Seafood stocks surge on business recovery
Many seafood stocks rose strongly thanks to the news that production and export of the industry recovered significantly since October.
After a long period of halting production or operating at low capacity amid social distancing measures, seafood processing enterprises are recovering. Orders keep coming while production cannot keep up with export demand.
The Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said that after declining for two consecutive months, the value of seafood exports reached US$918 million in October, up 47 per cent compared to September. By the end of October, the country's seafood exports climbed 2.4 per cent year-on-year to $7.1 billion.
At Minh Phu Seafood Corporation (MPC), business has been active again since October. It has started working on three seafood processing plants with a capacity of 18,000 tonnes per year each, and a packaging plant with a capacity of 5,000 tonnes per year.
In the third quarter, the company's revenue decreased by 36.7 per cent on-year to VND2.78 trillion due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but its profit after tax still increased 18.6 per cent to more than VND289 billion.
Le Van Diep, Deputy General Director of Minh Phu, said that the fourth outbreak of the coronavirus with the Delta variant spreading in the southern provinces has caused disruptions in supply chains, including the shrimp industry.
Shrimp processing factories in the Mekong Delta all have to operate under the “three-on-site" model and “one route, two destinations", which reduced shrimp processing capacity by 30-70 per cent. Therefore, they could not fulfil orders for customers, leading to a decrease in revenue.
However, thanks to rising demand from major shrimp export markets, Minh Phu has better selling prices, resulting in higher profit margins and still recording profit.
For the first nine months of 2021, it posted net revenue of VND8.9 trillion, down 11 per cent, with profit after tax up 14 per cent over last year to VND544 billion.
In the fourth quarter, Minh Phu is expected to continue to benefit from higher selling prices amid rising demand for shrimp at the end of the year.
More than 3,200 employees from inside and outside Hau Giang Province have come back to work in Minh Phu’s plants since mid-October. The return will help Minh Phu increase productivity and meet customer orders.
In 2021, it set a target of nearly VND15.8 trillion in revenue and VND1.09 trillion in profit after tax. By the end of the third quarter, the company has only completed 56 per cent of the revenue target and 52 per cent of the profit plan. Therefore, to complete the yearly plan, Minh Phu needs to accelerate in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, Vinh Hoan Corporation (VHC) has just decided to add another VND145 billion to Feed One to build a seafood processing plant.
Previously, it planned to spend VND1.3 trillion for investment in 2021, of which VND700 billion was spent on building an animal feed factory and Vinh Hoan hatchery, and getting land ownership for a high tech agriculture and aquaculture complex.
In the first three quarters of the year, Vinh Hoan recorded net revenue of VND6.4 trillion, up 24 per cent, and net profit of VND647 billion, up 17 per cent. With the business results, the company has fulfilled 74 per cent of the revenue target and 93 per cent of profit after tax target for the whole year. It is expected to easily complete the business plan thanks to the bright prospects of the export market at the end of the year.
Sao Ta Foods JSC (FMC) was also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the third quarter, causing revenue to be flat compared to the same period last year, while profit fell slightly 9.5 per cent to VND64 billion. In the first nine months of the year, its revenue reached over VND3.8 trillion and profit after tax was VND176 billion, up 17.1 per cent and 8.7 per cent, respectively.
Agribank Securities Corporation (Agriseco) said that the tough times for Sao Ta have passed. The company could fully restore production capacity since mid-September as the pandemic is gradually controlled with higher vaccination rates. Sao ta is expanding the farming area and increasing capacity in 2022.
On the stock market, all these companies' stocks ended higher on Tuesday, with MPC shares up 0.21 per cent, VHC up 1.56 per cent and FMC up 1.33 per cent.
Trading on UpCOM exchange, MPC shares have risen 23.4 per cent compared to the beginning of October, while VHC shares on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) were up 24 per cent and FMC shares (on HoSE) up 6.4 per cent.
Seafood enterprises are trying to overcome difficulties to increase output at the end of the year. Agriseco said that since the beginning of October, sea freight rates are cooling down with a decrease of 50 per cent in Baltic Dry index (BDI), which will help businesses reduce costs in the fourth quarter.
Demand from export markets continues to grow as economies reopen. The RCEP Agreement is expected to be approved and come into effect in the beginning of 2022, opening up more potential export markets for businesses.
According to VASEP, the demand from import markets is still high, seafood processing production is on the rebound and is expected to grow again in November and December when vaccination rates in the Mekong Delta provinces increase, limiting the impact of the pandemic.
Prices increase despite pandemic restrictions easing
While most manufacturing enterprises resumed operations as pandemic restrictions were eased, significant challenges remain because of the rising cost of gasoline and raw materials. The price of consumer goods is expected to increase sharply as a result.
Dang Thi Phuong Ninh, Director of Duyen Hai Economic Development Company (Cofidec), told local media: "Every commodity has increased in price, in which, cooking oil is the ingredient with the highest increase, about 30 per cent higher compared to the same period in 2020 and is expected to increase even higher."
Ninh said prices of raw materials and accessories have increased since early this year and look set to continue to rise.
According to experts, the increasing cost of gasoline and raw materials will put great pressure on consumer spending, and a great burden on businesses, especially in the context of restoring production after a long time of social distancing.
Ninh said the company is facing difficulties in hiring more workers to meet demand, adding that the “high cost of accessories is now the biggest concern.”
As director of Vnflour Co, a firm that produces and supplies flour for brands such as Vifon, Thien Huong Food and CP Food, Nguyen Tran Ngoc Trinh said increasing gasoline and raw materials prices were greatly affecting production since pandemic restrictions have been eased.
Trinh said: "The price of wheat has increased by 30-40 per cent, sometimes even up to 50 per cent, compared to before so we are forced to change the price of raw materials provided to food enterprises. "
Trinh is concerned that the sharp increase in raw material prices would affect product prices in the near future.
Nguyen Thi Thao Vien, Human Resources Director of CJ Food Viet Nam, said the firm was facing the same issue of rising prices but would try to keep prices stable to share difficulties with consumers. She said: “We cannot increase selling prices in the context of people's incomes plummeting.”
Pham Thi Huan, general director of Ba Huan Co, the biggest egg provider in Viet Nam, said: “Currently, while the input costs are increasing by 20-30 per cent, the purchasing power is weak because schools have not opened yet and businesses in industrial zones have not yet come back to their full activities.”
Though the egg firm has not yet raised prices, Huan said: "We hope that purchasing power will increase so that we can keep prices unchanged but if the demand is too low in such situation, we will have to increase prices.”
The food industry is not the only one seeing a rise in prices for raw materials; steel, wood and other enterprises are suffering the same. Nguyen Chanh Phuong, vice president and general secretary of HCM City Fine Arts and Woodworking Association (HAWA), said most materials have seen prices increase.
He said: "The price of paint products increased quickly due to the influence of gasoline and oil prices. From October to November, each week they have increased by 5 per cent."
He added that businesses have to adjust prices, but it is not always easy as they have agreed fixed prices with customers.
