VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS DECEMBER 31

Goods demand for Tet up due to domestic confidence on economic recovery

The purchasing power in the domestic market is expected to increase by between 15-20 percent from now until the 2021 Tet (Lunar New Year), with food products seeing the strongest rise.

Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s Domestic Market Department reported that the higher purchasing power is due to consumer confidence in macro-economic stability, along with increasing income of people at the end of the year.

Therefore, enterprises have plans to prepare enough supply of goods and consumption stimulus programmes to meet people's needs.

Those plans would not cause a great change in selling prices, according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, at local markets, the prices of fresh food items will regularly fluctuate in the days approaching Tet due to strong increase in food demand. However, growth rate of the prices may be curbed partly because of stable prices at supermarkets and commercial centres and points selling stabilised-priced goods in localities./.

Vietnam attracts over 28.5 billion USD of FDI in 2020

Foreign investors had poured 28.53 billion USD into the Vietnamese market as of December 20, equivalent to 75 percent of the amount in the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The ministry reported that 19.98 billion USD of the capital had been disbursed, down only 2 percent compared to the same time last year despite impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

Many FDI firms have recovered, maintained and expanded their production, the ministry said.

Notably, 6.4 billion USD of FDI was injected into underway projects, up 10.6 percent compared to the same period of 2019.

Meanwhile, 2,523 new projects were licenced with combined capital totaling 14.56 billion USD, a year-on-year decrease of 35 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively.

In the year, foreign investors focused on 19 sectors, led by processing-manufacturing with 13.6 billion USD, accounting for 47.7 percent of the total.

Electricity production and distribution drew 5.1 billion USD, while real estate attracted nearly 4.2 billion USD and retail and wholesale 1.6 billion USD.

In 2020, Vietnam saw the investment coming in from 112 countries and territories./.

HCM City retailers seek to stimulate Tet demand

Retailers in HCM City are focusing on stimulating demand for the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday in February and ensuring that supply is adequate and food safety standards are met.

Saigon Co.op’s multiple retail chains have begun Tet sales so that customers can buy most items now and only have to buy fresh produce close to Tet.

Nguyen Vu Toan, deputy general director of Saigon Co.op, said they have stockpiled nearly 4.9 trillion VND (212.3 million USD) worth of goods for Tet, a 20 percent increase from last year. The co-operative would increase quality inspections of its supermarkets by 10 times over normal months, he added.

Forty per cent of goods are in the price stabilisation programme, like rice, sugar, cooking oil, meat, egg, processed foodstuff, seafood, and fruits and vegetables.

Saigon Trading Group (Satra) is sourcing over 2.4 tonnes of items like rice, processed foodstuff and pork to supply during Tet, a 63 percent increase over usual months.

Nguyen Phuc Khoa, its deputy general director, said the company pays great attention to food safety and goods’ origins.

Pork prices have stabilised due to the country’s efforts to repopulate pig herds and import of frozen pork, and Satra and its subsidiaries would supply a large number of new products such as seasoned meat and spring rolls to satisfy demand during Tet, he said.

Its stores would remain open for three to four hours longer than usual before Tet, starting on February 1 next year, he said.

But many businesses are worried about low demand this year, and sales of Tet gift packs so far have not given cause for optimism.

Businesses plan to launch promotions for essential goods to stimulate demand, and work with partners such as Grab and Baemin to boost online sales and expand distribution.

They will also offer home delivery and ancestral offering packs, which are traditionally prepared by families during Tet. Sales trips will be undertaken in remote areas to enlarge sales.

Trieu Do Hong Phuoc, head of the HCM City People’s Council's Committee for Economy and Budget, said regardless of demand during Tet, businesses need to ensure sufficient supply and food safety, shopping areas and delivery procedures./.

Foreign media praise Vietnam’s economic growth in 2020

Despite being the lowest in the past three decades, Vietnam’s 2.91 percent growth recorded this year is still a success of the nation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging the whole world, according to foreign media.

The UK-based BBC said the growth surpassed the World Bank’s October prediction of 2.8 percent for the country

The Singaporean newspaper Business Times and UK news agency Reuters noted strict quarantine and traceability measures were conducive to Vietnam’s quick containment of COVID-19 outbreaks, helping local economic activities recover faster than those in other Asian countries.

The Dailymail commented that Vietnam has long been among the fastest growing economies in Asia. Despite a sharp decrease in growth this year compared to that in 2019, Vietnam recorded positive signs in many economic activities in the context of a pandemic-caused global recession.

Massive quarantine, extensive exposure tracking and tight travel restriction have allowed factories to stay operational and people to quickly get back to work, it said./.

Russian news agency reviews Vietnam’s major achievements in 2020

The Sputnik news agency of Russia recently published an article that reviewed commentaries on Vietnam posted by Russian and other countries’ press outlets, reflecting Vietnam’s COVID-19 combat and achievements in different areas, especially diplomacy and economy.

