BUSINESS NEWS 22/6

Yeah1 sets provision of $3.6 million for selling ScaleLab

After nearly a month of ceasing to work with YouTube, the board of Yeah1 Group (YEG) announced on the afternoon of June 15 to set a provision of 30 per cent, equivalent to $3.6 million, for receivables related to the capital transfer at ScaleLab LLC.

The transfer of ScaleLab took place shortly after YouTube announced the termination of the content storage agreement with Yeah1 and its affiliates, and the group accordingly sold 100 per cent of the shares in ScaleLab LLC to its previous owners.

Previously, a large securities company had said that if it did not sell ScaleLab, Yeah1 may have to set a maximum of $12 million aside for provision, equivalent to its original investment in ScaleLab.

ScaleLab is a US-based company, bought by Yeah1 earlier this year for $20 million. However, two months later, Yeah1 had to sell it back to the former owner, founder David E. Brenner and Brenner Pass Investment Corp. to avoid the implications of the termination of the content storage agreement with YouTube.

Yeah1 also said that ScaleLab had regained the Multi-Chanel Network (MCN) license, but the company still deemed it prudent to make a provision for related receivables.

In 2019, Yeah1 set a revenue target of VND2 trillion ($86.96 million), equivalent to VND180 billion ($7.83 million) after-tax profit, up 19 and 10 per cent against 2018. After the multi-channel network incident with YouTube, Yeah1 redirected focus on channels that are owned and operated as well as producing and creating high-end content for distribution on YouTube.

Recently, Yeah1 also announced registering to buy 2 million YEG shares as treasury shares to reduce the outstanding share volume and restructure capital for the company.

Vietnam tourism promotional programme to be held in Japan

BUSINESS NEWS 22/6

A scheme to promote Vietnam as a tourist destination is to be organised in the cities of Sapporo, Yokohama, and Tokyo in Japan from September 4-11, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

The events will see representatives from the VNAT, travel agencies, airlines, hotels, resorts, and entertainment areas take part.

The programme to be rolled out in Japan represents only one part of the national tourism promotion plan for 2019.

During the events in Japan, the VNAT and other related agencies are to introduce a variety of the country’s tourism destinations, policies, and tourism products to travelers.

Images featuring the nation’s landscapes and people are to be a key part in the promotion. The scheme will also allow businesses operating in the tourism industry from different countries the chance to meet and plan for tourist exchanges to be held among them in the future.

Illegally-imported Chinese ice cream seized

A large amount of illegally-imported Chinese ice cream have been seized in some northern mountainous localities.

On June 17, authorities of Lao Cai authorities found popsicles made in China. The product is put into 200 carton boxes. The batch owner Dang Duc Tuong from Bac Cuong Ward, Lao Cai Province, failed to show procedures to prove the good origin.

The provincial market management board has fined Tuong VND10 million (USD434.78) for the violation and confiscated the ice cream worth a total VND28 million (USD1,217).

Earlier, on May 21, the market watch force of Lang Son Province also seized 3,750 Chinese popsicles contained in 15 spongy boxes on a car driven by Vi Van Nhuong in Loc Binh District. The ice cream is valued VND20 million in total.

Recently, sales of Chinese ice cream have massively increased online in Vietnam due to their cheap prices. The product is often sold at around VND115,000 for a box of 40 popsicles.

Traders revealed that the ice cream is often bought at some CNY27 (VND91,000) for a box of 40 popsicles.

The majority of made-in-Chinese ice cream is imported through Lao Cai border gates which are usually cheaper than other areas.

Pork prices cut to attract consumers

Many supermarkets in HCM City are offering discount pork prices to increase sales.

Most supermarkets have cut pork prices by 20-30%. The Big C supermarket in District 10 reduced pork leg price from VND112,000 (USD4.8) to VND90,000 and the pork shoulder price was reduced from VND95,000 to VND82,000. Co.opmart in District 3 also attracted a lot of customers after reducing the pork prices by 10-20%.

