, aesthetic treatment machines, personal care products, cosmetics, and product packaging, among others.

The expo will end on April 20 and is expected to attract 15,000 visitors.

Compared to previous exhibitions, the exhibition this year hosts several activities such as “Look & Learn with Steven Sunny” stage event, in which Malaysia’s celebrity make-up artist Steven Sunny will be appearing on stage to conduct step-by-step make up tutorials for the audience, Cosmobeaute Hair highlights, where top experts from local and foreign hair associations will show off their talents to bring amazing hairstylists to the stage.

The expo also includes seminars with leading local and international experts on the beauty industry to share many useful market information, modern technology trends and business solutions in the beauty industry.

There is also a Beaute Meeting Programme, which pre-arranges business meetings between exhibitors and potential buyers and investors in advance.

The expo provides local and international exhibitors and visitors the opportunity to explore business opportunities.

Organised by the Minh Vi Exhibition and Advertisement Services Co, Informa Exhibitions (the UK), UBM Asia (Hong Kong) and ECMI Asia Sdn Bhd (Malaysia) at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre in District 7.

Czech’s Home Credit interested in Vietnam’s banking sector

Czech-based Home Credit, one of the leading consumer finance providers in Vietnam’s market, is interested in tapping into the country’s banking sector, according to Jiri Smejc, Home Credit’s executive chairman.

Thanks to Vietnam’s favorable business environment, Home Credit has decided to expand its investments in the country, said Smejc in a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on April 16.

Home Credit made its first presence in Vietnam in 2005, and currently is the Czech’s company with largest investment in Vietnam to date, serving 500,000 Vietnamese individual customers, informed Smejc.

At the meeting, PM Phuc highly regarded Home Credit’s strong business growth in Vietnam, saying the country is pushing for a greater business environment that has received positive responses from credible international organizations and multinationals.

In this regard, the Vietnamese government gives priority to addressing concerns of the business community, including Home Credit, added Phuc.

Over the past few years, consumer spending in Vietnam has grown significantly and has huge potential for development, presenting valuable opportunities for consumer finance companies, Phuc stated.

Phuc attributed the strong growth to low and stable inflation rate, the country's macro-economic stability and favorable investment and business environments.

The PM also suggested Home Credit could invest in a number of banks operating in Vietnam.

In the coming time, Vietnam would enhance cooperation with Czech in various fields, which is an opportunity for Czech’s investors.

Established in Czech in 1997, Home Credit has grown into one of the leading international multi-channel provider of consumer finance with over US$16.6 billion in assets.

With over 132,400 employees, the group mainly operates in Russia, Czech, Slovakia, China, Vietnam, India and Kazakhstan, serving more than 70 million customers.

In Vietnam, Home Credit has the headquarter in Ho Chi Minh City and representative offices in 10 provinces nationwide. As of present, the company has built a network of 7,000 retail outlets in 63 cities and provinces with 8,500 employees, the company claimed.

According to a Moody’s report, Vietnam`s consumer finance industry grew at a compound annual rate of 41% between 2013 and 2017 on the back of higher personal income and greater penetration of services.

By the end of 2017, total outstanding consumer loans reached over US$5 billion, while the country’s consumer finance market reached VND600 trillion (US$25.87 billion).

Vietnam currently has 18 consumer finance companies, of which six are wholly foreign-owned companies.

FE Credit is the biggest finance firm which holds 48.4% of Vietnam’s market share, followed by Home Credit with 15.7%, HD Saison with 12.3% and Prudential Finance with 8.1%. All the companies have annual two-digit growth rates, according to Momentum Work, revealed Viet Dragon Securities Company’s in its 2018 report.

Trade promotion fair for cooperatives opens in HCM City

BUSINESS NEWS 19/4

At the opening ceremony of the event

A trade promotion fair for cooperatives nationwide kicked off in Ho Chi Minh City on April 17.

The four-day event is jointly held by the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance (VCA) and the Institute of Vietnam Organic Agricultural Economics.

It hosts over 350 booths of domestic cooperatives and firms and foreign countries such as Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines, among others.

On display are products in agro-forestry-fishery and industrial sectors, including farming machines and plant protection products.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, VCA President Nguyen Ngoc Bao said the Party and Government of Vietnam have issued various incentives to support economic development of cooperatives nationwide.

Various programmes to introduce products of cooperatives have been held across the country and overseas, he added.

