BUSINESS NEWS 23/6

Vietnam to take Presidency of Asian Payment Network

BUSINESS NEWS 23/6

The National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS) has become the President of the Asian Payment Network (APN) for 2020 at the recent 15th annual meeting of the network in Hanoi.

Payment organisations from 11 member nations of APN agreed to jointly build retail payment infrastructure for countries in the region.

The event focused on discussing ways to promote the transfer of bilateral connection to that through APN Hub, boost the implementation of Cross Border Fund Transfer – CBFT, and develop Cross Border QR and initiatives to support fintech and startup firms.

Since joining the APN in 2010, the NAPAS has implemented successfully connections with four APN payment organisations namely KFTC (the Republic of Korea), PayNet (Malaysia), ITMX (Thailand) and UnionPay (China).

These connections provide Vietnamese cardholders with practical utilities through allowing customers to perform transactions on ATM/POS network in APN member countries and vice versa.

They also contribute to the development of the banking sector and facilitate the development of tourism and services.

Established in 2006, the APN now has 12 payment organisations from 11 countries, namely PayNet (Malaysia), NETS (Singapore), KFTC (the Republic of Korea), ITMX (Thailand), Artajasa and Rintis (Indonesia), Bancnet (the Philippines), NAPAS (Vietnam), NTT Data (Japan), UPI (China), Cuscal (Australia), and Paymark (New Zealand).

The goal of APN is to unify technical and professional standards for participating members, thus strengthening connectivity and business cooperation to develop card payments in the region, while enhancing position and competitiveness of regional member organizations.

Vietnam, Israel share experience in innovation

Vietnamese and Israeli experts, businesses, officials and researchers discussed policies on innovation for Vietnam during a conference in Hanoi on June 19.

Opening the event, Dr. Nguyen Dinh Cung, head of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) said that the institute is drafting a national strategy on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, adding that international experience gained after the event will be useful for the work.

Meanwhile, Israeli Ambassador Nadav Eshcar said that Vietnam and Israel have established strong partnership over decades, and similarities in country and people would enable them to share experience and learn from each other’s lessons.

Israel is now a start-up country, rising from a land of sand and deserts with poor natural resources to become a leading nation in innovation, he said.

He said that Israel’s innovation has been promoted in areas of technology, including medical technology, automation, mechanics, agricultural technology, unmanned aerial vehicles, aerospace and many other sectors.

The ambassador expressed his hope that experience from the Israel can be useful for Vietnam, helping the country make breakthrough progress in integration.

Israeli expert Prof. Avishay Braverman said that the foundation of Israel’s high technology is agriculture. So far, water and agricultural technology from Israel has made its global coverage with application in 50 percent of low-pressure watering system and 350 desalination plants in 40 countries.

Israel is the world leading country in collecting, treating and recycling wastewater, he noted.

Prof. Braverman stressed the need to prepare infrastructural facilities for training as well as investment in development.

The Government, enterprises and community should join hands in researching and applying high technology in life, he said, highlighting the role of the Government in encouraging innovation and creating favourable policies in the field.

Along with creating a creative environment and use talents, it is necessary to invest in research and human resources development, said Prof. Braverman.

He also shared experience in innovation and building policies for innovation as well as Israel’s experience and opportunities for developing countries like Vietnam, along with what the Government and businesses should do to take advantages of the chances.

US eyes multifaceted cooperation with Can Tho

The US wants to expand cooperation with the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho in agriculture, towards facilitating exports from the hub in particular and other Mekong Delta localities to the US.

US Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Mary Tarnowka stated this at a meeting on June 19 with representatives from the municipal People’s Committee, during which she spoke highly potential and advantages of Can Tho.

Can Tho is a key development centre of the region with its strength in export, especially rice and catfish which are popular in the US market.

Tarnowka said her office will actively support Can Tho as well as other Mekong Delta localities in connecting with her country’s national programme on sustainable agriculture development.

