VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS NOVEMBER 14

Transport Ministry unveils prioritised waterway projects in 10 years

The Ministry of Transport has released plans to overhaul waterway transport links across the country by 2030, to attract business and investment into transport infrastructure.

According to the Prime Minister-approved master plan on inland waterway infrastructure for the period 2021-2030 with a vision to 2050, there are 55 main waterway transport routes along 140 rivers and canals, with a total length of about 7,300 km.

Of them, the north has 18 main routes on 49 rivers and canals (about 3,028 km), the central region has 11 main routes on 28 rivers and canals (1,229 km) and the south has 26 main routes on 63 rivers and canals (3,043 km).

The master plan also maps out the development of 54 complexes of cargo ports and 39 complexes of passenger ports across the country, with a total capacity of 361 million tonnes and 53.4 million passengers.

Speaking at the event in Hanoi on November 10, Minister Nguyen Van The said the ministry will develop an incentive mechanism for large enterprises operating in the waterway transport sector to effectively exploit the existing potential.

He added that the planning of waterway, road and railway has been approved by the Prime Minister. The plans are an important part of comprehensive transport development.

The process of developing the plan was an opportunity to evaluate and review the development potential in these fields, especially inland waterways.

The minister directed the Vietnam Inland Waterway Administration and associated units to learn from the experiences of waterway development in the southern provinces and apply these learnings to the northern region.

The plans aim to better connect waterway systems, roads and seaports, especially for the North-South coastal transport corridor and the four northern transport corridors, according to the minister.

“The North-South coastal transport corridor is an important cargo transport corridor of the country,” he said.

“In the near future, the ministry will submit a North-South high-speed railway investment project to transport passengers, while North-South cargo transportation will be based on the existing railway route and the North-South coastal transport route."

The minister asked the local authorities on the Quang Ninh - Kien Giang coastal shipping route to continue investing in this transport corridor, by creating favourable conditions for enterprises./.

 THACO exports hydroponic plastic pipes to Israel

THACO exports hydroponic plastic pipes to Israel hinh anh 1

The THACO Automotive Interior Components Manufacturing Company recently shipped over 59,000m of hydroponic plastic pipes to Israel, completing the order of 122,600m of the product from Liba B.G Yeda Co., Ltd.

The first shipment was delivered on September 23. It is the first product that the company has exported.

The company now supplies high-quality hydroponic plastic pipes to many domestic agricultural firms.

It also manufactures plastic interior goods and quality PU Foam materials for buses, trucks, coaches, meeting demand at home and abroad./.

Over 84 percent of production firms in Can Tho resume operations

As many as 982 production enterprises in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho had resumed their operations by November 11, or 84.08 percent of the total, up 674 businesses from mid-August, reported the municipal Department of Industry and Trade.

The remainders, or 186 enterprises, have yet to build their own plans to restart production.

The local businesses currently employ 78,710 workers, of whom 51,814 had returned to work, equivalent to 65.83 percent.

Up to 122 out of 170 firms, or 71.76 percent, restarted their operations in industrial parks. Out of their 45,681 workers, as many as 29,700 are working while the remainders are temporarily out of work, or 34.98 percent.

Meanwhile, 860 out of 998 enterprises are working outside industrial parks, with 22,114 workers, equivalent to 66.95 percent.

Director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade Ha Vu Son said a number of firms are still hesitant about returning to work due to difficulties in goods transportation and travelling caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

He added that the department is working with enterprises to speed up the injection of the second shots to workers at businesses, shopping outlets and service sector, assist them in transportation of materials and operating at full capacity in the near future.

It will also coordinate with relevant agencies to suggest competent authorities consider reducing taxes, loan interests and electricity bills for companies.

Earlier, the city issued guidelines on temporary measures to safely and flexibly adapt to COVID-19 in businesses and production facilities in line with the Government’s Resolution No.128 and official dispatch No. 5168 by the municipal People’s Committee./.

Vietnam’s economy sees positive changes: World Bank

Amid a protracted COVID-19 outbreak, socio-economic data in October showed the contraction has bottommed out and Vietnam's economy has made positive changes, the World Bank (WB) in Vietnam said in its Vietnam macroeconomic update for November released on November 12.

