VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS HEADLINES

New farming models increase incomes in Kien Giang

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS HEADLINES

The income per capita of rural residents in Kien Giang province, the country’s largest rice producer, has reached 46.2 million VND (1,990 USD) a year, up 1.5 times against 2015, mostly due to the use of new farming models and agricultural restructuring.

The figure is higher than the Mekong Delta’s income per capita in rural areas (36.7 million VND) and the country’s income per capita in rural areas (35.8 million VND), according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Under the national programme on new-style rural areas, the province has seen good results in recent years.

Do Minh Nhut, deputy director of the department, said the province had strongly encouraged farmers to use new seed varieties and advanced techniques as well as farming models that adapt to climate change.

More farmers are also applying Vietnamese and global good agricultural practices (VietGAP and GlobalGAP) standards.

Many large-scale rice fields in the province plant high-yield and quality rice varieties for export, while environmentally friendly concentrated shrimp areas use intensive farming methods.

Hoang Trung Kien, director of the province’s Agriculture Extension Centre, said that the number of large-scale rice fields this year increased by 44 percent against last year. The 213 large-scale fields cover 75,000ha, of which 71,000ha have been guaranteed outlets for their products.

Farmers have also turned many inefficient rice fields to rice-shrimp fields that grow shrimp in the dry season and rice in the rainy season.

These rice-shrimp fields expanded from 77,866ha in 2015 to 83,458ha last year, the largest area in the delta. An additional 20,000ha of rice-shrimp fields will be implemented after 2020, according to the department.

Aquaculture in coastal areas has developed rapidly with many farmed aquatic species such as black tiger shrimp, white-legged shrimp, river giant prawns, bivalve mollusks, and brackish water and freshwater fish.

Nhut said that irrigation systems had controlled flooding and saltwater intrusion, and had met the demand for breeding shrimp under industrial and semi-industrial farming models.

The province expects to harvest 256,000 tonnes of farmed aquatic species this year, including 78,000 tonnes of shrimp, according to the department. Rice and shrimp are the province’s two key products.

Effective models

The province has encouraged farmers to use semi-intensive and intensive shrimp farming, breed marine fish in floating cages, rotate shrimp and rice on the same field, and grow organic pepper.

Many farmers in Kien Luong district’s Hoa Dien commune are rotating the breeding of shrimp and crab and rice cultivation on the same field, earning high incomes.

Under this model, farmers plant rice in September, harvest rice in December, and then pump water into the rice field to breed shrimp and crabs.

Nguyen Phuoc Du, who was the first farmer to use the model on his 6ha rice field in Hoa Dien, has earned a profit of 250-300 million VND (10,800-12,900 USD) a year.

“Shrimp breeding under this model does not need much medicine or chemicals, which cuts production costs,” he said.

Having disease-free shrimp and crab fry for breeding is also very important, according to Du.

The commune has a cooperative with 15 members who are using a rice-crab rotation model on a total area of 50ha.

Giang Van Thom, Chairman of the Hoa Dien Commune Farmers Association, said the association would work with the commune's People’s Committee to establish more cooperatives to improve incomes.

Phu Van Khen, a farmer in Phu Quoc district’s Bai Thom commune earns a profit of 400 million VND (17,200 USD) a year from his mixed-farming model in which he grows forestry trees and fruit trees.

Besides breeding deer and wild boar, and raising fish in three ponds, he offers food and room services for tourists. He also employs 10 workers who are paid 5-6 million VND (215-260 USD) a month.

In the last two years, Khen donated 2,000sq.m of land and more than 100 million VND (4,300 USD) to build a rural road and support poor locals.

The new-style rural area programme in the province has received support and contributions from local residents and companies to build infrastructure like roads and irrigation works.

Mai An Nhin, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said: “The new-style rural area programme … has improved production efficiency, labour value of rural residents, and farmers' incomes.”

The province expects to mobilise about 29.2 trillion VND (1.26 billion USD) from various sources, including central and local budgets and donations from locals and companies, for the new-style rural area programme in the 2010-2020 period.

The province has more than 728,400ha of rice fields that produce about 4.2 million tonnes of paddy each year./.

Southeast Asian furniture industry seeks to achieve prosperity

Furniture companies and industries in Southeast Asia should pool their strengths and enhance cooperation to achieve prosperity and sustainability, a forum heard in Ho Chi Minh City on November 27.

Delegates at the "ASEAN Market Attraction" forum organised by Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (HAWA) and the ASEAN Furniture Industry Council (AFIC) agreed that the region boasts many great advantages in terms of materials, production, design, distribution and market size in wood and furniture processing.

