BUSINESS NEWS 9/5

CPTPP – a driver of shrimp export to Canada

BUSINESS NEWS 9/5

Workers process shrimps for export at a factory in Ninh Thuan province

The CPTPP will create a good chance for Vietnamese shrimp exporters to capitalise on the Canadian market, even though the Southeast Asian nation is already the top shrimp supplier there.

Aquatic exports brought home 2.4 billion USD in the first four months of 2019, equivalent to the figure during the same period last year. That included 1.8 billion USD between January and March, and the shrimp sector contributed 617.6 million USD to this sum, down 20 percent year on year.

Boosting the shipment of shrimp products to potential markets like Canada is critical to help achieve the goal of 4.2 billion USD in aquatic exports this year, and making use of preferential treatments under the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) is an important measure, according to the Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times).

As of March 15, Vietnam had shipped 23.8 million USD worth of shrimp products to Canada, up 7.5 percent from a year earlier. The revenue has increased in recent years, from 122.5 million USD in 2016 to 161.6 million USD last year.

Canada is currently the sixth biggest market for Vietnamese shrimp, accounting for almost 5 percent of total shrimp exports.

Data of the International Trade Centre show that shrimp imports by the North American country reached 513.3 million USD in 2018, down 5 percent from the previous year. Meanwhile, Vietnam is the biggest shrimp provider for this market with a market share of 30.3 percent.

The Canadian government is diversifying markets to reduce the dependence on imports from the US, and Vietnam is one of the countries Canadian businesses want to boost trade with.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers said the CPTPP, taking effect in Vietnam on January 14, will create good opportunities for the country’s shrimp exporters to make use of the Canadian market as rivals like India, Thailand and Indonesia are not members of this deal.

Echoing this view, the Ministry of Industry and Trade noted Canada is one of the CPTPP members with the highest market-opening commitments. It will cut tariffs on 95 percent of imports down to zero, and that covers 78 percent of Vietnam’s total exports to this market.

In addition, Canada is also one of the three CPTPP members that Vietnam lacks a bilateral trade agreement with. The two sides’ export structures do not compete but are complementary.

Therefore, if businesses can grab opportunities, the CPTPP will open the door for many key products of Vietnam like textile-garment, footwear, wood and aquatic products, according to the ministry.

Insurer Bao Viet’s revenue up 19 percent in Q1

Bao Viet Group posted nearly 8.1 trillion VND (348.2 million) in insurance revenue in the first quarter of 2019, a year-on-year increase of 19 percent.

Life insurance rose by nearly 20 percent, reaching over 5.53 trillion VND (237.7 million USD). Non-life insurance premiums brought in approximately 2.67 trillion VND (114.8 million USD), up 10.5 percent.

Total direct spending by the insurance business reached more than 7.33 trillion VND (315 million USD), a decrease of about 3 percent over the same period last year.

During the first quarter, the group’s financial income dropped sharply by 37 percent to 1.79 trillion VND (77 million USD), of which deposit interest was over 1.01 trillion VND (43.4 million USD), up 73 percent over the same period.

Income from securities investment and trading activities only reached 41 billion VND (1.76 million USD) while in the same period last year, the figure was nearly 1.39 trillion VND (59.7 million USD).

As a result, Bao Viet reported after-tax profit of 455 billion VND (19.6 million USD) in the first quarter, a year-on-year decrease of 10 percent, of which the company owner's profit was 444.3 billion VND, down 8.5 percent against Q1 in 2018.

By the end of the first quarter, Bao Viet's total assets were valued at over 116.56 trillion VND (5 billion USD), an increase of about 3 percent compared to the beginning of the year.

Short-term assets reached more than 72.97 trillion VND (3.13 billion USD), up 5.3 percent. Cash and cash equivalents reached over 3.03 trillion VND (130.3 million USD), an increase of about 40 percent year-on-year.

