BUSINESS NEWS 19/6

HCM City to host 2nd Vietbuild expo of 2019

The Vietbuild International Exhibition with the theme of construction, building materials, real estate, and interior and exterior decoration will be held in Ho Chi Minh City from June 19-23.

The second Vietbuild expo to be held this year in the city will have 2,350 booths set up by nearly 800 companies from 27 countries and territories, including the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, China and Vietnam.

On display will be building materials, electrical equipment, interior and exterior decorative items, hygiene equipment, smart home systems, door and door accessories, paints, and others.

Business-matching events and seminars will be held on its sidelines, including a seminar on new building materials and another on technology and building materials for smart cities.

Nguyen Quang Cung, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Construction Materials Association, said many new building materials will be introduced at the exhibition, including nano concrete and composite doors.

Nguyen Tran Nam, Chairman of the Vietnam Real Estate Association and head of the expo’s organisation committee, said it would be one of the largest Vietbuild exhibitions to be held this year.

The exhibitions offer companies a forum to meet, exchange information, explore co-operation prospects, and introduce their latest products and technologies, he said.

The exhibition will be held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre in district 7.

Philippine company eyes investment in Vietnam’s tea industry

BUSINESS NEWS 19/6
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JG Summit Holdings, Inc., one of the biggest Filipino investors in Vietnam, hopes to invest in sustainably developing tea business in the country, particularly via the participation in public-private-partnership projects.

President and CEO of the group Lance Y. Gokongwei revealed the intention while being received by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi on June 17.

Welcoming trade-investment cooperation between Vietnamese and Philippine firms, PM Phuc said he wants to hear about difficulties facing JG Summit in Vietnam.

Gokongwei informed his host on the operation of the group in Vietnam so far.

The company, starting its operation in the local food-beverage industry in 2003, has promoted its made-in-Vietnam products across 10 nations worldwide. With a workforce of 3,000 hands and an accumulated investment of 200 million USD to date, JG Summit exports half of its products manufactured in Vietnam.

Gokongwei said the group has a programme on boosting plastic waste recycling and has joined alliances that fight plastic waste.

Phuc said Vietnam has potential in export processing and encourages JG Summit to study new Vietnamese products to be processed for export. He affirmed that investors could be worry-free investing in Vietnam.

The leader stressed the production process needs to ensure food safety and protect the environment.

Noting that Vietnam is working to eliminate single-use plastic products, the Government leader wanted JG Summit to join the effort.

Vietnamese cars hit street for first time

Vietnamese automaker VinFast on June 17 officially handed over 650 units to the first customers who had placed their orders.

This is the largest ever programme held by the firm, serving as the milestone of the first vehicles belonging to a Vietnamese automobile trademark officially beginning their operation, and affirming the prestige VinFast enjoys from its customers.

The handover ceremonies were organised in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and a number of agents of VinFast nationwide.

A programme for those who want to test-drive Fadil was arranged in the framework of the event. Customers were also provided with advices related to financial assistance, insurance and after-sales policies.

From June 1-15, VinFast organized programmes to test drive Fadil nationwide, attracting thousands of people to register.

General Director of VinFast James DeLuca said that his firm is committed to building and providing superior after-sales policies in the market, as well as cooperating with prestigious partners to bring best interests to customers, towards providing customers with high-class services.

Each Vinfast car is now priced at 394.9 million VND (over 16,856 USD), inclusive of valued added tax.

From September 1, its price will be about 465 million VND.

Solutions sought to accelerate disbursement of ODA

The ODA National Steering Committee held a meeting with donors in Hanoi on June 17 to seek solutions to speed up the disbursement of ODA capital and preferential loans, which has showed signs of slowing down in recent years.

The meeting, chaired by the steering committee’s chairman Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, was attended by representatives from six donors which are the World Bank (WB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM), the French Development Agency (AFD) and the KfW Development Bank.

As of 2018, Vietnam had received 80 billion USD in ODA and preferential loans, making it one of the largest recipients of this type of funding in the world. About 80 percent of the amount was provided by the six above-mentioned donors.

Of the total amount, 7 billion USD was in the form of non-refundable aid, more than 70 billion USD was concessional loans with interest rates under 2 percent, and 1.62 billion USD was loans under less generous conditions but their interest rates were still lower than those of commercial ones.