Phuong said: "As there are many orders to be finished, firms are concerned about the high production costs. Others are concerned about taking new orders because of the cost."
Phuong said firms must renegotiate prices with their customers and look for cheaper suppliers to save costs.
The price of essential items has increased by 10-30 per cent, and food and beverage service prices have also increased by 10-15 per cent.
According to the market prices, a bottle of one-litre cooking oil has increased from VND3,000 to VND5,000, or an increase of 15 per cent from the prices listed in May. Vegetables, fruits and fresh foods also increased by three and four times compared to July.
An Aeon Viet Nam representative said the increase in prices will affect small retailers and markets first. Big supermarkets, with advanced contracts, can better control the prices.
The Viet Nam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR) forecasts that inflation pressure will increase in the last months of the year due to the sharp increases in producing prices, adding that this pressure will gradually be transferred to consumer prices.
Around the world, inflation rates have skyrocketed, according to Bloomberg. The media said consumer prices in the US rose at their fastest pace since 1990. Chinese and Japanese producer price indexes fared better than expected and Germany, as the world's fourth largest economy, was no exception.
Reference exchange rate down 4 VND
The State Bank of Vietnam set the daily reference exchange rate on November 19 at 23,112 VND/USD, down 4 VND from the previous day.
With the current trading band of +/-3 percent, the ceiling rate applicable to commercial banks during the day is 23,805 VND/USD and the floor rate 22,418 VND/USD
The opening-hour rate at commercial banks saw slight increases.
At 8:25am, BIDV listed the buying rate at 22,555 VND/USD and the floor rate at 22,755 VND/USD, up 5 VND from November 18.
Vietcombank also raised both rates by 5 VND to 22,525 VND/USD (buying) and 22,755 VND/USD (selling)./.
ADB, PetroVietnam team up to promote green energy development in Vietnam
The Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on November 18 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on establishing a strategic partnership for 2021 – 2024 to promote clean and renewable energy development, and help PetroVietnam achieve its targets in green energy transition.
The MOU establishes the foundation for cooperation activities between the two sides such as a strategy and roadmap for green energy transition; carbon capture, utilization and storage; hydrogen development; offshore wind energy development.
“ADB and PetroVietnam establish a partnership for collaboration and cooperation in the activities identified for mutual interest of both parties,” said Mr. Jeffries, ADB Country Director for Vietnam.
“As a multilateral financial institution and as a catalyst for global and regional climate funds, ADB could provide support to PetroVietnam through policy and technical advice, funding for investment from its own financing and/or leverage financing from other sources,” he said.
To support initial activities under the pact, ADB will use technical assistance resources and mobilise additional funds from other sources, among which the Australian government has confirmed its funding support to develop a strategy and roadmap for PetroVietnam’s green energy transition.
The signing of the MOU demonstrates PetroVietnam’s determination in international cooperation towards strategic activities that contribute to realising the commitment of the Government of Vietnam at the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 26) in Glasgow, the UK, implementing the mechanisms under the Paris Agreement, to achieve net “zero” emissions by 2050.
ADB has been supporting its developing member countries for enabling policy framework, sharing practices and experiences, identifying key projects and preparing feasibility studies, and piloting and scaling-up business models. ADB has also been coordinating and cooperating with global and regional think tanks and center of excellences for technology innovation and promotion for clean and renewable energy development.
“We are pleased to be the first agency to establish a partnership with ADB to develop clean and sustainable energy in Vietnam,” said Deputy General Director of PetroVietnam Pham Tien Dung.
“With expertise and experience in the field of energy transition, particularly in the areas of carbon capture, use and storage, hydrogen energy, offshore wind energy, and energy efficiency, ADB will support PetroVietnam in green energy transition towards the target of emission reduction that Vietnam committed,” he said./.
Measures sought to promote development of smart banks
A workshop on developing smart banks in the process of industrialisation and modernisation by 2030 with a vision to 2045 took place on November 18 in the framework of the third Industry 4.0 Summit and Expo.
In his opening remarks, deputy head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Nguyen Duc Hien said the Politburo’s Resolution No 52-NQ/TW determines the financial-banking sector as one of the priority, focal and pioneering sectors in digital transformation.
The Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) issued Decision No. 810/QD-NHNN approving a plan for digital transformation of the banking sector by 2025, with a vision to 2030, focusing on developing a digital and smart banking system.
According to Deputy Governor of the SBV Pham Tien Dung, digital transformation of the banking industry over the past time has achieved positive results. The central bank has reviewed and issued legal regulations to meet the digital banking model, digital banking services, innovation activities, application of new technological achievements, data protection, rights and legitimate interests of customers.
The achievements of the 4th Industrial Revolution have been widely applied to core banking services. Mobile payment has grown rapidly with 90 percent in quantity and 150 percent in value.
According to McKinsey's research, many Vietnamese banks have over 90 percent of transactions on digital channels, and the country is among the regional countries seeing the highest digital adoption rate in the banking industry, creating opportunities for banks.
In addition, a digital payment and digital ecosystem has been established by connecting digital banking services with most other digital services in the economy, providing seamless experiences in all fields and utilities for users in digital space services.
Dung said the plan for digital transformation of the banking industry by 2025, with a vision to 2030 aims to develop digital banking models, and increase utilities and customer experience.
To realise the targets, the State Bank will prepare resources for digital transformation activities, and continue to improve the legal framework to facilitate the process.
The central bank will also focus on developing digital infrastructure, connecting and sharing the banking sector’s data with other sectors, developing digital banking models, applying technologies to provide products and services in a safe and convenient manner with low cost, and ensuring safety and cyber security as well as rights and legitimate interests of customers.
Delegates also debated smart bank development in the world and in the region, and the need to switch to a smart banking model, strategies and comprehensive solutions to promote development of smart banking, and measures to ensure security and safety of information systems./.
Virtual Vietnam Foodexpo scheduled for early December
The Virtual Vietnam Foodexpo 2021, the biggest and most comprehensive event of the country’s food industry, will take place from December 7 to 10, as part of an annual national trade promotion programme run by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
At a press conference held in Hanoi on November 18, Le Hoang Tai, Deputy Director of the MoIT’s Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE), said the expo will take place on the website https://e.foodexpo.vn/.
With the theme highlighting agricultural products and food: adaptation - transformation - acceleration, the event focuses on discussing the prospect of accelerating Vietnam's food industry, solutions to help food businesses covert to meet changes in demand and trends in the world market given the new context.
It will feature 300 virtual stalls offering vivid images and documents and diverse interaction tools like video call, chatbox, and meeting conference.
Attracting the participation of more than 20 provinces and cities nationwide and a large number of domestic and international companies in the sectors of food processing, agriculture and fishery, the event is expected to see 5,000 transactions taking place.
As part of the expo, there will be a series of conferences and workshops, including the Vietnam Food Forum 2021 slated for December 7 and chaired by the Ministry of Industry and Trade./.
Binh Dinh to have largest-ever wood processing factory
The Binh Dinh government has licensed a wood production and processing plant project with total investment of over VND4.37 trillion, making it the largest wood processing project in the province so far.
