VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS HEADLINES NOVEMBER 21

Margin trading should be allowed on UPCoM

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS HEADLINES NOVEMBER 21

Workers at Dung Quat Oil Refinery in the central province of Quang Ngai, operated by Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical JSC (BSR). BSR currently trades on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) with the code BSR (Photo: bsr.com.vn)

Margin trading should be allowed on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) to increase the exchange’s liquidity.

Margin trading allows investors to buy more stock than they would be able to normally.

UPCoM has its own advantages such as a large daily trading band, many good fundamental stocks with stable operations such as Vissan, subsidiaries of Masan Group and Tan Cang Sai Gon Corporation, said Nguyen Hong Khanh, head of market analysis at Vietnam International Securities Joint Stock Company (VIS).

“These stocks, if allowed with margin trading, will attract more cash flow,” Khanh said.

“It is necessary to encourage State-owned enterprises to quickly register for transactions on UPCoM after equitisation, which will make divestment easier and more attractive to investors,” Khanh said.

Liquidity on UPCoM was modest, focusing mainly on banking stocks. The rest have low liquidity, said Truong Hien Phuong, senior director of KIS Vietnam Securities Corporation.

“UPCoM is a capital mobilisation channel that plays an important role in the equitisation and divestment of State-owned enterprises. In order to attract more cash flow into UPCoM, it is necessary to tighten the conditions on listing and improving the standard of information disclosure to gain investors' confidence,” he said.

The Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX), which operates and manages the UPCoM, has petitioned State management agencies to consider allowing margin trading on UPCoM.

HNX said the move aimed to meet the needs of investors, improve market liquidity and increase the space for securities companies to diversify.

If the proposal is accepted, the HNX said certain shares meeting requirements related to business performance, corporate governance and operational information transparency would be eligible for margin trading on UPCoM.

There are now nearly 900 enterprises trading on UPCoM. In October, there were 813.8 million shares transferred, worth 11.4 trillion VND, equal to 6.3 percent of the total trading value on HOSE and 60.6 percent of the total trading value on the HNX.

On average, the transaction value on UPCoM reached more than 518.5 billion VND per session in October, up 19.59 percent over the previous month.

Some stocks which meet the conditions for margin trading included the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), Binh Son Refinery and Petrochemical Joint Stock Company (BSR) and the Vietnam Engine and Agricultural Machinery Corporation (VEA), according to HNX.

Vietnam, US eye stronger trade ties

Vietnam and the US will step up the establishment of production chains and market connectivity to ensure balanced and sustainable development, a forum in HCM City on November 18 heard.

The “Vietnam-US Trade Forum: 25 Years of Economic and Trade Relations, and the Journey Ahead” was jointly held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the municipal People’s Committee, and the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham Vietnam).

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said the US has become Vietnam’s largest export market and Vietnam is the US’s 12th-largest trade partner.

Figures from the General Department of Vietnam Customs show that two-way trade grew from 450 million USD in 1995 to nearly 75.7 billion USD last year.

In the first nine months of this year, the figure reached 65.1 billion USD, despite the impact of COVID-19, up 17.7 percent year-on-year, of which Vietnam’s exports to the US were worth 54.7 billion USD.

The US is HCM City’s second-largest export market and makes up 18 percent of its export revenue. The southern metropolis has shipped 6.1 billion USD worth of goods to the US so far this year, a rise of 1.1 percent against the same period last year.

Hai attributed the results to coordination between governments and businesses in the two countries when dealing with trade issues, and emphasised that the two economies are reciprocal.

Global trade uncertainties have prompted major companies, including those from the US, to consider investing in Vietnam to develop new supply chains.

Many investors, he said, share the view that Vietnam is an ideal and safe investment destination for global supply chains.

Marie C. Damour, US Consul General in HCM City, suggested Vietnam and the US bring into full play the growth momentum from cooperation to advance economic ties.

She said Vietnam has significant demand for energy development, infrastructure, and the digital economy, which are all strengths of the US.

Minister Counsellor Bui Huy Son, head of the Vietnam Trade Office in Washington D.C., pledged that his office would help Vietnamese firms study the market, join trade promotion activities, and connect with local partners./.

RCEP pact benefits global economy: Cambodian scholars

The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement is a boon for not only Asia, but also the rest of the world, Cambodian academics said.

Mey Kalyan, senior advisor to the Supreme National Economic Council, said the agreement is important when global economy is losing out its balance due to the pandemic, protectionism and unilateralism.

"At the time when COVID-19 is still threatening our lives in the region and in the world, signing this RCEP is one of the epoch-making events in Asia, which will have good impact not only in Asia, but also in the world," he was quoted in a story by Xinhua News Agency published by the Khmer Times on November 18.

Kalyan, who is also chairman of the Cambodia Development Resource Institute, said the agreement would provide a long-term benefit to all participating countries including Cambodia.

Meanwhile, Neak Chandarith, director of the Cambodia 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Research Centre, said the RCEP is more liberalized than ASEAN 1 FTAs and the WTO's most-favored-nation (MFN) commitments.

