VN stocks may go sideways in post-holiday trading
Vietnamese shares may gain slightly in the post-holiday period as listed firms are giving a few strong clues that could boost the market’s short-term prospects.
The VN-Index on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange gained 0.57 per cent last Friday to end the last trading week at 979.64 points.
The VN-Index rose nearly 1.4 per cent in total last week, marking its first rise after having declined for two consecutive weeks.
The recovery of “Vin” stocks such as Vingroup (VIC), Vinhomes (VHM) and Vincom Retail (VRE) was the main driver of the stock market last week.
The three company shares gained between 3.3 per cent and 6.2 per cent in five trading days of last week.
Financial-banking stocks were mixed. Large-cap financial-banking firms such as Vietcombank (VCB), Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BID), Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) and HCM City Securities Corp (HCM) almost made no changes compared to the previous week.
Meanwhile, consumer staple companies’ shares weighed on the stock market. All three large-cap firms – dairy producer Vinamilk (VNM), brewer Sabeco (SAB) and food and beverage group Masan (MSN) – declined after one week.
Trading liquidity was a problem for the stock market as investors were unwilling to jump in the market trading due to a lack of supportive news among listed companies and the coming national holidays.
An average of nearly 154.6 million shares was traded in each session of last week on the southern bourse, worth VND3.35 trillion (US$144 million). The figures were up slightly from the previous week.
A similar trading pattern occurred on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange as the HNX-Index increased by 0.49 per cent to end the week at 107.46 points.
The HNX-Index advanced by total 1.49 per cent last week.
According to Duong Hoang Linh, deputy head of market analysis department at Sacombank Securities JSC (SBS), the benchmark VN-Index has moved between 965 and 990 points for the last one month with low liquidity.
“As top large-cap companies have released their first-quarter earnings reports, the market has run out of good news that could back the market up and lure short-term capital back into the market,” Linh told tinnhanhchungkhoan.vn.
Investors seemed uninterested in taking part in the market at the moment even though “some stocks have gotten much cheaper in recent weeks,” he said.
“The market may still go horizontally and marginally after returning from the national holidays. There may be some rebounds but those comebacks won’t be upheld,” Linh added.
Declining liquidity would remain the most important factor for the Vietnamese stock market, according to Sai Gon-Ha Noi Securities (SHS).
“Friday’s gains for the two indices could only mean pullback, or technical recovery, as liquidity kept falling while technical indicators still projected further drops for the local indices,” SHS said in its weekly report.
“What we’ve seen on the derivative market with the VN30 futures expiring in May also supported the forecast as it finished Friday 13.55 points lower than the large-cap VN30-Index’s close of 890.55 points,” the company said.
“That shows investors were still thinking about a bearish market in the short run,” SHS added.
The stock market in the next two trading days and next week could move based on the trading of global stocks and international market news, SHS said.
The month of May this year wouldn’t be a time for selling, analysts said, as cheap stocks could be scooped up and consolidated.
According to Nguyen Hoang Viet, Vietinbank Securities Co’s market analyst, it’s time for investors to purchase stocks and hold onto them as they had sold too much in April.
“The sharp correction of the stock market will bring up opportunities for investors to own good quality large-cap stocks at very low price levels,” he said.
There would be growth for the stock market in May as shares had been pressurised too much in the last several weeks, Nguyen Hong Khanh, head of market analysis at Vietnam International Securities JSC, said.
Vinatex strives for 12 per cent profit growth in 2019
The Viet Nam National Garment and Textile Group (Vinatex) has targeted a 12 per cent profit increase this year despite various challenges arising from the US-China trade war.
Vinatex is striving to earn more than VND22.18 trillion (US$952 million) in total revenue and VND839 billion ($36 million) in pre-tax profit by the end of this year, the group's general director Le Tien Truong said at its recent annual shareholders’ meeting in the capital.
The company also expects its export turnover to expand by between 6 and 8 per cent, and industrial production value to increase 5 per cent from the previous year, he said.
Highlighting the fluctuations of the global economy in 2018 due to trade tensions, fierce competition and increasing protectionism, Truong said the Vietnamese garment and textile sector had overcome challenges to become the world’s second largest exporter by shipping $36 billion worth of products overseas.