This is proof of Vietnam’s efforts to mobilise external resources for national development. Donors shared the view that Vietnam has effectively used loans, which is one of the reasons why they continued to commit ODA and concessional loans for Vietnam in the past years.

Reports of JICA, ADB and WB said their projects in Vietnam had been implemented better than those in other countries, with a high rate of projects completed and achieving set targets.

In 2018 alone, the six donors committed 28.9 billion USD for Vietnam.

However, the disbursement rate of ODA and loans in Vietnam has slowed, dropping from a high 23.1 percent in 2014 to just 11.2 percent in 2018, which was lower than the average global rates recorded by the six donors.

Of the committed capital for Vietnam in 2018, up to 16.9 billion USD is yet to be disbursed.

The delay in disbursement was attributable to complicated and overlapped procedures, low readiness for projects and cumbersome process and requirements for disbursement.

The slow disbursement of capital resulted in projects not meeting implementation schedules and targets while pushing up costs, affecting investment effectiveness and GDP growth.

The situation requires stronger commitment and more drastic efforts from all related sides to remove obstacles. It was proposed at the meeting that the six donors need to coordinate with the Vietnamese Government in building the mid-term public investment plan using ODA and concessional loans for 2021-2025 as one of the solutions.

State budget collection up 14 percent in five months

Total State budget collection in the first five months of this year was estimated at 508.6 trillion VND (21.86 billion VND), fulfilling 43.5 percent of the estimate and up 14.1 percent year-on-year, the General Department of Taxation (GDT) reported.

Cao Anh Tuan, GDT deputy head, said at a press conference in Hanoi on June 14 that during the reviewed period, production and services sectors saw good growth, inflation was curbed and trade balance was maintained.

Besides, achievements in foreign investment attraction, the stable financial-monetary market and the recovery of consumption demand have helped to spur national economic growth.

Budget revenue from crude oil exceed 23.37 trillion VND (1 billion VND), equivalent to 52.4 percent of the estimate and 97.5 percent of the figure recorded in the same period last year, Tuan said.

Domestic revenue went up 15 percent year-on-year to 485.23 trillion VND (20.86 billion USD), completing 43.2 percent of the estimate, with remarkable increases recorded in such sectors as production and business, individual income tax and registration fee.

Central budget collection hit 235 trillion VND (10.1 billion USD) while local budget collection reached 273.6 trillion VND (11.76 billion USD), representing year-on-year increases of 20.5 percent and 9.1 percent, respectively.

As of May 31, 2019, tax agencies collected 13.39 trillion VND (575.77 million USD) in overdue tax, Tuan added.

Online tax declaration service has been carried out in all cities, provinces and branches of the GDT, with 99.98 percent of businesses using the service.

The tax sector has coordinated with more than 50 commercial banks and provincial tax agencies to implement online tax payment and encourage enterprises to use the service. As a result, 99.93 percent of enterprises registered for the service.

Petrol prices sharply drop in latest review

The retail prices of oil and petrol were adjusted down starting from 3 pm on June 17 following a decision made by the ministries of Finance, and Industry and Trade.

The two ministries review fuel prices every 15 days to adjust domestic prices in accordance with swings in the global market.

Accordingly, the retail price of RON95-III has been reduced by 1,085 VND (0.046 USD) per litre to a maximum level of 20,134 VND per litre, while the ceiling price of bio-fuel E5 RON 92 has been cut by 986 VND per litre to 19,232 VND.

In this review, diesel 0.05S is 737 VND cheaper at 16,657 VND per litre, and kerosene, 614 VND lower at 15,611 VND.

Meanwhile, Mazut 180CST 3.5S will be sold at no more than 15,115 VND, down 239 VND per kilogramme.

This is the third time that retail prices of petrol have been reduced this year with a total drop of some 2,000 VND for RON95-III and 1,500 VND for E5RON92. Earlier, three consecutive adjustments were made, scaling the petrol prices up by total 3,500 VND per litre.

Cooperative ships over 500 tonnes of organic peppercorns to Europe

Lam San agricultural cooperative in Cam My district, the southern province of Dong Nai, has exported over 500 tonnes of safe and organic peppercorns to Europe since early this year.