For Cambodia, the trade agreement is the first-ever trade deal that enables the kingdom to enjoy an almost-free market access to a combined market. Once the pact takes effect, Cambodia’s trade in goods will increase and the country will welcome more investment inflows.

Cambodia expects that the agreement will promotes its bargaining power in other bilateral FTAs with RCEP and non-RCEP members, he added.

Chandarith said the RCEP would promote trade and attract investments to all participants in ASEAN indeed, but the extent to which each participant could enjoy varies.

Joseph Matthews, senior professor at the BELTEI International University in Phnom Penh, said the mega trade deal would definitely play an important and positive role in promoting trade and investment in Asia-Pacific countries and helping boost global economic confidence.

He stressed the RCEP would be a major force shaping the development of the world's economy in the post-COVID-19 era.

Leaders of 15 RCEP participating countries signed the long-awaited free trade agreement (FTA) at the fourth RCEP summit on November 15 in the framework of the 37th ASEAN virtual summit.

Initiated by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2012, the RCEP is a mega-trade pact between its 10 member states (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and its FTA partners, namely China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.

The RCEP deal upon ratification will be the largest trade agreement in the world, creating a market of 2.2 billion people (approximately 30 percent of the world’s population), with a GDP of close to 26.2 trillion USD representing about 28 percent of the world trade, based on 2019 data./.

RCEP offers an ideal economic model: MoIT Minister

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has given Vietnam and other ASEAN countries a perfect opportunity to become a centre of investment attraction, said Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh.

Minister Anh considered the deal has created a new entity and a new model of trade and economy, forming a foundation for a free and fair trade framework to protect the interests of nations, especially developing ones including Vietnam.

He said: “RCEP creates the largest free trade-economic region in the world, accounting for 30 percent of global GDP with 2.2 billion consumers.”

The minister said in the context of the pandemic, Vietnam as the Chairman of ASEAN and other partners have done everything possible to close the deal, making 2020 a historic year when ASEAN signed the free trade agreement with five partner countries of the Republic of Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

As RCEP signatories believed India would return to the deal in the future, it could make a huge contribution to the overall stability, peace and prosperity of the region, Anh said.

Anh emphasised the deal could help restructure and reposition supply chains and global value chains, giving small and medium enterprises the opportunity to calculate and rebuild their strategies to join.

He added: “As an open economy and the world's 25th largest exporter, it is a good opportunity for Vietnam to participate in such a changing global supply chain.”

Vietnam has no commitments that go beyond the parameters it has within the framework of the existing free trade agreements with partners, especially between the ASEAN bloc, so the minister considered the competitive pressure of goods in the domestic market was not too heavy for businesses and consumers.

Anh added: “In the context of continued reforms, enhancing production capacity and competitiveness, Vietnam’s economy and businesses have favourable conditions in this deal.”

As RCEP's main objectives and foundations were based on harmonisation of origin procedures, trade facilitation and liberalisation, creating a favourable environment to connect economies to increase production capacity and build ASEAN into a key economic region, together with other FTAs such as CPTPP, EVFTA, “it will certainly continue to promote Vietnam's reform towards more progress and more positivity.”

Anh said though 2020 was a difficult year for Vietnam as the rotating the chair ASEAN in the pandemic, complicated geopolitics in the region and many changes in the RCEP negotiations since the beginning of the year, Vietnam has made great efforts to close the deal on November 15 in Hanoi.

Anh said: “Vietnamese enterprises need to change their business mindset in the new context, taking the pressure from more competition to be the driving force for innovation and development. The deal of RCEP and other FTAs will provide an opportunity for businesses to actively respond to changes in the business environment brought about by international economic integration through the development and adjustment of a medium and long-term business plan to promote the flow of goods into potential partner markets.”

Anh said with the support from his ministry, local enterprises needed to actively seek directions to cooperate with partner markets under the deal to strongly attract direct investment in Vietnam to make effective use of sources, capital and technology transfers from large corporations./.

Largest brewery firm to pay cash dividend

Sai Gon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (Sabeco) will pay its first cash dividend for the 2020 financial year on December 18.

The dividend rate is set at 20 per cent, meaning shareholders will receive VND2,000 (US$0.086) per share.

The total dividend rate Sabeco set for 2020 is 35 per cent. The list of beneficiary shareholders will be finalised on December 1.

With nearly 641.3 million shares, the value of the upcoming dividend is about VND1.28 trillion (nearly $55 million).

The two biggest shareholders – the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) and Vietnam Beverage Co Ltd – will receive VND461 billion and VND687 billion, respectively.

SCIC recently received Sabeco shares from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, now owning 36 per cent of the company.

Vietnam Beverage Co Ltd became the major shareholder at Sabeco in late 2017, possessing a 53.59 per cent stake.

Sabeco has been hit by a stricter policy to prevent drunk driving and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the third quarter of the year, Sabeco posted a 17 per cent annual decline in net revenue, which fell to VND8.05 trillion. But net profit was almost unchanged at VND1.47 trillion.