Joining the programme, enterprises from the Mekong Delta will have the opportunity to cultivate and develop agricultural products right in the US, and the two sides’ enterprises will have the opportunity to share and learn experiences and techniques to apply to their agricultural production activities.

Regarding health care cooperation, the US Embassy in Vietnam will propose to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to strengthen the organization of missions from hospitals, research centres and prestigious medical universities of the US to Vietnam for working and sharing professional experience at Can Tho City's hospitals and medical facilities.

In the field of education and training, the US proposed Can Tho to send students and researchers to US prestigious educational institutions for training, while receiving students, lecturers from the US to learn, research and teach at universities, vocational schools and research centres in Can Tho and the region.

Tarnowka affirmed that her office is willing to support and share experiences in building a smart urban development project for Can Tho, saying that the Mekong Delta city should take smart urban development as the foundation for socio-economic development.

The US side also suggested cooperation with Can Tho in implementing clean air projects, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, managing drainage and wastewater treatment to increase the city's resilience to influence of climate change.

For his part, Chairman of municipal People’s Committee Le Quang Manh agreed with plans and proposals of the US official, affirming cooperation with the American country is one of the focuses in investment attraction strategy and sustainable development of Can Tho and the Mekong Delta region in general.

He pledged to improve its investment and business environment and apply mechanisms to create the most favourable conditions for US partners.

Manh hoped the US Consulate General will assist Can Tho to regularly meet with US investors, thus further promoting its potential, strength and international cooperation.

Son La exports more mangoes to UK

Three tonnes of mangoes, grown in Yen Chau district in the northern mountainous province of Son La, were packaged on June 19 for flying to the UK.

Ha Van Son, Director of the Chieng Hac agricultural cooperative in Yen Chau, said his cooperative is tending 14 ha of mangoes under VietGap standards, with an estimated yield of 200 tonnes in service of export.

Earlier, Yen Chau mangoes are sold mainly in the domestic market and exported to China, he said.

Seeing the potential of exporting their mangoes to other countries, Yen Chau growers have applied international cultivation standards for exporting to markets with strict criteria.

As a result, seven tonnes of mangoes have been selected to ship to the UK in this June.

In 2019, Son La has 15,700 ha of mango farms which are expected to give yields of 35,500 tonnes, including 7,500 tonnes eligible for export.

In the first half of this year, the province shipped aboard nearly 3,000 tonnes of mangoes, including 10 tonnes for the UK market.

Son La is the fifth locality in the country following Dong Thap, Vinh Long, An Giang and Tien Giang and the first in the north to export mangoes to markets with high potential, like the UK.

Vietnamese mangoes have been exported to 40 countries and territories worldwide, including Japan, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan (China), the EU, Australia, the US, the UK and Canada.

It is the sixth fruit of Vietnam to be exported to the US, after dragon fruit, rambutan, longan, lychee and star apple.

Two solar power plants become operational in Tay Ninh

Two solar power plants were inaugurated in Thanh Thanh Cong industrial park in Trang Bang district, the southern province of Tay Ninh on June 19.

Covering an area of 120 ha, the plants were invested by the joint venture of Thanh Thanh Cong Group (TTC) and Gulf energy group of Thailand with a total capital of 2.7 trillion VND (over 115.8 million USD). They were built adjacent to each other and equipped with a total of 360,000 solar panels.

The combined capacity of the plants is 118.8 MWp, supplying about 184 million kWh a year to the national grid, meeting the demand of about 150,000 households.

Vice Chairwoman of TTC Huynh Bich Ngoc said the operation of the two solar power plants has affirmed potential cooperation between TTC and Gulf - the Thai firm with rich experience in energy.

Ngoc added that Tay Ninh is a strategic investment province of her firm, with many projects bringing positive results, contributing to the locality’s development in many fields such as agriculture, education, trade, industrial real estate, and energy.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Ngoc spotlighted Tay Ninh’s potential for solar power energy, adding that many investors are interested in renewable energy development in the locality.