Last year, the regional countries exported 12.1 billion USD worth of wooden furniture out of the global total of 150 billion USD, with the US, Europe, Japan, Korea, and Canada being their main markets.

Nguyen Quoc Khanh, HAWA chairman, said Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines are fast growing furniture suppliers with two-thirds of their production prioritised for export.

Their export to production ratio is more than double the global average of around 30 percent with Southeast Asia's wood and furniture exports meeting 5 percent of demand in the US and 2 percent in Western Europe, he said.

Nguyen Xuan Thuy, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Industry Development Centre, said with a population of over 600 million, rapid economic growth and increasing income, Southeast Asia is a huge market with high demand and purchasing power.

“But intra-regional trade is still low compared to the potential. A lot of things are needed to improve [this].”

Khanh said: “While the ASEAN market is obviously large, the question is how to enable Vietnamese and regional enterprises to exploit that potential? The most convincing answer is creating a ‘Cooperation - Link – Alliance’ model between Vietnamese enterprises and between businesses and associations in the region.

“Vietnam's wood industry is leading the region in terms of potential, but most businesses only focus on their own interests, brands and products without seeing the great benefits of building an industry brand.

“ASEAN countries compete with each other. Therefore, a larger common goal is needed to create cohesion, consensus and cooperation for mutual prosperity.

“A combination of everyone’s strengths and alliances with regional partners will create a value chain in the wood industry.”

Cooperation in the regional wood industry should be based on the potential of countries and the strategy of enterprises, he said.

There should be vertical links between strong producers like Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, and Myanmar and those strong in trade, design and services like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines, he said.

The horizontal links should be between AFIC member associations in strategic orientations and alliances for sustainable development of the industry, he said.

With the impact of the US-China trade war, many buyers have shifted their orders from China to Southeast Asia.

In the first seven months of this year, Chinese wooden furniture and furniture exports to the US fell by 18.3 percent year-on-year to 14.3 billion USD.

Khanh said: “Most US and European customers want to source goods from outside China, and this is a great opportunity for AFIC to have a common vision and undertake activities to seize this valuable opportunity and enhance the position of the region.

“We should link to supplement each other and become stronger to counterbalance and compete in other production markets such as China and Europe.”

Emmanuel Padiernos, president of AFIC, said in addition to gathering twice a year, “We have started organising trade missions to each other countries. I think trade missions play a very important role in developing intra-ASEAN trade across different segments.”

Delegates also suggested that Vietnamese and ASEAN businesses should embrace digital transformation to better meet customers’ demands and promote consumption of their products since customer buying behaviours and expectations have changed dramatically.

Tran Viet Tien of HAWA said the ASEAN wood industry has been responding positively to changes in global markets by introducing national mechanisms and policies and changes in business and production activities at the enterprise level.

“The highest and consistent goal of the ASEAN Market Attraction forum is to promote and support links between Vietnamese enterprises and between regional enterprises and alliances between member associations for a prosperous and sustainable ASEAN wood industry.”/.

Vietnam, Ghana hope to foster trade, business relations

A forum was held in Hanoi on November 28 to seek ways to enhance trade and business partnerships between Vietnam and Ghana.

Do Quoc Hung, Deputy Director of the Asia-Africa Market Department under the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, said the two countries have enjoyed increasingly enhanced relations, especially in trade and investment, and Ghana is now a leading trade partner of Vietnam in West Africa.

In the time ahead, relevant agencies of Vietnam and Ghana should coordinate more strongly to bring bilateral trade and investment on par with cooperation potential, he noted.

In terms of trade with Ghana, Vietnam exported 278.3 million USD and imported 294.6 million USD worth of goods in 2018, up 4.5 percent and down 8.1 percent year on year, respectively, said Nguyen Minh Phuong, a representative of the Asia-Africa Market Department.

In the first 10 months of 2019, Vietnam’s exports to Ghana reached 224 million USD while imports from the African nation were valued at 287 million USD, Phuong added.

Hung said Vietnam’s main exports to Ghana include rice, household utensils, clinker, steel, textiles-garments, and mobile phones and components. In return, Ghana is an important material supplier for the Southeast Asian nation, mostly raw cashew nuts, which accounts for 88 percent of Vietnam’s imports from Ghana, and timber.

Notably, Ghana is the biggest rice importer of Vietnam in Africa. In 2018, it imported over 371,181 tonnes of Vietnamese rice worth 214.1 million USD, making up 76 percent and 48 percent of Vietnam’s exports to the country and the whole Africa, respectively.