In January-September, total revenue dropped 29 per cent year-on-year to more than VND20 trillion and net profit was down a fifth year-on-year to VND3.4 trillion.

Sabeco shares (HoSE: SAB) lost 1.7 per cent on Monday to VND181,800 (nearly $7.80) apiece. 

ACT branch opens in HCM City, offers more methods to fight against counterfeit products

The Anti-counterfeit Technology Centre (ACT) Viet Nam on Wednesday in HCM City officially launched its branch in the city, aiming to prevent counterfeit products and protect the rights of consumers and enterprises in the southern region.

The opening of the HCM City branch also marks an effort by ACT Viet Nam to expand and improve their operation as well as to fulfill their tasks.

The establishment of ACT-HCM is highly appreciated as HCM City and the southern provinces play an important role as it is the economic hub of the country and the commercial gateway connecting Viet Nam and the world.

As a branch of ACT, ACT-HCM will carry out and develop programmes to prevent counterfeit products. It will also be responsible for supporting enterprises to fight against counterfeit products and protect consumers’ rights.

“The establishment of ACT-HCM will help us take advantage of all resources in local areas in the fight against counterfeit in the southern region,” said Pham Van Tho, director of ACT-HCM.

ACT-HCM will be responsible for providing local enterprises with high-tech solutions such as high-tech stamps and QR codes to prevent counterfeit products.

The branch also will study and provide methods on how to supervise and clarify authentic and counterfeit products. Services relating to preventing counterfeit and fake products, intellectual rights, and barcodes will also be provided.

Training courses and conferences about methods preventing counterfeit products will be organised.

The branch will also co-operate with relevant sectors to support companies in the fight against counterfeit products.

The issue of counterfeit and fake products has been an urgent one for many years. It has had a negative impact on people’s life and health, and affected company’s business.

Together with the Government’s efforts to prevent counterfeit products, the Vietnam Association for Anti-Counterfeiting and Trademark Protection established ACT Vietnam with the main aim of studying and developing high-tech solutions and methods to prevent counterfeit and fake products.

ACT Vietnam is the first organ in Viet Nam to receive operation certification granted by the Ministry of Science and Technology in the sector.

Since the establishment, the centre has strongly contributed to the national efforts to fight counterfeit and fake products. The centre has designed many solutions like anti-counterfeit stamps, product-origin stamps and mobile chips. The centre’s blockchain solutions used to fight against counterfeit products have been widely used by many organisations and companies.

Tax from e-commerce increases

Tax declared from e-commerce activities had been increasing, reported the General Department of Taxation.

Specifically, the total amount of tax paid by Vietnamese organisations that had signed online advertising contracts with foreign organisations and paid on behalf of those firms reached VND46.86 billion (US$2 million) in 2016.

That amount increased to VND90.48 billion in 2017, VND151.77 billion in 2018 and more than VND1 trillion last year. In the first nine months of this year, the tax paid hit VND745.6 billion.

Vu Manh Cuong, director of the Inspection Section under the General Department of Taxation, said these results showed that tax administration for e-commerce activities had become increasingly focused.

The General Department of Taxation had directed tax departments, especially those in big cities such as Ha Noi and HCM City, to review and request taxpayers to register, declare and fulfill tax obligations towards the State.

Dang Ngoc Minh, deputy director of the General Department of Taxation, said one of the key tasks for tax agencies was to strengthen inspections for the e-commerce sector.

Vu Manh Cuong, director of the Inspection Section under the General Department of Taxation, said that due to their specific nature, e-commerce business activities took place mainly in big cities such as Ha Noi and HCM City.

Therefore, the general department had directed the cities to actively co-ordinate with commercial banks to control cash flow from overseas organisations and individuals, and strengthen inspections to combat losses to State budget revenue from e-commerce business activities, he added.

In Ha Noi, since 2017, the tax department has reviewed and sent SMS notifications to 13,422 Facebook accounts involved in online sales. Up to now, over 2,000 individuals have registered and been issued with a tax identification number they use to declare and pay taxes. The total taxes and fines collected from this type of business totalled more than VND22.7 billion.

For organisations and individuals with incomes from foreign social networks (Google, Facebook, YouTube), through data from joint-stock commercial banks, there were more than 18,300 back accounts holding VND1.46 trillion, said Cuong.

The General Department of Taxation was currently co-operating with the State Bank of Viet Nam to collect data for accounts with cross-border transactions, he added.

At the same time, the tax sector had trained inspectors on anti-transfer pricing, said the director.

In the coming time, they would focus on providing professional guidance to all officers engaged in inspections to conduct electronic supervision for 63 tax departments, said Cuong. 

SOEs urged to push up digital transformation

State-owned enterprises (SOEs) must push up digital transformation to improve their competitiveness and operation efficency, Chairman of the Committee for Management of State Capital at Enterprises (CMSC) Nguyễn Hoàng Anh said.