Ngoc said the locality has so far granted investment licences to 10 solar power projects worth 21 trillion VND (over 900.8 million USD) with a total estimated capacity of 808 MWp.

Tay Ninh now is seen as the leading locality nationwide in renewable energy projects, he stressed.

Can Tho, Vientiane step up agricultural cooperation

The Mekong delta city of Can Tho and Lao capital Vientiane sought cooperation prospects in agriculture during a working session on June 19.

Vientiane’s Governor Sinlavong Khoutphaythoune spoke highly of Vietnam’s assistance to the Lao agriculture, saying it contributed to speeding up poverty eradication efforts in his country.

He said Vietnam’s agriculture achievements, especially its lessons in the fields, are useful for the development of the Lao agriculture.

Vientiane wants to step up cooperation with Can Tho in rice and fruit production, and aquaculture, especially the production of breeds, in addition to agricultural restructuring and high technology application, he said.

The Lao capital city also wants to sign a cooperation deal with Can Tho and other localities in the Southwest to carry out hi-tech agriculture projects in Laos to help ensure food security in the city as well in the country, he noted.

Secretary of the Can Tho city Party Committee Tran Quoc Trung affirmed that the local agricultural sector will step up bilateral and multilateral cooperation programmes with Vientiane, aiming to realize commitments in regional and international conventions relating to climate changes, gas emission reduction, deforestation, food security and hygiene, among others.

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 Vice Chairman of the Binh Duong People's Committee 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.

Vietnam should give its shrimp a brand

Developing globally-recognised Vietnamese shrimp brand is necessary for the agricultural sector to realise a target of 10 billion USD in shrimp export revenue by 2025, according to the insiders.

They raised the issue at a forum jointly held by the Directorate of Fisheries and the Vietnam Fisheries Society (VINAFIS) in Bac Lieu city in the Mekong delta province of the same name on June 19.

VINAFIS Chairman Nguyen Viet Thang said that Vietnam is the world’s third largest shrimp producer, and shrimp has accounted for a lion share of 45 percent in the Vietnamese seafood exports for years.

Average growth rate of the shrimp production and processing is recorded at 6.82 percent each year, he added.

Yet considerable development, experts at the event laid stress on the formidable challenges for Vietnamese shrimp growers in the past two decades, which include export markets, price fluctuation, shrimp diseases and shrimp breeding.

To that end, they suggested building and managing a complete shrimp value chain as well as traceability system to develop Vietnamese shrimp brand, making the shrimps be sold like hot cakes in the international markets.

According to Deputy General Director of the Directorate of Fisheries Tran Dinh Luan, solutions must be outlined to balance supply and demand, and improve connections between suppliers and producers.

Hanoi looks to boost cooperation with Japan travel firms

A meeting of representatives from Hanoi’s Department of Tourism and Japanese travel companies was held in Hanoi on June 19 to seek ways to promote tourism cooperation between the capital city and the Asian nation.

The event was attended by delegates from 26 Japanese travel companies and 100 Vietnamese travel firms across the country, and those from State management agencies, tourism associations and organizations.

Suzuki Keisuke, General Director of Chubu tourism company said through the field trip to Hanoi, Japanese travel agencies hopes the municipal Department of Tourism will share information and enhance connection with them in the field, thus creating tourism destinations suitable for Japanese visitors.

Previously, Japanese tourism firms made field tours to famous tourism sites in Hanoi and the northern province of Ninh Binh and experienced new tourism products in the capital city and adjacent localities.

The reception of Japanese tourism agencies is one of activities to promote Hanoi’s tourism to the Japanese market - one of the three largest tourism markets of Hanoi, towards building appropriate tourism products for Japanese tourists.

Director of the municipal Department of Tourism Tran Duc Hai said the agency will continue to provide best support for Japanese travel firms and visitors, expressing his hope that Japanese firms will help bring more tourists from their country to Hanoi in the coming time.

Thai Binh calls for Singaporean investment to priority projects

A conference was held in Singapore on June 19 to call for investment to priority projects in Vietnam’s northern province of Thai Binh.

