BUSINESS NEWS SEPTEMBER 20

Dong Nai promotes business climate in Japan

Dozens of Vietnamese and Japanese firms joined a conference promoting investment in and trade with Dong Nai province – a top destination for foreign investors in Vietnam – in Tokyo on September 19.

In his remarks at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Vu Hong Nam stressed Japan is among Vietnam’s most important and strategic overseas partners and investors, noting that Japanese-funded projects have contributed to boosting the country’s socio-economic growth.

The diplomat affirmed the Vietnamese Government and Dong Nai authorities are committed to creating the best conditions possible for Japanese investors.

He said he is confident that the southern province’s implementation of the Long Thanh international airport and investment attraction policy will help it lure more foreign investors, particularly those from Japan.

Tran Van Vinh, Vice Chairman of the Dong Nai People’s Committee, took the occasion to introduce the local growth potential and investment attraction policy.

According to him, having a young population, convenient transport system, and rich soil, Dong Nai is home to 1,420 valid foreign-invested projects worth nearly 30 billion USD. More than 40 countries and territories have so far invested in the province, with Japan ranking third in terms of project number and investment amount. The East Asian nation is currently running 259 projects worth 4.64 billion USD in the locality.

After the conference, Dong Nai’s enterprises and their Japanese peers began a series of meetings to seek cooperation opportunities.

In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency, Mai Van Nhon, deputy head of the management board of industrial parks in Dong Nai, said the province does not aim to attract foreign direct investment at all costs, but prioritises high-tech and environmentally friendly projects that do not follow labour-intensive practices.

Such policy has led to better quality of the foreign capital flow over years, he noted. 

MoT adamant about light box on ride-hailing cars

BUSINESS NEWS SEPTEMBER 20

The Ministry of Transport declared in favour of its proposal to obligate both traditional and ride-hailing taxi firms to add a light box to the roof of vehicles

This was part of the response of the Ministry of Transport (MoT) to the prime minister's request for opinions from ministries to the draft decree replacing Decree No.86 setting out conditions for transportation business.

Accordingly, the prime minister issued two plans to manage app-managed ride-hailing vehicles. The first plan is to install “TAXI” light boxes on top of vehicles, with the minimum size of 12 x 30cm. The second alternative is to install the ride-hailing app's logo and a sign board and connect their managing software to the authorities to ensure supervision.

The MoT stated that the first option would allow equal treatment for traditional taxi and ride-hailing firms, adding that the installation of light boxes on app-based ride-hailing vehicles would enable the better management of transport businesses, help customers identify ride-hailing cars on the street, and differentiate between a transport service provider and a supplier of other services.

It would also prevent private vehicles from providing transport services illegally, causing difficulties for traffic police in inspecting, controlling, and organising urban traffic, the ministry argued.

Along with the requirement about the light box, the MoT also asked ride-hailing vehicles to install a software to connect and supply information to customers, including information on the vehicle, the route, general fares, as well as the fares for the specific route.

According to the MoT, these regulations would create favourable conditions to develop the model of passenger transport cooperation between ride-hailing apps and taxi firms, encouraging the application of technology in the transport sector, while creating a more transparent and fairer playground for the two sides.

The MoT's position is heavily objected to by ride-hailing apps, whose stance VIR has outlined previously here.

Forum discusses key to access European agricultural market

Improving quality and diversity of products as well as implementing commitments on food safety and traceability are key to make inroad into the European market, experts said at a forum in Hanoi on September 19.

The event was co-organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham), and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vice Chairman of the VCCI Hoang Quang Phong said Vietnam’s agriculture sector has seen remarkable development in recent years with the total export turnover reaching 40 billion USD thanks to joint efforts of farmers, businesses, investors, State management agencies, and international organisations.

The free trade agreement recently signed between Vietnam and the European Union (EU) is expected to present both opportunities and challenges for Vietnamese firms, which requires them to exert more efforts to optimise opportunities and overcome barriers in order to maintain growth and boost export turnover, he said.

He urged businesses to improve the quality of products and seriously follow international practices and commitments in the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Meanwhile, Vice-Chair of EuroCham Ywert Visser said the EU has high standards for imported food, so it is essential for European businesses and Vietnamese producers to work together to develop a world’s leading agriculture in Vietnam with safe and certified products.

He hoped the forum will help strengthen the relations between Vietnamese and European business communities, thus unlocking all the potential of the EVFTA.

At the forum, participants discussed policies for rural development and agriculture and evaluated the export of Vietnamese agricultural products to the EU after the signing of the EVFTA.