Director of the cooperative Nguyen Ngoc Luan said the cooperative will bring more than 1,000 tonnes of clean pepper to Europe this year.

Earlier in October 2018, the Germany-based CERES - Certification of Environmental Standards granted a certificate to the cooperative recognising its 3.5ha of peppercorn plant as organic, raising the total of its organic peppercorn plant cultivation to more than 10ha.

Since 2012, the cooperative has grown organic peppercorn plants meeting GlobalGAP standards.

In 2015, it shipped around 200 tonnes of peppercorns to Europe. Later in 2018, upwards 1,000 tonnes were shipped to several European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands while around 1,500 tonnes were sold domestically.

Luan said safe peppercorns are sold at prices 7-10 percent higher than normal one at home while internationally-certified and organic peppercorns fetch 70 – 80 percent more than conventional products.

The cooperative has linked with 1,500 households and formed groups to grow over 1,000ha of clean peppercorn plants for export.

Farmers joining the cooperative’s production chain will have their products sold at market prices and enjoy additional 10,000 VND (0.43 USD) in bonus per kg.

PM highlights development potential of private economic sector

There is room for the private economic sector to further develop, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed during a reception for representatives from the Vietnam Private Business Association in Hanoi on June 17.

The leader stressed equal development opportunities for different economic sectors, including the private economy, citing the 12th Party Central Committee’s Resolution No. 10-NQ/TW which says the private economic sector is an important driver of the national economy.

Statistics show that the sector contributes over 40 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP) and the number is on the rise, he said.

One of the Government’s major tasks is to promote different forms of enterprises, including private businesses which should be increased in terms of scale, quantity and competitiveness to join the areas of high values in the global supply chain, the PM said.

He raised the questions regarding how to access technologies, capital and quality human resources to develop the private economic sector, improve the quality of administrative services towards people and businesses, and promote business innovations as well as business ethics.

PM Phuc suggested private firms set forth suitable strategies to control business risks and contribute more to national growth, while paying more attention to social responsibility, green and sustainable development, environmental protection and law enforcement.

Private enterprises should join the fight against corruption and other bad deeds in business, he said.

The participating businesspeople said they were impressed by PM Phuc’s message at the Vietnam Private Economic Sector Forum last May that emphasised the need to ensure equality, protection, encouragement and opportunity hand-over for private firms.

They proposed the Government step up administrative reform and build a favourable business environment, saying the Party and the State should assign private firms harder tasks.

They also stressed the need to promote innovations, digital economy and personnel training that meets requirements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Dak Lak expands using efficient irrigation systems for crops

The Central Highlands province of Dak Lak is encouraging more farmers to apply efficient irrigation technologies on industrial trees to save irrigation water and reduce production costs.

Key industrial trees such as pepper, rubber and coffee play a crucial role in agriculture in the province, the country’s largest producer of coffee.

In the dry season, the use of drip and spray irrigation systems for industrial trees can save water, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The province has more than 7,000ha of crops that use efficient irrigation facilities, it said.

Hoang Duc Khoa of Cu Kuin district’s Ea Hu commune invested 60 million VND (2,560 USD) to install a drip irrigation system on his 1ha pepper orchard in 2017.

Since then, he has saved irrigation water and labour costs for watering pepper plants, and has ensured sufficient water for growth in every stage.

With such technologies, farmers can save 20 per cent of production costs and increase yields by 10 – 15 per cent compared to traditional irrigation, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Irrigation Department.

However, the high investment cost for efficient irrigation systems is an obstacle for farmers.

Pham Quoc Hao, director of the Thien Ban General Business Agriculture Co-operative in Buon Ho town, said: “The investment costs for efficient irrigation systems are high, so it’s not easy for farmers.”

The co-operative has 51 members who have a total 120ha of orchards, including coffee orchards. Only one member of the co-operative uses the advanced irrigation technology, while four other members are preparing to invest in efficient irrigation systems.

The province should develop support policies such as soft loans for farmers to use these irrigation systems, he said.

Mai Trong Dung, deputy director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said many farmers were still unaware of the technology and the need to save irrigation water.