He was speaking at a conference on Wednesday about building e-Government and digital transformation at enterprises that SOEs must be pioneers in digital transformation, adding that in the era of Industry 4.0, digital transformation was an inevitable trend that every country in the world was aiming for and Việt Nam was no exception.

2020 was the starting year for the national digital transformation following the Prime Minister’s Decision No 749/QĐ-TTg about the national digital transformation programme to 2025 with a vision to 2030.

Anh stressed that digital transformation was not only a task but also a solution for SOEs to improve their operation efficiency.

“SOEs must be pioneers in digital transfomation to increase their competitiveness and operation efficiency, and contribution to the prevention and fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Nineteen SOEs under CMSC’s management were playing a significant role in the national digital transformation process, given that they were holding significant resources of the country’s economy.

CMSC’s Deputy Chairman Nguyễn Ngọc Cảnh urged SOEs to speed up the digital transformation process to play a leading role in developing a digital economy.

Cảnh said technology enterprises under CMSC’s management must be responsible for implementing digital transformation for the Government, local authorities and other enterprises.

Determination and drastic measures must be taken to speed up the digital transformation, Cảnh said. “Who comes first will win,” Cảnh stressed.

Cảnh said SOEs needed to prepare in terms of digital infrastructure, developing digital-based solutions and products as well as building talents and enhancing capacity.

Besides, focus should also be placed on ensuring network security in digital transformation.

Chairman of Việt Nam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) Phạm Đức Long said Việt Nam’s digital economy saw significant development in recent years. However, the development remained uneven among different economic sectors and different regions, Long said.

Long said VNPT would continue efforts to become the leading partner of the Government in developing e-Government as well as the leading company in Việt Nam to master Industry 4.0 to solve pressing issues of the country and provide comprehensive digital-based solutions.

On the same day, CMSC officially launched a document linking axis developed by VNPT which would be connected with the national document linking axis, helping save time and costs in handling administrative documents.

National gymnastics championships begins in Hanoi

As many as 46 athletes from across the country are currently taking part in the national gymnastics championships hosted by the General Department of Sports and Physical Training along with the Vietnam Gymnastics Federation (VGF).

Gymnasts hailing from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Can Tho, and the Military team are competing across 14 events, including single bar, parallel bars, vault, pommel horse, still rings, and balance beam.

This year’s tournament involves the participation of some of the nation’s leading athletes such as Le Thanh Tung, who has already booked a place to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and Dinh Phuong Thanh, a winner of two gold medals at the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

The championships represents one of the most important annual tournaments that is held on a national scale. Indeed, those who perform the best will be have a strong chance of being chosen to join the national team for future international tournaments.

Vietnam to be sole economic winner in SEA: Nikkei

A recent article published by Nikkei Asian Review states that, “Vietnam is shaping up as Southeast Asia's single economic success story in the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) era”. 

An ultra-large container ship operated by Maersk docks at Cai Mep port in southern Vietnam.
This comes as the country has successfully maintained consistent positive growth, just as other regional economies struggle to recover.

Nikkei notes how Vietnamese real gross domestic product expanded by 2.6% on-year in the third quarter, marking a second consecutive quarter of growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Japanese financial publication, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) anticipates that Vietnam will rise to fourth in nominal GDP in ASEAN this year, surpassing Singapore and Malaysia and rapidly gaining on the Philippines.

“In contrast to other ASEAN economies, Vietnam has succeeded in keeping the virus under control. Rising exports have also helped to drive growth, as companies relocate production from China”, says the article.

Most notably, annual exports recorded growth of 9.9% in October to US$26.7 billion, with the Ministry of Industry and Trade projecting a rise of 3% to 4% throughout the year.

Nikkei indicates that while large vessels usually opt for other ports in the region, such as Singapore, Vietnam’s growing exports have boosted shipping demand enough to make it a worthwhile location for ships bound for Western countries. For example, late October saw an ultra-large container ship operated by Maersk dock at Cai Mep, the first time this has happened to southern Vietnam's largest port.

“This allows for more direct transportation of Vietnamese goods to buyers, which lowers shipping costs, shortens transit time, and makes the country more competitive as an exporter”, the article notes.

According to Nikkei, trade friction between the United States and China has served to boost Vietnamese trade, largely due to manufacturers relocating their factories away from China in an effort to avoid American tariffs.

 

“Both multinational corporations and Chinese businesses have moved production to Vietnam to take advantage of its skilled, low-cost labour. Samsung Electronics, which has manufactured smartphones in the country for over a decade, is also looking to move personal computer production there as it shuts down a plant in China”, according to Nikkei’s article.

Furthermore, the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has been kept to a minimum as the country swiftly imposed a mass lockdown for only three weeks in April, with normal manufacturing activity resuming faster than it did elsewhere in the region.

“Job losses were limited, and consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of GDP, has remained solid”, the article adds.

In contrast, other ASEAN countries have yet to emerge from slumps caused by the virus.

“The IMF's full-year GDP forecast shows a 1.6% rise in Vietnam, but drops of 6% in Singapore and Malaysia, and a 7.1% slump in Thailand”.