The wood processing factory will be developed in Hoai Nhon Town in the central coastal province by Kim Thanh Lap Forestry JSC.
Set to cover an area of 45 hectares, the project will get off the ground in the first quarter of 2022. As planned, the first phase of the plant will produce 180,000 cubic meters of OKAL particle board and over 425,000 cubic meters of medium and high density fiberboard each year, starting from the fourth quarter of 2023.
Nguyen Bay, director of the Binh Dinh Investment Promotion Center, said that the second phase of the project will receive the same investment in terms of capital, capacity and area.
As such, once in place, the entire factory, including the two phases, will cost over VND8 trillion and produce over 1.2 million cubic meters of particle and fiber board each year.
In 2020, Binh Dinh Province exported US$540 million worth of wood and woodwork, rising by 14% in value against 2019 and accounting for 51% of the province’s total export revenue.
Between January and September, wood and woodwork export in the province amounted to US$508.6 million, up 30.7% year-on-year.
Le Minh Thien, chairman of the Forest Products Association of Binh Dinh, said that if the Covid pandemic was brought under control, the production capacity of wood producers would soon stabilize for the rest of the year, helping fulfill previously signed export orders.
Dong Nai attracts over $1 billion in FDI capital despite the latest Delta wave
In spite of the prolonged pandemic, Dong Nai has lured nearly $1.1 billion in FDI capital in the first 11 months of 2021.
Le Van Danh, deputy head of the Dong Nai Industrial Zones Management Authority (DIZA) said that foreign inflows into the province continues to rise during the pandemic. As of November, IZs in Dong Nai have attracted nearly $1.1 billion, surpassing 156.5 per cent of the yearly plan ($700 million). There are 46 new FDI projects with registered investment capital of $358.85 million and 94 FDI projects with the total additional capital of $736.64 million.
On November 15, the DIZA has granted an investment certificate for KSM ENG Vina manufacturing and processing factory in Giang Dien IZ, Trang Bom district with the total investment capital of $10 million. Covering an area of nearly 20,000 square metres, the project specialises in manufacturing metal components used in high-tech industries such as semiconductors, display equipment, aerospace, medical. The project is expected to be put into operation from November 2022.
In addition, Nestlé Vietnam has announced an extra $132 million investment in its Nestlé Tri An factory in the southern province of Dong Nai early last month to increase its processing capacity of high-quality coffee lines. Nestlé Group's expansion amidst the pandemic is proof that Dong Nai province and Vietnam continue to be a bright spot for foreign investment.
Other major projects include the Hansol Electronics Vietnam project at Ho Nai IZ, with the registered capital of $100 million, the $60 million factory of the Ojitex Vietnam Co. at Loc An-Binh Son IZ and Platel Vina’s plant at Amata Industrial Park, with $30 million.
According to the DIZA, since the beginning of the year, the province has recorded eight new local projects with the capital of $49.28 million and seven local ones with additional capital of $54.04 million, bringing the total domestic investment capital to VND2.38 trillion ($104.61 million), reaching 119.4 per cent of the year's plan.
Accumulated up to now, foreign investors from 45 countries and territories have made a total of 1,500 valid foreign-invested projects in Dong Nai with the total registered capital of $32 billion.
Coro Energy enters Vietnamese renewable energy market
Coro Energy Plc., a London-based gas explorer, has signed a deal to become an independent power producer in the fast-growing Vietnamese energy market.
Accordingly, Coro and Vinh Phuc Energy JSC (VPE) have now inked a shareholder agreement to jointly develop VPE'sexisting 150MW portfolio of commercial and industrial rooftop solar PV installations creating a definitive joint venture (JV) agreement in Vietnam. Coro will fund the JV named Coro Renewables Vietnam for an 85 per cent equity interest whilst VPE will transfer its existing 150MW project portfolio for a 15 per cent carried interest. VPE will also provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to the JV at market benchmarked levels.
Meanwhile, Coro will fund $500,000 (specifically for planning and permitting costs) to de-risk a 5MW pilot project which is expected to achieve "Ready to Build" status during 2022. Coro will then have the right to fund the construction of the 5MW pilot project, estimated at $3.5 million, with a view to securing near term cash flows (estimated at around $600,000 per annum unlevered, net to Coro). Furthermore, Coro will have the option to fund the entire 150MW portfolio held by the JV, likely through project finance.
Mark Hood, Coro's CEO, commented that, "I am delighted to announce the entry of binding agreements in connection with our Vietnamese roof-top solar project, which moves Coro closer to maiden revenues with the pilot project and a step forward on our strategic goal of being a major regional player in Vietnam's renewables space."
Throughout the past two decades, Vietnam's GDP has grown in excess of 5 per cent per annum fuelling significant power demand growth. To meet this demand, Vietnam is now planning 15-20 per cent (approximately 35GW) of additional renewables capacity by 2030.
All rooftop projects developed by Coro Renewables Vietnam are expected to benefit from attractive economics and are underpinned by long-term "take or pay" power purchase agreements with creditworthy industrial customers and USD-denominated pricing.
Nike and Adidas maintain supply chain operations in Vietnam
Rumours that Nike and Adidas would move production out of Vietnam in August and September were rebutted by the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) as the brands do not own any plants in the country.
Vu Duc Giang, chairman of the VITAS, confirmed that Nike and Adidas does not invest in factory facilities in Vietnam. Thus, there is no way that the two brands would relocate factories out of Vietnam. Instead, they may move some orders to other foreign partners when Vietnamese suppliers fail to deliver orders on time during the fourth wave of the pandemic. However, moving the orders is not easy for brands.
“As of October, Nike has yet to move any orders for Viet Tien Garment Corporation because the brand could not choose an alternative partner that could meet the requirements related to time, quality, and evaluation system like their Vietnamese partner," Giang added.
During the recent social distancing period, Vietnamese textile and garment enterprises could not meet delivery schedules. Thus, a number of orders (estimated at about 13-14 per cent) that needed to be delivered in November and December have been moved to other points of production.
However, there have been signs of orders returning for 2022 since the government issued Resolution No.128/NQ-CP promoting provisional regulations on safe, flexible adaptation to and effective control of COVID-19.
"Brands have more confidence when Vietnam reopens the economy. Therefore, based on global consumption trends, Vietnam's textile and garment sector targets to export about $43.5 billion in 2022," the VITAS chairman stated.
Since the reopening in October, textile and garment enterprises are speeding up production. The enterprises have been actively recruiting workers to promptly meet export orders.
Some enterprises such as Thanh Cong Textile and Garment Trading Investment, Century Yarn, and TNG posted better results than the previous months.
In the first 10 months of 2021, Vietnam's textile and garment industry recorded an export turnover of $32 billion, up 10.8 per cent over the same period last year. It is estimated that the total export turnover will reach $37.92 billion this year, up 8.1 per cent on-year.
Hanoi clears up businesses’ tax concerns
Enterprises, especially foreign-invested firms affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, had their tax-related concerns cleared up by the Hanoi Department of Taxation during an online conference on November 16.
