VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JULY 1

VN-Index hits new peak again on July 1

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JULY 1

The benchmark VN-Index on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) picked up 4.01 points to a new peak of 1,412.56 points in the last minutes of this morning’s trading session.

More than 452.4 million shares were traded for roughly 15.3 trillion VND (663.47 million USD). There were 180 stocks rising, 198 sliding and 55 ending flat.

The record was made on the back of considerable gains from multiple large-cap stocks, such as BVH (Bao Viet Holdings), FPT (FPT Corporation), GAS (PetroVietnam Gas JSC), MSN (Masan Group Corporation), HPG (Hoa Phat Group), PDR (Phat Dat Real Estate Development), and VNM (Vietnam Dairy Products JSC).

On the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX), the HNX-Index edged up 1.39 points to close the session at 324.71 points. Over 100.2 million shares, worth nearly 2.47 trillion VND, were traded on the northern bourse. There were 75 stocks increasing, 92 declining and 74 ending flat.

The UPCoM-Index for the unlisted public companies fell by 0.1 points to 90.15, with approximately 56 million stocks traded on the market for about 1.077 trillion VND.

However, foreign investors reversed to a net selling of 76.48 billion VND, after they net bought over 1.75 trillion VND a day prior./.

Ho Chi Minh City posts 5 percent growth in exports

Ho Chi Minh City exports were up 5.1 percent and imports saw a surge of 26 percent in the first half of this year as compared to the same period in 2020, resulting in a trade surplus of 4.53 billion USD, according to the municipal Statistic Office.

Due to the impact of the fourth wave of COVID-19, export turnover of many businesses in Ho Chi Minh City at border gates across the country in June fell 29.7 percent against May, registering 2.73 billion USD. Exports, excluding crude oil, reached 2.65 billion USD, down 28.3 percent over the previous month.

In the first six months of 2021, the export revenue hit 21.9 billion USD, up 5.1 percent year-on-year.

The city had five groups of goods with an export value of over 1 billion USD, accounting for 75 percent of the total export turnover. The export value of computers, electronic products and components was 7.7 billion USD, a decrease of 7.1 percent.

China remained the southern city’s biggest buyer, with a turnover of nearly 4.6 billion USD, accounting for 22.6 percent of the total and down 11.4 percent over the same period in 2020.  It was followed by the US, with 3.25 billion USD, making up 16 percent and up 0.3 percent year-on-year.

The FDI sector remained the main driving force in the city's import and export growth in the first half of 2021, with export turnover rising by 6.2 percent and imports increasing by 12.2 percent over the same period last year./.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau: Industrial production edges up 8.5 percent

Despite difficulties posed by COVID-19, the industrial production value, excluding oil and gas, of the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau was estimated to increase 8.44 percent in the first half of this year compared to the 6.47 percent growth in the same period last year.

According to the provincial Department of Statistics, the mining industry rose by 6.91 percent, the processing and manufacturing industry up 8.88 percent, and the electricity production and gas, hot water distribution up 5 percent, while water supply and waste treatment saw an increase of 6.87 percent. 

Nguyen Thu, head of the provincial Department of Statistics, attributed the increase to the storing and sufficient supplies of input materials for production by enterprises in the field of seafood processing, shoes and leather production, steel production, as well as orders for production until the end of 2021.

Also in the period, additional 22 new enterprises were operational, contributing to the increase in the local industrial production.

By the end of June, there had been a total of 495 valid investment projects in the province's industrial parks, with a total registered capital of more than 20 billion USD, including 226 domestic investment projects with total capital of 102.9 trillion VND and 1.5 billion USD; and 248 FDI projects worth 12.14 billion USD./.

Vietnamese lychees win favour in Japan
 

The initial batches of Vietnamese “thieu” lychees were shipped to Japan at the end of May under a contract signed between Japan’s Sunrise Farm and the Ameii Vietnam JSC. The lychees have been warmly received by Japanese consumers thanks to their rich aroma and sweetness as well as quality described as “top class”.

Vietnamese lychees have been well-known in Japan since they were first exported to the country last year. They meet all strict food safety and quarantine standards and have won over Japanese consumers.