Vietnam is currently home to more than 22,400 cooperatives totalling 7 million members. Of this, 13,000 cooperatives are in agriculture.

Farmers are encouraged to join in cooperatives to develop their products and raise competitiveness in the market, ensuring sustainable production, Bao noted.

VN, Nigeria eye closer investment, trade ties

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There is great potential for trade between Viet Nam and Nigeria and investment in many sectors like agriculture, agricultural processing, garment, footwear, mining, and production of construction materials, a bilateral trade and investment forum heard in HCM City on Tuesday. — Photo voh.com.vn

There is great potential for trade between Viet Nam and Nigeria and investment in many sectors like agriculture, agricultural processing, garment, footwear, mining, and production of construction materials, a bilateral trade and investment forum heard in HCM City on Tuesday.

Speaking at the forum, Nguyen The Hung, deputy director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s HCM City branch, said many African countries, including Nigeria, had become increasingly important economic partners of Viet Nam.

Trade between Viet Nam and Nigeria has shot up from US$250 million a year in 2012-16 to $433.5 million in 2017, with Viet Nam running a deficit.

Viet Nam exports 52 items to Nigeria including mobile phones and components, textiles, footwear, cigarettes and tobacco, plastic products, chemicals, machinery and spare parts, computers, and electronic devices.

It imports raw cashew nuts, wood and wood products and cotton yarn, with the first two accounting for over 80 per cent.

Sunday Edet Akpan, permanent secretary at Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Industries, Trade and Investment, highlighted some of the investment opportunities.

Nigeria has a large domestic market, the largest in Africa, and the 27th largest economy in the world and a large population of over 190 million.

“The Nigerian Government is implementing an Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) in 2017 - 20 to create inclusive growth in the economy by improving human capacity, promoting economic diversification, investing in infrastructure, and building a globally competitive economy.

“To deliver on the vision of this economic programme, the Government is executing critical reforms which have unlocked a lot of investment opportunities and we invite you today to take advantage of the investment opportunities in the ERGP.”

A lot of investment opportunities exist in mining and processing of solid minerals, agricultural sector, large-scale commercial agricultural production and other sectors, he said.

“Nigeria’s trade with Viet Nam is characterised by primary commodities, mainly cashew nuts and wood. However, we strongly believe that this can be improved upon and expanded to include other processed commodities and manufactured goods in line with the developmental aspirations and economic policies of our countries.

“It is clear for example that, given Nigeria’s vast resources in land, minerals and agricultural produce, the opportunities for product manufacturing and produce processing are limitless.

“Fortunately for Viet Nam, it is strategically located in a region where it can take full advantage of recent technological advances in developing its own economy.

“The various manufacturing and processing factories now springing up in Viet Nam could be brought to Nigeria, where raw materials abound to the benefits of both countries.”

Hung said: “Nigeria is an important gateway for Vietnamese firms to penetrate the African market. It is forecast that by 2050 Nigeria will be the third most populous country in the world; so this will be a big market for Vietnamese enterprises.”

He said the business community on both sides should take advantage of each other’s strengths, especially in the field of raw material production, human resources, technology, processing and exports to take their trade and investment relations to new heights.

Organised by the VCCI and the Nigeria-Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the forum was followed by a business-to-business meeting to enable further exchange of information and co-operation opportunities.

Agricultural cooperatives urged to adapt to market mechanism, climate change

BUSINESS NEWS 19/4

VN, Nigeria eye closer investment, trade ties

There is great potential for trade between Viet Nam and Nigeria and investment in many sectors like agriculture, agricultural processing, garment, footwear, mining, and production of construction materials, a bilateral trade and investment forum heard in HCM City on Tuesday. — Photo voh.com.vn

There is great potential for trade between Viet Nam and Nigeria and investment in many sectors like agriculture, agricultural processing, garment, footwear, mining, and production of construction materials, a bilateral trade and investment forum heard in HCM City on Tuesday.

Speaking at the forum, Nguyen The Hung, deputy director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s HCM City branch, said many African countries, including Nigeria, had become increasingly important economic partners of Viet Nam.

Trade between Viet Nam and Nigeria has shot up from US$250 million a year in 2012-16 to $433.5 million in 2017, with Viet Nam running a deficit.

Viet Nam exports 52 items to Nigeria including mobile phones and components, textiles, footwear, cigarettes and tobacco, plastic products, chemicals, machinery and spare parts, computers, and electronic devices.