At the forum, Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Robert Ahomka-Lindsay highlighted the two countries’ sound relations, particularly in trade, noting that bilateral trade has been growing well in recent years.

He said Ghana is currently in the process of industrialisation and has paid attention to developing a healthy business climate and is calling for foreign investment.

With each country’s advantages and potential, Vietnam and Ghana have numerous prospects to strengthen cooperative ties in many areas like trade, industry, agriculture, and investment, the official added./.

Vinh Phuc urged to produce skilled workers

Vinh Phuc province must improve the quality of its educational and training system to attract more foreign investment, heard a conference on November 27.

According to EuroCham and AmCham, quality of human resources is the biggest challenge for the province and Vietnam in general to luring more foreign investment.

Marko Walde, chief representative of the Delegate of German Industry and Commerce in Vietnam (AHK Vietnam), said German companies and European investors “need people with proper vocational training” in mechanics, electronics and other industrial production fields.

The lack of skilled workers is a challenge for European companies when coming to Vietnam, he said. Other challenges include business environment, infrastructure, traffic, power supply and the weakness of Vietnamese companies.

As German firms invest in long term of 25-30 years with top equipment and facilities, they need high-quality and skilled labour to operate factories and that is a big challenge in Vietnam, he added.

He suggested provincial authorities improve the business environment by strengthening local companies and developing vocational training centres.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam’s Vice Chairwoman Virginia Foote also stressed US companies want to have a more intense relationship with Vietnamese partners on the occasion of AmCham’s 25th anniversary in early November.

Noting Vietnam has been successfully developing its export-based economy in agriculture, clothing and footwear, she asked what would be the next step for the Southeast Asia economy in the age of Industry 4.0.

The importance of the labour force being as industrial and plentiful as it is to get the next generation ready to attract investment in engineering, science and technology, she said.

American companies and other foreign investors expect the Vietnamese education system to link with technology development, she added.

It is not easy for Vietnam to produce world-class vocational school and equipment, Foote said, adding “vocational schools can link up with foreign companies” to determine what kinds of training and research are needed to help the economy grow.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Tri on the same day signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Delegate of German Industry and Commerce in Vietnam (AHK Vietnam), the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham) and the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) to attract investors from Germany, Europe and the US.

According to Tri, there are 752 domestic investment projects in the province with total invested capital of 78 trillion VND (3.3 billion USD) and 376 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with total capital of more than 5 billion USD.

Only 3 percent of all FDI projects in the province belong to European and US investors with capital of 170 million USD.

Some successful investors in the province include vehicle manufacturers Toyota, Honda and Piaggio, animal feed producer De Heus and Vietnamese firm Vingroup./.

Awards honour standout Vietnamese banks

A ceremony for the Vietnam Outstanding Banking Awards 2019 was held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 27 by the Vietnam Banks Association and the International Data Group (IDG).

Held annually since 2012, the awards aim to recognise and honour banks with excellent performance and significant contributions to the development of the banking sector and the financial sector in general.

In addition to helping banks look back on their performance and review the quality of their products and services, the awards also help customers to find reputable banks.

According to the organising board, most banks have focused on developing retail sales, and digital and e-banking services to improve customers’ experience.

The Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development (BIDV), Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MB Bank) and Sai Gon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank) were the winners of Outstanding Retail Banking Award.

The Outstanding Digital Banking Award went to Lien Viet Post Joint Stock Commercial Bank (LienVietPostBank), Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank), and Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank).

Sai Gon Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SCB), Vietnam International Commercial Joint Stock Bank (VIB) and Vietnam-Russia Joint Venture Bank (VRB) were honoured for their outstanding innovative banking products and services.

The Outstanding Bank for Green Credit Award was presented to Bac A Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Bac A Bank), Ho Chi Minh City Development Joint Stock Commercial Bank (HD Bank), and Nam A Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Nam A Bank).

Meanwhile, the Outstanding Bank for Small and Medium Enterprises Award went to Bao Viet Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Bao Viet Bank), MB Bank, and Sai Gon – Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB).

The Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agriculture) and SHB received the Outstanding Bank for Community Award thanks to their charitable and poverty reduction activities.

Agribank was also praised for its investment in high-tech agriculture with total loans of more than 20 trillion VND (861.9 million USD).

In addition, Moca Technology and Services Corporation (MOCA), M_Service Online Mobile Service Joint Stock Company (MOMO) and Vietnam Payment Solution Company (VNPAY) were named Excellent Fintech Firms./.