Huge discounts to mark Online Friday 2020

More than 10,000 online and offline businesses have registered to take part in Online Friday 2020 set to kick off on December 4, offering a huge number of attractive discounts on popular items. 

This year’s event, themed “Super Sales,” will be organised by the E-Commerce and Digital Economy Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Most notably, 2020 is the seventh consecutive year that the sales have been organised, with the occasion now becoming the nation’s biggest online shopping day.

Organisers will co-operate alongside e-commerce platforms, sellers, and distributors in order to launch a range of super promotions. Customers are will be offered many options when seeking relevant vouchers or suitable discounted goods.

According to Dang Hoang Hai, head of the E-Commerce and Digital Economy Department, the goal of Online Friday is to both support consumers in finding high-quality products at affordable prices, and helping firms to expand their business. Indeed, increased trading activity will ultimately contribute to promoting the development of the national economy.

The event is scheduled to run until December 6.

Belgian expert values Vietnam’s cocoa for global chocolate production

As a high-quality cocoa producer Vietnam is capable of creating some the best types of chocolate in the world, according to Gricha Safarian, general manager of Puratos Grand-Place, speaking at the Vietnam Cocoa Conference on November 18. 

Safarian, who is also the honorary consul of Belgium in Ho Chi Minh City, stated that Belgian businesses are willing to provide necessary financial support to Vietnamese farmers by purchasing their various cocoa products to revive the agricultural product market as the sector strives to move past the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Belgian Ambassador Paul Jansen was in agreement with this  view, emphasising that there exists great potential for Vietnamese chocolate to gain a reputation as a high-quality product in the international market due to its efforts to include new and unique flavours, such as local fruits.

The Belgian diplomat pointed out that amid the global market facing an array of challenges, Vietnam can develop a range of unique and high-quality cocoa products, contributing to attracting additional chocolate manufacturers and customers from around the world.

The Vietnam Cocoa Conference was held within the framework of a strategic partnership agreement on agriculture between the Governments of Vietnam and Belgium, in co-ordination with the Embassy of Belgium and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The conference aimed to provide an ideal venue for policymakers, researchers and international development partners to share their expertise to develop the domestic cocoa industry in a sustainable manner, thereby building a unique brand for local cocoa products among the global market.

Dak Lak, Saint Petersburg explore chances for investment links

A teleconference between the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak and Saint Petersburg city of Russia was held on November 19 to explore investment cooperation chances between the two sides.

Officials of Dak Lak presented local potential and strengths, as well as demand for cooperation with Saint Petersburg in such fields as irrigation, agriculture, forestry, services, community-based ecotourism, and trading of agricultural products.

As the province, located at the heart of the Central Highlands, boasts rich agricultural potential with various produce like coffee, peppercorn, rice, and fruit, it is calling for investment in hi-tech agriculture, hi-tech processing and preservation of agricultural products, and large-scale animal husbandry projects.

Dak Lak proposed cooperation in natural resource management and sharing of experience in afforestation and wood processing. It also asked for assistance in transferring new technologies related to the management and operation of irrigation facilities.

Local officials also introduced the province’s tourism advantages like beautiful landscapes and the diverse traditions of 49 ethnic groups.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Vo Van Canh said Dak Lak and Saint Petersburg have many similarities in culture, history, and economic development orientations.

With its advantages, Dak Lak is confident that it owns sufficient conditions and potential for fruitful cooperation with Saint Petersburg, he said, noting that it also wishes to reinforce ties in the areas that the Russian city is interested in so as to boost common development.

The province will provide optimal conditions for partnerships with Russian businesses and localities to obtain the best results, Canh pledged.

Speaking via videoconference, deputy head of Saint Petersburg’s committee for external relations Vyacheslav G. Kalganov expressed the city’s attention to the areas Dak Lak is inviting investment to and detailed the fields his city wants to enhance collaboration in like coffee processing and export, community-based ecotourism, and processing of agricultural and forestry products, especially wood products.

He also expressed his hope for learning more about the weather, famous tourist destinations, prices of some agricultural products, and enterprises of Dak Lak so as to propose concrete cooperation directions for certain sectors./.

Vietnam among Asia-Pacific economies with fastest per-capita GDP rise: Bloomberg

Vietnam is projected to be one of the economies posting big gains in the world’s per-capita income rankings during the quarter-century through 2025, according to data analysed by Bloomberg.

Armenia, Georgia, and Bangladesh were also named in the list.

Overall, developing Asian countries will see per-capita GDP rise six-fold in the period. 

China’s surging economy is set to overtake 56 countries in the rankings, placing 70th in the world on the metric.

Turkmenistan is projected to be the only country climbing further up the rankings than China, advancing 58 spots. 

Vietnam’s economy could grow bigger than Singapore by 2029, the UK-based Global Business Outlook recently cited the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS)’s report.

In its report, the DBS predicts that Vietnam could grow at a pace of 6 percent to 6.5 percent in the next 10 years.