Last year, Vinatex also saw a positive business performance as its revenue totalled nearly VND20.24 trillion while pre-tax profit reached VND761.4 billion.
The corporation’s dividend payout ratio for 2018 was 6 per cent, which means it paid a total of VND300 billion in dividends to its shareholders.
ASEAN+3 remains resilient but needs to transition to a new economy
The economy of the ASEAN+3 region is expected to remain resilient despite heightened global risks and stronger external headwinds, said the annual regional economic outlook report released on Wednesday by the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO).
Regional growth is expected to moderate slightly to 5.1 per cent this year and 5 per cent in 2020, a slightly slower pace compared to 2018, according to the report.
Viet Nam remains in the top three fastest growing economies in the region, with the real gross domestic product (inflation-adjusted GDP) expected to grow 6.6 per cent in 2019 and 6.7 per cent in 2020. This growth rate puts the nation behind only Myanmar and Cambodia, both likely to rise more than 7 per cent in 2019 and 2020.
Viet Nam’s inflation is expected to increase by 3.8 per cent and 3.7 per cent in 2019 and 2020, higher than the 2018 inflation rate of 3.5 per cent.
The ASEAN+3 Regional Economic Outlook 2019 report provides an assessment of the risks and challenges facing regional economies.
“While regional growth is softening from 5.3 per cent last year to 5.1 per cent in 2019 and 5 per cent in 2020, the longer-term economic fundamentals remain intact,” AMRO Chief Economist Dr Hoe Ee Khor said at the report’s launch. “Regional policymakers should stand ready to use available policy space to ease monetary and fiscal policies to mitigate the downside risks and support the economy if external conditions were to worsen.”
In the near term, the risks confronting the region are mainly external.
According to AMRO’s Global Risk Map, the biggest risk is still the escalation of global trade tensions from the imposition of additional tariffs by the US, which could weigh on global growth and be exacerbated by a sharp deceleration in capital expenditure (capex) and tech cycle.
The region could also be hit by volatility shocks from turbulent financial markets given that expectations can change suddenly, it said.
After more than two decades of prospering under the “manufacturing for exports” strategy, ASEAN+3 policymakers are encouraged to prioritise longer-term policies, especially those focused on building capacity and connectivity to leverage the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) and sustain growth in the new economy.
Globally, manufacturing and services will be transformed by Industry 4.0, which will require higher levels of technological expertise to deliver customised goods, services and experiences to an increasingly large and affluent middle class.
Commenting on Viet Nam, AMRO Chief Economist Dr Khor said the country has adopted the traditional manufacturing for exports model and benefited greatly as it has attracted a lot of investments from South Korea, Japan and China. Viet Nam has established itself as a manufacturing hub for exports; the challenge for the country is to move up the value chain in the manufacturing sector.
“Manufacturing companies come to Viet Nam and want to benefit from low costs but over time as the economy grows, they have to upscale the technology base and Viet Nam has also to move up the value chain,” Khor told Viet Nam News at a sideline event of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), being held in Fiji from May 1 to 5.
The Vietnamese Government could focus on expanding vocational training programmes to upscale the labour force, Khor said. Viet Nam was doing well in diversifying its economy, he said, noting that services, tourism and culture are doing well, but Viet Nam still needed to build skills and move up the value chain.
“It is happening and we’re optimistic about that,” he said.
AMRO pointed out three key challenges to regional growth, including the funding, foreign exchange and factor gaps.
The funding gaps capture the shortfalls between the low domestic savings and large investment needs of lower-income economies, while the foreign exchange gap has to do with the financing constraints on emerging economies arising from the need to accumulate foreign reserves to mitigate risks related to sudden capital flows. The factors gap captures non-financial constraints, including the need to develop human capital, expertise, technological capacity and governance frameworks.
To address these challenges, there is a strong need for ASEAN+3 economies to leverage intra-regional savings and investments; strengthen regional financial safety nets, including the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM); and redouble efforts to develop the region’s technological capacity, professional expertise in various fields and institutions for growth and governance, it said.
Phu My 3 aims to be model for sustainable industrial parks
The Phu My 3 Specialised Industrial Park (SIP) in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau has set a goal to become one of the province’s most modern industrial parks, with the aim of attracting more investment.
