VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS HEADLINES OCTOBER 28

In-house Lawyers Congress 2019 to open in Hanoi in November

The In-House Congress Hanoi 2019 is expected to open on November 19, bringing together leading in-house lawyers, CEOs, company directors, and compliance professionals from both the private and public sectors in Vietnam and beyond.

Delegates will participate in workshops featuring prominent business leaders and lawyers.

Co-sponsored by LNT & Partners and co-hosted by Russin & Vecchi and Tilleke & Gibbins, the event will provide an excellent opportunity to meet with industry peers and thought leaders to discuss issues that are relevant to your role.

Now in its 21st year, the In-House Congress circuit is the largest series of events specifically for in-house lawyers along the New Silk Road and has become a regular fixture on the corporate counsel calendar across the region.

The In-House Congress is under the In-House Community, which is a mutually supportive community of In-House Counsel, helping In-House Counsel and Compliance professionals meet their ethical, legal, and business commitments and responsibilities within their organisations.

Learning organisation: optimal plan to approach knowledge in 4.0 age

Establishing a learning organisation is an important factor would help enterprises increase competitive capacity in the digital age.

This was the main subject of discussion at the workshop on “Building a learning organisation in the digital age” organised by Media Ventures Vietnam Academy (MVV Academy) in Hanoi on October 25.

The workshop is organised as training and developing human resources is rising into one of the highest priorities of enterprises in order to adapt to the developing technology base.

According to experts, building a learning organisation is not only a trend for HR management. It will contribute to creating an open working environment that fosters innovation, creativity, and sharing at the working place.

Nguyen Thanh Son, president of MVV Academy and the founder of the Everlearn learning managing system, said, “Vietnamese enterprises need to be aware of the competition in HR in the 4.0 age. Besides, they need to understand that building a learning culture and learning organisation is an issue affecting the long-term development of their company."

“With the support of technology, learning organisation in enterprises will make learners more proactive in approaching knowledge and sharing them with each other,” Son said.

learning organisation optimal plan to approach knowledge in 40 age
Nguyen Thanh Son, president of MVV Academy
In the framework of the workshop, experts shared useful information on establishing a learning organisation, illustrating their points with real experience in HR training and development.

Besides, MVV Academy launched the Everlearn 4.0 learning experience management system. It is an online teaching and learning system with the target of supporting enterprises to organise training programmes professionally. Everlearn 4.0 focuses on “Learning Experience Management” instead of providing knowledge only. This learning method not only helps to save time, it also removes the geographical boundaries and helps each individual develop discipline.

EuroCham holds Business Awards for best European businesses in Vietnam

The fact that hundreds of European business leaders gathered together for this event shows just how far Vietnam has come as an attractive destination for foreign trade and investment, said Nicolas Audier, chairman of European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham).

On October 25, almost 400 business leaders, investors, ambassadors, and diplomats gathered for the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) Gala Dinner and Business Awards to recognize the best of European businesses operating in Vietnam.

EuroCham now represents over one thousand members in Vietnam, and the chamber recognised some of its most successful enterprises with five business awards at the Gala Dinner.

More than 50 companies entered the competition and, after careful deliberation, a panel of independent judges chose B. Braun as the winner of the evening’s top award for “Business Excellence”.

The award for “Best Entrepreneur” went to Archetype, one of the largest construction consultancies in Asia Pacific. Tetra Pak, the packaging and processing provider founded in Sweden, won the award for “Best Sustainable Business Initiatives” for its work to reduce the environmental impact of its operations.

The award for “Best Green Business” was presented to two companies – the Caravelle Hotel and Boydens Engineering – for their strong contribution to green business solutions. Meanwhile, the award for “Best New Business” was presented to Spanish craft beer producer Tê Tê.

“The fact that hundreds of European business leaders gathered together for this event shows just how far Vietnam has come as an attractive destination for foreign trade and investment.

It also shows how much European enterprises have contributed to the country and its economy, epitomized by our five Business Award winners,” said Nicolas Audier, chairman of EuroCham.

“Now, with the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement signed and soon to enter into force – following upcoming votes in the European Parliament and National Assembly – more innovative, successful, and sustainable European companies will follow in their footsteps and establish operations in this fast-growing market,” added Audier.