It imports raw cashew nuts, wood and wood products and cotton yarn, with the first two accounting for over 80 per cent.

Sunday Edet Akpan, permanent secretary at Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Industries, Trade and Investment, highlighted some of the investment opportunities.

Nigeria has a large domestic market, the largest in Africa, and the 27th largest economy in the world and a large population of over 190 million.

“The Nigerian Government is implementing an Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) in 2017 - 20 to create inclusive growth in the economy by improving human capacity, promoting economic diversification, investing in infrastructure, and building a globally competitive economy.

“To deliver on the vision of this economic programme, the Government is executing critical reforms which have unlocked a lot of investment opportunities and we invite you today to take advantage of the investment opportunities in the ERGP.”

A lot of investment opportunities exist in mining and processing of solid minerals, agricultural sector, large-scale commercial agricultural production and other sectors, he said.

“Nigeria’s trade with Viet Nam is characterised by primary commodities, mainly cashew nuts and wood. However, we strongly believe that this can be improved upon and expanded to include other processed commodities and manufactured goods in line with the developmental aspirations and economic policies of our countries.

“It is clear for example that, given Nigeria’s vast resources in land, minerals and agricultural produce, the opportunities for product manufacturing and produce processing are limitless.

“Fortunately for Viet Nam, it is strategically located in a region where it can take full advantage of recent technological advances in developing its own economy.

“The various manufacturing and processing factories now springing up in Viet Nam could be brought to Nigeria, where raw materials abound to the benefits of both countries.”

Hung said: “Nigeria is an important gateway for Vietnamese firms to penetrate the African market. It is forecast that by 2050 Nigeria will be the third most populous country in the world; so this will be a big market for Vietnamese enterprises.”

He said the business community on both sides should take advantage of each other’s strengths, especially in the field of raw material production, human resources, technology, processing and exports to take their trade and investment relations to new heights.

Organised by the VCCI and the Nigeria-Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the forum was followed by a business-to-business meeting to enable further exchange of information and co-operation opportunities.

Solutions to help agricultural cooperatives in the Mekong Delta adapt to the market mechanism and climate change were discussed at a forum held in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap on April 16.

Addressing the event, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said the Government has always paid attention to the collective and cooperative economic sectors. He affirmed that agricultural cooperatives have made important contributions to socio-economic development and poverty reduction in the Mekong Delta.

While acknowledging the development of cooperatives in the region, the Deputy PM noted that they face numerous challenges at present, such as shortages of human resources and infrastructure. Many cooperatives only focus on reducing production costs without paying due attention to increasing the value of farm produce.

To help local cooperatives enhance their efficiency, Deputy PM Hue instructed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural (MARD) to make the project on agricultural cooperative development an important item in the agenda of the Government’s Resolution 120/NQ-CP on sustainable development of the Mekong Delta in adaptation to climate change.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment was told to research and submit to the Government a project on infrastructure development support for cooperatives, while relevant ministries, agencies and localities were requested to increase support for agricultural cooperatives.

The Deputy PM also asked cities and provinces to multiply advanced and effective models of agricultural cooperatives.

It was reported at the forum that there are 1,803 agricultural cooperatives in the Mekong Delta, accounting for 13 percent of the total nationwide.

Secretary of the Party Committee of Dong Thap province Le Minh Hoan shared the view that cooperatives should become the mainstay of small-scale household production and play the role as the link between farmers and firms.

Most ministries, agencies and the administrations of 13 Mekong Delta cities and provinces along with representatives from research institutes, universities and cooperatives in the region agreed at the forum to ask the Government to allow the MARD to add the project on enhancing the operation effectiveness of agricultural cooperatives in response to climate change to the list of tasks under the Government’s Resolution 120. They also requested that the Ministry of Planning and Investment and Ministry of Finance to propose the Government provide more capital to help cooperatives develop production infrastructure.

Vietnam boasts export prospects to Czech market

BUSINESS NEWS 19/4

The Czech Republic is currently a large trading partner of Vietnam in Eastern Europe and import-export revenue between the two countries has always maintained growth despite economic difficulties in the EU over the past few years.

According to Director of the European-American Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ta Hoang Linh, the two-way trade revenue between the two countries expanded at 10% over recent years. Total import-export revenue between Vietnam and Czech Republic reached US$298.01 million in 2018, up nearly 16% compared to 2017.