The projects cover infrastructure and industrial production; transport, especially seaports and transport networks in economic parks; services, restaurants, hotels and luxurious resorts; urban infrastructure; and high-tech agriculture.

Dang Trong Thang, Vice Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of the People’s Committee of Thai Binh province, said the Prime Minister has agreed to establish the Thai Binh economic zone.

Calling on Singaporean businesses to invest in Thai Binh, he said the province pays special attention to attracting strategic investors and will create the best possible conditions for them to operate in the locality for a long term.

Investors at the conference showed their interest in such areas as petro-chemistry and high-tech agriculture, and raised feasible proposals.

Ahmad Magad, General Secretary of the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF), said Thai Binh has substantial potential to attract investors and many Singaporean businesses have considered investing in the locality which is offering tax incentives at local economic parks.

Within the framework of the conference, Thai Binh and the SMF signed a memorandum of understanding to promote cooperation opportunities in the time ahead.

The conference was jointly held by Thai Binh province, the Vietnamese Embassy in Singapore and the SMF.

The SMF gathers 3,000 businesses that make up 20 percent of Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) and is an important partner of firms in Thai Binh and Vietnam in general.

Vietnamese visitors to Japan up 41.6 percent in May

 

As many as 39,900 Vietnamese tourists visited Japan in May, up 41.6 percent year-on-year, the Japanese Tourism Agency (JTA) reported on June 19.

According to statistics from JTA, the number of foreign holiday-makers visiting Japan last month increased 3.7 percent to over 2.7 million, mainly from the US, Europe and Asian nations; while that of tourists from Indonesia, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Singapore and Taiwan (China) to Japan has fallen because air ticket prices soared

By country and region, China topped the list with 756,400, up 13.1 percent from a year before. It was followed by the RoK and Taiwan with 603,400 and 246,500, respectively.

Meanwhile, the number of tourists from Russia to Japan in the period surged 30.2 percent to 9,700.

In the first five months of 2019, the total number of foreign visitors to “cherry blossom country" reached over 13.7 million, 4.2 percent higher than that of the same period last year.

To meet the goal of attracting 40 million foreign visitors in 2020 when the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be held, the agency said it will step up marketing and promotion efforts.

IndiGo hopes to start Kolkata-Hanoi direct flights from October 3

Vietnam is one of the most promising destinations and IndiGo hopes to start operating direct flights on the Kolkata-Hanoi route from October 3, Chief Commercial Officer of the Indian low-cost airline William Boulter said on June 19.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the Vietnam Revolutionary Press Day (June 21) held by the Vietnamese Embassy in India, Boulter described Vietnam as one of the undiscovered markets.

He showed his hope to start services between Kolkata and Hanoi on October 3, and then quickly launch the route to Ho Chi Minh City. He added these direct routes need government approval and the airline is in the last stages of getting them.

He affirmed that these flights will contribute to boosting tourism and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

According to data released by Indian aviation regulator DGCA, IndiGo has a 49 percent share in the domestic passenger market currently. It has deployed around 20 percent of its current capacity on international routes.

Samsung focuses on supporting high-tech firms

Samsung has conducted a variety of programs to boost supporting industries in the hope of increase the number of Vietnamese suppliers for it. This year, the training is mainly focused on high-tech enterprises.

Leaders of Samsung Vietnam on June 18 visited three enterprises in northern Vietnam---Hanoi CNC Technology Investment and Development Company Limited – CNC Tech, Viet Chuan Joint Stock Company and Thien My Vinh Phuc Company Limited---to evaluate the consultation results.

These enterprises operate in the field of plastic injection, molding and plastic plating.

During the visit, Choi Joo Ho, president of Samsung Vietnam, said that this year Samsung has been focusing on consulting and supporting high-tech enterprises and plastic injection molding manufacturers, especially by conducting in-depth consultation on molds.

“We are continuing to enhance consultation for Vietnamese enterprises to improve their capacity for further involvement,” the president said.

