VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JUNE 27

Vietnamese firms’ overseas investment rises nearly 2.5-fold in H1

Overseas investment by Vietnamese firms neared 547 million USD in the first half of 2021, rising close to 2.5 folds against the same period last year, according to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

As many as 24 new projects with a combined registered capital of 143.8 million USD were granted investment certificates in the months, equivalent to 77.6 percent of the same period last year.

Over 403 million USD were added to nine existing projects in H1. They included two projects of the Vingroup conglomerate and its automobile arm Vinfast which were adjusted up by 300 million USD and 32 million USD in the US and Germany, respectively.

Among the 12 fields of investment, Vietnamese firms channeled 270.8 million USD into science-technology projects, accounting for nearly half of the total. Wholesale and retails came second with 148.6 million USD.

The US was the top destination for Vietnamese capital in the period with 302.8 million USD, holding a lion’s share of 55.4 percent.

Cambodia ranked second with 89.2 million USD, followed by Canada and France.

As of June 20, Vietnam had 1,420 valid overseas projects totaling 21.8 billion USD, mainly in the sectors of mining (36.4 percent of total capital) and agro-forestry-fisheries.

Laos was the largest recipient of Vietnam’s overseas investment, making up 23.7 percent of the total capital, followed by Cambodia (13.1 percent) and Russia (nearly 13 percent)./.

Viet Nam attracts over US$15 billion of FDI in six months

Foreign investors have poured US$15.27 billion into Viet Nam so far this year, equivalent to 97.4 per cent of the amount recorded in the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).

The ministry reported that as of June 20, $9.55 billion had been injected into 804 newly-licensed projects, up 13.2 per cent year on year.

Meanwhile, $4.12 billion had been added into 460 underway projects, a year on year rise of 10.6 per cent. Foreign investors also poured $1.61 billion in share purchase deals in Viet Nam, according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, the disbursement of FDI in the period rose 6.8 per cent year on year to $9.24 billion.

Among the 18 sectors attracting FDI, manufacturing-processing lured the highest amount at $6.98 billion, accounting for 45.7 per cent of the total investment, followed by power production and distribution with $5.34 billion, making up nearly 35 per cent of the total investment.

Singapore leads the 80 countries and territories investing in Viet Nam with an investment of $5.64 billion, followed by Japan with $2.44 billion, and the Republic of Korea with $2.05 billion.

As of June 20, the country had hosted 33,787 FDI projects worth $397.89 billion in total, of which $241.1 billion, or 60 per cent, had been disbursed.

The export revenue of the foreign-invested sector has continued to rise at 32.2 per cent to $116 billion (including crude oil), accounting for 74.1 per cent of the country’s total export revenue. The sector’s revenue excluding crude oil reached $115.3 billion, up 32.6 per cent year on year.

The sector imported $102.6 billion worth of goods in the period, up 38.7 per cent year on year. As a result, in the first half of this year, it enjoyed a trade surplus of $13.4 billion including revenue from crude oil

The MPI also reported a trade deficit of $14.9 billion by domestic businesses.

The Vietnamese economy has fared better than most during the COVID-19 pandemic and is well placed to capture renewed FDI interest, according to an article posted on the UK website lexology.com on June 23.

The article said in recent years, the Vietnamese Government has focused on opening its market while also boosting its international trade ties. After joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2007 and many regional conventional trade agreement with the US, China, Europe, Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK) and most of the significant economies in the world, the country has become a member of the “new era” global free trade agreements that form the biggest trading blocs of the world today such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as well as free trade agreements with the European Union, Japan and the RoK.

It noted that Viet Nam’s position in the World Bank’s annual ease of doing business ratings has climbed from 91 out of 183 countries in 2010 to 70 out of 190 countries in 2019, adding that the country has also begun to look beyond low-tech manufacturing to high value added and high tech sectors of the new economy, industry 4.0 and digital transformation.

Aware of the ability to hold on to its competitive edge in the cheap manufacturing space is very limited, Viet Nam has thrown its weight behind high-value industries such as electronics and software engineering, positioning itself to capitalise upon the fourth industrial revolution.

The electronics industry is one of the country’s fastest-growing. The value of its electronics exports rose from $47.3 billion in 2015 to $96 billion in 2020, accounting for a third of national exports. In the global ranking of electronics exporters, Viet Nam has climbed from 47th place in 2001 to 12th place in 2019.

