BUSINESS NEWS 2/6

JLL: Renewable energy investment growing

BUSINESS NEWS 2/6

Vietnam possesses geographical characteristics suitable for the production of many renewable energy types, according to Mr. Stephen Wyatt, Country Head of JLL Vietnam.

JLL’s report released on May 27 noted that institutional investors from around the world have announced plans to invest across the energy infrastructure sector in recent months. This is boosting competition and maturity in the sector of alternative energy investment. A combination of increased effort to allocate capital to sustainable strategies and stiff competition among investors across the wider real estate and infrastructure asset class continue to put renewable energy strategies in focus.

Vietnam possesses a long coastline, a tropical climate, and a strong agricultural economy, thus creating diverse and abundant conditions for the exploitation and production of wind power, solar power, and bio-fuels.

Government initiatives are also further encouraging investors to enter the sector. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has released the third draft of the Prime Minister’s Decision on the mechanism for encouraging the development of solar power projects. This is the latest act in the government’s ongoing efforts to support the renewable energy industry.

“When investors see the government is willing to support their investment with favorable initiatives, the sustainable sector will become a magnet for investment,” Mr. Wyatt said.

One noteworthy project this year is the BIM solar power farm in south-central Ninh Thuan province, developed by Vietnam’s BIM Group in partnership with the Philippines-based AC Energy. The solar farm is composed of three facilities with a combined capacity of 330MW, making it the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia.

Mr. Wyatt, however, added that there is immense pressure on the current power grid in Vietnam and energy prices are expected to rise due to an increase in development activity and consumer demand, especially in major cities and industrial zones. “It is incredibly important that this type of alternative investment plays a dynamic role in the future growth of the country,” he added.

Around the world, cities are gearing up for renewable power. In the US, Chicago plans to power all city properties with wind and solar energy by 2025, equating to more than 900 buildings. Atlanta has committed to reaching 100 per cent renewable energy by 2035, but municipal buildings must reach that goal by 2025.

Across Asia, developers and governments are slowly but steadily experimenting with sustainable building approaches and renewable energy to help reduce the region’s enormous energy consumption. China is making enormous strides to catch up with Asia’s leader in sustainability, Singapore.

Brokerages: Low turnover a bad sign next week

Many securities firms have forecast a negative outlook for the local stock market in the near term as the two national stock indexes fell substantially amid meager turnover last week.

VNDirect Securities Company said in a report that local stocks could decline further early next week if stock trade fails to improve. The VN-Index is expected to drop to near 955 points before making a technical rebound while the HNX-Index may continue moving sideways.

Last Friday, local stocks dipped for a fourth consecutive session due to volatile world markets and a sharp fall of oil stocks. The VN-Index of the Hochiminh Stock Exchange lost 0.98% to close the day at 959.88.

Petroleum stocks performed poorly given a fall of global oil prices overnight. Brent crude slid 0.94% to end Thursday at US$69.45 a barrel.

On the southern bourse, Vietnam’s top fuel group GAS was the leading contributor to the day’s loss while petroleum retailer PLX fell. Bank stocks weighed heavily on the index as VCB, TCB and CTG were among the top 10 laggards.

The main index was down 1% for the week and lost 2% during May.

According to BIDV Securities Company, the market continued to adjust on Friday and this was the fourth consecutive correction session as domestic and regional investors were worried about global economic uncertainties. According to global media, China-United States trade tensions have yet to show signs of easing.

The poor performance of the energy sector pushed down other industries like real estate, agriculture, food and beverage and banking. Foreign investors net bought VND203.7 billion of shares on the southern bourse, chiefly shares of steel firm HPG, but they net sold VND1 billion of shares on the Hanoi Stock Exchange.

Bao Viet Securities Company, meanwhile, said the VN-Index is forecast to receive a slight boost from the supporting zone from 955 to 960 points. The index is expected to recover in this zone to rise towards the resistance zone of 968 and 972 points.

However, if the aforementioned support zone is broken, the market would drop to lower supporting levels, at 935 to 945 points or from 910 to 920 points.

The firm said that oil and gas stocks will come under correction pressure in several sessions next week before staging a possible recovery at the end of the week, as global oil prices encounter correction pressure. Banks and some large-cap stocks will maintain their downtrend next week.