Vietnam’s seafood promoted in Brussels expo

Vietnamese enterprises are showcasing their products at the Brussels Seafood Expo 2019 in Belgium from May 7-9, aiming to give Vietnamese seafood a firmer foothold in the European market.

On the sidelines of the event, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development worked with the Vietnamese Embassy and Trade Office in Belgium and the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) to hold a forum on Vietnamese seafood and cooperation prospects.

VASEP also collaborated with the Directorate of Fisheries and the southernmost province of Ca Mau to organise a seminar on tra fish and Vietnamese shrimp.

Speaking at the forum, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said the Vietnamese fisheries sector focuses on developing its products towards applying modern technology, increasing product quality and values, diversifying products, and ensuring food security, safety and hygiene.

Javier Cordova Fernandez, Deputy General Manager at Mitsui & Co Europe PLC, said the company has bought Vietnamese shrimp products for years thanks to their good quality and competitive prices.

European consumers pay attention to their health, he stated, advising Vietnamese enterprises to increase product traceability and expand the use of organic feed in aquatic farming.

Last year, Vietnam exported 275,800 tonnes of aquatic products to the EU, earning 1.4 billion USD, making it the second biggest importer of Vietnamese aquatic products.

The signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement in the time ahead is also expected to raise the Southeast Asian nation’s export turnover thanks to tariff cuts.

Tien Giang’s fruits benefit from promotion efforts

BUSINESS NEWS 9/5

The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang, dubbed the “kingdom of fruits”, is taking steps to bolster the trade of local fruit specialties in Vietnamese and foreign markets.

Tien Giang boasts several popular fruit varieties, including Hoa Loc mangoes, Ngu Hiep durians, Tan Phuoc pineapples, Cho Gao dragon fruits and Vinh Kim star apples.

It is home to more than 77,700ha of fruit trees, harvesting nearly 1.6 million tonnes of fruits each year. More than 600ha of the area have met VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards.

In 2018, fruit production value surpassed 25 trillion VND (more than 1 billion USD), or some 61 percent of local agricultural value.

Director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade Doan Van Phuong said Tien Giang has great potential for fruit tree development, but to optimise this advantage, it must ensure stable sales.

According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Van Nghia, Tien Giang has moved to step up trade promotion in both domestic and foreign markets, including by participating in international fairs and signing fruit purchase contracts with other Vietnamese localities.

He noted his province inked a deal on fruit and aquatic product manufacturing and consumption with Da Nang for 2017 – 2020. Under this deal, it will supply 26,000 – 30,000 tonnes of different fruits to the central city each year.

Local businesses and cooperatives have also provided agricultural products for big distributors in Ho Chi Minh City such as Big C, Lotte Mart, Citi Mart and A Chau supermarkets.

Earlier this year, Tien Giang formed a partnership with Vietnam Airlines to serve Hoa Loc mangoes and green-skin grapefruits on the national flag carrier’s flights. More seasonal fruit specialties of the province are expected to be available on Vietnam Airlines’ flights in the near future, Nghia said.

Meanwhile, Cho Gao dragon fruits, Ngu Hiep durians, Vinh Kim star apples and green-skin grapefruits have become major export items, helping farming households raise their incomes.

Tien Giang shipped the first batch of Vinh Kim star apples to the US in December 2017, opening up a new export opportunity for this fruit, deemed the most delicious star apple variety in Vietnam.

Additionally, other delicacies like mangoes and grapefruits have also succeeded in entering demanding markets, proving the effectiveness of trade promotion activities, according to the People’s Committee.

In 2018, the province earned 17.2 million USD from exporting 10,522 tonnes of fruit, up 20.11 percent in value and 28.3 percent in volume.

However, Vice Chairman Nghia said export volume has yet to match potential, given the big output, high economic value and strong demand in foreign markets.

He added to boost trading, the provincial administration has ordered departments and agencies to accelerate agricultural and industrial restructuring, attract more investment to processing, step up trade promotion and seek new markets. Tien Giang has also been working to make market forecasts to help businesses, cooperatives and farmers build development plans and improve their connectivity.