Pham Lan Huong from Ward 11 said after the African swine fever outbreak started, she only bought pork from the supermarket. "I'm less worried about the pork quality at the supermarket. After the discount, the pork prices in the supermarkets are also the same at traditional markets," she said.

Central Group Vietnam, manager of the Big C supermarket chain, said the amount of pork consumed at BigC had increased by more than 10% after the African swine fever outbreak. The amount of pork sold at Co.opmart supermarket chain also increased by 15-20%, especially during the weekends. They were able to sell 40-50 tonnes of pork a day.

According to Nguyen Dang Phu, director of Vissan JSC, they provide 1,200 pigs to the market each day. 10% of the pigs are raised at their farms and the rest is bought from farms with a closed farming process that meets VietGap and GlobalGap standards.

Pham Khanh Phong Lan, head of the HCMC Food Safety Management Board, said there should be more activities to raise public awareness since African swine fever does not affect humans. Instead of rejecting pork, consumers should show support to products from reputable farms and providers.

The HCM City Department of Agriculture and Rural Development announced that African swine fever outbreak had been detected in Phu Huu Ward in the city on June 11. The local authorities had destroyed 163 pigs and sterilised the place.

PV Power posts positive results in five months despite difficulties in power generation

PV Power reported positive business results in the first five months of this year despite difficulties the company faced in generating power.

Ending May, PV Power generated more than 9.4 billion kWh, completing its target set for the reviewed period. As of June 16, power generation reached 10.56 billion kWh.

This was an encouraging result given difficulties the company faced since early this year, chairman of the PV Power’s board of directors Ho Cong Ky told local media on Monday.

Ky pointed out three issues facing power generation companies this year, of which climate change, especially the El Nino phenomenon, is drying lakes at hydropower plants while the declining gas source and coal supply are pressuring the generation capacity of thermal power plants.

“The coal supply for coal-fired power plants has never suffered the situation of ‘living hand to mouth’ like at present,” Ky said, adding that coal provided by the Viet Nam National Coal Mineral Industries Holding Corp Ltd (Vinacomin) has been declining.

At the meeting, he also reported financial results of the company, of which revenues of the whole corporation reached VND14.8 trillion (US$635.2 million) in the first five months. Its profit after tax is estimated at VND1.3 trillion ($56.6 million), surpassing the target by 29 per cent.

The company paid nearly VND481 billion to the State budget during this period.

In 2019, PV Power aims for total revenue of VND33.9 trillion and net profit of VND2.3 trillion. After five months, the company completed 45 per cent of its annual revenue target and 58 per cent of its profit plan by year-end.

Regarding its investment activities this year, PV Power is hastening efforts to complete the feasibility study report for the Nhon Trach 3, 4 thermal power projects for submission at the annual shareholders’ meeting next year. After getting approval, it will organise bidding to select the EPC (Engineering Procurement Construction) contractors.

The objective of the company was to comply with the Government’s requirement of starting commercial production of the two power plants in 2023, Ky said.

Besides, PV Power is also preparing an investment plan for the Luang Prabang hydropower project in Laos of which PV Power is expected to contribute 38 per cent of capital. He said the company was building a special investment mechanism for this project to submit to the Government to ensure the company’s shareholders’ interest.

The project has two construction schemes: one transferring electricity to Viet Nam will cost about $4.2 billion while the other connecting to Thailand is expected to cost about $3.8 billion.

Shares of the company, coded POW on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, are being traded around VND15,800 ($0.68) per share, valuing the company at VND37.35 trillion ($1.6 billion).

VPBank plans to issue US$1.12 billion international bonds

Viet Nam Prosperity Commercial Bank (VPBank) plans to issue international bonds with a total value of up to US$1.12 billion.

The bank has sent a document to collect ideas from its shareholders on the two plans for issuance and listing of international bonds.

Accordingly, VPBank wants to offer bonds in foreign instalments under the Euro Medium Term Note Programme. The par value of bonds is a multiple of $1,000 or other par value in accordance with international bond market practices. The total value of the issuance was a maximum of $1 billion with terms of three to five years. It is expected to issue this year and next year.

