BUSINESS NEWS 22/7

Ministry urged to be pioneer in economic reform

BUSINESS NEWS 22/7

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) should be a national innovation centre and a pioneer in economic reform, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said at a teleconference on July 18.

The official suggested the ministry set up a working group in charge of reviewing institution-related bottlenecks and proposing countermeasures.

He asked the ministry to further improve the legal system on investment and business, make progress in public investment disbursement, especially official development assistance (ODA) and Government bonds, and help to accelerate the implementation of national target programmes.

Other tasks include developing the collective economy, selecting foreign investors and soon devising the mid-term public investment plan for 2021-2025, he said.

MPI Minister Nguyen Chi Dung said during the first half of this year, the planning, investment and statistics sector has taken the lead in innovation and reform in institution and law building, and planning.

He said that the amended Law on Public Investment, compiled by the MoPI, was adopted at the seventh meeting of the 14th National Assembly, adding that the ministry will draft important laws.

Besides, the ministry completed many major programmes and projects like the 2019 National Population and Housing Census and the White Book on Vietnamese Businesses.

Its project on a sharing economy was also submitted to the Prime Minister for approval, which is expected to create a foundation for the building and development of digital economic models in the future.

At the teleconference, representatives of ministries, agencies and localities pointed out shortcomings in the sector, especially those regarding the implementation of the Planning Law.

8 trillion VND mobilised through G-bonds

The State Treasury of Vietnam recently mobilised a total of 8 trillion VND (344.9 million USD) via auctions of Government bonds at the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX).

Bonds with 5-year maturity raised 500 billion VND (21.5 million USD) with an annual interest rate of 3.65 percent, 0.1 percent higher than that of the previous auction on July 10 this year.

Those with 10-year and 15-year terms attracted 2 trillion VND (86 million USD) each with annual interest rates of 4.51 percent and 4.76 percent respectively, both representing 0.05 percent lower than that of the July 10 auction.

Bonds with 20 years of maturity mobilised 1 trillion VND (43 million USD) with a yearly interest rate of 5.15 percent, 0.27 percent lower than that of the July 3 auction.

The sub-session auctions of 10-year and 15-year bonds raised 1 trillion VND each with respective annual interest rates of 4.51 percent and 4.76 percent.

The sub-session auction of 20-year bonds called for 500 billion VND with an annual interest rate of 5.15 percent.

Since the beginning of 2019, the State Treasury has mobilised over 123.8 trillion VND (5.3 billion USD) through auctions of G-bonds at the HNX.

ADB maintains growth forecast

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has maintained its growth forecast for developing Asia of 5.7 per cent in 2019 and 5.6 per cent in 2020, unchanged from its April forecast, according to the new Asian Development Outlook (ADO) Supplement.

These growth rates are slightly down from developing Asia’s 5.9 per cent growth in 2018. Excluding the newly-industrialized economies of Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan (China), the regional growth outlook has been revised down from 6.2 per cent to 6.1 per cent in 2019 and maintained at that rate in 2020.

Vietnam has been the fastest-growing economy in Southeast Asia this year, according to the report. Growth in the first half of 2019 is estimated at 6.8 per cent year-on-year despite agriculture being hobbled by a prolonged drought and African swine fever. Growth in industry and especially manufacturing remained robust, though moderating from the first half of 2018.

Sustaining growth were strong inflows of FDI, up by 27 per cent in the first five months from a year earlier. China overtook South Korea and Singapore to become the largest overseas provider of newly registered capital. The US remained the largest export market for Vietnam and grew 28 per cent in the first five months year-on-year. Growth projections remain at 6.8 per cent for 2019 and 6.7 per cent for 2020, in line with ADO 2019 forecasts.

Inflation for 2019 and 2020 is forecast at 3.5 per cent and 3.8 per cent, respectively.

Data to the end of June show growth in Southeast Asia remaining robust, though slower than forecast. The subregion’s more open economies faced the combined impacts of the trade conflict and a trough in the electronics cycle, which were partly offset by strong domestic demand. Meanwhile, evidence of trade and production redirection is appearing, with some countries seeing increases in FDI and exports.

The ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. It made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion in 2018. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members; 49 from the region.