In the first quarter of 2019, total import-export revenue between Vietnam and Czech was reported at US$64.643 million, down 12%. Of which, Vietnam’s exports to Czech reached US$37.766 million, up 2.4%, while Czech’s exports to Vietnam were US$26.876 million, down 27.6%.

Deputy Director of the European-American Market Department, Nguyen Khanh Ngoc, said that Vietnam’s exports to the Czech Republic include footwear, apparel, seafood, consumer goods, computers and parts, mobile phones, and others.

At the sixth meeting of the Vietnam-Czech Republic Intergovernmental Committee on economic cooperation in March 2018 in Hanoi, the two sides expressed their wishes to continue to strengthen diplomatic and economic cooperation for the mutual benefits of both countries.

In particular, the Czech Republic put Vietnam on the list of 12 key markets given priorities in foreign trade under the Czech international trade strategy in the 2012-2020 period. Vietnam is the only representative from ASEAN named on the list.

Ngoc noted that to promote exports to the Czech Republic, Vietnamese enterprises should participate in supply chains of large retail systems in the host country in addition to boosting direct sales to importers and distributers.

Viet Nam’s exports to Japan increase rapidly in Q1

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Việt Nam’s exports to Japan increased sharply in the first quarter of this year, including garment products. — Photo vneconomy.vn


Elimination of many tariff lines for goods under the CPTPP has helped Việt Nam’s exports to Japan increase sharply in the first quarter of this year, according to the General Department of Customs.

Việt Nam's export value to Japan in the first quarter surged 6.7 per cent year on year to US$4.6 billion, the general department said. Việt Nam became one of three markets gaining an export value in the billions of US dollars to Japan, after the US and China.

In March 2019 alone, the export value to Japan reached $1.7 billion, a sharp increase of 62.3 per cent month on month and a surge of 2.7 per cent year on year.

The strong growth in Việt Nam’s export value to Japan was attributed to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). According to this agreement, Japan for the first time has pledged to completely eliminate tariffs for the majority of Việt Nam's agricultural and seafood products exported to this market.

That meant Japan immediately abolished 86 per cent of tariff lines, equivalent to 93.6 per cent of Việt Nam's export value to Japan, and then this figure will increase to 90 per cent of tariff lines within five years.

On the other hand, the Việt Nam-Japan and ASEAN-Japan free trade agreements have created advantages in tariffs for some of Việt Nam's seafood products exported to Japan, reported vneconomy.vn.

About 62.5 per cent of Việt Nam’s total goods items exported to Japan in the first quarter gained strong growth compared to the same period last year, according to the general department.

The major export products to Japan included textiles (export value of about $900 million), means of transport and spare parts ($630 million), machinery and equipment ($450 million) and seafood products ($306 million).

Especially, the fertiliser exports to this market had a sudden growth in the first quarter of 2019 to 8,126 tonnes, earning $3.7 million. The exports rose up by five times in volume and about 11 times in value year on year.

In addition, Việt Nam saw strong growth in exports of some goods to Japan in the first quarter, including chemical products (up 70 per cent), animal feed and raw materials (up 56.8 per cent), ore and minerals (up 52 per cent), all kinds of steel (up 49 per cent) and plastic materials (up 43 per cent).

 

Meanwhile, Japan sharply reduced imports of cassava and cassava products from Việt Nam, with a reduction of 99.6 per cent in volume and 98.5 per cent in value over the same period, despite the average export price of cassava surging by 3.3 times to $886 per tonne.

In 2018, Việt Nam's goods export value to Japan reached more than $18.8 billion. Textiles and garments accounted for the largest proportion with over 20 per cent of the total export value. Meanwhile, seafood, furniture and footwear respectively hold 7.4 per cent, 6.1 per cent and 4.5 per cent.

Tech Data expands relationship with Schneider Electric IT Vietnam

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Tech Data last week announced that it would expand its relationship with Schneider Electric IT Vietnam, a global leader in power management and efficiency for business, to bring APC by Schneider Electric’s entire range of products and power conversion solutions to Viet Nam’s market.

This latest agreement builds on the successful ongoing Viet Nam partnership between Tech Data and Schneider Electric IT, encompassing edge computing, network closets, server rooms, micro data centers, small and medium data centers, and industrial power solutions.