The prestigious event brought together high-level representatives from the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, and national embassies and consulates from across EU Member States.

The highlight of the 2019 European business calendar also attracted some of the largest multinational enterprises in all sectors and industries including BNP Paribas, VinFast, PVI Insurance, Pernod Ricard, Shire Oak International, Mazars and Sanofi.

New airline envisages losing $15 million in first three years

Hospitality group Thien Minh says it’s carrier KiteAir could lose VND350 billion ($15.07 million) in the first three years of operations.

It also says that the airline will have VND1 trillion ($43.07 million) in charter capital, and VND4.5 trillion ($193.84 million) in fixed capital.

The group makes this estimate in a recent aviation permit request sent to the central province of Quang Nam. The aviation permit was discussed at a recent meeting attended by provincial authorities, the Transport Ministry and the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.

The carrier, which will be headquartered in Quang Nam, plans to launch its first commercial flight in the first quarter of next year, using six short-haul ATR-72 aircraft with a capacity of 78 seats.

The fleet will expand to 30 by 2025, with 15 ATR-72 and 15 narrow-body Airbus A320 or A321, the group says.

The Thien Minh Group will use its own funds for 28 percent of the fixed capital, and the rest will be sourced through loans from local and foreign credit institutions.

Nguyen Minh Phuong, deputy head of the Planning and Investment Department under the Ministry of Transport, said that KiteAir has mentioned a loss but not said when it will become profitable, which it needs to do, to clarify the economic viability of the airline.

Vietnam’s aviation market now has six domestic carriers: Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, Jetstar Pacific, Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO), Bamboo Airways, and newly-licensed Vietstar Airlines, a military-run company, the last two making their debut this year.

KiteAir, along with Vietravel Airlines – a unit of tourism firm Vietravel, and Vinpearl Air – a unit of conglomerate Vingroup, are vying to be the seventh.

Last year, Vietnam’s 21 state-run airports served 103.5 million passengers, up 11 percent year-on-year, and the figure is set to rise to 112 million this year, according to the Airports Corporation of Vietnam.

Tea export price enjoys drastic rise in Chinese market

The average export price of tea in the Chinese market during the first nine months of the year has increased sharply by 66.2 per cent to over US$3,384 per kilo in comparison to the same period last year, according to statistics released by the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

tea export price enjoys drastic rise in chinese market hinh 0Vietnam shipped a total of 5,800 tons of tea overseas during the first half of October, raking in US$9.8 million, up 1.3 per cent in volume and up 0.4 per cent in value compared to last year’s corresponding period.
Despite this growth, the average export price fell slightly by 0.9 per cent to US$1,686 per ton.

Between the beginning of the year and October 15, the country exported 99, 850 tons of tea worth US$175.1 million, up 2.7 per cent in volume and up 8.8 per cent in value on-year. In line with this increase, the average export price rose by 5.8 per cent to US$1,753 per ton.

Pakistan remained Vietnam’s largest tea importer during the nine-month period, purchasing 31,000 tons of tea for US$62.3 million, up 30.6 per cent in volume and up 18.4 per cent in value compared with last year's same period.

According to projections calculated by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Pakistan’s consumption of black tea currently stands at 172,900 tons per year, with this figure projected to rise to 250,750 tons by 2027.

With an increasing demand for tea, Pakistan represents a strong potential export market for domestic tea firms.

Elsewhere, the country shipped 13,900 tons of tea to the Taiwanese market during the nine-month period for US$ 21.6 million, up 1.4 per cent in volume and up 2.2 per cent in value.

Vietnamese garment-makers showcase goods at Hong Kong fair

More than 35 leading Vietnamese producers of garments, textiles and fashion accessories as well as garment-related industries are showcasing their goods at Hong Kong’s biggest fashion show that opened on October 27.

Vietnamese goods at the Global Sources Fashion show include apparel, fashion jewellery, underwear, swimwear, bags, luggage, scarves, footwear and fabrics, among others.

Many of the Vietnamese exhibitors are members of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) and Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group.

The fair also showcases fashion accessories from emerging designers from Vietnam.

The emerging Vietnamese fashion brands include B.store, Emwear, Haberman, Hong Ty, Cocosin and Fashion Link, according to Global Sources, the event’s organiser.