Vietnamese porcelain product wins Red Dot Award

Gastroline, a set of porcelain hospitality tableware made by the Binh Duong-based Minh Long I Company, has bested 5,500 products from 55 countries to win the Product Design category of the Red Dot Award.

The Red Dot Award is an international design competition for product design, communication design and design concepts. The jury comprises 40 experts, evaluating both the design and functions of the participating products.

A joint project between Minh Long I founder Ly Ngoc Minh and renowned German designer Hans Wilhelm Seitz, Gastroline was developed to meet the needs of different businesses.

The multi-piece hospitality tableware collection offers a wide range of plates, bowls, cups and jugs, which can be individually selected and combined. The classic tableware comes in pure white and exudes a timeless, elegant look, yet it is highly robust. Most pieces can be stacked to save space, with discreet spacers, placed at the bottom to protect the surfaces from scratches.

“With its clear, self-contained design, Gastroline exudes a characteristic overall image which meets high standards,” the jury says of the collection in a statement.

Asia and Pacific growth steady amid global trade tensions: ADB

Developing Asia will maintain strong but moderating growth over 2019 and 2020, as supportive domestic demand counteracts an environment of global trade tensions, according to a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report released today.

In a supplement to its Asian Development Outlook (ADO), ADB maintains growth forecasts for developing Asia at 5.7% in 2019 and 5.6% in 2020—unchanged from its April forecast. These growth rates are slightly down from developing Asia’s 5.9% growth in 2018. Excluding the newly industrialized economies of Hong Kong, China; the Republic of Korea; Singapore; and Taipei,China, the regional growth outlook has been revised down from 6.2% to 6.1% in 2019 and maintained at that rate in 2020.

Deepening trade tension between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the United States (US) remains the largest downside risk to this outlook, despite an apparent truce in late June that could allow trade negotiations between the two countries to resume.

“Even as the trade conflict continues, the region is set to maintain strong but moderating growth,” said ADB Chief Economist Mr. Yasuyuki Sawada. “However, until the world’s two largest economies reach agreement, uncertainty will continue to weigh on the regional outlook.”

The growth outlook for East Asia in 2019 has been revised down to 5.6% because of slower than expected activity in the Republic of Korea. The subregion’s growth outlook of 5.5% for 2020 is unchanged from April. Growth for the subregion’s largest economy, the PRC, is also unchanged, with forecasts of 6.3% in 2019 and 6.1% in 2020, as policy support offsets softening growth in domestic and external demand.

In South Asia, the economic outlook is robust, with growth projected at 6.6% in 2019 and 6.7% in 2020, albeit lower than forecast in April. The growth outlook for India has been cut to 7.0% in 2019 and 7.2% in 2020 because the fiscal 2018 outturn fell short.

The outlook for Southeast Asia has been downgraded slightly to 4.8% in 2019 and 4.9% in 2020 due to the trade impasse and a slowdown in the electronics cycle. In Central Asia, the growth outlook for 2019 has been revised up to 4.3% on account of an improved outlook for Kazakhstan. Central Asia’s growth outlook of 4.2% for 2020 is unchanged from April. The growth outlook in the Pacific—3.5% in 2019 and 3.2% in 2020—is unchanged, as the subregion continues to rebound from the effects of Cyclone Gita and an earthquake in Papua New Guinea, the subregion’s largest economy.

The major industrial economies have had slight revisions to their growth forecasts, with the US revised up to 2.6% for 2019 and the Euro area revised down to 1.3%. The growth outlook for Japan is unchanged at 0.8% in 2019 and 0.6% in 2020.

Developing Asia’s inflation projections were revised up from 2.5% to 2.6% for both 2019 and 2020, reflecting higher oil prices and various domestic factors, such as the continuing outbreak of African swine fever in several Asian economies, which is expected to drive up pork prices in the PRC.

Tech group CMC partners with Samsung's IT arm to strengthen business

Technology group CMC will sell 25 million shares to an arm of Samsung SDS, a subsidiary of the South Korean tech giant Samsung Group.

CMC hopes the shares will be sold for least VND30,000 (US$1.29) per share, the company would raise VND750 billion ($32.25 million) from the deal.

Sixty per cent of the capital raised, or VND450 billion, will be invested in CMC’s member companies.

The remaining capital will be spent improving the firm’s infrastructure and facilities.