Sales of Vietnamese lychees have been high in Japan despite the complexity of the pandemic, and prices are also high, at up to 1,280 JPY (11.60 USD) per kilo.

Breaking into the Japanese market helps improve the prestige and brand of Vietnamese lychees in the international market, while cementing a new and stable consumption channel.

Experts warned, however, that it will be a tougher task to maintain the fruit’s foothold in the market, which has strict food safety and quarantine requirements.

Popular in Japan, the lychees also brought great joy to Vietnamese people during the pandemic while creating an additional driver to grow exports to Japan./.

Binh Duong works hard to ensure COVID does not shut down industrial parks

Binh Duong Province has been ensuring it is business as usual at its 28 industrial parks since last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nguyen Binh Yen, a spokesperson for the Sao Viet JSC, said his company had 4,300 workers, and they all have to wear a mask, have their temperature checked, sanitise their hands, and keep a safe distance from each other, and so production continues uninterrupted.

Dien Quang Hiep, general director of Minh Phat Wood Company in Thuan An City, said his company has set up pandemic prevention teams at its gates where workers have to disinfect themselves, make health declarations and have their temperature checked.

Workers are required to make health declarations on paper forms or smartphones through the Bluezone tracing application.

Those found to have a fever are sent to a separate room for monitoring.

Banners and posters on how to safeguard oneself from COVID-19 can be found all over industrial parks.

For more than a month the province People's Committee and local authorities have been instructing districts, businesses and industrial parks to strictly comply with pandemic prevention measures.

The Binh Duong Industrial Parks Management Board has instructed IPs to regularly update their status on the COVID safety map to keep the public informed, closely monitor workers and set up pandemic inspection teams.

Nguyen Thanh Truc, deputy chairman of the People’s Committee, said the province was also working with health authorities and the IPs management board to organise drills and make plans to requisition factories and offices to quarantine up to 4,000 people if necessary.

Binh Duong is one of the top provinces in the country in terms of foreign investments, exports and economic growth. 

Vietnam, Tunisia look to boost trade ties

An online conference to promote trade cooperation between Vietnam and Tunisia took place on June 30, attracting the participation of representatives from 100 businesses of the two countries operating across fields.

Addressing the event, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) Le Hoang Tai affirmed that Vietnam is gradually becoming an important link in the global supply chain for many groups of processed and manufacturing products, farm produce, food and consumer goods.

The event offers a venue for Vietnamese enterprises to introduce business cooperation opportunities and import - export prospects between the two sides, Tai said.

Najeh Ben Abdessalem, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tunis capital, said the trade value between the two countries still remained limited, affirming that there is a large room for bilateral trade cooperation.

Sharing Abdessalem’s view, Ghazi Yacoub from the centre for export promotion of Tunisia (CEPEX) spotlighted the potential for trade cooperation between Vietnamese and Tunisian enterprises, especially in export-import.

Tunisia’s import turnover averagely increases by 4.75 percent per year, he said.

Through Tunisia, Vietnamese businesses can access markets in the Middle East and South Africa. On the contrary, Vietnam can serve as a gateway for Tunisian firms to make inroads into other ASEAN member countries.

Hoang Duc Nhuan, Vietnamese Trade Counsellor in Algeria and Tunisia, said the two sides need to improve their legal framework through signing agreements on the promotion and protection of investment, memoranda of understanding (MoUs) on trade promotion, and considering the possibility of setting up a Vietnam – Tunisia business council.

According to the Vietnam General Department of Customs, the Vietnam – Tunisia trade value reached 36.2 million USD in 2019.

Vietnam mainly exports coffee, cashew nuts, pepper, seafood, machines, spare parts and fibre. Meanwhile, Tunisia ships seafood, chemicals, machines, plastics, textiles and animal feed, and materials to Vietnam.

Nhuan emphasised the necessity to promote the role of diplomatic representative agencies, ministries and trade promotion organizations and joint committees of the two countries in supporting their business communities.

Attention should be paid to helping the two sides’ enterprises get more information on cooperation opportunities.

Vietnamese and Tunisian firms should also actively participate in international fairs and exhibitions, and business forums, he said.