Bond interest rates can be fixed, floating or a combination of both or other structured interest rates. The purpose of issuance is to increase the scale of capital for banks.

This bond would be issued internationally to investors outside the US and will be listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

VPBank is also collecting ideas on the issuance of a green bond in the form of private issuance for some investors with a volume of $120 million.

The Green Bond would have a three-year term with negotiated interest rate. It is expected to issue in 2019 and 2020. The purpose of issuance is to finance the green list or loan that meets the green criteria.

Last year, VPBank reached revenue of more than VND31 trillion, posting 25 per cent year-on-year increase and taking the lead among private joint-stock commercial banks. It also had record profit of around VND9.2 trillion in 2018.

This year, the bank targets revenue increase of 20 per cent and credit growth of less than 15 per cent according to the State Bank of Viet Nam’s approval. It expects to earn pre-tax profit of VND9.5 trillion.

In recent years, many banks also wanted to issue bonds to mobilise capital. TPBank wanted to issue $200 million international bonds, ACB with VND2.5 trillion bond in three-year term and Vietinbank with VND10 trillion.

With the expected issuance value of $1.12 billion, the issuance of VPBank would be the largest of its kind so far.

Credit info plays important role in promoting financial market

Demand for credit information is increasing as the financial market and the digital economy continue to expand, speakers said at a workshop on "Credit Information Services for Better Financial Inclusion" held on Tuesday in HCM City.

Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the State Bank of Viet Nam’s HCM City branch, said that "credit information helps commercial banks deal with bad debts better and creates more favourable conditions for customers to access bank loans".

“Credit information provided by the National Credit Information Centre of Viet Nam (CIC) has supported the banking industry, especially commercial banks, to analyze and assess the credit relationship of their customers and commercial banks.

“In the current open economy, an individual or business can open multiple accounts and apply for loans at many banks. If we do not have input information from the CIC, we will find it very difficult to discover the credit relationship of the borrowers so as we can make reasonable lending decisions,” he said.

According to Pham Thi Thanh Huyen, senior financial sector specialist at the International Financial Corporation (IFC), a member of World Bank Group, credit information enables lenders to assess risks more accurately and improve the quality of loan portfolios, and helps banks develop various loan products based on the credit history of customers, reduce credit costs for good borrowers, and others.

Credit information will also help avoid credit information asymmetry and promote credit market development.

Do Hoang Phong, CIC director general, said that CIC had promoted transparency in credit information, improved the quality of databases, expanded coverage of information, provided credit reports of customers, and enhanced universalisation of financial knowledge.

CIC earlier this month officially launched a portal connecting borrowers and credit institutions, which aims to improve the transparency of credit information.

Through the portal, borrowers can easily choose credit packages and register loan needs at the appropriate credit institutions, saving travel costs and time when using banking services.

Credit institutions participating in the portal are introducing credit packages and preferential policies for customers.

They will be able to use the platform to approach borrowers, reduce the time and cost of finding and selecting customers, and ensure openness and transparency, according to Phong.

In the coming time, CIC will continue to research and apply Industry 4.0 technologies, such as AI, big data, and electronic identity verification, to all business processes, he said.

According to CIC’s statistics, the country has 1.053 million enterprises. Some 73.4 per cent of them, or 773,682 businesses, were still unable to access bank loans for many reasons but mainly because of a lack of mortgage assets.

Minh said to access bank loans, businesses must have a feasible business plan, transparent and clear financial reports, and collateral such as real estate, future assets, machinery lines or receivables that the bank repurchases through factoring services.

However, even if the enterprise meets these conditions, banks must still check the credit background of the customer.

At the workshop organised by CIC and IFC, delegates also discussed difficulties faced by enterprises in accessing bank loans and solutions to improve access to credit.

Central province eyes $287m cement factory

Vicem Hoang Mai Cement Joint Stock Company plans to build a cement factory, with the first phase expected to cost more than VND6.67 trillion (US$287 million), in the central province of Nghe An.

Covering 60ha in the province’s Hoang Mai 2 Industrial Zone, the factory has a designed production capacity of three million tonnes of cement per year.