The cost is about 50 – 60 million VND (2,140 - 2,560 USD) per ha for installing the system, according to Dung.

In addition, many orchards have not accessed the power network so farmers lack power to operate the system.

The province is encouraging farmers to use the technologies suited to each type of crop, soil and water resources. It will also review and zone irrigation works to supply water to the advanced irrigation systems.

The province plans to have efficient irrigation systems used on 10,000ha of crops, mostly coffee, pepper, fruits and vegetables, by next year.

Dak Lak has 204,808ha of coffee, including 187,279ha bearing fruit.

Most farmers who grow industrial trees in the province use traditional methods of watering at the foot of trees. This method requires low investment costs but uses a lot of water.

Vietnam Sustainable Shrimp Alliance established

An alliance was set up on June 17 with a view to promoting sustainable shrimp production, an important sector in Vietnam’s agriculture.

An event to match businesses in the sector and sign a memorandum of understanding on participating in the Vietnam Sustainable Shrimp Alliance (VSSA) was held in Ca Mau, a province in the Mekong Delta – the aquaculture hub of Vietnam.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Van Su said the VSSA foundation is an inevitable move amidst the fact that Vietnam’s shrimp sector is facing an array of challenges, including seeking markets and meeting consumers’ growing demand for clean and environmentally friendly shrimp products.

Josh Madeira, Senior Manager of Ocean Conservation Policy from the US’s Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Programme, noted consumers in North America, Europe and Asia consider the taste, freshness, health benefits and food safety as leading criteria when choosing aquatic products.

The US, the EU and Japan always have compulsory food safety requirements. Additionally, more than 90 percent of the retailers in North America and 75 percent of those in the EU also request that aquatic products must ensure environmental sustainability, he noted.

At the event, major shrimp businesses, farming cooperatives, farming households and agritech firms signed a memorandum of understanding to take part in the VSSA. This will not only help ensure standard farming facilities, food supply and infrastructure but also create a self-contained production chain for the sustainable development of Vietnam’s shrimp sector.

In 2018, the industry experienced a year-on-year decline of 7.8 percent in export value to 3.6 billion USD.

It aims to record an export revenue of 4.1 – 4.2 billion USD in 2019.

Banks to work harder to promote credit access

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and credit institutions are set to augment efforts in the coming time so as to promote people and businesses’ access to credit.

At a teleconference on June 17, SBV Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu said administrative reforms have helped people and enterprises access financial – banking information and services in a more transparent and equal manner. By accessing bank loans more easily, production and business activities have been enhanced.

Additionally, the elimination of business conditions has also helped the central bank minimise time and personnel needed to handle administrative procedures, he said, noting the removal of monetary, credit and banking obstacles has also helped the monetary market and banking activities operate more smoothly and created conditions for the SBV to govern the monetary policy more efficiently.

Tu added that to credit institutions, the pressure for administrative reforms and business climate improvement in the monetary – banking sector is momentum for them to improve their operations and speed up the banking system’s restructuring and non-performing loan settlement.

Most of banks have strongly invested in information technology to develop online products and provide many new modern and convenient services for different client segments.

 

The official said in the time ahead, the SBV will increase IT application in its activities, upgrade the national payment infrastructure to facilitate the development of new payment services, and apply new e-payment technologies like QR code, Tokenization, mobile payment and contactless payment.

Meanwhile, credit institutions are expected to keep improving their financial capacity and continue measures to manage credit quality, reduce non-performing loans and better asset quality.

The Deputy Governor said all administrative procedures of the SBV have been carried out under the ISO 9001:2008 standards, thus ensuring transparency and facilitating organisations and individuals’ monitoring of the administrative procedure handling process.

In 2018, credit institutions actively cut down lending interest rates to support businesses and offered nearly 100 credit programmes and products providing soft loans, including 15 for small- and medium-sized enterprises and startups. They also decreased a number of fees and upgraded their technological systems to meet firms’ e-commerce demand.

Bayer Agricademy trains fruit, coffee farmers

Some 400 pomelo, durian and coffee farmers from Highlands, South-eastern and Mekong Delta provinces are attending seven classes for advanced training in agronomy, cultivation techniques and integrated pest management.