Quang Binh withdraws licences for delayed projects

BUSINESS NEWS 9/5
An incomplete building at a hospital project in Quang Binh Province. Provincial authorities have withdrawn the project's licence. — Photo kinhtedothi.vn

Authorities in the central province of Quang Binh have withdrawn the licences of 16 delayed projects that have high percentages of land occupation.

The projects occupied a total of 591,000sq.m of land. According to the local Department of Planning and Investment, the projects were found to be delayed and leaving land in a poor state during an
investigation made by the local Department of Natural Resources and Environment late last year.

Tran Phong from the environment department said the department has completed another report on land use violations among other delayed projects in the locality following recent investigations by the
department.

He added that the report would be the basis for local authorities to make withdrawal decisions in an attempt to retrieve land occupied by unqualified investors.

The report recommended withdrawing the licences of nine projects, including those in the healthcare sector, tourism and trade. Those projects are occupying 942,000sq.m of land.

Authorities are to find proper investors and sell the infrastructure of the withdrawn projects, which include unused buildings on the land.

In related news, neighbouring Thua Thien-Hue Province is seeking qualified investors for a residential and park project valued VND4.2 trillion (US$183 million). The project is located in the new urban area An
Van Duong, a modern city outside of the ancient city of Hue.

The estimated duration for the project, including site clearance work, is 60 months.

An Van Duong is a proposed residential, trade and recreational centre occupying 1,700ha of land. It has welcomed investors since 2005.

Contest enables businesses to book AI solutions

The “AIoT & Smart Cities 2019” competition kicked off in Ho Chi Minh City on May 7, which enables firms to make orders for their solutions and applications in the contest.

The competition, organised by the Quang Trung Software Business Incubator, is designed to create a network for students and businesses across the nation to share trends in global science-technology, including artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT).

It also provides updates to ready the start-up community ahead of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and seeks ideas to develop new products. Notably, it aims to address problems of respective businesses and organisations in accordance with their needs.

The contest will run until October, with total prize money worth more than 1.2 billion VND (51,560 USD).

The winning proposals will receive support for incubating between six months and two years and give them access to SpeedUp, a programme supporting start-ups and innovation initiated by the HCM City’s Department of Science and Technology.

Deputy Director of the municipal Information and Communication Department Le Quoc Cuong said that HCM City has devised a project on AI research and application for the 2019-2025 period to foster its development.

He added that the competition will be a playground for AI and IoT experts by connecting firms with educational establishments in the field, voicing his hope that solutions and applications at the contest will contribute to the city’s AI project.

Hai Phong int’l terminal welcomes first container ship

The Hai Phong International Container Terminal (HICT) of the Tan Cang Sai Gon Corporation welcomed its first container ship on May 7.

With a capacity of nearly 12,000 TEUs, Wan Hai 805 became the first and largest container ship anchored at the northern port to date.

The ship, belonging to a joint venture of Taiwan’s Wan Hai Lines, China’s COSCO Shipping, and Singapore’s Pacific International Lines, provides direct services from the northern region of Vietnam to the west coast of the US.

Its service helps cut freight time from 25 to 19 days compared with the previous method of trans-shipment at foreign ports.

Deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Van Cong said that the birth of the HICT marked an important milestone in the development of the deep-water port system in northern Vietnam in general and Hai Phong city in particular.

The welcoming of container ship Wan Hai 805 makes the HICT one of the 20 largest ports in the world, he added.

Previously on April 11, the terminal welcomed mother vessel Northern Jaguar deployed by Ocean Network Express.

With a capacity of more than 8,800 TEUs, the vessel provides direct services from the north of Vietnam to the west coast of the US and Canada. Its service will cut down freight time from Hai Phong to the US and Canada as the previous route called in at overseas trans-shipment hubs, reducing the journey from 25 down to 17 days, thus attracting more transit cargo.