The article cited statistics of the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade data which showed that FDI firms accounted for 95 per cent of electronics export revenue in the first quarter of 2021. It affirmed that there is little reason to suspect that this trend will change in the coming years.

Viet Nam has committed to climbing the manufacturing value chain through FDI and has been working for years to upskill its population in preparation. The Vietnamese government’s economic and regulatory efforts will help drive FDI towards the Southeast Asian nation in the coming years, wrote the article. 

Cold storage market faces serious lack of capacity
 
     

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JUNE 27
Demand for cold storage is increasing sharply as consumers in Viet Nam turn to online shopping. — Photo Baodautu.vn

 
 
 
The trend of shoppers going online en masse is driving demand for cold storage facilities, something that is in severe short supply in Viet Nam.

Nguyen Quoc Trinh, chairman of the Long An Dragon Fruit Association, said June is the peak harvest season for many agricultural products in Long An, but exports remain difficult and local consumers have tended to switch online due to the Covid-19 epidemic, causing severe congestion and overload at cold storages.

Seafood is the other product that requires the largest cold storage capacity.

Trang Bui, senior director of markets, JLL Viet Nam, said in fact seafood exports top the list.

During the peak COVID period, 30 - 50 per cent of seafood export orders were cancelled, leading to an increase in inventories, forcing cold storages to work at maximum capacity.

Supply is constrained in part because cold storages take more time to build than other types of logistics facilities and more expensive than standard warehouses, she said.

They cost two to three times more, and the lease term is usually only 15-20 years, making the already scarce supply even scarcer, she said.

Besides, the industry requires expertise in temperature maintenance since each fruit, vegetable, meat, and fish has its own temperature requirements, and this explains why of the thousands of companies in the logistics sector only a few set up cold chains, she said.

JLL Viet Nam said cold storage demand would continue to grow strongly for at least the next half decade as global consumers change their shopping behaviour due to the pandemic.

With its huge potential real estate for cold storage is now attracting the attention of investors, venture capital funds and lenders.

They are also considering it an alternative to traditional industrial real estate, while logistics companies looking to expand into new markets.

The Louis Holdings Group has invested VND250 billion (US$10.7 million) in vegetable processing and cold storage facilities in Long An Province.

Huynh Quang Vinh, general director of Louis Holdings Group, said the plant would focus on exports of the main agricultural products of Long An Province and surrounding areas such as jackfruit, dragon fruit, pineapple, and mango.

With a capacity of four tonnes per hour, it is expected that the plant will supply 15,000-20,000 tonnes of agricultural products to the global food supply chain.

Ken Research, a global publisher of market intelligence, said that in 2016-21 the Viet Nam cold chain industry grew at a compound annual growth rate of 10.4 per cent.

It expects the market to be worth US$1.8 billion this year.

JICA intensifies collaboration with Vietnam in several fields in FY2021

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) plans to focus on health, public investment and human resource development in its activities in Vietnam in fiscal year 2021, which began on April 1, JICA's chief representative in Vietnam Shimizu Akira has confirmed.

According to Shimizu, in recent years, Vietnam has been among the countries that register the most successful cooperation with JICA in the health field, reflected in the projects to upgrade Bach Mai hospital in Hanoi and Cho Ray hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, along with stepping up the implementation of preventive measures against infectious diseases.

JICA also offered assistance in improving the testing capacity of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, the Pasteur Institute of Ho Chi Minh City, as well as providing medical supplies for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Appreciating the country’s performance in the pandemic fight , he expressed the hope that vaccines will be distributed fairly and quickly around the world, including Vietnam.

Regarding public investment, Shimizu said that the Japanese agency has helped Vietnam promote investment in socio-economic infrastructure projects, which is seen as an effective measures to boost the national economy and improve the people's living conditions.

He cited as examples projects to upgrade the Noi Bai international airport in Hanoi, Tan Son Nhat international airport in Ho Chi Minh City, build the urban railway route No. 1 in HCM City, among others.

JICA also provided assistance to high-quality human resource development projects in several universities in Vietnam, while collaborating with localities in organising courses that connect Vietnamese and Japanese companies, he added.

The year 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Vietnam. In celebration, JICA will work closely with the Vietnamese Government to continue supporting the country in both building facilities and enhancing technical cooperation and developing a win-win relationship, he added./.