Nhuan advised Vietnamese enterprises to consider pouring more investment into and setting up joint ventures in the field of processing, manufacturing and high-value-added services in Tunisia as a foundation for entering other African markets./.

Son La mangoes exported to Australia

Twenty-five tonnes of green-skinned mangoes from Mai Son district, Son La province, have just been exported to the Australian market.

The first batch of mangoes shipped to the Australian market affirms that Son La's mangoes are reputable and qualified to be exported to fastidious markets.

At the same time, it helps the province improve the reputation of mango quality, ensuring healthy competition in the market and protecting the legitimate interests of producers and consumers. The first shipment also helps the Son La mango become a national agricultural product brand.

The province has more than 19,000 hectares of mangoes, with output estimated at 65,000 tonnes. The harvest time is from May to August./. 

Long An’s economic growth in H1 ranks third in Mekong Delta

Long An province posted high growth in the first half of 2021 despite the negative impact of COVID-19, coming third amongst 13 Mekong Delta localities, according to the provincial People’s Committee.

The province’s economy expanded 6.06 percent in H1, higher than the 4.34 percent recorded in the same period last year.

The outcome made Long An rank fourth amongst eight cities and provinces in the country’s southern key economic region.

Of note, a number of industrial sectors have seen signs of recovery, as the index of industrial production rose 7.5 percent year on year. Power production and distribution increased 14.9 percent and construction 10.4 percent.

In the period, Long An authorities handed over investment licences to 77 domestic projects with a registered capital nearing 5.6 trillion VND (243.44 million USD), and 30 foreign ones worth over 3.2 billion USD.

The provincial People’s Committee asked relevant agencies to continue realising the dual targets of curbing the spread of COVID-19 and bolstering socio-economic development./.

Hanoi’s CPI rises 1.14 percent in H1

The consumer price index (CPI) of Hanoi in the first half of 2021 rose by 1.14 percent against the same period last year, according to the municipal Statistics Office.

In June, the city’s CPI increased 0.2 percent from the previous month, and 1.98 percent year-on-year.

Seven out of 11 commodity groups posted increasing prices in the January-June period, with transport costs experiencing the highest increase of 5.21 percent as petrol prices rose over the period.

It was followed by the group of education, and housing, electricity, water, fuel, and building materials, with respective increases of 2.71 percent and 2.58 percent.

The groups of culture, entertainment, and tourism services; postal services and telecommunications; and restaurant and catering services reported declines of 2.71 percent, 1.09 percent and 0.28 percent, respectively.

The price for gold climbed by 17.2 percent, while the price of US dollar decreased by 0.98 percent in the first six months./. 

Kien Giang exerts efforts to lift EC “yellow card”

The southern province of Kien Giang aims to resolutely minimise and end illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, develop and implement a project on consolidating and rearranging fishing vessels in the province to provide stable work for fishermen, ensuring sustainability in preventing IUU fishing.

Kien Giang province has made efforts to prevent IUU fishing, which has decreased sharply over the years. In the first quarter of 2021, authorities have fined nine cases involving nine persons with four fishing vessels violating foreign waters to fish illegally.

Boasting a huge water area of over 63,290sq.m, Kien Giang has some waters shared and overlapped with other countries in the region. On the other hand, several ship owners and fishermen have sailed to foreign waters for fishing for economic benefits.

According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, there are 9,881 operational fishing vessels with a length of 6m and above, including 9,433 fishing and 448 fishing logistics service ones. Currently, the province has 3,608 out of 3,623 fishing vessels that have installed VMS cruise monitoring equipment, while the remaining fishing vessels are on the way.

Secretary of the Kien Giang provincial Party Committee Do Thanh Binh has tasked subordinate Party units to urgently develop specific plans focusing on directing the serious, drastic and effective implementation of the goals, tasks and solutions set in the provincial Party Committee's Resolution No. 34-NQ/TU dated July 13, 2020 on strengthening management solutions to prevent fishing vessels and fishermen from violating foreign waters for illegal fishing.