Project seeks to promote green garment-textiles industry

BUSINESS NEWS 9/5

A project is being implemented in Vietnam to improve the eco-friendliness of the local textile-apparel industry, which is a big foreign currency earner of the country but also has considerable impact on the environment.

The Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) held a meeting for the VITAS’ environment committee in Hanoi on May 7 to seek ways to step up the sector’s environmental responsibility.

VITAS Vice Chairman Truong Van Cam said the garment-textiles sector raked in 31.7 billion USD and 36 billion USD in exports in 2017 and 2018, respectively. It has set a target figure of 40 billion USD this year.

However, it is also among the biggest greenhouse gas emitters, following electricity production, agriculture, road transport, and oil and gas production. The sector also faces serious social and environmental problems that have affected its reputation, he admitted.

In addressing these issues, WWF Vietnam and VITAS have been working together to carry out a project on Vietnam’s garment-textiles sector, improving water management and energy sustainability.

This project, being implemented from 2018 to 2020, looks to transform the sector into a sustainable and environmentally responsible industry.

Hoang Viet, sustainable development programme manager at WWF Vietnam, said global consumers are shifting their preferences towards environmental sustainability. This has forced many famous brands to change their production modes in which they have to meet higher environmental and social standards.

Therefore, if production modes are not changed soon, Vietnam will lose its competitive edge and many future opportunities, he noted.

An Giang: solar power plant to join grid in June

BUSINESS NEWS 9/5

The Sao Mai Solar Power Plant in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, among the biggest of its kind in Southeast Asia, will join the national grid at the end of June.

The information was heard at a working session on May 7 between representatives of the provincial People’s Committee and Sao Mai group, which is building the power project.

Constructed in two phases at a cost of 5.6 trillion VND (240.39 million USD), the 210 MWp project spans 275 ha in Tinh Bien district’s An Hao commune. Expected to be fully operational in 2020 with an annual output of about 2.5 billion kWh, it aims to ensure electricity supply for people living along both sides of the Vietnam-Cambodia borderline.

Sao Mai Vice General Director Truong Vinh Thanh said the first phase of the plant has completed 90 percent of its workload and is due to finish on June 30 to join the national grid on schedule.

He said the group’s preparation for the second phase is facing difficulties in terms of land source and land clearance work, asking the local authorities to consider its proposal for more land serving the construction.

Nguyen Thanh Binh, Standing Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, approved the proposal, saying the authority will help with land clearance activities for the project.

 

Firms need solid strategies to boost exports to Thailand

Thailand is one of the markets with most potential for Vietnam within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), yet businesses need to adopt appropriate strategies to boost exports to the market, experts said at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on May 7.

Nguyen Tuan, Deputy Director for the Investment & Trade Promotion Centre of HCM City (ITPC), said that as members of ASEAN, Vietnam and Thailand have many favourable conditions to enhance economic partnership and trade exchanges.

Thai goods are widely present in Vietnam and favoured by many customers. However, not many made-in-Vietnam goods are able to penetrate into the distribution and retail systems in Thailand, he noted.

Nich Reitmeier, Executive Vice President Foothalls, International Food & Alcohol Buying at Central Group Thailand, said that his firm is one of the largest purchasing, distribution, and retail systems in Thailand. It is also operating effectively in Vietnam with the Big C supermarket chain.

In Vietnam, Central Group has about 40,000 suppliers, with over 90 percent being Vietnamese goods. Despite this, in Thailand, only 50 made-in-Vietnam goods items are sold in Central Group’s supermarkets, mainly consisting of coffee and dried fruit.

According to Reitmeier, Vietnamese products, especially farm produce, have good quality and taste, but have not yet been developed in Thailand as businesses lack focus on building brands and providing sufficient information of products for Thai consumers.

The design of products has not met the demand and preference of Thai people, he added.

Nguyen Thi Hong, Vice President in charge of social responsibility and sustainable development of Central Group Vietnam, said the company wants to seek Vietnamese firms that can supply many Vietnamese goods for its base in Thailand to bring the products to the global distribution system of Central Group.