Vietnamese food favoured by Japanese female tourists

Vietnam was the only country that was chosen by Japanese female tourists for its good food, according to a Cambodia/Laos/Myanmar/Vietnam travel sentiment survey. 

The survey was conducted by the ASEAN-Japan Centre  and Valise Inc. with the participation of Japanese females who had travelled overseas at least once in 2019. About 90 percent of the surveyed females aged 20-29 and 30-39.

According to the survey 24 percent of the respondents said they choose Vietnam for its delicious food; 17 percent for its cities/towns/streets they want to visit; 15 percent for its tourist spots, and 12 percent for inexpensive cost.

The survey also showed a number of shortcomings of Vietnamese tourism to such group, including high travel costs and a lack of information on local transportation.

According to the Japan National Tourism Organisation, the number of Japanese people traveling abroad surpassed 20 million for the first time in 2019, with women aged 20-29 topping the list in terms of both age and gender./.

Applying science-technology advance for sustainable development of salangane farming

Researchers and businesses are applying many scientific and technological measures to salangane farming to produce valuable products but more should be done for sustainable development of the industry, according to experts.

Businesses and individuals raising swiftlets on the islands have pushed up research and application of science and technology advances to deal with many problems arising from climate change. Such high technologies as artificial hatching egg swiftlets or farming nestlings have been applied.

The farming swiftlets for their edible bird’s nest have been booming throughout the country in recent years.

The nests are considered to have a high nutritional and medicinal value to promote good health, according to traditional Chinese medicine.

There are two types of swiftlets in Vietnam, house-farmed and natural ones.

However, both of them require technical intervention from human to improve the living environment, increasing the species’ productivity and making nests.

According to scientists, the potential for the development of swiftlet farming in Vietnam is high. The country has a coastline of over 3,440 km with nearly 4,000 islands which are advantages for the development of the species.

Farming swiftlets for their edible nests with commercial purpose have flourished over the past ten years. In Vietnam, swiftlets are raised in more than 40 provinces and cities, mostly in the Mekong River Delta.

In south-central Khanh Hoa province, the edible bird’s nest has been famous for a long time and built into a national brand. It has the largest output of bird’s nest and the best quality in the country.

According to Dao Tu Xuyen, former director of Phu Yen province’s Department of Science and Technology, although the potential and prospect of developing bird's nest farming in Vietnam is very big, due investment hasn’t been poured into scientific and technological research.

Nguyen Van Trong, deputy director of the Department of Livestock Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, agreed, saying there should be close coordination between research institutes, domestic and foreign universities, organisations and individuals on swiftlet farming to promote research and the application of scientific and technological advances.

In addition, it is necessary to apply modern technology with ecological environmental protection as well as protecting intellectual property rights of individuals and organisations on the achievement of scientific research on swiftlet farming, he said./.

Vietnam bolsters efforts for sustainable development of marine livelihoods

The theme of this year's World Oceans Day is 'The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods', which creates an opportunity for all-level agencies, sectors and localities to show their resolve in implementing the national strategy on sustainable development of the sea-based economy. 

Marine-based livelihoods have been developing in both scope and scale in Vietnam, in line with the real needs and the country’s policy on sustainably developing the sea-based economy. 

However, Vietnam’s coastal areas and waters are facing greater threats posed by increasing extreme weather conditions such as rising sea levels and mega storms, not to mention the serious impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which gravely affect the livelihoods and production activities of coastal communities, according to Ta Dinh Thi, Director General of the Vietnam Administration of Seas and Islands (VASI). 

Thi underlined that to sustain marine-based livelihoods, marine resources must be used in an appropriate and cost-saving manner. 

He recommended building specific strategies on marine livelihoods for fishermen, stressing that they must be closely associated with the protection of the environment and the ocean.

In addition, one of the effective measures to protect and develop sustainable marine livelihoods is to foster coordination with countries and international organisations in seeking financial and technical aid, in a bid to raise capacity in marine diversity conservation.

The World Oceans Day this year marked the start of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and gather ocean stakeholders worldwide behind a common framework that will ensure ocean science can fully support countries in creating improved conditions for sustainable development of the Ocean./.

HCM City needs nearly 29.8 million USD for mid-term public investment plan

Ho Chi Minh City needs nearly 686 trillion VND (29.8 million USD) for its mid-term investment plan for the 2021-25 period, heard the first meeting of the 10th municipal People’s Council on June 25.