The Phu My 3 Specialised Industrial Park (SIP) in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau has set a goal to become one of the province’s most modern industrial parks, with the aim of attracting more investment.
Speaking at the park’s five-year anniversary ceremony last week, Nguyen Thi Thao Nhi, CEO of Thanh Binh Phu My JSC, the project developer, said: “We aim to build Phu My 3 SIP into a modern industrial park with international standards, especially in terms of environmentally sustainable development."
Investment capital of the park for two phases of construction totals VND11.6 trillion (US$498.1 million).
The park's high-quality technical infrastructure includes wastewater treatment, water supply, electricity and gas supply, telecommunications network, and utility services, she said.
Over the last five years, the park has built internal roads, a wastewater treatment plant with a capacity of 9,000cu.m per day, a modern underground system of power supply, and a clean gas fuel supply system, among others.
The park has leased some 130ha of land to 16 domestic and foreign investors in a variety of business sectors.
“In addition to hardware, we also are focusing on creating software that allows us to offer a one-stop service that helps customers throughout the investment, construction and operation of the project,” she added.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Nguyen Thanh Long, vice chairman of Ba Ria - Vung Tau People’s Committee, praised the company for making great efforts in mobilising resources to invest in infrastructure in Phu My 3 SIP, as well as calling for investment in the park.
Long commmended provincial agencies for creating a favourable investment environment for businesses investing in industrial parks in Ba Ria - Vung Tau, making it an ideal destination for large FDI projects.
Phu My 3 SIP is one of two model industrial parks developed under an agreement signed by former PM Nguyen Tan Dung and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in November 2011.
Last year Phu My 3 SIP completed construction of the first phase of the project, with world-class infrastructure and utilities.
The park has welcomed investors mostly from Japan, Europe, America, and Asia as well as businesses in Viet Nam.
Phu My 3 SIP was built on an area of 999ha in Phuoc Hoa Commune in Tan Thanh District and developed by Thanh Binh Phu My JSC, a 100 per-cent Vietnamese private investment.
The park has world-class technical infrastructure and utilities designed and built by professional Japanese contractors, aiming to meet demands of a wide range of industries, from light industries to heavy industries, multi-sector industries, seaports and logistics.
The park has four specialised functional areas: a supporting industry zone, a heavy industry zone, a port and logistics zone, and an administrative and service area.
The park provides comprehensive investment support services offered in Japanese, English and Vietnamese, via a one-stop service which assists customers with all affairs relating to investment procedures, legal issues, recruitment, logistics and on-site customs services.
The park has an excellent location with access to key traffic infrastructure such as National Highway 51, National Highway 1A, HCM – Long Thanh Dau Giay Expressway, Bien Hoa – Vung Tau Expressway, Trans – Asia Road, inter-regional highways, inter-port roads and inter-industrial zone roads.
The park is 65km from HCM City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport in and 28km from Dong Nai Province’s Long Thanh New International Airport.
The Cai Mep – Thi Vai deep-water seaport (only 4km), capable of accommodating vessels of up to 200,000DWT, is expected to develop into an international hub for trade and transportation.
The park has attracted 14 domestic and foreign investment, including nine Japanese investors, one Korean investor, three Vietnamese investors, and a joint venture between Viet Nam and Switzerland.
Total leased land area has reached 121ha, with total FDI capital about VND18.5 trillion.
Tra Vinh eyes new industrial cluster
|The Long Duc Industrial Zone in Tra Vinh Province. — Photo longduc-ip.com|
The southern province of Tra Vinh will develop a new industrial cluster spanning more than 32ha in Long Duc District, according to the provincial People’s Committee.
According to the committee, it needs VND369 billion (US$16 million) to develop the cluster's infrastructure and facilities. Of the total, VND165 billion will come from the province's budget while the remainder will be raised from investors.
The Sa Binh industrial cluster will be the first one in Tra Vinh for supporting industries such as mechanical manufacturing, automotive and motorbike repair, garment and textiles, the committee said.
The province is now home to three industrial zones (IZs) – 100-ha Long Duc IZ, 120-ha Cau Quan IZ and 200-ha Co Chien. It plans to develop 13 additional IZs in the future.