The province is carrying out projects on sustainable development of marine aquaculture in Kien Giang province until 2030 and investigation into fishing occupations in coastal waters of Kien Giang; and restructuring the local fishing industry in order to develop the province's fisheries in a sustainable and effective way, contributing to preventing IUU fishing, and thus joining national efforts to remove the EC's "yellow card"./.

GI certificate – a booster for lychee exports

Obtaining a certificate of Geographical Indication (GI) helps facilitate the export of thieu lychee to fastidious international markets like Japan, according to Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Anh Duong.

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) has recently granted a certificate of Geographical Indication (GI) to lychees grown in Luc Ngan district, the northern province of Bac Giang, making it the first Vietnamese products to obtain the certificate in Japan.

Thieu lychee has already been granted geographical protection in six countries - China, Laos, Cambodia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Australia. The fruit has been exported to many countries worldwide.

MAFF’s certification of geographical indication for Thieu lychees proves that the quality of the product meets international standards, Duong said.

Director of the provincial Department of Cultivation Dang Van Tang said for the Japanese market, Bac Giang continues to grow Thieu lychees in 19 cultivation areas which were granted codes in 2020.

The locality has proposed codes be granted to 11 more planting areas, lifting the total area of Thieu lychee serving export to Japan to about 219 ha, with output of around 1,500 tonnes.

Chairman of the Luc Ngan district People’s Committee La Van Nam said Luc Ngan has over 15,000 ha of land under Thieu lychee, mostly in Hong Giang, Tan Son, Quy Son, and Giap Son communes. Many cultivation areas are applying the Global Good Agricultural Practices (GlobalGAP) and Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP), meeting requirements for domestic consumption and export.

According to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, the province expects to harvest about 160,000 tonnes of the fruit in 2021.

Bac Giang exported 200 tonnes of Thieu lychee to Japan in 2020.

A year after Japan first opened its market to Vietnamese lychees, the export and consumption of the fruit have been going smoothly despite COVID-19, Vietnam’s trade office in the Northeast Asian country said.

Ta Duc Minh, Trade Counsellor of Vietnam in Japan, said that due to the impact of the pandemic, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) didn’t send experts to monitor lychee packaging and sterilisation this year but instead authorised Vietnam’s plant quarantine agency to do so.

This helped save time and cost in preparing the lychees for export, creating better conditions for the fruit to enter Japan, he noted. 

The first batch of Vietnamese lychees, under a contract signed between Japan’s Sunrise Farm and the Ameii Vietnam JSC, will arrive in Japan on May 23.

Vietnamese exporters plan to ship about 1,000 tonnes of fresh lychees, which are now in season, to Japan this year, Minh said, attributing that outcome partly to the trade office’s early implementation of promotional activities in Tokyo and many other localities around the country.

The trade office is continuing to coordinate with relevant agencies in Vietnam and distribution networks in Japan to step up these efforts, helping the fruit become more popular among Japanese consumers, the Trade Counsellor added.

Vietnam began negotiating lychee exports to Japan in 2014. After five years, on December 15, 2019, the MAFF announced that Japan had officially opened its market to Vietnamese lychees but also requested that the fruit undergo a strict plant quarantine process prior to export.

In early June 2020, an agricultural expert from Japan was sent to Vietnam to monitor fruit packaging and sterilisation, completing the final step required by Japan for lychees to be shipped to the market.

Thieu lychees have been exported to 30 countries such as China and the EU, Russia, the US and Canada.

Lychee is the fourth kind of fruit from Vietnam that has successfully made inroad into the Japanese market, following dragon fruit, mango and banana./.

Dong Nai’s export growth exceeds 34 percent in first half

The southern province of Dong Nai’s total export value neared 11.6 billion USD during the January – June period, an annual growth of 34.17 percent.

According to the provincial statistics department, the State-owned and private sectors contributed 276.69 million USD and 2.2 billion USD to the sum, while the foreign-funded sector more than 9.1 billion USD. These figures represented on-year increases of 20.7, 30.46, and 35.54 percent, respectively.

Most export products enjoyed good growth in the first half. Nine groups, including woodwork, machinery and spare parts, apparel, and computers-electronic devices, saw their total values surpassing 8 billion USD.

