Pork prices reach record high

Pork prices reach record high

Pork prices in Vietnam have reached the record high due to local supply shortages.

Tran Van Toan in the northern province of Hung Yen’s Khoai Chau District who is the owner of a 1,000-pig farm, said that he has received a lot of calls from traders these days. He plans to sell the pigs early next month.   

Pork prices in Vietnam have reached the record high due to local supply shortages.

At the beginning of this month, he sold nearly 200 pigs at VND94,000 (USD4.08) per kilo, but now the figure has increased to VND98,000.

A pig breeder over the past 20 years, this is the highest price hike Toan has ever seen. He forecasted that the price would be VND100,000 per kilo of pig in some days to come.

So far this year, he has sold around 600 pigs, earning a quite big profit. He has invested in another farm to raise pigs.

According to a representative from a wholesale market in the northern province of Ha Nam, pork prices in the market have tended to be on the rise recently, while the supply sources have fallen. On Sunday, a kilo of pig was sold at VND95,0000-97,000, he said.

Meanwhile, pig prices in the central and southern region have also risen to between VND88,000 and VND97,000 per kilo.

Nguyen Kim Doan, deputy head of Dong Nai Livestock Association, said that the price in Dong Nai is up to 97,000 per kilo, the record high so far.

In 2011, the Vietnamese pig raising sector was affected by blue ear and hand-foot-mouth diseases, causing the live pig prices to sharply rise to VND60,000 per kilo. However, the price hike was brought under control just around one week later.

At markets in Hanoi, one kilo costs between VND165,000-250,000. The price is higher at local supermarkets.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said that the local market has seen a pork shortage of around 20% following African Swine Fever last year. The best solutions are increased livestock and imports.

However, it will take time for the number of livestock to increase which is expected to help ease the domestic market’s pork deficiency by the end of this year.

In the first four months of this year, localities have ensured around 80% of the set population target.

Since early this year, Vietnam has witnessed an on-year rise of 300% in pork imports.

Airlines launch super-saving tickets to mark post-pandemic period

Several local airlines, led by industry leaders Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet Air, are poised to launch a range of super-saving air tickets as a means of stimulating demand for the domestic tourism industry in the post-pandemic period.

The plans will see low-cost carrier Vietjet Air offer a huge discount on airfares with prices starting from as low as VND18,000, while national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines will also launch a range of cheap tickets starting from VND99,000, excluding taxes and fees. 

The demand for travel among domestic tourists in the post-pandemic period is set to recover following the implementation of stimulus packages from the aviation and tourism sector, according to the Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board (TAB).

The TAB’s survey indicates that 31.9% of surveyed respondents will definitely be travelling this summer, while a further 29.3% intend to plan for a holiday.

Moreover, close to 50% of customers plan to travel for between two and three days, while the remaining 50% intend to enjoy a longer holiday for between four and seven days.

Local airlines have also moved to increase the frequency of domestic flights, with almost all air routes being reopened following the epidemic. Budget airline Vietjet Air has also reopened its 45 domestic air routes and is running 300 flights per day.

A representative of Vietjet Air said that in order to meet the increasing demand for cheap travel after the epidemic, the airline is set to launch millions of super-saving tickets starting from only VND 18,000.

Simultaneously, there will be at least 25 tickets priced from zero VND on each flight from now until June 30.

A major travel firm operating in Ho Chi Minh city said that airfares account for the majority of the price of tour packages, with local airlines providing effective support to travel companies to design cheap tours  to stimulate domestic tourism demand.

Int’l cooperation boosted for sustainable development of maritime economy

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc recently approved a plan for international cooperation to sustainably develop Vietnam’s maritime economy until 2030.

The plan aims to promote international cooperation for the sustainable development of the maritime economy to mobilise and effectively use resources, knowledge and experience while optimising the support of other countries, international organisations and partners.

It is hoped to help successfully implement the viewpoints, targets and main solutions stated in the Party Central Committee’s Resolution 36-NQ/TW, issued in October 2018, on the strategy for sustainably developing Vietnam’s maritime economy until 2030, with a vision to 2045.

The plan is also expected to help Vietnam make active and responsible contributions to the international community in terms of sea and ocean-related issues, and promote the country’s role and stature in the region and the world.

The plan specifies six international cooperation tasks, namely sea and ocean governance, integrated coastal zone management; developing the maritime and coastal economy; improving people’s living standards, developing maritime culture and a society that is attached and friendly to the sea; conducting basic investigations and scientific-technological research, developing maritime human resources; protecting the marine environment, preventing and controlling natural disasters, responding to climate change and rising sea levels; and ensuring defence, security, external activities, and communications./.

Indonesia, Singapore lead Southeast Asia in raising venture capital

Indonesia and Singapore currently dominate the venture capital (VC) fundraising in Southeast Asia, despite a slower pace of capital raising in the first quarter this year.