The classes at the recently launched Bayer Agricademy, organised from June 7 to 22, aim to help the farmers improve yields, quality and incomes to achieve the ultimate goal of the Government to improve the quality of agricultural products that are exported.

Much More Durian and Much More Pomelo via Much More Fruits Clubs were taught to local farmer technical solutions.

The courses on pomelo equipped farmers with advanced knowledge and remedies for root rot disease while those on durian will focus on young fruit drop phenomenon.

These are common diseases in the Mekong Delta and south-eastern regions that currently lack effective solutions.

As for coffee farming, the course teaches farmers high-tech solutions for successful coffee replanting.

Vo Van Bay from Long Tien commune, Cai Lay district, Tien Giang province, one of the trainees, said: “In the near future, durian will be exported officially, putting an end to the sluggish trade and the fact that supply exceeds demand.

“Durian is currently sold at 60,000 VND per kilogramme, but export prices could be two or three times higher though there will be stringent quality requirement.

“Therefore, if farmers would like to benefit from export, we need to upgrade our knowledge, applying modern farming methods to qualify for export, which we can do thanks to Bayer Agricademy.”

Talking about the training, Le Quoc Dien, Director of the Southern Horticultural Research Institute’s Technology Transfer Centre, said: “The training programme provides practical information including about crop management and pest management with the aim of helping Vietnamese farmers improve productivity and quality.

“Lectures and handbooks are designed and edited with illustrations and topics tailored to make it easy for farmers to understand and apply after learning.”

Bayer Vietnam said it welcomes feedback from participants while exploring farmers’ needs and cooperating with partners to offer more courses for farmers around the country.

Weraphon Charoenpanit, country commercial lead of Bayer Vietnam’s Crop Science Division, said: “We would like to help every farmer become an expert on their own farms, enjoying higher yields, quality and incomes. In addition, farmers participating in this advanced training will be trainers playing an important role in helping neighbouring farmers improve their cultivation.”

Bayer also offers farmers who are members of the Bayer Much More Fruits Clubs the opportunity to interact with farmers in neighbouring countries through its annual Beautiful Fruit Gardens competition.

Ten winners of last year’s competition will go on a field trip to mango and custard apple farms in Thailand from July 24 to 27.

Vietnam has for many long been a competitive fruit exporter with increasing exports.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said in recent years fruit exports have seen a jump in growth.

In 2012, fruit and vegetable exports were only worth 800 million USD. In 2016, this figure had surged to 2.4 billion USD. Last year they were worth 3.8 billion USD.

In early 2019, Vietnam’s fruit exporters received the good news that China had agreed to allow imports of seven fruits from Vietnam, including durian, pomelo, passion fruit, sweet potato, coconut, custard apple, and mangosteen.

The ministry said 10 billion USD worth of fruit exports could be achieved soon.

But to be more competitive in the export market, Vietnam needs to underline its capability to supply high-quality products since most of its farmers are small holders using traditional methods of cultivation.

Therefore, supplying quality products and establishing a value chain are urgent requirements for the country’s fruit industry to enter all markets, experts said.

Agriculture still grows, braving African swine fever epidemic

The whole agricultural sector has maintained relatively good growth in the first half of 2019 despite a number of difficulties, especially the African swine fever epidemic, which has left a heavy impact on domestic animal husbandry.

The information was released by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien at a press meeting in Hanoi on June 17.

He noted in the six months, the growth rate of agricultural production value was estimated at 2.7 – 2.9 percent compared to the same period last year. That comprises the expansion of 1.68 percent in agriculture (including plant and animal farming), 4.53 percent in forestry, and 6.5 percent in fisheries.

The sector has worked to develop cattle, poultry and aquatic farming to make up for a possible pork shortage at the end of this year as a result of the African swine fever epidemic.

Tien cited data of the General Statistics Office as showing that the number of cattle farmed nationwide has increased by 2.9 percent while the amount of live cattle sold for meat was about 193,000 tonnes, up 4 percent from a year earlier, thanks to good consumption and high prices which have encouraged the farming.

The number of farmed poultry has risen by 11 – 12 percent as there were no epidemics. Meanwhile, good growth has also been recorded in fisheries and it is hoped at 6.5 – 6.7 percent in 2019.