Viettel & Flamingo to enhance the digital experience

Viettel and the Flamingo Group signed a cooperation agreement on May 28 in Hanoi to exploit and promote their strengths and potential to improve the quality of management and digital experience of customers in the field of tourism.

The agreement will deliver new breakthroughs in the business activities of both. Viettel will advise and provide Flamingo with solutions regarding information and telecommunications technology application in corporate governance and customer services, and smart technology solutions for real estate projects, among other matters, to improve management, provide maximum support to visitors, and bring a better experience to guests at properties of the Flamingo Group.

Flamingo will test the 5G network at Flamingo Cat Ba Beach Resort, making it the first resort in the country to use this most-advanced wi-fi technology.

It will also become a main supplier for Viettel in accommodation and conference and seminar services.

“With a determination to become pioneers in digital transformation in Vietnam, Viettel and Flamingo would like to bring high quality products, standardized services, and a modern digital experience to customers,” Mr. Nguyen Thanh Nam, Deputy General Director of the Viettel Group, said at the signing ceremony. “Cooperating with Flamingo will help Viettel implement this goal more quickly and effectively, and at the same time help to promote the formation of a ‘digital society’ in Vietnam.”

The Flamingo Group is the leading resort and real estate investor and developer in Vietnam. Pursuing a sustainable business philosophy and cherishing natural values, it has created a range of high-end resort products and brought a completely new and luxurious green lifestyle to guests.

Viettel is the leading telecommunications and information technology group in the country, with extensive experience in deploying and developing IT infrastructure in various fields. With a vision of becoming the leading digital transformation service provider in Vietnam, it has been providing digital transformation consultancy to the government, ministries, departments, and major enterprises in the country.

Two expos on supporting industry slated for August

Two exhibitions on the supporting industry will be held at the International Exhibition Centre in Ha Noi from August 14-16.

The Viet Nam Manufacturing Expo (VME 2019) will be hosted by Thailand’s Reed Tradex Co, while the Viet Nam-Japan Supporting Industries Expo will be co-organised by Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) and the Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade).

The upcoming events aim to not only help Vietnamese firms sharpen their competitiveness edge in the domestic and global playing grounds, but also strengthen partnerships between Vietnamese and Japanese firms involved in supporting industries, organisers said a press conference in the capital city on Thursday.

VME, one of the leading expos on machinery and technology for manufacturing and supporting industries in Viet Nam, will connect 200 companies from 20 countries with 10,000 buyers and business partners, according to Reed Tradex Co.

In his speech at a press conference, Vietrade Deputy General Director Le Hoang Tai spoke about the importance of supporting industries in the process of industrialisation and modernisation.

Vietnamese enterprises in supporting industries are now capable of applying modern quality management standards, improving the quality of their products, and participating deeply in global supply chains, he said. They also help increase the localisation rate in significant manufacturing industries such as automobiles, textiles and garments, footwear and electronics, Tai added.

Tra fish exports to China on the rise

BUSINESS NEWS 2/6

Việt Nam’s tra fish (pangasius) exports to China have been skyrocketing since 2015, making it the biggest market for Việt Nam's tra fish by 2017.

Last year shipments to China were worth US$528 million.

Top tra exporters including Vĩnh Hoàn Corporation and Nam Việt Corporation (Navico) have also looked for opportunities to introduce their products to restaurant and supermarket chains and on e-commerce channels such as Alibaba and JD.com in the country of more than 1.3 billion.

Doãn Tới, Navico chairman, said the Chinese market has a big demand for tra fish products which are used at fast food restaurants and hotels and for in-flight meals.

“They know how to process tra fish, which a popular food among common people in Việt Nam, into high-quality foods. They are fond of Vietnamese tra products.”

Trương Thị Lệ Khanh, chairwoman of Vĩnh Hoan, said for continued exports to China, Vietnamese businesses must understand that market well.

In the American market, prices of imported tra products could change but slowly, whereas in the Chinese market the prices change very quickly, she said.

Vĩnh Hoàn’s tra exports to China are under formal export contracts and so face no risk in the market, she said.

Tới said the US – China trade war had no impact on the profits Vietnamese tra fish make in China.

Even the devaluation of the yuan would have “little impact”, he said.