According to the latest report by Deal Street Asia, Indonesia raised 161 million USD in the first three months of 2020, while Singapore ranked first in the region with 865 million USD over the same period.

No closures were recorded by VC funds in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand or Vietnam, the report said.

In a statement on May 19, head of Deal Street Asia ASEAN’s market research division Andi Haswidi said that the first-quarter fundraising performance did not reflect the true impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most of the capital committed by investors to VC funds in the first quarter was actually solicited before the region began to tighten social-distancing measures in April, he said.

VC funds in the region accumulated 1.3 billion USD in the first three months of this year, ending a year-long streak of quarter-on-quarter growth.

Andi went on to say that the outlook for VC raising in the region is expected to deteriorate in the coming months as the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic started to affect the fundraising process./.

Tho Xuan Airport plans to serve 5 million passengers per year

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) is planning to increase the capacity of Tho Xuan Airport in the central province of Thanh Hoa to 5 million passengers by 2030.

The CAAV has submitted a detailed planning scheme for the development of the airport by 2030 with a vision toward 2050 that includes the plan to the Ministry of Transport for approval.

The CAAV said the airport’s capacity has grown significantly in recent years, leaving behind its previous growth predictions. However, the last plan set for Tho Xuan was approved in 2013 and modified in 2014.

According to the newly submitted document, by 2030, Tho Xuan will be an international airport while its passenger and goods capacity will be respectively raised to 5 million and 25,000 tonnes per year.

The Tho Xuan Airport served 90.929 passengers in 2013 when it received its first flight. The number soared to 1 million in 2019.

Formerly known as Sao Vang Airport, the airport is located in Sao Vang town, Tho Xuan district, 45 kilometres from Thanh Hoa city. It plays an important role in aviation transportation and national overflight protection./.

Cambodia wants direct flight to US

Cambodia welcomes any US airline that wishes to operate direct flights to the country and promotes trade, tourism and investment with the world’s largest economy, said Minister in charge of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) Mao Havannall.

Havannall made his statement at a meeting with US Ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy at the SSCA office earlier this week.

SSCA spokesman Sin Chansereyvutha said that Murphy had proposed allowing US-produced Boeing Co aircraft to operate in Cambodian airspace and carrying out work on an air service agreement between the two countries, which has been discussed since 2014.

According to him, only two issues remain – first is technical terminology, which the sides may interpret differently but still open up to negotiation. Secondly, US companies want to conduct aircraft ground handling procedures themselves.

The Cambodian side suggested the US ambassador to inform any US airline that wants to operate in the country to schedule a face-to-face meeting with the SSCA to discuss the set-up of their ground handling services.

The spokesman said direct flights between the nations either in terms of passenger or cargo would be a boon.

Spokeswoman of the US embassy in Phnom Penh Emily Zeeberg said the two countries regularly discuss commercial opportunities in different sectors, including exporting aviation technologies and services to Cambodia.

She said the continued growth of Cambodia’s aviation sector provides opportunities for local and regional airlines to lease or purchase Boeing aircraft – and other US aviation technologies and services – to meet rising demand.

According to a US Census Bureau report, bilateral trade between the two countries reached 1.136 billion USD in the first two months of 2020, up 39.96 percent annually.

Thailand cuts key rate to record low to help economy

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) under the Bank of Thailand (BoT) on May 20 cut its policy rate by 25 basis points to a record low of 0.5 percent, to help soften the economic impact of the pandemic and social distancing measures.

This is the second time in this year the MPC has cut the key rate.

According to MPC Secretary Titanun Malikamas, members voted 4-3 to cut the policy rate.

The Thai economy is heading for recession after shrinking 1.8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, the deepest contraction since the flood-hit fourth quarter of 2011.

The contraction has compelled the National Economic and Social Development Council to lower its economic forecast to minus 5-6 percent this year, down from 1.5-2.5 percent growth seen in February.

The Bank of Thailand earlier warned that the economy would reach a nadir in the second quarter, before improving in the third and the fourth quarters.

Over 180 million USD raised through G-bond auction

The State Treasury of Vietnam raised 4.2 trillion VND (180.69 million USD) from G-bonds at an auction held by the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) on May 20.

A total of 5.5 trillion VND worth of bonds was up for auction, including 10-year and 15-year bonds valued at 2 trillion VND each, and five-year and 20-year bonds valued at 1 trillion VND and 500 billion VND, respectively.

All the 10-year and 15-year bonds were sold for 2 trillion VND each with annual interest rates of 2.8 percent and 2.95 percent, respectively, up 0.05 percent and 0.02 percent against auctions on May 13.

Some 200 billion VND was mobilised from 20-year bonds with an annual interest rate of 3.43 percent, up 0.33 percent from the previous auction on April 22.

There were no successful bids for the five-year G-bonds.

The State Treasury has raised nearly 47.74 trillion VND from G-bonds so far this year through actions at HNX.