Viet Nam is one of the fastest- growing economies in the world with average real gross domestic product growth that could reach 5.1 per cent each year between 2016 and 2050, as outlined in PwC’s Spotlight on Viet Nam report.

This rapid local economic growth has impacted electricity utilities and those who rely on consistent power supplies.

APC by Schneider Electric’s uninterruptible power supply solutions, data security, and surge protector options meet an important need in this market to ensure maximum availability and guaranteed uptime.

Techcombank targets US$504.3 million in pre-tax profit

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Techcombank has targeted a pre-tax profit of more than VND11.7 trillion (US$504.3 million) in 2019, representing a 10 per cent year-on-year increase.

The target was approved at its annual shareholders’ meeting held in Ha Noi last week.

It also planned to increase its total assets by 17 per cent to VND375.8 trillion this year while holding outstanding loans at VND245.4 trillion, up 32 per cent from last year. Its bad debts would be limited to less than 2.5 per cent in 2019.

In 2018, Techcombank achieved high business results. Its pre-tax profit was up 32.7 per cent from the previous year at more than VND10.6 trillion.

These helped the bank achieve return on average assets (ROAA) of 2.9 per cent and return on average equity (RAE) of 21.5 per cent.

Nguyen Le Quoc Anh, Techcombank’s CEO, said the two criteria had not only been among the highest among banks in Viet Nam but also surpassed big scale banks in India and Thailand.

In addition, Techcombank successfully mobilised capital to raise its capital adequacy ratio (CAR) to 14.3 per cent, much higher than the level stipulated by the State Bank of Viet Nam as well as the minimum level according to Basel II.

Techcombank was among the few commercial banks last year which were assigned higher credit growth limits of 18 per cent with priority given to those who met Basel II’s capital safety and risk management standards ahead of schedule.

“The bank plans to grow revenue by 20-30 per cent a year and retain 20 per cent of profit. In order to increase revenue, instead of growing debt balance, the bank would focus on raising fees (expected to account for 50 per cent of the total revenue),” Anh said.

He added that Techcombank always focused on controlling credit growth from the central bank to ensure sustainable growth of the economy.

Anh said Techcombank was among the banks to have successfully resolved bad debt. All of its debts were sold to VAMC and totally resolved two years ago. It had also well controlled credit quality by its strict risk warning and management system.

With its profits listed in the top three banks in the country’s banking system in 2018, Techcombank’s shareholders agreed to continue to retain earnings to invest in creating growth momentum in the future.

Ho Hung Anh, the bank’s chairman, said the bank wanted to retain profit to strengthen its equity and ensure the requirements of the central bank and Basel II are met.

At the meeting, shareholders also approved a plan to issue 10 million shares under the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) programme at a price of VND10,000 to increase its charter capital to more than VND35 trillion.

The bank said it would focus on growth contributed by service fees thank to implementing a modern banking transaction system for corporate customers and improving their experiences through online payments and life insurance products.

In addition, it would develop new solutions in house lending, car lending, credit and payments to meet increasing demands of customers.

Anh added the bank would start construction of two new buildings on Ly Thuong Kiet Street (Ha Noi) and Le Duan (HCM City) this year. The two buildings are expected to become operational in 2021.

Ho Hung Anh was re-elected to the position of chairman of Techcombank's board of directors for the third consecutive term.

Other members include Nguyen Dang Quang, Nguyen Thieu Quang Nguyen Canh Son, Do Tuan Anh, Lee Boon Huat, Saurabh Narayan Agarwal and Nguyen Nhan Nghia.

The new management board would continue to implement its customer-centric strategy, invest in technology to develop a digital foundation and big data while improving risk management to reach high ratings with prestigious ratings organisations.

Poultry industry needed to further develop

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Viet Nam needed to promote the development of it’s poultry industry due to rising demand for eggs and meat in the domestic and global markets.

Experts made the comments at a meeting organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in Ha Noi on April 12.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said it was necessary to focus on production to meet quality standards at home and abroad.

This would create favourable conditions for domestic poultry products to meet hygiene and safety standards in export markets such as Japan, Republic of Korea (RoK) and some ASEAN countries, Tien said.

It would also help local businesses expand their production scale and export to potential markets including China and the Philippines, he said.

However, experts said the industry needed a strategy to increase other processed poultry products including processed chicken and duck and other products processed from eggs.