A fashion parade will be organised as part of the show exclusively for rising Vietnamese designers to showcase their latest fashion collections.

In recent years Vietnamese fashion brands have strengthened their brands on the global fashion stage because of their “great design as well as OEM (original equipment manufacturing) capability,” according to the organiser.

Alvin An, manager of DKC Apparel Co Ltd, an exhibitor which took part in the trade show, told Vietnam News that his company has set a target of increasing exports to 6 million USD per month, up from 5 million USD, after the trade show.

“The company also aims to promote exports via online marketing to reach more global buyers,” he said.

The fair also features verified suppliers from other major fashion manufacturing hubs, including Bangladesh, India, as well as mainland China.

With over 2,000 booths of products, the fair is expected to welcome 1,000 exhibitors, 12,000 buyers from 110 countries and territories.

The one-stop sourcing event also features industry-related conferences, including a workshop on how to source effectively from Vietnam, according to the organiser.

As part of the event, the winners of the “3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Waste Reduction Design Competition” will be announced during the four-day event.

According to Vu Duc Giang, Chairman of VITAS, last year the textile and garment industry earned 36 billion USD from exports, up 16 per cent year-on-year, making Vietnam one of the world’s three biggest exporters of textiles and apparel.

This year, the textile and garment sector has set a target of 40 billion USD in exports, up 11 per cent year-on-year.

The industry has set a target of more than 60 billion USD worth of exports by 2025./.

EVFTA to bring logistics firms both opportunities and challenges

Vietnamese logistics companies need to improve their competitiveness to stay afloat when the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) comes into effect, experts have said.

Trade between Vietnam and the EU would increase strongly thanks to the EVFTA, boosting logistics demand, they said.

The deal, currently under ratification, has a number of commitments in the logistics sector that exceed those under the WTO.

When it comes into effect, it would open the door wide to EU logistics service providers, who are highly competitive, to enter Vietnam, said Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s WTO Integration Centre.

This would create competitive pressure but also bring capital, new technologies and opportunities for co-operation, she said.

"This is exactly what Vietnam’s logistics industry needs, and is an opportunity to reduce logistics costs.”

Logistics costs in Vietnam account for 21-25 percent of the country’s annual GDP, 12 percent of the cost of fishery products, 23 percent in the case of wooden furniture, 29 percent for vegetables, and 30 percent for rice, much higher than that in Thailand, Malaysia or Singapore, she said.

Besides, the country's logistics infrastructure falls short of requirements, affecting the distribution of goods, and thus the competitiveness of Vietnamese goods, she said.

Therefore, the EU trade deal would be a challenge to the logistics industry but could push it into reforming and improving its competitiveness, she added.

To enable the logistics industry to benefit from the EVFTA, Nguyen Thi Lan Phuong of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of Multilateral Trade Policy said it needs to clearly understand the commitments under the agreement.

According to experts, to take advantage of the opportunities and cope with the challenges from the EVFTA, businesses need to improve their technology and logistics platform and increase digitisation and human resource training.

According to the Vietnam Logistics Business Association (VLA), the country has 4,000 companies involved in the transportation of goods on domestic and international routes.

Vietnam ranked 39th out of 160 countries in the World Bank’s 2018 Logistics Performance Index, a big jump from two years earlier when it was 64th./.

Aviva Vietnam announces new appointed actuary

Upon approval by the Ministry of Finance, Aviva Vietnam Life Insurance Co., Ltd. (Aviva Vietnam) has appointed Zhen Chen as its new appointed actuary. The appointment came into effect on October 8, 2019.

Zhen Chen is a qualified actuary of the Society of Actuaries with 14 years of experience as an insurance professional in reputable global insurance organisations across various markets. He held many senior roles such as vice president, chief pricing actuary at Maiden Reinsurance Global (Bermuda, USA), senior pricing actuary (Member of Management) at Partner Reinsurance (Zurich, Switzerland), senior ERM project manager at AIG Group ERM and Analytics (Shanghai and Hongkong, China). With this appointment, Zhen Chen will play a key role in managing the financial KPIs and sustainable business growth of Aviva Vietnam.