The buyer could be either Samsung SDS Co Ltd or Samsung SDS Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. Both are members of Samsung SDS, which is the IT and logistics arm of Samsung Group.

Samsung SDS will own a 25 per cent stake in CMC’s capital after the deal.

CMC is listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange with the code CMG.

The company shares inched up 0.5 per cent yesterday to close at VND37,400 per share.

CMC's shares have gained 77 per cent in the last eight months, bringing the group’s market value to VND2.68 trillion as of the end of trading yesterday.

CMC and Samsung SDS started co-operating in 2016. In June 2018, the two sides agreed CMC would develop a management and operation system for more than 200 Samsung factories in Viet Nam.

In late May 2019, Samsung SDS and CMC signed agreements on the provision smart factory, cloud, cyber security and blockchain solutions.

The agreement demonstrated the quality of Vietnamese technology businesses as the country strives to take full advantage of Industry 4.0.

The deal is part of CMC’s effort to achieve $1 billion in revenue by 2023.

According to Samsung SDS chairman and CEO Won Pyo Hong, CMC may help the South Korean firm expand its business in Viet Nam and Southeast Asia.

“The co-operation between CMC and Samsung SDS will offer a great value in the development of the digital economy for Viet Nam and help the country reach out to the Asia-Pacific and global markets,” CMC chairman Nguyen Trung Chinh said.

In early April, CMC launched the first open ecosystem for enterprises in Viet Nam to help hasten the digital transformation among local companies and government agencies, which has been a priority for the Government.

In March, CMC raised VND300 billion from issuing corporate bonds to the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV).

Start-ups shows potential on Investment Day

More than 100 domestic and foreign investors as well as representatives from startups on Thursday participated in an Investment Day event organised by Viet Nam Innovative Startups Accelerator (VIISA) to celebrate the completion of the fifth batch of its four-month accelerator programme.

The batch 5 of accelerator programme consists startups from various sectors, including VDES, Loglag and SaveMoney, had a chance to present their projects and discuss their operations and achievements with investors.

At the event, investors and startups shared information and experiences about doing business and calling for investment.

Ann Nguyen, CEO of VDES, a startup that connects event venues and event suppliers to customers, said the company had attracted businesses with the support of investors.

The company works with many partners and 200 venues as well as 100 event organisers in big cities and provinces, including HCM City, Ha Noi and Binh Duong.

About 24,000 customers that used their services over the last two years have reduced costs by 30 per cent and time by 80 per cent.

Other projects startups include Loglag and SaveMoney.

By leveraging mobile connectivity, Loglag connects drivers and fleet owners to cargos and customers to make the logistics industry more accessible.

SaveMoney, meanwhile, is a full insurance service provider that combines innovative insurance platform technology with high-quality brokerage advisory.

VIISA said that startups are on a challenging journey, with capital playing a key role in the first phase. Because of these challenges, VIISA often organises events to help startups connect with investors and funds.

VIISA is an accelerator and seed stage fund that plans to invest a total of $4 million to build global-ready startups in Viet Nam.

It has also invested US$15,000 in cash and undisclosed amounts of in-kind services, including training, technical resources, office accommodations and access to mentors and investors. Promising teams will also get up to $200,000 from VIISA’s investment track.

The VIISA fund is operated by FPT, Dragon Capital Group and Hanwha Group. The fund has led to many startup successes in Viet Nam such as Wisepass, Wefit and TheBank.

FPT enters smart home field

Vietnamese IT firm FPT Corporation and global provider of Internet of Things (IoT) networking Homa Techs Inc on Thursday signed a strategic agreement to bring smart solutions to houses and buildings.

An FPT representative said the deal sets forward a long-term investment with a three-year roadmap with millions of dollars. Specific figures will be announced later.

The representative said FPT is pursing the investment because smart homes have great potential but have not yet taken off in Viet Nam.

“FPT sees great value in Homa’s smart home technologies and solutions," FPT’s general director Nguyen Van Khoa said on the news site Business Wire. "With a network of partners and clients spanning 45 countries and territories, we are excited to work with Homa to bring this family of products to millions of residents and help to accelerate the development of smart buildings and smart cities in Asia."