Once completed, the factory will contribute to fostering the province’s socio-economic development, creating 500 local jobs while better meeting domestic and international demands for cement, the investor said.

During the meeting in May, the provincial People's Committee chairman Thai Thanh Quy granted approval in principle for the investor to develop the factory, which is part of the development strategy for the cement industry to 2030, approved by the Prime Minister.

The Ministry of Construction predicted that demand for cement and clinker would likely increase marginally to 98-99 million tonnes by the end of this year.

This would include domestic consumption of 70 million tonnes and exports of 28-29 million tonnes, it said.

Demand grew by 19 per cent last year to 96.7 million tonnes, with exports accounting for 31.6 million tonnes, up 55 per cent year on year.

The Viet Nam Cement Association previously estimated that upgrades and new investments would increase the production capacity of the industry to 120-130 million tonnes by 2020.

Enterprises need policies for digital economy

Enterprise development and the digital economy need to be prioritised in policies, said Deputy Chairman of Viet Nam's Committee for State Capital Management Ho Sy Hung.

Speaking at a forum on business development held by the Institute for Brand and Competitiveness Strategy in Ha Noi on Tuesday, Hung said domestic enterprises are still small with limited production capacity.

“Enterprise development is vital for operational efficiency, job creation and prosperity of the economy,” Hung said.

The dynamics of the business sector depend on the quality of the regulatory environment. If there are effective regulations, it will help businesses save money and participate in the market fairly, contributing to cutting transaction costs, protecting investors and promoting competition,” he added.

According to Le Thi Xuan Hue, a representative from the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Department for Business Registration Management, in the first five months of this year, there were nearly 74,000 enterprises joining and re-entering the market, of which, nearly 54,000 were newly established businesses and nearly 20,000 businesses returned to operation.

However, she said more than 44,000 businesses withdrew from the market, of which more than 19,000 enterprises registered to suspend operations, more than 19,000 enterprises were waiting for dissolution and more than 6,000 enterprises completed dissolution procedures.

“In terms of capital size, nearly 89 per cent of newly established enterprises in the period have capital of less than VND10 billion each and less than 3 per cent have capital of between VND50 billion and VND100 billion,” Hue said.

Hue said the reason for the increase in the number of enterprises withdrawing from the market is mainly due to weak capacity and competitive pressure, in addition to existing shortcomings in the business and investment environment.

“With the current development of the business community, the Government’s goal of reaching one million businesses from now to 2020 is not feasible,” Hue said.

In term of start-up development, Director of V-startup Vietnam Nguyen Thy Nga said that the business policy and environment greatly affected the development of enterprises.

She said there were many barriers for small- and medium-sized enterprises, especially start-ups, to expand operations, including access to capital, financial and tax procedures. “The banking sector is still very reluctant to grant credit.”

At the forum, which was attended by about 300 representatives from relevant ministries, agencies, businesses and economists, many experts proposed methods to support the development of businesses.

They said it’s important to promote the reform of policies to enhance the development of the private sector, making them the main driving force of the economy, increasing productivity and economic growth. This required the Government to continue efforts to eliminate obstacles for private businesses and enhance the legal environment.

At the same time, the reform of State-owned enterprises should focus on applying the best international practices in corporate governance and promote equitisation and divestment.

Vietnamese businesses’ capacity to adapt to the digital economy is still limited, especially for small- and medium-sized enterprises. They are facing difficulties when they want to develop, including access to the internet.

The participants also agreed that the understanding of cyber security and the solving of problems online, technical infrastructure systems, technological level and basic knowledge of online development are still limited.

According to experts, Vietnamese enterprises need to aim at sustainable development and self-reliance, not wholly depending on digital technology.

With the opportunities and challenges brought about by the digital economy, Vietnamese enterprises need to actively invest in advanced technology and research, applying new business models and methods in order to develop faster. 

Agricultural sector sees production and business growth in H1

The agricultural sector has maintained growth in the first half of this year despite facing difficulties, especially the African swine fever epidemic which had a heavy impact on the domestic animal husbandry sector.