Exporters urged to accelerate REX registration

The Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade has urged local exporters shipping to the European Union (EU), Norway and Switzerland to register for REX as soon as possible.

REX, or registered exporter system, is a system of certification of origin of goods based on self-certification granted by the European Commission (EC) under the Generalised System of Preferences Treatment (GSP) that is the tariff for developing countries. The system has been used to gradually replace the certification of origin of goods (C/O) form A.

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has been in charge of implementing the registration of REX code for businesses under a decision of the Minister of Industry and Trade.

The department said Vietnam is among countries implementing the registration of REX code in 2019 and will be extended for the end of C/O form A by the end of June 2020. The EU’s customs will not accept the C/O form A for exporters registering REX code.

The ministry has urged the VCCI to speed up the registration for businesses to ensure that domestic exporters could enjoy the GSP.

The VCCI's statistics showed that there have been more than 1,200 firms registering for the REX code so far. Another 280 companies are waiting for approval.

However, the number was still modest. There are two months left for the deadline, requiring firms to quickly complete the registration.

COVID-19: Singapore, Malaysia discuss economic recovery

Singapore’s Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and his Malaysian counterpart Tengku Zafrul Aziz on May 19 discussed economic recovery measures via a video conference as COVID-19 restrictions are gradually eased.

In a Facebook post on May 20, Heng Swee Keat, who is also Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, said the discussion was centred on the COVID-19 situation in both countries and around the world.

"We shared learning points on this battle - from measures to contain the spread of the virus, to support for our companies and households," he wrote.

The two ministers also discussed exploring areas to strengthen bilateral cooperation.

They reaffirmed their longstanding and multi-faceted bilateral relationship and the need to collaborate with each other.

Conference seeks ways to bolster exports to India, Nepal

An online conference on trade promotion via the Vietnamese community in India and Nepal was held on May 20.

It was jointly held by the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the trade office of the Embassy of Vietnam in India, the association of Vietnamese people in India and Nepal, and the Indian Importers Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam.

VIETRADE Deputy Director General Le Hoang Tai told the conference that Vietnam boasts huge potential for export to the Indian market of nearly 1.4 billion people.

Prominent exports to the country include farm produce and processed foodstuff, particularly dragon fruit and basa fish, while staples such as cashew nut, coffee, and peppercorn also have room for growth. 

The two governments have agreed on the need to develop supply chains in the fields of garments and textiles, footwear, electronic devices, machinery, and mechanical products, he noted.

Bilateral trade increased more than 2.06-fold to 11.21 billion USD from 5.43 billion USD between 2016 and 2019, with Vietnam posting a trade surplus of 2.1 billion USD in 2019.

Those figures, however, remain modest compared to potential.

Meanwhile, Nepal is also viewed as a promising market for Vietnam.

Both countries are members of the WTO and annual bilateral trade averages about 30 million USD.

Vietnam exports mobile phones and components, computers, electronic devices, and peppercorn to Nepal, while importing cosmetics and hygiene products, among others.

Vietnamese firms were advised to study the customs and culture of the two countries prior to working on export contracts, and should anticipate a language barrier, time-consuming sea transport, and competition from other countries./.

Indonesian coal sector suffers due to India’s dropping demand

Indonesian coal miners are struggling with slow demand this year as businesses in India, one of the country’s major coal markets, hit the brakes due to a prolonged lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, a data firm has said.

India’s coal imports, a commodity mostly used for power generation, is projected to decrease by 19.1 percent year-on-year to 149 million tonnes, according to IHS Markit.

As a result, IHS Markit projects a 10 percent decline in Indonesian coal exports to 406 million tonnes in 2020, from last year’s figure of 451 million tonnes.

IHS Markit coal, metals and mining senior director James Stevenson said India’s lower import projection was a result of slumping business and industrial activity during the country’s prolonged lockdown.

The consultancy now expects that India will reduce its imports by about 35 million tonnes, he added.

It initially projected Indonesian coal exports at 419 million tonnes before India announced an extended lockdown and before market conditions worsened in Southeast and East Asia, which are Indonesia’s other major coal export markets.

India went into lockdown on March 24, when most businesses shut down. The country has extended the lockdown four times, which is expected to last until May 31.

Indonesia is the world’s largest coal producer and dry fuel contributes 14 percent of the country’s exports, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data shows./.

Indonesia suspends carrier’s license for physical distancing breaches

Indonesia’s Ministry of Transportation has imposed penalties on local carrier Batik Air and the operators of the Soekarno-Hatta and PT Angkasa Pura II Airports for not maintaining a safe distance between passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ministry spokesperson Adita Irawati said inspectors found that Batik Air had not limited passenger numbers on its flights to less than 50 percent of seating capacity, in violation of the government’s physical distancing order.

The airline will have its licenses suspended, he said.

The two airport operators, meanwhile, failed to take the necessary measures to disinfect terminals or comply with physical distancing rules, Irawati noted, adding that a notice has been sent to them and sanctions are being considered.