Currently, the total number of Samsung suppliers is 308, of which 35 Vietnamese enterprises had become first-tier suppliers by the end of 2018, and this number is expected to grow to 50 by 2020.

Samsung has been focused on this since 2015, within the framework of its 12-week innovation consultation program.

As part of the program, the Korean experts will survey, evaluate business activities, provide direct consultation and work with the Vietnamese enterprises to improve their production processes and finalize the standards for supplying products and components, enhancing the Vietnamese enterprises’ capacity to join the component supply chain of Samsung.

Since 2015, Samsung has held nine consultation sessions for 54 enterprises. This year, apart from the consultation program for productivity and quality improvement, Samsung has also directly cooperated with experts from the Samsung mold center to execute a mold consultancy program for mold manufacturing enterprises.

Along with the improvement consultancy program to improve quality and productivity, Samsung has been striving to help the Government of Vietnam develop supporting industries by organizing exhibitions and a workshop on supporting industries to find Vietnamese businesses capable of participating in Samsung's supply chain and by hosting a cooperative training program for 200 Vietnamese consultants in the field of production improvement and quality improvement.

Vietnamese workers in S.Korea likely to place VND100-million deposit

The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs is garnering feedback for a draft decision related to deposits paid by Vietnamese laborers to South Korea for work, in line with the Employment Permit System program of South Korea, from now until August 5, Thanh Nien newspaper reported.

Under the draft decision, prior to travelling to South Korea for guest work, the laborers will have to place a VND100-million deposit to ensure they will return home after their labor contracts expire.

Deposits must be placed within 35 days of labor contracts being signed with the Center of Overseas Labor under the ministry. The deposit term must not exceed five years and six months.

The draft decision also regulates that those who are entitled to borrow a maximum of VND100 million and put down a deposit at the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies need not mortgage their assets.

Local currency bond yields rise across all tenors as banks raise deposit rates: ADB

Local currency government bond yields in Vietnam climbed for all tenors between March 1 and May 8, according to the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB’s) latest issue of the Asia Bond Monitor.

The ADB noted in the report that bond yields rose faster at the short end than the long end, resulting in a flattening of the yield curve. Yields gained an average of 30 basis points (bps) for the 1-year through 3-year maturities but only rose an average of 6 bps for the 10-year through 15-year tenors.

As a result, the spread between the 2-year and 10-year yields narrowed to 125 bps on May 8 from 150 bps on March 1.

The overall upward trend in bond yields was influenced by the uptick in deposit rates. Some banks raised deposit interest rates at the beginning of the year to enable them to attract funds for mobilization.

A regulation by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), which came into effect in 2019, reduced the ratio of short-term capital that can be used for long-term lending. Only 40% of a bank’s short-term capital can now be used for long-term lending, down from the previous allowable amount of 45%.

This led borrowing costs to edge higher. The uptick in bond yields at the short end of the curve can also be attributed to rising inflation expectations.

Upward adjustments in the prices of electricity and gasoline in March and April were expected to have a domino effect on the cost of goods and services.

While inflation in the first four months of the year was the lowest for this period in three years, core inflation crept up to 1.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) in the January-April period, hitting the upper end of the target range of 1.6%-1.8% set by the legislative National Assembly for full-year 2019.

On the external front, uncertainties in global financial markets, particularly those arising from the unresolved trade issues between the United States and China, also affected bond yields. These two markets are among Vietnam’s largest trading partners.

The SBV has kept its refinancing rate steady since July 2017 at 6.25% and continues to utilize other monetary tools in guiding interest rates.

The central bank has also engaged in open market operations and intervened in the foreign exchange market to stabilize the Vietnamese dong to U.S. dollar exchange rate. Between March 1 and May 8, the Vietnamese dong weakened by 0.7% versus the U.S. dollar.

Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Vietnam eased to 6.8% y-o-y in the first quarter (Q1) of 2019 from 7.5% y-o-y in Q1 2018 as growth moderated in all major industry types.