 

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien made the statement at a press conference on June 17 about the sector’s production and business in the first half of the year.

In the first six months of the year, the sector’s agricultural production value was estimated at 2.7-2.9 per cent higher than the same period last year. Of which, growth reached 1.68 per cent in farming, 4.53 per cent in forestry and 6.5 per cent in fisheries.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the total export value of agricultural, forestry and fishery products in the first six months rose 2.1 per cent year-on-year to US$19.75 billion.

Of which, the export value of major farming products dropped by 8.8 per cent year-on-year to $9.33 billion, meanwhile value surged by 1.8 per cent to $311 million for livestock products, 0.7 per cent to $4 billion for seafood products and 21.2 per cent to $5.27 billion for forestry products.

The forestry export value included $4.9 billion from wood and wood products, up by 20 per cent, and $236 million from rattan and bamboo products, up by 55.7 per cent.

Tien said during the six months, seafood output was estimated at 3.78 million tonnes, up 6.2 per cent over the same period last year, including 1.92 million tonnes from domestic aquaculture. Tra fish output in the Mekong Delta reached 684,000 tonnes, up 6.4 per cent and shrimp output was 278,000 tonnes, up 6.9 per cent.

The structure of commodities for production and export has changed to increase the quantity of advantageous and high-quality products such as seafood (especially brackish water shrimp), vegetables, flowers, fruits, industrial trees with high value, furniture and forest products.

However, the agricultural sector in the first six months faced many challenges such as unusual weather, saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta, as well as drought in the Central Highlands and South Central Coast, he said.

Many agricultural, forestry and fishery products declined in price while development of the African swine fever epidemic had hit the output of pork.

The sector had 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 said.

Data from the General Statistics Office showed that the number of cattle farmed nationwide had increased by 2.9 per cent while the amount of live cattle sold for meat was about 193,000 tonnes, up 4 per cent from a year earlier, thanks to good consumption and high prices which have encouraged farming.

The number of farmed poultry has risen by 11-12 per cent as there were no epidemics.

Meanwhile, good growth has also been recorded in fisheries and it is hoped to reach 6.5-6.7 per cent in 2019.

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

MOIT eases issuance of certificates of origin

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has taken steps to simplify the issuance of certificates of origin (C/O) to assist businesses. When free trade agreements (FTAs) take effect, C/O will help businesses enjoy preferential tariffs.

Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of the Import and Export Department under the MOIT, said that C/O is an important document that helps goods under FTAs enjoy preferential tariffs.

To create favourable conditions for firms, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has made efforts to minimise the time taken to check dossiers of exported goods before granting them C/O.

The MOIT officially launched the pilot electronic certificate of origin (C/O) issuance system in 2016, as part of efforts to expand administrative reforms and assist exporters. From a few dozen sets of documents received in the first phase of implementation, the system now receives and processes about one million sets of C/O each year.

With the aim of reducing administrative procedures to facilitate businesses in the import and export of goods, the MOIT has also piloted a mechanism for self-issuing the certificate of origin under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA).

Enterprises exporting to ASEAN with turnover reaching a minimum of $10 million in the preceding year have the right to issue self-certification of origin.

Total export turnover of goods under FTA using C/O in 2018 reached US$66.2 billion, accounting for 39 per cent of total export turnover from Viet Nam to the markets that the country signs FTAs with.

By the end of May 2019, C/O-granting organisations have boosted the issuance of C/O, especially those for goods in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) with 1,872 sets of C/O granted and total value of goods reaching about $58.38 million.

C/O sets granted were mainly issued for goods exported to Canada, worth about $39.1 million. Exported products receiving C/O include footwear, textiles, household appliances, processed food and wood products.

However, according to trade experts, when preparing dossiers for receiving C/O, enterprises often get confused as there are now many different types of C/O forms, leading to the denial of the dossiers or amendments and additions.

In order to provide maximum support for businesses, the MOIT has urged firms to actively register to have C/O issued online. Therefore, enterprises do not need to submit accompanying paper documents such as customs declarations, invoices, bills of lading as before but can attach them electronically.