Doãn Chí Thiện, his assistant, explained that fluctuations in the đồng and yuan do not matter much because transactions between Nam Việt and its Chinese partners are carried out in dollars.

According to figures released by the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, in April exports of tra fish were worth $143.8 million, including $42.9 million to China.

China remained the biggest importer followed by the European Union, ASEAN member countries and the US.

Businesses key to ensuring environmental protection

Businesses play an important role in ensuring environmental protection and the sustainable development of Việt Nam, experts said at a forum in HCM City on Thursday.

Though pollution levels remain high in the country, many businesses still have inefficient waste processing systems or are not environmentally responsible, according to a representative from the city’s University of Natural Resources and Environment.

The state’s monitoring of this issue remains limited as well, the representative added.

Processing of solid waste remains insufficient, water pollution at industrial parks is a major issue, and small businesses are not able to process their waste efficiently.

Nguyễn Thế Chinh, rector at the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment, said that use of modern technology at companies was not as prevalent as in other countries, while production from industrial clusters and facilities contribute greatly to pollution. Serious environmental accidents have also occurred.

Though businesses are big producers of waste, they can also provide methods to protect the environment and contribute to a green economy, he said.

More businesses, for example, are becoming environmentally friendly, with green products and green practices, such as a number of supermarkets now wrapping vegetables in banana leaves instead of using plastic bags.

Numerous policies on capital, tax, land and training have been devised to encourage environmental protection.

Chinh noted that being environmentally friendly helps businesses create a safe working environment, reduces costs related to their resource usage, and boosts their brand image and competitiveness.

Since such activities reduce harm, encouraging businesses to go green is crucial for sustainable development.

Businesses should also seek out new technologies and production methods for more green products, and raise awareness among their workforce and managers, he said.

The Government needs to improve regulations related to natural resources, environmental protection and climate change, push for more science and technology programmes, and promote the role of businesses in technological development, he added.

The forum was held by Natural Resources and Environment (Tài nguyên và Môi trường) Magazine under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, which is preparing an Action Month for the Vietnamese Environment on the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5.

According to a report from the ministry last year, Việt Nam produces over 23 million tonnes of household waste annually, with over seven million tonnes of industrial solid waste and over 630,000 tonnes of hazardous waste.

A 2011-20 state campaign to protect the environment for sustainable development aims to have clean water access for 95 per cent of urban citizens and 90 per cent of rural citizens.

It also targets proper treatment of more than 80 per cent of hazardous waste and nearly all of medical waste, and forest cover of around 45 per cent.

Vietnam-Japan supporting industry exhibition to take place in August

Exhibition organiser Reed Tradex Vietnam and the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) on May 30 signed a cooperation agreement to organise the Vietnam-Japan Supporting Industry Exhibition (SIE 2019) and the Vietnam Manufacturing Expo (VME 2019) from August 14-16 in Hanoi.

Exhibitors from 16 countries and more than 200 advanced technology and machinery companies are expected to participate in the two events.

Phan Ngan, Project Director at Reed Tradex Vietnam, said the events will create a venue for component manufacturing companies, manufacturers, and assemblers in the supporting industry to exchange and increase connectivity.

Supporting industry firms need to join hands to form partnerships, and distribution and business networks to help develop Vietnam into a manufacturing centre in the Southeast Asian region, Ngan added.

For foreign investors, the expos will create a good chance for them to connect with domestic suppliers and markets and gain a better understanding of the import-export demands.

The upcoming exhibitions will promote the transfer of new technologies and expand the business network between domestic and foreign businesses, especially between Vietnamese and Japanese firms, he said.

According to Hironobu Kitagawa, Chief Representative of JETRO in Hanoi, the number of Japanese investment projects in Vietnam stood at its highest level of 630 in 2018, with total investment of about 8 billion USD.

A JETRO survey in 2018 indicated that nearly 70 percent of Japanese enterprises investing in Vietnam said they have plans to expand business operations in the Southeast Asian country in the next one or two years, he said.

As an organiser, JETRO will bring the latest technologies and products to the events, he affirmed.

Vietnam-Russia business forum helps forge bilateral links

The Vietnam-Russia Business Forum took place in Saint Petersburg on May 29 with the participation of 18 enterprises from Vietnam and 60 firms of Russia.