They also made assessments on the development potential of the agriculture sector as well as the prospects of applying digital technology towards sustainable agricultural development.

European exporters, buyers and businesses shared experience in promoting the digitalisation of agriculture and proposed advanced solutions to improve the production capacity and the quality of Vietnamese farm produce.

Realty firm buys back half of its April bond notes

Phát Đạt Real Estate Development JSC (HoSE: PDR) wants to buy back half of its bonds issued in April.

The company plans to buy VNĐ100 billion (US$4.3 million) worth of its bonds, issued on April 8, 2019, to raise VNĐ200 billion for the company.

The deal is expected to occur on October 8, 2019.

At the issuance date, the bond notes were non-convertible, guaranteed with the firm’s 19 million shares and would mature in one year on April 8, 2020.

The bonds per-annum yield rate was 14.45 per cent, the highest corporate bond rate on the market so far this year.

The buyback is a part of the agreement with bondholders. On the last day of the sixth month from the issuance date, the company is able to buy back half of the bonds at par value. The remainders will mature on the maturity date.

In August, Phát Đạt raised VNĐ70 billion from issuing bond notes that were guaranteed and non-convertible with annual yield rate of 13.5 per cent – the highest among all deals.

The company has made six bond issuances in 2019, worth VNĐ1.44 trillion, with annual yield rates ranging from 9.5 per cent to 14.45 per cent.

Phát Đạt is preparing to raise another VNĐ255 billion from bond issuances in September and October with annual yield rates being 9.5 per cent and 13 per cent.

The company shares was flat at VNĐ26,450 ($1.14) per share on Thursday.

Total capital raised from corporate bond issues in August was VNĐ26.6 trillion, according to the Hà Nội Stock Exchange. After eight months, businesses have raised total VNĐ157.9 trillion from bond issuance.

Crude import tax zeroed in November

The Prime Minister announced import tax on crude oil will be scrapped from the current rate of 5 per cent.

The decision takes effect on November 1, 2019

The decision numbered 28/2019/QĐ-TTG was released to amend Article 2 of Decision 45/2017/QĐ-TTg dated November 16, 2017 regulating tax rates on imports.

The new decision also changed the description of some goods such as banknotes, mobile gate-type crane and related components, complete-built machine, semiconductor, needle and ultraviolet and infrared lights.

Vietnam has much to do to realise aspiration for prosperity: experts

There would be no success if no effort is made to renovate the mindset, actively build economic development methods, and reform mechanisms and policies, said Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the Vietnam Reform and Development Forum (VRDF) 2019 under the theme “Vietnam: Aspiration for prosperity – Priorities and Actions” in Hanoi on September 19, Dung said that while realising the aspiration for prosperity, overcoming the “middle income trap” alone is a considerable challenge for many developing countries, including Vietnam.

He noted that in line with the economic development trend of the global economy, Vietnam has renovated the economy and applied achievements of the Forth Industrial Revolution in various areas.

In 2019, the country leaped three positions in the Global Innovation Index (GII) from 2018 to rank 42 out of 129 countries, first among 26 countries with low middle income and third among ASEAN countries after Singapore and Malaysia, Dung said.

According to the minister, in the 2011-2018 period, Vietnam recorded an annual average gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of over 6.2 percent. By the end of 2018, Vietnam’s GDP scale valued at over 250 billion USD, with per capita GDP reaching 2,600 USD.

Vietnam has become an attractive destination for foreign investors, with investment in the 2011-2018 period hitting more than 200 billion USD, he said.

However, Dung pointed out that the Vietnamese economy’s labour productivity and competitiveness remain low.

The minister said that in order to realise the aspiration for prosperity, Vietnam has built a draft strategy on socio-economic development for the 2021-2030 period which emphasises the need to complete the process of turning the economy into a market economy with modern orientations and integration in line with international practice, while perfecting the legal framework for new business forms and digital economy.

Meanwhile, World Bank Country Director in Vietnam Ousmane Dione said that escalating trade tensions and technological changes are affecting Vietnam, adding that the country’s economic model of the country is also facing domestic challenges, including the aging population degradation in natural resources, modest human resources and risk of reduced productivity.

He stressed that breakthrough innovation is necessary for the country to grasp opportunities and mange risks in the future, adding that a well-designed socio-economic development strategy is also significant for Vietnam.

Sharing Malaysia’s experience to escape the middle income trap, K. Yogeesvara, former Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities of Malaysia, said that during the period to rise into a high-income country, Malaysia faced challenges in the gap among regions in terms of income and quality of human resources.

He held that adequate investment in human resources development and the people will help get rid of the trap, along with balancing development among production and service sectors, and coping with rich-poor inequality.