The largest contributor to overall GDP growth was the industry and construction sector, which grew 8.6% y-o-y in Q1 2019. The services sector expanded 6.5% y-o-y, and the agriculture sector grew 2.7% y-o-y in Q1 2019.

Drop in G-bonds

Vietnam’s local-currency bond market reached a size of VND1.193 quadrillion (US$51 billion) at the end of March. Growth rose a marginal 0.7% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) in Q1 2019, a reversal from the 5% q-o-q contraction in Q4 2018. On a y-o-y basis, however, a 0.2% contraction was recorded.

Total local-currency government bonds outstanding stood at VND1.092 quadrillion at the end of March, with growth rebounding to 0.9% q-o-q in Q1 2019 after contracting 6.1% q-o-q in the preceding quarter. On a y-o-y basis, the government bond market contracted 2.4% after expanding 7.9% in Q4 2018.

The stock of treasury instruments was the sole driver of growth as the stocks of central bank bills and government-guaranteed and municipal bonds contracted during the review period.

At the end of March, the outstanding amount of treasury bonds reached VND919.2 trillion, accounting for an 84.2% share of the government bond stock. Growth of treasury instruments rebounded to 2.3% q-o-q and 9.0% y-o-y. In Q1 2019, newly issued treasury instruments totaled VND78 trillion on issuance growth of 123.4% q-o-q and 20.5% y-o-y.

The outstanding stock of central bank bills stood at VND4.9 trillion, as the SBV resumed issuance in March after a five-month break. The stock of government-guaranteed and municipal bonds stood at VND168.2 trillion, down 8.5% q-o-q and 9.0% y-o-y.

Rise in corporate bonds

At the end of March, the outstanding stock of local-currency corporate bonds reached VND100.7 trillion, with growth declining 1.3% q-o-q but rising 31.9% y-o-y.

The 30 largest corporate bond issuers in Vietnam accounted for an aggregate bond total amounting to VND96.2 trillion. This was equivalent to 95.5% of the corporate bond total at the end of the review period.

Taking the top spot was housing developer Vinhomes with outstanding bonds amounting to VND12.5 trillion, followed by Masan Consumer Holdings with outstanding bonds of VND11.1 trillion. Together, these two firms accounted for 23.4% of the total corporate bond stock at the end of March.

In the third spot was Vietnam’s largest property developer Vingroup with outstanding bonds valued at VND9.6 trillion, followed by the Vietnam Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (VND8.2 trillion) and the Asia Commercial Bank (VND6.8 trillion).

HCMC wants more funds for infrastructure development

Secretary of the HCMC Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan has proposed retain 20% of the city’s tax collection that is submitted to the central budget each year to invest in and develop traffic infrastructure in the city, Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reported.

Speaking at a conference aimed at assessing the two-year execution of the Government’s Resolution 120 on sustainable and climate-resilient development in the Mekong Delta region on June 18, Nhan said that weak traffic infrastructure has hindered the socioeconomic development of HCMC and neighboring provinces.

According to Nhan, the city has close economic connectivity with the Mekong Delta region, so traffic into the region is high. However, investment in traffic infrastructure in HCMC and the southeastern and the Mekong Delta regions remains poor and has yet to match their economic contributions.

HCMC and the Mekong Delta have contributed 42% to the country’s gross domestic product over the past 15 years, but the investment in traffic infrastructure for the two regions accounted for a mere 25% of the country’s total infrastructure investment.

It is necessary to increase funding for infrastructure development in these regions to 35% in the next 10 years, Nhan said.

Apart from proposing extracting part of the city’s tax collection to develop traffic infrastructure in these areas, Nhan pointed out that the mobilization of private resources for infrastructure investment should be enhanced.

The municipal Party secretary proposed issuing government bonds for domestic buyers to focus on investing in traffic infrastructure, adding that the mobilization of this capital resource is practical and will not increase foreign debt.