According to Sputnik, Deutsche Welle of Germany analysed the reason behind Vietnam’s success in the fierce battle against the pandemic - to quarantine strictly - noting that unlike western countries, Vietnam has not only kept a close watch on F1 cases, which have close contact with confirmed patients, but also paid attention to those of the third, fourth, and even fifth generations of contact, known as F2, F3, and F4.

The Strategist highly valued the country’s capacity of inventing and exporting rapid test kits at reasonable prices and its installation of full-body disinfection booths to prevent virus transmission at clinics and crowded places.

In August, after a new COVID-19 outbreak, Russian media cited Maria Van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist at the World Health Organisation (WHO), as describing Vietnam as a typical example for other countries.

Aside from the COVID-19 fight, the country’s diplomatic successes in the international arena have also attracted foreign media’s attention, Sputnik noted.

The Economic Times of India spoke highly of Vietnam’s performance in its ASEAN Chairmanship this year, during which the Southeast Asian nation has consolidated ASEAN’s stance on regional issues, including efforts against COVID-19. Fruitful teleconferences and the maintenance of the bloc’s centrality amid the pandemic are among the greatest accomplishments of Vietnam as the ASEAN Chair.

The Times of India shared the view that Vietnam’s prestige has been promoted in both regional and international arena in 2020, as seen through visits by the Japanese Prime Minister and the US Secretary of State.

The country has also shown a constructive role as the Chair of ASEAN and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, and taken decisive steps to fight the pandemic both at home and abroad, according to The Times of India.

Many articles on foreign press agencies also highlighted Vietnam as one of the world’s fastest growing economies in this trying year, and it has every necessary prerequisite for record strong growth next year.

Asia Times said the intensive international integration, the participation in large-scale agreements like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RECP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), along with increased exports, are the core factors of the Vietnamese economy’s success.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stressed that the Vietnamese Government’s bold actions and swift response to prevention adverse impacts of COVID-19 on the economy and public health are the main driving forces for positive growth this year. It predicted a growth rate of 2.4 percent for this year and 6.5 percent for 2021 for the economy.

Vietnam could be considered as a role model in 2020, and the challenges that the country has faced and weathered have illustrated its people’s steadfastness and the clear-sightedness of its leaders, Sputnik added./.

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS DECEMBER 31

Garment-textile, footwear sectors pin high hope on UKVFTA

The UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA), expected to come into force in the beginning of 2021, is promising several export opportunities to the European market for Vietnamese garment-textile and footwear enterprises.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the proportion of Vietnamese goods currently accounts for just 1 percent of the UK's annual import turnover of nearly 700 billion USD. With the UKVFTA, Vietnamese enterprises will gain more advantages to bring goods to the market, especially when the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is no longer applicable to the UK after the Brexit.

The EVFTA is expected to fuel the growth of Vietnam’s textile and garment industries by 6 and 14 percent by 2030, with similar benefits seen in the UKVFTA.

Vu Duc Giang, Chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), said that, along with other agreements such as the EVFTA and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the UKVFTA will create a firmer foundation for the garment-textile sector.

The industry will be enabled to diversify its raw material supplies via importing from Japan and the Republic of Korea for export to the UK and the EU with preferential tax rates, he elaborated, adding that it is a strength that many ASEAN member countries do not have.

Predicting rising apparel demand in these markets in 2021 and 2022, Giang recommended Vietnamese firms pay attention to product origin and technical, labour and environmental standards.

Nguyen Khanh Ngoc, deputy head of the European - American Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, analysed that the UKVFTA will help Vietnam gain better competitiveness compared to competitors from China, India, and ASEAN.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss signed the agreed minutes on the conclusion of negotiations over the UKVFTA on December 11. Ninety-nine percent of tariffs on goods traded between Vietnam and the UK will be cut at the end of the tariff elimination roadmap, meaning Vietnam will save about 114 million pounds on exports to the UK, while the figure for the UK will be 36 million pounds./.

Over 273 million USD saved annually thanks to removal of business conditions

Reductions in business conditions and related administrative procedures have helped save about 18 million workdays, or 6.3 trillion VND (273.4 million USD), each year, Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung said.

At a national teleconference between the Government and localities on December 28, he said an additional 239 business conditions have been abolished this year.

During 2016-2020, the country removed 3,893 of its 6,191 business conditions, 6,776 of 9,926 commodities subject to specialised inspection, and 30 administrative procedures related to specialised checks. It also handled 1,501 items subject to overlapping specialised examination.

Such efforts by ministries, agencies, and localities have greatly contributed to Vietnam’s improved positions in international rankings, Dung said.

The country ranks 70th among 190 economies in the World Bank’s Doing Business report, jumping 20 places between 2016 and 2020; 67th among 141 countries in the Global Competitiveness Report, up 10 places in 2018-2019; and 42nd among 131 economies in the Global Innovation Index and first among 29 countries with the same income level in the Index.

In terms of e-Government building, he added, the Government and the Prime Minister have issued many legal documents, programmes, strategies, and plans to provide a legal corridor for the building of e-Government towards a digital Government, economy, and society.