He added that the ministry will be tough on breaches, without exception, if aviation organisations and companies continue to overlook preventive measures taken to fight the coronavirus.

All rules have been adopted to ensure the safety of passengers and prevent the virus from spreading further.

Thousands of passengers were seen flooding Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, last week after domestic flights resumed, causing massive congestion at Terminal 2.


HCM City seeks to speed up tardy public spending

Ho Chi Minh City is seeking to speed up public spending after many projects reported delays this year.

A report tabled at a recent meeting showed that only 10.3 percent of the funds earmarked for this year, or 3.48 trillion VND (149.3 million USD), had been disbursed in the first quarter, much lower than in other localities in the Southern Key Economic Region and putting it among localities with the country’s lowest disbursement rates.

A senior official in the Management Board for Traffic Works Construction and Investment, which manages many key transport projects, said after having fund allocated in December, the board immediately began to work on projects, designing and submitting to competent authorities for approval, selecting consultants and evaluating bid documents.

These took a lot of time, leading to slow disbursement in the first quarter, but things would speed up from the middle of the second quarter, he assured.

The board has started work on 13 transport projects costing over 3.5 trillion VND (150.28 million USD), including the six-lane 75m My Thuy 3 bridge in District 2, a pedestrian bridge in front of the new Eastern Bus Station on Hanoi Highway in District 9 and a subway under it.

It has also coordinated with contractors to speed up work on other projects such as upgrade of Nguyen Huu Canh Street, Y-shaped Bridge, An Suong underground tunnel, To Ky Street and others.

Other construction and investment management boards in the city have also sought to speed up their work.

To improve the situation, city authorities are considering new procedures that would improve the management and disbursement of public funds.

The city is urgently implementing Decree No.40/2020/ND-CP governing the implementation of a number of articles of the Public Investment Law and Resolution No.27/NQ-CP on piloting mechanisms and processes to reduce the time required for land acquisition.

The city holds meetings every two weeks to review and evaluate public spending hoping to achieve a disbursement rate of over 80 percent by October 15.

According to analysts, the most difficult aspect is land acquisition. Delays in this not only affect disbursement progress and investment efficiency, but also causes many projects to stall.

The second inherent bottleneck involves administrative procedures and co-ordination between authorised agencies in carrying out public projects.


All projects take three to four months merely to complete investment procedures, while the selection of contractors takes 45 days.

At a recent meeting Vo Van Hoan, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, called on relevant agencies to review and handle these problems to speed up public spending./.

Trà Vinh farmers expand organic rice areas

The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Trà Vinh has encouraged farmers to expand environmentally friendly organic rice fields that have improved the quality of rice and soil fertility.

In Cầu Ngang, more than 100 farmers in Cầu Ngang’s Mỹ Hòa, Kim Hòa, Vinh Kim and Hiệp Hòa communes signed a contract in 2017 with a company to grow organic rice on a total area of 82ha.

The company provided farmers with techniques such as sowing, fertilising, disease management and harvest methods. The company also supplied materials, and it guaranteed outlets for the farmers.

In the first organic rice crop, the farmers earned a profit of VNĐ30 million (US$1,300) per hectare per crop, up VNĐ6 million ($260) compared to normal farming methods.

Organic rice fields use less fertiliser and do not use chemicals. Farmers can also breed aquatic species in ditches in the rice fields to earn additional income, or rotate rice and aquatic species on the same fields. 

Thạch Mara, who has planted organic rice in Hiệp Hòa Commune since 2017, said rice grown under organic standards develops well and adapts to climate change.  

In his first crop, his 0.4ha rice field had a yield of 6 tonnes per ha, up one tonne compared to traditional farming methods. He expanded the organic rice area to 0.7ha this year.

Trần Hồng Nghiệp, an agricultural official in Hiệp Hòa, said to encourage farmers to grow organic rice, the commune guarantees outlets for farmers and link them with others who produce organic rice.

The commune’s organic rice co-operative group has called on farmers to join the group which can easily link up with companies and access government support policies.

The group now has 49 members who grow a total of 52ha of organic rice.

Its members who rotate organic rice cultivation and black tiger shrimp or giant river prawn breeding on their rice fields earn a profit of VNĐ50 - 60 million ($2,200 - 2,600) per ha for each shrimp crop. 

Nguyễn Ngọc Hài, deputy director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that farmers, companies and the State have developed linkages under the organic model, which has improved the value and quality of the province’s rice.

Besides the health benefits of organic food, organic farming improves soil fertility and protects aquatic resources.  

Trà Vinh grows more than 200,000ha of rice each year, but has only a few hundred ha of rice planted under organic standards.

The coastal province plans to increase its organic rice area to 1,000ha by the end of this year and to 2,500ha by 2030, according to the department. 

ACV to invest in Tân Sơn Nhất airport’s new terminal

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has assigned State-owned Airports Corporation of Việt Nam (ACV) to be the investor of the third passenger terminal at HCM City’s Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport.