Nguyen Duc Long, CEO of Homa Techs, said the goal of Homa Techs Inc in Viet Nam is to give smart home companies more solutions to satisfy customers' needs and develop smart buildings and smart urban areas.

On the same day, Homa Techs launched multi-protocol IoT hubs which can integrate all smart devices in a house into IoT applications. Up to 240 devices could be connected at the same time, including switches, smart plugs, light controllers, sensors, door bells, locks, cameras, mobile apps and home service software.

Homa’s representative said the cost to install the necessary smart devices in a 150sq.m apartment would be about US$2,500-3,000. FPT is also working with partners to reduce costs in Southeast Asia.

Intellectual property valuation, a hard task in VN

Valuation of intellectual property remains a grey area in Viet Nam and can be improved only with support from authorities, experts have told a recent workshop held in HCM City.

Speaking at the workshop on "Valuation of intellectual property from outcome of scientific research" held by the National Office of Intellectual Property and the city's Department of Science and Technology, they said intellectual property is the key to innovation and development.

But assessing of the value of technological intellectual property is quite difficult, they said.

For researchers, completing the legal procedures is a difficult task, and official agencies should support them in this task, they said.

A lot of research is done, but researchers and scientists do not focus on registering intellectual property rights for protection, and this needs to change, they said.

According to experts, the valuation of intellectual property is based on three methods, market based (by reference to comparable market transactions), cost based (the cost to create or the cost to replace a given asset) and income based (based on estimates of past and future economic benefits).

Nguyen Huu Can, deputy director of the Viet Nam Intellectual Property Research Institute, said intellectual property value is a decisive factor for consumers in choosing products and services with "special features".

The usage value of intellectual property assets is only known when they are commercialised, he said.

The workshop provided a good platform for State management agencies to discuss and evaluate results, limitations and challenges to the valuation of intellectual property and at the same time find ways for valuation, he said.

Vo Hung Son, head of the intellectual property management department at the city's Department of Science and Technology, said to determine the profits generated from the use of scientific and technological research outcomes, the valuation should be made when transferring the right to use the outcomes.

Vietnam Airlines Group makes $2.24 billion in revenue

Vietnam Airlines Group, listed with code HVN, earned nearly VND52 trillion (US$2.24 billion) in consolidated revenue in the first half of this year, marking a year-on-year increase of 5.5 per cent.

The information was released on Tuesday showing that its consolidated pre-tax profit was estimated at VND1.65 trillion, up 30 per cent compared to the plan.

Of the figure, the parent company Vietnam Airlines reached VND38.3 trillion in revenue and VND1.79 trillion in pre-tax profit, increasing by 5.8 per cent and 21.8 per cent year-on-year, respectively.

Vietnam Airlines said that continued improvement in cash flow enabled higher solvency, more short-term investments and increased corporate income. As of June 2019, the airline continued its positive financial indicator with debt to equity ratio (D/E) of 2.32 times, lower than that of the beginning of the year (2.58 times), and far below the upper limit set by the State.

Over the course of six months, Vietnam Airlines safely flew over 13.9 million passengers, a 2 per cent increase from 2018, and over 180,000 tonnes of cargo, up 1.6 per cent year-on-year, on 73,650 flights. Its on-time performance (OTP), averaging at 90 per cent, remained among the highest globally. Demand-responsive load factor led to significant fuel saving and higher seat utilisation of 80.3 per cent.

Vietnam Airlines Group (including Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific, and VASCO) continued to spearhead the local aviation market, carrying approximately 51 per cent of the market share in passenger volume.

Having boosted its charter capital to more than VND14.18 trillion, Vietnam Airlines had its own shares (HVN) officially listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) on May 7, 2019.

In the second half of this year, Vietnam Airlines plans to push for organisational restructuring, completing its 20 narrow-body Airbus A321neo fleet, taking delivery and operating the first three wide-body Boeing 787-10, out of its order of eight aircrafts, and finalise the investment plan of 50 narrow-body aircrafts for the 2021-25 period.

The firm said it will continue to improve customer experience by offering onboard Wi-Fi services, introducing a brand-new Business class menu and rigorous replacement of non-environment-friendly supplies onboard.

Vietnam Airlines also introduced new and upgraded services such as in-town check-in (Ha Noi and Da Nang), telephone check-in (HCM City), family check-in, meet and greet, as well as serving local produce onboard. Notably, the proportion of online check-ins has grown year over year, reaching nearly 50 per cent at all three major domestic airports, Noi Bai, Da Nang, and Tan Son Nhat.