Cao Viet Sinh, a senior economist, held that market economy mechanism has been incomprehensive and failed to meet requirements to promote the modern and integrated market economy.

David Dollar, a senior expert from the US-based Brookings Institute, held that the private sector of Vietnam has become backward due to weak access to credit and land. Vietnam should clarify areas for the State-owned sector and those for the private sector, thus creating a fair playground for both sides, he added.

Participants at the event recommended that Vietnam should makethe domestic private sector the backbone of the economy, while optimising renewable energy resources and targeting green production.

The country should focus on improving productivity, developing technology and artificial intelligence application, reforming the economic structure and completing the State system organization, they suggested.

Vietnam Finance Forum 2019 takes place in Quang Ninh

The annual Vietnam Finance Forum 2019 was held in the northern province of Quang Ninh on September 19 by the Ministry of Finance, focusing its discussion on the theme of “Fiscal and Financial Policy Reforms as Drivers for Renewing the Growth Model and Restructuring the Economy in Vietnam”.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Finance Do Hoang Anh Tuan said Vietnam’s 10 years of renewing the growth model and restructuring the economy as well as national finance have shown initial success, but huge challenges are lying ahead.

Though the country’s annual economic growth averaged 6.35 percent over the past five years, the quality of growth and growth model renewing has remained limited, he said, emphasizing that economic growth must be effective, sustainable and inclusive.

It is necessary to develop financial and budgetary policies with social issues, particularly poverty reduction, taken into account, the official noted, adding that public services must be also developed to meet regional and international standards, and sustainably developing financial policies must be in line with addressing environmental issues as Vietnam is among 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change.

Head of Development Cooperation section of the Embassy of Germany Sebastian Paust said 2019 is the year for Vietnam to prepare for the socio-economic development strategy for 2021 – 2030 which will contribute to shaping financial reforms, as Vietnam is moving towards an active digital transformation.

The modern reform framework, espeicially improving the management efficiency in public finance, is crucial to that upcoming long-term reform process, the diplomat said.

He also highly spoke of the Vietnamese Government’s approach towards a financial policy that drives the growth model and its efforts to restructure national financial policies.

At the forum, participants discussed the current status of Vietnam’s growth model and economic structure, and recommended solutions to renew the country’s growth model and restructure the economy for 2021 – 2030 with a vision towars 2045.

They also reviewed the current financial policies as contributors to the fast and sustainable growth, and pointed out the limitations of those policies.

According to Prof. PhD Ngo Thang Loi from the National Economics University, the biggest obstables to the country’s growth model renewing lies in the lack of quality manpower and advanced techologies, ineffective policies in high-tech investment and weaknesses of the private sector.

It is critical to see the private sector as not only an important but also a fundamental driving force and a main pillar to create breakthroughs in developing the economy, he said.

The scholar urged policymakers to provide better environment and equal opportunity to access development resources for different types of businesses and to cut input costs for them by promoting capital market, labour and land acquisition.

Fuji Electric Industry plant becomes operational in Ha Nam

Japanese-invested Fuji Electric Industry Vietnam factory was inaugurated at Dong Van III industrial park in Duy Tien district, the northern province of Ha Nam, on September 19.

This is the 100th project of Japanese investors in the province. The 11,500 sq.m factory, built at a total cost of 5 million USD, manufactures and assembles power cordsets used in automation applications and switchgear components.

According to Fujimoto Yukihiro, Chairman and Director of Fuji Electric Vietnam, the factory’s products will be exported to Japan and Southeast Asian markets. With considerable experience coupled with advanced technologies, the plant pledges to provide its customers with high-quality products at competitive prices.

At the inauguration ceremony, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Truong Quoc Huy hailed the investor for completing the project in accordance with the schedule, hoping that the plant will create more jobs for local workers and promote economic development in the province.

Huy asked Fuji Electric Vietnam to continue respecting Vietnamese regulations and policies, contributing to the State budget, and paying due attention to the spiritual and material lives of the workers.

Local authorities will create favourable conditions for foreign investors, including Fuji Electric Vietnam, so that they will effectively do business in the province, he stressed.

Forum promotes Vietnam-Japan agriculture cooperation

A forum to create connection and promote cooperation between Vietnamese and Japanese enterprises operating in agriculture was held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in Hanoi on September 19.

The event attracted experts and representatives from businesses specializing in producing, processing, exporting and importing food and agro-forestry-aquaculture products of the two countries.