When enterprises attach electronic documents to the system, officials of the Ministry of Industry and Trade can preview the records and respond on the electronic system.

The system, available at www.ecosys.gov.vn, is being called a turning point in improving the nation's business climate and administrative reforms, as the electronic process will promote transparency and minimise time and expenses spent by businesses, said Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of Import and Export Department under the MOIT.

It is also considered an important step in implementing the ASEAN one-stop customs mechanism and Viet Nam's commitment to regional integration, as neighbouring countries accelerate the formation of an ASEAN community. 

Binh Duong prioritises local supporting industry

The southern province of Binh Duong is facilitating the development of supporting industries in order to meet local production needs and reduce reliance on imports, according to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade.

Supporting industries not only played a very important role in the industrial development process but also helped improve the added-value and competitiveness of major industrial products, the department’s director Nguyen Van Danh told online newspaper congthuong.vn.

Binh Duong Province has formed industries producing materials for garment and textile, leather and footwear and components for engineering, machinery and equipment as well as electronic sectors. That helped to increase the localisation ratio for industrial products while reducing dependence on imported materials, Danh said.

Statistics from the department revealed that the province is now home to 2,277 businesses involved in support industries, including 442 in the garment and textile sector, 172 in leather and footwear, 953 in wood processing and 710 engineering firms.

According to Binh Duong People's Committee’s vice chairman Mai Hung Dung, the province will continue to improve the investment environment and encourage the development of each group of supporting industry products.

It will also focus on establishing industrial zones and clusters to produce spare parts and components for industries, and support small- and medium-sized enterprises to participate in the production of supporting products.

The committee has issued a decision on the list of investment priorities for socio-economic infrastructure development during the 2017-21 period including infrastructure for supporting industries. Earlier, the province had developed a 1,000-ha zone in Bau Bang District to call for more investment in supporting industries.

In addition, the province will build a system of technical standards for product quality according to international standards, provide support for businesses in research and development, and promote technology transfer. Strengthening co-operation with associations to understand business needs would be also included.

The department will also co-ordinate with management boards of industrial zones to organise goods supply-demand connection programmes in order to create favourable conditions for supporting industry businesses to meet domestic and foreign partners, exchange information and share experience so that they can join global supply chains.

Machine, metalworking expo to open in HCM City next month

The 17th edition of the International Precision Engineering, Machine Tools and Metalworking Exhibition & Conference (MTA Vietnam 2019) scheduled for July 2-5 in Ho Chi Minh City.

This year’s event themed “Advancing Vietnam’s Manufacturing Industries” attracts the participation of around 500 units from 22 nations and territories around the world. It will include 14 international pavilion groups from countries which are strong in technology, machines and tools such as the UK, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Thailand.

Speaking at a press conference on June 18, Pham Xuan Da, head of the Department on Southern Services under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is not only a challenge but also an opportunity for Vietnam to address major issues related to economic development and industrial restructuring.

However, the industrial sector is facing a lot of difficulties in business data connectivity and digitalisation.

Therefore, MTA Vietnam 2019 will offer a chance for both domestic and foreign enterprises to apply smart technologies, machines and tools in production and business, he added.

The MTA Vietnam 2018 drew 11,131 trade visitors from 32 countries and territories, an increase of 7.05 percent from the previous edition.

75 enterprises to be honoured with national quality awards

Seventy-five businesses will be presented with the Vietnam National Quality Awards 2018 at a ceremony held in Hanoi on June 23.

Of the total, 22 will be presented with the golden prize, the Ministry of Science and Technology announced at a press briefing on June 18.

Among the golden award winners, nine are big production businesses, including DOMESCO Medical Import-Export JSC, Viglacera Corporation, An Phat Plastic and Green Environment JSC, and Tan Hiep Phat Service and Trading Co. Ltd.

Eight others are small- and medium-sized production firms, and five are small- and medium-sized service companies.

Meanwhile, the remaining 53 award winners include 20 big production companies, 21 small- and medium-sized production companies, one big service company, and 11 small- and medium-sized service ones.