Vinacapital acquires Smartly operations

VinaCapital on Tuesday announced that it had acquired the business operations of Smartly Pte Ltd, one of the first robo-advisory investment platforms to launch in Singapore.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

VinaCapital is one of Viet Nam’s leading investment companies with US$1.8 billion in assets under management.

Smartly was founded in 2015 by entrepreneurs Keir Veskivali, Artur Luhaaar and Kentwell Kwok, two Singapore-based Estonians and one Singaporean who all had worked in finance and were frustrated by hidden fees and confusing financial advisory solutions.

 

The company aimed to offer average people with basic financial literacy the opportunity to invest easily with full transparency and low fees.

In 2016, Smartly began discussions with VCG Partners, the Singapore subsidiary of VinaCapital and a fully licensed fund manager regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, about joining together to launch the platform.

With the partnership formed, Smartly was launched in September 2017. It uses smart algorithms to make investing simple and accessible to more people.

“By partnering with VinaCapital, we took a different approach to launching a robo-advisory platform than the rest of the pack. We were able to allocate valuable capital to places where it was most needed, stay focused on execution, and maintain strong financials and unit metrics," Veskivali said.

“VCG Partners clearly saw the potential of the market and the platform. This acquisition of Smartly’s operations and the additional capital injections will enable Smartly to scale-up, expand to new markets, and realise its full potential to become the leading digital wealth management platform in the region.”

Veskivali will continue to support the company as a consultant and work with VinaCapital on other tech ventures, while co-founders Luhaaar and Kwok have decided to pursue other projects.

Jason Ng, VCG Partners’ CEO, said: “Smartly has been a trailblazer in robo-advisory services in Singapore, and we look forward to building on the momentum and expanding to other Southeast Asian markets as their regulatory environments allow.

“For example, in Viet Nam, current laws do not address robo-advisory services, creating significant risks for investors who elect to invest with some of the start-ups in the market that claim to offer such services.” 

Rubber Group to pay dividend in cash

The Viet Nam Rubber Industry Group JSC (GVR) has approved a plan to pay cash dividend for 2018 at the rate of 2.5 per cent, meaning an investor owning one share will receive VND250.

With four billion shares in circulation, the group expects to spend VND1 trillion (US$43 million) on the payout, with the payment expected on August 26.

GVR changed itself into a joint stock company in June 2018. In the last seven months of 2018, the company recorded VND1.3 trillion in post-tax profit, of which GVR will distribute VND1 trillion to pay dividends,.

Regarding the 2019 plan, the group plans to achieve revenue of VND24.2 trillion and after-tax profit of VND4.1 trillion.

The group also hopes to shift the listing from the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) to the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HoSE) in the third quarter.

GVR closed Wednesday down 1.4 per cent to end at VND13,600 per share, equivalent to market capitalisation of VND54.4 trillion.

Currently, the State still holds more than 3.87 billion shares, equivalent to nearly 97 per cent of the group’s capital.

Kusto commits to long-term investment in Viet Nam

A company having strong management and good operating systems will drive success in its own business. This is the sharing from Singapore-based investment group Kusto with Viet Nam News recently.

“The first factor we look at is whether the company has a strong management that can drive the company strategy. And of course, the fundamentals of the industry in which the company operates,” said Luis Garcia, Chief Operation Officer of Kusto Vietnam.

Operating in Vietnam since 2005, while pursuing its commitment to support visionary entrepreneurs and management teams who strive to transform and improve the countrys business landscape, Kusto Vietnam has successfully invested in over 10 companies spread across real estate, construction and building materials, transportation and logistics, retail, and other consumer-driven sectors.

“Kusto has been here since the mid-2000s and have witnessed the rapid development of the country, with supportive Government policies. We are very positive of Vietnamese corporate growth as Vietnamese entrepreneurs are very active, down-to-earth and dare to try new things,” Luis said.

Kusto invested in Diamond Island, one of the most successful cases in Vietnam. This is a pioneer project of eco-luxurious constructive trend in Vietnam. As of the closure of 2nd phase construction in October 20198, about 98 per cent of the 1,323 units in Diamond Island had been sold. It indicates the quality of and the desire of people to experience living in this world-class project.