Currently, the Vietnamese economy is worth 224 billion USD. This means it covers 69 percent of Singapore’s economic size which is worth 324 billion USD./.

Danish firms offered chances to access Vietnamese market

A signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding on the launch of the first interface for Danish brands in Lazada, one of the modern e-commerce platforms in Vietnam, was held on November 19.

In his remarks, Danish Ambassador Kim Højlund Christensen underlined that the partnership aims at building a long-standing cooperation between Danish businesses and the Vietnamese market, as well as introducing the European country’s values to consumers in Vietnam through high quality products and brands.

Given the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect from this August, Vietnam has become an attractive market to Danish investors, he noted.

Vietnam-Denmark trade neared 150 million USD in 2019.

Online shopping traffic in Vietnam so far this year rocketed over 150 percent against a year earlier, with daily visits to e-commerce sites growing to 3.5 million.

Vietnam’s e-Commerce White Book 2020 revealed that the country’s e-commerce retail sales surged 25 percent to 10.08 billion USD last year, making it the third-fastest growing e-commerce market in Southeast Asia.

EU, ASEAN look towards bilateral free trade agreement: Ambassador

Concluding a region‐to‐region free trade agreement (FTA) is an objective which the EU and ASEAN share, Ambassador of the EU to ASEAN Igor Driesmans asserted.

In a recent interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency correspondent to Jakarta, Driesmans said the EU and ASEAN are likeminded in our quest for effective multilateralism, not just in trade and business but in all areas – from climate change to maritime security.

“We need international rules to shield us from the logic that “might makes right,” he noted.

He said in June this year, the two sides discussed the prospects for the resumption of negotiations on an ambitious and comprehensive FTA. They now have bilateral trade agreements in place between the EU and two ASEAN partners, Singapore and Vietnam, and negotiations are ongoing with Indonesia and others. Those and other possible future bilateral agreements could serve as the building blocks towards deeper region‐to‐region relations.

He went on to say that the EU‐ASEAN Joint Working Group has done serious work in preparing the ground for further bi‐ regional engagement. This work shows that, while there are many important areas of commonality, there are also notable gaps, especially in areas of crucial importance to the EU, such as trade and sustainable development, public procurement and intellectual property rights.

“The EU is keen to make progress in these and other areas, and we are ready to engage further,” he stressed.

Congratulating ASEAN on the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the ambassador said it demonstrates members’ commitment to open, rules‐based trade and strengthens the centrality of ASEAN.

A more integrated market, doing away with tariffs and non‐tariff barriers will offer more trade and investment opportunities also for EU companies trading with or investing in ASEAN countries, he said, adding that the EU’s approach to trade relations with ASEAN rests on two pillars, bilateral FTAs with members, as building blocks for a region‐to‐region FTA.

“This is exactly what came to conclusion of the regional comprehensive agreement: ASEAN 1 bilateral FTAs now consolidated into the single, overarching RCEP. In this respect, RCEP is a reminder of ASEAN’s centrality in the wider region and the importance of region‐to‐region links,” he stated./.

Vietnam to be one of fastest-growing economies in 2021: Moody's Analytics

Moody's Analytics, a unit of Moody’s Corporation, has forecast Vietnam, together with China and Hong Kong (China), would see the fastest growth in 2021, thus making the Asia-Pacific region lead the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Asia Pacific economy has done the best job of containing COVID-19 and it is rebounding with the global recovery of industrial production and global trade. Further, it enjoys a level of fiscal support in many countries that will keep a floor under the economy and preserve enterprises and household financial conditions so that they are able to contribute to economic recovery," said Moody's Analytics chief Asia-Pacific economist, Steve Cochrane.

However, while the Moody's Analytics baseline economic outlook expects growth across the entire Asia-Pacific region in 2021, economic recovery in the region will not be fully complete until international travel and tourism flourish once again.

The true impact is when growth rates are combined with the depth of each country's downturn, which determines when each country's GDP returns to a new peak level.

China has already achieved this in the second quarter as it rebounded quickly from its recession that started in early January. Taiwan and Vietnam will be at new peaks by the time Q4 of 2020 comes to an end, said Moody's Analytics.

On the other end of the spectrum, Japan, the Philippines and India will not surmount new peaks until the second half of 2022. Japan's slow rate of growth combined with a longer recession that began in the fourth quarter of 2019 will delay its shift back into economic expansion. India and the Philippines were the two hardest hit by the economic impacts of the pandemic and have the deepest holes to climb out of./.

Dak Lak, Saint Petersburg explore chances for investment links

A teleconference between the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak and Saint Petersburg city of Russia was held on November 19 to explore investment cooperation chances between the two sides.

Officials of Dak Lak presented local potential and strengths, as well as demand for cooperation with Saint Petersburg in such fields as irrigation, agriculture, forestry, services, community-based ecotourism, and trading of agricultural products.

As the province, located at the heart of the Central Highlands, boasts rich agricultural potential with various produce like coffee, peppercorn, rice, and fruit, it is calling for investment in hi-tech agriculture, hi-tech processing and preservation of agricultural products, and large-scale animal husbandry projects.