The event created an opportunity for Vietnamese firms to introduce their products with high quality, eye-catching designs, and competitive prices to Russian businesses, distributors, and customers.

For Russian exporters and investors, this was a great chance to know more about Vietnam as an attractive, safe, and potential destination which boasts free trade relations with dozens of countries worldwide, including G20 and G7 nations.

Vu Ba Phu, Director of the Trade Promotion Agency under the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that trade cooperation between Vietnam and Russia has developed positively in recent years.

Under the Look East policy, Russia considers Vietnam an important partner in the Asia-Pacific region, while Vietnam always give top priority to expanding comprehensive cooperation with Russia, Phu said.

Two-way trade has continuously increased over the past time, reaching 1.14 billion USD in the first quarter of 2019, a year-on-year rise of 12.4 percent, he noted.

Phu added that Vietnamese businesses will boost investment in Russia in the coming time with the support of the Saint-Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Moscow authorities, and Russian governmental agencies.

Vietnamese Trade Counselor in Russia Duong Hoang Minh said in 2018, Vietnam recorded gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 7.08 percent, the highest level since 2008, while also listed among the economies with the fastest growth rate in the region and the world.

Most of the investment capital inflow into Vietnam mainly comes from the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and China, he said, adding that foreign investors choose Vietnam as an investment destination due to its political stability, expanded cooperation, high economic growth, competitive product prices, abundant human resources, global economic integration, open policies with attractive preferences, and strategic position in the Southeast Asian market and the East-West economic corridor.

Vietnam is calling for investment in the fields using modern and environmentally-friendly technologies, infrastructure development projects, information technology, and projects supporting electrical engineering, garment-textile, and automation industries, he added.

Vice President of the Saint-Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry Elena Zheltukhina recognised important milestones in the bilateral cooperation, especially the celebration of the 25th signing anniversary of the treaty on the basic principles of the bilateral friendship and the 70th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2019.

After Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to Russia, including his working trip to Saint-Petersburg, many Russian businesses in the city have shown their interest in cooperation with Vietnam and the promotion of trade exchanges, she said.

Saint Petersburg is also a world leading attractive tourism destination and as such, businesses of the two sides will have many favourable conditions to develop common tourism products to attract tourists from the respective markets, she added.

Vietnam, US talk power transmission opportunities

The Vietnam Electricity National Power Transmission Corporation (EVNNPT) and the US Embassy in Vietnam held a seminar in Hanoi on May 30 to discuss opportunities in Vietnam’s power transmission development.

 

Speaking at the event, Chairman of EVNNPT’s Management Board Dang Phan Tuong said EVNNPT is wholly owned by the State and in charge of building and operating the nationwide 220kV and 500kV power transmission system. It has a chartered capital of 1.1 billion USD and combined assets worth 3.6 billion USD.

At present, the national power transmission system has 25,203 km of 500 kV and 220 kV lines, ranking third in ASEAN and eighth in Asia; alongside 153 transformer stations 500kV and 220kV with a total capacity of 91.256 MVA, placing fourth in ASEAN and 11th in Asia.

EVNNPT has set the goal of becoming one of the top four power transmission utilities in ASEAN by 2020, top 10 in Asia by 2025 and meeting global standards by 2030.

To that end, it has adopted synchronous measures in construction and operation, finance and capital raising, corporate governance, technological adoption, human resources development, environment protection, climate change response, communications, and external relations.

US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink said the event affords EVNNPT and US firms a chance to discuss cooperation activities in the future.

He suggested that EVNNPT expand ties with financial organisations and suppliers of equipment, technology, and services in power transmission from the US.

Vietnam's five-month CPI rises 2.74 percent year-on-year

The consumer price index (CPI) between January and May increased by 2.74 percent from the same period last year – the slowest five-month pace over the last three years.

The General Statistics Office said the CPI in May grew by 0.49 percent from April, 1.5 percent from December 2018, and 2.88 percent from the same period last year.

Explaining the CPI expansion, the General Statistics Office said the long National Reunification and May Day holiday fuelled demand for food services and travel, leading to higher prices in these groups.

International fair promotes trade with Laos, Thailand

As many as 118 businesses across the country and from Laos and Thailand are showcasing their latest products and technologies in industrial production and processing at the Quang Binh international trade fair 2019, which opened in the central coastal province on May 30.