This aims to support Vietnamese small- and medium-sized enterprises to boost exports to Thailand and access to other markets, she said.

She reminded that Thailand is a choosy market, but requiring high-quality standards.

It takes 3-6 months for Thai agencies to consider granting import certification for normal products, and up to 2 years for special areas such as baby food, she noted.

Hanoi to benefit from more financial-budgetary autonomy

Hanoi is expected to benefit from preferential financial-budgetary mechanisms, which are being drafted up in a government decree by the Ministry of Finance.

The draft version stipulates Hanoi is authorized to make advanced payment from the financial reserve fund for priority infrastructure development projects, which have not been allocated funds from the government’s mid-term investment plan.

The move is aimed to speed up the implementation progress of projects while the advanced payment period would not exceed 36 months.

Additionally, the Hanoi’s People Council could decide how to use part of the fund from the wage reform program to invest in infrastructure development and increase salaries for public servants. The latter would depend on the efficiency of work performance and not exceed 0.8 times of the current wage.

Unlike other cities, centrally-administered cities such as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City play an important economic role and have special characteristics, thus requiring greater autonomy and more decentralized decision-making in their financial mechanisms, i.e. local budget revenues and expenditures, the mobilization of resources, and the implementation of different models for development investment with due regard for corruption risks.

Vice Minister of Home Affairs Nguyen Duy Thang previously said greater autonomy would allow Hanoi to eliminate institutional bottlenecks on its way toward sustainable development, which is an irreversible global trend at the moment.

Moreover, the move would help Hanoi attract resources for development. The right to decide on approaches to investment and urban financing (generating revenue for infrastructure and urban development) and urban land use management would greatly fasten the city’s development, he said.

As of April, Hanoi has a population of 6.45 million living in an area of 3,34 square kilometers, making it the second most populous city in Vietnam, behind Ho Chi Minh City with 7.1 million, according to Hanoi’s Statistics Bureau.

In 2018, Hanoi’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) grew by 7.37%, up from the 7.3% record last year to reach VND904.5 trillion (US$39.13 billion), said Nguyen Van Suu, vice chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee.

Among 53 cities and provinces having received direct foreign investment (FDI) in the first four months this year, Hanoi has attracted the largest portion of capital commitments with over US$4.47 billion, accounting for 30.6% of total investment in the period, as the city has been making efforts to smooth the investment environment.

Hanoi targets GRDP growth rate of 7.5% in 2019 and 2020, leading to an expansion of 7.33% - 7.41% in the 2016 – 2020 period, which is in line with the city’s five-year socio-economic development plan.

Filipino AC Energy to build multi-million-dollar wind farm in Vietnam

BUSINESS NEWS 9/5

The Philippines' Ayala Corporation said on May 6 its energy unit AC Energy would build a wind farm in Vietnam’s southeast coast, Filipino media group ABS-CBN reported.

AC Energy signed a shareholder's agreement with The Blue Circle for the Mui Ne Wind Farm Binh Thuan province. The first phase will have 40 megawatts in capacity with estimated an cost of US$92 million, which can be expanded to 170 megawatts (MW), Ayala Corp told the stock exchange.

The Filipino firm will have 62% economic ownership of the project with a 50-% direct voting stake. The first phase is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020, Ayala Corp said.

In November 2018, AC Energy through its subsidiary AC Energy International Holdings, acquired 25% ownership of The Blue Circle, as well as co-investment rights in its projects.

AC Energy and The Blue Circle will jointly develop, construct, own and operate a pipeline of around 2,000 MW of renewable energy projects across Southeast Asia.

?Last November, AC Energy formed joint venture with AMI Renewables Energy to build solar farms in the provinces of Khanh Hoa and Dak Lak, to be commissioned in time for the June 2019 solar feed-in tariff deadline.

The projects are estimated to cost US$83 million, financed with debt and equity. AC Energy will participate with at least 50% economic share.