The project generated total revenues of over VND8 trillion and received the award for “Best Condo Landscape Architectural Design” at the 2017 Vietnam Property Awards and was named the "best of the best" in 2016 by Robb Report magazine, one of the worlds most respected luxury and lifestyle publications.

Beside Diamond Island, Kusto invested in Coteccons, one of the leading construction companies in Vietnam, since 2012. Coteccons achieved annual revenue growth of 36% from 2012 to 2018.

Luis shared that the decisive factor of investment in Coteccons was its strong management team and its strategic view. “We have achieved significant growth in the business since our investment in the company and we believe the company has the capabilities to grow more in the future with a strong corporate governance.”

Talking on Vietnamese prospect, Kusto is strongly confident on Vietnamese business landscape.

“Last year GDP growth was 7.08 per cent, the fastest rate in 11 years. We continue to believe that the country will grow keep the high growth rates in the coming years with improved infrastructure, attracting further foreign direct investment,” Luis said.

With such confidence, Kusto will continue investing in Vietnam. “Our footprint is real estate, construction and retail, we are committed to continue supporting and growing potential national leaders,” he said.

Sharing about the companys plans in the next five years in Viet Nam, Luis stressed: “We are looking for companies that have the right, motivated and empowered management backed up by strong corporate governance, it definitely will be a success.”

It still remains construction and real estate as of their investing strength. Kusto would expand to logistics, retail and healthcare. “At this moment, Viet Nam is one of our most potential markets for investment.”

Speaking about the criteria Kusto looks for in a company when investing, he said: “We are open to any business opportunity and ready to invest from the early stage in the company. It could be a listed company, start-up or big company. The investment will depend on its management systems and whether its corporate structure will help increase value through sustaining competitive advantage and focusing on the core business.” 

MBBank seeks foreign investment in Q3

Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MBBank) is looking to sell 7.5 per cent of its capital to foreign investors this year.

The bank is planning to sell 123 million new shares and 38.9 million treasury shares, according to CEO Luu Trung Thái.

Foreign investors do not have to be the strategic investor, Thái said, adding the bank may hold a roadshow to demonstrate the share sale plan.

The bank is working to increase capital and expand business activities in the next three years, including making investment in digital banking services, he told Reuters.

MBBank is listing 2.16 billion shares on the H? Chí Minh Stock Exchange with code MBB.

Its shares finished Wednesday at VNÐ22,100 (US$0.95) per share, up 1.6 per cent from the previous day.

In the first six months, MBBank recorded VNÐ4.82 trillion ($207.3 million) in pre-tax profit, up 26 per cent year on year.

At the annual shareholders’ meeting held on April 27, the bank’s capital hike plan was approved.

According to the plan, MBBank will issue 258.4 million shares in a private deal, equal to 10 per cent of its charter capital, in the third or fourth quarter of 2019.

Kien Giang Province to organise investment promotion conference

Local and foreign investors have been invited to take part in the Kien Giang Investment Promotion Conference 2019 to be held in the province’s Rach Gia City on July 29.

The conference themed “Kien Giang – Potential, Opportunities for Investment and Sustainable Development” is expected to attract 500 attendees, including officials from ministries and other agencies, leaders of cities and provinces and executives from international business groups and local and foreign firms.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will be in attendance.

At the event, Kien Giang will showcase its socio-economic achievements, advantages, investment incentives and projects requiring investment.

On its sidelines will be an exhibition of the list of projects requiring investment, the province’s key agricultural products, tourism potential and others.

According to the Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Centre of Kien Giang Province (KITRA), the province is seeking investment in 118 projects by 2020.

The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Kien Giang has great potential in the maritime economy and tourism.

In its socio-economic development orientation, Kien Giang focuses on soliciting investors in areas such as high-tech agricultural production, organic agriculture, aquaculture, and high-value industrial production.

It has attracted more than VND500 trillion (US$21.6 billion) worth of investment in 680 projects so far. Of them, 341 projects worth VND60.6 trillion are operational, 68 others worth VND115 trillion are under construction and the remainder is completing investment procedures.

More information about the investment promotion conference is available at www.kiengianginvest.com.