In a move to attract more investment to its IZs, the province will cut 30 per cent from the land rental fee each year for small- and medium-sized businesses over the next five years.
Vietnam's public investment disbursement low in January-April
Disbursement of public investment capital was estimated at VND68.548 trillion (US$2.94 billion) over the first four months of the year, representing 16.45 per cent of the total figure set by the National Assembly.
Of the four-month figure, VND67.361 trillion (US$2.89 billion) in domestic capital were disbursed, reaching 18.24 per cent of the target set by the National Assembly and 19.9 per cent of the figure assigned by the Prime Minister, according to a report recently sent by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to the Prime Minister.
Statistics show that public investment disbursements by ministries, agencies, and localities in the four-month period were at higher levels than those seen in the corresponding period last year.
However, these disbursements fell short of the Government’s expectation. Particularly, the disbursement of foreign capital stood at only VND1.186 trillion (US$50.99 million), equal to 2.5 per cent of the National Assembly's target and 4.14 per cent of the total figure set by the Government.
The Ministry of Finance cited a variety of reasons for the delayed disbursement of public investment.
Regarding domestic capital, although a master plan on allocating public investment capital was approved by the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Planning and Investment in January, ministries, central agencies, and localities have been slow to react. It was not until the end of February when the detailed allocation of public capital for projects was completed, causing sluggish disbursement.
As for capital from foreign sources, slow disbursement was largely caused by delays in defining capital allocation plans until January 31. As a result, ministries, central agencies, and localities only started to make disbursements from March.
During the four-month period, the foreign capital disbursement for many projects continued in line with the plan approved for 2018. Some are currently in the process of completing procedures to receive capital according to the 2019 plan.
Given this, the MoF submitted several measures to the Prime Minister on increasing the disbursement of public investment. Regarding the remaining investment capital which is deducted from the State budget and has yet to be assigned by the Prime Minister, the MoF recommended the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) comply with the Prime Minister's directions at Directive No. 09/CT-TTg.
The MoF also suggested the Prime Minister assign the MPI to quickly submit competent authorities to a medium-term public investment plan for the 2016-20 period. Besides, the MPI was proposed to send a 2019 public investment plan for State-owned enterprises whose state capital ownership was transferred to the Committee for Management of State Capital at Enterprises (CMSC), in accordance with the Government’s Resolution No.09/NQ-CP dated February 3, 2019.
For the remaining 2019 state capital which has yet to be disbursed for any specific projects under national target programs by March 31, the MoF called for reviewing and clawing back the capital.
Over 60,000 enterprises established, resume operations during Jan-Apr
Nearly 60,800 enterprises registered for establishment or returned to operations in the first four months of 2019, according to the latest data from the General Statistics Office of Vietnam.
Accordingly, in April, there were 14,854 newly established enterprises with registered capital of VND167 trillion (US$7.1 billion), up 19% in number and 30.3% in registered capital compared with the previous month. The average registered capital of an enterprise reached VND11.2 billion (US$482,000), up 27.3%.
Also in the month, 2,714 enterprises resumed operations, down 44.4% over the previous month, while 2,495 registered to suspend their business operations for a definite time, up 81.7%, 1,904 enterprises ceased operations to wait for dissolution procedures, up 1.2%, plus 1,189 others completed dissolution procedures, up 23.9%.
For the first four months this year, there were 43,305 newly established enterprises with a total registered capital of VND542.4 trillion, increasing by 4.9% in number of enterprises and up 31.7% in capital compared to the same period in 2018.
The average registered capital of a newly established enterprise reached VND12.5 billion, an increase of 25%. If including VND872 trillion of additional registered capital by enterprises changing capital, the total additional registered capital to the economy in the period was up to over VND1.4 quadrillion.
There were 17,463 enterprises returning to operations in that period, up 52.6% compared to the same period last year, bringing the total number of newly registered enterprises and those returning to operations in the first four months this year up to nearly 60,800.
Meanwhile, the number of enterprises suspending their business for a definite period during Jan-Apr was 16,984, an increase of 19.7% over the same period last year. There were also 5,305 enterprises completing dissolution procedures, up 12.9%, of which 4,793 had capital below VND10 billion, up 11 6%.