The country's industrial production and total retail sales of consumer goods and services rebounded as economic activities gradually resumed but have yet to recover to the levels recorded before the outbreak, which began in April. Goods trade balance registered a surplus for the second month in a row as import growth continued to slow down. For the first ten months of this year, Vietnam enjoyed a trade surplus of 160 million USD. Meanwhile, the number of registered FDI decreased after three months of increase.

Despite rising fuel prices, inflation remained subdued due to falling food prices and weak domestic demand for other consumer products. Credit growth was stable in October. State budget revenue and expenditure balance returned to surplus in October mainly driven by a sharp fall in budget expenditures although revenues continued to decrease for the third month. In general, for the ten-month period, the budget surplus was a sign that tight fiscal policy would continue to be implemented.

According to WB experts, Vietnam is facing many obstacles in restarting the economy after a prolonged period of social isolation, but the positive developments observed in October showed that the situation will continue to improve, and growth will accelerate in the months to come./.

Over 10.3 million workers receive financial assistance

Over 10.3 million workers affected by COVID-19 received more than 1.09 billion USD in cash assistance from the unemployment insurance fund as of November 8.

The Vietnam Social Security said employers that have fully paid social insurance premium or are suspending contributions to retirement and survivor benefit funds as of January 2021, and employers affected by COVID-19 suffering from a reduction of at least 10 percent of the employees participating in social insurance compared to that in January 2021 will be entitled to financial assistance.

They will also receive financial support in training and improvement of vocational skills for their workers.

Workers who are forced to have their labour contracts suspended, stay on leave without pay due to COVID-19 treatment and medical quarantine, or partly or full closure of their factories will be also entitled for assistance.

Children under COVID-19 treatment or medical quarantine, the elderly and the disabled will also benefit from the new policy./.

Provinces need to sweeten sugarcane farming to sustain industry: experts

Provinces that grow sugarcane need to focus on improving added value and prices so that farmers are encouraged to keep growing it to develop Viet Nam’s sugar and sugarcane industry, a conference heard.

At a conference on the industry held by Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper and major sugarcane producer Phu Yen Province, Dao Ly Nhi, deputy director of the province Department of Industry and Trade, said the area under the crop had been shrinking, falling from nearly 28,000ha in 2017 to 21,601ha last year.

Besides climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic there were also local reasons such as the fact that the crop was mainly being grown in mountainous regions, making it hard to apply intensive farming and other effective models, underdeveloped irrigation systems and transport facilities, he said.

“When sugarcane farmers see that other crops are more profitable, they switch.”

Dinh Cong Thuan, deputy head of the Khanh Hoa Province Agriculture Development Branch under the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said with sugarcane prices falling, farmers were struggling to reinvest in the crop.

Unfavourable weather and low mechanisation rates kept productivity low, he said.

Hau Giang Province has also seen the area under sugarcane shrink over the years and unstable prices.

It only has one sugar factory, and it does not process sugarcane by-products, and so the crop has low added value.

Nguyen Quoc Toan, director of the Department of Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development, said businesses and farmers needed to link up, and research institutes should work with businesses to improve sugarcane quality and decrease production costs.

Businesses should invest more in processing technology and innovation, he said.

Nguyen Van Loc, general secretary of the Viet Nam Sugar and Sugarcane Association, said a stable sugar market with prices that allow sugarcane farmers to earn similar incomes as from other crops was important.

Provinces needed to improve their capability to cope with climate change, he said.

Nguyen Thanh Ngu, general director of sugar manufacturer Thanh Thanh Cong - Bien Hoa JSC, said businesses should develop comprehensive distribution channels to save on intermediate expenses and also process other products such as sugarcane juice and organic fertilisers from cane.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said Government paid close attention to the sugar industry, even protecting it from foreign competition for 25 years until 2020 when it opened the sugar market.

Anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties were slapped for five years in June on refined and raw sugar imported from Thailand after a surge in imports in 2020 hurt the local sugar industry.

The industry is expected to become competitive in the next five to 10 years.

HCM City is still attractive to investors despite COVID-19 pandemic

The Management Board of HCM City Export Processing Zone and Industrial Park Authority (HEPZA) on November 12 said the investment inflow into the city's industrial zones has shown many positive signs.

The investment capital in IZs in the locality, both new and additional investment, has so far this year reached 455 million USD, equaling 83 percent of the year’s plan.

According to Hua Quoc Hung, head of the HEPZA, a number of new foreign investors have also contacted the management board to inquire into investment licensing process and land leases for building new factories with large capital. He said one of those potential investor is looking to pour about 200 million USD in a lithium battery production project which would cover 15 hectares in the northwest industrial park of the city. 