In the UN’s E-Government Development Index 2020, Vietnam was in 86th position among 193 countries and territories, up two places from 2018. It has continually secured higher rankings between 2014 and 2020, from 99th to 86th. The country has been listed among countries with high levels of e-Government development and higher than the global average, the official noted./.

Kien Giang approves in principle 64 million USD coastal road

The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has approved in principle a project on building the Hon Dat - Kien Luong coastal road from 2021 to 2024.

The 39.4-km road will have total investment of about 1.48 trillion VND (64.23 million USD), according to the provincial Department of Transport.

The two-lane road will connect Hon Me in Tho Son commune, Hon Dat district with Binh An T-junction in Binh An commune, Kien Luong district. The project also comprises the construction of 24 new concrete bridges.

It is expected to help the province boost tourism in coastal areas, especially the Ba Hon historic and cultural complex in Hon Dat district, the Hon Chong area, and the Hon Phu Tu tourist complex in Kien Luong district.

Over the next five years, the province aims to upgrade and build more roads to improve transport infrastructure on Phu Quoc Island, Tho Chu Island, and other islands in the districts of Kien Hai and Kien Luong, Ha Tien city./.

Vietnam adds 3,200 new OCOP products this year

Vietnam has verified, rated, and recognised a total of 3,200 products as “One Commune, One Product (OCOP)” goods this year, 800 higher than planned, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The national OCOP council is reviewing 43 products for five-star ratings, the ministry said.

Nguyen Minh Tien, head of the Central Coordination Office for New-style Rural Building, said the OCOP programme has resulted in numerous positive outcomes, as the development of key local-level products has set the scene for the creation of more employment opportunities and improvements in income.

OCOP products are made from a combination of local resources, traditional culture, and advanced technology, which facilitates the development of diverse products with better quality and packaging, and the ability to trace product origin, Tien added.

The programme has provided farmers with the chance to come together to form cooperatives, which now account for 38 percent of 1,400 OCOP producers nationwide. The establishment of these cooperatives has allowed farmers to create products with better quality, design, and packaging as well as higher standards, and made products more relevant to market demand, he said.

He also identified disadvantaged provinces, such as Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Bac Kan, and Ben Tre, as where the programme is being implemented most effectively. Though these provinces are not blessed with favourable conditions and have small-scale production, they have developed some distinctive and high-quality products, according to him.

Major supermarket chains like Big C and Vinmart are considering setting up zones exclusively for the sale of OCOP products./.

HNX auctions over 3 trillion VND in shares in 2020

The Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) organised 16 auctions for divestment in 2020 with total transaction value of 3 trillion VND (130.2 million USD).


The total amount of shares for sale at the auctions was 96.9 million shares. As many as 92 million shares were sold, equal to 94.9 percent of the shares offered.

In December alone, the HNX held three auctions, including two of the Viettel Military Industry and Telecoms Group at Viettel Construction Corporation and Viettel Consultant and Design Joint Stock Company, and the other of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Investment Corporation at HUD Kien Giang Joint Stock Company.

The HNX offered more than 43.2 million shares in the auctions. Investors bid for 39.3 million shares, accounting for 91 percent of the offered amount.

The HNX said it will auction shares of the Ha Tinh Agro-Forestry Development Joint Stock Company on January 7, 2021./.

Soc Trang’s shrimp farming area to remain unchanged in 2021

The Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang plans to breed brackish water shrimp species in more than 51,000ha of ponds next year, the same as this year.

They will include white-legged shrimp in 35,000ha and black tiger shrimp in the rest of the area.

The coastal province, one of the delta’s largest shrimp producers, has produced nearly 188,000 tonnes of shrimp this year, up 24.8 percent from last year, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Intensive and semi-intensive farming accounted for 94 percent of the 51,000ha this year.

The yield is higher this year than average because farmers used advanced techniques and followed the province’s breeding schedules.

Speaking at a seminar held in Soc Trang last week, Quach Thi Thanh Binh, deputy head of the Fisheries Sub-department, said brackish water shrimp farming was successful this year because the province managed the breeding schedules well and has many effective farming models.

Tran Van Lau, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, instructed the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to develop infrastructure, irrigation and power supply in shrimp farming areas, especially where intensive and semi-intensive farming is carried out, next year.

The province would continue to solicit investment in breeding farms to meet the demand for young brackish water shrimp, he said.

The department should seek to link producers and consumers to sustainably develop shrimp farming and improve farmers’ incomes, he said.

The province has great potential for breeding the crustacean, especially in districts like Tran De, Cu Lao Dung and My Xuyen, where brackish water shrimp are bred using intensive, semi-intensive and other advanced farming models like the two-stage industrial shrimp farming model.

The two-stage model requires various ponds for breeding shrimp like one for a nursery, the main pond and one for treating wastewater. Young shrimp are bred in the nursery pond for a few weeks before being transferred to the main one.

The ponds are equipped with oxygenation facilities, anti-sunlight nets and plastic sheets for covering their beds.

The model requires large initial investment but ensures more than 90 percent of the animals survive.