They said this year, localities should draw up support policies for farmers, owners and enterprises to invest in poultry development.

Deputy Head of MARD's Animal Husbandry Department Nguyen Van Trong said Viet Nam held huge potential for poultry production because of domestic high demand with a population of nearly 100 million, excluding export demand.

According to Trong, output had increased to 1 million tonnes of meat and 11 billion eggs.

Current trends in consumption of animal products show that pork accounts for 65 per cent of Vietnamese meals while chicken is just 20 per cent, therefore, the domestic poultry industry needs to enhance chicken farming for domestic consumption and export.

Nguyen Quang Hieu, deputy general director of De Heus Co, Ltd, said to boost exports, the industry should build safe areas free from disease and have mechanisms to protect livestock farms, ensuring quality standards of export markets.

According to the ministry, joining international organisations as well as bilateral, multilateral and free trade agreements would help domestic poultry production meet domestic consumption and export demands.

The average consumption for the average person is 89 eggs per year while the figure is 125-340 eggs in Thailand and Indonesia and 404 in Israel.

In addition, the domestic confectionery and processed food industry was also developing an increasing demand for eggs.

Global production in 2019 was expected to increase by 3 per cent compared to 2018 to reach 98.4 million tonnes, marking the strongest growth rate over the past five years mainly due to rising demand in China. That was a great opportunity for the nation to promote poultry meat and egg exports, according to the ministry.

The poultry production industry was applying scientific and technological advances in production to improve quality of products and competitiveness.

However, there was an imbalance between supply and demand because there were small scale farms with high production costs and risk of disease.

ABB and Danang take on smart city network initiative

Pioneering technology leader ABB has agreed to invest more into transforming the central city of Danang into a smart city within a year, with a view to helping the city become the first in Vietnam to join the ASEAN Smart Cities Network by 2030.

Under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between ABB and the Danang Department of Information and Communications signed last week, the multinational group will support Danang in the areas of clean water and leakage management, waste and wastewater management, data centre expansion, and help establish a marine operations centre.

In its role as a technology partner, ABB will continue to invest into research and development, and support Danang to develop technological solutions to become more sustainable, competitive, and liveable.

In addition, the group will help authorities approach international experts, and connect with other smart city models across the globe to access knowledge and expertise.

Danang was ranked in the top 10 of cities worth living in, according to a survey last year by Live and Invest Overseas, the world’s source for information on international living and retiring abroad. The popular tourist destination was also recently ranked 15th among a list of 52 places to visit in 2019 by the New York Times.

In recent years, Danang has actively made efforts to modernise its infrastructure, and has achieved a number of significant milestones, including being the leading city on the Vietnam ICT Index, which ranks the readiness for ICT development and applications, for 10 consecutive years, and being one of only two cities in Southeast Asia, alongside Singapore, to use chatbot app technology to promote tourism.

Brian Hull, managing director of ABB in Vietnam, said, “We are proud to partner with Danang in its journey to make improvements in sustainability, quality of life, and economic growth. ABB products and solutions are at the heart of a city’s critical ­infrastructure, relied upon for ­everything from the supply of power, water, and heat, to the automation of the factories and buildings we work in. We will bring our wealth of ­experience in global deployment of similar smart city projects to support Danang in accomplishing its vision.”

The MoU signing ceremony was part of a workshop organised by the Danang Department of Information and Communications on the building of a smart city in Danang. At the event, ABB delivered a keynote speech titled building a smart city and the technologies required to bring about a liveable environment.

ABB already has a track record in projects and smart city development in Vietnam. In particular, the Ho Chi Minh City water distribution capacity enhancement project enabled its ­customer, Saigon Water Supply Corporation (SAWACO), to monitor network ­conditions digitally through multiple data collection points and offer ­actionable insights to reduce non-­revenue water. It is estimated that SAWACO will save 50 million cubic metres of water per year, equivalent to a cost saving of more than $10 million annually.

Since 1993, ABB has been a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation, and robotics and motion, serving customers globally in utilities, industry, transport, and ­infrastructure. ABB currently operates in more than 100 countries and employs 150,000 ­people.

Vietnam targets higher added value by promoting sustainable trade

Over the past few years, Vietnam’s export structure has transformed significantly with a higher proportion of processed goods instead of raw materials.

Vietnam targets sustainable export growth, which may not result in a higher export turnover but focus on greater added value for exporters, according to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai.