Dak Lak proposed cooperation in natural resource management and sharing of experience in afforestation and wood processing. It also asked for assistance in transferring new technologies related to the management and operation of irrigation facilities.

Local officials also introduced the province’s tourism advantages like beautiful landscapes and the diverse traditions of 49 ethnic groups.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Vo Van Canh said Dak Lak and Saint Petersburg have many similarities in culture, history, and economic development orientations.

With its advantages, Dak Lak is confident that it owns sufficient conditions and potential for fruitful cooperation with Saint Petersburg, he said, noting that it also wishes to reinforce ties in the areas that the Russian city is interested in so as to boost common development.

The province will provide optimal conditions for partnerships with Russian businesses and localities to obtain the best results, Canh pledged.

Speaking via videoconference, deputy head of Saint Petersburg’s committee for external relations Vyacheslav G. Kalganov expressed the city’s attention to the areas Dak Lak is inviting investment to and detailed the fields his city wants to enhance collaboration in like coffee processing and export, community-based ecotourism, and processing of agricultural and forestry products, especially wood products.

He also expressed his hope for learning more about the weather, famous tourist destinations, prices of some agricultural products, and enterprises of Dak Lak so as to propose concrete cooperation directions for certain sectors./.

Vietnam emerges as sole economic winner in Southeast Asia: Nikkei Asia

Vietnam is shaping up as Southeast Asia's single economic success story in the coronavirus era, maintaining steady positive growth as other economies struggle to recover, Nikkei Asia reported on November 19.

Vietnam's real gross domestic product expanded 2.6 percent on the year in the third quarter, marking a second straight quarter of growth amid the pandemic. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) sees the country rising to fourth in nominal GDP in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year, passing Singapore and Malaysia and gaining on the Philippines.

In contrast to other ASEAN economies, Vietnam has succeeded in keeping the virus under control. Rising exports have also helped to drive growth, as companies relocate production from China, the newspaper said.

Vietnam’s exports grew 9.9 percent on the year in October to 26.7 billion USD, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade projects a full-year rise of between 3 - 4 percent.

According to Nikkei Asia, an ultra-large container ship operated by Maersk docked at Cai Mep Port in late October, the first for southern Vietnam's largest port. Vietnam's growing exports have boosted shipping demand enough to make it worthwhile for ships bound for Western countries to stop there. This allows for more direct transportation of Vietnamese goods to buyers, which lowers shipping costs, shortens transit time and makes the country more competitive as an exporter.

Vietnam’s achievement in fighting COVID-19 has helped the country reduce the pandemic’s impact on its economy as manufacturing has resumed faster than it did elsewhere in the region, job losses were limited, and consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of GDP, has remained solid.

The IMF's full-year GDP forecast shows a 1.6 percent rise in Vietnam, but drops of 6 percent in Singapore and Malaysia and a 7.1 percent slump in Thailand, it said.

Vietnam's per capita GDP of about 3,500 USD remains well below Singapore's 58,500 USD and Malaysia's 10,200 USD. But the pandemic is accelerating a shift in the region's economic pecking order.

Though some ASEAN countries predict a sharp rebound next year, Vietnam could remain the sole economy to see actual growth into the first half of 2021, depending on how the outbreak progresses, it said./.

Danish firms offered chances to access Vietnamese market

A signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding on the launch of the first interface for Danish brands in Lazada, one of the modern e-commerce platforms in Vietnam, was held on November 19.

In his remarks, Danish Ambassador Kim Højlund Christensen underlined that the partnership aims at building a long-standing cooperation between Danish businesses and the Vietnamese market, as well as introducing the European country’s values to consumers in Vietnam through high quality products and brands.

Given the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect from this August, Vietnam has become an attractive market to Danish investors, he noted.

Vietnam-Denmark trade neared 150 million USD in 2019.

Online shopping traffic in Vietnam so far this year rocketed over 150 percent against a year earlier, with daily visits to e-commerce sites growing to 3.5 million.

Vietnam’s e-Commerce White Book 2020 revealed that the country’s e-commerce retail sales surged 25 percent to 10.08 billion USD last year, making it the third-fastest growing e-commerce market in Southeast Asia./.

EU, ASEAN look towards bilateral free trade agreement: Ambassador

Concluding a region‐to‐region free trade agreement (FTA) is an objective which the EU and ASEAN share, Ambassador of the EU to ASEAN Igor Driesmans asserted.

In a recent interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency correspondent to Jakarta, Driesmans said the EU and ASEAN are likeminded in our quest for effective multilateralism, not just in trade and business but in all areas – from climate change to maritime security.

“We need international rules to shield us from the logic that “might makes right,” he noted.

He said in June this year, the two sides discussed the prospects for the resumption of negotiations on an ambitious and comprehensive FTA. They now have bilateral trade agreements in place between the EU and two ASEAN partners, Singapore and Vietnam, and negotiations are ongoing with Indonesia and others. Those and other possible future bilateral agreements could serve as the building blocks towards deeper region‐to‐region relations.