According to Lam Thanh Lam, who has been breeding shrimp in Cu Lao Dung’s An Thanh 3 commune for 15 years, after he has received training in using advanced techniques to breed shrimp his yields have increased.

He now breeds white-legged shrimp on an area of 2,500sq.m to Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) standards./.

Hanoi boosts investment in industrial clusters

In an effort to take the lead in the post-pandemic economic recovery and development, Hanoi has stepped up investment in the development of industrial clusters.

The move aims to attract more domestic and foreign investment, especially FDI.

According to figures from the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, the capital is now home to 70 industrial clusters in 17 towns and districts on a total area of 1,686 ha.

The clusters have attracted about 3,864 production and business facilities, generated jobs for more than 60,000 workers, and contributed around 1.1 trillion VND (47.6 million USD) to budget funds.

In the long term, Hanoi needs a network of industrial clusters that can support it in building modern, competitive, and environmentally-friendly industry.

It approved a plan in 2018 on industrial cluster development to 2020 and vision towards 2030, covering 159 industrial clusters with a combined area of over 3,200 ha.

This is the legal foundation for the city to build and expand its industrial clusters, thus forming a network.

Hanoi is now speeding up construction of technical infrastructure at 19 clusters on a total area of 22 ha, which was approved in 2018-2019.

There remain certain limitations in the effort, however, as this is the first time the capital has realised Government Decree No 68/2017/ND-CP on industrial cluster management and development, dated May 25, 2017.

Meanwhile, the majority of the 25 clusters planned for this year are being built.

Tran Thi Phuong Lan, deputy director of the department, said it will continue to review industrial clusters in the city, call for more investors, and submit projects to the municipal People’s Committee for approval.

As of September, the department had coordinated with other departments, agencies and district People’s Committees to assess nine clusters.

The assessments revealed difficulties and bottlenecks, mostly relating to policies on land and site clearance and requiring drastic direction from relevant departments and agencies as well as the involvement of district People’s Committees and businesses.

According to the city People’s Committee, apart from investment incentives, it is also necessary to push ahead with building technical infrastructure in industrial clusters.

Hanoi has therefore issued a document in this regard, under which it prioritises clean, automated, and environmentally-friendly technologies, while moving production facilities and craft villages away from residential areas to concentrated production areas.

With such efforts, the department expects that targets set for 2020 and the 2021-2025 period will be reached./.

Shops in Cambodia allowed to reopen after community infection

Cambodia’s Ministry of Health has lifted its restrictions on restaurants and shops which were ordered to close due to the “November 28 community incident”, Minister of Health Mam Bunheng has said.

All restaurants and shops can now operate as normal but must strictly adhere to the guidelines given by the ministry so as to protect their patrons from COVID-19, he added.

There were 41 cases related to the incident among the total number of 364 COVID-19 cases in Cambodia to date.

After almost a month of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, private schools are now getting ready to reopen soon.

Cambodian Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron said that there is no announcement yet from the government on when to reopen both public and private schools.

Meanwhile, Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin quoted the Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez as saying that the Moderna biotechnology company is accelerating a huge shipment of COVID-19 vaccines to the Southeast Asian nation.

Moderna and another company, Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc., are willing to supply up to 25 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines in the third quarter of 2021./.

Da Nang urged to improve investment environment

Despite attracting 341 investment projects with 847.3 million USD in 2018-2020, Da Nang City has to cope with poor development of supportive industries and the skilled labour force for high-tech industries in its efforts to build the city into an investment hub in central Vietnam.

Land-use, administrative procedures and investment papers were reviewed at a conference on 2016-2020 investment attraction in Da Nang last week.

The event was a chance for the city to review its five-year development policy and plan for the future.

The Honorary Deputy Consul of Spain in Da Nang, Jose Sanchez Barroso Gonzalez, said the city needed to improve transparency in land-use, administrative procedures and investment licences for investors.

He said many companies from Europe wish to invest in waste treatment, education and tourism in Da Nang.

He said Eurocham would act as a bridge to build business links between Da Nang and Europe.

General Director of the Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) Da Nang, Lee Sung-nyung said: "Vietnam has built an image of a ‘stable country’ by effectively controlling the first and second waves of the coronavirus pandemic, and the good image will provide a huge opportunity to attract investment in Vietnam and Da Nang in the post-COVID-19 era.”

He added that Da Nang has most of the fundamental conditions including location, abundant well-trained workforce, competitive investment costs and safe living conditions that may lure foreign investment.

“It was appreciative that Da Nang held a webinar early this month for Korean companies. It is the time to focus on encouraging existing investment companies to expand their investment by aftercare management including collecting and solving their difficulties.”

 

Lee also recommended that the local government create more platforms to listen to businesses and investors, improving in procedure processing time and faster administrative procedures related to investment.

He said many Korean companies still face invisible barriers and delays in the investment process.