After the period of social distancing for COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control, businesses have gradually adapted to production in the new normal situation in line with the guidance of the Ministry of Health, Hung said.

As many as 1,355 enterprises or 96 percent of those operating in industrial parks in the city have resumed operations, drawing more than 230,500 workers back to work, who represent 80 percent of the total number of labourers at the local IPs.

Currently, the city's export processing zones and industrial parks are home to 1,652 valid investment projects with a total registered investment capital of 11.49 billion USD, including 556 FDI projects with registered capital of 6.63 billion USD. 

According to HEPZA, enterprises located in the city's EPZs and IPs earn 7 billion USD in export turnover and contribute 32 trillion VND to the State Budget each year./.

Bac Giang’s online technology and equipment trading floor makes debut

The Department of Science and Technology of the northern province of Bac Giang has recently inaugurated an online technology and equipment trading floor at the provincial Centre for Science and Technology Application.

With its domain name at “http://www.batex.vn”, the Bac Giang online technology and equipment trading floor is an e-commerce platform specialising in technology and equipment, which is used as a tool for its members to introduce, sell, purchase and promote trade in technological products.

This will also be a database of technology and equipment information, and an effective address and mode to support the formation of technology partnerships, create links between research and application of science and technology and commercialisation of scientific and technological products, create a favourable environment for the process of technology transfer and innovation, and improve the productivity and competitiveness of enterprises.

The trading floor was designed in accordance with the model of Business-to-Business electronic commerce (B2B e-commerce) with full conditions of facilities, techniques, human resources, information security, and system. It comprises modules: offer to sell, offer to buy, suppliers, search, register, log in, news, upcoming events, experts, deal management, notices, instructionw, store admin, system admin, viewed products, advertisement, software for managing transactions and members, and online user support software Live Chat. 

Director of the provincial Department of Science and Technology Nguyen Thanh Binh said the Bac Giang online technology and equipment trading floor will contribute to applying information technology in commercialising technological products and equipment and scientific and technological research outcomes, thus making this operation efficient, convenient, fast and cost-effective.

He expressed his hope that the platform will also create a favourable environment and serve as a useful tool to help units and businesses step up trade promotion activities, and cooperation in developing the technology market between Bac Giang province and other localities.

It also supports agencies, units, businesses and individuals in researching, selecting investment and transferring technologies and equipment, renovating technology and improving competitiveness.

In addition, units and businesses participating in the trading floor will save costs and time in advertising, marketing, travelling, and communication activities, thus reducing costs and increasing profits of equipment and technology products, Binh said.

Bac Giang recently has poured investment in the research and application of scientific and technological advances to serve the province's socio-economic development.

It has also focused resources on investment in the application and transfer of key technologies such as biotechnology, information technology (IT), and new material technologies in the future.

The Department of Science and Technology will coordinate with research institutes, departments, branches, and localities to introduce new technologies to enterprises, cooperatives, and individuals. Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is the pioneer in promoting the application of biotechnology and IT in the selection, creation, duplication, and production of agricultural and forestry products, in order to restore and conserve genetic resources of valuable local plant varieties and domestic animals.

The locality has increased investment in science and technology and successfully implement scientific and technology projects at the national and provincial levels. Bac Giang will also allocate resources evenly between technological research, application, and development, to match local conditions, incorporate science and technology into the production and trading of key products in order to improve productivity and quality while reaching GAP standards, and implement research and the application of science and technology for the socio-economic development programme.

In the 2016-2020 period, the provincial People’s Committee signed a programme to coordinate on science and technology activities with the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, and the Vietnam Academy of Agriculture. Thirty-two tasks in science and technology had been deployed, contributing to increasing investment resources for the province. These tasks have positively impacted on economic restructuring, gradually forming a technology market and creating momentum for the rapid application of scientific and technological achievements, contributing to promoting socio-economic development in Bac Giang./.

Shrimp industry strives to remain big foreign currency earner

Over the past one month, the shrimp industry in the Mekong Delta has been exerting every effort to sustain operations and fulfill the signed export contracts while there is not much time left in 2021 and many new COVID-19 infections continue to be recorded in the region.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said its shrimp committee has discussed the resumption of activities at shrimp processing businesses, especially material- and market-related issues, with the pandemic safety taken into account.