According to a master plan, solar power is expected to become Vietnam’s main new renewable energy source in the future, with installed capacity to be increased from around six to seven megawatts at the end of 2017 to 850MW by 2020, accounting for 1.6% of the country's power generation and 12,000MW by 2030 or 3.3% of Vietnam's power generation.

Ben Tre aims to become startup province

The Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre is one of the leader in implementing the governmental project ‘Supporting national innovative startup ecosystems until 2025’. It is especially successful with its program ‘Dong Khoi – Starting Up and Developing Businesses’.

In 2016, the Ben Tre Provincial Party issued the Program No. 10-CTr/TU on ‘Dong Khoi – Starting Up and Developing Businesses’. After three years running, this program has achieved certain positive results, fostering the establishment of a true startup environment and freer investment environment in the province.

From 2016 to 2019, there were 2,890 companies in total, with the aim for 2,500 new ones in 2020. 15,039 new families in the province took part in commercial activities, an increase to 45,953 province-wide. The program received 980 documents to request support on new ideas and projects, 369 of which were already approved. It also financed 1,554 projects of various scales with the total capital of around VND1,761 billion (approx. $75.46 million).

Thanks to various suitable policies and favorable conditions, many individuals dare open their own businesses while others also have excellent startup ideas to escape poverty. Several startup models such as shaping handicraft coconut, manufacturing bio-fertilizer from coconut peat, producing cosmetics from coconut, or making probiotics from bagasse pulp have been impressively fruitful.

One of the most prominent example of these startup successes is the small-scale business of Ngo Thi Hoang Oanh, located in Khanh Thanh Tan Commune in Mo Cay Bac District. After pursuing the major of business administration in Ho Chi Minh City, Ms. Oanh realized the potential of her hometown in creating cosmetics from coconut oil. In 2016, she and her husband established a family-scale company to produce lipsticks and soap.

Oanh shared that the road from the initial step to achievements today is not at all easy. She had to pay dearly for that success. At the moment, her company creates around 5,000 – 7,000 bars of soap and 2,500 lipsticks to sell on social networks to customers all around the country. She now has new ideas to make shower gel from coconut.

According to Mr. Phan Van Mai, Standing Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party cum President of the Consultation Board on Startup Activities, in the last three years carrying out the program, Ben Tre Province has been able to form a relatively complete ecosystem, with various consultation and support activities. This allows residents to confidently start up their own businesses creatively, applying advanced technologies. The final aim of these works is to help people share the prosperity.

As said by Ms. Vu Kim Hanh, President of the Business Association of High Quality Vietnamese Products, the daring spirit and the sustainable thinking have helped Ben Tre Province reach its current success. It can now become a model of innovative startup ecosystem for other locations in the Mekong Delta, commented Mr. Nguyen Phuong Lam, Director of VCCI Can Tho.

Despite these remarkable achievements, the program ‘Dong Khoi – Starting Up and Developing Businesses’ still encounters various obstacles like a quite low rate of truly innovative startup activities, the limited ability of the mobilization teams, the misunderstanding of many startup people.

The Secretary of the Provincial Party Vo Thanh Hao shared that Ben Tre Province is yearning to aid all residents escape their poverty status and increase the local budget. The only way to achieve that is through startup activities, which is now becoming critical in the region. He added that startup activities here must aim at making wise use of current natural resources and smartly applying modern technologies.

In the near future, Ben Tre Province is going to professionally focus on the three minor programs of incubating and boosting businesses via strong connections among business founders; fostering tourism activities; and continuing the upgrade on the investment environment to increase the performance of the startup ecosystem.

JICA boosts cooperation with Can Tho

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has raised the number of volunteers working in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho to seven to step up its cooperation with the city in multiple fields.

“I do love travelling and like Can Tho City. I will live and work in the city and take tours in the next two years as well as writing articles introducing Can Tho City,” Teraoka Mami, sent by JICA to the city, said at a meeting held on May 6 in Can Tho City.

Mami’s articles are expected to contribute to boosting cooperation between Japan and Can Tho City and making the city better known to the Japanese people.