On this occasion, Paul George Nguyen, CEO of Aviva Vietnam, said, “I strongly believe that with his in-depth knowledge, action-oriented mindset, and enthusiasm, Zhen Chen will accompany and lead his team to accomplish important missions and to contribute significantly to the ongoing success of the company.”

Aviva is a leading insurer in the UK with over 320 years of experience in Europe, Asia, and North America. Aviva specialises in life, non-life, healthcare, and property insurance products. It currently serves over 33 million customers all over the world.

In Vietnam, Aviva established an exclusive long-term partnership with VietinBank with the mission of bringing premium financial solutions to customers. Aviva Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing life insurers in the market and posted a growth rate of 56 per cent in 2018. In 2019, the company has launched 12 new sales offices all over the country to better support its sales force, and to support the development of Vietnam’s life insurance industry.

Global encouragement for major financial centre

Now is the time for Ho Chi Minh City to set up a global financial centre to meet the region’s increasing demand, according to foreign financial experts.

At the Ho Chi Minh City Economic Forum held last week, experts from South Korea, Hong Kong, China, and other international organisations shared their experiences in setting up financial centres with the city’s authorities.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Ho Chi Minh City has high potential to expand from being the biggest financial centre in Vietnam to become an international business centre. “The aim of developing Ho Chi Minh City into a global financial hub is not solely the purpose of the city authorities, but the country as a whole,” he said.

Reflecting on the advances Vietnam has made over the past 30 years, DPM Dam said the nation has benefited from stable development and has consistently been one of the leading countries in the world in terms of economic progress.

Vietnam has enjoyed a growth rate of 6-8 per cent throughout the last 10 years. Over the next decade, DPM Dam said, the country is aiming for an annual growth rate in excess of 7 per cent.

“I think that Vietnam can achieve this economic goal because the government has been focusing its efforts on improving the business environment, and solving difficulties for companies and the business community.

In addition, setting up a global financial centre is an excellent initiative,” he added.

To develop Ho Chi Minh City in this direction, DPM Dam said, the government must provide outstanding incentives and advantages.

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung agreed with the deputy prime minister’s assertion that the incoming global financial centre must have a positive impact on the entire country as well as on Ho Chi Minh City. “Taking into account the natural geography of Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City being the economic flagship of the whole country, we are confident in saying that Ho Chi Minh City has the ideal opportunity to set up a global financial hub,” said Minister Dung.

“Establishing a worldwide financial hub is not a trend of a modern economy but an indicator of an active nation which is ready to develop and integrate with the globe,” he added.

Although the plan remains in the early stage, Dung predicted that its outstanding legal system will be more competitive than other markets in the region.

There are many advantages to the plan for developing Ho Chi Minh City. Among these are stable GDP, strong foreign direct investment, and efforts to renovate and improve the business environment from the government and local authorities.

According to Minister Dung, key factors in making Ho Chi Minh City more attractive ­include a competitive market, highly-qualified human ­resources, good infrastructure system, and a solid ­foundation for financial ­services.

Meanwhile Yue Yi, co-vice chairman of the Bank of China (Hong Kong), said that Ho Chi Minh City should grasp this opportunity with both hands.

“With the government’s strong commitment to economic development, stable social and economic foundations, and active integration through free trade agreements, it is high time for Vietnam to set up a global financial centre,” Yi said.

Patrick Lenain from the OECD stressed that regardless of the aforementioned advantages, in order to set up a global financial centre, Vietnam must improve its environmental and living standards, as well as prepare for a digital infrastructure system, fintech development, and green finance.

Dragon brings good fortune for fiery development

Besides gaining positive economic results, the central city of Danang has also courted hundreds of millions of US dollars in both local and foreign investment capital in the first nine months of this year.

According to a report presented at the recent 18th Conference of the Danang Executive Party Committee, Danang’s economy fared fairly well during the period. Specifically, total state budget revenue in Danang was about VND21.2 trillion ($921.7 million) over the nine-month period, reaching 77.5 per cent of the estimate. Meanwhile, the total budget expenditure was VND10.4 trillion ($452 million), equal to 59.4 per cent of the estimate.

 

In addition, total retail sales of goods and services were estimated at VND76.6 trillion ($3.3 billion), equal to 75.8 per cent of the target and up 11.5 per cent on-year.