Vietnam maintains trade surplus in first four months of 2019
Vietnam maintained a trade surplus of US$711 million in the first four months of this year, much lower than US$3.7 billion recorded in the same period in 2018.
According to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, total import and export turnover in the first four months of 2019 was estimated at US$156.8 billion, of which exports reached US$78.8 billion, up 5.8% over the same period last year, and imports were at US$78 billion, up 10.4%.
Export turnover increased by 5.8% compared to the same period in 2018, of which the domestic economic sector gained US$23.33 billion, up 10.5% and accounting for 29.6% of the total, while the foreign invested sector (including crude oil) reached US$55.43 billion, up 4% and accounting for 70.4% (the proportion decreased by 1.2 percentage points compared to the same period last year).
In the last four months, 16 export items earned value of more than US$1 billion, accounting for 81.2% of total export turnover. Of which, several items increased their export value over the same period last year, including electronics, computers and components reaching US$9.6 billion, up 12.6%, textiles and garments reaching US$9.4 billion, up 9.8%, footwear US$5.3 billion, up 13.4%, machinery, equipment and spare parts at US$5.3 billion, up 4.1%, and wood and wood products reaching US$3.1 billion, up 17.8.
Although phones and components enjoyed the largest export value, reaching US$16 billion and accounting for 20.4% of the total exports, the items decreased by 0.2% compared to the same period last year. Seafood exports were also down 1.3%, reaching US$2.4 billion.
The United States continues to be Vietnam's largest export market with a turnover of US$17.8 billion, up 28.4% over the same period last year, of which phones and components rose 104.9%, footwear increased by 9.4%, and textiles and garments were up by 8.5%. The EU ranked second with US$13.7 billion, followed by China at US$10.4 billion, down 5.8%, and ASEAN with US$8.4 billion, up 7.3%.
Regarding the imported goods market, China is still the largest import market of Vietnam with a value at US$22.3 billion, up 18.8% compared to the same period last year, followed by the Republic of Korea with US$15.5 billion and ASEAN with US$10.8 billion.
Spain largest recipient of outbound Vietnamese investment
Spain was the largest among 23 recipients of outbound Vietnamese investment in the first four months of 2019, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
Data shows that the European country received US$59.8 million, followed by Cambodia with US$37.9 million and Malaysia with US$13.9 million.
Vietnamese investment in the United States was US$12.6 million in the January-April period.
According to the GSO, total outbound Vietnamese investment reached US$149.5 million in the first four months of the year, including US$96 million in 44 new projects and US$53.5 million in existing projects.
A breakdown of the sectors shows that science-technology projects received the largest share at US$81.8 million, accounting for 54.7% of the total investment pledges.
Financial, banking and insurance services came second with US$36.1 million, followed by US$16.5 million in wholesale, retail, car and motorbike repairs.
Investment in accommodation and catering services reached US$7 million.
$13 million Top Solvent Haiphong facility opens
Top Solvent Co., Ltd. has opened its 27,000 square metre, VND300 billion ($13 million) integrated solvent facility in DEEP C Industrial Zone, gearing up to extending its reach not only in Vietnam, but all across Southeast Asia.
Thai Oil Pcl. (TOP), established in 1961, is one of the leading integrated refinery and petrochemical companies in the Asia-Pacific. TOP businesses are structured as an integrated operation of long value chains in order to capture and maximise synergy value covering oil refining, aromatics production, lube base oil production, power generation, marine transportation, petroleum transportation via multi-product pipeline, marine transportation, and related business, renewable energy business and its related products, solvent and chemical products business, and high-level consultancy service in an area of oil refining and petrochemical technologies concerned with energy-related businesses.
Top Solvent Co., Ltd., the marketing arm of Thai Oil Public Co., Ltd., last week inaugurated the facility of Top Solvent Vietnam LLC in DEEP C Industrial Zone in the northern city of Haiphong. This is the second facility of Top Solvent Vietnam, following the first one in the southern province of Dong Nai.
The terminal was built to provide high-capacity storage, solvents, and chemicals storage tanks. The first stage has an annual capacity of 50,000 tonnes, to be increased to 200,000 tonnes, aimed to develop the northern Vietnamese chemicals industry and reinforce Top Solvent’s production chain.