Hanoi – Enterprises, especially foreign-invested firms affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, had their tax-related concerns cleared up by the Hanoi Department of Taxation during an online conference on November 16.
The conference, at http://hanoi.gdt.gov.vn, provided information about solutions to remove difficulties facing businesses, as Hanoi has entered the “new normal”, according to head of the department Mai Son.
Enterprises and household businesses got an insight into policies and procedures regarding tax payment extension, tax exemption and reduction, and implementation of e-invoices.
Son said similar conferences would be organised in the time ahead to address emerging issues.
At the conference, a representative from Yamaha Motor Vietnam raised questions on forms of e-invoices, while Stanley Vietnam suggested tax agencies guide enterprises how to access the aid package under the National Assembly’s Resolution No. 406.
Last July, the department also responded to queries relating to taxes and administrative procedures, raised by nearly 17,000 firms through its website.
VND10-trillion flood control project in HCMC seen ready next year
A VND10 trillion flood tide control project in HCMC is now 90% complete and may be done next year, said Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Construction Dang Phu Thanh.
At a meeting with voters in District 7 on November 16, Thanh said the completion date of the project had been extended. Procedures should be amended and capital provided so that work on the project can continue, the local media reported.
HCMC Chairman Phan Van Mai said this massive project had faced multiple hindrances. Moreover, the city has been consumed with the Covid-19 pandemic response over the past few months.
In October, the city asked departments and agencies to review all what has impeded the progress of the project. The city will work with the relevant ministries and agencies to remove barriers and accelerate work on the project, Mai added.
Work on the project, whose investor is Trungnam Group, started in 2016 to help control flood tides for an area of some 570 square kilometers, with some 6.5 million residents on the right bank of the Saigon River and downtown.
The project was originally planned to be completed within three years but was suspended in April 2018. In mid-November last year, it was suspended again as an appendix to extend the deadline of the project had yet to be signed.
In April this year, the prime minister asked the HCMC government to pay the investor and eliminate unreasonable costs to get the project done.
E-commerce business helps boost domestic market, export: Experts
The national plan for e-commerce development in the 2021-2025 period aims to turn e-commerce into one of the pioneering areas of the digital economy, helping enhance the competitiveness of businesses and promoting the growth of both domestic market and export, according to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Sinh Nhat Tan.
Speaking at a seminar in Hanoi on November 17 on market development for e-commerce firms in the digital transformation era, Tan said that digital transformation will help Vietnamese businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises seek a more flexible business model, saving cost and optimize resources to overcome difficulties.
Over the years, Vietnam has continuously recorded strong growth in the ratio of Internet users as well as the number of online shoppers, he said, noting that the value of online shopping through e-commerce platforms has risen sharply in the past five years. The figure increased from $5 billion in 2016 to over $10 billion in 2019 and $11.8 billion in 2020.
Notably, from the beginning of the pandemic to mid-2021, Vietnam had seen additional 8 million digital technology consumers, 55 percent of whom were not from big cities. Furthermore, 99 percent of Vietnamese digital technology consumers said that they will continue to use online services in the future, showing the close ties between Vietnamese consumers and digital services and products.
At the event, many experts said that Vietnam remains an attractive innovation center when the global capital resources have continued to flow to the country. The value of trade and investment deals surged to a record US$1.37 billion in the first half of 2021. They held that e-commerce market has become a popular business model of businesses, which has a strong spreading capacity in the community. Particularly, amid Covid-19 pandemic, e-commerce has enabled businesses to make transactions with customers in a safe manner.
They agreed that in the time to come, e-commerce will be a new shopping trend with impressive growth speed. This is a good chance for production businesses to serve their customers at anytime and anywhere, bringing better experience to consumers, they added.
Goods, services escalate simultaneously
The high gasoline prices (the highest level in the past seven years) have put pressure and affected many production and business activities of businesses and people. Over the past week, many types of goods, food, and services in Ho Chi Minh City have also rushed to raise their prices.
At Hoa Hung Market in District 10, Go Vap Market in Go Vap District, and Hoang Hoa Tham Market in Tan Binh District, the number of customers is relatively small, while food is abundant and diverse. Many types of fresh products and foods, such as meat, fish, seafood, vegetables, and fruits, slightly edged up by VND1,000-VND5,000 per kg. For example, a kilogram of lettuce cost nearly VND30,000 before the pandemic. Up to now, many small traders have had to increase to VND34,000 kg to make up for the transportation cost to earn a profit.
Some small traders said that price hikes in all kinds of goods had directly affected the purchasing power of consumers and their revenues. From now until the end of the year, prices of foods and commodities are also predicted to increase sharply if gas and petrol prices show no signs of a downward trend. Nguyen Chau Lam, a small trader at Hoa Hung Market in District 10, said that she mainly purchased foods from wholesale markets, the prices of many foods had cooled down sharply compared to those during social distancing. However, prices had started to go up slightly again in the past week due to increasing freight charges. On average, each box of goods rose by dozens of thousands of Vietnamese dong. She was worried that the increase in food prices would directly affect the purchasing power and her income.
In comparison to the previous time, many types of cooking oil have tended to climb by VND3,000-VND5,000 per bottle. Specifically, a liter of Happy Koki cooking oil advanced to VND40,000, and a liter of Neptune cooking oil surged to VND52,000. Nguyen Thi Phuong, a resident in Binh Thanh District, said that the price of vegetables and fruits had also increased. Scallions were sold at more than VND80,000 per kg. Not only food but incense and candle products had also rallied rapidly. “A bunch of incense used to fetch VND75,000, but now it has risen to VND80,000," Phuong said.
At Binh Thoi Market in District 11, some small traders said that the price of goods increased slightly by VND1,000-VND2,000. “Despite increasing freight rates, inconvenient transportation, and rising gasoline prices, traders are trying to keep prices moderate to retain customers amid economic difficulties,” said a small trader.
Not only fresh food, but a variety of drinks, cooked food, and street food, such as coffee, broken rice, rice noodle soup, vermicelli, and pho, are also about to increase prices due to the influence of gasoline and gas prices. In Go Vap District, on average, a plate of broken rice cost VND25,000-VND30,000 before the pandemic. But now, many eateries have simultaneously raised their prices to VND30,000-VND35,000. Many coffee shops have also augmented an average of VND1,000-VND2,000 per glass of drinks to cover other incurred costs.
Recently, gasoline prices have continuously increased, causing headaches to many fishers nationwide. Meanwhile, seafood prices have not recovered as expected, leading to many difficulties in fishing activities, forcing them to suspend operations of fishing vessels. Chairman of the Fisheries Association of Rach Gia City Truong Van Ngu said that in the past two months, increasing fuel prices, the Covid-19 testing cost, and the supporting cost for crew members' families had discouraged many fishing vessel owners from being eager to go to the sea because fishing was not lucrative. He estimated that with the current fuel prices, fishing boat owners would have to spend about VND60 million more for each trip.