Deputy Minister of MARD Tran Thanh Nam stressed the forum aims to update the two sides’ enterprises, associations, sectors and localities on regulations of Vietnam and Japan related to import and export management of agro-forestry-aquaculture products. It also offers a good chance for them to share experience and seek measures to deal difficulties and boost trade promotion and agriculture investment.

According to Nam, the agriculture ministries of the two countries have built a long-term cooperation framework and memoranda of understanding on cooperation on popularizing standards and certification related to the quality of agricultural products and foodstuffs, and the development of Vietnam's rice value chain.

Notably, Vietnam and Japan have joined the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which came into effect in January this year, the official said, adding that this is a favourable condition and also an opportunity not only to promote cooperation in potential fields, increase import and export turnover between the two countries, but also bolster connection in investment and technology transfer, and vocational training for agricultural workers between Vietnam and Japan in the near future.

Japanese investors are increasingly interested in agriculture, especially hi-tech and clean agriculture.

In 2018, the total import-export turnover between Vietnam and Japan reached 37.9 billion USD, accounting for 7.9 percent of Vietnam's total trade turnover with all countries in the world.

In the first eight month of 2019, the two-way trade hit 25.7 billion USD, up 4.9 percent over the same period in 2018, of which Vietnam’s main agro-forestry-aquaculture exports to Japan were valued at 1.9 billion USD.

Vietnam imported a number of items such as vegetables and fruits, dairy and aquatic products, and wood from Japan, with a total value of over 350 million USD in the period.

Three exhibitions begin in HCM City

The 13th Viet Nam International Woodworking Industry Fair opened in HCM City on Wednesday with over 490 firms from 32 countries and regions taking part.

VietnamWood 2019, 40 per cent larger than last year in terms of display area, is showcasing more than 1,000 woodworking machines and equipment from renowned names in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Germany, Austria, Spain, the US, Viet Nam and other countries.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Nguyen Quoc Khanh, chairman of the Handicrafts and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (HAWA), said the country’s wood and forestry products exports were worth US$7.08 billion in the first eight months of the year, a year-on-year increase of 18.6 per cent.

 

“All enterprises in the industry are heading towards a bigger goal of $20 billion in 2025.

“The Government has set a clear direction to make Viet Nam a world leading woodworking production centre. This has helped companies in the sector gain confidence and motivation.”

But the current market situation requires enterprises to resolve internal problems to ensure product quality while increasing productivity and innovation.

“One of the key factors for maintaining sustainable growth … is technology.”

With the advancement of precise production technology by using computer numerical control (CNC), combining new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, and robots, woodworking technologies have reached surprising development levels, offering businesses the opportunity to improve quality, control their production process, become less labour-intensive, and increase production, he said.

Judy Wang from Yorkers Trade and Marketing Services Co Ltd, one of the event organisers, said VietnamWood is one of the largest woodworking exhibitions in Southeast Asia.

It helps Vietnamese manufacturers choose suitable machinery and equipment to improve their efficiency, lower production costs, strengthen competitive advantage and boost exports, she said.

Seminars will be held on the sidelines of the exhibition, including on technology transformation and improving productivity.

Organised by the Viet Nam National Trade Fair & Advertising Company (Vinexad), Yorkers Trade & Marketing Service Co, and HAWA, the exhibition, at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre, will go on until September 21 and is expected to attract 12,000 visitors.

Printing and electricity exhibitions

The same day, two other international exhibitions, “Vietnam International Electricity, Industrial Machinery and Automation” and “HCM City Printing and Packaging Exhibition 2019”, opened at the Tan Binh Exhibition and Convention Centre in HCM City’s Tan Binh District, and will also run until September 21.

They have attracted more than 150 exhibitors who have put up 200 booths displaying a wide range of machinery, equipment, technologies and products.

Organised by the city Department of Information and Communications and the HCM City Union of Business Associations, the exhibitions are expected to help businesses in the fields access the latest printing technologies and equipment, promote their products and enhance linkages within their industry.

Shopee delays handling "ghost" vendors?

BUSINESS NEWS SEPTEMBER 20

Singapore-based e-commerce platform Shopee has been slow in protecting customers from “ghost” vendors which have been cheating out huge amounts of money from them, reported VIR.

Taking advantage of e-commerce platforms putting a stop to allowing customers to check goods before paying for them from March 2019, many vendors have been offering goods at a bargain price on the platforms but deliver bricks or plastic bottles to customers. According to forums for e-commerce buyers, the number of “ghost” vendors has been increasing and platforms like Lazada or Shopee have yet to handle them thoroughly.