Event promoting Vietnamese goods held in Australia

An event promoting Vietnamese products in Australia took place in Melbourne, Victoria state for the first time on November 26-27.

The event, arranged by Ho Chi Minh City authorities, featured 50 pavilions run by 34 businesses, including 24 Vietnamese firms.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung underlined that the strong development of the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership has offered new economic cooperation opportunities for businesses from the two nations.

He called on firms to grasp the chances to bolster investment and trade in a bid to double two-way investment.

Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen said the event is designed to help firms from the city bolster cooperation and connections with their Australian counterparts.

Through the event, HCM City is ready to welcome products from Melbourne and Victoria, with the aim of making the two sides become significant trade partners, he added.

Australia is currently Vietnam’s eight leading trade partner, while HCM City has attracted many investors from the country. To date, Australian firms have channelled 197.3 million USD into 197 projects in Vietnam’s southern economic hub, mostly in industry and services.

In 2018, two-way trade between HCM City and Australia hit nearly 979 million USD, of which exports to Australia reaching 578.5 million USD. The city’s main exports included computers, electronics and components, garment-textile, footwear and machinery.

Import-export activities between Vietnam and Australia have also increased after the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand free trade agreement took effect./.

Vietnam among fastest growing economies in Asia: Singaporean newspaper

The Singapore-based Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao newspaper (United Morning Paper) ran an article on November 26 on Vietnam’s foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction, affirming that it is one of the most open economies with the fastest economic growing pace in Asia.

The newspaper cited data of the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment showing FDI inflows in Vietnam reached 3.18 billion USD in the first 11 months of this year, up 3.18 percent over the same period last year.

Up to 68 percent of the total capital was poured into the manufacturing industry and 10.4 percent in the real estate sector.

The Republic of Korea (RoK) is the largest investor in Vietnam and it is followed by Japan and Singapore.

According to the article, Vietnam is one of the most open economies in the world and also one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.

The country has so far signed 12 free trade agreements with partners across the world, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

In addition, Vietnam and the European Union (EU) signed two important cooperation agreements in late June 2019, namely the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement, the article said./.

Dak Lak introduces economic potential to Australian investors

The Central Highlands province of Dak Lak held a seminar in Sydney on November 27 to introduce its strengths and potential to Australian businesses.

Addressing the event, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Vo Van Canh said that Dak Lak is a land of basaltic soil which is suitable for industrial plants with high economic value such as coffee, rubber, peppercorn and herbal plants.

With its advantages in weather and land conditions, Dak Lak hopes to export to Australia its strong products such as coffee, peppercorn, cashew, banana, avocado and durian, said Canh.

He also called for Australian investors to seek business opportunities in Dak Lak’s potential sectors such as agriculture, industry, trade and education.

Canh underlined that the seminar is a first step for the cooperation and long-term partnership between Australia and Dak Lak.

Meanwhile, Graham Kinder, Vice Chairman of the Australia-Vietnam Business Council (AVBC), said that over the past 20 years, Australian firms have worked to build mutual understanding between the business communities of Vietnam in Australia.

He pledged that the AVBC is willing to support Vietnamese enterprises to partner with their Australian peers. The council can assist Dak Lak and Buon Ma Thuot city in various areas, he added.

On the occasion, the Australian side introduced Goulburn city in New South Wales, which has similar geographic and weather conditions as Buon Ma Thuot city.

During their stay, the Dak Lak delegation will have a working session with leaders of Goulburn on November 28 to discuss the formation of partnership between the city and Buon Ma Thuot city of Dak Lak./.

Seaports report strong increases in cargo throughput

Seaports nationwide handled more than 544.3 million tonnes of cargo in the January-October period, including nearly 16 million TEUs of containers, according to statistics of the Vietnam Maritime Administration.

The figures represented increases of 12 percent and 6 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

The highest increase of 48 percent was reported by the group of ports in the central province of Thanh Hoa thanks to the launch of the Nghi Son refinery. The south central province of Binh Thuan also posted a 46 percent increase in cargo throughput of its ports.

Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh and Ba Ria-Vung Tau led in the volume of cargos.

On the other hand, the volume of cargo handled by seaports in Nha Trang and Quang Tri dropped, with decreases ranging from 11 to 27 percent.

 

Strong reductions were also seen in the volume of containers handled in Quang Ninh (43 percent), and Nghe An (13 percent).

On the contrary, the volume of container throughput increased in some small seaports, such as those in Dong Thap province (26 percent), and Da Nang (25 percent)./.