Of the sum, the city’s budget is estimated at 672.86 trillion VND, which will be earmarked for over 5,000 projects in line with the southern hub’s socio-economic development plan.

More than 13 trillion VND is projected to come from the State budget.

Priority will be given to programmes fostering collective economy and cooperatives in the 2021-25 of the city.

The municipal People’s Council assigned the People’s Committee to keep a close eye and suggest the Prime Minister and centrally-run agencies consider and supplement the mid-term public investment plan in the period and the State budget, so as to help the city carry out the projects.

The Committee has requested reviewing the projects, especially new ones, in a bid to ensure effectiveness./.

Hanoi focuses on maintaining craft villages’ traditional value amid COVID-19 pandemic

Despite facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, craft villages in Hanoi have managed to balance between maintaining production and preservation of traditional values.

With 1,350 craft villages, Hanoi boasts the most traditional craft villages and most talented artisans in Vietnam.

Ha Thai lacquer village in Duyen Thai commune in Hanoi’s outlying district of Thuong Tin is a typical example.

It has more than 300 households engaged in the craft with over 1,500 labourers.

Lacquer products of Ha Thai village have been known for their high quality and durable thanks to the skilful and creativeness of craftsmen.

They do not only have a foothold in the domestic market but also export to the world markets such as France, the United States and Spain, accounting for 60 percent of the total products of the village.

Do Trong Doan, a local artisan, said they encountered many difficulties due to bad sales of lacquer products.

He attributed it to the fact that the quality of human resources was not high.

The low competitiveness in the international market and unstable of material supply were also problems. However, local households have still strived to overcome challenges, seeking relevant sales model and maintain production in this difficult condition.

A similar situation was also reported in other traditional craft villages.

Pham Khac Ha, Chairman of the Van Phuc Silk Weaving Village Association in Ha Dong district said, given the complicated developments of COVID-19, pandemic prevention and control along with resuming production and trade are big challenges for craft villages.

Some businesses and production facilities have started selling their products on social networks and obtaining encouraging results, he said.

Many establishments have also taken part in domestic exhibitions and fairs to exploit the consumption market and capture the tastes of customers.

Attention has been paid to creating patterns and types of products to make them more attractive, Ha said.

Realising the shortcomings of craft villages, the Hanoi Handicraft and Craft village Association has supported its members participating in the programme to consult and design new handicraft products to develop the domestic market and for export.

Vocational and business administration training programme related to craft villages were also offered to the members to help them have more skills and ideas to produce new products which meet the market demand. Thus, they can improve their knowledge of corporate governance, research and apply new technology to save input costs and raise the competitiveness and value for the products.

Preservation of traditional values

Craft villages in Hanoi haven't only overcome difficulty to develop production but also concentrated on promoting their traditional values.

Hoang Quoc Chinh, Chairman of the Da Sy Craft Village Association in Ha Dong district, said he was so proud of a long history of blacksmithing in the village.

The forging of tools have been happening in Da Sy village since the end of the 16th century.

Experiencing many ups and downs of the trade and associating with the struggle for national liberation, Da Sy forging village is constantly developing and playing an important role in locals’ life.

Furthermore, the village has become a national relic. During a visit to  Da Sy village, tourists do not only to learn about traditional craft, but also make their own products. Therefore, Ha Dong authorities have created favourable conditions for its production and business activities in order to preserve and bring into play the traditional craft in the 2020-2025 period.

In Van Phuc silk village, local authorities have encouraged artisans to align with tourist companies to bring visitors back to the craft village.

Ha Thi Vinh, chairwoman of the Hanoi Handicraft and Craft Village Association, suggested that Hanoi authorities facilitate the sustainable development of craft villages by creating favourable conditions for the young generation to attach long-term commitment to the profession and preserving cultural identity in their own homeland.

Schools and vocational training centres should be encouraged to compile separate textbooks for students on product design and professional skills for each type of products.

It is necessary for the city to launch a movement to motivate young people to join vocational training for the development of local profession, Vinh said, adding that it is one of the effective solutions to preserve traditional craft./.

Cairns Group steps up reform in rules of agricultural trade in WTO

 

Ministers of 19 agricultural exporting countries in Cairns Group, including Vietnam, have recently issued a joint statement to step up reform in rules of agricultural trade within the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The statement was issued following an informal ministerial-level meeting which was held virtually under the chair of Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan.

Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai, head of the Vietnam Mission to the United Nations, WTO and international organisations in Geneva attended the event.

In the statement, ministers underlined that it is essential for the WTO’s Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC12) to deliver an ambitious, concrete and equitable outcome in agricultural trade.

Reform of agricultural trade rules is long overdue. Article 20 of the Agreement on Agriculture mandated negotiations for the continuation of the multilateral reform process in agriculture. Agriculture remains the most protected and distorted sector globally. Reducing barriers to trade and market distortions is a critical pathway to enable countries to raise incomes and standards of living, provide employment and ensure sustainable development. In addition, rising global food insecurity, climate change and sustainable development challenges underline the urgency for such reforms.

According to the statement, taking meaningful steps towards reform at MC12 to make agricultural trade more predictable, open, fair and market oriented would also form part of an essential response of the multilateral trading system to the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and help advance global food security.

Cairns Group ministers underlined the role of agricultural trade to achieve the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular, SDG 1 “End poverty in all its forms” and SDG 2 “Zero Hunger”. They reaffirmed that development lies at the heart of the multilateral trading system and agricultural trade reforms must continue to support the economic development needs of WTO developing members.

The reform process must deliver substantial progressive reductions in support and protection, and not result in the maintenance of the status quo or a reversal of Uruguay Round commitments.

Ministers called for a Ministerial Decision at MC12 that addresses agricultural trade- and production-distorting domestic support. This Ministerial Decision must be of sufficient ambition and specificity to enable meaningful reform of trade- and production-distorting domestic support entitlements. To this end, ministers of the Cairns Group underscored that the Framework for Negotiations on Domestic Support should be the basis for this Decision.

The Cairns Group reiterated its commitment to work with other WTO members and groups in a collaborative and constructive effort to secure a meaningful and ambitious outcome in agriculture at MC12, in line with the reform mandate set in Article 20 of the Agreement on Agriculture.

MC12 will be the WTO’s first Ministerial Meeting in four years and the first since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an important opportunity to deliver meaningful agricultural trade reform, they said.

Cairns Group accounts for about 25 percent of farm produce export globally. Ukraine has joined the group as an observer since 2019 and Australia served as a coordinator.

Vietnam became an official member of the group at the 19th WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia in 2013./.

AEON event promotes Vietnamese products in Japan

About 350 stores and supermarkets of retail giant AEON across Japan, along with its website, are displaying diverse products during the Vietnamese Goods Week that kicked off on June 25.

The products on display include fresh fruits like lychee and banana, food, garments-textiles, leather and footwear, household utensils, and handicrafts.

AEON imported 30 tonnes of lychee from Vietnam’s northern provinces of Bac Giang and Hai Duong to serve the event as the fruit has won preference in Japan.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Vu Hong Nam said this is the second year Vietnamese lychee has hit shelves in Japan.

Gaining a foothold for the fruit in a demanding market like Japan will help Vietnamese farmers change their production, processing and preservation methods, while promoting the prestige of the fruit globally, he said.

It is hard to bring Vietnamese lychee to Japan, and even harder to maintain its foothold in the market, Nam said, urging exporters to invest more in preservation equipment and technologies and farmers to observe production process.

Vietnamese Trade Counsellor in Japan Ta Duc Minh affirmed that Vietnamese lychee has satisfied stringent regulations on food quarantine and safety set by Japan.

Therefore, the fruit has been consumed well in the market despite the complex development of COVID-19, he said.

Apart from lychee, AEON has focused on promoting Vietnamese banana which Soichi Okazaki - Executive Officer, ASEAN Business of AEON - said tastes better than that imported from Ecuador, the Philippines, and Taiwan (China).

The annual Vietnamese Goods Week aims to raise AEON’s sales of Vietnamese products in Japan to 1 billion USD by 2025. Through the event, more than 100 businesses from 21 Vietnamese cities and provinces have introduced their products to Japanese consumers.

During a reception for the Vietnamese ambassador prior to the opening ceremony of the Vietnamese Goods Week at AEON Lake Town in Saitama prefecture, Okazaki said the group has worked to promote many Vietnamese products not only in Vietnam but also in other Southeast Asian nations and Japan.

AEON’s import revenue of Vietnamese goods rose from 35 billion JPY (300 million USD) in 2019 to 40.4 billion JPY last year, and would reach 50 billion JPY this year, he said.