The Vietnam National Quality Awards are the Prime Minister’s annual recognition of organisations and enterprises with remarkable quality achievements in production, business activities and services, thus helping to promote the standing of Vietnamese products and services in the domestic and foreign markets.

The awards, first presented in 1996, were initiated by the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

At the awarding ceremony, the Binh Minh Plastic Joint Stock Company and the Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank) will be honoured with the Global Performance Excellence Award (GPEA) 2018.

Son La boosts farm produce export to China

The People’s Committee of northwestern Son La province held a conference in the northern border province of Lang Son on June 18 to promote the export of its safe farm produce to China.

At the event, Vice Chairman of the Son La provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Quoc Khanh said the locality is now home to nearly 60,000ha of fruits with an output of about 260,000 tonnes, mostly those with high economic value such as longan, mango, avocado, dragon fruit and others for industrial processing.

In the first half of this year, Son La’s farm produce export via Lang Son neared 80 million USD, predominantly mango and banana.

This year, the province will continue stepping up agricultural restructuring, sustainably grow fruits, build high-tech farming materials zones, and develop more cooperatives in service of farm produce cultivation, supply, processing, consumption and export.

It strives to earn more than 150 million USD from farm produce export.

Since 2018, the province has shipped roughly 10,000 tonnes of mango, longan and banana and 30,000 tonnes of tapioca abroad.

Vice Chairman of the Lang Son provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Cong Truong said the border locality will continue asking units concerned to work with China to facilitate customs clearance and accelerate administrative reform, especially in border gates.

Participants offered opinions on support for farm produce export, export-import management mechanism, and others.

Leaders of the two provinces signed a Memorandum of Understanding on assisting Son La in accelerating farm produce export via Lang Son’s border gates.

For buyers, Hanoi’s gold-plated apartments do not glitter

Some Hanoi apartment developers use gold plating, but many of their projects remain unfinished for years and some are in legal limbo.

A square meter at Golden Lake gilded apartment building in Hanoi costs $6,500. Artist's impression courtesy of Hoa Binh Ltd.

A price tag of $6,500 per square meter was recently announced for units at the Golden Lake apartment project near Giang Vo Lake, one of the capital’s prime locations.

The hotel-apartment complex is to have 5,000 square meters of gilded ceramic on the outside, 24k gilded furniture and a gilded pool.

Construction began in 2009, but developer Mefrimex Technology Investment and Development Company ran out of money and recently sold it to Hoa Binh Ltd, which is known for its gold-plated apartment projects in Hanoi and the central city of Da Nang.

One of them is Hoa Binh Green City on Minh Khai Street in Hanoi. Its stairways, balconies and bathroom accessories are all gold-plated. Last year, however, its occupants held several protests with banners in front of the building for not getting title documents after three years.

Another apartment with gilded furniture that has made headlines in recent years is the D’Palais de Louis in the district of Cau Giay. Construction of the 27-story tower began in 2009.

At the time a square meter was priced at VND145 million ($6,219), meaning an apartment cost up to $1.3 million and penthouses cost around $4.29 million.

Sixty customers put down deposits for units in 2011, but developer Tan Hoang Minh Group failed to meet the construction deadline of 2015 and refunded the buyers.

The company said it could not acquire the title to the land. It again started selling two years ago, but was unable to interest buyers. The building is now 90 percent complete, but Tan Hoang Minh’s sales progress remains unclear.

Though most of the gilded projects in Hanoi are located in prime locations, industry insiders said they fail to interest buyers.

The chairman of a large real estate developer in Hanoi, who asked not be named, said most apartment buyers look for modern buildings, not gold-plated apartments, which look old-fashioned.

Promoting a project as gilded is a failed marketing strategy with high costs to boot, he said.

"Vietnamese customers are practical. They care more about the reliability of the investor and post-sales services quality."

7-Eleven Vietnam uses Domo to streamline supply chain

7-Eleven Vietnam is using Domo’s (Nasdaq: DOMO) cloud-based platform to integrate all supply chain data, from warehouse to point-of-sale, as a “single source of truth”, according to Domo’s announcement on June 17.