Consumers in many markets still prefer processed food - a strength of Vietnam’s shrimp industry as factories boast modern equipment meeting strict food safety standards and skilled workers, VASEP noted.

Shrimp exports topped 3 billion USD in the first 10 months of 2021, down 1.07 percent year on year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

VASEP blamed the decline on the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced processors and exporters to reduce operations to practice social distancing.

It held that given the current COVID-19 situation in the Mekong Delta, the largest agricultural and aquacultural hub in Vietnam, it is not easy to achieve this year’s shrimp export target of 3.8 - 4 billion USD.

However, businesses in the industry are also moving to seize opportunities, especially the high demand for food to welcome year-end festivals in the US and Europe, the association added.

Many insiders shared the view that as the shrimp stockpile in many major markets is not much, their import demand will increase by the end of the year while the global shrimp supply is forecast to decrease. Therefore, shrimp prices will go up, and this is a chance for the industry to achieve the set target./. 

Vietnam-Spain ties stand good chance to thrive further: Ambassador

Vietnam and Spain are standing a good chance to further develop ties, given that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect from August and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVPIA) has already ratified by Vietnam and is pending ratification in the EU, Vietnamese Ambassador to Spain Hoang Xuan Hai has said.

Hai made the statement at a forum on new business and investment opportunities in Vietnam for Spanish companies co-held by the Embassy of Vietnam and the Confederation of Entrepreneurs of Andalusia (CEA) as part of his visit to the city of Sevilla, Spain’s Andalusia on November 8–9.

The ambassador highly valued the 44-year diplomatic relation and 12-year Strategic Partnership between Vietnam and Spain which has seen progress in multiple areas, particularly economics. He highlighted that bilateral economic ties have grown remarkably, with two-way trade expanding to 3.25 billion USD in 2019 from 650 million USD in 2009.

Despite COVID-19 impacts, the bilateral trade reached 2.3 billion USD in the first nine months of this year, he emphasized, adding that Spain is running 82 investment projects, worth over 134 million USD, in Vietnam.

In a meeting with CEA President Javier Gonzalez de Lara y Sarria, Hai said he wants to cooperate with the CEA to help Spanish firms explore opportunities in the Vietnamese market, especially in hi-tech agriculture. His host, meanwhile, said it is the first economic forum on Vietnam ever held by the CEA, describing it as a landmark milestone in the bilateral trade relations.

The Vietnamese ambassador also had a meeting with José Enrique Millo Rocher, Secretary General of Foreign Action of Andalusia, during he held that the economic ties between Vietnam and Spain, though growing, are yet to match both countries’ potential and advantages.

 

Vietnam treasures relations with Spain generally and Andalusia particularly so it has appointed an honorary consul at Sevilla, he stated.

The Spanish side highlighted that the EVFTA offers an opportunity for boosting the bilateral trade and investment and agreed to further bolster the ties in the coming time when the pandemic is brought under control./. 

Inflationary pressure remains big next year: SBV Governor

It is possible to keep the inflation under 4% this year but inflationary pressure is expected to be great next year, Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Nguyen Thi Hong told the National Assembly’s Q&A session on November 12.

Since the outset of COVID-19 in Vietnam last year, the SBV has cut regulatory interest rates three times by 1.5 – 2% in total, Hong said, noting that this was a major cut compared to other regional countries.

The central bank has also requested domestic lenders to reduce interest rates on both new and old loans, she added. The lenders have slashed around VND30 trillion, or over US$1.32 billion, in interest payment for customers affected by the COVID-19.

She unveiled the SBV will instruct the banking system to further cut operation costs so as to make additional interest rate cuts and ensure the security of the system in the coming time.

It will also actively coordinate with relevant ministries and agencies to develop new support packages in the form of interest cuts for the affected, with macro-economic stability, inflationary risks and safety risks to the banking system taken into account, she said.

Vietnamese canvas shoe exports outstrip China's

With the average growth rate of the footwear industry throughout the 2016 to 2019 period increasing by 12.1% annually, Vietnam ranked second in the world in terms of footwear exports, surpassing China to become the largest exporter of canvas shoes.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, local footwear products have been exported to over 150 markets globally, including the United States, the EU, China, Japan, and the UK.

The US remains the largest importer of Vietnamese footwear of all types, accounting for more than one-third of the total export turnover for the entire industry.

Before 2020, footwear exports to the US market consistently maintained a positive growth rate in turnover with an average growth rate of 13% per year during the 2015 to 2019 period.