Nam said other Vietnamese fruits like longan are also expected to enter Japan in the time ahead.

According to statistics of 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.

In the first five months of this year, the value was 740.4 million USD, a rise of 3.2 percent year-on-year./. 

Vietnamese farm produce popularised in RoK

The Vietnamese Embassy in the Republic of Korea, TPS Farmers and Vinaka companies signed an agreement in the southern city of Kwangyang on June 25 to boost the import and distribution of Vietnamese farm produce in the country.

The Vietnamese community in the RoK have rising demand for agro-aquatic products and processed food from Vietnam, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. At the same time, Vietnam’s cuisine is becoming popular in the RoK with more than 4,000 Vietnamese restaurants nationwide, according to a survey of Chosun cuisine magazine in 2019.

At a warehouse of TPS Farmers company (Photo: VNA)
With the support of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of Asian – African Markets, the embassy’s Trade Office actively worked with Vietnamese exporters and importers to study demand and suggest building a regular information sharing mechanism to promptly tackle difficulties.

As a result, they agreed to popularise Vietnamese farm produce trademarks in the RoK, and pledged to import farm produce and processed food worth 5.2 million USD between now and 2022, including fresh and frozen fruits, vegetables, beverages, and spices which will be distributed via Asian Mart chain and Korean distribution outlets.

The Vietnamese importers are also investing in logistics, cold storage and e-commerce to gradually navigate major supermarket chains such as Lotte, Emart, Home Plus and online retailers like Coupang and Gmarket.

The Trade Office and the Department of Asian – African Markets also vowed support to trade promotion activities in the RoK to increase export value.

At a conference held on June 18, TPS Farmers and Vinaka were also introduced to Hai Duong province’s prestigious lychee exporters. They are planning to bring Vietnamese frozen lychees to the RoK./.

Vietnam exports 25 tonnes of green mangos to Australia

Up to 25 tonnes of green mangoes grown in Mai Chau district of the northern mountainous province of Son La have recently been exported to Australia.

The northern province of Son La exports 25 tonnes of green mangos to Australia
The initial batch of exported mangoes in the crop serve to affirm that the fruit is highly appreciated by Australian consumers due to their delicious taste and high quality.

The mangoes, which are the green-skinned type, were purchased and processed by two Vietnamese companies before subsequently being shipped to the Australian market.

Son La province also held a ceremony aimed at announcing trademark protection certificate for Son La mangoes.

Son La is home to 19,000 hectares of mango growing areas, with an estimated annual output of 65,000 tonnes.

The province has also provided a growing area code for exported mangoes and primarily focuses on applying advanced technology on production in accordance with VietGAP or GlobalGAP standards.

Vietnamese lychees hit shelves in Belgium

“Thieu” lychees from Vietnam have hit the shelves of Carrefour Tongre supermarkets in Brussels, Belgium, since June 23 thanks to efforts of the Vinamex company and partners in bringing the Vietnamese specialty fruit to Europe to utilise the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). 

About 100kg of Vietnamese lychees will be sold in five Carrefour Tongre supermarkets at the price of 25 EUR (nearly 30 USD) per kilo.

The EVFTA has paved the way for Vietnamese farm produce to enter EU markets. Besides Belgium, Vietnamese lychee has so far reached many European countries such as the Netherlands, France, and the Czech Republic./.

Vietnam exports 25 tonnes of green mangos to Australia

Up to 25 tonnes of green mangoes grown in Mai Chau district of the northern mountainous province of Son La have recently been exported to Australia.

The northern province of Son La exports 25 tonnes of green mangos to Australia
The initial batch of exported mangoes in the crop serve to affirm that the fruit is highly appreciated by Australian consumers due to their delicious taste and high quality.

The mangoes, which are the green-skinned type, were purchased and processed by two Vietnamese companies before subsequently being shipped to the Australian market.

Son La province also held a ceremony aimed at announcing trademark protection certificate for Son La mangoes.

Son La is home to 19,000 hectares of mango growing areas, with an estimated annual output of 65,000 tonnes.

The province has also provided a growing area code for exported mangoes and primarily focuses on applying advanced technology on production in accordance with VietGAP or GlobalGAP standards.

Vietnamese lychees reach EU consumers through e-commerce platform

More than three tonnes of lychees from the northern province of Bac Giang have been exported to Germany via the e-commerce platform Voso.