“It would require new approaches for export promotion and the way Vietnamese enterprises do businesses,” Hai said at the Vietnam Export Promotion Forum 2019 held on April 12.

According to Hai, over the past few years, Vietnam’s export structure has transformed significantly with a higher proportion of processed goods instead of raw materials as before.

“Vietnam has gradually cemented its position as a supplier of high quality products in the world market,” Hai said.

As the country has signed free trade agreements with its major trading partners, with the latest being the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a huge driving factor has been created to attract new wave of investment capital for production and trade promotion, Hai added.

Nevertheless, Vietnamese enterprises are now facing new challenges, including changes in consumption trend towards “green”, “smart”, “humane”, and “personal”, along with new rules and technical standards in import markets, Hai continued.

According to economist Vo Tri Thanh, for Vietnamese goods to maintain its competitiveness, enterprises must work closely with distributors, while being active in searching for new markets and improving customer services.

The concept of export is not limited to taking goods and services abroad, but also supplying inputs for foreign invested companies operating in Vietnam.

“This is the way for Vietnam to climb higher in the global value chain,” Thanh said.

Thanh pointed to logistics being a key measure for Vietnam to increase added value in exports, saying an efficient logistics sector would help Vietnamese exports grow in both quality and quantity sustainably.
Additionally, the enthronement of e-commerce is a notable trend of export, he said.

Economic value for Vietnam’s economy from digital trade in 2017 was estimated at VND81 trillion (US$3.5 billion), resulting in VND97 trillion (US$4.3 billion) in export value of digital goods and services. By 2030, these figures could potentially rise to VND953 trillion (US$42 billion) and VND652 trillion (US$29 billion) by 2030, respectively.

Thanh, however, said export promotion is important to help Vietnam realize the huge potential from digital trade through providing market information and laying the foundation for networking activities.

Vu Ba Phu, director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETTRADE) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), said Vietnam’s economy largely relies on exports, due to its high level of openness.

The government, therefore, is responsible for maintaining a rapid and sustainable export growth, Phu said.

As of present, the majority of Vietnamese enterprises are small- and medium sized with limited financial resources, requiring supports from the government to access new markets.

“The MoIT would focus on cooperating with international trade promotion agencies, global e-commerce companies such as Amazon to open up new opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises,” Phu informed.

HCMC firms pour over VND34 trillion into Nghe An

HCMC firms and investors have developed as many as 56 projects with total registered capital of over VND34,460 billion in the north-central province of Nghe An to date, the local media reported.

Speaking at a conference to sign the cooperation agreement between the city and Nghe An Province in the 2019-2025 period on April 13, Thai Thanh Quy, chairman of Nghe An Province People’s Committee, said that under the 2014-2019 cooperation pact on sustainable economic and social development, the two governments created favorable conditions for firms and investors to deploy their projects, contributing to the socio-economic development and solidifying the relationship between HCMC and Nghe An Province.

The number of firms and investors in HCMC entering the province to seek investment opportunities and tap the market is on the rise, Quy said, adding that, of the 56 invested projects, 36 were put into operation and have gained ground.

Apart from receiving investments into a wide range of fields such as science, technology, information and communications, health, culture, education and tourism, Nghe An Province has enjoyed the support from HCMC for social security and children care and protection programs valued more than VND18 billion, Quy said.

Addressing the conference held in Vinh City on April 13, Nguyen Dac Vinh, secretary of Nghe An Province's Party Committee, expected that lots of new investor waves from HCMC would invest into the province to exploit its great potential in the coming time.

The province committed to improve the investment environment, offering preferential policies and creating more favorable conditions for investors coming to the Nghe An market for their production and investment, Vinh said.

In addition, Nguyen Manh Cuong, director of the provincial Department of Tourism, voiced his concern over the province’s unattractive tourism products, saying that Nghe An Province is a potential market of tourism and cuisine, but these products have failed to draw visitors, especially international arrivals.

Also, Cuong said that the tourism underdevelopment were attributable to weak infrastructure and poor tourism services.

Bui Ta Hoang Vu, director of the HCMC Department of Tourism, said that the municipal tourism sector would continue to team up with HCMC-based travel firms to launch numerous special tours to the province and build a tourism connection between the two localities.