Mobile phones, electronic products - largest foreign currency earners

Mobile phones and components, computers, electronic products and spare parts are the two largest foreign currency earners of the country, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

With over 77 billion USD from exports as of November 15, the two groups of products accounted for more than 33.5 percent of the country’s total export turnover.

Specifically, mobile phones and spare parts brought home over 46.3 billion USD, up more than 5.6 percent.

Meanwhile, computers, electronic products and spare parts raked in 30.7 billion USD, up 18.6 percent year-on-year.

Vietnam’s export turnover in the last 10 months increased 7.4 percent year-on-year to over 217 billion USD, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

In the period, Vietnam imported goods worth 210 billion USD, up 7.4 percent against the same period last year.

The country completed 82.5 percent of the goal of export turnover set for the year.

Notably, Vietnam enjoyed a trade surplus of 7 billion USD, higher than the 6.83 billion USD of 2018./.

Vietnam’s sustainable businesses in 2019 honoured

The Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD) under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) held a ceremony on November 26 to honour 20 sustainable enterprises in Vietnam.

The honoured firms included Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk), Coca-Cola Beverage Vietnam, Heineken Vietnam, Unilever Vietnam, Herbalife Vietnam, Prudential Vietnam, Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), Baoviet Holdings, Swiss Poss Solutions Ltd., and Ho Chi Minh City Development Joint Stock Commercial Bank (HDBank).

Addressing the event, VCCI Vice President Vo Tan Thanh said that Corporate Sustainability Index (CSI) has been used to evaluate businesses’ operations since 2019, which will be applied in a broader scale in 2020.

The VCCI-developed CSI 2019 has been simplified from 131 criteria to 98 criteria in socio-economic and environmental aspects. As many as 90 percent of the criteria are about law observation, he noted.

Through the CSI, enterprises can systemize the information of their business management including process, management method, production, efficiency, relevant laws and regulations, thus improving and promoting their sustainable development strategy, said Thanh.

On the occasion, the VBCSD also honoured nine outstanding media works on sustainable business development, which were chosen from 100 entries.

The VBCSD was set up in 2010, aiming to strengthen the close collaboration and dialogue between the business community, the Government and partners to promote sustainable development.

The council is one of the 69 partners of the global network of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, with four major activities of communications for awareness improvement, training, research and international cooperation./.

Counterfeit, IPR violations still rampant: forum

Counterfeiting and violations of intellectual property rights (IPR) were still rampant, with the perpetrators operating outside and within the country employing advanced technologies and running sophisticated schemes, Hoang Anh Duong, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance, said at a forum in Hanoi on November 26.

In addition, fraud, unfair competition, counterfeiting and violations of IPRs had gone almost unchecked on the internet due to a lack of legal mechanisms to regulate online trading.

The country’s market watch force, under the management of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, had conducted more than 140,000 investigations, among which more than 82,000 resulted in violations.

It had confiscated goods with a total value of150 billion VND (6.5 million USD), and provided support for the police to prosecute 107 cases.

During the last ten months, the forces had handled more than 6,500 cases related to counterfeiting and IPR violations alone.

A major hurdle was difficulty tracking the origin of goods, according to the deputy head.

Contraband is typically smuggled into the country through hidden trails along its thousands-of-kilometres long borders its shares with Cambodia, China and Laos, and had proven to be extremely difficult to stop.

Once brought in, they are often mixed with other goods making it tricky market watch officials to detect. Even when they are found, it’s nearly impossible to track their origin as information labels are fabricated.

Duong called for a complete revamp of the country’s market force's approach to fighting fraud and counterfeiting and the development of direct communication channels between consumers and market watch forces for the early detection of contraband and fraudulent activities.

He also stressed the need to advise the public to only purchase from online platforms that had been licensed and registered by trade authorities.

A lot of progress had been made in Vietnam’s efforts to combat counterfeiting and violations of IPRs, said Phan Ngan Son, Deputy Director of the IPR Department under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

However, more resources must be committed to improving the quality of the country’s market watch force with additional training and modern equipment, especially in the field of IPR.

Nguyen Ngoc Tuyet Trinh, PR Director of L'Oréal Vietnam, said perpetrators moving their illicit trade online had made market watch officials’ jobs even more difficult as contraband was often stored in residential homes, making it nearly impossible to find.

According to L'Oréal Vietnam, counterfeit and smuggled cosmetic products accounted for more than 60 percent of sales of L'Oréal products through both online and offline channels.