S.N. – an administrator of a group of users interested in SmartHome devices – most recently posted an article about a “ghost” vendor named phukiengiasi.cf on Shopee. Accordingly, the vendor offered a smart speaker for VND255,000 ($11), equaling one-third of its original price, VND789,000 ($34). The good was advertised as “authenticated good” and targeted people loving reasonably priced goods.

After collecting orders, phukiengiasi.cf set the order's status as "unconfirmed" on Shopee, but the goods were shipped. According to the article, buyers mostly received bricks or a bundle of papers instead of their order, and were unable to get a refund from the vendor because the orders had been cancelled prior to shipping.

Notably, since the fraud came to light several days ago, the vendor has been working as usual, despite hundreds of complaints sent to Shopee. It was not until the afternoon of September 4 that the vendor was officially blocked after the case made headlines.

This means that reports of fraud to e-commerce platforms are not enough to force action against offending vendors, leaving hundreds of customers at risk of being cheated.

In response to VIR about how the platform will handle these violations, a representative of Shopee promised feedback as soon as possible.

Sanofi activities face rigid regulations

While French-based pharmaceutical giant Sanofi Vietnam is seeking to diversify local distributors to ease possible ­pressures in ensuring drug quality standards, obstacles remain for it and other multinationals in restrictions related to product distribution.

After celebrating the first batch of direct medicinal import last month, Sanofi Vietnam is planning to work with more local distributors to ensure the distribution network for new ­imports of prescription, over-­the-counter drugs, and vaccination ­products. Sanofi is co-operating with two local distributors, Hanoi Pharmaceutical and Medical Equipment Import-Export JSC and Vimedimex Medi-Pharma JSC, to distribute imported pharmaceutical products in Vietnam. Le Thi Kim Ngan, head of supply chain excellence and regional export centre under Sanofi’s Asia JPAC, told VIR, “Sanofi will also work with more ­distributors including Thuan Gia, Kim Do, and Saigon Pharmaceutical Company in the near future. The process of getting them on board with us is taking place now.”

Sanofi has also inaugurated a good storage practice-standard drug warehouse facility in Ho Chi Minh City, which will be utilised to accommodate imported batches from overseas. Distributors will ­receive medicinal products directly at the warehouse.

“Although our authorised distributors retain ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the operations conducted comply with legal and Sanofi’s ­requirements, Sanofi will still work with distributors to ensure good ­quality management,” Ngan added. “In accordance with Sanofi’s supply chain policy, Sanofi continuously checks and monitors its inventory ­status by week and by month so that we can manage and activate our ­importation and distribution plans ­effectively. Sanofi also constantly ­updates and follows the orders of ­distributors and our partners’ distribution plans, so that we can adjust the distribution to meet the needs of the Vietnamese market.”

Despite Sanofi’s moves to ensure good quality management during ­distribution, concerns over quality are putting pressures on the firm and other multinational corporations (MNCs) who are seeking a licence to import pharmaceuticals in Vietnam ­directly.

Vaibhav Saxena, lawyer at ­Vietnam International Law Firm said, “The challenge comes as wholesalers of imported drugs and medicinal ingredients can distribute such items directly to the health facilities and drug-trading establishments without being controlled by the importing entity, which is not entitled to distribute them in Vietnam.”

The reason for restrictions is flowing from the roadmaps and regulations pertaining to commitments of Vietnam to the World Trade Organization on goods trading and directly related activities thereto for foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) in Vietnam.

The right to distribute pharmaceutical products is one of the rights not granted for FIEs in Vietnam. Therefore, in order to distribute the drugs, companies such as Sanofi Vietnam are required to work with local wholesalers that distribute the drugs or ­medicinal ingredients into the local market.

Currently, not all local pharma companies have a qualified distribution infrastructure, but local leaders like Traphaco JSC, Imexpharm Pharmaceutical JSC, Domesco Medical Import Export JSC, and Hau Giang Pharmaceutical JSC have nationwide ­distribution networks with qualified warehouses and storages.

Meanwhile, the likes of Huan Gia, Kim Do, and Sapharco are not in such a prominent position in the pharmaceutical market, without the large and wide distribution network that the big Vietnamese leaders enjoy.

Ccompetition among MNCs in contracts with local wholesalers is expected to stiffen in the months to come as more MNCs get the direct import licence. In the latest developments, Swiss-headquartered Novartis has become the second lawful multinational importer in Vietnam’s pharmaceutical industry after Sanofi.

Currently, about 800 foreign companies are allowed to provide, but not directly distribute pharmaceuticals in Vietnam. According to the Ministry of Health, most of the MNCs in Vietnam are now applying to get such a licence to import drugs to Vietnam directly. GlaxoSmithKline Pte., Ltd. and many others may be in the queue.