The US was the province’s biggest export market with a turnover of over 3.4 billion USD, accounting for 29.72 percent of the total export value, followed by China (over 1.253 billion USD), Japan (over 1.027 billion USD) and the Republic of Korea (589.97 million USD).

To sustain growth in the last half, Dong Nai has planned to intensify its support measures targeting businesses, particularly small- and medium-sized ones and startups. It will also focus on industrial restructuring prioritising high-tech, support, and spearhead industries, while speeding up the building of new industrial parks to attract investment./.

AEON event promoting Vietnamese products in Japan

Some 350 stores and supermarkets around Japan belonging to retail giant AEON, along with its website, are displaying a diverse range of products during the “Vietnamese Goods Week” that kicked off on June 25.

 

Products on display include fresh fruit like lychees and bananas, food, garments and textiles, leather and footwear items, household utensils, and handicrafts.

AEON has imported 30 tonnes of lychees from the northern provinces of Bac Giang and Hai Duong, given the fruit’s popularity around Japan.

Apart from lychees, AEON has also focused on promoting Vietnamese bananas in order to diversify the Vietnamese fruit on offer in Japan.

According to figures from the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Vietnam earned 1.8 billion USD from exporting agricultural and fishery products to Japan last year, up 0.1 percent from 2019./.

Vietjet sets 2021 revenue target of 945 million USD this year

Vietjet Aviation Joint Stock Company (HoSE: VJC) targets a consolidated revenue of 21.9 trillion VND (945 million USD) in 2021, achieving year-on-year growth of 20 percent.

In particular, Vietjet will strive to achieve an air transport revenue of 15.5 trillion VND (670 million USD) by the year-end.

These figures were announced at the company's Annual General Meeting of Shareholders 2021 in Ho Chi Minh on June 29.

Such goals will be mainly driven by an exponential increase in cargo revenue, new services in air transport, personnel training and aircraft maintenance and several investments in projects and finance, according to Vietjet.

Vietjet will keep revolving around its customer-focused strategy while striving for innovation and creativity. It is expected to digitalise every service available and operation protocols, growing business while improving its productivity and service quality.

In 2021, it is aiming to have its passenger load factor reaching 80 percent, on-time performance standing at over 90 percent, and to serve up to 15 million passengers across its flight network.

Vietjet’s President and CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao said: “As a better future lies ahead, we’ll work hard and relentlessly to make it come closer.”

In his speech at the event, General Director of Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam Dinh Viet Thang praised Vietjet’s enormous efforts to remove obstacles and sustain its business during the pandemic, especially in abiding by strict COVID-19 prevention regulations.

He said that the company had played an active role in many of the Government’s campaigns including repatriating Vietnamese overseas and airlifting disease prevention equipment.

Deputy Minister of Transport Le Anh Tuan said he believed that Vietjet would be able to stay on this track once the pandemic is over.

During the event, Vietjet shareholders also allowed the Board of Directors (BOD) to decide on a plan to raise charter capital through private placement of shares at a maximum of 15 percent of the charter capital in order to guarantee sufficient resources for a safe and efficient comeback of Vietjet.

The BOD will also consider a 300 million USD international bond offering in 2021-22 to allow Vietjet to improve its financial position and to stay on track of sustainable growth.

The shareholders also passed an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) to issue up to 10 million shares. It is expected to give a boost to innovation and creativity, encouraging the working spirit and employee retention for the sake of Vietjet’s development./.

Business community plays important role in Vietnam-US ties: Deputy PM

The US business community plays an important role in promoting economic partnership between Vietnam and the US, stated Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh at an online talks with US firms on June 30 to exchange visions, initiatives and solutions in promoting bilateral ties and supporting Vietnam in post-pandemic recovery and development.

At the event, which gathered representatives of nearly 500 US firms, Minh affirmed that the Vietnamese Government is working hard in implementing the dual targets of controlling COVID-19 and boosting economic growth.

He noted that Vietnam has maintained positive growth, with expansion of 2.91 percent in 2020 and 5.64 percent in the first half of 2021. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund forecast that the Vietnamese economy will expand 6.5 percent this year.

The Deputy PM affirmed that economic cooperation plays a key role in the Vietnam-US relations. Two-way trade has grown strongly to 90 billion USD in 2020 from 450 million USD in 1994.