The French cosmetics company has made numerous pleas to the Government to clamp down on sales of fake cosmetics and to implement legal mechanisms to protect enterprises’ IPRs online.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) placed Vietnam on its watch list for infringements of IPRs in 2019./.

Tra fish exports to Malaysia see strong surge

Vietnam shipped a total 34.18 million USD worth of tra fish to Malaysia this year to mid-October, a year-on-year surge of 23.6 percent, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

VASEP said that this is the most robust growth as compared to other markets in ASEAN.

Currently, Malaysia is among leading importers of Vietnamese tra fish in the bloc. Along with traditional white fish, tra fish products have won the taste of many Malaysian consumers in the past two years.

Seeing potential of this market, Vietnamese exporters have enhanced shipments of frozen tra fish fillets, frozen tra fish steak and dried fish bladders to Malaysia with average prices of 1.5-7.5 USD per kilogramme.

The Government has recognised tra fish as a national product and a key export item that has been shipped to about 150 countries and territories.

Last year, tra fish export brought in a record of 2.26 billion USD, rising 26.4 percent year on year. Vietnam has targeted a revenue of 2.4 billion USD for the whole year 2019./.

Vietnam, Indonesia step up cooperation in financial supervision

A delegation of the Vietnamese National Financial Supervisory Commission led by its Vice Chairman Nguyen Van Khach visited and held working sessions with agencies in Indonesia’s financial safety network in Jakarta from November 24-26.

The visit aimed to enhance cooperation in issues of Vietnam’s interest towards applying international practices such as microfinance safety supervision policy, financial group supervision framework, experience in running the fiscal policy and effective management of public investment, early warning for risks and bank restructuring.

The delegation held working sessions with the Governor of the Bank Indonesia, the Vice Chairman of the Financial Services Authority of Indonesia, leaders of the Indonesian Ministry of Finance, the General Director of the Indonesia Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Vietnamese Ambassador to Indonesia.

The Indonesian officials introduced macro-supervision model, cooperation mechanism to offer early warning for risks and ensure financial stability, as well as support for the economy for each period.

The Indonesian side shared experience in building legal framework and measures to monitor financial groups, running the fiscal policy to propel economic growth amid global economic downturn at present, efficiency of public investment management, and risks of deposit organisations.

Both sides agreed to share professional expertise to improve the efficiency of financial supervision, helping to maintain financial stability of each country and the region./.

Vietnam, RoK agree to bolster economic, trade, investment ties

Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and his Korean counterpart Sung Yun-mo have discussed measures to further bolster economic, trade and investment partnership between the two countries.

During their meeting in Busan on the sidelines of the ASEAN-Republic of Korea (RoK) Commemorative Summit and the first Mekong-RoK Summit, the two sides sought ways to specify the bilateral cooperation potential and deal with issues in various fields.

In the area of industry, the two sides agreed to increase collaboration in enhancing Vietnam’s capacity in production, especially in processing-manufacturing and supporting industry, thus increasing Vietnam’s exports to the RoK and third countries.

The two sides will work closely together to inaugurate the Vietnam-RoK consultancy and technology solution centre (VITASK) in 2019, while building a database on supporting industry businesses and realizing the memorandum of understanding between Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and Samsung Vietnam on cooperation in personnel training.

They will also continue implementing human resources training programme in supporting industry. The RoK will help Vietnam improve capacity in technical design for firms in the garment and textile sector.

In the field of energy, the two sides expressed their pleasure at effective collaboration of relevant agencies and businesses of both sides over the years. Many Korean firms have engaged in BOT projects or become EPC contractors for big projects in Vietnam.

The two countries agreed to promote affiliation in energy safety and saving.

The efficient bilateral cooperation in energy showed the confidence of Korean firms in the Vietnamese business climate and socio-economic policies, they noted.

In the area of trade, both sides concurred to apply all necessary measures to boost trade and investment ties in the direction of increasing Vietnam’s exports to the RoK, especially agro-fisheries products, while strengthening the attraction of RoK’s investment in Vietnam in food production and processing and trade infrastructure development.

They also agreed to facilitate the export of Vietnam’s agro-fisheries products to the RoK, while strengthening collaboration in trade defence through the affiliation in implementing a technical assistance programme to help Vietnam build and operate a trade defence early warning system, and popularizing Vietnamese laws to Korean firms and updating them with information of trade defence cases.

The two sides will also join hands in enhancing Vietnam’s capacity in product designing, while creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese goods to enter distribution channels in the RoK, and working together in human resources training for trade sector.

On the occasion, the two ministers co-chaired the third meeting of the joint committee on the implementation of the Vietnam-RoK free trade agreement and witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding among the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, and Lotte Group./.