Nguyen Thi Ngu, coordinator of the JICA Vietnam Office, noted that the chief representative of JICA in Vietnam had praised the results of the collaboration and the use of volunteers in the tourism marketing space.

“The chief representative of JICA in Vietnam sent a big thank you to the Can Tho authority for its support, asserting that JICA would be willing to strengthen its long-term cooperation with Can Tho in more new fields,” Ngu said.

Mai Van Phung, vice director of the Department of External Relations in Can Tho City, remarked that the department and other agencies would create the most favorable conditions for Mami to live and work effectively in the city.

In addition to Mami, Can Tho City has received six other Japanese volunteers since 2017. These volunteers are working in various fields such as agriculture, healthcare, tourism and sports.

Can Tho City currently hosts Japan Desk, the JICA Office and the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Industrial Park, covering 30 hectares in Cai Rang District.

Further, the city has constructed an apartment block near the industrial park to serve Japanese experts and firms in Can Tho City.

As of end-2018, Japan had invested in 3,889 projects worth US$55.7 billion in Vietnam, of which Can Tho City received US$34.5 million for eight projects.

Long An switches to investment in renewable energy projects

The Mekong Delta province of Long An has shifted its focus to attracting investment in solar power projects, while withdrawing a previous plan to develop coal-fired plants.

There are 15 solar power projects being funded by the province to date, with total capacity exceeding 1,300 megawatts (MW).

Among them, eight projects, with a total capacity of 440 MW, were approved for addition to the national master plan on power development, created by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, according to Director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade Le Minh Duc.

He told the Saigon Times that four out of the eight approved projects are under construction, while another has been commissioned and connected to the national power grid. The provincial authorities and investors are racing against time to have four more projects added to the grid by June, he said.

Duc added that Sao Mai Group, TTC Group, Bang Duong and Long An Solar Energy Company are among the investors funding the solar power projects.

The investors are increasing their investment in these solar-power projects to take advantage of preferential policies from the Government for solar-power projects connected to the national grid prior to June 30.

Meanwhile, Long An Thermal Power Center has cancelled the plan to build coal-fueled plants due to their harmful effects on the environment.

Earlier, in August last year, the provincial government wrote to the ministry, noting its refusal to develop coal-fueled plant projects at the center. The projects initially required an estimated US$5 billion in investment and had a total capacity of 2,800 MW.

CenLand launches real estate tech platform

CenLand has launched a real estate technology platform called CenHomes that helps international customers and investors verify information to guarantee safe and transparent transactions.

The website plays the role of an information “filter” for both buyers and sellers in the real estate market, providing information on legal issues, construction status, and real prices at every project. Projects
uploaded on cenhomes.vn are under the strict measurement, supervision, and appraisal of the CenHomes team.

It is also integrated with key technologies in Industry 4.0 such as AI and big data to help information use, record market trends, and provide 24/7 support to customers.

“CenHomes has a plan to globalize the system of real estate marketing and distribution,” said Mr. Le Xuan Nga, General Director of CenHomes. “This plan will help many international customers and investors fully understand market trends and find it easier to search and buy real estate in Vietnam. Via a prestigious intermediary like CenHomes, international customers and investors can easily sell their real property or rent it out when they don’t need to use it anymore.”

One prominent feature of the website is its virtual reality (VR) technology producing a lively visual experience for international customers and investors. Real 3D images of every project and the local
neighborhood are taken and enclosed with real estate information.

In addition to technologies, CenHomes has also made significant investments in human resources, with professional consultants always on hand to support international customers and investors in dealing
with legal procedures and making quick and accurate transactions.

CenHomes is a new realty business platform developed by CenLand, one of the leading realty enterprises in Vietnam. The platform is a combination of modern technologies, expert market knowledge, and a desire to provide the best experiences to customers.

It is a pioneering real estate e-commerce platform that stays abreast of trends to resolve any hardships facing international customers and investors when they invest in Vietnam’s properties and encourages
them to learn about the local market and boost investment.