HCMC chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said that following good results of the previous cooperation, the leaders of HCMC and Nghe An Province would constantly call on domestic and foreign investors for investments in the province, which is aimed to strengthen the two localities’ relationship. 

Programme to augment value of “Vietnam” brand

BUSINESS NEWS 19/4

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai speaks at the forum in Hanoi on April 17

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) is building a national brand programme to promote the standing of Vietnam-branded products in both domestic and foreign markets.

At a forum in Hanoi on April 17, MoIT Deputy Minister Do Thang Hai, who is also Vice Chairman of the Vietnam National Brand Council, said brand competition is spreading extensively, not only among businesses but also among localities, sectors and countries.

More than 80 countries are implementing national brand programmes to promote their brands to foreign markets. Therefore, building a national brand programme in line with new development trends is critically important, he noted.

The new national brand programme will ensure the cohesion of product brands and investment attraction and culture-tourism promotion activities, turning “Vietnam” into an active and attractive brand in the eyes of tourists, investors, labourers and consumers in both domestic and foreign markets.

The existing Vietnam National Brand Programme (Vietnam Value) was launched in 2003, aiming to promote Vietnam as a country with high-quality goods and services and strengthen Vietnamese businesses’ competitiveness locally and internationally.

This programme has helped improve authorities, sectors and enterprises’ awareness of brand building, development and protection; honoured outstanding products and companies; and supported firms to enhance their capacity and develop brands. It has also helped boost domestic and foreign consumers’ recognition of Vietnam-branded products, services and producers.

The number of businesses with products granted with the national brand has been increasing, from 30 in 2008 to 97 in 2018.

In Brand Finance’s 2018 rankings of the world’s 100 most valuable nation brands, the “Vietnam” brand was valued at 235 billion USD, ranking 43rd and rising two places from the previous year’s list.

Vietnam, Cuba discuss reform of SOEs

BUSINESS NEWS 19/4

At the event

A two-day seminar discussing the role of State-owned enterprise (SOEs) reform in socio-economic development opened in Hanoi on April 17, as part of the Vietnam-Cuba friendly cooperation framework.

The event aimed to share experience with the Permanent Commission for the Implementation and Development of Cuba in equitisation, legal regulations on corporate development, improved working capacity of SOEs, management of capital allocation for SOEs, and the sale of stakes for workers in the restructuring process.

Chairman of the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) Nguyen Duc Chi said the event looks to strengthen ties between the SCIC and the commission.

The SCIC is ready to share its experience in updating socialist-oriented economic models and hoped that the Cuban side could use this information to help successfully reform their SOEs, he said.

Chi added that the SCIC acquires the rights to representing State ownership in 1,055 firms with a total State capital of over 14.8 trillion VND (643 million USD).

As a stakeholder, the SCIC actively joined in the restructuring of SOEs, made decisions on business plans, and increased investment in efficient SOEs. As a result, their return on equity averaged 19-20 percent from 2013-2018, while the total dividends surpassed 34 trillion VND.

The SCIC successfully sold capital in 955 SOEs and wholly divested in 892 others, with a total turnover of 47 trillion VND, much higher than the initial capital of over 11 trillion VND, he said.

One Commune – One Product global network makes debut

BUSINESS NEWS 19/4

Representatives of member states of “One Commune – One Product” global network

A “One Commune – One Product” global network (iOCOP) made debut in Ho Chi Minh City on April 17 within the framework of the International OCOP Connectivity Forum.

The network, initiated by Vietnam, includes 15 members, namely Laos, Kenya, Australia, Japan, Columbia, Thailand, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Senegal, Mexico, Chile, Madagascar, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue stated that the OCOP movement has developed in different countries over the past 40 years, but there is no organisation or network linking cooperation in this field.

Vietnam proposes member countries take turn to organise iOCOP connectivity forum and international fair to share experience and promote iOCOP products in a larger scale, he added.

Le Ba Ngoc, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Handicraft Exporters Association, said that the network looks to connect nations, organisations and individuals over the globe to effectively carry out the OCOP movement, thus contributing to sustainable development in rural areas.

The iOCOP network will help localities achieve sustainable economic growth through the improvement of value chains of their typical products, and use their resources to develop products that can be competitive in both domestic and foreign markets.

It will also help improve the capacity of State management officials and partners participating in iOCOP value chains, and organise market development and promotion programmes and fairs at the national and international levels, Ngoc stated.

 
 
 
 
 
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