Vietnam, Hungary step up all-round cooperation

Vietnam and Hungary have agreed to boost comprehensive collaboration across politics, economy-trade, science-technology, culture, tourism, finance, agriculture, and security-defence to mark the 70th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations (February 1950-2020).

The agreement was made during the 9th meeting of the Vietnam-Hungary Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation, co-chaired by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong and Hungarian Deputy State Secretary for Export Development at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Istvan Joo, in Budapest on November 26.

At the meeting, Vuong and Istvan Joo highlighted socio-economic development in their respective countries in the past time, and reviewed bilateral cooperation results since the 8th meeting of the committee.

According to statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs, trade value between the two sides during January-October this year was estimated at 611.6 million USD, a year-on-year surge of 17.58 percent.

Vietnam gained 340.79 million USD from exporting garment and textiles and transport vehicles and spare parts, among others to the central European country. Meanwhile, the country splashed out 270.8 million USD on purchasing Hungarian pharmaceutical products, chemical, machines and tools.

In the past year, both sides have worked together to carry out their cooperative documents in various sectors so as to boost collaboration in a more practical and effective manner. Particularly, they made efforts to remove bottlenecks for the construction of Can Tho Oncology Hospital after a long time of hiatus.

Regarding the financial cooperation framework agreement worth 440 million EUR (484.7 million USD), they reached consensus on prioritised sectors of water management, pharmaceutical-medical industry, IT, and technologies in the agricultural sector.

Besides, they will coordinate closely to accelerate the implementation of projects approved by the two governments.

On the occasion, Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Vietnamese Embassy in Hungary organised the Vietnam-Hungary trade and investment promotion forum, drawing the participation of over 20 enterprises form both countries.

The 10th meeting of the Vietnam-Hungary Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation will take place in Hanoi, with specific dates and time to be discussed via diplomatic channel./.

Ford Vietnam expands factory in Hai Duong province

Ford Vietnam will invest an additional 1.9 trillion VND (82 million USD) in expanding its automobile assembly and production factory in the northern province of Hai Duong.

This amount brings its total investment capital to 184.7 million USD in the expansion project.

Under a decision allowing the Ford Vietnam’s expansion plan signed by the provincial People’s Committee, the expansion of production will be divided into two stages.

The first stage will be completed and operational in the second quarter of 2020. The second one will come into effect in the third quarter of 2022.

The factory will assemble and manufacture various models of cars and spare parts, as well as supply maintenance and repair services. Its capacity will increase to 40,000 units from current volume of 14,000 units per year./.

Bamboo Airways works to open direct route between Hanoi, Melbourne

Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways and Melbourne International Airport of Australia inked a Memorandum of Understanding on opening a new air route connecting Hanoi and Melbourne on November 26.

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung, who is on a working visit to Australia, witnessed the signing.

This is the first time a Vietnamese airline looks to open direct flights between the Vietnamese capital and Melbourne, which is expected to further boost the cooperation and trade between the two countries.

A direct service between Vietnam’s southern hub Ho Chi Minh City and Melbourne served around 259,000 travellers last year, and 208,000 in the first nine months of 2019, a 7.7 percent increase on a yearly basis. This shows the potential of direct air services between Vietnam and Australia.

At the signing ceremony, Standing Vice President of Bamboo Airways said the airline wants to expand to Australia due to the market’s potential. Vietnam and Australia entered a strategic partnership in March last year, and the Vietnamese community in Australia has now numbered nearly half a million, while there are only a few direct routes between the two countries.

Bamboo Airways hopes to launch the Hanoi-Melbourne service in the fourth quarter of this year, using Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner airplanes. The route is said to be the prerequisite for the airline to open more direct flights to other destinations in Australia in the future.

The same day, Deputy PM Dung also witnessed the signing of another MOU between Bamboo Airways and the RMIT University on expanding training and research, and encouraging greater participation of women in aviation./.

Party official hails IBEC’s support for Vietnam

Politburo member and head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Nguyen Van Binh received Chairman of the Board at the International Bank for Economic Cooperation (IBEC) Denis Ivanov in Hanoi on November 26.

At the reception, Binh praised the IBEC’s contribution to Vietnam’s socio-economic development through the provision of financial support in different forms for the private sector in the country.

He welcomed the bank’s selection of Vietnam as the venue for its working group and board meetings along with its business forum at the end of November.

Binh affirmed that as a responsible member of the IBEC, Vietnam will work closely with the bank’s leadership for the bank’s effective operation.