On display at the 300 booths are electric-electronic products, household appliances, industrial machines and equipment, seafood, handicrafts, home décor, beverage and food, among others.

In her remarks, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency Doan Thi Thu Thuy highlighted that the fair offers opportunities for companies to seek business partnership and promote trade and investment with the two neighbouring countries.

Meanwhile, Director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade Phan Van Truong described the fair as an important political-economic event as it would help local firms popularise their high-quality products, improve competitive capacity, and expand markets in Laos and Thailand.

The event will run through June 5.

Lack of cooperation prevents spread of non-cash payments

A lack of cooperation between banks, service providers and customers is the major issue preventing the widespread use of cashless payments in Vietnam, Nguyen Dinh Thang, Chairman of LienVietPostBank’s Board of Directors, said at the Banking Vietnam 2019 event in Hanoi on May 30.

If banks want their customers to pay electric bills on their systems, they should work with the power sector to develop a customer database and then offer the online payment service to users, he said.

The money spent on bills will be deducted from users’ e-wallets and bank cards, then transferred into power firms’ accounts.

The Government has tried to reduce the use of cash across economic sectors. The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) should work with commercial banks to develop a 24-hour transfer system so bills can be paid even in the middle of the night, Thang said.

The Vietnamese banking-financial system has made significant development in recent years, allowing customers to gain more access to financial-banking services.

Major audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) last year classified Vietnam as the top growing market in terms of mobile payment.

According to the SBV, the value of mobile and internet payment transactions last year were up 19.5 percent and 169.5 percent year on year, respectively.

Many banks and financial institutions in Vietnam have used digital solutions to cut costs, increase processing speeds and strengthen security for their clients, said Nghiem Thanh Son, Deputy Director of the SBV’s Payment Department.

QR codes are one of those tools. Others are biometrics, contactless payment and tokenisation. There are 16 banks offering QR code payment at a total of 30,000 stores and shops across the country.

However, the development of the cashless payment segment has remained limited as the infrastructure is only well-developed in the urban areas, Son said. Disadvantaged localities have been left behind.

A majority of people still want to pay for goods and services in cash because they fear potential risks of cashless payment services, he said.

SBV Deputy Governor Nguyen Kim Anh said the banking system must move forward with digitalisation and centralise customers online because virtual interaction has become more favourable to most customers than face-to-face meetings.

Banks and financial institutions are urged to acquire Industry 4.0 technologies to provide additional high-tech banking services, she said.

A smart customer database must be explored so banks can deepen their understanding of customers and offer more customised, reasonably priced, convenient and secured products and services, Anh added.

Quang Tri looks to develop solar, wind power

Quang Tri province considers solar and wind power one of the priorities to turn itself into an energy hub in the north central region.

Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Nguyen Van Hung said solar and wind power output will reach 500MW by 2020, adding that the province has devised a master plan on solar and wind power fields in combination with environment protection.

As of the late May, Quang Tri recorded 68 valid projects in the field, 58 of them are in wind power.

Specifically, Huong Linh 2 wind power plant with a total capacity of 30MW and capital of 1.5 trillion VND (65.2 million USD) has been put into operation, 15 others have been zoned off, 23 waiting for planning approval and 19 seeking permission for survey.

Among 10 solar power projects, one is in operation, two under construction, four in the waiting list of approval and three getting nod for survey.

Vietnam-Cuba rice production project enters new phase

The fifth phase of the Vietnam-Cuba cooperation project on developing rice production kicked off in Havana on May 29.

Launched in 1999, the project has helped improve Cuba’s research capacity, transfer Vietnam’s technical advances in rice production to the country, apply the advances in non-specialised rice farming areas, build rice seed production and supply models, and develop production models applying technical advances in specialised farming zones.

It has become one of the symbols of Vietnam-Cuba cooperation in the new period.

By the end of the fourth phase in December 2015, the project had been carried out in 12 out of 15 provinces and cities of Cuba. It had developed 54,000ha of rice production models, up 163 percent from the initial plan, with an average productivity of 4.36 tonnes per ha, compared to 2.5 tonnes per ha before the project implementation.