Delegates can contact Nguyen Van Hai at the Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Centre of Kien Giang Province via mobile phone 094 8771911or email to trungtamxtdttmdlkg@gmail.com.

Korea Energy Show aims tobridgeglobal connections in energy sector

The 39th Korea Energy Show 2019, to be heldfrom September 3-6 at the Korea International Exhibition Centre in Goyang City, South Korea, aims to bridge global connections and help set new records in the energy industry.

Organised by the Korean Energy Agency and hosted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea, the event is a well-known platform made up of different sectionsshowcasingupcomingstate-of-the-art technologies, products and information in the Korean market.

Some of the shows highlights include arenewable energy pavilion to demonstrate breakthroughs in renewal energy technology; a smart energy pavilion withenergy-saving products in highly efficient devices; eco-friendly energy; discussions on topics in public energy, and many more.

In 2018, the show attracted over 300 companies from 21 countries, with over 26,000 visitors. There was a 15 per cent increase in the number of visitors compared to the show in2017.

Atotal of US$50 million worth of contracts and avalue of over US$80 million in MOUs were signed during the show in 2018.

More information on the Korea Energy Show 2019 is available at www.koreaenergyshow.or.kr.

Water exhibition to return to Ha Noi

The premier exhibition on water supply and waste water treatment (VIETWATER 2019) will take place in Ha Noi from July 24 to 26 at the Ha Noi International Exhibition Center (ICE).

VIETWATER 2019 will occupy 3,500 square metres of exhibition area and welcome over 200 exhibitors from 30 nations and regions, with international group pavilions for Taiwan, Korea, Thailand and mainland China.

In addition, an international conference themed “Water Management towards Sustainable Development Goals” will be held on July 25, sponsored by Vietnam Water Supply & Sewerage Association (VWSA) and the Vietnamese Ministry of Construction.

Tinder Lite to arrive in Vietnam

Tinder, the world’s most popular app for meeting new people, announced on July 16 its official plans to release a Lite version of the app in emerging markets, starting in Southeast Asia. Tinder Lite is part of the parent company the Match Group’s growth strategy in the region.

Vietnam will be the first market to have access to Tinder Lite, which will roll on the Google Play Store as a separate app in the coming weeks. The app essentially runs faster with less battery consumption and lower network usage for users in data-restricted areas.

The company plans to expand the initial release to other parts of Southeast Asia and South America from there.

Tinder Lite increases the app’s performance and accessibility in emerging areas where data access is limited and mobile app use is more costly for users. It will dramatically improve the download time and includes the quintessential Tinder experience, with features the social app pioneered such as the ability to “Like” or “Nope” profiles, match, and chat with new people who are mutually interested in connecting.

“As the world becomes more connected, it’s essential that Tinder delivers on its fundamental value: giving users everywhere the opportunity to meet new people,” said Mr. Elie Seidman, CEO of Tinder. “Tinder Lite demonstrates our commitment to providing greater access to our expanding global community and creating more moments for our users to connect with people they may have never met otherwise.”

Tinder is the world’s leading app for meeting new people. Available in 190 countries and 40+ languages, it was the highest grossing non-gaming mobile app globally in the first half of this year.

Long An develops advanced farming models

Many farming models using advanced techniques and offering farmers higher incomes have been adopted in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Long An.

After three years of implementation, a trial project to grow vegetables on 2,000ha in Can Duoc, Can Giuoc and Duc Hoa districts and Tan An City until 2020 has been hailed by local farmers for its efficiency.

Doan Phuong Nga, deputy head of the province's Sub-department of Plant Cultivation, Protection and Agricultural Product Quality Management’s plant cultivation and protection division, said farmers participating in the project have achieved high incomes.

They have built net houses, installed efficient irrigation equipment and use machinery for cultivation and harvest.

The use of organic fertilisers and net houses causes the vegetables to grow well and get few diseases.

The farmers also buy disease-free seedlings from selected nurseries that grow well.

They have reduced the use of pesticides and get yields that are 5-20 percent higher than from traditional farming method and profits that are 2-5 million VND (86-215 USD) per 1,000sq.m higher.

Doan Van Ut, a member of the Phuoc Thinh Co-operative in Can Giuoc District and a participating farmer, said he grows water melon on an area of 5,000sq.m and receives a 50 percent subsidy on seedling and other input costs.