The Vietnam pharmaceutical market was worth about $3.5 billion in 2015 and is expected to double by 2020 with a compound annual growth rate of 14 per cent. While the high growth rate is attracting global pharmaceutical companies, there are not many exclusive contract manufacturers; almost all of the pharma companies provide contract manufacturing services based on demand.

Since the Vietnamese government is promoting local production to meet 80 per cent of the domestic demand, pharma companies that are currently importing and selling drugs are expected to partner with the local manufacturers. The pharmaceutical contract manufacturing market is, therefore, likely to flourish in the coming years.

Doosan Vina exports 12 modules to Ruwais Refinery

Doosan Heavy Industries Vietnam – a subsidiary of South Korean conglomerate Doosan Group – based at Dung Quat Economic Zone has just exported the 12 modules of the waste heat recovery equipment to Ruwais Refinery, helping the Abu Dhabi facility save on fuel and improve efficiency.

The 12 modules are part of the Waste Heat Recovery Project (WHRP) signed by Doosan Vina and Samsung Engineering Co., Ltd. (SECL) in October 2018 and the 10-year co-operation framework agreement inked in June 2018.

These giant modules were intensively fabricated and assembled by the MHS and Water shops of Doosan Vina with collaboration from 10 sub-contractors over a timespan of more than six months.

“Doosan Vina manufactured this type of product for the first time so we initially faced many difficulties. The first was the short delivery schedule, the second our lack of experience in production, and the third the strict requirements of the customer,” said Young Sang Yoon, Erection Department leader of the MHS shop, adding, “However, with careful preparation, tight tracking at every stage, plus the heroic efforts of the skilled workers as well as close supervision and support from SECL, we completed the project on schedule and met the quality requirements.”

The successful completion of the first order for Samsung Engineering Co., Ltd. is a special point of pride for Doosan Vina in general and the MHS and Water shops’ employees in particular.
Among the 12 modules exported on September 9, the biggest module is 32.75m long, over 12m wide, and 27.7m high while the smallest module has the dimensions of 31x6.5x11.7m.

To ensure safety and the technical parameters of the equipment, all parameters of the transportation and loading of these 1,746-tonne modules on the reinforced decks of the ships were carefully calculated by Doosan Vina’s experts and were submitted to SECL for approval before execution.

Because of their heavy weight and extraordinary size, the experts had to use self-propelled modular transporters (SPMT) and assigned 20 employees to do the work in five days.

The successful completion of the first order for Samsung Engineering Co., Ltd. is a special point of pride for Doosan Vina in general and the MHS and Water shops’ employees in particular. It attests to the technical qualification of Vietnamese workers and also enhances the company's prestige among international partners in teh field of manufacturing modules for petrochemical refineries.

PRO Vietnam and MoNRE join hands for sustainable environment

Nestlé Vietnam and the members of Packaging Recycling Organization Vietnam (PRO Vietnam) on September 13 signed an MoU with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to boost the circular economy in Vietnam by reducing, classifying, collecting, and recycling garbage.

The co-operation shows the two sides’ strong commitment to working towards PRO Vietnam’s vision of creating a "Green, Clean, and Beautiful Vietnam” and the MoNRE’s target of preserving natural resources in the country.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Tran Hong Ha, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, said, “The MoU is the result of the co-operation between the MoNRE and PRO Vietnam to creating a circular economy in Vietnam. Specifically, the two sides will jointly develop regimes forcing manufacturers to improve their capabilities to facilitate reducing, classifying, collecting, and recycling garbage more effectively; as well as policies on environmental issues.”

As a co-establisher of PRO Vietnam, Ganesan Ampalavanar, general director of Nestlé Vietnam, said that the company's business principles are based on the foundation of respecting consumers, the communities where the company operates, and especially the environment.

“Our business activities are always in line with our sustainable development and environmental conservation target, with the hope of contributing to the making of a Green, Clean, and Beautiful Vietnam,” said Ampalavanar. “Currently, we are partnering with other companies and authorities to realise this purpose and help consumers changing their habits on plastic use.”

Nestlé commits to recycling and reusing 100 per cent of its packages across the world in 2025. To materialise this commitment, Nestlé Vietnam has been entering into co-operation with food and beverage companies, social organisations, and the government (specifically the MoNRE) to come up with new ideas and carry out activities to reduce plastic waste. Specifically, the company has joined PRO Vietnam under the prime minister’s direction of performing the commitment of no solid garbage burial and collecting and classifying 100 per cent of plastic waste released from manufacturers.