According to preliminary statistics, only about 50 percent of the members of the Rach Gia City Fisheries Association still maintain operations. According to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province, the whole province has more than 2,800 offshore fishing vessels, but currently, about one-third of them does not go to the sea for fishing.
On November 16, Director of Hoc Mon Wholesale Market Management Company Nguyen Tien Dung said that the number of traders returning to the market had reached about 80 percent, but the volume of goods imported to the market was still low, fluctuating around 1,500-1,600 tons per night, accounting for about 60 percent of that before the pandemic. Noticeably, the situation of spontaneous markets around the market had decreased but remained complicated.
Meanwhile, a representative of Binh Dien Wholesale Market Management Company said that after reopening for half a month under the state of new normal, with an allowed capacity of 30 percent of stalls, but so far, its capacity has only reached about 15 percent. Daily imports of goods into the market is at about 300 tons while it exceeded 2,000 tons before the pandemic. It is because the spontaneous market around the market shows no signs of dismissal but becomes more and more booming. The tight Covid-19 control when entering the market makes many shoppers reluctant to go to the market, so traders in Binh Dien Market are forced to carry their goods back to the streets and nearby vacant land to sell.
Market management forces to crack down on trade fraud in upcoming Tet holiday
The Market Management Department of Ho Chi Minh City yesterday said that the agency has been strengthening the activities of fighting against smuggling and trade fraud in the last months of 2021 and the upcoming Tet holiday.
Accordingly, the market management teams will strengthen the monitoring online, make the list and distinguish the collectives and individuals operating e-commerce.
The functional forces will focus on checking the prohibited goods, commodities affecting the security and social order on the occasion of Lunar New Year Eve including clothes, footwear, shoes, electronics, medical equipment and supplies serving for Covid-19 prevention and control.
Besides, the agricultural, forestry and fishery products are on the name-list of strictly monitoring to limit trade fraud. The business certificate, invoice and origin of products, price listings are the must-checked categories.
Moreover, the HCMC Market Management Department shall pay attention to monitor the new drug products in District 1, District 5 and District 10, traditional medicine in District 5 and District 8, imported wine in District 1, District 3 and District 5, the fabric of all kinds in District 5, Tan Phu District and Tan Binh District, smuggled goods via air route at Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
The market management teams are also required to collaborate with other relevant forces, including the economic police, customs forces and tax agency to encourage residents to denounce the crime, provide accurate information to handle the violations.
From the beginning of the year to now, the market management forces nationwide have checked and handled around 37,000 violated cases, collected and performed payment to the state budget with an amount of over VND282 billion (US$12.4 million).
HCMC develops criteria set of international standard for startup incubators
Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB) under the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Science and Technology has finished the criteria set of international standard for startup incubator establishment. This is to improve the incubation quality so that more high-value startups can be successfully born in the city in the near future.
Startups sited in SHTP’s Incubation Center (SHTP-IC) are given qualified working space.
For many years, HCMC has actively promoted startup activities in the community via 15 startup incubators mostly sited in universities, Saigon Hi-tech Park (SHTP), Agricultural Hi-tech Park of HCMC (AHTP), which has so far offered working space, event location, and necessary equipment for needy startups.
Understanding the importance of incubators in supporting and consulting startups, HCMC has decided to prepare a criteria set following international standards regarding infrastructure, incubation program, operation management, and business networking, including international investment networks.
“These criteria aim at improving the capacity of an incubator to aid innovative startups to successfully commercialize their business ideas, technologies as well as increasing the survival rate of a new startup after its incubation time”, informed Director of SIHUB Huynh Kim Tuoc.
From 8 evaluations obtained from other countries and international incubation organizations, the set developed by SIHUB has 26 criteria, divided into the four groups of infrastructure, operation and services, operation management, output performance.
This set can become a founding frame for university and business incubators. The innovation of this set lies in the great details of all criteria, grading levels and methods to become user-friendly. Thus, it is expected that the set will be widely used among incubators in the city during their upgrading to reach the international level or newly formed incubators.
According to this set, the Hi-tech Business Incubator and the Hi-tech Agricultural Business Incubation Center have proved adequate as to the infrastructure aspect, with a stable operation procedure.
The set is simultaneously able to display weaknesses of existing incubators. For instance, the Hi-tech Business Incubator needs to provide more technical facilities to serve IoT and AI innovative startups; expand working space and sample making workshop; create more links to businesses in researching new products and solutions.
Associate Prof. Dr. Nguyen Anh Thi – Head of SHTP’s Management Board cum Chairman of the Advisory Board to evaluation the scientific-technological task ‘Research and Build a Startup Incubator Model according to International Standards’ commented that besides being an effective helping tool for the HCMC Science and Technology Department in evaluation incubators in the city, this criteria set can be applied even to the whole nation.
Vietnam garment exports set to hit US$38 billion in 2021
Revenues of Vietnam’s garment exports are set to average US$3 billion in the last two months of 2021, in turn putting the total figure to $38 billion for this year, or an increase of 8.1% year-on-year, according to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS).
For the past 10 months of 2021, the industry’s export turnover was estimated at $32 billion, up 10.8% year-on-year. Of the total, exports of fabrics and fibers reached an all-time high of nearly $4.5 billion, which is on track to attain $5.3 billion by late 2021, representing a sharp rise of 42%.
VITA's report also noted high revenue from geotextiles exports to major markets of Canada, the US, or India.
VITAS President Vu Duc Giang said the fourth Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdowns in many provinces/cities have caused negative impacts on the domestic and global supply chains, especially as textile manufacturing plants were forced to suspend business activities or scale down operation to 20-40% of the full capacity in months.
However, the rate of worker reinstatement has been around 92-93% since restriction measures are gradually lifted, he added.
He said around 13-14% of the contract orders with deadline in the remainder of the year were shifted to other countries during the lockdown period, but there are positive signs that orders are returning in 2022 with economic activities back to normal.
“The local textile industry targets an export turnover of $43.5 billion in 2022,” he said but urged companies to catch up with changes in market behavior, especially in the US, or countries in CPTPP and EVFTA.
Giang also called for local textile firms to focus on complying with rules of origin to better take advantage of trade deals that Vietnam is a part of, adding this is essential not only for Vietnam to realize its export target but also to ensure sustainable development of the textile industry.
“A transparent production process would demonstrate a strong commitment of Vietnam’s textile producers to customers, brands, and also the environment,” he said.
Sharing the view, Chief Representative of the Cotton Council International in Vietnam Vo Manh Hung added the global textile and fashion industry is taking major steps towards environmental protection and sustainable growth.
Hung added cotton as key input material for the garment industry, should be produced in an environmentally-friendly process that helps alleviate the associated environmental and social costs, including the over-use of pesticides, the release of greenhouse gases, the depletion of local water sources, and rising costs of production.
“By 2025, the majority of global fashion brands have committed to sustainable cotton production, which requires local firms to shift to sustainable practices to avoid risks of losing competitiveness in the international market,” he added.