The total capital proposed to develop traffic infrastructure in the city and the Mekong Delta region will prioritize nine projects to ease traffic congestion, improve transport and boost interregional connectivity. The nine projects are ring roads 3 and 4; HCMC-Can Tho-Ca Mau Expressway; and National Highways 60, N2, 62, 30, 91 and 80.

Earlier, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The noted that in the 2016-2020 period, the total capital provided by the central budget for infrastructure in the Mekong Delta region was VND65 trillion, making up 15.5% of the country’ total investment in the sector. This money funded the development of the Nam Can-Dat Mui section of Ho Chi Minh Road in Ca Mau Province, Long Binh bridge, a waterway passage for large vessels to the Hai River and Lo Te-Rach Soi Road.

However, The said these investments have yet to produce satisfying results as traffic infrastructure remains a bottleneck to the economic development of the Mekong Delta region. It is necessary to invest more in the traffic infrastructure sector, he said.

JinkoSolar supplies solar modules to Trung Nam Group

The JinkoSolar Holding Co., one of the largest and most innovative solar module manufacturers in the world, has supplied the Trung Nam Group with 258MW of monocrystalline PERC double glass modules, which were installed at one of the largest solar-wind hybrid projects in Vietnam.

Located in south-central Ninh Thuan province, Phase 1 of the Trung Nam project was recently completed, which combined 258MW of solar power and 90MW of wind-turbine power. Together, this hybrid energy project will generate 1 billion kWh of electricity, which covers about 157 per cent of total electricity demand in Ninh Thuan and will also transmit to the national grid through the 220kV Thap Cham transformer substation in Thuan Bac district.

“Due to increasing population density and competition for available land, space is at a premium and the high humidity requires highly-efficient and durable solar panels,” said Mr. Nguyen Tam Tien, CEO of the Trung Nam Group. “The ultra-high performance and reliability of JinkoSolar’s double glass 380-watt panels are perfectly suited for the environment and will help drive growth in Vietnam’s solar industry. JinkoSolar’s modules not only have more power but are also resistant to humidity, which are both crucial considerations for large-scale solar deployment in Vietnam.”

“This massive project is a leading example of how renewable energy is the future of Vietnam’s long-term strategy to meet its energy demands,” said Mr. Kangping Chen, Chief Executive Officer of JinkoSolar. “New technologies driving the development of high efficiency PV products have created huge incentives to develop Vietnam’s renewable energy sector, making this an opportune time to move ahead with a project of this scale and impact in Vietnam. Unlocking clean energy potential means costs for solar power will become very affordable for countries like Vietnam and help drive economic development across the region. JinkoSolar will continue to play a key role in supporting new large-scale, low-emissions solar energy commercial projects in Vietnam.”

JinkoSolar distributes its solar products and sells its solutions and services to a diversified international utility, commercial, and residential customer base in China, the US, Japan, Germany, the UK, Chile, South Africa, India, Mexico, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, and other countries and regions.

Global sports media group enters Vietnam

ONE Championship, an organizer of martial arts competitions and the largest global sports media property in Asia, recently announced it will penetrate into Vietnam.

With established martial arts superstars and many more up-and-coming martial arts athletes, Vietnam is well-represented on the global stage of martial arts competition, according to Mr. Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship.

It aims to bring its unique brand of martial arts action and introduce the core values of integrity, humility, honor, courage, respect, discipline, and compassion. In addition, ONE Championship aims to discover Vietnamese martial arts talent from the grassroots and share their stories with the world.

“ONE Championship’s entry into Vietnam is coming at the right time,” he said. “As the leader of the world’s largest martial arts organization, I would like to showcase the true essence of martial arts through its deep-rooted values of integrity, humility, honor, respect, courage, discipline, and compassion.”

“Our goal is to make the world a better place through martial arts and to build real-life superheroes who ignite the world with hope, strength, dreams, and inspiration. Our superstars are ready to showcase their amazing skills. I can’t wait to tell their stories.”