The fifth phase of the project will continue in the 12 provinces and cities, and is scheduled to last until 2023. It is set to cultivate 200,000ha of rice with an average productivity of 6 tonnes per ha. It looks to satisfy 86 percent of the rice demand in Cuba.

At the launching ceremony, Cuban Deputy Minister of Agriculture Ydael Perez Brito reviewed the local rice production development which has recorded a turning point in productivity since the cooperation project with Vietnam was implemented.

He appreciated Vietnam’s assistance, which is not only in terms of machinery and seeds but also techniques transferred by enthusiastic experts.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Cuba Nguyen Trung Thanh affirmed that the project is a continuation of the two nations’ special solidarity, and it demonstrates the enormous potential of bilateral cooperation. 

Asia and the US-China trade war

The annual conference on the Future of Asia is being hosted by the Nikkei Inc in Tokyo from May 30-31. High on the agenda of the conference is the trade war between the US and China and its impacts on Asia.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh is attending the conference with leaders of Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Laos.

Trade tensions between the US and China are affecting global economic growth. Retaliatory tariffs on trade between the US and China are creating opportunities for other production centers in Asia. Manufacturers are starting to move their factories out of China, the world’s manufacturing hub in recent years. The US-China trade war is expected to boost production in Asia in the long term.

The number of enterprises moving their factories from China to Vietnam, Cambodia, India, or Indonesia has risen with the increase in retaliatory tariffs. Japan’s Casio watch company said it will move some of its production factories back home or to Thailand to avoid the higher tariffs. Japan’s Ricoh company plans to move its factories to Thailand.

The US’s Steve Madden Footwear company has announced a plan to increase production in Cambodia. Brooks running shoes, Haier washing machines, Jasan socks, Addidas, Puma, New Balance and Fila sportswear are all planning moves to Vietnam.

A survey of the American Chamber of Commerce in China shows that more than 40% of American companies are considering moving or have moved their factories to other countries, mainly in Southeast Asia.

While certain Asian countries will likely benefit from the US-China trade war, other countries once considered “Asian tigers” are likely to suffer. Economies that depend heavily on trade and transit, like Singapore, Hongkong (China), or developed like the Republic of Korea, and Japan will suffer.

High labor costs are accelerating the exodus from China. Supply chains, infrastructure, and land shortages in the less-developed countries are complicating the situation.

The question Asia needs to answer is how can it sustain investment, trade and inclusive growth despite the US-China trade war?

Japan has emerged as the leader of economic integration in Asia. Japan promoted the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the China-Japan-the Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and has taken steps to reduce US pressures in trade negotiations concerning automobile manufacturing and agricultural production.

ASEAN is another driver of regional economic growth. Industrial Revolution 4.0 is changing every aspect of life and ASEAN members are working closely with one another to share technical infrastructure, transfer technology, and seize opportunities from the global supply chain.

RMIT brings career development conference to Vietnam

Two hundred and fifty delegates from 22 countries and territories gathered together at RMIT Vietnam’s Saigon South campus for the three-day Asia Pacific Career Development Association (APCDA) conference last week, to discuss best practices in navigating career development in the era of Industry 4.0.

APCDA is a renowned forum for sharing career development ideas and practices in the Asia-Pacific region and engaging the world on these insights. With the inaugural conference held in 2013, APCDA aims to promote cooperation among career practitioners throughout the region, inspire existing and potential career practitioners to deliver theory-based and research-driven career development services, promote research in the field of career development, and advocate for workforce policies and practices that foster inclusion and access to decent work for all. It now has 22 country / region directors and 188 active members.

APCDA President Carla Siojo told the gathering that Industry 4.0 is here and there is much to be done. She hoped the conference would enrich lives and co-create a better world through meaningful career development practices.

Ms. Felicity Brown, Manager of Career Consulting and Development at RMIT Vietnam’s Careers and Industry Relations unit, said the university was proud to bring the 7th annual APCDA conference to Vietnam.

“RMIT Vietnam has been represented at APCDA conferences since the first in Seoul, South Korea, in 2013,” Ms. Brown said. “Bringing this year’s conference to Vietnam made it easier for local schools, universities, and companies interested in career development to access a wealth of best practice across Asia-Pacific.”