On September 12, Nestlé officially put the Institute of Packaging Sciences into operation in Lausanne city, Sweden. The institute specialises in researching and developing sustainable packaging materials and collaborates with industry partners to launch innovations in materials like paper-based or biodegradable packages.

The MoU between PRO Vietnam’s members and the MoNRE include:

- Enhancing rubbish classification and pollution mitigation.

- Improving the efficiency of the systems of collecting, transforming, treating, and recycling garbage.

- Encouraging manufacturers, brands, distributors, retailers, and importers to better manage recycling activities.

- Scaling up recycling into an industry in its own right and popularising recycled and eco-friendly products.

- Improving communications and raising public awareness in reducing, classifying, collecting, and recycling waste to wade deeper into the circular economy.

Restructuring wood processing sector: an urgent mission

Vietnamese wood processing companies need to rethink their production models and upgrade technology lines to increase their competitive capacity in face of the upcoming challenges.

This was announced by experts at the Rethinking Wood Processing Models seminar organised by the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City (HAWA) and Yorkers Trade & Marketing Service Co., Ltd. in Ho Chi Minh City on September 10. This seminar was a pre-event of the 13th International Woodworking Industry Fair (Vietnam Wood), which will be held in Ho Chi Minh City’s Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre on September 18-21.

The wood processing sector of Vietnam is facing massive challenges, including the fierce competition with foreign wood processing firms which have relocated to Vietnam due to the impact of the US-China trade war. The relocation will create competition in market share and human resources.

According to the statistics published by the Foreign Investment Agency, in the first five months of this year, a total of 40 new projects were registered in the wood sector, equalling 73 per cent of the total number of projects in this sector in the whole year of 2018. Especially, 60 per cent of these projects are related to the wood processing segment.

The increase in FDI inflows created a HR shortage, driving up wages in industrial parks by 10-20 per cent without actually satisfying enterprises' thirst for labour.

Besides, labour productivity of Vietnam is lower than in other countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, among others. Furthermore, digital applications in operating and trading are becoming more popular, while online trading is transforming the wood sector.

To tackle the challenges posed by these trends, the need to rethink and upgrade technology lines at wood processing firms is imperative.

Leslie Lye, sales manager for Weinig Group, said that with the changes in consumer buying behaviour and the availability of new technology, there has been a shift in customers’ buying requirements. Instead of buying furniture manufactured in bulk, customers are increasingly buying personalised furniture to meet their requirements. The production cost of customised furniture must be comparable to mass-produced products.

“To fulfil market needs, furniture manufacturers need to develop a system to cater for personalised design and production management for orders with different batches. Vietnamese factories have been making greater technological investments compared to other Southeast Asia countries. The investment for the Industry 4.0 era should start now or as soon as possible," he said.

“Of course, the technological investment must help solve all urgent orders first to match production with customers’ current needs and to maximise profit as much as possible. But in the long run, the company should foresee what technology in Industry 4.0 is offering to optimise the woodworking process, so they can invest in technology wisely and correctly to obtain a consistent profit and a sustainable business,” said Lye.

Nguyen Quoc Khanh, chairman of HAWA, said, “The allocation of technology, namely AI, robotics, and cloud computing, created a breakthrough in the development of the wood sector, contributing to increasing the capacity and quality of products, decreasing the dependence on human resources. Thus, if enterprises can take advantage of technology, they will enjoy massive benefits for their operations.”

Hong Kong-based Yorkers Trade & Marketing Service Co., Ltd. is one of the leading firms specialising in organising trade fairs and exhibitions in the ASEAN during the past 30 years. The company organised machinery-related events in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

Bosch Rexroth deepens training partnership with Hue Industrial College

Bosch Rexroth, the drive and control division of Bosch Vietnam, in collaboration with Hue Industrial College, has recently organised an International Conference on Vocational Education and Training to advance skilled workforce in Vietnam.

Technological breakthroughs in the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and robotics have made great changes in automation and manufacturing across the globe. This presents opportunities as well as challenges to the vocational training system. The International Conference on Vocational Education and Training with representatives from the government, enterprises, and international universities/organisations has been recently held at Hue Industrial College, focusing on discussing and proposing training models that are adopted by international standards to develop skilled workforce in the context of international integration.

As a partner of Hue Industrial College in enabling skilled workforce, Bosch Rexroth has helped the college to develop innovative training models and curricula, aimed at improving the training quality to meet business needs.

In addition, Bosch Rexroth Vietnam has also presented mMS4.0 – a modular mechatronics training system that perfectly matches the qualification stages of industrial and educational institutions. This allows students to absorb experiences and approach real manufacturing environments simultaneously. The mechatronics training systems developed by Rexroth experts impart to beginners and advanced students sound, practical knowledge using standard industrial components instead of simulated models.