Highlighting the growth in overseas shipments, the official said the exports target of 43 billion USD for this year is high but still achievable, adding that the proportion of high-quality products in agricultural production and exports has increased.

Total agro-forestry-fishery exports are estimated at 19.75 billion USD in the reviewed period, up 2.1 percent year on year.

Construction of 162.3 million USD port complex gets green light

The Dung Quat Economic Zone (EZ) and Quang Ngai Industrial Parks (IPs) Authority has granted an approval in principle for Hoa Phat multipurpose port company to develop a large-scale port complex in the central province.

The complex will cost more than 3.77 trillion VND (162.3 million USD) and will be divided into two phases, online newspaper baodautu.vn reported.

In the first stage between now and 2020, a wharf with a length of 300 metres will be built. The wharf which will be eligible to accommodate vessels weighing 50,000 DWT along with some other supporting facilities are expected to better meet the import-export demand of enterprises operating in the Dung Quat EZ.

The second stage from 2021 to 2024 will see the development of two more wharves which have a total length of 450 metres. These will have the capacity to handle vessels of up to 50,000 DWT.

The Dung Quat EZ and Quang Ngai-based IPs had attracted 18 projects with a total investment of more than 458 million USD in the past five months of 2019, according to the authority's portal.

The latest addition brought the number of investment projects in these zones to 320 costing 12.37 billion USD. Of these projects, 57 were foreign-invested with a total registered capital of 1.7 billion USD while the remainder was funded by domestic investors.

So far, 154 projects have come into operation, creating jobs for nearly 39,000 workers.

Sugar prices likely to trend up due to lack supply

Sugar prices are likely to increase due to the shortage of 2.5 million tonnes of sugar during the 2019 – 2020 crop, experts forecast at the fourth conference of the ASEAN Sugar Alliance (ASA) underway in Ho Chi Minh City on June 17-18.

Chairman of the Thanh Thanh Cong JSC Dang Van Thanh said due to global climate change, governments of Southeast Asian nations are working to keep the sugarcane industry competitive and meet consumers’ demand.

ASA Chairman Pramode Vidtayasuk said the event attracts 23 associations, businesses and units from member countries.

Participants will discuss issues regarding trade, market and product development policies, seek strategic solutions to the future of the regional sugar industry.

Founded in 2016, ASA aims to foster strength of the sugar industry among member states, meet increasing sugar demand in the region.

Fish sauce making brings prosperity to Thanh Hoa province

Farmers in Sam Son city, the north-central province of Thanh Hoa, have become rich by developing traditional fish sauce production and business.

The trade in Sam Son dates back over a century ago, first produced in coastal villages of Quang Cu, Quang Tien, Trun Son and Truong Son. However, it is now popular in the whole city, creating jobs and good income for hundreds of locals.

As fish sauce comprises of two elements, fish and salt, local people have to prepare fresh anchovy, sardinella and decapterus, which are then washed with water. After that alternating layers of fish and sale are placed in a wooden vat for up to 12 months to ferment. Later, the liquid of the fermentation process seeps down and is drained. The fish sauce is bottled before it is sold at the markets.

According to Hoang Thang Vich, Chairman of the Sam Son Seafood Association, the association has 26 fish sauce making households, and his family is having the largest production establishments.

“I sell some 500 litres of fish sauce each day. My family has got richer with an average revenue of nearly 1 billion VND (42,700 USD) a year. We have 12 workers, each paid 9 million VND per month.”

Currently, Vich’s fish sauce is granted with a food safety and hygiene certificate, and it is mostly consumed in Hanoi city and Hoa Binh and Bac Giang provinces. For years, his product has been honoured as outstanding agricultural goods by the Vietnam Farmers’ Union.

Meanwhile, Hoang Thang Minh, a resident on Nguyen Thi Loi Street, Trung Son ward, said that his fish sauce has been on good sales besides other seafood like yellowstripe scad, dried squid and flower crab. The fish sauce alone brings around 500 million VND a year to his family, and creates jobs for 10 local labourers.

Fish sauce production also generates considerable gains for other locals like Nguyen Sy Doan and Vu Thi Lan, who pocket 130 million VND and 100 million VND each year.