The Viet Nam E-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said this is the first time a Vietnamese agricultural product has been shipped to Europe through a cross-border e-commerce platform developed and operated by the Southeast Asian nation.

Sponsored by Viettel Post, Voso launched Voso Global last March, offering high-quality Vietnamese farm produce to consumers in foreign markets, especially overseas Vietnamese.

The platform has optimised Viettel Post’s smart logistics system to deliver the fruit that satisfies GlobalGap standards to customers in Germany.

More farming products are expected to be put on the platform to serve consumers both at home and abroad.

The Department of E-commerce and Digital Economy has helped Voso create Vietnamese and English versions of its website. 

IDICO to transfer 26 per cent capital of Dak Mi Hydropower to Bitexco Group

The Viet Nam Urban and Industrial Zone Development Investment Corporation (IDICO) announced it will transfer its entire 26 million shares in Dak Mi Hydropower joint stock company to Bitexco group.

The 26 million shares are equivalent to 26 per cent of the capital of Mi Hydropower Joint Stock Company.

IDICO Board of Directors approved the transfer price proposed by Bitexco Group of VND20,000 per share. With 26 million shares traded, the deal between IDICO and Bitexco Group has a total value of VND520 billion.

Regarding the payment, 100 per cent of the transfer value, equivalent to VND520 billion, will be paid by Bitexco Group within three working days from the time the contract is signed.

Previously, Bitexco Group registered to sell 67.5 million shares, accounting for 22.5 per cent of charter capital at IDICO, in order to structure the investment portfolio. Expected transaction time lasts from May 28 to June 25, 2021.

According to data on the HNX, in the trading session of June 15, the liquidity of IDICO stock (IDC) reached a record with more than 79 million shares traded, the market price hit the ceiling price at VND39,400 per share. It was worth noting that nearly 68 million shares were traded via put-through transaction with a value of more than VND2.2 trillion. 

Maritime Bank allowed for margin trading

The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange issued a notice on allowing shares of the Vietnam Maritime Commercial Joint Stock Bank (HSX: MSB) for margin trading from Thursday.

MSB shares have been listed on the HoSE (HoSE) since December 23 last year with the closing price of the first trading session of VND17,000 (US$0.74) per share, an increase of more than 13 per cent compared to the reference price of VND15,000 per share.

Currently, MSB is traded at about VND28,400 per share, an increase of 51 per cent compared to the beginning of 2021.

MSB is eligible for margin trading because it meets the conditions of listing for six months on the HSX and other criteria, such as achieving profitable business results in 2020 and in the first quarter of 2021.

The consolidated financial statements of MSB are fully reviewed, audited and accepted by the auditing company KPMG. MSB has also made full disclosure of the audited financial statements for 2020 and for the first quarter of 2021.

The bank’s shares are not subject to warning, control, special control, trading suspension or delisting according to regulations on securities listing.

Previously, MSB stocks entered the VN Diamond basket in the restructuring period at the end of April because they met the criteria in terms of market capitalisation, daily transaction value and rate of foreign ownership.

MSB is considered one of the stocks with the most attractive price in the segment of mid-range banking stocks with a share's price/earnings (P/E) and price-to-book (P/B) ratio lower than the industry average. 

Companies in Asia Pacific willing to pay more to lease green buildings: JLL

Seventy per cent of Asia Pacific corporations are willing to pay a rental premium in future to lease sustainability-certified buildings, a recent report by JLL has said.

The Asia Pacific ‘Sustainable Real Estate: From ambitions to actions’ report said this commitment aligns with broader real estate sustainability developments across Asia Pacific where 40 per cent of corporate occupiers have already adopted net zero targets and another 40 per cent are planning to do so by 2025.

The regional real-estate de-carbonisation drive is also prompting 80 per cent of corporate occupiers to prioritise locations that help them reduce carbon emissions, while 65 per cent of investors will focus more on investment in green buildings.

The report which surveyed over 550 corporate property leaders found that some 90 per cent of companies in the Asia Pacific agree that tackling emissions from real estate is essential in achieving a net zero-carbon agenda.

Corporate occupiers leasing space in a green building are paying a rental premium of 7-10 per cent, providing a benchmark for future sustainable leasing trends.