The new terminal with a capacity of 20 million passengers a year has a total investment of more than VNĐ10.99 trillion (US$472.42 million).

ACV’s investment will come from all corporate capital with no State budget money. 

The terminal with a lifespan of 50 years is expected to be completed within 37 months as assigned by the Government. 

According to ACV chairman Lại Xuân Thanh, the corporation will also invest in parking lots and related constructions for the new terminal at Tân Sơn Nhất airport.

The PM has asked HCM City People’s Committee to be responsible for information about the project appraisal and report it to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The PM has asked the Ministry of Transport to ensure that ACV complies with provisions on management of aviation infrastructure assets invested in and managed by the State.

In Việt Nam, runways are managed by the State, while terminals and parking lots are managed by ACV.

The Ministry of Transport last year asked the Government to allow ACV to invest in the new passenger terminal, saying the construction would be 100 per cent funded by the ACV.

The ministry said in order to ensure fairness and transparency, ACV would have to conduct bidding procedures to select design consultants and construction contractors.

ACV has demonstrated its capacity through important investment projects such as Terminal T2 at the Nội Bài International Airport, Phú Quốc international airport, the passenger terminal of Vinh international airport, among others.

The Ministry of Transport in 2018 approved Tân Sơn Nhất airport’s expansion of its capacity to 50 million by 2025, with 20 million from the third terminal and 30 million from the upgrade of two existing terminals.

In a related issue, the Government has proposed naming ACV as the main investor for the first phase of Long Thành International Airport in the southern province of Đồng Nai.

Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thể has submitted a feasibility report on the first phase of the airport at a cost of VNĐ111 trillion ($4.779 billion) to the National Assembly (NA).

According to the report, ACV will invest in the first runway, taxiways, a terminal, an aircraft parking space and other major infrastructure at the airport.

The National Assembly Standing Committee said the Government has the right to choose an investor for Long Thành airport as long as it ensures its chosen investor abides by principles of national defence and security, national interest and financial efficiency.

ACV operates 22 airports in Việt Nam, including nine international airports and 13 domestic airports. 

VN records trade deficit in first half of May as exports slump

Viet Nam reported a trade deficit of nearly US$1 billion in the first half of May as exports reached only $8.22 billion – the lowest level since the beginning of this year (excluding the first half of January when the Tet holiday fell on), the General Department of Customs announced on Wednesday.

Only two groups of products posted an export turnover of at least $1 billion during the period including computers, electronics and components at some $1.5 billion and telephones and parts at $1 billion. That brought export earnings of these products total to $13.6 billion and $16.4 billion, respectively so far this year.

Several other staples with an encouraging export value were textile and garment with $828 million, totalling $9.47 billion to date this year; machinery, equipment and parts with $753.5 million, totalling more than $7.5 billion and footwear with $587 million, totalling $5.94 billion.

Meanwhile, the country imported nearly $9.2 billion worth of goods in the first half of May with computers, electronics and components and machinery, equipment and parts recording respective earnings of $2.1 billion and $1.4 billion, according to the department.

Since the beginning of this year to mid-May, the nation’s trade value hit about $177 billion. Of the total, more than $89 billion came from exports while the remainder of $88 billion from imports. That resulted in a trade surplus of more than $1 billion, the department noted.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade predicted that Viet Nam’s export value would increase again in the second half of this year if the pandemic was controlled in the second quarter.

The ministry would continue to give priority to promoting trade connections between Vietnamese enterprises and foreign partners, and the introduction of made-in-Viet Nam goods to domestic and international consumers.

Viet Nam has set a goal of reaching $300 billion export value target by the end of this year after four-year trade surplus record. Last year, the country’s trade surplus hit a record high of $9.9 billion, the highest level seen in the past four years.

Measures needed to promote sustainable spiny lobster farming in Vietnam

Vietnam is aiming to raise the output of its spiny lobster farming industry to 3,000 tonnes by 2025, bringing in an export revenues of US$200 million, under a draft plan by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

It is expected that key farming regions that meet environmental, disease, food safety and labour standards will be established in nine central coastal provinces, namely Quang Binh, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan.

Currently spiny lobster farming is one of the main sources of income for Vietnam’s central coastal region. Khanh Hoa Province, for example, boasts 50,000 farming cages with an annual output of 1,500 tonnes.

But recently the industry has faced numerous challenges as Vietnam has yet to be able to produce juveniles and the feeding requires fresh food. At the same time, the traditional wooden cages are unable to withstand stronger waves, the environment is being degraded and the market is facing a great deal of difficulty due to the heavy reliance on exporting through unofficial channels.

The key factors to spiny lobster farming are proactively securing juveniles and preventing diseases. But to date Vietnam has been unable to produce juveniles in captivity. In Khanh Hoa Province, local residents must dive under the water to harvest juvenile lobsters, which are just a little bigger than a toothpick, and raise them. The natural stock is unstable and cannot meet the long-term farming requirements.