Over the years, the US has been the largest export market of Vietnam, while the country is on the 11th position out of 40 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with total capital of nearly 10 billion USD. Combining with investment through a third country, US investors have poured over 14 billion USD in Vietnam, noted Minh, adding that many leading American firms are operating profitably in Vietnam in many areas.

Deputy PM Minh recognised and highly valued contributions by the US businesses, including the US Chamber of Commerce, US-ASEAN Business Council, and Business Council for International Understanding, in deepening the economic ties between the two countries.

The Vietnamese Government is always willing to listen to straightforward and constructive opinions from US firms regarding the country’s investment and business environment, as well as ideas on measures and solutions to lift up ties between the two countries, especially in economy, trade and investment, stated Minh.

On this occasion, the Deputy PM lauded the US commitment of 4 billion USD to the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) initiative, expressing a hope that the Government and businesses of the US will continue assisting Vietnam in accessing vaccine sources as well as vaccine production technology, thus soon overcoming COVID-19 impacts to recover the economy.

Representatives of the US firms hailed Vietnam’s achievements in COVID-19 prevention and control, as well as the economic cooperation potential between the two countries.

They gave a number of ideals on how to foster bilateral cooperation in digital economy, infrastructure building, renewable and green energy, and sustainable development, as well as collaboration in areas of Vietnam’s demand and the US’s strength.

They spoke highly of the close coordination among ministries, sectors and localities of Vietnam in seeking measures to remove difficulties and obstacles facing foreign investors, including those from the US.

Participants discussed a number of initiatives and solutions to support Vietnam in accessing vaccine supplies and seeking cooperation in vaccine production, as well as in the post-pandemic economic recovery and development./

Hanoi posts export growth of 4.5 percent in H1

Hanoi earned 7.16 billion USD from exports in the first half of 2021, up 4.5 percent year on year, the municipal Statistics Office estimated.

Some commodities with good export growth include mobile phones and parts (177 million USD, doubling the figure in the same period of 2020), footwear (176 million USD, up 47.7 percent), timber and wood products (313 million USD, up 22.3 percent), and machinery and spare parts (885 million USD, up 16.8 percent).

Overseas shipments in the second quarter stood at 3.78 billion USD, rising 11.7 percent from Q1 and 2 percent from a year earlier.

During the first six months, the city’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) grew 5.91 percent from a year earlier, the office noted, adding that the agro-forestry-fishery sector rose 3.09 percent, industry and construction 7.74 percent, and services 5.74 percent.

The GRDP rose 5.17 percent in Q1 and 6.61 percent in Q2.

Office Director Dau Ngoc Hung said the six-month economic growth is faster than the 2.92-percent pace recorded in H1 of 2020 but still slower than that in the same period of previous years.

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted production and business activities, with tourism, hotels, restaurants, and entertainment services hit hardest, he noted.

However, the industrial sector has continued recovering. The index of industrial production went up 9.7 percent year on year in Q2 and 8.7 percent during January - June, data show.

Meanwhile, Hanoi attracted 694.3 million USD of foreign direct investment in H1, including 96.1 million USD poured into 171 new projects, 477.7 million USD added to 78 existing projects, and 120.5 million USD spent on contributing capital or buying shares of local enterprises.

The June consumer price index (CPI) inched up 0.2 percent from the previous month, 1.41 percent from last December, and 1.98 percent year on year. The six-month index increased 1.14 percent from the same period of 2020, the Statistics Office reported./.

Free trade agreements fuel growth of seaport operators

The volume of cargo going through seaports has been on the increase thanks to free trade agreements (FTAs).

Total throughput of Vietnam’s seaports reached 302.42 million of tonnes in the first five months of the year, excluding goods in transit, a year-on-year rise of 7 percent, according to the Vietnam Maritime Administration.

The volume included 10.33 million TEUs of containers, surging 24 percent in the same period last year.

In May alone, the volume of freights reached 63.94 million tonnes, up 5 percent, while that of container goods 2.2 million TEUs, a year-on-year growth of 35 percent.

Two FTAs with substantial impact on freight volume through seaports are the EU-Vietnam FTA and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), according to experts.