ASEAN, Canada launch negotiations for Free Trade Agreement
The launch of negotiations for an ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was officially announced at the 10th ASEAN Economic Ministers – Canada Consultation on November 17.
The launch of negotiations illustrates the growing depth of ASEAN-Canada economic ties and the importance that each side places on deepening the bilateral relationship, the Secretary of ASEAN said in a press release.
This also represents a significant milestone in the ASEAN-Canada relationship and a meaningful step in Canada’s renewed commitment to trade and economic engagement in the region, it said.
According to the Secretary General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi, the FTA would strengthen ASEAN-Canada economic relations, connect ASEAN closer to the global value chains, and improve market access for both ASEAN and Canadian firms.
The announcement builds on strong economic relations between ASEAN and Canada, which has witnessed a steady growth since the establishment of the official dialogue relationship in 1977.
In the past year, bilateral trade relations between the two sides remained strong despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy. According to Canada’s statistics, in 2020 total two-way merchandise trade was valued at 19.9 billion USD, reflecting a slight decrease of 2.4 percent year-on-year.
The stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) from Canada to ASEAN Member States reached 12.5 billion USD, an increase of 11.7 percent year-on-year, while the stock of FDI from ASEAN Member States to Canada was 1.2 billion USD, a decrease of 0.9 percent year-on-year./.
Brazil market offers big opportunities for Vietnamese tra fish
Tra (pangasius) fish exports to Brazil are expected to grow in the last months of 2021 despite facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnam raked in 47.44 million USD from exporting tra fish to Brazil this year to mid-October, representing an increase of over 1.5 times against the same period last year, according to Ta Ha, an expert from Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
The VASEP representative said the South American country’s demand for food imports is projected to increase sharply from now until the end of the year and into next year, creating opportunities for Vietnamese tra fish industry to boost exports to the market.
Statistics from the Brazilian Fisheries Association showed that, in the third quarter of 2021 alone, the total import value of aquaculture products increased by 87 percent to 190 million USD. Of which, tra fish is one of the two products that saw import increase.
According to the International Trade Center (ITC), in the first nine months of this year, the value of Brazil's import of white-meat fish hiked by 14.5 percent year on year to 121 million USD, with that of Vietnam's tra fish soaring by 41.3 percent to 33 million USD.
Nearly 20 Vietnamese enterprises are exporting tra fish products to Brazil, including Southern Fishery Industries in Can Tho and Hung Ca 6 and Cadovimex II in Dong Thap, with 96 percent of products being frozen fillets./.
Vietnam introduces investment potential to German firms
Vietnamese Ambassador to Germany Nguyen Minh Vu has briefed German businesses on Vietnam’s economic development and potential for companies in Baden-Württemberg State’s Karlsruhe city to invest in Vietnam.
Speaking at a ceremony to honour winners of the “Globe 2021” for German technology firms in Karlsruhe on November 16, the Vietnamese diplomat stressed that over the past decade, Vietnam has continuously achieved an impressive annual GDP growth rate of between 6 – 7 percent.
Vietnam is an open economy with 14 free trade agreements (FTAs), he said.
Germany has been one of the most important partners of Vietnam in the European Union (EU). The two-way trade between the two countries doubled in the past 10 years to hit 3.2 billion EUR (14.95 billion USD) in 2020, making Vietnam the largest trading partner of Germany among ASEAN countries and the sixth in Asia.
Germany’s investment in Vietnam increased 1.7 times over the past decade. Germany is one of the three biggest EU investors in Vietnam, with 378 FDI projects worth over 2.2 billion USD. About 400 German companies are currently doing business in Vietnam.
Ambassador Vu said there will be great opportunities for the German firms in general and those from Karlsruhe in particular to invest in Vietnam or partner with Vietnamese companies in the future.
Earlier, the Vietnamese diplomat had a meeting with Mayor of Karlsruhe, Dr. Frank Mentrup, during which, they discussed cooperation plans between Vietnam and Germany, and Karlsruhe in particular.
Ambassador Vu said Vietnam currently has a great demand for innovation in science and technology in order to create a strong motivation for the country’s industrialisation and modernisation process.
Therefore, this is also a potential field for cooperation and is a priority of Vietnam, he said, expressing his hope that Mayor Mentrup will continue to support and promote cooperation between the two sides./.
Private businesses in Vietnam: increases in both quantity, quality
The number of newly established private enterprises in Vietnam has increased steadily every year, from 70,900 in the 2015-2020 period to 112,500 in the 2015-2020. Not only quantity, capital scale and capacity of private enterprises have also improved.
In the first ten months of 2021, despite the serious impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 93,000 new firms were set up.
In 2011, there were about 325,000 private enterprises in Vietnam and the figure rose to 647,000 in 2019.
The scale of production and capital of private enterprises also increased sharply, from 6,875 trillion VND (303.6 billion USD) in 2011 to 24,024 trillion VND (1.06 trillion USD) in 2019, nearly 3.5 times higher.
Over the last five years, the number of private enterprises making it into Vietnam’s 500 largest companies is on the rise. Six private firms have even made their way into the Asian and global lists.
The private sector plays an increasingly significant part in the economy as it contributed 40 percent of Vietnam’s GDP.
The Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) attributed the positive results to the policy of developing the private economic sector in association with the economic transformation process of the Party and State.
According to experts, although there have been positive improvements, the capacity of the private economic sector is still limited, and does not commensurate with their role and expectations.
In order to improve the capacity of the private economic sector, it is necessary to focus on solutions to assist businesses in restoring production, minimising the negative impacts of the pandemic, stabilising production and business, and ensuring workers' income and safety for workers, including creating conditions for enterprises to access new loans to restore production and business./.
Can Tho company to export 15,000 tonnes of rice to RoK
Trung An Hi-tech Farming JSC in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho has won a bid for 15,000 tonnes of rice from the Republic of Korea, CEO Pham Thai Binh announced on November 17.
Under the contract, the company will export 15,000 tonnes of 100-percent broken rice at a Free-on-Board (FOB) price of 369 USD per tonne, to be delivered to the RoK’s Port of Gwangyang sometime between March and June 2022.
Since the beginning of 2021, Trung An has won contracts to ship 48,763 tonnes of rice of different types to the RoK. This year, the RoK granted a 50,000-tonne quota for rice imports from Vietnam.
In the third quarter of this year, Trung An’s revenue declined 8 percent year on year to 500 billion VND (22.08 million USD). However, its pre-tax profit surged 66 percent to 40 billion VND, the highest ever since it was listed on the Hanoi Exchange (HNX) in 2019.
The rice exporter expects to earn 3.5 trillion VND in revenue and 105 billion VND in post-tax profit in 2021./.
Tay Ninh sets up investment ties with six foreign localities
Authorities of the southern province of Tay Ninh granted investment certificates and gave in-principle approval to 12 foreign-invested projects with a total registered capital of 91 million USD in the first ten months of 2021.
According to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, as many as 17 existing foreign projects registered to add 639.9 million USD in the period.