He harvests 3,000-3,050kg per 1,000sq.m, 200-250kg higher than normal, he said.

He earns 33-33.5 million VND (1,420-1,440 USD) per crop, 2.2-2.25 million VND (94-97 USD) higher than from normal melon.

Dang Duy Dung, director of Phuoc Thinh, said: “Participating in the farming models, the co-operative’s members both apply advanced farming techniques and get higher incomes.”

There are 10 agricultural co-operatives and 30 co-operative groups participating in the project, according to the province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Nguyen Chi Thien, deputy director of the department, said the models have received positive responses from farmers.

To meet the project’s targets, the department and localities would continue to teach farmers advanced farming techniques and establish model farms for them to visit and learn, he said.

The province has 13,500ha growing vegetables, yielding annual production of 221,000 tonnes.
Expansion
The province's Farmers Association has urged farmers, co-operatives and agricultural companies to expand the use of advanced farming techniques.

It has organised training courses for farmers and encouraged them to grow crops to Vietnamese and global good agricultural practices standards.

It has encouraged farmers to install drip irrigation and spray irrigation equipment.

Pham Chi Tam, its chairman, said the association plans to establish 13 model farms that use advanced farming techniques at a cost of 3 billion VND (over 129,000 USD) this year.

They include two models for growing dragon fruit in Chau Thanh District, seven others for growing vegetables in Can Duoc and Can Giuoc districts and two each for breeding oxen and cows in Duc Hoa District and planting rice in Thanh Hoa and Vinh Hung districts.

Nearly 13,400ha of rice are farmed using advanced techniques, according to the department.

They use certified seeds, laser-operated land levellers, ploughing machines, and combined harvesters.

Farmers use organic fertilisers and bio-cides and grow flowers around the fields to attract insects that are natural enemies of brown plant hoppers, the main rice pest.

Rice grown this way fetches 4-6 million VND (172-258 USD) per hectare higher than from normal fields.

The province has encouraged the creation of large-scale rice fields to reduce costs, increase productivity and guarantee outlets.

For the current summer-autumn rice crop, 2,677 farmers have pooled their lands to create 94 large-scale rice fields.

They have signed contracts for guaranteed purchases with 25 rice companies.

The province plans to have 20,000ha of rice grown using advanced techniques by the end of this year.

Vietjet Air launches Nha Trang-Busan direct route

Vietnam’s new-age carrier Vietjet Air has launched its latest international route connecting Nha Trang city in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa with the port city of Busan in the Republic of Korea (RoK).

Vietjet is the first carrier to operate a direct route between the two cities, marking the airline’s ninth service between Vietnam and the RoK.

The new route is expected to meet the increasing travel demand of local people and international travelers between the two countries and across the region.

The Nha Trang-Busan route operates four return flights per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays starting from July 16, 2019.

Its flight time is around four hours and 40 minutes per leg. The flight departs from Nha Trang at 23:50 and arrives at Busan at 06:30 (local time). The return flight takes off from Busan at 08:05 and lands in Nha Trang at 10:45 (local time).

Tickets are available on all channels at website www.vietjetair.com , Mobile App “Vietjet Air” or www.facebook.com/vietjetvietnam. Payments can be easily made with Vietjet Sky Club, by international debit and credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, JCB, KCP and Union; or with any ATM card issued by 34 Vietnamese banks and registered with internet banking.

Earlier in March, Vietjet was honored as “the Best Service Foreign Low-Cost Carrier” at the Korea Prestige Brand Awards 2019, hosted by Korea Economic Daily newspaper which proved the favour and trust of Korean customers towards the brand.

With a network of 120 routes, Vietjet operates safe flights with a technical reliability rate of 99.64 percent — the highest rate in the Asia Pacific region. As a fully-fledged member of International Air Transport Association (IATA), Vietjet has obtained the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate and has been awarded a 7-star ranking, the world’s highest rate for safety, by AirlineRatings.

Offering affordable tickets, diverse ticket classes, attractive promotions, the carrier also creates memorable flying experiences for passengers on new aircraft with comfy seats, a choice of nine delicious hot meals served by beautiful and friendly cabin crew, and many other attractive added-on services.

 
 
 
 
 
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