Tran Ngoc Dinh, Chairman of the Quang Tien ward People’s Committee, said that consumers do not have to worry about food safety and hygiene as Sam Son fish sauce is produced in the traditional way which has a history of hundreds of years and free of chemicals and additives.

The ward now has 15 fish sauce making households and they are earning around 100- 150 million VND in revenue each year, he said, adding that the ward will recommend competent authorities to develop brand for local fish sauce while signing contracts with businesses to ensure market for local staple.

Sam Son city is now home to more than 160 fish sauce making establishments, who sell over 4 million litres to the market daily.

According to Vu Dinh Chinh, deputy head of the city’s economic bureau, the municipal People’s Committee is carrying a project to manage and branch out a collective brand for Sam Son fish sauce, a move that helps locals popularise, improve quality as well as competitive edge of their products, and raise public awareness of food safety and hygiene.

The project has brought about practical results, particularly creating jobs and increasing income for fish sauce producers.

In the coming time, the city will continue its survey and evaluation, and set up intellectual property rights for the Sam Son collective fish sauce brand. Besides, due attention will be paid to brand management, origin tracing process, and packaging.

The city authorities have directed competent agencies to enhance food safety inspection at fish sauce production establishments, he added.

Trà Vinh to invest $1.5 million in resettlement project

The southern province of Trà Vinh People’s Committee has decided to invest VNĐ35 billion (US$1.5 million) in implementing a resettlement project for people affected by landslides in Cầu Ngang town and Thuận Hòa Commune, Cầu Ngang District.

Of which, VNĐ15 billion will come from the central budget and the rest from the provincial budget.

The investor is the Management Board of the province’s Rural Development and Agricultural Construction Investment Projects.

The project will build an embankment system over a total length of 500m, a pier, drainage system, trees and power supply.

It is expected to be put into use in 2020, providing stable accommodation for 242 households.

In addition, the project will help prevent flooding in Cầu Ngang Town and erosion along the river.

In the period 2012-18, Trà Vinh Province invested about VNĐ107 billion ($4.6 million) resettling people in landslide-prone areas.

More than 500 households with 2,000 people were given new accommodation, vocational training and farming training.

Provincial authorities also encouraged people to grow mangrove trees.

Dak Lak expands using efficient irrigation systems for crops

The Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) province of Đắk Lắk is encouraging more farmers to apply efficient irrigation technologies on industrial trees to save irrigation water and reduce production costs.

Key industrial trees such as pepper, rubber and coffee play a crucial role in agriculture in the province, the country’s largest producer of coffee.

In the dry season, the use of drip and spray irrigation systems for industrial trees can save water, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The province has more than 7,000ha of crops that use efficient irrigation facilities, it said.

Hoàng Đức Khóa of Cư Kuin District’s Ea Hu Commune invested VNĐ60 million (US$2,560) to install a drip irrigation system on his 1ha pepper orchard in 2017.

Since then, he has saved irrigation water and labour costs for watering pepper plants, and has ensured sufficient water for growth in every stage.

With such technologies, farmers can save 20 per cent of production costs and increase yields by 10 – 15 per cent compared to traditional irrigation, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Irrigation Department.

However, the high investment cost for efficient irrigation systems is an obstacle for farmers.

Phạm Quốc Hạo, director of the Thiện Bản General Business Agriculture Co-operative in Buôn Hồ Town, said: “The investment costs for efficient irrigation systems are high, so it’s not easy for farmers.”

The co-operative has 51 members who have a total 120ha of orchards, including coffee orchards. Only one member of the co-operative uses the advanced irrigation technology, while four other members are preparing to invest in efficient irrigation systems.

The province should develop support policies such as soft loans for farmers to use these irrigation systems, he said.

Mai Trọng Dũng, deputy director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said many farmers were still unaware of the technology and the need to save irrigation water.

The cost is about VNĐ 50 – 60 million ($2,140 - 2,560) per ha for installing the system, according to Dũng.

In addition, many orchards have not accessed the power network so farmers lack power to operate the system.

The province is encouraging farmers to use the technologies suited to each type of crop, soil and water resources. It will also review and zone irrigation works to supply water to the advanced irrigation systems.

The province plans to have efficient irrigation systems used on 10,000ha of crops, mostly coffee, pepper, fruits and vegetables, by next year.