Besides, the new Cyber Physical System (CPS) i4.0 training system has been introduced for the first time in Vietnam. This equipment from Bosch Rexroth covers the entire engineering chain, from programming through operation and monitoring to connection to cloud-based services. Therefore, users find it much easier to learn programming movement sequences in standard languages, connecting production data with ERP and MES systems.

“Hue Industrial College presented itself as one of the major vocational training institutions for training highly-skilled workforce for both the region and the country. It is also an honour for us to collaborate with the college for so many years. With all of our expertise and experience in the fields of industry and training, Bosch Rexroth hopes to contribute more to the sustainable growth of skilled workforce,” said Le Tri Tin, country sales manager of Factory Automation at Bosch Rexroth Vietnam.

Taking place in the context of 120th Anniversary of Hue Industrial College, the conference enhances the partnership between educational institutions in developing vocational education and training for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

$404,350 social insurance paid out for 2,000 Kai Yang employees

The Haiphong People's Committee has just decided to transfer VND9.3 billion ($404,350) in value-added tax (VAT) refund from the Haiphong Tax Department to pay three months of social insurance after more than 2,000 employees of Kai Yang Vietnam Co., Ltd.

The Haiphong People’s Committee issued Announcement No.389/TB-UBND about the decision of chairman Nguyen Van Tung to resolve the issues at Kai Yang Vietnam Co.,Ltd.

Accordingly, the People’s Committee authorised the Haiphong State Treasury to transfer VND9.3 billion ($404,350) VAT refund from the Haiphong Tax Department to Kai Yang Vietnam's account at Agribank's north Haiphong branch to pay social insurance for more than 2,000 employees.

The city leaders also requested Agribank to co-ordinate with the representatives of the company to immediately pay out the social insurance debts of May, June, and July 2019, facilitating Kien An district social insurance to close the insurance books of the company's employees until the end of July 2019. Along with that, the committee assigned the Haiphong Department of Finance and the local department of the State Treasury to urgently draw up plans to pay out the salaries of employees of KaiYang Vietnam Co., Ltd. until the end of August 2019.

Previously, at the end of August, nearly 2,000 employees returned to work to the headquarters of Taiwanese-invested footwear manufacturer Kai Yang Vietnam Co., Ltd., after its doors were shut for 10 days since Taiwanese director general Huang Sheng Che, along with 17 experts and technicians, fled the country without an explanation, leaving a bank debt of VND150 billion (nearly $6.5 million) and an insurance debt of VND9 billion ($391,304).

H&S Co., Ltd. previously had the intention to take over the shoe manufacturer after the disappearance of Kai Yang Vietnam's leaders. Jenny Koo, chairwoman of H&S Ltd., a partner of Kai Yang Vietnam, promised that she and her colleagues would try their best to pay half of the unpaid July wages last week, but after a closer look at the prolonged issues at Kai Yang, the company decided to withdraw.

US fisheries institute hopes for more cooperation with Vietnamese firms

The Vietnamese Embassy in the US coordinated with the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) of the US to organise an exchange with NFI members in Washington DC on September 17.

The event was held on the occasion of the week for policy consultation with the US Congress in the country’s capital city.

Vietnamese Vice Ambassador Pham Hung Tam said the event showed the NFI’s attention to enhancing partnership in fisheries trading with Vietnam.

He noted Vietnam has continually been among the top 10 fisheries exporters in the world. It has shipped its aquatic products to over 170 countries, with the US remaining the biggest market for many years.

In the first seven months of 2019, the US was among top four markets of Vietnamese aquatic products, with 802.56 million USD worth of aquatic products imported from Vietnam, up 1.1 percent from year on year.

For his part, NFI President John Connelly appreciated the Vietnamese Embassy and trade office’s organisation of the exchange. He said every year, after the summer break of the US Congress, the NFI holds activities to meet members of the parliament to reflect the views of fishery businesses so as to help create a policy environment favourable for the development of a transparent fishery market that most benefits society.

Over the last 10 years, the NFI has worked closely with the Vietnamese Embassy, trade office and enterprises to work on and submit policy proposals to help with the market development. Its members have also coordinated actively with Vietnamese businesses, thus contributing to the impressive development of the country’s fisheries sector, he noted.

Connelly added the NFI hopes to remain a companion to Vietnam to call on the US government to soon recognise Vietnam’s tra fish quality management process. It also wishes to continue cooperating with Vietnamese agencies and companies in the field of fisheries.

 
 
 
 
 
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