Top Solvent has 20 years of experience in the production and distribution of chemicals and solvents. Top Solvent Vietnam is one of the market leaders with more than 50 high-quality products that meet stringent international standards, and are present in 38 countries over the world. Top Solvent has established a new laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment to ensure the verification of input and output quality. Besides, Top Solvent Vietnam is one of the companies in Vietnam with integrated internal ports and tanks, allowing faster loading and unloading during export-import, as well as enhancing after sale services with more professional rapport.
In the years to come, the company sees growth potential not only in serving customers in Vietnam, but also in Thailand, Myanmar, and beyond, becoming one of the five biggest companies in the field in Southeast Asia.
“Our company strongly commits to environmental protection, social welfare, and equitable governance during our operations. These criteria guide us to perform as a steward of nature, to manage our relations with our stakeholders and to promote transparency in business and respect for stakeholder rights,” Khun Chatapong Wungtanagorn, representative of Thai Oil, said.
Bruno Jaspaert, general director of DEEP C, said that Thai Oil is a client who takes swift decisions to seize the booming market in northern Vietnam. Thai Oil’s participation proves the region’s growth potential and energy demand. The facility surely provides better alternatives and a cost competitive option for manufacturers sourcing chemicals in northern Vietnam. “Thai Oil is one of the last tenants to join our petrochemical group. Although our petrochemical zone is now mostly fully occupied, we will not stop looking for ways of improving ease of business for our clients. We will continue investing in jetty infrastructure and operation as well as developing the jetty team. Thai Oil will have our devoted support for the rest of their ever-expanding operations here in DEEP C,” said Jaspaert.
This is a 67th project inaugurated in DEEP C Haiphong I Industrial Zone, a part of DEEP C Industrial Complex
Can Tho IZs abound with advantages
In March this year during his visit to Japan, Vo Thanh Thong, Chairman of the Can Tho People’s Committee, granted an investment registration certificate for a seafood processing plant, a joint venture between The Marine Foods Corporation from Japan and local Nam Hai Food Export Ltd. The plant, based in Tra Noc 1 industrial zone (IZ) in Can Tho’s Binh Thuy district and valued at $14 million, aims to process seafood for export to Japan. The plant will become operational from May next year.
Nguyen Thi Kieu Duyen, deputy head of Can Tho Export Processing and Industrial Zones Management Authority (CEPIZA) said that the authority and local leaders have lent support to the project since inception. The open policies, mechanisms, and one-stop shop format in handling investment procedures helped the project receive the investment certificate in a timely fashion.
“We expect that after the project, Can Tho as well as city-based IZs will solicit many more projects from Japanese investors,” Duyen said.
As of now, Can Tho’s export processing zones and IZs are home to 239 valid projects leasing 394 hectares of industrial land. This involves total committed capital of $1.72 billion, of which disbursed capital was $986 million. Of them, 214 projects come from domestic investors valued at $1.31 billion, of which disbursed capital was $736.7 million; and 24 projects come from foreign investors valued at $391.3 million while disbursed capital sits at $237.7 million, as well as one project funded by official development assistance valued at $21.13 million.
Last year, businesses based in Can Tho IZs reported more than $1.52 billion in total revenue, up 8 per cent on-year; and export value amounted to $686 million, a 23 per cent jump on-year, providing jobs to over 33,500 local workers.
In the first four months of this year, the total revenue of businesses operating in the city’s IZs reached $575 million, up 14 per cent on-year. Enterprises’ industrial production value stood at $421 million, trade services at $154 million, and export value at $201 million.
Vo Thanh Thong, Chairman of the Can Tho People’s Committee, granted an investment certificate to a Japanese company for a Tra Noc 1 Industrial Zone project
Spreading along 1,440 square kilometres of natural area in the Mekong Delta, Can Tho is located in the heart of the region. It is about 170 kilometres from Ho Chi Minh City, and plays an important role in all waterway, road, sea, and air transport to other locations domestically and internationally. Can Tho carries the distinct features of an economic, technological, cultural, educational, and healthcare-based centre, providing a strong impulse for the Mekong Delta region’s development.
Since 2004, Can Tho has received due attention from the government. The city has worked on developing a comprehensive infrastructure system, with a raft of important transport works being put into use. Among the most significant facilities are the city’s international airport, Can Tho bridge, Cai Cui port, and national highway 91B.