Due to the adverse range of impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnamese footwear export turnover in the third quarter of the year fell by 47.4% to US$2.925 billion in comparison to the second quarter, dropping by 26.9% against the same period from last year.

Despite this, export growth in the opening months of the year has seen the total export turnover of footwear products surge by 9.7% to reach US$13.31 billion during the opening nine months of the year.

With the US moving to lift preferential policies for footwear exports from China, India has stepped in to offer favourable competitive opportunities for Vietnamese footwear exports in the demanding market, according to experts.

With regard to the EU market, the enforcement of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) can also be considered the most significant driving force for the growth of the local footwear industry in recent years.

Footwear exports to the EU market have gradually recovered, with local footwear products enjoying comparative advantages over regional countries such as China, Myanmar, India, and Cambodia.

Experts have also pointed out that with the world's major economies, such as the US and the EU reopening, the consumer market is forecast to see strong recovery. This will therefore offer an opportunity for Vietnamese leather and footwear exports to regain growth momentum moving forward.

Small steel companies struggle in Q3 due to COVID-19

As the domestic market has been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, many small steel enterprises experienced a sharp decline in profit in the third quarter of 2021.

In its third quarter financial statement, Pomina Steel Corporation (POM) said that its net profit dropped 78 per cent on-year to VND3.5 billion (US$153,267). However the company’s consolidated net revenue still rose 38.9 per cent to VND3.1 trillion.

Meanwhile due to the complexity of the COVID-19 outbreak in southern localities such as HCM City, Binh Duong and Ba Ria - Vung Tau, construction consumption also stopped, resulting in lower prices. Moreover, extra costs due to the “three-on-site” model triggered a decline of 14.7 per cent in gross profit to VND119.7 billion. Its gross profit margin inched down to 3.8 per cent from 6.3 per cent.

The company's revenue growth was boosted by exports with revenue of VND1.9 trillion, 4.5 times higher than the same period last year.

The strong rise in exports offset the decline in domestic consumption that was down 55 per cent.

For the first nine months of the year, Pomina recorded net revenue of VND9.6 trillion, up nearly 32 per cent over last year, while posting a profit after tax of VND205.9 billion. In the same period last year it lost VND127.8 billion.

This year, the company set a target of VND12 trillion in revenue and VND600 billion in profit after tax. Thus, after nine months, it respectively completed 80.35 per cent of the revenue target and 34.3 per cent of the profit target.

Other steel enterprises operating in the south also recorded a sharp drop in business results in the third quarter as both consumption and production were seriously hit by the pandemic.

Of which, Thu Duc Steel JSC (TDS) in its financial statement reported a net loss of VND643.7 million, while in the same period last year it posted a net profit of nearly VND2.2 billion.

The fall was due to losses of 31.8 per cent year-on-year in net revenue, while production costs increased sharply. Because of the pandemic, it could only arrange the “three-on-site” for one production shift. Therefore the production cost was very high, while output was low.

The company's production cost climbed sharply because of rising debts, transportation costs, and raw material costs.

Viet Nam - Italy Steel JSC (VIS) also suffered a net loss of VND92.3 billion in the third quarter of 2021, despite an 18.4 per cent increase in net revenue. In the same period of 2020 it recorded a profit of VND26.7 billion.

The reason was the sharp rise in cost of goods sold, up 30.9 per cent over last year, eroding the company’s profit. In addition, financial revenue decreased by 42.2 per cent while interest expenses jumped by 21.6 per cent.

As of September 30, the company still witnessed a net loss of VND18.6 billion although net revenue rose 56.1 per cent year-on-year.

It explained that the implementation of the COVID-19 prevention measures in many localities had delayed construction activities, freezing the output of steel products. Both its billet and steel mills had to stop operating at times, but the company still paid fixed costs.

Also adding to the pressure, the prices of raw materials increased while the company could not sharply raise the price of semi-finished products, and inventories rose sharply, causing the company to pay extra costs for holding goods.

Similarly, the financial statements of Vicasa (VCA) showed that its profit after tax slid 48 per cent in the third quarter of 2021, while revenue only decreased by 4 per cent.

On the contrary, leading steel producers still performed well during the period thanks to strong export demand and higher global steel prices.

Hoa Sen Group (HSG) posted an increase of 89 per cent in revenue and double in profit. While Hoa Phat Group (HPG)’s profit was 2.73 times higher than the same period last year. 