In addition, an increasing number of deepwater ports helps firms in the sector gain more advantages.

Some businesses have launched new projects to bolster the services. Gemadept Corporation plans to launch two deepwater seaport projects in the southern region in the third and fourth quarters, which are set to be operational in 2023.

The corporation will invest nearly 264 million USD in the two projects, which will have a capacity of 900,000 TEUs and 500,000 TEUs per year, respectively.

Meanwhile, in the north, the Port of Hai Phong JSC plans to transform the Hoang Dieu terminal for commercial use and invest in another deepwater port in the third quarter of this year./.

HCM City’s CPI rises 0.22 percent in June

The June consumer price index of Ho Chi Minh City recorded a month-on-month rise of 0.22 percent, according to the city’s Statistics Office.

Among the groups of products and services in the CPI basket, a 0.38 percent increase was seen in restaurant and catering services.
 
The food and foodstuff group registered a rise of 0.37 percent, with food up 0.46 percent due to the high demand for people to buy and reserve food amid the pandemic. 

A hike of 0.76 percent was registered in the transport category, mostly due to the upward adjustment of petrol and fuel prices. 

Meanwhile, the culture, entertainment and tourism category showed a decrease of 0.01 percent, the group of drugs and medical services remained unchanged.
 
Thereby, the average CPI in the first 6 months of 2021 in the city rose by 2.12 percent  compared to the average of the same period in 2020. 

According to the City Statistics Department, the gold price index in June increased by 1.77 percent and the USD price index went down by 0.16 percent compared to the previous month./.

Masan Group Corp. increases stake in The CrownX to 84.9 percent

The Masan Group Corporation and its subsidiary company, The CrownX, on July 1 announced the acquisition of the latter’s shares from minority shareholders, increasing Masan’s direct and indirect stakes in it from 80.2 percent to 84.9 percent.

The Masan management board believes the transaction represents optimal use of the company’s cash because of its trust in the growth and profit trajectory of The CrownX.

Danny Le, Chief Executive Officer of the Masan Group Corporation, said: “We will hit a key milestone this year with VinCommerce (VCM) becoming profitable. We are turning our focus on expansion to build the nation’s number one network while keeping our profit momentum intact.

“This turnaround gives us confidence to invest big to accelerate our offline-to-online strategy. We believe The CrownX is undervalued based on its expected 2021 financial performance and its current valuation does not price in the upside of our off-to-online platform.”

The CrownX is a consumer-retail platform that currently consolidates Masan’s interests in Masan Consumer Holdings and VinCommerce.

With respect to VinCommerce, based on achieving breakeven earnings before interest and tax for the month of June, management sees a path to deliver positive earnings in the second half of 2021, inclusive of headquarter costs.

VinCommerce plans to expand its store network back to 3,000 . Its like-for-like growth posted in the first half of the year is supplemented by opening 300-500 VinMart (VMP) minimarts by year end.

The new stores are projected to deliver breakeven EBITDA in six to 12 months due to a revamped and more efficient supply chain model, total commercial margin uplift and a winning assortment to drive consumer traffic.

Besides the store-in-store Phuc Long Kiosk has and will drive traffic and profitability for VinMart, with 50 pilot stores operational by the end of June 2021 expected to generate 5 million VND (217 USD) additional sales per day in which VinCommerce has a 20 percent revenue sharing arrangement.

The management board forecasts 1,100 kiosks will be operational across VinMart locations by the year-end.

The additional 1 million VND revenue per day (20 percent of 5 million VND per day per kiosk) is expected to enhance EBITDA margins by 4 percent for each VinMart store that has a Phuc Long Kiosk.

The management board expects to ramp up the online partnership with Lazada to drive grocery as a daily online use case.

The pilot of four-hour express delivery from 14 VinMart supermarkets in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi with a winning portfolio of 2,000 pre-selected SKU’s, where fresh products acts as a differentiator, has delivered strong early results.

The Masan Consumer Holdings posted double-digit top- and bottom-line growth in the first half of this year, despite an overall decline in the FMCG market in the period.