Moreover, the total development investment capital in the city was estimated at around VND29.95 trillion ($1.3 billion).

Since the beginning of the year, Danang has also attracted VND3.56 trillion ($154.7 million) of domestic investment and $632.2 million of foreign direct investment (FDI), which was for both newly-registered and expanded projects.

Compared to the results in the corresponding period last year, the quality of foreign-invested projects and total capital volume showed a sharp on-year rise. Specifically, the city counted 101 newly-registered projects worth $416.3 million in total committed capital value, up by nearly eight times compared to the same period last year when there were 98 new projects valued at $52.35 million. During this period, 11 projects increased capital by another $117.3 million, which was 63 times higher than that in the same period last year, when there were 11 projects with the total capital increase of $1.86 million.

Danang’s total export turnover was estimated at $1.29 billion, equal to 69.4 per cent of the target and up 6 per cent on-year. Visitors to the city were estimated at 7.2 million, up 18.4 per cent on-year, and total tourism revenue was valued at VND25.3 trillion ($1.1 billion).

Despite these achievements, Danang still faces many difficulties. Some economic indicators grew less than expected, and planning activities, planning management, and urban discipline generally did not meet city development requirements, according to the report.

At the conference, Secretary of the Danang Party Committee Truong Quang Nghia emphasised the need for all sectors to focus on carrying out tasks such as reviewing and drastically speeding up the implementation of the 2019 agenda – the year to promote investment attraction.

Other important tasks included ensuring efficiency in implementing the city’s tourism development planning and schemes, and diversifying tourism products, especially calling for investment in developing shopping centres, night markets, trading streets, and night entertainment services.

Promoting investment and tourism development in the city’s northwest is also vital.

Improved transport infrastructure and the northwest region’s development vision in recent years have had a strong impact on the local real estate market. A series of well-known real estate businesses have landed projects in the city, such as FLC Eco Charm, Sunrise Bay Urban Area, Kim Long City, and Dragon City.

Trung Nam Group has constructed the five-star Golden Hills eco-urban area, one of the largest-scale projects in northwestern Danang, which covers a total area of 400 hectares. This has been hailed as the most well-conceived project in Danang, from the US planning design to the development of high-end infrastructure and premium public utilities.

Rolling boulders out the way of Vietnam’s collective economy

Although the collective economy has gained outstanding results over past decades, it is still facing numerous difficulties in policies and capital shortages, making it difficult to grow further.

At last week’s national conference on 15 years of implementation of Resolution 5 of the Party Central Committee on innovating, developing, and improving the efficiency of the collective economy, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said that it has developed in both quantity and quality, gradually overcoming long-term weakness. “So far, the collective economy and the household account for over 30 per cent of GDP. Vietnam has nearly 23,000 co-operatives, more than half of which are in the agricultural sector,” he said.

According to him, in the last five years, the number of newly-established co-operatives increased rapidly. In 2018, there were 2,521 newly established units, up 2.6 times higher than in 2003. The number of employees working in this area amounts to 1.2 million and currently, there are 57 per cent of co-operatives operating effectively with average revenue of VND4.5 trillion ($195 million) per year. Besides that, average profit increased from VND74 million ($3,200) in 2003 to VND240.5 million ($10,000) in 2018.

“Over the last 15 years, the co-operative area is recovering and developing stably. The number increases steadily and spreads across regions with better quality. Particularly, many co-operatives have actively pursued production goals along the value-added chain, towards sustainable development,” the minister said. “So far, there are 1,200 co-operatives organising production associated with the value chain and applying high-tech.”

Working in the field of agriculture since 2004, Evergrowth Agricultural Co-operative in the southern province of Soc Trang has had 2,300 member households, with about 10,000 people. So far, after 15 years, Evergrowth has established two factories processing dairy and providing animal feeding.

“Before, we provided milk to some big companies. Due to the high value of products gained from processing, we built two factories and helped 2,300 households escape poverty,” Tran Hoang An, director of Evergrowth, told VIR.

Meanwhile, established in 1989 by the management board of Ho Chi Minh City Trading Cooperative, Saigon Co.op operates with the principle of collective ownership, self-control, and self-responsible production and business activities.