Binh Duong sets up business support centre

A ceremony to announce the establishment of a business support centre in the southern province of Binh Duong was held on Thursday.

At the event, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment Trinh Hoang Tuan Anh said the centre was expected to improve quality and efficiency of consultation, support, training and development of firms, as well as promote investment, upgrade business and investment climate in Binh Duong, thereby raising competitive edge and access to resources for organisations and firms.

The centre would also provide the provincial Department of Planning and Investment with consultations in State management of firms, he added.

Binh Duong currently has about 50,000 businesses with more than 1.2 million workers from almost all localities nationwide.

Over the time, particularly during waves of COVID-19 outbreaks, local authorities have promptly carried out policies aiding firms and curbing the spread of the pandemic.

The establishment of the centre is also hoped to improve Binh Duong's provincial competitiveness index (PCI).

On the occasion, the centre signed cooperation agreements with various partners, including those at the provincial Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Industry and Trade, in a bid to realise their objectives and cooperation fields. 

More than 700km of North-South Expressway to be built

The Ministry of Transport has submitted plans to build more than 700 kilometres of extra road on the east sections of the North-South Expressway.

The proposals form part of a pre-feasibility study for the 2021-25 period into development of the road infrastructure.

The additional 729km of the east sections will be divided into 12 sub-projects which will be built independently.

The total investment is estimated at VND148.49 trillion (US$6.52 million), VND131.2 trillion from State funds and the rest from non-state mobilised capital.

Of the 12 sub-projects, the ministry proposed to implement eight in the form of public investment (Vung Ang-Bung, Bung-Van Ninh, Van Ninh-Cam Lo, Quang Ngai-Hoai Nhon, Hoai Nhon-Quy Nhon, Quy Nhon-Chi Thanh, Can Tho-Hau Giang, Hau Giang-Ca Mau).

The remaining four projects will be implemented under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) including Bai Vot-Ham Nghi, Ham Nghi-Vung Ang, Chi Thanh-Van Phong, and Van Phong-Nha Trang.

Project preparation will begin this year, site clearance and resettlement between 2022 and 2023, construction is slated to start at the end of 2023 to be completed by mid 2026.

The construction of the east sections of the North-South Expressway was approved by the National Assembly.

In order to ensure the feasibility of the four sub-projects implemented in the form of PPP, the ministry proposes to allow the proportion of State capital participating in PPP projects from 54 per cent to 65 per cent of the total investment of the project.

The ministry also proposes the Government report to the National Assembly for consideration and decision on the conversion of investment forms in case the implementation of PPP in these sub-projects fails.

Reviewing law-making activities essential for better CPTPP's implementation

The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in coordination with the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) on Wednesday organised a virtual seminar on the implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) from the law-making perspective.

The seminar is held within the framework of the Australia-funded programme, Aus4Reform, which assists the Vietnamese Government in achieving its goal of improving the business environment and modernising the national economy.

The CPTPP has a direct impact on many of Viet Nam's domestic legal institutions. Therefore, amending and developing domestic legal regulations to ensure compatibility with commitments is the most important task in the implementation of the agreement.

Charles Thursby-Pelham, First Secretary of the Australian Embassy in Viet Nam, said that the comprehensive review of law-making activities to implement the CPTPP is useful for State agencies, the VCCI, associations and each business when assessing the benefits from this agreement. The results will also be helpful for the next steps in the implementation of the CPTPP in particular and free trade agreements (FTAs) in general in the future.

On behalf of the research team, Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, Director of the Centre for WTO and Integration under VCCI, said a total of 11 legal documents have been issued to carry out the commitments of CPTPP immediately and four documents are being drafted for the implementation of the CPTPP commitments in line with the roadmap in the 2019-21 period.

According to Trang, most of the provisions in legal documents are compatible with the CPTPP commitments that have been "internalised". Some regulations are at a higher level than required or with an earlier roadmap, she said.

Trang also made recommendations to improve the efficiency of law-making in the implementation of the CPTPP as well as newly signed FTAs, such as the review of regulations' compatibility with FTA commitments and the building of law-making plans need to be done in a more inclusive manner.

The compilation of legal documents should be done as soon as possible and the compiling agency should pay special attention to consulting the affected subjects, she said, adding that the process of implementing commitments needs to be regularly monitored and inadequacies should be promptly dealt with.