ONE Championship is the “home of martial arts” and is the world’s largest martial arts organization, hosting bouts across all styles of martial arts. In just eight years since its inception in 2011, ONE Championship has risen to become the largest global sports media property in Asian history.

Vietnam has a rich martial arts culture steeped in history. Traditional Vietnamese martial arts have enriched the lives of millions of Vietnamese people throughout the years. ONE Championship aims to celebrate this rich ancestral martial arts culture and history, and at the same time light the path to the future of Vietnamese martial arts in the years to come.

ONE Championship is also the largest producer of millennial live sports content in Asia. Headquartered in Singapore, ONE is the world’s largest martial arts organization, hosting bouts across all styles of martial arts such as Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Karate, Kung Fu, Silat, Sanda, Lethwei, Mixed Martial Arts, Tae Kwon Do, Submission Grappling, and more.

It hosts the biggest sports entertainment events across Asia, featuring some of the world’s best martial artists and world champions on the largest global media broadcast in Asia. ONE eSports, a subsidiary of ONE Championship, runs Asia’s largest global eSports Championship Series with some of the biggest blockbuster game titles in the world.

ONE Championship and Dentsu Inc., Japan’s largest global advertising agency, last year agreed to launch ONE Esports as a joint venture together in 2019. Razer, Singtel, and other top industry players have also entered into partnership MoUs with ONE Esports to lead Asia’s esports industry together.

In addition to its digital platforms, ONE Championship broadcasts to over 2.6 billion potential viewers across over 140 countries with some of the largest global broadcasters.

Promoting administrative reform in the banking sector

An online conference took place in Hanoi on June 17 on promoting administrative reform in the banking sector, improving the business environment, and improving the credit access index, as well as continuing to implement the Government's Resolution 02/NQ-CP in 2019.

State Bank of Vietnam (SBV)’s Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu, who chaired the conference, affirmed that over the recent times, administrative reform has always been a focus of the State Bank and is considered as one of the important tasks, the key factor to improve the efficiency and quality in implementing the SBV’s management function and the banking industry's tasks.

With the regular guidance of the SBV’s leaders and the efforts of the system of credit institutions, the administrative reforms to improve the business environment in the monetary – banking sector have achieved positive results, making important contributions to improving the national business environment.

The important goal of administrative reform in the banking sector is to support businesses and people to access financial – banking information and services, contributing to improving the business environment in the monetary – banking sector and the national business environment, Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu emphasised.

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

Concluding the meeting, SBV’s Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu once again stressed the task and requirements on administrative reforms for units under the SBV as well as the system of credit institutions in the coming time. Accordingly, in the time ahead, the SBV will increase IT application in its activities, upgrade the national payment infrastructure to facilitate the development of new payment services, and apply new e-payment technologies like QR code, Tokenization, mobile payment and contactless payment.

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

Can Tho welcomes Japanese investments: municipal official

The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho always welcomes and creates favourable conditions for Japanese corporations to land their investment in the locality, Vice Chairman of the city People’s Committee Duong Tan Hien said on June 19.

Hosting a reception for representatives from KATO Group and Wons company, Hien said he hopes that both corporations will establish their representative offices in the city to connect Japanese investments in the priotised sectors of seafood, fruit and healthcare.

Leading officials of the Japanese firms expressed their hope to link Vietnamese and Japanese investment through giving consultations about merger and acquisition in state-owned enterprises, outlining investment plans, and promoting cooperation between Japanese investors and Vietnamese ministries.

They recommended Can Tho to channel focus on media work to lure investment, including developing attractive websites which provide impressive images and trustworthy information about the local business climate.

According to honourable President of the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Association Pham Thanh Van, Can Tho city should have international-standard hospitals to serve foreign investors.

Construction is underway for Vinmec International Hospital, which will be put into use next year. Meanwhile, Japan will help Can Tho General Hospital to set up the Vietnam-Japan clinic to better healthcare service for experts and local people.

With well-developed system of hospitals, schools, and entertainment zones, Can Tho will be an ideal destination for Japanese experts and businesses, he added.

 
 
 
 
 
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