He went on to say that the EU‐ASEAN Joint Working Group has done serious work in preparing the ground for further bi‐ regional engagement. This work shows that, while there are many important areas of commonality, there are also notable gaps, especially in areas of crucial importance to the EU, such as trade and sustainable development, public procurement and intellectual property rights.

“The EU is keen to make progress in these and other areas, and we are ready to engage further,” he stressed.

Congratulating ASEAN on the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the ambassador said it demonstrates members’ commitment to open, rules‐based trade and strengthens the centrality of ASEAN.

A more integrated market, doing away with tariffs and non‐tariff barriers will offer more trade and investment opportunities also for EU companies trading with or investing in ASEAN countries, he said, adding that the EU’s approach to trade relations with ASEAN rests on two pillars, bilateral FTAs with members, as building blocks for a region‐to‐region FTA.

“This is exactly what came to conclusion of the regional comprehensive agreement: ASEAN 1 bilateral FTAs now consolidated into the single, overarching RCEP. In this respect, RCEP is a reminder of ASEAN’s centrality in the wider region and the importance of region‐to‐region links,” he stated./.

HCM City looks to expand cooperation with WB

Ho Chi Minh City always considers the World Bank (WB) its important long-term development partner, said Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Vo Van Hoan.

During a working session on November 19 with Carolyn Turk, new Country Director of the WB in Vietnam, Hoan highlighted the crucial role played by resources provided by the bank for the city’s socio-economic development, affirming that the locality will effectively use them.

He also spoke highly of Turk’s efforts since she began her term.

The WB official paid field trips to projects on Ho Chi Minh City's green transport development and environmental sanitation, thus considering the bank's further support for the city to implement the projects.

Hoan applauded the bank’s help for HCM City in planning an innovation urban area in the East, expressing his hope that the WB will continue to support the city to accelerate the implementation of projects, as well as provide it with resources for digital transformation and developing public transport system in the coming time.

For her part, Turk expressed the hope to continue working closely with the municipal authorities to quickly remove problems facing the implementation of projects in the city.

She also recommended that projects should be implemented on schedule, ensuring the requirements as committed by the city.

Based on the works done, the WB will create more favourable conditions for the city in the process of proposing its new plans in the future, she said./.

Energy connection important pillar for ASEAN’s sustainable development: Official

Energy connection between ASEAN member countries is an important pillar that needs to be further strengthened to ensure energy security for the strong and sustainable development of the ASEAN Community, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Dang Hoang An has said.

An made the statement at the 38th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM 38), themed “Energy transition toward sustainable development,” that took place online on November 19.

He highlighted the strong development of ASEAN over the last five decades, saying that 2020 marks five years of the formation and development of the ASEAN Economic Community, which plays a central role in dialogue and cooperation for peace, security, and prosperity in the region.

He agreed with the theme of AMEM 38 because it demonstrates the goal of developing a sustainable, green, and clean ASEAN energy market.

An requested participants to focus on discussing and approving the ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (APAEC) Phase II (2021-2025), which proposes specific targets and actions to promote energy transition, strengthen resilience through exchanges and deeper cooperation, and expand bilateral and multilateral electricity trading.

He also asked for approval of the publication “The 6th ASEAN Energy Outlook (AEO6)”, which is hoped to provide policymakers with information and knowledge about regional trends and challenges in the field of energy, towards encouraging all ASEAN member countries to actively participate in the process.

The Deputy Minister also noted that adopting the target on the proportion of renewable energy sources in the ASEAN energy structure is the foundation for promoting the development and use of renewable energy in the region in the time to come.

He also emphasised the need to propose policy initiatives to enhance the integration of renewable energy into the ASEAN grid, towards stable future energy sources for the region.

It is necessary to propose specific measures and plans to further promote cooperation on energy efficiency and conservation and to develop human resources in energy management, finance, and technology at different levels for policies on energy development diversification in the region, he said.

Attention should also be given to building mechanisms to attract investment in developing energy infrastructure and transmission lines, he added.

Ministers at the event witnessed the signing of an MoU on the implementation of the second phase of the Laos-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore Power Integration Project (LTMS-PIP), with the exchange capacity committed between the parties increasing to 300 MW from 2022.

In the framework of AMEM 38, the ASEAN Energy Business Forum (AEBF) was held online on the same day, during which senior ASEAN policymakers and representatives from global organisations and businesses discussed issues relating to public-private partnership (PPP) and solutions to energy security.

Enterprises, organisations, and individuals operating in the energy sector provided up-to-date information on ASEAN’s energy development trends and orientations, and sought opportunities to engage in or promote investment and business activities in the region’s energy sector.

As part of the forum’s activities, the ASEAN Energy Awards 2020 will be held on the evening of November 19, honouring outstanding businesses, organisations, and individuals making significant contributions to the development of ASEAN’s energy industry in the 2019-2020 period.

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

 
 

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