The seminar and research report on law-making efforts to implement the CPTPP are part of the VCCI's series of activities to support businesses relating to CPTPP and FTAs. In the coming time, VCCI will continue to carry out events to provide information on the commitments and the implementation of FTAs in order to support businesses as well as relevant state agencies to bring maximum benefits for Vietnam's economy during the implementation of these agreements. 

BOT companies post mixed results in Q3 due to COVID-19

The development of the COVID-19 pandemic in the past two years has caused many BOT companies to witness decreases in revenue, and the third quarter of this year is no exception.

According to the latest report on third quarter business results, many BOT companies’ results were quite gloomy, like Tasco JSC (HUT) posting a loss of VND72.8 billion (US$3.2 million) during the period. This marked the sixth quarterly loss for the company.

Tasco is considered a BOT tycoon, with projects nationwide. However, the company recently faced many challenges, mainly due to the impact of the BOT investment form, including policy inadequacies and the pandemic.

Similarly, Ho Chi Minh City Technical Infrastructure Investment JSC (CII) recorded poor performance in the third quarter with consolidated net revenue of VND258.7 billion, down 85.8 per cent year-on-year. Its profit after tax fell 87 per cent to VND10.6 billion.

CII operates mainly in southern Viet Nam. The suspension of toll collection for traffic projects and the halting of infrastructure construction and real estate projects at the request of State agencies greatly affected the company’s business results in the third quarter.

IDICO Infrastructure Development Investment JSC (HTI) also recorded a loss during the period as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the temporary suspension of toll collection. Accordingly, its net revenue dropped sharply by 80 per cent to VND18.8 billion.

Although IDICO actively cut costs, its revenue decreased, causing the business to report losses of more than VND13.1 billion. In the same period last year, the company posted a net profit of VND14.9 billion.

Experts said that the negative business results were due to the suspension of toll collection for traffic projects and the suspension of infrastructure construction and real estate projects due to COVID-19.

However, there are still some firms that performed well. Deo Ca Traffic Infrastructure Investment SJC (HHV) is one of them.

In its third quarter business results, the company said that its net revenue rose by 52.6 per cent to VND452.1 billion. The growth was mainly driven by revenue from construction and installation activities and the operation of toll stations in the north and central region, which were not heavily affected by the pandemic.

Sharp rises in financial revenue and cost savings helped HHV report profit after tax of more than VND81.4 billion, more than double that of the same period last year.

HHV said that the construction progress at project sites is stable and without interruption. Therefore, the construction and installation work is carried out on schedule as committed, which helps business activities despite the outbreak of COVID-19.

On the stock market, HHV shares were trading at VND22,700 per share on Tuesday morning, up 16.4 per cent for the year. Although shares have not made a breakthrough in market price, they have been noticed by many investors thanks to the sudden increase in liquidity recently.

Of which, the average trading volume of HHV in ten sessions is up to 8.7 million units, while in the first half of this year, the stock had few transactions.

Meanwhile, in the third quarter of 2021, Dat Phuong JSC (DPG) recorded consolidated net revenue of more than VND548.6 billion, up 37 per cent. Of which, revenue from construction contracts accounted for the largest proportion with nearly VND301 billion, up 29 per cent.

The company’s consolidated profit after tax was 26.6 times higher than that of last year to VND71.2 billion.

The Directorate for Roads of Viet Nam, under the Ministry of Transport, proposed suspending toll collection at toll stations to support disease prevention.

Ninh Binh to reopen tourism activities

The northern province of Ninh Binh will welcome tourists again from November 15 after a long suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Between November 15-30, tourist sites will be allowed to serve local visitors who live in the province.  

Between December 1-31, the province will pilot the welcome of visitors from other localities. Some tourism companies will be selected to operate package tours to Hanoi and Ninh Binh.

In the fourth quarter of this year, the province is expected to lure 10,000 travellers. 

The province has set a target to attract 3.5 million visitors with the revenues of some VND2 trillion in 2022. Foreign tourists will be welcomed from July 2022.

During the pandemic, Ninh Binh has organised tourism promotion activities through Facebook, Tiktok and Zalo.

In the coming time, the provincial Department of Tourism will cooperate with the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism to hold tourism promotional activities at fairs, forums and different markets.

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

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS NOVEMBER 12

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS NOVEMBER 12

EVN puts 96 power transmission projects into use in 10 months

 
 

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