These projects have helped turn Can Tho into an important commercial exchange centre in the delta region, creating a motivating force for the city’s development. Significantly, the expressway connecting Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho, and the Trung Luong-My Thuan and My Thuan-Can Tho sections slated for completion next year will help cut travel times in half between the two cities.
Can Tho is also a major human resources training cradle for the delta region. The city is currently home to five universities, one campus of the Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture and a system of colleges, professional high schools, and more than 60 vocational training facilities which have trained about 350,000 students.
With the improved infrastructure network, Can Tho has enormous potential for development in diverse fields as hi-tech agriculture, industrial processing, tourism, supporting industries, IT, and projects in urban infrastructure development and transport infrastructure, besides finance, banking, and insurance.
With a view to constantly improving its competitiveness and local investment environment, Can Tho is accelerating the construction of IZ infrastructure and placing focus on attracting investment capital, from there pushing up the city’s socio-economic development.
Currently, Tra Noc 1 and Tra Noc 2 IZs have almost leased out. The city is seeking businesses to invest in Hung Phu 1 IZ (Bloc A), Hung Phu 1 (Bloc B), BMC-Hung Phu 2A IZ, and Thot Not IZ’s first phase. The IZs are well-placed in the delta region as each is easily accessible by waterway and roads, and sit on abundant material resources.
In addition, the CEPIZA is accelerating the pace and efficiency of administrative procedure reform to increase support to investors.
Can Tho is also seeking strategic investors for infrastructure development of its three prioritised IZs (see box).
Thailand tops growth in tourist arrivals to Vietnam
The number of Thai tourists visiting Vietnam posted the highest growth in the January-April period.
The growth in Thai arrivals surpassed that of Vietnam’s two biggest feeder markets, China and South Korea.
The first four months of this year saw 174,777 Thai nationals visit Vietnam, a massive 46.5 percent increase year-on-year, followed by Indonesia (29.1 percent), Taiwan (25 percent), the Philippines (24.4 percent), South Korea (23.2 percent) and Malaysia (15.7 percent).
The recent launch of direct flights connecting Vietnam’s top tourist destinations like Da Nang, Nha Trang and Da Lat with Thailand’s tourism hubs has pushed this growth, market observers say.
Earlier this year, Bangkok Airways opened a direct route from the Thai capital Bangkok to Cam Ranh, an hour south of its much busier sister Nha Trang Town in the central province of Khanh Hoa.
Foreign arrivals in Vietnam in the January-April period is estimated at 5.9 million, up 7.6 percent year-on-year, putting the country on track to meet its annual target of welcoming 18 million foreigners this year, according to the General Statistics Office.
Though the number of Chinese tourist arrivals reported a 3.2 percent year-on-year fall, China still topped the list of foreign arrivals in the country at 1.7 million, followed by South Koreans with 1.4 million.
Most visitors arrived by air, accounting for nearly 80 percent of the total.
Vietnam’s tourism revenue in the first four months of the year is estimated at VND227.8 trillion ($9.77 billion), an 8.9 percent increase year-on-year.
The country is experiencing a tourism boom, with a record 15.5 million foreign visitors arriving in 2018, a rise of 20 percent against the previous year.
A relaxation in visa policies has helped Vietnam attract more visitors. The country first allowed foreign tourists to apply for a visa online in February 2017, starting with 40 countries including China, South Korea and the U.S.
It recently added 35 more countries, including emerging tourism markets in Europe, to the list of those whose nationals can visit the country with e-visas, raising the total list of beneficiaries to 80.
According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), a foreign visitor spends $900 on average on a trip to Vietnam, well below neighboring countries like Singapore ($1,105), Indonesia ($1,109) and Thailand ($1,565).
Based on the average annual growth rate of foreign arrivals, Vietnam is likely to lead the Asia-Pacific region in attracting international visitors from 2019-2023, according to the latest Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts report released by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).
SCG launched SCG Super Cement in central region
Thai conglomerate the Siam Cement Group (SCG) has recently launched its world-class “SCG Super Cement” brand to customers in central Vietnam.