General manager of the Universal Alloy Corporation – a leading global manufacturer of aircraft components for aerospace companies – from the US, Liviu Lese said: "After two years investing into Da Nang City, we recognise that our decision on choosing Da Nang as an investment destination is the right choice with multiple advantages.”

“It’s the transparency, professional and enthusiastic support from Da Nang authority and Hi-tech Park, and relevant departments. High-quality workforce meeting the company hiring demand and recruited from famous universities, colleges in the city,” Lese added.

“The infrastructure system and global logistics solutions from Da Nang allow UAC to easily reach a global aerospace industry. So, we completed the first phase ahead of committed schedule, receive the international aerospace certifications, and ensure products to be exported to our customers on time and with top quality,” he said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has a global impact on the economy and companies in general. In order to attract more investment and support the enterprises for future development, we are looking forward to a new 2021 with the international air travel open, hoping that this pandemic will soon be controlled all over the world, and Da Nang will be able to welcome even more investors to this beautiful and potential city in the future.”

Ikeda Naoatsu, general director of Daiwa Vietnam, said Da Nang has advantages of human resources and close distance from the airport to industrial zones, but the city should improve education for high-quality labour for the future.

He also suggested the city offer cheap apartments for rent for labourers working and living in Da Nang.

The Japanese director warned about the lack of water and power supply at the IZs as well as the legal system among companies.

Daiwa has just opened its third factory in Da Nang after a 15-year investment course in the city, worth a total $90 million.

Nguyen Trung Chinh, Chairman of CMC Corporation, the second-largest information and communications technology (ICT) group in Vietnam, praised Da Nang for quick investment licence and planning grants.

He said the Da Nang-based CMC creative space – a digital hub in the Asia-Pacific region – would be built with an estimated investment of 522 million USD.

Tran Hong Son, from Long Hau Corporation, said the city should reserve space for supportive industries companies to serve key high-tech investors in the coming years.

To date, Da Nang has 876 foreign direct investment projects worth a total of 3.52 billion USD./.

Retail sales growth to bounce back to pre-COVID-19 levels in 2021: VNDirect

Vietnam’s retail sales growth will bounce back to pre-COVID-19 levels next year, reaching 8.5-9 percent year-on-year, according to VNDirect Securities.

The projection was made on the back of the country’s successful containment of COVID-19, which was a major contributor to the economic rebound in the third quarter that saw unemployment fall 0.23 percent against the previous quarter to 2.5 percent.

VNDirect also predicted that consumer confidence is likely to recover soon, against a backdrop of COVID-19 vaccines expected to be available in 2021.

With the rapid growth of the middle class and rising per capita income, domestic consumption remained the main growth driver of the retail industry, even during COVID-19.

Total retail sales of goods and services in the first 11 months increased 6.8 percent compared to the same period last year.

The Conference Board and Nielsen reported that Vietnam was the second-most optimistic country globally, after only India, in the second quarter, with a Consumer Confidence Index of 117 points, which was actually down 9 points compared to the previous quarter.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade expected the domestic trade sector’s added value to contribute 13.5 percent to GDP by 2025 and total retail sales of goods and services to grow around 9-9.5 percent annually over the next five years.

The ministry forecast that total retail sales would reach nearly 350 billion USD by 2025, or 1.6 times higher than in 2020.

The market’s recovery offers huge opportunities for retailers to expand their distribution networks. Saigon Co.op is targeting to add at least 2,000 stores to its chain over the next five years, with revenue rising 8-10 percent annually. Major Japanese retailer Muji, which sells a wide variety of household and consumer goods, has opened its first store in Vietnam, in HCM City, and is planning to open another in Hanoi./.

Quang Ninh’s industrial sector posts expansion of 11.98 percent

The industrial sector of the northeastern province of Quang Ninh enjoyed a year-on-year growth of 11.98 percent in 2020, according to figures revealed by the provincial statistics office on December 29.

Processing and manufacturing surged by 17.79 percent, mining by 10.63 percent, while electricity, gas and hot water production and distribution by 9.83 percent.

The expansion of processing and manufacturing this year was driven by the operation of new firms, including Weitai Ha Long Garment-Textile, Viet Bac Mining Chemical Industry specialising in the manufacturing of explosive, Foxconn and Bumjin Electronics Vina.

In addition, some businesses increased product quantity and improved their production lines.

Meanwhile, total social investment in the province in the year hit 85.4 trillion VND (3.71 billion USD), up 11.3 percent from last year.

Of the sum, 31 trillion VND was sourced from the State budget, up 43.8 percent; non-State capital hit 43.4 trillion VND, down 10.1 percent, and FDI neared 11 trillion VND, surging 59.3 percent.

Per capita income increased to about 5.8 million VND per month from 4 million recorded in January 2019, said head of the province’s statistics office Pham Van Chinh.

Quang Ninh welcomed 8.8 million tourists in the year, earning 17 trillion VND in revenue.

The province’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) has been estimated at 220 trillion VND, growing 10.05 percent in 2020, despite the adverse impact of COVID-19.

State budget collection is projected at 49.3 trillion VND, up nearly 7 percent compared to the same period of 2019.