After 30 years, Saigon Co.op has secured its position in a drastically competitive market with an average growth of 25 per cent on-year.

Saigon Co.op holds about 40 per cent of the grocery retail market with benefit growth of 15 per cent on-year, contributes over VND200 billion ($8.6 million) per year, and provides jobs for over 16,000 people in the country.

However, according to Minister Dung, despite positive performance, many co-operatives are now facing numerous difficulties, as the internal capacity of some units is still weak, their facilities are poor, and management capacity is limited, so it is difficult to meet the requirements of the market economy.

An from Evergrowth said, “the government encourages co-operatives to develop but when we are big enough to establish enterprises, we need more capital which is not easy to borrow.”

According to An, the government understands and facilitates co-operatives in terms of capital and assigns the provincial policy banks to support. But working with banks, co-operatives still have to follow their strict regulations, and need to mortgage when borrowing capital.

“We are luckier than many other co-operatives to be granted land for operating. Many have to operate on the land of their members’ families. But we ourselves can’t mortgage that land to borrow capital,” An said.

“There should be clear rules in terms of time and renting prices. Moreover, co-operatives and their companies should be able to use that land,” he suggested.

OCB attributes rapid growth to focus on technology, customer

Orient Commercial Bank has reported excellent results in the first nine months of the year.

OCB reported year-on-year growth of 17 per cent in net revenues to nearly VND4.4 trillion (US$191 million). Of this, revenues from interest and services surged by 20 per cent and 87 per cent.

Pre-tax profit was over VND1.9 trillion ($82 million).

In the last two years, 2017 and 2018, its profits profit grew at over 100 per cent. Last year it was VND2.2 trillion ($95 million).

Total assets now are worth VND106.4 trillion ($4.6 billion), a 23 per cent rise from a year earlier.

Outstanding loans were worth nearly VND70 trillion ($3 billion), an year-on-year 27 per cent increase.

OCB is among the lenders with the highest growth rates in Viet Nam.

The bank said it was on course to achieve the year’s targets.

Its management attributed the success to policies focused on the customer and investment in technology to become the best retail bank in the country.

The bank has tied up with a number of players like IBM and Trend Micro to develop technology.

OCB, established in 1996, was the first bank in Viet Nam to successfully achieve Basel II capital norms.

Prominent Vietnamese garment-makers showcase goods at Hong Kong fair

More than 35 leading Vietnamese manufacturers of garments, textiles and fashion accessories as well as garment-related industries are showcasing their goods at Hong Kong’s biggest fashion show that opened on Sunday.

Vietnamese goods at the Global Sources Fashion show include apparel, fashion jewellery, underwear, swimwear, bags, luggage, scarves, footwear and fabrics, among others.

Many of the Vietnamese exhibitors are members of the Viet Nam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) and Viet Nam National Textile and Garment Group.

The fair also showcases fashion accessories from emerging designers from Viet Nam.

The emerging Vietnamese fashion brands include B.store, Emwear, Haberman, Hong Ty, Cocosin and Fashion Link, according to Global Sources, the event’s organiser.

A fashion parade will be organised as part of the show exclusively for rising Vietnamese designers to showcase their latest fashion collections.

In recent years Vietnamese fashion brands have strengthened their brands on the global fashion stage because of their “great design as well as OEM (original equipment manufacturing) capability,” according to the organiser.

Alvin An, manager of DKC Apparel Co Ltd, an exhibitor which took part in the trade show, told Viet Nam News that his company has set a target of increasing exports to US$6 million per month, up from $5 million, after the trade show.

“The company also aims to promote exports via online marketing to reach more global buyers,” he said.

The fair also features verified suppliers from other major fashion manufacturing hubs, including Bangladesh, India, as well as mainland China.

With over 2,000 booths of products, the fair is expected to welcome 1,000 exhibitors, 12,000 buyers from 110 countries and territories.

The one-stop sourcing event also features industry-related conferences, including a workshop on how to source effectively from Viet Nam, according to the organiser.

As part of the event, the winners of the “3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Waste Reduction Design Competition” will be announced during the four-day event.