Another problem is the milky haemolymph disease in spiny lobster, to which farmers virtually must give in and the infected lobsters are bound to die. It is apparent that Vietnam’s scientific level has yet to meet the needs of spiny lobster farming. Therefore, it is necessary to further boost research so as to address the issues of broodstock and disease prevention for spiny lobsters.

The market for spiny lobster is also a great challenge. The majority of Vietnam’s spiny lobsters are exported live to China and Singapore, of which a large amount are traded through unofficial channels, resulting in unstable prices and revenue.

There were even times when spiny lobsters in Khanh Hoa Province could not find any buyers. In addition, some farmers failed to follow instructions by the authorities and grew spiny lobster without planning, so their products did not meet the standards to be exported to demanding markets.

Therefore, in the time ahead, the functional authorities should promptly introduce measures to increase the share of spiny lobster exports through official channels, and expand the domestic market as part of a long-term plan for the spiny lobster farming industry. It is also important to forge a link between lobster farmers and enterprises in the chain from production to export.

Viet Nam to boost trade with India

Viet Nam has a lot of potential to export goods to India, one of the most populous countries in the world with nearly 1.4 billion people.

Le Hoang Tai, deputy director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) made the statement at an online meeting on trade promotion through the Vietnamese community in India on Wednesday.

The agency and trade office of the Vietnamese embassy to India in collaboration with the Vietnamese community in India and Nepal and the Indian Importers Chambers of Commerce and Industry organised the online meeting.

The seminar aimed to create a bridge with the Vietnamese community in India to exchange information with domestic businesses on trade prospects in India.

Trade relations between Viet Nam and India are complementary and many Vietnamese goods have export potential like agricultural products and processed foods, especially dragon fruit and basa fish.

Cashew, coffee, pepper, rubber and spices also have much potential in the Indian market.

The governments of the two countries have realised there is a need to promote co-operation in developing value chains in the textiles, footwear, electronic equipment, machinery and mechanical products sectors.

Tai said total import-export turnover between Viet Nam and India increased by 2.06 times from US$5.43 billion to $11.21 billion from 2016 to 2019.

Exports increased by 2.5 times from $2.69 billion to $6.67 billion, while imports increased by 1.65 times from $2.75 billion to $4.54 billion.

Though Nepal is a small market it still has great potential for Vietnamese businesses.

Viet Nam and Nepal are both members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and have developed good economic and trade relations in recent years, but two-way trade turnover is small at only about $30 million per year.

Viet Nam exports mobile phones and components, computers, electronic products and components, and pepper to Nepal.

The Southeast Asian country imports aromatic substances, cosmetics, sanitary products and others.

To increase exports to India and Nepal, Nguyen Thu Hien, a representative of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Indian Importers in Viet Nam, shared some experiences with businesses when exporting goods to India.

She recommended businesses learn about the customs and culture of the partner country.

Apart from language barriers, other challenges that Vietnamese businesses face include time-consuming transport by sea and competition with countries such as Thailand and Malaysia.

HCM City businesses need support to recover from Covid-19 blow

Most business activities have resumed in HCM City after a long hiatus caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, but experts said government support is needed to revive the economy.

Chu Tien Dung, chairman of the HCM City Union of Business Associations, said the city's main sectors like rubber, plastics, supporting industries, wood products, textiles, and footwear have been hit hard due to the disruption of supply chains, labour and markets.

The city government has announced many support policies related to corporate income tax, value-added tax and personal income tax to help businesses stay afloat, he said.

Others include cutting bank lending interest rates, deferring repayment of loans and reduction in social insurance and health insurance premiums for employers, he said.

But many businesses are finding it difficult to access the city’s VND250 trillion (US$10.7 billion) stimulus package meant to support those affected by the pandemic, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises, he said.

The procedures are complicated and official agencies are not providing guidance, he quoted businesses as saying.

The city should continue with administrative reforms, and foster the use of information technology to enable businesses to access financial support, Dung said.

It should help stabilise and restructure markets, expand the domestic market and prepare for exports when other countries end social distancing, he said.

Besides, it should help businesses set up supply chains with domestic firms and support investment in agricultural processing to replace raw agricultural exports with that of processed items, he said.

Banks should lend to supporting industry enterprises for investment in infrastructure and technological innovation, he said.

Transactions between businesses and authorities and administrative procedures should become digital, and e-governance and smart applications should be adopted, he said.

The city needs to offer incentives and perfect the legal framework to persuade enterprises to go digital, he added.

Viet Nam meat imports surge in first four months

Viet Nam has imported US$1.36 billion worth of meat and meat products in the first four months of the year, a 17.6 per cent year-on-year increase.

Australia, India, the US, Thailand and Canada were the largest suppliers.