Budget collection from export-import activities stood at 12.3 billion VND, up 8 percent against same period last year, while domestic collection fulfilled the set target with 37 trillion VND, rising 7 percent./.

Affiliate sales platform launched

Nexttech Group has launched the affiliate sales platform Cuccu.vn, operating as an intermediary between businesses and sales collaborators.

Businesses will post their products on the app and collaborators will choose the products they want to sell as well as the discount level and sell the items themselves. When an order is delivered successfully, the commission of the affiliate will be deducted and transferred immediately to their account. Sales collaborators will not have to spend capital and still have commissions.

Do Thang, CEO of Cuccu.vn, said online sale posts from part-time sellers have been seen on many social networks such as Facebook or Zalo. The app will help connect businesses and part-time sellers to generate an income while saving money on advertising.

The app is on both the Appstore and Google Play. Cuccu.vn now has 200 businesses offering products for collaborators.

Vingroup sells stake in Vinmec for $203 million

A consortium led by the Singaporean investment firm GIC has acquired VND4.7 trillion (US$203 million) worth of stake in VMC Holding Business Investment JSC (VMC), the subsidiary of the largest private enterprise Vingroup JSC.

VMC is the parent of private hospital developer and operator Vinmec.

The investment will be used to expand Vinmec’s medical network and “pursue breakthroughs in excellence of care and patient treatment,” Vingroup said in a statement.

After the transaction, Vingroup will remain “the sole controlling shareholder of VMC” and “GIC will receive a share of income from VMC proportionate with its equity interest, whilst Vingroup will continue to re-invest all income into the business, in line with the group’s existing commitment that its investment in healthcare will remain non-profit,” the company said.

“Vinmec aims to collaborate with GIC to continue to pursue operational excellence and leverage on GIC’s extensive expertise and investments in the healthcare sector globally, including GIC’s partnership with Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc in the Philippines since 2014.”

The investment emphasises “the attractiveness of Vinmec’s comprehensive suite of service offerings and leadership in the development of quality private healthcare,” Vingroup said.

The financial advisor to VMC in this deal is Credit Suisse (Singapore) Limited.

Vinmec is a non-profit business and manages seven international hospitals and five clinics across the country.

Vinmec is the first hospital to secure two JCI accreditations for Vinmec Times City International Hospital and Vinmec Central Park International Hospital.

Its parent firm – Vingroup – is the largest local private enterprise with main focus on technology, industrials and services.

Vingroup is listing more than 3.38 billion shares on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) with code VIC. Its shares rose 0.6 per cent to VND106,500 apiece on Tuesday.

Vingroup also sees two of its subsidiaries listing shares on HoSE, which are Vincom Retail (HoSE: VRE) and Vinhomes (HoSE: VHM).

The Singapore-based investment business GIC was established in 1981 to oversee Singapore’s foreign reserves.

HCM City firms gear up for Tet

Confectionery companies are beefing up production and distribution to meet the demand for Tet (Lunar New Year), which falls on February 12 next year, though sales are expected to be somewhat lower this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, leading domestic confectioners like Bibica, Kinh Do Mondelez and Topcake have basically completed their plans to stockpile goods with improved design and quality at various price points.

With consumers likely to tighten their purse strings amidst the ongoing economic crunch, they have focused more on launching products with attractive designs, good quality and reasonable prices that can serve as Tet gifts.

Most are competitively priced at VND200,000 (US$ 8.7) per item in the affordable segment and VND2-3 million (US$ 87-130) in the high-end segment.

According to the department, large retailers are likely to have two or three times their normal inventories though most are reluctant to announce their exact business plans.

Due to negative factors like the pandemic and floods in the central region, demand during the holiday might be lower than normal, many businesses feared.

They needed to utilise online channels and spend more on marketing and promotions, they said.

With Viet Nam boasting a large internet community and a young, digital-savvy population, the domestic e-commerce market is buzzing with activity ahead of the festival.

As the nation modernises and integrates further, online shopping is set to become a habit for many facilitated by factors like diversification of services and products, quick transaction and payment and attractive promotions.

To better protect consumers’ health, authorities in HCM City have taken measures to ensure food safety and hygiene both at traditional markets and online.

The city has set up inspection teams to inspect safety and hygiene and prices.

The inspections will focus on production, processing and trading facilities of products such as meat, beverages, alcoholic drinks, and confectionery.

However, it is also incumbent on consumers to be alert when shopping and reject products of unknown origin.

If they end up buying counterfeit or poor quality goods, they need to notify the authorities. 

Quang Ninh’s industrial sector posts expansion of 11.98 percent

The industrial sector of the northeastern province of Quang Ninh enjoyed a year-on-year growth of 11.98 percent in 2020, according to figures revealed by the provincial statistics office on December 29.

Processing and manufacturing surged by 17.79 percent, mining by 10.63 percent, while electricity, gas and hot water production and distribution by 9.83 percent.

The expansion of processing and manufacturing this year was driven by the operation of new firms, including Weitai Ha Long Garment-Textile, Viet Bac Mining Chemical Industry specialising in the manufacturing of explosive, Foxconn and Bumjin Electronics Vina.

In addition, some businesses increased product quantity and improved their production lines.

Meanwhile, total social investment in the province in the year hit 85.4 trillion VND (3.71 billion USD), up 11.3 percent from last year.

Of the sum, 31 trillion VND was sourced from the State budget, up 43.8 percent; non-State capital hit 43.4 trillion VND, down 10.1 percent, and FDI neared 11 trillion VND, surging 59.3 percent.

Per capita income increased to about 5.8 million VND per month from 4 million recorded in January 2019, said head of the province’s statistics office Pham Van Chinh.

Quang Ninh welcomed 8.8 million tourists in the year, earning 17 trillion VND in revenue.

The province’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) has been estimated at 220 trillion VND, growing 10.05 percent in 2020, despite the adverse impact of COVID-19.

State budget collection is projected at 49.3 trillion VND, up nearly 7 percent compared to the same period of 2019.

Budget collection from export-import activities stood at 12.3 billion VND, up 8 percent against same period last year, while domestic collection fulfilled the set target with 37 trillion VND, rising 7 percent./.

EVNGENCO 2’s equitisation plan approved

The Prime Minister has signed a decision approving an equitisation plan designed for the Power Generation Corporation 2 (EVNGENCO 2), a subsidiary of the Vietnam Electricity (EVN).

Under the plan, part of the company’s State capital owned by EVN will be sold to reduce the EVN’s stake to 51 percent from the current 100 percent.

The date set for EVNGENCO 2’s initial public offering will be no later than February 17 next year. The company do not have to carry out its evaluation process again.

EVNGENCO 2 is among the six State corporations due for equitisation this year.

The company was established in 2012 with a charter capital of 11.7 billion VND. Vietnam Electricity (EVN) holds 100 percent of its charter capital.

Its value was determined at 46.1 trillion VND (nearly 2 billion USD) as of January 1, 2019, of which the real value of State capital is more than 26.6 trillion VND./.

Vietnam develops high-quality coffee

The national project on developing high-quality coffee has helped businesses and farmers apply technologies in farming, cope with climate change, reduce production costs and improve economic efficiency in coffee production, heard a conference held in Buon Ma Thuot city, the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, on December 29.

The project has also strengthened connectivity between businesses, cooperatives and farmers, while building brand names.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam is one of the biggest coffee producers in general, and the biggest producer of robusta in particular in the world.

Vietnamese coffee has been shipped to 80 countries and territories, with revenue amounting to 2.85 billion USD in 2019, making up 7.8 percent of the world’s coffee export value.

The domestic coffee sector has generated jobs for more than 600,000 households, contributing to socio-economic development and poverty reduction in the Central Highlands and Northwestern regions, and others.

Thanks to the Government’s policies and efforts by enterprises and farms, coffee export turnover accounts for some 15 percent in the country’s total agricultural export revenue, and coffee contributes more than 10 percent of the agricultural sector’s GDP.

In support of the coffee sector, the Prime Minister approved Decision No. 787/QD-TTg dated June 5, 2017 to add coffee to the list of national products under the National Product Development Programme by 2020.

The project on high-quality coffee development (2018-2020) aims to promote high-quality, competitive and high value-added products.

Under the project, coffee productivity has increased rapidly, averaging 2.8 tonnes per ha, and the rate of intensively processed coffee expanded from 5 percent five years ago to 12 percent in 2020, according to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh./.

Economists optimistic about Malaysia’s GDP expansion

Economists have maintained their 2020 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecasts for Malaysia after November exports fared better than the consensus estimate.

Hong Leong Investment Bank Research's (HLIB) Felicia Ling and Goh Khing Mae were quoted by local media as saying that export growth picked up to 4.3 percent year on year in November, faring better than the 3.1 percent year on year consensus estimate.

While downside risks continued to cloud the recovery in overall trade activity owing to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases, they opined that vaccine roll-outs in some major economies are anticipated to alleviate some of the risks in 2021.

They maintained their 2020 and 2021 GDP growth forecasts for Malaysia at -5.5 percent and 6 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, Affin Hwang Capital analysts Alan Tan Chew Leong, Naomi Margaret Kasimir and Mas Aida Che Mansor maintained their full-year growth forecast of a contraction of 5 percent year on year in 2020.

For full-year 2021, they expect real GDP growth to turn around and expand by 6 percent, lower than the official forecast of between 6.5 percent and 7.5 percent.

They noted that uncertainties surrounding the development of the COVID-19 pandemic would continue to be a downside risk to the growth outlook, especially with the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in some main trading partners of the country, such as the US and European Union (EU) countries.

CGS-CIMB Research economist Michelle Chia and Lim Yee Ping also maintained their export and import growth forecasts of 10.9 percent and 11.5 percent respectively for 2021, driven by vaccine and broader economic normalisation.

They also maintained a constructive view of the GDP recovery ( 7.5 percent in 2021 versus -5 percent in 2020), with inoculation programmes being gradually rolled out domestically and abroad being a key catalyst for the relaxation of mobility restrictions.

Meanwhile, Public Invest Research analyst Dr Rosnani Rasul highlighted that trade could produce a full recovery in 2021, especially after challenging periods caused by US-China trade tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The prospect of mass global COVID-19 inoculations will pave the way for demand to recover and for the supply chain to normalise.

The breakthrough in COVID-19 vaccines will remove the largest drag on growth and therefore an expected rebound in trade in 2021, she said./.

Exports represent bright spot for HCM City amid COVID-19

Despite the local economy facing up to the various challenges brought about throughout the course of the year and many industries suffering negative growth, the export sector has remained resilient and has recorded stellar gains at an estimated figure of over US$44 billion.

This comes as the growth of exports recorded in high-tech parks can be viewed as a bright sport for the southern city, with the overall export value for this year standing at an estimated US$19 billion, up 20% over the previous year, accounting for roughly half of the city's export turnover. Of the figure, Samsung, Intel, and Jabil were the enterprises to enjoy the highest increase in export value of between 20% to 30%.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been a major factor in negatively affecting the export market, with social distancing measures forcing many agencies and units to have their staff work from home, thereby causing a sharp increase in demand for computers and electrical equipment. As a result, there was an increase in export orders, especially from the United States, Europe, and some other markets.

Despite this, a number of firms faced difficulties in acquiring raw materials for production due to their supply being hit by the pandemic, especially those who use supply sources from China. Due to this situation, multinational companies were forced to be flexible in switching to importing raw materials from other markets such as Thailand, Malaysia, and America.

According to Le Bich Loan, deputy head of the Management Board of the HCM City High-Tech Park, some foreign-invested (FDI) enterprises also switched to using domestic materials as a means of ensuring a stable supply. This served to create additional opportunities for local enterprises to participate in the supply chain for FDI enterprises. At present, FDI enterprises have used approximately 30% of domestic raw materials to replace imported sources, while previously, FDI enterprises had imported roughly 90% of foreign materials.

“To satisfy an increase in orders, enterprises must improve their technology and skills to improve labour productivity, in association with redesigning the production process, reducing labour force and using robots in some stages," Loan said.

Most notably, agricultural exports still recorded an increase of nearly 39% to US$740 million, with exports from this sector anticipated to be a billion-dollar industry as firms chose not to spend foreign currency on importing raw materials thanks to the high proportion of domestic raw materials.

Nguyen Dinh Tung, managing director of Vina T&T Group Company, a business with headquarters in Phu Nhuan district, said that this year has seen local fruit exporters rake in US$51 million from exports to the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and Europe, a rise of over 3% over the same period from last year. With this favourable momentum, the company is in the process of building two more fresh fruit packaging factories in Ben Tre and Tien Giang provinces as part of efforts to expand exports moving forward.

To stabilise and expand the export market during this difficult period, the enterprise has moved to build a solid foundation for fruit material areas. Before T&T's consignments were exported to the European market, their exported fruits were issued with the planting area codes by the US as they met standards set out by Global Gap and HACCAP.

Furthermore, their flexibility to quickly adapt to the market has seen the support of authorities also create favourable conditions for businesses seeking to bolster their exports.

Le Huynh Minh Tu, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade, said that the department has increased support for businesses in order to promote e-commerce, whilst also training and guiding them through the effective enforcement of free trade agreements (FTAs).

Moving forward, it is expected that the southern city will intensify the organisation of high-quality human resource training programmes aimed at providing export support services and connecting the supply chain of enterprises in located in high-tech parks, Tu added.

Whilst 2020 can generally be viewed as a year full of fluctuations for the municipal, there have been a number of bright spot in exports, therefore serving as a foundation for firms to devise proper strategies for production and activities to promote their economic advantages moving into next year.

HCM City consumer fair attracts 230 firms

Around 230 businesses are displaying a wide range of products at the 2020 Consumption Promotion Fair which opened in HCM City on Tuesday (December 29).

The fair at the Phu Tho Indoor Stadium in District 11 has 380 booths showcasing consumer goods, food, textiles, footwear, cosmetics, household appliances, handicrafts, and furniture, and selling them at big discounts.

They also introduce the city’s key industrial products and typical rural industrial products.

There will be cultural and entertainment activities featuring popular musicians and comedians at the fair.

Nguyen Phuong Dong, deputy director of the city Department of Industry and Trade, the annual fair, which this year has the theme ‘Event connecting promotional forms,’ seeks to stimulate consumption in HCM City and neighbouring provinces during the New Year holiday.

It offers businesses the opportunity to show off their products to prospective customers, popularise brands, seek partners, and generally enlarge their market.

The fair, organised by the HCM City Centre of Supporting Industries Development and Thien Viet Advertising and Commercial Promotion JSC, will go on until January 3.

Source: VNA/VNN/VNS/SGGP/VOV/NDO/Dtinews/SGT/VIR  

 
 

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