According to Vu Duc Giang, chairman of VITAS, last year the textile and garment industry earned $36 billion from exports, up 16 per cent year-on-year, making Viet Nam one of the world’s three biggest exporters of textiles and apparel.

This year, the textile and garment sector has set a target of $40 billion in exports, up 11 per cent year-on-year.

The industry has set a target of more than US$60 billion worth of exports by 2025.

EU-Viet Nam trade deal to bring logistics firms both opportunities and challenges

Vietnamese logistics companies need to improve their competitiveness to stay afloat when the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement comes into effect, experts have said.

Trade between Viet Nam and the EU would increase strongly thanks to the EVFTA, boosting logistics demand, they said.

The deal, currently under ratification, has a number of commitments in the logistics sector that exceed those under the WTO.

When it comes into effect, it would open the door wide to EU logistics service providers, who are highly competitive, to enter Viet Nam, Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s WTO Integration Centre, said.

This would create competitive pressure but also bring capital, new technologies and opportunities for co-operation, she said.

"This is exactly what Viet Nam’s logistics industry needs, and is an opportunity to reduce logistics costs.”

Logistics costs in Viet Nam account for 21-25 per cent of the country’s annual GDP, 12 per cent of the cost of fishery products, 23 per cent in the case of wooden furniture, 29 per cent for vegetables, and 30 per cent for rice, much higher than that in Thailand, Malaysia or Singapore, she said.

Besides, the country's logistics infrastructure falls short of requirements, affecting the distribution of goods, and thus the competitiveness of Vietnamese goods, she said.

Therefore, the EU trade deal would be a challenge to the logistics industry but could push it into reforming and improving its competitiveness, she added.

To enable the logistics industry to benefit from the EVFTA, Nguyen Thi Lan Phuong of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s department of multilateral trade policy said it needs to clearly understand the commitments under the agreement.

According to experts, to take advantage of the opportunities and cope with the challenges from the EVFTA, businesses need to improve their technology and logistics platform and increase digitisation and human resource training.

According to the Viet Nam Logistics Business Association (VLA), the country has 4,000 companies involved in the transportation of goods on domestic and international routes.

Viet Nam ranked 39th out of 160 countries in the World Bank’s 2018 Logistics Performance Index, a big jump from two years earlier when it was 64th.

JLL Vietnam reveals key quality drivers for integrated developments

Real estate consultancy notes key factors for developers to consider for sustainable integrated developments.

jll vietnam reveals key quality drivers for integrated developments hinh 0Looking at recent projects launched in Vietnam, according to JLL Vietnam, it can be seen that integrated large-scale projects continue to dominate the residential markets in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and satellite provinces.

This trend has become more obvious as numerous new residential developments carry the word “city” in their names, including Swan City, Empire City, Celadon City, Aqua City, and so on.

JLL identified the “city within the city” residential concept, commonly referred to as large-scale integrated developments, as an upcoming trend in a previous blog two years ago. This urban form has grown in popularity as developers seek to attract buyers with holistic, well-planned communities within a city for those who wish to avoid the chaos created by rapid urbanization and lagging infrastructure in shared facilities.

Nowadays developers taking part in city planning have to carefully understand the fundamentals of city planning in order to create sustainable value for their large-scale projects.

Developer considerations for sustainable integrated development

JLL reveals some factors that developers should take into consideration for their sustainable integrated developments. The first is planning traffic and transport infrastructure, which is crucial for large-scale developments.

With growing motor car ownership in Vietnam, congested roads and lack of parking space will spur demand for functioning traffic solutions. Sufficient parking, integrated access to surrounding roads, and public transport will become key selling points that will enhance the development’s value.

Secondly, as the size of developments grows, sensible space planning for various functions and building scales has become a challenge for developers. To achieve convenient, functional and diverse quality public spaces, careful consideration of city planning aspects is mandatory.

Lively street frontage, plazas, sidewalks, and a scaled building arrangement will lead to sustainable and sought-after neighbourhoods, thus ensuring sustained value. Careful phasing should be considered to ensure the sense of completion of each component of each neighbourhood. A good example of this was seen in the Phu My Hung NUA project, where “green” walls were used to separate completed buildings from those under construction.

Thirdly, developers must create and maintain public facilities. One key attraction for large-scale projects is the public facilities within the development. Facilities such as public parks and sports stadiums help attract buyers but can be costly to maintain down the road.