The growth continues to be driven by innovations launched over the past eight quarters and management preparing for big innovations as the FMCG market recovers in the second half of the year.

Alibaba Group and Baring Private Equity Asia did not sell their shares as part of the transaction.

The management board plans to raise a further 300-400 million USD at The CrownX in the second half of the year./.

Vietnam’s green mangos promoted in Australia

A programme popularising Vietnam’s green mangos is being held in Australia till the end of July, after five tonnes of the fruit have arrived in the country.

The batch was imported by Melbourne-based Dalat Import-Export Company and distributed by ASEAN Produce Pty Company.

Another batch of 25 tonnes of Son La green mangos, exported by Rong Do Company, is also expected to be delivered soon.

As part of the programme, the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia is also working to add Vietnamese green mangos to restaurants’ menus.

Accordingly, An Viet restaurant chain in Sydney agreed to not only bring green mangos to its menus but also place orders and deliver them to consumers.

The office also offered a prize worth 500 AUD for a lucky consumer who buys green mangos or orders dishes made from the fruit.

It also launched marketing campaigns on social media and called on residents to buy mangos in Sydney and Melbourne.

Consumers will also have a chance to win prizes such as Vietnamese coffee branded Dr. Nam.

In the first four months of this year, Vietnam exported mangos worth 275,000 USD to Australia.

Since 2019, green mangos have been chosen by the office to step up marketing, together with frozen durian, rice and other farm produce. In 2020, green mango exports to Australia doubled the volume in the previous year.

In the first five months of 2021, Vietnam’s farm produce exports to Australia surged by 51 percent year-on-year to over 34 million USD./.

Vietnamese lychee wins British consumers' hearts

A two-tonne batch of lychees imported for the first time from Vietnam were sent to supermarkets in the UK on June 30.

The fresh fruits were imported by the London-based TT Meridian company under the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.

In order to meet stringent food safety standards of the UK market, TT Meridian has cooperated with FUSA Organic Agriculture Joint Stock Company in Vietnam to select lychees grown in farms meeting Global GAP standards in Luc Ngan district, the northern province of Bac Giang.

The lychees are packed in clear plastic boxes with traceability stamps of the Trade Promotion Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, allowing consumers to quickly look up the origin of the product.

To ensure the taste of the lychee, the fruits were transported by air from the Noi Bai International Airport to the UK's Heathrow airport.

Thai Tran, Operation Manager of Meridian, said the UK has very high requirements on quality, design and technical standards for imported farm produce, so his company and other partners had to make very careful preparations for the batch of fruit.

He added that with the UK-Vietnam FTA, there are more chances for Vietnamese farm produce to enter this market, but Vietnamese producers and exporters have to pay attention to the market's standards in order to gain and maintain a foothold there./. 

Vietnam constitutes potential market for British electronics firms: webinar

Vietnam is a potential market for British firms operating in the electronics industry, Do Nhat Hoang, Director of the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency, said at a webinar on June 30.
 
The webinar discussed potential and advantages when investing in Vietnam’s growing electronics industry. It saw the participation of numerous British businesses. 

Vietnam is now the 12th biggest electronics exporter in the world and the third largest in Southeast Asia. The export value of the electronics products doubled to 96.9 billion USD in 2019 from 47.3 billion USD four years earlier.

The flow of foreign investment in the field also posted strong growth in the period with the presence of giants such as Samsung Electronics, Intel, and LG Electronics.

In addition, Vietnam ranks fourth in the Asia-Pacific region in foreign direct investment attraction.

At the webinar, Hoang pointed out strengths of the Vietnamese market, particularly its strategic location in the region, political stability and open investment policy with many incentives, among others.

The nation recorded the highest economic growth in Asia in 2020 and its gross domestic production (GDP) is projected to reach 7 percent this year.

Furthermore, 60 percent of surveyed foreign businesses affirmed that they will expand investment in Vietnam, he added.

Hoang called on British firms to bolster investment in Vietnam in general and the electronics industry in particular, as cooperation potential between the two countries remain huge after the signing of the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement./.

Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/Nhan Dan/Hanoitimes

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JUNE 30

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JUNE 30

Australia reduces coffee imports from Vietnam

 
 

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