The platform’s insights have helped 7-Eleven Vietnam, operated by local partner Seven Systems Vietnam, reduce write-off expenses by approximately 25 per cent by identifying inefficiencies and optimising processes throughout the fast-growing retailer’s operations.

Since opening its first stores in 2017, 7-Eleven Vietnam has grown at a rapid pace, adding an average of more than two locations each month. With multiple discrete point-of-sale (POS), logistics, and other systems already in play, 7-Eleven Vietnam recognised that it needed a single, centralised view of all its data to grow efficiently in the longer term. The retailer’s IT team also sought a faster, more intuitive way of understanding trends within its data that could empower real-time decision-making in the high-velocity business.

“Domo has enabled us to integrate all our POS and logistics data and visualise it within a single, always-accessible dashboard, allowing us to identify obscure yet costly inefficiencies within hours instead of weeks,” said Tu Vu, CEO, Seven Systems Vietnam. “Not only has the platform proven simple to implement and incredibly easy to access from any device, it’s also helped us understand real-time supply and demand trends across our ever-changing operations with far more clarity and reliability than ever before.”

7-Eleven Vietnam has so far used Domo to improve shipment accuracy, reduce overstocking and wastage, and improve upselling in its stores nationwide, allowing it to improve its stores’ customer experience even as it eliminates inefficient processes and their costs across its supply chain. The retailer already plans to expand the coverage and accessibility of Domo’s platform to more areas of its business, including financial and sales performance data across its individual stores.

Vu added, “Domo’s truly holistic view of data enables us to better understand not only our internal operations, but also our customers’ behaviours and preferences, giving us constant opportunities to raise the quality, relevance, and value of what we offer. We believe this data has already given us a much-needed competitive edge to maintain rapid growth and gain greater market share as we extend Domo to other parts of 7-Eleven’s technology ecosystem in the future.”

With a library of more than 1,000 powerful, first-class data connectors, Domo easily pulls together data from multiple sources, providing a single platform where 7-Eleven Vietnam can view, analyse, and optimise the business, from anywhere, anytime, and on any device. Domo’s platform also leverages machine learning algorithms, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics, to power more advanced insights, recommendations, and alerts for business decisionmakers across the enterprise.

7-Eleven is an international chain of convenience stores numbering over 70,000 stores in 19 countries. Seven System Vietnam JSC, the Master Franchisee of the 7-Eleven system in Vietnam, opened the first 7-Eleven store in the country’s economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City in 2017. The 7-Eleven stores in Vietnam offer customers over 2,000 high-quality products, proprietary drinks, and fresh daily-made, ready-to-eat foods tailored to local taste preferences. Seven System Vietnam continues to expand and build upon the success of this iconic brand with plans to open 1,000 stores over the next 10 years.

Domo’s mission is to be the operating system for business, digitally connecting all your people, your data and your systems, empowering them to collaborate better, make better decisions, and be more efficient, right from their phones. Domo works with many of the world’s leading and most progressive brands across multiple industries, including retail, media, and entertainment, manufacturing, finance, and more. 

PM lauds Japanese retail giant AEON’s activities in Vietnam

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc spoke highly of Japanese retail giant AEON’s activities in Vietnam during a reception in Hanoi on June 20 for AEON’s Executive Director and General Director of AEON Mall Vietnam Y. Iwamura.

The PM wished that the group would invest more in Vietnam and consume more Vietnamese products.

He said the Vietnamese government and Hanoi authorities support AEON’s plan to build a modern shopping mall in the south of the capital city, adding that Hanoi authorities were assigned to adjust planning to serve the project.

The host suggested AEON boost the export of Vietnamese products to Japan.

Iwamura said the AEON Mall Hoang Mai is scheduled to open by 2020. Apart from four shopping malls at present, two others are under construction.

The company will double the import of Vietnamese goods to 500 million USD as Vietnam is likely to become a quality food supplier to Japanese consumers. The figure could surge to 1 billion USD by 2025. Last year, it imported Vietnamese goods worth nearly 250 million USD for sale in its malls in Japan.

 
 
 
 
 
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