Ivanov informed his host of the operation of the IBEC in the recent past and its direction for the time to come.

He said the IBEC has been undertaking comprehensive reforms to improve its operation effectiveness and align the bank’s operation with international practice.

He also expressed the hope that the cooperation between the IBEC and Vietnam will further development in the time ahead./.

Wood and wood product exports exceed 1 billion USD in October

Vietnam raked in more than 1 billion USD from wood and wood product exports in October, up 22.7 percent year-on-year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Handicraft and Wood Processing Association (Hawa) Huynh Van Hanh said this is the first time in just one month the export value of wood and wood products surpasses the 1-billion USD benchmark.

Hanh said in recent years, the Vietnamese Government has effectively prevented origin fraud in which Vietnamese products are exported to foreign countries. Therefore, the wood and wood products export market is expected to be brighter in the last months of this year, he said.

However, timber enterprises still need to be very vigilant and resolute to say no to the origin fraud of exported timber and wood products, in order to maintain important markets including the EU, US and China and continue to grow impressively in the near future, Hanh said.

In 2018, wood and wood product exports brought home nearly 9 billion USD.

Insiders said that if the sector maintains the export turnover of about 900 million USD in the last few months, the country will this year certainly surpass the 10-billion USD mark for the first time./.

Vietnamese firms attend water technology expo in Israel

A number of Vietnamese firms have attended the 8th World Water Technology and Environment Control Conference and Exhibition (WATEC Israel 2019) in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The focus of WATEC 2019 was “Water Stewardship and Innovation – Driving global leadership in the responsible planning management and protection of water.” The expo, held from November 19 – 21, featured over 100 booths and attracted thousands visitors from 26 countries and territories around the world. It also saw presentations by 60 local and foreign speakers.

The event provided experts, business leaders and investors with latest information and trends in water management and treatment and provided areas for displaying advanced models and technologies in wastewater treatment.

Le Tien Truong, CEO of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) delivered a speech at a discussion titled “Solving the water problems of developing countries” in which he talked about the development of Vietnam’s textile and garment industry as well as the neccessity of advanced water management technology to sustainably develop the industry.

Sapasi 1 Limited Company, a Vietnamese provider of water management and quality control solutions, run a booth at the expo to showcase its wastewater treatment technologies./.

Vietnamese enterprises raise awareness about SDGs

Many Vietnamese enterprises lack understanding about sustainable development goals (SDGs) and are not applying them to their business, Tran Thi Lan Anh, deputy general secretary of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said at a forum held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 25.

Associations that represent enterprises also lack understanding and do not know how to guide their members to carry out SDG goals, Anh said.

Pham Anh Tuan, vice chairman of the Vietnam Fisheries Society, said the Government should provide detailed information about goals in each industry so that enterprises know what to do.

“They also need to know the benefits that SDGs bring, and how they will be affected if they don't carry out the goals,” Tuan said.

Tran Thi Lan Anh said that her organisation and relevant agencies were carrying out many projects related to SDGs with the assistance of international organisations.

However, these projects are small scale and cannot be expanded because of limited funds, she said.

A programme on preventing discrimination and sexual harassment at workplaces, for instance, is necessary, but has not been carried out well at many enterprises.

According to other delegates, the promotion of gender equality, including LGBT rights and women’s economic empowerment in global supply chains, is rapidly growing among companies, governments, civil society and international organisations.

Empirical evidence shows that eliminating discrimination against female workers could lead to gains in productivity and competitiveness.

To Quang Phuong, head of the training division at Nha Trang University in Khanh Hoa province, said that students also need to know about SDGs since they will be future employees.

Educational institutes, especially universities, should integrate them into their training programmes, Phuong said.

Other delegates said that NGOs could help enterprises carry out programmes that protect the health of workers at factories, which would contribute to the implementation of the SDGs among enterprises.

The two-day "Responsible Business Forum - Vietnam" is being held by the European Union, EuroCham, International Labour Organisation, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The forum also discussed the challenges and opportunities for businesses presented by Vietnam’s new commitments to the EVFTA and CPTPP and the ratification of ILO Convention 98, and specifically what policies and practices should be employed to ensure the country’s fulfilment of international labour standards.

It also provided deeper understanding of international buyer demands and discussed mechanisms to support suppliers in meeting those demands. Greater collaboration between buyers and suppliers, including support in the form of technological tools, platforms and compliance measures, can support suppliers to strengthen labour and ensure their role in aiding sustainable development./.

 
 
 
 
 
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