Fresh beef was the biggest import item, at $204.4 million more than doubling in value from last year. Frozen beef, chicken and pork also saw large increases.

Viet Nam’s animal husbandry exports in the period plummeted by 23.8 per cent to $150 million. 

Credit growth forecast to slow to 9-10% in 2020

Credit growth would likely reach only 9-10 per cent this year against 13 per cent last year even if the country’s infrastructure investment was good, experts forecast.

The growth rate would be lower than the central bank’s 11-14 per cent targeted for this year.

According to experts from Yuanta Securities Company, the central bank’s second interest rate cut of 0.5 percentage points recently might not really boost credit demands of firms.

The reduction has a more positive impact on the banking system and might affect the economy more strongly than the first rate cut in March. Accordingly, a series of input interest rates offered by banks, especially the short-term deposit interest rates, which are lower than in previous periods, will help banks reduce deposit costs significantly and support businesses to extend their debt and restructure loans.

However, under the current context, instead of interest rates, firms are caring more about whether the COVID-19 pandemic will be controlled, especially in countries that have significant trade balance with Viet Nam, such as the US, EU, China and Japan, according to the experts.

If consumption demands are still limited, firms will not borrow even if interest rates are low and banks must also be very cautious in disbursement because of bad debt concerns, the experts explained.

As investment in infrastructure increases, credit in industry and construction is forecast to rise higher compared with the last two years. 

Vietcombank ranks high in Forbes’ Global 2000 annual ranking

Forbes listed Vietcombank among the world’s 1,000 largest companies in “The World’s Largest Public Companies 2020” report released last week in its Global 2000 annual ranking.

Vietcombank is listed in 937th position, up 159 places since 2019. It is also the only company from Viet Nam to be ranked among the largest 1,000.

Vietcombank saw a strong growth in profit in 2019, with profit before tax reaching VND23.16 trillion (US$994 million), a 24 per cent increase compared to 2018 and surpassing Vietcombank 2019’s target of 12 per cent growth.

This result put it in the group of the top 200 banking institutions with highest profits in the world.

Vietcombank is currently the first Vietnamese bank to possess total assets worth $50 billion and is the most valuable company in Viet Nam’s stock market.

Other than Vietcombank, Viet Nam has three other representatives listed in Forbes’s top 2,000 largest companies, which are Bank for Investment and Develppment of Viet Nam (BIDV), Vingroup and Vietinbank.

Forbes’s Global 2000 ranks 2,000 of the largest publicly listed companies globally.

The ratings are based on scores of revenues, profits, assets and market capitalisation. 

Jewellery firm loses as stores close for virus fight

Phu Nhuan Jewellery JSC (PNJ) has reported its revenue in April dropped 47 per cent on-year to VND501 billion (US$21.5 million).

The company recorded a loss of VND89 billion in April. PNJ made a profit of VND52 billion in April 2019.

In the first three months of the year, PNJ earned VND5 trillion worth of revenue and VND511.7 billion worth of profit.

Q1 revenue was up 4.5 per cent on-year but profit slid 5.8 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2019.

According to the jewellery retailer, stores were closed in the first half of April on the restriction rules by the Government to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Revenue of selling jewellery products fell 62 per cent on-year, the most among PNJ’s sale activities. Meanwhile, gold sales were up 42 per cent on-year as investors and buyers sought safe havens in gold amid the virus outbreak.

Wholesale, institutional sales, and exports were heavily affected by COVID-19. The company reported its gross profit margin in April lost 16.2 percentage points to 8.4 per cent from 24.6 per cent in April 2020.

Since Viet Nam re-opened the economy after two weeks of social distancing, PNJ has seen its sales activity improve.

At the end of April, PNJ had a total of 292 PNJ Gold stores, 53 PNJ Silver stores and 33 PNJ Watch stores. In the first four months, the company opened 16 jewellery and watch stores while closing five jewellery stores.

The company shares (HoSE: PNJ) slipped 1.2 per cent to trade at VND63,200 apiece on Thursday. 

Real estate Landmark Holding shares dive on delisting decision

Shares of Landmark Holding JSC tumbled for a second day after the firm was delisted by force from the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE).

The petrochemical and real estate trading firm’s shares (HoSE: LMH) plunged 6.5 per cent to trade at VND1,000 apiece on Thursday. Shares dived 7.0 per cent on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the southern bourse HoSE announced more than 25.62 million shares of Landmark Holding will be delisted on June 19.

The decision was made after audit firm made a disclaimer of opinion on the company’s 2019 financial report.

The disclaimer of opinion is often the worst type of feedback an auditor may have on a firm’s financial report. It means the auditor is unable to form an opinion as there are insufficient proof in the financial statement.

On April 27, HoSE warned Landmark Holding shares could be delisted for the same reason.

The company debuted on HoSE on October 12, 2018 at VND11,200 (US$0.48) per share. Shares reached the highest of VND16,590 apiece on July 25, 2019 before nosediving ever since.