She also emphasized that the annual APCDA conference offers members excellent professional development opportunities and valuable networks in this emerging field, and this year’s conference provided a forum for RMIT Vietnam to showcase its various employability activities.

“RMIT holds a leading position in the field of career development in Vietnam,” she added. “We have been providing our students and prospective students with individual career counselling services for more than ten years, and organizing many different employability activities, including personal edge, a co-curricular professional skills development program with a digital portfolio, soft skills workshops for students on internships, and community outreach such as the women’s empowerment club.”

Presentations at the APCDA conference covered the spectrum of career planning, development or job placement in school, university and private practice settings, and labor market, workforce, and international issues.

The keynote address by Mr. Tran Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of the Institute of International Economics Training and Research, gave participants insights on Vietnam’s career landscape amid Industry 4.0. He spoke of the layoffs and labor shortages, specifically for workers with high-level, high-demand skills, that Vietnam has experienced in recent years.

“Shortages result from the choice of major,” he said. “Some majors are highly valued, though they do not meet the needs of society. At the same time, forecasting human resources needs, labor market information, and vocational training activities are not synchronous and do not effectively link demand for vocational training, the availability of vocational training, and demand for workers.”

He also forecast high demand in certain groups of occupations, including information technology, bio-technology, automation, management, finance, logistics, tourism and hospitality, and the creative industry.

Ericsson & VNPT to cooperate in Industry 4.0 and IoT

Ericsson and Vietnam’s leading communications service provider, the VNPT Group, signed a cooperation agreement on Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) on May 28 at the headquarters of the Ericsson Group in Stockholm, Sweden.

Visiting Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and a delegation of Vietnam Government dignitaries met with Ericsson President and CEO Börje Ekholm and Mr. Denis Brunetti, Head of Ericsson Vietnam and Myanmar, to sign a series of strategic agreements to expand Industry 4.0 in Vietnam.

The 'Industry 4.0 & IoT Innovation Cooperation Agreement' between Ericsson and the state- owned, VNPT Group will expand IoT capabilities across the operator's mobile network by leveraging Ericsson's IoT cellular capability and VNPT's IoT ecosystem. These capabilities will make it possible to provide new digital services to VNPT's consumer and enterprise customers as well as support e-Government initiatives.

The agreement is highly strategic for both entities and aims to accelerate the adoption of Industry 4.0 in Vietnam, digitally transforming industries including manufacturing, agriculture, transport and energy. The agreement also supports the government's vision of leveraging science, technology and innovation to drive the next wave of socioeconomic development in the country.

“The joint initiative between VNPT and Ericsson supports the group’s ambition of driving smart city and Industry 4.0 initiatives in Vietnam,” said Mr. Pham Duc Long, CEO of the VNPT Group. “We are creating additional value for our consumer and enterprise customers through advanced digital services enabled by 4G NB-IoT for less demanding Massive IoT use cases, and then 5G for more advanced use cases with much higher data volumes and extreme low-latency requirements.”

“The VNPT Group and Ericsson are seeking to build an innovation platform and foundation for Industry 4.0 through this partnership,” said Mr. Brunetti. “By providing our 4G NB-IoT capabilities as well as leveraging our recently-launched ‘IoT Innovation Hub’ in Vietnam, we are looking to fuel and drive the IoT ecosystem in Vietnam and create momentum towards 5G.”

Through its partnership with the Economic Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ericsson is demonstrating its commitment and strategic alignment with Vietnam’s vision of accelerating the adoption of Industry 4.0 across all industries and driving the next wave of socioeconomic development in the years to come.

In April, Ericsson and the Ministry of Science and Technology launched the country’s first IoT innovation hub, which supports startups and promotes entrepreneurship. It also serves as a learning and education platform as well as a research and development platform focusing on accelerating Vietnam’s advancement in IoT.

According to the Brookings Institute, Vietnam exported $45 billion worth of mobile phones manufactured in the country during 2017. Between 2014 and 2016, the country also added nearly 1.5 million manufacturing jobs. Vietnam’s manufacturing sector is experiencing an industrial revolution of its own and aims to capture the next wave of growth, enabled by 5G and IoT.