SCG Super Cement is the only cement product in the market that applies SCG Nano Tech - an exclusive technology of SCG bringing superior strength and enhancing the durability of residential and industrial constructions. The launch is another significant step in SCG striving to support Vietnam’s construction growth with a passion to create better living for Vietnamese.
“Living in a tropical climate with drastic changes between seasons, homeowners in Vietnam are seeking solutions to building strong and sustainable homes for their families and the following generations,” Mr. Nopporn Keeratibunharn, General Director of SCG Cement - Building Materials Vietnam, told the launch ceremony.
“SCG Super Cement with SCG Nano Tech is the best answer for the rising demand for high quality, premium cement, as it will deliver the strength, durability, and versatility not only required for foundations and structures but also for other construction applications.”
SCG Nano Tech is an exclusive technology that develops molecules of cement on the nano-scale to create extremely tight bonding ability, which in turns reduces the quantity of pores during concrete making. This advancement is important for construction works, as pores created during concrete mixing are the major causes of cracks and leaks, especially under the impact of harsh environmental conditions. SCG Super Cement with SCG Nano Tech is able to protect houses from the beginning, ensuring durability and quality over time.
“As a world-renowned cement expert with over 106 years of experience in construction and building materials, SCG is proud to introduce our cutting-edge SCG Super Cement with SCG Nano Tech - a breakthrough innovation that will lift construction standards in Vietnam and continue our mission of building better living for Vietnamese,” Mr. Nopporn said.
Moreover, with special cement formulas, SCG Super Cement is developed to serve home owners, developers, contractors, and architects as a premium multi-purpose cement that can be used in a variety of applications such as brick-laying, plastering, and concrete work for the structure and foundations. Ultimately, SCG Super Cement meets customer needs to create a durable foundation for their residential and construction projects in the long term.
SCG Super Cement has a unique competitiveness in the market due to its pioneering technology, exclusively owned by SCG Cement Laboratory in Thailand. This is the only member in the Asia region of Nanocem, a world-leading Germany-based institute conducting fundamental research into the nano- and micro-scale for the performance of cement and concrete.
At the launch ceremony, SCG donated 400 tons of SCG Super Cement to infrastructure constructions in central Quang Binh province as part of its commitment to the development of the local community.
SCG Super Cement will make its debut to the public at the annual Vietbuild Danang, which will take place from May 15 to 19 and where interested customers can explore the technology and its applications. SCG will also introduce its wide range of cement and building materials products as solutions to enhance the living experience of homeowners and their families.
Vingroup launches 10th Vincom centre in Ha Noi
Real estate developer Vingroup launched Vincom Centre Tran Duy Hung in Cau Giay District, Ha Noi on Friday, the 10th Vincom Retail commercial centre in the capital city.
The five-storey commercial centre covers an area of nearly 45,000sq.m on Tran Duy Hung Street. It promises to become a new centre of shopping, entertainment and modern cuisine in the western area of the city.
Vincom Centre Tran Duy Hung has more than 90 leading domestic and international fashion brands such as Karen Millen, Tommy Hilfiger Denim, CC Double O, Charles&Keith, Pedro, Aldo, Nike, Adidas, Lining, OVS and Trendiano.
To meet the culinary needs of families and shoppers, Vincom Centre Tran Duy Hung has famous food brands such as Dozo Sushi, Dolpan Sam, Mr.DakGalbi, Dookki, Pepper Lunch, Hotto, Afresco, MK Hot Pot and some popular names for young people including Starbucks, RuNam and Phuc Long milk tea.
CGV Cinemas at Vincom Centre Tran Duy Hung launched its “Cinema in the forest” with a scent and design to make visitors feel like they are lost in a green forest. The children will love the tiNiWorld entertainment area with many activities to develop physical and artistic skills for children.
The new shopping centre will also see some of Vingroup’s retail brands, such as VinMart supermarket and the VinPro technology and electronics stores.
VinMart supermarket is located on a 2,000sq.m area and provides a variety of products, from fresh food such as VinEco products that use Israeli agricultural technology, cosmetics, household appliances and consumer goods.
In addition, VinPro offers electronic products, refrigeration, household appliances, mobile phones and laptops from world famous brands and attractive after-sale policies.
On the occasion its launch, Vincom Centre Tran Duy Hung is offering a series of promotions for customers.