Therefore, developers should raise awareness among buyers regarding potential maintenance costs and how it would be in their interest to fund these costs to safeguard the value of their properties.

The fourth is teaming neighbourhoods with shared facilities. For projects that benefit from existing public facilities, it is critical for developers to differentiate their developments’ internal facilities and create a sense of identity for their projects. A key method would be to harmonize the ratio between the number of users and shared facilities including pools, gyms, and children’s playgrounds to ensure the long-term value of the development.

Finally, a diverse and inclusive living environment is necessary. The beauty of any large-scale development is the ability to offer a diverse range of housing types to various groups of potential buyers. While each building should be custom-designed for a specific group, the overall living environment should still be in harmony.

Vietnam, Egypt boost cooperation in potential areas

The Vietnamese Embassy in Egypt organised a seminar in the coastal tourist city of Sharm El Sheikh on October 26 to seek measures to boost cooperation between the two countries in various fields, especially economy, investment and tourism.

Addressing the function, Vietnamese Ambassador Tran Thanh Cong said the two nations see great potential for tourism collaboration. But the number of Egyptian tourists to Vietnam remains humble as they still lack information about the Southeast Asian country.

Therefore, the seminar aims to promote the image and tourist destinations of Vietnam to Egyptian friends, thus increasing the number of visitors from the North African country, he said.

Florin Macovei, a scholar from Romania, said Vietnam should promote its potential and strengths, and further advertise its famous tourist sites to international visitors, he noted.

According to Mohamed Rabie El-Sherbini from Egypt’s Alexandria city, Egyptians need to have more information about Vietnam, not only its history and culture but also its economy and tourism.

During the seminar, a representative of the Vietnamese Embassy presented a report on economic-trade cooperation between Vietnam and Egypt as well as highlighted Vietnam’s outstanding economic development achievements.

Documentary films featuring the landscapes and people of Vietnam were screened, together with a display of photos, items, books, newspapers and publications on tourism and handicraft products of Vietnam./.

Vietnam becomes increasingly attractive to Italian firms

Italian enterprises in the province of Pisa in general and in Tuscany region in general were updated on Vietnam’s investment attraction and incentive policies at an event held by the Chamber of Commerce of Pisa and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (ICHAM) in Pisa city on October 25.

The event offered a good chance for Italian firms to understand more about the Vietnamese market and information related to prioritised cooperation fields, as well as policies for attracting investment and promoting trade links with foreign businesses.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Nguyen Thi Bich Hue briefed on Vietnam’s socio-economic development and international integration efforts, saying that the country boasts great potential to push its economic growth.

Vietnam is considered one of the most dynamic economies with the highest growth in the world, and also an open economy, connected to major markets through 16 bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements that Vietnam has joined, Hue stressed.

According to the diplomat, Vietnamese people’s demand for high quality products, including those from Italy, is increasing.

The Government of Vietnam has also issued many policies to improve the business and investment environment for domestic and foreign enterprises, thus attracting confidence of many foreign investors, she noted.

With the total amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) reaching 350 billion USD, Vietnam is seen as an attractive market for foreign investors, Hue said.

With the prospect of being approved by the European Parliament in the coming time, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) will create unprecedented favorable conditions for Italian businesses, she added.

The Vietnamese Embassy and the Trade Office in Italy are ready to support Italian firms in deploying investment and trade cooperation activities with Vietnam, the ambassador affirmed.

In his speech, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Pisa Valter Tamburini said Italian companies in Pisa are interested in the Vietnamese market, adding that many of those have successfully invested in the Southeast Asian country.

The two countries’ firms should establish cooperative ties in the fields of fashion, agriculture, automobiles and tourism, which are strengths of Italy, he said.

According to statistics released by the Chamber of Commerce of Pisa, in 2018, Pisa businesses exported 60 million USD worth of products to Vietnam and imported goods worth 80 million USD from the nation.

Previously, Hue had a meeting with Vice Mayor of Pisa city Raffaela Bonsangue, during which the Vietnamese diplomat urged the Pisa authorities to create favourable conditions for Italian enterprises to expand economic and trade cooperation with Vietnam.

 
 

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