Anthony Couse, chief executive officer, APAC, JLL, said: “For companies operating in the Asia Pacific, any meaningful reduction in carbon footprint is tied directly to real estate. Corporate occupiers will increasingly demand real estate solutions that complement their sustainability agenda.

This will lead investors to prioritise green investments, propelling the real estate industry transformation towards future-ready green buildings.”

The survey provides a comprehensive view of organisations’ sustainability efforts, with only a handful of corporate occupiers (21 per cent) and investors (26 per cent) identified as “Leading” in their category as defined by the strength of their sustainability goals which will move the needle on their carbon emissions reduction targets, scoring above 71 out of a possible 100 points.

This indicates that a large majority of organisations need to do more to translate commitments into tangible actions.

For instance, only 36 per cent of occupiers have pledged to act on emissions that come from their suppliers and customers.

While firmer commitments from companies are necessary to accelerate the net-zero carbon ambitions, organisations have identified several barriers to achieving their sustainable goals.

Some 70 per cent of occupiers report a lack of incentives from governments and support from landlords.

Three out of four companies surveyed identified insufficient technological infrastructure as a hurdle to achieving their environmental goals.

Roddy Allan, chief research officer, JLL Asia Pacific, said: “Across the Asia Pacific, society is shifting towards an emphasis on green and sustainable spaces in a bid to address the concerns on climate risk, and companies are willing to pay a premium to meet new demands.

“There is now a heightened responsibility among businesses to take demonstrable actions with their commercial real estate portfolio, which will increasingly rely on partnerships between occupiers and investors to translate sustainability ambitions into actions.” 

Real estate market expected to recover when virus is under control

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a slowdown in the property market but many experts believe this is only temporary and are pinning their hopes on a rebound once the virus is under control.

Su Ngoc Khuong, senior manager at real estate consultancy firm Savills Viet Nam, said the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the second quarter of this year significantly affected socio-economic development. The real estate market saw declines in purchasing power and investors were more cautious.

Statistics from Viet Nam’s largest property portal batdongsan.com.vn showed that after reaching a peak in March, the level of interest in the real estate market showed signs of decreasing.

Real estate searches on the portal in April dropped by nearly 18 per cent against March with searches for land down by nearly 21 per cent and apartments by 17 per cent. Interest continued to decline in May with searches for residential land decreasing by 19 per cent.

Notably, prices of apartments saw an increase of about 3 per cent against the same period last year.

Deputy Director of the Viet Nam Association of Realtors Nguyen Van Dinh said the shortage of supply was a major reason for the increase in the apartment prices in the first half of this year.

According to Matthew Powell, director of Savills Ha Noi, the COVID-19 pandemic would continue to impact the real estate market, causing uneven development between different localities, different market segments and different projects.

It was important that the virus be put under control together with the vaccination programme, he said, adding that when the virus was successfully contained, investment would flow into the economy.

He, however, urged individual investors to study the information of property projects, planning and infrastructure development carefully before making decisions.

Mai Duc Toan from the Construction and Material Trading Group said not only the real estate market but other sectors were holding their breath for the updates on the pandemic.

“The market is still difficult to predict. Local land fever might occur. If the pandemic is successfully put under control, the market would bounce back in the second half of this year,” Toan said.

He added the real estate market development largely depended on the pandemic and pointed out that in the three previous outbreaks, prices were seen to increase in a number of segments, even forming large-scale land price fever at the beginning months of this year.

Ngo Quang Phuc, general director of Phu Dong Group, said the real estate market had large potential for development and the outbreak would only have a short-term impact.

Phuc said that the market was expected to see robust development, providing the legal problems of real estate projects were tackled properly.

Director Dai Phuc Land Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong said from the beginning of 2020 to date, despite virus outbreaks, the real estate market basically kept a solid foundation. There were not significant price drops or sell-offs but the market often saw stronger transactions and increases in prices.

According to Khuong, the property market would not see any breakthrough development because the Vietnamese economy was still struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most transactions recently were from long-term investors who had idle money to pour into the real estate market, he said.

In the scenario of market recovery, the housing segment would be the most robust, driven by high demand, Khuong said, adding that while the pandemic affected incomes, housing demand would focus more on affordable homes.

He added that the resort and tourism property market would continue to suffer and retail property would struggle to compete with rising online platforms. The interest of investors in industrial property remained high but investment in this segment would not be as good as expected because of travel restrictions. 

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

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS JUNE 26

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