Landmark Holding is known as the investor of several real estate projects in Ha Noi, including the Manhattan Tower in Thanh Xuan District. But the company quit the project in August 2019. 


Other News

Ministers, local leaders urged to enhance public investment disbursement
Ministers, local leaders urged to enhance public investment disbursement
BUSINESSicon  20/09/2020 

Ministers and leaders of People’s Committees of cities and provinces nationwide are required to remove difficulties and promote the disbursement of public investment as well as production, business and consumption.

Banks ask for higher credit quota to prepare for peak lending season
Banks ask for higher credit quota to prepare for peak lending season
BUSINESSicon  20/09/2020 

Despite a credit slowdown in the first half of 2020, some private commercial banks have still asked the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) for a credit growth expansion to prepare for a peak lending season expected at the end of the year.

Vietnam targets 6.5% GDP 2021 growth
Vietnam targets 6.5% GDP 2021 growth
BUSINESSicon  20/09/2020 

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has been asked to meet the goal of 6-6.5% GDP growth in 2021.

Deposit rates hit new lows
Deposit rates hit new lows
BUSINESSicon  20/09/2020 

Local banks have continued slashing deposit rates to as low as 2.5% per annum, in tandem with the Government’s principle of lowering lending rates to support borrowers.

BUSINESSicon  19/09/2020 

Keeping NPLs ratio below 3 percent a challenge: experts

VN sugar firms struggle due to ATIGA
VN sugar firms struggle due to ATIGA
BUSINESSicon  20/09/2020 

Tariffs being cut to zero under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) from January 1 this year and the COVID-19 pandemic have made for a tough year for the sugar industry, heard an online seminar.

Right adjustment could help Vietnam back as high-performing economy: McKinsey
Right adjustment could help Vietnam back as high-performing economy: McKinsey
BUSINESSicon  18/09/2020 

COVID-19 has interrupted the country’s journey to become a high-performing economy, but the right structural adjustments could help get it back on track, according to McKinsey & Company, a leading US consultant firm.

Chinese funds pour money into Vietnamese market
Chinese funds pour money into Vietnamese market
BUSINESSicon  18/09/2020 

Many Chinese funds are pouring capital into the Vietnamese stock market because of low valuations and further loosening of foreign ownership in the near future.

The pandemic and a positive outlook
The pandemic and a positive outlook
FEATUREicon  18/09/2020 

Nations have closed borders, economies are isolated, and supply chains are fragmented. And Vietnam's economy is no exception.

Opportunities await VN husbandry sector over next decade
Opportunities await VN husbandry sector over next decade
BUSINESSicon  18/09/2020 

The outlook for Vietnam's livestock market was bright over the next ten years as the population grows to nearly 107 million with an average income of US$10,000, said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong.

Grab, MoMo enter e-commerce playing field
Grab, MoMo enter e-commerce playing field
FEATUREicon  18/09/2020 

Grab and MoMo are veterans in their core business fields, but they are the newcomers in the e-commerce market.

Businesses must understand trade remedy implications, says expert
Businesses must understand trade remedy implications, says expert
BUSINESSicon  18/09/2020 

International trade remedies are used by many countries to protect their domestic industries, especially now production has stalled due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Vietnam’s first batch of coffee under EVFTA exported
Vietnam’s first batch of coffee under EVFTA exported
BUSINESSicon  19/09/2020 

Vietnamese businesses on Wednesday announced the first batches of passion fruit and coffee exported to Europe following the Europe-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

COVID-19 woes: Footwear exports likely to fall short of target
COVID-19 woes: Footwear exports likely to fall short of target
BUSINESSicon  17/09/2020 

Footwear exports this year are unlikely to hit the target of US$24 billion because of the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

BUSINESSicon  18/09/2020 

Mining industry unable to enjoy tax incentives

FTAs help attract more foreign investors to Vietnam
FTAs help attract more foreign investors to Vietnam
BUSINESSicon  17/09/2020 

Free trade agreements (FTAs) that Vietnam has signed with its partners have been an important factor attracting foreign investments to the country.

Real estate businesses struggling amid pandemic
Real estate businesses struggling amid pandemic
BUSINESSicon  17/09/2020 

The severe economic blows from COVID-19 have forced scores of businesses to suspend operations and even file for bankruptcy, with real estate companies among the hardest hit.

Apartment selling prices on the rise in Hanoi
Apartment selling prices on the rise in Hanoi
BUSINESSicon  17/09/2020 

Apartment prices have increased to a new level, particularly in center city areas.

Gov’t to ask NA to waive charges for water exploitation rights
Gov’t to ask NA to waive charges for water exploitation rights
BUSINESSicon  16/09/2020 

Thousands of businesses will not have to pay for the right to exploit water this year if a plan submitted by the Government is approved by the National Assembly.

BUSINESSicon  17/09/2020 

Measures needed to support COVID-19-hit enterprises

Leave your comment on an article