CenHomes will make its official debut on May 10 through an exhibition of real estate technologies in Hanoi. Customers at the show will not only be updated on the latest real estate trends but can also directly experience new innovations in real estate transactions.

High recruitment demand among Japanese enterprises in Q1

BUSINESS NEWS 9/5

The Navigos Group, the operator of the country’s largest jobs portal VietnamWorks and executive search firm Navigos Search, for the first time issued a report on recruitment demand for senior management levels among Japanese enterprises in Vietnam during the first quarter of the year.

Its Japan Desk found such recruitment was high in the retail sector and changes were seen in candidate selection among Japanese enterprises in the manufacturing sector.

According to the Japan Desk, Japanese enterprises had high demand for recruiting middle and high-level personnel in many sectors during the quarter, such as manufacturing, IT, consumer goods, retail,
transportation, engineering, and banking and finance. Most notable was the manufacturing sector, which accounted for more than 50 per cent of recruitment demand.

The emergence of new industrial parks exclusively for Japanese enterprises such as the Supporting Industrial Park Dong Van 3 in northern Ha Nam province and Thang Long 3 Industrial Park in northern
Vinh Phuc province has led to an increase in hiring demand for key positions such as Factory Manager or HR Director, to prepare companies from the first steps such as building the factory and the mass
recruitment of employees to put the plant into operation.

In the first quarter and in the future, large enterprises in the Japanese retail sector in the fields of fashion, household goods, and cosmetics will expand strongly or officially invest in Vietnam. According to Vietnamese candidates, Japanese corporates in this field have strengths in training employees, professional management processes, and dedicated customer service styles, among others. These retail businesses are therefore attractive to Vietnamese candidates.

Their recruitment requirements are quite strict, however, including English proficiency, good communication skills, and a deep understanding of the company’s business and culture, which many young Vietnamese candidates don’t meet. A history of changing jobs too often is also a disadvantage for candidates applying to these corporations.

About five years ago, a fresh graduate with an N2 certificate in the Japanese language could easily find a job in Manufacturing. This is no longer sufficient, however, as the competition among job seekers at
Japanese enterprises is increasing. Japanese businesses now prioritize the recruitment of fresh graduates majoring in Japanese and who have a clear career plan. For multinational companies, knowing English is also an advantage.

The expansion of Japanese businesses into Vietnam from China has also led to new requirements for Vietnamese candidates: knowing Chinese to be able to work with Chinese suppliers.

According to the headhunter’s observations, Japanese IT enterprises have not attracted Vietnamese IT candidates because the salary is not competitive compared with European or American companies.

The requirement to comply with working times at Japanese companies compared to the flexible working times, even working at home, found at IT companies in Europe and America also makes Japanese
enterprises unattractive to candidates. However, Japanese IT enterprises are very suitable for candidates who feel comfortable with regulations and attach importance to stability and long-term commitment.

Vietnam Medi-Pharm Expo opens in Hanoi

Cutting-edge medical and pharmaceutical technologies and products are on display at the 26th Vietnam Medi-Pharm Expo, which opened in Hanoi on May 8.

The four-day exhibition offers an opportunity for investors to study the business environment and legal regulations in Vietnam, as well as serves as a venue for the industry’s insiders to exchange experience.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong said the Vietnamese health ministry wishes to create an equal, healthy, stable, and competitive business environment.

He urged pharmaceutical producers and businesses, and those operating in medical equipment at home and abroad to set up partnerships, thus contributing to developing bilateral and multilateral cooperation in this field.

The expo accommodates 550 booths by 450 businesses from many countries and territories like India, Poland, Bangladesh, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Taiwan (China), the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, the US, and host Vietnam, among others.

Within the framework of the expo, there will be a symposium and an exhibition on preventative medicine and a workshop on immunotherapy and stem cells for the treatment of cancer and diabetes, along with other sideline events.

 
 
 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN