VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS FEBRUARY 10

HCM City targets domestic market for tourism recovery

The Ho Chi Minh City tourism sector this year plans to focus on digitalisation of the industry and promotion of domestic tourism amid a downturn in tourism because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The department is stepping up digitalisation in tourism to propel the travel experience, said the city's Tourism Department.

The sector will continue its efforts to boost domestic tourism as the main factor driving the recovery of the tourism industry.

The tourism communication and stimulus campaign, ‘Hello Ho Chi Minh City,’ has been implemented to promote the city as a safe, vibrant and friendly destination.

Tourism cooperation and linkages between HCM City and the Northeast, Northwest and the Central regions will also serve to boost domestic travel.

The city aims to receive 33.5 million domestic visitors this year if COVID-19 remains under control in the country./.

Tet sales increase sharply on low prices

With a week to go for Tet (the Lunar New Year) sales of goods bought to celebrate the Lunar New Year have increased by 30-40 percent from normal times, according to market observers.

They attribute it to prices remaining steady and people’s increasing income at the end of the year.

Saigon Co.op’s supermarket chains have managed to meet market demand thanks to early preparation of goods, accurate forecast of demand and discounts, Nguyen Anh Duc, its permanent deputy general director, said.

In January sales increased by 37 percent compared to the same period in the previous month, with growth of fresh and processed foods, cosmetics, kitchen appliances, and garments being high, he said.

There have been no shortages of goods, especially pork, and no price hikes, he said.

Dinh Quang Khoi, head of marketing and customer care at MM Mega Market Vietnam, said customers have bought Tet goods earlier than usual, and retail sales increased by more than 10 percent compare with same periods of last year, while the increase is 5 -6 percent if the wholesale segment is included.

Shopping malls in Ho Chi Minh City like Vincom Central Dong Khoi, Takashimaya and Aeon Celadon Tan Phu are crowded, especially at weekends.

Sales of processed foods are expected to go up by more than 20 percent.

People are switching more and more to poultry meat and eggs instead of pork because the pork price is rising to the delight of companies like San Ha, Ba Huan and Vinh Thanh Dat.

According to experts, the prices of many items have never been so stable as this year as the Covid-19 pandemic caused global demand to shrink.

Many products could not be exported, and so producers and distributors switched their focus to the domestic market, increasing supply.

To sustain demand in this scenario enterprises have had to improve quality and keep prices competitive./.

HCM City in top six most preferred markets for investment: CBRE

There was an increase in interest in Ho Chi Minh City which ranked sixth among Asia Pacific investors’ most preferred property markets for investors, according to a survey by market research firm CBRE polling more than 490 Asia Pacific-based investors in November and December 2020.

With the diversification of supply chains encouraging more manufacturing investment in the city, industrial and logistics assets are keenly sought after, said the CBRE’s 2021 Asia Pacific Investor Intentions Survey.

“HCM City has already been on the radar of investors in recent years, especially those who are looking to invest in Southeast Asia, as the city is viewed as having the potential for greater appreciation in property values and higher yields,” said Dang Phuong Hang, CBRE Vietnam Managing Director.

The survey outlines top 10 Preferred cities for cross-border investment, with Tokyo (Japan) in the first place, followed by Singapore, Seoul (the Republic of Korea), Shanghai and Beijing (China), HCM City, Shenzhen (China), Sydney (Australia), Osaka (Japan) and Melbourne (Australia).

Investors who expressed interest in investing in Southeast Asia indicated that they are willing to pay more for real estate purchase. 39.4 percent of these investors are comfortable to pay more than 10 percent higher this year than what they are willing to pay in 2020, while 19.7 percent are willing to paying up to 10 percent higher.

In the search for returns, investors looking at Southeast Asia are turning to value-added and core assets, even though there are some who are starting to look at distressed assets. Industrial/logistics and office remain their preferred sectors, while the hospitality sector is gaining favour.

Henry Chin, CBRE’s Global Head of Investor Thought Leadership and Head of Research, Asia Pacific, said: “stronger interest in core investment reflects investors’ greater emphasis on tenant credit and stable cash flows.”

“Assets with a solid rent roll of three years or longer typically attract far more bidders than those lacking this type of security,” he added.

Logistics was the most popular sector for investment as the pandemic-driven acceleration of e-commerce consumption boosted demand for this asset class. While interest in the office sector weakened, investors retain an optimistic view towards this sector, expecting a contraction in office purchasing activity of no more than 10 percent over the next three years./.

January sees largest capital injection into stock market since early 2020: SSI

January saw the largest amount of investment capital poured into Vietnam’s stock market since the beginning of 2020 on the back of strong exchange traded fund (ETF) inflows, according to a report by SSI Securities Corporation.

Vietnam is Asia’s only stock market with non-stop capital injection over the last four week as it attracted more than 100 million USD last month thanks to massive ETF inflows, outweighing the net capital withdrawal of around 23.5 million USD, said SSI’s February strategic stock market report entitled “Co hoi trong bien dong” (Opportunity in volatility).

ETFs have also raked in about 129 million USD, or two third of the total inflows in 2020, mostly into VFM Diamond ETF (1.31 trillion VND or 57.15 million USD) and VFM VN30 ETF (860 billion VND).

The market also experienced strong foreign buying in the last three days of the month, raising foreign players’ net purchases of shares in January to about 127 billion VND.

SSI stated that Vietnam has become a quite attractive market largely owing to the country’s successful containment of COVID-19, positive economic growth and the fact that it remains a destination of the ongoing global production shift.

Though the pandemic has been a key contributor to the market volatility during this period of time, capital injection from ETFs into Vietnam remains a positive driver of the stock market, SSI said, adding that this also means increasing level of volatility.

According to the report, more than 81 billion USD was poured into stocks in both developed and emerging markets across the worrld last month, also with the domination of the ETFs./.

Vietnam increases pork imports to cool off rising domestic prices

Vietnam imported more than 141,000 tonnes of pork worth 334.4 million USD in 2020, representing a rise of 382 percent and 500 percent over the previous year, respectively, customs statistics showed.

The increase in imports was to make up for the shortage in pork supply caused by African swine fever which pushed up domestic prices in the first months of 2020.

The pork was mainly imported from Brazil, Russia, Poland, the US and Canada. Brazil was the largest exporter of pork to Vietnam last year, accounting for 24.5 percent of the import volume.

The average pork import price was 2.2 USD per kilo.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam approved 25 countries to export livestock and poultry meat to Vietnam, including more than 800 enterprises from 19 countries allowed to export pork to Vietnam.

Vietnam imported more than 43,300 pigs for breeding, mainly from Thailand, Canada, the US, Denmark and Taiwan (China).

Live hog prices tended to increase in many provinces across the country from early January due to increases in consumption demand ahead of Tet (Lunar New Year) to around 80,000 – 84,000 VND (4 USD) per kilo, around 5,000 VND higher than the end of December.

However, in recent days, pork prices decreased by around 1,000-5,000 VND per kilo.

Nguyen Van Trong, Deputy Director of the ministry’s Department of Livestock Production, said pork prices dropped in recent days because processing companies reduced their purchases as they had enough goods for consumption during Tet.

The enhanced prevention against smuggling of pork to China together with the increase in supply also helped lower pork prices.

Now Vietnam had 27.3 million pigs, an increase of 21 percent over a year ago and equivalent to 88.7 percent of the time before the disease occurred.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said that early preparations were made to ensure enough supply of pork for Tet with many enterprises launching price stabilisation programmes./.

Australian expert highlights Southeast Asia’s trade prospects

Richard Maude, Senior Fellow at Australia’s Asia Society Policy Institute, has spoken highly of trade prospects of Southeast Asian nations against the backdrop of COVID-19.

In an article, he said that global trends in trade, foreign investment and production offer a mix of peril and opportunity for the Southeast Asian governments as they try to steer their damaged economies towards recovery.

“Beset by lockdowns, disrupted supply chains and travel restrictions, world trade volumes fell by historically steep levels in the first half of 2020. Southeast Asia was no exception – the region’s economies rely heavily on external demand and many play increasingly significant roles in East Asian supply chains,” he continued.

In the second quarter of 2020, for example, the value of goods exported from the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) fell by 15 percent on a year-on-year basis and imports fell by 27 percent.

Foreign direct investment flows to Southeast Asia also declined sharply early in 2020.

The vertiginous plunge in world goods trade, at least, may now be bottoming out, but the International Monetary Fund (IMF) remains decidedly gloomy about prospects for a trade-led recovery in Asia.

Even so, amid all the uncertainty and downside risk, Southeast Asia may yet find itself better placed than other regions to trade itself out of trouble, the expert said, citing that East Asian economic regionalism will strengthen as one of the reasons.

Most major East Asian economies – China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan – have managed to re-open their economies. China’s giant economy in particular is once again growing and helping keep Southeast Asian trade afloat.

Domestic consumption in Southeast Asia could double to 4 trillion USD over the next ten years.

Within the region, there are also signs the deep economic slump of the first half of 2020 is easing, at least in those parts of the region where the pandemic has been tamed. The decline in ASEAN global goods exports and imports, for example, slowed in the third quarter of 2020 on a quarter-on-quarter basis.

Vietnam, one of the best performing ASEAN economies, managed to eke out a small increase in economic growth in 2020, he cited.

Once it enters into force, the newly signed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade deal will give intra-Asian trading another boost. It is an incentive for large corporations to locate as much of their supply chains as possible within the bloc.

“ASEAN is also well placed to benefit from supply chain diversification within East Asia. Some manufacturing was already shifting to Southeast Asia before the pandemic.”

The pandemic has now reinforced interest from companies from around the world in regionalisation and supply chain diversification. Some governments, Japan, for example, is offering financial incentives to some of its companies to build production sites in Southeast Asia.

Like the rest of the world, the region faces headwinds and uncertainties, Maude noted, putting forth some suggestions for regional countries to use trade to help drive economic recovery./.

Tet sales increase sharply on low prices

With a week to go for Tet (the Lunar New Year) sales of goods bought to celebrate the Lunar New Year have increased by 30-40 per from normal times, according to market observers.

They attribute it to prices remaining steady and people’s increasing income at the end of the year.

Saigon Co.op’s supermarket chains have managed to meet market demand thanks to early preparation of goods, accurate forecast of demand and discounts, Nguyen Anh Duc, its permanent deputy general director, said.

In January sales increased by 37 per cent compared to the same period in the previous month, with growth of fresh and processed foods, cosmetics, kitchen appliances, and garments being high, he said.

There has been no shortages of goods, especially pork, and no price hikes, he said.

Dinh Quang Khoi, head of marketing and customer care at MM Mega Market Viet Nam, said customers have bought Tet goods earlier than usual, and retail sales increased by more than 10 per cent compare with same periods of last year, while the increase is 5 -6 per cent if the wholesale segment is included.

Shopping malls in HCM City like Vincom Central Dong Khoi, Takashimaya and Aeon Celadon Tan Phu are crowded, especially at weekends.

Sales of processed foods are expected to go up by more than 20 per cent.

People are switching more and more to poultry meat and eggs instead of pork because the pork price is rising to the delight of companies like San Ha, Ba Huan and Vinh Thanh Dat.

According to experts, the prices of many items have never been so stable as this year as the Covid-19 pandemic caused global demand to shrink.

Many products could not be exported, and so producers and distributors switched their focus to the domestic market, increasing supply.

To sustain demand in this scenario enterprises have had to improve quality and keep prices competitive.

One Commune One Product attracts Tet shoppers

Many products made under a programme called ‘One Commune One Product’ have become a big hit with consumers seeking to buy gift hampers for Tet (Lunar New Year).

Sticky rice grown by the Khau Nua Lech Thuong Quan Rice Cooperative in Bac Kan Province's Ngan Son District is one such.

The co-operative has had to mobilise a lot of manpower to fulfil the mountain of orders it got.

Its rice is renowned for its plasticity and aroma, and is well known to consumers across the country.

According to a co-operative spokesperson, 100 additional workers were hired for packaging and delivery but demand still not be met.

In the last month or so it supplied more than 10 tonnes of rice to markets such as HCM City and Ha Noi.

Phan Thanh Hieu, director of the Phuong Nam Food Joint Stock Company, said this year, due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, businesses had prepared for low demand, but two high-end products, organic ST 25 and ST 25 rice varieties, grown together with shrimp in Soc Trang Province, are out of stock.

“We have had to turn down many orders or deliver less than the ordered quantity though the rice prices are four to five times higher than that of other rice. ST 25 grown together with shrimp has a price of VND285,000(US$12.4) for 5kg, VND15,000 higher than ST 25.”

Le Kieu Phuong, director of Phuc Thinh Production and Commerce Co. Ltd, said her company recently got a One Commune One Product (OCOP) certificate for its three prawn cracker production lines in Ca Mau Province.

It is now working on selling the products to major supermarket chains before Lunar New Year with the aid of the certificate, she said.

In Dong Nai Province, where more and more people are becoming interested in regional specialties, seven OCOP producers have signed contracts with Central Retail Viet Nam to sell 21 items.

Nguyen Thi Bich Van, media director of Central, said the two supermarkets would design their display shelves to ensure OCOP products easily catch the eye of shoppers as part of a commitment to support them.

MM Mega Market is also selling 56 OCOP confectionery and jam products for Tet at discounts of up to 50 per cent to introduce them to customers.

Do Quoc Huy, marketing director of Saigon Co.op, said the company is helping develop OCOP goods, but their limited production means they could only be sold locally and not across its retail chains.

The two-year-old OCOP programme has helped a number of localities develop a wide variety of agricultural and non-agricultural products, providing steady incomes to many locals. 

COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage travel industry

A resurgence of Covid-19 just before the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday has hugely impacted travelling, again demonstrating its impact on the tourism industry.

“There has been an immediate impact on the hospitality business with several cancellations across the country, not only in the affected destinations but anywhere with access via an airport,” Mauro Gasparotti, director of Savills Hotels Asia Pacific, said.

“Prior to these local transmissions, the industry was anticipating increased travel demand during and after the Tet holiday, which would have been a good start to the year,” Gasparotti said.

Travel interest is diminishing amid a mist of uncertainty with air travel demand dropping 15 per cent immediately after the news release.

Online flight search demand to Da Nang and HCM City during this peak period of the year dropped 35 per cent and 34 per cent week-on-week respectively, according to OTA Insight.

Some companies immediately enforced travel restrictions, with requests to limit attending events and large gatherings.

This has directly affected MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) business in city hotels, where several conferences have been put on hold or delayed.

Drive-to destinations have also been affected by weekend cancellations.

 

Last year international arrivals to the country numbered just 3.8 million, a 78 per cent decline from 2019.

Domestic traveller numbers fell 34 per cent to 56 million.

Hotels and resorts suffered badly, with many being forced into temporary closure.

Last year occupancy and average daily rates (ADR) both dropped, while revenues fell 70 per cent.

In Ha Noi, the average occupancy was 32 per cent compared to 80 per cent in 2019 while it dropped to 23 percent in HCM City from 72 per cent.

The national average of 62 per cent in 2019 plummeted to just 24 per cent last year.

January started on a positive note, with hotels in key destinations seeing increased MICE and event bookings while at some resorts corporate bookings started to return, Gasparotti said.

“The market in 2021 is expected to be broadly similar to most of 2020, at least until borders reopen to leisure and business trade. Hotels have adapted by considerably reducing operating costs to establish lower breakeven points.

“The good news is that several destinations are still performing at acceptable levels.”

The performance in December and January was positive for destinations like Phu Quoc and Vung Tau, which appeal to both local leisure travellers and year-end company trips.

Some hotels have used promotions, such as ‘staycation’ packages and F&B deals to nurture local demand, which have propped up their numbers. 

Fruit and vegetable exports decline by 7.6% in January

Vietnamese fruit and vegetable exports in January endured a drop of 7.6% to US$260 million compared to the same period from last year, largely due to unpredictable developments relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

The MARD’s Agro-Processing and Market Development Authority stated that China was the leading importer of local fruit and vegetables last year, making up 56.3% of the total market share, although fruit and vegetable exports to this market fell by 25.7% to US$1.84 billion compared to 2019.

Elsewhere, the United States market ranked second with US$168.8 million, followed by Thailand with US$157.2 million, the Republic of Korea with US$143 million, and Japan with US$127.7 million.

Furthermore, January saw the country’s import value of fruit and vegetables enjoy an annual increase of 22.3% to US$140 million, with China, the US, and Australia representing the three largest suppliers to the Vietnamese market.

Moreover, the import value of fruit and vegetables from China in 2020 decreased by 21% compared to 2019’s figures, while imports from the US and Australia witnessed respective increases of 2.3% and 1%.

Due to complicated developments relating to COVID-19, the nation’s fruit and vegetable export activities have been significantly impacted as consumers have changed their shopping habits with several countries also moving to tighten import procedures as a way of securing their borders.

Experts have therefore advised local firms to strive to strengthen their supervision over product quality to avoid violating quarantine regulations, and ensure that food and safety rules are followed as a means of facilitating relevant customs clearance processes.

Acceleration opportunity for Vietnamese AI startups

The AI Accelerator Challenge 2021, organised by VSV Foundation under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Technology and funded by the Australian Embassy, is officially open for registration.

The AI Accelerator Challenge 2021(AAC 2021) is an acceleration programme specifically designed for Vietnamese AI startups with innovative ideas and products that address the practical needs of the market.

AAC 2021, themed "AI in pandemic – Adapting to the new normal", has been organised with the goal of identifying, incubating, promoting, and developing potential AI-powered applications in numerous fields such as finance, commerce, electronics, telecommunications, manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, education, transportation, and smart city development. Participants will have the opportunity to undertake a 4-week online training course, after which the top five teams will be awarded prizes including a service support package worth VND500 million($21,740), a business promotion and mentoring course worth VND200 million ($8,700) and up to VND200 million in seed investment with no equity required.

The programme will assist Vietnam’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as help to foster the development of a vibrant AI startup environment. “Vietnam should be very proud of its successes in tackling COVID-19,” said Andrew Barnes, Australian Chargé d'Affaires to Vietnam. “Through sponsoring programmes to promote innovative applications using AI, Australia is demonstrating its strong commitment to assisting Vietnam in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting economic recovery, and strengthening its innovation system.”

“The government is trying to implement many activities to cope with disruptions caused by COVID-19, in which innovation and the application of advanced science and technology have been defined as the key to increase the resilience of businesses and the recovery of the economy. AI is one of the core technologies that promise to revolutionise many of Vietnam's key socioeconomic sectors such as health, education, business, commerce, finance, and agriculture," Deputy Minister Bui The Duy from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) added.

“We are proud to be a part of this programme,” said Thach Le Anh, founder of VSV Foundation. “AAC 2021 will not only allow Vietnamese AI startups to receive mentoring from top AI technology experts but also support them with business development and fund-raising, including by raising capital from angel investors and leading domestic and foreign venture capital funds. The startups will be able to raise up to VND2 billion ($86,960) after the programme ends.”

This programme is funded by Australia’s flagship Aus4Innovation programme which will disburse AUD11 million ($8.44 million) over four years (2018-2022) to strengthen the Vietnamese innovation system and prepare for Vietnam’s economic and digital future. It is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and managed by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in strategic collaboration with the MoST.

Investors give EVN Genco 2 cold shoulder at IPO

Despite Power Generation Corporation 2 (EVN Genco 2) owning substantial interests in several thermal and hydropower plants, 99.97 per cent of the stake it offered at its initial public offering (IPO) was unmarketable.

The Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HSX) has published the results of the auction registration for the stake of EVN Genco 2.

The company offered 580 million shares or 48.9 per cent of its charter capital to investors with the initial price of VND24,520 ($1.06) per share and expected to acquire VND14.225 trillion ($618.5 million) from the sale.

However, only 14 investors registered to join the auction, registering 262,500 shares, including 200,000 shares from a single foreign investor, 10,500 shares by five Vietnamese people, and 52,000 shares by eight domestic investors.

At present, EVN Genco 2 owns a 100 per cent stake in Trung Son Hydropower One Member LLC, which operates Trung Son hydropower plant with the designed capacity of 1 billion kWh per year.

It also owns a series of thermal power companies including Pha Lai, Haiphong, and Thac Mo, among others.

According to its financial statement, the company generated 17.8 million kWh, equaling 97 per cent of its plan for the whole year and 7 per cent of the power coursing through the whole national power grid.

The unmarketable IPOs of EVN Genco had precedent because they own too many member companies and subsidiaries. Buying stakes in the plants one by one will help investors limit risks.

Previously, EVN Genco 3 failed in its IPO in February 2018 when only 2.8 per cent of the offered shares was sold.

Vietnam targets 60 – 62 bln USD from agro-forestry-fisheries export by 2030

Vietnam has set a goal of earning around 60-62 billion USD from agro-forestry-fisheries export by 2030 under a project recently approved by the Prime Minister.

The project looks to fully and sustainably join the global supply chain of agro-forestry-fisheries, improve the quality and value of their export to meet regulations of importers, and develop their trademarks in international markets.

Of the figure, 25 billion USD will be from major farm produce, 16-17 billion USD from forestry products, 15 billion USD from aquatic products, 3-4 billion USD from animal husbandry products, and nearly 2 billion USD from others.

Agro-forestry-fisheries export is expected to grow by some 6-8 percent annually. About 40 percent of export will be national brands, 70 percent have their origins traced, and around 60 percent of exports are processed and deeply processed ones.

To such end, the project targets fine-tuning mechanisms and policies to ensure food safety and develop support industry, assisting firms in protecting intellectual property right in export markets, popularising trademarks on domestic and foreign media./.

Central localities seek new development routes amid COVID-19

Central provinces must adjust their socio-economic development goals and strategies to minimise the adverse effects brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters in 2020, officials have said.

Nguyen Tan Tuan, Chairman of the People Committee of Khanh Hoa province, said while the province's tourism industry was hit especially hard, growth in the industrial sector managed to stay positive.

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have made it our highest priority to keep the virus in check. Our effort has allowed us to attract a number of foreign investors as they moved from regions hard-hit by COVID-19," Tuan said.

He said the province has been making use of the downtime to upgrade and invest in its tourism infrastructure, waiting for international tourists to return. In the meantime, Khanh Hoa has started several promotion campaigns to attract domestic travellers.

Meanwhile, Quang Nam made significant gains in developing modern agriculture in 2020 despite being one of the central provinces severely hit by natural disasters last year.

"Agriculture has always been a key priority in our province's development scheme. During the pandemic, it has become Quang Nam's economic driver," said Le Van Dung, Deputy Secretary of the provincial Party Committee.

Dung said with tourism and commerce disrupted because of the pandemic and natural disasters Quang Nam chose to make large investments in industrial projects to mitigate the economic damage to the province in the long run.

Quang Ngai, a traditionally strong economic performer in the region thanks to being home to the country's largest oil complex the Dung Quat Refinery, has been looking for ways to become less reliant on the oil industry.

Dang Van Minh, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said the province has been working with its partners to set up numerous large-scale industrial parks.

"We want to become one of the country's best destinations for investments and industrial development. The province aims to build a transparent and healthy business environment to win over potential investors," said Minh.

Meanwhile, Da Nang, the central region's main economic hub and the city most affected by the pandemic with nearly 200,000 jobs lost during 2020, said it has set a new course to push for greater digitalisation of commerce, smart city technologies and star ups culture.

"The city aims to diversify its economy. While we still identify tourism and services as major industries we want to see strong development on the fronts of information technology and digitalisation in the near future," said Nguyen Dinh Vinh, head of the municiapal Party Committee’s Board for Information and Education./.

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS FEBRUARY 10

Cambodia to resume farmed fish import from Vietnam

The Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on February 8 issued a press release on the resumption of the import of aquatic products, including farmed fish, from neighbouring countries, including Vietnam.

The import suspension was announced by the Cambodian side one month ago.

On January 19, Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh sent a letter to Cambodian Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak, saying Vietnam’s shipments of farmed fish failed to pass through customs and were returned.

The import ban showed signs of running counter to the trade liberalisation spirit of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the ASEAN Economic Community, of which both countries are members, he said.

In the press release, the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said it will continue to collect feedback from the Cambodian Aquaculture Association, importers and exporters, and concerned agencies that are Cambodia’s trade partners to build and recognise technical standards.

Le Bien Cuong, head of the Vietnamese trade affairs office in Cambodia, told the Vietnam News Agency on February 8 that the Cambodian side has shown its goodwill and active response.

Cambodia would consider imposing additional non-tariff technical measures in farmed fish import, including certificates of product origin and quality, he said.

According to the Vietnamese ministry, in recent years, Vietnam has exported about 60 million USD worth of aquatic products to Cambodia annually. Although Cambodia is not a major market of Vietnamese aquatic products, its stable import demand has contributed significantly to cross-border trade development, as well as job creation and income generation for local residents./.

VinFast acquires licence to test self-driving electric vehicles in California

VinFast has just become the 57th automaker to receive a licence to test self-driving electric vehicles in California, the US.

The company said its three SUV models VF31, VF32 and VF33 met the highest global safety standards including five-star ratings from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the European New Car Assessment Programme.

VinFast has just become the 57th automaker to receive a licence to test self-driving electric vehicles in California, the US.
As required in the US, electric vehicles with autonomous technology are required to carry out testing procedures and secure an Autonomous Test Vehicle Permit (ATVP) by the California Vehicle Administration.

Automakers, including big names such as Apple, Tesla, BMW, and Volkswagen according to California's Department of Motor Vehicles website, have also secured their licences to test run their vehicles in the Golden State, the world's largest technology and innovation hub.

All three of the company's models are to be equipped with level 2-3 autonomous features, which include 30 smart features divided into seven groups: intelligent steering assist system, lane control system, active journey control system, multi-point collision warning system, comprehensive collision mitigation system, intelligent automated parking system and driver monitoring system.

Models VF32 and VF33 will be sold in the US, Canada and Europe markets from 2022. The launch of high-tech electric vehicles, including electric scooters, electric buses and personal electric cars, is part of VinFast's pre-defined roadmap since entering the automotive market three years ago.

Customers can start ordering the cars in May this year in Vietnam and in November in the US, Canada and the EU.

In Vietnam, Vietnamese automakers also started to install electric vehicle charging stations at commercial centres at Vinhomes Ocean Park, Vincom Long Bien in Hanoi to serve the first electric cars produced, expected to be available this year.

VinFast sold 31,500 cars in Vietnam last year, with its VinFast sedan and SUV models among the bestsellers in their respective segments./.

Agricultural, forestry, fisheries exports up sharply in January

Vietnam’s exports of agricultural, forestry, and fisheries products grew 27.1 percent year-on-year to 3.49 billion USD in January.

Rubber was the best performer in the opening month of the year, following on from its uptrend last year and totalling 200,000 tonnes worth 321 million USD, increases of 2.2-fold and 2.4-fold, respectively, year-on-year.

Shipments of key forestry products totalled 1.33 billion USD, up 47.8 percent year-on-year. Exports of wood and timber products alone reached 1.25 billion USD, up 48.4 percent.

Fisheries exports rose 19.6 percent to about 600 million USD, following repeated declines last year, especially after the outset of COVID-19.

Prawn exports experienced the highest growth last year among all fisheries items, up 11 percent to 3.7 billion USD.

Several major export earners, meanwhile, declined in January, including rice, fruit and vegetables, coffee, and pepper.

The country exported around 280,000 tonnes of rice for 154 million USD in the month, down 29.5 percent and 20.2 percent, respectively, from a year earlier.

A similar trend was seen in fruit and vegetables, with shipments reaching just 260 million USD, a year-on-year decline of 7.6 percent./.

Da Nang developing supporting industries

The central city of Da Nang has set a goal of developing supporting industries in tandem with high-tech industry to create products with high added value for export.

Under action programme No 01-Ctr/TU issued by the municipal Party Committee on December 10, 2020, the industry-construction sector is to grow by 11-11.5 percent annually between 2020 and 2025.

The municipal Department of Industry and Trade has reported that several large-scale projects in supporting industries have gradually joined the global supply chain.

Since 2016, Da Nang has attracted 24 new supporting industry projects worth over 9 trillion VND, two of which are foreign-invested, with 240 million USD, specialising in manufacturing aviation and automobile spare parts.

Da Nang is now home to around 110 supporting industry firms, accounting for 6.3 percent of all industrial enterprises in the city.

However, the number of domestic companies in the field remains limited, and most are of small scale with average technological capabilities. Meanwhile, foreign firms mostly process and assemble imported materials because the rate of domestically-made items remains low. Links between foreign and domestic businesses, meanwhile, are still less than needed.

General Director of the Long Hau Company, Tran Hong Son, said a number of local companies have yet to meet requirements for being recognised as supporting industry enterprises or manufacturers under Vietnam’s regulations.

He suggested quickly completing planning for an area devoted to supporting industry enterprises inside the Da Nang Hi-tech Park (DHTP) and putting it into operation to attract capable investors.

Head of the management board of the DHTP and industrial parks in Da Nang, Pham Truong Son, said the municipal People’s Committee has completed the planning for a supporting industrial park in the DHTP, which has been submitted to the Prime Minister for approval.

Once approved, Da Nang will outline a list of sectors in need of investment and then set up the park, the first of its kind in supporting industries in the city. Investors in the park would work with those at DHTP to create an industrial ecosystem.

If Da Nang develops supporting industries, investment will also pour into nearby localities, he said.

Under Politburo Resolution No 43/NQ-TW, Da Nang is to be a nucleus of the central key economic region and will develop hi-tech industries and information technology. To this end, Son suggested making the best use of its geographical location, infrastructure, human resources, and supporting industry.

Under the pending plan, the supporting industrial park is to cover an area of over 102 ha in Hoa Vang district, adjacent to the DHTP and the city's information technology park.

In line with Resolution No 01-NQ/TU from the standing board of the municipal Party Committee, supporting industry enterprises will increase in number by 2030 and be capable of producing highly-competitive products, focusing on spare parts, software, and key services in support of priority industries. The city will also attract multi-national groups to guide and facilitate technology transfer.

By 2025, the city expects to have over 150 supporting enterprises, with at least 10 percent of domestic supporting enterprises being able to supply products to manufacturers. The value of the supporting industry will make up around 30 percent of added valued in the manufacturing and processing sector. At least one multi-national group or company is to invest in manufacturing end products.

Of the more than 300 supporting enterprises to be in business by 2030, at least 15 percent are to be able to directly supply products to manufacturers and assemblers. The value of the supporting industry will account for nearly 40 percent of added value in the manufacturing and processing sector and at least one multi-national group or company will invest in manufacturing end products./.

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

 
 

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