Đắk Lắk has 204,808ha of coffee, including 187,279ha bearing fruit.

Most farmers who grow industrial trees in the province use traditional methods of watering at the foot of trees. This method requires low investment costs but uses a lot of water.

ONE Championship to make debut in Vietnam in 2019

The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE) will enter Vietnam this year.

Headquartered in Singapore, ONE is the world's largest martial arts organisation, hosting bouts across all styles of martial arts such as Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Karate, Kung Fu, Silat, Sanda, Lethwei, Mixed Martial Arts, Tae Kwon Do, Submission Grappling, and more. ONE hosts the biggest sports entertainment events across Asia, featuring some of the world's best martial artists and world champions on the largest global media broadcast in Asia.

ONE eSports, a subsidiary of ONE Championship, runs Asia's largest global eSports Championship Series with some of the biggest blockbuster game titles in the world. In addition to its digital platforms, ONE Championship broadcasts to over 2.6 billion potential viewers across over 140 countries with some of the largest global broadcasters, including Fox Sports, ABS-CBN, Astro, ClaroSports, Startimes, Thairath TV, and more.

Chatri Sityodtong, chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, stated that, “ONE Championship’s entry into Vietnam is coming at the right time. As the leader of the world’s largest martial arts organisation, I would like to showcase the true essence of martial arts through its deep-rooted values of integrity, humility, honour, respect, courage, discipline, and compassion. Our goal is to make the world a better place through martial arts and to build real-life superheroes who ignite the world with hope, strength, dreams, and inspiration. Our superstars are ready to showcase their amazing skills. I cannot wait to tell their stories.”

Vietnam has a rich martial arts culture steeped in history. Traditional Vietnamese martial arts such as Viet Vo Dao (Vovinam), as well as Binh Dinh Gia, Binh Dinh Sa Long Cuong, Tan Khanh Ba Tra, Tay Son Vo Dao, have enriched the lives of millions of Vietnamese people throughout the years. ONE Championship aims to celebrate this rich ancestral martial arts culture and history, and at the same time, light the path to the future of Vietnamese martial arts in the years to come.

With established martial arts superstars and many more up-and-coming martial arts athletes, Vietnam is well-represented on the global stage of martial arts competition. ONE Championship aims to bring its unique brand of martial arts action and introduce the core values of integrity, humility, honor, courage, respect, discipline, and compassion. In addition, ONE Championship aims to discover Vietnamese martial arts talent from the grassroots and share their stories with the world.

VinaCapital Ventures invests US$4 million in Vietnam’s first proptech startup

Vietnam’s property market continues to expand, both in new developments and secondary sales. A growing middle class and a demand for affordable homes should continue to drive
strong market growth for the foreseeable future.

VinaCapital Ventures, the technology investment company of VinaCapital, on June 12 announced that it has invested US$4 million in Rever, Vietnam’s leading tech-enabled real estate brokerage company.

Founded in July 2016, Rever is the first company of its kind in Southeast Asia.

Vietnam’s property market continues to expand, both in new developments and secondary sales. A growing middle class and a demand for affordable homes should continue to drive strong market growth for the foreseeable future.

Being a tech firm, Rever offers price preference tools using real market data analytics, listing tracking incorporated with interactive media.

The real-time transaction management gives the most value to homebuyers and sellers, while equipping agents with a smart custom relationship management and property database. Aiming to become a one-stop shop for all accommodation-related needs, Rever expects to add more valuable tools and services to its platform soon, including loan brokerage, digital furniture fitting, and smart-home solutions.

Khanh Tran, a partner at VinaCapital Ventures, disclosed the news at the Vietnam Venture Summit taking place at the Gem Center in Ho Chi Minh City. “This investment is consistent with our philosophy of targeting startups that are disrupting how industries operate, are operated by founders with a vision and experience, and are capitalizing on the continued robust expansion of Vietnam’s economy.”

“Rever has the potential to lead the transformation of the real estate business, from one that is still very much based on bricks-and-mortar to one that is a key part of the digital economy,” said Khanh.

In addition to Rever, VinaCapital Ventures has made investments in FastGo, Logivan, Urbox, and Wee Digital.

 
 
 
 
 
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