Vietnamobile & Fayfay.com launch SIM cards for tourists

Vietnamese mobile network Vietnamobile and travel e-commerce platform Fayfay.com have become strategic partners to promote Vietnam’s tourism industry. Their first joint effort is the launch of FAY SIM 3G/4G, which exclusively targets inbound tourists to Vietnam.

“We constantly look for new products for travelers, and we recognize their need for an affordable and stable mobile data SIM card,” said Mr. Kelvin Wu, Co-Founder of Fayfay.com. “We want them to share their travel experience in real time anywhere and anytime and connect with those they care for. Such a purpose coincides with the mission of Vietnamobile, which serves a young user base that are active in exploring this beautiful country while keeping up with their followers online. We look forward to further cooperation with Vietnamobile to bring more travel-related benefits to its users.”

“We believe that tourists will have the best experience in accessing a high-speed mobile network via our service in Vietnam,” said Ms. Christina Hui, General Director of Vietnamobile. “With FAY SIM, users will be able to share wonderful photos and videos of Vietnamese landscapes and cuisine as well as entertainment on a mobile network with better quality than anywhere in the world. This partnership with Fayfay.com and the launch of FAY SIM marks a new development step for us as we expand our consumer base to international travelers. More partnership details will be announced later this year.”

FAY SIM is the first of its kind to be launched by an online travel agency and a local telecoms operator, and is designed with tourists’ benefits in mind, combining the products and services offered by the two brands. With unlimited high speed 3G/4G mobile data and travel privileges offered by Fayfay.com in one package, tourists will enjoy an unrivalled experience from flexible and convenient top-up options that can be done at outlets such as FPT shops and Circle K nationwide, to exclusive add-on such as the TVB anywhere subscription. Tourists choosing FAY SIM will also be able to enjoy perks offered by Fayfay.com on their e-commerce platform, with hundreds of local experiences curated by their team of travel gurus.

FAY SIM 3G/4G offers a hassle-free voice and data package for 15 days. Customers can enjoy a total of up to 60 GB high-speed data (4GB per day). FAY SIM is also available for mobile hotspot data sharing devices.

To celebrate the launch of FAY SIM, Fayfay.com, Vietnamobile, and the Da Nang Tourism Promotion Center have joined hands and introduced a promotion for visitors to central Vietnam. Riding on Vietnam’s “Central Summer Viet-stival” campaign, travelers to Da Nang and elsewhere in the central region booking their experiences through Fayfay.com will receive a free FAY SIM, redeemable at the Da Nang Tourism Promotion Center’s counters at Da Nang International Airport and its downtown visitor center.

Germany's PDP holding solar power reference trip

Management representatives from more than 20 commercial and industrial companies are participating in a rooftop solar reference trip from May 27 to 29 in Ho Chi Minh City.

The event provides decision makers at these companies with a comprehensive overview in developing a rooftop solar project, determining a suitable investment model for their facilities, and directly networking with German solar companies actively investing in Southeast Asia. GIZ’s Project Development Programme (PDP), within the framework of the German Energy Solutions Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), is organizing the event.

The three-day compact agenda includes a site visit to a new 850 kWp rooftop solar project in the Mekong Delta’s Long An province, which was built by a German solar contractor, and a tour to a solar training center for practical tips on installation, operation, maintenance, and safety issues, etc., provided by the project owner.

An investment consulting workshop on May 28 provided participants with updated information on market development and the legal framework, gave insights on different business models for rooftop solar projects, and held meetings between German investors and services providers implementing projects in Vietnam with sustainable and quality offers. On May 29, the PDP will offer free support to those suppliers who want to receive an initial assessment on applying rooftop solar at their facilities in the southern region as well as facilitate business meetings with solar companies.

Solar energy harvesting from rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) application has been capturing attention in recent years in Southeast Asia countries because of favorable irradiance, falling cost, its significant contribution to the realization of sustainable development targets, and the long-term energy saving opportunity. These emerging renewable energy markets, therefore, are attracting high interest and offering business opportunities to international solution providers and financiers. However, limited knowledge on rooftop solar PV and a lack of reliable information often hinder enterprises in pushing forward with project implementation. This rooftop solar reference trip aims to bridge this gap.

The PDP, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), has been providing technical support for many industrial enterprises in Vietnam to assess investment feasibility when applying rooftop solar PV and business partnerships with reliable German solar companies.

 
 
 
 
 
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