Notably, Tay Ninh signed investment cooperation in agriculture, trade, science and technology with Svay Rieng, Pray Veng, Tboung Khnum and Kampong Cham provinces of Cambodia, and Gumhae and Chungju cities of the Republic of Korea.
Tay Ninh is now home to 339 foreign-invested projects with a total registered capital of over 8.2 billion USD, mainly focusing in Trang Bang town and Go Dau district.
The local authorities have paid attention to improving investment environment to attract more domestic and foreign investors./.
E-commerce business helps boost domestic market, export: Experts
The national plan for e-commerce development in the 2021-2025 period aims to turn e-commerce into one of the pioneering area of the digital economy, helping enhance the competitiveness of businesses and promoting the growth of both domestic market and export, according to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Sinh Nhat Tan.
Speaking at a seminar in Hanoi on November 17 on market development for e-commerce firms in the digital transformation era, Tan said that digital transformation will help Vietnamese businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises seek a more flexible business model, saving cost and optimise resources to overcome difficulties.
Over the years, Vietnam has continuously recorded strong growth in the ratio of Internet users as well as the number of online shoppers, he said, noting that the value of online shopping through e-commerce platforms has risen sharply in the past five years. The figure increased from 5 billion USD in 2016 to over 10 billion USD in 2019 and 11.8 billion USD in 2020.
Notably, from the beginning of the pandemic to mid-2021, Vietnam had seen additional 8 million digital technology consumers, 55 percent of whom were not from big cities. Furthermore, 99 percent of Vietnamese digital technology consumers said that they will continue to use online services in the future, showing the close ties between Vietnamese consumers and digital services and products.
At the event, many experts said that Vietnam remains an attractive innovation centre when the global capital resources have continued to flow to the country. The value of trade and investment deals surged to a record 1.37 billion USD in the first half of 2021. They held that e-commerce market has become a popular business model of businesses, which has a strong spreading capacity in the community. Particularly, amid COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce has enabled businesses to make transactions with customers in a safe manner.
They agreed that in the time to come, e-commerce will be a new shopping trend with impressive growth speed. This is a good chance for production businesses to serve their customers at anytime and anywhere, bringing better experience to consumers, they added./.
Taiwanese consumers keen on Vietnamese vegetables
Taiwan (China) imported a total of 60,700 tonnes of vegetables worth US$40.3 million from Vietnam during the past nine months of the year, representing a year-on-year rise of 81.6% in volume and 68.9% in value, according to statistics released by Taiwanese Customs.
Most notably, Vietnam has been the largest supplier of vegetables coded HS 07 to the Taiwanese market, with the import proportion from the country accounting for 20.6% of the total import volume.
Statistics indicate that consumers in the Taiwanese market remain very keen on Vietnamese vegetable products, which thereby represents an opportunity for local businesses to boost exports to the market in the near future.
During the nine-month period, Taiwan (China) remained the largest importer of cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, kale, and other cruciferous veggies coded 0704 with 93,900 tonnes worth US$45.8 million, marking a rise of 33.4% in volume and 46.3% in value against the same period from last year.
The country was also the biggest supplier of these products to the Taiwanese market during the reviewed period, with 51,700 tonnes worth US$26.4 million.
This figure marked a year-on-year increase of 117.8% in volume and 130% in value, making up 55% of the total import volume of the product to this market.
According to FreshPlaza.com, the water shortage which lasted from the end of 2020 to the first half of the year, coupled with a damaging hurricane season, has negatively impacted Taiwanese vegetable production, which has served to push up local vegetable prices.
Furthermore, the high density of convenience stores and the rapid expansion of retail outlets in recent years have allowed consumers to enjoy greater access to food and beverage products, which has therefore opened up bright prospects ahead for local vegetable exports in the time ahead.
US remains largest market for Vietnamese wood exports
The US remained Vietnam’s largest export market for timber and wood products during the past nine months of the year, with exports to the market enjoying a year-on-year increase of 40.6% to US$6.7 billion, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The Ministry stated that Vietnamese timber and wood exports during the reviewed period surged by 30.9% to US$11.14 billion against the same period from last year.
There are positive signs for timber and wood exports to the US market moving forward due to a number of factors which work in favour of Vietnamese products, according to experts.
Most notably, both sides have recently reached an agreement on illegal logging and timber trade that will avoid hefty tariffs placed on Vietnamese timber exports. This agreement therefore officially ended the US Trade Representative (USTR)’s investigation into Vietnamese timber exports under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act.
The move has significantly contributed to improving the prestige of the local wood industry, while simultaneously providing a foundation for developing the Vietnamese timber industry in a sustainable manner.
In addition, the signing of this agreement is anticipated to promote Vietnamese trade in timber and wood products to the US market in the coming time.
Furthermore, the recovery of the US economy continues to accelerate the demand for wooden furniture in this market, especially at the end-of-year period, according to the Association of Vietnam Timber and Forest Product (VIFOREST).
Total demand is therefore anticipated to reach US$100 billion this year amid the US economy being forecast to grow by between 6% and 7%, which is anticipated to create opportunities for the export of timber and wood products to the US market in the near future.
Ample room for processed fruit and veggie to enjoy export growth
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) is in the process of finalizing a draft project on developing the local fruit and vegetable processing industry, with the aim of bringing the nation into the top five countries globally.
According to the Center for Industry and Trade Information under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnamese fruit and vegetable industry has enjoyed a successful transition into the processing of dried products and canned juices.
The COVID-19 pandemic is thought to not have negatively affect the global processed fruit and vegetable industry. In contrast, the supply of processed fruit and vegetables has seen an increase, while the export of fresh or frozen products has endured a fall which has forced producers to shift into processing. Meanwhile, price, shelf life, and innovation represent the main drivers to promote the consumption of processed fruit and vegetables.
As a tropical country, the nation boasts favourable soil and climate conditions for producing a variety of fruits. Recent years have seen the country develop a fruit processing industry which currently accounts for approximately 10% of its total fruit output.
As a means of proactively supplying processed products, the MARD is finalizing a draft project regarding developing the Vietnamese fruit and vegetable processing industry, with the goal of raising the standard to be among the leading countries in the world.
In general, the local fruit and vegetable sector has been quite successful when increasing exports to markets, boasting large import volumes and strict requirements on quality and product diversity.
With these results achieved in both 2020 and during the first nine months of 2021, the nation’s fruit and vegetable industry has enjoyed a successful transition into the segment of processing dried products and canned juices.
Furthermore, when developing in the direction of processing, local fruit and vegetables can be controlled in terms of costs, thereby increasing the value of goods by up to four times compared to the price of fresh fruits.
The deep processing of fruit and vegetables will also help to increase the overall storage time and avoid oversupply.
It is forecast that during the remainder of the year and the entirety year of 2022, processed fruit and vegetables will continue to represent a product category with strong growth potential because of convenience and long preservation time.
The presence of retail and e-commerce channels for both developed and developing countries will help to increase the sales of processed fruit and vegetables. Imports of products of fruit and vegetables, nuts, and other plant parts from key Vietnamese export markets such as China, the United States, and the EU have grown at a high rate in recent years.
Consumption trends typically increase due to factors such as a rise in domestic production, convenience of products, and technological improvements aimed at maintaining the quality of fruit. However, the Vietnamese fruit and vegetable processing industry is currently in the form of raw processing and is exported to foreign markets under other brands, thereby leading to a low value-added chain for this industry.
The past few years has seen enterprises investing in the field of fruit processing, with preservation increasing sharply, three times higher than before, with 7,500 fruit and vegetable processing and preservation establishments and roughly 150 processing factories that feature modern technology lines.
At present, the processing industry only meets 8% to 10% of the annual fruit and vegetable output, with more than 76% of exported fruit and vegetables not being processed. In addition, consumption is still in the form of fresh or preliminary preservation, with post-harvest losses remaining too high at approximately 20%.
Compared with the requirements set out in terms of development and integration in line with the new competitive conditions, the fruit and vegetable processing industry continues to face many shortcomings and limitations.
Lao Cai, Yunnan strengthen trade exchanges
Working delegations from the northern Lao Cai province and the Chinese province of Yunnan hosted an online conference on November 18 aimed at promoting trade exchanges between the two sides.
Despite import and export activities between both Vietnamese and Chinese businesses through border gates in Lao Cai being reduced due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two localities have exerted great efforts to ensure a “green channel” remains for transportation whilst also facilitating customs clearance procedures.
Furthermore, a working group has been established in a bid to quickly resolve problems which may occur at the Kim Thanh Road Border Gate along with other border gates to ensure import and export activities continue in a safe manner.
Ha Duc Thuan, deputy head of the Lao Cai Economic Zone Authority, said total import and export turnover of goods via Lao Cai border gates since the beginning of the year have risen by 15.5% on-year to reach more than US$3 million, of which exports climbed to over US$1 trillion.
Major export items also include peeled board, tapioca starch, coffee, confectionery, and yellow phosphorus, while some of the key imported commodities are fertilisers of all kinds, fruit and vegetables, iron and steel, machinery and equipment.
Moving forward to the upcoming Lunar New Year, both sides will continue to facilitate customs clearances for agricultural products, whilst also moving to adjust various types of fees and cross-border payments towards creating the optimal conditions for local enterprises.
The two sides are set to host a range of trade promotion activities, including trade fairs and fruit festivals, facilitate customs clearance through Kim Thanh border gate and Ho Kieu railway border gate to avoid congestion, while boosting closer cooperation in combating COVID-19 pandemic.
Dong Nai Province remains attractive FDI destination despite COVID
Despite the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, in the first 11 months of this year Dong Nai attracted nearly US$1.1 billion in foreign direct investment, exceeding its target by well over half, according to the provincial Industrial Zones Authority.
Le Van Danh, deputy head of the agency, said the province attracted 46 new projects worth $358.85 million while the rest went into 94 existing ones that increased their investment.
Most of the projects are in supporting and electronics industries, use modern technologies and are environment-friendly, as the province prefers.
Attracting FDI is a key aspect of Dong Nai Province’s socio-economic development strategy, according to its People’s Committee.
A preferred destination for foreign investors in the south-eastern region, the province has taken a number of concrete measures to attract them, with priority given to projects that use high technology, are environment-friendly and less labour-intensive and manufacture competitive products.
It plans to speed up investment to improve its infrastructure, skill its workforce and modernise technology in addition to strengthening administrative reform to increase its competitiveness as an investment destination.
It offers favourable conditions and end-to-end support to investors, Danh said.
It has speeded up administrative reform to streamline processing of investment procedures, he said.
Better co-ordination among official agencies also helps investors address issues related to administrative procedures, he said.
New industrial parks are planned to be built in Xuan Loc, Dinh Quan, Vinh Cuu, Thong Nhat, and Tan Phu districts and Long Khanh Town, he said.
Many large companies are expected to invest in the province, he added.
Of 47 countries and territories investing in the province, Taiwan (China), South Korea, Japan, ASEAN member countries, Europe, and America are the leaders.
SSI set to increase charter capital to $662.27 million with rights issue
SSI Securities Corporation plans to offer some 497.4 million new shares at VND15,000 to existing shareholders at a ratio of 2:1.
The issue expects to raise VND4.97 trillion (US$219.5 million), increasing the company’s charter capital to nearly VND15 trillion ($662.27 million) to maintain its position as the country’s largest securities company.
An SSI spokesperson said the funds would supplement working capital and improve the company’s underwriting, investment and margin lending capacity.
Money not deployed for margin lending would be used to invest in bonds and certificates of deposit, she said.
In addition to continuing to develop core businesses by building and training a team of professional financial advisors and investing in technology infrastructure to better serve and attract more local and foreign customers, SSI would also go on with its training programmes for new investors in a professional manner, she added.
Gold sets record high at $2,746 per tael
Gold has been reported to reach a record high on Wednesday, selling at VND62.15 million per tael (0.0377kg) or US$2,746.
The price hike seemed to apply to the domestic market as global prices only experienced a slight increase. In the afternoon, the price went down to VND61.85 million, marking a difference in price of VND11 million between global and domestic markets. As of Thursday morning, price has gone up to VND62.15 million per tael.
According to To Thanh Hiep, general director of Sacombank-SBJ, the price hike was a result of a surge in demand among Vietnamese buyers.
"Buyers face increased risk as the price in the domestic market is much much higher than of the global market," he said.
This is the highest price recorded for gold since August 2020.
Deputy PM urges acceleration of Long Thanh airport project
Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh has requested Long Thanh International Airport project to be accelerated so that its first phase could be completed in January 2025.
The airport is a national key project. Once operational, the airport in southern Dong Nai province will help ease the traffic burden on nearby Ho Chi Minh City and serve as an impulse for economic development in the southern region and the country as a whole, according to the Government Office’s announcement of Deputy PM Thanh’s conclusion at a recent meeting.
It noted ministries, sectors, the Dong Nai People’s Committee, the Airports Corporation of Vietnam, the Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation, consulting firms, and contractors have strived to address difficulties to speed up site clearance and sub-projects. However, land recovery, compensation, and resettlement are lagging behind schedule while the National Assembly demanded those activities to be completed by December 31 this year.
To ensure the first phase’s progress, quality, and effectiveness, the Deputy PM asked the Secretary of the Party Committee and the Chairperson of the People’s Committee of Dong Nai province to order relevant agencies to coordinate closely with each other in site clearance to ensure that the entire 4,946ha of land for the project will be completely recovered by June 30, 2022.
He also told investors of sub-projects to accelerate airport design and construction so that the first phase could be completed in January 2025.
The Long Thanh International Airport is set to have four runways, four passenger terminals, and other auxiliary facilities to serve 100 million passengers and 5 million tonnes of cargo a year by 2040.
In the first phase, it will have one runway, one passenger terminal, and accompanying facilities, able to handle 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tonnes of cargo per year./.
Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/SGGP/Nhan Dan
Fee reductions extended until June 2022